Questions For The Evolutionist.

Another list of questions that are supposed to stump “evolutionists” in our tracks.  I think I had to use wikipedia to answer like one of them (the one about the chronology of insect and flowering plant evolution), the rest I answered off the top of my head.

 

Here goes:

 

“If the topic of evolution has never come up in your witnessing encounters, it undoubtedly will at some point.  Christians need not be intimidated by it.  Instead, here are some questions you can ask to help an evolutionist think through these issues while gently (yet effectively) exposing the irrationality of the theory itself.”

Actually all you are doing is highlighting your own ignorance and hoping the other person will be as ignorant as you.

“1)  Where did the space for the universe come from? 2)  Where did matter come from?”

I combined the two because the answer is the same – I don’t know and neither do you, and this has nothing to do with darwinian evolution.

“3)  How does a strictly material, constantly changing universe give us immaterial, universal, unchanging laws (such as laws of logic, science, and morality)?”

The universe isn’t necessarily “strictly material”, material is just all that we can empirically observe and know to exist objectively.  And the “laws” of logic, science and morality are all three very different abstract concepts.  Laws of logic and physics are deduced from observation and are tentative, “laws” of physics are only constant and unchanging in principle, and many have been shown to not actually be universal or constant, such as newton’s “laws” of motion which break down at high speeds or the “law” of non-contradiction which ceases to apply in a universe where time, size, and velocity are relative.  These “laws” are man-made symbolic representations of the world, and they are no more immutable than we are.  If you mean why does the universe have the most basic known properties that it has, see the answer to questions 1 and 2.

“4)  How did matter get so perfectly organized?”

It didn’t.  If you drop the word “perfect” (bodies that get cancer and planets with fault lines that cause massive disasters that kill millions of people are hardly “perfectly” organized), and just ask how did matter get organized then my response is that the question is too vague – ask a more specific question and I can help you, but I am not going to spend an hour describing dozens of atomic, biological, chemical, geological etc processes that produce different things.  How a mountain forms and how a snowflake form are two very different things that require different answers.

“5)  Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?”

See the answer to questions 1-3.

“6)   When, where, why, and how did randomness become non-random?”

I don’t know that it ever was non-random, or that anything even is non-random.  We call things random when we lack the ability to predict them.  In principle with enough data and enough smarts anything is predictable and non-random.

“7)  When, where, why, and how did life arise from non-living matter?”

Plants turn non-living matter into living matter every day, non-living matter and living matter are the same thing – the iron in your blood and the iron in the steel of a golf club are identical.  If you mean how exactly did life begin, we don’t know since the earliest life would not contain the fortified cell structures that are hard enough to fossilize and leave remnants, so the fossil record goes cold around 3.4 billion years ago.  And the earliest fossil life is in the oceans to answer the where question..

“8)  When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?”

Learning in the sense of mental activity evolved several billion years later, the first life would’ve simply been a chemical process.  A germ doesn’t need to learn to reproduce, and is incapable of learning anything.

“9)  Why would natural selection favor sexual reproduction over cell division, which is more efficient and less costly genetically?”

Sexual reproduction allows an individual to gain successful genes from many lineages maximizing it’s chance of survival and allowing a population to adapt to many selective pressures simultaneously.  The mathematical speed of evolution is greatly enhanced by sexual reproduction which is evident in many evolution simulation programs you can download free to experiment virtually with the math of natural selection and virtually “evolve” things (including in some cases virtual functional machines).

“10)  With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?”

Other cells presumably.

“11)  Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and, thereby, decrease the chances of survival?”

As opposed to what, just dying out?  I somehow think natural selection would favor starvation over automatic extinction.  And natural selection is not a conscious process of species thinking about what they want or deciding what is best.  As a science nerd who knows about this stuff it is always depressing to read rants like this posted by people who are bashing science and who, halfway through their rant betray the fact that they literally have no idea what the science they’re opposed to is about at all.  Natural selection is the process of genes getting passed on at different rates because the genes themselves are useful or harmful, no thought or logic or “hmm, this would be a good idea” required.

“12)  Which of the following evolved first and how long did it work without the others?:
(a) The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juices (stomach, intestines, etc.)?”

The food to be digested obviously, since predation is one organism eating another organism the organism must first exist before predation is an option.  As for the rest, any organ system does not begin in it’s most tricked out, complex state any more than the first computer had a DVD drive.  And just as my computer needs a hard drive to function but the earliest computers didn’t need a hard drive to function modern configurations of organs can become irreducibly complex by gradual modification the same way technologies do.  As for the stomach resisting it’s stomach juices it doesn’t, your stomach lining digests itself perpetually.

“(b) The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?”

Sex drive is a behavioral mental characteristic of higher animals which would not have been present in early microbial lifeforms which lacked brains just like bacteria do.  Early life would’ve reproduced by chemical reactions just like mindless microbes do today.  

“(c)  The lungs, the mucous lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?”

There is no “perfect” mixture of gases, the atmosphere is not consistent anywhere on the earth’s surface.  And the answer is the throat, followed by the lungs and then the various add-ons to them.  

“(d)  The termite or the Trichonympha symbiotes that live in its intestines and actually digest the cellulose?”

The termite – it would logically have had the ability to digest it’s own food and later lost it as a result of the effectiveness of the symbiotic relationship, the same way humans btw have largely lost the ability to digest food since the trillions of bacteria in our intestines do such a good job of it.

“(e)  The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate them?”

Plants pre-date insects by many millions of years and flowering plants evolved several hundred million years after the first insects.

“(f)  The bones or the ligaments, tendons, blood supply, and muscles to move the bones?”

Bones first emerge in the fossil record in the cambrian period, before which there were plenty of animals that could move around and thus had muscles, blood etc.  Though if by blood supply you mean a heart pumping blood our four chambered heart evolved from the three chambered heart of the reptile which evolved from the two chambered heart of the fish, which evolved from simpler species like crustaceans, some of which have hearts and others do not.  The first heart was most likely simply an accidental by-product of musculature, every time a fish wagged it’s tail it pumped a little blood – this mimics the lymph system in humans today which circulates all the non-blood fluid in your body by your muscles pressing on different parts of the body and forcing fluid from one region to the other – this is why a doctor gives you a shot near the butt, aka the gliteus maximus – the largest and most often used muscle in the human body.  Short of injecting it in to a vein it’s the most effective way to circulate it through the body.

“(g)  The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?”

I’m not sure what you mean by “repair” system but I suspect the answer is the nervous system, though I could be wrong.  I don’t know a lot about the evolution of hormones.

“(h)  The immune system or the need for it?”

Well the first virus would necessarily pre-date the first immune system since natural selection is reactive, not pro-active.

And yes, I also know which came first, the chicken or the egg.

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About agnophilo

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51 Responses to Questions For The Evolutionist.

  1. The Creation Museum (according to a cartoon by Dan Lietha) is today boasting of presenting a dinosaur fossil with ‘NO’ evolution or millions of years. Based on what the Bible tells us about dinosaurs (in their minds).

  2. agnophilo says:

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. And today’s creationists admit fully that evolution happens, they just call it other things and shun the “e” word.

    • Brian Dead Rift Webb says:

      Not all of us. Some of us tout the e word, but don’t believe that life starts from slime on a crystal (paraphrasing one very shaggy atheist).

      I am highly impressed with your arguments. They are not atypical of the atheist arguments that have started around me. I’ve enjoyed this read. I look forward to reading your older, and newer posts.

      • agnophilo says:

        Slime on a crystal? And ironically slime is multi-cellular and thus actually fairly advanced : P

        And yeah right now almost everyone who considers themselves an atheist in the US has really thought about it and educated themselves to reach their conclusion, we have not yet gotten to the point where there are a lot of cultural “well my family are all atheist so I guess I am too” atheists. So get five atheists in a room and between the five of them they can probably answer pretty much any question on any topic at length.

        • Brian Dead Rift Webb says:

          Your are thinking of the biological slime. I was referring to a non-living muck consistency of slime. I just love the confusion of English. 🙂

          Actually, I had a room of atheist, and 3 of which couldn’t answer squat. This is why I look forward to meeting people like you who can answer questions.

          • agnophilo says:

            Well we’re made of that anyway. I don’t see why that is absurd. Or at least more absurd than anything else about the universe.

            How old were these atheists of yours? And as far as picking my brain, feel free to fire away.

  3. I was just showing some interest in your blog page.
    https://www.facebook.com/AnswersInGenesis

    • agnophilo says:

      I appreciate it, I was just not sure what you meant per the cartoon, not having seen it. I see it now on the AIG facebook page. They’re basically feigning persecution and acting like their ideas, which have been the status quo for thousands of years and have never been censored in the christian world are somehow forbidden from the public eye, like obama is going to send the CIA to shut down their museum any second.

  4. The creationists do not accept evolution from molecules to Man – which is what the cartoon is on about.

    • agnophilo says:

      Men are made of molecules. That humans started out as single-celled organisms billions of years ago seems ridiculous and counter-intuitive but so does the idea that you and I were once a single-celled organism in our mother’s womb. But we can prove both of them are true. Many things that are true about the universe seem to fly in the face of common sense but we believe them anyway because we can test them. To quote one song talking about the planet earth, “it rotates and revolves through space… at rather an impressive pace… and never even messes up my hair.” The surface of the earth is spinning at about a thousand miles per hour around the core of the planet, and the earth is moving much faster through the solar system and the solar system is moving at several thousand miles per second through the galaxy, yet everything seems perfectly still. That we evolved from “molecules” is the least absurd thing about our situation.

  5. jeweliedeer says:

    Really brilliant, Mark. Realy enjoyed comment/remarks too. Appreciate the thoroughness in counteracting the questions with solid evidence and helpful examples. Haven’t read anything this solid in a long time.

  6. scmike2 says:

    Hey Mark, I posted a response to your comments on my blog. Take care!

  7. scmike2 says:

    A copy for the benefit of those following the discussion over here as well:

    Hey agnophilo,

    Thank you for your in/depth responses! Regarding your comments:

    You said: Actually all you are doing is highlighting your own ignorance and hoping the other person will be as ignorant as you.

    I hate to jump to conclusions so early in this discussion, but declaring oneself to be intellectually superior is usually a sure sign that the opposite is true. Let’s see if that’s the case:

    You said: 1) I don’t know and neither do you, and this has nothing to do with darwinian evolution.

    First of all, how do you know that I don’t know the answer to this question? This sounds like an unjustified assumption on your part. Besides, the question has everything to do with darwinian evolution, because if there is no matter to evolve in the first place, there can be no evolution. If you have no justification for the very existence of matter, life, etc., then your whole foundation for evolution rests upon blind faith. Of course, I don’t have to remind you that believing in things with no rational reason for doing so is but one form of irrationality.

    You said: 3) The universe isn’t necessarily “strictly material”, material is just all that we can empirically observe and know to exist objectively.

    Then what is your justification for the existence of abstract, immaterial entities/ concepts if they cannot be observed or known to exist objectively? Blind faith, perhaps?

    These “laws” are man-made symbolic representations of the world, and they are no more immutable than we are.

    If it is your position that the laws of logic are man-made, then could the universe have both existed and not existed at the same time and in the same way before men were present to create the law of non-contradiction?

    You said: 4) ask a more specific question and I can help you, but I am not going to spend an hour describing dozens of atomic, biological, chemical, geological etc processes that produce different things

    No problem. More specifically, why and how do molecules presently know how to behave the same as they have in the past with regards to the formation of matter, etc.? What compels them to do so in such a consistent, basically uniform fashion?

    You said: 5) See the answer to questions 1-3.

    There is no answer to this question in 1-3. Simply stating that matter and physical laws exist is a far cry from accounting for the existence of the energy needed to create and sustain these processes. I trust that you can see that, no?

    You said: 6) I don’t know that it ever was non-random, or that anything even is non-random. We call things random when we lack the ability to predict them.

    A couple of things regarding this: 1) Why are things not random? (2) ‘Predicting’ things assumes a certain basic uniformity of nature (i.e non-randomness). What is your basis for assuming that the future will in any way resemble the past in a random chance, accidental universe? I should remind you that atheistic philosopher David Hume was reduced to utter skepticism regarding this. You see, as a Christian, I can rationally proceed with the expectation that nature will remain basically uniform due to God’s promises is His Word to sustain His creation in a fashion such that mankind can subdue it and have dominion over it. This would not be possible absent a basic general uniformity in nature. As such, the Christian worldview provides a logical basis for a belief in the principle of induction (which is the very basis of all science), while atheism/ evolution does not.

    You said: 7) Plants turn non-living matter into living matter every day, non-living matter and living matter are the same thing – the iron in your blood and the iron in the steel of a golf club are identical.

    Um, your answer to the question about where life came from is that ‘non-living matter and living matter are the same thing’? Do you also believe that rational and irrational responses are equally valid, too? You’re making me think so. 😉

    You said: 8) Learning in the sense of mental activity evolved several billion years later, the first life would’ve simply been a chemical process.

    How do you know this for certain? Where have you observed it? If you are honest, you would admit that you believe these things absent any verifiable justification (i.e. blind faith), as you have admitted in your responses to # 1-2.

    You said: 9) Sexual reproduction allows an individual to gain successful genes from many lineages maximizing it’s chance of survival and allowing a population to adapt to many selective pressures simultaneously.

    A few questions: 1) How do you know what ‘successful’ genes are without knowing the proper goal of evolution? (2) How do you know that surviving and adapting is what we SHOULD be doing instead of not-surviving and not-adapting? (3) Is survival of the individual or survival of the group the ideal and how do you know this?

    The mathematical speed of evolution is greatly enhanced by sexual reproduction which is evident in many evolution simulation programs you can download free to experiment virtually with the math of natural selection and virtually “evolve” things (including in some cases virtual functional machines).

    I’m not a big fan of sci-fi, but if I was, that definitely sounds like the ultimate experience! Surely you can see the irony though, in advocating a computer program DESIGNED by someone to try and promote the idea that you yourself are the product of a mindless, random-chance process, no (unless, of course, you are now going to argue that the computer program also evolved over billions of years)?

    You said: 10) Other cells presumably.

    And those other cells just happened to be capable of sexual reproduction at exactly the same time and place? Riiiiiiight! One thing is for sure, agnophilo, you certainly have no shortage of (blind) faith in evolution. Again, though, this makes your position an irrational one, as there is no logical justification for the things you are assuming here.

    You said: 11) As opposed to what, just dying out? I somehow think natural selection would favor starvation over automatic extinction.

    Why? What is the basis for that assumption?

    As a science nerd who knows about this stuff it is always depressing to read rants like this posted by people who are bashing science and who, halfway through their rant betray the fact that they literally have no idea what the science they’re opposed to is about at all.

    I appreciate your desire to learn and your quest to obtain knowledge, agnophilo, as this is what we are commanded by God to do. However, what you’re doing isn’t demonstrating that you ‘know about this stuff’, but rather you’re only ‘making unjustified and unjustifiable assertions about it’. You are telling me about your faith based beliefs, but not what you know and how you claim to know it for certain (which is what I am really interested in). You seem to be confusing the two.

    Also, not that I agree with you about my post being a rant, but so what if it was? If there is ultimately no meaning to life and our thoughts are just the products of the (random) chemical reactions in our evolved brains, then why bother to take the time and try and ‘correct’ anyone else’s thinking whatsoever, since people necessarily think the way their brains tell them to? If your position were true, you don’t believe in evolution because it’s true, but because that’s just what the reaction of the chemicals in your brain tell you to think. Your very arguments here betray your professed position and demonstrate that you don’t live in accordance with your professed beliefs. This type of internal inconsistency is also but another form of irrationality. Why trust such an absurd position?

    Natural selection is the process of genes getting passed on at different rates because the genes themselves are useful or harmful, no thought or logic or “hmm, this would be a good idea” required.

    Again, though, how do you know what genes are ‘useful’ or ‘harmful’ without knowing the PROPER function of natural selection?

    You said: 12a) The food to be digested obviously, since predation is one organism eating another organism the organism must first exist before predation is an option. As for the rest, any organ system does not begin in it’s most tricked out, complex state

    That’s the point. Why would natural selection favor the formation of a digestive system to be used for food that the organism currently couldn’t eat anyway? What good would a partially formed/ nonfunctional digestive system be to an organism while it was evolving and what function would it serve once formed, without an appetite for the food to be eaten? After all, what benefit is there to having an appetite if there is no fully functioning digestive system present? What good is a fully functioning digestive system without an appetite?

    (b) Sex drive is a behavioral mental characteristic of higher animals which would not have been present in early microbial lifeforms which lacked brains just like bacteria do. Early life would’ve reproduced by chemical reactions just like mindless microbes do today.

    I’m not asking about ASEXUAL reproduction in ‘early’ life, I’m asking which evolved first, the drive to reproduce sexually or the ability to do so. Hopefully you can see that neither one is of any benefit without the other, which is the point here. Well?

    (c) And the answer is the throat, followed by the lungs and then the various add-ons to them.

    And of what benefit would a throat be absent the connecting lungs with which inhale and to exhale the air through it? Why would a creature need lungs if it did not currently have the capability to breathe air, as partially formed, nonfunctional lungs would be of no value to it (i.e. spare parts). Unless of course you want to argue that evolution/natural selection somehow knew that these would be needed in the future and then proceeded to manufacture them for the benefit of the creature (which, of course, is absurd as you have admitted earlier). Well?

    (d) The termite – it would logically have had the ability to digest it’s own food and later lost it as a result of the effectiveness of the symbiotic relationship, the same way humans btw have largely lost the ability to digest food since the trillions of bacteria in our intestines do such a good job of it.

    Logically huh? What is your logical justification for assuming that termites have ever had the ability to digest cellulose absent the Trichonympha symbiotes? Where and when have you observed this or do you just accept it on blind faith?

    (e) Plants pre-date insects by many millions of years and flowering plants evolved several hundred million years after the first insects.

    So how did the insects that depend on the flowering plants for food survive over the ‘several hundred million years’ that their food source was evolving? If you’re going to argue that they ate something else and then evolved to eat the nectar from the flowering plants afterwards, please provide justification for this and tell how you know it for certain.

    (f) Bones first emerge in the fossil record in the cambrian period….etc.

    The point is that a partially formed, non-functional skeletal system would be of no survival value to any creature and the necessary parts would have all had to evolve at the same time and place in order to have a functioning system. Without any one of the parts I listed above, the system is incomplete and is of no use or value.

    (g) I’m not sure what you mean by “repair” system but I suspect the answer is the nervous system, though I could be wrong. I don’t know a lot about the evolution of hormones.

    Again, the point is that absent any one of the three, the system does not function and is of no use or benefit to the creature. You would therefore be arguing that natural selection favored unneeded spare parts in creatures and then somehow took those spare (i.e. useless) parts and made them into something useful rather than eliminating them. This is in direct contradiction to evolutionary theory and the supposed function of natural selection producing creatures that are ‘more fit’ for survival via the elimination of those attributes which are detrimental/not useful to the creature. Again, this internal inconsistency reveals the irrationality of the position you are arguing for.

    (g) Well the first virus would necessarily pre-date the first immune system since natural selection is reactive, not pro-active.

    And so how did infected organisms survive for the millions of years it took to evolve an immune system? Of what use would an immune system be to those organisms which were not affected/ infected. Hopefully you can see the logical binds that your worldview leads to by now, no?

    You said: And yes, I also know which came first, the chicken or the egg.

    As do I (Genesis 1:20-22). Take care!

  8. scmike2 says:

    Folks, if you’d like to see how Mark ultimately fared, you can check out our discussion here:

    http://christianammunition.com/2014/05/07/questions-for-the-evolutionist/#comments

    Unfortunately, the debate stalled with his admission that he can’t really know anything (via his arguing the equivalent of ‘I am certain that certainty is not possible’) and his abandonment of atheism in exchange for Islam here:

    http://christianammunition.com/2014/05/07/questions-for-the-evolutionist/comment-page-1/#comment-67

    What can I say? No one ever accused atheists of being consistent! Oh well, such is the folly of denying the God of the Bible.

    • agnophilo says:

      Actually the debate stalled with some of us having to actually work for a living and you not waiting for my response before posting multiple condescending comments declaring the superiority of a position you have yet to justify (no, bashIng atheIsm does not mean whatever you belIeve Is valId).

  9. scmike2 says:

    However, since you have admitted that you can’t know anything for certain, you are forced to admit that the exact opposite of everything you just said could be true for all you know. I am pleased with that!

    • agnophilo says:

      My fallibility does not translate into your infallibility.

      • scmike2 says:

        Are you certain or could you be wrong about that too? Let me know.

        P.S. The argument is not that it is possible for humans to know everything for certain, but that God has revealed some things to fallible humans such that we can be certain of them. You continue to confirm this truth by demonstrating the impossibility of the contrary. Gracias!

        • agnophilo says:

          I cannot prove my senses are perceiving reality accurately which is true whether walking down he street or reading the bible or anything else. Our inability to escape this is not eluded by christians

          • scmike2 says:

            But since you can’t be certain of anything, Mark, all of that could be (read: is) completely false and you are forced to admit that the opposite is just as possible. In short, this turns out to be nothing more than another faith-based claim on your part. What is that to me? You might not even exist for all you know.

            What you may not realize is that, as a Christian, I proceed with the assumption that my senses and reasoning are basically reliable based upon God’s Divine Revelation (both directly and indirectly) that they are a wonderful gift from Him. You on the other hand are forced into the position of trusting your senses and reasoning with ZERO logical justification for doing so (as you have admitted). That is, you live as if your senses and reasoning are reliable and trustworthy, but you have no basis for that belief since you deny the only possible explanation—the God of the Bible. As we both KNOW, believing in things and acting on those beliefs with no rational reason for doing so is the very definition of an irrational position. As such, those who profess atheism do so, not BECAUSE OF any logically sound reasons, but IN SPITE of them. Surely you can see that by now, no?

            • agnophilo says:

              I assume my sesnses perceive reality in some sense with some accuracy because I have no other alternative. After that assumptoon however I could choose to believe the contents of the bible are accurate or any of a thousand other texts. You must make my assumption before you can make your assumption. You make two assumptions and I just make one. It is also worth mentioning that attributing something to a mysterious god, spirit, demon or whatever which exists and acts unobserved by unknown mechanisms is no more of an explanation for anything than “steve did it” is an explanation for the universe.

              • scmike2 says:

                You said: “”I assume my sesnses perceive reality in some sense with some accuracy because I have no other alternative.””

                A couple of things: 1) Since you can’t be certain that ‘you have no other alternative’, this is just another baseless claim on your part.

                2) If you employed the use of your senses and reasoning in your above conclusion, you are essentially arguing that you have ‘sensed and reasoned that your senses and reasoning are valid’. I trust I don’t have to tell you what that reduces your claims to?

                See Mark, a simpler theory is of no use whatsoever if it ends in absurdity and does not account for what needs to be accounted for. The God of the Bible is the necessary basis for ANY of the preconditions of intelligibility (i.e. certainty, the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning, etc) by the impossibility of the contrary, as denying Him leads to absurdity. That much has become crystal clear here.

                In short, you profess that God does not exist, but you live as if he does exist by believing in things that cannot be accounted for without Him, which makes your stance a self-refuting one. This is consistent with the Biblical position that those who deny God are actually suppressing the truth in order to avoid accountability to Him Romans 1:18-23), as evidenced by the way that atheists will continue to cling to their professed worldview despite being shown the irrationality of it over and over again. As I mentioned before, perhaps you should give some serious thought as to why you continue to dogmatically embrace and argue for a position that is demonstrably false and irrational. Your reasons for doing so are certainly not intellectual ones. Take care.

                • agnophilo says:

                  If you are exempt from the limitations of the human condition prove it or kIndly go away. But I am getting sick of you pretending you are and confusing condescension with a valid argument.

                  • scmike2 says:

                    Just because you don’t like the argument doesn’t mean it isn’t valid, Mark. Look, I have explained to you the irrationality of your professed position such that it would be impossible for any intellectually honest individual to miss it. The fact that you can’t (read: won’t) see it only further demonstrates a presuppositional hostility/bias on your part towards the topic at hand.

                    If you ever do decide to acknowledge the undeniable possibility of certainty and honestly think through the tough questions as to how such a concept can possibly exist, you will be forced to acknowledge the existence of the God you have been denying and recognize that you live in His universe and are thereby bound by His rules—-just like the rest of us humans. In the meantime, I recommend that you don’t go to your grave (or even into tomorrow, for that matter) in the same attitude of willful rebellion that you currently exhibit. Take care.

                    • agnophilo says:

                      What you have been attacking is not my position or even atheism but the human condition which you claim to be exempt from without giving any justification whatsoever. You pretend to have superpowers that I do not which (In your closed mInd) makes it reasonable to ignore any counter-argument arbitrarily. Put up or shut up. Justify your claim of posessing super human abilities or go away. I would’ve said or change your position but we both know that isn’t going to happen.

                    • scmike2 says:

                      Problem is, Mark, your argument here is easily reversible. Since you can’t be certain of anything, you have zero justification for any of what you said. I can therefore dismiss it and just as easily assert the opposite. Watch:

                      What you have been attacking is not MY position or even Biblical Christianity, but the human condition (i.e. certainty) which you claim to be exempt from without giving any logical justification whatsoever. You pretend that you can’t know anything for certain which (in YOUR closed mind) makes it reasonable to posit any counter-argument arbitrarily. Justify your claim that certainty is not possible or go away. I would’ve said change YOUR position but we both know that isn’t going to happen.

                      How do you like your argument now, Mr. ‘I am certain that I can’t be certain of anything’?

                    • agnophilo says:

                      His is just childish. Human errancy is self-evident, not human infallibility. And as far ad knowing absolutely that I can’t knw anything absolutely those are your words not mine. I have no knowledge of any way to get around human nature and know something infallably and the person I’m talking to who claims to possess this amazing ability prefers to play word games rather than justifying his incredible claim.

  10. whyzat says:

    Geez, I’m not the brightest bulb in the package, but it seems to me that this mike guy doesn’t really understand evolution. Sometimes, I just shake my head and fear the day that the conservative christians get more power.

  11. scmike2 says:

    @whyzat—Nice to meet you. I didn’t see a rational objection here. If you have one, please submit it and I will be happy to address it.

    In the meantime, do you see anything wrong with the following arguments:

    ‘I am certain that I can’t know anything for certain’
    ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’

    ‘Cause those are the types of absurd conclusions that belief in evolution ultimately leads to (as Mark has already demonstrated). Take care.

    • agnophilo says:

      You don’t understand evolution. Which is why even when someone’s comment is exclusively about science you can’t bring yourself to talk about science and instead just play word games.

  12. scmike2 says:

    Hey, call it what you like, Mark. Fortunately, the objective record is there for all to see what your position actually amounts to, and that when pressed to justify your assertions regarding evolution, etc. you could not provide any logical foundation upon which to base them. I am pleased with any intellectually honest reader evaluating this discussion to see which of us has rationally defended their position and who has not. Take care!

    P.S. Science is a wonderful thing, and I have no problem discussing it with those who can account for the necessary preconditions of it (i.e. knowledge, the uniformity of nature (induction), the basic reliability of the senses and reasoning used to evaluate evidence and conduct any scientific experiment, etc.). Unfortunately, you have embraced a worldview which not only cannot rationally justify any of these things (as you have demonstrated), but actually undermines them. In short, you are appealing to and borrowing concepts that can only be made sense of in the Christian worldview in order to try and argue against it. Surely you can see the self-defeating nature of doing so?

    • agnophilo says:

      I hav listened to, considered and intelligently replied to your nonsense many times and you keep ignoring my responses and repeating yourself. Either justify your supposely superior position or go away.

      • scmike2 says:

        You have justified it for me quite nicely already, Mark. I am pleased with that! Take care.

        • agnophilo says:

          U do not win arguments by default unless the other person can answer questions no one has answers to. That is just some bs sophistry u use to live in your tiny little self contained ideological bubble.

          • scmike2 says:

            Sounds very arbitrary and baseless to me, as you provided no justification for either of the above claims, Mark. Nevertheless, let’s recap for the sake of exposure:

            We both believe that certainty is possible and that our senses and reasoning are basically reliable. You have no logical answer as to why you believe these things (and in fact were reduced to a position of absurdity when I asked you to justify each of these things in your worldview). I provided you with a logical justification for why I believe in them (whether you agree with my justification or not is irrelevent at this point). It would take sheer intellectual dishonesty to deny the possibility that an omnipotent, omniscient God could reveal things to humans such that we can be certain of them (such as the basic reliability of our senses, etc). The fact that you hold the contrary position to mine, but cannot rationally defend it only serves to substantiate the argument that Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary.

  13. scmike2 says:

    Mark, I would like to encourage you to think through these issues and to have the intellectual honesty to consider the alternative to your worldview (rather than simply continuing to give emotional ‘knee-jerk’ responses here). It is obvious by our dialogue that you don’t really believe what you profess. I urge you to study these crucial issues rather than just arbitrarily assuming an atheistic worldview. I realize that on a public forum such as this, you may feel the need to ‘save face’ for the sake of those who follow your blog, but I wouldn’t let pride stand in the way of honest deliberation if I were you. I wish you well.

    • agnophilo says:

      If my ressponses get shorter and seem more knee jerk it is only because you ignore my longer ones and repeat yourself. As I have said my view is not about atheism it is of the human condition and you refuse to engage me in it or justify (or even explain) your claims.

  14. scmike2 says:

    The profanity doesn’t become you, Mark. Nevertheless, if it is indeed your position that there is no way for you to prove 100% that certainty is not possible, then you are left with the conclusion that certainty is possible. Like it or not, this is a reality that you cannot escape.

    Now that we have established the undeniable truth that certainty is possible, the question becomes: which of our respective worldviews logically allows for this possibility and can make sense of it? I submit to you that atheism does not, as you have only your fallible senses and limited experience of the universe to rely on. However, as a Christian, I acknowledge (and can appeal to) revelation from One who knows everything—the God of the Bible—as the justification for certainty in my worldview. Again, if you are intellectually honest, you will be forced to admit the possibility that an omniscient, omnipotent God could reveal things to humans such that we can be certain of them. In fact, two of the things that He has revealed to us are that He exists and that the Bible is His inspired Word (by the impossibility of the contrary). Hopefully this helps fill in some gaps for you.

    • agnophilo says:

      So anything that cannot be disproved is therefore proven? So admitting I can’t prove therenis no abominable snowman proves there is one? This is your argument.

      • scmike2 says:

        That’s not even close to my argument. The argument is that the God of the Bible exists by the impossibility of the contrary, as the necessary preconditions of human intelligibility cannot be made sense of apart from Him. It’s not that my position is true BECAUSE you have no competing account for these things, it is true AND you have no competing account (as your position is not rationally defensible and ends in absurdity).

        • agnophilo says:

          There is a magic pencil in the sky that gives electrons mass. If electrons did not have mass my computet would not work. It does work therefore there must be an invisible pencil in the sky due to the impossibility of the contrary.

          Because if I can’t think of another possibility there isn’t one. So I can “prove” things without any evidence whatsoever using my own ignorance.

          • scmike2 says:

            I suppose this is what I’ve come to expect with regards to your arguments, Mark. Thanks for admitting, though, that it is just an argument from ignorance, requiring no refutation.

            P.S. There is a huuuge difference between the subjective claim(s) you made above and the objectively verifiable claim that has been posited with regards to the existence of God and the truth of the Bible. Again, you may try to weasel, smokescreen, and evade all you like, but just remember that, in doing so, you continue to demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy of your own position. I am grateful for that (in fact, keep it up!!).

        • agnophilo says:

          This is the argunent In a nutshell. You : I can jump 50 feet. Me : no you can’t, no one can do that. You: you can’t know that, you haven’t met every person etc. Me: okay, but I have no knowledge of any way that could be possible or anyone that can do that so I don’t believe you. Show me that you can and how you can and I will believe you. You: no, YOU prove you can jump 50 feet first! Me : I can’t, I don’t think anyone can. You: yes you do. Me: no I don’t. You: since we’ve already accepted thatwe both can jump 50 feet you see now the foolishness of your worldview. Me: fuck off.

          • scmike2 says:

            Actually it’s more like this:

            You: I am Mark and I argue against the existence of air. In fact, I have an entire blog dedicated to disproving its existence and I even go out of my way to argue against those morons who do believe in air!!

            Me: Really? You don’t believe in air?

            You: Nope, in fact I have posted a heap of reasons why it doesn’t exist on your blog.

            Me: Well, before I address those arguments, perhaps I should ask you how you’re able to speak or even breathe if air does not exist?

            You: Breathing is not possible.

            Me: Huh? Wouldn’t you have to be breathing in order to even argue that breathing is not possible?

            You: Oh, so just because I can’t prove that I’m not breathing means I am? Well, how’s this: the magic pencil in the sky gives electrons mass…..etc.

            Me: Not sure how that in any way has to do with the objective truth that breathing is undeniably possible and that air is required for you to breathe. Sure, you may deny its existence, and even try to pretend that its not there, but the very fact that you are even able to do that is proof that your position cannot be true (by the impossibility of the contrary). Surely you can see that all you’re doing is trying very hard to refuse to acknowledge what you know to be true regarding air as the necessary precondition for your ability to breathe, no?

            You: ****More profanity and subjective claims to again divert attention from the issue.*****
            Get out!

    • agnophilo says:

      And as I said before you have to rely on your fallible senses to see the bible, read it or hearnit spoken. You also have to rely on falible and varied translations and fallible interpretations. Unless you have a solution to this that you can demonstrate to be real and not imaginary you too are a mere mortal incapable (to the best of our collective knowledge) of rational certainty.

      • scmike2 says:

        A few things about this:

        1) You are assuming that God could not reveal things directly to humans totally apart from our senses and reasoning such that we could be certain of them (such as the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning). What is the basis for this assumption on your part?

        2) You have already admitted that certainty is possible, yet you continue to try (in vain) to argue against it. How do you explain this obvious contradiction on your part?

        3) At this point, Mark, you’re attempting to argue against my justification for certainty in my worldview without having provided one of your own. Perhaps I should remind you of how discussions work: I posit my rationally defensible position, you posit yours, AND THEN we discuss them. Surely you can see the problem with your current course, as you are essentially arguing ‘I have no possibility of certainty in my worldview but I am certain that yours is wrong’, no?

        4) If you cannot rationally justify your belief that your senses and reasoning are basically reliable and that certainty is possible in your worldview, then you have zero foundation upon which to rest any of the things you claim to know, as your position is reduced to one of blind faith. If that’s what your arguments ultimately amount to, then I can just as easily posit that God exists because I say he does and we can leave the discussion here. Not what I was hoping for, though.

  15. Pingback: Interesting Discussions | christian ammunition

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