Friday, 16 July 2010

The Principle Of Parsimony

Parsimony is the axiom that the simplist explanation, with the fewest entities/assumptions, is usually the correct explanation.

This principle is usually mis-applied by atheists, to rule out the existence of God. So if they establish a natural causation they then believe that God is not necessary. Here is an example of such an argument;

" The bad weather was caused by low pressure, there is not a need for more causes, such as invisible pixies guiding the clouds into position. "

While this argument does have merit, as is obvious from the example, when you apply the argument to God, it is a mis-application. This is because, in this universe, there aren't always merely material or physical causes.

An example of this is motivational cause.

When somebody is murdered, there are physical causes, such as the means of weapon used, but there was also a motivation behind the killing. Perhaps the cause of the killing was revenge, or anger. This is not a physical cause, but a motivational cause, as someone was motivated to kill someone else by what they were feeling in their heart.

So now here is another example of Parsimony when it is incorrectly applied to God's existence;

" We don't need to understand why the person was murdered, we just have to establish who did it. "

As you can see, there is now a clear flaw in this reasoning because it is not necessarily unimportant as to whether there are OTHER causes.

So the atheist seems to assume that causes are mutually exclusive, or that there is only relevance to material causation, and there is an assumption that because natural processes don't require God, that He is then irrelevant or He is not needed. But as you can see, there may well be no universe at all, if God was not motivated to create it.

Even the weather can have a purpose, the rain brings water to give to the plants, etc....this might be God's motivational cause.

So for me, the atheist's use of Occam's razor, is usually a misunderstanding on their part.

So the principle of parsimony, while a useful axiom to rule out excessive entities and poor arguments, actually has nothing to do with God's existence, or his reasons and motivations. One scripture says; "My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and my ways are higher than your ways". (paraphrase).

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Science and God

The "god of the gaps" fallacy, is when instead of scientific explanations, the gaps in knowledge are filled with, "God did it", answers. For example;

"The lightning struck him, it was therefore the god of lightning that was responsible".

Often evolutionists will say that Intelligent Design, a belief in creation, is this kind of fallacy.

The problem with saying this is that is presupposes that there can't be an intelligent agency involved in the creation of designs. Even evolutionists admit there is design, they simply reject that it follows that there is therefore a designer, even though it is logical.

Yes, God did it, and although this is not a satisfactory intellectual conclusion if you simply state it, just as "Einstein did it", in regards to one of his papers, is not satsifying, digging deeper reveals that how and why He did it, is very complex. The actual form of our position is as follows;

We observe P to be designed, (Z).
Designs (Z) require a designer. (X)

P is designed therefore requires X.

A comparative analogy might be;

We observe a sculpture to be sculptured, therefore there was a sculpturer.

The reasoning for why a designer follows from design, are logical reasons, so the premises are strong, because the more sophisticated a design is the more it requires a designer because contingencies are best solved given the element of thought. So we know that the argument from design is not merely an appeal to gaps in knowledge, but is rather based upon knowledge.

Explaining design and how God does it is not simple. An example is DNA alone, and the subject of information. It involves code, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics, simply to describe how DNA is information. A so called "simple" cell in your body synthesizes one million chemical compounds every second. The cell is like a factory with a brain, that can reject specific components it does not require. The evolutionist would have to show that random occurrences, and a simple selection process, are more clever than a thoughtful designer, and better answer for designs. Which is akin to stating that a puzzle stands a better chance of solving itself.

Even though it is apparent that a designer follows design, the design itself can be explained scientifically, without using natural philosophies such as evolution. Evolution can not even explain how a clever contingency could be possible given a specific design problem, the answer is always the same, the formula of Time/Chance/Selection, which is not a specific answer to a specific design problem. It is a blanket-solution that gives a general answer but does not address the specifics of a particular problem.

It is self-evident that thoughts are represented within the design. The designer is inherently displayed within the designs.

Friday, 11 June 2010

The Problem of Evil

In a previous blog I spoke of the problem of evil, and how, perhaps it is the one major problem for Theism, but not necessarily Biblical Theism.

It's a common fallacy atheists commit when they usually ask, in the following form, or something very similar; "If God exists, why is the world such a mess, with disease, mutations, suffering. Why did He do such a bad job of things?"

Now the answer for this, biblically, is that God infact did NOT create most of these things. According to the bible, when mankind sinned, the earth was cursed, and the world was now in a fallen state, or a Godless state, whereby, all of the hallmarks of His design became tarnished over time.

If, however, you are solely Theist, and have no biblical beliefs, then the problem of evil is harder to address. Why is there suffering, and disease? Why is there killing, etc?

Can you see how the problem of evil, is logically more of a problem for a general Theism, rather than a Biblical Theism?

Another example of God having a tarnished reputation in atheists' sight, is design, and the problem of conflating design with degredation and degeneration of the world. Harmful mutations, disease, are all intepreted by the atheist, to be the result of coming directly from God's creative hand for the PURPOSE of attacking humans, and causing suffering.

It cannot be further from the truth, in the sense that God's motivations were never to create such things to harm us, but they were originally created for a symbiotic existence. All of the creatures, AT the time of creation, would have be symbiotic. i.e. Living in a mutually beneficial relationship to all other creatures, etc, or complimenting one another.

For example, the components of your garden are created to compliment the various other components, aesthetically, or practically etc...

It's hard to fully understand how this could have been so, but if the world is in a fallen state, then it is very hard to imagine a previous time, where things were very different. A little bit like imagining living in a sunny climate, if you have only ever known arctic conditions.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

From Monkey To Man?

Often ignorant Theists will say; "If we evolved then why are the monkeys still here?"

It's important to not misrepresent evolutionary scientists. What they are claiming is that the human genus, and modern apes, hominoids,(anthropoids) stemmed from hominid ancestors of the hominidae family. (Extant related to the now extinct, not the extant).

The point is, extant humans are not supposedly related to modern apes, which would be distant cousins, but rather they are supposedly related to extinct ape-like creatures such as the Australopithecines.

I am no scientist, but it is important to get a correct understanding of the claims of evolution, so that any unfair strawman arguments aren't put forth, as that would be dishonest.

 I believe that the finches' beaks can change into differently shaped beaks, therefore why shouldn't we believe that an ape-like creature could adapt, over time, just as the finches did?

Well, the difference is fundamentally that there are two different claims, logically. The changing of the shape of  a beak as a fact of biological change, is not up for debate, but to says that a whole kind of organisms can change into another kind is a monumentally GRAND claim that can't merely be granted, for logical reasons.

Monday, 29 March 2010

The Problem Of Evil and Conflating Design

The problem of evil, is the single best argument against Theism. (Belief in God).

What is the problem of evil? It is the problem that in this world there is a lot of suffering. If evolution is false, as I clearly believe, there is still an enormous amount of suffering, and horrible things that happen to people and animals.

A lot of the proposals of this problem are true. If design is the biggest problem for evolutionary naturalists, then death and suffering is the biggest problem for Theism and the belief in a Designer.

It is best to be honest with this problem, as bad things affect all of us at some time. I will, in part, discuss some of the problems that this proposal causes, with the topic of Design.

There are a lot of fallacies that evolutionists use, when talking of design, because they don't seem to have an educated understanding of the Biblical Fall.

The "Fall" explains W H Y things happen, which are bad, and why we as people, are exposed to the element of chance.

I admitted that the problem of evil is a problem for Theism and belief in a designer. Logically it is. However, logically it is NOT as big of a problem for BIBLICAL THEISM (Christianity/Judaism).

You see, the problem of evil is dealt with in the first book of Moses, called Genesis. This explains how God created all things and the element of evil was not present.

Back to designs. According to the bible, the earth is cursed. This means, we now eat animals, and animals are exposed to the effects of sin, because otherwise, in this fallen world, we would not have enough food. There are MANY bad effects which can be conflated/confused as BAD design, by God. Another fallacious conclusion, is that God cannot be benevolent on the terms of the atheist, even though, amusingly, atheists state that morals are relative.

And so - nowadays, disease abounds, aswell as accidents, and mutations cause harmful build up of genetic mis-information leading to deformity etc...our eyes aren't always perfect etc...basically there is a multitude of problems and sufferings.

Is this bad design? NOT if the designs at the beginning of time worked perfectly, which according to Genesis, they did, stated as "very good". It is clear that there was no carnivores at the beginning, or disease, etc...nothing negative.

Post-fall, problems started. God had to be very foolish to not provide animals with the designs to survive, knowing the Fall was about to happen. He clearly had to provide teeth for ripping, claws, etc...venom. Whether initially these animals lived from vegetarian diet, is not completely clear, but at least for a short time, they lived peacefully.

So the answer, in part to this big problem of evil, is that the Fall makes it look like God fails in some of His designs. This is a fallacious conclusion.

Here is an analogy; let us pretend we were building a car, that was MEANT for long-lasting reliability, but we knew that infact the car was going to be used to race. Would it seem more wise to prepare the car for a race, or for reliability? Would we not fit racing tyres, low profile, attach a spoiler, put in a special tuned engine for speed, etc?

Now if we take our race-car and put it in a race, should we expect it to still be reliable?

You see, a lot of atheists say that because we die, we are not good designs, or because of x, y and z, but it is clear that our lives are a bit of a race. We are designed to stand a good chance of lasting 70-80 years, rather than forever, because God foreseen the fall.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

What is Intelligent Design?

Evolutionists will say that there is an, "appearance of design", in organisms, or say such things as, "the genius of evolution".

The fact is that, evolution, without a mind behind it, can't have any genius to it, or any foresight, it is a blind process which in fairness, shouldn't be able to come up with designs.

But what is design? Think about it; If we have a building, do we have a design? Or, if we have a pile of rubble, but the material used to build the building is exactly the same material as the pile of the rubble, then is the rubble a design?

The fact is that design has nothing to do with material, what things are made up from. Design is how material is arranged.

Think about this blog I am typing. We only know that the writing makes sense, because a certain arrangement of pixels makes shapes we understand. There is no sense to the pixels themselves, only how they are arranged.

It's exactly the same with human-designs. What makes a ferrari-car? It's how it is arranged by the expert designers, to come up with something which exceeds the material it is made from.

This is construction.

Now look at organisms. What we see with animals, is the highest possible RANGE of construction. In other words - enormous design.

If you give a man a few matchsticks, he will form a few different shapes, but it seems that if you give God a few matchsticks, he can make a myriad of different things, almost limitless in it's genius/wisdom.

This is what happens with animals. If the DNA writes hard material, such as teeth, then you get teeth constructed in a certain area of the design-plan. You can also get things like soft human skin. Look at all of the different things you get in nature. We are all made from the same material, we are all carbon-based, but if you look at how there are vastly different forms of life, then the design-level is the highest possible.

For me, it is beyond doubt that there is therefore a designer. After all, if a basic pottery is designed, or a crude sculpture requires a designer, it seems logical that the best designs on the planet must need a designer.