Design in the Universe + Evil + Suffering=???

I got a candid question from a reader named Jon:

“I’m curious on how you can see “design” in nature, based on your logic.

How does this line of reasoning explain pain, suffering and natural disasters?

Why design a world that is constantly cooling and erupting with violent events that kill millions of innocent people?

What about our fear of pain and death? If God was real, then he has no fear of death or pain and yet he created beings that must suffer this fate. What does that say about him?

Also, the problem of evil. Where did that come from?

If the universe was “designed” then how do you explain these very real things we deal with?

And I know you are a Christian so I can only assume you will give me a Christian answer to these problems. But since you are a big proponent of logic and reason, please try and answer these using those tools, instead of faith.”

The first thing I’d like to say is: I think this question is the REAL reason people doubt that the universe is designed. In short: “If an omniscient powerful being created the world, then why is it so pathetic and dysfunctional?”

It’s a worthwhile question.

In keeping with the rest of this site, I’m going to answer the question in terms of Information Theory. Reason and logic, as requested.

First, allow me to point out that this is a moral question not a scientific one. To even ask the question is to assume that moral questions are valid. The very fact that we ask these questions at least suggests that valid answers exist.

All moral questions are questions of intent. The reason that communication theory can address this question is that it does deal with intent. The other branches of science do not.

Bear with me for a minute while I define a few things.

Communication theory universally recognizes four layers:

  • The first layer is statistics. Statistics says: In English, the letter “e” appears 13% of the time and the letter “q” appears 0.1% of the time. Statistics recognizes predictable mathematical patterns in the language.
  • The second layer is syntax. Syntax is the mechanical rules of the language. Letters and words appear in very specific patterns: I before E except after C; U almost always follows Q. Words are always made of specific letters. “She is sleeping” is a statement and “is she sleeping” is a question. Essentially, it’s spelling and grammar.
  • The third layer is semantics. Semantics is meaning. In other words, beyond the mechanical rules of the language, what is actually being communicated? Semantics is the aspect of language that refers to something outside itself. “She is sleeping” conveys the meaning that a woman is resting.
  • The fourth layer is pragmatics. Pragmatics is intent. It is the purpose accomplished by meaning. It is always inferred from context. Someone says “She is sleeping” for a reason.

Example of pragmatics: The sentence “You have a green light” is ambiguous. Without knowing the context, the identity of the speaker, and their intent, it is not possible to infer the meaning with confidence. It could mean you are holding a green light bulb; or that you have a green light to drive your car; or it could indicate that you can go ahead with the project.

All four layers exist in any English sentence. They also exist in computer languages. If your computer downloads Windows updates from Microsoft, it sends a string of bits which make bytes which make commands, the purpose of which is to request and install the new files. All four layers are easily identified.

These layers exist in DNA as well. DNA contains base pairs which form triplets which form chromosomes which form genes. DNA by its very behavior expresses intent to multiply; this is precisely what is meant by the popular term “Selfish Gene.” The gene doesn’t have to be conscious to be “selfish.” It carries out its own purpose and that purpose is obvious from its behavior. Genes seek to replicate.

The first thing I want you to notice is that the lower levels are subservient to the higher levels. Any sentence you speak starts with your intent, which dictates meaning, which is expressed via the rules of language. These rules order the words which are in turn made of letters.

Encoding works from the top down:

Intent

which is expressed through

Meaning

which is expressed through

Sentences

which are made of

Words

which are made of

Letters.

Decoding works from the bottom up:

Letters

form

Words

which form

Sentences

which express

Meaning

which expresses

Intent.

Communication ALWAYS follows this process. Encoding is always top-down. Decoding is always bottom-up. There are no exceptions to this.

This is the first and most obvious reason why the materialistic explanation for the Origin of Life is wrong. It assumes that DNA and the genetic code were somehow formed from the bottom up. But real communication NEVER originates that way. Nobody can show you an alphabet that had no purpose which then somehow decided to make some words which eventually turned into sentences which eventually developed meaning.

Communication always starts with intent. When we study DNA and living things we decode from the bottom up. We see the individual base pairs in DNA and recognize that they form triplets and genes and chromosomes. Over time we infer what the chromosomes do, just as we decode ancient stone tablets written in an unfamiliar language.

Thus there are three elements of communication:

1) The intended outcome

2) The language that is used to communicate

3) The communication channel

And there are two ways that communication can be corrupted:

1) Noise in the communication channel

2) Malicious intended outcome

Information theory is all about the communication channel. Redundancy, noise, bandwidth, error correction, all that stuff. The mechanical aspects of communication.

All communication systems are subject to entropy which is signal degradation.

A noisy telephone line seldom produces a lie. Degraded signals are unfortunate but they’re not usually malicious.

A lie, however, is the intent to create a message that contains false information. Lies are evil. A lie cannot succeed without all the other layers of communication working properly. If you tell a lie to someone over the phone, the phone has to work for them to believe it. Also, both of you have to speak the same language with the same syntax and semantics.

Lies are parasitic, because they depend on everything else working properly.

When a lie is told, the highest layer (intent) is defective, while the other layers (semantics, syntax, statistics) are left intact. Lies are created from the top down, not the bottom up. (The best lies are perfectly formed, eloquent, persuasive sentences, aren’t they?)

Since lies are parasitic, truth existed first. Lies could not have existed first since they depend on proper communication for their existence.

The very existence of communication indicates an intentional, top-down process. Effective communication by definition cannot exist without truth.

Thus truth exists and an intentional super intelligence exists, because communication exists.

Lies exist. Lies, like all other forms of communication, are created in a top-down process, not a bottom-up process. Therefore evil intent exists and it has a will of its own.

Therefore free will exists.

Therefore evil has a free will and is not a deterministic result of that which is good. Again, because communication is a top down process. A communication pyramid exists in which the highest layer is evil.

Thus good exists, evil exists, evil is a parasite living on what is good and therefore evil is weaker than good.

Good existed first. Evil existed later and had a free will.

Therefore the intention of Good was to permit free will.

Apparently the intention of Good was also to create a universe in which communication could be corrupted and thus evil came to exist.

Thus the very nature of communication tells us that God exists; that free will exists; free will has produced evil; and that evil willfully corrupts communication with lies.

I have not yet addressed the function of noise in the universe. Let me do that now.

Any accident that destroys communication can be considered noise. Radio interference from the sun is not malicious; it just exists.

Likewise, hurricanes and tornadoes and tsunamis are not intentional. They are just examples of chaos.

Again, apparently the intention of Good was to create a universe in which communication could be corrupted by noise.

We ask the question: But WHY was the intention of Good to do things this way?

The very existence of this question reinforces everything I have said about communication so far: Some sort of WHY is always implied and inferred. All communication is intentional. All acts of creation are intentional.

So yes, there is an intention in the universe.

A “bottom-up” materialistic explanation of the universe not only fails to explain the existence and nature of communication. It fails to even support the existence of the question “why” in the first place. It is a self-defeating worldview. It says, “Don’t ask why, there is no why. There is no reason. It just is.” Which contradicts everything we know about information.

The existence of information is evidence of purpose (teleology) in the universe.

None of these statements answer the ultimate question “why is there evil in the world?” They just validate the existence of the question from every angle.

The only way to know why there is evil in the world is to ask Good to reveal it to us.

Which brings us directly to the doorstep of religion and theology. It’s the only place to go.

(Definition of theology: The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.)

Finally let me address this question:

“What about our fear of pain and death? If God was real, then he has no fear of death or pain and yet he created beings that must suffer this fate. What does that say about him?”

There’s a fascinating book by Dr. Paul Brand called “The Gift of Pain.” It documents the author’s unraveling of the mysteries of leprosy. He discovered that ALL the horrors of this wasting disease are simply caused by the inability to feel pain. Nothing else.

The worst thing that can happen to anyone is to not be able to feel pain. People who can’t feel pain destroy themselves. Dr. Brand found that once someone’s sensation of pain was dead there was NO substitute. Buzzers or bells or warnings were not sufficient. Nothing else would do.

Pain tells us that the world is not right.

Pain tells us that we are out of touch with that which is Good. That what was originally communicated is being destroyed.

Pain drives us back to the Good.

Fear is anxiety about the possibility of future pain.

We fear death because we intuitively know that death might lead to more pain.

Fear is an inevitable consequence of free will.

We are free to choose Evil, and we are free to choose Good.

Unfortunately the detrimental effects of evil also cause us to trust Evil and to mistrust Good. The confusion is endless sometimes.

This confusion also is a lie.

Sooner or later our pain shows us that this is a lie, because as we embrace evil we experience more pain.

Pain is the only way we know the difference between evil and good.

I will now briefly cross into the realm of Christian theology and point out something that is not always obvious.

Christianity never answers the Ultimate Big Question of Why. In the book of Job, Job asks for the reason for suffering and God tells Job he is too small to comprehend the answer. (There is another very interesting, similar conversation in the apocryphal book of Esdras. You can read that story here.)

But God does not abandon Job in his pain. Instead God becomes man and suffers with us, feels pain with us, endures the consequences of evil with us, and dies.

And in the process of God Himself being destroyed by evil and rising from the dead in a body that is incorruptible, redeems a corruptible world and makes it new again. In Revelation Jesus says, “Behold, I make all things new.” The last two chapters of that book describe an entire world that cannot be corrupted. A world that is the way we wish the world was now.

To participate, we must first ask. To acknowledge, seek, and embrace the Good. We both have free will, free choice, to make that decision. To choose Truth or Lies, Good or Evil.

Perry Marshall

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198 Responses

  1. Cristiano says:

    Dear Jonathan Wagner,

    About your comments on people don’t believe if God showed himself I don’t know if you were commenting my post, but what I stated is that suppose he showed himself to all the world today, is sure that people that saw him would believe, but sometime after his appearance people would tend to question what they saw, maybe not in the first generation, maybe not in the second or in the third, but surely in the forth generation many will not believe in what their ancestor said they saw. That is the point. Many atheists will say: If God exists why don’t he shows himself to the world? That is the why, because though many would believe, in the end, history would become legend, and legend become myth.
    Isn’t that what happened to the Prophets of the past? Do you really believe that Moses saw God face to face as a friend speaks with another? I think you don’t believe on that since you stated that “we are not capable of comprehending – let alone viewing” him. Do you really believe that Moses opened the Red Sea and they crossed it upon DRY land? Or do you tend to believe that there was some part of the sea that was not so deep and that when the tide was favoring they crossed with some water? It is easy for us to say: If I had only lived in the times of the Prophets and saw these miracles. Is that not what Jesus rebuked the pharisees of saying in themselves: “(30) And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. (31) Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.” (Matthew 23)
    This generation of men is the greatest that ever lived and yet they tend to believe more in what science says than in what God says. I wonder how many believe on the Darwinian evolution even when year after year scientists become more and more confused about the sequence of events they see in the fossils and try to solve a puzzle that becomes harder and harder to manage under the Darwinian assumptions. How can many believe in something that is called science but is far away from being proved to be true but you do not accept the Word of God who says that mankind was created after HIS image, not after a monkey’s image. Why people do not believe on the Prophets of old when they testified of God and of His character and perfections and attributes while saying that they would believe had they seen him.
    I want to say to you Mr. Jonathan that I know that you have not seen God, for if you had you would raise your voice in mighty preaching for the Gospel He established upon the earth on these days. I can testify that God lives and that he watches carefully upon His children because I know it for myself, independent of all creatures. But if I told you that I had seen God would you believe me? Or would you deny it as you deny that the Prophets of old saw Him? If you do not deny that the Prophets of old have seen him why don’t you follow them? Why don’t you follow the Prophets of God who live and breath and preach today? If you deny that you deny yourself from coming unto God and knowing for yourself.
    I testify that He lives for I know Him and I boldly give my testimony of Him to the world knowing fully well that when this life shall pass alway and the curtains of Heaven are opened unto us we will stand face to face with Him and He will show unto you that what I say is true that I witnessed of His goodness and grace. I so testify, God being my witness.

    • Jonathan Wagner says:

      Dear Cristiano,

      I could stand on a box and preach how it doesn’t matter if Jesus is god or not, how in Luke 10:25, Jesus makes it very clear how to obtain salvation and it has nothing to do with believing Mary was a virgin, or Jesus was a God, or for that matter accepting Jesus into our “heart”. I can talk about what being a Christian truly is, and how it is not the belief system that was founded by priests who were trying to justify an unjust killing of the most righteous men in history. I can talk about how Jesus didn’t have a new testament, he had the literal “word of god” in his heart, something which now many exchange for arbitrary letters written on to paper, the only materialism that Christians think is divine.

      I could talk about these things, but it would be a waste of time, because people have no interest in actually respecting who Jesus was, they have every interest in respecting the beliefs that make them happy, and that allows them to fit in. They respect the warm-fuzzies they get when nice music is playing and they make a commitment they don’t truly fully understand.

      God as my witness, I tell you that God is merciful, and even though we have clearly handed things over to Satan believing that there was not a war, and being misled to believe things written by men were not subject to this war, and believing God made a covenant with text (which he never did), he is merciful and allows us to believe in things that are best for us for at a given time.

      But do not believe God will conform to your beliefs, or your idealisms, God is not your slave, and it doesn’t matter how many people agree with you or your beliefs, God will never be our slave. So I challenge you to ask God for the truth, and then to ask yourself was it God who told you what to believe, or was it man?

  2. Cristiano says:

    Dear Jonathan Wagner,

    You said “it doesn’t matter if Jesus is god or not” and that “he allows us to believe in things that are best for us for at a given time” and that you “challenge [me] to ask God for the truth, and then to ask [myself] was it God who told [me] what to believe, or was it man?” How can you believe in Jesus if you regards the Bible as “something which now many exchange for arbitrary letters written on to paper”. If you believe in the Bible then it matters if Jesus was God or not. I see that you believe in the man Jesus, but do not believe in what is written of him.
    If you say that salvation is summarized on Luke 10:25 you are ignoring all the scriptures either taught by Jesus or by his Apostles. Remember that in John 3:5 he says: “verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” You cannot choose to accept one point and ignore the others. When you pick up the rod you pick it up entirely or you pick it not at all. That is the problem with the majority of men, they accept only what is fitted to their preconceptions.
    You told me to ask of God, but I tell you that I know that the fountain of the knowledge I have is up in Heaven, not down on earth. If you ponder the scriptures you will see that both the Old and the New Testament are one and that it depends totally upon Jesus being a God in order for him to accomplish the Atonement for all mankind, it was necessary that He undergone the sufferings of the Gethsemane and Calvary, and rise from the dead with His body of flesh in order to brake the bonds of death and open the doors of heaven for the rest of us. If you don’t believe in that, you don’t believe in him at all.
    The Jesus the Bible speaks about was not the son of Joseph, but the literal Son of the Father endowed with powers far beyond our capacities. He calmed the storms, walked upon the sea, healed the sick, cast out devils, raised the dead and did many mighty miracles. He was before Abraham was, even the great I AM, and of His days the Prophets of old bore record and looked upon with great anticipation. He was the Mediator and the Law Giver, the Creator and Legislator, the Mighty of Israel and the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. He was born in Bethlehem, died upon the Calvary and rose from the Empty Tomb. He ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of God and soon will come in all His majesty and power to reign upon this earth as Lord and King.
    You don’t need not ask me to look for Jesus, for I have already found Him. I know that many will not believe, but I will testify of Him until the day I die, for I have a Witness high in Heavens that can prove by His Spirit what I have said. I bear witness that He knows our names and hears our prayers and cherishes us eternally. I testify that this Jesus of whom I speak is the very God and it is through Him, and only Him, that we might be saved. I testify that He lives today and now, for I have a more sure witness that He lives, independently of any creature under Heaven. I know that His voice is like the rush of mighty waters, that His countenance shines above the brightness of the sun, that His eyes are filled with fire that pierces to the very hearth, that His garments are as white as snow and that the touch of His hands are more powerful than anything you could ever dream of.
    I solemnly testify of Him knowing that one day I will be called before His judgement seat to answer for all the words which I have said and that He will show unto you that what I have said is the truth. I can promise you, if you become lowly in hearth and claim all the energy of your soul unto this Jesus to know of the surety of the things which I do testify, the Spirit of God will fall mightily upon you unto the consuming of your very soul and you shall know that what I say is true. Of that I bear solemn witness.

    • Jonathan Wagner says:

      Well firstly, there is the matter of translation. You can interpret things different ways. Also it interesting to note that Jesus used parables, however Christians pick and choose what Jesus meant figuratively and what he met literally to better support the beliefs they believe choose.

      You used an argument that I have heard a lot, “You can’t pick and choose what you want to believe.” Now I could engage you on a lot of facts, but instead I am going to focus on a couple that you may or may not be aware of. Firstly, the bible was ultimately compiled by one man, now I believe he did have some divine inspiration, but divine inspiration by no means is -perfection-. What you may not know is that the bible you have in your possession is not the same bible in terms of content. For instance if you’re catholic there are actually books in your bible that are NOT in the protestant bible, called the apocrypha because they were deemed to be “not divine” by -men- (this was after God seeming let his ‘perfect’ scripture exist in this form before the protestant movement). The oldest version of the bible also had books that are not currently in modern versions.

      Next, the King James bible was specifically commissioned to try and settle major disputes between translations of certain words. The point I am trying to get at is that the bible has never been perfect. This idea of perfect was perpetuated by men, to I suppose to validate their power (which was a big problem in the dark ages). Consider for a moment when Jesus was preaching and he used the phrase, “follow the word of God.” What was he referencing? The new testament didn’t exist, the only ‘textual’ word of God was the Torrah, which was the laws for the Jews, but he was preaching to non-jews. However today the term word of God is used as a synonym for the bible. We have literally, in many senses of the word, traded our faith for writing. This is no surprise since men find it much easier to believe in something solid, then to have faith and talk directly with God.

      So why was it so easy for the man in Luke to gain salvation, but for us it was so much more difficult. Also John is an interesting book because it has things that the other gospels do not, was written the latest, and conforms to the belief system that began to become majority (nearly 100 years after his death). Yet despite John being different then the other gospels, protestants have accepted it as the ultimate truth and not disregarded it like other scriptures, this is primarily due to the fact that John best supports the Nicean Creed. I have often noted that John is the most quoted book in all Nicean Christianities (which currently all major christianities are).

      Again, God is not your slave. You choose to believe in a God that conforms to stories that support your beliefs, you believe you are doing the right thing, that you are saying the right things, you do this out of fear, fear of being wrong, fear of going to hell. I’ve been around Christians long enough to know that even though they say it’s not about that, ultimately it is, but fear can make men do great and wonderful things regardless. However, consider for a moment that Jesus was a jewish rabbi, from what we know from scriptures there is very little on him from ages 20-30, with coincide with him becoming a rabbi. It is a tenet of Judaism that God cannot exist in any human form. What we are now discovering is alot of gnostic scriptures which are pointing at the fact that there was cult like christianities who did have influence. Virgin Births, man gods, these are all VERY pagan things.

      If Jesus came back and saw what we have turned him into, how we glorify his death by wearing him strung to a cross around our necks, I think he would be incredibly disappointed. You may think, actually I know, you will think I am blasphemous for challenging the beliefs of so many men, but one thing Jesus did was he challenged the beliefs that people had -cultured- for themselves. He showed people salvation was available to all, not just Jews. That religion had -nothing- to do with salvation. You can testify, you can be wrong (we all can be). You can have God as your witness (you can still be wrong, God is just witnessing you being wrong).

      I pray to God before I follow scripture. I am also aware that there is nothing higher then God, and nothing is his equal, not religion, not the bible, not tarrot cards, not psychics, not science, and not nature, for God is God, and I would worship no other. Religion and traditions are things of men, not God.

      To answer your question, that I am sure you have, I have never seen God. However, in his mercy he has shown me things, personal things, that I am very grateful for.

      • Jonathan Wagner says:

        I am just going to add this note on something I said:
        So why was it so easy for the man in Luke to gain salvation, but for us it was so much more difficult.

        The first thing that would be said is that is not difficult. While the actual action of obtaining salvation through Christianity is not difficult, actually arriving at that point requires work, plus possibly disregarding any other belief system you had previously. It interesting to note that in Luke 10:25 that Jesus asked the man how HE though he could have eternal life, he did not tell him. He did not tell him he need to accept him as God, or accept him (Jesus) into his heart.

        The version of salvation that Jesus preached in Luke crossed all religious boundaries, required no particular belief or obligation. I don’t know about you, but I think that kind of salvation is FAR more impressive then the salvation of the Nicene Christianities.

  3. Cristiano says:

    Dear Jonathan Wagner,

    First I would like to thank you for your very concise demonstration of wealthy knowledge. I never stated that Nicean Christianity is right, because I know that it is wrong, for all the reasons you stated so clearly. What I do say is that our salvation depends upon Christ being God. Let us examine it:
    (1) the Hebrew and the Greek text of the Bible, though handed to Christianity by the Nicean Church, is surprisingly correct. Compare it with the Torah, that is much older, or with the Dead Sea Scrolls, that date from the time Christ was living, and you will see accuracy in doctrines and principles. Had the Bible undergone substantial changes by men we would find many discrepancies between these books. I am not saying that it wasn’t changed, but that it preserves most of the correct doctrines and principles. Neither am I defending the KJ version or any other, we’re speaking about the Hebrew and Greek bible. Ask any scholar of the Old Scriptures and they will state that this correctness is a FACT, not a desire of Christianity.
    (2) as imperfect as it may be, the Bible, as a whole, shows clearly that the purpose of the Law of Moses was to be a “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Gal. 3:24). And throughout its pages you see abundant proof that Christ accomplished every wit of the Law, which Law of Sacrifices was a shadow of the sacrifice that He would perform on Gethsemane and the cross. He said: “search the scriptures; for… they… testify of me.” (John 5: 39), signifying that the Prophets of Old had praised and sung and prophesied about His days. The purpose of the Old Covenant was to prepare men for the coming of the very Son of the Father; and that Christ was the Son of the Father he abundantly testified, and even the voice of the Father was heard bearing witness that Jesus was His “beloved Son” (Matt. 3: 17; Matt. 17: 5; Mark 9: 7; Luke 9: 35; 2 Pet. 1: 17).
    (3) we must understand what Christ’s mission was. First, it was necessary for men to be saved from the bonds of physical death, “for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22). Second, it was necessary for men to be saved from spiritual death, for as “the Lord God [hath] sent [man] forth from the garden of Eden” and “drove out the man” (Gen. 3: 23-24), there should be some mean of bringing him back into the presence of God. To perform such a work man should possess in himself power over death and power over sin, but as “in Adam all die” (ibid.) and all are “sold under sin” (Rom. 7:14) no man could ever perform such sacrifice. Furthermore, such sacrifice should be EVERLASTING, otherwise, death and sin could not be destroyed and we would be subjected to the devil forever and INFINITE, provided it would reach those living, those who had died, those who would yet be born, and the whole creation of God.
    (4) we see that in order to accomplish such mission, everlasting and infinite, to break the bands of death and bring man back into the presence of God, only a God could possess the attributes necessary to perform such a miracle. And so Christ did. He was conceived of a mortal mother and an Exalted Father in a way incomprehensible to us; having both the power to live forever and resist temptation, received of His father, and the power to die and commit sin, received of his mother. Of such a divine Sonship many scriptures testify (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/tg/j/36). He grew from child to man always on His Father’s errand, healing the sick, casting out devils, preaching the Gospel of peace, baptizing all who came unto him and performing mighty miracles. He had the Heavens opened to Him and angels were his constant companions, His Father was not away from Him and His voice was heard of many. When the hour came, He knelt down in mighty prayer before God on the Gethsemane and drunk the drags of the bitter cup, atoning for the sins of all mankind; those living and dead, and those who would someday be born. He not only paid the price for those of this earth, but also for all the creations of God in the vast expanse of the universe.
    He was bruised and wounded in the way to Calvary, and then, hanged on the cross; he undergone incomprehensible pain as the bitterness of Hell was before him and even his Father had departed that his victory could be complete. When the hour passed and the sacrifice finished he gave up the ghost and His spirit went to the paradise. On that Sunday morning he took His body again to be separated no more. “O death, where [was] thy sting? O grave, where [was] thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15: 55).
    Therefore, the Atonement saves man from sin and the Ressurrection saves man from death, and was not Christ the very God he could never had wrought such a sacrifice and brought about the salvation and exaltation of man.
    (5) I must tell you that I do not depend upon the Bible for knowledge of God and of His plan of redemption because on the Spring of 1820 a boy went into the grove and the Heavens were opened and the voice of God was heard again. After that glorious vision all the Prophets and Apostles who ever lived came down from Heaven restoring their Priesthood and the keys of the Kingdom sealing them upon the heads of the living Prophet. Since then, other Apostles and Prophets have been called, commissioned under the hands of Jesus Christ, possessing all the keys of the Kingdom of God and having seen Christ face to face and being Special Witness of Him to all the world.
    (6) I never told you that God was my slave. Only because He gave man knowledge of His perfections and attributes it does not mean that He must conform to us but rather that we MUST conform to Him. You say that I’m wrong but I want to tell you that there are Prophets living upon the earth today that have seen the face of God and that receive His mind and will and they are living proofs that what I said is correct.
    (7) I testify to you that I know for myself that these things are true because the Spirit of God has manifested them unto my soul and not only that, but my eyes have been opened and my hearth has rejoiced from time to time in things both sacred and sure. I don’t know you personally neither I disregard your beliefs, but I must proceed with the commandment which I have received to bear witness unto the world that Jesus is the Christ, the literal Son of the Father, that He lives and that he will soon come again into the world. I testify that the Christianity has become corrupted by the priestcraft and the desire for riches and that when Christ come He will recompense them for their deeds. But know it, there IS a living Church today upon the earth, there ARE Apostles and Prophets again in the land, God SPEAKS today and now, and you can receive the same witness that I have.

    You say that you pray, then I invite you to bow down your head with all the sincerity of your heart and ask God the Father if all the things which I have said are NOT the truth. For I promise you that the Holy Spirit of God will show unto you that these things ARE true and you SHALL know that Christ lives and that there are Prophets again upon the earth. And if it be the desire of your hearth I can tell you more and point you the way.

    • Jonathan Wagner says:

      Dear Cristiano,

      Thank you for engaging with me, I will go over each of your points.

      1.) It really depends on what you consider to be “correct”. One of the reasons that we have perceived correctness is because shortly after the Nicean Creed was established, pretty much every other scripture that opposed what was set by the creed was ordered to be destroyed. It is not that scriptures aligned, so much as men decided what was right, and had everything else destroyed. Luckily for us, some men decided that it would be a wise gesture to hide some of the scriptures that were ordered to be destroyed. There was many different types of early christianities, and these scriptures did NOT all align. Ultimately it is a scenario of the ‘victor writes the history’, in this case it was a similar situation. Keep in mind that a lot of these new discoveries are rather recent (last 50 years), including the discovery of the Nag Hammadi.
      2.) I generally disregard John, because we KNOW it was not written by John, and John is the glue that keeps everything in modern day Christianity together, it is interesting because there are things written directly to oppose Gnostic Christianity (1 John 3:4). Keep in mind you are allowed to not believe in the bible, the bible is not a book, it is a compilation. There was never a divine order to believe in the written text, OR believe it is perfect. There was never a covenant made with the bible in its entirety. The main problem with the new testament is it makes claims that aren’t backed up by the old testament, I will give a good example. Nicean Christians, will often make the claim that the Christ is mention in the old testament, this actually not true at all, in Exodus 4:22, God makes it VERY clear who is his first born son, and it is not Jesus, it is Israel. However, Christian will use scriptures referencing Son in the old testament as their “proof” of Jesus being referenced in the old testament, this is not the case any reference to Son in the old testament was actually referring to Israel and the Jews. One of the things I took the time to do was actually talk to rabbi, and also did research on why the Jews don’t believe Jesus was the messiah. The main reason they don’t think he is the messiah is because he didn’t do the things that were prophesied for the messiah to do. Some of the these things include, rebuilding the temple in Israel, bringing all the Jews back to Israel, ushering in something like 700 years of peace (which didn’t happen). It’s actually interesting to note that the term “messiah” as we know it wasn’t actually used in the Torah, it was referenced in the Tanakh however. It’s also interesting to note that a Messiah can only evaluated upon death, I imagine Jesus’s followers were quick to try and rationalize his perceived failure as the Messiah upon his premature death then actually taking the time to reflect on his teachings. It’s also interesting to note about all the references to “God’s Children” and us being sons and daughters, yet Nicean Christians continue to insist on this more literal meaning of Son when it comes to Jesus. I have every right to believe that Son is symbolic, and I am also a Son of God just as Jesus was, by Loving God as my Father.
      3.) I am sure there was a time where we actually did understand his entire message, and I think that Nicean Christians despite their Pagan like beliefs on virgins and man-gods have adhered to some of his core teachings on love and forgiveness. Now I would like to make some references to Genesis, because I think I find this book particularily interesting. Firstly out the gate, the version of Genesis we have doesn’t have author attributed it. The other thing is that the God that Christians believe to be the “Good Guy” (in eden) actually did some pretty evil things. First he said, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” After they ate the apple, they didn’t die in that day, this makes the God Christians call the Good guy a -liar-. It’s also interesting to note that it was also the snake that made us more like Gods. Later you have moses erecting a snake to cure illness, and ever later turning his staff into a larger snake.. Why could this be? The most reasonable explanation is that Genesis is actually a Sumerian text, and unlike us, glorified the snake. I find you reference to eden being the presence of God interesting however.
      4.) Lots and lots of assumptions, if you believe no man could make such a sacrifice then you believe God essentially created men in such a way that they could never get back to him short of some celestial event he needed to later define (Jesus dying). Why would he do this? That’s like building a car without an engine – it’s possible that he did it on purpose so that he could control our belief systems – but that kind of defeats the purpose of choice, and I know God is more merciful then that. I think God created us all with the ability to impart and bestow, as God does, and as Jesus did – I do not think he inserted special religious criteria for the mechanisms he gave us. Christianity, for the most part, does give many a reason to impart and bestow – this I will give to it.
      5.) Mormons are good people, I hold them up with high regard just like Christians because they perpetuate love. I do however have a problem with prophets, because I believe that when God reveals himself he never does it to one person, and if he does he reveals knowledge that is actually shared among several people (at the same time). The thing with Jesus is he wasn’t going around making any claims, and he was also doing something that had already been done before – Jonah had saved non-Jews. I think what he was trying to get across was that belief was more then a vision or a set of traditions (Judaism), it was a personal and sublime experiential relationship. I don’t think any man should rely on any other man for knowledge or a relationship with God, because even if God does reveal a message to a man, the moment it touches the man it is corrupted – the best we can hope for is personal knowledge and heeding his direction.
      6.) When you attempt to define God by religions of Men, you attempt to enslave him, you attempt to define God’s purpose for yourself – religions attempt to enslave God. I do believe in attempting to conform to God, and I believe this is accomplished through imparting and bestowing. I don’t care if there are prophets lining their pockets with their talk and books – I cannot validate they are honest, but you seem like a good person – if you see the divine light tell me what you see. The works that are most public, and making the most money, I can guarantee you are the least divine.
      7.) God revealed himself to a people, then he revealed himself again, then again, and then again. Every time a new knowledge ‘revealed’ and closer ‘truth’ brought to our attention. What may be true for me, may not be true for you – God is so powerful, that the ‘ultimate’ truth we are all seeking exists is a very complex fashion. If God has issued you a direct commandment, then you must do his will. I have had Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Alien Believers and more all try to convert me, all with the same vigor, all with the same strength of faith as each other, all wanting me to help enslave God, as if my conversion will contribute to his enslavement and to who is right. My biggest fear is not hell, my biggest fear is getting into the presence of God and him judging me based on how I chose to define him. When I am in front of God I want to be able to say, “God, while I was alive I submitted to your power, and I did not listen to any men, I chose my best not to define you for I knew it was impossible, instead I chose to love you.” There isn’t a single religion I could believe in that would allow me to say that – therefore I am in no religion.

      Trust me when I say, you have no idea what I have been through to believe in a God without restriction, who is compassionate, who is merciful, and who doesn’t have any name given to him by men. There is no way I would let any missionary, prophet, psychic, or any man point me in any direction, because I know I would ultimately end up farther from God.

  4. George says:

    Dear Perry,

    Taking everything said in this blog into context, please kindly provide honest answers to these questions:

    1. God created us with free will, if we exercise it (wrongly, to our detriment diseases, strife, physical death etc) he metes out punishment for the wrong choice, is this still free will? Why create choice if only one outcome is desired? Upon punishing your creation for bad choice on this earth; death, suffering etc, after they are dead you wake them up again, judge them sentence them to another punishment, eternally this time?

    2. God foresaw all the current ills in this world and knew they’d be a consequence of Lucifer’s rebellion but he nonetheless went ahead and created him. Shouldn’t he have obliterated him soon after his rebellion so there wouldn’t be a contest with Him for our souls and an adversary that would temper with his creation why create an adversary (He knew Lucifer would sin)?
    The devil is the single source of evil why bring him into existence in the first place? How many souls have to experience pain and torment as result of one source of evil (the devil) who God could have obliterated long before the advent of Adam. Surely we would now be in perfect harmony with God knowing nothing else but Good as it was supposed to be in the beginning?

    • George,

      Ultimately I do not know the answer to these questions; you can go to the end of the book of Job if you want the answer God gave to Job about why there is evil.

      I would just point out that, in my estimation, Lucifer is a catalyst for evil but not truly the source. I note that in scripture Lucifer plays a relatively minor part compared to man himself.

      I think in some sense God desires more than one outcome. I think God wants to give people real actual choice and to love Him by their own real choice.

      And yes surely God knew what would happen, knew all the possibilities.

      Perry

      • Oldstyle says:

        Life reveals to us everything that we believed it to be. We are all looking at the same universe and yet we all see a true picture as unique as our own perceptions. Some perceive a universe that is a total contradiction from another and they can be persuasive about the truth of what they see.

        Life will also reveal to us everything that we believe it to be. And thus we can have a change of mind and interpret information differently this time around and all our proof is there to support our change of mind.

        Even more profound is when we have a change of heart and what was formerly a heartless world can be full of love – or vice versa when we abandon our heart. The choice is ours. And indeed, in many ways, as a civilization, we have turned our back on the love by which God commands us.

        So often we have looked at the world through its pain and suffering and we say that if there were a God He/She would not allow this to happen. And we say this because we have, in many instances, already turned away from God and we expect that if there were a God that He/She would take control of the world and relieve all suffering from crime and illness.

        The real problem stems from not understanding the difference between commanding and controlling. A command can be ignored if you choose, but when you are controlled there is not the freedom of movement and outward choice.

        The universe is not controlled. Instead, the universe is commanded into existence by the love of God and the universe obeys those commands. In this same way our hearts and minds can command our own world, and they do, but we are so often unaware of what we do. We do not focus our hearts to command our world through love. We do not accept that a change of heart is far more commanding than a change of mind. And we seldom see how a unified heart and mind can profoundly change our world and shape our world.

        Our minds are a wonderful servant, but a poor master. When we place the intelligence of our heart first then our mind can work wonders to serve the greater purpose of commanding by love. When the mind is put in charge it seeks to control through manipulating structure. “If this is here, then that will be there” and we continue with this logic to pierce the veil of substance and arrive at a logical conclusion of what reality is all about. All of the mental exercising that we do cannot lead us to a logical conclusion of reality if reality is not logical.

        We are made in the image of God. As God commands the universe with love, and love obeys love then so do we command the universe through love – not logic. We, too, have been given the gift to command by love and our logical mind can aid us by being a faithful servant and holding a focus on our hearts desires as they stem from a commanding love.

        When the mind wants to explore structure to manipulate our reality and invent new drugs, higher technology and provide proof of life then we may want to ask ourselves how any of this has improved our experience of life. We live longer, but do we live happier? Is the mind really more intelligent than the heart? The heart can, and does, heal in miraculous ways that the mind does not comprehend, yet we mostly serve the mind as our master.

        How is it that we can be so certain of what we know when it stems from the heart, and how the heart’s wisdom and desire moves us with such a magnetic attraction that we have no thought to disobey? And still, our mind will question our heart’s good intent and provide doubts and scepticism if allowed to do so.

        And it is all a matter of choice. There is no such thing as right or wrong because all things lead back to the source, sooner or later. After everything else has been tried there will remain only the love that commands us and when we embrace the loving commandments we learn to appreciate our own gift of command over our world and all that is in it. Our command is not a control anymore than God chose to control. The universe is made manifest from a love of God that commands it into being, and the universe that is created from love will not disobey our loving commands.

        Our intellectual minds are repelled by such notions because it means that the mind will become the servant, not the master. For all of us the choice is simple, though not necessarily easy, when we have to choose between one of two masters, for we cannot serve both.

        We are so accustomed to thinking our way out of problems that even when the solution comes from our intelligent heart it is the mind that takes credit – and we allow this to be so. Think about it for a moment and above all be honest with your self. Imagine driving down the highway and your focus is turned inward. This isn’t difficult to imagine as we do it so often. As we drive on automatic pilot our mind is turned inward focusing on a problem or concern we have.

        When we are inward focused like this we are seldom in an analytical frame of mind, but rather a reflective and emotional state of mind. We try on different scenarios and get a feel for them. Our minds are free roaming as we put the miles behind us, and we call this “thinking outside the box.” As we get in touch with fleeting impressions that stem from past emotional situations we arrive at a solution to our current problem or concern. It is a heartfelt solution that did not stem from the logical mind, and yet we say that we had a brainstorm of an idea. Closer to the truth would be that we had an emotional realization.
        Still, we give credit to the logical mind and this leads us to believe that our mind has solved our problems.

        Of course, our inward focus, as we drive down a long hi-way, does not always involve our emotional intelligence, nor are all of our problems solved in this way, but it happens just this way far more often than a logical analysis can take credit for. Most of life’s problems are solved by thinking outside the logical box.

        Logic is confined to a box. It is confined to providing proof. Our emotions have no such requirement and are free to go where they need to go to find solutions.

        Most of life is not logical, and most of the universe is not logical. For instance, logic would have us believe that electromagnetic energy is a force. In fact logic would have us believe that energy was a force. After all, this is only logical.

        But what if the universe was not logical? What if the intelligence behind creation was not logical? What if electromagnetic energy was an attraction rather than a force? What if all energy is an attraction rather than a force? How would that change our perception of the universe?

        What if the love by which God commanded the universe into being is not a force but an intelligent attraction that can be obeyed or disobeyed? How does that change how we see the world, or how we see the universe, and how we see human suffering?

        And if God’s love can be disobeyed how big of a gift is that in which we have been granted? And what does that speak to in terms of owning our own sense of self-responsibility?

        My heart soars! My heart is the path through which I can experience infinity and everlasting love, while my mind is put to the task of supporting my hearts desires through a purposeful focus of believing in a world I already perceive inwardly as whole and heartfelt. This everlasting moment that is now reshapes my world and experience as I command it from love, the love that commands me and the love I command with.

        In this way science will take quantum leaps when it is carried through time and space riding on the energy of attraction where propulsion is a thing of the past.

        When we serve the master that is the intelligence of heart we will no longer subject ourselves to mental doubts. Our minds will be the incredible servant we need to see our way. But when the mind is master we spend all of our time in a world of structure and after effects trying to understand how we got here. The heart as master says “Go and command life as we can”, while the mind as master says “Learn how to control.” The choice has always been a choice between two masters.

  5. jm says:

    Romans 1:20 (King James Version)

    20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    Its really a great insult to God the creator which obviously what was made.

  6. jm says:

    He was crucified on a cross of wood;
    Yet He made the hill
    on which it stood.

    I believe many will be shocked when Jesus reveal himself someday as the creator of the universe.

    thanks

  7. ganesh says:

    Dear Sir,
    Actually iam always discover and thing how create a wonderfully world were it’s coming from really Iam very surprise how universe coming

  8. ganesh says:

    my second question is If I accept scientist theory ok
    But after creations universe, generated person and that person realize to eat food and that eating food they spend his life so (i just trying to realize how they eat food and that foods they spend there life after eating it’s properly digest in our body so how it’s possible
    Firsts think is that ——->>Create A universe
    Second is that ——–>> after that create person and person realize they are eating food and food is properly digest no any problem in that process
    So how its how it’s??

  9. Michael says:

    Hi Perry

    read your Adwords stuff and is great.

    Ok here is general critique against design by intelligence or rather the origin of that intelligence.

    If you throw away a book in the desert quite likely a passing camel will eat it.
    An illiterate nomad who has never seen writing or paper or anything like that might use it as fuel for a fire. Might as well be dry leaves.
    Next comes a literate person who recognises the book as some sort of “book” but they cannot decipher the alien writing.
    Next comes a literate person who reads and writes in that language and recognises it as a completely new (to them anyway) work of art by someone called William Shakespeare that blows them away with its brilliance.

    So where in all this is the intelligence? You won’t see it down a microscope. Nor in the heavens. Nor in a book by Shakespeare.

    Where is this evidence of intelligence? Quite simply it is in that which is perceiving. As they say it takes one to know one. So the proof of intelligence is not found externally. That is where intelligence is corroborated. It is your own intelligence that recognises intelligence.

    So the source of intelligence is not found in the object but in the subject. So if you want to know what made creation realise what made you. For what made you also made creation of which you are an aspect.

    And like JC or Mr Buddha or anyone else everyone has the potential to realise the cause of their existence and the riddle is solved. As the Big Book B says, “I am that I am” end of story. Or as JC says, “I (effect) and my father (cause) are one”

    Or as The Big Book says, “be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10) So all that is required is absolute stillness except that absolute stillness cannot be reached by any movement on any level since stillness precedes and supports all movement.

    So thought like an arrow shooting at the stars will ever fail. So thought can never go where thought is too slow. And beyond thought there is a long way to go to get to where there is nothing and therefore stillness.

    So it is all about letting-go of movement. And then picking it up again. We do it every night when we sleep. But sleeping is a form of unconsciousness and we cannot realise when we are asleep.

    So I suppose the moral is relax and pay attention or rather invest attention in a passive way on what is most subtle within.

    Also design presupposes a prior activity but creation is not made in that way. In fact creation is a verb. There is only one noun and that is God and that is Stillness and that is Space and it has nothing to do with Creation. Creation has nothing to do with God. Yet God allows Creation to exist. Creation is infinite but God is absolute.

    And if that sounds like mumbo jumbo then as Einstein commented “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”

    And thank you for all the free stuff on your Adwords site.

    MG

  10. Andrew Risky Nova says:

    This is RIGHT! There should not be any evil. Pain is a gift for us to differentiate evil and Good. evil never wins, cuz it always depend on Good, which means Good is greater than evil. Something just needs to be left unspoken… to avoid a lie.

    And I’m fortunate to know the comprehensive explanation about bottom-up and top-bottom the-very-fabric context of statement comes out from mind (the four layers). I’m lucky I still have brain synapses in my brain I can understand this.

  11. Faye says:

    I believe in God. I’m not a scientist nor do I have a college degree, yet I choose to believe that science agrees (whether we as humans see or understand the rules or processes) with God’s existence and our creation over evolution. Your reasoning is invaluable in helping many people come to a better understanding for themselves on this important issue.
    I have several questions I would like answered by someone that is rational, and coming from a place of unprejudiced ideas and beliefs.
    (1) You are using the bible as the bases of information, Do you consider the books of the bible that were omitted as information that should be considered to belong with the rest of the text? why? why not?
    (2) When using the bible and scientific research, Can you explain the acceptance or rejection of homosexuality to me?
    Thank you for your site, your time and information. Faye

    • Faye,

      I have rather high regard for the Apocrypha and I quote Wisdom 11:21 “Thou hast ordered all things in weight and number and measure” throughout this site. I am much less trusting of the apocryphal New Testament books, they are far less accepted and dated much later than the gospels and epistles.

      Christianity does not endorse the homosexual lifestyle, in particular see the last half of Romans 1. However I do not think it singles it out as some kind of “worse kind” of sin either; it’s no different than adultry or cohabitation, two practices which our society largely turns a blind eye to. I submit to you that when sex is enjoyed within marriage there are vastly fewer social problems, less AIDS, STD’s, abortion, unwanted pregnancies, abandoned children or single moms.

      Perry

  12. mireya gaona says:

    What´s the cause of suffering and pain?
    In Raja Yoga which is revealed by God says that the cause of suffering and pain is due to the wrong actions performed by man in the wrong consciousness which is the body and not the soul.
    God reveals that the being is the spiritual energy and human is the body. the being is called soul, atma, and it is a point of infinitesimal or invisible metaphysical energy, which is in the center of the brain. The soul has three subtle organs which are the mind, intellect and personality traits. The mind creates thoughts and base on that actions are performed. If we think that it is the soul that does everything through the body, original qualities like peace, power, love, purity and happiness will emerge naturally in every action and this will not create negative karma. To know more about it see the link http://www.bkwsu.org and find out about raja yoga meditation, or e-mail me back.

  13. huskycommander says:

    Dear Perry Marshall,
    I know this might be out of topic, but can you please answer these questions for me? Your the only person i know that can answer them for me.
    Please Sir! i really need to know the answers!

    Some Random atheist sent me this mail:
    ANSWER the following questions in the format 1a 2a 9a for answer. seperated by a ############### between each answer

    (Q1) Does a god sending himself down to earth to die to apease himself make sense to you? Explain why he could not simply have FORGIVEN us without this bullshit complicated mess of self sacrifice.

    #######################################
    (A1) Your answer =

    #######################################

    (Q2) Do you think the world is 10k years old as the geneology of the bible states very clearly. If so why do you disagree with a precise geneological tree stemming all the way from Adam to Jesus (2009 years ago) Remember in your answer that after Noah, no one could live longer than 120 years. Even if each person in the lineage of the bible lived till 119 and had kids at 119 and 11 months the maximum time frame since Noah would be 7k years. We know for a fact that all life was NOT wiped out on earth 7k years ago as proven by science.

    #######################################
    (A2) Your answer =

    #######################################

    Q3 Why did god allow humans to die and go to hell for over 60k years before allowing us into heaven a paltry 2000 years ago?

    #######################################
    (A3) Your answer =

    #######################################

    Q4 Why does the Genesis account completly contradict all known science in relation to order of events, time frame. for example in Genesis the sun was made AFTER the Earth. We KNOW the Sun of older than the earth. Why did a all know god lie in his book or worse still why did he get it wrong? This is very basic stuff. Even a “stylised symbolic” version would be able to get the order stuff was made in correctly.

    So did he lie or was the all knowing god mistaken?

    #######################################
    (A4) Your answer =

    #######################################

    Have fun. And remember if you avoid the very basic questions with masses of waffle and avoid the point. You are clearly hitting a logic wall and refuse to answer as it would disrupt your delusion you have spent many years brainwashing your self with.

    4 simple questions… I bet your answers will be massive rambling messes with no clear answer that makes any sense.

    And no… There is never a stalemate.. I have never lost a debate with a christian. It always ends with them running away or completely ignoring anything I say and answering with random and unrelated god quotes. Try and be origional. Magnum your friend ended up doing exactly that.

    • Husky,

      A1 – sin is evil, it has a REAL cost and cannot be swept away with an accounting trick. We all know that, which is why we send criminals to jail instead of just forgiving them. The penalty of sin is death and Jesus HAD to suffer.

      A2 – MANY Christians do not believe the Bible teaches that the genealogy of the Bible gives a complete time line nor do I. Much has been written about this and you can easily find those discussions. http://www.reasons.org has good material on this.

      A3 – In Acts 17 Paul talks about those former times and says 29″Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

      A4 – See http://evo2.org/audio/newevidence.htm and especially the FAQ at the bottom concerning the days of creation.

      Your atheist friend is cocky and hasn’t met very many knowledgeable Christian apologists if he thinks nobody has good answers to these questions. Do NOT be intimidated by him. I’ve sparred with hundreds of people like him. Seriously, if he thinks these are hardball questions, he’s an amateur.

      Let him know my talk “If you can read this, I can prove God exists” – https://evo2.org/read-prove-god-exists/ is rock solid after 4 years of intense debate, and the pages of this website are evidence of that. Also see http://www.evo2.org/infidels

      I challenge him to solve “The Atheist’s Riddle” – so simple any child can understand, so complex, no atheist can solve.

      Perry Marshall

      • Smurfmash says:

        Hi I am the cocky Atheist.

        Let’s have a look at your rebuttals shall we:

        “A1 – sin is evil, it has a REAL cost and cannot be swept away with an accounting trick. We all know that, which is why we send criminals to jail instead of just forgiving them. The penalty of sin is death and Jesus HAD to suffer.”

        R1 Sin is only evil due to gods rules, god is all powerful why can he not “sweep these aside” His rules, his definition of course he can change them. You imply he has limits or restraints in what he can do. Your analogy of “We all know that, which is why we send criminals to jail instead of just forgiving them” So to use the same analogy in context of jesus..
        This would mean that to pay back the crimes of a criminal all he nees to do is to Sacrifice a willing victim by horrific torture and his crimes will be repented by the blood of the victim. Does that make sense to you?

        “A2 – MANY Christians do not believe the Bible teaches that the genealogy of the Bible gives a complete time line nor do I. Much has been written about this and you can easily find those discussions. http://www.reasons.org has good material on this.”

        R2 So you think they would put a half complete geneology in the bible then why bother putting it in at all if it as incomplete?… And the “begates” which are a unbroken chain mean nothing? It’s in Black and white. And those topics above try to put gaps PRIOR to Noah. After noah there is a unbroken line with a fixed maximum age of 120.

        “A3 – In Acts 17 Paul talks about those former times and says 29″Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”

        R3 – That was not the question. The question is why god didn’t give a shit about billions of people going to hell for eternity until a paltry 2009 years ago?

        A4 – See http://evo2.org/audio/newevidence.htm and especially the FAQ at the bottom concerning the days of creation.

        R4 So you see maths and patterns in nature… And this disproves evolution and abiogenesis etc you think… Your argument is basically “it’s too complicated for me to figure out in my head in ten minutes so it must have been designed” Like the eye is complicated and could not evolve huh? (the stages of which have been clearly shown)

        Don’t even pretend to try and use “science” to prove intelligent design. The only reason you are even trying is because genesis says that all animals were plonked down fully formed in their current forms. This is of course laughable. We see evolution in our own lifetime Virus’s bacteria are the easy ones… I suppose god made the nylon eating bacteria 3 million years before we invented nylon did he? Or is that not a “big enough change for you” small change + small change + small change = bigger change. just add time. This is so simple I have no idea why you refuse to face facts. Admit to small scale “micro” evolution in any way and over time that micro will add up to macro.

        Reading your “proof” you say that god created the big bang. OK sure. if I was a god I would create the universe that way. I would load the infinitely complicated bomb to explode exactly as i wished with rules in place to create the rest. A bit like a computer program that programs it’s self. Problem is… That is not your religion, that is completely incompatible with Genesis, genesis can’t even get the order the Sun and Earth were made correct. The bible has NOTHING to do with modern theories of universe creation. Besides… If you agree with the big bang… How did the animals get designed and plonked down fully formed without any kind of evolution?
        You can’t accept a evolutionary physical universe that formed from swirling dust and then deny biological evolution!!

        As for this lovely example if erroneous baseles conclusions pulled out of ones arse “As Einstein pointed out, the significance is that the universe has this moment of pin pulling. It has a beginning. Through the principle of positive fact, if the universe has a beginning, it must have a beginner, hence the existence of God.”

        So if it has a begining god must have done it…. Firstly WTF? How did you prove god was the cause? Why is god the only possible cause? Many many other conclusions could be made for a start a bang crunch universe. one which expands until the explosion runs out of force and then crumples in on itself forms a super massive black hole until the is nothing let to attract and then explodes recreating the cycle. We could be in universe edition #999999999999999999999 A damn sight more likely than some cosmic sky daddy snapped his fingers… Besides if everything NEEDS a beggining in your limited imaginition who made god? If god could have always existed so could the universe (the matter at least)

        You insert chunks of science and then made grand illogical conclusions:

        “Earth: An Insignificant Speck?
        What does this tell me about the Creator? That God so loved the human race that he went to the expense of building one hundred billion stars and carefully shaped and crafted those hundred billion trillion stars for the entire age of the universe, so that for this brief moment in time, we could have a nice place to live.”

        All we need is one sun one moon and that’s flipping it. To say there is any reason or need to build a trillion trillion solar systems just to make this one work is not logical and makes no sense at all. Why would you even try to argue this? Besides acording to your bible he made the Stars (ALL OF THEM) as a side job in one day. Makes you wonder why it took him so long to make one planet really doesn’t it?

        As for your “Oh look at the odds of this happening or that occuring”… infinite universe = infinite chances = it would be IMPOSSIBLE for life to NOT have occurred at some point. Billions of years infinite universe and you still think it’ unlikely to have occurred by chance once? We have created Amino acids in the lab using early earth type conditions. But then i guess you will find it too complicated to suss out in your head so will say “ooh it’s very complicated more so than my mind can fathom so god did it” Easier isn’t it….

        • Smurfsmash,

          1. I explained the math of justice – that if I murder someone, I have to pay the price. I’m rather glad that when someone wrongs me or my children God does not just turn his head. Christian theology asserts that a perfect being, God Himself, can take the penalty of sin onto Himself and that the math of justice works out. It’s not my job to justify God’s rules to you. The salient point is that God will not allow people to murder other people without a price being paid. That is the only way to respect the person who has been harmed.

          2. I know of no law that says genealogies have to be complete. Many of them only refer to the most important ancestors. You can read more at http://www.reasons.org/are-there-gaps-biblical-genealogies

          3. “God overlooked such ignorance” means none of those people are going to hell.

          4. It is evident that you have not actually read anything I have written about evolution. You will need to read what I have read before we can discuss this.

          Finally, you have made this statement:

          infinite universe = infinite chances = it would be IMPOSSIBLE for life to NOT have occurred at some point.

          Please provide the following:

          -Show me peer reviewed scientific papers that indicate the universe is infinite

          -Show me peer reviewed scientific papers that build a statistical model showing that the origin of life is statistically probable.

          I’m dead serious about these two requests. I cannot let you off the hook until you return with these two things.

          I await your evidence. Again, make sure that you have read what I have said about evolution before you post again.

          Perry Marshall

          • Smurfmash says:

            Nice try you ignore EVERY single point I make. And then you request I prove abiogenesis which is the least known and proven part of scientific understanding. And then refuse to answer anything else until I prove abiogenesis. Nice avoidance and very good way to deflect from the MULTIPLE weak points I have mentioned. The easily most damning was the PROVEN mistakes and errors in Genesis compared to what we actually know.

            The most simple being that the Sun is older than the Earth. And unlike genesis says plant matter did not occur the day BEFORE the sun was made.

            Simple easy point with very simple parameters. I can undersrand why you would rather go for the large wordy rambling complicated debates where it is harder to pin you in a corner. Such as abiogenesis….

            So lets go back to another point you did not Answer.

            “1. I explained the math of justice – that if I murder someone, I have to pay the price. I’m rather glad that when someone wrongs me or my children God does not just turn his head. Christian theology asserts that a perfect being, God Himself, can take the penalty of sin onto Himself and that the math of justice works out. It’s not my job to justify God’s rules to you. The salient point is that God will not allow people to murder other people without a price being paid. That is the only way to respect the person who has been harmed.”

            That’s not answering anything. My analogy was in fact your analogy applied to christ. Why does torturing christ let us off the hook for the crimes we commited? Simple answer please. If a rapist’s dad offered to be put in jail for his son would that be justice?

            “3. “God overlooked such ignorance” means none of those people are going to hell.” So hell did not exist before Jesus…. interesting….

            “Psalm 9:17 – The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” ODD this passage seems to be BEFORE Jesus! Seems peope DID go to hell prior to Jesus. Also if as you say no one went to hell until Jesus came around… This means Jesus didn’t save ANYONE he in fact condemned all of those who did not toe the line to hell.

            As for your “easy questions” I think my points rubbishing the bibles version of events in genesis proves the bible is wrong. And I know you are simply trying to ad complexity to the discussion to avoid being pinned down to cold hard facts and logic. In other words you are avoiding the question. A person who knows the answers simplifies the debate to make his point as clear as possible. A person squirming and twisting and adding additional complexity is hiding.

            But… I will bite. And once I have written a brief reply to your unfair request (prove abiogenesis) if you respond to nothing else I want an answer to this one very simple question.
            #############################################################
            Why does the bible say the sun was made AFTER the Earth when it WAS NOT.
            #############################################################
            Answer this VERY direct question within one paragraph.

            (Q1)”-Show me peer reviewed scientific papers that build a statistical model showing that the origin of life is statistically probable.”

            http://www.thekeyboard.org.uk/Extraterrestrial%20life.htm
            “The Drake Equation. This states that the number of communicating civilisations in our galaxy (note, our Galaxy only, not the universe)”

            Show me peer reviewed scientific papers that indicate the universe is infinite
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse
            http://www.astronomytoday.com/cosmology/universe.html

            Most Theories discount the Bang Crunch model but as “Dark matter” is unknown and was basically created to make Einstiens maths work no one can disregard it. We simply do not know. So there is no answer to your question that is proven one way or the other. Which of course is why you asked it. Lot easier to argue in unknowns than “The bible says this, this is wrong please explain” you tend to be fighting a losing argument then…

            If there are multiple universes there could indeed be infinite universes for life to be created in. Also if we exist in a “bang crunch” model in a universe which NEVER ends and had no begining we are in a infinite universe due to infinite time and infinite combinations and arrnagements of galaxies, this universe could be the 9999999999999999999th version for all we know, and this could be the first time intelligent life has been created.

            But hey it’s much more likely than a infinite eternal cosmic sky daddy created all this by snapping his fingers just for a bunch of smart apes who have only figured out how to write 10 thousand years ago…

            Now stop avoiding the simple easy to tie you down on question and tell me regarding your quote “”Biblical Account: 14 Statements, all 100% Consistent with Modern Observations

            It gives three initial conditions and 11 creation events, and describes all 14 perfectly and puts them in the correct chronological sequence. The best I’ve found outside of the Bible is the New Militia of the Babylonians, which scores two to 13 correct. ”

            If so why is does Genesis say the Sun was made on day 3 and the Earth on day 1? Looks like your “100 percent accurate” figure might be a bit….

            • (1) Let’s say you live in a tribe and someone from another tribe kills your brother.

              You are angry and sad and you want revenge.

              What do most people do?

              Go kill someone.

              Now that guy’s brother seeks revenge on you and the killing goes on sometimes for generations. When does the cycle stop?

              Suppose you come to Christ and as a result you understand several things:

              -The debt others owe you is not as great as your own debt to God

              -The debt others owe you is not as great as their own debt to God

              -God takes wrongdoing so seriously that allowed his only son to be crucified – because he could not and would not just “turn his head.”

              -You understand and embrace the principle behind the following story from Matthew 18:

              23″Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
              26″The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
              28″But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
              29″His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
              30″But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
              32″Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
              35″This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

              -You understand that to forgive the servant cost the King a great deal of money. He couldn’t just print more.

              -You understand that IF YOU WANT TO BE FORGIVEN, YOU MUST ALSO FORGIVE OTHERS.

              -You leave the matter in God’s hands. You believe God when he says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And you don’t retaliate.

              The violence stops. The cycle finally ends.

              The Bible says that only the perfect son of God can pay for the sins of others. The father of a rapist CANNOT pay for his son’s sins and everyone knows it. Only God can forgive sins.

              (3) If you look up http://bible.cc/psalms/9-17.htm you will see that most translations render this word “sheol” or “death”, not hell. The Old Testament doesn’t speak explicitly about hell and many Jews do not embrace the idea of hell. Sheol is simply “the place of the dead.”

              To your question:

              #############################################################
              Why does the bible say the sun was made AFTER the Earth when it WAS NOT.
              #############################################################

              The Genesis 1 story is told from a terrestrial point of view. It is reporting what is visible from the surface of the earth as the events happen. You will note that there is already light and day and night. At the time described in Genesis 1:16 the atmosphere clears and the sun and moon become visible because the sky is not opaque anymore.

              This matches what modern cosmology knows about the history of the earth’s atmosphere.

              Regarding the verb “made” (asah) in Genesis 1:16. Asah means to fabricate or fashion something and is different from the Hebrew verb “create” (bara) used elsewhere in Genesis 1. Bara means to bring forth something brand new by divine fiat. God made (asah) the Sun, Moon and stars; He did not bara them. This suggests the heavenly bodies were not instantaneous creations but something God fashioned from the raw materials He created “in the beginning.”

              Thus if we assume a terrestrial POV and “day = period of time” then Genesis 1 does match modern cosmology and the fossil record perfectly.

              Now to our other discussions.

              Wikipedia is not a peer reviewed scientific paper. None of the links you gave me here are peer reviewed papers. From now on please cite peer reviewed sources. In all of my discussions about DNA and the origin of life I cite peer reviewed sources (Shannon, Yockey, et. al.)

              In your first post you essentially said an infinite universe solves the abiogenesis question. The Drake equation calculates the number of planets that might be hospitable to life. It doesn’t solve the abiogenesis question.

              Please cite a peer reviewed scientific paper that shows that life arising by chance is statistically probable.

              Please also provide empirical evidence (observations, photographs, measurements) of the other universes that you seem to be invoking to make life probable.

              BTW an infinitely old universe is impossible, because of entropy. If the universe was infinitely old it would have burned out a nearly infinite amount of time ago.

              Perry Marshall

            • Smurfmash,

              Next to the comment box it says:

              “Questions must be respectful, clear, thoughtful and on-topic – all others will be deleted by the moderator.”

              I have deleted your comments because you are being insulting, obnoxious and disrespectful.

              Calm yourself and try again. Facts, not accusations. Once you have removed the mockery from your posts I will be happy to dialogue with you.

              Perry Marshall

              • Also, Smurfmash, I’m asking you to stop using a screen name use your real name. I’m using mine. Sign your name to your words, there’s no need to be anonymous here.

                • Smurfmash says:

                  So THIS is how you actually avoid losing any debates….

                  “I have deleted your comments because you are being insulting, obnoxious and disrespectful.”

              • Smurfmash says:

                For those reading this. I basically completly tore his argument apart, mocked the fact that in order to make the bible fit he had to re-write it, explained his complete lack of understanding of entropy which is not an issue in a cyclic bang crunch universe, and provided this paper detailing a bang crunch model for the universe which would be infinite in age as it repeats itself.

                http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1742-6596/140/1/012010/jpconf8_140_012010.pdf?request-id=af41205f-27ab-46ac-8c89-9fc383a4f17e

                As for your request that I provide my real name. I have the crazy idea that religious people tend to be a bit nuts, therefore I don’t fancy some soldier for Jesus knocking on my door…. You have my real email address. This should be good enough for you.

                Why would you request this? Wow I really got under your skin with that last rebuttal didn’t I… But hey you deleted it so no one will ever know. I win by default.

                • I have consistently observed that the least mannerly people with the least evidence to present hide behind screen names. Your blog comments fit this pattern. The extended civil discussions that take place here are generally conducted by people named “John” or “Peter” or “Susan” who aren’t afraid to at least sign their first name to their words.

                  Everyone here will also notice from this forum and the Infidels board that I have no problem debating at length with people who disagree with me. Especially when they have evidence to present.

                  I asked you to provide a peer reviewed scientific paper showing that the universe is infinite. This paper you cited does not make such a claim and the word “entropy” does not even appear in the paper.

                  I asked you to provide a peer reviewed scientific paper showing that the origin of life by chance is statistically probable. You ignored this request. I again ask: Please support your claims for abiogenesis with a peer reviewed statistical model.

                  I asked you to provide evidence of other universes and you mocked me for even asking the question. Do you have any evidence of this? I am asking you to bring it to the table.

                  You claimed that there is an “entropy reset button.” Well, that is certainly an interesting hypothesis. I have never read about this reset button in any physics book or physics journal. Please provide empirical support for your claim that “entropy is not an issue in a cyclic bang crunch universe.” Please detail the experimental observations that show that entropy is not an issue.

                  If you re-post your comments in a non-insulting way I will be happy to answer your questions.

                  • Smurfmash says:

                    “You claimed that there is an “entropy reset button.” Well, that is certainly an interesting hypothesis. I have never read about this reset button in any physics book or physics journal. Please provide empirical support for your claim that “entropy is not an issue in a cyclic bang crunch universe.” Please detail the experimental observations that show that entropy is not an issue.”

                    OK well. The universes current energy is a direct result of the big bang. The outward explosion, combined with the formation of stars resulting from the debris from said explosion creates the energy we see today in stars and orbits planetary bodies.

                    In a “Big crunch model” the outward explosion slows and finally stops due to the unrelenting attraction matter has for other matter. Explosive velocity suffers from entropy gravity does not. In fact the more matter you have in one location the more pull it has with exponential effect. As per black holes which every galaxy has at it’s core.

                    The blacks holes eventually suck everything in, untill the only thing left to pull in are other smaller black holes untill all of the universes matter is compressed into one tiny but dense object. Which then explodes recreating the “Big bang” as this is a new explosion the energy is “reset” new explosion = new universe = reset of entropy.

                    This is a theory and one that is described in the paper I linked. Via the maths detailed within it.

                    Constantly recycled universe = infinite universe.

                    • You didn’t explain how this gets around entropy.

                    • Smurfmash says:

                      “You didn’t explain how this gets around entropy.”

                      You seriously need me to explain this?

                      You are aware that energy cannot be destroyed or created.

                      During the process of entropy, energy is lost from locations where their is much to locations where there is little, within the universe. when the universe is squished into just one place, all matter and energy is in the same place there is no where for energy to go or leak to.

                      There are no systems decaying, there are no orbits to fail no suns to run out of fuel. ALL energy and matter is in one tiny point in space. This then explodes creating another uinverse.

                      The explosions is exactly the same magnitude as the last and the energy and matter levels are exactly the same as energy and matter cannot be destroyed.

                      But as I said very simply before. NEW EXPLOSION = restart.

                      All the energy used to squash the matter and create this explosion is due to gravitational pull or the natural attraction matter has for other matter. This is a constant and does not degrade regardless how many times it is used. Gravity never weakens.

                      or is the earths gravity reducing over time? Do black holes get weaker?

                      If you doubt my point kindly provide me with papers illustrating the reducation of the earths gravity as a function of time.

                      Thank you.

                      Mr Smurf

                    • Yes, I seriously need you to explain this. What you are describing is a blatant violation of the laws of thermodynamics. There is not enough spendable energy for a new explosion because the energy is spent.

                      Please provide references to peer reviewed scientific papers that support what you just said about entropy.

                • Kate says:

                  No offence here, but if you’re going to go on about the theory of the cyclic or oscillatory universe, get your facts straight.

                  Entropy IS a problem in a cyclic universe! It’s why the model that you’re proposing doesn’t work- Richard Tolman already proved that a cylic universe would undergo heat death. If you’re going to go on about cyclic universes, be very specific in the model you mean. The Steinhardt–Turok model is acceptable in this situation, as is The Baum–Frampton model, but not the oscillatory model. It seems to me that if you’re going on about ‘how entropy isn’t a problem’, then it seems to me that you were too lazy to read the paper you presented to Mr Marshall as ‘evidence’, or that you’re not capable of understanding it. Ergo… not a good idea to present what you don’t understand.

                  I will say, however, that as a consequence of inflation as the standard model of how we view the spread of matter/energy in the universe DOES imply the existence of an infinite number of quantum arrangements past the observable universe, ergo an infinite number of possibilities. The same can be said for the possibility of the ‘multiverse’ model as a conseqence of quantum theory and fluctuations in the quantum vacuum creating many universes. However, it isn’t possible, aside from with theory, to prove the existence of these universe due to the vastness of their distances from us, ever-increasing because of their tremendous speeds, unless a collision under the Steinhardt–Turok model was the cause of the Big Bang itself and we were able to find indirect evidence for the model that way.

                  Even if this is the case, it doesn’t nescessarily explain that God doesn’t exist. Because, why would all of these multiverses exist in the first place? Why does quantum theory/string theory imply their existances- where did they come from? So, really, we’re back to where we started.

                  If you’re going to go about insulting people and calling them stupid, be careful. I’m an Astrophysics (MPhys) student. Perry’s not stupid either- he’s got a degree in Communications Engineering, so give him a break. He’s not a religious extremist and only wants to share some enlightening ideas that he’s found- not to pick fights with people like you.

                  • Thanks, Kate. I edited your post a tiny bit to make it fit the politeness guidelines but I appreciate your support. Let’s see if Smurfmash has evidence for his entropy reset-button.

                    • Kate says:

                      Yeah, I noticed. Sorry about that- I couldn’t help it. His attitude’s really bad, in my opinion.
                      He can’t give any evidence for it- there actually isn’t any. The universe model he’s describing because he failed to do proper research into his argument is impossible!

                    • Smurfmash says:

                      “I’m an Astrophysics (MPhys) student.”

                      And i have a BEng in computer systems engineering… Doesn’t make me more right… If any of us had biology PHD’s our degrees might actually be relevant. I shared many classes with the physics students at uni and one of my close friends worked on gravitatonal lensing for her thesis. I am certainly no quantum mechanics expert but then… No one is. If you understand quantum mechanics then you don’t understand quantum mechanics.

                      He is an extremist… He denies evolution. and pushes forward creationist ideas. Young kids read these articles and turn their backs on established scientific knowledge.

                      Anyone who denies evolution after it’s complete and utter validation by modern genetics is not living in the real world.

                      “Yeah, I noticed. Sorry about that- I couldn’t help it. His attitude’s really bad, in my opinion.
                      He can’t give any evidence for it- there actually isn’t any. The universe model he’s describing because he failed to do proper research into his argument is impossible!”

                      Of course there is no evidence (for or against these are all theories and until we know everything about the universe compostion this is all they can be)…

                      Perry knew that.. why else would he pick that one point to argue? While evading all the other points. Do you honestly think his re-writing of all of genesis to ensure it fits with modern knowledge makes any sense at all?

                      But thank you. You validation that multiple universe can exist agrees with the point I made before about multiple universes. if there is a potential for many many universe or multiple re-creations of this one then life is certainly feasable.

                    • You still have not read anything I’ve said about evolution. If you had you would never say “He denies evolution.”

                      Still awaiting your evidence regarding infinite universes & abiogenesis.

                    • Smurfmash says:

                      You wanted papers for cyclic universe and multiple universes..

                      Sure.

                      As Kate kindly mentioned the two workable models. I will quote them here.

                      The Steinhardt–Turok model
                      “This resolves entropy as the cyclic model evades this by having a net expansion each cycle, preventing entropy from building up.”

                      http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/312/5777/1180

                      and the

                      The Baum–Frampton model

                      “In the Baum-Frampton model, a septillionth (or less) of a second before the would-be Big Rip, a turnaround occurs and only one causal patch is retained as our universe. The generic patch contains no quark, lepton or force carrier; only dark energy – and its entropy thereby vanishes.”

                      http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0610213

                      Here are two theories with supprted papers which detail how a cyclic universe could exist and how entropy can be resolved.

                      If the universe is cyclic there is no need for god as due to infinite cycles of universes it would be impossible for life to not have sparked on one tiny planet on one of those countless variations of universes once.

                      In other words discounting abiogenesis as it is “unlikely due to probability” is not a viable position when dealing with cyclic universes.

                      regarding your evolutionary standpoint, I have read more… Interesting… I have often wondered if the body evolved on a cellular level and updated our sperm with our experience of the environment. Would mean for more directed adaptation. Still does not require a god however, and simply means that the genesis version is even more wrong. Genesis completely discounts evolution and or speciation.

                    • Smurfmash says:

                      Come on perry post it…. You like to win debates by competing to the end don’t you? Don’t give up now! I know essentially by using a cyclic universe model with peer reviewed papers to back it up that I have rendered you “abiogenesis is not probable” argument obsolete but hey…

                      Give it a shot! You could always ask me to prove some other seemingly impossible thing….

                      like maybe a complicated universe was created by a even more complicated god which had no creator… But yes… Abiogenesis is clearly less likely than that… Seriously?

                    • I’ll let Kate take the first pass on your previous post and follow up with my observations after she’s had a chance to speak her piece.

                      I asked you to show me a peer reviewed statistical case for life arising by chance and your answer is an infinite regression of universes. Philosophers almost universally reject infinite regression as an explanation for anything.

                      The chances of life happening randomly are so poor that you have to posit an infinite number of universes. (That we have ZERO evidence of. We don’t even have inference! You scoffed at me for asking for photos. I was serious. Are you?)

                      …. An infinite series of universes is needed for an atheist to explain how we got lucky enough to live in a universe where where life began.

                      One could hardly posit a less parsimonious theory.

                      God is not complicated. God is simple. Augustine said that 1600 years ago. God is one.

                      Belief in God is why we have science in the first place see http://evo2.org/faq/#christian. God is the most parsimonious explanation.

                      Who designed the designer? See http://evo2.org/faq/#designer
                      and
                      Who made God? http://evo2.org/infotheoryqa.htm

                      Any view you embrace requires an uncaused cause. The universe cannot be its own uncaused cause.

                    • Smurfmash says:

                      “The chances of life happening randomly are so poor that you have to posit an infinite number of universes.”

                      It’s not actually poor. The drake equation describes the number of habitable planets in the universe, and there are LOTS. As for Abiogenesis we do not know the precise “ingredients” and circumstances required to kick it off. Therefore we can’t calculate it. But you see I knew I needed a quick simple easy point which you could not argue against.

                      We have created basic amino acids. In the lab.
                      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/do53am.html

                      I chose: Infinite universe = impossible for life to not have occurred. And I won the debate. Far easier than proving by debate something that science has not proven yet, which of course where you was trying to push the debate… wern’t you perry?

                      I provided scientific papers and proved that there is valid scientific theory for a cyclic universe. And hence a infinite one and hence destroying your “probability” argument against abiogenesis.

                      as for “(That we have ZERO evidence of. We don’t even have inference! You scoffed at me for asking for photos. I was serious. Are you?)”

                      Zero evidence but viable theory. Far more likely than the existance of a cosmic sky daddy who created untold trillions of stars and planets just for a clever bunch of apes who have only existed for a nanosecond compared to the age of the universe.

                      “…. An infinite series of universes is needed for an atheist to explain how we got lucky enough to live in a universe where where life began.”

                      But explain it I did, and on your terms 🙂

                      as for:

                      “One could hardly posit a less parsimonious theory.”

                      Have you heard of occams razor? “Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate”

                      What is more simple

                      (1) The universe has always existed and always will.
                      (2) A infinite and timeless god with a infinite intellect with infinite power, created an entire universe from nothing just to create some biological entities who would worship him for .000000000000000000001 percent of the time the universe has existed.

                      #1 certainly uses less words doesn’t it…… And as Dawkins postulates if the universe is complicated it’s maker must be even more so.

                      “God is not complicated. God is simple. Augustine said that 1600 years ago. God is one. ” Well if Augustine said it 1600 years ago….

                      “Belief in God is why we have science in the first place see http://evo2.org/faq/#christian. God is the most parsimonious explanation. ”

                      I do not consider the additional requirement of an entire cosmic infinite entity AS WELL as the universe to be more “simple” an explaination. Simple really universe Is < universe + God or even simpler:

                      “1 is less than 2”

                      “Who designed the designer? See http://evo2.org/faq/#designer
                      and
                      Who made God? http://evo2.org/infotheoryqa.htm

                      You say “If information has to come from a Mind (God), then where did God come from? Who made God?”

                      You understand your own flaws in your own argument and then refuse to use the same logic when dealing with god. Based on… Nothing. Your position explaining why god doesn’t need a creator is “well god doesn’t work by those rules” My explaination of a cyclic universe doesn’t require a complicated being existing outside of time and space making stuff. It’s just always been here, changing from energy to matter in an endless cycle. You say “There are no uncaused causes” Apart from god of course… But you refuse to apply the same logic to your gods unexplained creation. Because… Well there is no reason. No logical one.

                      “Any view you embrace requires an uncaused cause. The universe cannot be its own uncaused cause.”

                      But of course god can can’t he. also who ever proved that there are no uncaused causes? That is a very limited and human way of thinking. Humans think linearly we like “starts” and “ends” doesn’t make it true for everything though. I mean if nothing occurred that was beyond the comfort zone of our intellect the universe would be a very diferent place.

                      We are done on this topic. You requested I provided a logical argument for abiogenesis within the boundaries that you set. I did so.

                      Infinite cyclic universe = impossible for life to NOT have spontaniously ocurred once. As ALL possibilities must occur.

                      I hope you are looking forward to our next debate.

                    • I asked you to provide a peer reviewed paper showing statistically favorable probability of life happening randomly. I am still waiting for this. The Drake equation calculates the number of planets that may be hospitable to life. it says nothing about abiogenesis.

                      Please cite a peer reviewed paper that indicates a favorable statistical probability of abiogenesis.

                      You didn’t win a debate. You cited two scientific papers, neither of which empirically demonstrates that there is a way around entropy.

                      You keep asserting that the universe has always existed and always will. But all the scientific evidence we have is that it’s 13.7 billion years old. All models saying there were previous universes are entirely theoretical and they violate the known laws of thermodynamics.

                      Dawkins’ statement about the creator being more complicated than the universe violates Gödel’s incompleteness theorem. See http://www.evo2.org/incompleteness

                      Yes, God can be an uncaused cause. God is not subject to entropy. An uncaused metaphysical being is the only available logical parsimonious explanation for the origin of life and the universe.

                    • Smurfmash says:

                      “Yes, God can be an uncaused cause. God is not subject to entropy. An uncaused metaphysical being is the only available logical parsimonious explanation for the origin of life and the universe.”

                      It’s funny how even when you back a Christian in a corner. Use their own benchmarks for proof and still prove your point. They simply shake their heads and reset. Reset the logic, start again, go back to the default BIOS. Input fear of death output God.

                      I proved abiogenesis was a certainty if the universe was infinite. You probability goes out of the window if the universe is infinite. I showed you scientific papers written by men far smarter than the both of us who take this possibility very seriously.

                      You say in one breath that everything must have a cause then you refuse to use that logic and apply it to god. God after all is “magic” and that is the total feeble strength of your argument. For all your bluster, for all your pseudo science your complex justifications and arguments your entire belief structure boils down to.

                      Magic.

                    • Everything that has a beginning has to have a cause.

                      Logically at some point it is necessary for SOMETHING to be uncaused.

                      Nothing in the physical universe matches that description. Why? Because of entropy.

                      You have put your finger on something very important. ALL worldviews eventually invoke magic. ALL of them. Atheism is not immune to this.

                      The magic that you have invoked is “an infinite number of universes.” You have no photographs, no measurements, no data. Only wild speculation. And scientific papers which theoretically hypothesize incredibly fine-tuned (!) negative constants so as to sidestep entropy, which is well known and very real.

                      The reason you hypothesize an infinite number of universes is that according to SCIENCE, cells and nanomachines do not spontaneously arise purely by physics and chemistry. So you have to invoke chance. The chance is so tiny that you are forced to require an infinite number of universes.

                      This is not a scientific theory. it is not testable. it’s not falsifiable. It’s not measurable. It’s not parsimonious. IT’S NOT SCIENCE.

                      So you as an atheist can never again say, with intellectual honesty, that you embrace science, because you do not. Atheism embraces quasi-scientific mysticism that is not provable, testable or measurable. Atheism is not science, it’s magic.

                      Science as a subject of study is a subset of philosophy which is a subset of theology. Science cannot be practiced without philosophical assumptions which lie outside of science.

                      The philosophical foundation of science is that the universe is governed by fixed discoverable laws.

                      This is a philosophical presumption. It cannot be proven. In and of itself it cannot be scientifically proven, only inferred and confirmed with measurements.

                      Where did this belief come from? It came from Solomon who said 3000 years ago “Thou hast ordered everything in weight and number and measure.” He said it first. (If you disagree then I invite you to produce an older document with a similar statement. Oh, and I’m still inviting you to submit a paper showing that life by random chance is statistically probable. Where is that paper, Smurfmash?)

                      Logically we arrive at the inevitable conclusion that the universe has a metaphysical origin. Why? Because all things physical are subject to Entropy. (And, for that matter, we know the originator of the universe cannot be matter or energy, because of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem. See http://www.evo2.org/incompleteness )

                      So yes, if you want to call it “magic” then call it magic. Theists openly acknowledge this. At some point, YES, you have to invoke a miracle. Do I believe in magic? In some sense, YES.

                      Atheists deny it. And they lie because they sneak in miracles and call them “science.”

                      Rubbish. That is not science. It’s no more scientific than reading Tarot cards or tea leaves. And nobody is going to get away with magical-scientific-mystical sleight of hand here.

                      You have faith in Chance with a capital C, I believe in God with a capital G. Chance is not systematic, not rational, not orderly. God is orderly, theology is systematic and rational, and theology gave birth to science.

                      I believe in rational miracles that transcend science. You believe in irrational miracles cloaked with scientific terminology. That is your decision.

                      But don’t you ever call your irrational miracles science. Because they’re not.

                      If you want to be an atheist mystic, then go ahead and be an atheist mystic. It’s your life. You get to believe whatever you want to believe. Go ahead and believe that there’s some MAGICAL “entropy reset button.” Believe that there’s an infinite number of other universes out there somewhere. Believe that there’s an infinite regress of universes and we happen to be in one of the lucky ones.

                      Perry Marshall

                      P.S.: The good news is, Elvis is still alive and doing concerts in at least one of those other universes.

                    • martyboy says:

                      I have read through this link and notice my previous comments were not posted. They were just comments of a general nature and probably deemed to be irrelevant to the point being argued, although of course I don’t see that. I think my concern at the eons of suffering by pre-scientific/technological evolving mankind is a real concern when considering a God who ‘so loved the world’. This web is essentially an evangelistic medium which I certainly have no problems with as it is backed up with solid scientific reasoning and doesn’t rely solely on ramming the Bible down people’s throats. The problem with an evengelical rationale with respect to a website of this nature is the fact that people have, or don’t have, a propensity to believe in God despite the evidence. This has been described as the ‘God gene’ and accordingly I wonder how many readers are converted or let’s say swayed. Some people will prostrate themselves in ecstasy and worship on a first reading of Saint John. I doubt whether Smurfmash would ever embrace theism even if Jesus appeared in his sitting room. He would say it was merely an halucination. It would be interesting to have some idea of how many readers are converted to belief in God after reading these links. I think conversion relies on emotional considerations and not scientific or philosophical evidence/reasoning.

                    • Marty,

                      I’ll approve your other comments with a considered response when I have a chance to do so, be patient. You may very well be right about Smurfmash. I’ve often thought, many atheists wouldn’t acknowledge God if he sat down at the breakfast table and belched. If people don’t want to be convinced, they won’t be. However I well know that there are LOTS of people lurking in the shadows who are earnestly trying to seek the truth and it is for them that this website is here.

                    • The Steinhardt–Turok model:

                      Are you aware that this paper doesn’t even contain the word entropy?

                      As for the premise of the paper, they are saying that a hypothesized energy component changes its value and sign at just the right rates and times so the universe will alternate between expansion and contraction.

                      This alone requires fine-tuning and thus cannot be ascribed to random chance.

                      The negative pressure and negative energy are hypothetically appealing but they still violate the law of entropy. Nowhere do I see them providing empirical evidence for their violation of entropy. This is purely hypothetical model and it violates entropy. I asked you to provide evidence for your “entropy reset button” and I’m not finding it in this paper.

                      As for the Baum-Frampton paper, the following rebuttal to this paper is published on the same site:

                      http://arxiv.org/pdf/0711.0667v2

                      The author states that in order for entropy to be zero, the Hubble parameter has to be infinite and this is not possible. This may be one of the reasons the Baum-Frampton model is not well accepted. You are free to say that you embrace the Baum-Frampton model and you can have faith that they’re right and entropy is somehow not a problem – you are of course free to take that position. But it is a fringe position and it has no empirical support.

                      But in any case this isn’t the most interesting thing about your argument. The most interesting aspect of your argument is that you are forced to invoke an infinite series of universes to avoid invoking intelligence to explain the origin of life.

                      Your claim that Genesis completely discounts evolution is specious. My book says:

                      Genesis 1:11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.

                      I don’t see any conflict with evolution here.

                  • Kate says:

                    It does mean- not to be cocky- that I know a bit more about Cosmology than you think you do. You can’t go around describing a reset button is what I’m trying to say- it’s a really inaccurate description of what is thought to be the actual case. As far as gravitational lensing goes- its related, but its not really to do with the model we’re talking about. Has she done extensive studies into the role of dark energy, however, into the models we’ve discussed? Then it would make more sense why you’ve mentioned it, but right now, I’m a bit confused as to why you’re talking about complete violations of the second law of thermodynamics here.
                    To add, I’m pretty sure Perry knows what entropy is. Again, he’s not stupid. And I don’t think the ideas he’s proposing, personally, are either extremist or AGAINST evolution. He just thinks it works a different way than the conventional case. Have you read all of the stuff he’s posted? I’m not a Christian, by the way, but I found it interesting, personally.

    • Husky,

      How are you enjoying the discussion with Smurfmash so far?

  14. Paradise Holding says:

    “Jesus,Interrupted” by Bart D. Ehrman, PhD should be required reading by all Christians!

  15. MSABBAH says:

    When Allah created Adam, Allah asked all the angels and Iblis (Satan) to bow for the newly created Adam. All angels obeyed the order and bowed for Adam, except for Iblis. Allah asked Iblis, why he disobeyed the order and wouldn’t bow for Adam? Here instead of apologizing and asking for forgiveness, Iblis debated saying that he was better than Adam as Iblis was created out of pure fire, while Adam was created out of Mud, and so he will not bow for Adam. At this moment Allah cursed Iblis, and told him he will be punished for disobeying. Iblis asked for Allah to postpone punishment, and Allah accepted the requested. Then time passes until Adam and Eve disobeyed Allah’s order, when they ate from the tree. Here Allah taught Adam and Eve to apologize and ask forgiveness, which they did. Still they had to endure the consequences of their disobedience (becoming mortal, and leaving the paradise), but at least Allah already had forgiven them, and their mortal life on earth with Allah forgiveness, is much better for them than living in Paradise with Allah angry at them. This gave lesson to Iblis and to all the people after Adam (including us and all next people generations) on how to behave when we commit sins, that is we should apologize and ask forgiveness from Allah. Allah can forgive any sin no matter how big it was, but we have to ask for forgiveness, and that is why Allah created us we human kind with the possibility of making bad things (intentionally) and committing sins, so that we ask forgiveness so that then Allah will forgive us. If you look at all our Human Kind attributes, you will see that we are created so that we are in need for Allah help, assistance and guidance all the time, and in all our states. We can not use our limited brain capabilities, and limited abilities of senses to judge things are good or bad. Allah who has full all time knowledge of what is happening and what is best for the earth is the best to decide what is good and what is bad. Be it a tornado, a storm, a war, or even a child killed in car accident, we have to believe from all our heart that it is for the good of the overall life. This does not mean that we do not feel sad when we lose precious things, or close beloved people to us, but we have to accept that it is for the good, because it was the choice of Allah, and Allah will only choose what is best for us (Best from the perspective of Allah, not our many times corrupted vague limited perspective)

    • MSABBAH says:

      One thing wrong I mention which I need to correct, is that Adam and Eve were created mortal, it is not a property they have gained later. Any creature in this universe is mortal. All are mortal but Allah

  16. Smurfmash says:

    One paragraph on this site that REALLY made me choke on my coffee was this…

    “Biblical Account: 14 Statements, all 100% Consistent with Modern Observations

    It gives three initial conditions and 11 creation events, and describes all 14 perfectly and puts them in the correct chronological sequence. The best I’ve found outside of the Bible is the New Militia of the Babylonians, which scores two to 13 correct. ”

    WHAT!

    (1) The Moon is not a light source!
    Mar 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

    “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”

    The sun IS a star and the moon has no light! WRONG

    (2) God creates vegetation on the third day but only makes the sun on day 4…
    Of course these being “time periods” spanning thousands of years like you reckon this means plantlife grew and prospered without sunlight…. WRONG
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis&version=NIV

    (3) The Earth is made on day one with the heavens… The Sun is made on day 4… Unfortunatley the sun is proven by science to be older than the earth but a LOT. WRONG

    And so so so many more errors. How could you ever say that genesis is accurate?

    • In every day conversation you do not call the sun a star. You do not expect today’s newspaper to call the sun a star. Why do you expect the Bible to?

      I don’t see these passages saying the moon is a light source.

      And you will notice that “day” and “night” appear in verse 4. So yes, there is plenty of light for plants to grow. In verse 16 the moon and sun become visible as objects in the sky.

      Earlier I requested that you read the articles on my site before attempting to argue about them. I again request that you do so.

  17. Oldstyle says:

    In my humble opinion, we often look for answers that satisfy our logical mind and often there is no such answer.

    It may be more useful to ask of ourselves “What, in our life requires proof?”

    Do our emotions require proof?
    Do our 5 physical senses require proof?
    Does our spiritual awareness require proof?

    All that I have found that requires proof is the logical and linear mental perceptions.

    Some may want to toss out a spiritual awareness because it cannot be proven, but then prove to me that you have emotions. I don’t mean demonstrations or enactments… I mean proof.

    On second thought, don’t bother, just think about it because I do not require proof. My beliefs can never be proven to the satisfaction of any third party, and the same goes for proof of a God, or proof of an accidental universe, or proof of an intelligence designed universe. I am free to believe in anything that I have a preference for, and the same goes for each and every other person.

    I have a spiritual practice that involves the use of both logical and emotional perception. I have learned that spirit to body communication comes through the emotions. Our emotions are ancient coded vibrations that spirit, our spirit, uses to communicate with our conscious awareness. When we try to make rational sense of this we lose the message.

    The logical mind wants to decode the emotional symbolism, but it cannot. What the logical mind can do is to observe the emotional message without judgment and to describe, and communicate to others, the images that are presented through the emotion. The fewer the words the better or the mind wants to take over. The words we express without judgment provide the meaning for the message.

    When someone says, “What’s your first hit?”, they mean what do you feel without thinking about it. Analyzing emotional codes will never work, instead we need to process them and sometimes this takes days to accomplish – sleep on it, or let it go. The answers will come when you’re not looking for them.

    Mind and emotion are often seen as a dichotomy in that they appear to be mutually exclusive forms of human perception. We can argue for an eternity about which is better or worse but this just keeps us locked inside the dichotomy. In a sense a dichotomy is a lie because it keeps us a prisoner, while the truth will set us free. The truth will be found when we can step out of this dichotomy and understand the greater reality beyond the dichotomy.

    At that moment the two sides of the dichotomy are no longer of interest because there is the awareness of something much bigger and more important to focus on. Perhaps this new freedom soon becomes a new dichotomy, like the layers of an onion, and we need to seek wisdom once again to point the way off of this new dichotomy.

    I look at dichotomies and I think I am looking at illusions, or at least a puzzle for the logical and emotional perceptions. These two forms of human perception cannot be successfully mixed together or they lose their integrity. An emotional bias will confound our analytical ability by creating a very narrow focus, a preference if you will. Our mind will pass judgments on what we feel and raise doubts that shut down emotional truths. To me, this is irresponsible and perhaps the only sin.

    If our human perceptions are going to work together they have to be kept apart to work in tandem and to retain integrity of function.

    King Solomon said,
    “Wisdom is the principle thing, so get wisdom – and with all thy getting, get understanding.”

    This does not answer the question of why we suffer, but it does present something about dichotomies that we see all around us. Pleasure/Pain – Joyful/Sadness – Wisdom/Ignorance are all conceived dichotomies and are often illusions that are genuinely experienced.

    One of my spiritual teachers once said that the more freedom she gave to herself the more choices in life she was presented, and the more narrow was her chosen path. It is something of a paradox. We have few choices when our awareness is limited and with an expanded awareness we have the whole horizon to choose from, but our path to even greater awareness becomes even more selective.

    Suffering is the great teacher that does more for our inner growth and expansiveness than a life of pleasure. To get off of this dichotomy there is a path that is love and wisdom – the very elements and coded message the universe is revealing.

  18. martyboy says:

    As a new visitor to this site I would like to make some comments. I have been reading a lot of material from Dembski, Behe et al and have been absorbed by their writing. I have also noticed of course that they have been criticized and slated to the point of derision and in some of the other blog sites, namely about.com they have been the subject of verbal abuse and obscenity. That doesn’t nullify or dilute their work in my eyes, in fact it just emphasizes the closed mindedness and bigotry of the Darwinist/naturalist lobby. Even more of a mystery is why Ken Miller a theist and Roman Catholic so vociferously opposes Intelligent Design. As Dembski has said, “Miller accepts full-blown divine intervention in salvation history even if he repudiates it in natural history”. What fuels Miller I wonder? He sent me an email and invited me to read his book. I won’t bother.
    Now, on Perry’s views. I have often wondered why so few writers have not looked into DNA more deeply. I agree with all of Perry’s views regarding its function as a code and that is certainly not controversial in my view. I have yet to read criticisms of that in the Infidels blog, something I am looking forward to. I am not happy with Perry’s symbolic representation of random mutations in the evolution of words and sentences. Dawkins has been heavily criticised in this respect. A computer programmed by a human being to randomly select letters as a synthesized evolutionary process bears no similarity whatsoever to the gradualistic biological changes over vast periods of time, something which is not denied by ID proponents.
    Consistent with this link I would say that life on earth is inconsistent with a loving God. Many of us today enjoy the benefits and comforts of a technological age with wealth, a loving family etc. in other words a perfect life. Those fortunate ones tend to overlook the many millions of our brother humans who don’t know where their next meal is coming from; the street children of India who have never known parental love and who exist in the sewers; the ‘untouchables’ who grovel in the worst situations to earn a few rupees. I could go on but probably more to the point is this. We are relatively late in the evolution of the human species (we definitely evolved from early primates and not spontaneousy created) so consider the wretched existence of early man. Torn to bits by wild animals, freezing without shelter, starving and emaciated by disease, a cruel and short life. That level of suffering over many millennia is inconsistent with a loving God.

    • Marty,

      Thanks for your comments. As for my reference to letters and words being analogous to DNA and evolution, I simply suggest that you go to a search engine and type

      DNA linguistics

      and start reading all the papers that come up. I submit to you that the “semiotic view” of biology – the view that DNA uses linguistics and literal Grammatical structures, and not just chemicals – is the only model that actually works. The ACGT letters of DNA are merely the first layer of a vastly complex language. There are many more layers and they are linguistic. Yes it is a metaphor and it has flaws, but it is by far the most accurate model currently available. And my RandomMutation.com analogy for evolution, while imperfect, is actually quite close to correctly illustrating the fundamental problem with Darwinian evolution.

      I believe that “evil and suffering” is the REAL reason why Smurfmash and so many others so strongly prefer randomness and purposeless processes. Their preference for not believing in God actually has NOTHING to do with science. It’s pure emotion. These guys talk about “reason and logic” all the time but they almost never use it. They’re driven by a profound level of dissatisfaction. Hey, from a purely analytical standpoint, intelligence is a far more parsimonious explanation. The evidence strongly favors intelligence and intention.

      The real reason atheists are atheists is because they are disappointed in the way the world turned out. They ask the same question we ALL ask: “If God is so loving and powerful, why is the world so F****d up?”

      Well first of all I fully acknowledge this question. YES, the world is desperately dysfunctional. Especially humans. Isn’t part of what drives the environmental movement a feeling that the world would be a more beautiful place if it didn’t have to suffer the wrath of humans?

      The first thing I have to say about this is, chalking up evil and suffering to random chance and purposelessness is a most unhealthy way to deal with the problem. It’s no different than growing up in an alcoholic family and suffering all kinds of wounds and then refusing to make a moral judgment about dad’s drinking but saying “shit happens” instead. Shrugging your shoulders and saying “Well life is purposeless anyway” doesn’t heal the wound at all. It just buries it.

      The bare facts of science really do bring us to an understanding that living things really are purposeful. Some people are willing to face them. Some are not. We’ll wait and see what Smurfmash does.

      When we look at the world and see how botched it is, it does no good to shrug off our horror at what we see to a senseless chemical reaction in our brain that just makes us sad.

      Instead we need to acknowledge that yes, this really is WRONG. That our disappointment is real and legitimate.

      And yes, some incredibly intelligent being set all this in motion, so what does that mean?

      As soon as you ask this question you are firmly in the territory of theology. This is a RELIGIOUS question not a scientific question. Because science cannot tell you what a powerful being would or would not do. It can only measure the effects of what he does.

      Which is to say, the atheist can never avoid making theological statements. He makes them all the time.

      So here we are with this question, why is the world so F’d up if it was created by a loving God? I submit to you that the “DNA” of the answer to this question is found in the cross. What is a cross anyway? it is an instrument of torture. Think about it. Just about every church in the world has an instrument of torture painted on the front door. What’s up with that?

      The cross is a direct, head-on acknowledgment that the world IS f’d up and that it needs redemption. And that God became man and entered the world and suffered ALL of it with us.

      EVERYONE knows the world needs some sort of redemption, at an intuitive level. Every religion is about redemption. Just about every book and movie you ever read or watch is in some way shape or form about redemption.

      I submit to you that the reason the world is F’d up is not because of some giant flaw in nature but because of man’s immorality. It’s a result of our wrong choices.

      If all people followed the 10 commandments – if we loved others as ourselves, if we did not lie about our neighbors, if children honored their parents, if we did not commit adultery, if we did not murder, if we took 1 day a week off and rested, if we didn’t covet what is not ours – the world would be a 1000% better place.

      And yes I am going to make the audacious claim that Christianity addresses this question in a way that is different than all the other religions. Christianity most certainly does not flinch at evil and suffering, it faces it squarely and directly.

      The reason there are untouchables in India is that there is a Hindu teaching that some people are supposed to have a lower station in life than others. I’ve been there and seen it for myself and it’s sick.

      I often ask people:

      “Name 5 protestant Christian countries that have rampant poverty, illiteracy and human rights abuses.”

      And:

      “Name 5 Buddhist countries… or 5 Hindu countries… or 5 Muslim countries… or 5 Atheist countries… that do NOT have rampant poverty, illiteracy and human rights abuses.”

      I submit to you that Judaism and Christianity are the very bedrock of western civilization. The Jewish people are the ONLY culture that has survived 4,000 years, and it is still intact. Same beliefs, same customs, same holidays, same language, same God. ALL other civilizations are in ruins.

      And… Christianity is the only culture that’s intact after 2,000 years. Judaism was only for Jews. Christianity is for everybody. 2 billion and counting now.

      Other articles about this:

      http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/evil-and-suffering/

      http://evo2.org/design-evil-suffering/

  19. martyboy says:

    Quote by Smurfmash – “Give it a shot! You could always ask me to prove some other seemingly impossible thing….
    like maybe a complicated universe was created by a even more complicated god which had no creator… But yes… Abiogenesis is clearly less likely than that… Seriously?”

    I think this sums things up nicely. Atheists cannot imagine a supernatural explanation, they are incredulous to such a concept. Any other explanation must apply, even random mutation of genetic material and natural selection. They constantly claim theist’s ignorance is ‘God of the gaps’ can’t it be ‘Darwin of the gaps’.
    And no, contrary to the mantra of Dawkins, science didn’t create anything. Science is the method by which we try to discover the secrets of nature by observation, experimentation and inference. Who says that it’s not possible that science might discover supernatural processes? (assuming an empirical explanation of a supernatural process is possible)

  20. martyboy says:

    It seems to me that the scientific argument for the existence of God is pretty convincing notwithstanding the vociferous opposition from Darwinists who seem to offer nothing more than an idea but accuse theists of being non-scientific themselves. What I have read here strikes me as pure science. It has been said both ‘theories’ (Darwinist naturalism and Intelligent Design) are not theories in the Popperian sense and each view is a question of faith, accordingly the result of these debates is generally a stalemate. However, although I am more swayed by the Intelligent Design argument there is one very powerful consideration that is inconsistent with any idea of a loving God, especially the God of the scriptures, and that is human suffering. I take Perry’s point that so much suffering is caused by humanity itself but I am referring to the suffering inherent in human existence. Real suffering is something that only human beings know. The lesser animals also suffer of course but we reflect on our suffering and we remember it and we suffer even more when we question the fairness of it, furthermore much of our suffering is emotional or psychological and can be just as excruciating. We are also aware of our imminent death and the apparent futility of existence in a world where we are born, decay and die. The First Noble Truth of Buddhism is dukha or ‘suffering’ and according to Buddhists suffering is a fundamental truth of existence and their training and practice is essentially a quest to eliminate suffering from their lives but in their case it’s not complicated by the incongruous reasoning that there is a God who loves us. Suffering doesn’t make life any better and it often makes life intolerable and it can cause us to descend into despair.
    My question is why a creator God, who according to the scriptures loves us, would bring us into a world of suffering and give us a mind and a body which suffers. I remember David Attenborough was asked whether he saw God in the wonder and beauty of nature, he said if God created that he also created the parasite that bores into the eyes of African children and blinds them. The same can be said about all the diseases that plague our lives.
    We are fortunate, we live in the western world with human comforts and medicine. The majority of the world’s people live a wretched hand to mouth existence plagued by disease and poverty, but even their lives are a walk in the park compared to ancient man whose life was short and brutish. In spite of our relatively good life we still suffer enormously. Freud was consulted by a woman who suffered from a debilitating neurosis and he advised her that the best thing he could do was to exchange her neurosis for normal human unhappiness. Psychologists refer to human ‘angst’ so entrenched is unhappiness and suffering. To many of us life is far from sweet, it’s more like a penance. If God loves us I am thankful he doesn’t hate us.
    Of course none of this proves there is not a God and maybe the question is a theological/philosophical one but in spite of the very reasonable arguments from ID proponents the subject of human suffering won’t go away and makes it very difficult to reconcile a loving God. However I am aware that if empirical observation establishes an intelligence in the universe it doesn’t necessarily mean that intelligence is the God of the scriptures.

    • Thanks for your initial comments. I agree. Neither Darwinism nor ID as currently formulated are proper scientific theories.

      OK so let’s talk about suffering. This is THE question underneath it all. I am quite certain that beneath all the resistance to the idea of God for many people is the implication that God is surely aware of all the problems in the world, and lets them go on.

      This is the REAL reason people are atheists. They just bury that hurt under scientific pseudo-logic. The arguments are a welcome distraction from the real pain.

      The only place I can take you is into theology, which looks into these questions unflinchingly. I would heartily recommend that you read the book of Job in the Bible. Pay attention in particular to God’s response to job. Ultimately theology says, man does not get to judge God on this matter. God judges man.

      In regards to all the poverty and desperation, it’s not there because it’s impossible to eradicate. It’s there because there’s insufficient will to eradicate it.

      I also find that the people who are working hardest to eradicate it are most at peace with the fact that it is there. Those who are angriest are typically those who are doing the least to alleviate the problem.

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