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

Words

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

### 198 Responses

1. martyboy says:

I can’t see how theories of a cyclic universe, infinite regression or multiverses to explain abiogenesis really helps when considering evolution. If the number of attempts to create complex organic matter from more elementary chemistry, with the potential to copy itself is approaching the infinite then even if it did happen what then? So we have a pool of amino acids, or a simple protein or even an elementary form of RNA. Theories concerning abiogenesis are interesting but don’t solve the question of whether purely random changes and natural selection, or Intelligence, is the cause of mind-boggling complexity and apparent purpose. Or as someone once said. ‘The universe consists of some hundred or so chemical elements some of which have associated in such a way as to contemplate their own existence’. It’s what happened after that first accidental organic molecule which is the real question.

• Smurfmash says:

@Martyboy Well I personally do not think abiogenesis is unlikely or even rare in a universe as large and as old as we find our selves in. However I used a infinite universe as a mathematical solution to this debate.

You see if a universe is infinite there are infinite possibilites therefore life is in fact impossible to have never occurred. Mathematically.

If anything can and will happen at some point due to the universe going on forever then “life” is a certainty. The first organic molecule evolved and from then on life never stopped evolving.

Order out of chaos is not unusual in this universe. Salt crystals, metal, snow flakes, solar systems, star fusion, there are many examples of ordered matter. Life is just the only one that has developed to the point that it is aware of the fact.

• martyboy says:

Smurfmash. With regard to the suggestion that given enough time and enough opportunities the first replicating organic molecule must have happened. Someone once suggested when questioning the credulity of that statement that ‘It doesn’t matter how long you shuffle a pile of bricks you will never get a Greek temple’. But assuming the premis is correct, as mentioned in my last post the real problem then begins. When you say ‘life never stopped evolving’ that is the essence of this whole debate, naturalism or supernaturalism or both. The big question is, could mega complex biological systems each consisting of many co-dependent components, themselves mega complex, have evolved without intelligence? I find such a thesis difficult to imagine. I also find the concept of a creator God difficult to imagine so my interest is confined to asking questions and not making assertions. But I have to say that what I have read from the ID theorists and philosophers who are sympathetic to ID, seems pretty compelling. They argue in great detail how they believe all these fortuitous random changes in biochemistry etc could not have happened naturalistically, largely based on probability, without some kind of intelligence. Now materialists or Darwinists seem to say ‘Well since the idea of God is ridiculous there must be a natural explanation’. They hand wave complex biochemical structures into place and fall back on random mutation and natural selection over vast periods of time. But that isn’t a scientific explanation it’s an idea. But neither is ID, and neither view is falsefiable as are proper scientific theories. Both views it seems to me are a question of faith.

• Smurfmash says:

I just watched a very interesting program called Horizon the topic of this episode was viruses. it detailed how we have made synthetic viruses.

You say “With regard to the suggestion that given enough time and enough opportunities the first replicating organic molecule must have happened. Someone once suggested when questioning the credulity of that statement that ‘It doesn’t matter how long you shuffle a pile of bricks you will never get a Greek temple’.”

What would you say if I told you we have created RNA in a lab by combining the ingrediants — a sugar, a phosphate, and one of four different nitrogenous molecules and heated and cooled them?

“They mixed the molecules in water, heated the solution, then allowed it to evaporate, leaving behind a residue of hybrid, half-sugar, half-nucleobase molecules. To this residue they again added water, heated it, allowed it evaporate, and then irradiated it.

At each stage of the cycle, the resulting molecules were more complex. At the final stage, Sutherland’s team added phosphate. “Remarkably, it transformed into the ribonucleotide!” said Sutherland.”

No RNA is not life…. But combinations of RNA in the right combination are… What would you say if I told you scientists have placed RNA in sequence and created a exact copy of the polio Virus? A SELF REPLICATING ORGANIC MOLECULE. They figured out the order then they ordered the RNA in ordered chunks from labs all over the country and then put them together in the right order. It began to self replicate. It took them less than two weeks and there were only 7500 pairs. Not that mind bogling really is it? Not massive numbers verging on infinity. And once you have a self replicating organic molecule that mutates… Well then evolution does all the rest.

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-are-scientists-able-to-artificially-synthesize-a-virus.htm

“The polio virus, with 7,500 base pairs, has also been synthesized from scratch. Synthesizing the Phi-X174 virus was a rapid task — with contemporary technology, it only took two weeks. Synthesizing other virii has taken months”

We have created life. We have created RNA in a lab and then we have put the RNA in a sequence and it begins to replicate all by itself. LIFE.

So to create abiogenesis well we now know the maths… Its four ingrediants in the right order with heating and cooling occuring. Then you end up with lots of RNA in the sand. Then they have to line up in the correct 7500 sequence. Ah but they don’t that is just one viable sequence there are millions of viable sequences one for every kind of virus and limited numbers of RNA there are not 7500 different types of RNA .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus

Suddenly the fact humans can build a virus from scratch from 4 core components to make RNA and then 7500 RNA in the right sequence and create a self replicating organic molecule makes you realise that abiogenesis is not so unlikely after all..

If you use the drake equation and simply work out the number of habitable planets in the milky way alone it comes up with 50000 and there are at least 100 BILLION galaxies.
http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/SETI/drake_equation.html

Then take into account the age of this universe which is 14 BILLION years.

This is like playing a LOTTO which to win you have to get 64 different balls in the right 7500 long sequence

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/583rnatypes.html
“It has been determined that the genetic code is actually based upon triplets of nucleotides which provide 64 different codes using the 4 nucleotides.”

Sounds tough… But then you have been playing every day every second for 14 billion years in 5000000 billion different “games” (planets) ”

• Paul,

*Excellent* question.

“7500 RNA in the right sequence”

and

This is like playing a LOTTO which to win you have to get 64 different balls in the right 7500 long sequence

You’re a smart guy, I’m sure you know how to do combinatorial statistics. It’s X to the power of Y.

How many possible combinations are there of 7500 balls, if you know that they have to be in the right sequence in order to work?

• Smurfmash says:

OK hands up you win one.

The smallest plant virus has just 300 RNA strands

The maths. ((1/64) to the power of 64)) x 300 = a number too small for my calculator to handle. = (A) = probability of a specific 300 RNA plant virus to form

Number of chances for life (B) = (by 50k habitable planets per galaxy) x (400 billion galaxies in the universe) x (14 billion years) x (525 948.766 minutes in a year)

My calc won’t even handle the numbers. If anyone does want to have a go feel free! It’s only A x B 🙂

So yes looking purely at “random chance” for this the odds are pretty near zero.

However. As I said there are MILLIONS of KNOWN working combinations. There are plant viruses with less than 300 RNA strands. Also There is repetition in the genomes of all Viruses and life forms repetition says to me replication and duplication of basic components which were once independent. Meaning there are simpler forms before the virus level. This has some validation based on:

Taken from Wikipedias page on viruses

“Prions are infectious protein molecules that do not contain DNA or RNA.[48] They cause an infection in sheep called scrapie and cattle bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow” disease). In humans they cause kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.[49] They are able to replicate because some proteins can exist in two different shapes and the prion changes the normal shape of a host protein into the prion shape. This starts a chain reaction where each prion protein converts many host proteins into more prions, and these new prions then go on to convert even more protein into prions. Although they are fundamentally different from viruses and viroids, their discovery gives credence to the idea that viruses could have evolved from self-replicating molecules.[50]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus

So no RNA jumping to virus is pretty near impossible. BUT earlier forms combining from RNA into things like prions or even simpler building blocks for life is.

We currently do not know the genome for the most basic RNA sequence that kicked off the entire process of life. When we do I will do the maths again. 🙂

• Otangelo Grasso says:

The first organic molecule evolved and from then on life never stopped evolving. // Thats pure nonsense in face of the facts that we know.

The hardware and software of the cell, evidence of design

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2221-the-hardware-and-software-of-the-cell-evidence-of-design

Paul Davies: the fifth miracle page 62
Due to the organizational structure of systems capable of processing algorithmic (instructional) information, it is not at all clear that a monomolecular system – where a single polymer plays the role of catalyst and informational carrier – is even logically consistent with the organization of information flow in living systems, because there is no possibility of separating information storage from information processing (that being such a distinctive feature of modern life). As such, digital–first systems (as currently posed) represent a rather trivial form of information processing that fails to capture the logical structure of life as we know it. 1

We need to explain the origin of both the hardware and software aspects of life, or the job is only half finished. Explaining the chemical substrate of life and claiming it as a solution to life’s origin is like pointing to silicon and copper as an explanation for the goings-on inside a computer. It is this transition where one should expect to see a chemical system literally take-on “a life of its own”, characterized by informational dynamics which become decoupled from the dictates of local chemistry alone (while of course remaining fully consistent with those dictates). Thus the famed chicken-or-egg problem (a solely hardware issue) is not the true sticking point. Rather, the puzzle lies with something fundamentally different, a problem of causal organization having to do with the separation of informational and mechanical aspects into parallel causal narratives. The real challenge of life’s origin is thus to explain how instructional information control systems emerge naturally and spontaneously from mere molecular dynamics.

Software and hardware are irreducible complex and interdependent. There is no reason for information processing machinery to exist without the software, and vice versa.
Systems of interconnected software and hardware are irreducibly complex. 2

All cellular functions are irreducibly complex 3

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2179-the-cell-is-a-interdependent-irreducible-complex-system

chemist Wilhelm Huck, professor at Radboud University Nijmegen 5
A working cell is more than the sum of its parts. “A functioning cell must be entirely correct at once, in all its complexity,”

Paul Davies, the fifth miracle page 53:
Pluck the DNA from a living cell and it would be stranded, unable to carry out its familiar role. Only within the context of a highly specific molecular milieu will a given molecule play its role in life. To function properly, DNA must be part of a large team, with each molecule executing its assigned task alongside the others in a cooperative manner. Acknowledging the interdependability of the component molecules within a living organism immediately presents us with a stark philosophical puzzle. If everything needs everything else, how did the community of molecules ever arise in the first place? Since most large molecules needed for life are produced only by living organisms, and are not found outside the cell, how did they come to exist originally, without the help of a meddling scientist? Could we seriously expect a Miller-Urey type of soup to make them all at once, given the hit-and-miss nature of its chemistry?

Being part of a large team,cooperative manner,interdependability,everything needs everything else, are just other words for irreducibility and interdependence.

For a nonliving system, questions about irreducible complexity are even more challenging for a totally natural non-design scenario, because natural selection — which is the main mechanism of Darwinian evolution — cannot exist until a system can reproduce. For an origin of life we can think about the minimal complexity that would be required for reproduction and other basic life-functions. Most scientists think this would require hundreds of biomolecular parts, not just the five parts in a simple mousetrap or in my imaginary LMNOP system. And current science has no plausible theories to explain how the minimal complexity required for life (and the beginning of biological natural selection) could have been produced by natural process before the beginning of biological natural selection.

2. Steve says:

Smurfmash’s statements about scientists synthesizing RNA and assembling viruses in the laboratory demonstrate that the creation of replicating life forms requires intelligence. It won’t happen spontaneously without the planning and guidance of intelligent agents.

Generating virus forms in the laboratory requires intelligent agents that understand how molecules will interact and assemble. Virus assembly is a very tedious, stepwise, and highly controlled experiment and it won’t occur without precise organization and planning devised by intelligent agents.

Smurfmash acknowledges the neccessary input of intelligent agents in creating a replicating life form as indicated by his three quotes below:

(1)”What would you say if I told you WE (intelligence) HAVE CREATED RNA in a lab by combining the ingrediants — a sugar, a phosphate, and one of four different nitrogenous molecules and heated and cooled them?”

(2)”What would you say if I told you SCIENTISTS (intelligent agents) HAVE PLACED RNA in sequence and CREATED a exact copy of the polio Virus? A SELF REPLICATING ORGANIC MOLECULE. They (Intelligent agents) figured out the order then they ordered the RNA in ordered chunks from labs all over the country and THEN PUT THEM TOGETHER IN THE RIGHT ORDER (planning, organization, and intent).”

(3)”WE (intelligent agents) HAVE CREATED LIFE. WE (intelligent agents) HAVE CREATED RNA in a lab and then WE (intelligence) HAVE PUT THE RNA IN SEQUENCE (planning, organization, intent) and it begins to replicate all by itself. LIFE.”

3. martyboy says:

I think the synthesis of RNA is some achievement but it took 21st century technology and scientific knowledge. That’s purpose and intention i.e. intelligence. Perhaps it could have happened from a primordial soup but it’s what happened thereafter that stretches the imagination, mind blowing complexity of co-dependent biological systems and conscious beings. And don’t viruses need a living cell in order to replicate? Presumably living cells preceded viruses. And viruses are still viruses. Is there any evidence for viruses, or bacteria for that matter which are far more complex evolving into higher organisms?

• Smurfmash says:

21st century technology and scientific knowledge to break down the steps reverse engineer it and replicate it. Of course! But that is quite different to a planned or designed construction. Yes to replicate something we require a large amount of knowledge and skill. But this does not mean it took the same level of self aware intelligence to create it in the first place. The point is the scientists found methods for creating life that ONLY require heating cooling and positioning of RNA. IE right place right time. Certainly something that natural process are capable of.

The synthesised Polio virus self replicated in the protein it was created in it did not require cells to replicate. Which yes amazed scientists.

Is there any evidence for viruses evolving into higher life forms?

Check out this paper:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC124369/

But in short once you have a self replicating organism that can mutate in a challenging environment. Evolution is proven to do the rest.

Now you see the steps… Doesn’t seem so impossible does it.. In fact the analogy of a 747 being built by a tornado is HARDER as a 747 has more than 300 components (RNA) and these components do not naturally occur. RNA does naturally occur and plant viruses only have 300 RNA strands

• Re: RNA: If natural processes are capable of this then where are any other self-replicating machines?

Von Neumann determined in the 60’s that self replicating machines require code. Code requires a designer – no known exceptions.

If you can show me an example of a naturally occurring code that conforms to the model in http://evo2.org/faq I’ll write you a check for \$10,000.

Finally I have to challenge something you said: “Once you have a self replicating organism that can mutate in a changing environment, evolution is proven to do the rest.”

I submit to you that this is NOT true. Case in point: Computer programs and viruses can mutate all they want to. Computers can replicate them easily. They’re all in a natural selection environment.

But when have you ever seen computer programs evolve by themselves without first being programmed to do so? You’re computer guy – if such things existed you would surely know about them.

All things that evolve, evolve only because they’re designed to evolve. There are no known exceptions to this either.

Cells evolve not through random mutation but through highly ordered re-arrangement of genes, transpositions, horizontal gene transfer and internal cellular genetic engineering. See http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/new-theory-of-evolution and the papers referenced there.

4. Avron says:

Dear Mr. Perry Marshall; you have stated this:
“If you can provide an empirical example of a code or language that occurs naturally, you’ve toppled my proof. All you need is one.”
OK, well I have one. There are actually others, but you said one would be all it takes; so here it is: This code is a naturally occurring code that governs everything in nature from the shape a spiral galaxy takes to stock-market trading trends and many other forms of human as well as animal and plant behaviour. It was first seen by an Italian mathematician when he noticed
that the breeding of rabbits always followed a very distinct and predictable pattern; from there it became obvious that this pattern or “code” was everywhere in nature.
Your not a naive man Dr. Marshall, I’m sure you have figured out what I’m talking about, which is the infamous Fibonacci sequence.
You may be tempted to argue that “it’s a coincidence of nature” or that it’s “not perfect” but how can it be either Dr. Marshall? You implicitly stated that “no example of a code in nature can be anything but designed intelligently” but here is an example; an empirical, rock-solid example of a pattern or “code” that is not only seen in tree leaves, Nautilus shells and other forms of life including animal and human behaviour themselves, but is also seen in every purely physical phenomenon from crystal formation to the orbits of planets in solar systems to the shapes of galaxies themselves!
In fact Dr., this code is so important and useful that professionals ranging from floor-brokers working daily at the New York Stock Exchange to Astronomers and mathematicians of many genera use it every day.
So there you have it; a code (which by the way is also seen in those snowflakes you started your show with) that is seen everywhere in nature, yet exists *purely* as a result of natural processes and nothing more.
If you have a rational argument for this, I would like to hear it. Otherwise, unless you can show me where either this is *not* a code or where it *must* have been “designed” by an intelligence, your argument is now overturned sir…and like I said in the beginning; this is just ONE example; there are many others. The Fibonacci sequence is just the most obvious and well-known. Brian Harred, AuDCT., S.A.PhD.

• The fibonacci sequence is real and I’m very much aware of it, but it is not a communication system, which requires encoder > code > decoder, all three operating together. If you do the full exercise and try to apply the Shannon model to the fibonacci sequence (see http://evo2.org/faq ) you’ll see what I mean.

• Anton says:

Hi Perry! You agree that God knew beforehand what Adam and Eve would do, right? If God did not want Adam to eat from the tree and therefore be punished, why did he put the tree there? Its only purpose was to give God an excuse for punishing man? On omnicient and onmipotent god would have known what would happen.
Its like not wanting your child to draw on passport then leaving the child in a room and deliberately handing him both your passport and a box of crayons. You know whats gonna happen so why let it?

Isn’t God all loving?

• I think it is very clear that God knew what would happen, and that God put the tree there deliberately. Theologians have generally agreed on this for millennia. I would suggest to you that it was very important to God for us to have free choice. I do not see this as God looking for an excuse to punish us. But rather for him to by loved by us as a choice, not as a default position.

• martyboy says:

Dr Harred doesn’t seem to appreciate the real nature of a code. A snow flake does not form as a result of a code, it forms as a result of forces being applied to frozen water in accordance with the laws of physics. As I see it laws are not codes. A simple example is the Morse Code. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a series of dots and dashes. The dots and dashes on their own mean nothing, they are senseless. They have to be de-coded or de-cyphered either by a human brain which has learned the code i.e. what each sequence represents or a machine which has been designed to de-cypher it.
The nucleotides in DNA bear no resemblance to the protein molecules they code for in their synthesis. They have to be de-cyphered like the dots and dashes in the Morse Code. As I see it the code in the nucleotides must pre-exist because it represents the synthesis of much greater complexity. A series of a, g, t, c, bases do not look like or act like haemoglobin for example.
Could a series of bases encode themselves into a specific sequence i.e. a code, so that the laws of physics and chemistry decodes it in order to synthesize staggeringly complex highly specific compounds which make a conscious human being? That’s the \$64,000 question.

5. martyboy says:

Perry, you are clearly influenced by Hubert Yockey’s work. I reproduce a criticism here from Amazon of Yockey’s book. I apologise for its length but would welcome some comment.

< DNA, DNA -> RNA, RNA -> DNA, and RNA -> protein. This is based on the known mechanisms of transcription and reverse transcription etc. in modern forms of life that we have characterized to date. Yockey shows that because a codon includes three bases each with four possible types (ACGT) that there are 64 possible codes that represent the 20-22 possible amino acids in a sequence. The genetic code is redundant according to the argument so that it is impossible that DNA could arise from proteins. Yockey’s ultimate conclusion is that DNA/RNA must have come before proteins and that the ultimate origin of life is unknowable. I find the argument naïve, most likely incorrect and essentially a DNA bias. If we can allow that the genetic code is redundant because of codons, we must acknowledge that in fact the genetic code is the product of complexes of proteins and are a consequence of these complexes. Each base is in fact metabolically constructed by sequences of proteins. It is entirely conceivable to construct new codes for unusual amino acids by altering the protein sequences, something that is being done today by biotechnology companies to generate new peptide based therapeutic drugs. So the information content of proteins is not just 20 amino acids but the trillions of proteins that can be generated through differing sequences which can produce unique catalytic reactions including generating new codes. In addition, the complexes of the proteins contain essential information, e.g., changing the sequence of metabolic reactions or the individual proteins. The protein information space is essentially unlimited and is much more redundant than the genetic code. It is true that the forms of life we characterize today utilize a process that is described by the Central Dogma but it is not true that this is necessarily the way it has always been especially during the origin of life. It has been shown by other scientists that the components of proteins, aminio acids and peptides are readily formed under the conditions of the early earth. On the other hand the bases, nucleic acids, are not formed in this way and are exceptionally unlikely to have existed before amino acids and peptides existed. I would turn Yockey’s argument on its head and state that the protein space is so much more redundant that it surely originated prior to DNA/RNA>>

I can’t see how the view that proteins existed before DNA casts any doubt on the thesis that DNA is a product of intelligence, or am I missing something?

• This person has not really said anything, other than saying that there is a very large number of hypothetically possible compounds.

He has actually implied the need for design since he talks about “constructing new codes by altering the protein sequences” which would require an intentional act in an actual experiment.

But complexes of protein do not contain Shannon information. He talks about a “protein information space” But he’s really just referring to the infinite possibilities of randomness. Those things are never known to create coding systems.

This person is deriving their premise from their conclusion.

By the way Crick’s Central Dogma is clearly not true. Barbara McClintock disagreed with it and Shapiro writes about that in this paper:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122652528/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

• martyboy says:

Thanks Perry,
I love your comments that are clearly based on scientific reasoning and not the emotional wishful thinking arguments put forward by many apologists.

6. chiplinden says:

The “Big Bang” yet continues as latent energy is slowly released, even within our own small planet. Within a “Nano-second” (with respect to Cosmic time scale) there has been the earthquake in Haiti, off Japan´s coast and just yesterday (Feb. 27, 2010) In Chile.
The dynamics continue throughout the entire universe and we are only priviledged to witness a tiny portion of what is going on.
Again we are reminded-how small we are, not only on a planetary scale, but even smaller considering the solar system/galaxy and the never ending Universe.
Of course without events such as these there is no re-newal, without death there is no new life, so all these factors we are all still participating in the never ending – continuing “Bang”. When all these things stop, the universe will truly be dead.

7. Joe-materialistic says:

Dear Perry,

I must apologise, i am extremely confused.
First off, i do not understand what exactly are you trying to prove, god simply doesnt exist, its a fact, everyone knows it that’s why people have doubt.
I read one of the articles, and someone asked, if god created us, then who created god.
My personal opinion is that we created god (our civilisation). Lets talk about sanity, If a human sees all around himself – normal – then he is sane however if a human sees something abnormal – non worldly, the human will not be sane, but think its insane what he expiriences as it is out worldly, if you understand what i mean.
Now, if you experiment with a simulation, say a Super computer simulates a small tribe of people, obviously, this tribe of people do not have the technologies we attained through the years, and ask them, what is that shining light known to us as thunder. Their knowledge of things is limited, and would most obviously say – Its a creation of the gods, it is a Devine demonstation of powers of which they do not know.

Now, as our scientists meddle with experiments, they come to discover that that indeed is not a divine demonstration but a simple effect of the polarization of charges.
If you ask a caveman what he thinks of our modern day quantum physics, hell answer, the gods have created everything. they are responsible for everything.

Now that you say that you have prevent that god exists through communication, i do understand metaphorically, however if you speak of facts, it is no proof at all!
i understand your thought of, if words are thought, therefore our world is sane through our thoughts, then why do you doubt this idea and say god exists when you know that god infact was created by our own thoughts. And, how do you explain the continuous creation and extermination of religions, im talking about religions from 2000 BC to our present day 2010 AD.
How do you explain Zeus, then Serapis, Then Christianity, then Mormens.
Is this not ridiculous to you?
Or Scientology, is that not ridiculous?

I understand that there is deep philosophical conflicts between people here, but thats what we are, are we not? – we are different. Thats what humans are.
And then there is God, our creation, Religion, Our creation, Knowledge, Our sane understanding of all Matter and non matter.

So, im a little confused here, when you tell me you have proof of gods existence
If you have seen “religulous” , there is a certain image displayed at the end of the movie. It is that of a Naked man with a penis, and is kept alive on the mountain top in, i think it was England.
The villagers of that camp keep the Giants image alive by redefining the outline of the giant. And the villagers keep the myth of a giant living under the mountain alive.
How do you explain that?, they dont know why their doing, they just are.

Then we have the doubts of our modern world, the myths of religion, the myth of Evil and Demonic Figures, and the Myth of Angels, All manipulative of our fears in hope of control over a mass of people.
Religion has become for a fact a political term, in my opinion.
God is nothing but our creation.
Our understanding of “all” is attributed to past philosophers and present ones too, becouse scientists are also a form of philosopher, are they not?
I believe our ”Faith” is nothing but a thought, our beliefs are nothing but a hypothesis, and our philosophy is an attempt of understanding the existence of all.

If you think graph sense – meaning using mathematics, measurements, statistics, chemistry, etc., you may gain much more understanding then quiting, and believing that simply there is a greater being than us, and this being whether divine or not, has the utmost power of creation and destruction etc.

Therefore, i apologise for the length of this comment, however i dare say, im absolutely confused.

A former Christian living in a Muslim country, that now is officially atheist.

• Joe,

Please read http://evo2.org/faq very carefully, most of these Q’s are at least indirectly answered there. Then come back for clarification.

8. Joe-materialistic says:

I am starting to pity the idea of using sciense to proove the existence of god, simply it is impossible.

God doesnt exist, point.
Why? Becouse the bible and the quran, and all other books are written by man.
True or not, i do not know, but i believe it is.

I beg anyone to tell me this is not true, i beg anyone to give me a full factuall truth that god exists.
From what i have learned, and im only 20, is that matter is what exists, and we are a mistake, nothing but a mistake, a small tiny little nothing that luckily evoluted in the span of a couple of million years, thinking how absurdly “no effect” we are to the ever existant space that is out there.

So a faithfull person i presume would say, God created space?
How if space was there forever, Before our limits of knowledge.
If space is unlimited, then, we are nothing. Then there is for fact aliens,
Not speaking sci fi here, but for a fact, if we exist in our galaxy, what makes us so sure were the only ones in an unlimited space?

AND what makes us so sure, that our understanding of our universe and our knowledge of Particles, quantum physics, time, matter etc, is all that there is.
imagine becouse that is what you can do, its a form of Hypothesis, something that we can do to create reason with which we can operate,
Imagine that, our understanding of physics, comes to the limit of our galaxy.

What then?

We have another 9999999999999999999999999 ——– Unlimited new things we have to discover, do you understand?
If that is true that space is unlimited, so wheres god in the middle of all this mess?
Nowhere but on earth, in our minds, thats all, fruit of our creation.
Tell me im wrong.

• Eocene says:

Apparently Joe did’nt bother to read the FAQ.

Sweet.

9. Eocene says:

Hi Perry

You use to have a Topic followed by comments here. But now I can’t find them, so I’ll address my point in this section since it seems the closet to the subject asked by Richard Juergens.

“Another tangent…… concerning “hell”. I struggle trying to understand how a compassionate Creator can condemn anyone, no matter how monstrously evil and destructive, to “everlasting punishment in hell”. It seems more rational and “just”, to me anyway, to simply destroy an unrepentant and evil by choice, spirit…..Eradicating it forever from existence. Some faiths teach this as the “2nd death”. I’m curious what your thoughts on this might be. ”

Richard Juergens

You responded with this.

“Hell as everlasting punishment: I have some level of doubt that that’s what it is. I think there’s a case to be made that evil people are destroyed in hell. About half the passages in scripture seem to be saying that.”

Perry Marshall

One of the best ways to understand the truth of the meaning of the orignal words , Hebrew ‘sheol’ & Greek ‘hades’ is to look up their (and this is real important here) ORIGINAL (purpose / intent) meaning when used in the original biblical writtings by their writers. Rather than some hideous place of eternal damnation of torment and suffering, the actuall meaning is nothing more than the “common grave of mankind”. Fortunately for every person interested in learning about the truth of this matter, it doesn’t take an Intellectual Genius, College Professor or an Ecclesiastical Hierarchy to look up words in Bible dictionaries and Hebrew and Greek Lexicons.

The Hellfire doctrine did not enter into the modern Christianity until around 300 CE long after the death of the Jesus & his Apostles, both of whom warned that such spiritually unhealthfull teachings would enter in after they had died. While alive, these faithful christians kept such apostacy in check. Hence they were a deterent. As you can read from the record in the Greek Scriptures (NT) there were attempts to try and subvert the clean teachings, even the names of such individuals were recorded for our benefit.

It’s introduction into what was left of Christianity was more of a political move as opposed to some brighter light of understanding. What was left of the mighty pagan Roman Empire was salvaged and held together fusing both Christian and pagan concepts to satisfy both groups and hence became the “Holy Roman Empire”. The Hellfire doctrine as used by pagans was a way to control the ignorant masses. Pagan nations around the nation of Israel for centuries had promoted such a hideous belief. The Israelites never believed or taught such a concept.

Here’s an example.
Genesis 2:16-17 ( American Standard Version )
“16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Notice the penalty from the start was death, not Hellfire. This agrees with what is said at
Romans 5:12 ( New International Version )
12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—”

Now look at what is expressed at Romans 6:7 ( New World Tanslation )
“For he who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin.

The key word above is “AQUITTED” literally – ‘has been justified or freed’ , but we all know what the Legal word ‘acquitted’ means. You cannot be tried again on the same charges. So a person ( good or bad ) cannot be punished by being sent to a place of eternal torment because death was the price paid for sin.

This agrees with what Moses told the Israelites in one of his farewell addresses. Recorded at
Deuteronomy 30:10 ( New International Version )
“19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live . . ”

Speficially he said the choices were life or death, not life or Hellfire.

You are rather fond of Wiki lookups, here are two references as to the original meanings behind ‘Sheol’ & ‘Hades’. When I have time and you’ve seen this, I’ll show you what I do with those who insist there is such a place. It’s actually a very easy way to illustrate what the bible hell actually means. It’s in Revelation where both death & hell are always associated together.

Enjoy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheol

• Eocene says:

Hi Perry

Just a bit further on the Hellfire controversey.

I always enjoy pointing folks to the scripture at Revelation 20:15. This is the last verse in that chapter. I’ll have them read it or follow along with me and then ask them what they believe that verse is referencing to.

Revelation 20:15 ( New International Version ) – (All translations/versions say the same)

15 “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

In almost every single case folks without hesitancy will say it’s describing Hellfire and Damnation. They will insist that this so-called “Lake of Fire” is the actual literal place called HELL that is ever eternal.

Knowing that most people (well , English speakers) use the favoured ‘Athorized King James Version’ , I have them read in that version, verse 14 just before that verse 15 we just read. Here’s what it says.

Revelation 20:14 ( King James Version )
14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

So this is interesting. This expression “Lake of Fire” obviously does NOT mean the literal mythological place of HELL taught by most all churches, since verse 14 clearly shows that both ‘death’ & ‘hell’ (hades – sheol) are thrown into there. Then the expression is defined as to what is meant.

“This is the second death”

So what is definition mean. Well obviously all people face death period. There’s no escape from that, but the second death simply means judged for having no hope for continued existance ever. So ‘death’ and ‘hell’ are to be eliminated forever from human experience. Here’s how we prove this is so. If you have any cross marginal reference Bible, several verses will come up supporting this conclusion. For example look at this scripture regarding the future foretold fate of ‘death’, since this scripture is talking about mankind’s future hope of renewal.

Revelation 21:4 ( King James Version )
4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Now zero in specifically on what is said about what happens to ‘death’.

” . . and there shall be no more death”

So how is it that ‘death’ is gone forever ????????? It’s in a symbolic sense, thrown into the “Lake of fire”, for which it becomes no more. This also agrees with another scriptural cross reference in which Paul spoke about future resurrection of the dead at 1 Corinthians 15:26.

1 Corinthians 15:26 (King James Version)
26 “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

1 Corinthians 15:26 (New American Standard Version)
26 “The last enemy that will be abolished is death.”

1 Corinthians 15:26 (Amplified Bible)
26 “The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death.”

1 Corinthians 15:26 (New International Version)
26 “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

1 Corinthians 15:26 (Young’s Literal translation)
26 “the last enemy is done away — death; ”

Look up any cross references and they will take you back to Rev 20:14, Rev 21:4, 1 Tim 1:10 and you find the same thought in agreement. So the real import here is that ‘death’ becomes , “nothing” , “destroyed” , “abolished” , etc by being thrown into the “Lake of Fire” which is only a symbolic expression anyway and not some literal place. Hence this would also be the same foretold fate of the bible ‘hell’. Hell is NOT an eternal place of torment and suffering. ‘Hell’ likewise as ‘death’ becomes “nothing” , “abolished” , or “destroyed” or done away with forever by being thrown into the symbolic “lake of fire” (second death).

So the question has to be asked, “Why have the churches promoted this lie all these centuries when clearly the just reading the Bible’s own definition slams their belief ???” It’s true that the Jesus and his apostles warned of the great apostacy after there going away from the Earthly scene, but who really was behind this belief originally ??? When you consider that the teaching of this doctrine was quite foreign to the nation of Israel, it was however heavily promoted from the beginning by ALL pagan religions around the nation of Israel. But who started it ??? It was Satan (Hebrew word meaning slanderer) when he LIEd and told Eve that she would “possitively not die” , but would rather eternally live on forever. Rather than continued living, she and Adam are both dead. This was why Jesus called Satan a “liar and the father of the lie”.

Notice also that with the Hellfire doctrine of eternal torment and misery, Satan is also shown in that doctrine to run the so-called literal place of “Hellfire”, but this is a lie as well. Notice who else gets thrown into the symbolic “lake of fire”.

Revelation 20:10 ( New International Version )
10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, . .”

So Satan also becomes nothing, destroyed, abolished, no more eternally. The judgement dericted towards him way back in Eden mentioned at Genesis 3:15 always pointed towards this fate. The prophecy specifically said Satan would bruise Jesus in the heal, but that jesus would bruise Satan (the “original serpent” as Revelation identifies him) in the head. Technically a head wound is more fatal than a wound in the heal. Jesus died and was resurrected, but Satan has no chance of a resurrection ever. He will also be symbolically thrown into the symbolic “lake of fire” and his angels who sided with him also. The later part of Revelation 20:10 shows that Satan experiences a torment forever and ever, this however only means that he (and his angels) have ALWAYS known what their future fate would become and it has been a torment to them. Interestingly the Greek would for torment can also mean jail or prison. The will not be conscious of anything, just non-existant forwever. But for the moment Satan still misleads and wishes to take as many people with him to his fate of non-existance. It’s kind of like Hitler’s “scorched earth policy” at the very end of the war of destroying everything if he couldn’t have it his way.

I hope this makes sense and helps you with any future reference. Trust me when I say that what I’ve shown here on the subject of ‘death and ‘hell’ is only the tip of the iceberg. There is even far more proof than what I references here.

I see you don’t post and publish everything I’ve posted here. That’s okay as it may get things on the Original Topic, but i simply wanted you to understand it since the atheist always bring it up. Mind you, it will NOT be popular among most claimed theists who have not personally investigated most traditional church doctrines themselves and compared them to what the actual bible teachings themselves are.

You’ve got my email on record or file in the backoffice tools if you’d prefer to ask behind the scenes questions.

Thanks, Eocene.

• I am somewhat inclined to agree with you. This is something I am still researching.

10. christaras says:

People shall be calm and accept,not hate others who disagree with them. This is for all..evolutionists,creationists, christians,atheists etc. Sadly, religious and political groups are ‘told’ by their elite rulers to hate other groups. And dont be fooled to think
that ‘religious’ refers only to christian groups and theists, but also to every religious or political group including atheistic organizations. This hatred promotion serves no salvation or fight for victory, but only the economical interests of the political and religious clergies. These serve in turn, the purpose of the great business men of the Earth.

So instead of being united by universal truths, people are separated by disagreements in details of beliefs. Why is there so much suffering? Why destruction is running faster and faster? Could it be that WE and our MATERIALISM are the
responsible ones?

You might want to check.

http://www.greeksandnordics-wisdomandmyths.blogspot.com/…/four-yugas-ages.html

11. christaras says:

Sorry. Here is the correct link
http://greeksandnordics-wisdomandmyths.blogspot.com/p/four-yugas-ages.html

The history of mankind

12. diva2009 says:

James 1: 17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow.

13. Henning Heinemann says:

The explanation is actually quite simple, “free will”, and free will is required to develop new information. Life is a mechanism to produce Dark Energy, Dark Energy carries the information of creation through space to excite and inform Dark Matter into quantum particles. When the particles get excited they start spinning, and that drags on the space around it, causing gravity. Sentient life is the mode for this information into space through our observations; that s what Bohr and Schrödinger were on to, but Einstein couldn’t accept due to his omnipotent God view from the dogmas of his youth. Big brained, self aware, sentient life is also a production station for new information, “Growing God” and producing information for future development in this, and subsequent universes. The biggest thing to take away here is that our primary product as individuals is thought and sensation, and that all of that is instantly transmitted to God. The fact that the majority human experience is suffering, makes us a major bummer on God.

The end game of Evolution though is as a reproductive process. As a species we are still in the womb, trapped on Earth, and banished from quantum spectrum communications and engineering until we choose to get everyone fed and productive. That is our next evolutionary test, and here is how to pass it:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/urban-agriculture-and-energy–2/x/10003213#/

14. David C. Moorman says:

The choice to love freely and openly, whether it be for God or another human, demands freedom to choose. God respects our freedom of choice so much that His only begotten Son died to demonstrate what sin leads to, and what freedom of choice liberates the believer from.

We can choose to believe Satan’s lie to Eve, “You won’t surely die. God’s lying to you” or can believe God, “In the day you sin, the death process begins.”

15. B says:

You did not answer the original question which was how you rectify the matter of an omniscience, which is assumed to be “good” that allows “evil” things to happen. Your reply to the question was well written and used up a tremendous amount of space, meandering throughout various topics, but a lot of that was a smoke screen, unfortunately. It was also setting up your “arguments” to inevitably lead to theology, so you also failed to meet the requirement of the original request to use purely logic and reason. You instead used oblique logic (skirting the core question) to slant right into religion. You must have spent so much time doing this. I don’t get it. Maybe you were writing this more for you than for the asker? I really can’t tell. Oh, well, back off into darkness of the unenlightened Internet I go. Best of luck.

• No anonymous cowards. Use your real name. Or all posts will be deleted.

16. Michael Champion says:

“We fear death because we intuitively know that death might lead to more pain. ”
That’s not why. People fear death because they’re afraid of non-existence. That’s the primary fear that other fears tie into, they’re just lesser forms of injury that put you closer to death and farther away from survival. Although to be more accurate, people fear not just death but the associated sense of meaninglessness that comes to mind with this concept. For example they also fear the ‘death’ of whatever they think is meaningful or true or good not just in terms of people dying but also people becoming worse. So death can be correctly summarized as a deviation from whatever is a better more objectively purposeful state, since it as an idea generally thwarts and goes against any objective meaning to existence if someone’s existence is just destroyed and they then can’t unable to accomplish anything meaningful.

To incorporate the general reasoning behind this into the OSI 7 layer model you use with Intent->etc, I would put it like this and add one more layer:
->Purpose/objectively correct goal
->Intent to fulfill purpose
->Meaning of specific message/action with this intent
-> Methodology or syntax of specific message/action with this intent
->Components of this message/action with this intent
Death prevents the steps from being carried out and is an interruption of intent and fulfillment of the intent. It’s very important to point out here that any objective purpose needs to be independent of anyone’s opinions to be true in any way. If God made the idea up randomly, it’s not based on anything objective, it’s just God’s whim. There’s no choice but to say this or else subjective morality inevitably will appear at one point or another. In which case the Christians arguments are self-defeating.

“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.”
But that wouldn’t fix anything. With the story of Jesus you’re describing human sacrifice where God tells his son to be killed so his death somehow can end suffering. Human sacrifice is not a good idea. For example the best way for Jesus to handle things in that story(although i do not believe in it at all) would be if he just defeated his capturors and used his healing powers to cure everyone’s illnesses. If you can ressurect yourself or other people from the dead, it’s not like you can’t just bring back to life anyone who dies trying to kill you until they eventually realize that this is a stupid thing to do. Or non lethally incapacitate them. The superpowers Jesus is supposed to have in the Bible would be more than enough to do all these things but because the story of Jesus is essentially one of human sacrifice this does not happen in it.

The Old Testament story of Job is one where God, due to a bet he made with Satan on a whim, decides Job has to suffer endlessly from torments he purposefully inflicts on him just to test his faith and show that he would still believe anyways even after all God did to him. That’s obviously morally wrong. Would you torture someone to show that they believe in you? That’s sadism. Now obviously you would not but you need to realize that if you don’t apply this moral standard to God you are making a double standard where God doesn’t have to obey any of the normal rules of morality. As if God gets a free pass. It’s a huge problem in Christian thinking.

Hopefully for whenever you do get around to reading this, most likely a week or so from now as I have responded in quite a lot of articles on this site today and given you a lot to think about, you do think about it and reconsider whether this piece of your mental paradigm really makes sense. I know i went over the problem of evil in other threads but i did not cover the issue of the Jesus story being human sacrifice, or the problems in this story of Job, or the pieces you are missing in trying to make an OSI 7 layer model of information(Aka objective purpose).By putting this information in the relevant threads rather than all in 1 or 2 threads where i began talking to you, in my opinion i’m a lot more likely to get more readers of this site to consider these opinions too when a large comment section with 10 or 20 back and forth posts would have many more of them skimmed over.

17. brian brown says:

Good and evil are subjective- they require consciousness. Is there good and evil outside of a sufficiently devleoped brain? No. There is no evil on the Sun or Jupiter, and no one thinks the lion eating the zebra alive is evil due to it’s level of consciousness. Besides, how different is that from an amoeba eating a bacterium or a virus in a plant cell?

People who subscribe to moralize religions are still relying on a conscious entity to define a evil. In the case of the judaic cults, morality is defined as disobedience to the higher power (god) who imposes ignorance on his creation.

18. Veljko Blagojevic says:

” 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?””
While it is a fair question, it is NOT by any measure the major reason why rational people doubt the design hypothesis. It is the apparent lack of uniformity in what is claimed to be ”intelligently designed”. Compare the world to any series of man-made products – man-made design looks uniformly identical, naturally occurring things are very different from each other.

”In keeping with the rest of this site, I’m going to answer the question in terms of Information Theory. ”
That is akin to answering a mathematical question with game theory, or using quantum physics to explain parasitism – it is not applicable.

”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.”
Very wrong. You can ask nonsensical questions too. For example ”Why is the sky green?” or ”Why is the word ‘fish’ so jealous?”. Asking a question doesn’t suggest anything. 🙂

”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. ”
…yet, you, without knowing context, identity of the speaker and their intent, claim to KNOW what DNA code is and what it means (and who is it’s originator). Very interesting, don’t you think? 🙂

”All four layers exist in any English sentence. They also exist in computer languages.”
When the context, identity of communicators and their intent is known – yes.

”These layers exist in DNA as well. ”
…without knowing the context, identity of the communicators and their intent, we cannot claim this.

”DNA contains base pairs which form triplets which form chromosomes which form genes.”
Which, like your example with a string of symbols which forms a sentence, conveys no clear meaning.

”DNA by its very behavior expresses intent to multiply; this is precisely what is meant by the popular term “Selfish Gene.” ”
This is false.
DNA in nerve cells doesn’t multiply.
DNA in cells not undergoing mitosis/mejosis doesn’t multiply.
DNA outside of a cell doesn’t multiply.
It is not it’s inherent ”behavior” as you put it. It is merely a chemical reaction in the right environment.

”The gene doesn’t have to be conscious to be “selfish.” ”
Your main point which you are trying to sell is that genes DO require a consciousness behind them to function, just like man-made codes do. And now you claim that there is no need for consciousness? Make up your mind.

”Genes seek to replicate.”
They don’t. Separate them from the cell – do they still seek to replicate? Do they seek a way to get back into the cell?

”Any sentence you speak starts with your intent, which dictates meaning, which is expressed via the rules of language. ”
False.
What about rambling in a fever?
What about speaking nonsensical sentences and words?
There is absolutely NO intent behind them. And the same rules of information theory can be applied to them.

”Decoding works from the bottom up:”
Letters do form words, but without knowing what language or what meaning someone ties to those words, you have no definitive way to interpret what someone wrote. For example, if you decode a rap song, you could easily deduce that the artist is talking about masonry – if you don’t know that the word ”brick” is used in slang in an entirely different meaning. 🙂

”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. ”
This only works IF your ASSUMPTION that there IS a communication is true. And there is no reason to believe it is. Sorry.

”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.”
Because alphabet is a TOOL. Alphabet didn’t exist in nature before we invented it, and it is still only a mental tool for us to communicate.
DNA is a chemical. It is an objective entity, with intrinsic properties. Alphabet is not, it’s properties change on a whim.

”Communication always starts with intent.”
This depends on how you define the term communication. If you define communication as ”intentional transfer of information”, then yeah. But you cannot then go around claiming that inanimate chemicals also ”communicate”. If you interpret the chemical reactions of DNA as ”communication”, then you have to throw ”intentional” from your definition of communication to encompass ALL transfer of information – but then it is no longer useful to prove ”intent” just by the act of ”communication”.

”Thus there are three elements of communication:
1) The intended outcome
2) The language that is used to communicate
3) The communication channel”
Again, drop the ”intent” out of it if you wish to consider chemical reactions as ”communication”.

”A lie, however, is the intent to create a message that contains false information. Lies are evil. ”
This is soooo false that it is impossible for me to fathom that you wrote this with a straight face. How are lies evil? Saying to your wife ”oh, that dress looks good on you” so she can feel better (and by extent, LOOK BETTER) is evil?!? Telling children that their pets are happier after they die is evil? Telling an abuser that you don’t know where his victim is (which you are hiding) is EVIL?!?
What is wrong with you?

”Since lies are parasitic, truth existed first.”
Oh, for crying out loud – absolute truth is not a proven concept. It cannot be proven, since it relies on induction, which is incomplete. Again, you are drawing a parallel between totally different things – human communication and philosophical terms. It is seriously damaging your arguments in any rational eye.

”Effective communication by definition cannot exist without truth.”
But the ”truth” in this ”intentional communication” is INTENT. It is OPINION. Therefore, it is RELATIVE. A person who is trying to deceive someone has the INTENT to deceive – in that regard, their INTENT didn’t corrupt. Saying ”I love you” works if your intent is to convey your emotions or to manipulate someone’s feelings – like you yourself said, sentences by themselves have no inherent meaning or intent. But by suggesting that lies are messages with ”corrupted” intent, you are implying that sentences actually DO carry inherent meaning and intent. Again, make up your mind.

”Thus truth exists and an intentional super intelligence exists, because communication exists.”
No. The truth doesn’t exist. If it does, we have no way of knowing for sure. Therefore, you CANNOT just CLAIM out of thin air that TRUTH EXISTS! For crying out loud, follow your own logic.

”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.”
Lies are not evil. Lying to someone to save someone’s life or to make someone feel better (without any side effect, of course) is nothing but good.

”Therefore free will exists.”
There you go again with pulling statements out of thin air. This is a highly debatable concept, at the very least. Does everyone have free will? If not, can we claim that it exists even, let alone that it is inherent in us all? Besides, how does addiction work if free will exists?

”Good existed first. Evil existed later and had a free will.
Therefore the intention of Good was to permit free will.”
Aside from the childish notions of good and evil, how is this in any way logical? If good existed first, and it was all-powerful and all-knowing – wouldn’t it KNOW that free will leads to evil? And, if free will is evil – wouldn’t this all-mighty good abolish it?

”Apparently the intention of Good was also to create a universe in which communication could be corrupted and thus evil came to exist.”
That is some pretty faulty design then. And not very ”Good”, either.

”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.”
So, you acknowledge that you didn’t answer the question. What is the point of your entire post then? Besides preaching your beliefs. You are simply saying ”the question ‘why is there evil in the world?’ proves that there is a God” – and it does not. It most certainly does not.

”The only way to know why there is evil in the world is to ask Good to reveal it to us.”
And since no answer came to any of you who asked, I am pretty sure you can draw up a logical implication from there. Go on. 🙂

”Which brings us directly to the doorstep of religion and theology. It’s the only place to go.”
Why?
I mean, you said it yourself – tornadoes, hurricanes, radiation – these are all things which ”just exist”, without any intent of any kind. These are responsible for a lot of suffering in the world. So, in that sense, you answered the large portion of the question – coincidence. 🙂
You happen to live in an area in which a tornado sweeps through – your family suffers for it. Yet, the tornado doesn’t have any intent – and it causes misery and pain. There you go. No theology needed. 🙂

”The worst thing that can happen to anyone is to not be able to feel pain. ”
Well, there is not being able to breathe, having your heart stop, being born with a number of more immediate congenital defects…so not being able to feel pain can come in quite handy at times.

”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.”
Of course physical pain has a purpose. It is no surprise – if you couldn’t feel that a stove was hot, you would damage your arm beyond repair as a kid.

”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.”
Nnnno, pain tells us that there is something physically harming us in our immediate vicinity and that we need to withdraw from it or eliminate it. It has no notion of good or evil – it just serves for self-preservation. And self-preservation can lead to evil acts, so – go figure. 🙂

”Pain drives us back to the Good.”
Except if you have a birth defect which left you without functional pain receptors. Or have associated pleasant experiences with pain. Or are going through a medical intervention which, while unpleasant, will have a beneficial outcome for you. And – wow are people who are unable to feel pain supposed to ”drive back to the Good”? They are clearly ”designed” not to be able to do so.

”Christianity never answers the Ultimate Big Question of Why.”
Surprise, surprise. 🙂

”In the book of Job, Job asks for the reason for suffering and God tells Job he is too small to comprehend the answer. ”
Now, interesting thing you brought up here. So, we have at least two ways of interpreting this:
1. The Book of Job is an accurate description of real historical communication between the God and Job.
2. The story is simply a metaphor for the evident everyday fact that ”bad things happen to everyone” and that ”being the best you can is no guarantee that you will not suffer greatly”, written through a fictional dialogue (as is frequently the case in literature).

I think I know which of the two you believe is true.

”But God does not abandon Job in his pain.”
True, he restores him at the end – because who would ever want to endure suffering without a fictional happy end provided, right? 🙂

Again, not very convincing. The fact that people suffer doesn’t imply that there is an objective entity causing them to suffer (or designing a system which allows suffering) – suffering is individual, it is relative, it is simply a blanket term for a wide variety of events and feelings which are not necessarily good or bad (parents suffer when their children leave them, for example, and this separation is a good thing for both the children and the parents).
So, yeah…:)

19. George Provine says:

What mankind calls “pain” and “suffering” are just the inevitable results of universal Change and Causation. There are other infinite instances (Categories) of Changes and Causes besides “pain” and “suffering”. The latter arise within the realms of biological life and evolution. They are neither “Good” nor “Evil” unless valued as such by sentient beings. Therefore, the ultimate question must be: “Why is there Change and Causation? This is a scientific question with a descriptive (only) answer shrouded in the science of Physics. Or this is a philosophical question with the answer: “Without Change (and Causation) there can be no life or death or space or movement or events or….? and The obvious followup (circular) question is: “How is Change begun and how are Change and Causation sustained?”.

20. George Provine says:

Since writing my previous (short) comment (please see 12/29/19)–I have read a number of other Comments and they all seem focused on religious Faith OR–‘downstream’ scientific analysis–everything AFTER the BIG Bang–for example, chemistry, genetics, biological evolution, physics, mathematics and statistics-etc. I think those analytical methods are used in efforts to find ‘clues’ leading to ultimate Answers to ultimate Questions (such as posed in this site). I doubt that those deductive methods will succeed. And since we know the BIG Bang actually happened I would look to the scientists who are trying to ‘figure it out’ (are they asking HOW it happened? and what Caused it?). And remember–when asked such questions concerning ‘cosmological and philosophical ultimates, the Buddha told his followers that such questions did not lead to the extinguishing of suffering. And I think such questions cannot be solved by human understanding.