Re “Gods and earthlings,” Opinion, April 18
Atheism has its fundamentalists like Richard Dawkins. Everyone has faith in something that is beyond science to prove. Science itself is based on the assumption that the universe is rational and logical and not absurd. Dawkins has a similar problem to those who cannot explain where a complex God came from. Where did the Big Bang come from, and what existed before? If the anthropic principle (the laws of nature seem to have been crafted for the emergence and sustenance of life) was inherent in the Big Bang, then where did that complexity come from? If it was all random, that is a faith assumption also.
I applaud you Ken. You have demonstrated that you have actually read the book and did not babble incoherently. However, you said that there is such a thing as a fundamentalist Atheist. Perhaps somebody could explain to me exactly what a fundamentalist Atheist is. For my definition of fundamentalism, I turn to the Oxford English Dictionary.
- a. A religious movement, which orig. became active among various Protestant bodies in the United States after the war of 1914-1918, based on strict adherence to certain tenets (e.g. the literal inerrancy of Scripture) held to be fundamental to the Christian faith; the beliefs of this movement; opp. liberalism and modernism.
- b. In other religions, esp. Islam, a similarly strict adherence to ancient or fundamental doctrines, with no concessions to modern developments in thought or customs.
So, could somebody please tell me what doctrine Atheism is supposed to follow fundamentally? We have no holy books. No strict rules on morality. The only thing that Atheism is is a lack of belief in God. Doesn’t that make every Atheist a fundamentalist Atheist?
The theist continues by missing the point of the Anthropic Principle, and asking about the Big Bang. The answer to the question about the Big Bang: nobody knows. Oh noes! Then we must throw all of science out the window and replace it with the Judeo-Christian god!
Alright, you got me again. I’m not entirely Atheist. I’m an agnostic on the technicality that you can’t disprove the deist god (yet) for that reason. However, there is the issue of explaining how this intelligence could have popped into existence if you’re going to use an intelligence to explain the Big Bang making the deist god all the more improbable and the Judeo-Christian god even less possible.
Dawkins’ atheistic rants about creationism and God’s existence are tiresome. Fundamentalist creationists are equally wrong. It is not logically contradictory to hold both that God is the author of all that exists and that the Big Bang and evolution are the ways God created and continues to create everything that exists. Neither statement can be proved nor disproved by science. Even Jesus didn’t worry about proofs for God’s existence.
True, science can’t necessarily disprove theistic evolution, but there certainly is no evidence that evolution was guided (hence, dinosaurs as an entirely inconvenient and unecessary evolutionary offshoot). And besides, natural selection works well enough on its own. Postulating another intelligence is, again, harder to explain and Occam’s razor makes a nice clean cut.
Dawkins argues that if vastly superior beings from some distant planet did indeed seed life on Earth, they could not be considered gods because someone must have created them. Thus, the only true God must be the one who created the universe itself.
This is, of course, the position that is reflected in Christian teaching. During my Catholic upbringing, I was taught that God “is,” meaning he always was and always will be. Defining God in that manner is another way of saying that no matter how sophisticated our theories become, ultimately we cannot explain how the universe got started from nothing and why the world exists. This notion embodies the ultimate mystery of life, which is beyond our power to penetrate from a purely logical and philosophical point of view, and which we must accept on that basis and learn to live with.
Can I just ask why he’s so sure that science will never find the answer? What “unsolvable” mysteries have been solved by science before? I’ll leave him to think of some examples of his own.
Dawkins argues that “intelligent design” is not science. He is correct. But after that, he moves into less certain territory in which his reasoning inevitably moves to the problem of first causes. There he pretty much avoids the details. In the end, he, like everyone else, must confront one of two choices: Either the universe has always existed, or it was created by someone who has always existed. If the latter is improbable, as he claims, then why is not the former also? Without saying so explicitly, he clearly favors the former, which he is free to do. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to know why he favors one and not the other. Could it be that the latter might make moral claims on all of us, something that would threaten our desire to be morally autonomous?
William S. LaSor
Apple Valley, Calif.
Now there’s an interesting postulation. Either the universe has always existed or someone created it? Again, Occam’s razor. And secondly, if the universe needs somebody to bring it into exsitence, then who brought the deist god into existence? If the deist god can be passed off as being “outside of time” then why can’t the universe also be passed off as being “outside of time” as well?
And, lastly, it has nothing to do with morality. If somebody started the universe, it’s likely to be the deist god who probably doesn’t give two shits about our morality.
How could natural selection create the first living cell? There is no advantage to non-living material becoming a living cell, so the process had to be pure chance, a result of random atoms forming thousands of extremely complex molecules within a few micrometers of each other at the same time. It is statistically a highly improbable probable event, and it bears all the earmarks of design.
As a former evolutionist, I have seen the results of following the data to the most logical conclusion in today’s scientific community. Evolutionists control the scientific community, and any questioning of the current paradigm is cause for ridicule, harassment and sometimes destruction of careers. They should be ashamed, for they have created a totalitarian science community in which everyone must parrot the party line and independent thought is not allowed.
Does the argument from personal incredulity ring a bell? Off the top of my uneducated head, I reckon that having a cell could be good protection for the self-replicating molecules. There’s all sorts of chemicals that can destroy DNA or cause “unwanted” mutations.
The ramblings about science being totalitarain are just characteristic of another person brainwashed by Expelled.
But I’ve gotta hand it to them, they were pretty darn coherent and used proper grammar. Most of them even seem to have read The God Delusion though have apparently missed some of the points. As usual, they ignore evolution now and try to use the Big Bang to prove the existence of the Judeo-Christian god. They’re evolving!