Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Piling Up An Incredible Infinity of Improbabilities As A Respectable Intellectual Practice - Not Exactly Hate Mail

I see no evidence in what you refer me  to that Derbes read any of what I wrote on the topic of the origin of life.  If he did and he wants to discuss it, I think I can give him a better argument than the light-weight rump at Baby Blue.  Perhaps that's why he doesn't want to engage in a real discussion instead of a circle of mutual assent and mutual admiration.

If he wants to assert that his materialism is capacious enough to include some undefined, unevidenced, undescribed bias favoring the formation of life as a purely physical thing, he's doing a very unsciency thing which is unwise if you want to argue for an atheist-materialist origin of the universe and life out of purely random chance events.

First, there is no evidence that there is such a property of the physical universe.  None.  He is doing what atheists who work in science are at least as ready to do as the religious folk they slam, just making stuff up because it suits their preferred framing.  If there is such a physical property it would have to be susceptible to discovery and study by the methods of science in order for it to be reasonably included in the index of respectable ideas among the atheist and sciency,  However the list of those things so included without scientific evidence is already a very large one, indeed, running to the quadrillions if not an infinity of universes and entirely unexplained powers of universe creation through the most banal of events.   My conclusion from that exercise is that though you can write science fiction with equations as well as with bad prose, fiction is still fictitious.

What Derbes did is just writing himself another promissory note of materialism based on nothing except the emotional necessity arising from not liking that, in the face of the gargantuan improbability of life forming in a life permitting universe, it is a reasonable and logical conclusion that it happened the way it did by the design of God who favors the formation of life and conscious, aware creatures.   I suspect it has more to do with anxiety about maintaining the social and career advantages of being an atheist in some circles than anything else.

By the way, among the things that could be added to the improbability hurdles that the preferred atheist creator-god model has to jump over, I haven't even gotten into the probabilities of that happening yet.  The probabilities of consciousness evolving or even the evolutionary mechanism of natural selection which atheists claim is the reason consciousness or, since they tend to hate the problems caused by consciousness for materialism, "intelligence" evolved.  All of that just adds more of a burden for the atheist-probability-creator-god hypothesis to overcome in explaining the world in which we are individuals having this discussion.  It makes perfect sense if you assume that God wanted there to be intelligent creatures having such discussions, it is absurdly improbable that such things as natural selection and consciousness could have, through entirely unexplainable physical events, just happened and, by the way, been sustained.  That's my conclusion after dealing with the claims of atheism over the past fifty years.

I notice that as part of his argument he professes a belief that the little squiggly shapes found in Mars meteorites are evidence of life - it would be interesting to know what the percentage of those who find such credible evidence of Mars life in the physical sciences (he's a physics teacher) and those in the far more relevant biological sciences is.  That there is not consensus on that point.  I do think that people in physics have a habit of reductionistic minimization of the problems involved their assumptions about life which is, or at least should be foreign to those in biology.  One of the working research biologists in my family likes to say,  "It's not rocket science, it's a hell of a lot harder than rocket science."

If you want to claim that life on Earth arose from invasion by such squigglies that came here on such rocks, as some atheist-abiogenesists have resorted to,  a. you have merely changed the location where all of the problems of how life arose by random chance had to have happened, not removed the mounting improbability of it happening here, b. you have added problems of probability based in 1. the likelihood of such life evolving on another, alien environment surviving on the early Earth where it happened to fall*,  2. surviving the trip and entry into the early Earth atmosphere.

I could go on and on pointing out how in the game of creating the probabilistic-creator-god whenever they seem to figure that whenever their model runs into problems all they have to do is invent scenarios and even jillions of universes and other unevidenced entities to get past their problems.  But all of those things also create questions of the probability of those occurring as claimed.  My favorite is how finely tuned a multi-universe-generating mechanism would have to be, though there is no way to calculate that.  I suspect  the fine tuning of such a mechanism to produce the claimed multiverse ensemble would have to be proportionally fine tuned to produce the result claimed for it, though, since there is nothing to observe and measure, who knows?   One of my first questions about the multiverse stuff was why couldn't there be universes where the math used here to come up with that stuff is radically different or didn't exist.  A universe in those jillions or infinities in which probability was not valid?    If you're going to come up with whatever universes serve your imaginative purpose, why not?   In such a reality, probability, itself, is impeached.  Why isn't probability just another feature of reality that has to be accounted for in such speculations?  Why not wonder if the probability which seems to be so very potent in our universe might not be a mere product of possibility, not necessity and merely valid in our kind of universe?  If  we're not allowed to ask such questions of the universe creators, then me calling it the current, favored atheist-creator-god, is a valid analysis.

They are piling up such a huge burden of improbability that any rational person is within their rights to believe what they are claiming is not credible.  I think the one and only thing that holds it all together - other than sloppy, corner-cutting thinking - is the insistence that it must be that way because otherwise people will believe in God. Or, rather, that materialist-atheism is unsustainable unless it is that way.   I think that  has reached a point where their game of piling up improbabilities has become ridiculous and stopped having any legitimate identity as science back in the 19th century.   I think it is a game that can be believed only through voluntary intellectual decadence and, yes, the assertion it must be that way out of an atheistic fundamentalism that more than matches the Biblical Fundamentalism that produced Young Earth Creationism.  And not all such fundamentalists are Young Earth Creationists.  William Jennings Bryan wasn't one, no matter what that movie said.

In my title, I called this piling up an incredible infinity of improbabilities, I meant "incredible" as meaning not believable.   I think the game of piling on improbabilities is nonsense based on a faith in the creative power of mathematics or as an ultimate and irrational belief that whatever can be put into the form of an equation must be real or even true.  I think it is merely an artifact of the social, professional, financial and economic repute that math and science have, it's a weird kind of cargo cult which the alleged best and brightest and those who aspire to be mistaken as such are particularly susceptible to falling for.

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