The Probability Bomb — 15 Comments

  1. “Lack of evidence never stopped them”

    You do realize that you haven’t posted any evidence for your own beliefs yet, right? Even if you completely disprove evolution, which you may very well do, so far you haven’t advocated creationism any more than you’ve advocated that reality is actually the matrix.

    On another note, inability to agree on how evolution started isn’t proof against anything. Nobody said that evolution was a perfect theory (that’s part of why it is just a theory). Like ANY idea in science, it is being continuously explored, and the kinks gradually worked out.

    Still, I’ve seen worse. I just don’t like seeing ideas get released undercooked like that.

      • Well, it could be applied like that, but context makes me believe that he was referring to evolution.

        Interesting note: This comic actually got me wondering how evolution could have been possible and whatnot. It occurs to me that none of those three models includes a subterranean origin of life. Probly not right, since I came up with it on the spot, but real science works like that, you know? If you rule out what is impossible, it drives you to discover what IS possible. You know, regardless of whether this comic is right or wrong or even sound in its reasoning, I think it’s a good and necessary thing that RH’s mind should be spoken. Through conflict, the correct idea comes out victorious, and sometimes stronger.

        • or, like, maybe made out of mud. OOO kids, they’re getting warmer…!
          Just teasing (or am I?)
          But that still leaves the lifeform in question having to deal with the consequences of its planetary atmosphere and the liquid precipitates thereof– or immersed in solid rock, unable to move, and subsequently dead.

          The fundamental proof of intelligent design should be obvious in the name: that design, consisting of coherent data extrapolated into structure and form, cannot arise without intelligence. The principle is exclusionary: the burden of proof lies on those that insist that life, with its staggering complexity, intricate structure, order and information-dense design, could arise by any other means than intelligence. WE have OBSERVED intelligent design arising from intelligence, and life from life: we have never, ever observed intelligent design arising spontaneously from nothing.

          In a rational world, such a notion would be tossed as self-evidently preposterous as trying to divide by zero. Even as an intellectual exercise it demonstrates no intellectual rigor: anyone capable of a decent level of math knows that coming up with the genetic code of the simplest lifeform by random chance would be functionally impossible. Even the billion chimpanzees and their typewriters are confined in their efforts by the total lifespan of the universe. Random chemical recombinations– which are far slower than monkey fingers– could not create life, even the simplest form known.

          • Of course. I do believe in intelligent design. Whether it was through spontaneous creation, or through a complex series of events that SEEMED to be random, I believe that God is responsible for the current state of life. Perhaps Genesis was literal, perhaps it is parable, which we know Jesus to have an affinity for. TBH, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover either way was right. It is merely in the interest of logic that I poke holes where I can, for otherwise, they’d be left unpatched.

          • I disagree with your argument that something could be ‘obvious’, nothing is truly obvious, I believe it is an illusion brought about by the length of a time you have known something and your own experiences. Neither your time or experiences can be transferred to another, which is why you must convince others your idea is right, the ‘burden of proof’ lies on all who make such claims, though true proof is not necessary and likely largely improbable, mere non-anecdotal evidence will suffice, and the more the better.

            On to my point, sense I disagree with self-evidence being real as it is based on what the observer believes to be obvious, I ask: How is living thing an intelligent design?

            Nothing I’ve seen or heard truly suggests such to me, nothing that can’t be explained my natural occurrences anyway. And inquiries gets arguments against an opposing idea or an odd metaphor that suggests living things are machines, I have some trouble with it, but it sounds like the ‘irreducible complexities’ myth reworded to me.

          • Ill just point out at the start here my view, which favors a world governed by the laws of physics thus far observed at all points following the start of the known universe. This should let those who would prefer to, to disregard the following argument without having to read it 🙂

            Im a bit of a novice when it comes to sports. Lets take bowling as a good example. After I release the ball, I have no control over where it goes (and in my case I feel like I have barely any control over where it goes even when before I let go). If I were better (lets say infinitely) at bowling, I could have complete control over where the ball went, after I bowled.

            I personally am not so good at this – I dont have the fine control over the ball, and the ability to predict its motion accurately. Lets consider again the role of God in the start of the universe (for arguments sake – science has no real interest in it). You state that theistic evolution is ‘anti-thought’, which interests me. Why is it that you think a God who is almighty, and all-seeing, is a God incapable of setting things in motion with sufficient foresight to ‘bowl a strike’ and create life in a world based purely on initial conditions and deterministic rules?

  2. I agree with Click Clack, pointing out problems with evolution doesn’t really support any other opinions. And disagreeing with how evolution got started is indeed not proof, but not for the reason stated: It isn’t proof against the theory of evolution because the theory of evolution doesn’t cover how life started in the first place, what’s described in the comic (though a bit poorly) is abiogenesis. I know creationists like to think how life started is the by all end all (if I’m using that phrase correctly), but science simply doesn’t see it that way and has different theories for different ideas (how life changes over time and the origin of life are NOT synonymous). The theory of evolution is one thing and abiogenesis is another theory altogether.

    And though abiogenesis depends on the theory of evolution being true, the reverse is most definitely NOT also true, I can’t stress that enough, scientists were very careful in doing this. Abiogenesis could be thrown out right now and it wouldn’t affect the theory of evolution any more than it would theories like gravity or germs.

  3. While I will not debate the accuracy or lack thereof of intelligent design, there is plenty of evidence, in old rock layers, that Earth did not always have oxygen in its atmosphere. (I am assuming that their home planet is earthlike based on the existence of humans in TOTQ and the fact that you seem to be using this story arc to promote creationism, specifically the divine origin of planet Earth). Before the first photosynthetic bacteria evolved, there was no oxygen. Geologists find very few oxides in rocks from before the first photosynthetic organisms evolved. Based on this, they have concluded that there was much less oxygen. I do not personally have the knowledge to provide more evidence, but it does exist.

    • Uh, no there isn’t.
      There is, in fact, solid positive evidence that atmospheric oxygen has always been an important component of the earth’s atmosphere. It has left its trademark in the “red beds,” i.e. either massive bodies or minor inclusions of hematite (Fe2O3), in what are regarded as the earliest of sediments. such oxidized beds have been found with uniformitarian “ages” in excess of 1.5 billion arbitrary geologic years, (A.G. Yr ) citing as example the Roraima formation 1.7 billion (A.G. Yr ). Other examples include the Lorraine formation of Ontario at 2 billion (A.G. Yr),8 the Muruwa formation of Guyana at around 2.5 billion (A.G.Yr),9 and the Fig Tree series of Swaziland at 3.4 billion (A.G. Yr).

      another problem with the methane-ammonia atmosphere is that NH3 is destroyed by UV light readily, even in the presence of water vapor.

      In other words, for proof, evolutionists not only got jack squat but jack and squat are running a tab on what darwin owes them.

  4. I’m sure I heard/read something about early life, producing oxygen as a waste product, something that later, more complicated life could use. It seemed the question what created the first life could also be asked about deities, what created the creator? It does seem funny to me that both ‘sides’ seem to saying their creation force ‘just happened’. Perhaps its uncertainty that scares many people in the end, whatever theories or beliefs they accept can become their ‘answers’.

    • Obviously, it’s no answer to postulate a creator that is itself a finite being, that can come into and go out of existence (see: Aliens, super-powerful energy beings, the Greek gods (if they had existed), etc) – that just pushes the question out one further step. This is among the reasons why Classical Theism, of the sort typical of Thomas Aquinas, has always affirmed God as the Unmoved Mover, or Unchanged Changer (“Movement” means any change at all in Aristotelian terminology, the restriction of it to mean “changing from one point in space to another” is a later innovation). He is conceived, not as a very large human (not even a very large, powerful, morally-perfect, disembodied human), but as Pure Actuality, that which has absolutely no unactualised potency (potency being understood as something that can be realised, but is not currently, as a baby has the power of growing into an adult, but is not itself an adult, or that a stick has of catching fire, even if it is not itself on fire) – thus God is that which has all perfections, which has absolutely nothing in itself that could be actualised. This means that God cannot possibly change, since change just is the actualising of a potential, and we just got done saying that this cannot possibly happen in God. Once you understand what all the terms mean, it becomes clear how, on this conception of God, there is literally no sense to be made of God’s not existing or going out of existence – to go out of existence would be a change, and this is impossible (LOGICALLY impossible) for anything that is Pure Act.

      has a clearer definition.

      This is basically the Thomist position, which I agree with. It is the position of many of the greatest Christian minds ever to live, and so it ought to be treated with great respect even by people who don’t accept it. When it is attacked, it’s usually attacked by atheists, or by “Bible Christians” who complain that it’s too “rationalist” and that it’s a “Greek pollution” of the pure Hebrew notion of God. It’s rather strange to have to be attacked by atheists and by zealous Protestants at the same time, but it represents a perfectly orthodox and very intellectually coherent system of theology. It was what convinced me that Christianity *could* in fact have a solid, firm, rational foundation, that was not based on merely willing to believe or appealing to mystery right away. Not that there are no other such systems, I just think they’re inferior.

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