Sunday, July 20, 2014

Video: Doug Ell Discusses the Evidence for Intelligent Design


Here is an excellent video of Doug Ell giving a talk at MIT about his book Counting To God. The book is about the scientific evidence for intelligent design.


As I watched this video, I realized that science (astronomy, biology, and physics) has provided much of the evidence for intelligent design, but most scientists don't interpret it as such because of their materialist bias. I think it says something important about science that even though most of the scientists carrying it out are confused and in denial about the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the evolution of species, science still produces the truth.

Before the scientific revolution, many people thought, correctly, that it was self-evident that the universe was created, and that therefore there must be a creator, and that life and species were created, and because of some people's experiences that there is an afterlife. Then the scientists, claiming they were devoted to truth and uniquely qualified to find it, came along and confused so many people about what had once been self-evident. Now after many, many years of collecting scientific data, that data is demonstrating those pre-scientific people were right all along and the scientists were wrong. It would be comical if it wasn't such a tragedy.

At the beginning of the talk, Ell says that the reason he is able to write on this subject is because he is not at a university... so, when one tries to understand the problems of science, one has to consider the university system as part of the problem.

The talk is only 40 minutes and it covers a lot of ground. If you are interested in more information a good place to start is the Intelligent Design section on the Articles Arranged by Subject page.

A series of video interviews of Stephen Meyer (and transcripts) on this subject, which covers some of the same evidence, can be found at The Cosmological Argument for a Transcendent Designer of the Universe.

Doug Ell's talk is an excellent overview of the wide variety of empirical evidence that supports intelligent design. Below is a list of links to articles on subjects related to the video organized in order the subjects were discussed in the talk:

  • Physics
  • Biology
    Origin and Technology of Life

    Macroevolution
    Human Origins
  • More Physics

    The Universe is nonmaterial (quantum physics)
    Intellectual Freedom

    Below I have included, with the author's permission, the text of the slides shown during the talk by Doug Ell (typographical errors are most likely my own):


    Science

    • Observation, experimental verification, and explanation of natural phenomenon
    • Figuring it out
    • Follow the evidence wherever it leads
    • "If it disagrees with experiment, it's wrong" - Richard Feynman
    God
    • Abrahamic faith
      • Accident or design?

    Seven Wonders of Modern Science
    • Physics
      1. Created Universe

      2. Fine-Tuned Universe
    • Biology
      3. Origin of Life

      4. Technology of Life

      5. Puzzles of Macroevolution
    • More Physics
      6. Special Earth

      7. Universe is nonmaterial (quantum physics)

    Counting To God
    1. Creation

  • Why does anything exist?
  • Throughout history, two basic answers
    • It just does, and always has
    • God
  • Believers in eternal and infinite universe
    • Aristotle
    • Newton
    • Einstein (originally)

    1. Creation (cont'd)

    • Dark night sky - Olber's "paradox"
    • 1914: Vesto Silpher
      • fuzzy spots in the sky have "redshift"
    • 1920s: Edwin Hubble
      • galaxies
      • speed proportional to distance (Hubble's law)
      Einstein - "I see the need for a beginning"

    6:18
    1. Creation (cont'd)

    • Then two theories compete
      • "Big Bang" theory
        • All time/space and matter/energy created in a single instant from absolute nothingness
      • "Steady State" theory
        • matter created in voids keeps universe constant
    • 1965: Penzias and Wilson at Bell Labs discover "cosmic microwave background radiation" by accident:
      • "relic"' photons rom the Big Bang (380K years after)

    Counting To God
    2. Fine-Tuning

    • How can it all be so perfect?

    • In physics, there are
      • 3 dimensions of space
      • 1 dimension of time
      • 4 fundamental forces
      • Many constants

    • Accepted scientific fact:
      "the values of the numbers seem to have been very finely tuned to make possible the development of life"
      - Stephen Hawking

    8:58
    2. Fine-tuning (cont'd)
    • Examples
      • Critical density of the universe/gravitational constant (less than one part in 1060)
      • Nuclear resonance levels
        • Produce carbon and oxygen inside stars
        • "A superintellect has monkeyed with physics" - Fred Hoyle
      • Water
    • Is there information in the structure of the universe?

    9:23
    2.Fine-tuning (cont'd)
    • Atheist counter - "Multiverse"
    • Multiverse concept based on 3 key beliefs
      • Our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes
      • Somehow, these universes have the ability to create other universes with different dimensions, laws, constants, and other features of physics
      • Somehow, for no special reason, all of this just exists
    • But:
      • No scientific evidence of other universes
      • No idea how laws of physics can change
      • Infinity is an alien concept
      • Turtles all the way down?

    11:17
    Counting To God
    3. Origin of Life
    • How did life begin?
    • Ground rules:
      • Laws of physics and chemistry have not changed
      • No "natural selection"

    12:20
    3. Origin of Life (cont'd)
    • Miller-Urey Experiment (1953)
      • Amino acids can be created by electrical charges
      • Later disavowed by both Miller and Urey as an explanation of the origin of life
      • Experiment now discredited - wrong atmosphere, no "primordial" soup, no way to link amino acids, can't set large amounts of information by accident
      • But, still in most high school textbooks

    13:38
    3. Origin of Life (cont'd)
    • "Chicken and egg" problem
      • Need DNA to build proteins
      • Need proteins to read DNA
      • Which came first?
    • Yale physicist Harold Morowitz calculated odds of life arising by chance as 1 in 10100,000,000,000
    • Harvard's failed Origin of Life Initiative
    • where did the information come from to create life?
    • "No one knows how it got started" - Richard Dawkins

    15:01
    Counting To God
    4. Technology of Life
    • How does life work?
    • 150 years ago, cells were "homogeneous globules of protoplasm"
    • Now know all life has same advanced digital operating system ("Central Dogma"):
      • Stores code in "letters" of DNA
      • Machines make copies of parts of code (messenger RNA)
      • Send copies to factories (ribosomes)
      • Factoies (robosomes) read code three "letters" at a time, to build proteins

    16:39
    4. Technology of Life (cont'd)
    • By chance?
      • Genetic code (algorithm that "maps" 3 DNA "letters" to amino acids) is "highly optimal - significantly out performed 1 million randomly chosen alternate codes
      • No evidence of a different operating system
      • No known way operating system can evolve
    • Futuristic information technology: "DNA is biological computer code, only far, far more advanced than anything we have ever built" - Bill Gates

    4. Technology of Life (cont'd)
    • Other amazing technology
      • DNA storage technology (histones)
      • Information retrieval technology
      • Splicing technology
      • Replication technology
        • 1,000 "letters" per second
        • Proofreading machines
        • Accurate to 1 letter in 1 billion
      • Repair technology
    • Consider protein Histone H4: 102 amino acids, "highly conserved," 100 of these are the same in a pea and a cow (chance odds around 1 in 20100?)

    18:39
    4. Technology of Life (cont'd)
    • Where does information come from?
      • Imagine blind monkeys typing
      • If every particle in the universe (proton, neutron, and electron) was a monkey
      • Typing a letter every 1043 seconds (typing ten million trillion trillion trillion letters a second, which if printed into books would fill a sphere 100 million miles in diameter every second)
      • For 14 billion years
    • Highly unlikely that there will ever appear more than about 100 letters of specified information!

    20:15
    Counting To God
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution
    • "Evolution" commonly defined as "any process of formation or change"
    • Charles Darwin in 1859: all species arose solely because of accidental mutations and natural selection
    • Can natural selection create new information?
      • Problem is not the survival of the fittest, but the arrival of the fittest
      • Today more than 10 million species

    21:26
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • Your choice:
      • Accident (Darwin)?
      • Design (God)?
    • Let's look at the facts

    21:39
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • Fact 1: Fossil Record
      • "Cambrian explosion": 70% of all "body plans" of all animals came into existence in a relatively short period
      • Biology's "big bang" - "Darwin's Doubt"
      • "Top-down" fossil record contradicts Darwin
      • Very few transitional organisms
        • "no one has ever found any in-between creatures" - Niles Eldredge
        • "Absence of fossil evidence for intermediate stages...has been a nagging and persistent problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution" - Stephen Jay Gould

    23:27
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • Fact 2: Little or no "Junk" DNA
      • Once thought only 1.5% of human DNA is useful
      • ENCODE (450 scientists) Sept. 2012
        • 80% of human genome has function
        • "It's likely 80% will go to 100%"
      • ENCODE Dec.2012
        • DNA contains a second code, multiple layers of information
      • ENCODE Jan. 2014
          At least 75% has function, may be underestimate

    24:33
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • Fact 3: Extreme Rarity of Functional Proteins
      • 1990 estimate by two MIT biologists: odds of getting a sequence of 92 amino acids to perform a specified function are 1 in 1063
      • 2004 estimate: For 150 amino acids, odds of getting a specified function are 1 in 1077; odds of getting any function are 1 in 1074
      • But, in history of life, maybe 1040 organisms, almost all one-celled
    • Darwinian response: "cumulative selection"
      • Hang on to only "good" mistakes?
      • Gradual improvement of an engine while it is still running?

    26:58
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • Fact 4: Orphan Genes
      • All species sequenced to date have "orphan" genes ("designer" genes?) with no known relatives in other species
      • Help to make that species distinct - toxins in jellyfish, prevent freezing in polar cod
      • Leaf-cutter ant has 9,361 unique proteins, most of its genome
      • Darwinian theory has no mathematical clothes

    28:28
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • Fact 5: Many biological systems defy Darwinian logic
      • Loggerhead turtles navigate by Earth's magnetic field (also some fish and birds)
      • Caribbean reef squids communicate by the colors, patterns, and textures on their skin
      • Appendix "evolved" separately at least 32 times
      • Common Design, not common descent

    29:57
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • Human beings
      • 30 trillion cells - 30,000,000,000,000 cells
      • Almost all have 3.2 billion "letters" of DNA
      • Codes for perhaps 100,000 proteins (mean length perhaps 430 amino acids)

    30:32
    5. Puzzles of Macroevolution (cont'd)
    • To walk upright
      • 16 coordinated anatomical changes (spine, pelvis, knees, feet, toes, skull, etc.)
      • But time for specific mutation requiring two new DNA binding sites to happen and then becomes fixed estimated at 216 million years - Cornell scientists 2008
    • The human brain
      • 54 human orphan genes that code for brain proteins
      • How can reason and creativity arise from a Darwinian process?
      • What is consciousness?

    31:51
    Counting To God
    6. Special Earth

    Earth is special in its ability to sustain life over billions of years

    • Right galaxy
      • Maybe 98% have less metal
    • Right distance from the galactic center
      • Only 10% of stars are in GHZ
    • Safe path through the galaxy
      • Nearly circular, inner edge of the Orion arm

    23:14
    6. Special Earth (cont'd)
    • Right sun
      • Big (greater than 95%) but not too big
      • Stable life in 10 billion years
      • Solitary star, not in globular cluster
      • Stable energy output (one part in 1,000 over 11 year cycle)
    • Right Solar System
      • Planets have circular orbits, spaced apart, same direction
      • Jupiter (vacuum cleaner of the solar system)
    • Right place in the Solar System
      • CHZ permits liquid water

    34:16
    6. Special Earth (cont'd)
    • Right Moon
      • No good theory on how mood was formed
      • Creates tides
      • Eclipse coincidence?
    • Right ingredients
      • Water
      • Carbon
      • Molten iron core
      • Plate tectonics
    • Odds of finding another equally suitable planet in our galaxy may be less than one in 100

    34:19
    Counting To God
    7. Universe is Nonmaterial
    • Mathematics describes everything in physics
      • Mathematics is ideas
      • Whose ideas?
    • Quantum physics defies materialistic concepts of reality
      • One-slit/two-slit experiment
      • Quantum entanglement
      • Quantum Zeno effect
    • "In the beginning was the word"
      • Greek word "logos" - divine thought
    • Could the foundation of the universe be mathematical concepts? - string theory

    36:60
    The Logic of Belief
    • Only intelligence can create meaningful information
    • There is tremendous information in the structure of the universe, the origin of life, and every species

    37:23
    Final Score:
    God 7, Atheism 0
    • Stand up for the wonder
      • Awe, astonishment, surprise, and admiration
    • Stand up for the truth
    • Stand up for tolerance
      countingtogod.com

    Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

  • Saturday, June 28, 2014

    The multiverse argument for the existence of paranormal phenomena.


    Belief in God and intelligent design is supported by the evidence that our universe seems to have been improbably finely tuned for the existence of life. But even so, scientific knowledge of chemistry indicates the probability of life arising and evolving on earth is vanishingly small. Materialist have responded to these facts by proposing a "multiverse theory", a theory that there are a nearly infinite number of universes, each slightly different so that there is a chance of one like ours existing.

    However, postulating a large number of universes does not help he materialist cause. In fact, it hurts it. In addition to the fact the multiverse theories themselves require fine tuning, one cannot escape the fact that if there are enough universes to explain the existence of our "improbable" universe as the result of chance, then there should be enough universes to provide the chance that our universe could also include God, spirits, Sasquatch, intelligent designer(s), UFOs, alien abductions, psi, etc, etc. The possibility of the multiverse is no reason to favor naturalism, but it is a reason for accepting the evidence for any paranormal phenomenon. If you believe in the multiverse, then anything is possible and you have no grounds to reject any paranormal phenomenon.


    Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Why doesn't everyone who survives a near fatal illness or injury have a near-death experience?


    Many people who lose consciousness when they are seriously injured or ill say that during the time they were unconscious, they were visiting the afterlife. These experiences are called near-death experiences and they represent strong evidence of life after death. None of the materialist explanations for near-death experiences can explain the anomalies associated with the phenomena. But there are many people who are seriously injured or ill and lose consciousness who do not have an NDE. Why is that? There are a few possible explanations for this:

    • Memories of NDEs may not initially be stored in the brain because the brain is not active, for example, during cardiac arrest. When the patient regains consciousness he might not remember his experiences in the afterlife because the brain normally functions to filter out memories that are in the spirit mind. This is why we don't remember that we were spirits before we were born. Only those people who have some type of brain damage that creates a leak in the filter will be able to remember their out-of-body experiences. That may be why many NDErs also report an increased frequency of psychic experiences after their NDE.

    • Many NDEs involve spirits guiding the experiencer on a tour of the afterlife and include meetings with deceased relatives. That implies some planning by the spirits so the guides and deceased relatives are available to host the experiencer. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that some NDEs are organized on the spirit side.

      There are several reasons an NDE might not be organized for someone:

      • One reason for being given an NDE is that it would allow the experiencer to learn spiritual truths and then come back and tell the rest of us what it is like in the afterlife. However, not everyone who suffers cardiac arrest would make a good spiritual messenger so such individuals might not be selected to have an NDE.

      • Some people might need to be a materialist atheist to learn the lessons they have incarnated here to learn. Being given an NDE might interfere with their spiritual growth.

      • Some NDErs seem to be given their NDE because their life is not on the right track and they need spiritual guidance in order for them to get from life what they came here to learn. So, some people might not be given NDEs if their life is already on the right track.

    Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    Para-Pseudo-Skeptics


    I have previously written about the harm done to individuals and to society by pseudo-skeptics who don't believe in the evidence for psi and the afterlife. But there is a special kind of pseudo-skeptic who does believe in psi but who thinks that the evidence for the afterlife is caused by unconscious psi from living people. In essence, these para-pseudo-skeptics, as I call them, who are often parapsychologists (scientists who study paranormal phenomena), believe that people who have experienced afterlife phenomena are self-deluded fools who can't tell reality from fantasy. This prejudice against experiencers is an example of the arrogance of scientists who hold ordinary people in contempt because the scientists believe that scientists are the only people capable of discerning the truth. Some people may try to defend the para-pseudo-skeptics by saying that they don't have as much information about afterlife phenomena as the experiencers. However, ignorance is not an excuse for prejudice, it is a cause of prejudice. No persecuted minority has ever won the respect and rights they deserve without demanding them. Therefore, when para-pseudo-skeptics advance these disgraceful hypotheses about afterlife experiencers, they should be confronted with the truth. As I shall explain below, psi cannot explain the evidence for the afterlife and there are good reasons to believe it is the para-pseudo-skeptics themselves who have problems telling fantasy from reality because they would rather believe any number of absurdities than believe the evidence for the afterlife. And while the para-pseudo-skeptics assert that the experiencers have unconscious motivations to fabricate evidence for the afterlife, the para-pseudo-skeptics unconscious motives are, in fact, highly suspect and may lead them to biased interpretations of the evidence.

    In fact, there are many, many reasons to doubt the para-pseudo-skeptics ability to tell fantasy from reality, and to question their unconscious motivations for denying the evidence for the afterlife. These reasons are the many, many independent lines of evidence which show that the afterlife is real, that it cannot be explained by psi, and that the para-pseudo-skeptics are wrong:

    Afterlife experiencers know the evidence better than any para-pseudo-skeptic. Mediums live with afterlife phenomena every day and know all the fine details of it that don't get published in books and parapsychology papers. They often also experience psi and can tell the difference between psi and spirit communication. Mediums know the phenomena infinitely better than para-pseudo-skeptics who often know the phenomenon only from reading the reports of other people. Also, near-death experiencers say their experiencers are real. To the experiencer, a near-death experience seems realer-than-real, and their memories of the experience are more detailed than normal memories. The the para-pseudo-skeptics disregard the opinion of non-scientists experts, the experiencers, who know more about the phenomena than they do. This attitude of the para-pseudo-skeptics is caused by their absurdly arrogant false belief that they are the only people who have the ability to discern the truth.

    Since para-pseudo-skeptics believe that people who have experienced afterlife phenomena are self-deluded fools who can't tell reality from fantasy, the para-pseudo-skeptics should understand that it is only fair for their own rationality to be disputed. For example, it is very likely that para-pseudo-skeptics themselves suffer from perceptual bias (which they are not shy about accusing mainstream scientists of suffering from). Because these para-pseudo-skeptics spend so much time studying psi, they see psi everywhere, even where it is not present. Because of this, para-pseudo-skeptics do not have the ability to make an objective assessment of the facts, this causes them to suspend logic in order to allow them to maintain their mistaken belief that the brain produces consciousness and ESP. The result is that they believe absurd things. For example, para-pseudo-skeptics may believe that quantum entanglement can be established between two human brains separated by miles in order to produce telepathy, and that the neuronal patterns in a human brain, the result of a lifetime of varied and unique experiences, and constantly changing due to neuroplasticity, can have meaning to the consciousness of another person. Or that consciousness which consists entirely of subjective experiences, which can never be measured objectively, can be the product of fundamentally different measurable objective phenomenon such as neuronal activity through some unexplainable means. Or that NDEs, where dead people have lucid conscious experiences that seem realer than real and which produce memories that are more detailed than normal memories, are produced by the brain when electrical activity in the brain is entirely absent or barely measurable which by all theories of brain function should not permit the brain to sustain consciousness or produce memories. Or that poltergeist phenomenon that does not depend on the presence of any one individual is caused by some unknown PK master who could be located anywhere and anytime in the universe. Or that multiple mediums unconsciously cooperate to produce characteristics of communication that depend on the spirit not the medium or sitter, and they unconsciously conspired to produce the cross correspondences. Or when poltergeist phenomena that cause multiple successive tenants to flee a home is stopped by the intercession of a psychic medium, that the medium used her PK abilities to produce the phenomenon even before she consciously knew the house was haunted. Or that fetuses are capable of unconscious PK that enables them to be born with birthmarks at the sites of injuries sustained by some random person they will later impersonate the reincarnation of. Etc, etc,

    The para-pseudo-skeptics have no respect for the intelligence of many, many people who have experienced afterlife phenomena, such as near-death experiencers, people who have had contact with spirits including many evidential mediums, and people who remember past lives. However, the para-pseudo-skeptics should be willing to receive the same type of psychological analysis that they perform on afterlife experiencers. For example, one of the excuses the para-pseudo-skeptics give for their biased beliefs is that experiencers have unconscious motivations to simulate afterlife phenomenon and use psi unconsciously to fulfill that motive. If the para-pseudo-skeptics are going to bring up the subject of unconscious motives, the para-pseudo-skeptics should also consider the possibility that they have unconscious motives themselves that influence their beliefs. For example, It is possible that they have some type of unconscious motivation to discredit the evidence for the afterlife. There are probably as many motivations as there are para-pseudo-skeptics. In some cases the motive might be the desire to appear to be a serious philosopher so they can write books and papers. In some cases it might be to inflate the powers of psi so they can magnify the importance of studying it. In some cases it might be fear of punishment in the afterlife. In depressed individuals it might be the desire for the end of suffering that will come with extinction at death. In some parapsychologists it might be fear of attacks by pseudo-skeptics. Or, some para-pseudo-skeptics may be misanthropes who hate the fact that knowledge of the afterlife eases grief and reduces the incidence of suicide so they try to discredit the phenomenon of mediumship because they want people to suffer mental anguish over the loss of their loved ones. Or, para-pseudo-skeptics might feel so much envy for the power of pseudo-skeptics who publish nonsense about psi that the parapsychologists have to refute over and over, that the para-pseudo-skeptics want to exert a similar power over afterlife researchers.

    The para-pseudo-skeptics rarely consider that those who experience afterlife phenomena are real people, and that the experiencers know the phenomena infinitely better than the para-pseudo-skeptics. By spreading their metaphysical faith disguised and scientific possibility, the para-pseudo-skeptics risk harming real people and making it harder for them to get accurate information that can help them make sense out of their experiences. For the para-pseudo-skeptics it is an academic question but there are real people going through real experiences and having real problems. People take immense comfort from mediumship when it eases their grief. People who experience spirit contact can go through real trauma, they may be ostracized at school or their family may think they are demonic or crazy and send them to a psychiatric facility. NDErs may keep their experiences to themselves if they are told the experiences are not real and it is much healthier for them if they feel they can talk about their experiences with others. The para-pseudo-skeptics should stop spreading their misinformation. They should recognize that they are prejudiced by their perceptual bias and unconscious motivations which causes them to believe all sorts of absurd things. Para-pseudo-skeptics think afterlife experiencers are self deluded fools who can't tell fantasy from reality but it is that para-pseudo-skeptics who are fooling themselves. Some people may try to defend the para-pseudo-skeptics by saying they don't have the same information as experiencers. But ignorance is not an excuse for prejudice, it is a cause of prejudice. No persecuted minority ever obtained the rights and respect they deserved without demanding it, and afterlife experiencers should speak out against the prejudiced, and deluded, misinformation being spread by para-pseudo-skeptics.


    Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

    Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle: "A superintellect has monkeyed with physics."


    I have updated my web page on eminent researchers who believed in the evidence for some type of paranormal phenomena with the following entry on Fred Hoyle. I also added an entry for Hoyle in a recent post about scientists who believed that the scientific evidence shows that the universe was designed.

    Sir Fred Hoyle

    The article for Sir Fred Hoyle in Wikipedia describes him as an English astronomer who is most remembered for his work on how chemical elements are synthesized in stars (nucleosynthesis). He received many honors during his life including: Fellow of the Royal Society, Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Medal. He was Knighted in 1972. Hoyle did not win the Nobel Prize but many people thought he was unfairly excluded in 1983 when the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded for nucleosynthesis in which he "had been one of the key and original workers". Hoyle resisted the implications of the Big Bang theory, a name which he was first to use. He tried to find a theory that would describe a steady state universe that did not have a beginning.

    However, Hoyle believed the evidence that the universe was fine tuned by an intelligence and that life arose and evolved through intelligent design. This is similar to the cosmological argument that the universe must have been designed by an intelligent creator. Hoyle also believed the universe was designed for a purpose.

    The following quotes explain Hoyle's views in his own words:

    On the fine tuning of the universe:

    Would you not say to yourself, "Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question." (Wikipedia)

    Life is the product of intelligent design:

    If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design. (Wikipedia)

    Higher life forms did not evolve naturally:

    The chance that higher life forms might have emerged [naturally] in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.

    - Hoyle on evolution, Nature, Vol. 294, No. 5837 (November 12, 1981), p. 105 (Wikiquote)

    Life did not arise naturally:

    The notion that not only the biopolymer but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.

    - The Big Bang in Astronomy, New Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 1280 (November 19, 1981), p. 527 (Wikiquote)

    The universe was designed for a purpose:

    There is a coherent plan to the universe, though I don't know what it's a plan for.

    - Attributed in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999) edited by Elizabeth Knowles and Angela Partington (Wikiquote)

    The blog "Uncommon Descent", quotes science historian Michael Flannery writing that Hoyle believed that the universe was designed by an intelligent creator.

    I think it is a fair assessment to consider Hoyle a creationist in the broadest sense of the term. Yes, he rejected Darwinian evolution, and yes, he held to panspermia, but his book The Intelligent Universe: A New View of Creation and Evolution (1983) and other writings I think substantiate Theodore Walker’s assessment that Hoyle’s views accorded “with the religious idea of a supremely intelligent Creator-Provider-Sustainer of the universe” that was essentially panenthic and at least implicitly pro-theistic

    Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

    Consciousness, a subjective phenomena that cannot be measured objectively, cannot be produced by physical processes all of which are in principle measurable.


    Consciousness is subjective experience. Subjective experience cannot be measured objectively. I know what blue looks like to me, but I cannot know what blue looks like to another person. We assume blue looks the same to everyone but we cannot know it does. All physical phenomenon are objective and measurable. In principle, physical phenomenon cannot produce something that cannot be measured. Since consciousness is a subjective phenomena that cannot be measured objectively, consciousness cannot be the result of any objective physical process. Consciousness must non-physical and therefore cannot be produced by the brain.


    Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

    Sunday, April 27, 2014

    Anomalous Characteristics of Near-death Experiences


    Below is a list of anomalies that occur during near-death experiences. None of the materialist attempts to explain these and other NDE anomalies can actually explain them, and ESP or veridical perceptions that occur during an NDE are best explained as out-of-the-body consciousness.

    Anomalous Characteristics of Near-death Experiences

    • Enhanced consciousness such as realer-than-real detail, 360 degree vision, and colors not seen before.

    • Blind people see during NDEs. (Hogan)

    • Memories of NDEs are more detailed than normal memories.

    • Visions of deceased people, sometimes deceased people the experiencer had never met or seen pictures of. (Hogan)

    • A life review where the experiencer feels how he affected other people from their point of view.

    • Veridical (verifiable) perceptions where the experiencer perceived something when their brain was not functioning, and or perceived something that they could not have perceived with their normal senses even if they were conscious.

    • NDEs have been experienced by people not close to death.

    • "Lucid consciousness, well-structured thought processes, and clear reasoning" (Beauregard), calmness and tranquility (near-death.com), when their medical condition should cause confusion and amnesia, disorientation and fear.

    • Spiritual transformation.

    • NDEs involve a subjectively conscious experience while the experiencer is objectively unconscious. Hallucinations almost always occur when the subject is awake and conscious. (near-death.com)

    • NDEs occur more often during flat EEGs and not during abnormal EEGs. (Hogan)

    • "NDEs are remarkably consistent across virtually all experiencers regardless of age, nationality, religious background, and all other demographics", including atheists. (Hogan)

    • "Many parts of the brain must be coherent for lucid experiences to occur yet NDEs occur when there is no EEG activity." (Hogan)

    • NDErs experience "heightened awareness, attention, and memory at a time when consciousness and memory formation are not expected to be functioning" and "only confusional and paranoid thinking... should occur" (Hogan)

    • "In some cases, a third party has observed visionary figures seen by the experiencers" (Tymn)

    • Healthy people attending the dying sometimes share in the NDE. (Facco and Christian)

    • Because of the way the brain is wired, it cannot produce an NDE. (Alexander)

    • "The most important objection to the adequacy of all ... reductionistic hypotheses is that mental clarity, vivid sensory imagery, a clear memory of the experience, and a conviction that the experience seemed more real than ordinary consciousness are the norm for NDEs. They occur even in conditions of drastically altered cerebral physiology under which the production theory would deem consciousness impossible. (Greyson)
    Sources
    1. Chapter 2 in "Your Eternal Self by R. Craig Hogan, Ph.D.
    2. Debunking the NDE Debunkers by Michael Tymn (Summary of the above chapter.)
    3. Irreducible Mind and the NDE Michael Prescott discusses chapter 6 of the book "Irreducible Mind" by Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, et al.
    4. Near-death experiences between science and prejudice by Enrico Facco and Christian. (2012) Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 6:209. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00209
    5. Near death, explained Near death, explained By Mario Beauregard at Salon.com, Saturday, Apr 21, 2012
    6. Cosmological Implications of Near-Death Experiences by Bruce Greyson, Journal of Cosmology, 2011, Vol. 14.
    7. Scientific theories of the near-death experience at near-death.com
    8. Dr. Eben Alexander, neurosurgeon, near-death experiencer.

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