How to defeat materialists with their own matter and laws.

#1
Scientific materialism assumes matter and energy can account for all of reality. Abiogenesis (life from nonlife) and evolution (the formation of the panoply of life) are spawns of this philosophy.

One of many ways to defeat materialism is to consider the origin of free will.

Materialists would say the choices we make in life can be reduced to neuronal functions that in turn result from biochemical and atomic actions. However, atoms obey physical laws, such as those governing nuclear forces and electromagnetism. Atoms don't choose whether they obey or not. They are robotic slaves to these laws. That's why chemists can predictably synthesize the things they do. So much of chemical A plus so much of B, under certain conditions, will create so much of C. This occurs without fail over and over.

Yet humans, composed of such atoms, have the ability to choose. Therefore, atoms cannot account for this human ability. The ability must, therefore, come from elsewhere, elsewhere than matter.

The only out for materialists is to claim the implausible, namely that we have no free will and all actions are deterministic going back to the Big Bang.

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These nonreligious concepts are developed more fully here if interested. https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com...s-second-edition/15-free-will-proves-creation
 
#3
Thanks, that is true. However, free will cannot be equated with randomness. Atoms behave randomly at one level, and obey absolute natural laws at another level. Neither of these behaviors can be equated with free will.
 
#6
I would say a very powerful argument against Abiogenesis and evolution by natural selection is being put forward by scientists at the Discovery Institute. I wrote about one new aspect of this work here:

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/behes-argument-in-darwin-devolved.4317/

The main problem is that most scientists just try to ignore tricky areas like this.

The problem with free will is glaring, of course, but people gradually become complacent about such things as believing they don't have free will - and indeed when you argue with a materialist on this point, they will produce a variety of variants of free will!

David
 
#7
Good points. Yes, free will is argued against but if you research those arguments they will fry your brain. Gobbledygook through and through.
Behe presents some very good arguments indeed. The Christian baggage he has turns many off before they can give what he has to say fair consideration. Behe is an example of how Biblical creationists turn their rational brains on and off so adroitly. I point this out in more detail here with the free book. https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com/
 
#8
Good points. Yes, free will is argued against but if you research those arguments they will fry your brain. Gobbledygook through and through.
Behe presents some very good arguments indeed. The Christian baggage he has turns many off before they can give what he has to say fair consideration. Behe is an example of how Biblical creationists turn their rational brains on and off so adroitly. I point this out in more detail here with the free book. https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com/
Behe and most of the DI's science team seem to be pretty good at explaining the science without bringing God into the picture. I think they know they have some very strong arguments and they want to influence as many people as possible.

The thing is, you can't defeat materialists in a logical argument, because they don't stick to logic. They wriggle an way to avoid that, and for the time being they have a receptive audience that still do not appreciate the science is.

I think Behe's latest argument is particularly strong - it is worth getting that clear in your head if you haven't already done do.

David
 
#10
Behe's arguments don't hold much sway with even his closest colleagues:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/evo.13710
Yes, you will see reactions like that, but in truth they don't really do justice to Behe's work. The only bit of that that even looks like a scientific argument is this:
Behe gives a misleading account of experimental evolution by trumpeting each and every loss‐of‐function mutation that provides a selective advantage. In truth, loss‐of‐function mutations are expected to contribute disproportionately to adaptation in experimental evolution, where selective pressures are high and conditions are constant, or nearly so. Systematic studies in yeast and bacteria show that most genes can be deleted singly with little functional consequence (Giaever et al. 2002; Winzeler 1999) and that a number of gene deletions are beneficial in specific environments (Hottes et al. 2004; Pir et al. 2012; Novo et al. 2013). It is important to point out that these mutations are often pleiotropic (Qian et al. 2012) and are not necessarily beneficial outside of the defined conditions of the experiment. No deletion is beneficial in all environments and beneficial loss‐of‐function mutations that arise in experimental evolution are unlikely to succeed if, say, cells are required to mate (Lang et al. 2009), the static environment is disturbed (Frenkel et al. 2015), or glucose is temporarily depleted (Li et al. 2018). Yet, Behe rests his central premise on the weak claim that these data demonstrate the ineffectiveness of random mutation and natural selection in all situations.
That is pretty vague. The mutations that Behe studied were precisely the ones that gave the organism a selective advantage because it made them reproduce faster - he didn't need to 'trumpet' them! In the experiments by Lenski that he describes, that resulted in the new organism replacing the old version completely.

A loss of function mutation is obviously far more probable than a long sequence of mutations that might confer a genuine advantage. These mutations do happen and spread in organisms, and they are essentially irreversible. One example, is that at some point we humans lost the ability to manufacture vitamin C in our bodies - as many other animals can do. This didn't happen because we could do without Vitamin C, as the early sailors could tell you, in all probability it happened because it conferred some temporary advantage - just as Behe describes.

The point is that the genome would seem to progressively degenerate - gene by gene - by this mechanism. Maybe our Vitamin C gene was lost at a time when we were eating so much fruit it wasn't needed, but now we are simply stuck with that limitation. The time required to build up a genuinely new feature by successive mutations is far, far, longer because natural selection can't operate on a multi-step change except on the last step or so. This is an obvious truth that academic biology seems to want to endlessly ignore.

DNA is rather analogous to computer code. Imagine for a moment that you had a set of programs (vaguely analogous to genes) and you stored them on old floppy disks, which were susceptible to losing bits. The chance that some of those programs would be damaged - and simply not run - would be rather high, but the chance of one of those programs working better than before would be completely negligible.

If one of these guys feels confident in their counter arguments, they should explain in a format that allows Behe the right of reply - either a debate, or a written debate.

David
 
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