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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The unintended hilarity of Richard Dawkins and the "Magic" of Darwinism

Richard Dawkins wrote a book entitled "The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True."  Yep, Richard Dawkins!   What is interesting is that he has put "Magic" into the title.  The reason this is humorous is, for one thing, Darwinism is the surfboard Dawkins has ridden to fame and Darwinism absolutely depends on magic to exist.  Since we know that Darwinst macroevolution is statistically impossible and that the natural spontaneous generation of life has been disproven by years of laboratory experiments, then magic is really all Darwinism has going for it.  If there is anything in this world that is all hat, no cattle, it is Darwinism!

We've seen that the supernatural has a great fascination for those who accept Darwinism.  Television programs feature folks with psychic powers, supernatural powers, the ability to manipulate time and other such nonsense.   The paranormal is very fascinating to the public even though they have been brainwashed with Darwinist propaganda from the time they first set foot in school.  Is it because there is in the human heart an intrisic understanding that there is a supernatural component to reality?  Or is it because the Darwinist dependence upon magic aka magick has caused the popular culture to embrace such mysticism and incorporate it into daily life?  

Dawkins likes to make fun of the mythology of various cultures but in fact most cultures have an underlying creation account and a flood account that has often been "Chinese telephoned" into something unreasonable.   But in fact the Creation account of the Bible is scientifically accurate and, since all people came from those who knew that creation account, when people were scattered across the globe after the Tower of Babel they all carried oral accounts of creation and the Flood with them.  But only the Jews carefully recorded the account in written form and went to great lengths to keep that account accurate.  The Bible says the same things now it said in the First Century, AD and the Old Testament portion has been complete for around 2,500 years. 

The science that Dawkins depends upon, ironically enough, continually changes.  If you depend upon the wisdom of man you cannot actually have an unshakable foundation upon which to stand because the story keeps changing.  Those scientists who accept the Bible as evidence and considers what it says along with the discoveries of modern science (many of which are made by Bible believers) have had a pretty consistent story that only requires a few tuneups here and there.   On the other hand, secular science continually has to throw away their assertions and make brand new ones.   In the days of Darwin the view of the cell, the view of the sedimentary rocks of the Earth and the accepted age of the Solar System, the Earth and the Universe were entirely different than what secular science asserts today. 

You who ignore the Bible, a book that is the most read and most quoted book of all time.  It told the ancients that the Earth was round and was hung in space.   It told them that God had made the light before the sources of the light and that He had stretched out space.   It told the ancients that God had spoken all creation into existence but had very personally formed man and breathed into the nostrils of Adam the very breath of God.  It told the ancients that God had formed man in His image and it is true that mankind is quite different from all other organisms.  We have reasoning capabilities that are beyond other creatures and we also have an eternal spirit that can never be quenched.   For those who seek and find God this is great news, for we know that the door of death is only one that opens to eternal life in a better form in that we will be able to see and even comprehend God.  For those who doubt or hate God this is terrible news, news they want to ignore, for they will defy God until death and then face judgment for their deeds on Earth. 

One cannot test for the existence of God, one can only examine the evidence we can see in the material realm and, in cases of forensic science, one must make hypotheses and suppositions.  We cannot travel back in time.   Therefore we will never PROVE the existence of God or the lack thereof.  We cannot PROVE that the Noahic Flood happened although the evidences for that event are quite strong.  Certainly Darwinists cannot PROVE that macroevolution ever happens because it is never observed to happen.  I know that this cannot be proved because it is not a possibility.   Mutations and copying errors do not drive an organism uphill toward more organization, if they do enter into the gene pool they are going to generally obey the Laws of Thermodynamics and will be deleterious.   Darwinists glibly like to say it only takes a favorable mutation now and then to advance organisms from simple to complex but in fact organisms are full of very complex systems and organs that would require a few dozen if not hundreds of mutations, all favorable and all magically working together as if designed to advance the organism.  This would have had to happen uncounted millions of times to produce life on Earth from that one mythical first "simple" organism which, like all organisms, has a very complex coding system stuffed full of specific information to exist at all.  Preposterous!

As the Tree of Life Tumbles: Now, the "Public Goods" Hypothesis

Even as Richard Dawkins informs presidential candidate Rick Perry that "evolution is a fact," many evolutionary biologists are quietly (or not so quietly) abandoning what Dawkins claims as the central aspect of that fact, namely, the Tree of Life (TOL) hypothesis. In his bestseller The Greatest Show on Earth (2009), Dawkins writes that "today we are pretty certain that all living creatures on this planet are descended from a single ancestor" (p. 408). But this textbook picture, widely accepted since Darwin's time, is increasingly being dumped by biologists, in favor of very different histories.

You can follow the action by visiting the lively open access journal Biology Direct. This journal is exceptional because it includes the referee reports, along with the authors' replies to the referees, at the end of each paper. This admirable practice enables the reader to follow the details of scientific debate, usually hidden from public scrutiny.

As an example, check out a paper published this week (still in manuscript form), "The public goods hypothesis for the evolution of life on Earth," by four European evolutionary biologists (James McInerney, Eric Bapteste, Davide Pisani, and Mary J. O'Connell). McInerney et al. argue that the TOL is "becoming increasingly implausible." Although the TOL "has been stretched to fit the data" in various ways, "given our knowledge of the data, it seems that the elastic limit of the original hypothesis has been passed." Time to try a different picture.

To replace the TOL, McInerney et al. favor what they call "the public goods hypothesis." Borrowing a term from the economics Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson, they argue that many (but not all) genes and proteins are "public goods," meaning entities that belong to no one in particular. These genes and proteins are thus available for use by all, and their presence in any lineage does not necessarily indicate common ancestry. As they explain,

According to this hypothesis, nucleotide sequences (genes, promoters, exons, etc.) are simply seen as goods, passed from organism to organism through both vertical and horizontal transfer. Public goods sequences are defined by having the properties of being largely non-excludable (no organism can be effectively prevented from accessing these sequences) and non-rival (while such a sequence is being used by one organism it is also available for use by another organism). The universal nature of genetic systems ensures that such non-excludable sequences exist and non-excludability explains why we see a myriad of genes in different combinations in sequenced genomes.

The radical consequences of this hypothesis are easy to imagine -- but we leave that as an exercise for the reader.


As a reader, I can see the implications clearly.   While working in the auto industry, we made parts for virtually every automobile and truck manufacturer you can name.   There were perhaps 9 or 10 production lines that produced every kind of part needed for our part of the industry.   We made sound-deadening and lining materials and parts.   One department in our plant made padding material similar to blanketing.   There were lines that made asphalt and rubber-based products, we had some that used fiberglass and we also incorporated plastics and foil and produced both cured and non-cured padded materials and sometimes coated them with other substances and often stamped and cut them into specific shapes.   Some lessons drawn from this - we had lines that made the same kind of materials that went out to every auto manufacturer we serviced.   We might change shapes or thicknesses or other factors for each manufacturer but every one of them obtained rubber or asphalt-based parts from us and most of them also obtained padding-based parts. 

One very interesting fact was that some automakers used exactly the same part in many different automobiles.  We would make a run of several thousand General Motors padded and cured parts and it made no difference if they were going into a Chevrolet or an Olds or a Buick or a Cadillac, the same part went into all of them.   We would make a run of another kind of part that would go into every Chrysler corporation minivan, whether labeled Chrysler or Dodge or Plymouth.  Our parts were general purpose items common to all vehicles.   Now we see that genetic materials are the same, which is an indication of design.   Designers tend to use the same basic components in all of their vehicles.  I can look at a disk brake system without seeing the automobile and recognize the GM or Ford or Chrysler style, or at least I could on models made in 2000 and before.   Back then I was not only in the auto industry but I also did my own mechanical repairs.  However, the same brake style would be used by Fords and Lincolns and Mercuries of various models because Ford had one style they used for their automobiles.   

A severe back injury caused me to change careers and also to outsource most automobile maintenance and repair to mechanics.   I still have all the tools but my time is better used working at my job and also many mechanical repairs require one to twist and turn and do things dangerous to my spinal health.  But that does not change the fact that I once worked in every aspect of the automobile supplier business both union and management, in engineering and auditing and maintenance and quality control and management as well as working every single line the company had and every part of that line from front to back.  I have also worked on virtually every system on automobiles other than the automatic transmission.   So I have a great understanding of design and production of automobiles and I can tell you honestly that God did it first and did it better but His models of production and His systems have always been templates that man has copied.   We make electric motors but e. coli has a better one.   No matter how we have engineered wing and flight systems, we find we can still learn from nature.  Nature is full of intricate designs and systems.  We study the feet of the gecko and the wing motions of bumblebees and the echolocation of bats.   We realize that many creatures have navigation systems and built-in algorithms we find mysterious.   We continue to learn from nature.   That makes perfect sense if nature is designed by a Greater Mind than our own.   But it is completely preposterous to imagine that such sophistication was born from a long series of accidents and mistakes and pure dumb lucky breaks far beyond any statistical possibilities.

From the Discovery Institute's website, I also copied this excerpt of an article about a talk made in Seattle by Oxford professor John Lennox.

Excerpts from the article and from the Amazon webpage from whence I pre-ordered the book:

Writing about atheist oracle Stephen Hawking's Discovery Channel program "Did God Create the Universe?," an episode of Curiosity, the L.A. Times reviewer candidly threw up her hands in surrender.
[Hawking's] attempts to explain how, exactly, the big bang emerged from a state of nothingness required an understanding of physics that was beyond me. "If you are not a math head," he concedes far too late in the proceedings, "this may be hard to understand." Indeed.

So, like its alternative, belief in Hawking's premise is an act of faith.
What you really need to evaluate the strength of Hawkings's argument, presented in his 2010 book The Grand Design, is either a head for math or, better still, an actual mathematician. Enter John C. Lennox, Oxford University professor of mathematics, who conveniently will speak in Seattle this Friday night, August 19.

John LennoxYou couldn't ask for a more expert "math head," not to mention a highly endearing, funny and accessible speaker. Imagine your old Irish grandad if he was an Oxford don. He'll be speaking at 7:30 pm on Friday at University Presbyterian Church. The title of his talk: "Do the laws of physics make God unnecessary?" More information here. Yes, it's free.

In his own about-to-be-published book God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is it Anyway?, Dr. Lennox sweeps Hawkings's obscurities and obfuscations before him. Hawking's signature argument is that because there's such a thing as the law of gravity, the universe was guaranteed to self-create.

As Lennox makes clear, that makes about as much sense to the mind of a mathematician as it does to anyone else's: "Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists."

Also, the review posted on the Amazon site:

"As far as I am concerned, John Lennox wins this bout with a knockout.

Lennox notes Hawking's statement that "philosophy is dead," and hopes that Hawking does not mean that logic and all that are dead. Lennox also notes that Hawking goes on to do a great deal of "philosophizing," a field in which he is (like Richard Dawkins) a newborn babe.

How could any rational person say that the law of gravity caused the universe to create itself? What the heck does that mean? Natural laws do not make anything happen. I can repeat the laws of arithmetic to my heart's content, but that won't put a penny in my bank account. The laws of motion do not make pool balls move: someone with a cue needs to strike them, and then the laws of motion will predict quite exactly how the pool balls will move.

Like Dawkins, Hawking goes through incredible contortions to avoid the idea he is allergic to, the idea that God created the universe. Hawking wanders off into pure speculative metaphysics and a nearly infinite number of alternative universes, and apparently thinks that the incomplete and unproven "M-theory" will explain everything. Dawkins would rather believe that little purple people from another planet created life on earth, rather than even consider the idea that God might have done it.

This is a short, lucid book which I am guessing you will enjoy!

"Physical laws cannot create anything. They are a description of what normally happens under certain given conditions." "- Geoff Puterbaugh

I expect the book to be a great read, but it shouldn't be too hard to put the wood to the backs of both Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking.   They are examples of the great lengths to which supposedly intelligent men will go to avoid the implications of design in the Universe.   Occam's Razor and common sense are abandoned in a desperate attempt to save a failed hypothesis from centuries before.
You can be sure Richard Dawkins would not dare to debate Lennox in a public forum, he knows when he is overmatched.  Ben Stein, no scientist, famously schooled (or now they say pwned) Dawkins in his interview during "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."  Imagine what Jonathan Sarfati or John Lennox or Ian Juby would do do him? 

Went out Saturday night with my wife and my oldest daughter to go sing Karaoke and I was pretty happy my voice is coming back.  I could sing the lowest lows on "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" and also the high notes on "Hold On Loosely aka Good Lovin' Gone Bad" (.38 Special) and Journey's "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " too.   My daughter came up to sing harmony on the "na na na na na's" at the end of the Journey song (gotta have the harmonies at the end!) but it was great to be able to sing low baritone and hit those rock singer tenor highs, too without resorting to falsetto.  Big fun!   My wife and I do a great and nasal "I Got You, Babe" by the way.   I get a kick out of sounding like Sonny and Debbie's Loren Bacall-style voice is perfect for Cher.  None of that has anything at all to do with the post above, but it made me think of another Journey song and so I want to encourage those of you who believe in God and Creation that you can keep on keeping on and DON'T STOP BELIEVING!