Occam’s razor & The Truth about the Universe

Oct 17, 2013


Discussion by: Millard N. Stewart

Last Sunday's service was quite interesting. Our pastor spoke mainly about science and how our faith in God is constantly being tested, so I could not resist writing this little piece. We all know that science aims at finding the most likely explanation (without finding the truth) of how things work in the Universe, simply put. I must acknowledge the fact that science has helped us in many ways, but it has also brought some of the worst to humanity (thermonuclear weapons are proof enough). The search for answers throughout the past centuries has exponentially led to even more questions, and it seems to never end (and I doubt it ever will).

Now, this arduous search for the truth has brought many scientific theories, most of which are extremely complicated and are understood mainly by those working in an exact field of research. My nephew, a molecular biologist with a Ph.D., could pull out at least fifty books from his laboratory, each one explaining a different metabolic pathway (and this is not an exaggeration). Each new scientific experiment brings a new molecule in the spotlight, or a new genetic mutation that causes a particular disruption, or a certain metabolic pathway responsible for hundreds of chemical responses, etc. Basically, all I am trying to say is that the scientific search for the truth is not really answering much. It is only causing us to ask more and more questions and it continuously discovers things that do not offer a solution to the truth, it merely complicates matters even more.

So, this brings me to the title of my article, Occam’s razor. For those who do not know, Occam’s razor is a principle of parsimony, in which the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. This literally means that the simplest explanation is the correct one. For those who doubt, this principle is widely used as guidance for scientists who are building a theory or a theoretical model because it proves to be legitimate. Now let us look at how science explains life on Earth versus God and the Book of Genesis.

According to science, it is all about time and chance. Trillions upon trillions of chemical reactions take place in our body in a lifetime. Out of all these, there is an order that emerges in order to permit us to convert the energy around us. The current hypotheses state that, over billions of years, hit-and-miss reactions took place in a chemical soup in the Earth’s prehistoric atmosphere. It took extremely precise conditions and a certain “spark of life” in order for these simple chemical reactions to become, over time, extremely complex metabolic pathways coexisting in almost perfect harmony in a cell (not to mention the complexity of a single living cell). After the single cell was “born”, it took millions of years for a certain order to become of it, and tissues, organs and organisms were gradually more and more existent. We cannot forget the pressures the environment exerted on these evolving organisms, always guiding them in a certain direction. Of course, I can go on and on and on about how life happened according to science, but I think my point is made.

According to the Book of Genesis, God created the world in six days (the seventh day he rested) and appoints man as his regent. That’s it.

So, if we apply the Occam’s razor principle (and I stress the fact that scientists practice this principle to base their theories or build their theoretical models), God is the one who created the world, plain and simple. You may bluntly criticize and reject what I wrote, but you will only be criticizing a principle, not the truth.

In conclusion, my advice is to live with faith in God, as believers live a much happier and fulfilled life. I invite you to read this recent and very interesting article that shines a light on the healthier lives of those who believe in God.

Here's the link: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/seanthomas/100231060/are-atheists-mentally-ill/?fb

89 comments on “Occam’s razor & The Truth about the Universe

  • 1
    Len Walsh says:

    “God is the one who created the world, plain and simple.”

    A bit too simple that.

    Which god, for starters? Yahweh, Mazda, or that god of ethanol abuse Bacchus?

    Religion is mental illness, according to neuroscience.



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  • 2
    Len Walsh says:

    Millard, I was amazed at your lack of regard for other gods. It borders on disrespect.

    To elaborate on my characterisation of religion as mental illness, allow me to explain. As you said scientific theories can be complicated but we understand the basics of belief now. In psychiatry it is very difficult to differentiate religious delusions from other psychotic departures. Assessing people in crisis can be very difficult. Isabel Clarke has written useful books for specialist use diagnostically. From memory she is a believer in Yahweh the biblegod, or at least one of them.

    What has William of Occam to do with Yahweh?



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  • 3
    Mormon Atheist says:

    Haha I think you forgot some stuff.

    1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

    4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

    5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    6 ¶And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

    7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

    8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

    9 ¶And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto bone place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

    10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

    11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

    12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

    14 ¶And God said, Let there be alights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

    16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

    17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

    19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

    20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

    21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

    23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

    24 ¶And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

    25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    26 ¶And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.



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  • Occam’s razor. For those who do not know, Occam’s razor is a principle of parsimony, in which the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. This literally means that the simplest explanation is the correct one. For those who doubt, this principle is widely used as guidance for scientists who are building a theory or a theoretical model because it proves to be legitimate

    That’s not what Occam’s razor is. It’s not just taking the simplest theory at all. Ask your nephew, if he is a molecular biologist he must understand the principle and he will tell you, you simply have it wrong. Occam’s razor says that if you have two theories that both fit the data equally well but one is simpler, in that case you take the simpler of the two theories. The classic example is Ptolemy’s model of the solar system vs. the correct Copernican model. Both models fit the data that was available at the time more or less equally well but the Copernican model of elliptical orbits was much simpler than the Ptolemy model that had to use perfect circles and thus required orbits within orbits to make the model fit the data. Actually, for all the attention people give to Occam’s razor it doesn’t really come up all that often. The far more important issue, which you have completely ignored is does the model make predictions that can be tested which the God model clearly doesn’t.



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  • 5
    shawn.bishop says:

    Almost stopped reading at, “The search for answers throughout the past centuries has exponentially led to even more questions, and it seems to never end (and I doubt it ever will).” Finally did stop reading at, ” Basically, all I am trying to say is that the scientific search for the truth is not really answering much”.

    The author here completely fails to comprehend what knowledge actually is, in the 1st statement. None of us are already born omnipotent, and given the average lifespan of a (1st World) human is about 70’ish years, none of us can ever possibly approach being in a state of all-knowing. We are born into a universe that is about 13 billion years old, and we live for only 70 years. Is it any damned wonder that then, that as we seek to find an answer to a question, it takes us down an investigative path heretofore never trodden, and new questions arise while on the path to the answer to the original question? And this is bemoaned by this author?

    It gets worse with the second point, beyond which I could not bare to read. The author, in apparent blithe ignorance of all reality around him, actually says, “scientific truth isn’t answering much”. You know, I could go on for two paragraphs pointing out the logical fallacies in this statement, but I’ll take a more pragmatic approach to point out the abject banality of this statement. Looking at the author’s photo, it is likely that he wouldn’t have been able to write this piece at his apparent age had he been born in an epoch just 100 years earlier. One marvels then at: just how many biological truths science has uncovered in the past 100 years to grant us the life spans we all can expect to enjoy; one also marvels at how bereft of basic knowledge a person can be to make such an extraordinary statement that the search for scientific truth isn’t answering much.

    The mind boggles.



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  • Why do you get to claim that your book is the one truth? There are plenty of other religions who think they are the one truth. Regardless of what you believe, you have to have proof. Substantial, demonstrable proof for a claim to be accepted as truth. Anything you say is truth of your religion can be applied to the god of any other religion. You can’t possibly know if you’re right.

    And to say it is logically to accept the simplest of theories is out of plain and simple ignorance. By your logic, if something is too complicated, you just ignore it and go with something easier and pleasing? What if scientists decided that it was too much work to prove that the earth wasn’t flat and kept with the simple idea that it was flat. Where would we be today? Every scientific advancement in history has been made due to a questioning of something, forming a hypothesis, and endless hours of experimentation to come to a conclusion. Your principle is purely out of stupidity.

    The bible can not be used as proof or truth or holding any scientific basis. To say that it must be considered truth because you believe it and it’s written in a centuries-old holy book would mean every holy book would have to be taken as truth or a scientific possibility. Creation is not and never will be a scientific theory.



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  • Everything should be made as simple as can be, but no simpler.
    ~ Albert Einstein

    It would be nice if everything you needed to know to understand the universe could be found in one volume, but it isn’t. Not only is the bible over simplified, it is flat out wrong in every detail we can verify.

    You might similarly complain the the universe should be simple enough for an ant or a dog to understand. In a way, it is, at least to the satisfaction of an ant or a dog. The earth is as simple as it needs to be for a creationist (who has no problem with being wrong). There is nothing that says the universe has to be comprehensible by human scientists, even by future artificial intelligence. Expecting man-accessible simplicity is a religious notion based on the conceit the entire universe was created expressly for our pleasure. It just is what it is. We are just fleas on its back. It is in no way constrained to please us.

    Molecular biology is underpinned with some weird but mathematically simple universal quantum mechanical principles. However, there are so many combinations, you can’t in your head look at a molecule and guess its bioactivity. As we get better and better computers, we will be able to simulate the behaviour of more and more complex molecular soups, and display results as animations and lists of biological properties. It will all seem much simpler then when six year olds can play with the software.



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  • We seem to be getting a lot of these “fly-by” discussions at the moment. Someone who has never posted before posts something silly and then never posts again. Is this a deliberate site policy of trying to reach out to people beyond the converted ?

    Particularly irritating to me are the ones that are just preaching thinly disguised as discussion. I though that breached site policies ? Things like:

    In conclusion, my advice is to live with faith in God,

    In conclusion, my advice would be to read Red Dog’s reply explaining what Friar William of Occam’s Razor really is about.

    Michael



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  • I’m reminded of the comment by Nietzsche, ” a casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything”.

    You are going to get many responses for this post as there is so much with which to disagree. Where to start? I suppose your proposition that each piece of information discovered in science opens the way for many more unknowns. You see this as a bad thing! From my perspective this is a really good thing. Discovering things hitherto unknown enriches our understanding of everything!

    Should I delve into the comparative mental health assertion? I think you’re reading selective studies from questionable sources. The studies reported on this site recently have shown that people of faith are more subject to depression. You can check it out.

    Next in line for debate is the hackneyed argument that dreadful weapons have been invented as a result of the advances in science and technology. This is so, but their use is often motivated by those fighting over religious differences.

    You have certainly invented a new application for Occams Razor. I have never heard of it being used to support the possibility of a deity, but there you go.

    I’m positive many more things will spring to mind but that will do for a while.



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  • This is an interesting example of what happens if you start with your conclusion, ignore the evidence, then charge ahead.

    A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
    There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
    And drinking largely sobers us again.

    ~ Alexander Pope



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  • I’ll extend the comment from Red Dog re Occam’s. Yes, Millard left off the “all things being equal” clause. If we look at events in ordinary life (without much technology) and we test which is better, Newton’s laws of motion or Einstein’s Special Relativity, we would have to pull out Occam’s Razor and cut Einstein away because it is so much more complex and gives the same results. However, if we look in a bigger context that includes high velocities, Newton does not always make the correct predictions, but Einstein does. That is the double edge of Occam. You can end up cutting off what is true if you don’t have a testing context rich enough to detect a difference that makes a difference. (This is why the so called “fine-tuning” argument is bogus. You can’t test a context outside our Universe.)

    As others have pointed out, a being that is capable of creating our Universe by intention is not simple at all. We can present explanations for how complexity evolves in our world, and even how our Universe came to be, originally, but we have nothing to support an intentional being existing with no beginning. In the context of the history of our Universe, the idea of any deity bringing it into existence or directing its development, is more complex than natural causes, so it is not what we would go with by Occam, especially with the complete absence of supporting evidence.

    Got evidence?



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  • 12
    pvanderploeg says:

    Red Dog (nr 4) hits the nail on the head of course. A scientific theory should fit the data. And a scientific theory should reduce complexity, i.e. should explain more than its premisses. Kind of sad though. I was just writing a book explaining that the Great BokkiWokki created the universe.



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  • 13
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    Entia non sunt multiplicada praeter necissitum.

    You do not understand Occam’s Razor at all. It does not advocate childishly simplistic answers. It does not favor fiction over evidence and logic, no matter how simplistic the fiction is.

    There needn’t be more entities than is necessary. God is an entity. The creation and evolution of life can be explained without god, therefor the existence of life does not imply the existence of god. That’s Occam’s Razor.

    You are demonstrating the Dunning-Kruger effect. Please familiarize yourself, because you should know that you are so completely off the mark. If you like god and want to share it, I hope it makes you happy and makes the world a better place, but you are so off the mark with understanding Occam’s Razor, I urge you to stop out of compassion to not embarrass yourself. Please just demonstrate some ‘Christian humility’ and try to realize you have stumbled upon an unfamiliar term and you are using it completely wrong. You’re very confused about this. I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s like watching someone misunderstanding a word. It’s like this Abbott and Costello routine, except you’re sincere so it is hard to watch.



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  • Occam’s Razor is more a guideline rather than a rule, but anyway, GOD. Here’s your assumption, and he is a pretty big one, and according to general belief, not so simple.

    There’s a lot of things that are just wrong and counter-productive with the ‘God dun it’ argument. I’ll leave it to others to tear into it.

    … and into your ‘troll bait’ article as well. Although I have a feeling very few will bother.



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  • 15
    Pabmusic says:

    You are making a false analogy between religious explanations and simplicity. I have never understood that Occam’s Razor means “the thing that is easiest to explain”, rather than “the explanation that is least complex”. Granted, a religious answer is easy to explain since all religious explanations of the beginning of everything are basically “It was magic!”; but that is disingenuousness on the part of the religious, since “magic” (or God) is utterly complex – so complex that we have no idea how the laws of nature could be suspended so that that could happen.

    In order to believe what is obviously your version (a Christian one) you have to jump so many hurdles. Lets look at just two.

    (1) Why a Christian God at all? Why not a Hindu one? Or something else (there are so many to choose from). They all have their creation myths – each one just as amenable to your Occam’s Razor argument as your own. Yours has nothing in its favour other than that I suspect you were raised in a Christian culture so it is familiar to you. Most other people in the world were not.

    (2) If a Christian God, then which version of creation? The one in Genesis 1, where light is created before the Sun? Or the rather different one in Genesis 2 where Adam (but not Eve) is created before the other creatures (unlike in Genesis 1, so you’re falling short on simplicity already…).

    These need to be answered before we even consider Occam’s Razor. And they need to be answered objectively – not just by ‘belief’.

    Now consider Occam’s Razor. It does not indicate a finishing point, but a starting point. It says, simply, that the least complex explanation is more likely to be true, so you ought to begin with that one. But it does not say that the answer is always the least complex one, and it will be the case that many ‘truths’ are not the least complex. Occam’s Razor is a great way of approaching conspiracy theories, but it shouldn’t be taken to mean that conspiracies can never happen.

    Then we need to consider what is meant by ‘complex’.

    For many people, I suspect, it’s difficult to disentangle complexity from something that’s difficult to understand. Particle physics does seems very complicated to me, but only because I can’t understand it well. If I could, I suspect it wouldn’t seem so formidable a challenge. Many things are very difficult to explain, but that doesn’t necessarily make them complex.

    Consider: the origin of life (abiogenesis) is not yet settled, but there are several hypotheses, one of which seems to concern deep-sea vents and early silicone-based forms that could copy themselves. All very odd, but perfectly explicable in terms of physics – even though we can’t be sure it’s what happened. That explanation is not actually complex – it accords with our knowledge of physics. However, to suggest that life was created in all its current complexity by magic is itself highly complex, since it requires the suspension of physics, the existence of an all-powerful (and logically paradoxical) creator, a being that we have no testable evidence of (and we are told we cannot have evidence of beyond faith).

    Can you not see that this is infinitely more complex than just some difficult (even counter-intuitive) physics.

    I know what would go if we applied Occam’s Razor.



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  • Od created the world, plain and simple.

    It’s fully one third simpler than your explanation. My advice is to live with faith in ‘Od’.

    When you realise how stupid and vacuous this post is, you’ll realise why everyone’s looking at you as though you are a tool.



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  • Occam’s razor doesn’t mean you just pick the explanation that solely has the fewest words or the fewest steps – that’s not what’s meant by ‘simple’. It means you pick that explanation that best fits the evidence with the fewest steps. It should also endeavour to fully explain the evidence without adding in any unnecessary or unexplained items.

    If Occam’s razor really was what was as you describe then all the text books on your nephew’s bookshelf would be one page thick and just say ‘God did it’. Medical text books would consist of surgical procedures like ‘Reach in with hand and pull out liver’. Chemistry text books would say ‘Mix chemicals together.’. This, of course, would be absolutely useless. Yes, it’s certainly simpler to miss out all the complicated stuff but, get this… it’s wrong. The explanation needs to explain the evidence – there’s a clue in the word.

    ‘God did it’ explains nothing in the same way that ‘take out liver’ fails to explain quite how you should do that.

    Now, go away and balance a science book on your head so you can absorb the knowledge via osmosis. It won’t work, but it’s ‘simpler’ than having to think about all those complicated ideas.



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  • 18
    Tyler Durden says:

    According to the Book of Genesis, God created the world in six days (the seventh day he rested)

    Your god needs a rest?!

    Some god.



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  • 19
    Tyler Durden says:

    I must acknowledge the fact that science has helped us in many ways, but it has also brought some of the worst to humanity (thermonuclear weapons are proof enough).

    As used by Harry S. Truman, a Southern Baptist.



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  • 20
    Seraphor says:

    This is a bastardization of the Occam’s Razor principle.

    I haven’t read through all other comments here yet so forgive me if I’m repeating what others have said,

    Occam’s Razor isn’t ‘The simplest answer’, or we could make it even simpler by saying everything that exists is a dream and you are god, dreaming it all. The problem is that doesn’t EXPLAIN anything.
    Occam’s Razor is ‘The least complex explanation that accounts for all the facts’.

    You don’t erase all of our scientific discoveries when you introduce God into the equation, and so everything we know about radiation, gravity, electromagnetism, molecular biology and every physical, biological, psychological process discovered, still exist. Only now, you’ve ADDED another problem, the existence of a deity.

    Introducing God as the prime mover and architect of everything that exists in the universe, only complicates things to an infinite degree. For now we need to explain not only how God created everything, or how God was created himself, but as God is an intelligent agent we also need to explain WHY God created everything and why he created everything the way it is. And none of this serves to explain the physical, biological, psychological, and quantum processes that were apparently created by God, we still need science to explain all of those.

    The introduction of God as the prime mover only serves one purpose. It alleviates your own personal curiosity, it inserts a buffer that bypasses knowledge with fantasy and eliminates your desire to discover anything about the universe, because everything can be answered with “God did it”. This is detrimental to human civilization, as only through scientific progress can we enhance our lives and survive in an ever changing, mostly inhospitable universe. Just think what your life would be like without science? You’d be living in a mud hut, in damp, freezing conditions, if you hadn’t already died from a variety of deadly infections that you wouldn’t be able to understand.

    my advice is to live with faith in God, as believers live a much happier and fulfilled life.

    As for the validity of this statement, you can no more say that you live a happier life than me, than I can of you, this is entirely subjective. Nevertheless, Happiness in general is typically linked to a standard of living, and for the most part, the countries with a higher standard of living are the secular ones and for most of them, it’s the more atheistic countries. With violence, famine and human rights abuses occurring more frequently in religious countries.

    On a personal level, I still enjoy the company of others, my friends and my family, in the same way you do, I still find wonder in nature, in art, music and poetry in the same way you do, these things bring me happiness. In addition I also find happiness in discovering more about the universe than I previously knew, in in doing so I open myself up to a multitude of other wonders of the universe, that continue to feed my curiosity, and so I am never unsatisfied with science as it continues to provide wonder. Religion to me is a dead end, it saps wonder out of the universe by belittling it’s complexity and reducing it to the whims of a petty tyrant.

    But regardless of the veracity of your claim, “That a believer is happier than a non-believer is no more to the point than the fact that a drunk man is happier than a sober one.”



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  • 22
    Brian Fieldhouse says:

    Dear Millard,

    I assume that you also believe that the stork brings the babies to their mommies. It´s the simplest explanation, after all.



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  • 23
    ireligious says:

    “According to the Book of Genesis, God created the world in six days (the seventh day he rested) and appoints man as his regent. That’s it.”
    Can’t argue with that logic. In fact I am going to write my own story called ‘Bob builds the Universe’. Bob is going to make it happen in a day – can he make it? Yes he can! Despite creating this massive fucking universe, Bobs a little eccentric so he makes a real special effort with a pissant little planet revolving round a remote star, all his seriously good shit is going on display on this pale blue dot. The rest of the universe is like his house and back yard, but this pale blue dot – it’s like his trophy shelf and model railroad and hobby room all in one. All sorts of crazy stuff is going to happen along the way plus Bob’s going to create his Pièce de résistance, an animation project he calls human beans (Beans). Ultimately, they will cause him a few headaches and Bob is going to have to do some heavy modifications involving a lot of water and some serious smiting, in fact Bob goes postal for a while, but all artists get a tad temperamental. Bob subsequently lays down some rules and regulations, some of them might not seem logical to some of the more ornery Beans but it keeps the little critters busy fighting among themselves for hundreds of their earth years. This leaves Bob time for other hobbies. Bob is demonstrably more efficient than other, obviously mythical Bobs of pagan tradition, his story will be the simplest explanation of Bean origins, so he should gain a big following. His target demographic is the simple Beans who yearn for a simpler time when science stuff didn’t challenge the word of Bob.



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  • In reply to #22 by Brian Fieldhouse:

    Dear Millard,

    I assume that you also believe that the stork brings the babies to their mommies. It´s the simplest explanation, after all.

    The Stork Theory of Reproduction.



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  • 25
    OHooligan says:

    What shall we do with the cretin Millard? x3

    Erlie in the morning.

    Shave his bollox with Occam’s Razor… x3

    etc….

    Er. pardon the outburst. The discussions here have turned to such crap lately. More patient commenters than I have said all that’s sensible to say in reply, so I thought I’d toss in a bit of emotional response instead.



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  • 27
    Zhap135 says:

    In reply to #26 by OHooligan:

    On another note: Are Telegraph Readers Mentally Ill? Or is it just the contributors?

    Most of both seem to be religiously minded, so draw your own conclusion



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  • 28
    Alan4discussion says:

    @OP – According to the Book of Genesis, God created the world in six days (the seventh day he rested) and appoints man as his regent. That’s it.

    So, if we apply the Occam’s razor principle (and I stress the fact that scientists practice this principle to base their theories or build their theoretical models),

    Occam and science are about the simplest evidenced rational answer, not simplistic speculation with refuted components and incredulity. Genesis cannot even get the order of events right, let alone explain any processes.

    God is the one who created the world, plain and simple.

    I think you meant “Plain and simplistic”! “God-did-it-by-mysterious-magic”, totally fails to recognise that such a creator god, is even more complicated than the scientific explanations – even before we look at the infinite regression of “who created the creator, of the creator, of the creator of the creator? ad infinitum .. . . . or did they all these highly complex creators and their creation processes evolve – like life on Earth?

    You may bluntly criticize and reject what I wrote, but you will only be criticizing a principle,

    Nope! The criticism is of the gross misunderstanding of the principle.
    Side stepping the issue and failing to offer any explanation of the process is NOT offering a simpler explanation. It is offering no explanation!

    not the truth.

    There are no truths which contradict evidenced science or logical processes. Because science does not know everything, that does not mean that it knows nothing, or that any wild guess is equally valid.

    In conclusion, my advice is to live with faith in God,

    Faith is Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith

    Evidence and logic lead to conclusions. Faith is pure assumption and assertion!

    Faith has a long record of producing random answers, failed answers, and accident investigations!

    as believers live a much happier and fulfilled life.

    This seems to be a view through “faith-blinkers”. –

    I think someone forgot to tell all those suffering in religious and sectarian conflicts, religious wars, crusades, and suicide bombings – or worrying about imaginary Hell-fire – about this asserted feature of their lives!



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  • 29
    Blasphemyman says:

    [First sentence removed by moderator to bring in line with Terms of Use]

    The Occam’s razor principle is as Red Dog etc have stated is nothing more than a guide(the Newton/ Einstein example was a superb example) that it is not a law!
    The Telegraph article was unempirical nonsense!



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  • 30
    steve_hopker says:

    I support Red Dog’s comments on Occam (post 4).

    Invoking Occam is tricky, as others say, for it requires counting ideas or entities and some questionable arithmetic. But let’s attempt to follow your pastor’s argument through.

    Let’s say there is a true number of entities (stars, molecules, reactions and so on) across the Universe. However, it seems likely that we do not know all the universe. So let’s consider what we can see and count – the number of entities we see, the stars, molecules etc that we have ‘counted’ to date. (This is why Occam is tricky – how can we reliably count such things? But let’s follow the line your pastor started).

    Anyway, what we can count makes a current inventory of entities, the fullest and best description of the universe that we can make for now. That will be a huge number – you are right to say that.

    But from your pastor’s argument, whatever the number of entities that we can see and count in the universe, there is one more entity to add – ‘God’.

    So if there is a God (and we can know that God), then the number of entities we know is all we can see, plus one.

    Yet, we already had our full list of the visible universe: but Occam’s Razor eliminates anything that does not add to an argument.

    So, Occam’s Razor will always favour the full list of the known universe over the same list plus God, that is ,‘full’ plus one (I’ll term this conclusion the ‘plus one problem’).

    Thus, by invoking Occam, your pastor has defeated his/her own argument for God.

    Note that this rests upon observed phenomena ie the number of entities in the universe. It is not relying upon acceptance of scientific explanations. However, I think a similar ‘plus one problem’ applies to adding God as another explanation.

    What’s more – though I don’t think your pastor directly said this – a lot of deists would say not just that there is a God but that that God exists in some way apart from the universe, or outside space and time. So the ‘plus one’ isn’t just another being, but another realm of existence. That is a huge complication. Indeed, I personally think this will always lead to Occam eliminating the God hypothesis, unless God is seen as an entity within the universe – a pantheistic god perhaps, or an Olympian-type deity.

    Maybe a way to escape the ‘plus one problem’ I’ve argued Occam’s Razor gives your pastor is to argue thus. The description of the visible universe is wrong. For example, there is not really the number of chemicals that we think there is: or that telescopic and microscopic images are multiplying mirages. (Why there might be such illusions if God has made the universe is unclear, but that is not a key question here).

    One might thus argue what we thought was everything is an overestimate, and that really there are fewer entities (less complexity) that we thought there were. If we then say there is also a God (‘plus one’) the number of real entities can now be less than the number we think we see. So Occam seemingly now can favour a universe with a God, since a universe with a God has less entities that we had thought (invoking God is possible if we can say then the universe is less complex than we think).

    I think something like this happens in Creationism and so on. Large amounts of scientific evidence is ignored – or dismissed, to then assert that we know less than we think we do. This makes (or seeks to make) the gaps, the mental room, for a God.

    This might lie behind the tragedy in arguments like your pastor’s. For if they really believe themselves, then your pastor and like minded people cannot fully marvel at wonders of nature, because of this nagging feeling that, ‘this isn’t enough’ and ‘this is not what’s really real’. One often hears such deep inner dissatisfaction expressed by theists, who cannot get beyond the ‘Is this it?’ question. Sadly, your pastor might never be able to look at reality and appreciate it for what it is. (Sometimes I think fundamentalists cannot look at other people and properly see and appreciate them for who they really are).

    Yet – maybe even ignoring science doesn’t work, for there may be a logically fatal regress here for theism ie it cannot escape the ‘plus one problem’. For to know that the visible universe is less complex than it looks would mean knowing that our (seemingly) full list should be corrected – in this case, trimmed down. So now when we add God, we still are still adding one (God) to what is the currently best full list. The ‘plus one problem’ is back.

    In other words, if God is always to be added on to what we know already, your pastor’s case invariably returns to the same ‘plus one’ problem, so again leading the elimination of the ‘God hypothesis’ by invoking Occam: and so ad infinitum.



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  • 31
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #21 by Tyler Durden:

    In conclusion, my advice is to live with faith in God, as believers live a much happier and fulfilled life.

    Being Religious or Spiritual Is Linked With Getting More Depressed – as published in the psychiatric journal Psychological Medicine in September 2013.

    I see the OP link, is the work of a fiction writer using his faith-thinking as a basis for his understanding of psychological medicine.

    Are atheists mentally ill? – By Sean Thomas

    Sean Thomas is a novelist, journalist and travel writer.

    ▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬

    He also publishes thrillers under the name Tom Knox. He is currently writing a memoir of his extremely misspent youth, and similarly misspent adulthood,

    And I mean that literally: the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness. And this is because science is showing that the human mind is hard-wired for faith: we have, as a species, evolved to believe, which is one crucial reason why believers are happier – religious people have all their faculties intact, they are fully functioning humans.

    Ha! ha! ha! The circular, self-referencing, delusions of those faith-blinkers!

    His tunnel-vision blanks out all those features of reality, and evidenced rationality, he can’t or won’t see, –

    so those without an overwhelming enormous set of god-spots dominating their deluded brains, must have had them amputated – (in his personal opinion as a rank amateur making it up as he goes along)!

    Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.

    Ah! the vital faculty of faith (ie. The “ability” to “know” without evidence, along with the use of disabled reasoning faculties to reach “faith-conclusions”) –

    Sean Thomas’ lack of study and knowledge of psychology also covers his self-demonstrated ignorance of psychological projection, of Pluralistic ignorance, and of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    The straw-atheist is assembled from his own reflection!



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  • 32
    canadian_right says:

    Occam’s razor is not a hard and fast scientific principal. It is a rule of thumb meant to make a scientist think about their new hypothesis and give it a second look before deciding it is a good avenue of research.

    Occam’s razor does not apply until AFTER you have gathered your evidence, tested a few hypothesis’s, and are trying to decide of two or more ideas that are supported by EVIDENCE.

    There is an abundance of evidence supporting a universe about 14 billion years old, and an Earth 4 billion years old. There is no evidence that the universe was created in 6 days, and not even in the order Genesis states (and it has two orders). In my opinion there is no evidence that any god exists at all. These facts means the hypothesis that “god created the world in 6 days” never even reaches the point were Occam’s razor could be applied. This “6 days” hypothesis fails all tests that science has used on it.



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  • 33
    JoxerTheMighty says:

    Occam’s razor is just a guideline that enables us to “cut off” unnecessary complexity in our explanations/models.
    Say I want to solve a problem and I’m using a set of 12 differential equations to do so, and it works well.
    Someone else discovers a method that uses only 5 simpler equations, that works just as well. That means
    there is superfluous complexity in the former method; we arrive at the same conclusions but with the latter
    method we do more work for no reason at all. That doesn’t mean that any method using less than 12 equations is preferable! It has to, you know, actually be correct too! If the route from your workplace to your home is 10km, you’ll probably be happy if you discover a shorter route to your home…that doesn’t mean you’ll take any shorter route, even if it leads you to the edge of a cliff, just because it is shorter!

    “God created the world in 6 days” is simpler than the complex theory of evolution, but it’s also wrong! We know that all life didn’t spawn in merely 6 days. Furthermore, it doesn’t actually explain anything about the processes of life on planet Earth, as evolution does. “An unknown entity that I can’t even describe with words did it” is not an explanation…that’s pretty much the opposite of an explanation 🙂

    By the same token, someone else could offer the explanation “my god created a world in an instant with a snap of his fingers”. “That’s it”.

    Even simpler than the explanation you offered, ain’t it? 🙂



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  • 34
    crookedshoes says:

    There is nothing wrong with thermonuclear weapons. It is the hands that they are in that determines whether they are “evil” or “good”. They have saved countless lives when used as a deterrent to attack and war. They have cost countless lives when used aggressively. I’d much rather have them in the hands of a scientist than those of the religious.

    We disagree on so so so much, that I do not have time to kick your OP in the ass. Suffice it to say “everything that guy just said is bullshit”. (quote from the movie “My Cousin Vinny”….



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  • 35
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #34 by crookedshoes:

    There is nothing wrong with thermonuclear weapons. It is the hands that they are in that determines whether they are “evil” or “good”.

    The same could be said for the stone, the stick, the stone axe, the bronze knife, the steel machete and fire!

    When the user wants an excuse for misuse – blame the scientist! (The “no true Scotsman” fallacy comes to mind, when theists try this ploy)



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  • 36
    JoxerTheMighty says:

    In reply to #35 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #34 by crookedshoes:

    There is nothing wrong with thermonuclear weapons. It is the hands that they are in that determines whether they are “evil” or “good”.

    The same could be said for the stone, the stick, the stone axe, the bronze knife, the steel machete and fire!

    When the user want…

    Now. to be fair, the (admittably great) scientists that worked on the Manhattan Project didn’t work on “neutral” science that just produced a tool that could be used for “good” or “bad”…they were there for one specific purpose: Make an extremely destructive bomb that would burn down an entire city area in a second and vaporize thousands of people. They even calculated the height in which the nuclear weapon should detonate, in order to do maximum damage. It was politicians, of course, that decided to drop it, but let’s not pretend that politicans took the work of scientists and “twisted” it for military use; those scientists had a specific goal, and the goal was to build a super bomb. Not study the nucleus of the atom; not produce useful energy out of nuclear reactions; the goal was to make a giant kaboom, turn a city into hell on earth and melt down human beings as impressively as possible so the Japanese, who have never surrendered till then, would go “ok man, we are way over our heads here; these guys have harnessed the power of the gods, let us surrender and be done with it”. I’m not making moral judgements here, this was during the worst war the planet had ever seen, I’m just stating that these were the goals, and the people involved knew what they were working on and what it was going to be used for.

    This event heralded the atomic era, and if that’s for best or worse, we can’t know for sure. Nuclear weapons may have indeed shorten WW2 and the fatalities it would cause if it was continued. They also may very well lead to a WW3 and set back civilization by 2000 years, or worse, something virtually impossible if we had just sticked to conventional weapons. I doubt that the first morning after a nuclear holocaust there will be very many people willing to defend the invention of nuclear weapons as a “good thing”.



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  • 37
    tom campbell-ricketts says:

    According to the Book of Genesis, God created the world in six days (the seventh day he rested) and appoints man as his regent. That’s it.

    I can do even better than that: Physics. That’s it.

    I win. 7 characters v’s his 104. Ockham’s razor proves it.



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  • 38
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #36 by JoxerTheMighty:

    In reply to #35 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #34 by crookedshoes:

    There is nothing wrong with thermonuclear weapons. It is the hands that they are in that determines whether they are “evil” or “good”.

    The same could be said for the stone, the stick, the stone axe, the bronze knife, the steel…

    I’m more than willing to criticize scientists and my own government when I think they make a mistake. If you want to talk about war crimes I would say Agent Orange in Vietnam and Depleted Uranium in both the Gulf Wars count and that any scientist involved in developing those two was unethical. The DU stuff is I think one of the most under reported crimes that the US has committed, the effects of using those weapons in Iraq are still being felt.

    But I have a problem with revisionist history that looks at WWII as just another example of imperial powers fighting each other. It wasn’t. If ever there was a war where one side was the “good guys” it was the US and UK in the second world war. And with hindsight we know that the Germans weren’t close to a bomb but we didn’t know that at the time and with the zero sum thinking that a war like WWII entails the only rational course IMO was for the allies to try and develop the bomb first and I think any scientist working on the initial Manhattan project was ethically justified.

    After the war it was a different story and the behavior of many of the most prominent scientists was actually commendable. Oppenheimer sacrificed a lot because of his principled stand. Although not everyone was ethical, Edward Teller for example was literally the model for Dr. Strangelove.



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  • 39
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #36 by JoxerTheMighty:

    In reply to #35 by Alan4discussion:

    The same could be said for the stone, the stick, the stone axe, the bronze knife, the steel…

    They even calculated the height in which the nuclear weapon should detonate, in order to do maximum damage. It was politicians, of course, that decided to drop it, but let’s not pretend that politicans took the work of scientists and “twisted” it for military use; those scientists had a specific goal, and the goal was to build a super bomb.

    It is fair enough that the scientists in that project knew what they were doing, but did Einstein have this in mind when he worked out the theory? It is also fair to say that the politicians employed them on military contracts and those who wanted to do pure research would have been out of a job!

    The point was that this applies to all technology. Capuchin monkeys can use stones to crack nuts, http://video.nationalgeographic.co.uk/video/news/ng-on-assignment/monkey-nut-crackers-ngoa/, or historical armies could load then into siege catapults, or crowds could throw them at stonings!
    Bronze knives can be used for preparing food, or can be used as weapons.
    Science is understanding how stuff works. Moral decisions on the use of knowledge or artefacts derived from knowledge, are user responsibilities. – unless you are suggesting that scientists withhold knowledge. This does happen, but it is usually for military secrecy, or for commercial profit, rather than to ensure peaceful uses of the technology!

    Nuclear power can be used for bombs, or it can be used for electric power-stations, or powering space probes, Mars Rovers, or remote lighthouses. These decisions are political.

    Nitrates can be used as fertilizers or for improvised bombs. Knowledge is power, and in politics power is regularly misused to prioritise weapons!
    In the second world war the agenda was WHICH weapons were to be used, not IF weapons were to be used!



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  • 40
    crookedshoes says:

    Why hasn’t there been a nuclear holocaust? I am thinking that if these things were “evil” this woud have happened by now. Truth of the matter is, there is nothing good nor bad about something inanimate. I hope we never find out what the “next day after the holocaust” brings, but there’d have to BE a cataclysm to analyze this. If these weapons were solely in the hands of one religion and no others, we’d probably know the answer by now.

    In reply to #36 by JoxerTheMighty:

    In reply to #35 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #34 by crookedshoes:

    There is nothing wrong with thermonuclear weapons. It is the hands that they are in that determines whether they are “evil” or “good”.

    The same could be said for the stone, the stick, the stone axe, the bronze knife, the steel…



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  • 41
    crookedshoes says:

    Oh and in regards to my earlier hasty post, I used Occam’s razor to “cut” right to the chase. Bullshit is bullshit.

    @ the OP…If there is a god that “invented everything” he/she/it would have to be more complex than the things he invented. Haven’t we done this whole spiraling ad infinitum argument to death????

    Oh, and I’d rather live a short meaningful life on my feet than a long worthless life on my knees.

    Offer confirmed reproducible proof of any god and moreover, a god that requires worship (how illogical that stretch is) and I’ll be the first one kneeling. But, to do it your way is vapid and mindless and requires you to actually throw away any “god given” talent you have for reason and logic.

    So, thanks for checking in and trying out condescension and your own pitiful stab at profundity, I’ll pass and choose for myself a life of ACTUAL achievement and thought.

    And, if you are correct I’ll take my chances that an all knowing all powerful being will see how hard I tried ON MY OWN to maximize the skill set I have been “given”…. And, I’d also trust that those that live like you will end up in the wood chipper.

    And, if I am right, you’ve wasted EVERYTHING. I’ve wasted nothing.



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  • OK serious flaws in ‘reasoning” here. Firstly positing a deity as a more parsimonious explanation that a scientific explanation is deeply flawed to the point of being disingenuous. We are expected to believe that this entity of infinite complexity and capability SOMEHOW coalesced from the ether or SOMEHOW has always been. This does not constitute a simpler explanation. This is the philosophical slight of hand that allows religion to explain absolutely everything even as it explains nothing. Mr Stewart also indulges in an old creationist argument that goes like this, “I cannot conceive of it therefore it cannot be!” That is the argument from lack of imagination… he views scientific explantions of metabolic pathways etc as just too complicated. One could be forgiven for thinking the whole universe is confined and constrained by the limits of Mr Stewarts imagination. The truth being whatever his subjective feelings dictate. The arrogance inherent in some of his assertions is quite breathtaking. He and other creationists need to get outside of their heads at some stage and actually investigate the universe not sit round performing philosophical gymnastics and trying to tell us their subjective feelings (i.e. faith) is inerrant while reality is frequently in error.



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  • In reply to #35 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #34 by crookedshoes:

    There is nothing wrong with thermonuclear weapons. It is the hands that they are in that determines whether they are “evil” or “good”.

    The same could be said for the stone, the stick, the stone axe, the bronze knife, the steel machete and fire!

    When the user want…

    The weapons used in the bible would have been the cutting edge technology of their day. Who to blame for deaths caused?



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  • 44
    Neodarwinian says:

    In reply to #8 by mmurray:

    We seem to be getting a lot of these “fly-by” discussions at the moment. Someone who has never posted before posts something silly and then never posts again. Is this a deliberate site policy of trying to reach out to people beyond the converted ?

    Particularly irritating to me are the ones that…

    ” Is this a deliberate site policy of trying to reach out to people beyond the converted ? “

    Noticed this also, but I was wondering if this series of silly posts was a targeted attack



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  • The superstitious brain is the default brain that we are born with. It is control, power and comfort seeking in infinite ways; rather than sharing this control and power, it is the lazy brain, and it is a coward for easy solutions. It is genetically prone to do this. It is attention seeking and narcissistic. It is highly irrational, jumping to conclusions, illogical, fear driven, selfish, stubborn and ignorant, it is highly prone to social pressure, acceptance and status seeking, but it is better than having a neutral brain or no brain at all: from a genetically and evolutionary point of view it is the immature brain.
    The next level of brain is the enlightened one, this one takes deliberate hard work, it is the highly rational, logical, flexible, independent, evolving, compassionate, honourable, selfless, moral, courageous and a social one; you may have pieces of one brain mixed with the other brain your whole life, but remember, try to use the better brain. At any given moment, if you stop working at it, the superstitious brain takes over. This is one of the main reasons that brilliant and smart people can make nonsensical conclusions and beliefs their whole lives. Say you don’t,, when you don’t know something and try to investigate. Comfort is not a reason to lie about the truth and reality. This is the mature brain and we are guilty of using both these brains, in different combinations.

    Patriotism, religion and nationalism are the equal of elitism, racism, homophobia, sexism, fascism, etc., you can be very intelligent but that only means that you are more prone and equipped for arrogance in your beliefs. You still have an immature mind if patriotism, religion and nationalism rule your thoughts, humility is so important for enlightenment. There is no need for status seeking behaviour, not to god, not to anyone.

    All forms of life in this universe, from the molecules that lean toward rebellion, to the most sophisticated beings, are in fact, temporarily breaking the second law of thermodynamics. Life is an act of rebellion inside our finite cosmos, following dogma is not.



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  • 46
    Jos Gibbons says:

    Ctrl+F informs me the original author hasn’t posted on this thread. Quel surprise. Why is it that, almost every time someone I think of as “wrong” starts a discussion here, they don’t even attempt a reply to even one of the comments people leave here? It’s almost as if they genuinely are wrong.

    Stewart, I don’t know if you’re reading these comments, but if you are here’s one point you need to understand. At best, Occam’s razor is a tie-breaker. You don’t employ it when one answer (the scientific one) makes successful testable predictions while the other (the religious one) does not. Depending on how literalist is your religious view, its claims are either already falsified or inherently unfalsifiable. You need to read more about the philosophy of science. Start with a book by Karl Popper; or, failing that, a concise treatment of his description of how science works. (I know people here might prefer other authors, but Popper is as good a place as any for Stewart to start from, if he’s to have a more up to date understanding of how to assess science than something someone wrote in the 14th century).



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  • 47
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #45 by rjkrjk:

    All forms of life in this universe, from the molecules that lean toward rebellion, to the most sophisticated beings, are in fact, temporarily breaking the second law of thermodynamics.

    Just to be clear nothing really violates the second law. If you view the Earth as a closed system (which it isn’t) and don’t take into account the sun then life from that perspective seems to violate the second law but that is only because of the error of not looking at the complete system.

    And I’m not sure what molecules “lean toward rebellion” means. Rebellion seems to me to be a term that applies to organisms that have some notion of agency, not necessarily consciousness but at least goals and intentions which a molecule doesn’t.



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  • If you wanted to pretend you understood how the universe worked, just for psychological comfort, like some bronze ager, then the bible would suffice. However, if you want to do anything, you need actual knowledge. Imagine trying to navigate thinking the world was flat, predict solar radiation, find oil, outsmart HIV viruses that keep mutating (aka evolving), build sports stadia domes with the wrong value of pi, build computers without any knowledge of atoms or quantum physics, calm “demon possessed” mental patients…



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  • This literally means that the simplest explanation is the correct one.
    Somebody explained this incorrectly to you. Think of all the times when your car failed and it was not the simplest explanation — namely you ran out of gas. Occam applies when you have two equally valid explanations. Then you might as well pick the simpler. This happens most often in mathematics when there are two equivalent ways of computing something.



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  • 50
    Reckless Monkey says:

    It took extremely precise conditions and a certain “spark of life” in order for these simple chemical reactions to become, over time,

    This gets to the nub of all these people who argue against life coming into existence.

    At the moment we have no idea how this happened, speculation, interesting hypothesises yes, but no actual idea how this happened. This means that you cannot calculate any sort of probability it’s like trying to establish the probability of getting a 1 on a dice without first knowing if it is 6 sided, 24 or 32 sided. So Occam’s razor should not apply we do not have two competing hypothesises yet. What we have is a honest admission of ignorance and ‘we’re working on it’ and an elaborate set of contradictory myths.



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  • has also brought some of the worst to humanity (thermonuclear weapons are proof enough).

    This is a very important point. Mankind is learning too fast. The results of that learning are more often than not taken over by corporations and governments for the purposes of destroying the environment and waging war more viciously.

    That is an argument for slowing down the pace of change, or reigning in corporations, not an argument that what science is discovering is false. The truth of what they discover is the problem. That is what gives them the power. If their science were bogus (like creationism), they could not do anything with it, good or evil.



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  • Basically, all I am trying to say is that the scientific search for the truth is not really answering much.

    Imagine you were interviewing a fascinating author. The author was completely forthcoming, and every answer made you think of 100 more questions. When your hour was up, and you went off to turn your notes into an essay, would you say the interview was a failure, that you knew nothing about the author? Would you prefer they shut off further inquiry by answering every question Yes or No?

    The author is a metaphor for our universe. You as interviewer seem to think you have failed because you could not force the author to answer yes or no to each question and stifle further inquiry. This endless ability to fascinate is a feature of the universe, not of science.

    A believer, you should have no trouble with the idea god’s big project would knock your socks off with every repeated look.



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  • , my advice is to live with faith in God, as believers live a much happier and fulfilled life.

    Not at all. I pity you stuck in your delusion. You imagine some ogre in the sky is watching your every move looking for an excuse to torture you and your loved ones for eternity. I don’t know how you stand it. Your rule book tells you to kill you kids, commit genocide, stone women to death, kill gays, keep slaves etc etc. I presume you don’t do these things. You are spitting in that ogre’s eye. Pretty brave of you.



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  • 54
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #43 by Nitya:

    The weapons used in the bible would have been the cutting edge technology of their day. Who to blame for deaths caused?

    Pharaohs’ chariots probably were, as were the weapons of the Romans – both in politically organised armies.

    For shepherds’ rods, staffs and slings, or stones the claims would seem doubtful.



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  • 55
    Simon Tuffen says:

    According to the Book of Genesis, God created the world in six days (the seventh day he rested) and appoints man as his regent. That’s it.

    Yes, that’s it. But it’s that simple because there is no detailed explanation to it! No explanation at all, in fact, of what God is, or how he created the world. It raises more questions than it answers.

    If you explain God, as well as explain how the world was formed, you will then have a MORE complex explanation than you would for one that did not involve God.



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  • In reply to #54 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #43 by Nitya:

    The weapons used in the bible would have been the cutting edge technology of their day. Who to blame for deaths caused?

    Pharaohs’ chariots probably were, as were the weapons of the Romans – both in politically organised armies.

    For shepherds’ rods, staffs and slings, or…

    There seem to be no biblical references made about the wicked Romans using such advanced weaponry against these poor people in the holy lands so I think I’m right in thinking that they were not quite so focused on finding reasons to hate technology. ( I’ll probably be informed of many passages in a matter of seconds after posting. 😉



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  • If there were a god, the bible would be a calumny. It would have to be a forgery. God would not give conflicting instructions. He would not ramble on like a grandfather with Alzheimers. It would not be so repetitive. It would not contain so much irrelevance. The writing should be better than any human novelist. He would not make so many errors in how he constructed the universe. He would have signed the book in some clear way to block other from making forgeries. It is obviously the work of many ordinary men pretending to speak for god. But none of them know anything God should know that humans of the time did not.



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  • The bible is just a set of stories, fictitious history. The key characters, Moses, David and even Jesus did not even exist.

    This is not science. Science tells you how things work. It lets you predict how things will work in detail. The bible does not even attempt that. Trying to pass off the bible as science is like trying to pass off Uncle Remus as animal husbandry.



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  • In reply to #58 by Roedy:

    The bible is just a set of stories, fictitious history. The key characters, Moses, David and even Jesus did not even exist.

    The bible cannot even be used to predict the equinoxes, Easter, sunrise/sunset, or the tides. The bible will not tell you what to do if someone has a heart attack or chokes on a piece of meat. It won’t tell you how to simply save you child from dying of dehydration/diarrhea. About the only useful piece of information in it is “don’t kill”, which certainly not unique to the bible and which the bible violates far more frequently than it asserts, including the strange demand that the demented Abraham murder his son Issac.



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  • 60
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #56 by Nitya:

    There seem to be no biblical references made about the wicked Romans using such advanced weaponry against these poor people in the holy lands so I think I’m right in thinking that they were not quite so focused on finding reasons to hate technology.

    I think we can take it that Roman soldiers used the standard kit of the time in subjugating the Jews.

    The Xtians in the Bible seem to have got things wrong. One of these appears to be the Roman execution by crucifixion! Apparently the size/shape of the cross and the methods of attaching the executed person are wrongly illustrated on Xtian crucifixes!

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-a-stone-box-a-rare-trace-of-crucifixion/

    Inside the box, archaeologists found a heel bone with an iron stake driven through it, indicating that the occupant of the ossuary had been nailed to a cross.

    The position of the stake was evidence of a crucifixion technique that had not previously been known, according to museum curator David Mevorah. In the image of crucifixion made famous by Christian iconography, Jesus is pictured with both feet nailed to the front of the vertical beam of the cross. But this man’s feet had been affixed to the sides of the beam with nails hammered separately through each heel.

    His hands showed no sign of wounds, indicating that they had been tied, rather than nailed, to the horizontal bar.

    I’m not sure how “cutting edge” crosses were as a means of execution, but it seems the NT illustrations and churches got it wrong anyway according to the only evidence available!

    So much for universal truths!



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  • 61
    God fearing Atheist says:

    You got Occam’s Razor wrong.

    It is – “do not multiply entities unnecessarily”.

    For instance, if you have a hypothesis of gravity in which masses attracting in inverse proportion to their distance, and another with inverse distances and the invisible fairies in all objects wanting to get together to have a party, and the observations are explained by the inverse distance alone, then the invisible fairies are unnecessary to the hypothesis and can be discarded. They add nothing to the explanatory power of the hypothesis.

    If you really must use the word “simplest”, then Occam’s Razor becomes “Given two hypotheses with the same explanatory power, prefer the simplest”, or as Einstein is alleged to have said “A theory should be as simple as possible, but no simpler”.
    In other words, a good hypothesis should explain all the data. Simple by itself does not cut it. A simpler theory of gravity would replace the inverse square law with the simpler inverse law, or replace Pi by 3.0, and while school children might like the simplicity in their homework, they would just be plain wrong.



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  • The current hypotheses state that, over billions of years, hit-and-miss reactions took place in a chemical soup in the Earth’s prehistoric atmosphere.

    A few things. The theory of evolution is about how life developed it got started, not how it started. A completely different group of people are trying to tackle that problem. We don’t even know yet if life started on earth or elsewhere in the galaxy or elsewhere in the universe. In contrast, evolution is now very well understood. We have watched it happen in the fossil record, in nature and in the lab. We can even sequence DNA to micro-control the process. Figuring out how life started is still very sketchy. We do know that complex organic molecules form quite easily naturally.

    Everything comes to be in tiny stages. So you would not see a cell pop fully formed into existence.

    Next, evolution is by no means a matter of chance. It is a about natural selection winnowing away the defective life forms. Think of it as like cleaning out your attic. The process by which you decide which to keep and which to discard is anything but random. Creationists persist in claiming it is a random process no matter how many times we explain it. Dawkins wrote the book Climbing Mount Impropable to explain it to the lay person.

    You surely are familiar with animal husbandry where breeders select which cows and bulls are killed and which get to spawn the next generation to produce better milk producers or better meat producers. In natural selection, wolves, diseases, hunger etc make the choices. Though there is some chance involved, who lives and who dies is anything but random. Lame cows will nearly always get killed young. Cows with inefficient digestive systems or defective teeth will starve.



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  • In reply to #60 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #56 by Nitya:
    One of these appears to be the Roman execution by crucifixion!

    I wish I could remember the source, but I read that Romans used a simple stake for crucifixion.



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  • In reply to #60 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #56 by Nitya:

    The Xtians in the Bible seem to have got things wrong.

    According to the wikipedia:

    The Greek and Latin words corresponding to “crucifixion” applied to many different forms of painful execution, from impaling on a stake to affixing to a tree, to an upright pole (a crux simplex) or to a combination of an upright (in Latin, stipes) and a crossbeam (in Latin, patibulum).

    This casts some doubt that even if there is a historical Jesus that he died on a cross.



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  • 65
    SurLaffaLot says:

    Unfortunately one can’t have faith in “God”, if one doesn’t have faith in “God”. As an atheist, I find no good reason to think that there are any gods in which to have faith, and so, for me, the proposal that we should have faith in “God” has no meaning.

    I cannot say to myself, “OK I’m now going to start having faith in a thing which I consider to be non-existent, so that I will feel better.” It simply can’t be done, any more than I can experience the joy of unaided flight, simply by telling myself to have faith that I can fly.



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  • 66
    mmurray says:

    By the way Millard N Stewart’s image is not him.

    Why are the moderators accepting these drive-by postings ? Why not restrict discussions to people who have at least made one or two posts already instead of people posting from under some bridge ?

    Michael



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  • 67
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #56 by Nitya:

    In reply to #54 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #43 by Nitya:

    The weapons used in the bible would have been the cutting edge technology of their day. Who to blame for deaths caused?

    Pharaohs’ chariots probably were, as were the weapons of the Romans – both in politically organised armies.

    For sh…

    Oddly enough I just read a book about Roman battle tactics the other day. From what I’ve read the Romans weren’t all that much more sophisticated than some of their opponents when it came to the actual weapons. Where the Romans excelled were in having some simple but very effective battle tactics and having much better discipline, organization, and execution. The main weapons of the Roman Legion for example were designed to be simple and best at close quarters, a short heavy sword and shields that could overlap to protect the group against assaults of arrows and other projectiles.



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  • In reply to #67 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #56 by Nitya:

    In reply to #54 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #43 by Nitya:

    The weapons used in the bible would have been the cutting edge technology of their day. Who to blame for deaths caused?

    Pharaohs’ chariots probably were, as were the weapons of the Romans – both in politicall…

    I knew about the overlapping shield strategy but was not really acquainted with the other methods that would have enabled them to be so successful.

    BTW I’ve ordered the Pinker book, ‘Better Angels of Our Nature ‘ from the library. It has been recommended so often that I feel the time has come to read it for myself. I always take on more reading than I can comfortably handle, but I’ll give this top priority.

    I think this Millard fellow is well and truly vanquished by now. He should hide away in shame somewhere.



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  • In reply to #45 by rjkrjk:

    The superstitious brain is the default brain that we are born with. It is control, power and comfort seeking in infinite ways; rather than sharing this control and power, it is the lazy brain, and it is a coward for easy solutions. It is genetically prone to do this. It is attention seeking and narc…

    I was with you till the last paragraph. I’m not sure what you were talking about at this point. The rest of the post made a lot of sense. I find myself thinking magically quite often, even though I’m on high alert when it comes to everyone else. I alter my behaviour regarding washing the car or watering plants ( I’m convinced this will cause it to rain and undo my handiwork). On reflection I’ve been guilty of most of your examples of irrationality, but before this starts sounding like a confession , so has everyone I know!



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  • 70
    steve_hopker says:

    I invite you to read this recent and very interesting article that shines a light on the healthier lives of those who believe in God.
    Here’s the link: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/seanthomas/100231060/are-atheists-mentally-ill/?fb

    After describing his pastors highly questionable invocation to ‘prove God’, Millard’s reference is almost an afterthought. The blog article is by Sean Thomas, with an later ego, Thomas Knox, a successful thriller writer. To judge from Thomas’s blog and Knox’s plaudits, I’d say that Tom Knox is a better novelist than Sean Thomas is a social science commentator. Yet I think that the article is right to say there are studies seeming to show better mental health measures in believers when compared to unbelievers.

    Such studies are of course open to question. There are problems about adequate sampling and proper measures. In particular there are problems about separating out the very likely benefits of the social aspects of church from the doctrinal beliefs. The social advantages of being part of the community of believers are not hard to see, especially in highly religious communities such as in parts of the US or in Islamic states, where the alternatives might be isolation, ostracism, even death threats. (Parallels with studies showing the poorer mental well being of other marginalised and stigmatised groups, such as ethnic minorities or LGBT persons seem evident).

    But supposing that, after allowing for all confounding factors, it could be convincingly shown that believers were happier than unbelievers? Surely, religious theism does not simply set itself up as a better kind of club or hobby, but requires adherence to a set of beliefs. By Millard’s logic, joining a local choir or a walking group might be on a par with worshipping the Triune God or submitting to the will of Allah. Is Millard telling us that we should go to his church because we might enjoy it even more than a good film?



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  • 71
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #67 by Red Dog:

    Oddly enough I just read a book about Roman battle tactics the other day. From what I’ve read the Romans weren’t all that much more sophisticated than some of their opponents when it came to the actual weapons. Where the Romans excelled were in having some simple but very effective battle tactics and having much better discipline, organization, and execution. The main weapons of the Roman Legion for example were designed to be simple and best at close quarters, a short heavy sword and shields that could overlap to protect the group against assaults of arrows and other projectiles.

    We are getting a bit off topic here, but I think the main difference , as you say was in tactics. They used professional soldiers, standard kit, engineering works, and transport systems for reinforcements, rather than the more casual arrangements of opponents.



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  • 72
    Mr Greene says:

    In reply to #67 by Red Dog:

    The weapons used in the bible would have been the cutting edge technology of their day. Who to blame for deaths caused?

    Pharaohs’ chariots probably were, as were the weapons of the Romans – both in politicall…

    Erm… No. Chariots had vanished from the battlefield by the period in question except for certain out of the way islands with backward populations (Britannia & Hibernia). the tactics and weapons of the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Seleucid Persia & Ptolomeic Egypt) were based on the Macedonian Phalanx, blocks of heavy infantry with 18″ sarrissa pikes (spears) almost invulnerable from the front.
    the Roman trick was to out manoeuvre them and hit the flanks.
    The Egyptians also used elephants as shock units.



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  • 73
    bob_e_s says:

    I do find it a bit baffling that these ‘hit and run’ theists are allowed to post these mindless sermons at a regular basis, when it is obvious they will never be seen again, when theists who actually try and engage in conversation are censored and banned.

    I think it sends completely the wrong message, that we are unable to debate with theists on our own terms and need to be protected by the moderators. It happened recently, and I found my own comments referring to the fact a theist poster had been banned and his posts removed were also removed, without any explanation from the mods.

    It’s all quite Orwellian.



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  • 74
    Seraphor says:

    In reply to #73 by bob_e_s:

    I do find it a bit baffling that these ‘hit and run’ theists are allowed to post these mindless sermons at a regular basis, when it is obvious they will never be seen again, when theists who actually try and engage in conversation are censored and banned.

    I think it sends completely the wrong messa…

    You have a point, and I too think it portrays this board in a rather contradictory manner. However the moderators have a set of guidelines to follow, and unfortunately the vast majority of outspoken theists who do post replies tend to resort to preaching and proselytizing and so their posts get removed and they eventually get banned if they keep it up. (With the strange exception of shortpollock, although I could be wrong, I haven’t seen a post from him in a few days)

    Another common foul is going off-topic, which again seems to be fairly common from the theist posters, I guess because they can’t retort on scientific matters so they have to steer the topic to a more faith-based subject in order to swim. (I also realize this subject may be seen as off-topic, so feel free to delete my post)

    In the interest of leveling the playing field perhaps, as has previously been suggested, discussion topics can only be submitted once you have made a certain number of posts, 10 for example. Therefore people submitting discussion topics will already be partially invested in a presence on this board and would be less like to hit and run, and it would also dissuade people who intend only to hit and run.



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  • 75
    bob_e_s says:

    In reply to #74 by Seraphor:

    However the moderators have a set of guidelines to follow, and unfortunately the vast majority of outspoken theists who do post replies tend to resort to preaching and proselytizing and so their posts get removed and they eventually get banned if they keep it up. (With the strange exception of shortpollock, although I could be wrong, I haven’t seen a post from him in a few days)

    Actually, the posts of mine which got removed were in conversation with Shortpollock, who I’m assuming has been banned. I personally thought he/she was exactly the sort of person we should be engaging with. Banning them sends the message that we weren’t capable of responding to their posts, and probably makes them feel as if they’ve won.

    Deleting my posts questioning that made me feel really quite uncomfortable.

    I’d fully support deleting abusive posts, or obvious trolls, but removing posts which are part of a discussion I think is unnecessary. If it’s purely on the basis that the theist quotes from a religious text, then we are going to have a hard time having any discussion about their faith.

    In the interest of leveling the playing field perhaps, as has previously been suggested, discussion topics can only be submitted once you have made a certain number of posts, 10 for example. Therefore people submitting discussion topics will already be partially invested in a presence on this board and would be less like to hit and run, and it would also dissuade people who intend only to hit and run.

    I think that’s a really good idea.



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  • 76
    Moderator says:

    Moderators’ message

    Your feedback about the type of discussions being posted has been taken on board. Thank you. Please keep further comments on the topic of the OP.

    Re moderation of comments: Our Terms of Use make it clear that moderation decisions are entirely at our discretion. Therefore please do NOT post comments about those decisions, as we will always remove them. Repeatedly posting comments about them will be taken as an indication that you no longer accept our Terms of Use, and your commenting rights will be removed.

    The mods



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  • 77
    steve_hopker says:

    In reply to #70 by steve_hopker:

    After describing his pastors highly questionable invocation to ‘prove God’, Millard’s reference is almost an afterthought. The blog article is by Sean Thomas, with an later ego,

    Once again apologies for typos. I should have put, ‘…invocation OF OCCAM’S RAZOR to prove God’.
    “Sean Thomas with an ALTER ego…”



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  • 78
    achromat666 says:

    There have already been many and numerous refutations to the main idea of this OP, and I will address some of those issues here, but this quote has me curious…

    Basically, all I am trying to say is that the scientific search for the truth is not really answering much. It is only causing us to ask more and more questions and it continuously discovers things that do not offer a solution to the truth, it merely complicates matters even more.

    This really does undermine your lack of wisdom regarding both science itself, and an obviously very pointed definition of the word truth. Fundamentally every other position sort of splinters from this lack of logic.

    Science has done nothing but uncover more and more of the mysteries of the universe, and shows no signs of slowing down in that regard. To say that science is not answering much is beyond ignorance of what science has provided including the very devices you have to post this OP in the first place. This is not to say science is perfect, but most often it is theists that make that claim in the first place. But the imperfection itself represents an honesty religion in many ways refuses to exhibit. If a scientific notion is disproven it is replaced with what is discovered to be true, but if a bit of religious doctrine is disproven, theists merely push back the goalposts to make their position more obscure and harder to dismantle or worse create a palpably ridiculous position that the extreme stand by regardless of how blatantly false it is.

    So circling back to this ‘truth’ you seem so keen on….

    I note you say ‘the truth’ as opposed to ‘what is true’. There is believe it or not a huge difference. The theistic version of what the truth is very simply boils down to whatever their doctrine says. What is true is what can be demonstrated as verifiable fact. And I can’t stress this part enough, of course the discoveries science provides offer more and more questions to answer. You pose this as if to say there is one cure all answer for all things which is no doubt your unproven and unprovable deity. This sadly only reinforces 2 things:

    1. That you choose to stop asking questions beyond your level of experience on a given subject and simply accept whatever religious authority says, or whatever doctrine dictates.

    2. That you fundamentally refuse to admit there is no more proof for your religious beliefs than there is any other religion in the world.

    You are taking your circular ideas (that in this case, because religion is right in your view that the questions science is seeking to answer are futile because in your mind god already exist and provides a singular answer to everything) and using that bias to color your perception of everything else in your OP. There is proof of nothing here expect that you willingly suspend critical thinking on what is true and choose to replace it with what cannot be proven.

    Science is about understanding what is true of the universe, and it is very likely that much of our knowledge of the universe may remain in many ways opaque. But to maintain that just because a book was written a couple thousand years ago and became really popular in the middle east that the stuff written in it (which has been historically debunked on multiple levels and does not correlate with our understanding of how the universe works) is somehow more true than all the subsequent endeavors to discover more about ourselves and everything else is myopia of epic levels.

    And don’t misuse Occam’s Razor. Do you really want it to be applied to the book you seem to hold as the ‘truth’? Because the results won’t be pretty.



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  • 79
    George_B says:

    Yeah right. Create the world in 6 days. Simple! Occam triumphs again.

    Look out your window Millard. Now tell me why your theory makes sense!



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  • 80
    ikinmoore says:

    This guy is not living in the real world. Truth is something which we can prove and has evidence. The fact that some humans want to believe in the Bible and not anything that require logic or commonsence is rather cynical. When the article states that an athiest is criticizing the principle and not the truth they are in fact very stupid. Science is questioned and questioned again. It aims towards truth as no humans knows everything regarding this question. An old book such as the Bible needs to be question by Newearth creationists otherwise humans will never progress.



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  • 81
    john.wb says:

    Your questions have been answered so well by so many that there is nothing more I could add.

    Instead I would like to ask about your motive for posting. You are a Christian, posting on an atheist website, (a “militant” one according to some). Why?

    Perhaps you did so to proselytize, to try and save some souls and earn brownie points from your God. If so, I think you are wasting your time. Atheists are atheists precisely because they have thought all this through already, deeply and carefully, and have come to the conclusion that there is probably no God. The idea that a simplistic and wrong-headed argument such as the one you present could convince any thinking person to start believing in a deity is laughable.

    But perhaps you posted here to re-affirm your own faith. I have noticed that many Christians have doubts from time to time, (not suprising if they ever use their critical faculties), and they seem to need reassurance; to confirm that they are, in fact, on the path to heaven, Because that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? You don’t love God because he’s a great guy, (although you fall over backwards to try and convince yoursleves that he is). You don’t go to church to try and be a better person, simply for it’s own sake. What you really want is to not spend eternity burning in flames.

    Well Millard, the good news is, you’re not going to burn in hell after all – no matter what you believe. Can I guarantee that 100%? No, of course not, in the same way that I cannot guarantee the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t exist.

    You and I each have one life to live. We can choose to spend it in a cloud of superstition and fear, pretending to worship a cruel, Orwellian leader in order to avoid an unpleasant afterlife. Or we can spend it in the real world; a wonderful place of logic and reason. You have heard, on these pages, from the kinds of people who live in this real world. If you still prefer to take the other path then best of luck to you.



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  • C_In reply to #81 by john.wb:_

    Your questions have been answered so well by so many that there is nothing more I could add.

    Instead I would like to ask about your motive for posting. You are a Christian, posting on an atheist website, (a “militant” one according to some). Why?

    Perhaps you did so to proselytize, to try and save…

    Do you think Millard would have read even one of the comments? My guess is that he composed and submitted the article while ago as a personal act of devotion or some such and hasn’t ventured here since.



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  • 83
    steve_hopker says:

    In reply to #82 by Nitya:

    CIn reply to #81 by john.wb:

    I’d like to add my appeal for Millard to at least acknowledge we have responded. Silence doesn’t aid his cause – and of course any potential engagement fails after the first hurdle.



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  • In reply to #83 by steve_hopker:

    In reply to #82 by Nitya:

    CIn reply to #81 by john.wb:

    I’d like to add my appeal for Millard to at least acknowledge we have responded. Silence doesn’t aid his cause – and of course any potential engagement fails after the first hurdle.

    Can you imagine him scrutinising the comments, having his understanding of the nature of things seriously challenged?



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  • 86
    steve_hopker says:

    In reply to #85 by Nitya:

    In reply to #83 by steve_hopker:

    CIn reply to #81 by john.wb:

    I’d like to add my appeal for Millard to at least acknowledge we have responded. Silence doesn’t aid his cause – and of course any potential engagement fails after the first hurdle.

    In reply to #82 by Nitya:

    Can you imagine him scrutinising the comments, having his understanding of the nature of things seriously challenged?

    I take your point. I like to imagine that he will have looked in again, though I doubt that even if he did he would accept much if any of the arguments here. But they may give him pause.

    What I think is more likely is that for time to time, maybe a lot of the time, people who do go to church (etc) look here because they are starting to question their beliefs. Indeed, why else would a believer come here apart from trying to convert us (Millard?) or through at least curiosity as to what ‘the other side’ thinks? Such people may post infrequently or not at all ie ‘lurk’, but they may read and take note.

    That’s my hope, anyway 🙂



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  • 87
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #66 by mmurray:

    By the way Millard N Stewart’s image is not him.

    Why are the moderators accepting these drive-by postings ? Why not restrict discussions to people who have at least made one or two posts already instead of people posting from under some bridge ?

    There are some suspicious features about this avatar where the photo is not him! .. .. . . .

    @MM link to photo which is not him – Victorian man gets first hand transplant

    Photo: Mr Walsh lost his limbs after suffering from a bacterial infection four years ago.

    … When it is put together with the linked Sean Thomas article @ OP .

    Linked – Sean Thomas article @ OP – Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.

    The no-show could be, because this looks a bit like a sick joke – (ironically preaching the “intellectual need” for the “vital faculty” of a brain deadening god-delusion transplant), being suggested here, by a feeble and rather twisted mind!



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  • 88
    mmurray says:

    In reply to #87 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #66 by mmurray:

    By the way Millard N Stewart’s image is not him.

    Why are the moderators accepting these drive-by postings ? Why not restrict discussions to people who have at least made one or two posts already instead of people posting from under some bridge ?

    There are some suspici…

    If that’s the reason for that avatar that’s really unpleasant. While searching with Google image I noticed that Millard N Steward with that avatar pops up in a few other places on the internet.

    Michael



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  • 89
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #88 by mmurray:

    If that’s the reason for that avatar that’s really unpleasant. While searching with Google image I noticed that Millard N Steward with that avatar pops up in a few other places on the internet.

    The Truth about the woo-bucket universe of god-delusions perhaps!



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