A critique of Scientism

The growth of science since the 20th century has led to the emergence of a new belief concerning how humans can properly obtain knowledge. This new belief, called scientism, is the claim that science is our only source of real knowledge about the world. I’ve written quite a bit about this before (see here), but I thought the following short video was a good overview of scientism from another source. 

It seems that we, as human beings, need to put our faith or trust in something. For instance, many people in our current culture have left faith in God only to put their faith in science as a way of finding truth. Now, don’t get me wrong. Science has delivered the goods when it comes to helping us understand the natural world. But does scientific knowledge lead us to all truth?  Because when we look to science to provide all the answers for our existence, we inevitably must leave the realm of scientific method for the realm of metaphysics.

So, in this way, scientism, as an epistemology, requires faith. In other words, it begins to look just like a secular religion. I think the video does a good job of making this argument.

Here’s why I think this is important to you as a believer in God. When atheists (who believe in scientism) ask for evidence for God, what they usually mean is physical evidence that can be tested and measured in the natural world by science.

But if God does exist, He would necessarily exist outside of the natural world (this logical argument is made here), so asking for this kind of evidence would be a fallacious category mistake. God, by definition, is not a physical being in nature. You must go outside the limitations of science to talk about God, which is what many anti-theists are not willing to do.

Here is an overview of what the following short video will cover:

  • A critique of scientism
  • A look at the difference between faith and reason
  • Examining the presuppositions of science (areas where faith must be exercised)
  • Is the claim of scientism self-refuting?

Conclusion

For you who won’t watch the video, the following statement pretty much sums up their argument (if you want to understand how they came to this conclusion you will need to watch the video):

“While science is an indispensable tool in our pursuit of knowledge concerning the natural world, the claim made by the proponents of scientism seems untenable. Science must accept as true certain principles about the structure prior to undertaking any scientific investigation, and these principles, or the suppositions of science, are themselves not discovered utilizing the methods of science. Furthermore, by asserting that only science can provide us with knowledge of the world, scientism puts forth a claim that is itself not derived from the operation of science, and therefore puts forth a self-refuting claim.”

Here’s the video from Academy of Ideas. It’s brief and well worth watching if you want to understand this subject.

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 37 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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322 Responses to A critique of Scientism

  1. This is good Me.

    Funny thing I have found in my years online is that the vast majority of people who make the claim that science can provide answers to everything have no scientific education outside of Wikipedia and blogs.

    Also, how is, “we don’t know yet but science will provide all the answers one day” not the exact same logic as God of the gaps?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Exactly! They’ve replaced a God of the gaps, which is not theological, with a science of the gaps, which is not science. Both are born out of ignorance.

      I didn’t say this in the post, but many scientists do not embrace scientism. They understand the limitations.

      • Yes, born out of ignorance and the belief that their worldview must be objectively true at all cost.

        Yes, many scientists understand the limitations of science and are intellectually honest enough to admit that. Just like many great atheist philosophers admit the bleakness of a world without God.

        • john zande says:

          born out of ignorance and the belief that their worldview must be objectively true at all cost.

          Yeah, which is exactly why the defining principles of science are open debate, peer review, double-blind methods, conjecture and refutation.

        • No one would argue with that, John.

        • john zande says:

          Odd, sounded like you were arguing just that.

        • john zande says:

          You tell me… “born out of ignorance and the belief that their worldview must be objectively true at all cost.”

        • That was specifically refering to scientism and God of the gaps. Surprising you missed that.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s not surprising at all. Zande usually misses the point. But that will never stop him from wasting your time with a 100 more replies.

        • He’ll waste his time, I’m only good for three or four comments from him, then I move on to more productive activities.

        • john zande says:

          Not surprised you’re moving the goal posts.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Isaiah 53:5, that’s a favorite tactic of Zande’s. HE misses the point (changes the subject from scientism to science) and takes your words out of context and then accuses you of moving the goal posts! LOL!

        • john zande says:

          Um, as demonstrated, your “science of the gaps” notion is false. But do carry on.

        • I’m actually not, not at all

        • john zande says:

          Has a supernatural explanation ever supplanted a natural one? Ever?

          So, why should we expect the pattern of natural explanations to suddenly change?

        • I wouldn’t say a supernatural explanation has supplanted a natural one here John, since there is no natural one that doesn’t include “we don’t know yet but may know sometime in the future” or wild extrapolation.

          Prove me wrong here. What is the natural explanation for how we all got here, sans extrapolation or, “science doesn’t know yet?”

        • john zande says:

          There was always something, never nothing. It is a brute fact.

        • Where did the something come from?

        • john zande says:

          There was never nothing.

        • Nope, there has always been God

        • john zande says:

          Ah, so you accept there was always something.

        • Just God, I’ve admitted to nothing else

        • john zande says:

          Actually, you have. You have admitted you’re fine with the idea that there was always something.

        • We can only partially comprehend the notion of God’s existence. To do so, we must use human concepts to speak of God: “without beginning or end”; “eternal”; “infinite,” etc. The Bible says that He has always existed:  ” . . . even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). And, “Your throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting” (Psalm 93:2). Quite simply, God has no beginning and no end. So, where did God come from? He didn’t. He always was.
          To us, the notion of time is linear. One second follows the next. One minute is after another. We get older, not younger, and we cannot repeat the minutes that have passed us by. We have all seen the timelines on charts: early time is on the left and later time is on the right. We see nations, people’s lives, and plans mapped out on straight lines from left to right. We see a beginning and an end. But God is “beyond the chart.” He has no beginning or end. He simply has always been.
          Also, physics has shown that time is a property that is the result of the existence of matter. Time exists when matter exists. Time has even been called the fourth dimension. But God is not matter. In fact, God created matter. He created the universe. So, time began when God created the universe. Before that, God was simply existing and time had no meaning (except conceptually), no relation to Him. Therefore, to ask where God came from is to ask a question that cannot really be applied to God in the first place. Because time has no meaning with God in relation to who He is, eternity is also not something that can be absolutely related to God. God is even beyond eternity.
          Eternity is a term that we finite creatures use to express the concept of something that has no end–and/or no beginning. God has no beginning or end . . . He is outside the realm of time.

        • Can science explain that? Practical verifiable science, that is, not abstract theoretical science?

        • john zande says:

          Zero Energy universe.

        • Is this verifiable or theoretical?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Zero Energy universe.

          Sorry, that dog won’t hunt, Zande. More faith statements based on theories disguised as facts. Besides, you are confusing etiology with ontology. If it can change states it cannot be the source of our continuing existence (otherwise you absolutely do have infinite regress). This is where Krauss and other “anything but God” theorists totally miss the point.

        • john zande says:

          Um, the math (the calculations of actual matter/energy) is real.

          You didn’t know that?

        • Mel Wild says:

          And deductive logic can prove the existence of God (or Subsistent Existence itself). It’s NOT empirical or even observable evidence. But the question still remains, what causes the zero energy to exist, John.

        • john zande says:

          Waves, Mel, waves. Our brains are not structured to easily perceive this, it’s hard, but in the world of waves, “nothing” (no-wave, a flatline) equals any possible combination (superposition) of waves so long as the total cancels out. In the universe, this universe, the total cancels out.

          And again, the math indicates this. You won’t let me link to articles, but you can look up a really simple demonstration of the math at Calculation of the Energy in the Universe.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Waves, Mel, waves. Our brains are not structured to easily perceive this, it’s hard, but in the world of waves, “nothing” (no-wave, a flatline) equals any possible combination (superposition) of waves so long as the total cancels out. In the universe, this universe, the total cancels out.

          But this does not address my question at all. Again, you’re confusing etiology with ontology. Why do the waves continue to exist? To say something is in a constant state of flux or “cancelling out” is to say it’s in motion. And if it’s in motion there must be an underlying motive force that actualizes this “cancelling out” effect.

        • john zande says:

          Yes, nothing is ALWAYS in motion, that is why “nothing” is impossible. There was never nothing. The universe is a brute fact.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, but that doesn’t address the question of God at all. And if this is a “brute fact” then the existence of God is a brute fact by the same use of mathematics and logic.

        • john zande says:

          And if this is a “brute fact” then the existence of God is a brute fact by the same use of mathematics and logic.

          We have evidence the universe exists.

          Where are you at on evidence for this extra element you’re proposing?

        • Mel Wild says:

          We have evidence the universe exists.
          Where are you at on evidence for this extra element you’re proposing?

          My evidence is that the universe continues to exist. And it cannot continue to be in motion (meaning changing states from potential to actual) without there being an underlying, fully-actualized force that accounts for its continuing state of being. Otherwise, you most certainly would have infinite regress. And with essentially ordered things, infinite regress would cause the whole causal chain to collapse in upon itself and nothing would exist. This is why your argument does not address the existence of God at all.

        • john zande says:

          My evidence is that the universe continues to exist.

          That’s not evidence for your god. That’s evidence for a zero energy universe.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, a zero energy universe still needs a fully actually (not in any state of motion or change) that is the underlying motive force of zero energy. Look, we can round and round on this all day. It doesn’t change the argument or the logic.

        • john zande says:

          No, it doesn’t, because nothing is already in motion, which is why there was never nothing.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, that is logically incoherent.

        • Our brains aren’t structured to easily perceive that God has always been either, John.

          In think you might be on to something with that line of thinking

        • Mel Wild says:

          There was always something, never nothing. It is a brute fact.

          LOL! You see, that’s a DOGMATIC FAITH statement, not a brute fact! You have NO proof that there always was a physical world. You are simply accepting a presuppositions of certain physicists, which are arguable. You cannot say with certainty that the universe always was.

        • john zande says:

          Why should I, or anyone, suspect there was once nothing?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why should I assume that this universe created itself? And even if it is eternal, it doesn’t explain its own continuing existence.

          BOTH are presuppositions based on faith, not proven facts.

        • john zande says:

          You didn’t answer the question.

        • If this “something” has existed forever, then that would mean that in order for us to get to the present, an infinite amount of time would have to be crossed in order to get to now. 

          But it’s impossible to cross an infinite amount of time because, well, it wouldn’t be infinite long if you could cross it. 

          So it doesn’t make sense to say that “something” is infinitely old. 

          This means that the “something” had to have a beginning.

          The only exception to this is God who has always been.

        • john zande says:

          There is no infinite regress in the universe as a brute fact. Don’t try and smuggle in false arguments.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Has a supernatural explanation ever supplanted a natural one? Ever?

          Why is there a natural world in the first place? Why do we exist, why science? Why are there natural laws that we can put our faith in? I could probably give you a dozen more things that science can never answer. That’s the real elephant in the room. We are here having this philosophical conversation and we have no explanation for our own continuing existence. Science cannot prove or disprove anything outside the natural world. So, why would this pattern to suddenly change. Of course, your faith in scientism believes it will. But you have no empirical evidence that it will.

          Your argument only shows that you think theology is a “God of the gaps.” That’s Greek mythology not theology. Discoveries of science do not replace God. We believe God is the God of what we do know as well as what we don’t know.

        • john zande says:

          Science cannot prove or disprove anything outside the natural world.

          And there’s that colossal presupposition that this is an artificial world.

        • Who presupposes that this is an artificial world?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I have no idea why you keep bringing up an artificial world. What do YOU mean by an artificial world?

        • john zande says:

          You do. Mel does. You’ve even stated it right here in this thread.

        • I have never said I believe we live in an artificial world here or anywhere else. I’m not even sure what that means.

        • john zande says:

          You stated Yhwh is “outside” this world. Yhwh is natural, making this universe (creation) artificial.

          Mel readily admits this is an artificial contrivance.

          Ask him.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That is not the meaning of artificial.

        • john zande says:

          Of course it is. Designed. Your words, Mel. This universe is a contrivance. It is “NOT God”… Your words, too.

        • I never said God was natural.

        • Mel Wild says:

          What is “artificial” to you, John? You haven’t defined what you mean. You keep saying this like we’re supposed to know what you’re talking about.

        • john zande says:

          Artificial: not natural, designed.

          You yourself have written (July 15th, 2017):

          “I believe the “world” is a construct. And it intuitively reveals design.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          But that doesn’t make it artificial. To be artificial would mean that it’s copying some original universe but it’s not made up of the same components (like artificial flowers look like flowers but they are not made up of the same substance.

        • john zande says:

          Yes, it does make it artificial. Unless, of course, you want to argue that your god is not natural.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, if this universe is artificial, what universe is it imitating?

        • john zande says:

          Doesn’t have to imitate anything.

          Mel, YOU WROTE: “I believe the “world” is a contstruct.”

          Construct… Construction.

          Are you denying you wrote those words?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes. construct, meaning a creation. There is no previous “genuine” world it’s imitating so it’s not artificial. You need to get your terms right. It’s very confusing trying and figure out what you’re saying.

        • john zande says:

          A constructed thing is artificial. It did not exist, and then it was made, on purpose.

          You’ve admitted this, Mel. Mulitple times, in fact. Why are you having so much trouble owning it now?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why are you having such a hard time being mistaken? I said it was a construct, created by God. It is NOT artificial because it is not imitating or copying some “genuine world.” If you can’t accept this, that’s up to you. I’m getting off this ridiculous merry-go-round now.

        • john zande says:

          Don’t blame me for what you’ve previously stated. A “constructed” world is, by defintion, artificial.

        • john zande says:

          Look, you either believe Yhwh is an aseitic being, or you don’t. If you do, as you must, then this world is artificial. If you don’t accept this, then you must accept that this world IS Yhwh. You, Mel, flatly rejected this, writing (Nov 18thy, 2017):

          “God is NOT the universe!”

          Yes, you even added the exclamation mark to emphasise the point.

        • Now, I am waiting for verifiable scientific evidence that shows exactly how this something you say has always existed came into being sans theoretical mumbo jumbo.

        • john zande says:

          How can something that’s always existed “come into being”?

        • Something that has always existed does not come into being, that’s what “always existed” literally means. Again, though, this only applies to God.

          And, I answered that up thread in a comment you have conveniently ignored.

        • john zande says:

          Something that has always existed does not come into being, that’s what “always existed” literally means.

          Exactly. Don’t ask that question then again.

        • I will ask again if the something you are talking about is not God. Other that God, who is eternal and uncaused, how does something always exist?

        • john zande says:

          By being eternal and uncaused.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But you cannot prove that, even with mathematics. And, logically, it STILL has not underlying motive force to explain its continuing existence.

        • john zande says:

          Zero energy universe

        • So these “somethings” you believ everything in the universe sprang from have existed eternally?

        • john zande says:

          Eternal and uncaused. a brute fact.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, Zero energy is your creator “God. Fair enough, but zero energy is nothing more than a demiurge. A thing in nature in a state of flux, dependent and contingent. Furthermore, it has no reason for its own continuing existence. THAT’S the brute fact!

        • john zande says:

          A contingent (artificial) universe is YOUR presupposition…. repeated so many times you’ve forgotten it’s a presupposition.

        • So, stuff is random and uncaused? Can you verify this with science or do you have to rely on theoretical possibilities?

        • Btw, saying something is a brute fact, doesn’t make it so

        • And, you can leave off Richard Dawkins wild idea that maybe it was aliens from another planet, or something.

          But, see, crazy claims is all you’ll ever have John.

  2. John Branyan says:

    Waded into a conversation with one of our favorite atheists when he wrote a blog explaining that theism and “science” are “incompatible”. The dude claimed that William Lane Craig uses theism in a scientific framework. Naturally, he couldn’t produce a quote where Craig says anything of the sort.

    I said, “The incompatibility only exists when theism is whittled down to a parody like the flying spaghetti monster. There is no discovery of science that makes theism untenable. (NOTE: I did NOT say theism is therefore true.)”

    Then I was summarily dismissed.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Sounds typical. He’s probably just parroting what someone told him. Most arguments against God by anti-theists on the Internet are actually arguing against a “God of the gaps,” which is not a position anyone with even a superficial understanding of theology would take. They are arguing against Greek mythology, a straw man. Of course, they take their cue from Dawkins and his ilk.

    • Don’t atheists always whittle down theism to a parody, John?

      Christianity, as it actually is, stands up to scrutiny so the only way to attack it is to diminish it first.

      • John Branyan says:

        Yes. Christianity is always reduced to cartoon theology. Atheists are notoriously feeble philosophers.

        Had an exchange with Tildeb on Mel’s previous post. Dear Leader criticized Mel for not dealing with the “strongest arguments” of atheism. I asked him to give me one of those arguments.

        …and was summarily dismissed. 🙂

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes. Christianity is always reduced to cartoon theology. Atheists are notoriously feeble philosophers.

          And they parrot the abysmal understanding of theology and philosophy of people like Dawkins and Harris in order to do so. Dennett is a philosopher but obviously not trained in religious philosophy. So, all you’re ever going to be left with is a cartoon. Unfortunately, it works on the angry and gullible already looking for a reason not to believe in God.

        • Tildeb is a special case, they all are really. Tons of words yet no coherent points made, ever.

  3. sklyjd says:

    “Examining the presuppositions of science (areas where faith must be exercised)”

    Presuppositions such as your own existence, your memory, your personal identity, moral laws, laws of logic, induction, etc.

    Ok, without leaving this planet where do you start from in science? Do scientists just throw up their arms and give up and say why do we try to find out anything when we know absolutely nothing to start with? This is stupid, a nonsense argument designed to devalue science, as are the properties of timber and water used in the video as examples of presuppositions.

    Science is changing all the time and every new breakthrough in knowledge leads sometimes in many scientific directions, such as neuroscience will one day understand much more of how and why the brain works and this will enhance biology, medicine, psychology and surgical techniques, one day man will reach planets beyond our solar system and eventually humans may live on them.
    If the future of science and todays scientific knowledge is based on some primitive religious ideological thinking that has worshippers dictating that science is based on presuppositions, so be it, but just look at how ridiculous that is, trying to fit your Christian God and faith into that presupposition gap.

    Without science, presuppositions or not, in reality we will have nothing and no future, so you should drop onto your knees, clasp your hands and thank your God for the secular scientists of this world.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I think you’re missing the point, sklyjd. I DO appreciate science very much. I do thank God for science. My argument is against scientism. And the point is, science has presuppositions it must make in order to do science. As the video points out, this includes such things as the belief in the validity of sense experience and a belief in what is called the uniformity/regularity of nature. It’s important to realize that these are presuppositions that cannot be proven true through the use of the scientific method. Theology must do the same thing, we must start somewhere and logically infer or deduce from this starting point. But the idea that science is totally based on reason without faith is not true.

  4. john zande says:

    In other words, it begins to look just like a secular religion.

    Nonsense. Theism starts with a conclusion and works backwards. Science starts with a question and works forwards. You cannot conflate the two. The defining practices of science (open debate, peer review, double-blind methods, conjecture and refutation) are the antithesis of religion.

    And let’s not forget that methodological naturalism has revealed forces and things that would never have been found by simply “observing” the natural world, so trying to claim that metaphysical naturalism is somehow a closed box (like theism is a closed box) is patently false. Indeed, at this very moment we have many dangerously smart people like Lee Smolin, Andy Gardner, Joseph Conlon, Max Tegmark, Giulio Tononi, Roger Penrose, and Adrien Bejan to name just a handful who’re exploring ideas that would have seemed like fantasy just a generation or two ago.

    But let’s address the elephant you and the video have so effectively ignored: Your entire position rides on the colossal presupposition that ours is an artificial world.

    If you cannot demonstrate this to be true, then every word you’ve presented here is utterly meaningless.

  5. KIA says:

    Equivocation fallacy anyone?

  6. Nan says:

    He has no beginning or end. He simply has always been.

    Easy to say, difficult to prove.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Actually, this statement is not difficult to prove at all. The “no beginning or end” is not just a Scriptural assertion, but an ontological one that can be shown through deductive reasoning. If God exists, one of the things that would be required is that He would necessarily have to exist outside of time and space. So, we’re not just saying something without having robust philosophical argumentation for saying it. These theological axioms were hammered out by intelligent people over the last 2,500 years.

  7. Good stuff,Mel! My dad has long since passed, but he really was a physicist and one thing he often complained about was how compartmentalized and linear our modern thinking has become. In school we divide our subjects into tidy little boxes, six separate classes, so music is completely unrelated to math, English has no relationship with history, and so it goes until our very brains demand tidy compartmentalization. Western medicine for example, is built on the idea that mind,body and spirit are all totally unrelated things. We actually treat only the body ,and often act as if those other parts of people don’t even exist.

    You see this same mindset in Scientism, Science, registered trademark, is the land of pure reason,not superstition, not spirituality, and certainly not the supernatural. Those things are scary they don’t fit in our boxes. No room for music either or art or romance or truth and beauty! Atheists like to call that stuff “woo,” to claim it doesn’t exist, it’s false, it’s built on deception. We can’t control what we don’t understand and often atheists fear what they cannot compartmentalize.

    I’m not trying to be unkind here, it is just an observable fact that our modern day atheists tend to protest a bit too loudly about their own intelligence,their own capacity for reason and logic,and in that never ending declaration of how firmly rooted they are in reality, is a fear of anything that will not be compartmentalized, controlled. Part of that really is just symptomatic of our Western thinking which has been heavily dominated by Scientism.

    People will actually travel to the East where they suddenly discover spirituality of all sorts as if it were actually “normal,” which it is! Never mind non believers, trying to get many Christians to accept that our faith is spiritual, is challenging enough.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Your father was very perceptive, IB. We’ve already experienced the limitations of compartmentalizing the body from the soul in healing the body. It’s a total Western idea we got from being deeply embedded in the mechanized Enlightenment thinking of a closed universe (a box). Of course, this serves us well for scientific methodology or building technology, but it cannot answer the most important questions of all, like why are we here and what does this all mean, or why do we love, or intend to do anything?

      I’m not trying to be unkind here, it is just an observable fact that our modern day atheists tend to protest a bit too loudly about their own intelligence,their own capacity for reason and logic,and in that never ending declaration of how firmly rooted they are in reality, is a fear of anything that will not be compartmentalized, controlled. Part of that really is just symptomatic of our Western thinking which has been heavily dominated by Scientism.

      I agree, but I question their reasoning and logic. For instance, it’s ontologically incoherent to believe there is no fully actualized cause for our continuing existence. I can try to explain this to them, show them philosophically until I’m blue in the face and they just don’t get it (or don’t want to get it). I can understand agnosticism, but there is no logic or reason for atheism. It’s a lazy ontology, at best.

      • Nan says:

        I question, Mel, if it’s ontologically incoherent to believe there is no fully actualized cause for our continuing existence … why must it be some “guy in the sky”? IOW, this perspective works for you, but not for everyone. And there’s the rub.

        • Mel Wild says:

          There is no “guy in the sky.” That’s a cartoon, not theology. But if we’re going to make assertions then we should have reasons for making them. You could find it difficult to believe because you don’t want to take the time to understand the argument. That’s fine, but this is not just a perspective, and to just dismiss a logically deductive argument without understanding it is kind of silly, wouldn’t you agree?

        • Nan says:

          Who says I don’t understand the argument? I just happen to disagree with “the argument.” And it may be a “logically deductive argument” from your perspective, but obviously it isn’t to everyone. And THERE’s the rub. You can write 10,000 blogs presenting your POV … and offer the same number of videos … and name names of those who agree with you … but NONE of that makes it indisputable fact.

          All you’re doing is attempting to substantiate and validate what you believe to be true. The fact that not everyone agrees with you does not make them an enemy … or a believer in “scientism.” They simply see “life” from a different perspective.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You have not shown me that you understand the argument at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Of course, you could prove me wrong.

          And logic is logic, Nan. 2 +2 always equals 4 from everyone’s perspective. It’s nonsensical to say that a logically deductive argument is just someone’s perspective.

        • John Branyan says:

          Everyone sees life from a different perspective.
          You’re absolutely correct, Nan.
          Unfortunately, I can’t substantiate or validate my belief that you are speaking truth.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s a good thing we don’t base scientific inquiry or mathematics on Nan’s perspective. We wouldn’t really know how anything works.

        • Nan says:

          I don’t generally respond to your snide remarks, but this time I want to make a point.

          All I’ve ever tried to do on your blog is point out there are other perspectives for people to consider. No one has all the answers. All any of us can do is present what we believe fills in the blanks related to the “ontological” questions of life. It’s up to the reader/listener to agree or disagree.

        • John Branyan says:

          Well said, Nan.
          However, we can’t substantiate or validate your perspective. It is up to the reader to agree or disagree.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Nan, there are perspectives and there is cold, hard logic. There are no varying perspectives with deductive reasoning. If the premises are true, the conclusion MUST follow. Saying people have differing perspectives is saying nothing meaningful at all here. All you are doing is confusing people who don’t understand logic.

        • john zande says:

          If the premises are true…

          Can you prove your FIRST premise: the presupposition of an artificial universe?

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s not the first premise of the argument. You are just making stuff up now.

        • john zande says:

          So you believe this universe always existed?

        • Mel Wild says:

          That has nothing to do with the argument(s) for the existence of God.

        • john zande says:

          Do you believe this universe always existed?

        • john zande says:

          No?

          So, the FIRST premise is, in fact, the MASSIVE presupposition that ours is an artificial universe.

          Can you prove this premise?

        • Mel Wild says:

          The argument does no such thing. You have it backwards. The conclusion formed from the premises conclude a Prime Mover, not the other way around.

        • john zande says:

          Which is only meaningful IF this universe is an artificial construct…

          So, the FIRST premise is, in fact, the MASSIVE presupposition that ours is an artificial universe.

          Can you prove this premise?

  8. ” They simply see “life” from a different perspective.”

    LOL! This made me laugh. I’m afraid that’s just not true. We’re all pretty much the same biological critters observing life in the same manner. There are simply no aliens, mermaids, or unicorns among us.

    “And it may be a “logically deductive argument” from your perspective, but obviously it isn’t to everyone.”

    Oh dear! Some thing are just too funny. So I am the last person to defend “logic,” but there are really only two directions you can go. Either follow the rules of logic…or enter the world of intuition and the supernatural. Both paths lead to God. What you cannot do is reject the rules of a logically deductive argument while at the same time rejecting that anything exists beyond the material world. Never mind where God is, you yourself have to exist somewhere!

    • sklyjd says:

      ” They simply see “life” from a different perspective.”

      “LOL! This made me laugh. I’m afraid that’s just not true. We’re all pretty much the same biological critters observing life in the same manner. There are simply no aliens, mermaids, or unicorns among us.”

      You are quick to decide what is non-existent, and yet you have no evidence of the God you devote your whole life to. This is a sanctimonious stance and I would expect there are more people on Earth who believe aliens do exist somewhere in our universe than believe in the existence of your Christian God or the talking snake and donkey.

      “Either follow the rules of logic…or enter the world of intuition and the supernatural. Both paths lead to God.”

      Why would a sane and logical person want to enter into the dark unknown world of the supernatural and take their children with them, if of course this world existed as you claim?

      “What you cannot do is reject the rules of a logically deductive argument while at the same time rejecting that anything exists beyond the material world.”

      What is a logical deductive argument for the supernatural world based on, the gods, ghosts, angels or devils? They may exist within the individuals mind and totally managed by the brain.

      The spiritual life of humans is real, just as love, hate, jealousy and all of our emotions, but they are manifested within our own heads, exactly like the belief in gods.

      • Mel Wild says:

        IB, the following comment DOES prove that sklyjd has no clue what the argument actually is, otherwise he wouldn’t say such an inane thing.

        “What is a logical deductive argument for the supernatural world based on, the gods, ghosts, angels or devils? They may exist within the individuals mind and totally managed by the brain.”

      • So, “spiritual” actually means, “relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”

        You claim, “the spiritual life of humans is real,” and yet you also claim to refuse to believe in anything that is not “material or physical.”

        My point is simply that you cannot have it both ways. That is incongruent and incoherent.

        • sklyjd says:

          “You claim, “the spiritual life of humans is real,” and yet you also claim to refuse to believe in anything that is not “material or physical.”

          It is logical that the brain generates everything a person does and everything a person thinks, decides and believes etc. None of the brains process is material or physical, however there are electro-chemical reactions, therefore your belief in God is spiritually generated by electro -chemical reactions. The spiritual term is traditionally used for many unexplained events inferring another kind of world exists.

          “My point is simply that you cannot have it both ways. That is incongruent and incoherent.”

          As an atheist I can believe whatever I want, however I have an understanding and have experienced the spiritual state of mind without having to insert any gods, angels or devils.

        • Mel Wild says:

          None of the brains process is material or physical, however there are electro-chemical reactions, therefore your belief in God is spiritually generated by electro -chemical reactions.

          Huh??? This is where you go incoherent, skyljd. None of the brains processes are physical but spiritual, but belief in God is generated by the physical? And you know it’s not spiritual how? Or is this just another “anything but God” faith statement?

          As an atheist I can believe whatever I want, however I have an understanding and have experienced the spiritual state of mind without having to insert any gods, angels or devils.

          And why do think believing whatever you want is a good thing? And how do you know for certain that in this spiritual world or state you believe in doesn’t include spiritual beings? It seems like everything you believe is based on faith. Not to mention, you have no answer why there’s this spiritual state you believe in.

        • sklyjd says:

          Obviously you did not read properly, electro-chemical reactions are not physical, I said your spiritual beliefs are caused by electro-chemical reactions in your brain.

          Use it and think it over, good discussion and good night to you and your comedian.

          And by the way I do embrace science, but you had better not show any interest because you may become a dreaded victim of…… scientism.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Obviously you did not read properly, electro-chemical reactions are not physical…

          LOL! Obviously, you don’t know what “electro-chemical” actually is. I paid a lot of money to a university to learn what that means. Electrical current is the movement of electrons along a conductive pathway. Electrons/atoms are very much material and physical. Chemicals are also material substances. There is nothing non-material or “spiritual” about this. You said:

          None of the brains process is material or physical, however there are electro-chemical reactions (which are also material, physical), therefore your belief in God is spiritually generated by electro-chemical reactions.

          You are saying that spiritual things are physical and material. Therefore your statement is incoherent.

        • sklyjd says:

          Lol, it probably was a waste of money going to university.

          Chemical Reaction is a process that involves rearrangement of the molecular or ionic structure of a substance, as distinct from a change in physical form or a nuclear reaction (Ref Google dictionary).

          Electrochemical reaction, any process either caused or accompanied by the passage of an electric current and involving in most cases the transfer of electrons between two substances—one a solid and the other a liquid (Ref Britannica Encyclopedia).

          Interested in science then Mel, carry on reading here.

          Electrochemical methods comprise a collection of extremely useful measurement tools for neuroscience. A central feature of these methods is an electrode that provides a surface or interface where some form of a charge-transfer process occurs. This charge-transfer process gives rise to potentials and/or currents that can be measured and related either by theory or by calibration to the concentration of substances in the solution that bathes the electrode (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1845/)

        • Mel Wild says:

          Oh, so you looked it up on Google! Another copy and paste expert! I stand corrected. Lol!
          If it’s molecular, ionic, it’s STILL material, sklyjd. If it’s nuclear, it’s STILL material. If it’s a quark it a gluon, it’s still material. Anything material is still part of the physical realm. An electron is material, a reaction of electrons are still material, not spiritual. I don’t have time for this obstinate nonsense. Believe whatever incoherent thing you want.

        • Actually, the “brain processes” as you call them, really are material and physical. “Electro chemical reactions” happen to be physical and material.

          “As an atheist I can believe whatever I want…”

          You may! And I can tell you that your belief system is incoherent, incongruent, contradictory, and illogical. Also your understanding of the difference between “material” versus “spiritual” really needs some work.

          “…..your belief in God is spiritually generated by electro -chemical reactions.”

          Right. What you seem unable to understand is that there is a whole world that exists outside of us. To believe that everything around us is simply, “generated by our own electro -chemical reactions,” is actually called solipsism.

          Also, those “electro -chemical reactions” you seem fond of misidentifying as “spiritual,” are not just random sparks triggered by eating bad pizza. They have a Designer and they serve a vital purpose. That Designer is actually not you.

        • sklyjd says:

          “Actually, the “brain processes” as you call them, really are material and physical. “Electro chemical reactions” happen to be physical and material.”

          You obviously went to the same misinformed university as Mel.

          “Also your understanding of the difference between “material” versus “spiritual” really needs some work.”

          Your spiritual ideals are driven by deeply held emotions and beliefs and this causes delusions and a misrepresentation of reality, such as conversing with or even observing what is a non-existent person or god etc.

          My spiritual ideal is based on controlling my thoughts, concentration and focus. I have been a practitioner of martial arts for most of my many years and meditation has always been the way of the oriental warrior to unify the mind, body and spirit.

          “What you seem unable to understand is that there is a whole world that exists outside of us. To believe that everything around us is simply, “generated by our own electro -chemical reactions,” is actually called solipsism.”

          I doubt it. I could apply that reasoning to you, however we would both be wrong. I for one do live in the real world and I understand anything beyond reality has no reality, until proven otherwise. I understand very well that reality for humans is discovered and made to be understood on Earth by science and it is a very interesting time to be living on this amazing planet, enjoy it while you can and forget the world claimed to exist outside of us.

          FYI. Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind (Wikipedia).

        • “You obviously went to the same misinformed university as Mel.”

          Sadly, no. I actually just went to the school of, “let’s try prying bread out of the toaster with a butter knife.” By golly, energy is not only real, it seems to have some physical, tangible,and predictable characteristics! Who knew?!

          You can repeat this experiment by cleaning the fridge, standing in water,and reaching for the cord. I don’t advise it, it’s a bad idea, but it certainly does help to demonstrate that electricity is actually physical and not spiritual.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I for one do live in the real world and I understand anything beyond reality has no reality, until proven otherwise. I understand very well that reality for humans is discovered and made to be understood on Earth by science….

          And that is definitive scientism! Thank you for proving to us that you believe in scientism, skyljd, not actual science. You have proven to us that you put your trust is something that is a self-refuting claim. Science cannot prove scientism. As the author of the video said:

          “Furthermore, by asserting that only science can provide us with knowledge of the world, scientism puts forth a claim that is itself not derived from the operation of science, and therefore puts forth a self-refuting claim.”

          In other words, you cannot prove, by scientific methodology, that the only reality is the natural world. It’s self-refuting because the scientific method itself is limited to the natural world. You must insert the pressupposition that the natural world is all there is. Yours is a naturalistic faith statement, nothing more.

  9. sklyjd says:

    The sciences over decades have disputed your religious and spiritual ideologies in many ways, such as explaining the natural weather events, the shape of the Earth, the age of the Earth, what the stars are, effects of mental health, biological evolution, genetics etc.

    These issues were originally seen from a different perspective by religious people and preached by them for many hundreds of years as facts and truth, therefore from history and by default, this makes none of your claims and arguments logical or rational because it may take some time but eventually all unfounded religious claims will be seen for what they really are and the gods will eventually be pushed out of the cot.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Sorry, you’re still not making any argument against the existence of God. Explaining weather events and the shape of the earth have nothing whatsoever to do with theology. You are making the classic argument against a “God of the gaps” not actual theology. Science has not pushed God out of anything ever, only out of our superstitions and ignorance of the natural world. God is the God what we do know as well as what we don’t know.

      • john zande says:

        Science has not pushed God out of anything ever, only out of our superstitions and ignorance of the natural world.

        Do you believe the god of the Pentateuch, Yhwh, has mindfully and deliberately interfered in evolutionary/geological/atmospheric/astronomical processes?

        Or, do you accept that human beings are an entirely unintended product of an entirely unguided process, where mutations (and the environment in general) are random, meaning they are not adaptively directed, not goal-oriented?

        And your “logically deductive” arguments lost all persuasive power quite some time ago. Sure, in the 13th Century (when Llewellyn was being driven into the Welsh highlands and Edward the 1st was building Caernarfon Castle) they *appeared* reasonable. They don’t in 2018. For example, your supposed need for a ‘currently operative agent’ (a prime mover) fails on a multitude of levels, the following being just some:

        1) It starts with a MASSIVE presupposition of an artificial universe.
        2) It commits the Fallacy of Composition (what’s true for a member of a group is not necessarily true for the group as a whole).
        3) The argument rests entirely on the behaviour of baryonic matter (cause and effect). Baryonic matter makes up just 4.6-10% of this universe.
        4) It rests entirely on one-directional, time-dependent chain causation (cause followed by effect). Quantum entanglement proves causes and effect can occur simultaneously.
        5) Even in a vacuum, with no particles around, the electromagnetic and other fields are internally entangled.
        6) Retrocausality has been demonstrated, most recently by Andrew Truscott at ANU. This demonstrates that at a subatomic level, time can go backwards. Cause and effect are reversed. In the experiments, the future caused the past. The arrow of time worked in reverse.
        7) Black holes. The physics of this universe not only break down completely at Inflation, but also beyond the event horizon of black holes (physical bodies in THIS universe). We also now know that inside spinning black holes are NOT singularities, but rather ringularities, because points can’t rotate. And what’s more, inside the ergosphere, space and time are half-broken.
        8) Zero-energy universe. Waves, not particles, underpin reality, and a non-wave function (the fabled ‘nothing’) in a set that balances out to zero is in a superposition. “Nothing,” therefore, is an imaginary state. It never existed. There was never no motion, meaning no apparent need for some external “prime mover.” As Sean Carroll said:

        “So the universe exists, and we know of no good reason to be surprised by that fact.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          All you’ve shown here is a massive ignorance of the argument and none of your points are relevant nor do they address the existence of God. Again, you confuse etiology with ontology. I have no idea what you’re arguing against. If you actually understood the argument you would know that saying the universe doesn’t need a prime mover is absolute nonsense.

        • john zande says:

          OK, if you think I’m mistaken, give the argument then…

        • Mel Wild says:

          No. I spent several posts explaining the arguments in great detail and you didn’t get it then (or didn’t want to get it), so I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain it to you again.

        • john zande says:

          No?

          So I’m not mistaken in my points, and you just want to wave your hands about and scream “Not fair!!!”

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I’m waving my hand at YOU in particular, Zande. The fact that you don’t even know proves that you have never listened to a single thing I said about it, nor do you understand it. You are the MASTER hand-waver! I say, no, because you have proven (I have empirical evidence), over and over again, that you don’t want to have an honest discussion. You just like to waste people’s time. I have given you my answer in great detail before and you refuse to understand it and wave it away. If you did actually understand it you would never say the things you say about it. You would see that Sean Carroll’s ontology is incoherent. I don’t have time to engage in anymore foolishness. If you want to read the posts where I explained it, knock yourself out. You can start here (there’s actually five parts):
          https://melwild.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/the-classical-arguments-for-god-part-one/

        • john zande says:

          I understood it the first time you rolled it out. I understand it right now.

          If you think i’m mistaken, then explain the argument and show me where I’m mistaken…

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you didn’t understand it. First, you talk about time. Time has nothing to do with it. To quote Einstein, time is an illusion. It’s an abstraction to help us understand events. The only reality is the “here and now.” So, I ask you, since you say you understand the argument, what is the fundamental motive force that underlies quantum entanglement? Since the quantum world is clearly in motion (moving from potential to actual), then it must have a more fundamental force in the distal chain.

        • Mel Wild says:

          This is the incoherent ontology of Sean Carroll. You can include zero gravity, quantum foam, anything else, inside the disc in the graphic. They are all things in motion. It still does not address our continuing existence.

        • john zande says:

          LOL! A graphic copied from a You Tube video.

          Persuasive stuff, Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are a fool, John. Good-bye.

        • john zande says:

          No really, a graphic that appeared on a You Tube video produced by an anonymous youtuber is really, really persuasive.

        • john zande says:

          Time is generally quite critical in explaining the nature of causation, and it’s causation, NOT time, which I focus on… and the argument rests on the flow of cause and effect being true. Indeed, you even confirm this dependence here in the comment. One follows the other. I have demonstrated that is not how the universe works. What *appeared” reasonable when Longshanks was building Caernarfon Castle holds no persuasive power today.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, time has absolutely nothing to do with the argument. It’s not one cause flowing into another, which is chronological (accidentally ordered). This argument is taking the here and now and drilling down to the most fundamental motive force in the distal chain (essentially ordered). And that most fundamental force cannot itself be in any state of motion.

        • john zande says:

          Quick, give me an example of essentially ordered series…

        • Mel Wild says:

          For something to change state, to go from potential to actual), it must have a more fundamental source that actualizes it. I gave the guitar note analogy in the series of posts. For instance, quantum entanglement is a classic example of something requiring a motive force that causes it to be entangled or to change in any state. Basically, if something changes state, it is being moved by something more fundamental. You can read the whole argument yourself. I don’t have the time today.

        • john zande says:

          Guitar string can be reduced to an accidentally ordered series.

        • john zande says:

          So you agree, the argument rests on the chain of causation.

          And that’s exactly why my points stand.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I don’t agree with your argument, which is talking about accidentally ordered “causation.” This is talking about essentially ordered “causation.”

        • john zande says:

          give me an example of essentially ordered series…

        • john zande says:

          Mel, can you show me an essentially ordered series where each step cannot be reduced to an accidentally ordered series?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Accidentally ordered series is completely different! You cannot compare the two. Accidently deal with what came before what. It’s chronological. It has nothing to do with an essentially ordered series. Essentially ordered series takes EVERY step in the distal chain at the SAME TIME, drilling down until you find that which is fully actualized.

        • john zande says:

          Show me an essentially ordered series that cannot be reduced to an accidentally ordered series…

        • Mel Wild says:

          They are NOT the same thing! Why don’t get this? You are asking an bogus question, comparing apples and oranges. One is chronological and the other isn’t. All things in nature can be seen as both accidently and essentially ordered.

          One more time. Essentially ordered things are the things distally connected to a fully actualized force. It’s explaining the underlying motive force that causes something to go from potential to actual. It has NOTHING to do with sequence of events. Accidently ordered deals with a chain of events in time. Again, all things can be shown accidentally or essentially. They are two very different explanations. So, your attempt to reduce essential to accidental is fallacious.

        • john zande says:

          Great, show me an essentially ordered series where each step cannot be reduced to an accidentally ordered series…

        • Mel Wild says:

          (Sigh)…what mulish obstinance and ignorance. Good-bye.

        • john zande says:

          Let me know when you can give me an example of this thing you *think* exists…

        • Mel Wild says:

          Let me know when you understand what the saying “apples and oranges” means so you can stop asking ignorant and irrelevant questions.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, if you say this thing exists, then give me an example of it. Demonstrate that everything is not, as we see, an accidently ordered series. Show me that this word game has a single connection to reality.

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you understood what I have been saying (and the explanation in the post I linked) you wouldn’t be asking this question. ALL things in nature are essentially ordered and accidently ordered. They are describing two very different ways to explain their existence. One is chronological (accidently) and the other is not (essentially). Essentially ordered explains our continuing existence, accidently ordered only explains how things came about in a chronological sequence. As soon as you insert time in an essentially ordered argument, you are no longer making an essentially ordered argument. So, the point is, one can never be the other. So, your question is bogus.

        • john zande says:

          If ALL things in nature are essentially ordered and accidently ordered you should be able to show me an essentially ordered series…

          If you can’t, then your word game is ENTIRELY meaningless. You are talking about NOTHING.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your question is what is meaningless. ALL things in nature are essentially ordered, John. ALL things. You are essentially ordered. You have a fundamental motive force that underlies your continuing existence that is fully actualized and not in a state of change or dependent on a more fundamental source, otherwise you would not exist.

        • john zande says:

          Actually Mel, ALL things are accidently ordered. I can give you example after example. So far, you haven’t given me an example of an essentially ordered series, just a lot of hand waving saying such a series exists. It exists only in your imagination. And this 13th Century *notion* rests on general causation, so I refer you back to my points proving the foundation of the argument to be patently untenable in accordance to what we know today about how the universe works, and what it’s properties are.

          Mel, if I had a time machine I’d happily send you back to the 1200’s. You seem to want to live in that time, and I can only wish you happiness.

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, this is why it’s pointless for me to explain things to you. I already told you that ALL things in nature can be described as BOTH accidently ordered and essentially ordered, but they are NOT talking about the same types of causation. Essentially ordered deals with our continuing existence at this moment. It has nothing to do time, which is an abstraction, an illusion, created by man to make sense of events.

          Your references to the 13th century only demonstrates your ignorance of the argument, just like when you ignorantly dismiss my graphic and make fun of it because it was on YouTube. This is why this is a waste of time to talk to you. You refuse to understand the concepts,

        • john zande says:

          No Mel, all things CANNOT be explained that way. You’re just making that up. It’s make-believe, and it’s make-believe structured on the (appreciable) ignorance of the 1200’s.

        • john zande says:

          Persuasive argument you have there. Well done.

        • Mel Wild says:

          How would you know? You have only demonstrated that you will continuously hand-wave away the repeated explanation of the argument and continue asking irrelevant questions. This only shows that you have no interest in understanding it. That’s why this conversation is over.

        • john zande says:

          Again, I understand it perfectly. It belongs in the 1200’s. Perhaps so do you…

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are only proving your mulish obstinance and ignorant foolishness. That’s why it’s pointless to talk to you. You know nothing about it. You have proven that over and over again.

        • john zande says:

          You’re right. It’s far too sophisticated for me to possibly grasp. I know nothing.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It shouldn’t be. But apparently it is for you.

        • john zande says:

          Yep, you’re right. You’ve very, very bright, Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I’m just open to it. So are many others who study it with an open mind. You are not open at all. You have shown over and over again that you don’t care to understand it. That doesn’t make you stupid, it makes you willfully ignorant and foolish. And that’s on you completely.

        • john zande says:

          Clearly, it’s far too sophisticated for me to understand. You’re an intellectual giant, Mel. Perhaps you should work on re-presenting that other giant thought from the 1200’s: geocentrism.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s not about me, Zande. Since you mock what you clearly don’t understand, you have defined yourself.

        • john zande says:

          You can’t, can you? Want to know why? Because no such thing exists. You’re playing make-believe, but your word games fall completely apart when we understand that the universe DOES NOT behave in the way people believed it behaved in the 1200’s. That, Mel, is what my points demonstrate.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are only showing your willful ignorance. I guess we’re done here. If you don’t want to understand it, that’s your problem. I have better things to do that counteract foolishness.

        • john zande says:

          I do understand it. And it’s clear you can’t show me an essentially ordered series that cannot be reduced to an accidentally ordered series.

          You’re peddling a pantomime, and when called on it, you throw a tantrum.

        • john zande says:

          …and you never addressed the question, as it pertained to your claim (Science has not pushed God out of anything ever):

          Do you believe the god of the Pentateuch, Yhwh, has mindfully and deliberately interfered in evolutionary/geological/atmospheric/astronomical processes?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Here you go with your red herrings. I’m not biting. We’re talking about the argument for the existence of God, not the historicity of the Bible.

        • john zande says:

          Did I mention the bible?

          Do you believe the god of the Pentateuch, Yhwh, has mindfully and deliberately interfered in evolutionary/geological/atmospheric/astronomical processes?

          Or, do you accept that human beings are an entirely unintended product of an entirely unguided process, where mutations (and the environment in general) are random, meaning they are not adaptively directed, not goal-oriented?

        • john zande says:

          Not going to answer that question, are you?

          Well, we both know why, don’t we: you’ll not find a single biology, geology, astronomy, chemistry text book with the word “Yhwh” in it, nor the sentence, “This can only be explained by Yhwh’s direct and calculated intervention.”

          So, your claim that Science has not pushed God out of anything ever is patently false, and you know it is. Science (methodological naturalism) does not support Creationism.

  10. jim- says:

    Certainly appears relevant Mel. Makes a lot of sense actually.

  11. jim- says:

    I don’t believe you’re so closed off from reality Mel that you can’t connect these simple dots. You can, but won’t. Christianity is a charade.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I have no idea what you’re talking about. Please explain.

      • jim- says:

        Zande was infinitely clear. Read it again. Funny thing is I understand your post, and I understand his comments too. I think you do but hand waving through the difficulties of contradiction is frozen your spiritual tendons. I read other Christian stuff and they too, at least place value on the other opinions and glaring trouble spots rather than pretend they don’t understand the point. You always accuse us of not getting it. Always Mel. Maybe you aren’t getting the fact that we do understand and it is you who do not? I think that is clear.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I don’t think you do understand it, Jim. If you did you would understand that Zande’s comments demonstrate his ignorance of the subject. I tried to explain the difference to him to no avail. I’m not going to waste my time since he clearly isn’t listening to what I’m saying. You can take it however you want, and believe whatever myth you want about what you think I believe, it doesn’t necessarily mean you understand my point. If you did, you would understand what I’m saying and I would acknowledge that.

        • jim- says:

          I did acknowledge I understand both of you. Although your heels are dug in and refusing to comprehend a basic thesis

        • Mel Wild says:

          Whose heels are dug in here? And if you actually understand both of us, then what is your point? Because if you did understand me, you would then understand what I’ve tried to explain to Zande over and over again to no avail. It’s not like I haven’t explained this argument in great detail before. I don’t have the time to keep going around his merry-go-round that goes nowhere. All he’s doing is wasting my time. There is no honest discussion going on here.

        • jim- says:

          Your argument is pretty easy to understand but has some incorrect assumption (presupposition) as stated in the quote about science. You want it into be your reality so be it, but don’t expect it to be logically sound.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Perhaps you can explain the incorrect presupposition.

          Also, it’s funny you talk about me being logically sound when atheism is ontologically incoherent and illogical. You would know this if you actually understood the argument.

        • jim- says:

          Also Mel, if your argument has been fully explained why do you continue to post the argument and then when people such as John challenge, you complain that you have already fully explained it…again. It’s evident your argument is in its infancy. Maybe just the right words will make it die as it should. You want it to make just the right sense, but it doesn’t.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I didn’t post the argument for the existence of God here. It was brought up in the comments. This has been a rabbit trail from the first comment. It has nothing to do with the critique against scientism (which is NOT a critique against science, btw).

        • sklyjd says:

          “It has nothing to do with the critique against scientism (which is NOT a critique against science, btw).”

          It appears all atheists who follow the sciences as a source of knowledge are guilty of scientism then?

          Science is about everything on Earth, it is the default we go to when we want to understand how something works, the chemistry, biology, medicines, surgery etc. Including what is behind all the technology we have today, so technically we must all be guilty of this disease called scientism in one way or another.

          The other source of knowledge in which you have total faith, the Bible and Christianity covers your beliefs and faith in God as the creator and is the basis of your presuppositions of science. This claim is based on faith only by Christians because scientists do not work from faith or presuppositions, they do have logical speculation, realistic models, predictions from current knowledge and pending discoveries that will eventually lead to an explanation of how the first life began on Earth.

          Creation is likely the last major toe hold for all religions.

        • John Branyan says:

          Yes.
          You are a devout practitioner of scientism.
          Any other questions we can answer for you?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are right, John. Sklyjd obviously is a devout believer in scientism, even though one can be an atheist and not necessarily believe in scientism. But then they’re left without a worldview, which is why people like Dawkins embrace scientism. Anything but God!

        • John Branyan says:

          The scientism practitioners don’t talk to me very often. They’ve written me off as unworthy of their time. Lost beyond redemption I suppose.

          Apparently, they still see a shred of enlightened intellect in you. If they keep repeating their vacuous tripe, you might renounce your faith in favor of madness.

          Science!

        • Mel Wild says:

          You mean, they consider you a goat? You’re on the left, to be cast out into outer darkness. I’m still a sheep, on the right, still redeemable to embrace faith in scientism?

          The problem they have with evangelizing me is that I love science. I have an engineering background so I’ve always been a bit of a nerd. But the more I know about science, the more it strengthens my faith in God. Praise God for science!

        • john zande says:

          The problem they have with evangelizing me is that I love science.

          And now for the actual truth: You REJECT science the instant it interferes with your creationist worldview.

          Or do you accept that human beings are an entirely unintended product of an entirely unguided process, where mutations (and the environment in general) are random, meaning they are not adaptively directed, not goal-oriented?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Or do you accept that human beings are an entirely unintended product of an entirely unguided process….”

          You cannot prove intent, so, no, I don’t accept your religion. I DO accept actual scientific method.

        • john zande says:

          Ah, so you “love” science, but REJECT the most thoroughly verified, thoroughly supported scientific theory ever arrived at by human beings…

          I see.

          A couple of questions:

          1. Are human beings the “intended” (desired) final product of your designer?

          2. Have humans stopped evolving?

          3. If Yhwh is competent, how do account for 80% of all mutations being harmful to an organisms fitness?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ah, so you “love” science, but REJECT the most thoroughly verified, thoroughly supported scientific theory ever arrived at by human beings…

          LOL! Zande, I know you’ve already drunk the Kool-Aid on this but the fact is, you cannot prove indent. So, no, I reject your scientism and dogmatic assertions disguised as science. I’m not that gullible. I accept actual scientific methods.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, I asked three questions. If you believe what you say you believe, then you *should* be able to confidently address them.

          1. Are human beings the “intended” (desired) final product of your designer?

          2. Have humans stopped evolving?

          3. If Yhwh is competent, how do account for 80% of all mutations being harmful to an organisms fitness?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are boring me now. Good-bye.

        • john zande says:

          Ah, so you know your *belief* is complete and utter nonsense. OK.

          All it took was three questions.

        • Nan says:

          No answers, huh?

        • Mel Wild says:

          It appears all atheists who follow the sciences as a source of knowledge are guilty of scientism then?

          No, not at all. You obviously didn’t read what was said. Scientism and science are not the same thing. Science is a methodology, scientism is an all-encompassing worldview that says that science gives us the only source of knowledge on reality. You can be an atheist and not be scientistic. But as soon as you try to take science beyond its limitations and make it answer every question about life, you’ve left the realm of science for scientism. Science cannot even answer the question of why there is science in the first place. You must look elsewhere for those kind of answers.

          Creation is likely the last major toe hold for all religions.

          LOL! This statement only reveals that you think we believe in a “God of the gaps.” But this is not theological at all. Science has done nothing to replace God except in superstitious beliefs of ignorance (that aren’t theological either), and perhaps we put our trust in medicine and technology more in the West, which is good, but that doesn’t argue against faith in God at all. You have done nothing to remove God with science. Many very intelligent scientists are theists. We believe God is the God of all that we know as well as what we don’t know.

        • sklyjd says:

          “scientism is an all-encompassing worldview that says that science gives us the only source of knowledge on reality.”

          That must mean most atheists, in fact almost all atheists because none of them will believe that any god created everything. Ok a few may believe that the source of all knowledge comes from aliens or Playboy magazine however science has to be the main source in this world of knowledge and reality.

          “But as soon as you try to take science beyond its limitations and make it answer every question about life, you’ve left the realm of science for scientism.”

          Are you saying that if anyone believes that the big bang is a creditable claim from what is known so far and biological evolution after 150 years of investigation is undisputable and gravity does exist, and the Earth does rotate and orbit around the sun, the brain has electrical impulses etc. You are not just interested in science but a scientism nut?

          Many of these things such as evolution are believed by Christians, they are taught in schools and believed by many people and you could call it a world view. Fair enough, however I think your attempt to make it into an obsessive religious type of world view has fallen flat on it’s face.

          It must only be devout creationist Christians like yourself who are not scientism nuts and the rest of us are at certain levels of scientism nuttery, where those that take more interest in science are radicalised or fundamentalists. This is truly something out of the box.

          “Many very intelligent scientists are theists.”

          In the mainstream scientific communities very few, and creationist scientists have still been unable to obtain any credibility.

          “We believe God is the God of all that we know as well as what we don’t know.”

          If this statement is not identifying a God to discard all science and fill the gaps I do not know what is.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Most atheists who try to replace God do believe in scientism. It seems we all need a worldview. It also seems to me most deconverts have simply traded their faith in God for scientism. At least, that’s what I see here.

          I am saying that science is necessarily limited to natural phenomenon. That’s what makes the scientific method so effective. But as soon as you go into the metaphysical or try to explain ontological things, you have left the realm of scientific method. This is why atheism is ontologically incoherent.

          We believe God is the God of all that we know as well as what we don’t know.”
          If this statement is not identifying a God to discard all science and fill the gaps I do not know what is.

          Then you obviously don’t know what it is. Nothing I said “discards science.” My worldview embraces science in the light of God’s creation. It goes beyond the myopic fishbowl of naturalism to explain why we exist. You seem to believe in a false dichotomy that we must choose either faith in God or science. That IS a God of the gaps, which no theologian believe in.

  12. I am pretty sure that charades are real, even though they have no material or physical basis in which to scientifically measure them. Just the same, most of us have played them, experienced them, observed them. So we must conclude, charades are real, tangible, evident. Also charades cannot exist alone, they do not just spring up from nothingness, they actually require a bunch of little prime movers to act them out.

    A charade is a real thing, it is NOT false, it is not a deception, it is not trickery, it is people re enacting a tangible word, phrase, event, or subject matter. So to say “Christianity is a charade” is not a bad description,in the sense that our Lord IS The Word and we are reflecting His truth as best we can. Not only is the charade itself real, the Lord we are reflecting and acting out is quite real, too.

    And then there are the small children who sit in the back pouting and refuse to play, refuse even to believe in the existence of charades, because they are so busy congratulating themselves for being so smart, so above the fray, so morally superior to all the others. Also, they are quite terrified of being perceived as silly, because, well, because they are quite silly. I usually recommend a juice box and a nap, because generally that helps to bring our brains back on line.

    • Mel Wild says:

      LOL! Good analogy about the pouting children, IB. This whole conversation is totally incredulous. And what’s ironic to me is that these deniers totally ignore the most empirical fact of all, that they are existing right now, and they have no explanation for their CONTINUING existence that doesn’t end up in infinite regress (which would necessarily mean that they do not exist). They don’t even comprehend their own ontological incoherence. So, they make childish taunts about our faith. Well, the joke is not on us here.

  13. John Branyan says:

    So, the folks who insist they have no faith, no religion, and all knowledge is derived from science and evidence are outraged by the description of scientism. LOL!

  14. So, the difference between “Science” and “Scientism” seems to be that Scientism insists, “electro-chemical reactions are not physical.” That seems to be a tenet of some major faith based Scientism doctrine! Sheesh, and here I thought talking donkeys were weird.

    So, to say such things is actually science sacrilege or science heresy. Like, 78 actual scientists probably just rolled over in their graves reading that.

    • john zande says:

      Perhaps it might be useful if you read these opening four paragraphs from a great article on “scientism,” the word Mel is trying so desperately here to use as a slur.

      I can’t link to the article, Mel doesn’t permit that, but it was written by Steven Pinker, titled, Science is Not Your Enemy, published in The New Republic, 6th of Aug, 2013. I’d encourage you to read it

      Scientism, in this good sense, is not the belief that members of the occupational guild called “science” are particularly wise or noble. On the contrary, the defining practices of science, including open debate, peer review, and double-blind methods, are explicitly designed to circumvent the errors and sins to which scientists, being human, are vulnerable. Scientism does not mean that all current scientific hypotheses are true; most new ones are not, since the cycle of conjecture and refutation is the lifeblood of science. It is not an imperialistic drive to occupy the humanities; the promise of science is to enrich and diversify the intellectual tools of humanistic scholarship, not to obliterate them. And it is not the dogma that physical stuff is the only thing that exists. Scientists themselves are immersed in the ethereal medium of information, including the truths of mathematics, the logic of their theories, and the values that guide their enterprise. In this conception, science is of a piece with philosophy, reason, and Enlightenment humanism. It is distinguished by an explicit commitment to two ideals, and it is these that scientism seeks to export to the rest of intellectual life.

      The first is that the world is intelligible. The phenomena we experience may be explained by principles that are more general than the phenomena themselves. These principles may in turn be explained by more fundamental principles, and so on. In making sense of our world, there should be few occasions in which we are forced to concede “It just is” or “It’s magic” or “Because I said so.” The commitment to intelligibility is not a matter of brute faith, but gradually validates itself as more and more of the world becomes explicable in scientific terms. The processes of life, for example, used to be attributed to a mysterious élan vital; now we know they are powered by chemical and physical reactions among complex molecules.

      Demonizers of scientism often confuse intelligibility with a sin called reductionism. But to explain a complex happening in terms of deeper principles is not to discard its richness. No sane thinker would try to explain World War I in the language of physics, chemistry, and biology as opposed to the more perspicuous language of the perceptions and goals of leaders in 1914 Europe. At the same time, a curious person can legitimately ask why human minds are apt to have such perceptions and goals, including the tribalism, overconfidence, and sense of honor that fell into a deadly combination at that historical moment.

      The second ideal is that the acquisition of knowledge is hard. The world does not go out of its way to reveal its workings, and even if it did, our minds are prone to illusions, fallacies, and super- stitions. Most of the traditional causes of belief—faith, revelation, dogma, authority, charisma, conventional wisdom, the invigorating glow of subjective certainty—are generators of error and should be dismissed as sources of knowledge. To understand the world, we must cultivate work-arounds for our cognitive limitations, including skepticism, open debate, formal precision, and empirical tests, often requiring feats of ingenuity. Any movement that calls itself “scientific” but fails to nurture opportunities for the falsification of its own beliefs (most obviously when it murders or imprisons the people who disagree with it) is not a scientific movement.

      • Puhlease, Zande! Must you constantly insult my intelligence? I have written extensively about Steven Pinker and the problems inherent in his evo/psych theories. Not only did I read that article, I read his latest book, too.

        • john zande says:

          Good for you.

          Let me know when you want to actually critique the essay.

        • John Branyan says:

          We don’t need to “critique the essay”. We need only respond to this:
          Science cannot explain all of reality.
          Agree or disagree?

          Rational people: “Agree.”
          Disciples of Scientism: “That is a stupid question! Here’s a link to an article…”

        • john zande says:

          If you actually *read* read the four paragraphs before spitting mucus into the air you’d see the WW1 example answering just that question.

          Lesson for the future: Read before spewing and save yourself future embarrassment.

        • John Branyan says:

          Sorry. I’ll amend my comment:

          Rational people: “Agree.”
          Disciples of Scientism: “If you actually *read* read the four paragraphs before spitting mucus into the air you’d see the WW1 example answering just that question.”

        • john zande says:

          Tell me what’s written….

        • John Branyan says:

          Your usual irrational pablum.
          You’re a disciple of scientism. Be proud!

        • john zande says:

          Tell me what’s written…

        • john zande says:

          So you have trouble reading. OK…

        • John Branyan says:

          So you have trouble admitting you’re a disciple of scientism. Ok…

        • john zande says:

          Tell me what’s written…

        • John Branyan says:

          Go read it. You posted it.
          LOL!

        • Mel Wild says:

          JB, since Zande loves to copy and paste so much, here’s a few he can add to his collection (emphasis added).

          Former Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, Eugenie Scott, said:

          “Science neither denies nor opposes the supernatural, but ignores the supernatural for methodological reasons.”

          Nobel Prize winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar said:

          “We must acknowledge that there are “questions that science cannot answer and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer.” (“The Limits of Science,” p.66)

          We don’t want to confuse Zande with actual logic, but Timothy Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at University of Oxford gives us this logical argument:

          “If it is true that all truths are discoverable by hard science, then it is discoverable by hard science that all truths are discoverable by hard science. But it is not discoverable by hard science that all truths are discoverable by hard science. “Are all truths discoverable by hard science?” is not a question of hard science. Therefore the extreme naturalist claim is not true.” (From article: “On Ducking Challenges to Naturalism,” New York Times, September 28, 2011.)

          Of course, it’s hard to admit when your faith in scientism is incoherent and self-refuting. We will probably just get a 100 more comments and links and more copying and pasting. Pretty boring, actually.

        • Mel Wild says:

          IB, Zande loves to copy and paste and is obviously a fundamentalist scientistic zealot, and we are challenging his precious faith. But the huge elephant in the room for the scientistic faithful, like Pinker and others, is that scientism itself is a self-refuting claim that requires a naturalistic presupposition. The scientific method cannot prove or disprove the existence of anything beyond the natural realm. This limitation is what makes actual science so effective. To go beyond this is not actual science but a secular religion. And in order for one to say that the only reality there is, is what we discover from science requires a naturalistic presupposition. But, hey, it makes for a great “fishbowl” ideology!

        • john zande says:

          You would “challenge” my general acceptance of methodological naturalism/ metaphysical naturalism (which is perfectly fine with panpsychism) if you could demonstrate anything actually being outside the natural world. To-date, you’ve produced nothing.

          For example, you wish to posit the idea that the spirit, or soul exists. That’s a fair enough hypothesis. Our ability to have an internal dialogue leads many to feel like there’s something unique that is perhaps not just encompassed in the mind. So, to take this hypothesis forward (to ‘challenge’ methodological naturalism/metaphysical naturalism) you would first have to address all contradicting data, like that from brain injuries and resultant personality change.

          So, if you believe something like “sprit” or “soul” represents the person, is their personality, then can you explain how even some minor cerebral trauma evicts it so completely?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You would “challenge” my general acceptance of methodological naturalism/ metaphysical naturalism (which is perfectly fine with panpsychism) if you could demonstrate anything actually being outside the natural world. To-date, you’ve produced nothing.

          LOL! When are you ever going to stop asking fallacious questions? This is a classic category mistake. How would I produce material evidence for something that is not material?

          And then you mention panPOOFism in the same faith statement, which has ZERO evidence! Talk about magic thinking! This picture pretty much explains it all.

        • john zande says:

          Category error?

          So, you DON’T BELIEVE the spirit represents the person?

          Interesting…

        • Mel Wild says:

          The category error is in demanding material evidence for spiritual things.

        • john zande says:

          So, you DON’T BELIEVE the spirit represents the person?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Are you dense? I didn’t say that.

        • john zande says:

          So, do you believe the spirit represents the person?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I believe a person has a spirit from God AND they also have personality. They are NOT the same thing. So, you can stop with your childish repeating the same comment over and over.

        • john zande says:

          Not the same thing?

          So a child molester can actually have a wonderful spirit?

          Is that what you’re saying?

        • Mel Wild says:

          So a child molester can actually have a wonderful spirit?
          Is that what you’re saying?

          Another asinine comment. Since you won’t stop commenting I will leave you with this…

          12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Heb.4:12)

        • john zande says:

          Mel, you said personality and spirit are “Not the same thing”

          Your words… and some scripture.

          Does that mean a brutal child molester can actually have a wonderful spirit?

  15. One of these days I’ll drag out all my TBI links and write about the existence of the soul. (Today is not that day, Zande! That’s totally off topic and I haven’t got the time.) However, it is actually from working with TBI, stoke, dementias, that I really cemented my belief in the existence of human souls.

    • john zande says:

      You would have quite persuasive evidence for the “spirit” if you could actually show a person’s personality remaining perfectly in-tact after stroke, brain injury, lobotomy’s etc.

      What we instead see after cerebral trauma is profound and permanent changes in a person’s temperament, their interests, their likes and dislikes, their emotional responses to events, etc. “An entirely new person” is often the words used by friends and family to describe the person after the injury. We can even measure and predict with astonishing accuracy the parts of a person’s personality that will be altered given the part of the brain that is damaged. A good man becomes a bad man. A gentle man becomes a violent man. A mathematician becomes an artist. This is actual evidence (hard data) against the existence of a spirit. Granted, it does not necessarily mean spirit does not exist, but if you’re a rational player then the next question any sane person would have to address is this: If it does not represent the person, then what is the use of spirit?

      • Mel Wild says:

        You would have quite persuasive evidence for the “spirit” if you could actually show a person’s personality remaining perfectly in-tact after stroke, brain injury, lobotomy’s etc.

        The personality is not the spirit. Your question is fallacious. It’s also no proof that consciousness is material. It just means that the brain and consciousness work together.

        • john zande says:

          A person’s temperament, their likes and dislikes and interests is not reflected in their spirit?

        • Mel Wild says:

          A person’s likes and dislikes are learned behavior, not spiritual.

        • john zande says:

          So, you DON’T BELIEVE the spirit represents the person?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are dense then. I see…

        • john zande says:

          So, you believe the spirit represents the person?

        • John Branyan says:

          The person is a representation of the spirit which is mirrored by the soul which is derived from the conscience which is the essence of life which manifests via lucidity.
          It’s very simple.

        • john zande says:

          So a brutal child molester on earth can have a wonderful spirit, because spirit has nothing to do with a person’s actions, beliefs, likes, dislikes, attitudes, temperament, etc.

          Got it, thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why do you think it’s got to be this way, Zande? A person could have an evil spirit that causes him to be a child molester. It’s certainly not a natural thing to do. And you don’t know which it is either.

          Personality is not the same thing as a spirit or the soul. Our Personality is the ‘vehicle’ for both Spirit and Soul. It is governed by our feelings, thoughts, and subconscious reactions. This is why brain damage can affect a personality.

        • john zande says:

          Yes, I understood you the first time. An absolutely ghastly person is not judged by your god on his/her actions through life because those actions aren’t, apparently, representative of the person.

          It’s an interesting position to hold.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you clearly don’t understand. All you want to do is distort what I’m saying. We are judged by our actions based on our cognitive ability or accountability. The body, soul, and spirit are aspects of the one person but they are not the same thing. I don’t know why you can’t get this.

        • john zande says:

          Yes, I understand your position. You’re saying the spirit does not represent the person. A person’s temperament might be peaceful and perfectly loving, but their spirit is defiled and they’re going to hell.

          Like I said, it’s an interesting position to hold. Should make Judgment Day quite fun, if not rather confusing for many.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I never said that. That’s what YOU are saying. I’ve been saying that the personality is not the same thing as the spirit, which is why I quoted Hebrews 4:12. No reputable theologian would say they are the same thing. They work together to make the whole person but they are not the same thing. When it says that God can “penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit….judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb.4:12), it’s saying that God judges our motives and attitudes, and our ability to know right from wrong.

          Your assertion is compartmentalized nonsense.

        • john zande says:

          Oh, so spirit is representative of the person. I thought you said… Oh don’t worry…

          And Mel, motives and attitudes are elements of our personalities, our interests, our disposition and temperament… and those things can be turned on their head with traumatic brain injury.

          As I said to Inanity: You would have quite persuasive evidence for the “spirit” if you could actually show a person’s personality remaining perfectly in-tact after stroke, brain injury, lobotomy’s etc. What we instead see after cerebral trauma is profound and permanent changes in a person’s temperament, their interests, their likes and dislikes, their emotional responses to events, etc.

        • Mel Wild says:

          The Spirit is NOT the same thing as the personality. Since you’re obviously too dense to understand the difference, have a nice night. I will be ignoring you now.

        • john zande says:

          Ignoring the fact that your apologetics here resembles an advanced MS patient trying to juggle 19 balls, we return to the original point. You can present nothing to even suggest that there is something outside the natural world, and of the things you propose exist (like the soul) there is a mountain of contradictory evidence.

          Goodnight.

        • John Branyan says:

          The brutal child molester being of a spirit that permeates the fortitude of gentleness with demonstrable repercussions toward balanced and scientific methods will repeatedly produce measurable results which bear strong resemblance to repeatable events upon which attitudes and beliefs are shaped.

  16. sklyjd says:

    Mel, why do you and IB both insist your own versions of science are better?

    “Oh, so you looked it up on Google! Another copy and paste expert! I stand corrected. Lol!”

    I do have some chemistry qualifications from many years ago, however the memory does need to be jogged along these days, obviously you think you know better.

    Do you completely ignore the facts because it is a scientific issue, even though you have claimed to have a favourable view?

    “If it’s molecular, ionic, it’s STILL material,”

    Wrong, a molecule of one type is classed as an element not a material and it bonds with others to create materials. An ionically bonded atom to another also creates a material.

    “If it’s a quark it a gluon, it’s still material.”

    Wrong yet again, they are particles that are the building blocks for larger particles such as protons and neutrons, which in turn form atoms.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Why do you insist that these things in the very natural world are spiritual? Everything you mentioned is still part of the framework of the physical world. It is you who is mulishly digging in your heels and ignoring the facts. Science totally ignores the spiritual for methodological reasons. Science cannot test the spiritual world. Yours is a fallacious and convoluted argument to try to change the meaning of spiritual to fit your naturalistic ideology. You obviously won’t admit to anything so we’ll have to leave it there.

      • John Branyan says:

        If you get tired of talking to the godless nitwits, I’ve got an ice machine in my kitchen that will be more receptive to your thoughtful replies. You’re welcome to speak to it any time.

        • A bit funny, but I quite literally discovered Branyan’s podcasts while working nights and talking to the ice machine that makes really spooky noises in the middle of an empty building. Branyan doesn’t know this. Well, he does now.

          Ha! That’s terrible recommendation, but I can literally say, enjoying the company of their podcasts sure beats rebuking an angry ice machine all night long. 🙂

        • John Branyan says:

          “Branyan’s podcast…better than talking to an ice machine.”

          What a ringing endorsement!

      • sklyjd says:

        I do not insist that these things in the very natural world are spiritual?

        I am saying all your nice spiritual feelings of being with God and being guided by God are all manifested within your brain.

        The chemical reactions of the reward system within your brain that allow this to happen also generate other feel good effects from other events such as feelings of love, music and drugs. Therefore, your spirituality is not exclusive and simply caused by a chemical reaction.

        It is your insistance that everything natural is caused by a supernatural being living in the spiritual world.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I do not insist that these things in the very natural world are spiritual?

          Then you are very confusing, misusing terms like “spiritual.” You said:

          None of the brains process is material or physical, however there are electro-chemical reactions, therefore your belief in God is spiritually generated by electro -chemical reactions.

          In addition to making a convoluted statement when saying “spiritually generated,” this is a conclusion without proof. You cannot prove that our “spiritual feelings,” or even consciousness, comes from how our brain reacts anymore than you can say a television is the source of its own programming.

          I am saying all your nice spiritual feelings of being with God and being guided by God are all manifested within your brain.

          You can say that, but it doesn’t make it true or even a compelling argument. This is nothing more than a faith statement, no more provable by science than actual spiritual things, it’s not a fact. What you don’t seem to get, and the point of the post, is that science cannot go outside of its own natural limitations, so you will never prove or disprove the existence of anything outside of the natural world with science.

          Here’s some comments from very smart people in science and philosophy who don’t embrace the ideology of scientism (emphasis added):

          Former Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, Eugenie Scott:

          “Science neither denies nor opposes the supernatural, but ignores the supernatural for methodological reasons.”

          Nobel Prize winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar said:

          “We must acknowledge that there are “questions that science cannot answer and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer.” (“The Limits of Science,” p.66)

          Timothy Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at University of Oxford gives us this logical argument:

          “If it is true that all truths are discoverable by hard science, then it is discoverable by hard science that all truths are discoverable by hard science. But it is not discoverable by hard science that all truths are discoverable by hard science. “Are all truths discoverable by hard science?” is not a question of hard science. Therefore the extreme naturalist claim is not true.” (From article: “On Ducking Challenges to Naturalism,” New York Times, September 28, 2011.)

        • sklyjd says:

          “you are very confusing, misusing terms like “spiritual.”

          As I said “therefore, your belief in God is spiritually generated by electro -chemical reactions.”
          This is not confusing because you believe faithfully that your relationship with God is spiritual, however this feel good emotional experience of being in this supernatural non-scientific world where your god exists is born out of Earthly explained chemical reactions within your earthly brain. This is the case for all human beliefs, even atheism with a non-belief, however most atheists obviously do not show the same naivety and faith based side effects of theists.

          “You cannot prove that our “spiritual feelings,” or even consciousness, comes from how our brain reacts”

          The science is a very convincing argument from what neuroscientists have discovered over the last decades, in fact, far more convincing and logical than your ideological Biblical rule book from thousands of years ago that was founded on myths and preached by utilising the simple but effective processes of indoctrination of ignorant superstitious masses during what was a very primitive scientific era.

          “science cannot go outside of its own natural limitations, so you will never prove or disprove the existence of anything outside of the natural world with science.”

          You are correct science is about the natural world and anything outside the natural world is only an invention of man until convincing evidence is provided to prove that it is not.

          The brain is where a person’s whole life exists, it is everything, it is literally the exclusive provider for each of us, it controls you, nothing can compare to it and it does have many secrets yet to be discovered. This is really another nail or maybe the last one for all religious ideologies as neuroscientists make steady progress.

          Scientific truth is man using this brain to obtain knowledge for mans progress, you and the millions around the world who partake of some kind of religion have been fooled by your own evolved brain due to traditional beliefs that have been hard wired into the brain for many thousands of years.

          The new world we now live in has many more atheists and many less churches than even 60 years ago and if you really want to impress me with statements from smart people in this modern world find me a bonified neuroscientist who has found a messages from God receiver in the human brain.

        • Mel Wild says:

          More dogmatic naturalist statements of faith that mean nothing, Sklyjd. And when you ask for physical (neurological) evidence for “messages from God” you are making a fallacious category error, which is typical, but not really very smart at all.
          But you obviously want to stay stuck in your little myopic naturalist box so I’m wasting my time talking to you. But thanks for giving us a great case in point of someone fully devoted to the ideology of scientism.

        • sklyjd says:

          Mel, I understand you do not like what I say and do not want to continue with this issue, however any rational person would have to consider what I say quite seriously.

          Consider what humans have done, I understand your resistance against certain scientific issues, however the amazing brain power to invent such amazing devices, computers, robotics, increasing man’s life expectancy, cures for diseases, cloning, DNA and taking man to the moon and beyond etc.

          Do these achievements not have you in awe of what man has achieved even during our short life time’s so far of let’s say 60 years?

          As the brain is such a complex organ it is by no means an impossibility that the brain is capable to generate such powerful influences and manifest what we need and desire and bring emotion and reality to those beliefs we hold dear.

          Call me all the scientism names under the sun if you like, however if you apply just a little bit of logic to not only what I say but to the progress of neuroscience as well, you cannot say it is not creditable.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You seem to misunderstand my point. I have no problem with science. I think it has accomplished awesome things. I’m just not going to be so foolish as to ascribe to it something it cannot even address. My problem is not with science, it’s with your scientism. They are two very different things.

  17. The brain is where a person’s whole life exists, it is everything, it is literally the exclusive provider for each of us, it controls you…”

    LOL! Actually, “we” control our brains. Just saying least somebody read that bit of foolishness and start to wonder if they might have this alien thing between their ears that totally controls them. Your brain does not control you, you actually control your brain. Also, the whole world does not exist within a person’s brain. There’s this thing called objective reality, things, people,an entire universe really, and it all exists outside of “you.”

    • Mel Wild says:

      LOL! Actually, “we” control our brains. Just saying least somebody read that bit of foolishness and start to wonder if they might have this alien thing between their ears that totally control them. Your brain does not control you, you actually control your brain.

      Exactly. The idea that our brain controls us is laughable. Even Dawkins had to back away from his embarrassing “blind watchmaker” hypothesis.

      The whole thing is incoherent. Like panpsychism, consciousness is made up of bits of matter which just magically comes together and, POOF!, you have individual sentience! LOL! The only problem is, it doesn’t explain anything about our internal reality. It’s a sad attempt to force everything inside the naturalist box. The proverbial square peg in a round hole.

    • sklyjd says:

      “LOL! Actually, “we” control our brains.”

      How can you actually believe the most complex human organ is that simple?

      Neuroscience believes we are governed by unconscious processes.

      We may mostly control ourselves, however do you have full control over your emotional feelings and thoughts? What about influences throughout your life that have a profound effect on the way you have lived your life, did you have full control of those? If the mind can be controlled by psychologists, hypnosis and indoctrination is goes without saying it can be manipulated by outside influences and not always controlled.

      Barry Gordon, professor of neurology and cognitive science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, replies:

      We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts. The vast majority of our thinking efforts goes on subconsciously. Only one or two of these thoughts are likely to breach into consciousness at a time. Slips of the tongue and accidental actions offer glimpses of our unfiltered subconscious mental life.

      I would guess your idea of mental illness is the devils work, or are you not quite that extreme?

      • Wally Fry says:

        “Neuroscience believes we are governed by unconscious processes.”

        Mel I’m sorry just to fly by but your tolerance for incoherence is higher than mine. That inane comment must be addressed.

        Steve surely you understand that science understands nothing right? Even a stupid fundie like me understands that science provides data so that we can understand things. It understands nothing. Unless of course your scientist has elevated it to the level of a living organisms itself.

        • sklyjd says:

          You are basically a conspiracy nut Wally, science has provided you with everything you use, you can actually thank science that you will live a long life, however you believe nothing is understood by scientists because your ideology says so and just as the rest of your crowd you think all scientists that you do not agree with are dishonest.
          Man has landed on the moon, the Earth is over 6000 years old, man did not have dinosaur pets, the Earth is not flat, and evolution is a guaranteed fact, is there anything else I can help you with?

        • Wally Fry says:

          Steve you spout incoherence. You clearly said Neuroscience believes. That is factually incorrect. It’s not a conspiracy. Science cannot believe anything. I dare you to prove me wrong. You don’t even pay attention to what you say. It amazes me that those who worship science don’t actually understand it. Science believes nothing. That statement is stupid. Stick to the challenge. Refute my assertion. Find me some science that believes something. I suggest looking in the same box where you found the non material electro chemical processes lol.

        • sklyjd says:

          “You clearly said Neuroscience believes.”
          Yes Wally, this is clearly correct, neuroscience being a branch of science has done a lot of work on the brain and believe what they have found to be correct. This is not a religious type of faith in a belief; these beliefs are based on a certain amount of evidence from studies they have undertaken.

          Scientific practice, that includes observation, experiments, the development of falsifiable hypotheses and relentless questioning and constant recalculating of established views have proven unique and are very powerful in revealing what are surprising and exciting underlying structures of our planet Earth and beyond it boundaries, whereas religions have no equivalent record of discovering any such hidden truths.

          If you want to learn and understand science check out bonified scientific web sites.

        • Wally Fry says:

          You said Neuroscience believes. You referred to Neuroscience as a they. You are correct when you say Neuroscience is a branch of science. You are incorrect when you refer to it as they and state it believes. It cannot believe as it is only when a branch of science.

          You don’t even understand my point do you? The very English I use confounds you because you just sat stuff and hope nobody catchers you making up facts and misusing words.

          Finally you last sentence. Make crazy sweeping assertions and demand another do their own research to prove your assertion

          That’s stupid

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you want to learn and understand science check out bonified scientific web sites.

          Sklyjd, we didn’t just fall off the proverbial turnip truck. And I didn’t learn science from Google and Wikipedia. If you want to understand or talk about actual science then stop ascribing to it things it can never address.

          Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar:

          “We must acknowledge that there are questions that science cannot answer and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer.” (“The Limits of Science,” p.66)

        • sklyjd says:

          No, you are not “killing my buzz” you are just proving that you are not interested in what is really going on. Your ideology has made you a frightened servant and that is patently clear to all who read these reactions from you and your followers.

          “We must acknowledge that there are questions that science cannot answer and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer.” (“The Limits of Science,” p.66)”

          Your quote by Sir Peter Medawar is absolutely true because science marches on discovering and finding new challenges every day of every year and will do so into eternity well after it has destroyed the last fragments of all unfounded beliefs. It will never find an answer to everything because questions are always being asked of it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          “We must acknowledge that there are questions that science cannot answer and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer.” (“The Limits of Science,” p.66)”

          Your quote by Sir Peter Medawar is absolutely true because science marches on discovering and finding new challenges every day of every year and will do so into eternity well after it has destroyed the last fragments of all unfounded beliefs.

          What? If you actually believe anyone would seriously take that meaning from Medawar’s statement, I wonder about your comprehension capabilities. Either I’m talking to a 12-year old, a moron, or a troll that’s just wasting my time. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and pick the latter. I’m done wasting my time with you.

  18. Neuroscience cannot “believe,” Neuroscience is not a person. For Neuroscience to believe something it would have perception, intelligence, sentience, be self aware.

    This is one reason why some people point out that Scientism is a religion, a god. Science is simply a tool, we use to engage in “the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” Science can not perceive, think, or believe anything. It is only a tool. When you start deifying science people often arrive at “Scientism,” ironically a substitute for an authoritative and intelligent designer, much like God.

    Belief lives in the realm of faith. In today’s crazy world people ask for concrete evidence of God Himself, while insisting science be a matter of “faith and belief. ” We have it backwards.

    • Wally Fry says:

      Nicely said IB. Maybe Steve will understand you

    • sklyjd says:

      “This is one reason why some people point out that Scientism is a religion, a god.”
      “When you start deifying science people often arrive at “Scientism,” ironically a substitute for an authoritative and intelligent designer, much like God.”

      No, most people do not, it is only people like yourself who are non-conventional obsessives who embrace the ancient past and dismiss science to arrive at this conclusion. What is more interesting, however, is that more people associate young Earthers such as yourself at the same level as the flat Earthers.

      By the way, you did not answer my question regarding your idea of mental illness, is this the devils work, or are you not quite that extreme?

      • It is virtually impossible to discuss the complexities of mental illness with someone who insists electro chemical reactions are spiritual, that our brains control us rather then we control our brains, and that neuroscience has personhood and believes stuff. Also, your intention is not to try to understand and communicate, it is to attempt to just ridicule and mock Christians.

        • Mel Wild says:

          IB, but you got to give skyljd points for hubris. Why won’t you just admit you’re anti-science blinded by superstitious ignorance so that he and his ilk can go on with their straw man cartoon caricaturization of Christianity. You’re killing his buzz, woman! 🙂

    • sklyjd says:

      “Neuroscience cannot “believe,” Neuroscience is not a person. For Neuroscience to believe something it would have perception, intelligence, sentience, be self aware.”

      Just like an alleged God. No god is a person, for a God to believe in something it would have to have perception, intelligence, sentience, be self-aware.

      • Wally Fry says:

        Are you for real asserting that neuroscience has perception, intelligence, sentience, and is self-aware?

        Wow.

        Look Steve, you said it, not us. Not even the other atheists are going to back you up when you say that neuroscience believes things LOL.

        Quit turning this around on us. Either back up your statement that neuroscience can believe things, or retract it. No matter how desperately you try to make Christians look stupid, you are the one in the dunce cap on this one. I suggest you find another hill to die on than this one.

  19. Wally Fry says:

    Thanks for the space to comment, Mel. and I’m actually sorry I contributed to the train wreck. I really like your blog, as it always makes me think outside of my box. Having said that, the comments tend to become a colossal waste of time, as the atheist morons chase you around in circles. Steve is the crown jewel of atheist stupid, seriously thinking he can repeat the same stupid thing a million times and it will become true. Others as well. Thanks for the space and as one of your friends says….have a nice day.

    LOL

    • Mel Wild says:

      Steve is the crown jewel of atheist stupid, seriously thinking he can repeat the same stupid thing a million times and it will become true.

      Sadly, you’re right. Steve has demonstrated beyond any doubt here that he has no intention whatsoever of having an honest conversation. And from some of his comments, it makes me wonder if he’s actually capable of having one. For instance, his comment about the Medawar quote is the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. I’ll be kind and just write him off as a troll. Certainly, a waste of time trying to reason with such a person.

      Thanks for your comments, Wally. You are always welcome here.

      • sklyjd says:

        Oh, Christians I love you all, even though you try real hard to throw me off the scent.

        • Mel Wild says:

          “…even though you try real hard to throw me off the scent.”

          Huh? Off the scent of what? This is just another example of why your statements don’t lend themselves very well to making any point you think you’re making. Honestly, you only come across as mulishly obstinate and barely cogent sometimes. You would be better off thinking about what you’re saying before you comment.

        • And this thread is the perfect example of why you are no longer allowed to comment on my blog, Steve.

          For some reason Mel has the time and patience for your buffoonery, I don’t, it’s mind-numbing.

  20. Here’s a charming article from an actual neurologist that you might enjoy, Mel. “More than material minds.”

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/september-web-only/more-than-material-minds-neuroscience-souls.html

    • john zande says:

      Inanity, I asked you a question on your blog, twice actually, and you never did answer it.

      As it pertains to this thread, I might as well ask it again.

      You said “the answer is no, no I do not believe that one’s personality,(their likes,dislikes,and style,) are representative of the person. Our soul is not our “personality.”

      To which I asked:

      To avoid any future confusion I’d like to be absolutely certain as to what exactly your position is on this. Just so we’re clear, by your above answer, you DON’T BELIEVE a person’s motives, their feelings, their beliefs, their desires, their passions, their wishes, their hopes, their loves, their interests, their actions, their thinking, their likes, their dislikes, their attitudes, their temperament, etc. is represented/reflected in their soul.

      Is that correct?

      • That is not actually your question, Zande. You’re trying to reconcile how it is possible that a pedophile could wind up in heaven, but someone who appears to have done good all their lives could have a dark soul lurking within. Then you’re trying to justify your own non belief, by answering falsely and declaring God is unworthy of your belief in Him because allegedly God gets it wrong sometimes.

        God NEVER gets it wrong. Believe in the Lord and you will be saved.

        The paper cover on a book is not the book itself. Most of us can not fully see other people’s souls. Appearances can be deceiving.

        You speak of a, “person’s motives, their feelings, their beliefs, their desires, their passions, their wishes..” but experience has taught me that you really don’t know didly squat about any of the people you so often attack. So not only is personality not the soul, you yourself are unqualified to observe or to judge either one.

        • john zande says:

          Err, what? You said:

          I do however, offer you a blog post anyway, Zande. It’s pretty straight forward, what I have seen,what I have experienced, what I believe. If you had read it you would understand that the answer is no, no I do not believe that one’s personality,(their likes,dislikes,and style,) are representative of the person. Our soul is not our “personality.”

          To which I wrote:

          to avoid any future confusion I’d like to be absolutely certain as to what exactly your position is on this.

          So, just so we’re clear, by your above answer, you DON’T BELIEVE a person’s motives, their feelings, their beliefs, their desires, their passions, their wishes, their hopes, their loves, their interests, their actions, their thinking, their likes, their dislikes, their attitudes, their temperament, etc. is represented/reflected in their soul.

          Is that correct?

          So, is that correct? Have I read your answer correctly?

        • Zande, now you’re just navel gazing again. Go take a walk, get some fresh air and sunshine. I’ve answered all your questions and more. We’re done for today.

        • john zande says:

          My exact question was: That’s not what I said. I asked, do you believe the soul “represents” the person? That is to say, is it reflective of the individual; their actions, interests, beliefs, likes, dislikes, attitudes, temperament, motivations, etc.

          No paedophiles there, sorry.

          So, do I understand your position correctly?

          You DON’T BELIEVE a person’s motives, their feelings, their beliefs, their desires, their passions, their wishes, their hopes, their loves, their interests, their actions, their thinking, their likes, their dislikes, their attitudes, their temperament, etc. is represented/reflected in their soul.

          Is that correct?

          Do you stand by your answer… Or have you changed your mind?

        • Fresh air is good for you. Have a nice walk, Zande.

        • john zande says:

          OK, so you don’t stand by your answer. You got it wrong. You were mistaken.

          No shame in that.

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s a great article, IB. I’m sure our anti-Christian friends will dismiss it because this neuroscientist is also a Christian. LOL!

      This will go well something I’m working up as a follow-up to the comments here.

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