Jesus did exactly that.
So as far as you see it, you don't even really know if you really even exist? If all of this is even real? What is real? Like the matrix right?
"The Knicks are back" - Amare
Evolution is a FACT. I've heard this argument from many religious folks for quite some time now. Too bad they don't understand it. I'll try and give you an example. Evolution is a fact, not a theory. Scientists generally agree that Darwinís Theory of Evolution is the correct explanation of how life on earth evolved. EVEN IF, other scientists come up with other theories about how evolution works, evolution itself remains a fact. For example,letís consider this in light of another scientific fact - gravity. Gravity is a fact. How gravity works is a theory. Current theories about gravity might be disproved, but gravity remains a fact. Understand??
Natural selection is Darwinís theory of how the environment works on species. Although genetics were not understood at the time, later science confirmed Darwinís logic was reasonable. Individuals that are most successfully reproducing viable offspring form the gene pool of a species. Environmental forces determine which individuals survive. Insects tend to be successful not just because of the number of offspring they produce, but because this genetic trait is favorable to the insects' particular environmental niche. Insects that produce a lot of offspring survive best.
A breeding pair of elephants, Darwin reasoned, produce a population of 19 million elephants over 750 years, yet the number of elephants remains more constant. Natural constraints limit the number of elephants. Elephants that reproduce by putting enormous time and resources into a small number of offspring has made them the slowest breeders on earth.
That was for you KNICKSFAN4LYFE..
Now onto Paul.
Those scientists you speak of, yes some of them have religion. But at the same time they do not go against scientific facts like evolution, genetics, biology, chemistry, or sociology. You can take the Christian out the Science, but you can't take the Science out of the Christian. As well if you can name some names..that would be helpful in this discussion.
Their personal conclusions in the spiritual sense yes, they sum it up to GOD as regular everyday persons. But as scientists there is a disconnect...also they don't conclude that as a fact "GOD DID IT"...they all clearly state it's what they believe to be true by their conclusions. At the same time they dare have not said that "GOD DID IT" is factual and truthful. Because every scientist knows for something to be truth it requires evidence, proof. Absence of evidence, is not evidence for "GOD" it's actually still evidence against.
The Cosmological Argument
I know it quite well. Hope you don't mind me paraphrazing it. But basically it goes something like....
"Whatever begins to exist has a cause, the univere began to exist, therefore the universe has a cause".
That should be in the ballpark of it's definition. Just have to point out this factoid...note that the argument does not say "Everything that exists has a cause", because the logical conclusion would be "GOD must have had a cause as well". Cosmologists agree that when we reverse the expansion of the universe, caused by the Big Bang, we come to what is know as the singularity; a point of infinite density.
Before the Big Bang, there was no space, matter, energy or time; they each came into existance at the singularity. Physicists understand that this poses a problem, because at the singularity all of physics break down; the leading theory to explain the problem is currently known as String Theory or M Theory.
The Cosmological Argument then describes the requirements of the cause; the cause must be uncaused, since you cannot have an infinite regress of causes. The cause must also be timeless, since it created time. It must also be space-less and immaterial since it created all space and matter. It must also be incredibly powerful, since it is the creator of the whole universe.
Objections to this argument vary; some say that the universe caused itself. Unfortunately that would mean that the universe would have to exist BEFORE it existed, which is impossible. The other objection falls in line with String Theory, which is the same as the multiple universes theory; our universe was cause by another unseen and undetectable universe in another dimension.
Not many good arguments have been raised against this one, most tend towards saying that scientists don't know what existed before the Big Bang, or what caused it, so it's unfair to just assume that it was god.
Then you moved onto the classic "First Cause Argument"
Everything that exists in our world is the result of some sort of "first cause" which brought about its existence. Therefore, there must have been a force which created the universe. That "first cause" is what we call God.
This sounds about right to me for a definition of it the new argument your making.
Like many arguments of this nature, theists make a special pleading to exempt God from their argument. If everything that exists must have a cause, who created God?
Variations of this argument employ the first law of thermodynamics to imply that God has always existed because the first law of thermodynamics says matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Nice notion, but it still doesn't prove there's a God. It merely suggests there's more for us to understand, and every day scientists get closer to addressing these issues without referencing God or anything supernatural.
Then you moved onto the second law of thermodynamics, or the argument from improbability.
The second law of thermodynamics says matter inevitably becomes entropic (spreads out in chaos) and this defies the observation on Earth where we see, things becoming more organized. Therefore God is responsible.
What is the likelihood that humans would have turned out the way they have? It's improbable that humanity (or any other impressive life form) arbitrarily came into existence.
Imagine a wind whipping through a warehouse of airplane parts and blowing the pieces around until they form a perfect, functional 747 jet? That's what we are talking about in terms of the likelihood man "just happened" on Earth. A similar story involves monkeys being given typewriters and eventually writing all the works of Shakespeare.
But here is where you fall apart;
This argument works because those making these claims deliberately leave out a critical aspect of the story:
No scientist ever said everything happens randomly or arbitrarily!!!
How things evolve, change or become something new and different can be explained using processes such as Natural selection.
This argument ignores glaring facts in the equation.
The second law of thermodynamics applies to a closed system, but the Earth is not a closed system. The entire universe is expanding and entropic. Theists ignore this fact.
When employing the Argument from Improbability to the concept of evolution, theists also deliberately ignore the process of natural selection, which clearly demonstrates that the evolutionary process is anything but random and arbitrary.
In any case, even if the Argument from Improbability were true, it wouldn't prove the existence of God.
Another variation on the Argument from Improbability centers around talking about how "perfect" the Earth, our bodies, the universe, etc. is.
Yes, if the Earth is so "perfect" how come the majority of it is covered with water and uninhabitable by humans? How come we weren't born with gills? If the universe is so perfect, why are there so many planets that are totally inhospitable to humans? Why doesn't the moon have an atmosphere? The "perfection" spin doesn't work.
Now if you ever want to go through the issue of "Natural Selection" properly, and talk about String Theory...or Wave Function of the Universe Theory..by all means I'm open to explaining it as simply as I can to you.
On another note..I think many religious people get caught up in how scientists use the word "THEORY" and what it means as far as human language and dictionary meaning.
In science a theory is a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise verified through empirical observation. For the scientist, "theory" is not in any way an antonym of "fact".
For example, it is a fact that an apple dropped on earth has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet, and the theories commonly used to describe and explain this behavior are Newton's theory of universal gravitation (see also gravitation), and the general theory of relativity.
In common usage, the word theory is often used to signify a conjecture, an opinion, a speculation, or a hypothesis. In this usage, a theory is not necessarily based on facts; in other words, it is not required to be consistent with true descriptions of reality.
So when WE as atheists or scientists talk about something and add the word "THEORY" onto the end of it...were not using it in the common usage context, but the scientific context.
I personally find the idea of a black Christian insulting for reasons due to slavery largely in that context.
Another thing that is really pissing me off..
Atheism is not a belief. Say it with me "Atheism is not a belief"...and I'm actually going to be nice and tell you why.
The religious often claim that atheism is a belief. They use this characterization to claim among other things, false premises such as:
"It takes just as much faith to not believe in god as it does to believe in god"
W R O N G!!! W R O N G!!! W R O N G !!!
It takes no faith to not believe in something. Do you know what the definition of faith is? It is believing in something in the absence of evidence. In other words, it's the opposite of coming to a conclusion based on something real and tangible. The non-existence of something is not a belief. It's merely a base or fallback position one naturally comes to in the absence of contrary evidence.
Is there a large pink elephant sitting on the toilet in the bathroom at your home right now"?
No? Why not? So you take it on faith that there isn't a large pink elephant sitting on the toilet in your bathroom at home? Do you think your lack of belief in this concept requires faith, or maybe it's the other way around? You only require faith to believe IN something that defies the laws of logic.
Hebrews 1:1 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld
So for instance, even though no man has ever seen God, the things around us and his word and the things he has done in the past give us faith that he will fulfill his promises, because he has demonstrated it before.
And that is precisely the reason why you have faith in what you believe. Becuase in your opinion, science has demonstrated to you enough for you to believe in evolution. So technically, yea, it's your faith.
Now when you answer that, answer this. Has the BIBLE ever had to revise it's thinking on any scientifical matter it states in it, ever? And if you answer no, as you wisely should, then ask, how could those writers get those scientific facts correct without the tools and knowledge that today's scientists have?
Faith- is belief without evidence
Atheism- believes in no gods, or supernatural forces. Not because we have faith they don't exist, but there is NO EVIDENCE proving GOD or GOD's exist. Atheism deals with reality, practicality, evidence, proof, analysis, and logic. All things against faith itself.
Your clever english spin tricks are not going to work here.
Science is not an opinion it's factual. If I felt that there is no gravity I can simply test it's existence by jumping up and down. The theory says with gravity what goes up will come down, I jump up...and come down..I've scientifically proven the theory of gravity as working and provable. And guess what...you don't need a secret magic book or decoder ring to prove this!