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The "Logical Argument" *
by Jack Wellman
2008-09-27 08:39:24
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Everything which has a beginning has a cause.
The universe has a beginning.
Therefore the universe has a cause.
There is logical evidence that the universe had a beginning. This can be shown from the Laws of Thermodynamics, the most fundamental laws of the physical sciences.
1st Law: The total amount of mass-energy in the universe is constant.
2nd Law: The amount of energy available for work is running out, or entropy is increasing to exponentially.
If the total amount of mass-energy is limited, and the amount of usable energy is decreasing, then the universe can not have existed forever, otherwise it would already have exhausted all usable energy by now. When all usable energy is used, then what is called the ‘heat death’ of the universe will occur. For example, all radioactive atoms would have decayed, every part of the universe would be the same temperature, and no further work would be possible. So the obvious corollary is that the universe began a finite time ago with a lot of usable energy, and is now running down. Running down implies a beginning.
It is self-evident that things that begin also have an ending. There must obviously have been a cause. The law of cause and effect provides that the universe could not be self-caused, or created itself. Nothing can create itself without an outside cause, at least equal to or greater than itself. It would be like saying that all matter existed before it came into existence, which is a logical absurdity.
To begin with, evolution itself is divided. There is neo-Darwinism which proposes that millions of minute changes occurred, over an extremely long period of time, and resulted in a new species. When they could not find these tiny changes between one type of creature into another in the fossil record, some evolutionists “theorized” that change must have occurred by occasional, gigantic leaps, called punctuated equilibrium.

Hypothetically, beneficial mutation could only make a slight change. Any more than that would be so disruptive as to cause death due to the irregularities in their DNA. So punctuated equilibrium is not really one giant leap at a time or it may become a leap to the death. Anyway, this punctuated equilibrium envisions a lot of slight changes over many thousands or millions of years; then no change occurs for millions of years. However, fossil records indicate otherwise. There are no fossils that have been found from a leap such as this, because thousands of years is too fast in the billions of years of "geologic time" to leave any. On the other hand, without fossils there is no evidence that ANY leaps ever happened in the first place, and today, there remains no evidence of these leaps or gradual changes or that they are even happening today in any of the millions of species that still exist.

Constant change is what evolution is all about, whether gradual or in gigantic leaps. The problem for evolution is that we do not see the “leaps” or “creeps” in the fossil record. All fossils are of complete animals and plants, not works in progress "under construction". If evolution's continuously morphing, then almost every fossil should show a least some change. There have never been found any fossils with parts of a species in a state of change…or in various stages of completion.

For every successful change there should be many more leading up to that species. The whole process is random trial and error, without direction. What did Darwin himself think of his theory? Charles Darwin described the problems with his theory in great detail, particularly in the last chapter. I can only briefly state one of his many comments here, in this space allowed. I encourage you to read the entire last chapter of his book (available on-line) and read for yourself what he really thought. Exceedingly few people do! It is free on-line at: literature.org search: Darwin and use your browser under “Edit” to “Find on this page” the words: doubt, intermediate, links, gravest, objection, etc. and read for yourself how Darwin was less than fully certain of his own theory.

Darwin had serious doubts about his theory and in “The Origin of Species” writes "The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory."
I actually agree with Darwin here in that geology, even to this day, “does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain“. There are many others who also agree with Darwin that the lack of geological evidence is (as he puts it so well), “…the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against [Darwin's] theory”. And the great misconception continues to grow; that Christians do not accept scientific fact. Oh the contrary, they use the facts against evolutional theory. And to great advantage with the very words of the father of the theory himself.
Science definition being what it is, [must be observable, repeatable and measurable] then I can see why evolution is still being taught as a theory, rather than a fact or as a law. Until it navigates through all three of these hoops, it will retain it’s definition as a theory. And if you read Webster’s definition of the word “theory”, you will likely not find more subjective terms and descriptions given to describe a single word in the entire dictionary. Notice all of the subjective terms that Webster uses to define the word theory: General principle “drawn from” any body of facts; is “plausible” or scientifically “acceptable”; “general principle” offered to explain observed facts; “hypotheses“; “guess“; “abstract thought” [my favorite].
It is no wonder the geology of Darwin‘s day and ours, “does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain“. No fossilized or geological evidence exists to prove it. And you don’t even have to “guess” or “hypothesize” about that. Just a logical look at the evidence will tell you. Students are only getting half the story. They have left ,unanswered, the more important question. Explain the origins of the universe, and thus by extension life? Evolution only addresses the origins of species, not the origins of life. This makes the theory totally useless in regard to the more important question: Where did matter come from? No matter, no life! No matter first, then no life possible to begin with. The theory is absolutely outside of it’s category to answer that question. It is best for it to stay within it’s own definition, with apologies from Webster, since it is less than flattering.
* April 1998, by Jonathan Sarfati B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry (with condensed matter and nuclear physics papers substituted) and Ph.D. in Spectroscopy (Physical Chemistry)
Honors/Awards/Associations member.

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Sand2008-09-27 08:51:31
The latest Scientific American October 2008 indicates the universe did not begin with the Big Bang which seems to have some approval from religious sources but rather bounced in an eternal series of phases from collapse to expansion and back again.
Evolution which has had innumerable confirmations, not only from archaeological sources but from deep analysis of DNA interrelationships between species forms the very solid backbone of many integrated biological disciplines and to doubt it is to cry for the destruction of much of basic modern biological science.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 13:10:24
Indeed Jack, Nietzsche "eternal return" plus Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" worshipped as a god of sort, with no beginning and no end, is the perfect formula for all the assorted gnostics and atheists of this world who wish to produce the eight day of creation and do one better on what Aristotle called the Prime Cause and Mover ("...and then we shall know the mind of God" as STephen Hawking put it). They are confident that they can do a better job and are now busy, as we speak, reproducing the Big Bang in the lab; they think of themselves as immortal gods. What does not seem to occur to them in their sheer hubris is that Man did not make nature, it was around before he came on the scene, and that such a creation is not ex nihilo, it is working from something already there. Vico had it on target: it is much more productive for Man to focus not on what he has not made (which will remain forever out of his complete understanding) but on what Man himself has made (the arts, language, institutions, history itself) which he trace back and know fully. Indeed, throw religion out the window and it will promptly return the back door in the form of an ideology or a theory to be worshipped. We have been worshipping the Enlightenment and Rationalism since Descartes and have failed to realize that the Enlightenment has still to enlighten itself.

Sand2008-09-27 13:23:43
Philosophers, past and present, have often made fools of themselves with empty speculation as to the nature of things without the knowledge nor the skill to confirm through observation what particular idea grabbed their enthusiasm. And, it seems, the foolishness persists.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 13:47:56
"What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine."
--Nietzsche (The Gay Science)

Sand2008-09-27 14:10:29
Nietzsche once demeaned as mad
Is now a source of wonder.
Can this be P.'s latest fad,
His philosophic thunder?
P.'s proposals, always lifted,
Proclaims his vanished self
Was lost somewhere, somehow shifted
Locked up on a shelf.
So P. digs up dead thoughts to show
He's handy with a spade.
He need not think nor ever know
His mind is worn and frayed.
But everybody else can see
His silliness displayed.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 14:39:16
What bothers all rationalist, logical positivists and analytic philosophers is their inability to square the cirle and attempt to explain, sometimes in poetry when the paradoxical absurdity and delusion is at its highest, why things that clearly cannot exist can be expressed in language.

Sand2008-09-27 15:08:39
Anyone who thinks at all
Knows language always lies.
Reality lies outside words
Which merely makes the tries
To match a sound with cat or bird
But never touch the wing
Or feel the claw
Or know the jaw
Or catch what birds can sing.
For language never is quite real
It's just a feeble reach
To grab what life can lay out clear
And language never teach.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 15:11:52
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

Comment: and outside of language there is no world, there is only madness and voices in one's head.

Sand2008-09-27 15:38:30
That last comment, Paparella demonstrates absolutely how devoid of reality your life has been. Almost everybody knows quite well what vanilla tastes like but neither you nor anybody else can put it into words. Although language is useful it is a pitifully weak tool for dealing with reality.

Sand2008-09-27 16:02:04
Incidentally, Hopkins wrote quite a few pretty good poems. You used only one in two different threads. Are you too lazy to read a few more. I may disagree with Hopkins' ideas but it wouldn't hurt to read a bit more of his poetry.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 16:59:58
"Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation."
(Noam Chomsky)

Indeed, Aristotle's "Man is a rational animal" can easily be changed to "Man is a speaking animal" which is to say that to think that without language Man remains human it to reduce him to a mere animal like all other animals. That is indeed regression of the highest order parading as progress.

Sand2008-09-27 17:23:00
Your snotty disdain of "mere animals" is typical of a good deal of philosophers puffed up with the hubris of being human. There are things that "mere animals" understand and deeply interact with that humans are just beginning to get hints about and even plants deal with their realities on a level that can, many times, be more sophisticated that anything we understand at present. The immense stupidity that language comprises the world which is a particular addiction of philosophers and to a huge extent, theologians, is sad testimony to human stupidity. Ask any musician, graphic or sculptural artist cook, or cabinet maker whether words can elucidate what they work with daily and you will see how coarse language is in dealing with reality. I know you are intensely stupid in this direction so my words will probably fly well above your comprehension. Too bad.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 17:57:15
And of course you are trying to convince me with words which are symbols of reality. The inability to grasp that simple paradox speaks volumes about the hubristic stupidity of modern materialists and logical positivist and language analysts.

Sand2008-09-27 18:20:32
No. I can tell you to look with words but I cannot tell you what to see. For that you will have to use your word stunted senses and of course you will not see because you have not learnt to see without words. All real dealings with the world involve hands on sense utilization beyond words. I could tell you how to drive a car or fly a plane but I sure as hell wouldn't ride with you until you had seen and felt what it was like and only with practice could you do it reasonably well. I could tell you how to make chocolate fudge icing but you couldn't do it until you felt the water cooled ball and gradually learned to know what the proper feel was. Words just don't work and your present overconfidence in words obviously indicates how generally inept you are.

AP2008-09-27 21:51:55
"hubristic stupidity of modern materialists and logical positivist and language analysts"
Uuuuhhhh!!! Mr. P., I could never figure out that you disliked language analysts too!!! (funny for a philosopher, to dislike them!!) You begin to show some intense academic hates!!!! Spooky!!

Just as a side remark, in case it adds anything to your inflamed debate, I should point out that all psychologists, neurologists and artists know that images are the fundamental base of all thinking and all language. An infinite number of writers know this intuitively, as they have in their minds very strong images of what they want to describe - this is even particularly true for script writers. Words are BY NO MEANS the single base of complex thoughts.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 22:17:17

Had you actually read and reflected on my description of Vico's poetic philosophy as explained in four or five articles in this very magazine you would not be proffering those gratuitous and absurd charges. Should you be really interested in the issue of the poetic and the imaginative in philosophy, the link above to the first article on Vico written for Ovi, may be useful.

Sand2008-09-28 02:13:20
Never a direct and clear answer, merely a dispatch to wild goose chase into a distant jungle of confused and tangled verbalisms.

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