Daniel Morgan said:
“ I find myself agreeing with Ted. To be brutally honest, after reading this post, I see little reason to write something on modern cosmology. “
I agree. I never saw much reason for Danny to write about modern cosmology.
After all, Danny is not a cosmologist or astrophysicist by training. So why would we want to get our information from him when we can read about modern cosmology and astrophysics from Witten, Weinberg, Hawking, Penrose, Smolin, Davies, Greene, &c.?
“It is quite apparent that modern science neither interests you or is of concern to you.”
That’s’ true, and it’s true for philosophical reasons rather than theological reasons.
I’m an indirect realist. I don’t believe that the mind has direct access to the external world.
As such, observation can never penetrate the veil of perception. Thus, we can never compare appearance with reality.
A partial way around this would be divine revelation. But Danny has cut himself off from that resource.
Danny is too much of a philosophical hick to think through elementary metascientific issues like what’s his theory of perception, and how does that square with his philosophy of science?
The irony is that I’m more sceptical than he is. Danny is welcome to his animal faith in naïve realism, but thinking people turned the corner on that many centuries ago.
You invoke miracles whenever necessary, which I can't "defeat" with science. You invoke them concerning the creation of plants on day 3, before the sun on day 4, without addressing the more devastating idea (which sails right over your head) in I.iii -- the sun supplies more than light, goofy. It supplies the very energy that keeps the water of the earth and the plants from being at the same temperature as my deep freezer (joke).
Do you see that energy, if not coming from the sun, has to be eminating from somewhere? What is your light source, BTW?
And, of course, you can invoke miracles here too.
I always feel a bit guilt-stricken about debating such a clueless opponent. It doesn’t seem fair—like racing against a quadriplegic.
i) To begin with, I pointed out, on both semantic and syntactical grounds, that the interpretation of Gen 1:14 is in dispute.
That bounced right off Danny’s noggin.
ii) I also pointed out that, on my own interpretation of Gen 1:14, the sun was already in existence as of day 1.
That also bounced right off Danny’s noggin.
iii) I further pointed out that even on a traditional reading of the text, there is still a light-source on day 1 which is the functional equivalent of the sun.
That also bounced right off Danny’s noggin.
At this rate, Danny will never need to wear a helmet when he goes motorbiking.
“And that's the point, no matter what I say to point out how unreasonable it is to assume Genesis was ever intended to be taken as scientific (because it is unscientific)...you will ad hoc together some "poof" or another.”
Danny is also too jejune to know what an ad hoc argument is. An ad hoc argument would be to invoke a deus ex machina in order to extricate one from a tight spot when the text itself offers no hint of miraculous action or intervention.
That is completely different from first asking what, according to grammatico-historical exegesis, Gen 1 is asserting, and then asking what that would imply were it true.
Far from being ad hoc, this is how you avoid a straw man argument. You first acquaint yourself with the nature of the proposition you are planning to attack.
I’m actually doing Danny’s job for him. If he’s going to prove that Gen 1 is unscientific, the burden is on him to take two preliminary steps:
i) Ascertain the meaning of Gen 1 according to grammatico-historical exegesis, and:
ii) Consider, for the sake of argument, the implications of this depiction if true.
But Danny is too much of an intellectual charlatan to do any of the preliminary spadework.
To ask what the text is asserting, consistent with original intent, is not ad hoc.
To ask what that would imply for the opposing position, is not ad hoc.
To the contrary, this is a question of what follows from the inner logic of the text.
If Danny is going to claim that Gen 1 goes contrary to the empirical evidence, then, at a bare minimum, he needs to be clear on what the text is asserting and what this would predict for the natural record if true.
If Danny can get in over his head this early in the debate, then I agree with him that, for his own safety, in would be best if he drop out. He’d be well-advised to stay inside when it rains lest he step into a muddle puddle and drown in 3 inches of water.
“If the matter/mass/energy of the universe is NOT conserved, then, aside from considerations of how the whole "something from nothing" works, we are still left with a question of why we're having this conversation...”
“Obviously, if conservation does hold true, your God is sliced away by Ockham's Razor…”
i) As I’ve explained several times now, the law of conservation is irrelevant to creation ex nihilo since the law of conservation assumes that natural forces are already in place.
Natural laws would be a consequence of creation. Where there is no nature, there are no natural laws or forces.
But that continues to bounce off his noggin. No matter how often you spell out the obvious for him in 10 foot tall neon letters, he never gets it. He doesn’t even know what he’s opposing.
ii) Christian theism is not the same as Deism. To invoke the law of conservation as a defeater to miraculous “intervention” merely assume what it needs to prove.
This is no longer a question of creationism. Rather, this is a question of rigging the outcome in his favor by insisting on the uniformity of nature.
The Christian is only allowed to play the game if he concedes at the outset that miracles are impossible given the law of conservation.
Not “ad hoc” miracles, but any miracles whatsoever.
All Danny has done is to make up his own rules, rules which, not so coincidentally, ensure that he will win every time.
Is this the best that atheism can do?
“Modern science doesn't incorporate "matter can be 'poofed' from nothing" into its assumptions. Therefore, I cannot argue with you from a scientific perspective, and I'm clearly wasting my time.”
In other words, the old tactic of truth by definition. Instead of discussing what is real, we will discuss what is scientific. And we can manipulate our definition of science to define theism out of existence.
This is ad hocery.
“An eternally existent universe is no more created than your God. And, while I can supply solid scientific and mathematical reasoning to suppose that matter is not created or destroyed, and never has been, it's like casting pearls before swine. “
Does Danny have the mathematical equipment to pull this off? Does Danny operate at the level of Ed Witten or Roger Penrose?
If not, then this is a disguised appeal to the argument from authority.
“Why should I quote authorities in string theory and astrophysics on the cyclic model of the universe when you will just quote back silly myths and "poof"?”
As usual, Danny seems to be missing more than a few synapses.
I mounted a two-pronged argument:
i) I made a case for Gen 1 on its own terms
ii) I also interacted with modern cosmology on its own terms, in §§ IV-IX.
By contrast, Danny failed to engage either prong of the argument.
He’s too mentally challenged to even interact with the “authorities” (telling choice of words) in string theory whom I already quoted.
This is standard operating procedure for DC. To be “brutally honest,” the Debunkers are pseudointellectuals.
They sally for with a lot of rationalistic rhetoric, but as soon as you answer them, they pick on their marbles and run home to mommy.
Loftus always falls back on his surfer-dude line about “Hey, boyz, I’m just doin’ da best a guy can do.”