Is nature like intelligent design, or is intelligent design like nature?

Started by Jagella, October 08, 2021, 06:07:24 PM

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Jagella

One of the most common arguments on the part of Christians and other religious believers for a God is to point to nature and say: "Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse..." (Romans 1:20). In other words, if people like Paul can see God's handiwork in nature, then we should all see it. You cannot claim ignorance!

Anyway, so the argument goes that if nature looks like the things we intelligent humans design and create, then nature must have an intelligent designer of its own. That designer, of course, is God.

There are many logical problems with this argument, but allow me to point out one difficulty that I haven't seen many people point out. Is it really correct to say that nature looks like design, or does design look like nature? I agree that there is a resemblance between some parts of nature and what we humans construct, and I think it's no coincidence. The reason there is such a resemblance is because what we humans design gets its inspiration from what we see in nature. We designed canopies, for example, because we've noticed trees with thick branches act as shelter from the hot sun or rain. Hinges were inspired by joints, and knives were inspired by teeth and claws.

So Christian apologists have it backwards. Nature just happens to have some structures that we humans find useful and exploit. And did you ever notice that we often do a far better job?

SGOS

Biological organisms evolved because they work.  This gives the appearance of design.  To someone who has no understanding of evolution, seeing something that works calls for a designer.  What they don't get is that evolution doesn't plan or design anything. It does not anticipate what it needs to do.  It doesn't even have the slightest ability to think, and doesn't care if anything works or not.  But in the chaos of it all, somethings do work.

Then the clergy points to these things and says, "See?  It's God!  Send money."

Cassia

If someone believes in any of the many centuries-old creation myths...given the current understanding of many branches of science and evidence...they are either willfully ignorant, incapable or insincere. Every single day, people pay money to shuffle through a building with a boat-shaped façade and cages holding stuffed dinosaurs. They are lost causes as far as I am concerned.

Jagella

Quote from: SGOS on October 08, 2021, 06:40:55 PM
Biological organisms evolved because they work.  This gives the appearance of design.  To someone who has no understanding of evolution, seeing something that works calls for a designer.  What they don't get is that evolution doesn't plan or design anything. It does not anticipate what it needs to do.  It doesn't even have the slightest ability to think, and doesn't care if anything works or not.  But in the chaos of it all, somethings do work.

That's a very astute summary of an alternate explanation for apparent design that has kept Christian apologists busy for almost 162 years! As you say evolution doesn't design anything for a purpose, and as I say evolution's results sometimes give us humans ideas for designs to suit our purposes.

Did you ever notice, though, that there's much in nature we know better than to emulate? Since we humans know better than to locate a playground next to an open cesspool, you would think God would know better than to locate sex organs next to the anus.

QuoteThen the clergy points to these things and says, "See?  It's God!  Send money."

You would think that if a God who created the cosmos is truly backing the clergy, they wouldn't need to ask for money. After all, the clergy tell their followers to have faith and pray, and God will provide. Why don't the clergy pray for all they need? If it worked, then it seems like it might be rather convincing to the unbelievers.

aitm

Biblical responses to the unknown are as easy to predict as a child might suggest an answer to anything they have no understanding of. We have an issue when people claim that simply because it is written in their ”holy book” it deserves special consideration, when in fact, it is simple bullshit, and we are allowed to call it that because their opinion of a thing does not give it the same status as actual knowledge. That we feel an obligation to argue the babble gives it the credence they suggest it has. If one dismisses the whole thing as bullshit, what left do they have to argue with except now trying to proof the babble is actually worthy of being used as knowledge? God is stymied by a woman’s menstrual cycle he himself created…now that is worthy of questioning the grand master of creation.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Cassia

Quote from: aitm on October 08, 2021, 07:58:08 PM
Biblical responses to the unknown are as easy to predict as a child might suggest an answer to anything they have no understanding of. We have an issue when people claim that simply because it is written in their ”holy book” it deserves special consideration, when in fact, it is simple bullshit, and we are allowed to call it that because their opinion of a thing does not give it the same status as actual knowledge. That we feel an obligation to argue the babble gives it the credence they suggest it has. If one dismisses the whole thing as bullshit, what left do they have to argue with except now trying to proof the babble is actually worthy of being used as knowledge? God is stymied by a woman’s menstrual cycle he himself created…now that is worthy of questioning the grand master of creation.
Many of my friends actually believe that men have one fewer rib than women. The stupid shit is so thick around here I need to wear boots

Mike Cl

I have noticed from early on that people who believe in god, love to point to 'nature' and proclaim how beautiful it is and that it must lead to the belief in a truly awesome god!   In the last couple of decades I've asked some of these people to really look at nature.  It IS clearly beautiful and awe inspiring.  It is also savage, cruel, non-caring, and completely neutral. For example, non plant life must kill to live.  Your garden spider in your back yard must kill insects to obtain energy to live--and they kill and eat their prey alive!  And that is not unusual.  All life forms on this planet must gather energy to live.  How that is accomplished is quite varied.  Plants simply combine sunlight and minerals and they get what they need.  Animals must eat something alive to gather that energy.  Humans are the same.  If one believes in god, creator of both nature and humans, then one has to understand that we humans must kill to live--we have no choice.  Mankind must follow that rule or die and since god created both nature and humans, that is what god must want.  God could easily have created a solar type energy system for humans to simply gather energy from the sun.  An example would be plants.  Or god could have used a method creatures that live in a world of total darkness (in the depths of the seas)--heat and minerals give them energy they need.  Nature shows me that there is no god, for it does not teach anything; no morals, ethics or codes of conduct.  It is based on the principle of the fittest survives; the most adapted to the environment they find themselves in. God is not needed. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?<br />Then he is not omnipotent,<br />Is he able but not willing?<br />Then whence cometh evil?<br />Is he neither able or willing?<br />Then why call him god?

Jagella

Quote from: aitm on October 08, 2021, 07:58:08 PM
Biblical responses to the unknown are as easy to predict as a child might suggest an answer to anything they have no understanding of. We have an issue when people claim that simply because it is written in their ”holy book” it deserves special consideration, when in fact, it is simple bullshit, and we are allowed to call it that because their opinion of a thing does not give it the same status as actual knowledge. That we feel an obligation to argue the babble gives it the credence they suggest it has. If one dismisses the whole thing as bullshit, what left do they have to argue with except now trying to proof the babble is actually worthy of being used as knowledge? God is stymied by a woman’s menstrual cycle he himself created…now that is worthy of questioning the grand master of creation.

A lot of apologists will flatter their beliefs stating that the question of the Christian God's existence is life's most important question. I can think of a lot of more important questions like what impact global warming will have on humanity or if I will succeed as a mathematician. Many people get by in life completely apathetic to Christian claims. Christianity is basically irrelevant to most of life except when it causes trouble.

Shiranu

On the topic of nature being cruel...

So you know how everything in nature requires substance to survive; animals hunt and kill one another food, we plant fruits and vegetables to cultivate and farm? What if God follows these same principles and what we were told was "heaven" is really just a great hall where our souls are taken to be consumed by God and his angels. Earth was designed to be a giant farm for his feasts.

All the religious wars in history were actually of his design so that he could hold great feasts for himself and the angels, and it is a celebration of gluttony and debauchery, the very things he said we shouldn't engage in, because it ruins the purity of the soul and makes it less appetizing.

Perhaps hell is a sanctuary, where the angels who became "demons" that opposed this offer sanctuary to the souls they discard as being "too disgusting" to consume... and God allows this not as a punishment towards Lucifer but because he lacks the power and numbers to come down there and defeat him.

(Idk if this is an anime, but it needs to be)
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

Hydra009

Quote from: Shiranu on October 08, 2021, 10:51:15 PMSo you know how everything in nature requires substance to survive; animals hunt and kill one another food, we plant fruits and vegetables to cultivate and farm? What if God follows these same principles and what we were told was "heaven" is really just a great hall where our souls are taken to be consumed by God and his angels. Earth was designed to be a giant farm for his feasts.

All the religious wars in history were actually of his design so that he could hold great feasts for himself and the angels, and it is a celebration of gluttony and debauchery
"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."

Gawdzilla Sama

We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Jagella

Quote from: Gawdzilla Sama on October 09, 2021, 09:41:48 AM
Does God's great plan explain snottites?

The gross nature of mentioning bodily fluids aside, it is true that Christians fail to mention much of the terrible side of the world they believe God created when they argue that the world needs a creator. If God created bunnies, then he also created rats. If he created beautiful oceans, then he also created tsunamis.

In another forum I was discussing this very issue with a Jehovah's Witness. In particular I pointed out to him that the Watchtower credits God with creating the cell. I explained to him that if God created cells, then he created cancer cells. When I asked him repeatedly if God created cells, he refused to answer my question. He obviously did not want to admit that the creator argument for God is seriously flawed if it concludes he created cancer cells.

I will need to start a thread to discuss how Christians manage to slip out of sticky situations like that.

Gawdzilla Sama

We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Greatest I am

Quote from: Shiranu on October 08, 2021, 10:51:15 PM
On the topic of nature being cruel...

So you know how everything in nature requires substance to survive;

To be cruel, a sentient being must have an evil intent.

Nature has a benevolent intent, not that nature thinks, that we judge as good because we are her to judge it and most would think this to be a good thing.

Nature is thus not amoral or immoral, and that leaves moral as our only one choice, if nature were sentient.

Natures first act is to give life a chance to live and die.

Nature, to intelligent thinking entities like us, will be seen to be good, but not moral.

Morals take thought, and nature does not think or know that she is creating for the best possible end for life, --- as far as we can know.

Regards
DL

 

Greatest I am

Quote from: Hydra009 on October 09, 2021, 12:50:55 AM
"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."

Good point.

We are more suited to tribes and not the huge and overpopulated hives that we have created.

We are all born wanting to lead our tribes. Hive living does not allow for us to see the fittest we are born to mimic.

Our species is without leadership because we no longer seek our fittest minds to follow.

That is why we are heading for our own extinction.

Space Ship Earth cannot fly right without a Captain.

Regards
DL