Junk DNA means no God.

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Lance Kennedy
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:50 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:This may have changed, but didn't we discover fairly recently that the appendix is a "safe house" for gut bacteria? That is to say, in the event of an infection that depletes the digestive system of its necessary good bacteria, the appendix houses a supply in order to repopulate the gut?


This has not changed, but does not alter that fact that the appendix is a lousy 'solution ' to that problem. There are many possible ways of safeguarding gut bacteria without putting the human life at risk. An omnipotent creator could do it.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:57 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper

If I, in my definitely limited nature, can posit an improvement to the design of the human body, then it is inadequately designed.
Suggestion. Do away with the appendix.
That is an improvement, and the suggestion came from me, who is not a genius. Thus the body is inadequately designed. Not an issue when we consider evolution. But definitely an issue when we consider a deity as creator. After all, a God, by definition , is superior to a human.
This may have changed, but didn't we discover fairly recently that the appendix is a "safe house" for gut bacteria? That is to say, in the event of an infection that depletes the digestive system of its necessary good bacteria, the appendix houses a supply in order to repopulate the gut?


It seems to me, this has nothing to do with "junk DNA" and thus is not relevant to the argument in the opening post.

Unless the argument has been revised to include "bad design" in addition to "junk DNA".


Lance Kennedy wrote:This has not changed, but does not alter that fact that the appendix is a lousy 'solution ' to that problem. There are many possible ways of safeguarding gut bacteria without putting the human life at risk. An omnipotent creator could do it.


How do you know the creator does not have a good reason for the appendix?

Sure the design could have been done differently, but who are you to tell the creator he should have done it differently?

Wait . . . that might sound more confrontational than I intended it to mean. I do not mean to be confrontational at all here. So perhaps I should rephrase, but I cannot think of anything better at the moment.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:00 am

Xouper

No reason we cannot remain friends.
I think, though, that you have not quite adapted to the change in argument. The argument now is against a deity that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Such a deity being omnibenevolent, would not create a human destined from birth (or before) to suffer, due to the design of his or her body. An omnipotent creator would have the ability to ensure that there was no such suffering. And an omniscient creator would know how to make sure there was no suffering.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:21 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper

No reason we cannot remain friends.
I think, though, that you have not quite adapted to the change in argument.


I am certainly in favor of changing the argument if you want. I am not going to play the "moving the goalposts" card that some people like to do. :D

I am trying to keep up with the changes, so if it seems I'm getting behind in my "adaptation", then please bring that to my attention so I can catch up.


Lance Kennedy wrote: The argument now is against a deity that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.


OK, then I have two objections.

1. How do you justify claiming that such a deity should behave according to your requirements? (Also, I refer you back to some of the questions I asked Nikki which are more specific.)

2. A deity cannot have those three attributes because they are logically inconsistent, so the need to discuss the design of humans becomes moot.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:26 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:I disagree that judging the design is impossible without knowing the design objectives. If one is using the product for its intended purposes, then one can judge the design by how well it works in practice.
When I use the phrase "design objective" I intend that to mean the same as "the designer's intentions".
Yes, I know what you meant.

xouper wrote:So let me rephrase: It is not possible to judge a design without knowing the intended purpose. And by that I mean the (hypothetical) creator's intended purpose, not your personal requirements.
And my example shows that's not always the case. It's often possible to deduce the intended purpose, then judge the design as inadequate for that purpose. In my example, it's a bloody water filtration pitcher; it doesn't have another use. For its intended use, then, it has several serious design flaws.

You provided a quite different example: airplanes designed for several different end uses. One might be designed to carry passengers, another for freight. One might be designed for speed, another for stealth, a third for fuel efficiency.

So, we have established that there are at least two sets: designs where it's possible to deduce the intended purpose, and designs that might have more than one intended purpose. My argument applies only to the first set; yours applies only to the second set. And I'm sure each of us could provide additional examples.

Unfortunately, that leaves us with an unanswerable philosophical question: Why are we here? From this point, we can go in any number of directions.
1. We can assert that we have only a biological purpose, that is, to reproduce and pass on our genes. To quote Heinlein, "A zygote is a gamete's way of producing more gametes. This may be the purpose of the universe."
2. We can maintain that we have a higher purpose of some type, taking a religious or spiritual approach.
3. We can go with a purely humanistic philosophy.
4. Fill in the blank here for as many more numbers as can be added to this list.

However, from a purely functional standpoint, the design of the human body (not including evolution, remember) is far from ideal for its basic purpose of surviving long enough to reproduce and raise the subsequent generation until that generation is capable of reproducing. A few key points:
• The overwhelming majority of our native planet is uninhabitable to us, since we require a fairly specific combination of gases to breathe.

• Where land masses are present, the overwhelming majority of them are uninhabitable without protective clothing and shelter. Our own sun will kill us without these things, as will the temperatures and weather conditions. Even with artificial intervention, many biomes remain uninhabitable to us, because they lack drinking water and/or arable soil.

• Until the modern era, pathogens habitually killed most of us before we reached maturity.

• The overwhelming majority of plants and animals on our native planet are either inedible or poisonous to us. A good many of the poisonous ones mimic edible ones in their appearance.

• The overwhelming majority of water on our native planet is not potable, being either contaminated by salt or rife with pathogens.

• Our method of reproduction is a crapshoot. It's not the genetically-superior ovum that's released, or necessarily the genetically-superior sperm that fertilizes it. There's no method for conscious control of fertilization during famine, poverty, or illness. Pregnancy can be life-threatening to the woman...and the fetus.

• Our own bodies can kill us via autoimmunity, cancer, birth defects, and heritable diseases.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:29 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Omniscience implies knowing how the design will work out in practice, prior to actually building it, instead of ending up with something like Formula 409 because the first 408 formulae didn't work.

Ardipithecus
Australopithecus
Homo habilis
H. erectus
H. sapiens
H. 409

Yes, of course, but my argument specifically excludes evolution. Just an omni-everything creator, Garden of Eden style. As a side note, I'm pretty psyched for my saliva to have the ability to clean windows. You? ;)
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Venerable Kwan Tam Woo » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:37 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The argument now is against a deity that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.


Why?? Who actually posits the existence of such a deity? Certainly not any of the Abrahamic faiths.


Such a deity being omnibenevolent, would not create a human destined from birth (or before) to suffer, due to the design of his or her body.


All-benevolent is not the same as all-coddling or all-kind. One could indeed argue that cruelest thing you could do to another is to shield them from the unpleasant consequences of their own actions, not give them the freedom to make their own mistakes, and not allow them to have any ownership over their own destiny.
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:38 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Omniscience implies knowing how the design will work out in practice, prior to actually building it, instead of ending up with something like Formula 409 because the first 408 formulae didn't work.

Ardipithecus
Australopithecus
Homo habilis
H. erectus
H. sapiens
H. 409

Yes, of course, but my argument specifically excludes evolution. Just an omni-everything creator, Garden of Eden style. As a side note, I'm pretty psyched for my saliva to have the ability to clean windows. You? ;)



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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:39 am

xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:How does "perfect, unlimited goodness" and "kind and generous toward everyone" synch with migraine headaches, cancer, chronic pain disorders, autoimmune diseases, birth defects, mood disorders, anaphylactic allergies...or even dental cavities, menstrual cramps, ulcers, erectile dysfunction, and labor pain?
I do not pretend to know what the creator's intended purpose was. How do you justify saying that the creator did not have a higher "good" in mind by making the design that way?
1. That's not what "omni-benevolent" means.
2. I realize it's nearly impossible for our minds to grasp the concept of omni-anything, but "omni-benevolence" would mean "kind and generous to each creation equally to the detriment of none of them." You're going to say this is impossible; it is not impossible for a being that is also omniscient and omnipotent. It's merely impossible for us to fully grasp the concept.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Venerable Kwan Tam Woo » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:41 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:Yes, of course, but my argument specifically excludes evolution. Just an omni-everything creator, Garden of Eden style.


Oh, so you ARE talking about Yahweh after all! In that case you might want to go read Genesis again, because the God depicted in the Garden of Eden story is definitely not omniscient or omni-benevolent.
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:45 am

Xouper

Re your two requirements.

1. Deity behaving according to my definition. Remember that we are talking of a deity as postulated by religious people, and there is no necessity for them to be rational (nor are they.). So my argument is against the deity as defined by those who are religious. Christians regard their deity as a loving father (sorry to be sexist here, Nikki, but it is not my definition, and not my deity.). A loving father will not permit suffering of his children if he has a choice.

2. Omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent being logically inconsistent. Sure. But as I said, it is not my deity and my argument is against a model of deity held by irrational religious people.

The modern Christian model of their deity is lmnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent. I am saying that this model is inconsistent with the imperfections in the human body design, including 75% of the genome being junk DNA.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:46 am

xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:Please justify your assertion that there exists a "perfect design"?
In the context of a creator who knows everything there is to know, and has every power possible? Why would there be limits on such a creator's design?
I already explained why there is no such thing as a perfect design, because sometimes there are competing or contradictory requirements.
Please explain how there can be "competing or contradictory requirements" when the designer is omniscient and omnipotent.

xouper wrote:Can such a creator make a rock he cannot lift? No. There are logical limits to what such a creator can do.
Please explain the "logical limits" of omniscience and omnipotence as they relate to designing the human body.

xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:How do you justify your assertion that for any given design requirement there always exists a perfect material to make it from?
Same answer. A perfect material doesn't need to exist; a creature with unlimited power and knowledge can envision and create a perfect material.
Again, there is no such thing as a perfect material. For the same reason I gave above, it is a logical contradiction.
Please explain why an omniscient and omnipotent being could not create a material perfect for its design's function.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:54 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:So let me rephrase: It is not possible to judge a design without knowing the intended purpose. And by that I mean the (hypothetical) creator's intended purpose, not your personal requirements.
And my example shows that's not always the case. It's often possible to deduce the intended purpose, then judge the design as inadequate for that purpose.

. . . So, we have established that there are at least two sets: designs where it's possible to deduce the intended purpose, and designs that might have more than one intended purpose. My argument applies only to the first set; yours applies only to the second set.


Actually, my point was merely to show the existence of the second set and then to ask you to explain why human DNA is not in that set.

Please explain why human DNA is in the set where intended purpose can be deduced?


Nikki Nyx wrote:Unfortunately, that leaves us with an unanswerable philosophical question: Why are we here?


Bingo.

That has been my point all along.

Since no human knows what the (hypothetical) creator's intended purpose was (i.e. why we are here), you have just refuted your entire argument because without that knowledge, it is not possible to evaluate the merits of the design.

You seem to be saying it is possible to deduce what our intended purpose is without knowing why we are here, so as I asked above, please justify that assertion.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:58 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The modern Christian model of their deity is lmnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent. I am saying that this model is inconsistent with the imperfections in the human body design, including 75% of the genome being junk DNA.


Yes, that is what you have been saying all along. I am still waiting for a justification for that assertion.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:10 am

xouper wrote:OK, then I will ask you to demonstrate that ominbenevolence exists at all by anyone or anything anywhere. If you want to postulate it for the sake of argument, then I will say it is a self-contradictory postulate and thus cannot exist. Stalemate. Is that where you want to take this discussion? ;)
The problem is that now you're doing what VTKW did: You're changing my premise, then saying that my conclusion doesn't follow from the premise you changed.

Premise for the Purpose of Argument
My creator is a hypothetical construct unrelated to any deity anyone else has created. My hypothetical creator has three attributes: it knows everything there is to know, it is all-powerful, and it is infinitely kind and generous.

Conclusion
My hypothetical creator could not logically have designed the human body in its current iteration (without the benefits of evolution) based on the inherent flaws of the human body's design, because a being that possessed all three of the specified attributes would not have produced such a flawed design so clearly inadequate for its basic functions and so inappropriate for its native environment.

If you wish to argue against my conclusion, feel free. Thus far, your argument appears to hinge on the idea that my creator's intentions are unknown. That is to say, there is no way of knowing exactly for what purpose it designed the human body. My counter argument is that, at the very least, we can say the body is supposed to survive long enough to reproduce and care for its genetic successors until they are capable of reproducing...and it is inadequate for that purpose.

If you're going to change my initial premise, then you've created a completely different argument that requires a completely different conclusion...one I have not formulated. But you can't change my premise, then attack my conclusion based on the premise you've constructed.

BTW, you know I'm an atheist, right? I don't believe in a creator, or in omni-anything. Frankly, I don't see how my hypothetical creator would avoid being seriously, hardcore insane. Too much "omni." :mrgreen: This argument is just an exercise in brain-stretching.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:14 am

xouper wrote:This conversation is beginning to feel a little weird.

In the big picture I am on the same side as Lance and Nikki and Matthew an others in that I agree there is no creator and that humans arrived here through evolution.

Also, I like Lance and Nikki and Matthew and others because they are smart, knowledgeable, personable, and well-intentioned people and I wish them no harm here.

So why am I doing this?

Because this is a forum where people can practice their skills in critical thinking. When I see a fallacy in someone's thesis, that becomes a legitimate topic for discussion. No?

Sometimes this might result in someone wearing the Devil's Advocate hat.

Hopefully we can all remain friends. :D
Back at ya, xouper! Ain't nobody angry here! You basically just named two reasons I joined this forum: to chat with like-minded people and to practice my critical thinking skills. (A third was to improve my writing skills as they relate to explaining concepts, and a fourth was to learn from others.) I think this is fun. :good:
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:16 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:This may have changed, but didn't we discover fairly recently that the appendix is a "safe house" for gut bacteria? That is to say, in the event of an infection that depletes the digestive system of its necessary good bacteria, the appendix houses a supply in order to repopulate the gut?


This has not changed, but does not alter that fact that the appendix is a lousy 'solution ' to that problem. There are many possible ways of safeguarding gut bacteria without putting the human life at risk. An omnipotent creator could do it.

Good point. My dad's burst, and he had to have an emergency appendectomy. Fortunately, they caught it quickly; he avoided peritonitis and septicemia. But he remembers the agony to this day.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:20 am

xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Omniscience implies knowing how the design will work out in practice, prior to actually building it, instead of ending up with something like Formula 409 because the first 408 formulae didn't work.

Ardipithecus
Australopithecus
Homo habilis
H. erectus
H. sapiens
H. 409

Yes, of course, but my argument specifically excludes evolution. Just an omni-everything creator, Garden of Eden style. As a side note, I'm pretty psyched for my saliva to have the ability to clean windows. You? ;)



Image

:shock:
I wish that worked! My open floor plan has two picture windows. Since I live in a fairly rural area complete with tons of wildlife, everywhere my dogs can reach is covered with nose prints. And...now I'm having second thoughts about the whole saliva thing. :blink: I'll stick with white vinegar, thanks.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:22 am

Venerable Kwan Tam Woo wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Yes, of course, but my argument specifically excludes evolution. Just an omni-everything creator, Garden of Eden style.


Oh, so you ARE talking about Yahweh after all! In that case you might want to go read Genesis again, because the God depicted in the Garden of Eden story is definitely not omniscient or omni-benevolent.

"Style" being the operative word in that sentence. As in, directly designed the human body from scratch, not through evolution. This is known as an analogy. Still not talking about YOUR god.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:25 am

xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Unfortunately, that leaves us with an unanswerable philosophical question: Why are we here?


Bingo.

That has been my point all along.

Since no human knows what the (hypothetical) creator's intended purpose was (i.e. why we are here), you have just refuted your entire argument because without that knowledge, it is not possible to evaluate the merits of the design.

You seem to be saying it is possible to deduce what our intended purpose is without knowing why we are here, so as I asked above, please justify that assertion.
And...you completely ignored the rest of my post, which nicely addressed how inadequate the human body's design is for its native planet. Which completely supports my argument.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:42 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Unfortunately, that leaves us with an unanswerable philosophical question: Why are we here?


Bingo.

That has been my point all along.

Since no human knows what the (hypothetical) creator's intended purpose was (i.e. why we are here), you have just refuted your entire argument because without that knowledge, it is not possible to evaluate the merits of the design.

You seem to be saying it is possible to deduce what our intended purpose is without knowing why we are here, so as I asked above, please justify that assertion.
And...you completely ignored the rest of my post, which nicely addressed how inadequate the human body's design is for its native planet. Which completely supports my argument.


No it doesn't. That's why I did not respond to it. None of that stuff is relevant to question of why we are here.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:43 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:OK, then I will ask you to demonstrate that ominbenevolence exists at all by anyone or anything anywhere. If you want to postulate it for the sake of argument, then I will say it is a self-contradictory postulate and thus cannot exist. Stalemate. Is that where you want to take this discussion? ;)
The problem is that now you're doing what VTKW did: You're changing my premise, then saying that my conclusion doesn't follow from the premise you changed.


Sorry, it was not my intention to misstate your argument.


Nikki Nyx wrote:Premise for the Purpose of Argument
My creator is a hypothetical construct unrelated to any deity anyone else has created. My hypothetical creator has three attributes: it knows everything there is to know, it is all-powerful, and it is infinitely kind and generous.

Conclusion
My hypothetical creator could not logically have designed the human body in its current iteration (without the benefits of evolution) based on the inherent flaws of the human body's design, because a being that possessed all three of the specified attributes would not have produced such a flawed design so clearly inadequate for its basic functions and so inappropriate for its native environment.

If you wish to argue against my conclusion, feel free.


There are some missing steps in your syllogism. My primary intent here was to ask for those missing steps. Along the way, I tried to explain what kinds of things those missing steps need to address.


Nikki Nyx wrote:Thus far, your argument appears to hinge on the idea that my creator's intentions are unknown. That is to say, there is no way of knowing exactly for what purpose it designed the human body.


Yes, that's an accurate interpretation of what I have been saying.


Nikki Nyx wrote: My counter argument is that, at the very least, we can say the body is supposed to survive long enough to reproduce and care for its genetic successors until they are capable of reproducing...and it is inadequate for that purpose.


Correct me if I'm mistaken, but it seems that humans have not yet gone extinct. In fact just the opposite, according to world population estimates and projections. ;)

So I guess I'm not clear what you mean by "inadequate".


Nikki Nyx wrote:If you're going to change my initial premise, then you've created a completely different argument that requires a completely different conclusion...one I have not formulated. But you can't change my premise, then attack my conclusion based on the premise you've constructed.


I agree. It was not my intention to do that.


Nikki Nyx wrote:BTW, you know I'm an atheist, right?


I kinda suspected that. No problem.

I used to call myself an atheist until I discovered the word has two definitions and that too many people assumed I was the wrong one and it wastes my time to explain the difference. So now I just call myself an apatheist and that seems good enough to keep the pinheads from attacking me.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:01 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:Please justify your assertion that there exists a "perfect design"?
In the context of a creator who knows everything there is to know, and has every power possible? Why would there be limits on such a creator's design?
I already explained why there is no such thing as a perfect design, because sometimes there are competing or contradictory requirements.
Please explain how there can be "competing or contradictory requirements" when the designer is omniscient and omnipotent.


I gave one already. Can a creator make a rock so heavy he cannot lift it? No. The two requirements are contradictory.


Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:Can such a creator make a rock he cannot lift? No. There are logical limits to what such a creator can do.
Please explain the "logical limits" of omniscience and omnipotence as they relate to designing the human body.


A specific counter-example does not immediately come to mind, else I would give it. (Nonetheless, it is not valid to argue that my failure to provide a counter-example is proof there are no such examples. I reserve the option to post a counter-example at any future date.)

In any case, I did not make that specific claim, so not my burden. I made a general claim about the limits of omnipotence. My point was to show the existence of such limits (in mathematics that's called an existence proof). The point was to show that the creator is not in fact omnipotent.

If you are claiming that the design of human DNA does not involve contradictory requirements, then I would like to see the justification for that. (In mathematics, that's called asking for a consistency proof. And yes there are such things in mathematics and logic. However, to be fair, in this case such a proof might be difficult.)

Also, and I assume this goes without saying, be careful not to argue that your argument is correct merely by virtue of my failure to provide a counter-example. That would be this fallacy.


Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:
xouper wrote:How do you justify your assertion that for any given design requirement there always exists a perfect material to make it from?
Same answer. A perfect material doesn't need to exist; a creature with unlimited power and knowledge can envision and create a perfect material.
Again, there is no such thing as a perfect material. For the same reason I gave above, it is a logical contradiction.
Please explain why an omniscient and omnipotent being could not create a material perfect for its design's function.


If there are competing or contradictory requirements, then no material can meet them. By definition.

Secondly, since it is not possible for any being to be omnipotent, that renders your claim moot. You are then left with trying to show that a mostly-potent being can create a perfect material. ;)

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:16 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:You basically just named two reasons I joined this forum: to chat with like-minded people and to practice my critical thinking skills. (A third was to improve my writing skills as they relate to explaining concepts, and a fourth was to learn from others.)


Mark Twain's Corollary to Murphy's Law: If there is any way to misinterpret what you write on the internet, someone will find it.

Addendum to Mark Twain's Corollary: There are also some people who will try to beat you over the head with it.


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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Venerable Kwan Tam Woo » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:21 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:
Venerable Kwan Tam Woo wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Yes, of course, but my argument specifically excludes evolution. Just an omni-everything creator, Garden of Eden style.


Oh, so you ARE talking about Yahweh after all! In that case you might want to go read Genesis again, because the God depicted in the Garden of Eden story is definitely not omniscient or omni-benevolent.

"Style" being the operative word in that sentence.


And an omni-benevolent omniscient God is not a "Garden of Eden style" God.
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:31 am

There are more criteria for a God than just the big there "O"'s in order to base any argument on the imperfections of men.
Most of all, it is a non-sequitor to assume that a perfect God would want to make perfect humans, even for their own benefit.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby TJrandom » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:55 am

xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote: ... When you judge a design to be "poor", then you are implicitly speaking to the design objectives, because it is not possible to judge a design without knowing the design objectives (i.e the intent of the designer/creator). ...


I disagree. A design can be poor because the requirements have changed, or better designs have been identified. The horse and buggy was a very good transportation design over the alternatives - walking or double on a horse in its day, but is a poor design for today.


Please explain how you know that the creator's design objectives have changed over time.

Your personal design objectives are irrelevant no matter how much they change over time, and are not a valid justification for saying the creator was incompetent.


I never said nor implied that `the creator`s design objectives` changed. Nor that `the creator was incompetent` (or did I?) - but rather, that my very valid personal design objectives (based upon experience and observation) are better IMO. When people commonly live beyond 80, a body that works just fine for 40, but not so much later in life, isn`t a good design in practice.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:04 am

Christianity is clear on the subject that human bodies aren't perfect and never can be - they are vessels for the soul, which has the potential to become the best a soul can be, once extracted after death.
Seriously, theologians have devised arguments explaining human flaws and godly omni-everything for thousands of years.
Bringing in new scientific data doesn't help the argument one bit.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby TJrandom » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:09 am

ElectricMonk wrote:Christianity is clear on the subject that human bodies aren't perfect and never can be - they are vessels for the soul, which has the potential to become the best a soul can be, once extracted after death.
Seriously, theologians have devised arguments explaining human flaws and godly omni-everything for thousands of years.
Bringing in new scientific data doesn't help the argument one bit.


Bringing in scientific data may not help the religious argument, but it does help the scientific/medical argument. Religious impediments to scientific and medical technology progress need to be overcome, and religion is not going to help with this.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:11 am

But theologians never argued that the human body is perfect. Showing more evidence that it isn't adds nothing
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby TJrandom » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:17 am

ElectricMonk wrote:But theologians never argued that the human body is perfect. Showing more evidence that it isn't adds nothing


Showing more evidence that it isn't adds nothing - to the theologians` position. However, it does add to the scientific argument that science, and not religion, should rule in scientific/medical progress related to the human body.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:26 am

Sorry, but simply no.
If there is no argument on a specific point, more data doesn't change the merit of the non-existing argument.
If we both agree that the sky is blue, dumping scientific data on why it is that way doesn't undermine my agreement with you.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby TJrandom » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:38 am

ElectricMonk wrote:Sorry, but simply no.
If there is no argument on a specific point, more data doesn't change the merit of the non-existing argument.
If we both agree that the sky is blue, dumping scientific data on why it is that way doesn't undermine my agreement with you.


But there is argument on the point of what should guide scientific/medical progress - religion, or science. Stem cell lines, genetic modifications, disease targeted abortions, others?

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:58 am

TJrandom wrote:But there is argument on the point of what should guide scientific/medical progress - religion, or science. Stem cell lines, genetic modifications, disease targeted abortions, others?


This wasn't the (modified) point of the OP.

But in any case, this isn't a question of science vs. religion, but one kind of religion vs. another.
Science tells us what we can do, not what we should do. For moral guidance, you need a religion or serviceable alternative.

We have replaced religious guidance with humanistic guidance and are fast approaching post-humanism guidance. This is no doubt the result of our increased capability to analyse and change our bodies, but science doesn't tell us what to do with our knowledge: science tells us that it would be way cheaper for the US to just nuke the heck out of the Middle East instead of sending group troops, but we've decided the easiest way isn't what we really want.
This is based on a moral ideology and not on science.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby TJrandom » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:10 pm

Long past the OP. I would argue that we don`t nuke the rest of the world is based more on science than moral ideology. Blowback sucks.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:11 pm

TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote: ... When you judge a design to be "poor", then you are implicitly speaking to the design objectives, because it is not possible to judge a design without knowing the design objectives (i.e the intent of the designer/creator). ...


I disagree. A design can be poor because the requirements have changed, or better designs have been identified. The horse and buggy was a very good transportation design over the alternatives - walking or double on a horse in its day, but is a poor design for today.


Please explain how you know that the creator's design objectives have changed over time.

Your personal design objectives are irrelevant no matter how much they change over time, and are not a valid justification for saying the creator was incompetent.


I never said nor implied that `the creator`s design objectives` changed. Nor that `the creator was incompetent` (or did I?) - but rather, that my very valid personal design objectives (based upon experience and observation) are better IMO. When people commonly live beyond 80, a body that works just fine for 40, but not so much later in life, isn`t a good design in practice.


OK, sorry, I misunderstood your intention here.

According to your personal preferences, the design is flawed. I'll accept that.

How is that relevant to the primary topic of this thread, which is the argument being made by Lance which began in the opening post? Or are you going off on a tangent and discussing something else altogether?

I'm not complaining, I just want to be clear what your point is here. So, please explain, what is your point?

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby TJrandom » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:27 pm

xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote: ... When you judge a design to be "poor", then you are implicitly speaking to the design objectives, because it is not possible to judge a design without knowing the design objectives (i.e the intent of the designer/creator). ...


I disagree. A design can be poor because the requirements have changed, or better designs have been identified. The horse and buggy was a very good transportation design over the alternatives - walking or double on a horse in its day, but is a poor design for today.


Please explain how you know that the creator's design objectives have changed over time.

Your personal design objectives are irrelevant no matter how much they change over time, and are not a valid justification for saying the creator was incompetent.


I never said nor implied that `the creator`s design objectives` changed. Nor that `the creator was incompetent` (or did I?) - but rather, that my very valid personal design objectives (based upon experience and observation) are better IMO. When people commonly live beyond 80, a body that works just fine for 40, but not so much later in life, isn`t a good design in practice.


OK, sorry, I misunderstood your intention here.

According to your personal preferences, the design is flawed. I'll accept that.

How is that relevant to the primary topic of this thread, which is the argument being made by Lance which began in the opening post? Or are you going off on a tangent and discussing something else altogether?

I'm not complaining, I just want to be clear what your point is here. So, please explain, what is your point?


A tangent - starting where you said...
When you judge a design to be "poor", then you are implicitly speaking to the design objectives, because it is not possible to judge a design without knowing the design objectives (i.e the intent of the designer/creator). ...


In practice, it doesn`t much matter what a designer had in mind if the result is insufficient to the current use, is my point.

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:09 pm

TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote:I'm not complaining, I just want to be clear what your point is here. So, please explain, what is your point?


A tangent - starting where you said...
When you judge a design to be "poor", then you are implicitly speaking to the design objectives, because it is not possible to judge a design without knowing the design objectives (i.e the intent of the designer/creator). ...


In practice, it doesn`t much matter what a designer had in mind if the result is insufficient to the current use, is my point.


OK.

Can I assume then that, unlike Lance, you are not using that point to making any assertions about a (hypothetical) creator?

If you are merely expressing your opinion, then I have nothing to add to that, other than to say, "OK, thanks for explaining your opinion." :D

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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:13 pm

Nikki Nyx wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Omniscience implies knowing how the design will work out in practice, prior to actually building it, instead of ending up with something like Formula 409 because the first 408 formulae didn't work.

Ardipithecus
Australopithecus
Homo habilis
H. erectus
H. sapiens
H. 409

Yes, of course, but my argument specifically excludes evolution. Just an omni-everything creator, Garden of Eden style. As a side note, I'm pretty psyched for my saliva to have the ability to clean windows. You? ;)


Why do you think I was referring to evolution?

god-as-a-kid-tries-to-make-a-chicken-larson-s-b1.jpg
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Re: Junk DNA means no God.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:08 pm

I do not mind the thread going off on a tangent. After all, there is no sign of agreement, so WTF.


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