Intelligent Design’s Blind Spot

I’m grateful for Michael Flannery’s less-than-favorable review of Evolution 2.0, because his review – and blind spots – exemplify why Intelligent Design, as promoted by the Discovery Institute, gets a black eye in higher education.black_eye_punch_mike_nelson_e

I’m not certain ID people understand how ID is perceived by the outside world – especially among practicing professional scientists.

Intelligent Design most certainly

can mean “goddidit.” It means precisely that to many, possibly most readers of Signature In The Cell, Darwin’s Black Box, etc.

ID can be a lens through which scientists recognize that “the same principles of design employed in architecture, computer science, and music are valid and necessary in science and biology” – in a manner that strictly conforms to the scientific method.

Similarly, evolution can mean “chancedidit”… or… scientists can conduct repeatable experiments and re-construct the chemical, genetic and information pathways that transform one species to another.

When practicing scientists – the ones with jobs to do, grants to secure and papers to publish – hear “Intelligent Design” or “Discovery Institute,” what they HEAR is:

“GodDidIt, and now they want it taught in schools.”

I don’t care what you say ID is, or how you nuance it, that’s what people hear. That’s what they hear in the press. That’s what they hear about the Dover trial.

To the average guy, ID is sophisticated Old Earth Creationism.

Flannery takes me to task for ignoring Stephen Meyer’s books. Mr. Flannery, you seem to have skipped Chapter 17 – “Why Is Neither Side Telling You The Whole Story?” where I take Richard Dawkins and Meyer to task:

Why didn’t Dawkins grant so much as three pages to the five best-documented mechanisms of evolution? Why does he act as though the last 50 years of microbiology and billions of dollars of research never happened? Oxford University’s former “Professor of the Public Under- standing of Science” wrote one of the most popular evolution books of the last decade, for which he received large advances and rode huge waves of media publicity.

So why isn’t he disclosing this?

On the other side of the fence, Stephen Meyer, in his pro–Intelligent Design book Darwin’s Doubt, makes an eerily identical set of omissions (130). Epigenetics gets decent airtime, but there’s no explanation of Lynn Margulis’ work on Symbiogenesis. Barbara McClintock, Transposition, Horizontal Gene Transfer, and Genome Duplication are touched on only briefly, mostly in footnotes.

The Evolution News and Views page frequently conflates evolution with atheism. The casual visitor would naturally conclude the Institute is anti-evolution.

When Meyer describes “Intelligent Design” as a solution to the Cambrian explosion, he offers no mechanism. There’s only an interpretive framework. I’ve never asked Meyer, but my impression has always been that Meyer is theologically predisposed against common descent; he’s just not coming right out and saying it.

This blind spot gives ID a black eye.

In the comment section on Flannery’s review, some readers fail to hear what I’m saying. Commenter “Mung” gets it, though:

A point Perry makes is that the ID community needs to start taking seriously how it is perceived by others, especially within science.

I recently witnessed an exchange between Casey Luskin and Perry Marshall, and Casey would repeatedly say that this or that feature was designed, and then just stop.

So whether or not that full stop indicated [insert designer here] or something else it certainly makes it appear to opponents of ID that that the default thing to insert is “goddidit.”

Perry’s argument is that until ID ceases to say therefore design and then stop there, it will always be perceived as a god of the gaps style argument that is a science stopper.

I agree with Perry about that…

Saying it’s not a designer of the gaps argument and that it’s not a science stopper doesn’t help if the typical offering of ID is for someone to say “therefore intelligent design is a better explanation” and stop with that statement.

If the goal of the ID movement is to get miracles accepted within science, so much the worse for ID. If it’s miraculous then it’s no better than goddidit. If it’s not miraculous, then there ought to be more that can be said than “therefore design.”

I’m not sure whether the Discovery Institute has a goal is to get miracles accepted in science or not. But I doubt anybody in our lifetime is going to get miracles accepted as science.

On the other hand, most folks don’t know the genome record strongly suggests that a hybrid of two species transitioned invertebrates to vertebrates; and that another such hybridization gave vertebrates a jaw.

Most people don’t know you can put bacteria and amoeba together (as Kwong Jeon did in 1987) and get a new symbiotic species in 18 months.

Most people don’t know the discovery Barbara McClintock won a Nobel Prize for – which is that cells re-arrange and re-program their own DNA in real time, making dramatic adaptations at high speed.

Evolution 2.0 is the first book in print that explains all this in plain English. From the standpoint of what you can buy in the bookstore, this is a bona fide third way that doesn’t pit science against religion.

Do I embrace intelligent design (lower case) writ large – meaning the universe is imbued with plan and purpose? Yes. But life also seems free to develop according to its own purpose. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that cells possess some form of consciousness. The rabbit hole of evolutionary systems runs very deep.

Do I identify with Intelligent Design the movement, such as it is defined by Discovery Institute? No. Not so long as these problems remain.

Last, a clarification. Flannery says:

Marshall is certain of his thesis, so certain in fact that he’s is offering a $10 million-dollar prize to anyone or group who can demonstrate a naturally occurring code…

Flannery presumes I “know” Origin Of Information is unsolvable. The prize currently stands at $3 million and I’m adding investors to complete my goal of $10 million. If one thought it wasn’t solvable, one might be tempted to just skip the fundraising and SEC compliance regulations and hope nobody calls our bluff.

Why go to the trouble? I’ll tell you what I told my investment group: I think there is a 10% chance someone will solve this in our lifetime. The business of searching for better discoveries is a better business than pronouncing what’s not possible.

You can get 3 free chapters of Evolution 2.0 at www.cosmicfingerprints.com. If you have a solution to Origin of Information, contact us via www.naturalcode.org.

Dear reader, what do YOU think? In your experience, in your conversations with friends, is ID a program of repeatable evolution experiments? Or is ID a search for divine intervention in the universe? Or both?

Leave your comment below:

59 Responses

  1. The mechanism of design is representation. Specifically, the use of spatially-oriented representations. It is the utility that is used to organize the cell.

    http://www.Biosemiosis.org

    • I don’t find comments like this one to have any explanatory power, and I do not find the link to be appropriate, since — as you know, most people do not understand the claims. What are you claiming about the organization of cell types and biodiversity?

      After Perry Marshall clarifies the issues, it seems silly for anyone to muddy the waters with technicalities. “The mechanism of design is representation.” How does representation differentiate cell types and species?

      • I believe all he is saying is that in the world of signs and symbols, conception and representation precede embodiment and that is a qualified definition of design.

        • Thanks. If so, he could link his claims to what is known about secreting and sensing the same molecule. That enables self / non-self identification. Identification of cell type differences links the versatility of social behaviors to nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction. From there he could link Bonnie Bassler’s microbes to humans via the innate immune system — as you already have done.

          • Thanks. I start with the de novo creation of nucleic acids. Are you able to answer questions about the links from quantum physics to chemistry and the conserved molecular mechanisms that link atoms to ecosystems in all living genera?

      • Hello James,

        In order to organize the living cell, you have to specify objects among alternatives, and place them under temporal control. This is what the cell does. It accomplishes this by translating an informational medium into physical effects. The core observations of this system are as well documented as anything in biology, and none of those observations is even controversial. (And there are specific physical requirements that enable the system to work).

        If you are not aware of the physics of translation, or not accustomed to the descriptions, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

  2. Joe G says:

    Hi Perry- Read your book. Did you read “Not By Chance” and “the Evolution Revolution” by Lee Spetner?

    As for a mechanism, well design is a mechanism by definition. Do you think we really need to know the exact design mechanism used wrt biology BEFORE we can determine that living organisms are the product of ID? That wouldn’t be smart as even archaeology doesn’t do that. They study the design and all relevant evidence to try to figure out how ancient artifacts were made and who made them. And sometimes archaeologists don’t know and what they are studying can be duplicated by us. What ID is studying cannot be.

    That said, Lee Spetner offers up “built-in responses to environmental cues” as one possible design mechanism. Epigenetics is great evidence for such a mechanism.

    ID is about the detection and study of (intelligent) design in nature. We study it so we can try to answer all of the other questions.

    As for miracles accepted as science, well that already happens as evolutionism requires miraculous just-so sequences of mutations and no one even knows if changes to genomes can account for all of the physical transformations required. Meaning no one knows if modifying genomes can effect the changes Common Descent requires. And then there is the origin of life.

    But I digress. Design doesn’t require miracles just a competent designer.

    (I agree with most of what you wrote- cells with some sort of consciousness, form example. That makes sense in a world in which organisms were designed to evolve and evolved by design)

    • I have only skimmed not by chance. A number of people have recommended it.

      Funny how Darwinists get away with miracles, simply because they’re allegedly physical. (Which also makes them demonstrably false, at least in principle) – Gotta enjoy the irony.

  3. chris Angus says:

    Hi Perry.

    A few thoughts if I may. I have recently read your book (and loved it) and I think that what you are saying is mostly compatible with what the Intelligent Design camp is saying in that it might be the next step in Intelligent Design. After all their claim is that the evidence supports “Intelligence” without necessarily saying what that intelligence may be, while the cell acts in intelligent ways according to your understanding. I also think that you are both saying the same basic things about information.

    But anyhow. I’ve also been thinking about your prize for whomever can find information arising in a natural way (without intelligence), even if (or when) this is to happen it would, in all likelyhood, be a far cry from explaining how information could have originally arose. This is because any explanation for the original information would have to come from processes that had no cells, DNA, or connected information within them.

    In other words, an explanation that would solve your challenge but which would include cells, DNA or organisms that include these or coded information of any sort, could never be an explanation that would be viable for solving the information problem when it comes to the beginning of – coded information.

    So the information problem would still be a huge hurdle for atheistic thought.

    To finish. Are you aware of what Bruce Lipton has written about the cell, or what Rupert Sheldrake is saying about the idea of a universe that is a living entity that creates, and which was created to do so by a divine intelligence. What they are saying may have compatibilities with your thought.

    Here’s a link to some dialogue between them.

    http://www.sheldrake.org/audios/cells-minds-and-morphic-fields

    Take Care.

    • Hi Chris,

      I’m saying almost the same thing as the ID folks about information. Most of them approach it as unsolvable; I’m not so sure. Maybe it is. Thus the prize.

      Remember, the prize excludes any life form or any code introduced at the outset of the experiment.

      I’d like to meet Bruce Lipton someday, and Sheldrake raises some very worthwhile questions. His book “The science delusion” is great and there’s a “Banned TED talk” by him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg

      • Are you clarifying the fact that the de novo creation of the code is not to be considered in the context of the prize? Is that what you mean by the statement: “…the prize excludes any life form or any code introduced at the outset of the experiment.”

        Are you attempting to limit an explanation of how the origin of the code links atoms to ecosystems via DNA repair?

        I’m somewhat confused about the purpose of your book. Did you intend to exclude any explanations of biologically-based cause and effect that would come from creationists or anyone who could link Sheldrake’s works from morphic resonance to Lipton’s works via Stuart Kauffman’s claims about the need for an anti-entropic force?

        • I don’t quite understand what you’re trying to say. The prize seeks chemicals -> formal code without cheating. No prior life forms can be involved and no code gets to be inserted. Have you demonstrated this in any of your work?

          • Thanks. I have demonstrated the well-known need for an anti-entropic force, which must be linked from Schrodinger’s claims to Stuart Kauffman’s claims. I have detailed the links from the anti-entropic force to RNA-mediated DNA repair at a time when Kauffman and Sheldrake are not discussing Lipton’s works and you are not discussing the works that refute Shapiro’s theories.

            You have led many others to a point where they can dismiss “Evolution 2.0” as nothing more than another opinion. That’s what folks like PZ Myers want them to do, and that’s why he attacked me for my accurate representation of chromosomal rearrangements.

            Others have linked the anti-entropic force from microbes in the guts of octopuses to chromosomal rearrangements and to human cognition via the conserved molecular mechanisms I have helped to detail during the past 20 years.

            Simply put, you’re still trying to address the ridiculous claims of people like PZ Myers when it’s time to dismiss their nonsense and move forward using experimental evidence of biologically- based cause and effect.

            For example: Feedback from Network States Generates Variability in a Probabilistic Olfactory Circuit http://www.cell.com/cell/abstract/S0092-8674%2815%2900184-1 and Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16290036 are ‘cut from the same cloth.’

            The metaphorical cloth emerged in the context of Dobzhansky’s “light of evolution,” which turned out to be the light that linked ecological variation to ecological adaptation in all living genera via nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated cell type differentiation in the context of the physiology of reproduction in all living genera.

            • I agree you have demonstrated the well-known need for an anti-entropic force. One comes to the same conclusion from many different approaches. But my priority is getting from chemicals to code, empirically.

              • Thanks. Dobzhansky’s “light of evolution” (1973) is sunlight. See also, Dobzhansky (1964). Apparently, he had a bizarre sense of humor. He linked ecological variation to ecological adaptation in all living genera via the chemistry of RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions and nutrient-dependent protein folding.

                At that point, the physiology of reproduction replaces ideas about random mutations and evolution. Experimental evidence of chromosomal rearrangements and ecological speciation trump neo-Darwinian theories (separately and collectively).

                Anyone who excludes the epigenetic effects of sunlight cannot get from chemicals to code. Thus, if you keep me from submitting details that link top-down causation to all cell type differentiation in all individuals of all living genera, your prize money is safe.

                No serious scientist will attempt to claim the prize money without first linking Schrodinger’s sunlight and Dobzhansky’s “light of evolution” to current representations, which must be placed into the light of what is known about supercoiled DNA.

                • James,

                  Yes, I understand that chemicals affect cells, and cells change their code as a result. But you’re putting the cart before the horse because none of this matters before you have a first cell.

                  • Thanks. You are speculatively interpreting my works when you have not accepted part 1 or part 2 of the submission. Why do you think I have not addressed the creation of the first cell?

                    Today, others reported everything I reported in what could have been part 1 of a 2 part submission.

                    Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems. https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.994281

                    Now see: “Team uses internet network theory to decipher the first epigenetic communication network” January 28, 2016 http://phys.org/news/2016-01-team-internet-network-theory-decipher.html

                    In part 2 of my submission, I will detail the origin of the code and explain how information leads to the de novo creation of receptors and all cell types in all living genera.

                    If you want part 2, accept part 1. If not, others will keep reporting the details I want to report in the context of mutations and evolution.

                    • James,

                      You’re saying “Even though part 1 doesn’t directly answer your questions, publish it on your website and then I’ll show you part 2 where I do answer your questions.”

                      Sorry I can only accept submissions that meet the specification as outlined. If you wish to publicize part 1, there are many publishing outlets through which you may do that.

                  • You prevented my reply to your reply (below).

                    I’m willing to proceed if you make a “good faith” effort to show that after I provide part 2, you will not claim I did not prove anything about the origin of the first cell.

                    From page 206 of “Evoluton 2.0.”
                    You wrote: “But I could find no formula or transformation that turns matter or energy into information. This is precisely what the Evolution 2.0 Prize seeks to discover.”

                    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it appears that you’ve changed the goal. What does the first cell have to do with the origin of the code?

                    Neo-Darwinists do this. I showed that chromosomal rearrrangements are linked to ecological adaptation and PZ Myers ignored weekend evolution of the bacterial flagellum.

                    Like PZ Myers, others simply tell me (and you) that we misunderstood something they had claimed. They won’t make any claims that link physics, chemistry, and conserved molecular mechanisms from the origin of the code to the complexity of ecosystems. That complexity links atoms to ecosystems via examples of rapid adaptation.

                    • My mistake. I apologize. I thought you had ended our discussion. After I posted my reply, I see that it was added below yours. PZ Myers biased my impression of what happened. Every time he has no response to a logical claim or assertion, he terminates the discussion.

  4. Claude LeBlanc says:

    The media and a court case are not the arbiters of scientific fact or theory; and ID doesn’t black eye on your presumptions of what Stephen Meyer might say.

  5. I had hoped to end the neo-Darwinian foolishness by linking information contained in sunlight from atoms to ecosystems via the de novo creation of nucleic acids.

    From page 206 of “Evoluton 2.0.”
    You wrote: “But I could find no formula or transformation that turns matter or energy into information. This is precisely what the Evolution 2.0 Prize seeks to discover.”

    Discussion of top-down causation in the context of biophysically constrained protein folding chemistry seems unlikely here.

    See, for comparison: Cyanobacteria use micro-optics to sense light direction http://elifesciences.org/content/5/e12620

    The findings link the speed of light on contact with water from hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution to nutrient-dependent cell type differentiation via the biophysically constrained chemistry of RNA-mediated protein folding in all living genera.

    Dobzhansky’s “light of evolution” can be placed into the context of the amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of chimpanzees and modern humans from the cell types of gorillas.

    Like all other serious scientists, Dobzhansky (1973) linked the anti-entropic energy of sunlight to all biodiversity via nutrient-dependent ecological adaptations and the physiology of reproduction.

    Pseudoscientists hate the fact that they didn’t realize Dobzhansky seemes to be joking about mutations and evolution. They never learned the difference between mutations and amino acid substitutions, and Dobzhansky probably knew they would not. The jokes played on pseudoscientists by serious scientists may have started with Dobzhansky (1964).

    But, until you are willing to discuss sunlight as transforming information, the neo-Darwinian jokers appear to have won.

    • No argument that living things use sunlight in processing of information.

      Show me a non-living thing that turns sunlight or chemicals into code and then we’ll have something to talk about. Thus far nothing you have presented so far meets the specification of the prize.

      • Thanks. I think others can see what is happening with the specifications of the prize.

        From page 206 of “Evoluton 2.0.”
        You wrote: “But I could find no formula or transformation that turns matter or energy into information. This is precisely what the Evolution 2.0 Prize seeks to discover.”

        Sunlight is the energy that links information to matter. Now it’s not a formula that you want; it’s an example of a non-living thing that links sunlight from quantum physics to the chemistry of protein folding via the de novo creation of nucleic acids.

        Why not simply admit that you will not accept any accurate representation of biological facts that link the de novo creation of nucleic acids (the code) to all RNA-mediated biodiversity. You’re stuck with your claims about hybrids and Shapiro’s nonsense.

  6. Bill Freeman says:

    My comment is “if I write one to test our communication, will you actually answer. I have studied this issue for years and agree with much of what you say Perry, but in other areas I don’t. I do not want to waste my time if you personally are not going to answer. I am a 79 year old Christian, chemical/environmental engineer and former Marine.

  7. Bill Freeman says:

    My statement above is still the same. Please answer Perry.

  8. Bill Freeman says:

    Dear Perry:

    First, I want to compliment you for your work and dedication in the area of Evolution. I did purchase your Book “Evolution 2” due to some remarks made by the Editor of Touchstone Magazine. His 3-week editorialo comments struck my interest, as I have been interested for a long time in Darwin’s hypothesis and its falsehoods. I don’t think it qualifies as a Theory. Second, I plan to make some comments on your website going down to the “warf and woof” of God’s existence. From that existence, the answers can be found in theology, science, philosophy and history combined. If there is a conflict between these subjects, look out!

    Again, thanks for your work. It provokes deep thinking and analyzing like engineers do. I was a senior staff chemical/environmental engineer for Shell Oil Co. and retired after 35 years in 1999 at 62 years of age. I was an advisor to Sr. Management for 13 years in Head Office. I am now 79, and love searching for God and His answers.

    I think the godidit vs chancedidit arguments, which suggest people would not be interested in science because godidit, is a Red Herring. Apparently, the great scientists such as Copericus, Galileo, Newton, etc. would not agree with this suggestion. It certainly has not effected me. I don’t care about the godidit accusation, I care about HOW GOD DID IT! Anything we can learn from how the Trinity did it will move us in a direction of great progress in Theology, Technology and Philosophy. I have been searching for God’s answers for 50 years and have been greatly blessed. I also know He is there, and He is not silent. Only Christians who have accepted his salvation and indwelling of the Spirit can truly say “know”. Faith in Christ is a gift from God. Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for and the “evidence” of things not seen.

    God bless you Perry and your work. Even though we will have differences, speaking for myself, I will gain much knowledge from our discussions. I love knowledge based upon Truth. Remember, Jesus said He is “the Truth”. Total Truth is perfection. Quickly, I am an old age creationist and know science used correctly finds the Truth. Science and Faith are complementary. The funny thing is Material/Chance is also a creationist hypothesis as well. LIfe came from non-life is not Truth.

    I am not always available since I have a wife who has AML or Leukemia and is on the rode to a cure after a Stem Cell Transplant. I also have a 53 year old son who has acute schizophrenia who I have in an assisted care Home. They take some time but my love for them makes the time very easy. God never asks a person to take on more than he can handle. He always looks out for His Own.

    Blessings,

    Bill Freeman
    KIngwood, TX

    • Bill,

      “I don’t care about the godidit accusation, I care about HOW GOD DID IT!”

      Amen. Thank you for your kind remarks, and your thoughtful approach. I especially appreciate that you can work within differences of opinion and talk these things through.

  9. Bill Freeman says:

    Dear Perry:

    You have said that the DNA Code infers an intelligence or immaterial mind for development. You gave it a 10% probability or “perhaps” that this statement is not correct. I give it a Zero probability that the statement is not correct, and I know you will never have to put up any dollars to anyone who can prove otherwise. A humanistic Universal can never be found. A number of scientists and artists have tried to find this Universal, but have never done so. The Universal, God, is present inside and outside the Universe. Actually He created it.

    I noted an email to me today about a young Church Youth Minister who lost his faith. My only answer to that is he is like many others. They never knew Him in the beginning. Once you see the Lord, you can never deny you did not see the Lord. It like saying once I saw that 2+2=4, but now I deny that it is so. Hmmm.

    You said: “OUTSIDE a church environment. I believed if evidence was real, it would stand up to the scrutiny of science and critical thought. No theology or holy books necessary.” You can certainly challenge science as science or Darwinism, but you cannot determine Who designed the DNA Code without Divine Revelation found in Scripture to provide the solution. Science only studies what is already made, not Who made it. Further, science cannot provide answers in certain areas. Science can tell you how to make an atom bomb, but it cannot tell you where you should drop it or not (is versus ought). Incidentally, the probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 to 10-340,000,000. This number is 1 to 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering, since there is only supposed to be approximately 10-80 (10 to the 80th power) electrons in the whole universe.

    You also discussed Divine Revelation in your parallelism of Genesis with science in Appendix 2. Also read “Seven Days That Divide The World” by Dr. John C. Lennox, Professor of Mathematics, Oxford, about the age of the Earth. He deals with the 6000 year old Earth theory and its problems. I’ve never accepted the YEC theory. Actually, it is anti-intellectual as I tell anyone in my Church (Southern Baptist). Nearly all agree with me.

    Lastly, you stated Romans 5:12 infers Adam and Eve introduced physical death to the world caused by their first sin (Appendix 2). Actually Romans 5:12 states: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Paul states that death passed upon all men, not plants and animals who cannot sin. I agree with you that no where does it say in Scripture that animals or plants did not die before the Fall of Man. In the Garden of Eden more information unfolds in events that also question the death of animals and plants prior to the Fall.

    Incidentally, I have not finished Evolution 2 at this point, but will in the near future. My next message is about the Trinity and why it is the only solution to the question of immaterial information.

    • “You can certainly challenge science as science or Darwinism, but you cannot determine Who designed the DNA Code without Divine Revelation found in Scripture to provide the solution. Science only studies what is already made, not Who made it. Further, science cannot provide answers in certain areas. Science can tell you how to make an atom bomb, but it cannot tell you where you should drop it or not (is versus ought).”

      Bravo on both points. Thanks for joining us on the journey. Great to hear from you.

  10. Bill Freeman says:

    Following is a short write up on the Trinity. I borrowed heavily from Dr. Francis Shaeffer one of the great Theologians of all time. This comes from one of his books titled “He Is There And He Is Not Silent”. Also I referenced Dr. Mortimer J. Adler probably the greatest U.S. Philosopher of all time. Look them up if you have not already. Their works are voluminous.

    THE TRINITY AND GOD”S EXISTENCE

    According to Dr. Francis Schaeffer, Man’s damnation today is that he can find no meaning for Man. But if we begin with a personal beginning, we have an absolutely opposite situation. We have the reality of the fact that personality does have meaning because it is not alienated from what has always been, what is, and what always will be. Man has a personality which distinguishes him from non-man. He was created in the Image of God.

    If we begin with with less than personality, we must reduce personality to the impersonal. The scientific world says we are the impersonal plus complexity.
    The next step we must make is choose the answer of God or gods? The problem with gods, the limited gods are not big enough. To have an adequate answer we need two things. We need a personal-infinite God, and we need a personal unity and diversity. Without this, we have no answer. Christianity has this in the Trinity. We are talking about the philosophic necessity, in the area of Being and existence, of the fact God is there. That is what it is all about, He is there.

    According to Dr. Francis Schaeffer, “you can search through university philosophy, underground philosophy, filling station philosophy – it does not matter – there is no other sufficient philosophical answer to existence, to Being,” There is only one philosophy, one religion, that fills this need in all the world’s thought, whether East, the West, the ancient, the modern, the new, the old. Only one fills the philosophical need of existence, of Being, and it is the Judeo-Christian God – not just an abstract concept, but rather that this God is really there. He exists. There is no other answer.

    This relates to an infinite, personal God, who is personal unity and diversity on the high order of Trinity. Dr. Schaeffer states he would still be agnostic if there were no Trinity. Without the high order of personal unity and diversity given in the Trinity, there are no answers to God’s existence, thus where does the Code in the DNA come from. It takes information provided from the Trinity (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit).

    MAKEUP OF THE TRINITY

    The Trinity is personal-infinite. On the one side of God’s infinity, there is a complete chasm between God on one side and man, animal, plant and the machine on the other. On the side of God’s infinity, God stands alone. He is the absolute other. He is differentiated from all else, because only He is infinite, all else is finite. Therefore, concerning God’s infinity, man is as separated as is the atom or any other machine-portion of the Universe.

    However, on the side of God being personal, the chasm is between man and the animal, the plant and the machine. Why? Because man was made in the image of God. This is not just doctrine. This is really down to the warp and woof of the whole problem. Man is made in the image of God; therefore, on the side of the fact that God is a personal God the chasm stands not between God and Man, but between man and all else. But on the side of God’s infinity, man is as separated from God as the atom or any other finite of the Universe. So Man is finite and yet personal.

    This is not the best answer to existence; it is the only answer. That is why we may hold our Christianity with intellectual integrity. The only answer for what exists is that He, the infinite-personal God, really is there. Remember, the personal relates to the immaterial mind (intellect) separated from the material brain. As a result of the intellect, man is radically different in kind from all other species. Only Man has intellect with conceptual thought. Animals according to Scripture were placed under Man’s authority. Intellect was breathed into Man by God according to Scripture. Dr. Mortimer J. Adler wrote a book “Intellect: Mind Over Matter” (1990). His philosophic argument of why intellect is immaterial provides the answer, and as far as I know, it has never been refuted. Recommend you read it. It is a fun read as it gets into other areas such as aliens from other planets.

    A relationship here is that the Trinity is immaterial, the Code or information for the DNA is immaterial, the mind (intellect) is immaterial. Immaterial can manipulate the material (brain), but the material (brain) cannot manipulate the immaterial (intellect). Think on this Perry. “To say that the brain is only a necessary, but not a sufficient condition, is to say that we cannot think conceptually without our brains, but that we do not think conceptually with our brains. The brain is not the organ of thought as the eye and the brain together are the organs of vision, or the ear and brain together are the organs of hearing. There is another way of saying this. As the eye or ear, together with the brain, are sense-organs, the brain itself is not a mind-organ; or, more precisely, the brain is not an intellect-organ. The most that can be said of the brain in relation to the human mind is that it is an intellect-support organ upon which the intellect depends, without which it cannot think, but with which it does not think” (Intellect: Mind Over Matter by Mortimer J. Adler).

    Second, the personal unity and diversity on the high order of the Trinity no comes into play and is necessary for this issue to make sense. Einstein taught that the whole material world may be reduced to electromagnetism and gravity. He was never able to show this possibility. But what if he had?
    It would only have been unity in diversity in relationship to the material world, and as such would only be child’s play. The needed unity and diversity in regard to personality would not have been touched. Personal unity and diversity would not be explained.

    In contrast, think of the Nicene Creed – three Persons, one God. That catapulted the Nicene Creed right into our century and its discussions: three Persons in existence, loving each other, communicating information, with each other before all else was. If this was not so, God would have needed the Universe as the Universe needs Him. Why? Because we have a full true Trinity. The persons of the Trinity communicated information with each other and loved each other before the creation of the world.

    This is not only an answer to the acute philosophic need of unity in diversity, but of personal unity and diversity. The unity and diversity cannot exist before God or be behind God, because whatever is farthest back is God. But with the doctrine of the Trinity, the unity and diversity is God Himself – three Persons, yet one God. That is what the Trinity is.

    In 325 A.D., our Christian Forefathers understood this as the Bible set forth. The unity and diversity was there at the time and they had an answer that no one else had. It was in the Scripture and understood after time passed, and Christians listened to the Holy Spirit. Let us notice again, this is not the best answer, it is the only answer.

    So we have said two things. The only answer to the metaphysical problem of existence is that the infinite-personal God is there; and the only answer to the metaphysical problem of existence is that the Trinity is there.

    Now surely we will have become convinced that philosophy and religion are indeed dealing with the same questions. Notice that the basic concept of existence, of Being, it is the Christian answer or nothing. No matter how evangelical and orthodox you are, it will change your life if you understand this.

    Dr. Schaeffer states that “many people who are evangelical and orthodox see truth just as true to the dogmas, or to be true to what the Bible says. Nobody stands more for the full inspiration of Scriptures than I, but this is not the end of truth as Christianity is presented, as the Bible presents itself. The truth of Christianity is that it is true to what is there. Look at it closely.

    In conclusion, Dr. Shaeffer states: “Man, beginning with himself, can define the philosophical problem of existence, but he cannot generate from himself the answer to the problem. The answer to the problem of existence is that the infinite-personal, triune God is there, and that the infinite-personal, triune God is not silent.”

    I could send you the book “Intellect: Mind Over Matter” by attachment if you want to read it. If so, let me know how I can do this so you can receive.

    • This is very good. You can send the book to the address on the website; I can’t promise any particular response – people send a lot of stuff and I have to sort through it as best I can. Meanwhile these are excellent comments.

  11. Bill Freeman says:

    Perry: I was going to send you the book as an attachment (PDF format) to an email. Is that possible?

    Bill Freeman

  12. Bill Freeman says:

    Perry: following is the contents of the book I am suggesting above.

    Table of Contents
    P R O L O G U E The Reasons for This Book…………….. 3
    P A R T 1 Basic Issues and Questions ……………………. 11
    C H A P T E R 1 Coming to Terms ……………………….. 11
    C H A P T E R 2 Is the Mind Observable?……………… 21
    C H A P T E R 3 Is Our Intellect Unique?………………. 29
    C H A P T E R 4 Is Intellect Immaterial? ……………….. 42
    C H A P T E R 5 Artificial Intelligence and the Human
    Intellect ………………………………………………………………. 53
    C H A P T E R 6 Extraterrestrial Intelligence …………. 65
    P A R T II Serious Mistakes ………………………………. 71
    C H A P T E R 7 About Philosophy in Relation to
    Common Sense ……………………………………………………. 71
    C H A P T E R 8 About What Exists Independently of
    the Mind……………………………………………………………… 79
    C H A P T E R 9 About What the Mind Draws from
    Experience…………………………………………………………… 99
    C H A P T E R 10 About How One Realm of Meanings
    Underlies the Diversity of Languages……………………. 108
    C H A P T E R 11 About How the Plurality of Cultures
    Springs from the Unity of Mind……………………………. 114
    P A R T III The Powers of the Intellect……………….. 119
    C H A P T E R 12 The Triad of Powers, Habits and Acts
    …………………………………………………………………………. 119
    C H A P T E R 13 Cognitive Power and Its Acts:
    Conception, Judgment, Reasoning………………………… 124
    CHAPTER 14 Appetitive Power and Its Acts: Willing
    and Choosing …………………………………………………….. 135
    P A R T IV The Use, Misuse, and Nonuse of the
    Intellect 143
    C H A P T E R 15 Intellectual Virtue and Vice: The
    Order and Disorder of the Passions ………………………. 144
    C H A P T E R 16 The Neglect of the Intellect: Sloth152
    E P I L O G U E The Message of This Book………….. 155

    I think it will be very thought provoking for you.

    Bill Freeman

  13. Bill Freeman says:

    I listened to your interview as requested on your email today. I find that we are much together on most issues, although I would not state I have your intelligence and knowledge in a number of the areas you discussed. Electrical engineering was not my interest, but I do understand much of what you said in the interview. A couple of comments.

    I do not think self organization is an option, mainly because life occurs after the Big Bang which needed a prime mover to start it and from nothing.

    There is a first principle in morals as Paul the Apostle told the Athenians. You have no excuse for believing in your god as absolute morals are “written on the heart”. For example, one first principle is “do good, avoid evil”. You would never say “do evil, avoid good” as it is destructive and does not with with what morals are. Another first principle is “We ought to desire the things that are REALLY good for us”. You are looking at “desires” and natural “needs”. Figure it out.

    In your interview, you appear to believe that “information” to feed the DNA code can be found from the material source. Information is immaterial and in my view cannot be derived from the material without intelligence, God. I don’t believe your reward will ever be solved no more than I believe the mind/brain controversy will be solved.

    Still, we should continue to search for how God did it. In that process, we will uncover much information that will benefit mankind. God designed us this way.

    Enjoyed your interview. By the way, where do you live? Some day I might try and visit you to exchange ideas. I always learn from people such as yourself. I admire you for taking on the Darwinian controversy. It reminds me of the Global Warming controversy where those of us who don’t believe GW can be proven are called “deniers”. A number of scientists would like to require the courts to gag us because they say we are not in the consensus. I love consensus science as an excuse. Do you believe it is a consensus that the Sun is 93 million miles from the Earth? Hmmm

    Best Regards

  14. Bill Freeman says:

    Perry:

    This is my last message until I hear from you. Maybe I have written too much in starting a discussion. However, below are conclusions from two Professionals in the Theological and Science areas; Jeremy Lyon, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., and John Baumgardner, a geophysicist who teaches at Southern California Seminary in El Cajon, Calif., who argue that the existence of language proves the existence of God. This is right down my alley. Dated March 8, 2016

    “Human speech — whether in English, Spanish or Chinese — is only one example of language. Computer languages, mathematics and even genetic codes in DNA are also languages, they asserted.

    All these types of language, they argued, buttress the Christian worldview in at least four ways.

    First, according to the naturalistic worldview that is prevalent among scientists today, the material world — made up of matter and energy — is all that exists. Naturalism leaves no room for the existence of spiritual realities, like the human soul or the God described in Scripture.

    But, Lyon and Baumgardner argue, language “falsifies naturalism’s foundational truth claim.” Language conveys meaning, which is made up neither of matter nor energy. Meaning, whether conveyed by human speech or by the genetic language in DNA, is non-material.

    Second, since language has a non-material component, it “demands a non-material source.”

    “The laws of chemistry and physics offer no clue whatsoever that matter can assign meaning or otherwise deal with meaning at even the most rudimentary level,” Lyon and Baumgardner wrote. Even the most complex electronic hardware cannot generate meaning unless people create software that sends electronic messages through that hardware.

    Third, since people can create and use languages, they must “possess non-material attributes” such as a non-material mind, or a soul or spirit.

    Finally, since extremely complex languages are written into DNA, biological life itself depends upon non-material realities. Moreover, since matter and energy cannot produce language, this genetic language must have been created and encoded into DNA by something or someone that was non-material.”

    I have been stating these conclusions for quite a while. God is there and He is not silent Perry. Man cannot prove that material alone can design a system which you are offering a reward for.

    Best Regards

    • You may be right, but we cannot be sure that there is no principle in nature we haven’t yet discovered which explains how purposeful behavior might emerge from matter. There are many mysteries. What’s important about this is that we are highlighting that an unsolved problem is in fact unsolved.

  15. Bill Freeman says:

    Perry: you are not engaging with me in my messages. You are only asking questions expecting me to answer your questions. You do not justify or explain your statement as follows:

    “I’m not sure how you can know that the cell does not have consciousness.
    How does purposeful behavior emerge from matter? I don’t know, and nobody gets to claim they know until they’ve solved the Evolution 2.0 prize”

    No one will solve the prize, because the answer comes from theology/philosophy, not material science which you are only investigating. Have you thought about what your statement and question suggests? What is consciousness or conscious? Is a cell conscious? How about a plant cell? The definition of conscious is:

    “Conscious” is a Latin word whose original meaning was “knowing” or “aware.” So a conscious person has a knowing awareness of his environment as well as his own existence and thoughts.

    Dr. Roger Penrose (mathematical physicist from Oxford) talks about consciousness as generally referring to the ability to solve extremely complex problems, especially those of a mathematical nature. Most people would call this trait intelligence, and intelligence (intellect) of a very rare kind. Dr. Christof Koch (neuroscientist, California Institute of Technology) mentions that Francis Crick had defined consciousness as the ability of the brain to focus on, or attend to , one set of phenomena out of all of those that are impinging on the mind. The question then becomes a seemingly simple one: How does the brain attend to, or become aware of say a single face in a roomful of people? Koch states “even a single visual scene is processed by many different parts of the brain.” But what mechanism transforms the firing of neurons in numerous regions of the brain into a unified perception? This discussion took place at the University of Arizona in 1994 at a conference titled: “Toward a Scientific Basis of Consciousness”. The conference ended with conclusions such as “Certain problems addressed by science may lie forever beyond our capacity for understanding. These are mysteries, now and possibly forever.” Another conclusion: “Science cannot really tell us why life appeared on earth and why it gave rise to creatures like us.” Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz stated in the 17th century: “Suppose that there be a machine, the structure of which produces thinking, feeling, and perceiving; imagine this machine enlarged but preserving the same proportions, so that you could enter it as if it were a mill. This being supposed, you might visit it inside; but what would you observe there? Nothing but parts which push and move each other, and never anything that could explain perception.” Quotes above are from the book “The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication and Explanation”, by John Horgan (1999) The material brain/imaterial mind in the human skull is the Universe’s ultimate enigma.

    Consciousness requires a brain. Do cells have brains? If you think so, please enlighten me so that I can read about it. You owe me an explanation of why you think the cell even suggests consciousness, when taking into account what consciousness means as related to the brain/mind. In addition, I quote from James Le Fanu, MD, in his book “Why Us” (2009): he quotes John McCrone in his book “Going Inside: A Tour Around a Single Moment of Consciousness” related to the brain. The first difficulty is “Science cannot address this problem materially. Science can offer no theory as to how the physical activity of the brain might translate into the thoughts and perceptions of subjective experience.” Thomas Huxley acknowledged this in a most telling metaphor from a familiar story: “How it is that anything so remarkable as the state of consciousness (awareness) comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue (the activity of the brain) is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djinn when Aladdin rubbed his lamp.” The second difficulty is the problem of mental causation, or free will: how (at its simplest) the non-material thoughts of the mind can influence the workings of the brain, activating the neural circuits that cause us to choose one course of action over another. This facility to make choices of our own “free will” is rightly amongst the most treasured attributes of the human mind, realized a hundred times a day in so trivial an action as crossing or not crossing the road. But to accept the supposition that immaterial thoughts can have physical effects would be to introduce into our understanding of the natural world some immaterial force that stands outside, and is not governed by , principles of lawful material causation.

    I have said enough. A cell cannot have consciousness, because it cannot have a material brain/immaterial mind (intellect) as humans have. In my view, human brain action is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for developing conceptual thought. Since this is so, then some other factor — an immaterial factor — must be added. Material science by itself will never provide you with an answer to the question of who originated the immaterial, “information code” for the DNA.

    The immaterial Minds (God, Holy Spirit, Jesus) are the Trinity that created the Big Bang out of nothing, the Anthropic Principle, the Origin of Life, and the material brain/immaterial mind combination to make Man into the image of God. Man is radically different in kind than all other species (a fact). The immaterial mind cannot evolve as discussed in Darwin’s evolutionary hypothesis. This is not only an explanation, it is the only explanation. A philosophic discussion about the Brain/Mind enigma will be presented in my next message, along with why I think both of these theological and philosophical proofs together reach the level of “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    The principle in nature that you are trying to discover, which explains how purposeful behavior (not programmed) might emerge from matter, has not been provided by you. What is that principle? The problem is materialistic science cannot derive such a principle, as already described about the material brain/immaterial mind enigma. If so, tell me as I have told you philosophically and theologically.

    Lastly, I may listen to the debate on Saturday, March 19th. I am very familian with Dr. Steven Meyer. He graduated from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, in 1981 with a degree in physics and earth science. He later became a geophysicist with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in Dallas, Texas. From 1981 to 1985, he worked for ARCO in digital signal processing and seismic survey interpretation for the offshore drilling of oil and gas wells. In 1986 as a Rotary International Scholar, he began his training in the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University, earning an M.Phil. in 1987 and a Ph.D. in 1991. His doctoral thesis was titled “Of Clues and Causes: A Methodological Interpretation of Origin-of-Life Research.” He has also taught students about the Christian faith (Truth) telling them that academian biologists do not have the answer to the origin of life. Dr. Meyer wants to help them understand that their faith in Christ is basically Truth and they have nothing to fear from agnostic or atheist professors. These professors are usually clueless when it comes to understanding theology/philosophy in this area. I have a number of Meyer’s DVD series on these student courses sponsored by Focus on The Family. Academia in biology very much dislike this man due to his Christian positions via philosophy, science, theology and history. I have much respect for him. I also respect the ID work, as it has placed academia on notice about the fact that much of its hypothetical work on life’s beginnings is unproven and will most likely never be proven. ID is just as serious as you are Perry and have been at this work for many years.

    I just ran into one of my old true Christian friends down the street. He recently retired from Exxon/Mobil working in their research department. He has a Ph/D in toxocology and is no friend of Darwinism. I informed him about Evolution 2 and encouraged him to read your book. As I have said, I agree with much of your book, but I am highly skeptical about certain statements. I don’t think material science will solve the problem of “information”. In my viewpoint, the answer is already provided in philosophy/theology. By the way Perry, what is your Christian Denomination? Later.

    Best Regards,

    • Bill,

      Biology is as biology does.

      Cells ACT like they are self aware. Animals and plants act like they’re self aware. Read “What a plant knows,” read McClintock’s work (Nobel Prize paper from Nature Magazine for example) read James Shapiro’s work. Or Lynn Margulis who insists that a cell is a “self.” Watch Bonnie Bassler’s TED video
      //cosmicfingerprints.com/intelligent-bacteria/

      Watch white blood cells chase germs around in a YouTube video. You sure there’s no self awareness going on there?

      How do you know consciousness requires a brain? We don’t even know exactly what it is.

      I’m surprised to hear you even say that, because a theist generally does not hold that consciousness needs a brain, because God does not have a brain.

      “A cell cannot have consciousness, because it cannot have a material brain/immaterial mind (intellect) as humans have.”

      What do you base this on?

      • Bill Freeman says:

        You stated: “Watch white blood cells chase germs around in a YouTube video.”
        Comment: In chemistry, chemicals can be added to remove certain foreign objects from solutions. The immune systems of humans and animals are programmed to remove foreign organisms from the system.

        You state: ” How do you know consciousness requires a brain? You sure there’s no self awareness going on there?
        Comment: Let’s place a toxin in your brain to put you to sleep. Are you conscious to be aware and know so? Without the active brain, no consciousness. NO Brain, no consciousness.

        You state: ” We don’t even know exactly what it is.”
        Comment: We know that there are two types of consciousness. Animal consciousness and human consciousness. Nonhuman animals have material brains with consciousness. But, they have no conceptual thought. They experience hunger and pain; they don’t contemplate the injustice of suffering. A human being is material and immaterial—a composite being. We have material bodies, and our perceptions and imagination and appetites are material powers, instantiated in our brains. But our intellect—our ability to think abstractly—is a wholly immaterial power, as is our will, which acts in accordance with our intellect. Our intellect and will depend on matter for their ordinary function, but are not themselves made of matter. This is explained by Dr. Adler below. Further, God made man superior to animals in this way. See Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Theology confirms what science observes and what philosophy thinks. Did you ever hear of persons and things as used in our legal system?

        You state: “I’m surprised to hear you even say that, because a theist generally does not hold that consciousness needs a brain, because God does not have a brain.”
        Comment: You are mixing apples and oranges. I have never said God needs a brain. God is immaterial (spirit) and omniscient plus infinite. I have only been talking about the human material brain and the immaterial mind (Spirit) or intellect. We received our immaterial mind or intellect when God breathed life into man. “Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Humans are also finite and infinitely limited in knowledge compared to the Trinity. The Trinity were here before material, space, and time were created from nothing. They are not limited and do not have to work in the box (closed system) only, Perry. They can work both in and out of the box.

        You state: “A cell cannot have consciousness, because it cannot have a material brain/immaterial mind (intellect) as humans have.” What do you base this on?
        Comment: First, an active brain is necessary for a person to be conscious. We fall asleep from time to time. For some portion of the time that we are asleep, our minds are totally inactive. We are unconscious. Apparently, consciousness depends on an active brain. Second, read below by Adler why conceptual thought cannot be processed by the material brain. Unlike animals, humans think abstractly, and they have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Humans think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy—an endless array of abstract concepts. They are rational animals. Animals do not have this capability. In the hierarchy of the Trinity down to non-life, (God-angels-humans-animals-plants-bacteria-cells-nonlife), only humans and animals have brains. The Trinity are uncreated spirit, infinite, omniscient minds or intellects. Angels are created spirit (no body), finite minds. Humans are created finite, material brains/immaterial (spirit) minds. The human is the only species that has material and immaterial composite brains. Animals are created material brains that are programmed as determined by the Trinity. Plants, bacteria, and cells are programmed as determined by the Trinity. Animals on down do not have free will. For the hierarchy of the Trinity down to non-life, see Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica. There are a number of computer programs designed by intelligence that you would think have free will, just as you think the cell has.

        Explanation: The difference between representation and instantiation. Representation is the map of a thing; instantiation is the thing itself. Universals can be represented in matter—the words I am writing are representations of concepts—but they cannot be instantiated in matter. I cannot put the concepts themselves on a computer screen or piece of paper, nor can they exist physically in my brain.

  16. Bill Freeman says:

    Is Intellect Immaterial?
    by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D.
    Chapter 4
    We must confess that there is much we do not understand about the brain’s relation to the mind. We do not understand, for example, why the transmission of nervous impulses from the external sense organs does not result in conscious experience until these impulses activate the cerebral cortex. A blockage that would prevent their passage from the lower and midbrain connecting centers to the cerebral cortex would prevent awarenesses of colors, sounds, or smells that stimulated the external sense-organs.
    Even more puzzling is the fact that when nervous impulses coming from the eyes reach the occipital area of the cerebral cortex, we see shapes and colors; when coming from the ears, they reach the temporal area and we hear sounds. These impulses, so far as we know, are the same in character; the nervous structure of the two cortical areas mentioned is also the same. Why, then, should there be a qualitatively different result in our conscious experience?
    Neither do we understand the neurological basis of the agnosia that leaves a person able to see the shape and color of a rose held before his eyes, yet not be able to recognize that it is a rose until the rose is held under his nose to smell.
    Both the visual and the olfactory organs seem to be working perfectly. The understanding of what a rose is has not been lost. What is malfunctioning in the brain that prevents understanding from being elicited by the sight of the rose when it is so readily elicited by the smell of it? We do not know.
    There is much that we have yet to learn regarding the brain’s relation to the mind in the field of sensory experience. But how much greater is our ignorance of the brain’s relation to the mind in the sphere of intellectual activity? This does not mean that we will never have the knowledge we now lack. Further progress in neurology may achieve it, but only if whatever happens in the mind can be fully explained by what happens in the brain.
    That raises the questions to which we must now address ourselves. One is a question about the inseparability of mind and brain and the extent to which they may be distinct from one another. Another is a question about the dependence of the mind upon the brain and the extent to which mind may be independent of the brain.
    The issue with which we are concerned is often poorly stated in the literature of the subject because the word “identity” is misused. Strictly speaking, if two things can be distinguished in any way, even if it is only by the fact of their twoness, they are not identical. Two ball bearings that are alike in every respect except the space each occupies at a given time cannot properly be called identical, though the word is often misused that way, as it is also misused when we speak of identical twins.
    One extremist theory about mind and brain asserts their identity. Used literally, the word “identity” must here mean that there is no distinction whatsoever between mind and brain. That, in turn, means that the two words — “mind” and “brain” — are strict synonyms. If that is the case, we cannot meaningfully ask about the relation of psychology to neurology because psychology is identical with neurology.
    Eliminating that troublesome word “identity” from our discussion, I propose to proceed in a way that I think clarifies the issue. It is a double-barreled issue involving two pairs of contrary views in such opposition to one another that both cannot be true but both can be false.
    The first pair of opposed views I regard as going to opposite extremes, and, in my judgment, both are false. The opposed views in the second pair are more moderate; each has some truth in it, yet both cannot be completely true. If one is completely true, the other must be false, and it is possible that both may be false.
    Let me deal with the two extremist views first, the falsity of which can be easily shown. In our philos-ophical vocabulary we have two “ism” words to name them. The words are “dualism” and “monism” and they at once suggest to us what is being said about mind and brain by the dualist, on the one hand, and by the monist, on the other hand.
    In the history of thought about mind and brain, or body and soul, Plato and Descartes are the outstanding psycho physical dualists. They assert that man is constituted by two utterly distinct and existentially separate substances — for Plato, body and soul; for Descartes, matter and mind, extended substance and thinking substance. Strictly speaking, a human being is not what common sense supposes that person to be: one indivisible thing. That person is actually divided into two individual things, as different and distinct as the rower and the rowboat in which he sits.
    If this dualistic theory were true, it would confront us with the most embarrassing, insoluble difficulties should we try to explain how these two utterly different substances could interact with one another, as they appear to do in human behavior. Fortunately, the riddles of the mind-body problem that have plagued modern philosophy since Descartes can be dismissed. Two incontrovertible facts, which are matters of general knowledge, suffice for the refutation of psychophysical dualism.
    One is the fact that we fall asleep from time to time. For some portion of the time that we are asleep, our minds are totally inactive. We are unconscious. We know that sleep is induced by fatigue toxins that affect the brain. It can also be induced by drugs and pills. But if the mind is totally independent of the brain, then why should one brain condition allow for consciousness and another bring about unconscious sleep?
    The second fact, equally well known to us, is that brain injuries or defects produce mental disabilities or disorders. We also have the reports from neurological surgery that tell of electrical stimulation of the brain producing conscious experiences. How can this be so if mind and brain are as separate as the rower and the rowboat, a separation so complete that it permits the rowboat to be sunk while the rower swims away unharmed?
    The theory of the monist is at the diametrically opposite extreme. In earlier times it was called materialistic monism because it asserted that matter and matter alone exists — that the world consists of nothing but bodies and their motions. In the present century it has come to be called the identity hypothesis, misusing, as we have seen, the word “identity.”
    Materialistic monism that reductively identifies mind with brain cannot retain distinct meanings for the two words “mind” and “brain.” The reduction of mind to brain totally excludes mind and the mental from consideration. There is nothing to talk or think about except the brain, its activities, its states, and its processes. The reductive materialist should expunge from his vocabulary the word “mind” and all the other words that go with it.
    Can these words be expunged from his or anyone else’s vocabulary and still allow us to describe experiences that everyone has? If not, then mind and brain are at least analytically distinct, even if they are existentially one and the same thing.
    Toast and butter are existentially separate when each lies on a separate plate. When hot toast is buttered, the two become inseparable, but when the buttered toast is eaten, it still remains possible to distinguish by taste the butter from the toast.
    Mind and brain may be existentially inseparable, and so regarded as one and the same thing, yet the mental and the physical may still be analytically distinct aspects of it. This can be put to the test in the following manner.
    Let a surgeon open up an individual’s brain for inspection while the patient remains conscious. Let the surgeon dictate to a secretary his detailed observation of the visible area of the brain under scrutiny, and let that area of the brain be its center for vision. Let the patient dictate to another secretary a detailed description of the visible walls of the room in which the surgery is occurring.
    The language used by the surgeon and the language used by the patient will be irreducibly different: the one will contain words referring to physical phenomena occurring in the brain; the other, words referring to conscious experiences of the room. The extreme monism that asserts not only the existential unity of brain and mind, but also that there is no analytical distinction between them, thus be comes untenable.
    With both extremes eliminated, I turn now to the other more moderate pair of contrary views about the relation of mind to brain. Here there is no question about the analytical distinction between mental and physical acts, states, and processes. Both of the opposed views agree on that score but differ with regard to the dependence of the mental on the physical.
    One view maintains that the activation of the brain and of other nervous processes is both the necessary and the sufficient condition for the occurrence of all mental states and of all the mind’s acts and processes. This theory can be called materialistic, but it is not a reductive materialism.
    The other view agrees in part and disagrees in part. With regard to certain sensory experiences, it agrees that the action of the brain and nervous system is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for their occurrence. But it disagrees when it comes to the intellectual activity of the mind in conceptual thought, and in any other activity that involves conceptual understanding, as in human sense-perception when the individual is not suffering from agnosia.

    Cont’d tomorrow.

  17. Bill Freeman says:

    Perry: this finishes off Adler as well as my comments at the end of this message. In a few days, I will summarize my understanding of creation by the Trinity using theology/philosophy and not science.
    “At this point, sharp disagreement arises. Here the nonmaterialistic view maintains that brain action is only a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for the occurrence of the mental acts under consideration. If this is so, then some other factor — an immaterial factor — must be added. If we call the first of these two theories a moderate materialism, because it is not reductive and affirms at least the analytical distinction of the physical and the mental, then perhaps we may call the second, contrary theory a moderate immaterialism.
    In the current state of this dispute, those who espouse the view I have called a moderate materialism tend to concentrate on sensory acts and processes in their effort to show that the brain is all that is needed for such mental acts and processes to occur. They give little attention to intellectual processes and conceptual thought, and ignore or over look the involvement of concepts in sense-perception, memory, and imagination; or they attempt to explain these intellectual processes in terms that require no distinction between the senses and the intellect as separate cognitive powers.
    In defending the opposed theory, which I have called a moderate immaterialism, the argument appeals mainly to what is required for intellectual activity and conceptual thought. Its central contention is that intellectual acts and processes cannot be explained in sensory terms and that more than the brain or any other material organ is required for them to occur
    To say that the brain is only a necessary, but not a sufficient condition, is to say that we cannot think conceptually without our brains, but that we do not think conceptually with our brains. The brain is not the organ of thought as the eye and the brain together are the organs of vision, or the ear and brain together are the organs of hearing.
    There is another way of saying this. As the eye or ear, together with the brain, are sense-organs, the brain itself is not a mind-organ; or, more precisely, the brain is not an intellect-organ. The most that can be said of the brain in relation to the human mind is that it is an intellect-support organ upon which the intellect depends, without which it cannot think, but with which it does not think.
    Which of the two moderate but contrary views of the relation of mind to brain is correct determines how we answer the question that was left hanging at the end of the preceding chapter. If moderate materialism is correct, then the difference in kind that follows from the uniqueness of the human mind by virtue of its intellectual powers may be only a superficial difference in kind because all the extraordinarily wide differences between human and animal life, human and animal behavior, can be explained by differences in degree between human and animal brains.
    Only if the brain is not the sufficient condition for intellectual activity and conceptual thought (only if the intellect that is part of the human mind and is not found in other animals is the immaterial factor that must be added to the brain in order to provide conditions both necessary and sufficient) are we justified in concluding that the manifest difference in kind between human and animal minds, and between human and animal behavior, is radical, not superficial. It cannot be explained away by any difference in the physical constitution of human beings and other animals that is a difference in degree.
    I will try, as briefly as possible, to summarize the argument that I think supports the view that the intellect is the immaterial factory needed, in addition to the brain, for the occurrence in the human mind of conceptual thought. The argument, as stated, is not to be found in the philosophical writings of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, but its main tenets can be found there.
    The argument hinges on two propositions. The first asserts that the concepts whereby we understand what different kinds or classes of things are like consist of meanings that are universal. The second proposition asserts that nothing that exists physically is ever actually universal. Anything that is embodied in matter exists as an individual, a singular thing that may also be a particular instance of this class or that.
    From these two propositions, the conclusion follows that our concepts, having universality, cannot be embodied in matter. If they were acts of a bodily organ such as the brain, they would exist in matter, and so could not have the requisite universality to function as concepts that enable us to think of universal objects, such as kinds or classes, quite different from the individual things that are objects of sense perception, imagination, and memory. The power of conceptual thought, by which we form and use concepts, must, therefore, be an immaterial power, one the acts of which are not acts of a bodily organ.
    The reasoning that supports the first of the two foregoing propositions is as follows. Our common or general names derive the meanings they carry from the concepts we have. The meaning of a common or general name is universal. It always signifies a class of objects, never any particular instance or member of the class.
    Particular instances are designated by proper names or definite descriptions. When we use the word “dog,” we are referring to any dog, regardless of breed, size, shape, or color. To refer to a particular instance, we would use a canine name, such as “Fido,” or a definite description, such as “that white poodle over there lying in front of the fire.” Our concepts of dog and poodle not only enable us to think about two classes of animals, they also enable us to understand what it is like to be a dog or a poodle.
    The second proposition about the individuality of all material or corporeal things is supported by the facts of common experience. The objects we perceive through our senses are all individual things — that is, this individual dog, that individual spoon. As I pointed out in the preceding chapter, we have never seen a triangle in general, nor can we imagine one. Any triangle that we can draw on a piece of paper, any triangle we have seen or imagined, is a particular triangle of a certain shape and size. But we can understand what is involved in triangularity as such, without reference to the character of the angles or the area enclosed.
    Whatever exists physically exists as an individual, and whatever has individuality exists materially. No one has ever experienced or produced anything that has physical or corporeal existence and also is universal in character rather than individual.
    The argument then reaches its conclusion as follows.
    Our concepts are universal in their signification of objects that are kinds or classes of things rather than individuals that are particular instances of these classes or kinds. Since they have universality, they cannot exist physically or be embodied in matter. But concepts do exist in our minds. They are there as acts of our intellectual power. Hence that power must be an immaterial power, not one embodied in a material organ such as the brain.
    The action of the brain, therefore, cannot be the sufficient condition of conceptual thought, though it may still be a necessary condition thereof, insofar as the exercise of our power of conceptual thought depends on the exercise of our powers of perception, memory, and imagination, which are corporeal powers embodied in our sense-organs and brain.
    If it can be shown that any other animal, such as the dolphin, has the power of conceptual thought, the argument just stated would lead to the same conclusion about the dolphin: namely, that it has an immaterial power and that the action of the dolphin brain is only a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition of the occurrence of conceptual thought on the part of the dolphin.
    I have just summarized the bare bones of the argument, but readers may wish to put its premises to the test.
    First, attempt to explain the general significance of the common nouns in our vocabulary, the significance of which is so different from the designative reference of the proper names we use, without appealing to our conceptual understanding of classes or kinds to which perceived or imagined particulars belong. If you cannot do that, then our apprehension of universals — of classes or kinds — is indispensable to our understanding of the meaning of common nouns or names.
    Our cognitive sensory powers do not and cannot apprehend universals. Their cognitive reach does not go beyond particulars. Hence, we would not be able to apprehend universals if we did not have another and quite distinct cognitive power — the power of intellect.
    Then ask yourself whether the particular individual things you apprehend by sense-perception or imagination are always bodies or the attributes of bodies, never anything the existence of which is incorporeal or immaterial. When you open your eyes and look out the window, what do you see? This or that individual tree; this or that automobile; this or that particular building. Whatever it is, it is always some physical thing, some material embodiment. When you close your eyes and let your imagination roam, what do you then apprehend? The same again: always some individual, physical thing; some material embodiment.
    The fact that the world we perceive through our senses and all the things we can imagine and remember are individual physical things or material embodiments gives great credibility to the materialistic thesis that the world of real existences is entirely material, that nothing immaterial really exists.
    The great credibility of that thesis does not make the proposition self-evidently true, nor does it constitute proof of its truth. The proposition, however credible, still remains a postulate that should not be dogmatically asserted as an indubitable truth — true beyond the shadow of a doubt.
    What has just been said not only challenges the dogmatism of the materialist; it also, paradoxically, reveals the reasons why the materialistic dogma is so credible to all of us as well as the grounds for asserting the immateriality of the intellect.
    Why do we find the materialistic dogma so credible? Because the world of our sense-experience and of our imagination and memory is filled with nothing but individual objects all of which are physical bodies, material things or their attributes.
    At the same time, the individual physical things in the world of our sense-experience are also particular instances of certain kinds or classes of things — the kinds or classes to which the common names or general terms we use refer. We could not use those words with their general significance if we were not able to apprehend the objects of conceptual thought — the intelligible, universal objects that only our intellects can apprehend.
    Readers are thus led to the conclusion that the power by which we apprehend those intelligible objects, those universal objects of conceptual thought, must be immaterial. For if the concepts by which we apprehend such objects were acts of bodily organs, their material embodiment would prevent them from being apprehensions of anything universal. They would, in this respect, be no different from the percepts and the images that are acts of bodily organs (the sense-organs and the brain) and, therefore, are always apprehensions of individual things or of their particular attributes.
    We are not done yet. It was pointed out earlier that the two extreme theories of psychophysical dualism and materialistic monism can both be false, though both cannot be true. We must now acknowledge that the same applies to the two moderate theories: the theory that the brain is not only a necessary but also a sufficient condition of all mental acts and processes; and the theory that the brain is only a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition of conceptual thought, that an immaterial intellect is also required and must be posited in order to provide an adequate explanation of conceptual thought. These moderate theories cannot both be true, but both can be false.
    Even if both are false, we are left with one solid conclusion, which is the one point on which both of these moderate theories concur: namely, that there is at least an analytical distinction between mental and physical acts and processes. That being the case, our understanding of the intellectual powers of the human mind can be stated in purely mental terms. It does not depend on our knowledge of the brain, nor does it depend on how we view the intellect’s relation to the brain.
    Thus, for example, the clear difference between perceptual and conceptual thought, which is so important in understanding the difference between animal and human behavior, remains unchanged by the adoption of one rather than the other of the two conflicting theories. It remains the same whether we view conceptual thought as an act of the brain or of an immaterial intellectual power. What is affected by taking one or another of these alternative moderate views is only whether the difference in kind between human and animal behavior is a superficial or a radical difference in kind.
    Lest readers are misled by the foregoing summation, let me clearly reiterate the position that I think I have shown to be demonstrably true: that the brain is only a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for conceptual thought; that an immaterial intellect is also requisite as a condition; and that the difference between human and animal behavior is a radical difference in kind.”
    Excerpted from Dr. Adler’s book Intellect: Mind Over Matter (Chapter 4).

    Perry: where does the immaterial mind indwelled in the material brain come from? It could not have evolved if it is immaterial. Only physical objects such as cells can evolve. But immaterial universals are matter less and cannot have physical contact with the material. How can the immaterial have physical contact with the material when there are no atoms to physically contact other atoms? Remember, the Trinity created material from the immaterial. However the material cannot create the immaterial. The Trinity created the Universe and all that is in it. They also used information to code the DNA and somehow developed and used code to trigger instructions by the material zygote to build the material human body. Maybe this code by the Trinity makes a zygote look like it is making purposeful changes on its own. Is it? I think the code is developed by the Trinity in a way for use by the cell that is far, far above our understanding. But, that does not mean we should not try and understand the Trinity’s technology for creating life. We were created with a material brain/immaterial mind in His Image to search for answers. We are an unusual and unique species. God created us that way, but it is with integrity and truth. Personally, I know the Trinity has infinite intelligence, but, we have finite intelligence, thus will never completely understand the process. But again, I think we should try and learn as much as we can.
    For those who don’t believe in the Trinity, they will one day know that They are there, at death. It makes no difference what I think, it will not change the fact. I am grateful that I know who They are, as it is a great privilege.

  18. Brian Shipley says:

    “Similarly, evolution can mean “chancedidit”… or… scientists can conduct repeatable experiments and re-construct the chemical, genetic and information pathways that transform one species to another.”
    I am always amused by scientists who brusquely dismiss ID, or any thought or chance of God, or His analog, but tell us, “Chance did it” for evolution, or “It just happened dude!” for Creation, and think this is science. Its blind faith in an unprovable theory, but it seems to comfort them and enable feelings of superiority over “gullible” Christians. Whew!
    Perry’s theory explains it all, right down to the many flaws in the religion of Darwinism, but are rejected because great numbers have decided based on rejecting God, or any similar agency, and simply will not accept the facts, under any circumstances.
    Is denial scientific?

  19. Bill Freeman says:

    Perry: you said:

    “This will answer quite a few of your questions. I don’t have time to respond to you individually but I would encourage you to post this as a blog comment and I may have time to answer it. Dembski’s theodicy says that ‘sin damaged the world retroactively’ and I don’t see how that’s much different from saying ‘God made the world last Thursday and all of our memories and fossils were just put there so that we would think it was older than last Thursday’. And regardless of how many Masters degrees and PhDs he has it has all of the same ‘time travel’ contradictions that you find in a sci-fi movie. So, I don’t think that is a reasonable explanation.
    I do not believe that physical pain, physical suffering and physical death came into the world through the fall. They were always there. However, spiritual death came through the fall. It’s very clear if you read Roman 5 carefully that it is talking about spiritual death not physical death and that Adam brought spiritual death not physical death.”

    In the first paragraph, Perry, you have drawn a conclusion about Dembski’s book without reading it. Is this hypocrisy? I certainly don’t think you like people to make statements or reviews about Evolution 2 unless they read it. Did you read Dembski’s book? If so, your explanation is flippant, maybe even extremely biased and condescending. The Book is a very good review of many ideas on this subject. Knowing that God is inside and outside time, I think Dembski’s viewpoint is much better than yours. Incidentally, I did not place his Degrees in my message for you to see, they were intended for readers of our comments in case they don’t know him. Your comment here is strange since education is a must for making decisions and assessing facts or falsehoods.

    In the second paragraph, you are trying to solve a problem using science, but leaving out Scripture to really solve the problem. Dembski addresses your problem well in his book. I was hesitant to use Dembski because you have a bias against him and the Discovery Institute. Personally, I use whoever has the best answers, as well as use my own. I have studied for many years on this subject and have a number of my own answers. Romans 5 does not address the answer. I am not sure what “carefully” means. Scripture is God’s Word and I don’t take it lightly. Read Dembski’s book “The End of Christianity”, if you want a really good discussion. Romans 8 discusses the Creation( includes Nature) and its suffering due to sin as discussed in Genesis 3. The whole irrational creation is interested in the future glory of the sons of God, and is anxiously waiting for it. For then the curse will be removed from the very ground, and the lower animals relieved from oppression and cruelty. The very creation, on account of the sin of man, has been subjected to the curse, and has become “vain” or useless in regard to the original design of it, having been made subservient to the evil purposes and passions of man. Perry, your interpretation is not in the main stream of the Doctrine of the Church, even your own if you accept the Vineyard Faith and Message.

    I looked up the Vineyard’s Faith and Message Statement. It very much follows in step with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Faith and Message. I could use it to support my position as well as Dembski’s. Maybe you don’t believe all of the Vineyard’s Faith and Message. But it states:
    “WE BELIEVE that God created mankind in His own image, male and female,38 for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth.39 Under the temptation of Satan,40 our original parents fell from grace,41 bringing sin,42 sickness43 and God’s judgment of death to the earth.44 Through the fall, Satan and his demonic hosts gained access to God’s good creation.45 Creation now experiences the consequences and effects of Adam’s original sin.46 Human beings are born in sin,47 subject to God’s judgment of death48 and captive to Satan’s kingdom of darkness.49
    38Genesis 1:26-27; 39Genesis 1:26; 40Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9; 41Genesis 3:8; Romans 1:21; Romans 5:16; 42Romans 5:12; 43John 5:14; 441 Corinthians 15:22; 45John 8:44; 1 John 5:19; 46Romans 8:20-23; 47Psalm 51:5; 48Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 2:5; Romans 2:12; Hebrews 9:27; 49Galatians 1:3-5; Galatians 4:8-9; Colossians 1:13

    I also know what Hugh Ross says about this. I don’t always agree with him. I have met Ross and respect him, but his expertise is not in theology, I am not sure what denomination he belongs to. I think Dembski is much closer to the truth than you, based upon my own studies. Also remember, Dembski has expertise in theology (Masters Degree at Princeton Theological Seminary) as he taught in Seminary at the Fort Worth Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where you respect that or not. Personally, I don’t take his knowledge lightly.

    I do support you in your effort to expose Darwinism for what it is. It does not have the answer, and neither is “emergence” an answer. I could spend much more time on this, but my wife just came home from the hospital after falling and breaking her femur in the neck prior to the hip socket causing surgery.

    Keep up the good work, but focus on science in biology, and watch closely your philosophical and theological viewpoints.

    • I have Dembski’s book. I know his argument. But he’s saying God created a perfect, suffering free world, and then when man sinned, it retroactively made a world of death. That makes no sense to me.

      But he’s doing it to avoid the possibility that God made bears eating salmon from the very beginning. I do not have a problem accepting this. I trust God to make all things right and I don’t see any scripture that forbids God from making a competitive, carnivorous universe. After all, he made Satan and he didn’t even warn Adam and Eve that the serpent might come lurking.

      I think most Christians hold a simplistic conception of God that Job himself would disagree with.

      • Bill Freeman says:

        I did not ask you if you had Dembski’s book. I ask you if you have read it. I am certainly not reading it the way you do. Maybe you just trolled it as you say others do with your book.

        Your first paragraph makes no sense. How can you create a perfect , suffering free world?

        The world was perfect up until the first man was created and then sinned against God. After sin in the Garden, God created another world that Adam and Eve caused by their sin. What was once a perfect world became a world that started over at the beginning, but was stained by Adam’s sin. This recreated world developed with flaws caused by sin. You could even say that what God had made perfect, he allowed flawed DNA to reform species already made by God into imperfect species. God did not create a world as you see it. God only creates with perfection, not suffering as you would have it. Even your Faith and Message agrees with this. Also in Revelation He will again create another new world for His people.

        God did not create a carnivorous world. It became that later after Adam and Eve left the Garden. The first animals to die were sacrificed to make coats for covering Adam and Eve’s nakedness. This was the sacrifice later to cover sin by the Jews. Even Job did this.

        God did not make Satan. His name was Lucifer and was an angel of the highest order. He took down numerous angels with him when he sinned against God. Actually, Lucifer committed the first sin, not Adam. This is another discussion. There was a reason for not alerting Adam and Eve about Satan. I will not get into this. If you have all the answers, I shouldn’t have to.

        Not sure what your last sentence means. You tend to make statements without thinking due to your trying to answer questions too quickly. I really do not get much out of many of your answers. You just make a statement as if I should accept it whether it is clear or not.

        I am with you much in science, but the more discussions we have theologically, the more I think we are apart.

        The supposed simple story of Adam and Eve is profound. Why did God allow Adam temptation? Why did He tell Adam about the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil? What was the purpose? How does free choice fit into this story and why? Without the first 3 Chapters of Genesis, the Bible is meaningless. Genesis is one of my favorite books.

        • I have not read all of Dembski’s book. But I did read the relevant section and I understand his argument.

          Do you know of any other place in scripture where something done today changes history which happened yesterday?

          Do you have scripture to support the assertion that the world was ever perfect? Can you define perfect and describe what it is and is not? I find no such statement anywhere in the Bible. Perhaps I am missing something.

          Do you have scripture to support the statement that God only creates total perfection?

          Genesis is one of my favorite books too. I’ve come to like it more as I’ve come to believe that it paints a much larger picture than the interpretation of Genesis that I grew up with.

          • Bill Freeman says:

            Hello Perry:

            I am surprised about this message. I am not sure you are being serious. Following are responses to the message. I spent much more time than I should have.

            You stated: I have not read all of Dembski’s book. But I did read the relevant section and I understand his argument.

            Comment: How do you know you read the relevant section if you did not read all of the book? Did you troll it? The book is not simple, but complex. Or maybe I am ignorant.

            You stated: Do you know of any other place in scripture where something done today changes history which happened yesterday?

            Comment: Yes, a simple one. The raising of Lazarus. He was dead for 4 days, but was raised to life again (John 11). Apparently, after Jesus (God) arrived at Lazarus’ home, He went back in time 4 days to the death of Lazarus and repaired the damage to what killed him and then raised him after arriving at his home. This incident today changes history which happened yesterday according to science. Something else you need to remember, before Adam there were no other humans created except Eve. When they sinned in the Garden, the world outside of the Garden was changed by God who went back into to time and allowed the creation to be flawed from the beginning. This is what Adam saw when he left the Garden, and was barred from returning to the Garden. God who is not temporal recreated what was “good” and “very good” into a world with sin present at the beginning of creation. This allowed the “survival of the fittest” sin to be present from the start. Man and nature are without peace and harmony. Lastly, when Christ returns, a new heavens and earth will be recreated again as spelled out in Revelation and prophecy. Taking the Bible as a whole, this is what has happened.

            You stated: Do you have scripture to support the assertion that the world was ever perfect? Can you define perfect and describe what it is and is not? I find no such statement anywhere in the Bible. Perhaps I am missing something.

            Comment: When man sinned, he separated himself from God, from woman, from himself, from nature, and nature separated itself from itself. Separational chaos. Read Romans 8:20-24 for just one example of the world being perfect before the fall. The ground was cursed Perry. Before the sin it was not cursed and in perfect harmony with Adam.
            Nature before the fall. Nature’s state before the fall was one of peace and harmony. Men did not eat animals nor did the animals eat each other (note Isaiah 11:6-10 shows what God will do again to have peace and harmony for man at that great day.) There was no shedding of blood.
            Immediately after the fall, things changed, and nature began to suffer. Blood was shed to provide a covering for Adam and Eve and a sacrifice pleasing to God (see Genesis 3:21; 4:4). After the judgment of the flood, God put a fear of man in the animals and permitted man to eat the meat of all the animals, so long as the blood was removed:
            And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood (Genesis 1:29-30).
            When the Law of Moses was given to the Israelite nation, men were still allowed to eat meat. But now it was only certain “clean” meat and only when killed and eaten as God commanded. The prophets spoke of a future day when God’s redemption of man and nature was complete and man and nature would live in harmony. It was meant to be this way from the start.
            And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox. And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea. Then it will come about in that day That the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious (Isaiah 11:6-10). This represents how it was at the beginning before the sin of Adam and Eve.
            Nature after the fall. Romans 8:20-24 The sense of the apostle in these four verses we may take in the following observations: – (1.) That there is a present vanity to which the creature, by reason of the sin of man, is made subject, Rom_8:20. When man sinned, the ground was cursed for man’s sake, and with it all the creatures (especially of this lower world, where our acquaintance lies) became subject to that curse, became mutable and mortal. Under the bondage of corruption, Rom_8:21. There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which the creature has contracted by the fall of man: the creation is sullied and stained, much of the beauty of the world gone. There is an enmity of one creature to another; they are all subject to continual alteration and decay of the individuals, liable to the strokes of God’s judgments upon man. When the world was drowned, and almost all the creatures in it, surely then it was subject to vanity indeed. The whole species of creatures is designed for, and is hastening to, a total dissolution by fire. And it is not the least part of their vanity and bondage that they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. The creatures are often abused to the dishonor of their Creator, the hurt of his children, or the service of his enemies. When the creatures are made the food and fuel of our lusts, they are subject to vanity, they are captivated by the law of sin. And this not willingly, not of their own choice. All the creatures desire their own perfection and consummation; when they are made instruments of sin it is not willingly. Or, They are thus captivated, not for any sin of their own, which they had committed, but for man’s sin: By reason of him who hath subjected the same. Adam did it meritoriously; the creatures being delivered to him, when he by sin delivered himself he delivered them likewise into the bondage of corruption. God did it judicially; he passed a sentence upon the creatures for the sin of man, by which they became subject. And this yoke (poor creatures) they bear in hope that it will not be so always. Ep’ elpidi hoti kai, etc. – in hope that the creature itself; so many Greek copies join the words. We have reason to pity the poor creatures that for our sin have become subject to vanity. (2.) That the creatures groan and travail in pain together under this vanity and corruption, Rom_8:22. It is a figurative expression. Sin is a burden to the whole creation; the sin of the Jews, in crucifying Christ, set the earth a quaking under them. The idols were a burden to the weary beast, Isa_46:1. There is a general outcry of the whole creation against the sin of man: the stone crieth out of the wall (Hab_2:11), the land cries, Job_31:38. (3.) That the creature, that is now thus burdened, shall, at the time of the restitution of all things, be delivered from this bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom_8:21) – they shall no more be subject to vanity and corruption, and the other fruits of the curse; but, on the contrary, this lower world shall be renewed: when there will be new heavens there will be a new earth (2Pe_3:13; Rev_21:1); and there shall be a glory conferred upon all the creatures, which shall be (in the proportion of their natures) as suitable and as great an advancement as the glory of the children of God shall be to them. The fire at the last day shall be a refining, not a destroying annihilating fire. What becomes of the souls of brutes, that go downwards, none can tell. But it should seem by the scripture that there will be some kind of restoration of them. And if it be objected, What use will they be of to glorified saints? we may suppose them of as much use as they were to Adam in innocency; and if it be only to illustrate the wisdom, power, and goodness of their Creator, that is enough. Compare with this Psa_96:10-13; Psa_98:7-9. Let the heavens rejoice before the Lord, for he cometh. (4.) That the creature doth therefore earnestly expect and wait for the manifestation of the children of God, Rom_8:19. Observe, At the second coming of Christ there will be a manifestation of the children of God. Now the saints are God’s hidden ones, the wheat seems lost in a heap of chaff; but then they shall be manifested. It does not yet appear what we shall be (1Jo_3:2), but then the glory shall be revealed. The children of God shall appear in their own colors. And this redemption of the creature is reserved till then; for, as it was with man and for man that they fell under the curse, so with man and for man they shall be delivered. All the curse and filth that now adhere to the creature shall be done away then when those that have suffered with Christ upon earth shall reign with him upon the earth. This the whole creation looks and longs for; and it may serve as a reason why now a good man should be merciful to his beast. (copied from Henry’s commentary which reviews it much better than I can.)

            Perfect means having no mistakes or flaws, completely correct or accurate, and having all the qualities for all situations. Matthew 5:48 So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 1 Peter 1:15-16 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. Ephesians 5:1 Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children.

            Still, Nature is the work of God to the degree that it reflects the creation. It bears the testimony to His nature and attributes. Nature also reflects God’s perfection as follows:
            1. Creation witnesses to God’s invisible attributes of eternal power and divine nature. Romans 1:18-20; Psalms 114:1-1-8
            2. Creation witnesses to God’s grace. Matthew 5:44-45
            3. Creation witnesses to God’s faithfulness in caring for His creatures. Matthew 6:28-32
            4. Nature reveals God’s infinite knowledge. Matthew 10:29-31
            5. Nature reveals God’s infinite wisdom. Proverbs 8:22-31; Job 38:1-7
            6. Nature reveals God’s holiness. Exodus 19:16-20
            7. Nature reveals God’s glory. Psalms 19:1-6
            8. Nature reveals God’s righteousness. Psalms 50:1-6; 90:1-6
            9. Nature reveals certain standards of conduct. Romans 1:18-27
            10. Nature praises God. Psalms 84:1-4; 96:11-13; 98:4-9.
            11. Natures suffering and hope. Genesis 1:24-31; Romans 8:18-25
            Finally, God’s attributes are as follows and is His perfection: omniscience, omnipresent, omnipotent, immutable, immaterial, personal, rational, nontemporal, necessary, independent, unconditional, uncaused and infinite. For us to try and understand some of this is not possible, because this is GOD. This confession is no more than you admitting that you don’t know how the origin of life began or how language began in humans, or how the immaterial mind and material brain work, or how the anthropic principle occurred, etc. You simply don’t know. Oh yeah, one thing is not perfection, creating a suffering world, and if you cannot understand that, I cannot help you.

            Your statement: Do you have scripture to support the statement that God only creates total perfection?
            Comment: see above. Still the perfect cannot create the imperfect (contradiction). Man caused imperfection not God.

            Regards,

            • The nature that you refer to in all these verses is the nature that all of us can see, touch and hear – the imperfect nature of now. None of these passages refer to a perfect nature of the past which no longer exists. Yes, the finite and imperfect testify to both the infinite and the perfect.

              Jesus did not go back in time and make Lazarus un-sick. Jesus reversed the death process. Same with his own resurrected body which still had scars. Had Jesus done what William Dembski describes, Lazarus would have never died at all because Jesus would have changed history after the fact.

              You don’t know that there were no other humans before Adam and Eve. Cain went and built a city after he killed Abel. A city for who? And he took a wife. A wife from where? Scripture only records Adam, Eve and Cain being alive at that time.

              Romans 8 says creation was subjected to frustration. It doesn’t say it was perfect before that. And I request of you to define what “perfect” even would have been and support your statements with scripture.

              Please cite scripture to support your assertion that Isaiah 11 is describing the way the earth was, and not simply the way it will be in the future.

              • Bill Freeman says:

                Lets face it Perry, there is no answer that will please you. And I mean no answer. That is your problem.

                As regards humans before Adam, they are not mentioned. So you don’t know either. You just want to believe that simply because you have a thesis you want to prove.

                Romans says nothing of the kind. It says what it says and you are in a spot. The Church since today and even your own, believes what I have said.

                I can ask you the same. Please cite scripture that supports your assertion that Isaiah 11 does not describe the way the earth was. It says what it says and what the Church says today. If you don’t know this, I cannot help you.

                Dembski is right and you cannot prove otherwise.

                And how do you know the Trinity did not go back in time? I think it did because it had to change what happened. Your comments on Lazarus makes no sense.

                My bottom line is God is perfect. You are given the proof, but you cannot understand it. The Perfect did not create the imperfect. The earth was perfect until Adam sinned. Give me scripture that says otherwise. Give me Scripture that says God is not perfect and define perfect for me.

                I know that I am right. You are out there floating in space without truth. Sorry Perry, I cannot help you because you don’t want to be helped. You are trying to prove that the Darwin theory is wrong, which I agree, but I don’t agree with your hypothesis about a suffering world created by God.

                • Bill,

                  The wolf will live with the lamb,
                  the leopard will lie down with the goat,
                  the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
                  and a little child will lead them.
                  7
                  The cow will feed with the bear,
                  their young will lie down together,
                  and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

                  Every single verb in the entire chapter of Isaiah 11 is future tense. Can you show me a verb in this chapter that is past tense?

                  What commonly understood hermeneutical principle would suggest that Isaiah 11 is talking about something that happened before?

                  Lazarus died, then he rose again. He did not die, and then have Jesus step in and prevent his death from ever happening. Please show me any place in scripture where an action taken in the present alters a past event. I see no evidence in Luke that Jesus went back and changed what originally happened.

                  • Bill Freeman says:

                    Future tense does not mean anything. It is only saying that this is how it will be again when God created the perfect earth. There would be no reason for Isaiah to make this prophecy. Why would it be different than it was in the past? God does not create imperfection.

                    Perry, you are out of step with the Church. My position is not mine. It is church doctrine as in your Church. Doctrine is what the congregation knows to be revealed. You can take a different position, but you are off by yourself. This says something.

                    As regards Lazarus, you see no evidence in anything which does not agree with your position, even if God told you so. I see it with out any problem. I see no proof by you to say otherwise. I see no place in Scripture that says God did not go back in time. Actually, God is not restricted in time as you want to make Him. He is the Universal. He is not in the box.

                    This conversation is over as far as I am concerned. As I said, you would keep your positions even if God told you they were wrong. I have the Church on my side, and I will go with it, not you Perry. God did not create a suffering world. That is preposterous.

  20. little hugger says:

    ID has no control over how it is perceived. It is well known that the scientific community is worse than a pack of pecking hens. Point of fact, most scientists “believe” in Darwinism, specifically because it excludes God, and instead, swallow incredible theories. Darwinism is replete with staggering miracles, from Creation on, that they cannot possibly explain, except with could, and possibles. The bottom line is, they NEED a Godless theory to justify their blindness.
    Thus, you will ALWAYS have them twittering over form. They have no rational explanations for the elephant gaps in their beliefs. Nor can they prove God does not exist. For them, its a matter of faith, not science, which they will cling to, in the face of all proof.
    Lots of scientists have rejected new discoveries over the centuries, for reasons of pride or stubbornness. They got left behind.

    • Bill Freeman says:

      LIttle Hugger:

      In my studies over the years, you are right on. Truly, science only discovers what is already made, and supposedly, they will learn from this work as the great founders of modern science did. Darwinism is what you say it is, it is a theory and many times hypothesis of how man believes the world was developed, without the Trinity. One day at death they will get the shock of their lives. I appreciate your comments.

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