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Posted by S.H. Le on November 3, 1999 00:17:19 UTC
Okay, letís examine your question.
"How can we determine if anything has an intelligent source for its origin? Please give me your standard. If I should tell you that the heart, lung, kidney, thyroid, skin, digestive system, brain, liver, and gall bladder are all essential to life, would you disagree? "
So youíre making claim on the plausability of these complex systems evolving without intelligent design. Clearly the question you pose is: "is it possible for these things (which happen to be very complex) to evolve without an intelligent maker?"
"If you were sent to a distant planet and found a computer there, would this be enough to convince you that intelligent life had been present? "
My answer is yes, it would. However, you make an analogy concerning living things, and compare them to objects known to be artificial. Your criteria for assessing evidences for the existence of intelligent beings is flawed because it doesnít distinguish between God (supposed creator of the universe) or an super intelligent alien species (about as intelligent or more intelligent then we). If I saw a computer on a distant planet, I immediately know that those things donít exist naturally in nature, so of course Iíd suspect the existence of intelligent beings. I might think ETís live there. But, if I saw trees and cats just lying around on a distant planet, this doesnít strike me as evidence for a supreme being, because those things are found naturally in nature. You forget,. THAT is the hypothesis in question. You canít assume the point youíre trying to prove. Is it possible for the complexity of life to have arisen without God? Your analogy doesnít suggest the existence of God because it COULD also be a super intelligent alien. You donít make that distinction. At best your criteria would let us know if intelligent aliens were around.
"Would you disagree with me if I said that all nature has a natural tendency to go from order to disorder? If you agree with this, in view of atheism, please explain how did we get the order that is in the universe to start with? "
This I do not agree with. The universe is guided by physical laws as Greg explains. Thus everything has a tendancy to head towards ORDER. Heat has a tendancy to go from hot to cold, why? Balance. Nature doesnít like imbalance. There are mountains of examples of this, ranging from how unstable ions that are charged like to meet an oppositely charged ion so that a neutral ion is formed, to how animals establish an equilibrim with the environment through the food chain. This relationship is found in matter and animals alike. Nature produces some disorder, but it doesnít not have that tendancy to complete head to that direction.
Furthermore, I believe that nothing is created or destroyed, only ever evolving matter in an infinite universe. This very general sense of pervasive change could be considered evolution.
"Is outside energy to a system enough to produce complexity? Must that energy be regulated by something else that is also complex?"
Here youíre suggesting that sheer complexity is indicative of intelligent design. Wouldnít you say that randomness is also complex? Is an outside energy enough? I donít see why not, and you donít provide any reasons why it isnít.
Moreover, your question might be extended further. Well what regulates that higher complexity? And that higher one? It goes on for infinity. So far, there is no reason to believe the contrary.
"Aren't intelligent sources responsible for all machinery with several essential parts? Is atheism rational?"
No. Nature has many cycles that seem to act machine-like. Again the question is, "is it possible for the complexity of life to arise without God?" You cannot assume the answer to this question is yes, because that would be to assume your thesis in your argument. That is a circular argument.
The atheist beleives that it IS possible. I think atheism is perfectly rational.
P.S. brevity is not my strong pointÖ obviously.
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