Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab

Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab - life - 09 June 2008 - New Scientist

I'll make this article shorter for everyone who doesn't want to read it all. In short, over the last twenty years, bacteria in a laboratory has spontaneously evolved in front of the scientists eyes! Thats right, they have seen evolution in action themselves now with E-Coli bacteria evolving to be able to metabolism citrate! This is the type of thing that should crush creationists argument against evolution, but it won't. It is the type of evidence they have always asked for, but will ignore it now. We have links in human evolution now, we have links in many animals evolution, we have geological evidence of evolution, and now we have seen evolution happen in real time.

Evolution happened people, no god created you! To say other wise is now simply ignorant and ridiculous!(as if it wasn't before).


joe said...

While evolution is an attempt to explain the diversity of living things, be careful, it cannot explain how the first cell or cells originated. This is where Richard Dawkins mad his big blunder with Ben Stein in the documentary, Expelled No Intelligence allowed. When confronted with the question of where the first cell of life came from Dawkins wimped out by claiming that aliens could have been responsible for it, rather than answer the question. He did not pose a logical answer he only moved it to a different planet. That is, even if life was started here by some other life form it does not answer where the first cell came from. He committed the fallacy of infinite regression and actually, in a roundabout way, did more to support Stein’s position. By stating that life had to originate outside of this planet he has substantiated that life could not originate spontaneously and this is the whole point of the Intelligent Design movement. The law of biogenesis applies no matter where you place it, that is, any and all experiments have pointed to the fact that life can only beget life. To put it another way, life does not originate from dead matter no matter how well one tries to assemble it. Yes I know, you will most probably quote many experiments that have been conducted in the science lab, again be careful; even if scientists someday eventually create life in the laboratory this will serve to support the creationists point even further because it will take a team of intelligent scientists to do it. Even more, if scientists manage to create life in a laboratory this does nothing to explain how the fist cell originated. This is a very serious obstacle for Dawkins and any other evolutionist that chooses to leave out an Intelligent Designer. The French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur proved through his discovery of the pasteurization process that life has to come from living viable cells, so I ask you from whence came the first cell?

Anonymous said...

Remember, what you are saying is that they are now able to metabolize this material, I don't see anything about a completely new type of bacteria, all I see is a creature changing "within the kinds" as the Bible would say.

Schnoodle said...

By the way we do not have links in evolution, let's not forget the extinct pig's tooth. Besides nothing spontaneously happens in a laboratory; a laboratory is by definition a controlled environment. Would the E-Coli have “evolved” left to itself and in its natural environment? I do not think so. This is the problem with attempting to “prove” evolution in a laboratory, all the variables are controlled so that the end result is predestined, or at the very least hypothesized to a high degree of predictability and probability. We must not forget the very foundation, and yes I am a foundationalist, of evolutionary presupposition. That is, everything has evolved through an unguided, unrestrained and completely naturalistic process that left all variables and elements to complete chance. These processes and variables cannot be duplicated and thus they cannot be proven. At least they cannot be proven in any empirical method. That brings us to the self-defeating proposition of attempting to “prove” evolution in a closed system, such as a laboratory. For evolution to be it is imperative that an open system, that is a system outside of any influence or directive force – God or scientist, be postulated so that every naturalistic process can be free to operate. Let us turn to a different twist on the whole laboratory issue on June 13, 2008 it was published that scientists from Harvard had produced a living self-replicating cell. Now I have not finished my research to confirm this and it will take a while for the real facts to come out because this claim has been made before by other scientists in the past and later found to be false. However, for the moment and for the sake of my evolutionary readers, I will give it credibility. This is only because of a post on Rudd-O.com asking, “Where was my Messiah now?” – Just where he is supposed to be, at the right hand of the Father watching me type this out. Let us examine this for a moment, please indulge me for the time being this should get interesting. 100 years ago John P.D. John put forth the claim that at that moment in history life had not been created in the lab. So scientists have been working on this at the minimum of at least 100 years, probably more; so if in fact Team Harvard has managed to do it, it took them 100 years to do so. Now, how much accumulative knowledge have they gained over the last hundred years? How many times did they have to go through the process of trial and error until they got just the right mixture? (Include more knowledge to pass on to the next scientist.) How smart do you suppose the scientists were who continued this process over the past century? I mean I am not that smart, most people I know are not that smart to have to do the leg work of research, experiment, more research – pass the baton to the next generation… Are beginning to get the picture? I will assume that all those scientists were highly intelligent, I’m sorry there’s the, I word, couple that with design and what do you get? That’s right Intelligent Design. It took, at the very least, 100 years worth of intelligent scientists hypothesizing, theorizing, researching, experimenting and trying over and over again to finally succeed in producing life in a laboratory. This is a Creationist’s dream. I mean if scientists had taken a sample from the moon once every month for the past hundred years and all of a sudden there was a self-replicating cell present in one of the samples this would be a monumental event for the evolutionist because this self-replicating cell would have come about through completely naturalistic methods in an open system. But for scientist to prove it takes guided processes, a very high degree of intelligence and 100 years worth of experimenting to produce a living self-replicating cell and an evolutionist continues to deny an Intelligent Designer they are completely intellectually dishonest. Where’s Darwin when you need him?

konquererz said...

Alright guys, good comments. However, it has been 25 years since scientists were able to form the building blocks of life by simply shocking what is believed to be the chemicals present when the earth was young.

Then this bacteria changing in the lab.

And now, recently on NPR they interviewed a scientist whose experiments had an accidental evolutionary answer. Molecules spontaneously started reproducing, molecules created by zapping "primordial news". But then, something else happened, they put the molecules under the microscope and found rudimentary RNA, the precursor building blocks of DNA.

And then, the molecules started taking other parts in the soup that weren't originally used, and started making new different molecules the replicating those new molecules!

Links in the chain guys, links in the chain. All the evidence points to evolution starting the way science says it did. Not that an invisible deity that was never born or created itself, created everything in seven days.

Science or magic?

Schnoodle said...

OK! I will say this slowly so you might grasp the breadth and the depth of what I am saying. Anytime you say scientist in conjunction with laboratory and experiment you precluded any and all spontaneity because there is the scientist guiding and directing the experiment. I will use an example, if I line up 10,000 dominos in a row and push the first one I cannot claim that any domino after the first one falling fell spontaneously; the laws governing cause and effect forbid any such statement. Many chemicals can be so arranged as to manifest a chain reaction, but I say again they must be arranged just so. In addition, this still does not answer the question of the first cell happening spontaneously. That is, without any pre-arranging of any molecules whatsoever. Can dominos become perfectly aligned 10,000 in a row spontaneously? No, it would never happen and that is my point. Without the scientist creating the proper mixture for the chain of reactions to happen it would never happen. But I digress, I shall simplify it further; anytime you say that a scientist “created” anything in a lab it precludes any and all evolutionary theory, especially when you put in the term “spontaneous”. It is a self-defeating statement at best. Either, something happens spontaneously or it is created any other statement violates the principle of non-contradiction. That is to say, anytime a scientist creates something – he has indeed created something. If he is merely an observer then spontaneity can be claimed and therefore the conclusion would apply. However, if he plays any role whatsoever in setting a stage then he is no longer an objective observer and has influenced the outcome and thus spontaneity is precluded from any and all conclusions resulting from the “experiment”.

konquererz said...

Well well, thanks for speaking slowly doodle. For a moment I almost forgot you were the one arguing against science in the favor of an invisible being creating everything out of thin air who himself was never created but was just always there and with out a shred of evidence.

Okay, let me help you out.

1. coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned

So, lets review.
1. science has put any number of possible combinations of chemicals that existed in the beginning and they all create building block proteins with a simple shock. That is not only highly possible, but over millions of years, statistically impossible that this very combination would not eventually come together.

2. No one was trying to create molecules out of these proteins, nor where they trying to make RNA in the molecules nor were they trying to make molecules reproduce, nor were they trying to make them mutate into different molecules. But, in the same "primordial stew" they did. And it falls under the definition of spontaneous. I'm sorry if you don't like how it is defined, but you don't get to chose.

3. Want "missing links" to human evolution? There are many. Many more even for other species. You are VERY uneducated about evolution is you still believe we found no links.

A. Australopithecus afarensis
B. Australopithecus africanus
C. Paranthropus aethiopicus
D. Paranthropus bosei
E. Homo habilis
F. Homo ergaster
G. Homo erectus
H. Homo floresiensis
I. Cro-Magnon
J. Neanderthal

And keep in mind, Neanderthal isn't even one of our decendents. Thousands of neanderthal hominids populated Europe before we, modern humans, came about. They find hundreds of skeletons showing they ruled about 10,000 years.

Thats not even to say the other missing links between land animals and whales and other creatures. Any one who says there are no links needs to educate themselves because you are using bad data.

Back to the lab issue. You say in nature it could NEVER happen. Really? So those exact chemicals that are abundant on this planet for millions of years, during a very turbulent time could NEVER come together just right? Well, nice try. Over millions of years, its nearly impossible that they wouldn't. As well, since science has found so many different combinations, we now know that it didn't have to be a very specific combination and that likely it happened more than one time. After all, in a lab it happened by accident in less than ten years, more than once. In nature, it had MILLIONS of years. Statistically, given the time allotted to it, every single possible combination had a high probability of happening more than once on such a large planet give such a huge amount of time.

Listen, I get it, this cramps your beliefs. But don't try to argue science when your alternative is an invisible being who always existed created everything out of thin air.

See, what I believe to be true has at least been shown to be POSSIBLE in a lab. What you believe hasn't ever been seen, replicated, or had anything remotely close to it happen. Zero evidence.

Then theres that whole question of who created god. Since of course, one of the prime arguments you creationists have is everything needs a beginning. Why don't you turn your "genius" on trying to figure out how something can just "always be" then get back with us. If you say faith, then you have zero ground to argue on in science. Fact is, there is tons of evidence for evolution, and all the evidence for "design" is people trying to poke holes in evolution with the ridiculous belief that if its not evolution, it must be god. Like there are no other possibilities.

Thanks for responding again, I much appreciate it.

Schnoodle said...

I do not have time to respond, in full right now but just wanted to thank you for your response. I will be responding soon. However, I remind you I do not revert to God because I lack scientific understanding but because I truly understand the scientific laws and thier implications. Nevertheless, it will haver to wait for now as I am scheduled to work this weekend, but again thanks for your response. I will answer to the issue of transitional fossils first then work my way down your list. I am not mistaken either, I have no intention or motive to change what you believe, I only challenge you as to why you believe it. It is not due to empirical evidence but due to metapgysical presuppositions.

Schnoodle said...

First, let begin by stating I never argue against science. I love science I just hate it when it is not used appropriately and when scientists step out of their field of expertise into the world of metaphysics or philosophy. The evolutionist does this regularly but never admits to it; and when they do they ask me to set aside all reasoning and logic to believe their bogus claims. I told you before I am a foundationalist and I was a foundationalist long before I was a theist. Theism was the only logical conclusion when everything is reasoned properly. However, I will begin my rebuttal by explaining just why I hold the beliefs that I do, logically. Something I challenge you to do without emotional appeal or personal insult. I would like to make one thing clear, I do not care that you are an atheist and I know that this essay will not change your mind. Think about this a minute. Let us suppose that I am right and there is a God. What do I care if you believe or do not believe in him; really it is no skin off my back. You make your own choices and I make mine. I am just hoping at the minimum you will know that I did not come to faith rooted in ignorance or misinformation. You obviously are well read and of above average intelligence and I do find it stimulating to engage you in these frivolous debates. It exercises my mind and allows me to consider what the other side is actually saying. To your credit I find you to right on target with what you propose, at least in the aspect that you appear to remain consistent with the presuppositions of your own worldview; and to that I truly commend you. Now I think you will find that while our worldviews may differ we still have many things in common. First, everyone can have only one foundational belief and only one; and believe it or not all people share the same foundational belief – whether they admit it or not. That belief is, “Something about reality can be known”. The only difference rests in the way we make determinations about what we know about reality that is our methodology. I will first share mine, and explain, and then I will share yours and critique it for its ability to tell us about reality. To access any claims about reality I first stack it up against these basic 12 first principles to see how well the claim holds up. These are first principles because they are self-evident or true by nature or undeniable because the predicate is reducible to the subject. That is, you cannot deny them without using them. Here are the basic first principles.
12 Basic First Principles

1. Being Is (B is) = The Principle of Existence.
a. Something exists. I exist. This is undeniable because to deny my own existence I would have to exist. In explicitly denying my own existence I implicitly affirm it.
2. Being Is Being (B is B) = The Principle of Identity.
a. A thing must be identical to itself. If it were not it would not be itself.
3. Being is not Nonbeing (B is not non-B) = The Principle of Non-contradiction.
a. Being cannot be nonbeing because they are opposites. If one holds that opposites can both be true will not hold that the opposite of this statement is true. (You cannot deny it without using it.)
4. Either Being or Nonbeing (Either B or Non-B) = The Principle of the Excluded Middle.
a. Since opposites cannot both be true, there is no middle ground on this one. I either exist or I do not. A first principle can be used in the affirmation of another. However, I will use a simpler example for the principle of the excluded middle – a woman cannot be a little pregnant she either is or she is not pregnant.
5. Nonbeing cannot cause Being (Non-B ↛B) = The Principle of Causality.
a. Here is where it gets fun. Since nothing exists only what exists can cause existence. The very notion of “cause” implies that something exists to cause something to exist. Everything that has a beginning has a cause. And I will answer your question as to how God could “always be”.
6. Contingent Being cannot cause Contingent Being (B ͨ ↛ B ͨ) = The Principle of Contingency (or Dependency).
a. If something cannot be caused by nothing (#5), then neither can anything be caused by something that could be nothing. Whatever could not be cannot account for its own existence. And whatever cannot account for its own existence cannot account for another. That is, since whatever is contingent or dependent for its being cannot cause itself to be it must rely on something that is necessary for its existence. And now we are at principle seven.
7. Only Necessary Being Can Cause a Contingent Being (Bᴺ →B ᶜ) = The Positive Principle of Modality. (Modality = Proposition of necessity or possibility). Since absolutely nothing cannot cause something (#5). Neither can one contingent kind (mode) of being cause another contingent being (6). So if anything comes to be, it must be caused by a Necessary Being.
8. Necessary Being Cannot Cause Necessary Being (B ᴺ ↛ B ᴺ) = The Negative Principle of Modality. (Modality = Proposition of necessity or possibility). A Necessary Being is by definition a mode (kind) of Being that cannot not be. That is by its very mode it must be. It cannot come to be or cease to be. Because anything that could not be is not necessary.
9. Every Contingent Being Is Caused by a Necessary Being (B ᴺ → B ᶜ) = The Principle of Existential Causality.
a. Every contingent being must have a cause because a contingent being is but does not have to be.
10. Necessary Being Exits (B ᴺ exists) = The Principle of Existential Necessity.
a. The principle of existential necessity follows from two other principles, #1 The Principle of Existence, and #5 The Principle of Causality.
b. Since something undeniably exists (#1) it is either (a.) all contingent or (b.) all necessary or (c.) some is necessary and some are contingent. Both B and C acknowledge a Necessary being, and A is logically impossible, being contrary to the self-evident principle of #5. For if all beings is (are) contingent, then it is possible for all beings not to exist. That is, a state of total nothingness is possible. But something now undeniably exists (e.g. I do), as was stated in premise #1 and nothing cannot cause something (#5). Therefore, it is not possible (i.e. it is impossible) for nothing to exist (since something does exist), then something necessarily exists (i.e. a Necessary Being exists). That is to say, if something exists and if nothing cannot cause something, then it follows that something must exist necessarily. For if something did not necessarily exist, then nothing would have caused the something that does exist. Since it is impossible for nothing to cause something, then it is necessary for something to always have been. Once you have absorbed this I will post the explanation of the last two later.
11. Contingent Being Exists (Bᶜ exists) = The Principle of Existential Contingency.
12. Necessary Being is similar to similar Contingent Being(s) it Causes (Bᴺ — similar → Bᶜ) = The Principle of Analogy. (Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, 1999, Baker Academic)
I will assume for the moment that you do not accept any statement as having value unless it passes the rigorous scientific method. That is the verification principle. David Hume originally claimed that for a statement to be meaningful it had to be true by definition or else empirically verifiable. While there are many things that are empirically verifiable there are many things that are not. Like the statement that the only statements that have any meaning are only those statements that are true by definition or else are empirically verifiable. When you make science the alpha and the omega of all meaningful knowledge it becomes a self-defeating proposition. So the epistemological value is nullified. While it is true that something can be known about reality, the verification principle does not go far enough in its explanatory value. That is, it does not give us the entire picture. There are many things that we accept everyday as meaningful or true that is not scientifically or empirically verifiable. However, if one rejects all metaphysical explanations of reality then that is what one is left with; and based on that alone the most you can truly claim is agnosticism. That is nothing can be known about God or that He is unknowable so far as science is concerned. Conversely, agnosticism is also a self-defeating belief system also. To make any statement about God implies that one has, at the minimum, some knowledge about God. That is, for one to say that something is unknowable about something one would have to possess at least that much knowledge about that in which he or she is speaking. Nevertheless, I know that you are completely comfortable in your atheism and that is fine. I am comfortable in my Theism and I doubt anyone of us are really going to change the others mind. Again, I do find these posts engaging and entertaining to say the least. By the way, it was a joke. You know the saying it slowly comment, I would have hoped you of all people would have got it. However, I do apologize if you were offended.
In response to the chemicals being present on the planet for billions or even millions of years, the statement has no explanatory value. The raw materials for making a Ferrari are present also but no one would make the claim that it would eventually “evolve” or come to be in and of itself. By the way I read the article concerning the RNA and here are a few excerpts.
“Rather than start with RNA enzymes - ribozymes - present in other organisms, Joyce's team created its own molecule from scratch, called R3C. It performed a single function: stitching two shorter RNA molecules together to create a clone of itself.”
“Further lab tinkering made this molecule better at copying itself, but this is not the same as bringing it to life. It self-replicated to a point, but eventually clogged up in shapes that could no longer sew RNA pieces together. "It was a real dog," Joyce says.
To improve R3C, Lincoln redesigned the molecule to forge a sister RNA that could itself join two other pieces of RNA into a functioning ribozyme. That way, each molecule makes a copy of its sister, a process called cross replication. The population of two doubles and doubles until there are no more starting bits of RNA left.
Not content with achieving one hallmark of life in the lab, Joyce and Lincoln sought to evolve their molecule by natural selection. They did this by mutating sequences of the RNA building blocks, so that 288 possible ribozymes could be built by mixing and matching different pairs of shorter RNAs.
"I wouldn't call these molecules alive," he cautions.
Sounds like a lot of intelligence and hands on experimenting went into this one. It does not sound to “spontaneous” to me, like I stated before it did not happen by itself. “Created its own molecule.” “Further lab tinkering” “Redesigned the molecule” What happens when the RNA bits run out – do the scientists “create” more. They forced the mutations. Come on you can do better than this. Just because an engineer takes the raw materials out of the ground and forges it into a Ferrari does not mean that it would happen “spontaneously”. The same applies to the RNA and by the way they said it did not constitute life not me.

konquererz said...

Okay, first off, very good post. I would have responded sooner, but I'm battling with Bronchitis, have a work project this weekend, and, well, its just plain allot to digest in one sitting. I think I have it all broken down fairly well.

So, I have a few points of discussion.

1. Statistically, due to the space, diversity, and time frames of evolution, if it can be proven that it CAN happen, then statistically it improbably that it wouldn't happen. Being that they have shown that there are multiple environments in which you can generate proteins and amino acids, the building blocks of life, then it is unlikely that these circumstances would not have happened more than once in early earth life.

2. Your 12 principles preclude all life in that God himself would necessarily have to have a creator, which religion would deny. Something cannot simply always exist. Now, this obviously lends a problem to evolution as well. However, there is simply no way to test the existence of a supreme creator. One has to start with the underlying principle that said creator MUST exist. Which leads me to my third point of discussion.

3. It is not necessary to attribute the unknown to the super natural. In absence of natural explanation, a super natural cause doesn't solve the problem. Instead, it makes it more problematic as the supernatural cannot be tested. Further, assigning anything to the supernatural necessarily stifles further investigation of the subject. In other words, god did it, stop investigation as to how it happened. How did we get here? God did it. In the end, that is no answer at all. It explains nothing.

4. Assuming that there is no natural cause implies a lack of creativity and imagination on our end. We cannot envision something we have not known before. In a sense, it must be based on something. Thus, the average person cannot fully understand anything until it is discovered. We cannot imagine a way other than god that this universe could have started, or life started. That is because we have not discovered it yet. Assigning that to a supernatural cause is a reflection of that. People used to not be able to see how we could not be the center of the universe. Until it was proven that we aren't.

5. The tests and experiments are obviously open to interpretation. It does mean that molecules WOULD necessarily split and copy itself and mutate and copy more, but it means that it COULD which puts us back at my previous point of statistics. As long as it can, statistically, it will. But we agree, I don't believe that necessarily constitutes life to me. But I will say that there is little difference between those molecules and single cell bacteria. VERY little.

6. The biggest evidence for gradual and slow evolution is that the fossil record is extremely clear. The earliest fossils are single celled organisms and they get progressively more complex. This is not debated, it is fact. There is no natural explanation for geological layering in that particular fashion. The only way that type of layering happens is that the creatures and bacteria from that time period were fossilize and now represent their time period. In other words, this is exactly what you would expect to see if there were a slow gradual evolution.

My apologizes, I did take offense at your "saying it slowly" comment. You have to understand that I get more hate mail than I get intelligent responses. People general aren't interested in discussion. For a while I had to moderate comments because they were so nasty and vulgar. As a result, I am usually on the defensive when it comes to responses.

In the end, neither you nor I will change our minds. I was a christian for 25 years, but thats another story for another day.

However, I am very curious how you see what I believe as based on metaphysical presuppositions? I have looked at the evidence and the logic links, many more than what I have listed today, point to evolution of some type. Though admittedly there is still discussion over how evolution happens. In the end, any problems with evolution are not evidence for god. There is still even less evidence for god. Even if evidence pointed to a designer, which is another discussion I don't want to get into right now, that designer would not necessarily have to be an all powerful all knowing god that always existed. We could have been an alien experiment as much as a product of a god. As well, belief in god is generally a matter of faith, which necessarily requires a metaphysical presupposition.

Schnoodle said...

Konquererz I will respond, for now, to #2 of your responses as it poses some in depth responses and it is not my intention to overload you, but I wanted to make it clear what my epistemological basis is. For two reasons, first, it will limit my senseless babbling so that I may stay consistent, second, it provides you with a basis for how I arrive at my conclusions without having to give the proverbial response – the bible says it, God did it, or any other response that would be rejected by anyone who does not accept my presuppositions.
1. I must refer you back to the principle of causality, (#5 - Nonbeing cannot cause Being (Non-B ↛B) = The Principle of Causality.) Since all things that have a beginning must have a cause then time has to have a cause also. Since Einstein established his theory of relativity we know that time, space and matter are all related. That being said, if matter had a beginning then it may stand to reason, through analogy, that time had a beginning as well. However, since this is inductive reasoning, of which establishes only possibilities and/or probabilities, I will move to a deductive argument by using Kalam’s Cosmological Argument, which if my premises are true then my conclusion must be true also.
Beginning ←--------------------------- (2009) ------------------------→Future
I will use this diagram to illustrate Kalam’s argument. I could not have typed an infinite amount of dashes, representing years, with my key board for if I had I would never be able to type in the year 2009. Therefore, only a finite amount of time could have passed, like the dashes, before we finally arrived at 2009, now. If you would like to discuss the impossibility of actual infinites within the created order we may do so later, suffice it to say I think I have done well enough in establishing that time had a beginning along with matter and space. That being said let’s move on.
2. Referring back to the previously listed principles I will sum up my argument. Time cannot cause itself, principle #6 – principle of contingency/dependency, and we know that time exists, principle #1 – principle of being, it is now, and we know that nonbeing cannot cause being, principle #5, we can conclude that a Necessary being could only have caused time, principle #7.
a. Time is contingent/dependent.
b. Time could not cause itself.
c. Only a Necessary cause could have caused time to come to be.
d. Only a Necessary Being caused time and is transcendent of time.
e. Necessary Being is eternal and is by definition uncaused.
3. It is out of necessity that one attributes to the cause of time an eternal aspect of its nature. Only that which stands outside of and not constrained to could give a proper explanation of time, and it is because of this very aspect of its nature that we, the finite, cannot test it. Therefore, we are dependent on the Cause to reveal itself within the finite bridging the gap from the infinite. One does not have to like this conclusion but it is nevertheless logical and consistent with the evidence.
This previous argument is foundational, would you expect anything less from a foundationalist, in that time is one very crucial aspect of cosmology, whether one is an atheist or a creationist. A proper understanding of time is the foundation from which most of my arguments will stem and this is just the beginning. If there is any aspect of this that I have failed to articulate in a cognitive fashion please let me know so that I can overcome my deficiencies and clarify this argument better. This is why; as you have said before given enough time many things are possible. I do not agree with the proposition but it is one I must give an answer. If I can show that the time is much shorter in duration, from the beginning to now, then your proposition fails. So therefore we must have a good foundational understanding of time to continue. Now, you are not required at the outset to agree with my conclusion. However, do you agree that time had a beginning? If so, then we have made a good start in our understanding of time and possibly its implications for both worldviews. In saying this, I am fully aware that whatever constraints I place on you I must be willing to follow as well.
In response to your final paragraph, you have no choice but to have metaphysical presuppositions because you posit a metaphysical statement within you worldview of atheism. A, Greek for no, theos, Greek for God = no God, which is an absolute statement. That is to say, there is no God, not here not anywhere, not now or at any time, none. While it may be said that I cannot empirically prove there is a God, you on the other hand are constrained by the verification principle as well. You cannot prove there is no God. So to state that there is no God is a metaphysical statement and since you hold this belief as your worldview me proposition is most assuredly true. Let me sum up, to have your worldview not grounded in metaphysical presuppositions you would have to possess absolute knowledge of everything that exists in all times and in all places. That is, you would have to possess the very attributes only given to God. As a matter of fact my worldview, prima fascia, would be the most logical of all of them. That is, I believe that a God exists among everything that exists. That is why I said in my last post that at the most the only thing you could actually claim is agnosticism but again even agnosticism is also self-refuting.
Remember also, a belief in God does not preclude me from discovering how things work or even how God did create everything. God commanded Adam and Eve to fill the earth and to subdue it that is to take dominion over it. To follow this command would, by necessity, require that man learn about that in which he was given dominion. (Apparently I had more time now that I realized I could speak faster and know you understood it. By the way, type slower next time as I cannot read that fast.)

Schnoodle said...

Also, I hope you are getting over your bronchitis. And probably against your wishes, I will pray for a speedy recovery for you. Good responses by the way. After I have had the time to establish our foundations I will move on to the secondary issues, the fossil record, geological layers and the supposed predecessors of man.


konquererz said...

Yeah, I'm getting over it, slowly. And my parents are christian and I would think less of them if they didn't pray for me still. I may not believe the same way, but to me, praying for someone is an act of compassion from them. So thank you, it is appreciated.

Alright, I think I know where you are going here and mind me if I get it wrong, but I want to head it off at the pass so to speak.

Timely is a human measurement, and not necessarily a creation as kalem and you are viewing it. At least that is how I see it. There are several theories about the universe that can contradict what we believe as solidly true. One states that there are an infinite number of parallel universes. One states we are only one in a mass of universes known as the multiverse.

Within these theories is a mathematical formula that can, for the first time, mathematically count past the "big bang". That theory states that our universe is not a new creation from nothing or a single point of infinite mass, but rather spawn from a hole in another universe.

Now, it of course seems far fetched until you look at the math and how well it explains everything.

My point is not to say this is true or not, but to say that your premise is based on that which you don't have the ability to yet imagine. Just because we cannot figure out the beginning of the universe does not mean it needed a god to create it. And even if it needed a creator, that creator would not necessarily be an omnipotent god. After all, quantum mechanics has shown us that we are all, in essence, just energy. And energy exists at all sizes. There is nothing to prevent us from being a lab experiment for something else.

While I don't believe that myself, the point is that despite the logical conclusions you are following, they are followed based on the premise that we can't figure out a different way so it must be god. That is a false premise of assumption. Simply because we do not know how the beginning started, in no way makes it necessary for something to have always existed.

I can follow your line of reasoning, but it isn't unlike the philosophers of old who came to the same type of premise about the earth being the center of the universe. Based on their knowledge and observation at that time, we HAD to be the center of the universe.

Can we really be certain that there had to be a god outside of time just because we can't figure out how else we were created or how "time" was "created"? Or is it possible that future discovery might shine more light on the matter? As well, there is not a single shred of evidence that it is even possible for something to live outside of space/time existence. Thus, the concept of a god living outside that would be a one off assumed to not follow the laws of nature simply because we can't think of another way, yet.

Times beginning is intriguing and it can be assumed that it had a beginning. But how the beginning start is unknown. We know that mathematically, it started from a single point. Beyond that is speculation. And all theories regarding it still need to follow natural law. God does not follow natural law. He would be the one thing ever that exists outside time, which according to what we know now, is not possible.

Now, to the atheist question and the idea that it is metaphysical. Its not, and I will explain why.

Of course, technically, all atheists are agnostics. Technically, there is no way to know for sure that there are no gods. As sure that there is no way to know that there are no fairies or elves or gnomes. No person can be at all places at all times simultaneously in order to prove that. You cannot prove a negative.

However, in practice, I am an atheist. But not unlike you.

You cannot prove that Allah, Cali, Thor, Mithras, or any number of animal or nature gods do not exist. In technicality you are an atheist regarding those gods. But in practice, you are an atheist regarding those gods because you don't believe they exist. You are an atheist regarding gods in practice just as I am, I just go one god further.

Ask yourself why you don't believe in these other gods. What makes them so unbelievable, then you can understand why I don't believe in your god. Of course, in technicality, I am an agnostic. And should true evidence of any god ever be shown, then yes, I will believe in that god. But until that day, in practice, I am an atheist.

I like the argument using time. The problem with the argument is that you are making the assumption that time had to begin in a particular fashion, and beginning in that particular fashion requires god. I won't contest a beginning, but I would contest a "creation" of time. As it relates to our universe, it is possible that "time" as science sees it, existed well before our universe. Especially if the multiverse theories are correct.

In that manner, there could still be a creator that could have initially created everything in the beginning, and that material spawned the "big bang" and everything evolved as we know it from there. But in the end, that still doesn't solve any problems.

Hey, if it seems like I am all over the board, I apologize. I think faster than I type. It is often that I am writing and then I think of something for an earlier topic and just switch subjects. Its a nasty habit that confuses people sometimes.

Schnoodle said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am still working on my response and will post it as soon as its done.


Schnoodle said...

Atheism is bound to one form of epistemological understanding reality, the verification principle. The verification principle states that, “propositions are meaningless unless they are empirically verifiable”. On the flip side is the falsification principle, which states, “propositions are meaningless unless it is shown to be false empirically”. Atheism is tethered to this method of epistemology because of the inherent claims contained within the view of not having God as the ultimate explanation of the created order. Atheism rejects any personal experiences or testimony of reality. Atheism also rejects any metaphysical explanations or interpretations of reality.
Atheism’s rejection of personal experiences and testimony restricts its ability to learn anything about reality. I do not want to ignore what some atheists will claim so I shall expound upon one facet of it now. That is, some would claim that atheists do not, in practice, reject personal experiences but accept many such experiences readily. This is not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. An atheist will accept testimony when the testimony agrees with certain presuppositions contained within the atheistic worldview, all other testimony is rejected. Accepting only the testimony that confirms the premise is not accepting personal experiences as a valid accounting of reality. If a theist postulates any personal experiences or relates any of another’s personal experiences of reality it is firmly rejected on the grounds that the testimony lacks empirical verifiability. If any personal testimony and/or experiences are rejected for this reason then all such experiences should be rejected for this reason. That is any experiences that are not empirically verifiable.
Atheism also rejects any and all metaphysical explanations of reality as these types of explanations are implicitly rejected within the atheistic worldview. Atheism is the most exclusive of all worldviews because it rejects any claims of mystic, spiritual, or Godly explanations or reality. If an atheist lets even just one such explanation in he or she is being inconsistent with his or her chosen worldview. The atheist is only left with purely naturalistic explanations that are empirically verifiable. I will even concede the notion that some things must, of necessity, be left to future generations to prove empirically their validity. There are many aspects of the universe that was theorized by former great thinkers and later validated by still other great men of science. However, when considering atheisms basic tenets their epistemological tool chest is rather small and inconsistent. That is to say, atheism is limited to only propositions that are verified, or proven false, by empirical verifiability and this leads me to my next premise.
Atheism is foundationally a self-refuting belief system based on its own premises and conclusions about reality. Atheism at its core is a universal negative. Also, the very epistemology that is required with such a worldview is, as well, self-refuting. This creates for the atheist the most radical inconsistency that can exist within a worldview system. It is enough to say that there are those Christians, Jews, Muslims or Buddhists who fail to live up to the moral standards of their worldview; it is a totally different thing to have a worldview that is itself self-defeating.
Atheism is a universal negative because it postulates the nonexistence of God. That is, “A, Greek for no, theos, Greek for God. No God – not here – not there – not anywhere in any time – no God.” This is a universal negative and as such cannot be proven. There is only one way that a universal negative can be proven if it can be shown that the universal negative violates the principle of non-contradiction. That is, there are no round squares or square circles. Having a Creator create a complex and ordered universe with complex and ordered life is not contradictory. So atheism’s universal negative falls on its own sword. That is to say, it fails to live up to its own claims about reality. Atheism rejects personal experience and/or testimony and any metaphysical explanations about reality based on the proposition that they are not empirically verifiable. Based on its own premise atheism would have to be rejected. It exclusivity precludes itself because it is not empirically verifiable.
The verification principle is itself self-refuting or self-defeating, as well. When a principle of understanding reality is used exclusively it will fall under its own standard and become self-defeating. If one only accepts those propositions, statements about reality that are empirically verifiable then the proposition itself must be rejected. The statement, “propositions only have value that are empirically verifiable” is a proposition and propositions cannot be empirically verified. This is not to say, that using the verification principle, or rather the scientific method, in conjunction with other epistemological methods is self-refuting; it is not. However, atheism makes a strong statement about what is and is not allowed for an epistemology. Therefore, any claim that an atheist, foundationally, is a metaphysical statement about reality and cannot, based on its own premises, be valid according to its own standard.
Yes this leads one to agnosticism and yes it to be self refuting. Since I am a Foundationalist I will get right to the point. Agnosticism claims that God or anything about God can be known. (This is an easy one to say the least.) Any claim about God reveals, by implication, that something can be known about God. Even unknowability is knowledge about something and is where all of us begin our journey to the knowing of some fact. In addition, all other aspects of the previous arguments are applicable to agnosticism also because its main tenets are the same and therefore self-refuting. For a worldview to provide insight and enlightenment to reality it must first pass the test of first principles, which I outlined previously. While atheism and agnosticism does not have to be the default position, although it may be for some, it is only a beginning to knowledge and understanding. That is to say, everyone no matter what their worldview have questions about what is really real, hence the need for a worldview to answer said questions. Nevertheless, one must follow the Socratic oath and follow the evidence where it leads.

Schnoodle said...

I know that proving that atheism or agnosticism to be invalid as a worldview does not "prove" theism. I have only one question and it is in response to your question (about not believing in other Gods) Are you ready (based on your earlier comment) to follow the evidence where it leads. I want you to fulfill two requests, if you are willing. First, read There is a God, by Anthony Flew. Second, truly consider where our previous conversations have lead and ponder the content. Just to let you know, I was raised as a Catholic but rejected the church and God as and adult. I have since followed the evidence back to faith, just not my parents faith. I can understand, and maybe not intotal, your position - I have been there. I do not mean this as a condescending gesture but mean it in all sincerity. I look forward to reading your next post and appologize for taking so long in responding.


konquererz said...

Okay, I'm going to need to respond to this in several sections, so I will just label them alphabetical, with each letter corresponding to a point made in your post. On a personal note, I had almost given up on you. Thank you for taking the time to respond again. I know better than many that time restraints don't lend us to posting willy nilly when ever you want to. I have been slacking on posting myself lately.

A. Your first presumption of atheism isn't exactly right. You make it very cut and dried when it really is rather gelatinous. Why? Because atheists like myself understand that you cannot prove a negative. I can't prove god exists, but I can show that the possibility is rather small and unlikely. But, at the heart of the matter is simply being human. Are you willing to admit that Allah, Zeus, Thor, Mithras, Cali, and any number of other gods possibly exist? If this is the case, then your argument remains strong. Are you willing to admit that there might be more than one god? If so, your argument is still sound. But if you believe in one god in particular, and one god only, then you have put your own beliefs at odds. Because in reality, you are an atheist regarding all other gods. The only difference, as Dawkins so eloquently puts it, is that I go one god further.

Another example is Sagans Tea Pot. Suppose I say that I worship a celestial tea pot on the exact other side of the sun. I believe it talks to me and answers my prayers. But, being that it is tiny to the eye and at a place to which we cannot currently see, you don't believe in it. Technically, you would have to be strictly agnostic about the tea pot since you cannot know for sure if a tiny tea pot is floating in space on the other side of the sun that is sentient unless you could know the exact location and time of it and be exactly there. But in practice, you are a tea pot atheist.

I, as are most atheists, are perfectly open to the idea that a god exists. In fact, most, like myself, used to be Christians and theists ourselves. But the evidence simply doesn't add up. There are those who believe in elves, trolls, gnomes, and tree spirits as true. But we don't go believing in them simply because we can't disprove the negative. Logic dictates that you make judgments founded in what you do know.

B. Personal experiences cannot be evidence. They are subject to bias and a myriad of outside influence and manipulation. If personal experience and indeed personal individual accounts were to be automatically considered valid and worthy of truth, then we are to assume that all gods ever named indeed exist. That gods of all sorts speak to people and answer prayers. That Allah telling someone to fly into a building is at least as possible as the person who says that Thor told them a storm was coming. Further, these religions and "supernatural" experiences can and have been reproduced in a lab with something as simple as a very weak magnetic pulse. Magnetism on the brain no higher than that found in nature can reproduce a myriad of experiences from the religious euphoric phenomena to the feeling that you are being watch and the lucid waking visions of alien abduction.

In light of this, can you truly trust a personal experience? I don't reject all personal experience, but I must take into account the state of the person and the likelihood of their claim. If we don't, then we must assume the reality of all gods, ufo's, bigfoot, lockness monster, ghosts, elves, fairies and any number of other supernatural phenomena. All experiences need not be rejected, but they MUST be looked at in light of what we know and what is possible and what is even likely to be possible.

C. Metaphysical explanations of events are merely events that cannot be explained with natural causes yet and the need for an answers leads you to ascribe it to the supernatural, which is no answer at all. In other words, god did it, god can do anything. Having not personally met god, one cannot even know if any god would indeed be all powerful. It is an assumption made on writings by humans. In other words, god did it, god can do anything makes presumptions that people can't possibly know.

D. Atheism doesn't reject all spiritual explanations of reality. Just the ones that are improbable and violate what we know of natural law without evidence that such has been done. Unfortunately, that leaves out most supernatural explanations. However, there are those of us that do read and listen to other spiritual explanations and give them thought and a possibility. I personally am delving into Taoism as a philosophy. I believe people do have "spiritual needs" but not the way you view it. It is simply another part of our humanity. Not necessarily a separate part that lives forever though.

E. While yes, technically we can't know if there are no gods no where, but we can't know allot of things. How would a god on the other side of the Universe effect us? It wouldn't. Natural laws say that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. And even if it could, it would die before getting here. Since we have no evidence of anything living that long, one must make the calculated diagnosis that if a god does exist on the other side of the universe, we have no way to prove it and it would have no way to get to us.

Now, that isn't to say that one day we might not be proven wrong. We could. But as it stands, no evidence remains to support it.


In the end, the reality remains beyond philosophical talk. The god people believe in on this earth lives outside of all known natural laws. If one thing can live outside these laws, then anything can, thus anything is belief worthy despite how irrational or ridiculous it sounds. So we must work within the natural laws we are aware of currently. The belief in a god requires the suspension of the natural laws of the universe, especially those of space and time. What you are doing is suspending what you do know empirically, for what you don't know empirically. When evidence leads to a dead end knowledge wise, or our creativity runs out, that is when god is used.

Point in case. How did the big bang start? Well, I don't know for sure. We probably never will. But, the argument for god runs into the exact same problem. If everything must have a beginning, then what about god? You cannot make the leap out of logic and just assume god must live outside of time and space thus he created the universe from nothing. Because if you can just use a supernatural magical being to live outside of time, never have a beginning, and create something from nothing, then you have simply done the exact same thing you accuse science of doing. Rather, science simply makes statements base on what we DO know. And in fact, most scientists will tell you, if they are honest, that the big bang cannot be proven outside of mathematics and astrophysical observation, which backs up the theory. But the evidence for the big bang is still greater than the evidence for a being that lives outside of time and space, was never created, and creates out of nothing.

Surely you can see the exact problem with that belief in a god?

To your other post. I have many many many books on god. For and against. The name of your book sounds familiar, but I have read so many I cannot keep track. See, I used to believe as well too. But the problem is that I tried and fought hard to keep my faith. As a rationalist, I read nearly every apologetic I could find on Christianity, then later on god. But I also realized that I would do myself a grave in justice if I only read one side of the argument. So I always read books in tandem. Two sides to every argument. It took nearly six years to travel from strong believer to atheist. I didn't want to leave the faith nor was I easily taken away. I was dragged by fact and reason. For the first several years I argued arguments similar to yours when I argued my faith.

I just wanted you to know that story is not unlike yours. Except that it seems to have taken me longer. I didn't "reject" god or "reject" faith, I just realized one day I could no longer acknowledge it. I have gone through many stages from despair to anger over it. Now I have come to accept it and have been able to realize life fully without god.

Schnoodle said...

You still do not address the self-refuting aspects of your own belief system. It is self-refuting because it cannot live up to its own standard. Once you have come to accept this we can move on to evaluate theism on its own merit. I am not giving anything in regards to theism at this juncture, I am only stating that any worldview that negates itself is not a valid worldview foundationally especially when the very epistemological understanding of reality it adheres to, out of necessity, is also self-refuting. Both of these points show that they violate the principle of non-contradiction. After you concede the logical conclusions of your own worldview I will critique theism and whether there exists self-refutaion or lack of evidence. Keep in mind any explanation of reality, and or evidence, that contradicts itself does nothing to show us anything of real value. If you notice I use the word theism for a reason, I understand the apparent disparagement of multiple beliefs on God. That is, many different monotheistic belief systems. However, once the system of first priciples are properly applied it will not be difficult to establish which one is teaching the truth about reality. My purpose is to establish based on reason and accepted principles of logic that we can elliminate all other worldviews based on the foundational claims of reality verses what is actually known about reality. I will illustrate. Many Eastern religions deny that logic exists, or at the minimun can teach us nothing of reality or value. The crux of the problem is that in refuting logic on any basis will require the use of it - thus affirming it. By using this type of methodology we can systematically eliminate all worldviews that do not correlate to accepted reality or logic.


konquererz said...

I will not concede world view is illogical, because it isn't. Rather, it is your premise that is false. I'm sorry I haven't made that more clear. You simply aren't understanding the founding principle of atheism.

Atheism is no as you are presuming, an active denial of any gods any place any time. An active denial, in reality, would require that person to in fact BE god to be able to know that.

Rather, at its root, no matter what atheists actually say outloud, is the principle of evidence.

I simply do not accept as fact anything that is without evidence. I don't actively deny gods. But what I do say is that I have not been presented with evidence that would lead me to believe there is a god. As well, certain gods can be ruled out as improbable. Namely those in most religions. As their very exists violates their own internal facts and logic. Self contradictory gods are not probable to exist.

So, it is not on me to prove there is no god. The onus of proof is on the claimant. Thus, your logic is missing key elements.

Atheism at its core is NOT a universal negative because at its core it is not making ANY claims. Rather, it follows the premise of evidence. For goodness sake, if you presented solid evidence that fairies existed, then I would have no choice but to believe and know they exist. But the onus is not on my to believe them until they are dis proven. By your logic, since we cannot prove fairies don't exist, we can't say we don't believe in fairies. That is a false logic, and steps outside the bounds of reason.

Which leads us to the final logical foundation of atheism. There is no verification needed to "prove" atheism, because no "proof" is needed. Atheism doesn't require belief in or on anything but evidence. Thus, when one claims to believe in god, I am forced to ask why. Evidence leads me to not believe there is a god.

But there is no certainty in that statement. There are not absolutes it that statement at its core. Why? Because evidence can still be gather to disprove it. That is the essence of atheism, evidenced based opinions. As evidence changes, so do the theories and opinions. There is no absolute claim to no god.

Now there may be personal opinions that there is no god any where. But at its core, the premise you are founding your logic on to say atheism is self refuting, doesn't exist. Because at its core, there is not absolute claim to knowledge about god.

Your premise is false because it isn't an accurate portrayal of the subject matters core belief, which is evidence.

And one more point. You discussed the "created ordered universe" which I took note of. Ordered is a perception, not necessarily a reality. The universe exists this way because it evolved that way. We see order because our brains look for order. But in the universe, there is massive destruction and creation happening every second. Stars blowing up and destroying everything around them, new stars forming, and not to mention black holes and gamma rays. Then there is the scientific fact that this planet has actually experienced nearly complete extinction many times in the Earths life cycle.

Thats doesn't sound like order, it sounds like chaos. If I throw a bunch of rocks on a flat round plate with a ridge on the side and spin it, what is the result? All the rocks flow to the outside and become fairly uniform. It happens like that because it cannot happen any other way based on the environment. It isn't possible for them line up like a square while spinning.

The point I'm making is that it is the natural tendency for the human mind to look for order. People see shapes in the clouds, faces on a painted wall or on toast. It doesn't imply ordered creation, it implies the brains ability to create the perception of order.

Schnoodle said...

First, it is not I who is to bear the burden of proof, it is you. This is not my blog it is yours. In creating this type of blog you are making a very bold statement. Since it your blog and it is I who have encroached upon your blog it is up to you to defend it and the position you claim to believe. Remember, it is claims that precede belief. There are many claims, such as atheism, that I do not believe. You have referred to yourself as the atheist – so be an atheist. That means that you have researched the definition of that word and accept its true definition and worldview. Do not water down what atheism is just because you do not like its implications. In principle I am a theist, in particular I am a Christian theist. I do not water it down because of apparent discrepancies. I have assessed my worldview to its foundation and accept it whole heartedly. If one cannot concede the contradictions in his or her own worldview they will not be able to correctly assess another’s worldview. That is, if you cannot be honest with your own worldview you probably will not be honest with your assessment of a competing worldview. This is intellectual dishonesty. I did not make the rules I can only follow them.
As far as evidence goes, the same principle applies. If you cannot evaluate the deficiencies within your positions you will not be able to accurately determine the deficiencies in mine. It is our worldview that will determine how we interpret the evidence not the other way around. Whatever presuppositions we bring to the evidence will determine the interpretation of that evidence. As a foundationalist if a worldview is found to be internally inconsistent it is not a worldview that can accurately tell me anything about reality. I have shown that whether you choose atheism or agnosticism both worldviews are internally inconsistent. Again, there is only atheism or agnosticism for you to choose from when it comes to denying any belief that would claim a deity. That is, there is no god or nothing can be known about God. Anything else merely attempts to apply erroneous definitions to words and terms that already have well established definitions to avoid the logical implications of said terms. If you are a true rationalist you would understand this. I do not attempt to redefine Theism in this way. I accept the implications along with it. Like the age old objections of postulating an all good and loving Creator in the face of the existence of evil. This appears to be a contradiction, of which I could give a rational response. However, since this is not a blog for theism I am not required to do so. I would only be required to do so if I had created a blog supporting theism. Nevertheless, I will invite you to investigate the anthropic principle.
To state that there is only an appearance of order is a denial of reality. This would contradict the second law of thermodynamics, that is, the law of entropy. The law of entropy states that in any system where there exists order and disorder, the disorder always increases and order decreases as time passes; and if you go back in time the order increases and the disorder decreases. Like I stated before I did not write the laws I only abide by them. Actually, this law completely undermines evolutions claim at its core. Evolution tells us that everything was more disorderly in the past and became more orderly as time passed. This law precludes any such claim from the realm of reality. Every system that has been studied shows this law to be true, without exception. This is “proof” against the very foundation of evolutionary claims about reality. I am not like many Christians in that I do not feel that the belief in God contradicts science. Instead, when you look at the scientific laws they most assuredly, based on the evidence, supports a theistic model of cosmology.
If it is a natural tendency for the human mind to look for order, this again contradicts any claim of evolution. Where does this tendency come from? Naturalistic approaches do not explain this tendency. If disorder was from the beginning then the natural tendency should lean toward it not from it.
Remember, all worldviews make claims about reality. This is the very reason for having a worldview – it is by definition that this is true.
This is getting good I am looking forward to your response. Are you completely over your bronchitis? I have been struggling in getting over a bout of sinus infections but it appears I am coming toward the end of it. Hope you are doing well.


konquererz said...

Alright, I'll address your statements in order.
1. I believe the actual discussion was about evolution. But that is okay, I don't mind going where the conversation leads. I have concede some points to you. That I cannot know if there is no god anywhere in all the known universe. I already conceded that which is obviously a contradiction. But then I explained why I was okay with that. You either missed it or are for some reason not happy with it. Either way, I'm not being intellectually dishonest.

2. Having a contradiction is not the same as being self refuting. Atheism is based in science, in that no evidence can as yet be found for a god. It isn't self refuting to have a tentative belief based on the facts you have. Would you not agree that we make decisions like this on a daily basis?

3. We can go over the laws of antropy and thermodynamics in another post, I'll make one for each as I have long arguments on each. I don't want this thread to become a catch all for every argument in this massive discussion. A general discussion about evolution is one thing, going into such discussions as antropy require much more discussion and deserve their own threads. But needless to say, I have researched both of them on my way to atheism and realized some fundamental flaws that I will point out in those threads.

4. I fully accept the possibility that my world view may some day be proven wrong. I fully accept that I cannot prove a negative. I fully accept that I cannot know if something exists or doesn't not exist in the entire universe. However, as I pointed out previously, there are many such things that fall into your argument. Such things as fairies. Sure, I can't prove they don't exist any where in the universe, but I am not obligated to believe in them, nor am I obligated to prove they don't exist.

5. I just finished my SECOND round of anti-biotics for this bronchitis! It also went into my sinus's. I ended up with an anti-biotic for ten day, an inhaler, an RX decongestant, and singulair! So after nearly 2 and a half months, I 'think' I'm over it. I'm really not very fond of bronchitis! LOL

Hope your sinus infection clears up, I hate those too. I'm glad I'm not sick to often.