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Basic Worldview:
102 Atheism vs. Theism


Is God a White Crow?

Prelude: "Atheism/Theism" vs. "Science, the Bible, & Creation"
Atheism: Introduction and Charges
Charge 1, Deduction and Induction
Charge 2, Question 1
Charge 2, Questions 2 and 3
Charge 2, Summary and Question 4
Charges 3 and 4, Definitions
Empirical Evidence
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 1
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 2
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 3
Occam's Razor and Conclusions
Footnote 1
Footnote 2 and 3
Proof of Life
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 1
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 2
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 3
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 4
Scientists: Life on Earth Imported from Outer Space
Atheisms Circle of Reasons
Is God a White Crow?



The metaphor of crows will often be described as an illustration to the limitations of induction. Every crow we have seen is black. We might ask, "Are all crows black?" Based upon the fact that every individual instance of a crow that we observe involves a black crow, we would have to induce that as a rule, all crows are black. However, just one white crow would disprove that rule. Now, we cannot simply assume the existence of white crows, so we must maintain our conclusion that all crows are black until or unless a white crow is observed.

In this example, the white crow represents something new and unknown. We have no reason to suspect that a white crow exists since we've never seen one. So, the question arises, "Is God a white crow?" Does concluding God exists mean we are supposing something new and unknown?

In reality, when Theists conclude that God exists, they are not hypothesizing something that is new and unknown to us. All of the qualities found in the fundamental definition of God are traits we know exist.

First, God is said to be eternal. It is patently illogical to think that something came from nothing. Therefore, since something exists now, it cannot be said that there was a time when nothing existed. And anything that had a beginning would need a cause. If nothing is eternal then we arrive at the logical fallacy of infinite regress, which is a fallacy precisely because, by definition it lacks a sufficient explanation.

The only way to avoid infinite regress is to have a cause that had no beginning and so, requires no cause of its own. Because such a cause would have no beginning, it would be eternal. So, the existence of an eternal cause is a logical necessity for explaining the existence of the universe. Furthermore, Occam's Razor would prohibit us from multiplying causes endlessly when a singular cause would suffice, and a single cause does suffice as an explanation if that single cause is eternal. But an endless series of causes is, by definition, not sufficient to explain the universe's existence, no matter how many non-eternal causes it contains.

Therefore, we know as a matter of logical necessity that something eternal exists.

Second, we know that intelligence exists. There are many fields of science and industry, which deal with detecting intelligent agency. Forensic medicine, cryptography, archeology, psychology, some aspects of zoology, intellectual property law, and even insurance claim investigation - just to name a few. Besides these things, while degree of intelligence may vary from person to person, we can look at our fellow human beings and discern the difference between a human mind and a rock, a snail, or even a computer.

Therefore, we know intelligence exists and we know that the universe must have been caused by something eternal that exists outside itself. As we have stated early on in our proof, anything that exists outside our universe would be unavailable for direct empirical observation. Thus, we also know that there exists a cause for our universe, which is unavailable to our direct observation.

So, when Theists conclude that God exists, they are not proposing some new concept that we have never seen or do not know exists. Rather, Theists are combining into one concept things we already know exist. We know from logic that an eternal cause (for the universe) exists. Since such a cause is outside the universe, we also know that something exists, which we cannot directly empirically observe (except through its effects). And, we know from logic that there exists such a thing as intelligence. Theists simply combine these three known concepts to arrive at the existence of an eternal cause that is intelligent and that we cannot directly detect since it exists outside our universe. Therefore, we see that by concluding God exists, Theists are not really assuming anything that we do not already know either from logic or empirical experience.

The question is whether or not the concept of intelligence necessarily needs to be applied to the other two logically known concepts (1. an eternal cause 2. that we cannot directly empirically observe.) To support the necessity of combining these 3 concepts, we have offered at least one proof, the proof outlined in our main series of article in this section. We believe that until or unless scientists can identify the mechanism, which causes basic molecules to assemble and reproduce themselves as a living cell, the only mechanism we have seen capable of engineering such an accomplishment is the intelligent agency of the scientists themselves working in the lab toward the creation of a living cell from non-living material.

Everything in the universe must be explained as an effect either of the First Cause directly or of some intermediate cause. An intermediate cause is a cause that exists somewhere in series of causes between the First Cause and a particular effect. If we can identify no intermediate cause for a particular effect, then we must assume that effect was caused by the First Cause itself.

If the First Cause is not intelligent, then everything in the universe would be explainable by unintelligent causes. In order to justify the conclusion that the First Cause is intelligent, all that is necessary is to demonstrate some aspect of the universe for which there exists no identifiable unintelligent intermediate cause. Thus, there exists no identifiable explanatory mechanism for the existence of life in the universe other than intelligent agency we must associate intelligence with the First Cause, (the eternal cause that we cannot directly empirically observe.)

Thus, since the concept of God only includes concepts that are already known to be true, we cannot say that concluding God exists requires us to suppose something new and unknown. In reality, the concept of God is not a white crow, but a collection of black crows. The definition of God is merely a combination of things we already know exist.