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Atheism vs. Theism
Footnote 2 and 3
"Atheism/Theism" vs. "Science, the Bible, & Creation"
Introduction and Charges
1, Deduction and Induction
2, Question 1
2, Questions 2 and 3
2, Summary and Question 4
3 and 4, Definitions
Acting as Mechanisms, Article 1
Acting as Mechanisms, Article 2
Acting as Mechanisms, Article 3
Razor and Conclusions
2 and 3
Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 1
Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 2
Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 3
Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 4
Life on Earth Imported from Outer Space
Circle of Reasons
God a White Crow?
As we have stated the only empirical observations humans have
been able to make so far about how a living cell could originate
have been under laboratory conditions in which scientists
act as the mechanisms bringing about the assembly of cell
components or proto-cells. Thus, we have asserted that based
upon the available empirical evidence, we have no alternative
but to conclude that intelligent agency is necessary to bring
about the origin of a living cell.
On this note, it might be suggested that a comparison to diamond
formation would disprove our interpretation of the evidence
regarding the origin of life.
It is true that, like the origination of life, no one has
ever observed a diamond forming in nature. However, diamonds
can be created in laboratories. Therefore, would our model
of interpretation force us to conclude that it takes intelligent
agency to form a diamond?
First, there is quite a gap between the origination of diamonds
and the origination of a living cell in terms of their respective
complexity and functionality. Diamonds involve one element:
carbon rock formations, and that element is identifiable.
The formation of a cell involves many elements: membranes,
possibly lipids, amino acids, specific proteins, RNA, DNA
- just to name a few. And scientists aren't even quite sure
what the original building blocks of the first cell would
have been. Similarly, with diamonds, we can empirically detect
that carbon is relatively abundant in the natural world. But
with cells, we can't empirically detect whether or not the
differing components would have been available.
Furthermore, diamonds are formed by changing the structure
of an existing whole. Cells on the other hand, require not
just change to an existing structure, but the assembly of
an entirely new whole from other parts. And, diamonds are
just a lump of carbon, albeit a pretty one. They don't function
or move. They just sit there looking pretty. Cells on the
other hand have function and internal movement and activity
necessary for maintaining the life of the cell.
Let's restate the question: "What's different between diamond
formation and cell formation that could lead us to conclude
diamonds can be formed by unintelligent causes, while cells
necessitate intelligent agency?"
Well, first of all, the vast inequality between their complexity
as described above indicates that diamonds would be far simpler
to produce than a living cell. As such, given the simplicity
required for diamond formation, it is not necessary to propose
intelligent agency is necessary.
But, even more importantly, there is one other difference
that is of great significance to this question. In the formation
of the diamond, we can readily identify the unintelligent
mechanisms responsible for diamond formation. Those mechanisms
are heat and pressure. With the formation of cells, no one
knows what mechanism or natural force is sufficient to compel
separate molecular compounds to assemble into a functional
structure and reproduce themselves. If we could identify some
force or mechanism in nature sufficient to accomplish this,
as is the case with heat and pressure with regard to diamond
formation, then perhaps we would not need to propose intelligent
agency is required for a cell.
However, we're not just guessing intelligent agency from nowhere.
We're not just pulling it out of thin air. When scientists
attempt to understand the origination of a living cell, they
have developed in their labs parts of cells and proto-cells.
Although scientists hypothesize the existence of some natural
law or algorithm that would give rise to a living cell, this
hypothetical is an unknown that has never been observed, unlike
the heat and pressure in diamond formation, which are identifiable
And in these laboratory experiments where only portions of
cells are formed or portions of cellular development are recreated,
the mechanism that is assembling the components is the scientists
himself. So, not only are we missing any identifiable unintelligent
mechanism sufficient to cause cell assembly, but the mechanisms
we do see in experiments are intelligent agents. Thus, we
propose, that until or unless another mechanism can be identified
to cause cell assembly, the only thing we've seen that's been
able to orchestrate that assembly is intelligent agency.
And, unlike the hypothetical law or algorithm, which has not
been observed and is, therefore, an unknown, intelligence
is not an unknown. We know that intelligent agency exists
in the universe and we can see it at work in our everyday
lives on many levels even through human communication. So,
unlike the hypothetical law or algorithm, which we do not
know exists and have never seen directly, we do know intelligence
exists and we have seen it directly. So, we're not proposing
an unknown of our own. We're taking a known mechanism (intelligence),
which we have seen working to produce cells in laboratories,
and inducing from the available empirical evidence that whatever
caused the origin of life on earth would possess this familiar
mechanism known as intelligence.
Thus, diamonds and cells differ in yet another key regard.
In the case of diamonds, we can identify the known mechanisms
(heat and pressure) that would simply lead to the change of
carbon compounds. With cells, the only known mechanism that
we have seen to date that is capable of causing cell components
to assemble is the intelligent agency of the scientists working
to do so in a lab.
So, does the fact that we've never observed diamonds forming
in nature combined with the fact that scientists can create
diamonds in the lab necessitate that we conclude it requires
intelligent agency to produce a diamond?
In short, no. Such a conclusion would be warranted only if
diamonds were many, many times more complicated (to the point
of being functional systems) and if we could not identify
any other known mechanisms capable of producing diamonds (other
than scientists in a laboratory).
The statement that as a general rule life is produced by intelligent
agency is in no way applicable to the First Cause.
The statement "intelligence is necessary to cause life," is
obviously a statement about causation in which the particular
"life" being spoken of is an "effect." The structure of this
statement demonstrates that fact. So, this statement, "intelligence
is necessary to cause life," is meant as a general rule regarding
life in all cases where life is an effect. The nature of the
First Cause as necessitated by logic is that it requires no
causation, this being the case it would be inappropriate to
expect or demand causal explanation for the First Cause itself
or any of its attributes, such as life or intelligence.
Since the life of the First Cause cannot be considered an
effect, it is not accurate to think it is governed by the
general rule that, "when life is an effect, it is caused by
Conversely, modern scientists tell us that life was not eternal
on earth, but that it began at some point. Since life had
a beginning, it would not be eternal and would thus require
a cause. As such, life on earth must be considered an effect,
and so, life on earth would be governed by the rule "when
life is an effect, it is caused by intelligent agency." As
we stated, this rule about what is sufficient to cause life
therefore does not apply to the First Cause itself, since
where the First Cause is concerned, there is, by definition,
no need to address what caused it or any of its traits.