Sunday, October 22, 2023

Lennox, Atkins, Me

Here are Professor John Lennox and Doctor Peter Atkins:

Lennox vs Atkins - Can science explain everything? (Official debate video)
Premier Unbelievable?, 17 Febr. 2019

Here are some belated contributions of mine:

25:24 Probably John Lennox will have prestolen (and therefore be owner of) my observation, but here it is anyway:

I'd like to see Prof Peter Atkins "tease out the mechanism" by which the weak force either keeps together, gets together, or separates subatomic particles (supposing there are such things, they have not been directly observed). Or "the mechanism" by which mechanisms in the brain result in sth which seems not to be a mechanism, but a primary : our consciousness.

There is such a thing as ultimate explanation prior to mechanisms that only use such. That's not lazy, it is commonsense.

The explanation for the former, if it actually occurs as presumed, would be God did it. The explanation for the latter would be consciousness really is a primary, and if that poses the question of the interaction problem, I will answer God did it. Now, if you say that's a lazy explanation, go on, give a more teased out explanation.

Note what I am asking. I am not asking how material processes relate to the thought patterns we have in consciousness. I am not asking "does hypnosis involve alpha states of the brain" I am very sure it does -- I don't think even deep hypnosis could make me believe it didn't. I am not asking whether anger activates certain parts of the brain, I am very sure it does. I am asking why the one fact of the brain feels like hypnosis, the other state like anger, and again some other things like "I understand this" ... and not just having the feeling, but actually having understandable evidence that understanding really occurs, whether on the ontological or the axiological level.

I am also not asking why we would know of the weak force if it is true, not here, though I might in another context, I am asking what makes it work, if it is true. As far as I know, it is only used in relation to what it makes work in other things, i e in subatomic particles. It is only used in what it explains, not in how it is itself explained. I will give one caveat. There seem to be three options on the palette, weak force as a primary other than electromagnetic, weak force as a weak form of electromagnetic, and quantum flavourdynamics. Nevertheless, the first is precisely what I observed, meant to be believed as a primary, the second poses the same question about the electromagnetic force, the third seems to describe it rather than explain it.

Actually, John Lennox didn't say so later on in the video ...

30:50 "philosophers are pessimists, they get paid to doubt"

Not true for vast arrays of the history of philosophy. Peter Atkins is simply projecting the sociology of modern philosophy departments back onto most of the history of philosophy when these departments didn't exist (Ph D certainly mean "Philosophiae doctor" but that is the FACULTY, not the DEPARTMENT, huge difference, the faculty also referred to as FACULTY OF ARTS, which the DEPARTMENT isn't).

He shows himself a prime example of a scientist who has no clue about the history of sciences, never mind, they are a dime a dozen!

34:53 John Lennox, I object to that remark very strongly .... no, God is not limited to a different kind of question.

Primus motor may in some sense be different from other motores, but the main and obvious difference is that there is a motor intermedius or secundus or motor ipse motus, which is not moved by another motor intermedius or secondus or motor ipse motus, but by God directly.

39:48 Extrapolations of human experience are not evidence?*

I think at the very least this debunks Hume, but with very unnecessary overkill ...

* Peter Atkins says it isn't ...

1:02:42 "the power of cultural conditioning takes place in childhood"

I became a Christian at age 9 minus a month or two or three. Sure, mother told me the Bible (NT + Psalms, 1917 Swedish translation) she gave me was true. And I believed my mother.

B U T ... I had believed stepfather and grandparents evolution was true. By ten, I had had to sort out whether they were compatible or not, and incidentally to that, whether the evolutionary view functioned. At that kind of age, one can already think logically, even if criticism is not at its greatest acumen yet. And the logic of the two positions forced me to criticism, and mother let me sort it out for myself. Sure, she did answer evolution wasn't true. But she didn't nag about it, she didn't browbeat me, she answered when asked.

And I had to figure out whether evolution could work in the first place.

It seems fear has a material base so much that if certain worms are traumatised to a stimulus and then their DNA is injected into other worms, the other works which never went through the process of traumatisation immediately showed themselves traumatised at the stimulus. On the other hand ... this shows the kind of materialistic thinking I had had when an evolutionist ... I speculated on learning Latin by DNA injection from a Roman or Gaulish by a DNA injection from a Gaul, or mixing the injections to see if Latin and Gaulish mixed would result in French or something else. My mother was shocked at the suggestion, but I think I would have realised ANYWAY that's not how languages are learned.

I also borrowed a book which involves the origin of language. Apparently the first phoneme and morpheme and sentence in human was Φ. It meant, among other things breath (breath becomes audible when you blow on a fire with about that lip shape), fire (the thing you produce with this breath), soul or life, or whatever you have while you breathe, and death, i e cessation of this breath. Next phonemes were also morphemes. A, EE, OO (in continental spelling A, I, U) ... "EE" referring to what's close, "A" to what's further away from one (like at the distance and direction of the speaker), "OO" to what's far away ... I spent hours* trying to figure out how you could get from that kind of start to useful words, and the thing is you can't. I contacted Tomasello the other day, before last week, and put the question in more detailed terms, and the thing is, you can't. Otherwise Tomasello would have been the go to for telling me how.

I had debated someone on quora who told me I should go to real scientists who investigate the matter, and Tomasello was mentioned. No, they don't investigate that, not any more than Pinker (also mentioned) investigates the Hard Question of Consciousness.

In parallel, I did study, on ma's recommendation, apologetic books like

"Ergriffen? Ergreife" (in German, Kantian)
"Can We Know?" (Dale and Elaine Rhooton, on the lines of Evidence that Demands a Verdict, which I read much later).

While at the time I gobbed it, I have been forced into critical examination of mainly Can We Know? arguments, when at SSHL I was confronted with attempts to either debunk them, or avoid them and debunk an easier thing, like Creationism or Crusades (didn't work either, and the efforts to debunk the Inquisition eventually got the opposite result, I converted between ages 16 and 20 after reading Umberto Eco).

I am in very obvious historic fact (obvious to anyone except a shrink who would pretend I imagined all this, or overanalyse the mere exposition to Christian propositions as brain washing, dishonest as they are) a Christian not through, but largely despite cultural (attempts at) indoctrination. You see, I am not an Irishman, but a Swede. And my Catholic faith makes me a stranger in my own country.

* More than one occasion, years after I had concluded it was useless to try even.

1:07:30 When I hear Peter Atkins say things like that, I get uncomfortable "Sweden vibes" ...

Some Jews after 1945 never set foot in Germany or spoke German again, even if they were born as German citizens. I suppose some things would give them uncomfortable "Germany vibes."

Myself included, but I don't think my existence in the public space can count as my foisting myself on them.

1:11:38 "to say that God creates atheists" (rather than people who become so after being created, by their choice, obviously) "is a deterministic belief, which I reject"

Good for you John Lennox! Not a Supralapsarian Calvinist, then? Great.

Speaking of which, do you believe Adam was an individual, or do you believe a collective committed the first sin? Because, since collectives enjoy no freewill, that would be a deterministic belief, which I reject!

1:12:35 And the evil that disbelief in God brings into the world?

I recall Sweden, with very mixed feelings ...

1:14:01 I think Geinrikh Yagoda and a few Swedish shrinks in quiet moments could consider the consequences of their actions.

Enslaving someone as a patient to boost one's power, or starving Ukraine and Kuban to feed more mediatised parts of the Soviet were not choices done out of pure brute inconsideration, as one could find in a tiger, nor was the twenty years long blockade on Gaza (or the attack which costs thousands of civilians, while killing six Hamasniks, in the sense of "you killed civilians? fine, we kill civilians").

The point for the argument is, without an absolute morality, how do you condemn them?

Perhaps the answer for someone who like Peter Atkins set his hopes in this life is: you don't, it's calmest for you that way.

1:16:45 ... "it's all speculation" *
[anthropology > folk tales] **

One of my reveals when rejecting Evolution, which I had previously believed, is that science is sometimes "all speculation" (and often very ill founded one at that).

One of my discoveries (independently of mother, just thanks to a book I read, Sagen aus Österreich) is, folk tales are sometimes folk legends, i e orally transmitted history.

I think history trumps ill founded speculation.

* John Lennox' reply!
** Resuming Peter Atkins' previous comment.

1:17:52 It can be mentioned that Bart Ehrmann doesn't question the existence of the historical Jesus, but perhaps more importantly, Richard Carrier doesn't totally either.

He has revised his view point. I don't regularly keep up with him, but I once did that, as with Acharya Sanning.

He feels the ties are very lose between the historical Jesus and the Jesus of the Epistles and "later" Gospels. He believes the gap could somehow be bridged ...

What I know of the transmission of folk legends and literary legends doesn't favour that.

First of all, the Arthurian legend is only doubtfully involved, since at a certain time, about when they started writing fan fiction about other ones of the nine worthies, they started writing fan fiction on King Arthur too. But even insofar as it could be involved, I think the Guinevere story line (secret adultery, discovery by betrayal, planned execution) is probably more oral history than fan fic, unless the author was very good at legal history too. Arthur and therefore whoever his queen was, was in the time period when Roman law stipulated execution of an adulterous wife and non-bothering of the adultering man. I e the actual time and its actual Roman legislation (and Arthur was more sub-Roman than purely Celtic) very well fits the implied legislation in the story.

Second, a much less tampered with legend, about "die Rabenschlacht" examplifies what type of things can go wrong in the transmission of oral history. "Raben" as place for the battle is fairly uncontroversial. It's older German for Ravenna, just as Mailand is still German for Milan (reinterpreting the Italian city names as respectively "Ravens" and "May land"). The problem is the protagonists. Theoderic wins and Ermaneric loses. In fact, there were two battles in two centuries, and Theoderic unlike the legend doesn't belong to that of Attila. Theoderic and Ermaneric both won a battle. The losers of these are lost to the legend (though not to documents, though I am not bothering to look them up). The winners are instead pit against each other.

But Theoderic is still a king who is also leading his army in battle. Ermaneric is still a king who is also leading his army in battle. The battles are condensed to one battle, not to one ballet. The one battle comes from two battles, not from two banquets. Events are not all that likely to change their nature. A good doctor could have some miracles attributed to himself by way of exaggeration, but he is not likely to turn into a theology professor who also does miracles, and partly to teach theology (which is what we find in the Gospels). If WLC is correct that Jannes and Mambres (or Jannes and Jambres) are by the time of St. Paul figures surrounded by lots of fan fiction, they are still magicians in the fan fiction as much as they were so at pharao's court.

1:24:22 Russia is not quite as atheistic as Sweden, then!

1:25:34 If you have hopes to have a decent life after decades of abortion, contraception and gay culture changing the age pyramid, Peter Atkins, it's because you are old, i e will not live many more decades, and have already earned the pension points, and because you have earned them as a very privileged professional.

That's as much of a natural argument against abortion, just as much as Gaza at this moment is a natural argument against the Hamas attack on October 7. Or more.

1:26:04 It is evil to say "you will not have an abortion despite the consequences" — really?

Like a teen girl getting a husband instead of an "education" (i e brainwashing approved by Peter Atkins)?

Like a teen girl getting treated like the mother she is instead of getting treated as a child she isn't?

Or wait, what about being a mother and not getting treated like one? That's not Christian society, that's how atheists degrade peoples' lives by shrinks and child welfare.

1:30:06 I get the impression they are not short of ideas, but very short of attempts of coherent stringing together of the ideas.

Actually, when it comes to making a new function, like what's involved in eyesight (or even just the retina), they are by contrast very short of ideas. Simply. Darwin's model for the evolution of the eye presupposes the retina exists, as if that were a simple thing, gestationally or genetically. It's not.

1:30:21 More like if one type of condition prevailed, the explanation for amino acids is nearly there (missing one or two of those found in all life), but the rest isn't. If you have conditions for phospholipids of membranes, the conditions for amino acids lack, plus the Montmarillionite clays might be a fossil of actual life. And if you start out with membranes closer to washing powder than to phospholipids (NASA suggested it and then took the page away), this would be lethal to any emerging phosphollipid membranes.

On ALL of the suggestions, there is inadequate conditions for the kind of order that's information rather than symmetry or sorting, as well as for chirality.

1:33:41 While God can guarantee someone will in fact be saved, as He did through His mother to the children of Fatima, 106 years ago, He usually doesn't.

John Lennox may be a brilliant apologist, but he combines the "free will" approach in relation to why God created atheists or Satan or Hitler or a couple that was going to sin, and he combines that with "osas" which seems to be impossible on the individual level (lots of verses relating to osas are really about the Church, not about individuals, involve a "ye" rather than a "thou" and absolutely no "each one of ye" either) -- impossible on the individual level without irresistible grace, i e a kind of predestination which does away with free will.

This is theologically inconsistent. He's trying to trick ride on the back of a Calvinist and on the back of an Arminian horse.

1:36:50 Are people like Peter Atkins trying to keep my blogs down, because my witness goes against the prejudice on "cultural conditioning"?

Or do they follow some school of shrinks (inspired by the Soviets (or Israelis)) according to which conversion (or conversion to Catholicism) is a mental disorder?

And are people like John Lennox trying to keep my blogs down, because I refuse to witness in a belief to OSAS, which any Catholic would refuse, except the most ill instructed, the kind Ray Comfort is targetting?

Are they asking whether I wrote to get Brownie points with God? No. It's to do what I am good at, make a living, get married, get children, feed my children, which is less likely to land me in Hell than the way I live my involuntary celibacy. But people of his conviction are actually pushing me to a situation in which my rational prospects, if Catholicism is true, and if God doesn't count my sins on those who push me to them (important proviso, not provided by Catholicism), is, I would be going to Hell if I died today, just so they can push some Ray Comfort on me ...

Look, there was a knight who rationally knew day after day that if God didn't forgive him in the end, if he didn't repent in the end, God would send him to hell. He got to heaven, because he prayed three Hail Mary ever day. And I prefer that kind of assurance over Ray Comfort's.

1:36:57 I am noting, if Catholicism is true, or at least got Mark 10:6 right with context, Peter Atkins can rationally look forward to a very hot eternity. As can his king and queen.

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