The Instigator
tejretics
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
creationtruth
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

God Exists

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
tejretics
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/14/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 582 times Debate No: 75273
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

tejretics

Con

This is the challenge you requested. I thank creationtruth for this debate.


Full Resolution


God most likely exists.

BoP is shared.


Definitions


God - the omnipotent, intelligent, immensely great creator and ruler of the universe.

Likely - probably; >50% chance of (something).

Exist - have physical/metaphysical, objective reality.


Rules


1. Forfeiture is not allowed.
2. No trolling/kritiks/deconstruction semantics.
3. All arguments must be within this debate. Sources may be within this debate or in an external link.
4. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.


Debate Structure


Round 1: Pro's case
Round 2: Con's case, Pro rebuts Con's case
Round 3: Con rebuts Pro's case and defends, Pro rebuts Con's case, defends and crystallizes
Round 4: Con rebuts Pro's case, defends and crystallizes, Pro waives


I look forward to an interesting debate. Please remember to present your initial arguments in Round 1.
creationtruth

Pro

Argument From Genetic Information

The cells of all organic life forms contain information in the form of genetic code. The chain of genetic code known as DNA harbors the amino acids which themselves contain no semantic meaning, but when placed in a linguistic sequence, can be readily utilized in forming every phenotype known to biology.


The living cell demonstrates a system of communication, particularly between DNA and proteins. DNA codes for proteins which go on to form every part of a creature, including the very DNA from which it was coded. DNA is a macro-molecule in the shape of a double-helix with a sugar-phosphate backbone.



The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.



DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar, and phosphate are called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder, with the base pairs forming the ladder’s rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules forming the vertical sidepieces of the ladder.
DNA is a double helix formed by base pairs attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone.


An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov...).


DNA serves as the blueprint for every creature's phenotype. Since DNA is a language system in which communication occurs between a sender and receiver, it can rightfully be said to contain true information.


"To fully characterise the concept of information, five aspects must be considered"statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics. Information is represented (that is, formulated, transmitted, stored) as a language. From a stipulated alphabet, the individual symbols are assembled into words (code). From these words (each word having been assigned a meaning), sentences are formed according to the firmly defined rules of grammar (syntax). These sentences are the bearers of semantic information. Furthermore, the action intended/carried out (pragmatics) and the desired/achieved goal (apobetics) belong of necessity to the concept of information (http://creation.com...)."

In the function of the genome within living cells we find statistics in the form of four letters which are syntactically organized to give the semantic meaning for transcription and translation. The semantic meaning encoded in the genome is pragmatically utilized in the formation of proteins and thus integral to the process of replication which is a part of the apobetic, or intended goal of the digital code.

Information intrinsically depends upon an original act of intelligence to construct it, therefore the information seen in living cells testifies to having been originally created by an intelligent Creator. Note that this argument is not based upon the inability for naturalistic/statistical processes alone to account for the formation of genetic information, but rather my case is built upon what we do know about genetic code and function. Therefore this is not a god-of-the-gaps argument, as the claim is based on observation. Not also that this is not an argument from complexity but from specified universal information. To refute my case is actually quite a simple task; one must only need demonstrate a single case where universal information, of the type seen in genetic code, is derived entirely from purely material sources.


Argument From Irreducible Complexity

The complexity of the cell alone is not what points to an intelligent Creator but it is the study of cellular function itself. For example, consider the superbly efficient molecular motor ATP synthase, a tiny protein complex which makes an energy-rich compound ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP synthase manufactures ATP from two smaller chemicals, ADP and phosphate. ATP synthase is so small that it is able to manipulate these tiny molecules, one at a time. ATP synthase must convert some other form of energy into new ATPs. This energy is in the form of a hydrogen ion (H+) gradient, which is generated by a different whole protein system to ATP synthase. Hydrogen ions pour through ATP synthase like wind through a windmill. This comprises a positively charged electric current, in contrast to our electric motors, which use a negative current of electrons (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...). These rotary motors in the membranes of mitochondria (the cell's power houses) turn in response to proton flow (a positive electric current). Rotation of the motor converts ADP molecules plus phosphate into the cell's fuel, ATP. When a stream of tiny hydrogen ions (protons) flows through the base and out the side of ATP synthase, passing across the membrane, they force the axle and base to spin. The stiff central axle pushes against the inside walls of the six head proteins, which alternately become slightly deformed and reformed. Each of your trillions of cells has many thousands of these machines spinning at over 9,000 rpm (http://www.mrc-mbu.cam.ac.uk...).



ATP synthase is made by processes which all require functioning sources of ATP such as the unwinding of the DNA helix with helicase to allow transcription and then translation of the coded information into the proteins that make up ATP synthase. Manufacture of the 100 enzymatic machines needed to achieve this require ATP as well! And making the membranes in which ATP synthase sits needs ATP, but without the membranes it would not function (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...). Evolutionists imagine how the ATP synthase motor might have evolved, but these are just surmisings, no conclusive evidence has been brought forth. This example of ATP synthase exemplifies the common chicken-and-egg problem many molecular machines exhibit. Which came first the ATP synthase which requires ATP or ATP which requires ATP synthase? This is quite a vicious cycle for evolutionists to explain.



Let us also consider the marvelous macromolecule DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA's function is to store and transmit genetic information, but it can't work without many molecular machines already inplace. However, as the noted philosopher of science, Sir Karl Popper commented, "What makes the origin of life and of the genetic code a disturbing riddle is this: the genetic code is without any biological function unless it is translated; that is, unless it leads to the synthesis of the proteins whose structure is laid down by the code. But '. . .the machinery by which the cell (at least the non-primitive cell, which is the only one we know) translates the code consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are themselves coded in the DNA.' Thus the code can not be translated except by using certain products of its translation. This constitutes a baffling circle; a really vicious circle, it seems, for any attempt to form a model or theory of the genesis of the genetic code. Thus we may be faced with the possibility that the origin of life (like the origin of physics) becomes an impenetrable barrier to science, and a residue to all attempts to reduce biology to chemistry and physics" (https://books.google.com...).



Richard H. Ebright and his team from Rutgers University have discovered more intricacies in the process of transcription (http://phys.org...), where information from the right-part of the DNA is copied onto a strand of messenger RNA (mRNA). It is this mRNA that is translated into proteins in the complex machines known as ribosomes. DNA is double stranded, so must first be unwound, so that the right strand can be copied onto mRNA, in a sense like a photographic negative. So one of these machines (ribosomes), called RNA polymerase (RNAP), first locks on to the start of the gene. The next stage is that the anchored RNAP then reels in the DNA which unwinds the double strand so that the messenger RNA copy can be formed off one of them (http://www.sciencemag.org...).



A problem arises for evolution in the following way: the instructions to build RNAP are themselves encoded in the DNA. But the DNA could not be transcribed into the mRNA without the elaborate machinery of RNAP. And this is also an example of irreducible complexity because it would not be able to perform its function unless every feature was fully functioning. There would be no use being able to dock onto the right spot of the gene and getting stuck there, or unwinding the DNA without being able to wind it back. Furthermore, RNAP uses ATP as an energy source to achieve its feats. And ATP is made by, of course, the ATP synthase which is also coded on the cell's DNA. Therefore, until RNAP is fully formed, coding for cellular instructions would not be possible as the process of transcription into mRNA requires RNAP.

Debate Round No. 1
tejretics

Con

I thank creationtruth for accepting. I will present my case in this round and rebut my opponent’s case in the next in accordance with the debate structure.


C1) Non-Cognitivism of Greatness


Greatness is a purely subjective property, which entails a relative understanding according to what is “great” according to each line of perception. All subjective properties require a standard to describe the level of that property.


For example, there is a universe with a single pencil and nothing else. In such a universe, you cannot say the pencil is ‘small’, as there is no definition of ‘small’ without anything else to measure against, i.e. something larger, so that one knows this is ‘smaller’. Thus, such a property requires a standard.


So what is the standard to God’s greatness? It is rationally intuitive to think that the standard is:


a) Internal to God
b) External to God


A standard being internal to God begs the question, as it assumes God’s existence, which is what I am attacking. A standard external to God contradicts his position as transcendent to the universe. Thus, with no standard to match up against, a great God’s existence is incoherent.


To negate this without ad hoc hypotheses, my opponent has to prove that greatness is an objective property, which would require a highly specific definition of ‘greatness’. Greatness is the quality of being ‘great’, which is defined as: “of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above average”, or “of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average.” [1] What is the supposed mark of ‘average’ here? It is logically incoherent to measure greatness objectively, thus the qualities of greatness and transcendence will contradict each other if together.


To phrase it in a different structure:


P1: Greatness is a subjective property.
P2: Subjective properties require standards of that property.
C1: Greatness requires a standard.
P3: The standard to God’s greatness requires a standard to be internal or external.
P4: Both are incoherent.
C2: Either (a) God is not great, or (b) God doesn’t exist.


As God is defined as being ‘immensely great’, God requires a standard to be immensely great, and without such a standard, is incoherent if real.



C2) Incoherence of a Caused Universe



a) Introduction and First Defense of P2



This argument is structured in the following manner.



P1: If God exists, the universe has a cause.
P2: The universe cannot have a cause.
C: God cannot exist.



P1 is true by definition, as God is the cause of the universe. P2 is affirmed by basic physics. Physicist Sean Carroll notes two features that are necessary to speak of causality, time (and the arrow of time) and the laws of nature. [2] Causality is incoherent without these features. Sans physical laws we lack the unbreakable principles that don’t allow for things to ‘just happen’, without the arrow of time, which, in turn, is based on entropy via. the second law of thermodynamics [3], we cannot coherently talk about ‘before’ or ‘after’, necessary in order to say “X caused Y to be”, moreover it also entails there is no absolute ‘first’. Outside of, and prior to, the universe, there are no physical laws, nor is there entropy. Without these, causality is incoherent, thus the universe cannot have been caused. The conclusion follows from the premises.


b) Eternalism


To argue for causation is to propose a capacity for ‘change’. Change is only possible if there is an absolute moving reference point. If there is no such absolute moving reference, to speak of change, and, thus, causation, would be incoherent. According to the B-theory of time and eternalism, the universe is a ‘block’, with no such absolute moving reference, and, thus, is unchanging and cannot have been caused. [4]






According to general relativity, space is ‘stretchable’. This was confirmed by the Friedmann observations and Hubble’s Law, that were used by Georges Lemaitre to propose the Big Bang theory, that states the universe is expanding, which is shown via. the cosmological redshift. [5] The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin singularity theorem, derived by Arvind Borde, Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin, further supports the theory that the universe is expanding. [6]


General relativity also yields ‘eternalism’ or block universe, where the past, present and future are all equally real, and the passage of time is illusory via. the B-theory of time. General relativity models time as a ‘fourth dimension’ of space itself, allowing for the block universe theory to be likely true. Causality cannot be stressed on unless one assumes the presentism ontology of time, which is dubious in light of scientific discoveries supporting eternalism, especially special and general relativity. “Many [scientists and philosophers] have argued against presentism on the grounds that presentism is incompatible with the theory of relativity.” [7]


If eternalism is true, causation is incoherent. In special relativity, each observer has their own ‘plane of simultaneity’, a small section of three-dimensional space where all events are simultaneous. [8] “Special relativity suggests that the concept of simultaneity is not universal: according to the relativity of simultaneity, observers in different frames of reference can have different perceptions of whether a given pair of events happened at the same time or at different times, with there being no physical basis for preferring one frame's judgments over another's (though in a case where one event A happens in the past light cone of another event B, all frames will agree that A happened in the past of B). So, in special relativity there can be no physical basis for picking out a unique set of events that are all happening simultaneously in ‘the present’.” [9] This entails eternalism.






C3) Argument from Atemporal Minds


I shall now use a contention to attack the metaphysical possibility of an atemporal mind, i.e. God.


P1: God is an atemporal being with a mind.
P2: All minds require processes.
P3: Processes are always temporal and require time.
C: An atemporal mind is a contradiction, thus God cannot exist.


P1 is true by definition. As God is the creator of the universe, he must be external to the universe. Outside of the universe, there is no time. God is intelligent, and, therefore, has a mind.


P2 is accurate as we don’t have a quantitative understanding of intelligence, which must be a subjective property unless it has a process. Subjective properties are incoherent if paired with transcendence, as noted by the incoherence of greatness as a property, thus intelligence has to be objective for the existence of God as a mind, ergo it must involve a process. To argue a mind is not a process is to also concede that the entity is static, and essentially non-causal, thus the mind must involve a process by definition.


P3 follows as if time does not exist, there will be no passage of time. It is impossible to coherently talk of a process without the passage of time. For something to coherently ‘happen’ and change something because of that, there has to be the passage of time.


The conclusion directly follows from the premises.



C4) Law of Parsimony


a) Deductive


The Law of Parsimony, a form of Occam’s Razor, posits that in a group of equally likely explanation, the one with least number of assumptions is a priori most likely. [10] Theism, or even deism, has greater number of assumptions than atheistic metaphysical naturalism. The former assumes the existence of a physical universe, its laws AND God, the latter only assumes the existence of a physical universe and its laws. Therefore, if the existence of God is not required and the functioning of the universe can do without the addition of God, then the other explanation is more likely. [11]






b) Subjective


The definition of God requires additional properties, such as ‘greatness’, which is incoherent, intelligence, which requires a process, and properties such as omnipotence that we don’t have a quantitative understanding of, and may be incoherent. These properties constantly add complexity to the being, making God’s existence less and less likely.


Conclusion


Thus, I have presented four deductive arguments against the existence of God, and it is likely that God does not exist. I will rebut Pro’s case in the next round.




Sources


1. Google (“define great”)

3. Stephen Hawking (1988). A Brief History of Time. p. 153.

9. http://tinyurl.com...;(subheading 1.1)
creationtruth

Pro

I appreciate my opponent's thoughtful and detailed response. Allow me to address Con's arguments under the same headings he used.



Non-Cognitivism of Greatness


First of all I would like to state that I agree greatness is a subjective property, if God be excluded as the standard. Con correctly states that subjective properties require a standard to properly describe the level of that property. I do not however see the necessity of proving the objectivity of greatness which is external to God. I agree, as Con claims, that attempting to formulate a standard external to God contradicts His transcendence. Certainly if God exists, greatness, being an inherent characteristic of God, could only be measured against God Himself, especially given that all things proceed from Him and are thus subsequent to Him.


So I do concede that any standard of greatness must be that which is internal to God, however, Con's claim that either God is not great or God does not exist is an example of the fallacy of denying the antecedent. Even if the premise concerning God's greatness were true, it would not result in the impossibility or even implausibility of God's existence. Essentially all one would be able to state is that one cannot objectively claim that God is "immensely great," but the inability to do so would not in any way negate His existence. Therefore such an argument as Con has presented concerning God's greatness serves no purpose in this debate.


Nevertheless, God's greatness is surely a consequent of His existence and status of Creator of all that is. If we considered the greatness, in any aspect, of anything in existence, we would have to concede, given God's existence, that since these things were brought into existence by God, God must of necessity be at least greater than anything in our universe. Since, as Con stated, a standard of greatness internal to God assumes His existence, we must ultimately look beyond potentially subjective characteristic or properties of God for evidence of His existence.


To claim that God created all things does not require any standard to determine the veracity of said claim. To claim however that God created all things originally "very good" would require a standard to judge by. We could not ultimately determine the truthfulness of such a claim outside of an absolute, objective standard which of course would of necessity have to be God himself, and as I believe, would be found in His written, inspired and preserved word, the Bible. Therefore I assert that this particular argument posited by Con is unhelpful for the purposes of this debates.



Incoherence of a Caused Universe

Con's first paragraph defending his claim that the universe cannot have a cause fails to take into account that God, being transcendent, brought time (which is of course relative), and the laws of nature into existence at the time of creation. His argument would only apply to a purely naturalistic universe and "pre-universe," which seemingly refutes the idea that the universe came into existence via purely naturalistic processes.


Before the existence of our universe, time is not relevant since God is eternal. So as Con says, we cannot talk about before or after but until the universe begins. Genesis 1:1 states that "In the beginning" (time), "God created the heaven and the earth" (transcendence of the universe). God set time and the laws of nature into motion at the first moment of creation.


Concerning Con's argument from eternalism, God can easily be the absolute moving reference point. Con's claims concerning an unchanging "block" universe are arbitrary. I agree with the findings of general and special relativity, but we must remember that time is relative and therefore, being finite beings stuck in a particular "present" if you will, we of course cannot understand the eternalism of God. However Con's argument concerning eternalism again seems to be leaving out the claim of God's transcendence and creation of time itself. Just as Con states that if eternalism is true causation is incoherent, I too can state that if God be the creator of space and time, naturalistic eternalism is incoherent. Again, this argument seems to be unhelpful in determining the existence of God.



Argument from Atemporal Minds


I agree that God is an atemporal being with a mind, however Con's argument falls apart at his second claim that all minds require processes. Surely minds within and subject to this universe and its laws require time-based processes. God on the other hand is outside of time as Con seems to understand, therefore His mind cannot logically function in the form of time-based processes. This is not to say however that His mind does not function via any kind of process as this would be incoherent.


While I do not claim to understand how the processes of God's mind function, scripture is clear that God is omniscient, even knowing the end from the beginning. Therefore, He eternally knows all things: difficult to fathom, but not illogical. Our understanding of the processes of mind from scripture are indeed time-based, but this is not to say that this applies to His thought processes themselves. In either case, I do not see the relevance of this argument to God's existence. Con also seems to be guilty of the fallacy of affirming a disjunct, where disproving non time-dependent processes is claimed to disprove the possibility of an atemporal mind. Since there are so many unknown factors concerning God's thoughts, as His thoughts and ways are far beyond ours, this argument seems to be futile.



Law of Parsimony


Con's deductive argument is erroneous in that a theist must only assume God as the progenitor of the universe and the laws which govern it. His subjective argument is faulty since greatness and intelligence are inherent to God's character and of course must be at least greater than all that is in the universe. The lack of a quantitative understanding of God's omnipotence does not negate the claim that He is omnipotent, and certainly none of these concerns even remotely negate the possibility of His existence.


We must consider also that God's existence as well as His characteristics are not ultimately left to assumption. While they may begin as axioms, as the rest of scripture, when evidence of such is discovered, such claims are no longer axioms but demonstrable realities. As a Christian I believe the ultimate evidence and revelation of God is scripture itself. One can certainly have surety of His existence and characteristics through it by receiving the Holy Spirit through believing the Gospel of Grace. While this is certainly not empirical evidence, it cannot empirically be ruled out. The idea that all things must be proven via empirical methods is itself a philosophical position which cannot be supported by empirical methods.



Counter Argument Against Con's Usage of Logic


Why should accept Con's argument based on logical constructs (faulty or not), if he has no ultimate and absolute basis for logic itself? If he is a naturalist/materialist, then his thought processes, including those which lead to any philosophical or logical construct, are derivatives of unguided cognitive chemical processes. The recent cover of the April 4-10, 2015 issue of New Scientist magazine reads "Belief: They drive everything we do. But our beliefs are built on…nothing" (http://www.newscientist.com...). This is an amazing statement by a magazine, supposedly dedicated to science, in that it presents its readers with a philosophical conundrum. How can scientists, who must depend on a strict belief in logic and order, make such a statement?


To better understand this we should first define "belief." What exactly is belief that it should be held in such derision by a subset of men and women? Merriam Webster defines belief as:


  1. A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
  2. Something believed; especially: a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
  3. A conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence (http://www.merriam-webster.com...).


According to these definitions all human beings, including all scientists, practice belief in some form or another. Some place their belief in a philosophical system, some in a person, some in money, some in hedonistic enterprises, and some in science; although this particular belief should properly be called by another name—empiricism. But more pertinent to Con's usage of logic, how can we trust his logic if he claims to have no standard for such? It of course must be assumed, and therefore it is one more thing Con must add to his list of axioms whereas I can again point to my single axiom, God, as the author of logic and reason.



Conclusion


Since scriptural claims concerning God's characteristics or properties are known ultimately through scriptural revelation alone, I would not argue for these things outside of scripture. But scripture does claim that God has made Himself known, at least His existence and powerful position as the Creator God through His created universe. Therefore I have made arguments from creation which are demonstrable and do not require potentially subjective properties as "greatness." Thus far I do not believe Con has made a valid argument against God's existence. I do not mean to come off as bigoted or even unwilling to engage in the details of the arguments presented by Con, but from reading through them I honestly do not see a valid line of argumentation outside of speculation and faulty logical constructs. Con's attempt to use logic is not rooted in trustworthy or objective standards since He rejects an absolute standard and reason for logic which cannot be found apart from God.

Debate Round No. 2
tejretics

Con

CLARIFICATION



a) Soundness of Logic



This is in response to Pro’s “counter-argument in response to [my] usage of logic.” Rule 2 says there shall be no K's of the topic, and this is in direct violation of the rule. First, I must clarify what a K is. “[A] kritik usually challenges a certain mindset, assumption, or discursive element that exists within the advocacy of the opposing team, often from the perspective of critical theory.” [1] The soundness of logic, reason and observation is an obvious assumption in *any* debate setting unless shown otherwise. Thus, this entire offense on the soundness of logic is in direct violation of Rule 2, as it is a kritik.



“The idea that all things must be proven via empirical methods is itself a philosophical position which cannot be supported by empirical methods.”



This is also a K and, thus, shall not be considered.



b) Definition of God


I shall address this based on Pro’s conclusion.



What scripture claims is irrelevant to this debate. While one can add properties of the Bible in this debate, this debate’s definition of God takes precedence. In the last line, Pro challenges the definition of God involving the property of ‘immensely great’, saying the property is not required. But as, by this debate’s definition, Pro must justify each and every property of God’s in this debate, Pro argues against himself.



The definitions are not ‘set in stone’ or assumed, as that would commit the fallacy of begging the question. Each and every property ascribed to God must be justified. Pro’s two teleological arguments do not justify the need for a God that is omnipotent or objectively ‘great’. They merely defend an intelligent designer, and that is not enough.



R1) Genetic Information



Evolution can pass on genetic information from each generation of species. This transfer of genetic information that allows new cells to evolve occurs via. cell division. How can cell division transfer genetic information? Pro answers this question himself. “It was first discovered that DNA transfers could modify bacteria behaviour. The double helix structure of the DNA molecule, which explains how it can be copied, was discovered in 1953, and over the course of the 1960s we gained more and more insight into how this information was read. It is indeed fascinating that such a simple structure can help us to understand heredity. Some have forgotten that this transmission of information is nothing outside a given cellular context and in a given environment.” [2]



Evolution can also produce new genetic information. Genomes with terminal protein are ‘vehicles’ of information transfer in genes. [3] According to a study published in the Scientific American, biologists *observed* the creation of new genes and genetic information via. evolution. [4] “In a study in the journal Science, Andersson, Roth and their colleagues demonstrate the process in lab-grown Salmonella enterica. They grew one strain missing a gene key for expressing the essential amino acid tryptophan. The strain needed to rely on another gene, which had a primary job but also a weak ability to take on the missing gene's work. The researchers encouraged the bacteria to duplicate the overworked gene, and its copies gathered mutations—some of which enhanced tryptophan production. At the end of a year's time (3,000 generations later) the bacteria had one gene that did the original job and a second that had evolved a new primary function—manufacturing tryptophan.” [5]



“Information intrinsically depends upon an original act of intelligence to construct it, therefore the information seen in living cells testifies to having been originally created by an intelligent Creator.”



This is refuted by my demonstration that evolution can *create* new genetic information and genes without an “act of intelligence.” My position is one that information can be generated by materialistic means, e.g. evolution via. natural selection.



The researchers did not play a direct part in the creation of the new genes, which was purely via. stimulated evolution. Evolution can be stimulated naturally, as proven by the study.


R2) Complexity



a) Core Arguments



No conclusive evidence has been brought forth for God having created this irreducible complexity either. And the chicken-or-egg question applies to a creationist rendering as well. This argument doesn't, justifies God’s existence in any manner.



The “baffling circle” described by Popper also does not justify God. It is merely something which seems inexplicable and theories have been made to explain it. Creationism also does not provide a valid explanation for the same.



My opponent is attacking evolution, but that, in no way, justifies the existence of God. This is irrelevant to the resolution, and would have been a proper argument in a debate on evolution.



b) Justification of Evolution



Universal Genetic Code



The genetic code is the set of rules by which information encoded within genetic material (DNA or mRNA sequences) is translated into proteins by living cells. [6] The genetic code used by all known forms of life is nearly universal with few minor variations. [7]




As seen above, the encoded genetic information is almost exactly identical. [8] Evolution is the only theory that explains this.



Genetic Commonalities



The closest relations in genomes between H. sapiens and other mammalians is shown in the robust chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). “The DNA sequence differences between humans and chimpanzees is about thirty-five million single-nucleotide changes, five million insertion/deletion events, and various chromosomal rearrangements. Typical human and chimp protein homologs differ in only an average of two amino acids.” [9] This means a difference of about 95-96% between the genome of H. sapiens and P. troglodytes. [10]



“Sequence differences from the human genome were confirmed to be ∼1% in areas that can be precisely aligned, representing ∼35 million single base-pair differences. Some 45 million nucleotides of insertions and deletions unique to each lineage were also discovered, making the actual difference between the two genomes ∼4%.” [11]



Below is the comparison between a chimpanzee and human gene. [12]




Evolution is, again, the sole theory that explains the graduation of genetic commonalities. [13]



C1) Non-Cognitivism of Greatness



Pro accepts that greatness is subjective, but Pro needs to demonstrate objective greatness with a standard. Pro defends a standard internal to God. I demonstrated how a standard internal to God is logically fallacious, as it begs the question.



I have demonstrated how objective greatness is impossible with a transcendent God. If God is transcendent, then God is transcendent forever, and does not have the ability to enter the universe, since that would be contrary to the definition, and omnipotence is the ability to perform all logically possible actions. If greatness is impossible, as said, either God is not great or he doesn’t exist. Since God has to be great by definition, he doesn’t exist.



Even if God is ‘maximally great’, or ‘greater than everything else’, that does not justify his being immensely great. Pro asserts that since God created the universe, he is to be considered objectively ‘great’. This is a bare assertion, and, thus, is logically fallacious.



C2) Incoherence of a Caused Universe



a) Requirements for Causation



“Creating time” is incoherent. As Sean Carroll notes, time is required for anything to be coherently ‘created’. So without time and the laws of nature, causation is *impossible*. Pro begs the question by assuming I support that the universe was ‘caused naturally’. My position is that the universe was not caused and need not be caused to come into existence. Pro *assumes* there has to be a cause by claiming I support a naturalistic cause of the universe, while I don’t.



Even if God is eternal, causation is incoherent without time. I’m not saying God can’t exist without time here, I assert that causality is incoherent without time. This is irrelevant to my argument.



b) Eternalism



God cannot be the absolute moving reference point as there is *no* absolute moving reference point, according to eternalism. Pro accepts the findings that the B-series is true, and if eternalism is true, coherently speaking of change or causation is incoherent. This is virtually dropped. Without change, causation is incoherent. Pro begs the question here as well, and I accept that naturalistic causation is equally incoherent.



But that naturalistic eternalism is incoherent is a bare assertion and is not justified.



C3) Argument from Atemporal Minds



God is outside of the universe and his mind cannot logically function in the form of processes. This is the exact point I was making. Therefore, God cannot exist. But Pro denies the conclusion by begging the question, assuming the existence of God, which is precisely what I am arguing against. All processes are temporal, which was demonstrated by me. This has been dropped and baselessly denied. The conclusion follows from the premises. Pro accepts the premises and denies the conclusion based entirely on the assumption that God exists, and that is logically fallacious.



Omniscience is irrelevant, as it has nothing to do with God as defined.



C4) Law of Parsimony



a) Deductive



Pro’s point is that a theist must assume various other things. That doesn’t refute the deductive argument from parsimony, it strengthens it, as it adds to the number of assumptions theism has, over metaphysical naturalism. Thus, this argument is strengthened, not refuted, and it still stands.



b) Subjective



I have addressed greatness and intelligence above. It is subject to question whether omnipotence, being limitless, is limited by logical paradoxes, thus it may be (admittedly not definitely) complex. This would mean adding many further ad hoc hypotheses and subjectively adding to the complexity of theism.



Conclusion



The resolution is resoundingly negated.



The next round shall be Pro’s final round of debate. Sources in comments.


creationtruth

Pro

creationtruth forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
tejretics

Con

== Conclusion ==

Pro's arguments don't argue for God, instead for creationism, which is entirely irrelevant to the resolution. Pro has not shown that this God argued for in these biological arguments *has to be* (a) omnipotent and (b) immensely great, thus the arguments are entirely irrelevant. I have, nonetheless, rebutted them.

Pro's rebuttals to my arguments kept begging the question and I responded to all of them, showing objective greatness is incoherent, and that the God of the Bible can be irrelevant once mroe.

I extend my arguments. Since CT requested me to argue in R4, I allow him to rebut, defend and crystallize in the last round. But any NEW arguments must be entirely discounted.
creationtruth

Pro

I ask the reader to disregard my counter argument as it can be seen as a kritik, although I do believe it is a valid argument.

Definition of God

I was not undermining the definition of God as agreed upon in the debate, rather I was making the point that inquiring as to a deity's potential greatness surely would come after finding evidence of his existence. If God is the creator of all that is, of necessity He must be at least greater than all that He has created.

Genetic Information

The transfer, recombination, etc. of genetic information does not in any way address my argument. Even if evolution were the case, the genetic information present within the first living cell would have to be accounted for, and indeed could only be accounted for by means of intelligent design. If this were a debate on evolution, I would certainly argue against the veracity of the creation of novel genetic code via mutations, but since this argument does not negate my case, I will not address it. Con would need to demonstrate something more along the lines of abiogenesis. There are very clear and powerful arguments based on evidence which would negate Con's claims concerning evolution, but as I have said, they do not refute my case in any way.

Non-Cognitvism of Greatness

I have provided evidence which is consistent with God as Creator and therefore, when considering His greatness, demonstrate that He must be immensely great compared to every created thing. Con's claims concerning God's transcendence and its negating His greatness are arbitrary and unsupported. God indeed can "enter the universe" if He is omnipotent. My assertion concerning God's greatness is not illogical, it follows if He created all things that He must be greater than all that is created.

Requirements for Causation

Time is relevant and began with God's first act of creation. Time can be different outside of our universe. Regardless, there is no scientific reason why time cannot be initiated beyond a few claims of physicists such as Sean Carroll.

Conclusion

I have provided evidence which is consistent with God's existence and have rebutted Con's essential claims which would potentially refute my case. Read carefully and thanks for your time! :)
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
How much has happened when I was gone? XD
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
=================================================================
>Reported vote: dhauptman98 // Moderator action: Removed<

Voted for Con (choose winner). Reasons for voting decision: Con made more compelling evidence against Pro.

[*Reason for removal*] Too generic. Says absolutely nothing.
===============================================================
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
Just report bad votes like that and they will get removed.
Posted by creationtruth 1 year ago
creationtruth
dhauptman98's voting competency is called into question by his reasoning. Evidence is not made it is presented, and if it is "made" then it is not actually in existence. lol

If he meant "arguments" as opposed to evidence, more reasoning for his decision would be helpful.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
=== R3 Sources ===

1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.evolution-of-life.com...
3. http://www.pnas.org...
4. http://www.scientificamerican.com...
5. Ibid.
6. https://en.wikipedia.org...
7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
8. http://www.mun.ca...
9. https://en.wikipedia.org...
10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
11. Ajit Varki and David L. Nelson (2007). "Genomic Comparisons of Humans and Chimpanzees." Annual Review of Anthropology. 36:191-209.
12. http://www.nature.com...
13. https://en.wikipedia.org...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
tejreticscreationtruth
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: The main points that I feel shifted the victory to Con was the argument against atemporal minds and the incoherency of a caused universe. I feel Pro did not successfully refute these (and possibly didn't understand the latter). Pros arguments seemed mostly to follow along the lines of (and excuse the poor paraphrasing) "you can't explain x, but god could be an explanation" while Con's arguments dealt more so with the idea of god directly (and thus were more convincing). So, victory to Con.