Should the God hypothesis be a Scientific theory?
Understand that my approach is suppose to be of a scientist using the scientific method not a philosopher like William Lane Craig and other debaters attempt to do, So its a little bit different. I am arguing that the God Hypothesis should be a scientific theory.
In principle, I technically have all the Burden of Proof, but for the purpose of winning and losing this debate, my opponent must explain why it should NOT be a scientific theory. In other words, my opponent should be focusing on explaining why its unfalsifiable rather than try to falsify my hypothesis. There is a difference. However, I do welcome any attempts on his part to try to falsify it regardless.
My opponent will have to try and show how my hypothesis fails to better explain the data compared to the Null hypothesis and how it does not reach the essential criteria of being an established theory:
"The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The relevance and specificity of those predictions determine how potentially useful the theory is.......A body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory if it has fulfilled these criteria:
1. It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics).
2. It is well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation. This ensures that it is probably a good approximation, if not completely correct.
3. It is consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results. (Its predictions may differ slightly from pre-existing theories in cases where they are more accurate than before.)"
The "God Hypothesis" is there exists a personal God who is the creator of the universe and who is interested in having a human affair.
A "scientific explanation" therefore makes an unknown phenomenon comprehensible by relating it to known scientific facts and established theories.
Moreover, since my approach is scientific in nature, It needs to be five rounds for me to have enough ground to work under, and so I can adequately respond and address my opponents objections. Plus, I will probably be adding some new elements to this theory that were not present in my other debates.
At this stage I will admit that I feel I have somewhat of an advantage over my opponent by the fact that I have already seen his arguments, provided they are the same as those posted in his challenges against DeFool and TheElderScroll, but perhaps this advantage is evened out by the fact that he has had two opportunities to practice his arguments.
Nonetheless I look forward to a very enjoyable debate and wish my opponent all the best...I will attempt to have a blast...
According to the Hartle-Hawking's model, The Space-Time Theorem of General Relativity clearly states that space, time, and matter and energy all had a concrete beginning. Now, what I mean by the universe having a beginning is that at one point in the past space, time, and matter/energy came into being. At this point, called the initial singularity, gravity, space-time curvature, density etc. becomes infinite. In a place where the curvature in space-time is infinite or near infinite the laws of physics break down and do not apply, which means the aforementioned first law of thermodynamics would not hold inside a singularity and matter may be created or destroyed. Since matter and energy cannot exist without time, the singularity had to have come into being as well. 
Borde, Guth,Vilenken developed a theorem that proves inflationary models must contain singularities . They also authored the BGV theorem which proves that ANY universe that is on average in a state of cosmic expansion greater than 0 throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past, but must have a past space time boundary . This theorem does not assume Einsteins equations and holds even when we don't have a complete quantum theory of gravity of the early universe.
In fact, Even if we are just a tiny part of a so-called "multi-verse" with another version of space-time that follow different laws of nature, their theorem would STILL require an absolute beginning from this multi-verse as well. This is because the BGV theorem carries only one assumption: If the expansion rate of any universe is greater than 0, the universe began. One more evidence that seems to compound the idea that there must have been a beginning is the second law of thermodynamics. A universe that exists infinitively in the future will come to equilibrium (heat death). Therefore, if a universe was also past eternal, then it should have already been in a state of equilibrium.
THE FINELY-TUNED UNIVERSE
The fundamental laws and constants of nature fall under an extraordinarily narrow range of life permitting values ,within an infinite set, in which the right value was chosen every time. The slightest change in these values would prevent any kind of life from evolving or existing. Moreover, these perfectly fine-tuned laws and constants came into being right after the big bang, error free and without change throughout this process.
Let me explain what I mean by "fine-tuned for life". I am talking about fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life of any kind requires under the general definition of scientists presently use . In other words, If the constants were even altered just a little, You would not get chemistry or matter much less planets and stars that can serve as places where life might evolve (In science, the meaning of the term "life" is not fully established or defined) . There are experiments that show amino acids and RNA viruses ,which are two of the three essential components of life, can come from non-life. Thus, there could be other types of life forms besides human life we don't know or have not discovered yet we might call "life" now or in the future.
The phrase "finely tuned" universe is a scientific term scientist use to describe the measurement of the laws and constants. We know that present day particle physics have a whole lot of adjusted parameters like the mass of certain particles along with the strength of certain forces.
How do we know the values are fine-tuned? We know through math that most of the values in the parameters will not allow life to exist if these values were smaller or larger. This means we don't need to know what values don't produce life, just the relevant values of the constants that do produce a life permitting universe. 
THE GOD (ALTERNATIVE) HYPOTHESIS
Philosophically, there cannot be an infinite amount of time because Time is by definition a series of "moments". The nature of a moment is "a beginning of the future and an end of the past." The assumption of an absolutely first moment would consequently carry with it the implication of a period of which is terminated by, and prior to, that first moment, and the prior time would itself contain moments. Thus, if time was eternal in the past, we would have never have arrived at this point, which means there has to be an absolute first cause.
This has been shown to be evident when scientists try to map and implement the idea of infinite "sets" upon the real world. It has "lead to severe calculational problems in the mathematical modelling of ensembles of universes or universe domains, blocking any meaningful application of probability calculus" every single time . Now, Science essentially has concrete evidence that points to the same conclusion regarding the Big Bang singularity. The initial singularity, which is a single point of infinite density and heatness, was a timeless thing that created most of the matter in the Universe. Thus, If this singularity was eternal, it would have never have created most of the matter in the universe and we would not have arrived at this point in time.
However, this was not just any old bang from a simple beginning, but a great expansion of exquisitely arranged magnitude containing galaxies, planets, stars and all other heavenly bodies. The other important aspect of this extraordinary order following the big bang was the creation of our habitable planet Earth. So the question before us is this, "If there is even a cause at all, What force is ultimately responsible for all the known phenomena and complexity within the universe?" .
If a great order arose from an expansion, then it should be understood that the intervention of an intelligence was involved in every moment of this expansion. I will call this force the God Hypothesis.
If the God hypothesis is true, then the universe should exhibit divine attributes from a divine intelligence. Moreover, this divine intelligence would have to be similar to human beings but without the limitations the universe possesses. The null hypothesis is that there is no cause for this finley-tuned universe and it just quantum fluctuated out of nothing. However, CON can falsify my hypothesis completely by showing that intelligence arises entirely from natural processes.
THE INDUCTIVE METHOD
Now, the space-time boundary prevents us from observing this entity directly to discover the properties of this cause. However, there are all kinds of things that we can't see or identify but yet we see there effects which led us to potential hypothesises about what they potentially were and how those things manifest using the inductive method of reasoning.
Inductive reasoning is a form of logic that is most characteristic of the scientific method itself, because it moves from the effects to causes which can yield the most likely conclusion for a certain body of data. This inductive method is important for physicist when observing the unobservable nature of subatomic particles or atoms, which can only be detected through indirect manners in order to learn about its nature.
In the next round, I will provide the experiments that prove my hypothesis and the experiments that potentially could falsify it.
 John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" p. 288
 Paul Davies, "How bio-friendly is the universe?" International Journal of Astrobiology, vol. 2, no. 2 (2003): 115.
I apologise for taking so long in getting this round’s argument together, but unlike my opponent, I didn’t have the benefit of simply cutting and pasting. That said let me lay out some preliminaries.
I will be using the abbreviation gH to stand for the “god Hypothesis”. As far as this convention is concerned I’d like to point out that by showing the word “god” in lower case, I do not mean to cause offense. I am doing this deliberately to distinguish this, as yet unclear concept, from the theologically convoluted concept of “God”. I will demonstrate later how drawing this distinction is critical to both of us and allows for us to avoid confusing conceptual contexts.
It seems that my opponent is primarily concerned with the problem of demarcation. His aim is therefore to present a case for the falsifiability of his hypothesis. In doing so he aims to elevate the gH to the status of a scientific hypothesis. Consequently it is my aim to produce a convincing argument for why the gH is not susceptible to falsification.
This seems to be loosely in keeping with what my opponent expects of me. He states that in order to defeat him I should succeed in one or both of the following endeavors:
1.I should demonstrate how his hypothesis fails to better explain the data compared to the Null hypothesis and how it does not reach the essential criteria of being an established theory; and/or
2.I should falsify his hypothesis completely by showing that intelligence arises entirely from natural processes.
I’d like to point out that if I were able to succeed in endeavor number 2 above I would be improving the case for my opponent by showing that his theory is indeed falsifiable (contra 1 above), so I will ignore this tactic, not least because I do not believe that showing that intelligence arises entirely from natural causes in any way falsifies the gH as it is currently postulated.
I will therefore concentrate my efforts of showing how the gH is not amenable to the scientific method and in particular it is unfalsifiable as it is not susceptible to direct or indirect observation or testing. This will adequately satisfy the requirements of 1 above, without making particular reference to the Null Hypothesis, which incidentally, I have no truck with. Lawrence Krauss makes a convincing case for this in “The Universe from Nothing”.
First though, I’d like to clarify some important philosophical conventions that underpin the scientific method. The scientific method proves incomparably efficacious in it’s ability to generate new knowledge about the natural world by the correct application of the inductive method to carefully constructed existential claims.
The crucial point here is that science concerns itself exclusively with what direct and indirect observation can reveal about the natural world. As much as some relatively recent philosophers of science, including the likes of Feyerabrend and Kuhn, would like to change this, the fact is that the methods and discoveries are reliant on these three axioms:
These three axioms are implicit in every scientific discovery and in the methods applied in the process of discovery. If anyone disputes any of these three axioms, they would need to apply all three in their arguments in opposition to them…otherwise known as ‘sawing off the branch on which you perch’.
The most material implication of this fact as it concerns the matter at hand, is that these axioms limit our ability to generate knowledge to the natural world exclusively i.e. they cannot say anything whatever about a ‘supernatural world’ as we conceivably have no access to this kind of world - see axioms 2 & 3.
I will get back to this in a moment, but for now let’s get clear on what has been specified in my opponent’s hypothesis statement. He states the gH as follows:
“There exists a personal God who is the creator of the universe and who is interested in having a human affair.”
My opponent introduces a term here that has no objectively clear definition; “God”. All he is prepared to say about this ‘agency’ is that he ascribes to it intelligence, and the act of having created the universe in which we preside. He also refers to this ‘agency’ as a force, so ostensibly an intelligent force that created the universe.
I believe that my opponent relies on our background knowledge of theology, mythology (largely the same thing) and culture for the balance of meaning behind this convoluted term. Therefore it is not coincidental that he chooses to call this force “God” with a capital “G”.
However, if we are to accept this concept into scientific parlance then my opponent has a lot of work to do in providing a scientifically verifiable concrete definition of this agency. I admit that he may not be able to say much, but he must accept that to the extent that he cannot say anything concrete about this agency, he limits the ability to verify it’s existence and everything it is ascribed to have done.
Therefore my opponent needs to accept that to assume any mythical or theological content into his description he admits a pantheon of dead gods into his list of candidates for the identity of this agency. So, I have some unfortunate news for my opponent; in order for me to take him seriously in the next round of this debate he will need to do a bit less cutting and pasting and address this matter of concept clarification explicitly, and much better than he did with my predecessors.
In the absence of such clarifying statements, otherwise known as ‘auxiliary hypotheses’ (AH), I will be left to make use of my own carefully derived assumptions in my next round. I therefore give notice to my opponent to make this a priority as he indirectly endorses my assumption by his inaction in this regard.
I would therefore ask my opponent to correct, confirm, or add to the following assumed AHs:
I have substituted “There exists a personal god…” with:
There exists an agency that has the following attributes:
And I have substituted “who is the creator of the universe…” with:
This agency brought about the universe under the following conditions:
And I have substitute “and who is interested in having a human affair.” with:
This agency seeks to interact with human nervous systems in such way as to orchestrate the necessary neural activity that coincides with emotional attachment to itself.
THEREFORE, in returning to the implications of the three axioms mentioned above my opponent will need to practice his dance steps well as he will be required to do an impossible jig. He must simultaneously; define “god” into the natural world to enable us to have to grasp; and keep it outside the natural world long enough to create a universe. As it stands so far, god is ‘no one’ (no matter), who ‘no where’ (no space), ‘never’ (no time) created the universe, which in my view equates directly to the Null Hypothesis as described by Lawrence Krauss above.
I have put enough on the table for now; I leave it up to my opponent to complete the abovementioned unanswered questions on his demarcation application form.
In the next round I will provide a rebuttal to my opponents first and second round arguments together with a continuation of my case against the gH.
The Law of Cause and Effect states that for every effect there must be a cause for it. In addition, The Law of Biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, states that life (as we know it) only arises from pre-existing life.
Both these physical laws together indicate that whatever is responsible for this complexity and beginning must have been an eternal life force without Spacial and Temporal properties who programmed the first self-replicating DNA molecule along with the universe itself. It must be eternal and therefore changeless without the universe because it created time. Since it also created space, it must transcend space as well and must therefore be dimensionless/immaterial not physical. Lastly, it must be a personal mind since the DNA contains information and ,according to information theory , information only comes from minds. Thus, the properties of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial as well as a personal force.
There are only two possible candidates we are aware of that could possibly have the attributes of an immaterial, omnipresent, eternal and conscious entity: either an abstract object (like numbers) or a human mind (or consciousness).
The first candidate would be abstract objects. Abstract objects like mathematical entities are not found under rocks or grown out of trees nor are they understood to be contingent upon human minds. Our minds have simply been recognizing these necessary truths rather than create them, and lastly they can apply to virtually everything that exist. Nevertheless, these kind of abstract objects are still seem to be demonstrable because we can create physical manifestations of them in reality involving the fine-tuning constants.
The second candidate would be human minds. Human minds are understood to have agent causality where a cause would be able to bring about new effects at will without any physical dimensions or determining conditions by virtue of its agency. This is called "substance dualism" where there are two fundamental kinds of substance: mental and material. The mental would not have extension in the spacial and temporal constraints with the universe but occupy an independent "realm" of existence distinct from that of the physical world .
However, abstract objects by definition are not suppose to stand in causal relationships with reality, and human minds are understood to be intrinsically connected to material substances that naturally possess physical constraints on knowledge and power. Thus, if it cannot be an abstract object or a human mind, then maybe its a combination of the two which would involve an absolute mind where there would not be a brain or body attached.
An absolute mind would explain why you can get a temporal effect with a beginning from an eternal cause with unlimited properties. We should find, from more empirical observations, attributes of an all-knowing and all-powerful being exhibited within the universe.
ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-KNOWING
According to the BGV theorem, the expansion rate of the universe, which is called Eternal inflation, will continue to accelerate forever; this suggest that there's potentially an infinite degree of power being exerted to expand the universe. This is attributed to the cancellation effect between negative and positive energy ,called the cosmological constant , which happens to be finely tuned to 120 decimal places making it the most well adjusted fine-tuning parameter of them all. Since this constant along with the rest were present from the very beginning of the universe, it follows logically that the cause for this beginning was responsible for the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant.
Moreover, If this cause is all-powerful, then it would have to be all-knowing as well to know the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, the potential outcome of all future interactions of these particles, and be able to control and anticipate each potential outcome from this future eternal inflation in a inconceivably precise manner. Thus, the attributes of this cause must be omniscient and omni-potent.
Two out of three predictions have already been experimented on by scientists, which have failed to show the God hyposthesis to be wrong. Where they have failed CON can succeed by trying to show how intelligence arises entirely from natural processes or the statement that "only intelligent minds design complex things" is false .
1. Theory of Everything
We have yet to create a theory that explains both Einsteins General Relativity and quantum mechanics (called the Grand Unified Theory). Once scientists discover a successful Grand Unified Theory, there is still the remote possibility that the fine-tuning constants like the Cosmological constant are a product of evolution given other laws of physics.
2. Life from Non-life
The Miller Urey-experiment attempted to prove the origin of life could have occurred on the early earth under natural conditions without intelligence . However, The Urey/Miller experiments did not produce evidence for abiogenesis because, although amino acids are the building blocks of life, the key to life is information in the form of DNA that MUST exist first before evolution can even take place.
3. Mind-body Dualism
A famous scientist named Wilder Penfield conducted studies that attempted to explain the mind on the basis of brain-action "alone" . However, he was unabled to find through eletrical stimulation a place in the cerebral cortex responsible for decision making, intention states, self-identity overtime, and so-called free will.
In conclusion, from the collection of divine attributes that were discovered it follows logically that a Divine intelligence in the form of a personal absolute mind is ultimately responsible for all the known phenomena and complexity within the universe. Now, we are at the analysis portion where we compare the predictions from the God (alternative) hypothesis to those of the null hypothesis, to determine which one better explains the data and observations.
Well first off, Quantum fluctuations would not explain how we as humans came to be or the fine-tuning of the universe since there is no evidence that the fine-tuning laws came into being by chance.
Second, Just because scientists cannot presently find a cause for some quantum events does not mean its evidence that some things don't have to have a cause. There are at least 10 different interpretations of quantum mechanics and some of them are fully deterministic. As physicist David Bohm, has pointed out, there are many "hidden variables" at the quantum level of reality, of which anyone could contain the sufficient reason for a certain quantum event . Since we don't fully understand quantum mechanics in the first place being in its infancy, we certainly cannot and should not make conclusions like this with any kind of confidence.
Lastly, Quantum events do not take place in "absolute" nothingness. It actually takes place out of a larger quantum field ,which is a part of physical reality, that enables particles to come in and out of existence. Without this field there would be no quantum events . This is another reason why its not accurate to say that a particular quantum outcome is "uncaused".
I will give a full analysis of the God hypothesis in the next round that provides further insight on the same topic and compare the two hypothesis.
 Michael A. Corey, "The God Hypothesis" p. 14, 197
In this round I will be providing some rebuttal commentary on my opponent’s first two rounds of arguments. It is not always clear what he seeks to include in his argument for falsification, accept where he explicitly points this out, so I will deal with the major subject areas he raises in the most part to expose the lack of adequacy in their content for meeting the basic standards for observational testing. For the sake of convenience I have kept my opponent’s headings for easy referencing.
THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE
It seems that my opponent is perfectly comfortable accepting that time, space and matter have a concrete inception point. However I’m not convinced that he has a good understanding about what that really means when he makes ‘pre-temporal’ statements. Everything that we count on to inform us about the scientific process and its fruits is ‘housed’ within this universe, leaving ‘pre-temporal’ speculation in the domain of metaphysics.
So, when my opponent states “…the aforementioned first law of thermodynamics would not hold inside a singularity…” he misses a critically important fact that bears directly on the legitimacy of his topic. Not only does the first law of thermodynamics not apply, as he states, but the 4 major forces that constitute the ontological laboratory in which science operates, do not yet exist.
4 Forces: strong nuclear; weak nuclear; electro-magnetic & gravity
In essence I have no problem with his sources here, just the conclusions he draws from them. The 4 forces that give rise to matter and the laws of nature, are still combined in the immediate stages following the big bang, matter emerges some time after they split, therefore matter could not exist before its antecedent conditions have arisen. My opponent is free to ‘assert’ otherwise but as long as we understand that he does so with the same gravitas of explanatory power as Harry Potter muttering a spell.
THE FINELY-TUNED UNIVERSE
I agree with my opponent that life as it exists in the universe is dependant on the configuration of the fundamental laws and constants as they are. However, once again, I must dismiss the inference my opponent is apparently drawing from this fact, and in particular, the unscientific way in which his observation is framed.
Scientists must take particular care in framing their observations in such a way that they avoid inadvertently or purposefully ‘borrowing’ religious or metaphysical claims. When my opponent claims that the universe is ‘fine-tuned’ his choice of words deliberately smuggles in a requirement for a ‘fine-tuner’. This is dishonest and cowardly if intended and grossly negligent if not intended.
I have no problem in principle with finding a ‘fine-tuner’ in the results and conclusions of an objective scientific process, were this existential claim amenable to such a process, but not as a precondition before I even roll up the sleeves of my lab coat. Any scientist who uses this phrase is guilty of appealing to metaphysics outside of its jurisdiction. If anything most reputable scientists who do occasionally do this, tend to do so for literary purposes.
However, my opponent seems to be presupposing this outcome from his observation statement in an intentional manner to suit his, thus far, philosophical hypothesis. This said I will briefly show how an extremely unlikely seeming event can be shown to be highly likely.
Take this scenario: the prior probability of any co-ordinate of x, y being randomly selected within a sample space consisting of real numbers between 0 & 1 is 0. However after a co-ordinate x, y is selected the posterior probability that you selected an x,y co-ordinate is 1. Apparently this counterintuitive fact is sufficient for my opponent to posit supernatural causes that could never be verified.
My opponent commits the same crime when conferring on life a ‘special substance’ quality. Life requires matter, or put differently life is matter, so when my opponent tries to give life a special quality and thus give the universe a teleological quality he is again trespassing into William Lane Craig territory, and quite rightly so, thus departing from science.
THE GOD (ALTERNATIVE) HYPOTHESIS
My opponent is once again flirting with metaphysical claims and thus trespasses into philosophy against his own injunction in round one when he seeks to employ the concept of infinity with all its boundless ramifications on a clearly bounded universe. Again, no inferences are scientifically feasible outside the constraints of the big bang inflation model. Therefore I recommend he reserves this line of enquiry for his philosophical apologetics.
In this regard I’ll point out a couple of incidental glaring inconsistencies, my opponent must explain how causation is possible outside of time and space and how an infinite agency can ‘decide’ to bring a universe into being when this would be impossible given that it would have to wait an infinity before it started its conjuring trick.
Given what my opponent is arguing for, this is where I would have expected more meat…cutting and pasting accepted of course. However, all I get here is bone, in the form of divinity claims. I don’t know how my opponent believes the predictability of divine intelligence will fare against the essential criteria:
As far as I’m concerned a scientist would not know what divine intelligence was if it came up and licked him on the ear!
THE INDUCTIVE METHOD
I have already covered this important subject and I trust my opponent now appreciates that the inductive method relies on the axioms I presented in my previous round. Presumably my opponent is still to present the predictions against which direct observations can be indirectly verified at the very least.
ROUND 3 SUMMARY
For the time being if you are in doubt about how my opponent is faring so far, I would point out that he has already conceded defeat:
Incidentally if my opponent is able to defeat me, he only proves that the god he seeks to ‘prove’ exists is not supernatural to the extent that he can prove it. Put another way, as soon as science ‘proves’ “god” exists, it ‘proves’ “God” does not exist. Or…by proving the supernatural true, he rob’s science of its status and in one fowl swoop downgrade’s his hypothesis just as he has succeeded in upgrading it. He is aiming both barrels at his own feet and fumbling desperately for the trigger.
In round 3 my opponent goes on to address some of my round 2 concerns. I thank him for loosely addressing my point regarding conceptual clarity, albeit not directly, by identifying some of the attributes of the agency he seeks to call god.
As I see this area as the pivotal issue in this debate, in the next round I will deal specifically with the attributes and other topics discussed by my opponent under the headings; OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL, ABOSOLUTE MIND, ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-KNOWING, FALSIFICATION, and NULL HYPOTHESIS.
I look forward to examining each of these claims in more detail in the next round and look forward to my opponent’s next round of arguments.
Well first off, I don't recall ever making a pre-temporal statement. What I actually did was give an educated guess based on observations of the universe and its fine-tuning constants. I only assumed based on overwhelming evidence of a past finite universe that it could not have been a "natural" cause. Then, through further observations of the NATURAL world, I provided evidence of causes that are not space time contingent , namely human beings.
Second, the phrase "fine-tuned" is a scientific phrase that scientist use as I showed in round 2. Now, does this automatically imply a "fine-tuner" and therefore designer? NO. If I said the universe was designed, then it would have presupposed a designer by definition.
Lastly, I agree in some sense that life is essentially matter. However, what's the difference between Living-matter and non-living matter? Simple, a DNA self-replicating molecule. As I explained before, the key to life is information in the form of a DNA molecule that MUST exist first before evolution can even take place. Information only comes from minds. Minds are considered a special substance connected to brains (substance dualism).
Now, CON point's out that we only have minds that operate under time constraints. However, what CON does not realize is that the theory itself is attempting to provide newly found knowledge of a disembodied mind that is All-knowing and thus there is NO "deciding" process. Also, regarding the concept of infinite sets, there is nothing wrong with invoking some philosophy for literary purposes ,as CON even mentions, inside a hypothesis.
Now, since this being had to have started the process of evolution, we have every reason to believe that the designer also guided this process in the theory of evolution. That being said, there are two other hypothesizes that are advocated by Creationists and Darwinian evolutionists we must consider and cannot automatically rule out. Before I start, I want to clear up a slight misconception made by both groups about the theory of evolution. "When the evolutionary biologist says that the mutations that lead to evolutionary development are random, the meaning of the word "random" is not occurring by chance. Rather it means "irrespective of their usefulness to the organism". The question of whether this was an unguided chance process is a philosophical claim that professional biologists do not promote.
Darwinian evolution: Darwinists say that the theory of evolution entails a unguided process through random mutation and natural selection. Since its possible that random mutations did happen by chance, do we have reasons to believe that this is the case. Darwinist argue that improbable events happen all the time and they give an example of the lottery system where you do see people winning the lottery all the time. The problem here is the lottery example only gives us reason as to why improbable events in general could happen but not evidence of chance events resulting in this kind of complexity can happen.
Creationism: Creationists claim that all life was created by a designer's will all at once instead of a bottom up process detailed by the theory of evolution. Their argument is that we only have evidence of complex things like buildings, paintings, etc being created by intelligent minds. The problem here is these complex things are essentially non-living matter which is fundamentally different from living matter. More importantly, we don't have evidence suggesting that complex organisms had to have been created all at once yet.
Theistic evolution : this leaves us with the third option proposed before. Now, even though we have every scientific reason to believe this is what actually happened, there is still a problem that must be addressed here. There are many scientists that have pointed out supposed flaws within this design inference. For example, they claim that the placement of the optic nerve in the human eye is flawed because it would result in a small blind spot in our visual prowess. If these are truly flaws in design then this would challenge the notion that a all-powerful designer or divine intelligence was at work in biology as well.
However, upon further investigation, there seems to be a biological reason for this. 'As Michael Denton explains, "the difference in the placement of the optic nerve in the human eye in comparison with cephalopod eyes is because of the need for the greater supply of oxygen for high-acuity vision in warm-blooded animals". According to Denton, "Rather than being a case of maladaptation, the inverted retina is probably an essential element in the overall design of the vertebrate visual system" (personal communication). So this alleged flaw turns out not to be a flaw at all. Over and over again, we have found that what appeared at first to be design flaws have, with greater understanding, turned out not to be flaws at all'. Thus, since we have every scientific reason to believe the designer directed the process of evolution and essentially no reason to think otherwise, we should accept this hypothesis over the others.
Since its understood that this being is interested in human affairs, it would explain the existence of the prevalent "belief" in a transcendent being within society or culture and why this belief in a transcendent being has endured throughout time. If there was no god, there would essentially be no "belief" of the divine or the belief of the monotheistic God , the hypothesis supposes, would have most likely already died out with all the other gods (like Zues, Apollo), especially in today's time where scientific inquiry is at a all time high. Thus, this being must have established and sustained a relationship with humanity as humanity does with itself.
However, we must now investigate how such a being does this. Belief is considered a mental state, which it presumes that this being must be tapping into the consciousness of people and indeed research on spiritual/religious experiences seem to indicate this:
When researchers studied Judeo-Christian sects who are speaking in tongues by brain scanning them, there were decreased levels of activity in the frontal lobes while there was increased activity in the emotional centers of the brain. Frontal lobes is an area in the brain that is responsible for self-control or will. This is significant because someone cannot simply say that these people are just creating these effects themselves. 
As Andrew Newberg says, "These findings could be interpreted as the subject's sense of self being taken over by something else. We, scientifically, assume it's being taken over by another part of the brain. But we couldn't see, in this imaging study, where this took place."
Therefore, from the following inferences in nature, we can provide this explanation about the data. This personal absolute mind , with one simple thought, must have manifested itself in reality with the intention of having a relationship with its human creation, which would explain why we can observe a habitable planet within a life-permitting universe.
Drawing from experience, this would be similar to human minds creating physical effects onto our brain and manifesting in the physical world through our bodies. Then, as humans, we have the intentional state of having offspring within a suitable house and have a relationship with our offspring. In summary, since the alternative hypothesis better explains and is consistent with existing data, we can reject the null hypothesis and fully accept the alternative hypothesis.
In the next round, I will give a rebuttal to the rest of CON's objections.
Unless PRO is reserving his last 8000 characters to blow my mind, I am not holding out a lot of hope for PRO actually dealing with demarcation. What I have seen is a great deal of second hand William Lane Craig (WLC) arguments and very bad conventional apologetics. If PRO is considering rehashing this scam debate with someone else, I need to impress upon him that he really can get away with this topic being regarded as respectable as long as he excludes all theological references.
I am not required to enter into anti-apologetics, even though PRO insists in drawing into ‘that’ debate, so I will yet again limit my commentary to how the gH measures to the scientific method...using PRO's headings from round 4.
OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL
PRO sidesteps my auxiliary hypotheses, and in particular how they are worded, and thus fails to see how my intent on drawing his god out of its theological hiding place and into the unblinking gaze of science, actually legitimises it. I am grateful that he is providing me with a remnant of some attributes onto which the tools of critical thought can attempt to grasp.
Immaterial - He should start by explaining how we are to test for the existence of something that cannot manifest as material. Science is necessarily preoccupied with what can be inferred from ‘stuff’ bumping up against other ‘stuff’. No ‘stuff’ = non-science…and without the help of metaphysics, nonsense.
Omnipresent – Is PRO deliberately trying to obfuscate the fundamental properties of this agency? Is the agency everywhere or nowhere? I can almost hear WLC saying “well obviously both”. While this dual quality may well thrive in metaphysics, it dies a painful death in science. If this agency is omnipresent then it is everywhere and is thus everything. This fact may have some embarrassing consequences for PRO, for that would mean god is not only me but my toilet brush too.
Science deals with the art of objective discrimination, how are we to distill this god agency out of the natural world when doing so would leave us with absolutely nothing. He MUST see that beyond the obvious absurdity of this contradiction, being everywhere (OMNIPRESENT) and nowhere (IMMATERIAL) places this agency BEYOND the capable reach of science, and hence cannot be falsified.
Watch PRO’s slight of hand here; he smashes two logically incompatible words together then, without defining either of the terms individually (which would serve to expose this fact), he derives a new theoretical term. He then proceeds to assume the existence of this new theoretical term by providing possible candidates as instances of its class…voila a rabbit!
Whatever your conception of a mind is, to the extent that it can be accessible to science it must emerge from finite material processes. Again, I am happy to accept that PRO has a more spiritual conception in mind, but this conception is necessarily inaccessible to science, except of course in explaining how the material of his mind produced it.
A mind as conceived by scientists would be limited to physical systems that manifest certain predictive and computational abilities. To talk of an absolute mind is to say a predictive computational structure that has no restrictions, exceptions and is perfect. Perfect compared to what? Therefore the concept of absolute mind is absurd; a finite physical process that is unrestricted and without limit? Maybe in fiction but again this is not the domain of science.
Mathematics is what humans do to navigate in a physical universe. We start using spacial mathematics when we are tiny babies trying to learn how objects relate to one another and ourselves. If you have done any training in robotics you will know how much mathematics is involved in kinematics you will understand how intuitive mathematics is to us.
Via electro-chemical stimulus we build a Euclidean geometric model of the world around us in our biochemical cortexes. When we are old enough to add additional symbolic dimensions to this trait and then call it ‘mathematics’, it can be tempting to attribute to it a mystical quality. Mathematical entities are not found under rocks or anything else as they are not found at all, at least not by science. Mathematics is found in mechanisms that discriminate in a spatial-temporal domain. Mathematics is chiefly concerned with the law of identity as experienced by physical minds.
ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-KNOWING
I have briefly covered this topic above, so I will repeat my conclusion. For science to be able to verify these two attributes it would need to progress an eternity and be infinite in range so as to enable it adequately to test these claims. If it had these qualities then we would indeed have found god and it would then be defined by defining science, as science would be god. Since science is only a few hundred years old and we know that it is limited in time and space it will never be able to verify these attributes, especially not in 2013, and thus cannot be employed to falsify them as true attributes.
1. Theory of Everything
I agree, a Grand Unifying Theory could lead us to conclude an evolutionary origin for cosmological constants, but I fail to see how this can be pressed into service for PRO. Surely this would constitute evidence against a cheap finger-clicking conjuring trick.
2. Life from Non-life
PRO seems to think that the Miller Urey-experiment was attempting to ‘create’ life. Maybe he believes this on purpose to avoid the uncomfortable truth. What this experiment is actually proving is that abiogenesis is possible. The experiment is designed to test whether natural environmental causes can produce the building blocks of RNA. In theory if amino acids can emerge out of an interaction between a specific environment and entropy, the biochemical evolutionary algorithm hypothesis is not only possible but plausible to bring about RNA, and thus abiogenesis. I do wish his standards were as high for his own hypothesis though.
3. Mind-body Dualism
Most arguments from authority begin with “A famous…[fill in the blank]”, thereby first conferring authority on them. I am not in the least bit swayed by famous people or arguments from authority. The rest of this argument is largely dealt with conclusively by my area, the cognitive sciences, and AI. Recent findings in Neuroscience has gone a long way to confirm a version of philosophical determinism. Our experience of free-will is an illusion created in the pre-frontal cortex
To say that we have not found regions in the cortex responsible for self-identity and intention states is flat out wrong, PRO should try to keep up with the latest developments in Neuroscience since Penfield’s death in 1936!.
Modinos G, Renken R, Ormel J, Aleman A. Self-reflection and the psychosis-prone brain: an fMRI study. Neuropsychology [serial online]. May 2011;25(3):295-305. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 7, 2011
PRO presses the ‘concede’ button each time he uses the word ‘divine’, as he invites theology into science and thereby destroys both.
The Null Hypothesis is thus far well established science, described by the Big Bang theory and underpinned by the Standard Cosmological Model, and described by Hubble’s Law of Cosmic Expansion.
As far as ‘life’ is concerned abiogenesis is by far more feasible than positing a supernatural cause, as all that is required is matter and entropy, where entropy provides the change conditions required for exercise of an inorganic environmental evolutionary algorithm.
Again PRO is conferring a special substance in his concept of life. Organic and Inorganic material are both stardust and composed of the same substance. If PRO is proposing additional supernatural substance the onus is on him to provide evidence of its existence.
In the next round I will make my final case against PRO and deal with some of his round 4 apologetics.
I called it the God hypothesis to just name a unknown force that could not be the universe. Now, the term "God" does not necessarily only have to be related or symbolize religious fervor. It can just be understood to be a Cosmic designer that we call GOD to signify something that is the greatest amongst intelligent agents to ACCURATE explain the phenomena. For example, the Higgs Boson has been called the "God Particle" by nobel prize winning physicist Leon m. Lederman because the particle underlies the physical description of every object in the universe like God is understood to do so. Saying who designed it (Allah, Jesus, yahweh, etc) would probably spark a religious theme maybe.
OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL
Well first off, I never said I accepted that something that is immaterial automatically means it cannot manifest in reality or means "nowhere". The property of immaterial just means mind without a body. CON's argument that we do not understand how a mind interacts with a object, appears to be based on an appeal to our ignorance (argumentum ad ignorantiam). For it assumes if we do not know "how" A causes B, especially if the two consist of different properties, that it is not reasonable to believe the two can interact.
For example, Magnetic forces may appear to have very different properties to the solid and spatially located entities they affect, and although we may not understand "how" such interaction takes place, it nonetheless does, just as we are alert to causation between the mind and the material thing.
In fact, We know that gravitational forces accounts for planetary orbits, why masses fall to the ground on earth, etc... But, we cannot explain clearly what and why gravity "is" or determine its mechanism. We just take it as a brute fact, So I feel that CON is somewhat "special pleading" here.
" If this agency is omnipresent then it is everywhere and is thus everything"
Correct (for the most part), since this being must sustain all of reality, it means it manifests in reality at the moment of creation. However, it is not or cannot be reality itself because reality had a beginning, which would include CON's body or toilet brush.
Apparently, CON is making the argument from incredulity regarding the idea of an Absolute mind." Arguments from incredulity take the form:
1.P is too incredible (or: I cannot imagine how P could possibly be true); therefore P must be false.
2.I cannot imagine how P could possibly be false; therefore P must be true.
These arguments are similar to arguments from ignorance in that they too ignore and do not properly eliminate the possibility that something can be both incredible and still be true, or appear to be obvious and yet still be false".
Again, I acknowledge that depositing an unembodied mind as the cause for the fine-tuning constants would be depositing an unknown entity. This is why we have theories that potentially make an unknown entity a known one by defining this cause into reality rather than merely doing so through pure reason alone as CON is suggesting now because before it was the former according to him.
Now, let clarify what substance dualism really is since CON has distorted its meaning:
Substance dualism is essentially the same as Epiphenomenalism except that the mind has causal power over the brain and vice versa. However, it does not assert that the mind is completely independent from the brain as CON suggested like what you see in movies or cartoons. I am not trying to prove the existence of a human soul. That is a separate claim neither CON or I can prove or disprove. I have already made it clear to CON that I claimed my empirical observations suggest that there's an absolute mind not a human mind.
I was simply listing possible candidates (Abstract objects and human minds) we know of and then explained why these known candidates could not be the cause.
ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-KNOWING
Finally, CON has a actual scientific objection. CON is confusing a de facto property with a modal property or a noun versus verb. Qualities like immaterial, omnipresent, eternal are separate but primary attributes that are based on what this cause "is" while the attribute of Omnipotent is a secondary attribute that deals with what this cause can do (actions or abilities). Omnipotent confirms omniscience and I have already explained how these attributes are scientifically verifiable in round 3.
1. Mind-body Dualism
Here is my response to the study. CON ,with his study, is confusing the concept of the correlation of two events with the concept of the identity of two events. It simply does not follow from the fact that two events are correlated that they are identical. Correlation does not prove causation (another fallacy for heaven's sake). There is the fact that movements of bodily limbs like arms and legs are correlated with events in the motor cortex of the brain. No one believes, however, that movements of arms and legs are identical with their causal antecedents in the brain. Upon reflection, it is just as obvious that there is no good reason to believe that psychological events are identical with brain events simply because the two are correlated.
Besides, these correlation would only imply and reinforce the idea that the mind is using the brain as an instrument for thought and expression. This is why I referenced Penfields studies since it was the only study that attempted to show directly how there is a region in the brain that causes these mental events involving intention states and decisions. This would have affectedly falsify this theory completely.
2. Life from Non-life
Oh please.. it did no such thing. "The building blocks of proteins come in left-handed or right-handed forms, as the illustration shows. Living things can only use left-handed ones. If a protein being assembled by the cell were to use even one right-handed building block, it would destroy the function of the end product.
DNA and RNA also use pure 'right-handed' sugars"a single 'left-handed' one would destroy the 'double helix' and make it impossible to transmit or reproduce information. But any such substances produced by 'nature' always form in a 50-50 mixture; it takes special, intelligent effort to separate the two forms into 'pure' aggregates of each". When it comes to the RNA world hypothesis he is speaking of, not only has it never been proven yet but there are several problems with it. Just watch the video for the list of them:
There is only one thing I need to mention as to why I won the debate. CON was trying to falsify (and never succeeded I might add) my hypothesis which automatically shows that this hypothesis's predictions are falsifiable and therefore it should be made into a theory. CON even agrees now, "I agree, a Grand Unifying Theory could lead us to conclude an evolutionary origin for cosmological constants, but I fail to see how this can be pressed into service for PRO. Surely this would constitute evidence against a cheap finger-clicking conjuring trick. "
What CON does not realize is that I was referencing these experiments not to so much provide evidence for my hypothesis but to demonstrate that it is falsifiable since other scientists are attempting or have attempted to falsify it.
Oh and .... P.S. to CON, just because something sounds counterintuitive like the notion that this universe came from nothing, by nothing, for nothing (for which you find plausible and call well established real science) does not mean its unscientific. I suggest you watch your own Lawerence Krauss video and carefully listen to his lecture on that note.
 Sarfati, J., The origin of life: the chirality problem, CEN Technical Journal12(3):281-284, 1998.
Well I’m thoroughly chuffed that PRO has finally joined this debate. Here are some of my remarks in response to his final round.
PRO makes a revealing statement when he says “Now, the term "God" does not necessarily only [emphasis added] have to be related or symbolize religious fervor”. I question why this is even a consideration at all, when the primary emphasis should be on whether an agency that meets this criteria is accessible to discovery. And, if this god were to be found by science to have all the qualities of a physical natural entity, is it no longer the hypothesised god agency because it does not meet preconceived theological standards?
Then he goes on to say, “It can just be understood to be a Cosmic designer that we call GOD to signify something that is the greatest amongst intelligent agents to ACCURATE explain the phenomena”. I’m afraid I couldn’t hold back my laughter when I read this; I mean how convenient is that? A coincidence such as this cannot afford to be ignored by any serious scientist as it announces a clear intention to smuggle in preconceived theological and metaphysical claims. PRO has not learned anything from the clattering and intentional creationist intelligent design distinction, where ID proponents quite rightly react to God references like werewolves do to wolfsbane.
PRO seeks to try and borrow some of the credibility conferred on theoretical particles, but I hope by now he can appreciate that as 'omni' as the Higgs Boson could possibly be in a finite universe, it is still very 'present', unlike the confessed material absence of the agency he is asking science to discover. In the same way as energy has a kind of omni-like quality, PRO may wish to slide this in as a kind of evidence for his agency being ‘like’ this. However calling god energy is one thing, but it is a very different thing than calling energy god, as this would make going to church on Sunday far less fruitful than propitiating from a power station pew.
As we are well aware this cute word substitution trick just doesn’t cut it for scientists or theologians, since scientists find the semantic substitution unhelpful from the point of view of Occam’s Razor and, well, theologians want their deities to be a tad bit more supernatural and whole lot less predictable.
I’ve gone out of my way to point to the elephant in the room throughout this debate; to get PRO to understand that science is only equipped to deal with substantial ontology, as its laboratory is simply not equipped to deal with the fairy dust and spells of metaphysics. If science can’t point to the snail or its trail then it simply can’t point at all, and point ladies and gents, is what PRO fails to even attempt in this debate. He failed to show how an agency hypothesised as incorporeal, outside of time and space is capable of predictive detection, how without a trail it can be pointed to at all, let alone compared to the already ‘actual’ trail left by observable nature.
It seems PRO is quite the slippery fish, he wants to use words but without giving them new meaning other than their useful range of meaning he berates me for taking him at his ‘word’. His god agency ‘exists’ outside of time and space which means it ‘exists’ nowhere in space or nowhere for short. Whatever dictionary or definition choice you choose, being devoid of spatial presence is a universal quality in them all, or else ‘no’ and ‘where’ lose their meanings too. If he meant to change the meaning of ‘nowhere’ then he should have done so with a bit more fanfare as I have to rely on a bare minimum of English language convention by default.
Let’s deal with his ‘argumentum ad ignorantiam’ accusation for a moment. First he says “The property of immaterial just means mind without a body”. This statement assumes that a mind without a body is perfectly feasible, and needs no further attention. In fact if you dare question this bold axiomatic assertion you are in grave danger of committing yourself to a fallacy.
PRO confuses scientific skepticism in the face of improbable claims with a positive assertion that the claim is false. I am not required to prove a negative, i.e. bodiless minds do not exists. PRO is however required to prove a positive, i.e. bodiless minds do exist, or gods do exist. This is the whole purpose and work of science; to provide evidence for positive claims.
This is where science and faith collide; science is not in the business of bungeeing without an evidential cord. Science gives doubting Thomas a big thumbs-up for taking evidence of a positive claim as seriously as he does in the face of such an improbable claim. The irony here is that by accusing me of this fallacy PRO falls foul of it himself. He slips on the banana peel by suggesting that the absence of evidence against a bodiless mind counts as evidence for its existence.
I might as well spell it out for PRO; if he wants to subject Cartesian Mind body dualism to scientific scrutiny then he must produce the ectoplasm or the Arquillian ambassador from the Galaxy on Orion’s belt, which supposedly binds the material with the immaterial for scientists to scrutinise. I was really amused at PRO’s response the study I provided as evidence for my positive claim. All of a sudden he is happy to be as skeptical as Thomas himself when the evidence doesn’t suit him.
I might point out to PRO that while correlation is not sufficient it is certainly necessary to ensure causation. Method is the other component applied by science to eek causation out of the correlation and the study does so by adhering to certain experimental controls. It is far more effective than simply asserting causation.
PRO’s response to this study reminds me of an anecdote involving Galileo and his erstwhile colleague and staunch critic, Cesare Cremonini at Padua University, who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope. When Galileo pointed out that there were in fact mountains on the moon this enraged the devoted Aristotelian, who refused to accept this observation since it contradicted Aristotle’s prescription that all celestial bodies were perfect spheres and could thus not possibly exhibit mountains.
So, very PRO-like in his retort, Cremonini desperately asserted that while Galileo was correct in his observation of mountains on the moon, what he failed to observe was the perfectly flat ocean of invisible ice which covered the mountains. Galileo, ever the contrarian, came back with the only answer he could, he told Cremonini that he was correct about the perfectly flat ocean of invisible ice, but that he in fact did not take into account the huge invisible mountains of ice which were floating on top of the perfectly flat oceans of ice. That shut Cremonini up…but it got Galileo into some hot water with his fellow colleagues and eventually the church, the rest is history.
I’d like to thank PRO for challenging me to a debate on this most interesting topic. The topic is a serious one and deserves real attention as it acts as a very good case study in the application of important themes within the philosophy of science. In particular it highlights the importance of semantic precision, the art of ‘defining your terms’. It also serves to illustrate the limits of science in its ability to deal with topics that are not defined properly or are defined in such a away as to render them inaccessible to the application of the scientific method.
In this debate I was not required to disprove the existence of God or the gH, nor did I try, contrary to PRO’s dishonest assertion that I was trying to disprove his theory. I will leave it to my judges to determine the extent and frequency to which I refer to the hypothesis being outside of the purview of science.
No ladies and gents, PRO not only failed to define his god agency into existence, but he succeeded admirably in defining his god agency completely and utterly out of existence and thus out of the purview of science, and I thank him for that.
Please vote CON
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