понеделник, 17 март 2014 г.

The Possible Reasons - Reflections And Emotions



In this article I will try to take a stand on an dispute that recently flared up in the United States, but could soon appear  on a global scale as well. Its outcome could turn out to be decisive not only for the American education and culture, but also for the whole "civilized world". The question is about a lawsuit that has been widely discussed lately.  A group of parents from the small town of Dover,  Pennsylvania, prosecuted the board of the local school. The parents opposed the school board decision to study the so called "Intelligent design" theory together with the theory of evolution in the biology classes. The parents claimed that this alternative is a religious one and that it violates the USA constitution, which states that teaching religion in school is forbidden. The trial ended with the parents' victory - the federal court announced the "intelligent design" theory a theological (i.e. non-scientific) concept.[1]
At a first glance, the argument on the origin of the living beings and the human brings the conservative Christians against lecturers and scientists with naturalistic beliefs. But whether it has not also another more distanced perspective, i.e. whether it does not concern all people? If Darwin has not misled us, then everything, from the formation of the cosmic systems to the origin of life and its evolution, is due to self-organization of the matter.[2]After all the Universe, as well as any form of life in it, is destined to death and the best implication for us remains "let's eat and drink for tomorrow we die" (I Cor. 15:32). But what will follow, if we assume for a second that the Sufferer from the Golgotha could be right? Then His cross turns into a demarcation line for the whole humankind - to some for eternal life, for others ... Thus, wouldn't it turn out that we are all in the same team, since the truth about the world is equally important and valid for each of us?

What is the aim of science?

As paradoxical as it may sound, according to the words of an astronomer I know: "it is namely scientists with Christian beliefs who have created the so called methodological materialist, which applies observation and experiment and searches with priority the natural explanations of natural phenomena." The figures of the Enlightenment, with their fight against the Church, and after them a number of atheistically minded philosophers gradually turned this approach into an ideological one.Finally, an equation mark is placed between materialism and science. But here I will dare note that the task of science is rather not so much to find the natural causes of phenomena, than to discover the objective truth of the things in reality.
Let me use a paraphrase of the classical example of William Paley's watch. A skilful craftsman has invented the first (pocket) watch, but he has lost it while rambling in the wood. You come across this beautiful, copper-made object. You open it and carefully study its parts. Finally, you grasp that all its mechanisms are set in such a way that it reads time with great accuracy. Then, you decide to show your finding to a professor you know and ask him to provide an explanation on how the watch have appeared. You find the professor in his study, talking with a colleague. After long deliberations he starts the explanation as follows: "You have found something in nature. Consequently, nature has created it. This object originated as a product of a prolonged and complex evolution of copper". And the theory starts: "At the beginning the Earth formed as a planet in a gigantic gas-and-dust cloud which thickened ... and it was heated up to thousand degrees. During its slow cooling down copper dissociated from the other substances as a pure metal, due to their different points of hardening ... In a particular type of crystallisation of copper atoms various small springs, rings, cogwheels, screws, dials, and watch hands formed. The primary matter was filled with these ... In a complicated way they have grouped in a clockwork and gradually, as a result of something like "natural selection" the more accurate ones continued to exist, until this species that determines the time with absolute accuracy appeared."
-But the possibility to have this object formed by chance in nature is negligibly small,objects the other professor. - Why don't we assume, then, that it was contrived by an intelligent creator?"
What do we get in practice? If the criterion for a scientific discovery is to find natural causes for the origin of everything, then the first explanation is scientific, but not true. The second one is true, but not scientific.[3]
Therefore, is it not better to assume that in fact the task of science is to discover the objective truth? Then everything comes in its place. That is, where natural phenomena and law function, they could be used to explain things, and if there was intelligent intervention somewhere, this should be acknowledged. The watch hands are actuated by the elastic force of the spring, but the watch itself did not appear as a result of a "complex evolution of copper". By analogy: all processes in nature are due to natural causes, but whether nature as a whole is not the work of a skilful Creator?

If we cannot prove the Divine intellect, how shall we then confirm the presence of human intelligence?

Try to embody yourselves in the role of a genius scientist. You have made a great discovery. Based on it you have constructed, let's say, an engine with very high efficiency. You take your theoretical treatment and the model of the engine for approval before the respective patent committee. There they tell you that they will appoint an appropriate expert who will examine your work. After the implemented check, to your greatest surprise, you hear from him the following conclusion:
- The theoretical treatment is correct and does not contradict the laws of nature. The practical tests also showed that the engine actually possesses the stated characteristics. But can we be sure that all this is done by our colleague, because it could have happened by chance.
- How come? - you are asking perplexed.
- Very simple. It is possible, for example, that your cat rambled along the keys of your typewriter, as a result of which the concept of this invention appeared on paper. Also, a potential explosion in the workshop could have become the reason for assembling the engine presented here.
- What are you talking about? - your indignation is increasingly growing. - Don't you understand that since I have the intellectual potential and the physical capability to create these things, the probability for me being their author is completely one hundred percent possible? And the probability for them to be accomplished by chance is negligible. Besides, there is a great number of witnesses, who have seen me while working on them.
- Look, it it possible that the events that I have pointed out to you happened before that. You have only reproduced all this for a second time before other people, to convince them that you are the real inventor of the machine.
- It takes a long time, however, for a negligibly small chance to be realized - you keep insisting.
- Not necessarily. According to the probability theory it could be realized from the very first time. Even more, if we admit the contemporary concept of a multi universe (a multiverse), then there is no problem at all in some of the worlds to obtain any objects by chance.
Listening carefully to both parties, the committee adjudicates, as follows:
- Until there exists a trifling probability for all to have happened by chance, there is no way we can be sure that you are the author of the item. Therefore, you cannot gain any recognition nor reward for it.
Then, a brilliant response comes to your mind:
- In that case you will probably say that all achievements of mankind that are considered a product of our conscious activity could have originated by chance. According to your logic, people who claim that they have created them have to give up their copyrights, their titles, and also to return their remunerations. Do you agree to do that?
God is the One Who expressly states that He Himself is the author of the creation. Besides, all His "products" - atoms, celestial systems, living organisms, etc., are unmeasurable in their complexity as compared to any of the products of human intelligence. For that reason the possibility that they originated by chance is tremendously smaller. Materialists, however, have always strived to spread the concept that if there exists even an infinitely small probability for the world to have arisen by chance, it is exactly this probability that was fulfilled in practice. Therefore, according to most of them, by no means it could be assumed that God has created the Universe. Although, on one hand, they do not have any sure factual evidence of the evolutionary origin of the Universe, life and human being, and on the other hand - the possibility that things evolved in this way is also completely insignificant, they require that the contemporary public believes their "theories" almost unquestioningly. But whether they will agree that the gauge they use to measure is related also to themselves? If there existsa possibility for the achievements of our civilization to have happened by chance, according to the above contemplations it turns out that there is no way to prove that they have created anything at all. But, if this is so, they should not claim to be scientists at all. Why then is it necessary to believe thir claims? On the other hand, if there are no sure evidence supporting naturalism, consequently it is also taken only on credit, which makes it a peculiar form of religion.

Possible reasons

"The intelligent design" is declared by some a pseudo-science, because recognizing the possibility for a supernatural intervention is equal to repudiation of knowledge.[4]
Indeed, when God makes miracles they are related to some breach of natural laws, in consequence of which such phenomena cannot be repeated and studied in our laboratories. The creation of the space-time continuum ex nihilo is a drastic breach of the law of energy preservation and since this act is unverifiable, philosophers are forced to accept the primacy of Consciousness or of matter only as a postulate. Man creates items which cannot arise through natural processes, but at the same time our activity is in agreement with the natural laws. In some cases, however, God does the same and this will allow us to apply the method of analogy in seeking the answer of the origin of the universe.
We will use a wider quotation from an article of the American physical chemist and science historian Charles B. Thaxton:
The empirical science theoretically acknowledges both natural and intelligent reasons.
Although both natural and intelligent reasons reveal themselves to us through experience, modern empirical science of nature usually acknowledges only the natural reasons. Is this a prejudice on behalf of scientists or is it some sort of a conspiracy for eliminating intelligent reasons? Not at all. Science assumes any reason, natural or intelligent, for which there exists uniform sense experience. In the history of modern science, however, uniform experience relates the natural reasons only to regularly recurring events. That is why today we do not include intelligent reasons in science. This, however, is not a prohibition. If the intelligent reasons can relate to recurring events, they would be admissible in science.
We don't have the grounds to assign a reason - whether natural or intelligent - to any phenomenon, as a substitute of the uniform experience.[5] As an example, let us assume that we are detectives who investigate the death of a person. Whether this is a murder or natural death? We are not in a position to know the answer in advance. We have to investigate the case. If a detective, at the very beginning of his investigation, declares that human death could be only natural, we would object that this imposes illegitimate restrictions on the possible reasons. If what we hope to find out through our investigation is namely whether the death was a result of an intelligent reason (murder) or it was natural, we need a working method which is equally open for both explanations. We need a method which allows us to determine with the greatest probability possible what actually has happened.
As we have seen, throughout the whole history of experimental science the recurring events are related to natural reasons. Other events, especially such as the events of occurrence or origination of something, are not recurring and they could be unique. What we need is a methodology which goes beyond the a priori binding with the reason and which provides us with criteria for the simultaneous construction of the natural reasons case and the intelligent reasons case.
Analogy
How could we make a decision in favour of an intelligent reason for some event in the past? Generally, in order to establish an intelligent reason, we use the same method that we use for the natural reason, i.e. the uniform sense experience. This is the so called method of analogy.
In the 19th century the astronomer John Herschel further developed the analogy method for arguments from observed reasons to unknown reasons: "If the analogy between two phenomena is very close and striking, while at the same time the reason for one of them is obvious, it is hardly possible to turn down the presence of an analogous reason for the second phenomenon, although it is not so obvious in itself." Scientists have been relying on this method for more than 150 years. The enormous success of science at least partially attests to it ...
Let us consider archaeology as a clear example of the analogy method. The principle of analogy is frequently used in archaeology to determine whether some discovery or other has an intelligent reason. The reasoning goes as follows: In the present we see a craftsman who makes ceramic products. Consequently, when we comb the dust of some settlement mount in Mesopotamia and we discover a broken earthenware pot, we can logically conclude that its source is also such a craftsman - a potter ...
By the way, the same arguments are used by astronomers when they seek intelligent life in Cosmos. This is a usual practice of the NASA teams when they process data from the planets and their moons. These teams use various criteria for acknowledging the proof of intelligent life on the planets - some distinctive mark of a product of an intelligent source ...
Astronomer Carl Sagan asserts that even one single message from the cosmos would ascertain the existence of extraterrestrial life. He wrote: "There are others who believe that our problems are solvable, that humankind is still in its childhood, and that some day that is not far off we will grow up. One single message from the Cosmos would show that it is possible to experience such technological adolescence. Yet, the Civilization that sends these signals has survived."[6]
If we actually discover radio waves that have the characteristics of a message, wouldn't we have the grounds to assume that their sources is an intelligent being, referring to the analogy with the messages for which we know, based on our experience, that they were engendered by intelligent beings, namely humans? In other words, the analogy method could register general intelligence, not particularly human intelligence."[7]

Let us apply the analogy method

In the article "Farewell, Darwin!" we have already deduced three principles, which bespeak of the impossibility for the universe to have originated as a result of natural reasons. But is it possible for a rational and active being to satisfy these principles in his creative activity?
The first principle for the provision of suitable parameters for the work of a system is comparatively easy to accomplish. We calculate in advance the optimum conditions for the running of the production processes. After that we set the instruments to maintain them constant. The constants, laws and interactions exactly required for the functioning of the Universe, the living creatures and the human being are selected and fixed in an analogous way.
Secondly, there is no way a football ball can change its state of repose or its direction of movement on its own. But the players can change its impulse, by giving it some speed with their force, directing it according to their will. Also, there is no hindrance for the intelligent and almighty Creator, after creating the celestial bodies, to "push them along their orbits" (according to Newton).[8] If we trace the ball's trajectory without taking into account its interaction with the football players, then we will account non-fulfilment of the laws for preservation of the impulse and the gravitation. In the same way, the dynamic principles (of the impulse, and in a hidden form - also of the gravitation) seem breached in the cosmic systems, since the external intelligent intervention is not acknowledged (which intervention is evident also from the wonderful harmony in the bodies' organization).
It is not difficult at all for the intellect to realize processes with infinitely small probability of realization. The automobile is a product of our intelligence. Is it possible that it is assembled as a result of natural elements? We will look at only one of the engine parts . Let us say that we have a ready cylinder. What is the probability for the piston that goes with it to arise by chance with the appropriate form and dimensions? Simple considerations show that it is (1/∞)2, since forms are infinite in number, as well as the dimensions. And if the cylinder itself should emerge in the same manner, so that these two elements can be assembled and the system can work, the total probability is (1/∞)4, i.e. less than an "absolute zero". The designer, however, with no particular efforts, can immediately determine the appropriate parameters of the elements, out of the infinite number of possibilities, and by making some calculations he can assemble the above items. (We are very seldom aware of the extraordinary capabilities of our mind!) For the origination of the universe we also get probabilities by the order of 1/∞ raised to some power, but the further construction of the surrounding realities is much more complicated. That is to say, it is one hundred percent possible for a conscious God to create the world, whereas no prospects are brought out to the blind case ("watchmaker" - according to the words of R. Dawkins) to cope with a similar task.
On the third place, let us assume for a moment that we do not know how automobiles appeared. One day, we visit an auto salon, which exhibits different brands of passenger cars, presenting samples from their first to their most recent models. What would be our conclusion then, if we are led by the contemporary scientific precondition to search only for the natural reasons for their origin. Taking into consideration the organization that becomes increasingly more complicated. We could assume that the whole variety of forms is due to a prolonged and complexly ramifying evolution. That is to say, the resemblance in their structure and functions could force us to come to a rather misleading conclusion. If the above two principles are followed, we will find that there is no way even for such simple systems to have originated through a series of accidental processes (and natural selection!), but a purposeful and planning intelligent activity is required. In that case, why don't we assume that plants and animals were also "created according to their species" - a conclusion that is substantiated also by the total lack of transitory forms.
In a famous passage of his book "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" the philosopher David Hume, who has lived in the 18th century, and whom we can hardly reproach of bias towards Christianity, contemplates on the analogy between the human and the God's mind. Cleanthes, one of his characters in the book, says: Look round the world. Contemplate the whole and every part of it. You will find it to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines, which again admit of subdivisions to a degree beyond what human senses and faculties can trace and explain. All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy which ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them. The curious adapting of means to ends, throughout all nature, resembles exactly, though it much exceeds, the productions of human ... intelligence. Since, therefore, the effects resemble each other, we are led to infer ... that the causes also resemble; and that the Author of Nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man,, though possessed of much larger faculties, proportioned to the grandeur of the work which he has executed."[9]
The British astronomer James Jeans further developed the thesis in accordance with the point of view of science at the beginning of the 20th century: "Phenomena in the Universe are performed not according to mechanical principles, as was considered until recently, but according to purely mathematical principles. Comparing nature to an enormous machine should be discarded due to the stream of scientific knowledge on the non-mechanical reality. The universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. If this world is a world of thought, it is clear that it should be the thought of some Creature, That thinks, and His creations should have been an act of the thought of that thinking Creature. We, scientists, begin to suspect that the Spirit has to be hailed as Creator and Governor in the realm of matter. Contemporary scientific theories compel us to think of the Creator of the world as working outside time and space. The Universe provides us with an evidence of a controlling power, which has worked with a view of a certain goal and has something in common with the human mind."[10]
The same is confirmed also by Albert Einstein (as well as by a number of other scientists): "Anyone, who has been seriously engaged in science, is gradually persuaded that one Spirit reveals himself in the laws of Nature; a Spirit, Who is infinitely more powerful than the spirit of the human being and before Whose face, we, with our modest capabilities, have to humble ourselves. Thus, scientific studies lead to a specific religious feeling, which is fairly different than the naive religiousness."[11]
Richard Lewontin, a geneticist at the Harvard University, admits that naturalism was brought in artificially in science: "It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations …"[12]
Therefore, is it not time to break off with the established naturalistic paradigm and to accept that things in nature can also have an intelligent Reason for their genesis?!

"He catches the wise in their craftiness" (I Cor. 3:19)[13]

Naturalists assume that it is possible to have focal points of life on other planets in the cosmos, as well. Researchers, as part of the SETI project, have scanned the sky all over the world in search of signals from intelligent beings. Cosmic spaceships, directed beyond the borders of the Solar system, carry phonographic records with golden plating as a message to the galactic brothers in intelligence. Quite a lot of scientists are even prone to consider our biosphere as an experiment of their advanced extraterrestrial civilization.
But here springs up a contradiction that is difficult to explain. The same authorities, who are flatly against the Divine origin (and have declared any such doctrine as non-scientific), readily accept the intelligent interference by another civilization?! Blaise Pascal poses the question: "Why so many people do not believe in Divine truths? Is it because they have not been proven to them?" And he replies: "No, but because they do not like them."
We are constantly asking the questions "who are we?", "where do we come from and where are we going to?". A popular newspaper once explained this strong will for answers as follows: "Some suppose that it is possible for an extraterrestrial intellect to have emitted enormous streams of coded information, one virtual galactic encyclopaedia, containing insights on the origin of the Universe of on immortality."[14]Human being desperately needs someone to tell him/her where s/he has originated from and how to find immortality.
As some other scientists note: "An infinite Intellect has already sent "streams" of information, one "universal encyclopaedia", regarding where we come from, who we are, why we exist, and also insight regarding immortality - and this is not coded! It has been revealed by the One Who has created everything and is translated to almost any language in the world. The Holy BIBLE.



NOTES:

[1] The court decision was delivered in the end of December 2005, and the articles was written just a few months later - in the spring of 2006
[2] See note 1 in the article "Farewell, Darwin!":
[3] If some reader argues that the things which have appeared as a result of an intelligent design could be easily distinguished, we will ask what is the criterion for that? For instance, the bacterial cell, the simplest form of life, has a much higher degree of organization than a mechanical (or electronic) watch. Then, which of them is the work of an intelligent creator and which - a game of the chemical molecules?
In a number of areas it is necessary to create clear rules allowing us to distinguish the products of the conscious activity. Otherwise, how can we determine that a stone is a tool used by the pre-historian man, and not just a piece of rock with a bizarre form? Or, that the located radio emission from the Cosmos bring a message? And why this approach is considered anti-scientific?
[4] The Intelligent design  is conceived as a lighter form of the creationist doctrine, because it tries to draw the reader's attention to the rational plan in the construction of nature, without revealing Who and how has realized this scheme.
"The Intelligent design is considered by a number of sociologists and philosophers of science as a "science-like theory" which is not supported by valid arguments, does not set a scientific programme or possibility for an experimental verification.
We have to admit that the stated objection is sound, to a certain extent. Most of the arguments of the "Intelligent design" creators were refuted by the ones who adhere to the opponents party. As regards the goals and tasks, we are convinced that its advocates can develop in the future a better scientific action programme (still, the movement has been into existence for comparatively short time). It is a question of time to have proposed also  empirically verifiable cosmological models of the Creation, and the data of the contemporary satellite equipment will very soon show us the reliable scientific hypothesis.
[5] David Hume introduced the phrase "uniform experience". What he meant with this is what I call  uniform sense experience, an objective experience of the five senses, not a subjective or religious experience (author's note Ch. T.)
[6] Carl Sagan, Broca's Brain, 1979. New York: Random House, p. 275
[8] The Bible tells us that we have been created "in God's own image", that is why there is a certain analogy between our own rational actions and His. But He is not after "our own image", therefore He does not need "hands" to make one thing or another.
God is Spirit (John 14:26) and is transcendental (outside the material space and time continuum), as well as immanent (omnipresent), i.e. His presence is everywhere at any time, but as separate and independent from everything.
According to the Holy Scripture, the creation and the arrangement of the celestial bodies in beautiful systems happened by an order by God (as actually did everything else).
[9] The main features in D. Hume philosophy are scepticism and naturalism, and he appears to be one of the most influential personalities in the Scottish enlightenment. The quote referred to obviously appeared as a result of some passing insight of his, since it does not fit into the content of his other creations.
[10] Popov, S. "WHY DO I BELIEVE IN GOD", Sofia, 1992, pages 35, 36.
[11] EINSTEIN, whoted in "Albert Einstein: The Human Side" by Dukas and Hoffmann, Princeton University Press, 1979, 33.
[12] Richard Lewontin, New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997
[13] The quote is according to the Protestant translation of the Bible dated 1940
[14] Union-Tribune, San Diego, California, 5 November 1993.


The article is based on excerpts from the book "Faith and Science"

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