NOTE: this post was previously titled, “Why Aren’t the Laws of Science Evolving?” I changed the title after I realized that the previous title implies the very assumption being challenged :)
Rupert Sheldrake recently asked this question in his banned TED talk. I think it’s an excellent question that deserves serious inquiry. All observations I’m aware of converge: everything is evolving, except the laws that dictate the evolving! This ties right into the classic Aristotleian delineation: that which moves do so at the behest of something which does not move. Interesting, isn’t it?
I intend to use replies to this post as a springboard for an upcoming discussion on dispensationalism, e.g., whether or not the Mosaic law still applies today (or to what extent). Since orthopraxy requires orthodoxy, I see this as an important question for all believers. Please note: I am not asking if anybody believes obedience to the Ten Commandments and/or the Law is necessary to effect salvation. Rather, I’m asking, despite the fact that Christ established a new covenant, do you believe the Ten Commandments still apply today? Why or why not? Do you believe the Mosaic Law still applies today? Why or why not? Do you believe that only certain Commandments or certain parts of the Law apply today? If so, why those parts, and not others? If you are inclined to run to Vatican for support, that’s fine, feel free, I just ask that you also include Scripture to support official Church statements (i.e., that you show how Scripture supports the official Church statements).
Though partly tongue-in-cheek and meant to convey a humorous little insight I occasionally chuckle at, there is an element of seriousness behind today’s question. Simply put: if water covers over 70% of Earth’s surface to this day, what are we to make of the skeptic’s demand for “evidence” of a worldwide deluge? I can’t help but return to the humorous proposition implied in Asteroids, Cathode Rays and Requisite Knowledge, wherein a skeptic standing in Tin Bider mocks Aristotle’s hypothetical claim about “huge, flying rocks in space.”
First allow me to clarify: I’m not asking why you believe that ill-suited organisms tend to die off, leaving better-suited organisms to survive. I’m not asking why you believe in homologous resemblance across species or kingdom. I’m not asking why you believe in variations of alleles. I’m asking—well, I’m asking three questions, actually—and the first one is: in your own words, why do you believe that all of biology is the result of unguided anagesis and/or cladogenesis operating over billions of years? The latter is what I refer to when I use the phrase, “conventional evolutionary narrative.” The second question is: in your own words, what are the strongest challenges to the conventional evolutionary narrative? The third question is: what would it take to make you lose faith in the conventional evolutionary narrative?
Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and it’s pretty clear that somebody is killing Iranian nuclear scientists in an effort to stop this. I felt this was interesting because it relates directly to Sam Harris’ remarks that it “may be ethical to kill people based on what they believe.” What do you think? Is it morally right to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists as a pre-emptive measure? Why or why not?
I am requesting your help here, people. I suspect twimfanboy will never let the light of reason shine on this issue unless other people get involved. If you care at all about truth, or me, or twimfanboy, or web technology… or if you’re just bored and enjoy puzzles, please get involved here. The question presumes one has at least a basic understanding of web technology, without which a meaningful answer can’t be supplied. As addressed here and here, twimfanboy has accused me of “blatant dishonesty” because, in a thread three years ago, I said both that I comment using different IP addresses, and that I’ve never commented by proxy in my life. From those statements, twimfanboy concluded that I was lying. I submit that twimfanboy’s conclusion does not follow from his premises, and I grant that the premises are sound (IOW it is true that I often comment using different IP’s, and that I’ve never commented by proxy).
The question: does a concession to using different IP addresses falsify a claim that one has never commented via proxy? Is twimfanboy’s logic tight? Why or why not?
Following along from Question 1 and Question 2, In your opinion, can God be rightfully called “immoral” or “bad” for preferring a universe with compassion over a universe without it?
Is a universe with compassion better than a universe without compassion? Why or why not? As with yesterday’s question, I’m looking for direct, “yes” or “no” answers, followed by explanation if necessary.
Are empathy and compassion logically possible without experiencing suffering?
In honor of twimfanboy’s obsession with the “firmly cemented goalposts” thing, I’m looking for—and trying to encourage in general—direct, “yes” or “no” answers to questions. This is how you cement firm goalposts, fanboy! Sure, many questions don’t have only yes or only no answers. I get that. Explanations and caveats are welcomed, just prefix them with a “yes” or “no” whenever possible.
To demonstrate my own willingness in abiding by this principle, I say no, neither is logically possible without experiencing suffering.