Posts tagged ‘Dembski’

November 20th, 2013

When Asked if I was Surprised to Find Evidence for a Young Earth

by Max Andrews

Several years ago I was taking a [required] course that teaches creationism. I have a few comments about the course I’ll keep to myself [as in it shouldn't be in the university] but I think most readers know where I stand on university and academia issues and standards. I was asked the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?”

My response is simply that this is a loaded question.  I don’t think I can say there’s no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence.  There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.

April 17th, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: David Rodriguez

by Max Andrews

I grew up going to a private Christian elementary school down in southern California. Because of my exposure to Christianity and God there, I grew up with a fear and basic knowledge of Jesus and his existence. After being switched to public school, I had retained my Christian identity but I never really followed through as a faithful believer–such as reading my bible, going to church, or praying. It was in the 8th grade when one morning my mother woke me up extremely early in the morning saying, “Get up! We’re going to church.” “What? Church? Huh?” Was my initial reaction. I had never attended a church service, outside of the chapel services I went to in my private school, in my life. I was entirely confused. We never went to church, and, out of nowhere, my mom is waking me up EARLY on a Sunday morning for his. Grudgingly, I stood up, got changed, and went with them to a small church that was couched into a little corner of a shopping center next to a pizza shop and a beauty salon.

February 15th, 2012

The Timeline of Creation

by Max Andrews

The following is a timeline for creation laying out the distinct and important moments from a scientific and biblical perspective.  For more of my posts on creation please see:

  1. Were the Days of Creation Long Periods of Time or 24 Hours?
  2. The Sixth Day of Creation Was Just Too Long to be 24 Hours
  3. Is There Scientific Evidence for Young Earth Creationism?
  4. Why I Believe Young Earth Creationism is Simply Dead Wrong
  5. Young Earth Creationism’s Interpolation
  6. Yes, There Are Gaps in the Biblical Genealogies 

February 7th, 2012

Junk DNA Isn’t Necessarily Junk

by Max Andrews

The argument from junk DNA suggests that a designer would be maximally efficient in his use of information.  There appears to be some information that does not execute or have any meaningful coding.  Darwinism takes this issue and uses it as the result of the prediction that there would be left over information not being used due to natural selection and random mutation.  However, it doesn’t appear that all junk DNA is actually junk.

The classical model of the genome was developed to support the Darwinian New Synthesis and was based on these assumptions:

  • Genetic determinants are discrete physical units
  • Only the collection of genes (genotype) is real; organismal development and traits (the phenotype) are epiphenomenal
  • The structure of gene can be explained solely in terms of population genetics (mutation and selection/genetic drift)

The presuppositions of the model

  • Genomes are the only carriers of phenotypic determinants; no laws of form exist à phenotypes mirror genotypes
  • Genomes are aggregates of simple entities that are constantly changing entails that phenotypes are always transforming
  • Genomes can be recombined and mutated in an unlimited way à morphological evolution is “open-minded”
  • Any two sets of genomes are connected by a finite number of mutations à morphological gaps are illusory
    read more »

February 1st, 2012

Were the Days of Creation Long Periods of Time or 24 Hours?

by Max Andrews

There are four literal interpretations of YOM (the Hebrew word for day).  The four definitions are (1) a portion of the daylight hours (2) the entire daylight segment of a twenty-four-hour day, (3) a twenty-four-hour day, and (4) a long but finite time period.[1]  Unlike the modern Hebrew and English, biblical Hebrew had no other word for a finite era or epoch. The figure of speech of “a day is like a thousand years” in 2 Pt. isn’t an issue, it’s a simile; I don’t advocate that 2 Peter permits and old earth interpretation in Genesis.  The four definitions of YOM are literal definitions; it’s unnecessary to say it’s non-literal.  Also, the issue of a numerical adjective in front of YOM, there is no such rule or law in Hebrew grammar that necessitates that YOM following a numerical adjective must be the twenty-four-hour interpretation of YOM.  The divisions of the days are “evening and morning” which signifies a division between the period of time (you’re going to have a hard time taking the text “literally” if you want to say there was evening and morning without a sun to make the distinguishing nature of evening and morning…).[2]  Even YEC’s must concede that the first three days of evening and morning are not used in the sense of referring to solar rotations, merely a division of time).  William Wilson, in his Old Testament Word Studies, explains that YOM is “frequently put for a time in general, or for a long time; a whole period under consideration… Day [YOM] is also put for a particular season or time when any extraordinary event happens.”[3]  This is completely consistent with a kairological (differing from a chronological reading in that [Gr. kairos] it is a point of time specific to an event) reading of Genesis 1 as advocated by William Dembski in The End of Christianity.

February 1st, 2012

Is There Scientific Evidence for Young Earth Creationism?

by Max Andrews

To answer the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?” I would respond saying that I would almost consider this a loaded question.  I don’t think I can find no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence.  There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.

Before getting to the geologic record of nature one needs to address the cosmological record of nature (the earth cannot be older than the universe).  I initially gained my interest in cosmology (and I must say I really enjoy discussing cosmology) was the Kalam cosmological argument, which is an apologetic argument for a beginning of the universe.[1]  I’ll put aside the mathematical and philosophical arguments for a beginning of the universe for that would be off topic and I’ll stick with the scientific evidence.  If one were to analyze an extrapolation of space and time then that initial singularity for the universe would take us back 13.73 GYA (giga, billion years ago).  There are many models of the universe such as the steady state, oscillating, quantum fluctuation, and other string theory models that coincide with former.[2]  The most prominent model with the most philosophical, mathematical, and scientific evidence is the standard model (due to cosmic inflation, the big bang).  Prominent cosmologist Paul Davies comments,

January 13th, 2011

A Probability So Small It’s Impossible

by Max Andrews

I was listening to William Lane Craig’s most recent podcast (Existence of God Part 15) on design and fine-tuning and I recently had William Dembski’s The Design Inference given to me as a gift by a friend (I know, I’m embarrassed I didn’t already own the book).  Craig spoke of Dembski’s local and universal small probability calculations and I wanted to make this information available here.[1] The question is at what probability is the probability so small that it could be considered impossible?

1080 x 1045 x 1025 = 10150

The unit 1080 is a number representing the number of elementary particles in the universe.  Elementary particles are believed to have no substructure, this would include:  quarks, leptons, and bosons.

The unit 1045 is measured in hertz, which represents alterations in the states of matter per second.  The properties of matter are such that transitions from one physical state to another cannot occur at a rate faster than 1045 times per second.  This universal bound on transitions between physical states is based on the Planck time, which constitutes the smallest physically meaningful unit of time.

The unit 1025 is in seconds.  This is a generous, upper bound on the number of seconds that the universe can maintain its integrity [before expanding forever or collapsing back in on itself in a “big crunch”].  This number is according to the Standard Model (the big bang).

The product, 10150, is the total number of state changes that all the elementary particles in the universe can undergo throughout its duration.  Compare this number to Oxford physicist Roger Penrose’s calculation that the odds of the special low entropy condition having occurred by chance in the absence of any constraining principles is at least one in 1010^123.  In other words, that’s how many different ways the universe could appear from it’s initial conditions.  To understand how large of a number 1010^123 is, take away the exponents and try writing out the number.  If you were to write a one and put a zero on every elementary particle in our universe you could then write out 1080, which only makes up an incredibly tiny portion of Penrose’s probability (twice for Dembski’s universal probability).

[1] For all this information see William Dembski, The Design Inference (New York:  Cambridge, 1998), 203-214.