Can God be a useful "scientific" hypothesis? Yes

What is the mechanism by which the Divine Intelligence forms and maintains? Without any mechanism, it’s not a scientific hypothesis.

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I take you mean “necessary” in this sense:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/god-necessary-being/

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Can you apply your test to the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 M, which are responsible for two current pandemic? Let’s know if this divine intelligence is currently guiding the evolution of both deadly viruses.

Computers have a wide array of functions, unlike genomes which just sit inside cells waiting to be transcribed or replicated. Stop getting it twisted.

Every experiment requires experimenter interference as I have pointed out before. By your logic, a divine intelligence is responsible for all cancers because investigators can interfere more or less with in vitro or in vivo carcinogenesis experiments.

Modifying this quote:

See how it sounds?

There have been other successful experiments. Keep up with the field.

The press article you linked discussed the findings from this study:

After going through the study abstract:

it became obvious you either didn’t read it or failed to understand what you read. Those protein engineers simply copied a natural strategy for protein evolution, called divergent molecular evolution, where a promiscuous enzyme evolves into a more highly specific and active form. This in no way resembles what Lenski hoped to achieve with the LTEE.

Lets modify this as well:

When the observer chooses a particular set of natural conditions to work on, the observer has to first test and determine whether or not [tumors can develop] within that condition without interference. Then, the observer must perform the same experiment with the same set of natural conditions following the previous one but impose unrealistic interference in the second round of experiments.
[/quote]

Whether we sparingly or heavily interfere with tumorigenesis experiments, it says nothing about whether an intelligent mind was involved in the process. That applies as well to OoL experiments.

By this logic God is the cause of all cancers because finite investigators guide the induction of tumors in their experiments.

GULOP stares hard at you.

Obviously you did not learn much from your previous exchanges. This might turn out to be another waste of time.

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That text does not occur in that reference.

You are lying about your sources again.

I am saving time and effort by starting by checking one of your references, noting that you’re still deliberately misquoting and misrepresenting your references, and not bothering to read what else you say.

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But it does apparently appear in another paper by Yockey: Hubert P. Yockey, 1981. Self Organization Origin of Life Scenarios and Information Theory. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 91:13-31. One may suspect that @Meerkat_SK5 didn’t read that one either.

I say “apparently” because I so far can’t find the actual full text anywhere on the web, only quotes.

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@Meerkat_SK5 you have made your “more than just metaphorical but literal” claim 1, 2, 3 times previously by my count.

I am getting heartily sick of your argumentum ad nauseam.

This is particularly true, as this claim is false, as I’ve already pointed out to you.

Church et al no more demonstrate that the genome is a computer than that a Wham!'s Greatest Hits CD or a book of Shakespearean sonnets are. That genomes, optical disks and paper-and-ink can be used as storage media does not demonstrate that they are computers.

I would further point out that Church’s “biotech version of an e-reader” cannot interpret a biological genome any more than a living organism’s processes can interpret the results of Church’s device, rendering this comparison still weaker.

I would suggest that the last thing this world needs is yet another apologist trying to make ‘scientific’ claims whilst being unwilling and/or unable to come to grips with the underlying scientific research.

If you want to make the world a better place, then become an aid worker.

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Given that this quote appears in a number of apologetic sources, most notably God’s Undertaker by John C. Lennox, this seems to be a safe bet.

Parrot_SK5 rides again.

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Not with the bit in [square brackets] - that seems to have originated in (and been copied repeatedly from) an article by Thaxton from 2002.

I have no idea if the addition reflects the original paper, which (as you say) doesn’t appear to be available - and nor does @Meerkat_SK5. Given it’s origin, I doubt it.

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I’ve tracked down the full Yockey article. The full paragraph is as follows (let me know if you need more context):

According to the sequence hypothesis, the specificity of all proteins is recorded in the exact order in which the amino acid residues are arranged. At sites where any mutation destroys the specificity, the residue is said to be invariant. If mutations can be accepted all such residues may be said to be synonymous at that site. Therefore we may imagine a Markov process as a source of sequences of these compounds. Fox (1975) has objected that information theory treats amino acids as playing cards, that is, without intersymbol influence. The objection is invalid on two counts, first a Markov process can be constructed to match any relationship between amino acid residues and the statistical structure of any polyamino acid sequence, true protein or proteinoid. Secondly, as we shall discuss later, there is, in fact, no intersymbol influence in true proteins and the playing card analogy is indeed a good one. In the following we will resort to illustrating our points by reference to the properties of language. It is important to understand that we are not reasoning by analogy. The sequence hypothesis applies directly to the protein and the genetic text as well as to written language and therefore the treatment is mathematically identical.

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Wow, I looked up your reference. It takes some real chutzpah to quote mine Yockey by citing a document in which he himself debunks the very quote mine you tried to pass off here.

Did you even read that link? Here is what he says…

FTE is wrong: “the mathematical treatment of these biological message texts” is NOT “identical to that of human written language.”

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More great evidence for descent with modification.

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Didn’t we just go through all this?

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Thanks.

I note that there’s an intersymbol influence in written language: cf “center” and “centre”.

I initially decided to not participate in this thread. But then I saw a post in another thread which caused my to change my mind.

First a general comment. I don’t actually know whether God can be a useful hypothesis. But, looking at the history of science, I see that at one time phlogiston was hypothesized. That turned out to be wrong. Nevertheless, that hypothesis was useful. The phlogiston hypothesis was testable, and the testing of that hypothesis was part of the origins of modern chemistry.

The best way to show that God can be a useful scientific hypothesis, would be to flesh it out and present an actual testable hypothesis.

I have read the entire thread. I do not find any testable hypothesis there.

My tentative conclusion – you have failed to show what you announced that you intended to show.

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There’s one, but I don’t think he intended it.

This of course is falsified if any species goes extinct. It’s really falsified if most species go extinct. I predict that he will either ignore that or backtrack from the hypothesis. But it’s definitely testable in the form in which he stated it above.

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Before I start addressing everybody’s objections, I need to address one of the two biggest reasons why people believe God cannot be a scientific hypothesis, which should help everybody accept my responses to their objections. One of them is the false presupposition of materialism or substance dualism. Most people often forget or don’t realize that there is a third option: Idealism. Let me bring some context before I elaborate on this:

What is Objective Reality?

Realism is the view point that external things are real and exist independently of mind in the form of either materialism or idealism. Naturalism is the viewpoint that only natural laws and forces govern the structure and behavior of the natural world, and that the changing universe is at every stage a product of these laws in the form of either materialism or idealism.

Materialism is the viewpoint that material things shape our ideas and ideologies. In contrast, idealism states that ideas come first and then changes in material things are consciously pursued in accordance with those ideas.

Substance dualism is the view that material things and ideas are both fundamental substances of existence (I.e. supernatural vs natural). Furthermore, this viewpoint states that the mental can exist outside of the body, and the body cannot. Where the immortal souls occupy an independent realm of existence distinct from that of the physical world.

However, Substance dualism is unparsimonius and untestable while materialism has been disconfirmed so many times by experiments that a consensus on the matter has developed [just ask for reference]. This leaves us with a form of idealism that places digital information and human consciousness as representing objective reality where space-time is influenced and emerges from.

Thus, I am NOT implying that the human mind or a disembodied mind/souls exists outside of space and time in the context of substance dualism, which is a hallmark of the natural vs supernatural dichotomy, but that one substance and one reality exists.

Instead of the mind/information existing as or in the brain/matter via materialism, it is the brain/matter that exists within the mind/information as an information construct. In other words, brain/matter is still real but not “Objectively” real where matter/brain and its effects are only real because the mind/information makes it real. Here, let me show you an example of what I mean…

According to John chapter 1:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. “…The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Greek meaning for “the Word” mentioned in John 1:1-3 is “something said; by implication, a topic, also reasoning or motive; by extension, a COMPUTATION; specially, the Divine Expression.” [emphasis added]

In other words, God is Digital information in the form of logical absolutes and mathematical language. This is where the quantum aspect of the human mind is relevant here since it is also digital information in the form of computation according the Orch-OR theory. So if you guys try to suggests that digital information is supernatural and quantum physics does not involve this, then you would be wrong. If you don’t believe me, please read this article:

https://www.wired.com/2002/12/holytech/

This leads me to address the second of the two biggest reasons why people believe God cannot be a scientific hypothesis, which involves God’s omnipotence and overall nature. Again, I am going to bring some background context and talk a little about what free will would potentially be under idealism before I delve in further.

In regards to free-will, there are things that influence our choices and decisions, such as chemical reactions in our brain versus things that predetermine choices all together like a puppet on a string or computer. They are not the same. Determinism is not the same thing as Predeterminism either. For example, If I watched a movie a second time, I can determine the action of each event or character but it does not also mean I caused them to do it that way. There is also a difference between the ability to make choices without an antecedent physical cause versus having limited options for me to choose from. For instance, even if I have one option to choose from like to be with Jesus, I can still choose to exercise that one option or not. This is free-will in a nutshell and the same applies to the former as well. Even though my flesh or Satan is influencing me to reject Christ, I still retain the ability to resist regardless of the strength of the influence where a mindless force does not in any situation.

Therefore, If by “free will” we mean that God gives humans the opportunity to make choices that genuinely affect their destiny, then yes, human beings do have a free will. I believe the world’s current sinful state is directly linked to choices made by Adam and Eve. God created mankind in His own image, and that included the ability to choose. However, free will does not mean that mankind can do anything he pleases. Our choices are limited to what is in keeping with our nature. In fact, there is nothing in the Bible that teaches human beings have a free will, at least not in the sense of how many people understand the term “free will”. A common understanding of free will is that we can make our own decisions entirely free of any outside influence. This understanding of free will is not biblical, nor does it match reality.

Contrary to popular belief, this also applies to God as well according to the laws of logic. For instance, the attributes of God have to work in accordance with each other in a logically consistent manner because he is who he is (i.e. the law of identity) and cannot not be who he is at the same time (i.e. law of non-contradiction). This means that God cannot make himself cease to exist because this would conflict with him being a necessary being. God cannot make a square circle because this would conflict with his omniscience. God cannot lie because it would conflict with his omnibenevolence. God cannot make a rock so heavy that he cannot lift because it would conflict with his omni-potency.

God cannot create and develop a world that does not have God intimately involved in the process every step of the way because it would conflict with his “Personal’ nature. Thus, God must be true to “all” his attributes, because to do otherwise would be to deny his own self.

Now, it’s time for to address all the significant objections…

The mechanism would be consciousness, which is called a Self-collasping wave-function according to quantum mind theory:

The finer scale of consciousness: quantum theory (nih.gov)

Now, here is also a video for the layperson that will explain how the quantum mind theory works and all the evidence supporting it in an easy, clear, and concise way for everyone. Keep in mind though, I am only referring you to IP’s video to help you understand better what I am trying to argue from a scientific standpoint and NOT referencing him as a primary source or as an expert. The guy who created the video has sources and links to his claims so you can read for yourself if you want :

I want to first apologize if I alienated you at all before. I was just starting out at Peaceful science when we first interacted and was trying to figure everything out.

With that said, I totally reject “Process Structuralism” for the same reasons I reject Young earth creationism (YEC) and deistic evolution. They are all forms of deism in some way shape or form. I am including YEC as a form of deism as well because it has God creating things without actually developing them afterwards (i.e. irreducibly complex).

In short, No. The God of classical theism cannot create and develop a situation like that in the same way he cannot lie ( or at least we would not expect him to do so).

Actually, previous experiments and observations suggest that God mimics the behavior of humans rather than Natural law. For instance, there are 5 known explanations for DNA/RNA. An alien designer, an unconscious quantum computer, natural law, time-traveling humans, and God.

It can’t be humans for obvious reasons, but it can’t be the known laws of physics and chemistry either because they only produce analog information while digital information has only come from minds; it can’t be a quantum computer because RNA experiments suggest it requires a conscious observer to obtain positive results (more on this later); it can’t be an alien designer because the genome and genetic text is mathematically identical to human language, which suggests that there is a relation between us and this agent. Thus, this not only leaves us with God as being the best possible explanation, but these observations suggests that God probably mimics our behavior in creating and developing designs in nature.

Again, as I told another user, Hubert clarified what he meant by this and it does not negate what I said or my argument if you read further into the brief:

"The statement on page 15 of FTE’s brief that, ‘This suggested how to quantify the patterns characteristic of intelligence with a vastly greater precision and level of confidence than before,’ is wrong for the following reasons:

  1. Information theory measures information completely without regard to meaning when
    it is applied to language and completely without regard to specificity when it is applied to
    proteins.

  2. Only the measurement of information in the genome and the transcription of
    information from DNA to RNA to protein are mathematically identical to the
    measurement of information and the transcription of written language.

  3. In information theory, measurement and transcription have nothing to do with meaning
    or ‘patterns of intelligence.’ ’

Number 2 is what I was using for my overarching argument.

Yes, I think we potentially can according to what some observations suggest but I am not sure:

“Importantly, the variation is not random: we detect a lower rate in highly expressed genes and in those undergoing stronger purifying selection. Our observations suggest that the mutation rate has been evolutionarily optimized to reduce the risk of deleterious mutations. Current knowledge of factors influencing the mutation rate—including transcription-coupled repair and context-dependent mutagenesis—do not explain these observations, indicating that additional mechanisms must be involved.

Evidence of non-random mutation rates suggests an evolutionary risk management strategy | Nature

“…we show that our proposed model accounts for most of the mutations at neutral sites but it is probably the predominant mechanism at positively selected sites. This suggests that evolution does not proceed by simple random processes but is guided by physical properties of the DNA itself and functional constraint of the proteins encoded by the DNA.

Evolution: are the monkeys’ typewriters rigged? | Royal Society Open Science (royalsocietypublishing.org)

Well first off, Miller-Urey experiments are supposed to be simulations of what happened in the past and not just any old experiment that a scientist does in a lab.

Secondly, don’t forget that it is a combination of interfering and NOT interfering within a simulated natural environment. Also, I already gave you a criteria for determining what is considered unrealistic versus realistic interference within these simulated experiments.

Well, this is essentially my point if I am not misunderstanding you. In order to disprove that God guided evolution, the Lenski experiment needs to produce results that are analogous to what we see done by a human bioengineer.

According to quantum physics experiments, this cannot be accurate. For instance, an experiment done on a mathematical theorem showed that “the values that you obtain when you measure its properties depend on the context. So the value of property A, say, depends on whether you chose to measure it with property B, or with property C. In other words, there is no reality independent of the choice of measurement.”

Quantum magic trick shows reality is what you make it | New Scientist

This means that we are not purely passive observers whenever we perform an experiment but are actively affecting what the outcome will be. I recommend that you watch this video on quantum physics that is created for laypeople on the subject of quantum physics:

The Measurement Problem - YouTube

Keep in mind, I merely conceded your point that the God hypothesis was not testable based on the question or experiment I proposed within that particular topic. Under this topic, the experimental procedure would be sufficient in establishing testability for the hypothesis. For example…

As Puck alluded , we can test some set of hypotheticals and the results would be applicable to the set of hypotheticals you test, but not to other possible scenarios and certainly not to all possible worlds.

In the previous topic, I made the statement that the “intelligent designer must exist in all possible possible natural worlds or conditions” in order to prove a Divine designer exists.

Now, I changed the statement to this: “An intelligent designer must exist to guide all life on earth”.

This is falsifiable because “Here is an experiment showing a possible situation where life could have evolved by an unguided process” would contradict it. How can you say this is still unfalsifiable now that I changed the set of hypotheticals to a particular instance in nature?

Uhhhh… no. There is a beneficial role for extinction events. It preserves a balance between predator and prey populations because too many predators or prey can cause a collapse of the ecosystem and cause greater harm. This includes a diseased animal that needs to die in order to make sure the rest of the species is not contanimated (Just ask for the reference). It also depends on how we are going to define species, which itself is problematic and not fully established.

No, that’s not a reason, so what follows is pointless. I don’t think anyone here rejects God as a scientific hypothesis because of materialism or dualism. There is thus no reason to discuss the matter.

Now that’s a reason. But free will has nothing to do with that, so what follows is once again useless. The problem is that “God” isn’t sufficiently constrained to be a well-formed hypothesis. With God, all things are possible, and therefore none are expected or unexpected.

Then your hypothesis was badly stated. As I predicted, you have backtracked from what it said. Let me remind you:

Extinction is neither survival nor reproduction, and it empties the biosphere. And all your post hoc justifications, below, are invalid.

Extinction does nothing of the sort. Wherever would you even get that idea? Extinctions can in fact be a cause or result of ecosystem collapse. They aren’t a means to prevent such a collapse.

A diseased animal is not a species, and that isn’t extinction. But I’m curious what reference you can summon for this bizarre contention.

How does anything here depend on the definition of species?

It all comes down to this: if you can fit the Permo-Triassic extinction event into your version of God’s careful plan, then your hypothesis is scientifically useless, as it can accommodate anything whatsoever. And yes, your hypothesis is useless.

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Despite my better judgment, I am asking.

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I hesitated before responding to this huge serving of word salad. But I will only comment on a few points.

I see this as mistaken.

Yes, material things can shape our ideas. But our ideas can also shape how we see the world and what material things we see. It’s a mistake to think it must be one or the other. Both can be involved.

Additionally, there are non-conscious processes going on which affect how we see the world.

To me, this seems nonsense. I take information to be abstract. And, as an abstraction, it doesn’t really exist except as a useful fiction. That is to say, it exists to allow us to talk about it in useful ways.

If information exists only as a useful fiction, then I suppose I should take you as insisting that God is a useful fiction. Perhaps that makes you an atheist.

That is most definitely not what I mean by “free will”. However, I do believe that humans make choices, and I understand “free will” to refer to that ability.

Personally, I see quantum mind theory as absurd.

I think that’s enough for one post.

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Those papers you cited (which you probably didn’t read or failed to understand) are irrelevant to detecting divine intelligence in historical or current evolutionary events. One discussed the evolution of non-random mutation rates by natural selection, while the other talked about the non-random generation of positively selected sites in E . coli genomes. Why do you cite papers you don’t understand?

I ask again, what methodology did you use to reach the conclusion that divine intelligence is guiding evolutionary events?

Many tumorigenesis experiments are also simulations of processes leading to the initiation of tumor growth, and by your twisted logic, show that God is the cause of all cancers in laboratory subjects and actual people because they involve finite experimenters who can heavily or sparingly interfere with the experimental system.

This is gibberish.

Stop bringing up Lenski’s LTEE which has nothing to do with divinely directed evolution. You have claimed that you have a way to detect the hand of God in evolutionary events, so lay out the methodology instead of pointlessly bickering about Lenski’s LTEE.

I don’t even know what to say here. You are really clueless and incapable of pursuing a coherent discussion on the very thing you are trying to argue for. The “observer effect” in quantum mechanics is completely irrelevant to our conversation.

You were on about how heavy interference in an OoL experiment was evidence for the need of a conscious designer for the origin of life and I retorted that if that was the case, then by your logic God is also the cause of all cancers because there are many tumorigenesis experiments where experimenters heavily interfere with the experimental system to achieve a particular goal or set of goals. Clearly the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premise, whether its for OoL or tumorigenesis experiments.

More importantly, the issue with heavy investigator interference in experiments is the reduction of the applicability of the findings of that study to real life. It has nothing to do with the presence or absence, involvement or noninvolvement of a divine or human or alien intelligence in anything.

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