Monday, July 4, 2016

Every Student Rebuttal, "Does God Exist" Part one

Here's another piece of bad logic on display. Notice at the top, it calls itself a 'Safe Place' for Christians.  A genuine Christian safe space! Let's dive right into this.

Just once wouldn't you love for someone to simply show you the evidence for God's existence? No arm-twisting. No statements of, "You just have to believe." Well, here is an attempt to candidly offer some of the reasons which suggest that God exists.
Sure would, presuming there actually is any.

But first consider this. When it comes to the possibility of God's existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God. 
Yeah, the bible does like making stuff up.
On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, "You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you."
Which is to say, that no one has ever searched, otherwise we'd have some pretty clear evidence.
Before you look at the facts surrounding God's existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, would I want to know him? Here then, are some reasons to consider... 
 Why does the author think it would matter if I want to know him or not.  I know that lots of bad people exist, regardless of the fact that I don't like them.

1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.

Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few: 
Well, this ought to be interesting.
The Earth...its size is perfect.
Not really.  We are currently looking to colonize other plants in the next century because this one isn't big enough.
The Earth's size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth's surface.
This is wrong.  The atmosphere extends roughly 300-80km straight up, depending on space conditions.
By Kelvinsong - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
From Wikipedia.
If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury.
Mercury has an atmosphere, it's just not like ours.  Mostly though, it's lacks an atmosphere like ours because of it's proximity to the sun, not because it's small.
If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 
See that tiny superscript 3?  It links to a book from 1946, which appears to be nothing more than a tract of some sort.  In fact, there only appear to be two copies of it in the entire OPLIN network.  Let me tell you, we did not have a very good understanding of space at that point.  Partly because we'd only had very simple airplanes (by comparison with today), and partly because Sputnik didn't even launch until 11 years later, in 1957.
Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
 So close, yet so far.  What it should say is we've got the only know planet that can support life as it developed here. Don't forget, there are creatures which can only live at the bottom of the ocean in extreme temps and pressures.  The atmosphere of earth a couple billion years ago lacked most of its oxygen, and would have kill most aerobic creatures today.  Plants had a really great time, though.
The Earth is located the right distance from the sun.
Well, for one, our orbit is slightly eccentric.  That's part of the reason we get seasons.
Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees.
Generally, the places that get one don't typically get much of the other.  Also, it's generally not a swing, but a steady change over the course of a year.  The average day anywhere doesn't change more than about 10-30 degrees.
If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze.
We know this is false.  There's a reasonably wide range that a planet could potentially exist in and still support our kind of life.  There's an even larger band that could potentially support some form of life.  If being further away would kill us, we wouldn't be trying to go to Mars.
Any closer and we would burn up.
No.  Venus didn't become a land of toxic clouds of molten/vaporized metals because it was too close to the sun.  It became that way because of the distribution of elements it happened to receive.
Even a fractional variance in the Earth's position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible.
Again, no.
The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun
 It's not a set distance.
while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph.
Hey, it got something right.
It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.
Some parts, not all.  The equatorial zone is perpetually warmer for many reason, not the least of which is because it receives the most sunlight.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull.
Well, what did you expect?  The calculations don't change just because the size does.  Gravity can't just magically be different from what it is.
The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate,
Without the tides, the earth would still have ocean currents from the heat of the sun.
and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.4
That has more to do with our gravity than the moon's.  It also has to do with the quantity of water on the earth.  Similarly, it also has to do with the height of the land masses on the earth.  You're saying it's odd that something 1/4 the diameter of the earth, with a much lower density (and thereby gravity), somehow has a reasonably small effect on Earth.

Also, that citation number four is to a book from the Moody Creation Institute.
Water...colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it.
Fair enough.  Everything on earth evolved in the presence of water, and it happens to be very hand to most metabolic processes.  We would indeed die without it.
Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You'll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:
However, there's nothing that says that water is necessary for life, just that it's necessary for our life.
It has wide margin between its boiling point and freezing point.
No, it doesn't.  Similarly, what's that got to do with anything?  Organisms at the bottom of the ocean survive under tons of pressure in waters that would boil if they were at surface level.

Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees. 
Wrong.  It's our circulatory tract that allows for that.  We are endothermic, but most things are not

 Water is a universal solvent.
Then dissolve some oil, alcohol, or sand into it. Go ahead, try it. I'll be here.
This property of water means that various chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.5
 Well, naturally, our body isn't going to make blood vessels smaller than we can use them, apart from the occasional defect of disease or genetic malfunction.  Citation 5 goes to the Moody book too.
Water is also chemically neutral.
There's two reasons for this.  First, it happens to be useful as a reference, so we reference from it.  Second, it happens to have the traits that make it an acid (H+) and an alkaline (OH-).  So, technically correct.
Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries,
Unless it's like iron or salt or something.  Our body doesn't need those things, right?
water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.
If they are water soluble, then it certainly helps.  However, lots of things are only fat soluble, and water isn't helpful there.
Water has a unique surface tension.
Citation needed.
Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity,
Because of capillary action, not because of magic water.  Gravity is, by far, the weakest of the four forces.  That's like saying a siphon is special because it uses basically the same premise.
bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.
Again, look up xylem and phloem.

Ted Stevens.jpg
It's a series of tubes!
Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.
Generally this is true of water that's outside, because the surface cools much quicker than the water below ground level.  In a uniformly cold environment, water just kinda freezes from wherever the nucleation site is.
 Ninety-seven percent of the Earth's water is in the oceans.
But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people.
Basically correct, except one correction.  It's not 'for' any purpose.  It just happens, and we take advantage of it.  Kinda like evolution in that regard.  It's almost like we adapted to the environment, more than the environment was adapted to us.
It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.6
Some things can't live in freshwater.  Some things can't live without brackish or saltwater.  Same Moody link, if you hadn't guessed already.
The human brain...simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information.
Now the author's gone completely off-track.  This has very little to do with any of the other points here.  The human brain does happen to be the most powerful of all the creatures we've discovered so far, but dolphins probably give us a run for our money.
Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see,
Ableist. Ignoring colorblind people!  Also, it's your eyes that do that, not your brain.
the temperature around you,
 No, that's sensory neurons in your skin.  THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!
the pressure of your feet against the floor,
Again, sensory neurons.
the sounds around you,
Ear parts, not the brain.
the dryness of your mouth,
Ooooh, cool water. Also, no.  Your tongue does most of that.
even the texture of your keyboard.
More nerves, actually.
Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.
Basically correct.  Wouldn't be much use to evolve complex limbs if we didn't have some way to utilize them.
 The human brain processes more than a million messages a second.7 
Same Moody book. Humans are pretty versatile though, and our brains do go pretty fast.  However, our brains also fail quite often and do so really fast.  It's not a simple win-win.  Thinking, about anything, even if you're not aware of it, takes massive amounts of energy
Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant.
Sometimes, yes, and sometimes no.  Just watch The Rain Man and remember that it's based on a real person.  Also check out the story of Daniel Tammet.
This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world.
You know, except when it doesn't happen.
The brain functions differently than other organs.
Well, yes.  Most organs function differently from most other organs.  The heart is nothing like the muscles, and those are neither like the skin, and even different is your bones.  This statement has no meaning in this context.
There is an intelligence to it, the ability to reason, to produce feelings, to dream and plan, to take action, and relate to other people.
Yes, because those are useful traits for reaching the age where one can mate.  It also makes civilized society much easier.  If you break the rules, you can end up in prison, and not mate with others.  If our brains hadn't had those selection pressures, we would have turned out differently.
The eye...can distinguish among seven million colors.
In some people, yes.  There are actually people who have receptors for a fourth wavelength.
It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages -- simultaneously.8 
 Yeah, probably, but the vast majority are subconscious.  It's not as though you can run Skyrim in your head.  Yet.  Also, here's what citation 8 looks like.  Also, page 125, 127, and 158 make mentions of how many receptors there are.  The wording used in the above quote is very misleading.
Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms.
Well, only partially.  Evolution doesn't have any focus, seeing as how it's a description of how things work.  Also, if a mutation is harmful, it generally eliminates its host from the gene pool.  If it isn't detrimental to mating, however, then the gene might carry on, even if it's completely useless.
Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain
Yes it does.
-- the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.
Well, since you never defined life, it's really hard to make that claim.  It's also really hard to define what it means to be a 'living' thing.

But that's enough for today.  This has been Rev. J.R., signing off.

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