Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is the Universe Designed? William Lane Craig MP3 Audio

William Lane Craig presents a talk at Asbury Theological Seminary entitled: Is the Universe Designed?

Full MP3 Audio here. (40min)

Enjoy.


25 Comments

  1. Lee July 23, 2009

    Hi Brian,

    Is the Universe Designed?

    Designed for what?

    Black holes?

    It cannot surely be human life, after all – mankind can only live on a tiny part of this planet – most of space will kill us rather than look at us

    That's just another problem with the design argument.

    Take care

  2. Brian July 23, 2009

    Proverbs 18:13

  3. emmzee July 23, 2009

    Astrophysicist Hugh Ross' recent book "Why the Universe is the Way it Is" explains that the universe must be as large/empty/old/etc as it is for life as we know it to exist. It's well written and an interesting read, but it can get somewhat technical for a layperson like me and is also a bit repetitive at times.

  4. Lee July 23, 2009

    Hi Brian

    He who answers before listening—
    that is his folly and his shame.

    Proverbs 18:13

    One problem with this… I've heard it nearly all of it before.

    So, I either have to spend my life listening to the same old same old, or set some filters.

    Life is short.

    How you wrote this post, it set off my sceptical filters… and I said why.

    Tell me my filters got it wrong this time, and I will be amazed.

    Anyway, as always – I like to comment first, then listen.

    You know this.

    It gives people who has listened a chance to say “No, No, Lee – you are wrong this time. Listen from 7 mins to 10 mins in. It is all there, all your questions answered”

    Never happens… (to date at least), so here is your chance.

    Amaze me 🙂

    Which bit has the killer blow to my filters?

    Lee

  5. Lee July 23, 2009

    Hi Emmzee

    Astrophysicist Hugh Ross' recent book "Why the Universe is the Way it Is" explains that the universe must be as large/empty/old/etc as it is for life as we know it to exist.

    Yes, it is perfectly natural 🙂

    Science would have a hard time explaining anything else in this universe.

    However, my point is this.

    Life here on Earth is such a small, small, small part of the universe and does not, will not last very long.

    Blackholes on the other hand are the future. When we are all gone, blackholes will be getting bigger and bigger for trillion of years.

    So, the universe looks more designed for blackholes to me, and where the argument fails

    Lee

  6. Brian July 23, 2009

    Lee,

    You are showing that you have already made up your mind. You assume your conclusion before you even look at (or listen to) evidence. That is why it is your folly.

    In addition, you assume you know the content before you have listened, and then your comments look positively ignorant.

    Welcome back from your "week off" by the way. Are you going to answer the question on my other thread about being a skeptic?

  7. bossmanham July 23, 2009

    Lee,

    "The heavens declare the glory of God;And the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1).

    "The heavens declare His righteousness,And all the peoples see His glory" (Psalm 97:6)

  8. Lee July 24, 2009

    Hi Brian

    I basically addressed your points here on the other thread (since I am repeating myself) – I am answering arguments I heard before assuming (yes) that nothing new is being said.

    For WLC this is a fair assumption to make I think, I must have heard over 30 hours or more of lectures from the man and they ALL say the same. He has not changed his argument for 10 years or more (actually, I never heard any change, just more of the same)

    You are showing that you have already made up your mind.

    No – just that I feel I am short on time and hoping my good Christian friends will filter the wheat from chaff for me.

    Keep me focus on the good stuff.

    You assume your conclusion before you even look at (or listen to) evidence. That is why it is your folly.

    All I ask is what does WLC say that is new here?

    Everything I’ve heard from him in the past is fantastic debating skills, but little substance.

    I would love to read a web page with his arguments, if will be easier to quote.

    In addition, you assume you know the content before you have listened

    Guilty as charged 🙂

    Was I wrong?

    and then your comments look positively ignorant.

    Ah, sorry about that… maybe the one of the problems was that I was rushed for time this morning (I even missed my train) and the wife is rushing me to finish off tonight.

    Or that I am positively ignorant about WLC and his arguments… 🙂

    Welcome back from your "week off" by the way.

    Thanks… busy, busy busy.

    Are you going to answer the question on my other thread about being a skeptic?

    Sure, erm… can you tell me which thread. I missed it.

    Lee

  9. Lee July 24, 2009

    Can someone define "the firmament" please, and how they came to this conclusion.

    I thought it was what the stars were fixed in. Firm and solid and none moving.

    Lee

  10. Brian July 24, 2009

    For WLC this is a fair assumption to make I think, I must have heard over 30 hours or more of lectures from the man and they ALL say the same.

    This is understandable. But in this case, there is a bit more to it, including his thoughts on evolution. His talks on university campuses are often different in certain ways that his debates.

    All I ask is what does WLC say that is new here?

    As I recall, you asked what the universe was designed for. However, you just said you know all of WLC's content and it never changes. So shouldn't you know what he means?

    Everything I’ve heard from him in the past is fantastic debating skills, but little substance.

    Little substance? What would you actually consider actual substance? Do you want him to fly around the room for you? Haha

    I would love to read a web page with his arguments, if will be easier to quote.

    Lee, you have your own blog. You have access to all his written stuff on places like reasonablefaith.org and leaderu.org. Why don't you put together a post based on your criticisms of his actual written content and show us where he is wrong. We need your help here because we're all deluded! 🙂
    No, but seriously. Address his actual written content on your blog. I haven't geared this site to be a debate forum to argue endlessly in the comments.

    Sure, erm… can you tell me which thread. I missed it.

    This one.

    Take care.

  11. Lee July 25, 2009

    Hi Brian,

    there is a bit more to it, including his thoughts on evolution.

    The last I heard, WLC believes in theistic evolution (of course) though if he explains how evolution fits in with original sin – then you have my interest.

    His talks on university campuses are often different in certain ways that his debates.

    I know, I have listened to a few in my time (and this will be the next one)

    As I recall, you asked what the universe was designed for.

    I bet WLC says mankind…

    Could be wrong

    However, you just said you know all of WLC's content and it never changes. So shouldn't you know what he means?

    You got me 🙂

    You’ve made me look silly now.

    Little substance? What would you actually consider actual substance?

    I’m just not convienced by his arguments. No matter how many times WLC asserts the ‘fact of the resurrection’ or ‘deep down inside we all know it’ or ‘I don’t know how these constants are like they are, so it must be God’ (I made that last one up, must keep the straw fresh)

    Do you want him to fly around the room for you? Haha

    I think WLC has actually made that argument once…

    I’m out of time, which is why I’ve not been writing much on my own blog as well.

    I’ve got the fine tuning and the design argument from WLC to address.

    Oh well, one day.

    I have written a few posts on the first cause agrument though 🙂

    Lee

  12. Brian July 25, 2009

    Lee,

    WLC doesn't believe in theistic evolution.

    must keep the straw fresh
    I appreciate that! haha

  13. Lee July 26, 2009


    WLC doesn't believe in theistic evolution.

    Well I'm shocked.

    I thought WLC was a theist, and believed in evolution. What else then would we call it?

    Maybe I really do need to listen to this lecture 🙂

    Lee

  14. Lee July 28, 2009

    Hi Brian,

    I just wrote a long reply for your other thread… only to find comments have been 'stopped'

    Oh well

    Anyway, finally got around to this lecture.

    I really need a transcript – it was like a car accident.

    I learnt more about WLC on evolution though, and that was interesting.

    Oh – I am about to write a post on WLC and the fine tuning argument.

    At last I hear you cry 🙂

    Lee

  15. Brian July 28, 2009

    A car wreck? Interesting.

    As for the other thread, it was a car that went off the highway, down into a side road, then drove off into the field. I had to pull Indiana Jones's car over before the Nazi's got in. 🙂

  16. Havok July 28, 2009

    From Victor Stenger
    "However, a wide variation of constants of physics leads to universes that are long-lived enough for life to evolve, although human life need not exist in such universes.
    "The theory of a multiverse composed of many universes with different laws and physical properties
    is actually more parsimonious, more consistent with Occam's razor, than a single universe. Specifically, we would need to hypothesize a new principle to rule out all but a single universe. If, indeed, multiple universes exist, then we are simply in that particular universe of all the logically consistent possibilities that had the properties needed to produce us."

    I'm pretty sure that research into abiogenesis is not so broken down, and further along and more fleshed out than WLC makes out.

    And WLC makes the micro/macro argument against evolution? Wow. Just wow!
    I wonder if he can speak about the limits imposed by "micro" evolution, and how those limits exclude "macro" evolution.
    And he brings up transitional forms? It just gets better and better.

    I wonder if WLC doesn't know of the current state of research in these matters, if he knowingly misrepresents things, or he ignores them because they the scientific evidence goes against his beliefs?

  17. Havok July 28, 2009

    And WLC cites Behe regarding the irriducible complexity of the bacterium flagella and blood clotting factor. When was this lecture recorded, as Behe has been soundly refuted especially as regards the flagella and blood clotting.

    If this lecture is recent, then WLC really should make more of an effort to keep up with these things before claiming any sort of "victory".

  18. Brian July 28, 2009

    Scott Minnich presents his view on the flagellum here.

  19. Havok July 28, 2009

    Thanks Brian. Listening may have to wait as it's getting late here.

  20. Brian July 28, 2009

    No probs. Just more resources.

  21. Havok July 28, 2009

    Guess I was willing to stay up a little later 🙂

    It's a little hard to follow Minnich due to the lack of visuals, but I think I got the idea.
    He does appear to undercut his own argument just after the halfway mark. He goes through the "components" of the flagellum, and he refers to a "Type-III secretory system" (TTSS) amongst the parts.
    The existence of the TTSS undercuts the claims of IR for the flagellum, as there exists a set of genes which result in a fully functional "part" of a bacteria. minnich doesn't address this at all, and seems to take a very unusual view of IR – if we remove a gene from a current "part" and it doesn't work, it's IR. This view doesn't look at how the current functioning "part" could have come together from precursors, which may have had widely varying function..
    The flagellum is quite amazing and complex, but irreducibly complexity hasn't been demonstrated 🙂

    From Ken Miller

    "If we are able to search and find an example of a machine with fewer protein parts, contained within the flagellum, that serves a purpose distinct from motility, the claim of irreducible complexity is refuted. As we have also seen, the flagellum does indeed contain such a machine, a protein-secreting apparatus that carries out an important function even in species that lack the flagellum altogether. A scientific idea rises or falls on the weight of the evidence, and the evidence in the case of the bacterial flagellum is abundantly clear."
    and
    "The very existence of the Type III Secretory System shows that the bacterial flagellum is not irreducibly complex. It also demonstrates, more generally, that the claim of 'irreducible complexity' is scientifically meaningless, constructed as it is upon the flimsiest of foundations – the assertion that because science has not yet found selectable functions for the components of a certain structure, it never will. In the final analysis, as the claims of intelligent design fall by the wayside, its advocates are left with a single, remaining tool with which to battle against the rising tide of scientific evidence. That tool may be effective in some circles, of course, but the scientific community will be quick to recognize it for what it really is – the classic argument from ignorance, dressed up in the shiny cloth of biochemistry and information theory."

  22. Brian July 28, 2009

    Copy and paste war… I bow out.

  23. Havok July 29, 2009

    And we were having such fun! 🙂

    I'll repeat the arguments in my own words in future, and simply provide links to other material, to avoid the escalation of hostilities 😉

    Since it seems the arguments which WLC uses in the lecture fail, how can he/we conclude the universe was designed at all, let alone specifically for us (or intelligent life, or life at all)?

    I think Lee has a point, as black holes appear to be more prevalent throughout the visible universe, and the basic fabric of the universe seems to be much more accommodating to them 🙂

  24. Lee July 29, 2009

    Hi Havok,

    Long time no see… you’ve been hiding as well.

    Brian wrote: A car wreck? Interesting.

    Yes.

    An example of this is when WLC ‘quotes’ Francis Crick.

    WLC quotes Crick as saying “almost a miracle”, then just a few minutes later drops the ‘almost’ to assert Crick said ‘a miracle’.

    That is rather dishonest I would have thought.

    Almost a miracle makes sense, an atheist to say miracle does not. WLC knows this and used it.

    Brian wrote: Copy and paste war… I bow out.

    That’s fair enough , I understand these things get time consuming, which is all that was needed to be said – but I do wonder.

    What is the difference between someone quoting their sources (which in debates is what you are expected to do isn’t it?) and someone posting a lecture for someone to listen to?

    Lee

  25. Lee July 30, 2009

    Hi Brian

    No, but seriously. Address his actual written content on your blog.

    It was a good idea, and so I've started to do just that…

    If you (and/or others here) can show me where I am going wrong I will be grateful

    Hope the link works…

    The fine tuning argument is rubbish (or why William Lane Craig is mistaken…)