Intelligent design?

If the universe is intelligently designed, then why does it appear to be unintelligently designed in structure, simply being a matter of emergence, bottoms up structure rather than from the top down? Everything we see in the universe is explainable by natural phenomena, the laws of physics are sufficient to explain what we see in our own universe rather than invoking some magic entity to attempt to explain it all.

Some might point out the wonders of life as “proof” of intelligent design. A good question to ask them is, if life is intelligently designed, then why do whales have lungs? An intelligent designer wouldn’t give whales lungs, he’d give them gills, and yet whales still have lungs like every other mammal out there. That is a stupid design, and you expect me to believe some omniscient, omnipotent deity created whales from scratch, complete with flaws? If that is really the case, then your god is a stupid one indeed.

Oddities like the presence of lungs in whales or vestigial tailbones in modern humans indicates that we had ancestors that possessed lungs and tails, which also implies that we have changed over time to lose our tails. If that’s not evidence of evolution, then what is it?

This doesn’t apply to just life either, even the structure of the universe itself is explainable by natural laws and the concept of emergence. Grand as galaxies may be, they are not intelligent constructs, but merely swirling bunches of stars, gas, and rock gravitationally bound to a supermassive black hole in the centers of all galaxies, solar systems may appear to be expert pieces of clockwork, but all we see suggests that the order we see in our solar system alone is merely the work of natural laws like gravity and emergence, we don’t have too many asteroids in our orbit because Earth cleared them all out, all of the ice giants are located in the outer solar system because that’s where conditions are cool enough for “ices” like ammonia to coalesce around rocky, metallic cores, the reasons rings of minor planetary bodies like the Asteroid or Kuiper Belt is because those are the regions of the Solar System where no large planets have formed that are big enough to clear their orbits of debris, essentially being the leftover remnants of when our solar system first formed, over five billion years ago.

Since all we see in nature is easily explainable by natural phenomena and emergence, why do we feel the need to deny reality and invoke nonexistent deities and magic instead to explain them?

On Morality and the Euthyphro Dilemma

This ties into my post on the divine command theory in that if god is the sole judge and source of what is moral, then morality is ultimately subjective and arbitrary, which also ties into the Euthyphro dilemma which was outlined on that page. But if morality isn’t subjective, then by what objective criteria can we set to determine if an action is objectively moral or not?

That may seem like a hard question to ponder, but it really isn’t. Here is one way to determine if an action is objectively moral or not: An action is objectively moral if it serves to promote human flourishing, or if it minimizes needless harm and/or suffering, and an action is immoral if it promotes pain and suffering or harms human flourishing in some way.

Those are the criteria that Scott Clifton of soap opera fame, but who is also on Youtube under the handle “TheoreticalBullshit” put it, and I am inclined to agree with him on this. That way morality isn’t subjective and ultimately arbitrary, and also provides an answer to the Euthypro dilemma, in my eyes at least.

Biblical Contradictions #2

This time we focus on the disparity in the Gospels of Jesus’ original birthplace, that is, Bethlehem and Nazareth. Jesus couldn’t have been born in two places, such a thing wouldn’t be possible, it’s inherently contradictory, a person can’t be born in two places at once… unless the Bible is referring to two separate Jesuses.

Let me explain, the possibility has been raised before that while the Jesus of the Gospels never existed as depicted in said Gospels, there may have been many a Jesus that the Gospel Jesus is ultimately based on, a composite character of several real and fictional people, if you will. Sort of like how Moses is arguably a composite character of Hammurabi and Sargon, two great Mesopotamian emperors and lawgivers.

Either way, this demonstrates that the Bible isn’t the inerrant word of God, for what omniscient, infallible deity would make such a basic copying error?

Quantum Woo: A Tale of Superstition and Physical Reality

Woo practitioners like to appropriate concepts from actual science in a rather pathetic attempt to give their bunk some veneer of faux-legitimacy, and by “concepts” I mean use random technobabble to make your woo sound more scientific than it actually is. One such case is by appropriating jargon from quantum mechanics such as the word “quantum” itself.

These idiots rely on the fact that quantum states remain in flux until observed, when, according to the Copenhagen interpretation, they collapse into one of those many states. No one really understands quantum mechanics, I sure don’t, but we do know certain things about the nature of the quantum world. Before we go any further let me make it clear, just because we don’t know the metaphysical consequences of quantum mechanics doesn’t mean they know it either.

Whenever before in history something previously assumed to be of supernatural in character was tested, it always turned out to be totally natural in character, so I see no reason for us to assume differently for quantum decoherence. Another thing that should be pointed out that the Copenhagen interpretation is only one interpretation of many, we don’t know enough about the quantum world to be certain, but it is likely that quantum effects become so improbable on larger scales to be effectively diluted to the point that it is practically impossible for them to occur because gravity counteracts their effects, so sorry, quantum mechanics isn’t going to allow you to start wielding the Force anytime soon.

Also being an observer doesn’t mean that anything has to be conscious in order to observe something, an unthinking machine taking measurements still counts as an observer, so quantum consciousness is bullshit either way.