Randomness? Not a Chance!

UrsulaAndress5143“You really believe this wonderful universe came about by chance do you? If not god then you MUST believe it’s all just random chance!”

How many times have we had to deal with this strawman argument? Over and over and over again. I am now very tired of answering it, so maybe I (and you) can use this as a handy reference.

1. Just because I don’t believe your answer (god) doesn’t mean I need another answer. All that is required for atheism is not believing in god and we have no reason to. It would be perfectly fine just not to believe your explanation and so long as there’s no evidence for your explanation that is perfectly reasonable. Saying: “Look at this perfect universe! God must have done it!” is not only ignorant of the hostile nature of the universe in which we live, but it is a perfect example of the argument from ignorance and the argument from personal incredulity.

2. Given the sheer scale of the universe (13.75 billion years old, hundreds of billions of galaxies each with hundreds of billions of stars) even sheer chance has pretty good odds at that scale anyway.

3. There is pretty much no instance in which ‘random chance’ is involved in cosmogenesis, abiogenesis or evolution.

3a. The fact is we don’t know that much about the origin of the universe yet. There’s some rather difficult and profound questions around it. It seems, though, that the fundamental factors that constitute the natural laws of the universe are interrelated and may be confined to a relatively small range. There’s also the fact that if the universe was not one in which we could come about to think about it, we wouldn’t be here to think about it. You must also consider that we formed to fit the universe in which we exist, not vice versa.

3b. The planets and stars came together through gravity, not chance. It is no more chance that these bodies formed than it is that a released stone drops to the ground. This is also the case for the formation of elements in stellar cores and their interactions. These are fundamental qualities and they interact as they do not randomly, but according to conditions and opportunity.

3c. Abiogenesis is not a matter of chance but a result of chemical interactions under specific circumstances. We have problems recreating it in a lab because of a matter of scale and time. Not because it’s impossible. Szostak’s work is some of the best on this. Really, replicating molecules are just a matter of inevitable chemical interactions – given enough time, the right conditions and the opportunity.

3d. Evolution is not random. Variation is semi-random due to mixing of genes. Mutations are somewhat random. Selection is not. The faster lion catches the wildebeest, the slower wildebeest gets eaten. That’s deterministic, not bloody random.

In short, shut up.

8 responses to “Randomness? Not a Chance!

  1. 1. All philosophies and beliefs have implications.

    That means that if there is no Creator, as atheists profess, than everything happened all by itself.

    Simple common sense informs us that that just can’t be true. Nothing happens all by itself except for the First Cause, who is God.

    2. The universes first principles are not random, they are precise. And, according to modern cosmology, they came into being at the precise instant of Creation.

    Consequently, the order, beauty and elegance of the universe is not a result of randomness.

    Even Stephen Hawkings was so flabbergasted by such modern scientific discoveries that instead of accepting the logic of a conscious, intelligent Creator, he postulated the utterly preposterous and unscientific (read that superstitious) “multiverse.”

    3. We know one hell of a lot about the history of the universe.

    I recommend taking an up to date, university level, cosmology class.

    The fact that everything in the universe can be defined mathematically means that the universe is a matter of design, not chance.

    Mathematics is a language. Consequently, it is a sign of intellence. That means when God created the universe he spoke mathematics.

    For the physicist and engineer, the Word of God is mathematics.

    • 1. Atheism is neither a philosophy, nor a belief. It is simply the absence of belief in god. That’s it. ‘I don’t know’ is a perfectly acceptable answer.
      Now, science does point, 100%, to a naturalistic universe but that’s a separate argument.
      Things do happen by themselves. Two example are vacuum fluctuations/virtual particles and atomic decay.
      The ‘prime mover’ argument is self defeating. If all things require a cause then this also applies to god. If you make an exemption for your putative god then not everything needs a cause. Either way, the argument vanishes up its own arse.
      Whatever the case, you would still need evidence for a god.

      2. Covered in the article.

      3. That something can be described mathematically doesn’t make it a matter of design any more than describing it with words makes it literature.

      Engineers are vulnerable to thinking things must be made, physicists not so much.

      • 1. Denial is a psychopathology, not an argument.

        Not believing in God is a belief and behind that belief are reasons and associated with that belief are implications.

        Atheists, like all postmodernists, think that just because they believe something it must be true.

        If you can’t explain why you believe what you believe, than you are possessed by mindless faith.

        Being possessed by mindless faith is the exact complaint that atheists have against Christians.

        That makes atheism a case of projection, which like denial, is a psychopathology.

        2. You covered it in the article and I destroyed your article with my comment.

        Referring to failure in the face of further questioning is itself failure.

        Consequently, atheism is a philosophy of failure. And again, like denial and projection, insistence on failure is a psychopathology.

        3. I didn’t say just because something could be described mathematically it was an indicator of design.

        That’s you redefining my argument so you don’t have to deal with the one I actually made.

        I said that all designed things are expressed in mathematics. Look around you. Your chair, your computer, your car; all are defined mathematically.

        The laws of physics are expressed in the language of mathematics. Life is expressed in the language of DNA which is chemistry, which is science, which is mathematics.

        Language indicates intelligence. Intelligence indicates design.

        Denying simple reasoning, reality and science is delusion.

        Delusion, like denial, like projection, like clinging to failure is a psychopathology.

        Since delusion, denial, projection, clinging to failure are how you describe atheism, then atheism is a psychopathology.

        That conclusion is based on the mathematical principle:

        If A = B and C = B, then A = C.

      • 1. Correction is an argument. You make the point yourself ‘Not believing in god is a belief’. Which should get an award or something for the fastest self contradiction in history. So, again, it is the absence of a belief. The absence of a fork is not cutlery, the absence of a car is not a mode of transportation. The absence of racism is not prejudice. So it is with atheism, it is the absence of belief. Atheism is not postmodernism either. I can tell you why I don’t believe in god (no evidence) and I can tell you why I believe the things that I do believe, but atheism tells you only what I don’t.

        2. No, you did not.

        3. You did indeed, read your own argument again. All things, designed or not, can be described with mathematics. It is not an indication of design. Mathematics, like language, is just that – a way of describing things.

        You continue to conflate and, ironically given your argument here, to redefine. Since you start from a failure to properly define what atheism IS it is not surprising that everything else falls flat.

      • grimachu,

        Correction is not an argument.

        An argument consists of a claim and reasoned support for that claim.

        The argument may be either true or false,

        It is the purpose of discussion to seek the truth value of an argument.

        My claim is that atheism is a manifestation of mental illness.

        I used your own claims and reasoning to show that my claim is true.

      • Except that you failed utterly to do so in part because the basis of your entire point was derived from an erroneous concept of atheism.

        Now, theism, there’s a mental illness for you. A belief, without evidence and against contradictory evidence. That’s also a working definition of delusional disorder.

      • Grim,

        The concept that I use for atheism is the concept that atheists themselves use or use but deny using.

        Effective argumentation demands that my side of the argument take place on the ground of my opponent.

        Atheists can’t argue from any point outside their own set of personal opinions so they must redefine their opponent’s position and then argue against that.

        Such activity defines mental masturbation, also a psychopathology.

        So once again, you demonstrate by your own thinking that atheism is a psychopathology.

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