Where did the laws of physics come from?

(Mark D.) #168

Then it is as I thought, more in the nature of confirming the reasonableness of belief in a creator. I think such belief is entirely reasonable even though I don’t share it.

Most people here seem to share the view that the possibility of evidencing either the existence or nonexistence of God is very slim, myself included.


All I have done is withhold acceptance of claims that lack evidence. That’s how logic is supposed to work.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #170

No, you have made an a priori decision as to what is evidence and what is not .

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #171


What is the difference between proving that the existence of God is more reasonable that not and proving that God exists?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #172

Jumping in here. I would personally see what @T_aquaticus accepts as a different sort of evidence than the evidence you are referring to Roger. Do you view them all equally personally?

(Mark D.) #173

I’m not sure how you intend to assign numerical probabilities to such a thing so I don’t think this comparison will work. I think the most I can give you is to concede it is a reasonable belief. But like the ancient assumption that the sun travels across the sky my own belief is that God will turn out to be different than what has been assumed traditionally, and not actually have had a hand in cosmic creation. I will also predict that what God turns out to be will have had a hand in our having evolved as we have as a species while also playing a continuing, dynamic role in our personal development. But I can’t join you in believing in a creator of the cosmos or a grantor of afterlife. But maybe we’ll never know in any scientifically validated way what God actually is; perhaps we’re stuck with faith. I can live with that.


Where have I done that?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #175

My primary message here is that the universe is more than physics or natural sciences. The universe is about feelings and ideas. The universe is about morality and values.

Humans live in the physical natural world of physical needs, but also in the human world of rational needs, and in the spiritual world of spiritual needs. All of these worlds are real and have their own rules of evidence, just as chemistry and physics are different.

Now on BioLogos we are talking about the interface of theology and science. That is not easy when many people like @T_aquaticus do not believe in God and therefore do not accept the rules of theology. In this case we need to fall back on the rules of philosophy which is the other bedrock of our understanding of reality.

The issues as I see it is that @T_aquaticus does not accept the rules of philosophy either, even when we are talking about concepts that fall under the rubric of philosophy in this boundary situations.

Now do I accept the rules of evidence for philosophy and science as equal? Certainly not in the sense that they are the same. They are different as they must be, but they are equally valid in the context for which they are intended, which I what we need to discuss, but instead I am told that the solid evidence that I present is not evide4nce because it does not meet the arbitrary a priori criteria that @T_aquaticus accepts.


Science has changed a great deal over the past 100 years or so. Does this make science false?. Indeed the understanding that the universe has a beginning as theology claims has been verified only in the last 100 years contrary to the historical view you present without justification.

I can live with that also, but faith is not a booby prize. Faith is evaluating all the available evidence including the theological, scientific, and the philosophical evidence, knowing that it is not absolute, and making a commitment based on the best evidence available, rather than viewing all the evidence available and not making a commitment to the Truth.

(Richard Wright) #176

Hello T,

@Relates, @pevaquark

When you wrote:

For you are aware that people most accept as a claim of evidence for God a life-producing universe that displays intelligence, purpose, good, bad, etc. Therefore, to follow the rules of logic in this instance you should properly say, “I don’t accept claims of evidence that other people accept.”


From what I have read thus far, you haven’t communicated a working philosophy for your ideas. Rather, you have a set of beliefs which you assert to be true without any real framework around them and no more justification than “because I say so”. If your ideas were developed a bit more perhaps there would be something we could dig our teeth into.

I will also note that I have leaned more towards the Socratic method. For example, I asked why there couldn’t be a rational universe that was not created by a deity, why that wasn’t a possibility. I never said that the universe could not come from God, nor did I say that the universe had to come from a natural process. I simply asked why that was not a possibility. If anything, your a priori assumptions rule out the possibility that a rational universe could come from a process that does not involve a deity.

Surely you can understand why I wouldn’t accept bare assertions as being true simply because someone says they are true. I need a bit more than that.


If I had my preferences, I would ask why that you consider that evidence for God creating the universe.

(Richard Wright) #179

Hello Mark,

I would say that most here would claim that you can’t, “prove” the existence of God, but that there are many, “pointers” to God. I would include pointers in the scientific realm as the appearance of a physical entity, be it a universe or multiverse, somehow popping into existence from ontological nothingness. As well I would include philosophical evidences such as there being intelligence in the universe, which implies the existence of an intelligence behind its creation.

Yes, the best card in the skeptics hand, to limit all knowledge to the physical, even if God, if He exists, isn’t physical. But at least you concede that atheists and theists (and everyone else) have faith in something.

What prompts you to believe that God, who you don’t seem to believe in, isn’t a creator?


The question here is what data can be considered evidence for God. Since most of humanity sees the universe as a pointer to God, then it wouldn’t be acceptable to state, “there is no evidence for God as of yet” since that is an assertion, and not a demonstrable fact. For accuracy’s sake you should couch your position as, “I don’t accept as evidence for God things that some others do”.

(Mark D.) #180

Hello Richard,

I’ve probably written more about that than anyone would want to hear again. But, in short, I do think there is an internal otherness which is possibly a co-product of consciousness alongside our conscious minds. This internal Thou, I believe, is probably older than our conscious minds, different in kind but another center of consciousness possessed of purpose, volition and wisdom. That is what I think is the basis for the prevalence of belief in God. It can explain some of the small, miraculous interventions on our behalf we sometimes experience as well as inspiration, intuition and conscience.

This internal otherness I actually do believe is a useful way to make sense of my experience. It deserves veneration but not mindless obedience. I suspect that our conscious minds are supported by the ongoing functioning of that more ancient consciousness. In a sense it does create the world of our experience and influences what may come to our attention as well as occasionally interceding on our behalf. It is something to be grateful for and to my mind that is enough.

I suspect the traditional description of God as the creator of the cosmos is a holdover from a time when it was also believed that the earth was its center and the heavens revolved around us. Whatever we call it and however we choose to conceptualize it, there is a lot going on below the surface to enable the kind of conscious experience we enjoy. There is much to be thankful for and even if isn’t to an external other of cosmic proportions, it can still be the center of ones world.


The question was why people consider that to be evidence. That was it. I was asking for an explanation of what other people consider evidence and why.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #182


I have given you all sorts of explanations as to what other people consider evidence and why, and receive nothing back except a pink unicorn, which is an “a priori” answer.


I don’t think you understand what “a priori” means, and fail to see a priori assumptions in your own statements.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #184

I do understand what a priori means, and I do see the a priori beliefs in my statements. That is why I am willing to discuss them while you are not/

(John Dalton) #185

That problem isn’t solved by a creating “god”–did they pop out of existence? Or they were always there? Could our physical reality have always been there? I see questions without answers.

Does it? Why? Couldn’t evolution of intelligence have proceeded naturally, along with other traits? We see more rudimentary intelligence down the chain of evolution.

“Most of humanity” does see something, but a pointer to what exactly? What exactly do we know about this “God” being pointed to? There a wild variety of opinions about the matter. How do we know what God is like? Would a god necessarily have anything in common with what people suppose, at all? Might it be anything I might imagine? This is a very loose form of “evidence”.

(Mark D.) #186

For me it comes down more to having found a pay off in the past for being receptive to insight and perspective in addressing questions whose answers I could not deduce directly alone. I’ve developed faith that waiting in stillness with focussed attention on big questions can yield better results than rushing to judgement based on cold assessment of the facts I have ready to hand. I wouldn’t adopt a defensive position around a commitment I’ve made to a complex question based on my own assessment because I have no reason to think I’m wiser than everyone else. Whatever I said from such a position could only come off as bombast to a person with a healthy respect for their own opinion.


All I am looking for is something more than bare assertions. If there is a philosophical argument you would like to present, then I would like to see it.