Perhaps the time has come for a summary of what has been discussed on this thread so far, rooted in the original post.
Post #1 was â€œhiddenâ€� due to a glitch in the system, except for the tag, which indicated that I intended to challenge the â€œreductionist materialismâ€� that dominates science today
Post #2 was a response by Divine Insight, taking up my challenge to reductionist materialism. Divine Insight supposed that I intended to support a belief in God as represented in the Bible, and boldly claimed that â€œthere really is no credible alternative to a reductionist materialistic worldview.â€�
However, my initial post (re-posted in posts #3 and #4) reached toward the position that reductionist materialism can be shown to be inherently absurd. (?!?) Is the argument that I advanced, regarding human (not divine) creativity, viable? That was my whole point in starting this thread, to test that argument.
In post #3, I gave a link to a post in another thread that explains where I am actually coming from, and gave an explanation of â€œreductionist materialismâ€� (the dominant paradigm within todayâ€™s â€œscienceâ€�).
Then, in post #3 and continuing into post #4, I re-posted my earlier post #1 (split in half, to get around the glitch in the system), presenting my conclusion from my earlier debate with a scientist back in December and January. I gave a link to where that earlier debate took place, on a forum devoted to discussion of medieval genealogy. In post #3 I explained the context of this earlier debate: I have been communicating with deceased ancestors and recording the stories that they tell. (This has been vehemently rejected as â€œhallucinationâ€� or fabrication.) My unrebutted conclusion, in my debate with the scientist, was that the measurable phenomenon of human creativity
, as expressed in technological progress resulting in a potential population density orders of magnitude above that possible for a primitive hunting-and-gathering society, is inexplicable by reductionist materialism. This is the point of that I hope will eventually be tested on this current thread.
But it seems that there is more ground to cover before I try to bring the discussion around to that point.
Regarding communicating with ancestors, an introduction to the topic is at https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/535187/com ... -ancestors
, and I have been providing some raw data (recent statements by Mayflower ancestors) on this very recent thread in this forum's â€œRandom Ramblingsâ€� sub-forum: https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/ ... 424#959424
In post #6, Rikuoamero challenged my general point of view, stating that at no point do I (or others like me) propose a mechanism for how the mind is able to operate without a physical brain. And this question of a mechanism (and whether it is necessary) has dominated much of the ensuing discussion.
One point that I haven't brough up so far: The requirement of a â€œmechanism,â€� by its very nature, seems to be rooted in the presuppositions of reductionist materialism, which implicitly denies the possibility of discussion of non-material (spiritual or â€œsupernaturalâ€�) causes for material phenomena.
This general question of a â€œmechanismâ€� has dominated my participation in this thread ever since post #6. In post #7, I brought up the example of Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles Darwin) who proposed evolution, without suggesting a mechanism. Erasmus Darwinâ€™s lack of a mechanism didnâ€™t mean that he was wrong. Generalization: the lack of a mechanism, by itself, does not justify arbitrary dismissal of a supposition.
In post #8, rikuoamero brought up the counter-example of Creation Science, showing that the lack of a mechanism went together with a conclusion (â€œGod did itâ€�) that was arguably devoid of rational support.
In post #9 I pointed out that Creation Science is based on the axiomatic supposition that the Bible, interpreted literally, is infallible. I provided an example (the three interlocking Christian doctrines that â€œJesus never saidâ€�) as support for my conclusion that a combined â€œliteral infallibleâ€� interpretation of the Bible is a non-starter
In post #10 Dr. NoGods joined the discussion, with the mistaken claim that Charles Darwin published his findings on evolution in â€œpeer-reviewed papersâ€� before the 1859 publication of his â€œOn the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.â€�
In post #11 Guy Threepwood joined the discussion, with the observation that â€œthe origin of new design, creation without creativity, has always been the problem materialism has not been able to solve.â€�
In post #12, replying to Dr. NoGods, I reiterated my position that the lack of a mechanism does not by itself justify the arbitrary dismissal of a hypothesis. As I clarified in post #13, the question of whether a general idea is correct is a different issue from whether a proposed mechanism is correct.
Then, from posts #14 through #29, others debated evolution and natural selection.
I re-entered the discussion with post #30, but once again the post was â€œhidden,â€� apparently due to a technical glitch. I tried again with post #31, pointing out that (1) â€œnatural selectionâ€� works with a reductionist materialist paradigm; and (2) the phrase â€œnatural selectionâ€� in effect transforms a metaphor into a causal agent, which seems ridiculous.
I highlighted this point on post #35, challenging Divine Insight to name a single example of a species that has been proven to have evolved through natural selection. (This challenge has gone unanswered.) My point here was that, if there is no such example, then the door has to be open to consider alternatives to natural selection.
Then another important digression: On post #36 I responded to Clownboatâ€™s challenge (post #34) to Waterfall (post #33): Clownboat requested evidence supporting the idea that we have past lives (reincarnation). I provided evidence: Dr. Jim B. Tuckerâ€™s synopsis of the case of James Leininger. Also on post #36, I provided a link to another thread I started recently, demonstrating that for millenia, orthodox Jews (including Jesus himself) believed in reincarnation. See â€œDid Jesus and his followers believe in reincarnation?â€� in the â€œChristianity and Apologeticsâ€� sub-forum. So far, NOBODY has challenged my observation that belief in reincarnation has been pervasive in Jewish culture, and mentioned in the Bible.
In post #40, Divine Insight, arguing against the â€œIntelligent Designâ€� alternative to â€œnatural selection,â€� brought up the problem that is generally known as â€œtheodicyâ€� (how do you explain evil and suffering in a world created by a wise, benevolent, all-powerful God?).
In post #44, DrNoGods gave his rebuttal of reincarnation: according to his reductionist materialist supposition, there is no way for the â€œbrainâ€� of a newly-forming human to receive â€œinformation in the form of memoryâ€� from a past life. DrNoGods once again brought up the issue of a lack of â€œmechanismâ€� to justify his skepticism regarding reincarnation, without addressing my previous points about lack of mechanism
, and without any substantive discussion of Dr. Jim B. Tuckerâ€™s report on the James Leininger case of a small childâ€™s memories leading to the positive identification of a â€œpast lifeâ€� (James Huston, a World War II fighter pilot who got shot down and killed).
In post #51 I addressed Divine Insightâ€™s post #40, presenting the question of â€œtheodicyâ€� and characterizing â€œnatural selectionâ€� as an empty supposition.
Divine Insight responded in post #53, falsely stating that I â€œdonâ€™t have a viable alternative to evolution
.â€� I have never argued against evolution
, just the fairy-tale â€œnatural selection.â€�
Once again, Divine Insight has not provided a single example of a species that has been proven to have come into being as a result of â€œnatural selection,â€� and has consistently avoided this point. I'm still waiting...
In post #56 DrNoGods asserted (without evidence) that homo sapiens
evolved from earlier homo species through natural selection. A bald assertion isnâ€™t good enough. Whereâ€™s the evidence that â€œnatural selectionâ€� played a role in the progressive appearance of progressively more advanced â€œhomoâ€� species?
Perhaps someone could cite page numbers from Darwinâ€™s â€œThe Descent of Man.â€� (The full text is available online; see the â€œDarwin Onlineâ€� website.) Once again, I am not challenging the idea of evolution; I am challenging the cotton-candy fairy tale of â€œnatural selectionâ€� as the purported mechanism of how new species come into being.
In post #63 rikuoamero tried to rebut my point regarding natural selection. Unfortunately, while ricuoameroâ€™s point accounts well enough for variations WITHIN
a species, it does not account for the sudden appearance of totally new species (with, for example, a different number of chromosomes). To rikuoamero I give the same challenge that I gave to Divine Insight: Please provide a single example of a species that has been proven to have come into being as a result of â€œnatural selection.â€�
Or at least provide some supporting evidence; perhaps there is enough of that to keep â€œnatural selectionâ€� in the arena as something more than feel-good propaganda for reductionist-materialists.