Stealth Design

The Hiddenness of God

The famous mathematician and atheist, Bertrand Russell (co-founder of analytic philosophy), was asked about what he would say if he had to stand before God one day to give account for his unbelief. His answer:

“Sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?”

In a survey of the top reasons that skeptics tend to reject God, in the top three, is the challenge embodied in Russell’s complaint:

“God, if you are there, why are you so hard to find?”

In theological or philosophical terms, this dilemma is called The Hiddenness of God.

Perhaps the most quoted of all skeptics, Friedrich Nietzsche, also fired salvos against Judaism and Christianity with similar attacks. He wrote there should be “a Duty of God to be truthful towards mankind and clear in the manner of his communications.” In other words, WHY isn’t God more clear, more obvious, more open in His dealings with mankind?

http://god-and-logic.blogspot.com/2010/03/hiddenness-of-god.html

This is really, imho, the reason Intelligent Design of God-made artifacts is rejected while human-made intelligent design is easily accepted. God doesn’t make His existence obvious. I wrote of the problem here:

http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/the-absent-non-interactive-invisible-silent-hidden-indifferent-concealed-designer/

I cringed when I heard an IDist say something to the effect, “we use forensic science all the time to infer design, and this same science demonstrates an Intelligence made life”. The problem is forensic science identifies designs made by humans (or something human like). People generally believe some designer made Stonehenge because they see humans making comparable designs all the time. Many IDists don’t seem to appreciate invoking a never-seen designer poses a challenge for accepting design in biology.

Even if God created life, because we don’t experience His presence in the same way we experience a human designers’ presence, many find it hard to accept the idea a Creator exists. If God exists, as far as every day human affairs, He appears absent, non-interactive, invisible, silent, hidden, indifferent, concealed etc. In human terms, then, like the tooth fairy, the concept of God in the modern day among the educated, seems irrelevant at best, false and harmful at worst.

For someone to accept God as creator, he must come to terms with the problem of God’s lack of obvious interaction in every day life. Why the silence, and concealment? Were it not for the Design argument, I’d almost be right there with the GNUs saying how stupid theism is.

Bill Dembski wrote:

Masters of stealth intent on concealing their actions may successfully evade the explanatory filter. But masters of self-promotion intent on making sure their intellectual property gets properly attributed find in the explanatory filter a ready friend.

Mere Creation

If the Christian God is the Designer of Life, He has chosen to use a lot of stealth.

If you saw God making miraculous appearances like those claimed in the book of Exodus, would you find ID in biology more believable? The major problem of believing ID in biology vs ID in man-made artifacts is either the Designer doesn’t exist or that he uses a lot of stealth to conceal His workings. We are relegated to making educated guesses about events that we cannot repeat in the lab or field.

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73 thoughts on “Stealth Design

  1. Mung: I said emulate, not copy-cat. 😉

    Well he does SAY things that make people uncomfortable, yes.

    Truths, not so much.

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  2. I think Mung is very like Gregory. They’re both trying to backwards high jump their way to victory.

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  3. But what has god done for us lately?

    According to the bible, he was very busy for the first two thirds of our existence (parting seas, flooding the earth, plagues, killing the first born of Egypt, turning people into pillars of salt, instructing a father to kill his son, etc. etc.), but in the last 2000 years, squat. Except appearing in potatoe chips and grilled cheese sandwiches.

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  4. Richardthughes:

    Mung:
    God is a necessary being. One does not need evidence for the existence of a necessary being.

    WLC define into existence special!

    Worth about as much as the K-Mart Blue Light Special.

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  5. stcordova: … God uses stealth for the same reason a Stealth Bomber uses stealth, to ambush its enemies. …

    Heh.

    God doesn’t have “enemies” unless god so wills to have.

    God is omnipotent, remember. Nothing/no one could ever stand against it, not for an infinitesimal moment, not unless it so willed. Usually I’m unsurprised by christians’ inability to keep that in mind, but this (extended) comment of Sal’s is a surprising example.

    God only has “enemies” as part of a malicious game it’s playing with itself. Not real enemies, but “enemies” that it has made up in its mind as an excuse to behave malevolently, whether they deserve it or not. Horrible plagues and harmful creatures as the god-sent equivalents of Stealth Bombers? Ambush from heaven? Yeah, I can see that as a possibly valid reconciliation of belief in omnipotent god with the biological evidence.

    Doesn’t exactly make Heaven as place I would want to visit, though, much less live there.

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  6. Its a stupid philosophical argument from the get go, in that if a God was making a world which created a dilemma between believing what is good in one’s heart and what a God wants from us, and doing what is only in our own self interest, void of any judgement, OF COURSE he couldn’t show his existence, or there would be no choice in believing in him.

    “Gee, if only you would prove you are real, THEN I might believe in you. Don’t go expecting me to use my conscience to believe in you! Also don’t expect me to use the obvious knowledge of a world completely designed to exist, I don’t get hints that easy you know. I mean Darwin said it can happen all by accident, you know, just like gravity happens by accident. Why shouldn’t I believe him? So again God, if you want me to “believe” in you, take away the doubt. If you make it “certain” then I will “believe.”

    Such a facetiously stupid point.

    Yet you believe in Darwin.

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  7. Darwin was smart. Religious people are dumb (by definition).

    Smart people never lie. Religious people always lie (by definition).

    Therefore, it is better to believe Darwin.

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  8. Mung:
    Darwin was smart. Religious people are dumb (by definition).

    Smart people never lie. Religious people always lie (by definition).

    Therefore, it is better to believe Darwin.

    Creationist IDiots are boring.

    Real scientists get tired of correcting them.

    Creationist IDiots never get tired of trolling.

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  9. You personally don’t understand how evolution works therefore it’s impossible and your Christian God did it.

    Seeing is believing, and short of that inferring is believing.

    I don’t see that prokaryotes like bacteria acquiring more Rube Goldberg contraptions that Natural Selection would select AGAINST is an ordinary event. On principle it is an exceptional event. I gave a short laundry list of many events that either had to happen simultaneously or in short order as a matter of principle.

    Whether we wish to attach philosophical or theological significance to exceptional events is a separate question. It is a valid scientific question to raise if something is exceptional.

    But at a personal (not scientific) level, at some point, something exceptional enough might make some of us believe in miracles. If I’m wrong, it’s an honest mistake.

    If I’m right, then the Designer who made eyes to see and ears to hear, has “gone to great pains to hide himself” to paraphrase Betrand Russell’s words.

    If the Designer is then using stealth, and if the Designer makes things like Ebola, the Designer who creates creatures like the Venus Fly trap that lure its prey into thinking it will have a meal when in fact it will be the meal, then a reasonable inference is He is setting up humanity for an ambush.

    Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

    2 Thess 2:11

    It is saddening God is so cruel. We have plenty of warning signs the Designer is willing and able to inflict pain. I wish it were not so, but I believe the good news that there is a path to escape the terrible things awaiting humanity on the whole.

    If a million years from now it turns out I’m wrong, and if were possible, I’ll buy you all some bottles of scotch and we can all have a good laugh about all the wasted words.

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  10. stcordova,

    The DNAs in that prokaryote would (for no good reason) pop out spliceosomal introns in random places and (for no good reason) have spliceosome proteins and splicing machinery already in place so the poor critter doesn’t die instantly or at best start expressing nonsense amino acid chains.

    At the initial merger, there is no requrement that introns existed. They are a subsequent amendment. There is nothing to force the initial merger of endosymbionts to be crippled by something that came later.

    Honestly, it is wearying to talk about your cartoon version of evolution.

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  11. Mung,

    Sal: Eukaryotes do not look like they evolved from prokaryotes.

    Allan: Yes they do.

    No they don’t. Prokaryotes look like they evolved from Eukaryotes.

    Nope. Channeling Joe G. Doesn’t work. Due to, y’know, evidence. The phylogenetic trees root eukaryotes in prokaryote groups – 2 specific ones – not the other way round. I may have mentioned this.

    Your hypothesis can be tested, and is found wanting. One might suggest that certain archaea and alpha-proteobacteria evolved from eukaryotes, but that leaves all other prokaryotes unexplained. Or maybe you just say stuff.

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  12. stcordova,

    Do you believe that we ascend into another world when we die?

    If you do, then there is pretty much no way God could reveal himself in this world. If he did, then as soon as your had a stubbed toe, people would probably just decide, Ok, I think I prefer another world, I think I will just do nothing and die, what’s the worst that can happen?

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  13. A better answer to Bertrand Russell would be, if you knew there was an afterlife, how long would you have stayed on the planet? How many books would you have written?

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  14. phoodoo: stcordova,
    Do you believe that we ascend into another world when we die?

    If you do, then there is pretty much no way God could reveal himself in this world.If he did, then as soon as your had a stubbed toe, people would probably just decide, Ok, I think I prefer another world, I think I will just do nothing and die, what’s the worst that can happen?

    If that was true why don’t all religious people just commit suicide? Why don’t crazy people who hear voices and who staunchly believe they’re from god, instantly kill themselves?

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  15. phoodoo:
    A better answer to Bertrand Russell would be, if you knew there was an afterlife, how long would you have stayed on the planet?How many books would you have written?

    Interestingly this shows how religious belief, if too strong, can be a bad thing, because it might motivate you to just “skip” this life entirely because you think there’s a better one waiting for you.
    Case in point: Suicide bombers.

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  16. phoodoo: Do you believe that we ascend into another world when we die?

    I believe that we ascend into another world while we are alive.

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  17. stcordova: Only to those insisting to see it that way, that is if you mean something way beyond slight heritable variations to include all the features of life.

    For starters, even UCAists (Universal Common Ancetry proponents) admitevolutionary theory does not solve the OOL problem.So no, OOL does not look like life evolved but rather sort of mysteriously popped up for no good reason in relation to the law of large numbers and ordinary expectation.

    Eukaryotes do not look like they evolved from prokaryotes.Despite the similarities in coding regions, spliceosomal introns, differing Origin of Replication complexes, Shine Dalgarno vs. Kozak sequences, etc. I ask about the mechanical feasibility of such staggering re-tooling — evolutionists say they don’t know.They just believe despite the macro evolutionary barriers.How often do we expect such leaps of change to occur?Maybe once in a buzzillion trials if that.If that is the case, then as a matter of principle, it would be a very out-of-the-ordinary event.

    How about the macro evolution from single celled creatures to multicellular animals?

    A million fair coins would be approximately 50% heads.Someone would wrongly think the leap to 51% heads isn’t to hard to bridge by mindless process.

    Evolutionist wrongly think that Darwinian selection avoids the difficulties posed by the law of large numbers, that ever more complex Rube Goldberg machines should be the inevitable outcome of Darwinian selection when in reality Darwinian selection demonstrably trashes complexity in favor of reproductive success.

    The Designer’s stealth is not in His designs, it is in his unwillingness to give real time displays.

    God uses stealth for the same reason a Stealth Bomber uses stealth, to ambush its enemies.

    My answer to Russell and Nietche is that they wrongly presume Omni-benevolence toward humanity, when in fact it seems apparent there is cruel malice being crafted.

    God intelligently designed horrible plagues and predatory and harmful creatures against humanity.

    Darwin would sneak up stealthily on birds before shooting his gun.He was so excited at blowing them away, he would hardly control his hands to reload his gun.

    My answer to Russell and Nietche, the Designer uses stealth for the same reason a stealth aircraft or hunter uses stealth, to conceal an inevitable ambush.

    It looks to me that life is designed and that malevolent intent toward humanity is also in evidence.

    You’ve got a real problem, don’t you? You insist that God is real and at the same time you’ve reached the conclusion that he’s evil.

    Worship away, dude.

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  18. At the initial merger, there is no requrement that introns existed. They are a subsequent amendment. There is nothing to force the initial merger of endosymbionts to be crippled by something that came later.

    Honestly, it is wearying to talk about your cartoon version of evolution.

    All this does is defer the actual problem of evolving a Eukaryote.

    The problem of splicesomal introns, histones, actyl transerases, spliceosomes, etc. etc. doesn’t go away. The claim it evolved and having to constantly compartmentalize the problems is a theory based on not dealing with the problems but just sweeping them into derailments that “solve” the problem of exceptional events via conjecture.

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  19. You’ve got a real problem, don’t you? You insist that God is real and at the same time you’ve reached the conclusion that he’s evil.

    Worship away, dude.

    Something to keep in mind:

    I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.

    Charles Darwin

    If God is the Designer he can inflict some serious pain with “worms” like the was larva that slowly tortures the caterpillar for days.

    http://www.wired.com/2014/10/absurd-creature-week-glyptapanteles-wasp-caterpillar-bodyguard/

    It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

    Mark 9:47-48

    If the Designer is the Christian God, then we all have a problem unless he grants us mercy.

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