ISLAM Part 6 – Modern Islam

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In Part 1 of our “Islam” series we saw the rise of Prophet Mohammed’s “religious” movement from its roots as a group of highway robbers into a large scale mercenary army. At the conclusion of Mohammed’s life, the Muslim military had conquered the whole of the Arabian Peninsula (modern day Saudi Arabia). Our second installment showed that from Mohammed onward, Muslims continued to conquer the world around them. In fact, from A.D. 632 until 1924, Islam had a conquering empire in each generation. Muslims call their world wide empire a “Caliphate” and its leader is the Muslim “Caliph.” Continue reading “ISLAM Part 6 – Modern Islam”

If a thought is not a thing… then what is it?

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Thoughts are things.

As in, they exist.

But they are not made from stuff. So… what are they?

Look outside and count the trees lining the street. You just used thoughts to generate a number. But where is that number? It’s not painted on the trees just because you counted them. Maybe the number is in your head? Where in your head? If I — heaven forbid — cracked your skull open and went looking for that number, I’d be disappointed to only find nerves and chemicals. Alas, no number. But, you accurately counted the trees using basic math. Yet there is no physical proof of the math being done.

But those numbers do exist, or else, what the heck do we mean by numbers? And how come they — when accurately used — allow us to build machines and predict the movement of planets and stars?

Greek philosophers came up with the word metaphysics. It meant “beyond” physics. They placed morals, math and geometry in that realm. Plato used the example of geometric shapes to show that we all know of things that are in the metaphysical realm and not in our physical realm. You can draw a shape in the sand, but it is an imperfect version of the image in your thoughts.

Case in point: the square. Elementary students know what a square is. Four straight lines connected at right angles:

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Interestingly, true squares only exist k2-5in the realm of our thoughts and not in the physical world. Proof of this is that you have never seen a perfect square. This would require four perfectly straight lines connected at exactly 90 degrees in each four corners. But even with modern pixel screens and computer generated squares, if you zoomed in enough, you’d notice irregularities. Straight lines on a word document are actually imperfectly aligned pixels (see illustration). The reason we know this pixelated line is imperfect is that we know — in our mind’s eye — what straight looks like, even though we can’t find it anywhere in the universe. But where is that perfect square if it’s nowhere in the physical universe? And if we were ever to perfectly create a straight line or a shape, we would only have done so after meticulously following the blueprints in our minds, not copying a physical form.

All this to state that there is an entire universe out there that is not made up of atoms. It does not get old or rusty. Yet we access it every day when we think. These thoughts are not perusing the physical world with our 5 senses, it is perusing an immaterial world of truths that exist nowhere except that “other” world.

Thoughts are things, but not made up of matter.

The “other” world is real. Very, very real.

The Problem of Information

pseudogene_full_3155369670-6One thing that is often overlooked when discussing biology is: information.

Biology IS information. Without the blueprint of information (i.e.: DNA) and tens of thousands of little micro machines doing specific jobs there would be no giraffes, humans or crabs. There wouldn’t be any dandilions, roses or even bacteria. All of these are made up of the same materials that we find in the crust of the earth. Dirt, rocks and mud have all the same molecules as me and you. We could build an elephant with the ground under our houses.

But therein lies the rub for atheists. We would have to intelligently BUILD biological life out of the materials around and under us. Because without intelligence, machines are not built. Planes and tanks and bicycles are also made from materials we find on — or in — the earth. But bikes don’t pop out of the ground magically. Only as the result of human intelligence and effort.

“But, there’s your error, plants DO sprout out of the ground…”

No, they don’t.

If you put a seed in the ground, the cells of the seedling get to work. Micro machines grab ingredients from the surroundings and build additional cells according to the blueprint of information already in the seed. In short, you need a of batch of machines and a ton of information in order to grow a plant. It does not pop out of dirt.

Neither do bugs or llamas.

Every plant or animal or germ we know comes from another of its own kind. And invariably, all of these biological “systems” are run by information, machines that can read information, machines that build or carry things and structures that house all of these in a carefully chemically balanced fluid.

Even children understand that information comes from minds not mud.

Therefore, when it comes to life on earth, information — for the atheist — is a problem.

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