Debunking the Pseudo-Scientific New Atheist

By Moosa Qureshi

We all seem to be in the mood for some debunking here; that’s good, because I want do some debunking now. Here’s the target of my debunk: the completely ludicrous idea of applying scientific criteria to God.

For hundreds of years, great scientists have confined themselves to doing what they do best: study science. What is science? Here’s a dictionary definition: “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.”

Most of the great scientists of antiquity were philosophically more intelligent than the New Atheist. They possessed greater scientific genius than any modern Nobel Laureate, yet they never tried to prove or disprove God through science, they never even tried to apply science to God. Many of them believed in God, for instance Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. However, their reasons for believing were perceptual and philosophical. They perceived the beauty of the universe and they philosophised that such perfection was by design. This wasn’t scientific, this was simply their perception and their philosophy.

Recently, however, the New Atheist has tried to apply science to discredit the idea of God. Scientists of mediocre stature who possess far lesser intellects than Newton and Einstein, have tried to debunk the idea of God. Dawkins is a prime example. He’s an evolutionary biologist, so he focuses on how evolution could happen without God (let’s forget cosmology and everything which happened during billions of years before life on earth). But he faces philosophical problems: even if he proves that evolution could happen without God, then this does not prove that it did happen without God, and, furthermore, his knowledge-base is completely irrelevant to everything that happened before human life. His argument against God, then, does not depend on scientific facts, it depends on his perception and his philosophy.

A prime example of perception and philosophy is the New Atheist’s pseudo-scientific argument against God: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. What complete balderdash. To pretend this is a scientific argument. “Extraordinary” is not a scientific terminology. It has zilch to do with science. There is no scientific laboratory test to prove or disprove or measure or evaluate “extraordinariness”. The word “extraordinary” is a perceptual terminology. Extraordinary for one person is completely ordinary for another, depending on their perception. The theist could very justifiably say: “The claim that this perfect universe happened by chance is completely extraordinary. Give me extraordinary proof that God didn’t do it.” And of course, atheists provide zilch proof that God did not do it.

A serious problem arises when scientific amateurs blindly follow their cult leader Dawkins, and completely fail to understand that science measures physical properties, it has nothing to do with existence. Existence is not a scientific concept. The study of existence is known as “Ontology”, a branch of philosophy since the time of Plato, which has nothing to do with science. It is for this reason that philosophers are not at all impressed with Dawkin’s attempts to apply science to the question of God’s existence. In fact, Dawkins knows about as much about existence as my milkman. (I don’t actually have a milkman, I just like the sound of that).

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56 thoughts on “Debunking the Pseudo-Scientific New Atheist

  1. Philosophically of course, it’s unreasonable to request physical evidence of a non-physical God. In fact, philosophically, if I were able to evaluate God by God’s physical properties, then that would mean God would have a mass and/or velocity, which would limit God, and therefore God would no longer be “God”.

    Nevertheless, I think there are two indirect evidences: firstly, the Holy Qur’an, and secondly the personality and life story of Muhammad (pboh). For me, these are the two chief evidences for the existence of God. Other religions also have something of this nature, but their evidences are not as effective, in my opinion.

  2. Dear Denis,

    Thanks for your contribution. I’d like to draw to your attention a couple of potential weaknesses in your argument.

    Firstly, “scientific enquiry” is limited and evolving. For instance, thus far, scientific enquiry hasn’t been able to detect certain theoretical particles, and there may be more undiscovered particles that we haven’t even theorised yet. A few hundred years ago, we could not even see bacteria, yet they existed. Now we can see viruses, which are much smaller than bacteria. The point is: just because you can’t “evaluate God scientifically” doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. There’s always been (and always will be) real phenomenae which man-made science can’t evaluate. What we need to understand, when we talk about “science”, is that what we’re really talking about is our extremely limited human knowledge of the scientific world. For us to say something doesn’t exist scientifically, just because we humans with our extremely limited scientific development are not able to perceive it, is not a very “scientific” conclusion.

    Secondly, the Ahmadiyya concept of God’s connection with the world is different from the simplistic proposal that “either God acts in the world and is subject to scientific enquiry, or He doesn’t and He’s irrelevant”. Such simplistic proposals are akin to “black or white” arguments, whereas the sophisticated mind recognises others hues and shades of life. More than that, the sophisticated mind realises that colours themselves are formed from waves, and are only interpreted as “colours” by the human eye.

    Let me explain a bit further. Things can influence other things, without being perceptible by the things they influence. Not only in the way that a blind person can’t perceive the sun, but even more fundamentally than that. For instance, magnets generate electricity, or microwaves generate heat. Energy can change forms: a light bulb can’t “perceive” a magnetic force, it won’t respond to a magnet, but when the magnetic energy is transformed into electric energy, then the bulb lights up. Interestingly, wave-particle duality means that light can exist as a wave and a particle, but when you look at it as a particle then you can’t see it as a wave, and when you look at it as a wave then you can’t see it as a particle. Now imagine a person who is looking at light as a particle… for him, the wave does not exist! (but it does exist). From this, let’s take a step back and hypothesise that God exists as a form of “energy” (I use that word very loosely) which is outside of the known physical properties of the universe, but which is able to influence the physical properties of the universe… can this be subject to scientific enquiry? (the answer is “no”)… but is this then irrelevant?

    One interesting information: The founder of the Ahmadiyya community explained that the islamic concept of angels is that they are not cherubs with wings, but rather they act as a sort of “interface” between God’s world and the “physical scientific world”, something like spiritual-physical “semiconductors”.

    Best wishes,
    Moosa

  3. Bravo! Dawkins et al still cant even prove what came first the chicken or the egg. That must be just too eggstraordinary for them!

  4. Excellent statement. Divinity can not be discovered through science note philosophy. Mysticism or direct experience of God that leads to transformation and expanded consciousness is how God can be found.

    Farhan

  5. there’s a fundamental problem with that argument, which the so-called “new atheists” have systematically raised to no satisfying answer: If god acts in the world, then he has a physical action, by definition; that physical action must be detectable physically, and hence be amenable to scientific exploration.

    If god does not act in the world, then it’s pointless to posit anything about it. It’s nothing but the deist god, which no “new atheist” has ever claimed they could disprove.

    it’s your choice: either god acts in the world and is thus subject to scientific inquiry, or he doesn’t and he’s irrelevant.

  6. If one is a materialist then they must accept that their thoughts are the end result of atomic motions, and so is everyone elses, meaning that no one can really have a basis for knowledge, because every position would be based upon prior atomic antecedents and not an actual rational basis. Additionally, ones neurons aren’t looking for truth, they are looking for survival, and what is good for survival, is not necessarily whats true, paranoia can help an entity survive, imagining things that aren’ty realy there. So we can see two huge barriers to knoweldge under materialism. A third and very significant problem for materialists is the basis for morals such as intellectual obligations(honesty, trusts) and the moral obligation for the pursuit of truth, under materialism, we are merely a set of atoms moving and reacting with particular nerological changes based on cultural conditioning, but, if these keyboard warriors are online attempting to show other whats supposedly “true” what possible reason is their for doing so? Is it not just mere different neuron systems with different thoughts? On what possible basis can one support morality under materialism. Science requires an actually basis for knowledge, and a basis for the moral qualities of finding whats true, but what it finds is a finite universe, that is also fine tuned, giving evidence to a trancendent intelligent creator. As one can see, science discovers things that point to theism, and has a foundation that is supported by theism.

  7. What’s the point of this comment?

    Are you saying God doesn’t physically exist?

    If so, then we are agreed.

    If you are also saying God exists non-physically, then I’m afraid you’re using words in a way which makes no sense.

    If you are going to assert the existence of non-physical beings, who require no physical attributes (i.e. you can’t invoke ‘thoughts’ or ‘ideas’ or ‘dreams’ as all of these require a physical brain to produce), then please provide evidence for these things.

  8. As-salam Alaykum Warahmatullah Wabarkatahu,

    see, there is the Problem. People expect a physical God. If he is not physical, then there is no God. This is a problem Sir Zafrullah Khan had also pointed out. The thing is that Allah is far more [majestic] than what we attribute to him.

    There is no magician sitting somewhere in the Universe who leads, There is far more to it.

  9. This post does well to describe your approach – pseudo-scientific. You seem to be choosing to deny the science which points to a singular ‘beginning’ (which by the way also points to an ‘end’). I’m not sure if you disagree with the big bang, or are saying that existence was in a different form before it. Either way, quite like me, you are basing your opinion of origin PURELY on what you believe, and not on science. Asserting that existence has always existed, the concept of an infinite history in one form or another, cannot be proven.

    You are placing your faith in something that cannot be scientifically proven, you are just like me.

  10. When we talk about “it makes a lot more sense”… this is a matter of subjective opinion. It would be more truthful to say “it makes a lot more sense to Red Star” than “it makes a lot more sense”. I’m sure that many theists think it makes a lot more sense that God created the universe.

    If, by saying, “it makes a lot more sense”, Red Star pretends to assert that there is more scientific proof that the universe always existed, then this is a wrong statement. There is not an iota of scientific proof that the universe always existed. There is only scientific proof that the universe has existed for a few billion years. Philosophically, of course, there’s a very big difference between “few billion years” and “always”.

    Regarding “always”, there’s no science.

    I repeat:

    There is no philosophical fallacy here. Firstly, a universe which “always existed” would not be obeying the laws of physics, therefore is an unscientific theory, therefore the New Atheist has to acknowledge that science does not provide a solution to the problem. If the New Atheist cannot prove that the universe always existed in a laboratory, then the New Atheist must acknowledge that science doesn’t provide a solution to these important questions. This is the reason that science has never tried to answer these questions. This has always been a philosophical question. Leibniz was a philosopher, and he used a philosophical argument (not a scientific argument) to lampoon the greatest scientist in human history. This reinforces my case: science has no part to play in the question, “Is there a God?”.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  11. Yes, you do assert that a non-physical God exists, you also assert that he somehow created the physical universe out of nothing.

    Can you please explain how this is even logically possible?

    If not, then I don’t see how your logic makes sense on any ‘turf;’.

    As for my logic, if all of the physical elements of the cosmos (energy and matter) exist, then there is no problem in asserting that they have always existed. I’m not inventing some magical nonsensical process or origin. It makes a lot more sense that everything has always existed rather than everything was brought into existence from nothing by an immaterial God with no physical properties…

    If that doesn’t make sense to you, I’m sorry. I can’t help you any more with that.

  12. I apologise, I made an assumption to what you believe. I am however quite surprised to hear your actual position: “If I had to pick the most reasonable hypothesis based on the evidence which we have, I would suggest that everything has always existed in one for or another (i.e. there was no ‘beginning’).”

    I assert a non-physical God exists, and as has been said many times before, empirical evidence cannot be provided for a non-physical being. I am not playing in your playground so you cannot force your rules on me. The hypothesis you find most reasonable is a physical one, yet neither you nor any other has demonstrated proof here to support the statement that there was no ‘beginning’.

    My logic on my turf makes sense to me.
    Your logic on your turf makes no sense to me.

    Upon re-examination based on your presentation, my beliefs still stand.

  13. “Do you think it is fair for you to demand the answers to these questions, when you yourself, for now, are proposing the alternative that the universe came out of nothing?”

    I’m sorry, but this is just a bare-faced lie.

    Can you show me where I have made such a statement?

    I have quite specifically said that I certainly DON’T believe the universe came out of nothing.

    What I have said is that I do not know how the origin of the cosmos came about. If I had to pick the most reasonable hypothesis based on the evidence which we have, I would suggest that everything has always existed in one for or another (i.e. there was no ‘beginning’).

    So, yes, I do think my question is fair – especially considering that believers actively propagate their God as a solution to the origin of the cosmos, and moreover, want people to follow their religion to as well.

    You assert God exists. You assert he created the universe. The burden of proof lies on you to demonstrate how this is possible. If you cannot even logically explain how this works, let alone provide any empirical evidence for it, then I suggest you re-examine your beliefs…

  14. Do you think it is fair for you to demand the answers to these questions, when you yourself, for now, are proposing the alternative that the universe came out of nothing? What hardware does nothing run on? Who created the nothing that created your hardware?

    Please don’t try bury the ‘God hypothesis’ in the same hole you have dug for yourself.

  15. As the moderator has made no comment, I assume I’m ok to continue…?

    Moosa, let’s just take one of your attempts to explain how God, an immaterial non-physical ‘being’, ‘created’ the material, physical cosmos:

    “Regarding how something spiritual created something physical, this obviously requires an interface which has spiritual and physical qualities (just like anything which provides communication between two different media). Promised Messiah (pboh) explained that angels fulfil this purpose: angels have a spiritual interface which communicates with God, and a physical interface which operates the laws of physics. There is nothing particularly strange about this, we ourselves use interfaces to allow interaction between two different media.”

    So God created everything by using the ‘angels’ – without them, then, he was completely incapable of doing anything I presume? How then, did he create the angels? Or have they always existed? If so, where did they come from? And what exactly is a ‘spirtual interface’? How does it work? How can it possibly work?

    As regards our use of interfaces to allow interaction between two different media, all of these interfaces are physical – and indeed the non-physical media, e.g. software, are created and run on physical media, i.e. hardware.

    What hardware does your God run on? And which hardware created him? Who created the hardware that created him?

    You see, the ‘God solution’ (or God hypothesis) doesn’t solve or explain anything. In fact, it doesn’t even make sense in of itself.

  16. Why do you ask that any further discussion is taken offline?

    Surely, the whole point of these threads is so that everyone can come and see the discussions and contribute to them if they wish, as well as learning from them.

    I’m not quarreling. I was actually respecting your request to close the discussion, only then to find you had allowed someone else to carry it on.

    I’m still unsure of where I stand. Are you saying that you will allow this discussion to continue if the contributors carry on posting responses?

  17. Dear Moderator,

    It is interesting that the questioner seems upset that you allowed me to answer his questions. I should have thought he would be happy that his questions were answered. To me, his dissatisfaction suggests that he actually did not want his questions answered…

    For my part, I have no objection if anybody posts anything further, but I will decline myself to respond to any further questions here, as per your request.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  18. I too would like to add one final thing.

    Red Star, if part of your final piece of advice is for a person to shun humility, distrust compassion in fear of losing dignity, shamelessly project an aura of arrogance and selfishness, argue for the sake of it, and limit oneself to do as much good to a fellow human being as s/he has done to you.. then I for one am glad I believe in a Creator who teaches me the complete opposite.

  19. I did not close the discussion, but requested that it should not continue. Request does not bring about something mandatory. Moosa made clear that he wanted to respond yesterday, but was ill and so sought the opportunity to write what he would have written had he been well yesterday – before I asked for the discussion to come to an end. Such a request is not at all unreasonable to me and I would have extended the same discretion to anyone else.

    If you choose to respond then that is your choice. I will post your comment, but ask that any further discussion is taken offline and continued by e-mail if you and any other visitor so wishes.

    On a final note, it is not endearing that you choose to quarrel over every point. A simple message saying that you would like to respond to Moosa’s late reply would have been sufficient.

  20. Moderator (handoftalha),

    You have closed the discussion, and then permitted another post to be made.

    I request that you, in your rale as an impartial arbitrator, either 1) allow me to respond (which I am quite willing and able to do) or 2) remove the post which was made after you declared the discussion to be closed.

  21. Dear Moderator,

    I have quite a bad viral cold so I didn’t post a reply last night. I would be grateful if you would allow this post from me, because it simply answers some important objections which have been made. After this, I won’t post further on this thread, as per your request.

    20. Regarding the perfection and symmetry of the universe, the fact that there are black holes or dwarf stars doesn’t detract from this at all. The symmetry applies to the fundamental laws which govern all creation. Weird and wonderful phenomena fit into this perfection, they don’t destroy the overall perfection of the universe. Let me copy and paste from Wikipedia: “Many fundamental physical laws are mathematical consequences of various symmetries of space, time, or other aspects of nature. Specifically, Noether’s theorem connects some conservation laws to certain symmetries. For example, conservation of energy is a consequence of the shift symmetry of time (no moment of time is different from any other), while conservation of momentum is a consequence of the symmetry (homogeneity) of space (no place in space is special, or different than any other). The indistinguishability of all particles of each fundamental type (say, electrons, or photons) results in the Dirac and Bose quantum statistics which in turn result in the Pauli exclusion principle for fermions and in Bose-Einstein condensation for bosons. The rotational symmetry between time and space coordinate axes (when one is taken as imaginary, another as real) results in Lorentz transformations which in turn result in special relativity theory. Symmetry between inertial and gravitational mass results in general relativity.”

    21. “How can a ‘being’ who has no mass or velocity, and who is immaterial, possibly have ‘created the physical universe’? How can such an immaterial nothing ‘speak’ to human beings? How can such an immaterial being answer prayers?
    Your a priori reasoning is so utterly absurd it is hilarious.”

    The New Atheist solution is much more absurd and hilarious, no? The New Atheist believes that a non-being or nothingness created the physical universe. The New Atheist offers absolutely no scientific proof or evidence-based solution to the question “how did the universe come about” and yet the New Atheist has the temerity to ask “how did a non-material God create the physical universe”? First let the New Atheist explain how the universe came out of nothing. The Big Bang doesn’t answer this question, because the question remains: how did the Big Bang come out of nothing? It is far less absurd to think that God created the universe than the absurd idea that nothing created the universe.

    Regarding how something spiritual created something physical, this obviously requires an interface which has spiritual and physical qualities (just like anything which provides communication between two different media). Promised Messiah (pboh) explained that angels fulfil this purpose: angels have a spiritual interface which communicates with God, and a physical interface which operates the laws of physics. There is nothing particularly strange about this, we ourselves use interfaces to allow interaction between two different media. For instance, we use solar panels which transform light into electricity. If we simple humans with our limited intellects and education are able to invent such interfaces, then surely an All-Knowing God can invent an interface which transforms spiritual energy into physical energy.

    22. “If your answer to this is that God needs no explanation because he has always existed (i.e. needs no cause), then why invent the whole logical fallacy and not simply accept that the universe needs no explanation (for it might well have always existed in one form or another, and therefore needs no external cause).”

    There is no philosophical fallacy here. Firstly, a universe which “always existed” would not be obeying the laws of physics, therefore is an unscientific theory, therefore the New Atheist has to acknowledge that science does not provide a solution to the problem. If the New Atheist cannot prove that the universe always existed in a laboratory, then the New Atheist must acknowledge that science doesn’t provide a solution to these important questions. This is the reason that science has never tried to answer these questions. This has always been a philosophical question. Leibniz was a philosopher, and he used a philosophical argument (not a scientific argument) to lampoon the greatest scientist in human history. This reinforces my case: science has no part to play in the question, “Is there a God?”.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  22. With these last comments I think we should draw this discussion to a close. What needed to be discussed has been discussed. The arguments have been made for both sides and there is little to add. I thank everyone for their time and comments and request that you now contribute towards some of the other discussions which are equally in need of your attention and insight.

    Many thanks and Jazak Allah Khayr al-Jazaa’

  23. There is not a single argument in this diatribe, but I suppose I shouldn’t have expected one. You have not addressed any of the problems which your unjustified belief in an immaterial deity throws up.

    “I’ve come to the conclusion that you truly don’t have an opinion of your own. Everything you say comes from other atheists whose logic has been proven to be flawed so many times that it is now clear that you will blind yourself to anything except what your atheist heroes say.”

    This says it all to me. This is the mirror of your soul: an absolute slave to a totalitarian religion headed by a divine dictator.

    At what point have you expressed your own opinion? At what point has your logic been anything but flawed? At what point have you even tried to criticise or mock or dethrone the authority which tells you that your religion is true and you must do what it says?

    “All I can say is that on the day that you will be made to stand in front of your Creator, you will bitterly regret what you had done during your life on earth. But it will be too late.”

    I will never regret being free to think for myself. I will never regret speaking out against utter stupidity and injustice. If your God does exist, and he has a problem with this, then I shall tell him so. But then if God does exist, he will know this already. And if he is, unlike your religion (and every other) teaches and practises, just and wise and sagacious, then he should have no qualm with this. Rather, he would have qualm with the utter hypocrisy and obscurantism of his supposed worshippers.

    Since you think that I cannot speak for myself and rely upon my atheist ‘heroes’ (heroes are demi-gods of Greek mythology by the way, I don’t have heroes, but you may believe and speak as you wish), I shall leave you with two quotes.

    First, a profession:

    “The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

    Second, some advice:

    “Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”

  24. Red Star, I’ve come to the conclusion that you truly don’t have an opinion of your own. Everything you say comes from other atheists whose logic has been proven to be flawed so many times that it is now clear that you will blind yourself to anything except what your atheist heroes say. You do not come here to humbly ask questions and possibly find answers. You remind me of certain Jehovah’s Witnesses, who knock on our doors with the intention of repeating the same untruths and illogicities again and again and again, and with the intention of not paying any notice at all to the answers given to them.
    Your language has been very disrespectful at times – it is sad that atheism couldn’t teach you better morals than that. It certainly failed to teach you open-mindedness. Your whole world appears to be confined to what notorious atheists spew out. All I can say is that on the day that you will be made to stand in front of your Creator, you will bitterly regret what you had done during your life on earth. But it will be too late. None of your atheist friends will be able to save you. You may laugh now, but you won’t be laughing then. You will be remembering what I am telling you now. You still have time to change your obnoxious attitude. It’s up to you.

  25. “because God (by definition) has created the physical universe, therefore God is not subject to physical laws, therefore God cannot be confined to physical laws, therefore God does not have a weight, mass, velocity, etc, therefore God cannot be evaluated scientifically”

    This is what is known as a logical fallacy (or ‘baloney’ as Bill Yeager might have said!), which is subject to the wonderful philophical process of reductio ad absurdium.

    How can a ‘being’ who has no mass or velocity, and who is immaterial, possibly have ‘created the physical universe’? How can such an immaterial nothing ‘speak’ to human beings? How can such an immaterial being answer prayers?

    Your a priori reasoning is so utterly absurd it is hilarious.

    And you have completely failed to answer my question about the Qur’an’s scientific claims…

    If your God did author your Qur’an, then he has made very clear scientific claims. If these claims, one of which is the ‘perfection’ of the book itself (which I have dealt with on the ‘Is there a God’ thread), can be scientifically falsified, does not your God also fall victim to science?

    Moreover, your nonsense philosophy is even more nonsensical insomuch as no ‘God’ is required to explain anything. In fact, God is a non-explanation, and raises far more questions than it answer. The razor of Ockham neatly disposes of your God. You are multiplying entities needlessly.

    If you think your God is an ‘explanation’ for whence the universe, then what is the explanation for whence God?

    If this apparently ‘perfect’ universe requires a perfect ‘designer’, then the designer requires an even more extraordinary explanation…

    If your answer to this is that God needs no explanation because he has always existed (i.e. needs no cause), then why invent the whole logical fallacy and not simply accept that the universe needs no explanation (for it might well have always existed in one form or another, and therefore needs no external cause).

    As for Newton, he insisted that divine intervention would eventually be required to reform the system, due to the slow growth of instabilities (so much for ‘perfection’). For this, Leibniz lampooned him: “God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion.”

  26. “the idea that the universe’s perfection”

    What perfection?

    The perfection of collapsing stars, black holes, lumps of rock and ice hurtling through space and crashing into everything, countless billions of life forms evolving and then becoming extinct (sometimes in mass extinction events, like aforementioned asteroid strikes), turtles with two heads, deformed offspring, genetic diseases, having too many teeth in a small mouth, losing the vital ability to produce ascorbic acid at a stage in our evolution…

    Seriously, if your God did design this universe, he [deleted]!

    Not really a case for ‘intelligent design’ as [deleted]…

  27. Dear Moderator,

    16. God is different in nature from both aliens and fairies, because God (by definition) has created the physical universe, therefore God is not subject to physical laws, therefore God cannot be confined to physical laws, therefore God does not have a weight, mass, velocity, etc, therefore God cannot be evaluated scientifically. Therefore both aliens and fairies are not appropriate comparators.

    17. I will repeat one more time (but not again): The word “ordinary” is not a scientific concept. It is a philosophical concept, depending on the perception of the person who uses the word. For instance, for a person living in Afghanistan, it may be “ordinary” to have a rifle and a machine gun at home. For a person living in England, it would not be “ordinary”. From my perspective, the idea that the universe’s perfection evolved without a Designer is “extraordinary”, not “ordinary”. I refuse to have the atheist perception foisted upon me. I demand that the atheist prove his extraordinary hypothesis that this perfect universe came into existence without God.

    18. My arguments are being manipulated rather obviously. I don’t keep invoking deists to save my skin. I invoked Newton and Einstein in this thread. Newton certainly wasn’t a deist, but he is being buried away in this discussion because he is inconvenient for the Deist and the New Atheist (particularly since Newton is widely acknowledged to be the greatest scientist in human history). Furthermore, I invoked Einstein in the context of the atheist who argues that God does not exist on the basis of science. This is perfectly valid because this thread is about the manipulation of science to try to disprove God’s existence.

    19. If a person wishes to compare Deism to Islam, which is clearly not the subject-matter of this thread, then I suggest he posts his comparison in another thread. There is a thread titled “Deism and 750 verses of the Holy Quran”, why not post there? I refuse to discuss it in this thread because I have experience of when a person deliberately diverts a discussion away to another topic in order to avoid defeat.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  28. The thing is, Red Star, you and your ilk seem to forget that there are many of us who have accepted Islam on the basis of research. If you think for one instant that I would believe in God had I ever found an incorrect statement in the Qur’an, you are very wrong. I wasn’t conditioned into Islam. I have been personally studying it for many long years. I keep being amazed by the precision of the language used in the Qur’an to describe natural phenomena. My knowledge of Arabic has increased to the point where I have become proficient enough to work on a translation of the Holy Book, and I assure you my amazement has continued to increase correspondingly. From this vantage point, I can now see why people who are not proficient in classical Arabic err grossly in their understanding of the Book.

    You seem keen to “falsify” claims made by the Qur’an. You have ignored so many points put to you by Brother Moosa and others, only to come to this. If you have any specific Qur’anic claims you would care to falsify, I suggest you contact the Moderator and request he start a new post. I assure you, it will be demonstrated with ease that your misunderstanding is entirely due to your lack of knowledge of classical Arabic. Many Arabs today are also cruelly lacking in classical Arabic, and this often warps their understanding of religious and other texts. So it’s not just you suffering from this disadvantage.

    What I have found is that militant atheists are often quick to laugh at a phenomenon mentioned in the Qur’an, only to face embarassment later on when they are shown peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals on said phenomenon.

    So my advice to you would be – once again – try not to be hasty, if you don’t want to be embarassed when your ignorance is exposed. First check whatever you want to put forward here, on Islamic websites to see how Muslims are presenting these facts, instead of basing yourself on what the more ignorant and hasty atheists have been writing on them. That will save you and us a lot of time.

    I also remind you that you have run away from a number of points put forward by different contributors here. You have rarely admitted you were wrong, even after seeing logical explanations. You just run ahead to the next objection, like one who is blinded by obsession. You should read over all the things you have left untouched, and once you have

    1. answered what you haven’t yet answered
    2. admitted you were wrong wherever you have been shown to be in error

    then and only then come back with the Quranic declarations you wish to prove “false”, on a separate post, with the co-operation of our respected Moderator.

  29. Let me just clarify a couple of things which are still unresolved.

    1) ‘Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’

    2) Belief in a Deisitic vs Theistic God

    1) Moosa, you are actually wrong on this entirely. In scientific investigation and theory, an extraordinary claim does indeed require extraordinary evidence.

    Let me explain, and indeed demonstrate (first by way of an anecdotal example and then in reference to scientific process) how.

    I claim that my wife has brown eyes. This is an ordinary claim. It is mundane. Most people would not even require me to produce any evidence at all to justify this claim, because it is extremely plausible and highly probable. If one were to ask for evidence, I could produce a mundane photograph and this would probably be satisfactory. Even if one wished to confirm beyond a doubt, I could produce fairly ordinary evidence (more photographs, a video, I could quite easily introduce my wife) which would scientifically demonstrate that my claim was true.

    This is an example for why ordinary claims only require ordinary evidence (anecdotally, I will present the scientific context later).

    I claim that I have been abducted by aliens (I don’t actually claim this, this is just hypothetical :-) lol). This is an extraordinary claim. It is far from mundane. In fact, it is extremely unusual. Most people would not believe this claim at face value, and very few people would accept this claim even if I were to describe my ‘abduction’ in great detail and with conviction. There is, in fact, very little ordinary evidence I could provide to substantiate this claim. This is an implausible, highly improbable claim. I would have to produce truly extraordinary evidence (an alien artefact or piece of technology or material) to scientifically demonsttate my claim was true.

    This is an example fo why extraordinary claims, by necessity, require extraordinary evidence (again, using an anecdotal example, now I will move onto scienctific theory).

    At the risk of teaching you how to suck eggs (as I’m sure you know this already), let me present a brief outline of the scientific method.

    1. Pose a question
    2. Do background research
    3. Construct a hypothesis
    4. Test hypothesis using rigorous investigation
    5. Analyse results and draw conclusions
    6. If results conclusive, present hypothesis for review by peers who further investigate
    7. If results inconclusive or contrary to hypothesis, present for review by peers and form new hypothesis

    Now, the wonderful thing about science is that it is cumulative. This is why we make scientific and technological progress over time. We can build on the successful hypotheses (or ‘Theories’) of our predecessors.

    So, if I were to ask a question and do some background research on, say, the evolution of llamas (thought I’d use on of your chosen topics :-) hope you don’t mind), then I could pose a hypothesis (e.g. that llamas are closely related to camels and that they had a common ancestor which I believe must have separated when the continents of Africa and South America drifted apart) and test it in a context of considerable research which has already been done. With the help of the fields of evolutionary biology, zoology and genetics, as well as geography and plate tectonics. I could gather some quite ordinary evidence to support my hypothesis and, given the context, it could be readily accepted if it fit into everything we know about evoltion, zoology and genetics etc.

    However, if I were to hypothesise that fairies drop dead everytime someone says ‘I don’t believe in fairies’, this would be a truly extraordinary. It is not beyond the remit of scientific investigtion, however. The problem with this hypothesis, is that it does not fit into anything we currently know. In cannot build on cumulative research or be ccontextualised or tested against currently accepted theories. I would have to first present evidence (which would by its very nature be extraordinary) that fairies existed in the first place. This in itself would be problematic given our current understanding of biological life and physics. To then test whether or not fairies dropped dead when people disbelieved in them would be an equally extraordinary process. I might be able to do something with mythology and cryptozoology, but the whole investigation would require extraodinary evidence.

    Therefore, it is quite right that ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’.

    2) Moosa, you constantly invoke the belief in ‘God’ by various notable philosophers and scientists throughout history. You equate this with your belief in your Islamic God. So let us clarify belief in a Deistic vs a Theistic God.

    Deism, or belief in a Deistic God, is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organised religion, can determine that the universe is the product of an all-powerful creator. According to deists, the creator does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the natural laws of the universe. Deists typically reject supernatural events such as prophecy and miracles, tending instead to assert that a god (or “the Supreme Architect”) does not alter the universe by intervening in it. This idea is also known as the clockwork universe theory, in which a god designs and builds the universe, but steps aside to let it run on its own.

    Deism really emerged as a force during the Enlightenment period, and its emergence was born out of a rejection of organised religion, belief in revelation, scripture and its inerrancy and the impotency of ritual, prayer and worship.

    Now this completely contradicts, and indeed undermines, your relgious theism!

    Theism, or belief in a Theistic God, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organisation of the world and the universe. The use of the word ‘Theism’ as indicating a particular doctrine of monotheism arose in the wake of the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century to contrast with the then emerging Deism that contended that God, though transcendent and supreme, did not intervene in the natural world and could be known rationally but NOT via revelation.

    So, which one are you? Do you reject your absurd beliefs in books and revelation and ritual and worship, or do you reject the transcendant God of the deists who you keep invoking to save your skin?

    Again, you can’t have it both ways.

  30. Not really. All I would have to accept is that the claims are true. This is like when John Lennox, in a debate with Richard Dawkins, tried to argue that the Bible was true (i.e. was revealed by God) because it said that the universe ‘had a beginning’.

    Richard Dawkins replied that either the universe had a beginning or it didn’t. That the Bible, in its creation myth (like any other creation myth), asserted that it did have a beginning wasn’t particularly remarkable. It had a 50-50 chance.

    Moreover, the Bible’s creation myth has been falsified. Man wasn’t fashioned in God’s image, woman wasn’t made from man’s rib and the Earth isn’t 6,000 years old.

    I’ll tell you what, though, if all (it would have to be all, as even one error would invalidate the Qur’an’s inerrancy) of the claims put forward by the Qur’an can be scientifically demonstrated (I won’t say ‘verified’, because science isn’t in the business of verifying, but rather falsifying), then I’ll accept that your God is true.

    Can’t say fairer than that…

    Now, are you willing to meet me half way and accept that your God isn’t true if the claims made by the Qur’an are falsified?

  31. Erm…the Qur’an makes scientific claims. You claim the Qur’an is, literally, the word of your God. Therefore can you explain how your God’s existence is NOT a scientific question?

    Which argument, exactly, have I lost? On another thread you are quite happy to celebrate the ‘proof’ of God’s existence – which all happens to be scientific. Yet here you are arguing that there scientific evidence cannot be applied to God.

    Which one is it? You can’t have it both ways.

  32. Brother Moosa, rest assured: I agree. My answer was rhetorical, in reply to his silly rhetorical question. That is not to say that we cannot confidently demonstrate that the facts mentioned by the Creator of the Universe in the Qur’an are correct, and that the knowledge thereof could not have been available to an Arab prophet of the 7th Century. Such explanations would however be a waste on people like Red Star. I simply wanted to show Red Star the flipside of his unwarranted question.

    There are of course other visitors here who may well wish to benefit from an exposition of the factual statements made by God in the Qur’an. This could perhaps be pursued on another thread. Perhaps our respected Moderator would like to look into this?

  33. The basic point of this thread is: God’s existence is not a scientific question. It’s a philosophical and spiritual question. Therefore atheists are wrong to try to use science to disprove God.

    Please stick to the point. If you want to talk about scientific claims in the Qur’an, then why don’t we also talk about today’s football score in AC Milan versus Arsenal, and also we can discuss Pablo Picasso’s cubic art, and how about we then discuss the dietary habits of Peruvian llamas?

    I don’t like it when people try to manipulate me in a particular direction. You lost the argument, so admit you lost the argument. Don’t try to turn it into a different argument.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  34. Dear Moderator,

    15. A person had his opportunity to pose his objections to Islam, the Qur’an and Muhammad (pboh) in another thread. He received 34 responses, including to such objections as the Qur’an allegedly makes scientific errors regarding the earthquakes. He ignored most of those responses. He then put one of the same objections in another thread. After five different people told him that there is no firm evidence that Aysha was aged 9 at the time of her marriage to Muhammad (pboh), he persisted in giving “Aysha was aged 9″ as an argument against Muhammad (pboh). He appeared to completely ignore the multitude of responses from several people that she was not aged 9. He has a habit of returning to the same objections in a circular fashion. After 34 replies, I have clearly told this person that I will not chase him in circles anymore. He is now again trying to turn this into a criticism of the Qur’an, forgetting that I answered his criticisms of the Qur’an in a different thread. This thread here is nothing to do with the Qur’an. This thread is titled “debunking the pseudo-scientific New Atheist”. I request for him to remain on the topic. I assure him that I will certainly not chase him round in circles again. I also request my brothers such as peace4everynation not to chase him in circles. Chasing people in circles never leads anywhere. Circles are circles, they don’t lead to any objective. Brother peace4everynation, please read in the other thread how I responded to his criticisms of the Qur’anic scientific statements, and you will find that it is not fruitful or productive to respond to him.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  35. And if said claims can be demonstrated to be true, then by necessity, you would have to accept that our God is verified.

    Do you in principle agree to this logic?

  36. Let’s get back to basics.

    Let’s return to the question of whether the existence of your Islamic God is a scientific question or not…

    The fact of the matter is that your scripture, the Qur’an, makes scientific claims on behalf of your God. As you believe the text is in fact authored by your God, you believe that God is making scientific claims (.e.g. that he created man from ‘a clot of blood’, or that he ‘pressed the sun, moon and stars into service’ etc etc). If said claims can be demonstrated to be false, then by necessity, your God would also be falsified.

    Do you in principle agree to this logic?

  37. Dear Moderator,

    14 (addendum). I apologise for the terse character of my previous response. It just seems that my reasoning is being misrepresented repeatedly but perhaps I’m being unfair, it may be that my reasoning has been genuinely misunderstood.

    Regarding Deism, this was clearly never the focus of my discussion here. The title of this post is “debunking the pseudo-scientific atheist”, not “debunking the pseudo-scientific deist”. I gave Newton and Einstein as arguments against the atheist who purports to use science against God. The deist question is entirely different and should be addressed in a separate discussion. In any case, I do not think that Einstein in particular is particularly highly qualified to comment on deism or other philosophies regarding God, in this regard his opinions have the same validity as any intelligent commentator. His particular qualification is in science, therefore I restrict myself to noting his understanding of the limitations of science with regard to God. Newton may perhaps have more valid philosophical input, as he actually wrote more on theology than on science.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  38. Dear Contributors,

    This is a highly fascinating read. The time and effort both Red Star and Moosa are taking to address these issues is commendable. I do not wish to interrupt your conversation, but simply wish to add something in regards to “proof of God by the scientific method”.

    In science (i mean specifically physics, as that is my field of study) we can use the beauty of mathematics to explore abstracts ideas that are truly mesmerising and equally unimaginable at times. However, to know if it describes our reality, we unfortunately, have to be able to record/measure the quantity, predicted by theory. The value we obtain, the value we measure ultimately is finite. It does not matter however elegant a mathematical theory it be, if it predicts infinity, i cannot measure it and it does not matter however, correct it may seem, if i cannot measure it, it is not real to us. Infinity is a great annoyance for us in our theories. The major problem of course is that there is no infinitely sized measuring tool, we may model something to be infinitely big relative to some other small object/entity, however it is not purely infinite.

    The Qu’ranic God, that i have come to understand is someone Who transcends reality as it is known and unknown to us. As i understand it He is not just beyond infinite but is ultimately immeasurable. This is also required to be philosophically consistent or prevent contradiction in His Being (i know, some may say how convenient. However, irrespective of “however convenient” this stance may be, it does not do away with the truth, whatever that may be). So science, as some wrongly argue cannot proof the existence of God. The matter of disproving His existence through science is meaningless, because for something to be proven to not exist it must initially stand to be proven to exist, through the scientific experiment of course. However, since he cannot even be detected by definition (once again in reference to a scientific study), he cannot be disproved to not exist. He is beyond the paradigms of science.

    Therefore one may systematically investigate His existence, but this investigation is not science nor is the investigation to proof His non-existence science.

    This means we must explore other avenues to looking into His proof of existence, or lack thereof. I could go on, but i for now i will only comment on the scientific aspect of this discussion.

    I hope this clarifies any misunderstandings. As always we as humans consider ourselves to be air-tight in our logic and reasoning. Alas! i am also human, if you do find any faults do let me know.

    With Peace,
    Zen

  39. Dear Moderator,

    12. I did not claim there is no evidence for God’s existence. The Qur’an is evidence for God’s existence.

    13. I fail to understand how a person can expend so much effort in asserting that there is no scientific proof of God, and then himself say he believes in a Deist God (without scientific evidence). I cannot argue on shifting sands. If it is accepted that God exists, then let us stop arguing on this point, and move on to whether He exists as a Deist God or as an Islamic God.

    14. “Therefore when you cite people like Einstein, or indeed if we were to take someone like Thomas Jefferson, you should realise you are dealing with irreligious deists, not religious believers like yourself.”

    Am I writing in chinese? Can a person not understand my simple logic? Einstein’s belief in Deism is not important. My point (which I thought I made quite clearly) was that Einstein believed in God and understood that God was not something to be proven by scientific experiment. My principal argument in relation to Einstein was that science is not the place to prove God’s existence, and I cited Einstein because he was one of the greatest scientists in human history. Einstein was not one of the greatest philosophers or one of the greatest theologians or one of the greatest saints or somebody who claimed any type of closeness to God, so why would it interest me whether he believes in Deism or Christianity or Islam or Hinduism? His worth is only that he demonstrates God’s relationship to science.

    15. “You seem to make no account for scientific progress. People 3000 years ago, as you put it, knew very little about the finer details of how things worked. Therefore ‘God’ was seen as a reasonable explanation. Now we know a lot more, and a ‘God of the gaps’ approach really doesn’t cut it.”

    I am disappointed by clichés such as “God of the gaps”. One atheist philosopher contrives a clever-sounding phrase, and the rest of the crowd repeat it like a mindless mantra. Newton did not believe in a “God of the gaps”. He did not believe in God because of superstitious miracles. He believed in God because he saw the perfection of the natural world and the perfection of physical laws, and he thought this suggested a Designer. This has nothing to do with “gaps”, this has to do with greater knowledge of a design increasing a person’s appreciation for the Designer.

    Again, this illustrates the importance of perception and philosophy. Most people (atheists, deists, muslims, jews) cannot get out of their little boxes and see problems from a different angle. They do not even realise there are different angles, different perceptions and different philosophies. They only see their own perception and philosophy, and therefore they regard that as “fact”. Let me explain an alternative perception and philosophy: yes, over the last 3000 years, our knowledge of the finer details has increased, and as a result God has become an even more reasonable explanation. The more advanced becomes our scientific knowledge, the more we marvel at the perfection of the universe, the intricacy of its workings. We believe more in God today, than we would have believed if we were born 3000 years ago.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  40. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment.

    Let me identify some key areas (points of dispute) which I feel need addressing from the conversation.

    1) You claim the existence of your God is NOT a scientific question. I claim the existence of YOUR God is indeed a scientific question. My claim, which I must and will demonstrate, is that a universe with YOUR God would look very different from a universe without YOUR God. (I know you don’t like my capitlisation, but it is imperative you understand that we are assessing your God, the God of the Qur’an and the God of Islam).

    2) You assert that your God exists, but provide no evidence for this assertion. You then challenge me by declaring that I assert God doesn’t exist, and say that I must provide evidence for this question.

    3) I did NOT, in fact, claim that God does not exist. I claimed YOUR God (as defined by Islam) does not exist. I will provide evidence for this at a later stage. It is possible that a DEISTIC God exists. Even Richard Dawkins is happy to entertain that possibility. But entertaining that possibility doesn’t mean that any evidence can be presented to support it; which would, at best, leave us all as agnostics. It certainly wouldn’t leave us as Muslims, or indeed religionists of any kind. Therefore when you cite people like Einstein, or indeed if we were to take someone like Thomas Jefferson, you should realise you are dealing with irreligious deists, not religious believers like yourself. Indeed, Christopher Hitchens uses such sources, and also religous sources, in his book ‘God is not great’ (i.e. he tries to use as many sources as possible which religious believers would have no problem referring to themselves). You really should read that book…

    4) You claim that great minds of antiquity (your history is clearly shot to pieces, as neither Newton nor Einstein lived in ‘antiquity’) believed in God ‘philosophically’ because of the ‘perfection and symmetry’ of the universe. If then, this ‘perfection and symmetry’ could be demonstrated to be illusory, then would you concede that this philosophical belief was unfounded?

    5) You seem to make no account for scientific progress. People 3000 years ago, as you put it, knew very little about the finer details of how things worked. Therefore ‘God’ was seen as a reasonable explanation. Now we know a lot more, and a ‘God of the gaps’ approach really doesn’t cut it.

    I’ll be back at a later time/date to flesh all of this out. In the meantime, I suggest you pick up a copy of ‘God is not great’. I’ve read the Qur’an. More times than I can count. I ask you to read this short book just once…

  41. Fair enough.

    No, you definitely said ‘and I doubt that’. Perhaps you mistyped, in which case I apologise.

  42. Dear Moderator,

    11. “As regards for ‘proof that God didn’t do it’, that’s just passing the buck. YOU are the one claiming God exists and that God did it; therefore YOU must demonstrate the evidence for this. ‘He who avers must prove.’ The burden of proof lies with you. If it didn’t, anyone could claim anything and expect everyone to believe it without question.”

    “He who avers must prove” indeed. The New Atheist avers that God does not exist, therefore he must prove that God does not exist. Correct?

    The New Atheist uses a shrewd strategy:

    Step (i) The New Atheist knows that obviously God’s existence cannot be proved or disproved scientifically (since God is outside the laws of physics).
    Step (ii) The New Atheist asserts that the theist is asserting something extraordinary, therefore the theist must prove his point, and there is no burden of proof on the atheist.
    Step (iii) The end result is that the theist has to prove something which is impossible to prove, and the atheist is relieved of having to disprove something which it is impossible to disprove.

    But this entire manipulation is based not on science, but on perception and philosophy: the New Atheist asserts that God’s existence is extraordinary, and this is his perception and his philosophy, this is not an objective scientific fact.

    I challenge this perception and this philosophy. I say that it is an extraordinary idea that this perfectly designed universe happened without a Designer. By this, I switch the burden of proof: the New Atheist must use science to prove that God does not exist. Can he do this?

    I also challenge the New Atheist’s perception and philosophy that positive assertions have to be proven, and everything should be assumed to not exist unless proven to exist. This is not philosophically correct. Non-existence is an assertion and requires the same evidence that any assertion requires. Philosopher Paul Chamberlain says it is logically erroneous to assert that positive truth claims bear a burden of proof while negative truth claims do not. He notes that all truth claims bear a burden of proof, and that the tooth fairly bears the greater burden than the proof of God, not because of its negativity but because of its triviality, arguing that “When we substitute normal, serious characters such as Plato, Nero, Winston Churchill, or George Washington in place of these fictional characters, it becomes clear that anyone denying the existence of these figures has a burden of proof equal to, or in some cases greater than, the person claiming they do exist.”

    Peace,
    Moosa

  43. Dear Moderator,

    7. “No one every has pretended that this is a scientific argument. It wasn’t made by a scientist. It does, however, stand up to one scientific constant. Science deals with observable, measurable phenomena – you may wish to call these ‘ordinary’. When someone asserts something out of the ordinary, which itself cannot me observed oir measured, then that assertion requires even greater (thus EXTRAordinary) evidence from the observable, measurable world to justify. As regards for ‘proof that God didn’t do it’, that’s just passing the buck. YOU are the one claiming God exists and that God did it; therefore YOU must demonstrate the evidence for this. ‘He who avers must prove.’ The burden of proof lies with you. If it didn’t, anyone could claim anything and expect everyone to believe it without question.”

    What a bizarre statement: “When someone asserts something… which cannot be observed or measured, then that assertion requires even greater… evidence from the observable measurable world to justify”. Am I reading this correctly? Is it proposed that greater observable measurable evidence is required for something which cannot be observed or measured? This scientific impossibility is precisely why God’s existence is not a scientific question, it is a philosophical and spiritual question. Theists see the scientific perfection of the universe, and they perceive and philosophise that there is a Designer, this is a philosophical conclusion. If you wish to argue against their conclusion, then you should argue on the basis of philosophy; science will not help you in this argument. Regarding spiritual evidence, this is not actually open to argument at all, this is a matter of personal experience, and for this reason I never personally give my own spiritual experiences as evidences or arguments, I prefer to keep them to myself. I only argue on the basis of philosophy.

    8. “Science has nothing to do with existence? Really. So, I can say fairies exist and present no scientific evidence, and you will believe it?”

    Dear Moderator, why do New Atheist pseudo-scientists continue to address questions which are not the domain of science? I will not believe in fairies because of philosophical and spiritual reasons, science is entirely irrelevant to this question, because (again) science presents absolutely no data either for or against the existence of fairies. My reasons for rejecting the existence of fairies is because there are philosophical reasons for the existence of God and against the existence of fairies: (1) The essential symmetry and unity and balance and cohesion of physical laws suggests that there is One Designer, rather than a multitude of disparate little pixies which would create disunity and imbalance, (2) there are historical instances of truthful people of sound mind (Krishna, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad) who have communicated coherent and meaningful messages from God, whereas no such person has communicated comparable messages from fairies, (3) these messages have provided the foundations of new civilisations which have withstood the challenges of time, whereas no such product has been achieved by messages from fairies. So yes, there is as much (or as little) scientific evidence for the existence of fairies as God, because existence is not (I repeat) a scientific question, it is a philosophical (ontological) question. Having established that existence is a philosophical question, there are far more compelling philosophical reasons for believing in God than believing in fairies.

    9. “The utterly stupid (and I use that word carefully) philosophical argument from ontology, attributed orignally to Anselm of Canterbury, goes along the lines of ‘I can imagine a perfect being, so a perfect being must exist.’
    The insane absurdity of this statement can be revealed without much effort. Following this great philosophical logic, because George Lucas can imagine Ewoks and Wookies and Jabba the Hutt, then Ewoks and Wookies and Jabba the Hutt must exist! This is pretty much what you were arguing before, when you kept referring to ‘thoughts existing’. I’m sorry, if you think Chewbacca really exists because George Lucas ‘thought’ of him, then you are most definitely deluded.”

    I do not share Anselm’s philosophy, therefore this is irrelevant to our discussion. I merely observed that existence is the purvey of ontology, not of science.

    10. “And as I stated in my first comment on this post, Dawkins argues, quite rightly, that a universe without a God would look very different from a universe with a God. Just like a universe without black holes would look very different from a univese with black holes. We can infer the existence of black holes from mountains of observable, measurable evidence which can be repeatedly tested.
    Can you provide such evidence from which we can infer the existence of your God?”

    No, because God’s existence is not a scientific question. Inference is a matter of perception and philosophy, it is not a scientific property in itself. I repeat: great scientists such as Newton have inferred that God exists from scientific observations, because of their perception and philosophy. The New Atheist is wrong to use pseudo-scientific arguments as a “proof against God”.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  44. Dear Moderator,

    6. “So Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist…and that means “his knowledge-base is completely irrelevant to everything that happened before human life”??? Well, there are two rather colossal problems to this line of argument. 1) Evolutionary biology is the study of the development of ALL (not just HUMAN) life, and that this emerged from non-life (non-biota) means that it also encompasses stages prior to biota. Moreover, Dawkins is a pioneer of the theory of memetics, which applies evolutionary theory to cultural phenomena. 2) Your fourth khalifa wrote extensively on evolutionary biology, just like every creationist/religionist, but without any qualification or practical application in that field. By your logic, then, he had absolutely no “knowledge-base” (being a ‘theologian’ at best) relevant to this field.”

    A) I already corrected my statement “human life” to “biological life” in the second comment below this post. The post was put up by the Moderator before I had an opportunity to check it for mistakes. Please read above my comment, where I corrected this. This was not a “colossal problem”, it was me typing too fast and not checking over what I wrote. The reason it was not a “colossal problem” is that it makes no difference to my essential argument: Dawkin’s explanation of biological evolution is irrelevant for billions of years of scientific perfection before biological evolution. Einstein didn’t believe in God because of biological evolution, he believed in God because of the symmetry and perfection he observed in the universe, a symmetry and perfection which predated evolution by billions of years.

    B) It is completely missing the point by comparing Dawkins with the Fourth Khalifa. Regarding the Fourth Khalifa of the Ahmadi community, he never presented himself as a scientific authority, he never wrote a book about science, whereas Dawkins does write about the existence of God. The Fourth Khalifa was a spiritual leader, he gave primarily spiritual guidance, his book “Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth” clearly focuses on spirituality and clearly argues that the first reliable proof of God is spiritual experience, and that science provides only secondary evidence which is open to perception and philosophy. He had close correspondence with Professor Abdus Salam and other noted scientists, he had a team of researchers, and he presented their scientific insights as secondary arguments, he never pretended to present his own personal scientific research. However, Dawkins, in his book “The God Delusion”, does something entirely different from the Fourth Khalifa. Dawkins attempts to use biological evolution to prove that God does not exist, which is completely irrational, because he is using his own area of expertise to prove something which (philosophically) has nothing to do with his own area of expertise. It is completely acceptable for a spiritual leader to write about God, and to write about science as a secondary process in appreciating God. It is very different when a scientist who has no training in theology or philosophy writes about God as his prime subject matter and tries to use science to disprove something which philosophically cannot be disproved by science and has never been a scientific question throughout the history of science.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  45. Dear Moderator,

    5. “You say that the ‘great scientists of antiquity’ possessed ‘greater scientific genius’ than any modern Nobel Laureate. Does that mean that you think that Aristotle thinking the world was flat, and that the Earth was the centre of the universe around which everything turned, as well as the male containing the egg which is transmitted to the female, are MORE ‘genius’ than your Professor Abdus Salaam’s work on electro-weak theory?”

    A) The “world was flat” is a very poor example and demonstrates poor understanding of the problem we are addressing. In fact, the two scientists of antiquity who I named (Newton and Einstein) both knew the world was round. Aristotle was not a scientist, he was a philosopher, therefore again this example is flawed. However, there is a more fundamental misunderstanding of the problem which I will explain below.

    B) The question of God and science is not the same as the question of the world’s shape and science. Knowledge of the world’s shape is a scientific question (ie it involves physics) and therefore has advanced with modern technology. Knowledge of God is not a scientific question, it is a philosophical and spiritual question, and therefore it has not advanced with modern technology.

    C) Therefore, with regard to God and science, modern technology is irrelevant. The only relevant question is whether a person possesses insight into the nature of science and its limitations. This is a question of scientific genius and insight, not of new scientific knowledge which has been acquired over centuries into God (since science has made no advancement in knowledge of God). I gave two examples of Newton and Einstein, both of whom were scientific geniuses and who believed in God but did not think of God’s existence as a scientific hypothesis to be tested in a laboratory experiment. They may not have known about quarks or hadrons, but they understood better than today’s scientists what is the essential nature of science.

    D) In fact, the question whether God exists is not a scientific question at all, and has never been a scientific question. If it were a scientific question, then Dawkins would be permitted to teach “there is no scientific proof that God exists” in Oxford University, but he is not permitted to give any such class. God’s existence has always been a philosophical (ontological) question and a religious question. Even the nature of science is not strictly speaking a scientific question, it forms part of the philosophy of science. Scientific philosophers study the nature and limitations of science, scientists merely study the physical properties of the material world.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  46. 1. You post freely here and I do not hold back your comments. Any partiality would be proved if I was in the habit of censoring views opposed to mine and forwarding those which promoted mine. Vested interests are of no concern here. You comment and it appears. I comment and it appears. Others comment and it appears. As you are free to comment, then the strength of your argument should prevail.

    2. I in fact said that I did not doubt your sincerity on that point.

  47. Dear Moderator,

    I will ignore empty boasts and diatribe. However, I will give short replies to each of the substantive objections raised:

    1. “The utterly absurd claim the existence has nothing to do with science is beyond belief.Following this ‘logic’ of yours, anyone can claim anything exists without a shred of evidence.”

    Firstly, this is not “my logic”. This is the logic of Newton and Einstein which is being mocked by the pseudo-scientific New Atheist. Newton and Einstein both believed in God’s existence, but they never tried to “prove” or “disprove” God’s existence by means of science. If Bill or Red Star or any New Atheist thinks they are more qualified in knowing the nature and limitations of science than Newton and Einstein, then I would argue that they are experiencing delusions of scientific grandeur.

    Is the argument “anyone can claim anything exists” the argument of Christopher Hitchens? Is this the argument which destroys God? Christopher Hitchens was not a scientist or a philosopher, he was a polemicist. One of the strategies of polemicists is to distract an opponent. This argument is seeking to distract us from two facts: belief in God is not incompatible with science, and science simply has no place in the proof or disproof of God. This is precisely why many of the greatest scientists in human history have had firm faith in God.

    2. “Which is precisely what you do when you refer to God. You have actually just declared that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God; i.e. you have defined God out of existence!”

    This is (deliberate?) distortion of logic. There is no scientific proof of the existence of God does not mean that God does not exist, it means only that God cannot be limited by the laws of science.

    Furthermore, I did not say there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God, this is a misrepresentation. I said that science has never ever been applied or applicable to the existence of God. This is a fact. Einstein saw evidence for the existence of God in the (scientific) perfection of the universe, but he never pretended he was qualified to address the existence of God. The existence or non-existence of God is not in any scientific curriculum in any reputable university. It is a philosophical question. It is a question raised in philosophy undergraduate degrees, never in a physics or chemistry of biology degree.

    3. “The point Dawkins legitimately makes in ‘The God Delusion’ is that the reason the question of God is scientific is because a universe with a God would look dramatically different than a universe without one (the ‘God’ being referred to is principally the Almighty Theistic Deity of the ‘Abrahamic’ religions).”

    Dawkins makes no legitimate point. His entire position is illegitimate. He is merely hypothesising, or rather… imagining, and with a very limited imagination. Dawkins has no idea what a universe with or without God would look like, since (again) this is a philosophical question, and he has probably not even done a GCSE in philosophy. Superb intellects such as Plato and Aristotle and Nietzche spent all their faculties addressing this question, does a professor of evolutionary science really think he can offer any serious contribution to this issue? Does he think that Plato did not consider the idea of what a universe with or without God would look like? Does he think that this question has not been considered for the last 3000 years and does he think that after 3000 years, he (Dawkins) and the New Atheists have suddenly found the solution to the question of God’s existence?

    4. “You see, your religion, in reference to your God, makes utterly absurd metaphysical claims. It also interferes on a daily basis in politics, medicine, education etc. Thefore the notion that the question of God is not a scientific one is itself negated by religion’s constant attempt to scientifically justify his existence.”

    This criticism can be addressed in two ways:

    A). The Qur’an does not attempt to scientifically justify God’s existence. It does describe the perfection of the universe, and says this suggests a Designer, however it never says “the perfection of the universe proves God’s existence beyond doubt”. In fact, it leaves open to an individual how he/she perceives the perfection of the universe and how he/she philosophises on the basis of this perception. Some people will perceive the existence of God as “absurd metaphysical claims”, and others (such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Unamuno, Kant, Hegel, Godel) perceive God’s existence as entirely sensible.

    B). Regarding the Qur’an’s “intereference” in politics, medicine, education, etc, I fail to understand how this implies that the Qur’an is trying to scientifically prove God’s existence.The Qur’an gives physical guidance to humans because humans are both physical and spiritual. This does not mean God is physical, this has no implications for God’s “scientific existence”. This is a beauty of the Qur’an, that it recognises the physicality and spirituality of humans, and gives us a teaching which encompasses both these. In fact, physicality and spirituality are related to each other. For instance, a person murders or steals habitually (physical actions), and becomes vicious (spiritual consequence). Therefore, the Qur’an would be very remiss if it didn’t offer physical guidance, because our physical behaviour has spiritual consequences. However, most of the Qur’an’s guidance is spiritual rather than political, medicinal or educational. In any case, none of this has any relevance for whether God’s existence can be proven scientifically.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  48. Moosa, please read my comment above.

    Now, to your arguments.

    I’m going to adopt your ‘point by point approach’.

    1) “Most of the great scientists of antiquity were philosophically more intelligent than the New Atheist. They possessed greater scientific genius than any modern Nobel Laureate, yet they never tried to prove or disprove God through science, they never even tried to apply science to God. Many of them believed in God, for instance Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. However, their reasons for believing were perceptual and philosophical. They perceived the beauty of the universe and they philosophised that such perfection was by design. This wasn’t scientific, this was simply their perception and their philosophy.”

    You say that the ‘great scientists of antiquity’ possessed ‘greater scientific genius’ than any modern Nobel Laureate. Does that mean that you think that Aristotle thinking the world was flat, and that the Earth was the centre of the universe around which everything turned, as well as the male containing the egg which is transmitted to the female, are MORE ‘genius’ than your Professor Abdus Salaam’s work on electro-weak theory?

    Wow…

    2) “Recently, however, the New Atheist has tried to apply science to discredit the idea of God. Scientists of mediocre stature who possess far lesser intellects than Newton and Einstein, have tried to debunk the idea of God. Dawkins is a prime example. He’s an evolutionary biologist so he focuses on how evolution could happen without God (let’s forget cosmology and everything which happened during billions of years before life on earth). But he faces philosophical problems: even if he proves that evolution could happen without God, then this doesn’t prove that it did happen without God, and furthermore… his knowledge-base is completely irrelevant to everything that happened before human life. His argument against God, then, doesn’t depend on scientific facts, it depends on his perception and his philosophy.”

    So Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist…and that means “his knowledge-base is completely irrelevant to everything that happened before human life”??? Well, there are two rather colossal problems to this line of argument. 1) Evolutionary biology is the study of the development of ALL (not just HUMAN) life, and that this emerged from non-life (non-biota) means that it also encompasses stages prior to biota. Moreover, Dawkins is a pioneer of the theory of memetics, which applies evolutionary theory to cultural phenomena. 2) Your fourth khalifa wrote extensively on evolutionary biology, just like every creationist/religionist, but without any qualification or practical application in that field. By your logic, then, he had absolutely no “knowledge-base” (being a ‘theologian’ at best) relevant to this field.

    3) “A prime example of perception and philosophy is the New Atheist’s pseudo-scientific argument against God: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. What complete balderdash to pretend this is a scientific argument. “Extraordinary” isn’t a scientific terminology. It has zilch to do with science. There’s no scientific laboratory test to prove or disprove or measure or evaluate “extraordinariness”. The word “extraordinary” is a perceptual terminology. Extraordinary for one person is completely ordinary for another person, depending on their perception. The theist could very justifiably say, “The claim that this perfect universe happened by chance is completely extraordinary. Give me extraordinary proof that God didn’t do it.”. And of course, atheists provide zilch proof that God didn’t do it.”

    No one every has pretended that this is a scientific argument. It wasn’t made by a scientist. It does, however, stand up to one scientific constant. Science deals with observable, measurable phenomena – you may wish to call these ‘ordinary’. When someone asserts something out of the ordinary, which itself cannot me observed oir measured, then that assertion requires even greater (thus EXTRAordinary) evidence from the observable, measurable world to justify. As regards for ‘proof that God didn’t do it’, that’s just passing the buck. YOU are the one claiming God exists and that God did it; therefore YOU must demonstrate the evidence for this. ‘He who avers must prove.’ The burden of proof lies with you. If it didn’t, anyone could claim anything and expect everyone to believe it without question.

    4) “A serious problem arises when scientific amateurs blindly follow their cult leader Dawkins, and completely fail to understand that science measures physical properties, it has nothing to do with existence. Existence is not a scientific concept. The study of existence is known as “Ontology” which has been a branch of philosophy since the time of Plato, it has nothing to do with science. It is for this reason that philosophers are not at all impressed with Dawkin’s attempts to apply science to the question of God’s existence. Dawkins knows about as much about existence as my milkman. (I don’t actually have a milkman, I just like the sound of that).”

    Science has nothing to do with existence? Really. So, I can say fairies exist and present no scientific evidence, and you will believe it?

    The utterly stupid (and I use that word carefully) philosophical argument from ontology, attributed orignally to Anselm of Canterbury, goes along the lines of ‘I can imagine a perfect being, so a perfect being must exist.’

    The insane absurdity of this statement can be revealed without much effort. Following this great philosophical logic, because George Lucas can imagine Ewoks and Wookies and Jabba the Hutt, then Ewoks and Wookies and Jabba the Hutt must exist! This is pretty much what you were arguing before, when you kept referring to ‘thoughts existing’. I’m sorry, if you think Chewbacca really exists because George Lucas ‘thought’ of him, then you are most definitely deluded.

    And as I stated in my first comment on this post, Dawkins argues, quite rightly, that a universe without a God would look very different from a universe with a God. Just like a universe without black holes would look very different from a univese with black holes. We can infer the existence of black holes from mountains of observable, measurable evidence which can be repeatedly tested.

    Can you provide such evidence from which we can infer the existence of your God?

    No.

    Sorry mate. Good try. Well, no it wasn’t really, but I’ll say it just to be nice ;-)

  49. Well, it has ‘magically’ appeared above – so clearly your doubts about me writing it were misplaced!

    Also, can you please explain how you, as a regular commentor yourself, can be an impartial and objective moderator?

    Don’t you have…erm, how can I put it, vested interests?

    Obviously this is your site, which I appreciate. But don’t your think it is a bit dodgy for moderators to actively comment on posts which they are moderating?

    Anwyway, thanks for getting my comments up.

  50. If you did write a comment, and I have reason to doubt that, then it did not reach the admin area. Each of your comments in the past, without fail, have been posted and I have not prevented any from going through.

    I have only censored one comment over the past week and that was a short one, written anonymously, and full of abuse and profanity. No other comment has been deleted. Please post it again.

  51. I did post a comment on this, but it is STILL awaiting moderation…

    I see little point in wasting my time if my responses keep getting censored. Clearly, the moderators aren’t impartial and clearly they won’t post anything which shatters their illusory beliefs.

  52. In my opinion the problem with the Atheists is that they have a wrong picture about Islam and this is the fault of the so called Muslim countries where to be honest nothing is left of Islam. This is a fact. Here where I live we are represented by orthodox Muslims who believe that people who commit Apostasy are sentenced to death.

    Let’s go to England, yesterday I was reading about 3 men – by name I guess of Pakistani Origin – who distributed Pamphlets with Verses of the Holy Qur’an which allegedly say that people who are disbelievers shall be burnt to death with fire until they repent. This campaign was mainly aimed at Homosexuals and Lesbians.

    This is what brings shame to Islam. It should be our goal to stand as a brick wall against these so called Muslims. Before we try to reform others we shall reform ourselves and our Brothers and Sisters who don’t believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam AHmad (as) who is a Prophet of Allah.

    Another point which comes to my mind is that it is not easy to give up a life in which you applied deeds contrary to Islam. This is the greatest Jihad. The Jihad-e-Nafs. The Jihad against your Ego. When there is no help and you are constantly venomed with the tedious weed that the media breeds against Islam since 09/11 then – in my eyes – there is no chance for recovery. This is where we come, this is our chance. I hope and I really wish not, I’m not a Imam, but a simple human being and when I reflect and see the world where it stands at the moment, chances are great for destruction which will be the divine punishment of Allah for the sinful world.

    Destruction breeds a new creation. Understand who wants to Understand. I hope the creation can take it’s direction without any destruction. Ameen.

    Exdellent Contribution Mr. Qureshi :)

  53. Clearly you haven’t read ‘God is not great’ by Christopher Hitchens.

    This argument is about 150 years too late, just like your religion. I’m afraid it just doesn’t work.

    The utterly absurd claim the existence has nothing to do with science is beyond belief.

    Following this ‘logic’ of yours, anyone can claim anything exists without a shred of evidence. Which is precisely what you do when you refer to God. You have actually just declared that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God; i.e. you have defined God out of existence!

    Dawkins is not always right. NO human being is (including any of your ‘prophets’). Many disagree with him (agnostics, ‘old’ atheists) about his argument that the existence of God is a scientific question.

    The point Dawkins legitimately makes in ‘The God Delusion’ is that the reason the question of God is scientific is because a universe with a God would look dramatically different than a universe without one (the ‘God’ being referred to is principally the Almighty Theistic Deity of the ‘Abrahamic’ religions).

    Actually, Dawkins’ book isn’t the best argument against your God. But Hitchens’ ‘God is not great’ demolishes your God one laugh at a time.

    You see, your religion, in reference to your God, makes utterly absurd metaphysical claims. It also interferes on a daily basis in politics, medicine, education etc. Thefore the notion that the question of God is not a scientific one is itself negated by religion’s constant attempt to scientifically justify his existence.

    I’ll be back to comment more on this later.

    I’m so glad you posted this :-) Thank you, thank you, thank you! :-)

  54. I made an error in my post above: “everything that happened before human life” should read “everything that happened before biological life”.

    I don’t mean to disrespect Dawkins as a scholar per se. He is indeed a prestigious scholar within his field. But he has no formal education or training in either philosophy or religion. You will never find any physics or biology curriculum which teaches a course on “existence”. Scientists simply have no expertise in such questions, and it is bizarre that a scientist should be writing books on “does God exist?”. It is as if I (as a medical doctor) were to start writing books on ancient chinese history. At best, my work would be taken as the opinion of an enthusiastic amateur. It would be very worrying if my work were taken as authoritative and established doctrine for an entire cult of followers.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  55. Moosa, after your post, there simply isn’t anything left to debunk re: pseudo-scientific atheists. That was the final nail in their coffin!

    Even the dog that was running after your milkman was more rational in its approach than our present-day atheists – unlike them, it wasn’t barking up the wrong tree ;o)

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