Creationism and Vitalism, Part 2

When we recently wrote Creationism and Vitalism, we didn’t imagine that there was anything left to say on the subject. But we misjudged the relentless prolixity of Answers in Genesis (AIG), described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. They just posted this article: What Is Life? The Biblical View (OB20).

Those digits at the end of their title are from some numbering system they use for topics in their creationist books (their latest article seems to be from one of those), and they also refer to other numbers throughout the article. It’s too much trouble to edit them out so we’ll leave them in place, but we don’t know what those numbers refer to, nor do we care. Okay, here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Up to this point, we emphasized that information is an essential characteristic of life. The realization that information is an intellectual entity saves us from regarding life as purely mechanistic.

Yes, by asserting — utterly without evidence — that “information” is a characteristic of life, they are “saved” from thinking scientifically about the subject. In this instance, their word “information” is synonymous with Oogity Boogity! AIG’s little essay continues:

But the essentials of life have not yet been fully encompassed, as can immediately be realized from the following: At the moment of death, the totality of DNA information is still present in all the cells, but the operational and communication information has disappeared. It is thus clear that there is another crucial difference between living beings and dead organisms which cannot be found in the material domain.

The information is there, but the thing is nevertheless dead. The mystery deepens. Then they purport to quote Gilbert Ryle, a deceased British philosopher who believed in mind-body duality. They give no source or footnote, just his name. According to AIG, Ryle allegedly wrote:

Though the human body is an engine, it is not quite an ordinary engine, since some of its workings are governed by another engine inside it — this interior governor-engine being one of a very special sort. It is invisible, inaudible, and it has no size or weight. It cannot be taken to bits and the laws it obeys are not those known to ordinary engineers.

Oooooooh! The human body has a mysterious “interior governor-engine.” Isn’t this thrilling? Where else are you gonna learn this stuff? Let’s read on:

He has addressed the soul of man which is part of his non-material being (see also OB8). It cannot be tested physically or chemically, but reveals itself in the nature of man, particularly in his free will (discussed more fully in [G2, p. 190–194]). We have repeatedly emphasized that the origin of the non-material part of man can also be ascribed to the Creator.

It occurs to us that a dead chicken is also dead. Does it too have a soul? That must remain unanswered. We continue, and now it gets really exciting:

The following formulation can now be established along biblical lines:

Here comes their “formulation,” which is so important that we’ll put it in a box for emphasis:

THEOREM: No life can exist outside the will of God.

Equation L3 which clearly surpasses L2, can now be deduced from biblical testimony:

Life = material part (structural appearance) + non-material part 1 (= the structural, operational, and communication information encoded by God) + non-material part 2 (= soul, spirit) (L3)

How about that, huh? We told you this was exciting. Here’s the stunning conclusion:

This formula points beyond scientifically researchable possibilities. As a point of departure, the basic evolutionary assumptions E3 and E5 have thus proved to be false.

We confess that we have no idea what they’re talking about, but it sure does look impressive. Somewhere, in some creationist school, kids are studying this material. God help ’em!

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Creationism and Vitalism, Part 2

  1. An internal-governing engine, eh? Perhaps AiG should start analyzing steam trains to find their élan locomotif.

  2. I know in my heart the L2 is unsurpassable. Nothing they say can change my belief’s concerning L2.

  3. but the operational and communication information has disappeared. It is thus clear that there is another crucial difference between living beings and dead organisms which cannot be found in the material domain

    Bzzzzt. Their “operational and communication information” is a working metabolism; a pattern of reaction between chemicals. It is very much in the material domain. When your chemicals stop reacting in that certain pattern (and start reacting in others), you are dead.

    Information is not its ‘own thing.’ It is an arrangement of material things – be they atoms, or monomers in a polymer chain, or smudges of carbon soot on dead plant material, or electrons interacting in a series of semiconductor switches.

  4. doodlebugger

    I can derive the following from equation L3 and L2 which summarizes
    the AIG theorem thus;

    If L3>L2 then L is Mp (structure exponent) + Cp (communciation exponent) + Op (operational quarks) / encoded irreducible specificity
    times a bunch of miracles. This would then equal Ooogity Booogity.
    There. That should help clear things up.

  5. Alex Shuffell

    So that’s what creationist science actually looks like. I don’t know why I’m bothering with all these text books, they only give approximations, some are even incomplete and only explain a small part of nature. But that equation type thing was awesome, so much has been answered… I think.

  6. By that reasoning, D3 > D2, where D3 is “God cooks dinner” and D2 is “the good Doctor cooks dinner” should be True ™.

    Therefore, I will sit on my ass in my big comfy chair and await my feast! Medium well if you don’t mind, Mr. Deity.

  7. doodlebugger

    docbill says; ” By that reasoning, D3 > D2, where D3 is “God cooks dinner” and D2 is “the good Doctor cooks dinner” should be True ™”.
    Thats a complex theophysical derivation, and it appears to be consistent with the specificity integral….. Nice..

  8. Well, I got a call from She Who Must Be Obeyed and she said, “By God dinner had better be ready when I get home from work!” and by gosh and by golly it will be: flying spaghetti and meatballs.

    Like they say, one jar of Prego closes and one jar of Newman’s Own opens! PTFSM!

  9. O ye blaspheming infidels!

    “God cooks dinner” is an unspeakable and blasphemous lie.

    The TRVTH — which is the sole (and soul) property of the Church of the Sacred Artichoke Heart — is infinitely more profound, to wit:

    Where 'X' represents the elusive elixir vitae, then

    X=/_OB * BS! xL2 / kK

    (That is: God = the square root of Ooogity-Boogity multiplied by bullsh*t factorial raised to the power of Luskin squared divided by the Klinghoffer Constant)

    Ergo:

    God IS dinner

    Quod erat demonstrandum — so get repenting and tuck in, you miserable heathen swine!

  10. …the origin of the non-material part of man can also be ascribed to the Creator.
    Which means that the origins of an individual human (the combination of body and soul) is not accounted for by reproductive biology.
    Their complaint is not so much with evolutionary biology as with reproductive biology.

  11. Doctor Stochastic

    The headline made me think of “Return to the WildRoot of Vitalism.”But one should be of an earlier generation to understand.

  12. I’d like to read a creationist essay to compare and contrast a dead person, dead animal, and a dead battery. Why does only the person have an afterlife?

  13. @Doctor Stochastic: “But one should be of an earlier generation to understand.”

    Ah, yes. I used both of those products — back when I had hair.

  14. THEOREM: Creationists are idiots.