1. Oh Travis! Travis! Travis!

    Oh my gosh! I love this already and you’ve just laid the groundwork for it. I’m excited for this series. I am curious, are you going to round it to a more general consensus about the creation in that God created all things? Or are you going to be specific as to what type of creation He did it through such medium as expressed by the methodologies of Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Progressive Creationism, or Theistic Evolution? (I’m sure there are more but I’ll keep it with the big ones)

    Also, I commend you for tackling this topic because in a world that seems fixated on nihilism and depravity, this topic will, I hope, reach the masses and affected those teetering on the brink of the abyss. I’m so excited to see your thoughts!

    • Travis Perry says:

      Parker, my main focus will be simply to show the universe does not flow into what we observe from simple beginnings via evolution, the laws of nature “just doing what they do”–thereby making everything we observe. That’s not the picture at all, though the most important objections to that idea are stacked at the beginning of the time during which universe is imagined to have generated itself, they aren’t limited to the very beginning.

      Such a topic will bring up questions of the age of the universe and reference different Christian ideas about how the universe came about, but I don’t intend to make a specific defense of any one Christian world view.

      • Moira says:

        I think you need to talk to more atheists, because I don’t think you understand us well enough to make the judgments you’re making. It’s not that atheists don’t find the universe extraordinary, I think it’s amazing, but that saying something is extraordinary in no way proves the existence of a supernatural being. I’m not trying to be insulting here, but you might as well say that the universe is proof that fairies exist, or Gaea, or any other supernatural being that is considered fictional. The Bible isn’t a valid source of proof to an atheist. You say when atheists are “gotten,” they won’t admit they’re wrong, but I’ve yet to experience an encounter in which a Christian has attempted to convert me where the arguments are new. For example, you’re trying to use a piece of technology, something I see and use every day, as a metaphor for something that can’t be seen or otherwise sensed. You’re using a car, they use a watch. It’s basically the same argument, and it’s utterly unconvincing. Once a person said I can deny gravity but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m sure she thinks she “got me,” even though I can prove the existence of gravity by picking something up and dropping it. By the way, the only way I’d believe in a god is if he spoke to me himself.

        • Travis Perry says:

          I’ve talked to lots of atheists. But as I explained, this series is not primarily geared to atheists. I have known too many atheists who I would say are slippery when it comes to being honest about what they would and would not find convincing (I gave only one example out of many I could have given). This series is actually primarily geared to theists, though I do hope that a rare atheist who will actually listen to a theist might find the arguments I will present worth considering.

          As far as everything you have said about what you think about my argument–you haven’t even heard it yet! I’ve only begun to introduce it. Why don’t you save your scorn for later, once I’ve actually made my case? If you in fact still feel scorn, after actually listening to what I have to say.

          I’m willing to predict you have not heard before at least some of the things I will say (what I will say about a car is not related to the standard intelligent design argument that uses a watch–you are entirely wrong to think the arguments are the same). But you can decide in advance if you want that you already know it all and don’t need to listen. That’s a reality about anybody, not just atheists–while it is not exactly a choice in the normal sense of the word to positively believe, refusing to believe is very definitely an act of the will. It’s something people do often, primarily by not even listening to information that contradicts what they are already sure is true.

          So give the series a try, OK?

          Or don’t–but if you don’t, don’t kid yourself into thinking that the reason you don’t believe is because theists don’t have anything convincing to say. If you don’t even bother to tune in to the rest of this, I’d say it’s because you don’t WANT to hear any evidence that points towards the existence of God.

        • notleia says:

          With the power invested in me, a stranger on the Internet, I absolve you of any obligation to read the rest of this, because you are very much not the intended audience.
          Apologetics are meant to make the faithful feel better about themselves, especially when they pelt them in the direction of backsliders so they can feel they did something about it.

          • Travis Perry says:

            Er…while I have said this is intended for theists, Christians in particular, what I meant by that is two things (which I have not previously explained): 1. To strengthen the resolve of theists when dealing with atheists, giving them something to say in reply to criticisms (as such it is necessarily for me to convince theists this approach is worthwhile, which is why I quoted the Bible). 2. Giving theists something to share with atheists, if they should happen to meet one who is open-minded enough to listen. Which I happen to think it a rare thing–not just for atheists, actually, because most people don’t listen to anyone who does not agree with them to start with.

            I do not believe I’m in that category. I’ve read books by atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, Christopher Hitchens, and others, and have had long conversations in person and over the Internet with something like two dozen atheists and I think I have observed something that’s missing concerning the way the universe is presented by atheists, that once explained, will amount to a logical proof for the existence of God.

            You, like Moira, don’t know what I am going to say before I say it. Perhaps you should actually read what I say first, before pontificating on what its real purpose is. Though of course maybe you are just magically right because you’re clairvoyant and have read my notes already or something like that. Sure–whatever.

            I personally think Moira would get a benefit from continuing to read. But that’s something I can’t be sure of–and I don’t believe you can be certain, either.

            • notleia says:

              I think there’s a high probability that she’ll just be blamed for not being impressed with whatever dazzling! new! argument you have for us.

              Okay, no, I don’t have much faith in your as-yet-unknown theory. I’m okay being wrong about that, tho.

              • Travis Perry says:

                Ok. While your disdain up front is probably more than a bit insulting (since I think I know the difference between someone not being impressed and someone being flabbergasted and unable to give a sound reply), I can live with you being “okay being wrong about that” as to what I plan to share. I think that’s a rare attitude. Most people are not ok with being wrong, me included. Though I would rather be be right than wrong, so I have changed ideas I’ve had many times over my lifetime.

                I hope very sincerely my decades invested in trying to understand the universe will lead to at least a few observations you have not heard before. Though perhaps they won’t. I can only do what I can do.

What do you think?