Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-05-03 - Tom Jump Part 2

Author Recorded Friday May 3rd, 2019

There are 47 episodes in the Versus:Atheist series.

Recorded February 9th, 2019

Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-09 - Greg

Recorded September 11th, 2016

Catholic vs. Atheist - 2016-09-11 - Renaud

This is my second time on TJump's show. This time we talked about the so-called theory of evolution and why I reject it. The uncut live chat was rather bloated and meandering, so I chopped it down aggressively to make it a little more focused in this edited version. As always, Tom was a pleasure to talk with. • Support the CVS Podcast: • Be a guest on a livestream:

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alright it looks like we're live so David you're a Catholic which means you believe that the Pope and the church are infallible they can't make mistakes is that correct well they can make mistakes but not in the ways that matter you need to understand what infallibility is it's just a guarantee that the essential saving truths are accessible to everyone the geniuses with six PhDs all the way down to the who can't even write his own name oh so it's only in respect to the pertinent truths to salvation and is that correct yeah yeah yeah okay if I remember it the church doesn't take the six thousand year young earth creationists do they well that's what I've just come to discover yeah indirectly it does dogmatically teach indirectly not directly but indirectly it does dogmatically obliged us to believe in young earth yes well as far as I know some people in the church would disagree on that I think I think maybe the Pope most people would yeah all the recent Pope's and 99.9% of everyone yeah but that's just not something significant to salvation so it's not really it's something that we can be fallible though no I think it's significant I think it's just one of these issues that's clouded today and you know I could be wrong but from what I've understood it's indirectly defined meaning that the logical implications of the existing dogmas for example there's a dogma of the Council of Vienna that says the soul is the form of the body so that's an example of a dogma that is infallible which cannot be contradicted and which has logical implications for the theory of evolution even a theistic evolution so that's what I've discovered that and other interesting theological truths or doctrines which imply that evolution is untenable for the Catholic and philosophically untenable for everyone else to interesting it so what is your vision on the science because the science seems to strongly suggest that that's false yeah that's why it took me 10 years to quote-unquote come out of the closet as a young earth creationist and I don't know if you listen to that video I sent you about why I am no longer a young earth creationist but the punchline to that joke is because it's redundant to call myself a younger creationist Catholic because all Catholics have to abandon theistic evolution than every other form of progressive creationists and all these sorts of things we are obliged to believe that the earth is under ten thousand years old or something like that so if the science did show that that was false would you change your position no I see a hierarchy in the sciences so I see God as science itself God is perfect knowledge perfect wisdom perfect truth so it uses the book of nature which is sort of a divine revelation of himself but he also gives us a revelation in terms of the Bible the Old Testament New Testament and the Ten Commandments all these things and theology which looks at and unpacks all this sort of divine revelation and it also looks at philosophy which is the next lower science in this hierarchy of scientists you've got God revelation theology philosophy and then underneath that is physics and by the word physics I just mean all of natural science so I don't I don't lean on I don't draw on physics or the Natural Sciences as the sort of source of any of these positions that I take for example when I go to communion the Eucharist if you were to take the what looks like bread and wine and analyze it everything would come back saying that it's bread and wine right but I don't believe that it's bread and wine after the consecration after a valid consecration now is it possible that the sum of the consecration that I think are valid or not valid and it just remains bread and wine yeah sure hopefully not too often but in our day and age it certainly is a possibility more and more with all the disbelievers in the pulpit and stuff like that so you do you believe that it literally does change and we just aren't tested at the right time to figure that out or do you think it's just our tests can't detect it because it's like of a spiritual kind of body it's not that it's spiritual it's that the accidents remain but the substance changes so this is straight back to Aristotle and st. Thomas Aquinas wording that they make this distinction between substance or essence and accidents are you familiar with those distinctions the essence existence distinction yeah all composite things are actually not only reducible to a material composition but they're actually a composition of essence and existence this is I sort of breakthrough that I had recently when I was looking into the modal proof of God's existence by blessed John Duns Scotus it has to do with a centrally ordered series of causes so that like for example right now I'm lifting the glass and it's my will that that is behind the motion of the glass and there's a hierarchy there and my will is necessarily more perfect than the physical stuff in my arm and certainly more perfect than the glass itself which is inanimate so there's a sort of hierarchy but it's in real time meaning that it's a vertical analysis of causation which of course intermesh is with the horizontal accidental series of causes - but it's really interesting I I haven't mastered it but I'm hoping to at some point my position on those arguments is that most of them are just semantic properties that don't actually exist like I can just make them a new property called the which emit property and there's the maximum which emit and so there must be a would you master or something like that and so are essentially I can just do the same thing and say that there is I can grant that there is some necessary thing but that necessary thing can just be a different necessary thing that's not a god-like pantheism exactly everything that the God supposedly does yeah I think you're attacking more Anselm's ontological argument this this is a completely different approach I think one of the reasons why SCOTUS got excited about this path is because it's sidestepped a lot of the hairy issues with and so on but can we talk a little bit about the science of evolution please because I'm so ignorant just tell me what I should know like this sort of like if you were to give a five-minute elevator pitch to a young earth creationist using hard science what would you pitch so do you know what RNA is yeah roughly RNA can be assembled from purely non organic things we can see it on clay we can watch it happen in a lab RNA can assemble itself on clay with no direct interaction of a person we just watch it happen we can see RNA self-replicate and we can see RNA produced DNA and so we can watch the stages go from one to another to lead up to what will create life so yes the consensus is that life is a purely natural process the abiogenesis but is that what the science textbooks teach that that's life the definition of life in science is far more ambiguous but the consistent science is that we definitely went from nonliving to living it's just where do we draw the line kind of like this species problem like is Archaeopteryx a bird nor is it a dinosaur we don't really know we don't really have concrete definitions on where to place things one of the other because it's just a spectrum so the thin life implies the same thing the consensus in biology is that yes life came from non-life and we don't know where exactly we should call the first life what did they call that sororities you put one grain of sand on the table and then you put a second one it hosts righties yes problem of the heap yes it's definitely a problem because when you try and classify an emergent phenomenon definitively based on the conglomerate parts it's essentially impossible it's like when does a drop of water become a puddle it's like there's not really a metaphysical distinction there it's kind of just arbitrary so even if we grant that God created life God would have to come up with some definition and saying life begins at point X and he's like we have to give a way to distinguish point X from the thing previous to point X the saying after point X Oh God also has to answer the problem of the heap we had one grain of sand is it a heap now and God's gonna have to come up with an answer to that otherwise the definition is just arbitrary there's something a little bit off-topic and if you don't mind I'd like to run it past you in that okay sure what I have an interesting thought experiment where I can prove that indeterminacy is hard determined the reason that I think about this is because a lot of atheists want to point to the ambiguities of the quantum world is some sort of possible hiding place for free will but if we examine the actual output of the data that's collected around the world in the quantum physics labs and we see how its conforming perfectly with these statistical outcomes based on these statistical expectations and so this if we work backwards in time if we look at that perfect graph and then we back up and we remove the data going backwards through time at each step in that backwards analysis we can know with certainty which part of the curve has a little notch in it because that data point we've removed that by stepping backward just in time and so now our curve is a perfect curve - that one notch now we go back one more data point we see the second notch over here that needed to be filled in by that second-to-last experiment and so on and so forth so at every stage in this so-called statistical science we see that there's a perfect 100% determined outcome right that's well that was Einstein's interpretation of the particle duality but there was a test done called the delayed quantum eraser that showed that that wasn't actually the case it is actually more random than that but my position is I agree free will doesn't exist free will is logically impossible it can't be free will most atheists usually say if it can't be pretty well but theists usually say there can be free will all right even if we grant that quantum randomness is really a thing that doesn't get you free will let's just randomness like if you if you do in action either you do the action for a reason in which case it's determined by the reason or you do it for no reason in which case it's random now if it's random it's not a free action so you don't have free will it was determined it's not a free action so you don't have free will but the reason will randomness everything has a reason including God's existence God's existence has a perfectly reasonable explanation just I don't happen to know what it is other than he's necessary and his essence is existence so it's the same thing with freewill I think you'll admit that you feel like you're free you feel like when you're presented with different options you can choose right so we apprehend our freewill in that way and I was a hard determinist for a long time so I know how to rationalize the feelings away but now that I'm Catholic I take it as a direct apprehension and intuition that we are actually free so there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why we make the choices we do and many of the choices we think we're making freely are not made freely right there are tests that we can show that the looking at your brain we can know what decision you're gonna make seven seconds before you make it yeah stuff like that so I sometimes fantasize that every human has one free choice in their whole life god only knows which one it was but that determines your if you're gonna go to heaven or hell well suppose you there was this one decision so you have this decision and you're gonna have to make a choice between like X and y or whatever X and not X yeah extra dot X and you're gonna pick and you have to pick either for reasons you have to like look at X and say X has these beneficial reasons and these negatives and y has these expeditionaries and these negatives you're gonna have to pick for the reasons in which case is determined by the reasons because the reasons are gonna say this one's better than the other one you're gonna pick the better one or you have to pick for no reason you have to discount all the reasons but if you do that your choice is just gonna be completely random so how do you escape that dichotomy to get free will ya it there's a reason there's a reason and the reason is your free will and your free will is a mystery which I can't comprehend but I have apprehended it so that's my answer it's not a very satisfying answer it's satisfying to me because that mystery is like a gateway to eternal life right whereas for you maybe it's just frustration and then you you know life's short and then you die that kind of thing but for me that's a door to God and it's a door to eternal happiness and fulfillment so I'm very happy with that question mark not to say that I want scientists to stop asking questions I don't but the question marks are the most exciting part for me well I think about is like if it's a question mark how can you use the question mark as a justification for something it's like that's a UFO it's unidentified therefore it's aliens like you can't just say it's identified in that say it's aliens you identified it yeah I mean if I were an alien like if I came from Mars and I had green skin I would look down at myself and I would ask and my self existent or is someone else the source of my existence it's the same problem we all have to face at the end of the day because God is at the heart of everything when I was an atheist I didn't believe in free will now that I'm I believe in free will and there's a reason the reason is because I have God who is a mystery which will never be comprehended in all eternity even when I'm in heaven for eternity I'll never fully understand God but because I've accepted that I'm not God that God is God I have now a comfort level with mystery whereas before I would just encounter a mystery and I would sort of deduce it away would you agree that if it's a mystery you can't use the mystery as a justification for something conclusion right because it's mystery no I the mystery of my free will is the justification I mean it's like just picture yourself in front of the judge and the judge says why did you steal the loaf of bread and you in your defense you say because my family's starving and you know the shopkeeper tripled the price you know and then the judge lets you go but the thing is that your free will is a mystery but it's still a defense that keeps you out of jail like because the judge takes that into consideration you're the judge doesn't know what free will is either but he knows that okay so you freely chose to steal though off a read for reason XY and said and you don't have to go to jail so it's like that so my question is if you see something and you do like an object it's an i define something I've identified it so it can't be unidentified that's a contradiction but I just unidentified therefore it's an alien's so that seems to me what you're doing you're saying there's this unidentified thing that's free will therefore I'm going to identify it as something that indicates a God no no no the God comes first and then as I told you when I was an atheist I did not accept free will because it's irrational it's irrational to accept free will without God but once you have God then it becomes a mystery God is a mystery and free will and mystery life is a mystery you think that life is a bunch of random molecules bumping into each other and dancing around and whatever I think that's silly right but you think that that's scientific and logical and rational so that's what you believe but I believe in God so I think life is a mystery it's not like I see molecules bumping into each other and dancing around and then I say oh there must be a god no first I accept that I'm not God that God is God that I'm not the source of my own existence and that therefore there is another who is self-existent from which i draw life okay so if we agree that it's unidentified like the free will is an unidentified thing then it wouldn't be reasonable to use that unidentified thing to just by God can't use freewill to justify got correct but if there is freewill then there's more to our world than just the natural there has to be a supernatural realm otherwise freewill is impossible that's why don't believe in free will because it's irrational to believe in free will if you don't acknowledge God and the supernatural so I can use free will to support belief in the supernatural well I would disagree with that I would say that anything the supernatural can do unknown natural things can also do so if free will could be defined then the natural could potentially do it the reason I don't believe in free will is because it's logically impossible like a square circle is logically impossible so just like the natural world you can't get a square circle the supernatural world you also can't get a square circle so the reason I don't believe in free will is because it can happen in neither yeah I disagree with you on that obviously there's a sort of accounting that you're trying to impose on reality which I would say is naive you just can't you're trying to do a strict accounting but you don't even have all the numbers so it's a little bit ambitious your project I mean it all comes back to this bear fact of my own existence like we discussed last time if I am exclamation point you know I am then I have nothing to worry about but if my existence comes from another then I need to acknowledge that and this was the turning point for me I think we might be going in circles here do you want to talk a little bit about the science of evolution again sure which part you want to go more of a bio Genesis or more than uh the abiogenesis thing didn't sound too interesting let's talk about the sort of amoeba stew man kind of journey because it's survival of the fittest are we the fittest right now well the Fitness had to do with what can survive in the environment so we're the sort of fittest the morph it would be bacteria bacteria is the most fit of all species right now so what does that say about the tree of life were like things are supposed to be getting better as we go it on the branches or they're getting more complex so it's like the ability to disperse entropy is hiring me than it is in bacteria because I can use more energy faster than bacteria can you can bring on global warming faster right so what do you say like I used to work for environmental companies like Greenpeace and Friends of the earth and pollution probe and in all seriousness they were like Marxist Lennon feminists and they wanted to kill humanity so that the trees could have fresher air and stuff like that would work if you want to save the planet that's the best way to do it yeah can you just talk to me about sort of the psychology of Darwinism evolution in a sort of thing and is there a connection like with the ecological mindset anti human mindset well no Darwinism doesn't have any rationale behind this just whatever survives the best in the environment that's not pre-programmed for anything don't have any thought patterns at all it's just this pattern disperses more entropy for longer than this pattern therefore this pattern is going to maintain itself for longer because it has more energy but you can't give what you don't have so when you're generating offspring it can be the same or different accidentally but it can't be essentially different that's the basic understanding philosophically about why evolution is impossible do you have anything to say about that yeah we can prove it false by showing that mutations can cause new things that fundamentally change the species give you new stuff any big exciting ones and I'm not talking about tiny creatures any the size of a rat kind of thing where a rat turned into a bird or something like that no that takes quite a bit longer we only have things like yeast and single-celled organisms ecoli those kinds of things that's boring but if nothing can give something that's not well that would prove that wrong because there's something definitely can well we don't know what the breakdown is on kinds creatures right like it all has to do with that potential that act and potency concept so do you think that I have the potential to grow wings yep your lineage has the potential to grow wings yes dinosaurs evolved like t-rex evolved wings and flew so dinosaurs evolved the ability to do birds that started to flew so yes you can do it too given millions of years something to live for what about ancient civilizations and stuff like I do you have any idea about that yeah there's tons like in India China how old are they tens of thousands of years when was the first writing that we know about I'd have to google it but I think it was 12,000 years ago in India okay not too far back so what kind of evidence do we have is it archeological for these ancient civilizations yep like we can find this idiots we can find the pottery we can find the the grave sites we can find the the walls that have been like scratched on and paintings and stuff okay and it's dated how I assume with different kinds of radiometric dating okay I've heard a bunch of stuff that that's not reliable and it's all calibrated to fit evolutions tall tales and stuff like that that makes absolutely no sense those criticisms like there's a bunch of different ones and they're all right there they have different qualities so they're different ratings for certain years they're only accurate within a certain range of years because how the how the element decays and so you use the wrong one and yeah it's completely ridiculous but that's what the creationists are doing they're using one that's the wrong set of years to come up with a completely different conclusion okay what are some of the other big topic C of genetics archaeology was far lajjun e oh yeah yeah that one I think is silly but that's the one Aran's into right classification of life yeah you know trees of life and how they relate you find that compelling yep we can use genetics and look at the genetic tree in the order of the genes and where they line up and to figure out exactly how the species evolved and make predictions yep make predictions one of the ones those most interesting we found that hippos are more related to whales than they are to rhinos or elephants the best predictions are the ones where we can say if evolution is true and like fish evolved into a lizard then exactly at this layer we will find a fossil of a species that's half fish and half lizard and we'll only be in this layer and only in this area within like a one kilometer area and they make those kind of predictions all the time and they're always right and what are the creationists say no you can't do that the flood did it no that's what I want to go with but what about cause what do you call it like astronomy cosmology yeah the Stars and all right yeah the Big Bang Theory redshift of the light the Cosmic Microwave Background that all supports an ancient universe yeah thirteen that's where we got the thirteen point whatever billion years is by looking at the rate of expansion of the universe in calculating back how long it was when the Big Bang occurred that's pretty firmly established yeah that's extremely firmly established that's one of the strongest cases we have in the sciences his cosmology and biology and evolution those are the two like strongest Sciences in any science at all like I said I don't know much about the science I just came to creationism through theology but I'll be interested to watch and hear what people say on both sides of the issue it'll be interesting to hear your conversation with or in raw watch that he said he made a special point of telling me David I want to talk to you before you talk to Kent Hovind maybe he wants to get me before him contaminated what do you think of Kent Hovind the man the character what do you think of him I think he is misunderstood I think he is he honest in what he believes most people think he's really dishonest but I don't think that's true I think you just have to talk to him in his language to get to a meaningful point and if you can't do that then you're essentially just talking masked and talking to him in Chinese or something so in order to really get through to kids open you have to talk to him in his language and in a way that he can understand what it is you're trying to say without talk using too much terminology because if you use the terminology it's gonna get lost and go into his rhetoric points and so I think he's really misunderstood and characterized as lying and dishonest in his debates when he's really not he's just you're not communicating to him in a way that's meaningful to him yeah so the more I talk to people the better I can understand their position and communicate with them mm-hmm who are some of your favorite guests that you've had recently and who are you looking forward to interviewing next um I really enjoyed my fuzz Rana talked he's the he's the older of creationists we talked about the information in cell and abiogenesis he was really fun to talk to I really enjoyed my conversations with Luke Barnes the cosmologists and Robin Collins the philosopher physicist I really enjoyed my conversation with Bob price on did Jesus exist I actually took the position Jesus does exist and he took the position Jesus doesn't exist that was an interesting one I really enjoyed my conversation with Eric recently it was really controversial it was really a confrontational but it was fun so I enjoyed that one a lot Eric Eric Hernandez it was my last one right before this one I've also got some more return guests like Blake jente the philosopher and Randall rouser in the next couple of weeks and I'm gonna present to them essentially my epistemology and say here's what I believe that Wooden's can't indicate a god to hear their thoughts on it and I have Ozzie as Maundy as Randy's come on my show and we can talk about induction and philosophy he's a theist philosopher he's gonna be interesting to bring on as anyone challenged you with the freewill thing where you thought maybe you might be wrong no no one's no it's it's such a strong argument once you really try to analyze it and like make a premises conclusion format there's no way out of it it stays deductive well that was one of the big arguments I had with Eric last week and you know you have no reason to bring urn raw on your show well I would I definitely debate with him on the philosophy because he disagrees with the philosophy and I think philosophy is important but I haven't really thought about it very much what about Matt Dillahunty would he come on your show maybe but I agree with Matt on so much I'm not sure what I would talk with him about maybe I can just present him my arguments near his thoughts on my arguments that could work someone sent me a link of a video where he finally talked about his relationship with his family and his mother in particular did you hear that yeah he posted that recently like last week or two weeks ago yeah what did you think about that pretty typical I think it's pretty much the same thing I've experienced oh really yeah but I don't I didn't disown them I'm just still used to it here in the we hope you come to God kind of a thing all the time mm-hmm all right well very nice to talk to you I should get going now but thank you so much for having me back it's always it's always fun to talk to you sorry I didn't have more knowledge to challenge you with no that's all right I really enjoyed our conversation thanks for coming on and I'll charge you against I'm sorry thank you brother against I'm sorry thank you brother see you talk to you soon bye