Celebrating Mozart: 1-27-09
Our presidents and faith: 1-29-09

Pondering nature's patterns: 1-28-09


What are we to make of the patterns we see throughout creation?

I'm not talking about what some folks say is evidence for the "Intelligent Design" movement, though they raise interesting points.

Rather, I'm just talking about the nature's patterns and cycles that are obvious to anyone whose eyes work and whose brain can process the idea of time passing. And I'm talking about what those patterns and cycles say about us and our place in the comos.

The other day my wife and a I spent some time with friends at a small lake in eastern Kansas, where I took this photo of birds flying in formation. How do they know to do that? Where does the information come from that moves them to create this quite marvelous V in the sky? Did the first birds in history get there by trial and error and then send their babies to flying school? Are their tiny brains divinely imprinted with some ancient pattern that prevents them from flying in any other group pattern?

Such patterns and rhythms are everwhere in nature -- from the cycles of the four seasons to the emergence of the 17-year-locusts, from the phases of the moon to the attraction of magnets. They don't call it the menstrual cycle for nothing.

I'm perfectly happy granting that there are natural explanations for this stuff. But ultimately we have to explain nature itself and its origins. Ultimately we have to take account of the reality that this is not a static universe but one in motion and that we are moving into a future that, in its physical elements, is both unknown and unknowable except for the patterns that we learn from watching what is here now.

And I am unsatisfied with those who want simply to say "God created it just like this" and those who want simply to say, "There's no God. Everything can be explained by natural processes." Does either of those answers finally satisfy you?

* * *


I thought it was a wise move for President Obama to grant an early and extensive interview with an Arab TV network as a way of reaching out to Muslims and speaking realistically to them. And I was especially encouraged by Obama's instructions to his newly appointed Middle East envoy George Mitchell: "start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating." By the way, click here for the Arab News version of this story.

* * *

P.S.: As a follow-up to recent information here about Pope Benedict XVI lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop, click here for the Web site of the Society of St. Pius X, which was founded by the French cleric, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The rehabilitated priests were followers of Lefebvre. And the leader of the Pius X society issued this statement about Richard Williamson, the Holocaust denier. In it, he said, "The affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity. For this reason I have prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions." Gagging him probably is a necessary move, but let's remember that you haven't convinced someone just because you've silenced him.


Mary Behr

Bill wrote: "And I am unsatisfied with those who want simply to say "God created it just like this"

Well, I would want to add a question: WHY? there are so many WHYS.

"and those who want simply to say, "There's no God. Everything can be explained by natural processes."

Like Bill, I want to know HOW? HOW COME?

Does either of those answers finally satisfy you?

HECK. BACK TO UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABLE. BUT THERE IS STILL PRAISE AND JOY. I give you lines from a poem I wrote about our 8 year old's birthday party Titled NERF WARS it ends:

There is room in this universe/for joyful, rowdy little boys/and grandmas,too./God delights in all his children. Grandma Mary

adam harrison

Of course, Mary, the answer to the second set of questions is that in FACT everything CAN NOT be explained by natural processes.

Certainly not the origin of existence by some "big bang", where even Stephen Hawking admits the "laws of nature" break down, and not even the origin of life. Of course there are theories, but nothing demonstrable.

And why does it have to be a set of either or questions?

It doesn't. The answer is that God is the creator, and he also gave us minds to undertand how its done, and it manifestly was not by a mindless undirected process.

adam harrison

What I find UTTERLY A HOOT is that although there a few atheist forums locally in Kansas City, almost no one goes there!

All the atheists, such as they are, come to Bill's blog!!!

That says more about the failure of atheism and their subconcious fears than anything else.


adam harrison

Well, almost no body but a couple of my buddies and their girlfriends!


Dave Miller

Bill, many thanks for your blog post today, and for the inspiring photo!

I wish I had more time to comment today. As we "drill down" into nature, what we're finding is progressively more impressive and breathtaking, I think. I'd challenge anyone to look at this animation of "life inside the cell," created for Harvard biology majors, and not be awe-struck:


Good day to all!

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org


Excellent interview on Obama's part - there has been world wide praise and he is perceived as a breath of fresh air around the world. I am getting e-mails from Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, UK and India commenting on how excited and energized these folks are with the new US president.

Recent polls indicate that 17 or was it 20% ??? of Americans side with Palestinian right to have their own state in the conflict while the rest support Israel.

This got me thinking that these % are pretty close to the % of freethinkers and non believers that has constantly been pointed out to in many polls and surveys over past years. I wonder what % of these Americans who support the right of Palestinians to statehood are freethinkers? We can only hypothesize but it is most likely to be a high %.

Obama's goal is to finally have a fully Palestinian state and his actions and words so far have been consistent with this.

Maybe it's time for Palestinians & Israel to have a "come to Jesus" meeting and Obama moderating?


"And I am unsatisfied with those who want simply to say "God created it just like this" and those who want simply to say, "There's no God. Everything can be explained by natural processes." Does either of those answers finally satisfy you?"

There are a fair number of us who, when watching the geese fly, see Beauty, Harmony, Peace, Unity, Protection, Intelligence, Order, and even Love and Divinity. We ascribe those attributes as having one source - God - and don't pretend that these poetic or religious or philosophic qualities can, in any way, fall under the domain of science to be defined or picked apart.

On the other hand, we may also note the evolution of the formation or the genetic component to formation, theorize using the established rules of science and scientific method, come to some some acceptable hypothesis or conclusions.

It does not, in any way, detract from the Beauty, Harmony, etc...... It simply remains in a separate and distinct discipline.

It is not unlike separating the scientific rules of mixing colors for the paint in a great painting from the qualities of the painting, itself. The science of color mixing should neither inform nor detract from the Beauty, Order, and Intelligence, that may be demonstrated by the artwork. The latter will be studied by the aesthetic philosophy or by religion.


Ted Haggard and wife on Oprah today. 4P and 9P ABC

Dolores Lear

There is a Supernatural Element World, Invisible Elements our Universe, and a Natural Elements World, Visible Stars, Moons, and Planets.

With High Tech Science we Know there are Invisible Elements, Atoms and ElectroMagnetic Force, that make the Universes.

The Visible Elements we Know About. For the past 100 years we are learning about the Invisible Elements, with our High Tech Science. We break the Invisible Atom Apart, and make Atomic and Nuclear Bombs.

All past Writings about the Supernatural Gods, in our Image, were the Higher Species Peace Humans with High Tech Science.

The Lord God, at the Creation/Colonization of Earth, were our High Tech Ancestors. They do move in mysterious ways to Natural Humans, their wonders to perform.

Before the Noah/Atlantis Planetary Flood, Earth was on a Balanced Axis, and a one land temperate atmosphere. A mist watered the land.

During the Flood the Axis was tilted, the deep broke open, and the continents were formed. Rain, rainbows, and the seasons began.

When the Earth had a Balanced Axis, and the same land area temperature, the birds did not need to fly, to seek a Change of Temperature. This began after the Planetary Flood.

High Tech Science Humans can Know, how a Planet can be Colonized by the High Tech Human Peace Species.

Fallen Human Killer Science Species can Know, how to Reproduce and Clone Species, in the Lab including Humans.

This was how the Lord God, our High Tech Human Ancestors Colonized Earth and Reproduced the Adam and Eve Equal Clone Helpmeet Colony.

Our Science today is learning many of the Unknown Wonders of High Tech Human Science of the Lord God, about High Tech Construction, and about Genetic correction in the Fetus, in the Lab and in the female womb.


Dolores Lear


High Tech Construction Knowledge was Known by Humans, After the Noah/Atlantis Planetary Flood. But they had to start all over again.

One group from the Flood, is recorded in Genesis.

Genesis 11:1,2. KJV. "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there."

They began to build the Tower of Babel.

Genesis 11:7,8. "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city."

'Us', the Lord, our High Tech Ancestors, also sent the Holy Spirit (ElectroMagnetic Force) to Jesus' disciples, and gave them Knowledge, of Different Languages of people that came from the East, so they could tell them about Jesus.

Wonder how our High Tech Ancestors do this? High Tech Mind to Mind thought transference with the ElectroMagnetic Force? Called Inspired by the Holy Spirit, by Humans without High Tech Science?

Will the End Times 'Arm'ageddon Kill most of the Overpopulation of our Home Planet?

After a Colony is Saved by our High Tech Ancestors, The Planetary Judgement Day Fire will begin.

This Catastrophe is set down by Humans not GOD or God. It will burn off all our top soil Defective Nuclear Weapons and Toxic Pollution, on our Home Planet.

Then Earth will look like Mars from Space. It will no longer have an Ozone atmosphere, or a watery atmosphere like Venus.

Peace High Tech Science, with Eternal Physical Life After Birth, is possible for the Human Species.

The Scriptures, Myth, and Science tells us so.

Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org

Well we're all different, so there are certainly some of us who are completely satisfied with natural explanations. I have no experience with anything supernatural. My day-to-day life includes natural, not supernatural, events. The entire universe simply makes more sense to me as a natural universe. As for all the patterns in the universe, it's perfectly "natural" :) that we would notice them, Bill, because humans naturally seek out and recognize patterns...and according to some research this tendency is so strong that we see patterns even when they aren't there.

"Atheism as a challenge to organized religion has a worthy vocation to fulfill." --Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong

Dolores Lear

Nature's Patterns, in the beginning, were Perfect Human Males, and Female Clones made from the Male Rib in Genesis.

The Adam and Eve Colony were Helpmeets not born by Heterosexual Body Birth, but their seed carried had good and evil genetics.

Lucifer, also a Human Fallen son of God, made it to Earth.
He influenced Eve to have Heterosexual Sex, "eat the 'Apple'" of Good and Evil.

Eve's first Child Cain, was made from Lucifer/Satan's Mixed Good and Evil Seed.

Her second child Abel from Adam' Mixed Good and Evil Seed, had the Peaceful Genetics. Cain killed Abel.

Genesis 4:16,17. KJV. "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son Enoch."

Genesis 4:25,26. "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD."

Religions began, and Body Birth with Mixed Good and Evil Seed, continues today. The Children of Cain and Seth, intermarried also.

Our Mixed Good and Evil Human Seed today, still Breed Unequal Fallen Humans. They Create Religions, Wars, Nuclear Bombs, and Toxic Pollution to our Home Planet.

High Tech Humans Regenerate a Male to Purebred, and then make a Female Clone.

Eternal Human Life is for Living Humans After High Tech Birth and Regeneration, on Earths and in Spaceships, not for Humans After Death, in a Man-Made Religious Heaven.

Dolores Lear


Our Ancestors 100 years ago, did not experience all the Supernatural Miracles we have today with High Tech Science. I imagine you have most of the blessings/miracles, that most USA citizens possess today.

Or do you still live live the Pilgrims and Indians, in the beginning of the USA? And probably like your Great, or Great Great Grandparents.

None of this last 100 years of High Tech Miracles were on Earth since the Noah/Atlantis Planetary Flood.

It is thrilling living through these times of High Tech Science Knowledge, only Humans need to relearn, to use it for GOOD and not for Evil Toxic Pollution and Nuclear Bombs.

Why do Humans spend their Living Time Killing Each Other and their Home Planet?

Eternal Life 'is' for High Tech Living Humans, on Planets and in Spaceships, not for Dead Humans in a Religious Heaven.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org


Your comment "The entire universe simply makes more sense to me as a natural universe" goes to the heart of the matter of "burden of proof." Theists or spiritualists or are perfectly OK with "low burden" of "factual" proof, to them it is "primary cause/space daddy/some universal spirit" did it and this settles it. There is no "factual" proof besides "philosophical" and "ontological" arguments. They cannot propose hypothesis, conduct experiemnts, falsify theories besides "talking" till blue in the face. Pure and simple. It is not "what you feel in your heart" (this can be dangerous as it is not good to feel something in your heart) but what "you can prove" and so far religion has miserably failed at every aspect of it.


Re: flock formation in V pattern - Many of the larger birds fly in flocks. Flying in flocks helps in reducing the energy needed. Many large birds fly in a V-formation and individual energy savings have been estimated in the range 12–20 %. Red Knots Calidris canutus and Dunlins Calidris alpina were found in radar studies to fly 5 km per hour faster in flocks than when they were flying solitarily. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_migration

Professional bike riders as well as long distance & marathon runners as well as NASCAR drivers have learnt that a long time ago. The principle of conservation of energy is actually a well established scientific principle and I have seen it mentioned in evolutionary research. It gives you an evolutionary edge - you can move around longer distances and faster when part of the flock vs. individually. This is just like society at large. We rely on each other in this natural world and not some space daddy out there. We conserve our energy, our time and our efforts by the collective accomplishments, scientific and cultural developments.

Patterns just happen and we have to accept them and they all tend to have natural explanations - it appears besides cosmological origins of creation of the Universe there is a pretty well established body of knowledge on how patterns in the inanimate world are created as well as very robust new up and coming "abiogenisis" body of knowledge of origins of organic life as we know it through organic chemistry. Natural laws at work.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org


"Emergence" is a new construct in science that actually dwells in exploring of patterns - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence . YouTube has a few very good videos explaining in detail how biological groups form as well as how random chemicals fall together in line with laws of nature to form basics of organic chemistry and ultimately life.

We live in the natural world and it does form patterns as far as we can tell based on natural laws, no ifs or buts about it. We can look for the god of the gaps all we want, and normally when Christians do that they are accused by "crazy religionists/fundies" of not practicing the right kind of Christianity.

In the absence of supernatural manifestations one has to conclude that they are either non existant, non observable, have changed to the point of non detectable right now or are in the form we cannot detect with our current technology (like electricity, magnetism, radiation were in the past).

Either way, talking about supernatural which cannot be detected makes no sense. Theists will cling to it and they will try to woo you with some "magic powder/man did it" philosophy. But unlike dark matter, dark energy or dark flow, quantum mechanical principles, and even string theory are detectable but also theoretically possible thought not detectable, "magic man" theory in their opinon should be be called "hypothesis " it should be called so, not even "theory" :o) which they want to pin on evolution and cosmology. How funny...

Supernatural by definition cannot be supernatural. Even if god exists he/she has to be part of the natural world, because even if there is a primal cause, this cause has to use "natural to us" matter, energy, etc. that s/he can manipulate, hence this being/spirit has to be in the natural world s/he created out of nothing (as creationists accuse cosmologists of concocting) and of the natural world.

Will Graham

Obama wants a full Palestinian state; the trouble is, the Palestinians don't want to leave any room for Israel.

The Palestinians could have had a state in 2000...instead Arafat chose to launch the infitada.

Those who would deny the Jews any state at all, when the Arabs have 22, are nothing less than anti semites.

Will Graham

The claim that the entire universe simply makes more sense as a natural universe is a claim that needs to be demonstrated.

That all existence, life, mind, and reason itself are the result of mindless "natural" processes has not been demonstrated.

And, in principle, it can not be.

Will Graham

Some atheists like to tell me that they can only deal with what is in their common experience.

When I ask when they have had experience of an example of life coming from non life, they invariable call me a name or two, label me a troll, and start ignoring the fact that they are PWNED. LOL!

The intellectual dishonesty of the atheist crowd never cease to amuse me.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

adamh wrote>>>>>>>> The answer is that God is the creator, and he also gave us minds to undertand how its done, and it manifestly was not by a mindless undirected process.

I wish there would be something like this written in an article submitted for scientifical and peer reviewed magazine on any matter (besides the crackpots of "intelligent design" and "Christian Science" crazies - to the best of my knowledge none of them ever submit any)

This would make for an entertaining reading. A person like this would be the "laughing stock" of the scientific establishment and would have to remove any sort of nonsense like this from the article before it would be published.

ExChristian.net today had an interesting piece posted and in light of the "patterns" topic today I thought this could be intersting. It discusses "perception" of god - quite relevant to our chat today.

I severed myself from the faith with all the grace and gradualness of a guillotine drop. Sitting alone in my apartment, I was held captive by the unsettling but undeniable words spilling off the page. Some Christians wait a lifetime to hear the voice of God loud and clear. I settled for Karen Armstrong. Her thesis was undeniable: Fundamentalism, the belief that God has been perceived in exactly the same way throughout the ages, is ahistorical. Each generation of believers has reconstructed what “God” meant for them, regardless of whether their reconstructions required the reinterpretation, deformation, or abandonment of the prevalent beliefs about God. God wasn't one rope that stretched throughout history, tying our religious ancestors together. "God" was actually a long line of dominoes – individual, gradually evolved, mutually exclusive conceptions of God – that stood proudly, if surreptitiously, waiting to be toppled. The moment I realized this, along with a few other factors, I exclaimed "Oh my God, I'm an atheist!" and burst into a paroxysm of tears.

Will Graham

Iggy, if you think that Adam is incorrect, that in fact existence, life and mind can be explained by mindless processess, then proceed to cite where this has been demonstrated in those "scientifical" (sic) and peer reviewed "magazines".

Or, you might give some examples of how "in your common experience" you have found examples of life coming from non life.

If you simply choose to ignore this, this we will be free to point out that you are not in fact capable of backing up your claim.

(Or you could even return calls...)

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Will Graham wrote>>>>>>>>
I have already called. No one ever answers the phone. I have left more than one message. No one ever calls back.

Will Graham,

One last time, now on Bill's blog...

There has not been a single call from Will Graham, William Graham, or Billy Graham for that matter. Voicemails to the Vonage phone # are archived and e-mailed to both Cole and I - we'll be glad to play them for you. No voicemails from Will Graham.

Please, provide us a phone # from which you called and left "more than one message". Feel free to call in our web site phone number and leave it there - make sure you tell us you're Will Graham. All e-mails from troll (s) like Eddi, adamh, clarissa, Master Debater and Glorious Leader James Christensen are deleted off the server without delivery to us, so your only way for us to help you understand your delusions is to call us.

We will be glad to look up that phone # to confirm. Once again. No voice mails from Will Graham.



Since Iggy has repeatedly mentioned my name here, and on his site, in an ad hominem manner by calling me a troll, etc., I decided to chime in. I don't know how many times others have called, but one thing should be known, and that is that although Iggy has repeatedly requested that people here call him for information, he has refused to return my calls.

I have, as per his request, left a number of respectful messages seeking information and he has not called me back once. (If he did, he left no message.) He in fact claims that I am a mythical figure, even though he has met me at least twice (and the last time has an amusing story connected to it) and he has, in contradictory fashion, admitted on another site that he has some of my voice mails.

I can only conclude, and of course I may be wrong, that his request that people call his info line is more in the nature of advertising rather than a wish to share information.

If he does not want to call me back, or is reluctant to because he knows I actually am up to debating, that is fine too, but I would repectfully request that he quit using my name in a misleading fashion.

If he wants to reach me, my number is no secret, as he well knows. 816-517-1428

Best wishes everyone.

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