Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rom 1 reply, 38f: Inductive logic and signs of intelligent design in the world of life and the cosmos vs materialism in a lab coat (further responses to Mr Patrick White's July 1, 2013 Gleaner article)

Intelligent design can be summed up as the empirical evidence-grounded view (and related scientific investigation) that there are reliable signs of design in the natural world. However, some objectors view or try to marginalise and dismiss it as "creationism in a cheap tuxedo." 

Mr White, from remarks in his July 1 Gleaner article, is evidently one of these:
Darwin published his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, which revolutionised scientific thought in the biological sciences. It enabled mankind, for the first time, to understand how life developed and why it is now diverse, without having to resort to the supernatural.

Although this battle is still not over, defeat of the religious alternative is already in sight. The most recent sign was the ignominious repudiation of intelligent design in a Pennsylvania courtroom . . .
Now, Mr White has failed to notice that Judge Jones' 2005 court room decision regarding the nature of ID was largely a cut and paste -- gross errors of fact and all . . .  -- from a post trial submission by the notorious ACLU (with the NCSE hovering in the background), i.e. an argument by committed opponents of intelligent design who demonstrably have not been above a spot or two of below the belt rhetoric. Including, the infamous NCSE smear-laced taunt about ID being "creationism in a cheap tuxedo." (More later, if you can't wait to get started, click this link.)

However, since Mr White's article is a sign that the vexed ID debates are spilling over into the Caribbean, we need a bit of a short primer on the topic. (Cf. here on for more details. This is a case where we need a relatively brief 101 based on a good case study or two -- what this post will try to provide -- but should also recognise that a solid background equipping us to stand up publicly in the face of highly polarised debates in an atmosphere that is too often destructively toxic, will require far more detailed investigations.)

But first, where our responses have been to date:
1: Exposed and rebutted the agenda of willful defiance of God, his creation order for sexuality and consequential sound principles of morality under false colours of law and "rights."

2: Corrected the misleading historical myth that Christian sexual ethics are part of an inevitably losing war of irrational religion against science and reason.

3: Addressed the issue of grounding ethics and morality in the teeth of the rise of evolutionary materialist scientism, which cloaks atheism and amorality in the lab coat, demanding genuflection. 

4: Raised the question that the gospel naturally leads to reformation of lives, communities and nations.

5: Rebutted the "right wing Christofascist, theocratic tyrants" talking point.

6: Provided some pointers on building capacity for reformation
A good place to begin is with a snippet from a popular science magazine not noted for its pro-ID sympathies, National Geographic in its recent article on the SUV-size Curiosity Mars Rover that jumped out at me when I glanced at it last week in the local library:
  It took us ten years of engineering on Earth and six months of preparation on Mars to get to that rock [that Curiosity was drilling on Mars]. Drilling a two-inch-deep hole into it and extracting a baby-aspirin-size piece will take weeks more. We’re doing it all to look for chemical evidence that Mars is not so different from Earth—that it too was once hospitable to life . . . .
Curiosity Mars Rover (HT: Wiki)
I’m one of a team of more than 500 travelers exploring Mars from California with the most sophisticated robot ever sent to another planet. As I write, Curiosity is pounding a hole into a rock in Gale crater. That Neanderthal feat may not seem like proof of its sophistication. But it is.

For starters, we need a bunch of brilliant engineers just to figure out how to wield the hammer or the drill. At Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory they practiced for years on Curiosity’s twin sister, testing tens of thousands of lines of computer code that command the seven-foot robotic arm to make sure they could execute the hundreds of motions required to place a 65-pound drill as gently as a feather on a target the size of a pea. We drilled scores of real rocks, and then we made fake rocks and drilled those too, because we worried that the rocks might be different on Mars. We were certain the weather would be different. The daily 180-degree-Fahrenheit temperature swings on Mars would cause the whole rover, including the drill bit, to expand and contract. So we had to figure out how to keep it from getting stuck. We worried too whether the powder produced by drilling would clump and clog the tiny tubes and sieves of our onboard chemical lab. We sweated a lot of details . . . [John Grotzinger, "Field Trip on Mars" Nat Geog online, fair use.]
Consider, then [all images courtesy Wiki], the challenges required to control the legs and claw-bearing arms of a Japanese Spider Crab (the legs of which can span up to 12 ft across):

. . .  or else those of a 3/4" long Marrella (an arthropod thought to be related to Trilobites) from the famous Cambrian fossil life Burgess shale deposit in British Columbia:

. . .  by comparison with robot arms from the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station:

Let us take off ideological blinkers for a moment, given what we saw for the Curiosity rover's arm:
a: is it a reasonable claim to hold that manipulator arms like these, whether found in nature or in the world of technology [and BTW including our own arms and hands], do not require properly arranged and coupled parts, with complex control programs to guide operation? (ANS: obviously not. That is non controversial. But now we face . . . )

b: Is it reasonable to infer that the organised parts and  coupled complex software could be put together by a cumulation of small steps through a blind accumulation of chance variations and happenstance success leading to gradual descent with modification? Why or why not?

c: In light of the testimony regarding the Curiosity robot arm, on what specific evidence?

d: What is our evidence regarding the observed source of the functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information [FSCO/I] involved? (ANS: From Curiosity and many, many other cases, design.)

e: Do we then have good, observationally grounded reason to infer on our "uniform and repeated experience" that such FSCO/I can reasonably be and is regularly produced by forces of blind chance and equally blind mechanical necessity?
Needle in a haystack --
notoriously hard to find
(ANS:  There is none. In abstract speculation, it is always logically possible for "chance" to put together "anything." But in practice from strings of letters making up texts in blog posts to jumbo jets and Space Shuttle or Mars Rover robot arms, function depending on specific arrangement of well matched parts such as in a robot arm, tightly constrains the number of workable configurations of the parts. This means that the "needle in the haystack effect" caused by the utterly overwhelming number of non-functional configurations for reasonable cases, leads to Islands of Function that are deeply isolated in vast seas of possible but non-functional gibberish/junk yard configurations. This is why, in experience, FSCO/I is reliably the product of intelligent, purposeful, knowledgeable and skilled design. Therefore, on that uniform, often and reliably repeated experience of billions of observed cases, we have good reason to infer from FSCO/I to design. That is, FSCO/I is an empirically reliable inductively grounded SIGN pointing to design as cause. The best explanation of FSCO/I is design, whether in the st4rings of ASCII characters forming the digital text of this post, or the "arms" of Mars Rovers or Space Shuttles, or -- as we shall argue below -- Spider Crabs and Cambrian era fossil animals such as Marrella, as well as in DNA and the complex, incredibly organised automated molecular machinery of the living cell.)
In a nutshell, this inductive inference to design on well-tested signs such as FSCO/I is the basic and longstanding pattern of inductive reasoning of design theorists.

There is an obvious objection: since living things reproduce, chance variation and natural selection based on advantage in ecological niches can allow for unlimited descent with modification, thence macro-level evolution of astonishing new body plan features.

This objection, however, manifestly fails on several levels:

1 --> Despite impressions often given to the contrary, there are precisely zero cases of empirically observed origin of significant body plan features. There may be observations of insecticide or antibiotic resistance [typically by breakdown of cellular processes that result in being better able to survive and reproduce], or in finch beak length variations or in colouration of moths or in blind cave fish, but there is no good empirical observational basis for the origin of bacteria, insects, finches, or fish. 

2 --> What is happening is different. There is a routine, gross extrapolation of such minor variations (often called micro-evolution) to the macro level in ways that are unfortunately influenced by a usually unstated assumption of materialist ideology.  Harvard Biologist Richard Lewontin's notorious remark in a 1997 NYRB article crucially documents this pattern of ideology dominating science on origins:
[T]he problem is to get [people] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . .  It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [“Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. Bold emphasis and notes added. This cite is so revealing that it is usually brushed aside as "quote mined." To see that it is in fact not misleadingly taken out of context, and that he surrounding assertions cannot justify this dressing up of materialist ideology in a lab coat, kindly cf the wider citation and notes here on.]
3 --> When it comes to science education, the American National Science Teachers Association [NSTA] Board went on record in 2000 in shockingly revealing ways -- ways that more than amply justify concerns of parents and others that science education is being subverted to serve materialist ideology, right down to an unjustified and ideologically loaded, question-begging redefinition of science:
The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . . Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . . Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000. Emphases added.]
4 --> It is important to understand as well that this pattern of unwarranted injection of materialistic ideology into science goes back to Darwin himself, and that therefore, when people try to accommodate to what hey have been led to believe is Science, they are opening the doors to an agenda that unfortunately easily turns science and especially science education into a trojan horse. In short when we see the contrast between natural-ISTIC "science" rhetorically projected as being based on facts and knowledge and 'the supernatural" or "religion" or "dogma and superstition" or the like, we are dealing with ideology wrapped in a lab coat, not objective discussion. 

5 --> Those are hard words, and need "backative." One good place to go for that is the following  October 13th, 1880 letter by Darwin to Edward Bibbins Aveling (a physician, and Common law husband of Eleanor Marx (1884), thus better known to history as Karl Marx's de facto son- in- law) in reference to requested remarks on a book by Aveling that sought to popularise Darwin's thought [apparently, The Student's Darwin. London: Freethought Publishing Co., 1881]:
 . . . though I am a strong advocate for free thought [--> NB: free-thought is an old synonym for skepticism, agnosticism or atheism] on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public; & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds, which follows from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biassed by the pain which it would give some members of my family [--> NB: especially his wife, Emma], if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion.
6 --> This letter makes it utterly clear that a key background motive for Darwin's theorising on origins science was to put God out of a job, thus indirectly undermining the plausibility of believing in God.  He probably believed that he was championing enlightenment and science-led progress in their path to victory over backward, irrational but emotionally clung-to beliefs. And so his strategy was to lead in a science that was in his mind showing just how outdated and ill-founded the Judaeo-Christian theism that had dominated the West since Constantine in the 300's was. Which by now sounds ever so familiar, from Mr White and a great many others.

7 --> Plainly, the root issue we face is that there is ideological imposition of a priori materialism on science. ID thinker, Philip Johnson , was therefore well within his rights to reply to Lewontin as follows:

For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them "materialists employing science." And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) "give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose."  

. . . .   The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

8 --> But it is not enough to indict the ideology. We also need to address some pivotal aspects of the science. A good place to begin is with the Tree of Life that is the ONLY diagram in the original editions of Darwin's Origin of Species, which in full form purports to show how gradual branching out from a common unicellular ancestor leads to the pattern of life forms in the fossil record and the world today. Here, as fair use, we may show a diagram from the US-based Smithsonian Institution:

9 --> The crucial point to highlight is that there is simply a blob at "Origin of Life," OoL. This reflects one of the trade secrets of the evolutionary materialism agenda. For, despite ever so many breezy accounts to the contrary (replete with just so stories on mythical self replicating molecules that get the variation and selection ball rolling, etc leading to the tree of life),  there is not a coherent, empirically grounded explanation of how cell based life could originate from a stew of chemicals in Darwin's warm little pond or the primordial ocean,  or in deep ocean vents, or a comet core or the like. (101 level details here on.)

10 --> If someone wants to brush this aside or pointedly ignores it, simply ask him -- the usual case -- to identify who won the Nobel Prize for the discovery and empirical proof.  The truthful answer is: no one. 

11 --> Similarly, if an objector tries to suggest that the theory of evolution excludes origin of life, it is relevant to observe that (i) in both textbooks and popular presentations, it is common to couple the two so a response is reasonable and (ii) "no roots, no shoots, no branches or twigs either." The origin of life is patently directly relevant to its diversification, in short; not least because it shows if the molecular mechanisms are available or not to do what is required.

12  --> However, it is also relevant to highlight Paley's anticipation c. 1804 of the whole disanalogy due to reproduction in life forms objection. Yes, fifty years before Darwin, in Chapter 2 of his Natural Theology:
 Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch should after some time discover that, in addition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself -- the thing is conceivable; that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts -- a mold, for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, baffles, and other tools -- evidently and separately calculated for this purpose . . . . The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive in this new observation nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done -- for referring the construction of the watch to design and to supreme art . . . . He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which, was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair -- the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use. [Cf. the fuller cite and discussion at UD here. Also, see the extensive and insightful discussion by Dr V J Torley of UD here.]
 13 --> Paley's instincts were sound. About 1948, John von Neumann identified the functional requisites of a self replicating machine [let's abbreviate, vNSR]:

14 --> Recently, Mignea (2012) has expanded on the requisites (speech here):

15 --> In short, a vNSR requires a complex, specifically organised cluster of parts. So, following von Neumann generally (and as previously noted), such a machine involves . . .

(i) an underlying storable code to record the required information to create not only (a) the primary functional machine [[here, for a "clanking replicator" as illustrated, a Turing-type “universal computer”; in a cell this would be the metabolic entity that transforms environmental materials into required components etc.] but also (b) the self-replicating facility; and, that (c) can express step by step finite procedures for using the facility;

(ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with 

(iii) a tape reader [[called “the constructor” by von Neumann] that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions; thus controlling: 

(iv) position-arm implementing machines with “tool tips” controlled by the tape reader and used to carry out the action-steps for the specified replication (including replication of the constructor itself); backed up by 

(v) either: 

(1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or

(2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that as a part of their function, can provide required specific materials/parts and forms of energy for the replication facility, by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.

16 --> That is, parts (ii), (iii) and (iv) are each necessary for and together are jointly sufficient to implement a self-replicating machine with an integral von Neumann universal constructor. Thus, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicating machine to exist. [[Take just one core part out, and self-replicating functionality ceases: the self-replicating machine is irreducibly complex (IC).]   
 17 --> This irreducible complexity is compounded by the requirement (i) for codes, requiring organised symbols and rules to specify both steps to take and formats for storing information, and (v) for appropriate material resources and energy sources. Immediately, we are looking at islands of organised function for both the machinery and the information in the vastly wider sea of possible (but mostly non-functional) configurations.

18 --> So, on both FSCO/I and irreducible complexity as well as the known source of symbolic codes and language expressed in such, we have very good reason indeed to infer that design is the best warranted explanation of the origin of self replicating asutomata, such as we see in the living cell.

19 --> Likewise, when we see how proteins are made, we see how the genetic code, transcribed and edited to form messenger RNA [mRNA] is translated in the ribosome with the help of transfer RNA and various helper molecules, to create proteins (including enzymes), the workhorse molecules of the living cell:


Protein Synthesis from Vuk Nikolic on Vimeo.

19 --> In short, the Ribosome is a code controlled, automated molecular scale microscopic factory. It is fair comment to say that this blatantly reeks of design.

20 --> As a result, from the roots up -- once a priori ideological materialism is set to one side (where, there is little or no warrant for that ideological a priori. . . . ) -- the tree of life has design sitting at the table. Design then becomes an excellent explanation for the origin of main body plans (requiring some 10 - 100+ million bases of new DNA each, on cross of envelope calculation cross checked against observed genomes).  [Cf. here on. Note, there is no one coherent TOL, either, the different molecular trees are often mutually inconsistent,a s well as with the traditional one from gross anatomy.]

21 --> Similarly, this explains the systematic character of gaps in the fossil records: there are many, many missing links -- missing transitional forms, even after 150 years of scouring fossil beds and 1/4 million fossil species with millions of specimens in museums and billions in the ground. A very plausible reason for these persistently missing links (a dominant feature of the record)  is that they were never there to begin with, reflecting design.

22 --> Likewise, evolutionary materialism runs into serious difficulties accounting for both mind and morality. Follow links for details, but for the former, a useful reference is the following comment by JBS Haldane c. 1930:
"It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (Highlight and emphases added.)]
23 --> In short, there is no compelling reason for us to feel intimidated by evolutionary materialism draped in a lab coat and demanding genuflection before the altar of "Science." (In reality, Scientism.)

24 --> Lifting our eyes to the heavens, we find an even more significant pattern of evidence that points to a cosmos that is fine tuned for the existence of Carbon Chemistry, watery medium cell based life, and which is an invitation to explore and to discover. Let me clip (though you would be wise to look at the more detailed remarks as just linked and onwards):
[M]odern design theory actually began with cosmological inferences to design on signs of highly specific, functionally complex organisation of the laws and circumstances of our observed cosmos that set it up at an operating point conducive to C-chemistry, cell based life.

Then agnostic British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle (holder of a Nobel-equivalent prize) has pride of place:
From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.  Emphasis added.]
Hoyle added:

I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. [["The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]

Canadian astrophysicist (and Old Earth Creationist) Hugh Ross aptly explains:

 As you tune your radio, there are certain frequencies where the circuit has just the right resonance and you lock onto a station. The internal structure of an atomic nucleus is something like that, with specific energy or resonance levels. If two nuclear fragments collide with a resulting energy that just matches a resonance level, they will tend to stick and form a stable nucleus. Behold! Cosmic alchemy will occur! In the carbon atom, the resonance just happens to match the combined energy of the beryllium atom and a colliding helium nucleus. Without it, there would be relatively few carbon atoms. Similarly, the internal details of the oxygen nucleus play a critical role. Oxygen can be formed by combining helium and carbon nuclei, but the corresponding resonance level in the oxygen nucleus is half a percent too low for the combination to stay together easily. Had the resonance level in the carbon been 4 percent lower, there would be essentially no carbon. Had that level in the oxygen been only half a percent higher, virtually all the carbon would have been converted to oxygen. Without that carbon abundance, neither you nor I would be here. [[Beyond the Cosmos (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress Publishing Group, 1996), pg. 32. HT: IDEA.]

{ADDED, 13:02:24: Dr Guillermo Gonzalez surveys several fine tuning cases here, in a videotaped lecture. Let us add it . . . }

25 --> Bottomline, the first four elements in the cosmos are H, He, C, O, with N coming up close, based on fundamental physics and parameters of the cosmos. These reflect finely tuned factors, and get us to stars, the periodic table, water, organic chemistry, proteins. Smoking gun, in short, pointing straight to the following apt remark in Isa 45:18:

Isa 45:18 For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
    (he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
    (he established it;
he did not create it empty,
    he formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the Lord, and there is no other. [ESV]

26 --> Similarly, Job 38 has somewhat to say to us about overconfident speculations on what we did not and in principle cannot observe -- the actual past of origins:

Job38:1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action[a] like a man;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed limits for it
    and set bars and doors,
11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
    and here shall your proud waves be stayed’? [ESV]

27 --> Similarly, Rom 1 speaks, again, to us and to Mr White and others -- should they at length be willing to listen to a warning on what it means to shut one's eyes and ears tot he actual evidence and where it points:
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 

 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. [ESV]

We can hardly justify a claim that we are ignorant of the voice of nature without and that of heart, conscience and mind within.

But, are we inclined to listen and then to heed? END