Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The Precipice is Real

All that follows is from commenter “Redwave”: Prior to taking a long road to a juncture at which I became a scientist, I was an hospice chaplain who had visited hundreds of people at the precipice of life, at death … at death’s appearing and intruding into every fibre that intertwined what we have thought to be an ontological whole. Death is as overwhelming, as consuming, as saturating, as Life, though often compacted into a moment of breath. The moment of breath visits remind me of Derrida’s Epilogue … one must know the end of it to fully appreciate its beginning. And so we face a conceptual paradox, a transformative continuum from which we can not escape … the precipice Read More ›

Do Christians worship many gods?

Paula Kirby is one of the more thoughtful contemporary critics of religion. A few years ago, I was much struck by a remark she made in one of her essays, that even Christians don’t all believe in the same God. This, to my mind, is a much more powerful argument against religious faith than the puerile “One God further” objection which is frequently hurled against believers by the New Atheists, and which has been ably refuted by Barry Arrington on Uncommon Descent, and also by the Thomist philosopher (and former atheist), Professor Edward Feser (see here and here). In all fairness, I have to acknowledge that there is some truth to Paula Kirby’s contention: even within a single Christian denomination, Read More ›

Self-organization, a misnomer

The term “self-organization” is widely used with relation to many phenomena: crystals, laser, Bénard’s heat convection cells, Prigogine’s dissipative non-equilibrium open systems, oscillating chemical reactions, Eigen’s autocatalytic cycles, chaotic systems, origin of life, cellular replication, homeostasis, morphogenesis, embryological developments… About this list there is an important conceptual distinguo to do and a possible misunderstanding to clear on the abuse of a bold term as “self-organization”. In my previous post I explained why organization is essentially different from any order. First, among the above phenomena we should distinguish what involves simple order from what involves true organization, meant in my sense. Second, we should examine what they really mean with the “self-” prefix. I suspect the main reason of this “self-” Read More ›