Artificial Intelligence Human exceptionalism

At Science Daily: Military cannot rely on AI for strategy or judgment, study suggests

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Using artificial intelligence (AI) for warfare has been the promise of science fiction and politicians for years, but new research argues only so much can be automated and shows the value of human judgment.

“All of the hard problems in AI really are judgment and data problems, and the interesting thing about that is when you start thinking about war, the hard problems are strategy and uncertainty, or what is well known as the fog of war,” said Jon Lindsay, an associate professor in the School of Cybersecurity & Privacy and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. “You need human sense-making and to make moral, ethical, and intellectual decisions in an incredibly confusing, fraught, scary situation.”

AI decision-making is based on four key components: data about a situation, interpretation of those data (or prediction), determining the best way to act in line with goals and values (or judgment), and action. Machine learning advancements have made predictions easier, which makes data and judgment even more valuable. Although AI can automate everything from commerce to transit, judgment is where humans must intervene, Lindsay and University of Toronto Professor Avi Goldfarb wrote in the paper, “Prediction and Judgment: Why Artificial Intelligence Increases the Importance of Humans in War,” published in International Security.

Many policy makers assume human soldiers could be replaced with automated systems, ideally making militaries less dependent on human labor and more effective on the battlefield. This is called the substitution theory of AI, but Lindsay and Goldfarb state that AI should not be seen as a substitute, but rather a complement to existing human strategy.

“Machines are good at prediction, but they depend on data and judgment, and the most difficult problems in war are information and strategy,” he said. “The conditions that make AI work in commerce are the conditions that are hardest to meet in a military environment because of its unpredictability.”

“All the excitement and the fear are about killer robots and lethal vehicles, but the worst case for military AI in practice is going to be the classically militaristic problems where you’re really dependent on creativity and interpretation,” Lindsay said.

“If AI is automating prediction, that’s making judgment and data really important,” Lindsay said. “We’ve already automated a lot of military action with mechanized forces and precision weapons, then we automated data collection with intelligence satellites and sensors, and now we’re automating prediction with AI. So, when are we going to automate judgment, or are there components of judgment cannot be automated?”

Until then, though, tactical and strategic decision making by humans continues to be the most important aspect of warfare.

Science Daily

Creativity, interpretation, strategy, value judgments, morality and ethics–these are all the purview of humans, especially humans who acknowledge God as the foundation of a moral society.

75 Replies to “At Science Daily: Military cannot rely on AI for strategy or judgment, study suggests

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Promise for years? Yup.

    Hannah Arendt in 1972, describing McNamara’s ‘operational research’ types in the Pentagon:

    “They were not just intelligent, but prided themselves on being ‘rational’. They were eager to find formulas, preferably expressed in a pseudo-mathematical language, that would unify the most disparate phenomena with which reality presented them; that is, they were eager to discover laws by which to explain and predict political and historical facts as though they were as necessary, and thus as reliable, as the physicists once believed natural phenomena to be. An utterly irrational confidence in the calculability of reality became the leitmotif of the decision making.”

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    This doesn’t really surprise me. Managing a war is a very complex process and history suggests only a very small number of people are any good at it. One of the prominent attributes of great military leaders is the ability to inspire the troops under their command to trust both in their leadership and believe in themselves. AI is unlikely to be able to do any of that.

    God as the moral foundation of society isn’t really relevant to military strategy and tactics. I would be more than happy to listen to God on the question of morality if we could speak to him directly but having to go through self-appointed spokespersons is a whole different kettle of fish.

  3. 3
    anthropic says:

    “I would be more than happy to listen to God on the question of morality if we could speak to him directly but having to go through self-appointed spokespersons is a whole different kettle of fish.”

    Jesus would likely agree, given his experiences with the political & religious authorities of his day.

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    If you want to know what God thinks – read the Bible.

    I’ve studied military strategy and tactics for a long time. First, there is no such thing as Artificial Intelligence, meaning human-level intelligence. There are only programs created by men that can assist but only assist.

    One very important thing to consider is that the more complicated something is, the more likely it is to fail. Under battlefield conditions, a problem with a piece of equipment like a portable computer is unlikely to be fixed in the field or fixed in time. If the enemy can fry your delicate electronic circuits by using an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), they will. Mobile and airborne EMP platforms exist.

  5. 5
    buffalo says:

    the effect cannot be greater than the cause.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Abductive reasoning, i.e. bringing new information into a situation in order to ‘creatively’ solve a problem, is a human skill that AI will never replicate

    The Human Skills AI Can’t Replace – September 25, 2019
    written by William J. Littlefield II
    Excerpt: the history of AI can be broadly periodized based on which form of logical inference computer programs utilize: inductive or deductive.,,,
    For the foreseeable future, man will (via abductive reasoning) innovate, machine will toil, and The Terminator will remain science fiction.
    – William J. Littlefield II is a philosopher and professional software engineer.
    https://quillette.com/2019/09/25/the-human-skills-ai-cant-replace/

    A TYPE OF REASONING AI CAN’T REPLACE
    Abductive reasoning requires creativity, in addition to computation
    NEWS OCTOBER 10, 2019
    ,,, Abductive reasoning, originally developed by an American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), is sometimes called an “inference to the best explanation,”,,,
    ,,, As you can see, abductive reasoning involves a certain amount of creativity because the suggested hypothesis must be developed as an idea, not just added up from existing pieces of information. And creativity isn’t something computers really do.
    https://mindmatters.ai/2019/10/a-type-of-reasoning-ai-cant-replace/

    Observation of Unbounded Novelty in Evolutionary Algorithms is Unknowable – 2018
    Eric Holloway and Robert Marks
    Abstract. Open ended evolution seeks computational structures whereby creation of unbounded diversity and novelty are possible. However, research has run into a problem known as the “novelty plateau” where further creation of novelty is not observed. Using standard algorithmic information theory and Chaitin’s Incompleteness Theorem, we prove no algorithm can detect unlimited novelty. Therefore observation of unbounded novelty in computer evolutionary programs is nonalgorithmic and, in this sense, unknowable.
    http://robertmarks.org/REPRINT.....ovelty.pdf

    Artificial Intelligence and Human Exceptionalism: Dr. Robert Marks – video (Feb. 2018)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIvAg-NY5eQ

    Podcast: (AI) Robert Crowther “Why Artificial Intelligence Will Never Replace Humanity,” Interview with Robert J Marks, ID the Future, December 18, 2017.
    https://www.discovery.org/multimedia/audio/2017/12/why-artificial-intelligence-will-never-replace-humanity/

    Podcast: (AI) Robert Crowther “The Dangers, Limits and Promise of Artificial Intelligence.” Interview with Robert J Marks, ID the Future, January 8, 2018.
    https://www.discovery.org/multimedia/audio/2018/01/the-dangers-limits-and-promise-of-artificial-intelligence/#more-33468
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/evolutionary-informatics-has-come-a-long-way-since-a-baylor-dean-tried-to-shut-down-the-lab/

    podcast – Don’t Raise the White Flag to Our AI Overlords Just Yet – January 22, 2018
    https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/intelligentdesign/episodes/2018-01-22T08_58_45-08_00
    On this episode of ID The Future, computer engineer Robert Marks,,, Yes, computing power doubles every couple of years or so, but Dr. Marks insists that a qualitative gulf separates humans from computers, a difference that no amount of computing power can ever overcome.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/4

    If you want to know what God thinks – read the Bible

    I have. It is still second-hand accounts of what God is alleged to have said.

    I’ve studied military strategy and tactics for a long time. First, there is no such thing as Artificial Intelligence, meaning human-level intelligence. There are only programs created by men that can assist but only assist.

    That is my impression as well.

    One very important thing to consider is that the more complicated something is, the more likely it is to fail. Under battlefield conditions, a problem with a piece of equipment like a portable computer is unlikely to be fixed in the field or fixed in time. If the enemy can fry your delicate electronic circuits by using an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), they will. Mobile and airborne EMP platforms exist.

    One would hope that military-grade electronics are hardened against the effects of EMP as far as possible.

  8. 8
    AndyClue says:

    @Relatd:

    If you want to know what God thinks – read the Bible

    Wrong. Then you’ll only know what the bible writers thought about god. If you want to know what god thinks, you need to go to the source. You need to ask god!

  9. 9
    buffalo says:

    @8 AndyClue

    Human authors were inspired by God to transmit what He wished.

    vSACRED SCRIPTURE

    I. CHRIST – THE UNIQUE WORD OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

    101 In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: “Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men.”63

    102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:64

    You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.65

    103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.66

    104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”.67 “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.”68

    II. INSPIRATION AND TRUTH OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

    105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”69

    “For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.”70

    106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. “To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.”71

    107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”72

    108 Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living”.73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures.”74

  10. 10
    AndyClue says:

    @Buffalo:

    Human authors were inspired by God to transmit what He wished. (…)

    I’ve written previously: “Then you’ll only know what the bible writers thought about god. If you want to know what god thinks, you need to go to the source. You need to ask god!”

    So how does your comment help? You’re quoting what other humans think or want to you think about god. If you want to know what god wants, you have to ask him. Otherwise you’re worshipping human ideas.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Wanted, a creative, imaginative oracle capable of consistent strategic and operational surprise and also inspiring to troops. KF

    PS, the now usual side tracking. On the scripture principle God can cause a record that speaks with his voice. To listen accurately, requires penitent faith, a commodity that tends to be scarce.

  12. 12
    AndyClue says:

    @kf:

    PS, the now usual side tracking.

    And in the ususal UD fashion you continue the sidetrack.

    On the scripture principle God can cause a record that speaks with his voice.

    God is omnipotent. He can do a lot of things.

    To listen accurately, requires penitent faith

    No, it doesn’t.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, that is precisely the problem:

    Jer 9:23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not the one who is wise and skillful boast in his insight; let not the one who is mighty and powerful boast in his strength; let not the one who is rich boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] abundance; 24 but let the one who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me [and acknowledges Me and honors Me as God and recognizes without any doubt], that I am the Lord who practices lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these things I delight,” says the Lord.

    Jer 29: 11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

    Prov 1:7 The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence];
    But arrogant [a]fools despise [skillful and godly] wisdom and instruction and self-discipline.

    KF

  14. 14
    AndyClue says:

    @kf:

    AC, that is precisely the problem:

    No, it’s not. You’re quoting the bible as if it’s some kind of authority. If you want to worship human writings, go ahead… without me.

    Or are you trying to sidetrack the sidetrack?? Just to remind you, here’s the original sidetrack:

    @Relatd: “If you want to know what God thinks – read the Bible”

    Wrong. Then you’ll only know what the bible writers thought about god. If you want to know what god thinks, you need to go to the source. You need to ask god!

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, you write as though defence mechanisms, self serving thinking, self blindness, crooked yardstick thinking etc are not realities. I pointed out that these are longstanding issues. Further, you pretend that there is not a 10,000 lb elephant in the room, starting with the substance of AD 55 1 Cor 15 [cf Isa 53] and millions across the ages who have had life transforming encounters with God on the terms in the said text. Which answers the issue though I suspect absent life crisis you are not likely to be open to rethink. As for the main focus, computationalism cannot answer to needed oracle. KF

  16. 16
    AndyClue says:

    @kf:

    AC, you write as though defence mechanisms, self serving thinking, self blindness, crooked yardstick thinking etc are not realities.

    Pretty far from truth. Because that’s exactly why I’m propagating asking god, instead of asking a self serving, crooked, shortsighted ilk, namely the writers of “holy” books.

    and millions across the ages who have had life transforming encounters with God on the terms in the said text.

    Encounters with god — that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Were we talking past each other?? Ditch the so called “prophets” and their holy books and go directly to the source! I think we’re on the same page here.

  17. 17
    jerry says:

    Ditch the so called “prophets” and their holy books and go directly to the source

    How would one do that?

    If you were the creator of the universe and Earth, would directly revealing yourself through some form of communication cause your objective to become impossible? Suppose doubt is necessary for your objective, what would the creator then do?

    I’ve asked both these questions numerous times. No answers.

    The only source we have other than prophets is the actual creation. How do we assess that?

  18. 18
    relatd says:

    AC at 16,

    You sound angry. If you pray to God He will answer you.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, I have neither the time or inclination just now to get into a prolonged exchange, especially as enough has been linked for a start. I will simply say that absent the God who hears and answers on the terms as described, I would not be alive. Likewise, I was at the homegoing of my Father, when he surrendered his breath to his Lord, and went. And more. But I am confident that, absent life crisis, nothing will rise above endless disputes. KF

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AC

    Ditch the so called “prophets” and their holy books and go directly to the source!

    It’s a reasonable suggestion. Let’s say that someone takes it up and goes directly to the source – and then understands a message, communication, gift of knowledge. So, the person learned something.
    Now however, you’re saying that we shouldn’t listen to what that person has to say? If he went to the source and received true information, wouldn’t that be helpful for us?

  21. 21
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    How would one do that?

    By asking god.

    Suppose doubt is necessary for your objective, what would the creator then do?

    Doubt about what?? And why would I suppose that? And why are you asking ME what the CREATOR would do? Am I a mind reader?? I advise you to ask god.

    The only source we have other than prophets is the actual creation.

    That’s a claim without evidence.

  22. 22
    AndyClue says:

    @Silver Asiatic:

    Let’s say that someone takes it up and goes directly to the source – and then understands a message, communication, gift of knowledge. So, the person learned something.
    Now however, you’re saying that we shouldn’t listen to what that person has to say?

    I that case I would say that we can listen to what the person says, if he or she can truthfully transport gods message (maybe he or she needs some kind of certificate from god, lol). I still think it would be unnecessary, since I can access the message without a filter. After all I want a personal relationship with god, not with the prophet. Of course if it’s a female prophet I might think otherwise 😉 .

  23. 23
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AC

    After all I want a personal relationship with god, not with the prophet.

    That’s true, we definitely need a personal relationship and we should get knowledge directly from the source by asking God. But I also think we can have both – a relationship with God and with the prophets. There are some people who have a very excellent relationship with God and learn quite a lot. Plus, even for yourself, it could happen that God would instruct you to tell other people about what you’ve learned. Maybe they’re confused or discouraged. So, you could tell them a lot that they don’t know. They might not even know how to ask God in a way that is respectful.

    And a female prophet? … ha, ha – never a dull moment in that relationship.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    By asking god.

    You’d be the first person in the world today to get an answer.

    At least I have never heard of anyone getting a direct answer. Have you?

    Doubt about what

    Doubt about the creator’s existence.

    Do we have to doubt the existence of the creator in order to have a meaningful world? It’s the essential question.

  25. 25
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    You’d be the first person in the world today to get an answer. At least I have never heard of anyone getting a direct answer. Have you?

    Not sure about that. That depends on the question. Plus I’ve heard a lot of people have a personal relationship with god. I assume that involves communicating with him.

    Do we have to doubt the existence of the creator in order to have a meaningful world? It’s the essential question.

    I don’t know what the meaning for each one of us is. And I’m actually not sure what you want to tell me here. Many people don’t doubt that god exists. Is their world not meaningful anymore? Or has to convert others to their beliefs became their meaning? But again, I don’t know.

  26. 26
    AndyClue says:

    @Silver Asiatic:

    Plus, even for yourself, it could happen that God would instruct you to tell other people about what you’ve learned. Maybe they’re confused or discouraged. So, you could tell them a lot that they don’t know. They might not even know how to ask God in a way that is respectful.

    I imagine a prophet’s communication skills (e.g. finding the right words, being mindful about the audience’s background, …) are inferior to gods communication skills. So I doubt a prophet would do a better job at communicating gods thoughts than god.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, asking God is a commonplace occurrence, generally termed prayer. It is often explicitly based on the texts being despised, and millions will readily testify to answers, some less visible, some spectacular and life transforming. God answers honest and well directed prayer [sometimes we ask amiss and a negative answer or wait is in our interests]. We are dealing here with willful and often contempt subtext laced hyperskepticism. In the end, sadly, some are measuring their characters in public and are coming up wanting. That we have reached a point where these things are not readily recognised speaks, and not to the good. KF

  28. 28
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AC

    So I doubt a prophet would do a better job at communicating gods thoughts than god.

    That’s true but we’re also living in “the divine economy” where we’re not the only people on earth, and the other people exist for a reason. Every person has a unique role – they see things a little differently than others. So, we have a job to do. God could do it all Himself, true. But God is looking for a human community and good relationships among people – so we have to try to listen to each other and teach each other wherever we have the chance.
    Yes we could just go to God and get answers (but we can’t really demand, we have to ask – and asking means that we don’t always get what we think we want), but God populated the world with all of these diverse people so that we could communicate with each others, even though we don’t communicate as well as God does. The prophet has a job to do and God respects it and won’t take it away. God is not going to micro-manage. He give us a chance to teach and learn.

  29. 29
    relatd says:

    I have no idea where people get their ideas about God, the Bible or the prophets. If you don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God, that’s a problem. If you don’t believe you can talk to God, that’s a problem. If you think the words of prophets are not words from God, that’s a problem.

    Hebrews 1:1

    “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,”

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    Jerry, asking God is a commonplace occurrence, generally termed prayer.

    Is that the issue under consideration?

    I don’t think so. The issue under consideration is “Are there direct communications with individuals from God?” Not impressions or signs but specifics.

    We all can point to answers to prayers but how do we know what is happenstance vs what is actual communication? I’ve never heard of any except supposedly a few individuals in history who claimed it. Certainly not in todays world where belief in God is waning.

    My point: is that the way it must be to have a meaningful world?

  31. 31
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 30,

    “Certainly not in todays world where belief in God is waning.” Where is your evidence? If you’re talking about the world, then that’s not accurate. In the U.S., much has been done to attack Christianity since the 1960s, as well as attack the normal family.

    “April 30, 2022
    “In February 2022, the Vatican released statistics showing that in 2020 the number of Catholics in the world increased by 16 million to 1.36 billion. That means that 17.7% of the world’s population is Catholic.”

    And that does not include other faiths.

    If you think there’s no proof people can speak directly to God then you should try it. Really.

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Think Christianity is dying? No, Christianity is shifting dramatically
    By Wes Granberg-Michaelson May 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Over the past 100 years, Christians grew from less than 10 percent of Africa’s population to its nearly 500 million today. One out of four Christians in the world presently is an Africa, and the Pew Research Center estimates that will grow to 40 percent by 2030.
    Asia is also experiencing growth as world Christianity’s center has moved not only South, but also East. In the last century, Christianity grew at twice the rate of population in that continent. Asia’s Christian population of 350 million is projected to grow to 460 million by 2025.
    The global religious wildcard is China. Even today, demographers estimate that more Christian believers are found worshipping in China on any given Sunday than in the United States. Future trends, while difficult to predict because so much is below the religious radar, could dramatically drive down the world’s religious “nones.”
    The growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America is estimated to be at three times the rate of Catholic growth. Non-Catholic believers now account for 2 percent of Latin America’s 550 million Christians.
    Today, Brazil not only has more Catholics than any other country, but also more Pentecostals, reflecting Pentecostalism’s astonishing global growth. Tracing its roots to the Azusa Street revival in 1910, and comprising 5 percent of Christians in 1970, today one of four Christians is Pentecostal or Charismatic. Or think of it this way: one out of 12 people alive today has a Pentecostal form of Christian faith.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/20/think-christianity-is-dying-no-christianity-is-shifting-dramatically/?utm_term=.9ef31bdab313

    Pew Study Shows Atheism is Dying,,,
    JOHN SANIDOPOULOS | 02 JUNE 2018
    Excerpt: We often hear from atheists how religion is dying out as mankind comes to see the clear light of reason.
    Atheist “intellectuals” speak disparagingly about religion and predict that mankind is on the cusp of a new age in which religion will simply disappear as science, technology and reason are in the ascendant.
    The facts indicate exactly the opposite. It is religion which continues to grow around the world while the statistics indicate that agnosticism and atheism are dying out.
    A new report chronicled here by Pew Research at the Daily Telegraph tells a very interesting story.
    While the numbers of those who are “religiously unaffiliated” is predicted to rise in Western Europe and the United States, in global terms their numbers are shrinking as Christianity and Islam continue to wrestle for spiritual domination in the world.
    According to the Pew Research Centre, the religiously unaffiliated – referring to atheists, agnostics and other people who do not identify with a religion – are declining as a share of the population. Sixteen per cent of the population was unaffiliated to a religion in 2010 and Pew predicted by 2050, this would fall to 13 per cent, mainly because individuals in this group are older and have less children.
    http://www.pravmir.com/pew-stu.....e-century/

    Also of note:

    No, Non-Believers Are Not Increasing In America – APRIL 24, 2019
    Excerpt: The stats are given as often and with as much confidence as they are wrong. The story goes that our nation is growing more secular with every passing day. Christianity is tanking, and atheists and generic non-believers mushrooming.,,,
    Stark gets more precise: “The entire change [toward none-ness] has taken place with the non-attending group.” “In other words,” he adds, “this change marks a decrease only in nominal affiliation, not an increase in irreligion.” Stark says the wealth of data he has studied, as well as that his peers have, “does not support claims for increased secularization, let alone a decrease in the number of Christians. It may not even reflect an increase in those who say they are ‘nones.’”,,,
    In fact, Professor Barry A. Kosmin, director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, the man who coined the term “the nones,” expresses frustration that the larger press has not really gotten the story right on what belief group is actually seeing the largest size increase. He told me, “The rise of nondenominational Christianity is probably one of the strongest [religious growth] trends in the last two decades” in the United States.
    He added that the percentage gain among the “nons,” or nondenoms, is “many times larger” compared to those we have come to know as the nones. Read that again. The growth of nondenominational churches has been many times larger than that of the nones. Is it likely that one group that is growing—the nones—are gaining folks from a particular group that is growing at even greater pace? That answer would be no.
    Greg Smith, the long-time associate director of research at the Pew Research Center, adds heft to the conclusion that evangelicalism is actually growing. He confidently explains that while the more liberal mainline churches have been tanking dramatically, losing from 5 to 7.5 million members since 2007 (!), things are completely different for evangelical and non-denominational churches….
    The Harvard/Indiana University researchers found the same thing, explaining “evangelicals are not on the decline” but “grew from 1972 when they were 18 percent of the population, to a steady level of about 28 percent” from the late 1980s to the present. This “percentage of the population” measure is very significant because it shows not only growth in terms of real numbers, but enough growth to keep up with or even exceed the rate of population growth. That’s not nothing.
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/24/no-non-believers-not-increasing-america/

    Of supplemental note: “Here’s How Badly Soviet Atheism Failed in Europe”

    Pew: Here’s How Badly Soviet Atheism Failed in Europe
    In 18 nations across Central and Eastern Europe, religion is now essential to national identity. (massive study based on face-to-face interviews with 25,000 adults in 18 countries}
    Jeremy Weber – 5/10/2017
    Excerpt: “The comeback of religion in a region once dominated by atheist regimes is striking,” states Pew in its latest report. Today, only 14 percent of the region’s population identify as atheists, agnostics, or “nones.” By comparison, 57 percent identify as Orthodox, and another 18 percent as Catholics.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....#038;w=380
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ntity.html

    Verse:

    Isaiah 9:6-7
    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.,,,

  33. 33
    AndyClue says:

    @Silver Asiatic:

    I’m a part time photographer and I get to know a lot of very diverse people during my work doing street-portraits. I agree with you that communicating with so many diverse people is a bliss and certainly does enrich my life. But that is not what I’m talking about. My specific concern is about finding out god’s needs and wants, which I do by communicating with god. There is no need for layers potentially full of, to quote kf, “self serving thinking, self blindness, crooked yardstick thinking” (and I’m talking about prophets and their holy books), if one can access to the source directly.

    I’m no sure why it’s such a problem for you guys. If I want to know what my sister thinks, I’ll ask her. If I ask her father and he presents me a letter allegedly from her, I know this constitutes a filter which will potentially distrort the truth. Of course if my sister is not available I have to live with the letter (some of you might realize that in the example I’m talking about Josef Fritzl). And obviously that’s because we humans are heavely restricted with regards to the resources available to us.

  34. 34
    relatd says:

    AC at 33,

    God is not your sister. God is God.

    Galatians 4:9

    “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?”

  35. 35
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AC

    My specific concern is about finding out god’s needs and wants, which I do by communicating with god.

    That’s a noble concern – and that’s what we should be interested in. Too many people want to know other things from God. What will happen in the future? How can I get more money? Things like that.
    However …

    I’m no sure why it’s such a problem for you guys. If I want to know what my sister thinks, I’ll ask her.

    I could write a long post on this, but I have no basis by which to correct you. The fact is, it could be very easy for you to learn about what God wants, what He is interested in, what He wants from you each day. I could not deny that He would communicate that to you directly.
    I would be very unusual, but you could have that gift.

    The reason that it’s a problem for the rest of us is that God speaks very quietly. He deserves our attention and he’s not going to just start yelling when the TV or youtube or rap music is blaring from the headphones, or our minds are filled up with all sorts of things we’re thinking about or we read about or we’re not taking real time for conversation with God but instead just running from impulse to impulse. This is why guys who enter monasteries as monks spend a lot of time in silence and they get rid of all sorts of attachments to things – so they can ask and listen clearly.

    We have to put aside all distractions and most of us struggle with that.

    Secondly, God wants us to discover things. That’s what makes life fun and interesting. He could just tell us everything, but we wouldn’t treasure that knowledge as much as if we discovered it.

    It’s like a man with his girlfriend or his wife. He just wants to know what she likes, but she won’t say it. She wants him to figure it out. She actually doesn’t tell anyone that secret – that way, when her husband discovers it, he knows he has privileged information and he treasures it, and grows closer to her.
    God does the same thing. We can search and search and then on the day we discover something about God, we are amazed and that little bit of knowledge is like the pearl of great price that we consider a rare gift. Then we know that God has revealed something unique for us – it draws us closer. Otherwise it would be like a person who just blabs about their whole life to any stranger walking by. Eventually nobody will care because there is nothing intimate about the information.

  36. 36
    jerry says:

    If I want to know what my sister thinks, I’ll ask her

    I never met anyone who claims the creator spoke with him/her and could verify it.

    Who are these people the creator communicates with and how do they know who it is? For example, how do they know it’s the creator of the universe?

  37. 37
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 36,

    Pray to God. Ask Him.

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I will agree with AC that it’s not a strange idea that we should just ask God and He will tell us.
    That’s what prayer is all about – it’s not just a one way conversation.
    But my point is that we have to do that (ask directly) but also have some guidance from the prophets and the Word of God given to them. It’s easy to be deceived by what we thought we heard from God, so we have to check ourselves.

  39. 39
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    AndyClue
    finding out god’s needs and wants, which I do by communicating with god. There is no need for layers (and I’m talking about prophets and their holy books), if one can access to the source directly.

    :)How do you detect from inner voices which one is God’s voice and which one is satan’s voice? Do you believe that the thought that you can access God directly is from God? Did you change your life by this “method”? I don’t think so.

  40. 40
    relatd says:

    LCD at 39,

    Afraid of God? And the Devil? At least choose God. Tell Jesus you believe He is the son of God.

  41. 41
    jerry says:

    Pray to God. Ask Him

    Know zillions of people who have prayed to God, none got a personal reply.

    So not very good advice.

    I assume you know how offensive and clueless your self righteous comments are. Maybe you don’t?

  42. 42
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 41,

    You don’t know me, I don’t know you. OK? Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead. You know that, right?

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    Maybe you don’t?

    Just confirmed.

    Aside: ID says nothing about a specific religion. There’s no reason the ideas here couldn’t support nearly every religion. So these questions about Christianity are not appropriate for a discussion here.

  44. 44
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry
    Aside: ID says nothing about a specific religion. There’s no reason the ideas here couldn’t support nearly every religion. So these questions about Christianity are not appropriate for a discussion here.

    🙂 What is the point of finding out that there are evidences for an intelligent Creator and after that ignoring the consequences of this information ? Are you here only for fun and to kill some time like atheists?

    @AndyClue: There is no salvation without priests(I know why you don’t like priests, when come to tell them all your hidden sins )

  45. 45
    asauber says:

    “What is the point of finding out that there are evidences for an intelligent Creator and after that ignoring the consequences of this information ?”

    LCD,

    Philosophically, I don’t think ID is the type of logical conclusion that can address these consequences.

    Further exploration is beyond what ID is configured to do.

    That’s what makes ID so powerful and so hated. It does basically one thing, but does it beyond reasonable dispute.

    Andrew

  46. 46
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 45,

    Like evolutionists, ID must also exclude religion? I understand the “science” aspect, but evolution is used as a “reasonable” basis for excluding God. You should know that the Catholic Church can do what pure science cannot, combine Intelligent Design with Divine revelation. Atheists don’t want this since ID the science can be linked to God and provide a reasonable basis for His existence.

    ID does “one thing” and then what? It’s just an academic exercise?

  47. 47
    asauber says:

    “ID does “one thing” and then what?”

    Relatd,

    “And Then What?” is one of the Big Questions. ID doesn’t have the answers. Ask. Seek. Knock. Different ballgame.

    Andrew

  48. 48
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 47,

    With all due respect, this sounds like the evolutionists’ “evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life.”

  49. 49
    asauber says:

    With all due respect, this sounds like the evolutionists’ “evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life.”

    Relatd,

    I think you are just confused. The claims of Evolutionists don’t dictate what ID can and cannot do. They are irrelevant.

    Andrew

  50. 50
    jerry says:

    Are you here only for fun and to kill some time like atheists?

    Another clueless remark.

    I believe trying to promote a specific religion is counterproductive. For example, should a Jew promote Judaism and a Muslim promote Islam here? Then there are the hundreds of varieties of Christianity. Are they all the same?

    Aside: I have been commenting here longer than anyone else currently posting here except for I believe one person. There is no bigger defender of ID than myself and the discussions have generally been harmonious.

    So I find this pushing of a specific religion ironic among pro ID people since I am sure that the debates could get very vitriolic quickly once a specific religion is the focus.

    Aside:2: I’m here to learn. Not much in the last couple years. Though Denton’s new book is a welcome addition.

  51. 51
    asauber says:

    Maybe this will help, Relatd…

    ID fits well with a larger Christian belief because it points to a Designer, however ID has nothing about What To Do Next in it. That’s why we have scripture, and the church, and natural law. These things are way beyond the scope of ID.

    Andrew

    PS ID doesn’t tell you to read the Psalms, or work diligently, or go to church, or even treat someone with kindness. It can’t. It has a hard stopping point. The call to do these things comes from somewhere else.

  52. 52
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 50,

    ID, as science, works. Evolution, as advertised in Biology textbooks, does not. What do you think most people do with that knowledge? Assume no one/nothing made them?

    Like you, I’m not interested in seeing heated exchanges over this or that religion generally or this or that Christian denomination specifically. But I think the average person takes ID past the science because he sees the the truth in it.

  53. 53
    ET says:

    The closest ID gets to religion is that Intelligent Design allows for an intellectually fulfilled theist.

  54. 54
    relatd says:

    ET at 53,

    So the atheist remark gets changed slightly to make a theist version? It’s obvious to me what’s going on among average people. The designer — which can never be named — is named by average people.

  55. 55
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Relatd

    So the atheist remark gets changed slightly to make a theist version?

    This blog has theists of different backgrounds talking about the science, but not the religion. Modern ID was mostly supported by Protestants when it started. Here we have mostly Protestant Christians, a few Catholics, a couple of Eastern Orthodox, non-denominational theists and we get some Jews and Moslems once in a while. So, there’s never really a discussion about God beyond just a basic theism.
    There should be other places where people could discuss religion, after they accept ID.

  56. 56
    Silver Asiatic says:

    We also have a lot of political conversations here and the ID side is usually right-wing conservative, like the Discovery Institute. But there’s no reason why a pro-IDist couldn’t be left-wing socialist.
    ID doesn’t specify a political position but all the IDists are on one side anyway.

  57. 57
    asauber says:

    “So the atheist remark gets changed slightly to make a theist version?”

    Relatd,

    Sorry, science doesn’t speak to specific spiritual issues. Not sure why you think it does or can.

    Andrew

  58. 58
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Sorry, science doesn’t speak to specific spiritual issues.

    It’s a trick . Materialism is a belief in supernatural power of chemicals (never observed) 😆 while theism in supernatural power of God(Jesus real historical person :witnesses ,manuscripts, miracles, 2000 years of Christianity ,etc.). Both are beliefs but somehow materialism is accepted as “science” because says that dirt have magical powers?
    Materialism is more religious than Christianity .

  59. 59
    asauber says:

    “materialism is accepted as science”

    Only by materialists.

    Andrew

  60. 60
    AndyClue says:

    @LCD:

    How do you detect from inner voices which one is God’s voice and which one is satan’s voice?

    Haven’t met satan yet… Is he your friend? How does he sound like? If you claim that satan can mimic god and if I alone have no way to differentiate, then the obvious way would be for god to make satan stop talking to me. Of course if god wants me to mistake him for satan, then who am I to object??

    Do you believe that the thought that you can access God directly is from God? Did you change your life by this “method”? I don’t think so.

    By “method” you mean “communication”? I’m astonished. Allegedly a lot of people claim to have a personal relationship with god. How can one have a personal relationship without communication? Of course my life changed. One of the changes is: I ditched the prophets and their holy texts.

  61. 61
    AndyClue says:

    @Silver Asiatic @35

    I agree with most of what you’ve said.

  62. 62
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    AndyClue
    Haven’t met satan yet…

    AndyClue
    I ditched the prophets and their holy texts.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    AC & SA:

    I doubt a prophet would do a better job at communicating gods thoughts than god

    Strawman caricature, the issue is in fact that God [notice the upper case] can use and work with prophets, teachers and others to communicate with us, and to make or cause record to be made. The fact that the Scriptures in question contain copious prophecies of Messiah [to the point that prophesy often has the sense predict] and especially those we find in Isa 52 – 3, fulfilled as reported on record c AD 55 in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11 becomes a point of calibrating accuracy.

    Which of course AC knows or should acknowledge, That instead there is dismissiveness tells us all we need to know on this side topic.

    Beyond a certain point, having noted for record, that is enough.

    KF

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Origins is focal to what has gone wrong with our civilisation, starting with how we got to imposition of Lewontin’s a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism, which poses a core philosophy thesis dressed in a lab coat, i.e. it is incoherent at core. Science cannot be the sole or even main source of credible knowledge. Similarly, the evolutionary materialism struggles to account for the FSCO/I in a computational substrate, much less for the oracle based rational responsible freedom required to have an intelligent, credible discussion, as say Haldane knew 90 years ago. All of this has ramifications all over our civilisation, and ties back to core first principles issues. So, it is appropriate for us to remember the core but address the span of the problematique, a thorny thicket of tangled, mutually reinforcing problems that poses policy and analysis dilemmas.

  65. 65
    AndyClue says:

    @Kairosfocus:

    It’s not a strawman. The comment you’ve quoted referred to me and SA talking about the communication-abilities of prophets, not whether god can use prophets. Please try to be more attentive.

    Furthermore I never said that god can’t use or doesn’t use prophets. What I claimed was that they are unnecessary, since they potentially introduce an additional layer of (to quote you) “self serving thinking, self blindness, crooked yardstick thinking”. As an engineer and a heavily resource-restricted human I’m also trying to be a pragmatist. So why listen to prophets, if you have a personal relationship with god?

    That I don’t buy into the christian dogmas is obvious. Maybe the problem is you assume a christian worldview and reason about me, the prophets and god from this worldview. I do not.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, strawman, it remains. You imply that God cannot get people who are of the level of a good clerk much less one to partner with, something many authors routinely do. That is inherently ill advised and reflects a selective hyperskepticism that is all too common. KF

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, this substance is not “dogma,” a term of insubstantial dismissal, but instead is good report from authentic source with excellent chain of custody.

  68. 68
    jerry says:

    Question: how many have heard from this creator/god?

    I have never heard of any discussed anywhere except in a few very religious examples and they are not recent or well documented. Are we talking “Burning Bush” type examples?

  69. 69
    AndyClue says:

    @kairosfocus

    AC, strawman, it remains. You imply that God cannot get people who are of the level of a good clerk much less one to partner with, something many authors routinely do.

    If I would have implied such a thing I would be wrong. Being wrong is not a strawman.

    Reality is you are wrong that I imply such a thing. I know a lot of good clerks, people I routinely work with. Friends I trust. None of them can reach the level of communication skills god has. Obviously, since god has perfect communication skills.

    a term of insubstantial dismissal

    Now I’m not a native English speaker, but really? From the horses mouth: https://www.thecatholictelegraph.com/a-question-of-faith-what-is-dogma-it-comes-from-authority/57035

  70. 70
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    I have never heard of any discussed anywhere except in a few very religious examples and they are not recent or well documented.

    ‘God is Real, He Knows Us’: Actor Jon Voight Says a Divine Encounter Got His Life Back on Track
    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2021/july/god-is-real-he-knows-us-actor-jon-voight-says-a-divine-encounter-got-his-life-back-on-track

  71. 71
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AC

    None of them can reach the level of communication skills god has. Obviously, since god has perfect communication skills.

    We have to be willing to hear what God has to say – that’s the problem. Plus, we might even hear it but misinterpret it or misunderstand it. God knows how to communicate perfectly but he can’t force our will to fully accept what He has to say. Plus, it is easier to turn-off God’s voice.
    Prophets give us the unvarnished message and repeat it, so we don’t distort what we don’t want to hear. Very few of us want to hear where we have gone wrong and where we need to improve.

  72. 72
    jerry says:

    Jon Voight Says a Divine Encounter Got His Life Back on Track

    I am always suspect of things like this.

    It is not that it isn’t real for the person and could definitely be divinely inspired but I have not heard of anyone having an actual conversation or hearing voices telling them some basic truths. Except in some famous religious experiences. Constatine and Mohammed both claim to have seen signs and in Mohammed’s case given a text which he memorized and became the Quran.

    I have a neighbor down the street who was theoretically dying from some sort of disease and started praying and went back to church and a few months later was cured. I know personally of 3-4 other similar episodes. So I don’t doubt something is happening. But none of them said they had a direct communication from God other than their cure. There were no physical signs or voices. There was definitely feelings of elation.

    I think a lot of people become “redpilled” in the sense that they have a new understanding of the world after scrutinizing what is really happening. This dramatically changed their way of life. Despite being small, ID has this potential since it makes atheism look foolish.

    Would I classify John Voight’s experience as such? I don’t know.

    I am sure there is a website that keeps track of such experiences. Are they all Christian? Or does each religion have their own set of examples?

  73. 73
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 68,

    I can assure you that God knows who you are.

  74. 74
    Fluix says:

    Military automation, in general, is not something new, but today, one way or another, there is always a person behind it.
    For successful use, it is necessary to find a balance of trust and distrust “arranged, appropriate, and in one direction can harm people.
    In the case of using a summer collection, the involvement of a person is simply necessary.

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    I am always suspect of things like this.

    It’s good to evaluate carefully as long as it does not prevent you from researching and taking an interest in what is out there.

    I am sure there is a website that keeps track of such experiences. Are they all Christian? Or does each religion have their own set of examples?

    The internet is a big place – there’s a lot to find. In my own religious tradition, there are thousands of examples. You could try “Catholic mysticism” or Catholic saints. The life of St. Pio of Pietrelcina is a good starting point. St. Teresa of Avila is a doctor of the Church and had direct communication with God.

    Catholic Encyclopedia on Prophecy
    https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12473a.htm
    Catholic Encyclopedia on Mysticism
    https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10663b.htm
    Mystical Theology
    https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14621a.htm

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