Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Feminized men and the problem of social unrest

There are few things more disgusting than a morally weak man who will pay any price to avoid making enemies. He is so worried about how he is perceived that he cannot be trusted to make sound judgments in any moral conflict. Almost always, he takes a knee when he should be standing firm; almost always, he gives up ground that he should be holding. If only he would realize that a pound of early resistance is worth a ton of counter revolutionary warfare. Of course, he doesn’t get the point because his main concern is to remain popular with the people who are supposed to matter. Consider a contemporary social problem. Violent mobs are destroying parts of cities, tearing Read More ›

The “is-ought” problem. Is it a true dichotomy or a deceptive bluff?

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you do know that just ain’t so. — Mark Twain According to the overrated philosopher, David Hume, we should not try to draw logical conclusions about objective morality based on our knowledge of the real world. This was his smug way of claiming that humans are incapable of knowing the difference between right and wrong. Through the years, his devoted followers have tweaked his message into a flat out declaration: We cannot derive an “ought to” (a moral code) from the “is.” (the way things are). Just to make sure that we don’t misunderstand, they characterize this formulation as “Hume’s Law.” The only problem with this philosophy Read More ›

JDK argues against objective morality—by assuming the truth of objective morality.

Moral subjectivists never fail to entertain me when they try to make their philosophy seem reasonable and workable. UD commentator jdk, for example, doesn’t seem to realize how often his unstated assumptions undermine – or even nullify – the very points he is trying to make. In one exchange, he denies the existence of objective morality, but he does say, nevertheless, that he “judges” murder to be wrong – not objectively wrong – but wrong in the sense that a moral judgment is a subjective act. So I asked him to explain why he “judges” murder to be wrong. He graciously (and courageously) answered the question , and I now follow with my analysis: JDK: [I judge that murder is Read More ›

The BioLogos Project: A program of unwarranted assumptions and irrational claims.

As everyone knows, the BioLogos Community is on a passionate mission to Darwinize the Christian world. Oddly, though, the zeal that drives that mission is not the product of a disinterested search for the truth. Unlike ID proponents, who begin with rational principles and follow the evidence where it leads, BioLogos members begin with a faith commitment and lead the evidence in that direction. Rather than sit at the feet of nature and learn her secrets, they try to remake her in the image of their faith commitment. For them, there is one apriori truth that must never be denied: God used the random mechanism of Darwinian evolution to produce His intended outcome of homo-sapiens. This absurd proposition, which defines Read More ›

Clown Fish, Subjectivism, and the Great Moral Gap

As we know, subjectivists labor endlessly to convince us that their morality is on a par with the natural law. Clown Fish, for example, insists that, like objectivists, he follows rules and is governed by “oughtness.” My moral values are very strongly held. They govern many of the things I do. I believe that others OUGHT to comply with my moral values. He further states that, like objectivists, he believes that the state should also be governed by “oughtness.” You (kairosfocus) really have to work on your reading comprehension. Your continuing insistence on disagreeing with me about our government by OUGHTness when I have repeatedly stated that I agree with you on our government by OUGHTness suggests that some unhealthy Read More ›

God and Darwin: Why they simply cannot co-exist

As UD readers know, Charles Darwin changed history when he argued that naturalistic processes, acting alone, can drive the macro-evolutionary process from beginning to end. His earth-shattering message was that nature’s pseudo-creative mechanism can mimic the work of a designing Creator. That he could not support his claim with empirical evidence did not seem to bother him very much. From then until now, the texture of the argument has not changed. Neo-Darwinists, without a shred of evidence, and in the name of disinterested science, declare that nature can produce biodiversity all by itself, which means, without God’s help. Incredibly, some well-meaning Christians try to argue the God “used” this aimless mechanism to achieve his specific goal of creating man. “What’s Read More ›

RDFish is wrong; Barry Arrington is right: Materialism cannot be reconciled with objective morality.

In several previous posts, RDFish stumbled into a serious philosophical error that needs to be addressed. Barry Arrington had made the unassailable point that materialism (understood as physicalism) is incompatible with such concepts as good, evil, and objective morality. The reason is clear: Materialism reduces all choices to electro-chemical processes in the brain. With that model, all apparent moral decisions are really nothing more than chemcial-physical operations or functions.   Though RDF failed to refute the argument, confront the argument, or even define his own terms, he sought, nevertheless, to attack it through the back door, claiming that past atheist philosophers embraced both metaphysical materialism and objective morality. His list includes such notables as David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Ayn Rand, Read More ›

Materialist Ideology: Is It Patent Nonsense?

As we know, atheists and agnostics have been smuggling metaphysical truth claims into the study of nature for a long time. Materialism is their God and Darwin is their prophet. Accordingly, they distort the evidence so they can lead it in the direction of the desired outcome—and when it resists—they drag it in kicking and screaming. There can be no question that this is an ethical breach. Injecting world-view commitments into the investigative process violates the integrity of science, just as prohibiting alternative world views violates the dignity of the human person. The two points are connected. If Materialistic Darwinism was a sensible idea, Western institutions wouldn’t place a politically-correct shield around it to protect it from rational scrutiny. In Read More ›

What are the First Rules of Right Reason? Are They Negotiable? Do They Matter?

About two weeks ago, I read a scientific report that challenged my perceptions about the relationship between philosophy and science. So much so, that it forced me to doubt some of my erstwhile convictions about the value of logic and prompted me to revise major elements of my global world view. As it turns out, an empirically-based study indicated, within a 1% margin of error, that there are more people in the city of Los Angeles than in the entire state of California. I would never have accepted this counter-intuitive claim had there been no evidence to support it. At this point, my readers might wonder how I could be so pathologically gullible as to accept such an absurd proposition. Read More ›

Medical Practice, Biological Science, and the Power of a “Differential Diagnosis”

Because science is a search for causes, its practitioners are ethically bound to keep an open mind about the nature of those causes. The whole point of investigating any given phenomenon is to find a reasonable answer to the question, “why is this happening?” or “why did it happen?” In that spirit, the researcher develops a rigorous methodology that will address a narrowly-focused problem and facilitate the process of finding the most plausible solution, regardless of whose interests might be served. This is just as true for the practice of medicine as it is for the study of life’s origins. If, for example, a physician is about to decide on the appropriate therapy for his patient, he will, if he Read More ›

St. Thomas Aquinas Returns To Ask About The Thomists

I have read about these kinds of events in Scripture, but I never thought it could happen to me. St. Thomas Aquinas appeared to me in a dream last night. It was a brief visit, but he stayed with me long enough to discuss the neo-Thomists. SB: Glory be to God. St. Thomas, you are one of my heroes. ST: Thank you, my son, but I have a question for you. Are the neo-Thomists trying to make me look bad? The last thing in the world I would ever do is ignore the scientific evidence for biological design? More to the point, I would have no reason to doubt it. My philosophy of nature could admit that information with no Read More ›

Christian Darwinism and the Evolutionary Pathway to Spirit.

Deductive logic teaches us that the acts of reasoning and knowing are inseparable from the act of negating. To understand the law of non-contradiction (a thing cannot be and not be at the same time) is to also understand its reciprocal principle, the law of identity (a thing is what it is and not something else). If we know what cannot be, we also know, in a complementary sense, what is. As the legendary Sherlock Holmes reminds us, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” On the subject of God and Evolution, for example, there are two competing models, but only one of them can possibly be true. In order to provide Read More ›

Revealed Theology, Natural Theology, and the Darwinist Concoction of “ID/Creationism.”

As anyone who cares knows, members of the Darwinist establishment aggressively and shamelessly promote the lie that Intelligent Design is nothing more than Scientific Creationism hiding behind another name. Since they cannot make a credible case for their own position, they seek to discredit ID by misrepresenting its arguments. Hence, they resort to the cheap and dishonest trick of characterizing the science of intelligent design as “ID/Creationism,” an exceedingly clumsy formulation that is both illogical and unhistorical. In fact, the two approaches are radically different in their epistemological framework for arriving at truth. Creationism moves forward: that is, it assumes, asserts or accepts something about God and what He has to say about origins and then interprets nature in that Read More ›

Christian Darwinism and the Problem of Apriori Intent.

According to the Bible, God created the universe so that He and His creatures could enter into an eternal, loving relationship. Christians, insofar as they accept that teaching, can readily understand their role in the cosmos and the broader context in which they find life’s meaning. In this context, God acted as both creator and designer: God brought time, space, and matter into existence and then “formed” man out of the dust of the earth.

Like all visionary designers, the God of the Bible knew exactly what He wanted and, like all competent builders, He saw to it that His finished product would conform to his original specifications. What is the point of being an all-wise Creator if you don’t know what you want to create? What is the point of being an omnipotent creator if you can’t get what you want? What is the point of being an all-good creator if you don’t care what you get? Whether or not God used an evolutionary process to produce man’s body is irrelevant to the point. What matters is that, regardless of how God might have arranged for the arrival of homo-sapiens—slowly and gradually, quickly, or in spurts– He intended that result and nothing else. From a Biblical perspective, evolution, if true, could only be a maturation process that unfolds according to the Creator’s plan and produces a result that conforms to His specifications.

Opposing the teleological paradigm, Darwinists posit a non-teleological model, a “purposeless, mindless process that did not have man in mind.” According to this world view, evolutionary change does not aim toward any final end because there is no final end to move toward. Evolution doesn’t know where it is going because the mutations are random and the environment, which determines the selection process, also doesn’t know where it is going. The process does not “unfold” or “mature” because there is no plan to direct the unfolding, nor is there a final end point into which the process can mature. So the purposeless, process moves aimlessly along, producing emergent mindless accidents for no reason at all.

Christian Darwinists, who make up the majority of Theistic Evolutionists, seek to reconcile the Biblical teleological with the Darwinian non-teleological model. In their view, a purposeful, mindful God could have used a purposeless, mindless process to create biodiversity. Of course, anyone who is capable of reasoning in the abstract will immediately understand that such a synthesis is logically impossible. Read More ›

Dr. Moran, Misplaced Confidence, and Capricious Arguments

On a recent thread, ID critic Larry Moran seemed to take great joy in mischaracterizing the science of design detection as ID/Creationism. That’s no surprise, of course, but I was amused by his rather strange proclivity to swagger in with a sneer and stumble out with a gaffe. If you are going to write this: “I have no respect for hypocrites, liars, and people who don’t take the time to learn about the subject they are attacking.” You don’t want to follow with this: “Intelligent Design Creationism grew out of Scientific Creationism when its leaders decided they needed a new word to try and disguise the religious basis of their agenda.” It just isn’t good form to complain about ignorant Read More ›