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Academic Freedom

Tour deals with the rhetorical tactics of a critic

HT Q, here is Dr Tour’s response to a critic’s rhetoric (with some addressing of substantial matters through interacting with an expert caught in the cross fire): It is sad to see that this had to be dealt with. As a point of reference, let us highlight first duties and principles of right reason, extending to those connected with the logic of cause and so too inductive reasoning — which includes inference to the best explanation (i.e. abduction). I trust, this will be useful. END PS, as the critic attacked Dr Tour personally as allegedly lying for Jesus (which does not seem to be warranted on the circumstances), it is relevant to add this on Dr Tour’s response to anti-Christian Read More ›

UB’s notes on autocatalytic reaction sets vs languages and symbol systems

UB writes: UB, only way thread, 164: >>My apologies to Origenes, he had asked for my comment, but I was away . . . . I am no expert of course, but thank you for asking me to comment. Frankly you didn’t need my opinion anyway. When you ask “What is the error in supposing something?” you likely already know there is no there there. And someone seriously asking you (like some odd prosecution of your logic) to enumerate what exactly is the biological error or the chemical error in the proposition of something that has never before been seen or recorded in either biology or chemistry — well whatever. Deacon begins by asking the question, what is necessary and Read More ›

L&FP, 62a: Science can rightly — and usefully — be viewed as “reverse engineering of the natural world”

Here, it is helpful to headline an update to L&FP, 62, as we need to return to a rich vein of thought that allows us to approach science in light of systems engineering perspectives: [[We may add a chart on a key subset of SE, reverse engineering, RE: One of the most significant Reverse Engineering-Forward Engineering exercises was the clean room duplication of the IBM PC’s operating framework that allowed lawsuit-proof clones to be built that then led to the explosion of PC-compatible machines. By the time this was over, IBM sold out to Lenovo and went back to its core competency, Mainframes. Where, now, a mainframe today is in effect a high end packaged server farm; the microprocessor now Read More ›

L&FP, 62: The Systems (and Systems Engineering) Perspective — a first step to understanding design in/of our world

Our frame going forward, is knowledge reformation driven by application of the adapted JoHari Window, given obvious, fallacy-riddled ideological captivity of the intellectual high ground of our civilisation: Ideological captivity of the high ground also calls forth the perspective that we need to map the high ground: If you want some context on validity: So, we are now looking at ideologically driven captivity of the intellectual high ground and related institutions of our civilisation, leading to compromising the integrity of the knowledge commons through fallacy riddled evolutionary materialistic scientism and related ideologies. Not a happy thought but that is what we have to deal with and find a better way forward. We already know, knowledge (weak, everyday sense) is warranted, Read More ›

L&FP, 61: Learning about Agit Prop from the H G Wells, War of the Worlds broadcast (and from the modified JoHari Window)

Notoriously, on the evening of October 30, 1938, many people missed the opening remarks for Orson Welles’ radio dramatisation of H G Wells’ War of the Worlds. As History dot com recounts: Millions of Americans, as they were every night, huddled around their radios, but relatively few of them were listening to CBS when it was announced that Welles and his fellow cast members were presenting an original dramatization of the 1898 H.G. Wells science-fiction novel “The War of the Worlds.” Instead, most of the country was tuned in to NBC’s popular “Chase and Sanborn Hour,” which featured ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy . . . . disoriented listeners who stumbled onto the “Mercury Theatre on the Read More ›

L&FP, 59: Building a body of knowledge in a hyperskeptical, ideologically polarised era that often dismisses truth and objectivity

It’s not hard to recognise that we are in a hyperskeptical, ideologically polarised warped thinking age at war with objective truth and knowledge. Fundamentally, our academics have betrayed us, starting with putting the inferior substitute, skepticism, in the place of prudence. Once that was done, there is no firewal on skepticism so it spiralled into selective hyperskepticism that promotes favoured narratives while finding any excuse to dismiss the despised other. Inevitably, knowledge has fractured. So, let us again turn to the JoHari window to see how it can help us build a responsible, and often counter-narrative body of knowledge: Now, steps of thought (adapted from an earlier comment): 1: We must properly understand what knowledge is, including its subtleties, limitations Read More ›

Jerry Coyne tells us: Anticreationist book author Twittermobbed, may be de-Wikipedia’d

Get this: "Nobody cares about the facts; an accusation is sufficient." Oh, for heaven's sakes, look on the bright side!: At least we know it's the authentic Twitter mob and not some second-rate substitute like a starving wolf pack... Read More ›

L&FP, 57: What is naturalism? Is it a viable — or even the only viable — worldview and approach to knowledge?

What is naturalism? (And why do some speak in terms of evolutionary materialistic scientism?) While everything touched on by philosophy is of course open to disagreements and seemingly endless debate, we can find a good enough point of reference through AmHD: 3. Philosophy The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.4. Theology The doctrine that all religious truths are derived from nature and natural causes and not from revelation. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy suggests: The term “naturalism” has no very precise meaning in contemporary philosophy. Its current usage derives from debates in America in the first half of the last century. The self-proclaimed “naturalists” from that period included John Read More ›

Bari Weiss addresses the University of Austin about the need for new “Founders” for the United States

Weiss: Free speech also means refusing compelled speech. It means refusing to speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. So do not genially accept the lies told to you. Read More ›

New university in Texas, aiming to restore scholarly debate, surviving so far

From a university trying out intellectual freedom: "The disarming power of culture was palpable. Students who had learned to hold their tongues in college classrooms poured forth their souls once the cork of wariness was unstopped. " Read More ›

Eric Hedin and our cultural moment

UD welcomes our new News anchor. As a starter for reflection, let’s clip from his current book: Naturalism holds that nature is all there is,and that the order of the universe, including the order of the living world,is merely the result of the laws of nature, or, as some put it, of “chance andnecessity.” [Jerry] Coyne went a step further. He insisted that this view cannoteven be questioned in a public university science course—or to be moreprecise, cannot be questioned even in a cross-disciplinary course on sci-entific discoveries and their larger cultural implications.But the question as to whether philosophical naturalism is true istoo important to shove into a corner. This and other closely related ques-tions are precisely those anyone striving Read More ›

When universities no longer think intellectual freedom is important

Classic: After a few of the many students who had attended Azerrad’s talk complained about it, President Taylor and his administration initially censored the publication not only of the video of Azerrad’s presentation but also of the videos of the other eight conference presentations as well, as Howland recounted for City Journal. Read More ›

BREAKING: Leaked US Supreme Court Draft that would overturn the rulings that have led to 63+ million abortion deaths in the US since 1973

This, seems worth pondering on the state of the US’s ongoing 4th generation civil war as a civilisation level issue: A draft Supreme Court opinion overruling Roe v. Wade has been leaked to the press in one of the greatest scandals to ever hit the nation’s highest court and a possible attempt to intimidate one or more justices to reverse their vote or to ignite a liberal brushfire to pack the Supreme Court before Democrats lose Congress in November. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” the possible draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito reads, making the case that where the Constitution is silent, the American people govern themselves Read More ›