Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Media Manipulation, Agit-Prop &/or Lawfare

L&FP, 68: Cognitive Dissonance and fallacies of projection etc

It is a sub-study of logic, to address fallacies. Accordingly, as it has come up, it seems helpful to highlight cognitive dissonance and certain associated fallacies. First, [HT: Montecinos et al, fair use] here is a recent framework for cognitive dissonance: This is a simple but powerful model. As an example, it has been argued that certain free trial period software, by involving the user in considerable effort to register and use the product, then shifts attitudes towards reluctance to give up the product. Of course, many attitude, thought, belief or behaviour changes can be influenced by the need to reduce inner pain, and some of these are more justifiable in the cold light of day than others. However, some Read More ›

L&FP, 67: So-called “critical rationalism” and the blunder of denying [defeat-able] warrant for knowledge

IEP summarises: “Critical Rationalism” is the name Karl Popper (1902-1994) gave to a modest and self-critical rationalism. He contrasted this view with “uncritical or comprehensive rationalism,” the received justificationist view that only what can be proved by reason and/or experience should be accepted. Popper argued that comprehensive rationalism cannot explain how proof is possible and that it leads to inconsistencies. Critical rationalism today is the project of extending Popper’s approach to all areas of thought and action. In each field the central task of critical rationalism is to replace allegedly justificatory methods with critical ones. A common summary of this is that it replaces knowledge as justified, true belief, with “knowledge is unjustified untrue unbelief.” That is, we see here Read More ›

L&FP, 66: String — yes, s-t-r-i-n-g — data structures as key information storage arrays (thus the significance of DNA and mRNA)

One of the more peculiar objections to the design inference is the strident, often repeated claim that the genetic code is not a code, and that DNA and mRNA are not storing algorithmic, coded information used in protein synthesis. These are tied to the string (yes, s-t-r-i-n-g) data structure, a key foundational array for information storage, transfer and application. So, it seems useful to address the string as a key first principles issue, with the onward point being that strings of course can and do store coded information. Let us begin with, what a string — yes, s-t-r-i-n-g — is (though that should already be obvious from even the headline): Geeks for Geeks: A string is a sequence of characters, Read More ›

Os Guinness: The Magna Carta of Humanity — our civilisation’s roots lie in Jerusalem/Mt Sinai too (not just Athens and Rome)

A video discussion with Eric Metaxas: After telling of his experiences in China where he was born in the 1940’s, Guinness speaks of a moment when a civilisation loses touch with its roots. He suggests, there then are three alternatives: renewal, replacement or decline. As the modern jacobins rise up again, our civilisation faces that choice, at kairos; with lawful, ordered freedom in the stakes as 1776 [not, 1619 — a toxic slander driven distraction] clashes with 1789, so, too, frankly, 1917 – 49. And we need to recall the challenge to not throw out the baby with the bath water. END PS, ponder

Breaking: Twitter accepts Musk’s Share offer buyout plan

Breitbart, as I just saw: After a two-week battle against opposition from the platform’s board members, self-declared free speech absolutist Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and currently the richest man in the world, has succeeded in his bid to buy Twitter. In a press release, the Twitter board announced that they had reached an agreement with the multi-billionaire to sell 100 percent of the company at Musk’s original price of $54.20 per share. Where does this point? DEVELOPING. U/D April 29, Followership jumps per Daily mail: A chart of followership shifts from the verge:

Barna profiles a generation on the cliff’s crumbling edge — 78 million US Millennials

Barna’s current report, “New Insights into the Generation of Growing Influence: Millennials In America,” is a portrait of a generation adrift, dancing on the edge of a cliff, and reflective of generations of civilisational betrayal by intellectual, policy/political, media and educational leadership leading to a destabilised culture. And so, this cannot wait, triple bereavement life crisis or no, this needs to be highlighted and preliminarily assessed here at UD: The report’s snapshot summary tells the grim story in outline: And: Also, we may add on Religious identification, affinity and affiliation: We can start with the obvious, as within living memory of those of us who were of age to notice, between 1989 and 1991, Marxism’s credibility as a principle of Read More ›

Is the USA going over the edge as we speak?

Scott Adams, American cartoonist and commenter on events with a particular view to persuasion and narrative dominance seems to agree. Transcript of key comments: I think I’ve been telling you for some time the obvious way that these protests/riots/looting episodes were going to go. There was only one way that these would go under the assumption that the police would not get more aggressive and that the local government would not let the federal government come in and take care of the violent stuff. There was going to be no adult supervision and that was intentional. The local leadership decided to not have any adult leadership during the protests/riots/looting. So it was obvious that the locals would end up arming Read More ›

At 1776 + 244, is the American Revolution dead or dying?

The American Revolution was a catalyst that showed that a sustainable modern, representational, Constitutional Republic of significant “we the People” democratic character was feasible. It served as a beacon of hope for the world, nowhere better captured than in key words from the American Declaration of Independence, 244 years ago today: When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident [cf Rom 1:18 Read More ›

Abortion, the leading cause of deaths worldwide in 2019

Of course, first, a happy new year! However, as we ponder the cultural consequences of inherently amoral evolutionary materialistic scientism, the following clip should give us pause: >>More human beings died in abortions than any other cause of death in 2019, a new report indicates. A heartbreaking reminder about the prevalence of abortion, statistics compiled by Worldometers indicate that there were over 42.3 million abortions world-wide in 2019. The independent site collects data from governments and other reputable organizations and then reports the data, along with estimates and projections, based on those numbers. When contrasting the abortion numbers to other causes of death, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents and suicide, abortions far outnumbered every other cause. By contrast, 8.2 million Read More ›

Does The Bible “condone” slavery, even as Darwin opposed it?

It seems, this issue is on the table here at UD again, and it needs to be publicly corrected for record. As a first step, I link a discussion in response to the oppression thesis used to try to discredit and marginalise the historical contribution of the Christian faith (and to create the false impression that due to “obvious” ethical failure, the gospel can be dismissed). It is also worthwhile to link my recently updated discussion on moral government, objectivity of ethics and law. (While we are at it, here is a summary response on the rhetorical challenge of evil.) Let me also again put up an infographic that has been featured several times here at UD in response to Read More ›

Logic & First Principles, 20: What is law?

A good first step to understanding the ongoing failure of our civilisation is to contrast the common, positive law view of law summarised by Wikipedia (as a handy point of reference): Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as “the Science of Justice” and “the Art of Justice”. Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions Read More ›

Defending Civilization, 2: Linking gospel-warrant and the naturally evident law of our morally governed nature

On the table is a warrant regarding the core gospel message, e.g. vid: . . . which is foundational to the civilisation which has come down to us. In effect, the Christian synthesis of the heritage of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome framed what became Christendom and has come down to us today, now usually styled Western Civilisation. The just linked also discusses through Schaeffer’s framework, . . . how for hundreds of years, there has been a growing push in thought, culture and general society to split apart “grace and nature” or reason and revelation, . . . leading to a breakdown of the unifying core in both worldviews and cultural agendas. This reflects the classic problem of the one Read More ›

Churchill on rebuilding the traditional: “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us”

According to news reports, already over US$ 1 billion has been pledged towards rebuilding Notre Dame: BTW: after the fire, a video tour: In today’s ever so polarised age [currently awaiting the infamous redacted Mueller Report on a two-year investigation into US President Trump], it is unsurprising that we see for example in Rolling Stone: . . . for some people in France, Notre Dame has also served as a deep-seated symbol of resentment, a monument to a deeply flawed institution and an idealized Christian European France that arguably never existed in the first place. “The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” says Patricio del Real, an architecture historian at Harvard Read More ›

What are the implications of Julian Assange’s arrest in London?

Yesterday, a prematurely aged-looking Assange (he is 47) — a founder of Wikileaks and Australian — was arrested by UK Police after the Ecuadorean Embassy he has sought asylum in since 2012 withdrew its protection. The arrest raises questions on dissidents, privacy, protection of legitimate secrets, the public’s right to know more than officials, power brokers and publicists or other gatekeepers want, and more. (Let us not forget the Pentagon Papers and their impact.) Many of these concerns bleed over into how controversial and sometimes unpopular views like ID will be treated going forward — especially regarding freedom of the Internet. So, there is relevance. Again, Daily Mail gives some background: ‘Narcissist’ Julian Assange faces DECADES in US jail after Read More ›