Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Media Manipulation, Agit-Prop &/or Lawfare

Logic and First Principles, 12: The crooked yardstick vs plumb-line self-evident truths

Let’s propose a silly example, that a certain Emperor (maybe, just before he went out in his new invisible clothes) decides that a certain crooked stick is now the standard of length, straightness, uprightness and accuracy, a crooked yardstick. Suddenly, what is genuinely such things will be deemed the opposite. And then, suppose that somehow he and his publicists persuade the general public to accept the new standard. Will they not then find that those backward fuddy duddies that hold up their old yardsticks are ignoramuses and obstacles to progress and harmony? Are we then locked into a war of competing imposed definitions and redefinitions? (That would for sure be a manipulator’s paradise.) That’s where a plumb-line might help: Here, Read More ›

Agit Prop media/troll ambush at the 2019 46th March for Life — lessons on well-poisoning for us all

Yesterday, I noticed how across 24 hours, a smear operation targetting students who participated in the 46th MfL played out. I commented in the MfL thread and think it is worth headlining with added media features: Let me embed some clips from Social Media, by fairly prominent personalities, these are HT Gateway Pundit, and give an idea of the sort of way piling on happens: Let me insert (Sat Jan 26) — again without specific or wider endorsement — Ben Shapiro pointing out on the narrative and its implications: Jan 26, 2019, Bishop’s letter of apology: Student’s lawyer statement: By Attorneys L. Lin Wood And Todd McMurtry ATLANTA, Jan. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — On January 18, in the span of a few hours, Nick Read More ›

Revealing in-thread exchanges on the imposition of evo mat scientism/ naturalism (and on the tactics to deflect attention from that)

The imposition of evolutionary materialistic scientism (aka naturalism) is one of the key issues driving the march of folly in our civilisation. It is also very difficult to discuss as there are some very powerful rhetorical deflectors at work. Sometimes, then, the best thing we can do is to clip from one of UD’s exchanges and headline it so we can see what is going on from the horse’s mouth: _________________________ It is amusing at first (then on deeper reflection, quite saddening) to trace some of the onward discussion in the thread from which the OP comes: JDK, 94: >>Hi JAD. I don’t think there has been anything in this thread about purposelessness. The OP has been about teleological explanations Read More ›

UD’s Weak Arguments Correctives page passes 50,000 visits

As I checked the dashboard, I just saw that the current visit-count for the “Frequently raised but weak arguments against Intelligent Design” page stands at 50,307. Worth noting, even as onlookers are again invited to ponder its remarks. END PS: Table of contents: WEAK ANTI-ID ARGUMENTS: 1] ID is “not science” 2] No Real Scientists Take Intelligent Design Seriously 3] Intelligent Design does not carry out or publish scientific research 4] ID does not make scientifically fruitful predictions 5] Intelligent Design is “Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo” 6] Since Intelligent Design Proponents Believe in a “Designer” or “Creator” They Can Be Called “Creationists” 7] Because William Dembski once commented that the design patterns in nature are consistent with the “logos Read More ›

The ID issue vs Digital Empire/Cartel concerns: information utilities/ “superhighway” vs shadow-censoring, de-platforming information gatekeepers

The ID issue has long been a focal point for intense, often deeply polarised debate on our origins and world roots as informed by science. Science, being a major source of knowledge and understanding about our world, which also energises technological innovation and economic growth. Science is often treated as though it is the grounds for seeing evolutionary materialism as effectively self evidently true but crucially depends on our being responsibly and rationally sufficiently free to think logically, establish mathematics as a domain of rationally grounded truth about abstract structures and quantities that are necessary for any possible world, and more. Such already deeply challenges the world-picture painted by the magisterium of lab coat-clad atheists. That is only a gateway Read More ›

GUN, UD News, Wikipedia and the sources credibility question

It has been said that 99% of practical arguments rely on authorities, i.e. sources. We can start with dictionaries, parents, teachers, officials, records and serious writings, or even the news and punditry we all follow. (And yes, this paragraph is a case in point, here, C S Lewis making a general point; which I amplified.) The context is, that News just reported how Wikipedia (the po mo encyclopedia we love to bash that has driven traditional encyclopedias to despair and sometimes to ruin) is having a dispute that has gone to its highest internal tribunal. GUN and I had an exchange on sources that is worth headlining, not least as ID disputes often have to deal with quality of sources Read More ›

CT4: AK on morality: “Since the moral fabric is man made, all we are doing is seeing it change . . .”

Sometimes, one of our frequent objectors has a truly noteworthy letting- the- cat- out- of- the- bag moment that is worth headlining. In the still live CT2 thread, AK unwittingly exposes the incoherence and implied amorality of atheistical, evolutionary materialism when he comments in key part: AK, 80: >>Since the moral fabric is man made, all we are doing is seeing it change, as it has done over the centuries. Sometimes history shows that the change has been for the good, and sometimes for the bad. But since civilization is thriving, it is reasonable to conclude that we have had more wins than losses.>> Note first, “[s]ince the moral fabric is man-made.” Here, the question is clearly begged in grand Read More ›

The problem of using “methodological” naturalism to define science

One of the problems that keeps on cropping up here at UD and elsewhere is as captioned. Accordingly, I just noted to JDK et al in the “complaining” thread as follows: ___________ KF, 66: >>I should note on the subtly toxic principle that has been injected in such a way as to seem reasonable (especially to those who have been led to be ever-suspicious towards or at minimum forever apologetic over, our civilisation’s Judaeo-Christian heritage). Namely, so-called “methodological” naturalism. The first key trick in this, of course is that there is a grand suggestion that “methodological” removes the philosophical agenda involved in the naturalism. It does not. Instead, it subtly converts the effective meaning of “Science” into: the “best” evolutionary Read More ›

Re, Seversky: “a lot of this reads like complaining because science isn’t coming up with observations and theories that you like . . . “

Sometimes, an issue comes to a head, and there is then need to deal with it. The headline inadvertently shows that we are at such a juncture and the post yesterday on time to take the lead is therefore timely. For, the underlying problem at work on ID is that there is an often implicit but sometimes quite explicit ideologically loaded redefinition of science at work. Accordingly, I think it appropriate to headline my response to Seversky, including the onward accusation of religious bias: KF, 28 (in reply to 21): >>Strawman soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the issues: a lot of this reads like complaining because science isn’t coming up with observations Read More ›

Tabby’s Star, 3: the business of dealing with Black Swans

In the Tabby’s Star”extraordinary claims” follow-up thread, one of the usual objector personas tried to pounce on the corrective: To do so, he tried to counter-pose the concept of Bayesian analysis, then professes to find that a discussion of the difference between risk and radical uncertainty is little more than meaningless verbiage. This is, however, little more than a play to keep going on business as usual in science in the teeth of warning signs: Where, we must also reckon with the subtleties of signals and noise: I have responded onward and think it worth the while to headline: KF, 53 : >>Let me clip Barsch as a public service for those dipping a tentative toe in the frigid, shark-infested Read More ›

FYI-FTR: JS, “sock[puppet]” troll persona — the unmasking (by Ab at a notorious objector site)

Over the past several days, JS has been self-unmasked as a troll at a notorious anti-UD forum site.  As a public service, to demonstrate the tactics and mentality we are up against, I now headline an exchange with a likely second “sock[puppet]” that popped up to try to project accusations: MK, 139: >>I have gone back and read through many, although not all, of JSmith’s comments. Although I disagree with many of his views, I don’t see anything that would warrant the venom and viscous [sic] accusations that you are tossing his way . . .  [–> note, this is a claimed school-marm]>> Here we see the tag team backup in the form of what is very likely a concern Read More ›

The futility of relativism, subjectivism and emotivism as ethical stances

The exchanges over ethics have continued to brew up in UD’s comment threads. Accordingly, it is appropriate to note an excerpt from a chapter summary for what seems to be a very level-headed — and so quite unfashionable — textbook: >>Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping: . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has Read More ›

FYI: Blackstone on the laws of our morally governed nature

Sometimes, a classic reference provides food for thought: >>Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769) Sir William Blackstone INTRODUCTION, SECTION 2 Of the Nature of Laws in General Law, in its most general and comprehensive sense, signifies a rule of action; and is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of action, whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. Thus we say, the laws of motion, of gravitation, of optics, or mechanics, as well as the laws of nature and of nations. And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey. Thus when the supreme being formed the universe, and created matter out of nothing, he impressed certain principles upon Read More ›