Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


The study of knowledge and its conditions

Yes, President Duterte, God credibly exists

. . . given what it takes for us to be here as credibly responsible, rational, morally governed creatures. This is of course my response to UD News’ recent articles on the challenge to “prove” the existence of God, as was recently issued by the President of the Philippines, His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Of course, much hinges on the meaning of “proof,” and so I first pause to note a point made by Simon Greenleaf in his treatise on Evidence: >>Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high Read More ›

What about the broader view of naturalism? (And how does this tie in with methods of science?)

A handy source on the broader view of naturalism (as a bit more elaborate than a dictionary and a tad more credible than Wikipedia) is Encyclopedia Britannica: >>Naturalism, in philosophy, a theory that relates scientific method to philosophy by affirming that all beings and events in the universe (whatever their inherent character may be) are natural. Consequently, all knowledge of the universe falls within the pale of scientific investigation. Although naturalism denies the existence of truly supernatural realities, it makes allowance for the supernatural, provided that knowledge of it can be had indirectly—that is, that natural objects be influenced by the so-called supernatural entities in a detectable way . . . . While naturalism has often been equated with materialism, Read More ›

On the absurdity of “naturalism” (and the equal absurdity of its censorship of science and education)

A little while ago, UD’s News noted on the tenth anniversary of Louisiana’s science education law, and an exchange has developed on the significance of “methodological” and “philosophical” “naturalism” in science, education — and by implication society. A crucial issue is the July 2000 statement of the US National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) on science education and how it must be confined to naturalistic concepts and explanations. For cause, I have long marked up that statement as follows: >>PREAMBLE: All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this Read More ›

Mathematical Realism/ Platonism (and Nesher on Godel’s Option C)

As we continue to explore the mathematical domain of abstract reality and objective truth, we come to first the Godel point (as summarised by Nesher): where, recall, the domain of facts starts with something like the surreal world of numbers: and then also, we come to the world of Mathematical Platonism/ Realism. So, let me continue by promoting a comment I just added to the objectivity of Mathematics thread: KF, 29 : >>Let’s see how IEP describes Mathematical Platonism (where, no, this is not equal to Plato’s theory of forms): Traditionally, mathematical platonism has referred to a collection of metaphysical accounts of mathematics, where a metaphysical account of mathematics is one that entails theses concerning the existence and fundamental nature Read More ›

Why is the objectivity of Mathematics an important (& ID-relevant) question?

In recent days, I have taken time to show that while subjects study the logic of structure and quantity (= Mathematics, in a nutshell), the body of knowledge — including axiomatised systems — is objective. Where, “objective” effectively means, tied to such a body of accountable warrant and to foundational self-evident facts that the substance of that body of knowledge is credibly an accurate description of facets of reality, as opposed to being dubious (though not necessarily false) figments of a subject’s imagination. Of course, while objectivity implies credible truth (truth being the accurate description of relevant reality) it cannot guarantee utter freedom from error or gaps; especially after Godel’s key incompleteness results. Why is that? For one, it has Read More ›

BO’H asks: “aren’t the axioms that mathematicians assume subjective? (they may be rational, but they’re not the only possible axioms that could be used)”

This is yet another significant issue that emerges from the ongoing exchanges on subjectivity, objectivity, possibility of objective moral truth, etc. And, the deep interconnectedness of what we are discussing is proving quite fruitful. So, I think it is useful to now headline Bob’s remark in the rebooting ethics education thread, which ties in Mathematics. And those who find it hard to follow use of indented text blocks to quote, please pardon that praxis: BO’H, 25 :>>but aren’t the axioms that mathematicians assume subjective? (they may be rational, but they’re not the only possible axioms that could be used) What follows after that is (or at least should be!) objective, of course.>> My response is: KF, 26: >>No. Instantly, an Read More ›