Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Free Speech

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:

China’s surveillance and control move, targeting esp. Christians

We see in current news: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has activated measures to drastically restrict the availability of Christian content on the internet, Open Doors reported this week. Last December, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) announced its upcoming “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services,” a series of regulations designed to eliminate any online religious message that fails to conform to the principles of the CCP. Without express government permission, no organization or individual “shall preach on the Internet, carry out religious education and training, publish sermon content, forward or link to related content, organize and conduct religious activities on the Internet, or live broadcast or post recorded videos of religious rituals,” the CCP declared Read More ›

A Sandia National Labs Whistleblower on Culture form Marxism imposition by HR Department

Yes, it’s real: And if this is being “mainstreamed” at Sandia National Labs, it’s going to be all but pervasive in Government and in the sort of corporations that typically get government contracts. Across today, DV, I intend to put up screen shots from his presentation, as points to ponder. As a start, clip 1: Clip 2: Clip 3: Petersen’s caveats: Let me add, on HR etc vs surveys of actual black Americans: Similarly, though there is a general violence problem in the US and such is echoed in policing, US DoJ figures as cited give a picture different from the narrative (especially if we recognise that, sadly African American youth are heavily over-represented in violent crimes, as perpetrators and Read More ›

How can we handle issues and make big decisions (such as on ID, response to pandemics, ethics & epistemology etc) in a deeply polarised age?

Seminal Christian thinker, Francis Schaeffer, often said that “ideas have consequences.” The issue of course, is that good/bad ideas have similarly good/bad consequences. So, we face a familiar dilemma, especially when a culture or community or civilisation is on a dangerous path: This helps us to focus the issue: we are looking at alternatives in a community where balances of power tend to lock in business as usual and tend to marginalise alternatives. So, we will have to look at power structures, polarisation and prudence in decision-making at policy level. Which, as a fairly simple framework, raises the concept of seven “commanding heights” mountains/pillars of influence that uphold and in turn are protected by a dominant worldview and cultural agenda: Read More ›

Food for thought on digital media manipulation and potential impacts (think about, on how ID, theism, the gospel and gospel ethics, etc. are often perceived)

While we of UD have but little interest as a blog in 2020 US election campaign tactics etc and endorse no candidate, the research by Dr. Robert Epstein on How Big Tech’s Algorithms Can Impact Opinions and Votes speaks far more broadly. We have cause to be concerned (and no, it’s not just Wikipedia’s notorious biases): Let’s clip from the YT blurb, to help focus discussion: Just what are some of the methods that tech giants like Google and Facebook can [–> and per the discussion, sometimes DO] use to shift their users’ attitudes, beliefs [–> think, worldviews and policy/cultural agendas], and even votes? How do search engine rankings impact undecided voters? [–> strongly] How powerful of an impact can 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 ›

The problem of anti-conscience, anti-theistic prejudice driving opinion, views and policy

In a current thread on the morality or otherwise on the Pagan practice of infanticide, frequent, objecting commenter BB gives us a summary of a common prejudice of our time: BB, 69: ” The fact that we no longer blindly accept discrimination based on the justification of freedom of conscience or freedom of religion is a good thing. Freedom of conscience and freedom of religion were historically used as justification for many acts of discrimination, including the subjugation of women and the ban on interracial marriage. How can we be certain that some of the discriminations now justified using freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are not equally unjustifiable? ” [emphases added] The presumption of discrimination and implication that 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 ›

Silenced! Selectivity too close to truth?

Should science pursue truth regardless of consequences? Or must we succumb to political correctness? Must selectivity of females always equal males? Consider:
Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole – by Theodore P. Hill
“In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom.” . . . Read More ›

ID vs the shadow-censoring (“shadow-banning”) digital empires, 2

ID is a proposition that, first, it is reasonable to inquire scientifically as to whether certain features of the world of life and/or the physical cosmos can or do show observable signs of design. To which, the answer has long since been given, e.g. by the well known OoL researcher Orgel in a significant 1973 book: >>living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack 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 ›

Uncommon Descent ranked well within the top 1% of web sites

A few days ago, frequent commenter Dionisio noted: >>http://www.ranking.com/ Web Rank Biblegateway.com 168 MIT.edu 7,280 HARVARD.edu 7,246 Nature.com 7,449 Desiringgod.org 10,105 Answersingenesis.org 11,865 Gty.org 15,018 Icr.org 19,037 Religionnews.com 22,188 Rzim.org 35,858 Samaritanspurse.org 40,274 Truthforlife.org 49,862 Royalsociety.org 53,686 Evolutionnews.org 58,755 Jamesmacdonald.com 60,164 Reasons.org 65,259 Uncommondescent.com 80,763 Pandasthumb.org 106,377 Kodugamelab.com 668,032>> I took a look, especially at the question of how many web sites are out there. That is a hard question, but the reasonable and somewhat conservative number looks like about the billion, with 75% inactive in one way or another, i.e. the active web overall is 250 million sites or so, maybe up to several times more depending on how you count and when. I then responded: “[T]here are over Read More ›

The agit prop, spreading lie/slander well-poisoning game

Just now, I responded to a point JM made in the current James Tour thread. I think the comment chain is worth headlining: KF, 14: >> why debate someone when instead: [a] you can ignore, marginalise and rob of publicity? [b] you can caricature, smear, slander and poison the well? [c] you dominate institutions and are utterly ruthless in imposing a crooked yardstick as the standard for straightness and accuracy? (If you doubt me, see the Wiki article on ID. Resemblance to current trends in discussing political issues, policy alternatives and personalities is NOT coincidence.)>> D, 15: >>you have described very accurately the pathetic situation in this world. Facing the strong arguments of a scientist like Dr Tour, the still Read More ›

BTB & FFT: Is it true that “ID has no . . . recognised scientists, predictive qualities, experiments, peer reviewed publications, evidence, or credibility scientifically”?

H’mm, pretty devastating — if true. But, is it true? I doubt it. Let us start with this response to a certain objector who keeps providing lists of typical objector talking points (and who evidently wishes to be able to do so on UD’s nickel, without effective response). Not on our watch, gentilhombre: >>13 kairosfocus May 30, 2017 at 1:17 am F/N: DI’s opening remarks on the annotated list of ID professional literature updated to March 2017: BIBLIOGRAPHIC AND ANNOTATED LIST OF PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS SUPPORTING INTELLIGENT DESIGN UPDATED MARCH, 2017 PART I: INTRODUCTION While intelligent design (ID) research is a new scientific field, recent years have been a period of encouraging growth, producing a strong record of peer-reviewed scientific publications. In 2011, Read More ›