Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Logic and Reason

Logic and First Principles of right reason

Is there evidence that we have free will?

Random Brain Waves Save Free Will? The debate continues with a new publication. But the new study by Han-Gue Jo and colleagues of Freiburg makes a strong case that the “RP” is not really a ‘thing’ at all. They say that, in the two seconds before a button press, you see both negative and positive changes, in roughly equal numbers. There are slightly more negative ones, so on average, there is a small negative “RP”, but only on average. See: Exp Brain Res. 2013 Dec;231(4):495-500. doi: 10.1007/s00221-013-3713-z. Epub 2013 Oct 9. Spontaneous EEG fluctuations determine the readiness potential: is preconscious brain activation a preparation process to move? Jo HG, Hinterberger T, Wittmann M, Borghardt TL, Schmidt S.

VIDEO: Jon Rittenhouse’s BB ST 450 course lecture on Scientism

Ran across this Biola video lecture (in course BB ST 450) on scientism in a thread from a few months back, HT BA77 as usual. I think it is well worth pondering: [youtube lnxrmF9O1ko] So, thoughts? END

FYI-FTR, # 4: You can’t make this up . . . KeithS and ilk dig in further — StephenB asks, is there any one there (apart from KeithS) who is uncertain of his self-aware existence?

Some things you can’t make up in a novel, they would be too implausible to be salable. But reality itself has no such constraints. As onlookers know, over the past several days — cf. here and here, we have been back to the issue of KeithS and his fellow evolutionary materialists (and their fellow travellers and enablers) and their struggles with first principles of right reason, starting with say seeing a bright red ball on a table and noticing the obvious about such a situation: StephenB has been making a basic argument to KS that it is worth highlighting again (NB: KS is busily pretending that this does not exist and/or has no cogency): SB, 491 in the Meanningless world Read More ›

FYI-FTR, # 3: KeithS doubles down on sawing off the branch on which he sits, via po-mo certainty that we cannot be certain (oopsie . . . ), multiplies it by turnabout “liar-liar, your’e a hypocrite” rhetoric

We live in an intellectually impoverished and too often uncivil era, with the rise of evolutionary materialist scientism (as in: a priori evolutionary materialist “Science” is all of ‘real’ knowledge) having no small part of the responsibility. So, it is no real surprise to see one KeithS, one of the Darwinist anti-UD web patrol doubling down and trying to escape behind a squid-ink cloud of polarising and poisonous rhetoric,  in response to my expose of his fallacies over the past few days, and resorting to false, turnabout accusations of lying and hypocrisy to try to trumpet the pretence that he has “won” a ‘debate.” bearing in mind that earlier expose of the many errors and absurdities in KeithS’ reasoning, let Read More ›

FYI-FTR, # 2: KeithS of TSZ and other objecting sites, inadvertently shows the self-referential absurdity of evolutionary materialism and its fellow traveller po-mo ideologies regarding first principles of right reason and other self-evident first truths

We live in a post-modern [actually, ultra-modern . . . in Joe Carter’s sense of “modernity on volume level ELEVEN, not merely  ten” . . . ] world, or so we are commonly told. In that world, it is a commonplace to hear that “Aristotelian logic” exhibits a black- and- white thinking fallacy (strawman: any shade of pink, gold or green  etc. will do as NOT-WHITE . . . ). It is equally commonplace to see that truth and rationality are reduced in the minds of such to mere opinion, to be decided in the end by the nihilistic principle might and manipulation make ‘right.’ Which is in itself a big red warning flag. In such a situation, those who Read More ›

Stolen Concepts: All Materialist Arguments Are Self-Refuting

The stolen concept fallacy is a form of self-refutation. From Wikipedia: Stolen Concept – the act of using a concept while ignoring, contradicting or denying the validity of the concepts on which it logically and genetically depends. In an ongoing, multi-thread sub-debate at The Skeptical Zone, I have been making the case that when materialists argue, they necessarily employ stolen concepts, such as those referred to by the following terms and more: “I”, “we”, “prove”, “evidence”, “reason”, “logic”, “determine”, “conclude”, “error”, “fact”, “objective”, “subjective”, etc. Generally agreed upon by many of those at TSZ (although now I suspect we’ll get a barrage of disagreement via DDS), human beings are material computations of physics, meaning that everything a human does, says, Read More ›

RDF/AIG as a case of the incoherence and rhetorical agenda of evolutionary materialist thought and/or its fellow- traveller ideologies

For the past several weeks, there has been an exchange that developed in the eduction vs persuasion thread (put up May 9th by AndyJones), on first principles of right reason and related matters.  Commenter RDF . . .   has championed some popular talking points in today’s intellectual culture. We can therefore pick up from a citation and comment by Vivid, at 619 in the thread (June 12th), for record and possible further discussion. Accordingly, I clip comment 742 from the thread (overnight) and headline it: _____________ >>. . . let us remind ourselves of the context for the just above exchanges, by going back to Vivid at 619: [RDF/AIG:] And once again I must remind you that you are mistaken. Read More ›

Naturalism, Intelligent Design and Extraordinary Claims

The late Carl Sagan is credited with popularizing the phrase “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. (hereinafter this will be referred to as the “EC-EE” claim) While the phrase has become the skeptic’s mantra, its original roots probably trace back to the French mathematician and astronomer Pierre –Simon LaPlace (1749-1827) who once wrote: “the weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness”. Regardless of its origins, the sentiment expressed in the quote has, over the last few years, become one of the bedrock critiques against ID. The notion seems to be along the lines that ID’s core claim is that only an unembodied supernatural intelligence can account for the specified complexity exhibited in biological systems, and Read More ›

A corrective to some remarks regarding first principles of reason, showing that such first principles are just that . . .

It seems I need to headline a corrective footnote on basic reasoning, from an ongoing exchange in a current discussion thread: ________ >> I decided to take a look around via Google. It was saddening but unsurprising to see the party-spirited objections to first principles of reason coming from the circle of objector sites. Inadvertently, they show the very reason why there is a serious problem of want of basic rationality in our civilisation in general, but in particular among those strongly influenced by avant garde, ideologically popular secularist, evolutionary materialist progressivism and that species of ultra-modernity that likes to call itself post modernism. A few points: 1 –> The first steps in reasoning do start with our common sense status Read More ›

On pulling a cosmos out of a non-existent hat . . .

This morning, CH has by implication raised the issue that has been hotly debated recently: getting a cosmos out of “nothing.” I thought it would be helpful to headline my comment: ______________ >>  . . . “Something from nothing” is always problematic. Now, I know I know, here is Ethan Siegel of Science Blogs in partnership with Nat Geog, inadvertently illustrating the problem: It’s often said that you can’t get something from nothing. And while this may be true for most practical applications of your life, it isn’t true for our physical Universe. And I don’t just mean some tiny part of it; I mean all of it. When you take a look at the Universe out there, whether you’re Read More ›

ID Foundations, 17: Stephen C. Meyer’s summary of the positive inductive logic case for design as best explanation of the FSCO/I* in DNA

(Prev. : No 16 F/N: 17a, here) *NB: For those new to UD, FSCO/I means: Functionally Specific Complex Organisation and/or associated Information From time to time, we need to refocus our attention on foundational issues relating to the positive case for inferring design as best explanation for certain phenomena connected to origins of the cosmos, life and body plans. It is therefore worth the while to excerpt an addition I just made to the IOSE Introduction and Summary page, HT CR, by way of an excerpt from Meyer’s reply to Falk’s hostile review of Signature in the Cell. In addition, given all too commonly seen basic problems with first principles of right reasoning among objectors to design theory [–> cf. Read More ›

Comprehensibility of the world

Albert Einstein, who was struck by the astonishing organization of the cosmos, said: “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” and asked “How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?” I have to deduce that Einstein hadn’t an understanding of traditional metaphysics. Otherwise he would neither have spoken about the comprehensibility of the universe as “the most incomprehensible thing” or a “miracle”, nor he would have been surprised that math is so “appropriate to the objects of reality”. In fact metaphysics postulates “universal intelligibility” (nothing is unknowable in principle). The comprehensibility of the world is Read More ›

Stirring the Pot, 3a: Responding to G2’s dismissal of philosophy at UD by highlighting the scientific significance of first principles of right reason and corollaries, including those tied to cause and effect . . .

G2 has made an objection at 45 in the STP 3 thread on how UD is a philosophy-theology site, and how he sees no science advances. I think it worth the whole to highlight a response, as a headlined post supportive to the STP 3 thread; of course with the added features such as images. You are invited to comment there, from here on: ________________ >>G2: I see your @ 45: Can we just accept that UncommonDescent is a philosopy/theology site ? Im still waiting for the big advances in ID. Neat little dismissive rhetorical shot, nuh, it’s all over. Not so fast. If we are to reason accurately and soundly, we have to have the first principles of right Read More ›

Stirring the Pot, 3: What about the so-called Laws of Thought/First Principles of Right Reason?

Cf follow up on laws of thought including cause, here In our day, it is common to see the so-called Laws of Thought or First Principles of Right Reason challenged or dismissed. As a rule, design thinkers strongly tend to reject this common trend, including when it is claimed to be anchored in quantum theory. Going beyond, here at UD it is common to see design thinkers saying that rejection of the laws of thought is tantamount to rejection of rationality, and is a key source of endless going in evasive rhetorical circles and refusal to come to grips with the most patent facts; often bogging down attempted discussions of ID issues. The debate has hotted up over the past Read More ›

Now, draw me one — of square circles and contradictions in terms (being a challenge to those who play rhetorical games with contradictions and confusions in order to reject the design inference)

The Online Dictionary’s Thesaurus tells us: contradiction in terms – (logic) a statement that is necessarily false; “the statement `he is brave and he is not brave’ is a contradiction” As a capital, classic example, say the following words: “Square Circle” Now, riddle me this, riddle me that, guess me this riddle and perhaps not: DRAW ME ONE. I confidently assert [HT: Peter Cech], this cannot be done: You will observe that the square and the circle show how a circle and a square can by degrees be transformed or mapped into each other, but that the one and the same object in the same place and time cannot have the essential properties of squareness and circularity. In short, we Read More ›