Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


At Mind Matters News: Nobelist Roger Penrose talks about his impossible triangle

Penrose attempts a minimalist position when defending the reality of both mathematics and the mind in a world where many believe that only the physical exists. Read More ›

At City Journal: Review of book attempting to scuff out the lab leak theory re COVID-19

Wade: "The lab at Wuhan, where researchers were manipulating Covid-type viruses, received funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Could Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, the NIH’s senior officials, have had any possible motive for suppressing their experts’ initial conclusion that the Covid virus was probably artificial?" Read More ›

L&FP, 58b: The JoHari Window and recognising limits of our knowledge

The JoHari Window provides a useful context to control speculation or accusation or assumption posing as knowledge: Here, we see a personal focus. This can readily be extended to institutions, movements, interest groups and the public. We can even see, through faction dynamics, how a minority may see while the community at large is innocently or even willfully blind, stuck in an ill advised business as usual. For example: Therefore, we are well advised to heed an adjusted form of Dallas Willard’s observation on knowledge and how it confers legitimate authority: To have knowledge in the dispositional sense—where you know things you are not necessarily thinking about at the time—is to be able to represent something as it is on Read More ›

L&FP, 58a: Dallas Willard, on knowledge and its significance: “knowledge authorizes one to act, to direct action, to develop and supervise policy, and to teach”

In his posthumous book (completed by colleagues), Willard makes a key observation on knowledge, one that challenges a power-obsessed, agenda driven era that is dismissive of objectivity rooted in good warrant: To have knowledge . . . is to be able to represent something as it is on an adequate basis of thought or experience, not to exclude communications from qualified sources (“authority”) . . . . knowledge authorizes one to act, to direct action, to develop and supervise policy, and to teach. It does so because, as everyone assumes, it enables us to deal more successfully with reality: with what we can count on, have to deal with, or are apt to have bruising encounters with. Knowledge involves assured Read More ›

At City Journal: In science today, correctness openly trumps truth

Irrespective of evidence, if people don’t like what’s being said about them — and they are a perceived victim group — it’s not science. Well, at least we know how science will end: As a public relations agency! Read More ›

L&FP 58: Knowledge (including scientific knowledge) is not a simple concept

. . . as a result of which, once there is an issue, complex questions and limitations of the philosophy of knowledge — Epistemology — emerge. Where, in particular, no scientific theory can be even morally certain. (Yes, as Newtonian Dynamics illustrates, they can be highly empirically reliable in a given gamut of circumstances . . . but as Newtonian Dynamics [vs. Modern Physics] also illustrates, so can models and frameworks known to be strictly inaccurate to reality. Empirical reliability is something we can know to responsible certainty.) So, it is important for us to understand the subtleties and limitations of knowledge and of knowledge claims. As we have discussed previously, on balance, a good definition of knowledge (beyond merely Read More ›

The Intelligent Design Audiopaper Project

I was thinking recently, about how many audiobooks are consumed by people these days. I would guess that the main reason behind this consumption is convenience. Many people just don’t have the time, or don’t create the time, to really sit down and get their head in a book. But I understand that for many, it can also be due to personal preference, financial considerations, lack of space, being visually impaired, or learning difficulties. If non of these issues are barriers, I would always encourage reading (and ideally taking notes), rather than simply listening. On balance, the evidence does suggest that good reading is a much more efficient way of retaining information than listening, on its own. In general, listening Read More ›

Apparently, scientists are the only ones exempt from the fact that we evolved to have biases…

When science becomes a substitute for religion or philosophy, it must bear the weight of being a certain kind of truth. The trouble is, science isn’t that kind of truth. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Researchers: Distrust of science is due to tribal loyalty

There seems to be no recognition that researchers, however fiercely competitive among themselves, also have a tribal loyalty that skews their judgment. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Researchers: If we tell folks more about science, they trust less

Generally, the remedy for loss of trust after widespread failures is reform of the system, not reform of its doubters. Post-COVID, scientists should take heed. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Why many now reject science… do you really want to know? Part 1

COVID demonstrated — as nothing else could — that the “science” was all over the map and didn’t help people avoid panic. Takehome: As the panic receded, the government started setting up a disinformation board to target NON-government sources of panic, thus deepening loss of trust. Read More ›