Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Politics/policy and origins issues

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: 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 ›

Can morals be grounded as objective knowledge (and are some moral principles self-evident)?

In a current thread, objector JS writes: >>ALL morals that we have, regardless of the source, regardless of whether they are objective or subjective, are filtered through humans. As such, we can never be absolutely sure that they are free from error. All of your “moral governance”, “reasoning and responsibility“, “self referential”, “IS-OUGHT” talking points are just that. Talking points. They are not arguments against what I have said about the fact that ALL purported moral actions are open to be questioned. Unless, of course, you suggest that we shouldn’t use the reasoning capabilities that we were given. >> This is of course reflective of common views and agendas in our civilisation and so it is appropriate to reply, taking Read More ›

The problem of virtue-signalling social permission to target and bully scapegoated groups

This is where we now are as a civilisation: >>A Salvation Army bell ringer in California had been beaten in front of a Walmart because he wanted to spread joy this holiday season. Rev. Jamie Wolfe Sr., the man ringing the bell, told CBS Sacramento that he says “Merry Christmas” to everyone who passes by his donation bucket, but one Grinch managed to knock the joy out of him. “He haymakered me, hit me, got me down on the ground and we started wrestling, at that point I’m fighting for my life,” Wolfe Sr. said. The suspect allegedly carried out the unprovoked attack not for the money, but for his cheer. “Store says they love him and he’s been the Read More ›

Correcting Wikipedia on ID

Over the past couple of days, I headlined a discussion in a previous thread on how tainting accusations spread destructive untruths far and wide, using Wikipedia’s article on ID as an example. During the course of that discussion, I took time to do a point by point response to the lead. In turn, I think it worth the while to headline it: _____________ KF, 33:>>Let’s go a little deeper in that opening remark at Wiki, to see how framing with disregard for truth or fairness can mislead: >>Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God,>> 1 –> If the design inference on the world of life were a natural theology argument, it would have long since 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 ›

ID conference in Portugal, October 23, 2017

Here: The event will essentially consist of debates about the Theory of Intelligent Design (TDI) and Evolution Theory highlighting points and counterpoints about its theoretical assumptions, the development of Science and implications for society, promoting the scientific debate between the naturalist worldview and the advances of physics, chemistry and modern biochemistry on the origin of life and the universe. And to know that Intelligent Design is not necessarily opposed to the idea of evolution, evolution can mean several things: change over time, common ancestry, and it may mean that non-directed processes have produced all changes over time. Design is not challenging the idea of change over time, but is challenging the idea that these changes that have occurred over time Read More ›

EvoKE: ID as anti-”human rights” and “civic rights”

From Center or Science and Culture at Evolution News & Views: A recent article in Nature Ecology & Evolution, “Public literacy in evolution,” discusses a newly launched project to push evolution on the European public. Called EvoKE, or “EVOlutionary Knowledge for Everyone,” the project’s main concern is to find ways to increase “European citizens’ acceptance and understanding of evolution.” In multiple places, the article quotes EvoKE leaders who are worried about the level of “acceptance” of evolution. Translation: Right now, in Europe, it is still safe to follow the maxim: If it sounds unbelieveable, don’t believe it. And when in doubt, doubt. But EvoKE aims to fix that: To summarize, the resolution claims that intelligent design is a form of Read More ›

FFT: Seversky and the IS-OUGHT gap

In the ongoing AJ vs ID discussion thread, major tangential debates have developed. One of these is on the IS-OUGHT gap, and it is worth headlining due to its pivotal worldviews importance (and yes, this is a philosophy issue). Let us start with Seversky, highlighting his key contention — which is commonly asserted: Sev, 261: >>Origenes @ 258 The matter seems very simple to me: because fermions and bosons are completely indifferent about morality, it is not possible to ground morality for atheists/materialists. You cannot logically derive “ought” from “is”. No one can, not even God. So, if our morality is God-given, how did He – or, indeed, any other being – derive it? Did He toss a coin?>> Origines, Read More ›

FFT*: Charles unmasks the anti-ID trollish tactic of attacking God, Christian values and worldview themes

In a current thread on SJW invasions in engineering education,  in which yet another anti-ID commenter crosses over into troll territory, Charles does a very important worldviews and cultural agendas dissection. One, that is well worth headlining as *food for thought (as opposed to a point by point across-the-board endorsement): Charles, 51>>The point of the original post was that Engineering was being contaminated with Social Justice Warrior values & viewpoints. As any engineer knows, what makes engineering “Engineering” is the rigorous adherence to physical reality, analysis, and testing to design something that is reliably fit for purpose. As the author’s article at American Conservative elaborates, Prof. Riley’s SJW viewpoint is the antithesis of sound Engineering. kairosfocus summarized this point with Read More ›

Tucker Carlson challenges Planned Parenthood

. . . on just what it is that we are killing in the womb: >>“Why are you giving me robotic responses? I’m asking you a human question, and I hope you’ll favor me with a human answer?” That was Tucker Carlson on his primetime Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” interviewing Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens Monday night. Carlson was looking for the answer to a simple question – the most basic, yet profound, question of the entire abortion debate: What exactly is the little “something” with a beating heart, residing in a mother’s womb, that is destroyed during an abortion? Is it a human being, a clump of tissue or something else? . . . . Read More ›

OFFICIAL VIDEO: 2017 March for Life

. . . being a peaceful witness (on the 44th annual occasion) against the ongoing global holocaust of the unborn; which has to date credibly mounted up to 800+ millions in 40+ years, and — per Guttmacher-UN numbers — is mounting up at one million more per WEEK: [youtube Obx_odS-18Q] And, ever, I hear the grim words once written upon a wall by a ghostly hand in the presence of a wicked king: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. For, a wicked and perverse generation is being weighed in the balances and found severely wanting. Let us save ourselves from a wicked, perverse generation and let us stand in peaceful witness, calling to repentance and reformation. Notice, the questions and the evasive Read More ›

You “Fascist”! (Really? What is a true “fascist”?)

One of the ugliest agit prop, street theatre tactics now being commonly used is the accusation: fascist, in effect, outlaw beyond the pale of civil protection. It is therefore appropriate to pause and seek clarification on what fascism really is about. But first, let us draw attention to a disturbing historical parallel to what we saw on the streets of Berkeley only a few days past; headlining a comment in the still live agit-prop thread: >>Let’s compare UCB, two Wednesdays ago and another Wednesday in 1921 in Bavaria http://ww2timelines.com/leader…..2power.htm >> Wednesday, September 14, 1921 Hitler, a substantial number of members of the Turn-und Sportabteilung, the paramilitary arm of the Nazi Party [ = SA], and other Nazi party adherents disrupted Read More ›

An eyewitness report on the 44th annual March for Life

. . . being, an example of an actual, genuine grassroots-based movement of conscience and reformation in a civilisation giving itself over to ruinous marches of folly driven by toxic agit prop. (It also follows up from the recent post on the three marches, here; and the updated live streaming of the march, here.) Thanks are due to one of the UD family, who I will call X, as given the cyber stalking and on the ground stalking and fringe of dangerous creeps who lurk in the shadows surrounding UD, that is a regrettable necessity. Let me add, a video contrast of two marches just one week apart: [youtube -fY1OGWnr1o] X, you know yourself, and heartfelt thanks go to you Read More ›