Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


The relevance of ethical and worldview issues pivoting on scientific schools of thought

At Mind Matters News: Can squirrels really be socially unjust? Check their privilege?

Takehome: Researchers long assumed that people think like animals. But the equation reads the same in reverse: Animals think like people. Folklore soon trumps reality. Read More ›

At Evolution News: Günter Bechly repudiates “Professor Dave’s” attacks against ID

Bechly: In the end, Farina’s potshots against intelligent design and Discovery Institute completely miss their targets. “Professor Dave” needs to do more than recycle past discredited claims if he wants to be taken seriously by anyone genuinely interested in pursuing the truth. Read More ›

Debate: Michael Egnor vs. Matt Dillahunty — now the 2nd oldest question: If God exists, why evil?

In the debate between Christian neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and atheist broadcaster Matt Dillahunty, the question of raping a baby was bound to arise - with telling results. Read More ›

L&FP, 47 – i: The credibility of the concept and existence of God

I see from News, that Egnor and Dillahunty have had a debate on the reality of God. Egnor has put on the table ten arguments to God and Dillahunty has rebutted, as News reports. Some of this caught my eye and I took pause from an ongoing life crisis to comment on some things that are key. I believe these are worth headlining as addressing logic and first principles questions. First, on the general concept and credibility of God: [KF, 4] >>I see: [MD:] since I’m dealing with someone who’s a Catholic, I think we can begin with at least the qualities generally associated with the God of classical theism. We’re talking about some sort of agent that is timeless, Read More ›

Video Presentation: Why the Debate Over Intelligent Design Really Matters

I have recently posted a new video presentation on my YouTube channel. In the video I talk about some of the reasons why I think the debate over Intelligent Design and biological origins is of great significance. Aside from just being a fascinating area, it has many implications in several areas of life. This video, while far from perfect, is a big step up from my last few videos. I’ve done a fair amount of editing on this one, and took time to make it a little more professional, with music, slides, and photos. I hope you enjoy it, and it gets you thinking a little about why this topic is of importance to you also. Why the Question of Read More ›

Semi-circles and right angle dilemmas . . .

Daily Mail reports on a class assignment for seven year olds that happened to be set for the daughter of a Mathematics Lecturer at Oxford. Maths lecturer is left baffled by his seven-year-old daughter’s geometry homework and turns to Twitter for help – so can YOU work out if it’s true or false? Dr Kit Yates shares his seven-year-old daughter’s maths homework to Twitter The question asked students whether a semi-circle had ‘two right angles’ or not The maths lecturer, from Oxford, admitted that he was stumped by the problem  People were left baffled by the question and came up with conflicting answers  By Kate Dennett For Mailonline Published: 17:40 GMT, 25 February 2021 | Updated: 17:40 GMT, 25 February Read More ›

L& FP41: Dawkins, Krauss and trying to pull a world out of “no-thing”

As Cardinal Pell has been recently cleared, perhaps some may be willing to learn from this telling vid: No, Virginia, you do not get a world from no-thing. END

On Sev’s “privileg[ing]” vs liberty as the due balance of rights, freedoms and duties (also, on truth vs warrant)

Sometimes, one of our commenters raises a significant matter that is worth headlining and further analysing. In a recent thread, Seversky dismissies Christian concerns about anti-Christian bigotry, bias, lockouts and the like, with: Sev, 14: ” This doesn’t sound like a crusade against Christianity so much as the faith playing the victim because they are aggrieved that they no longer have the prestige, social privilege and political power they once enjoyed. “ What is interesting here is the structure of the dismissive rhetoric, which turns rights and justice concerns into “playing the victim” as one is “aggrieved” that the Christian Faith has somehow lost “prestige,” “privilege” and “social power.” Immediately, we can recognise a familiar rhetorical pattern, blaming the victim Read More ›

800 Russian journal papers retracted: The most interesting question is undiscussed

To the extent that science is global, tolerated fraud in one milieu taints an entire discipline. Recall the smug people who think that science is an infinitely superior way of knowing, Won't that be an increasingly harder sell as more people become aware of these tip-of-the-iceberg “bombshell” revelations? Read More ›

Sean Carroll: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really?

Carroll, here, was responding to a Weekly Standard cover article on the reactions to philosopher Nagel’s publication of Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False : What I find particularly interesting in the captioned clip is the laudatory reference to “a more Scientific WORLDVIEW” which is immediately problematic, as worldviews are matters of philosophical points of view and linked cultural agendas. That is, they are categorically distinct from science in any proper sense. A clue for what is really meant comes from what immediately follows: “and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist.” Really, and how can science actually establish such a thing, especially in a world with literally billions of theists, many being Read More ›

BBC swings and misses: “Why is there something instead of nothing?”, pt. 2 ( –> Being, Logic and First Principles, 24b)

The exploration in-the-wild on Heidegger’s pivotal question is turning out to be quite fruitful. Here, we see BBC swing and miss, leading to dancing stumps. Dancing stumps: Video, with one of the greats at bat: First, context, we are discussing here popularised forms of the idea that “nothing” has been defined by physicists to denote in effect a sub-universe that gives rise to quantum fluctuations and thus expanding sub-universes. Let’s clip from the parent thread LFP 24: [KF, LFP 24, 41:] Let us continue our “in-the-wild” exploration, here a Robert Adler BBC article (as representing what we might find in high-prestige media): [BBC:] >>Why is there something rather than nothing? By Robert Adler 6 November 2014 People have wrestled with Read More ›

“Why is there something, instead of nothing?” (–> being Logic & First Principles, 24)

Heidegger famously posed this question, giving it redoubled force as a first question on critical analysis of worldviews: To philosophize is to ask “Why are there essents rather than nothing?” Really to ask this question signifies: a daring attempt to fathom this unfathomable question by disclosing what it summons us to ask, to push our questioning to the very end. Where such an attempt occurs there is philosophy. [ M. Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, Yale University Press, New Haven and London (1959), pp. 7-8.] Let’s explore, first pausing to see Prof Dawkins (dean of the notoriously unphilosophical new atheists) making needlessly heavy weather of the matter: Clearly, the pivot of the matter is — again — logic of being: Read More ›

Logic & First Principles, 19: Are we part of a Boltzmann brain grand delusion world (or the like)?

In looking at time (no. 18) we saw how a suggested form of multiverse is one in which sub-cosmi are speculated — there is no observational base, this is philosophy dressed up in a lab coat — to pop up as fluctuations, exhibiting their own “big bang” events and timelines: However, it was not as simple as that. Wikipedia, speaking against known inclinations, summarised: a Boltzmann brain is a self-aware entity that arises due to extremely rare random fluctuations out of a state of thermodynamic equilibrium [–> the predominant, statistically overwhelming group of accessible micro-states for a relevant entity in statistical thermodynamics]. For example, in a homogeneous Newtonian soup, theoretically by sheer chance all the atoms could bounce off and Read More ›

Logic & First Principles, 16: The problem of playing God (when we don’t — cannot — know how)

In discussing the attempted brain hacking of monkeys, I made a comment about refraining from playing God. This sparked a sharp reaction, then led to an onward exchange. This puts on the table the captioned issue . . . which it seems to me is properly part of our ongoing logic and first principles reflections. Here, the other big piece of axiology (the study of the valuable) ethics, with side-orders of limitations in epistemology. So, kindly allow me to headline: KF, 10: >>It is interesting what sparked the sharpness of exchange above: KF: Playing God without his knowledge base, wisdom and benevolence is asking for trouble. A78 is right: all I’m saying is proceed with caution we shouldn’t play God Read More ›