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Worldviews commit suicide when they subject other philosophies to a critique that they cannot withstand themselves?

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History prof Richard Weikart reviews Nancy Pearcey’s Finding Truth:

“While I was reading Nancy Pearcey’s new book, Finding Truth, a professor at the state university where I teach circulated a news item about a politician seeking to alter the university’s goals. Instead of facilitating “the search for truth,” the university under this plan would commit itself to meeting “the state’s work-force needs.” I remarked to this professor and other colleagues that many academics had already eliminated “the search for truth.” In the ensuing e-mail conversation, several professors rejected the idea that there is any universal truth, and one professor even described the whole concept of a “search for truth” as incoherent.

The fourth principle involves examining the worldview for internal inconsistencies. According to Pearcey, worldviews commit suicide when they subject other philosophies to a critique that they cannot withstand themselves. Marxism attacks opposing ideas as nothing but the byproduct of economic conditions, but somehow Marxist philosophers (miraculously) float free of the forces that allegedly constrain their opponents. Darwinism self-destructs when evolutionists argue that ideas gain currency not because they are true, but because they help us survive and reproduce. In this case, how can Darwinism claim to be true? Postmodernism is self-defeating, too, because it makes truth claims while simultaneously denying the very possibility of objective truth. Everyone wants to exempt a favored worldview from the debunking directed toward others.

But actually, none of that matters if one can get government to fund and enforce one’s views, especially in the name of some kind of righteousness or justice.

Quotes from the book.

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23 Replies to “Worldviews commit suicide when they subject other philosophies to a critique that they cannot withstand themselves?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    News, bang on. Self-referential incoherence is tantamount to self-refutation. And, special pleading that somehow magically exempts one’s own view from a critique it cannot face, is fallacious special pleading. But if you are in power you can force others to submit to the same hammer you cannot withstand. That is why I insist worldviews must pass a comparative difficulties test, simplest understood as factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power; all in light of tracing back from a given claim A to B that supports it to C, D etc thus seeing the alternatives infinite regress [absurd], question-begging circularity [begs Qs it should answer, finitely remote first plausibles sustained on robust comparative difficulties. But of course such a view of a finitely remote set of first plausibles that must be factually adequate, explanatorily balanced and coherent, meets with any number of objectors who pretend that such is nonsense. Especially when self evident truths esp first principles of right reason, are among the first plausibles as plumbline test truths. The answer is, you cannot even raise an objection without relying on such, starting with the need for distinctly identifiable symbols to make verbal communication, as say Paul highlighted in 1 Cor 14. KF

  2. 2
    Piotr says:

    Darwinism self-destructs when evolutionists argue that ideas gain currency not because they are true, but because they help us survive and reproduce.

    Weikart self-destructs when he resorts to a straw-man argument, conflates a scientific theory with a worldview, shows complete ignorance of what that theory is about, and stuffs his review full of New Testament references to remove any doubt that it’s dogmatic religious propaganda, not a philosophical argument.

  3. 3
    Box says:

    Nancy Pearcey:
    “philosopher Galen Strawson, the denial of consciousness “is surely the strangest thing that has ever happened in the whole history of human thought.” It shows “that the power of human credulity is unlimited, that the capacity of human minds to be gripped by theory, by faith, is truly unbounded.” It reveals “the deepest irrationality of the human mind.”

    What does it to a person to hold the believe that consciousness does not exist? What are the effects of the denial of one’s own existence?
    It affects the intellect in the sense that it becomes untruthful, because the untruth becomes foundational.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Since Naturalism/Materialism denies the reality of consciousness and free will then Naturalism/Materialism offers no guarantee that our beliefs will be true. In fact, it almost certainly guarantees that our perceptions and reasoning about reality will not be true:
    Even Richard Dawkins himself admits to this inherent weakness in the Naturalist’s philosophy:

    “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    Dawkins was hardly the first to realize that naturalism can offer no gaurantee that our beliefs and ideas will be true. Charles Darwin himself realized the epistemological failure within natrualism in his infamous ‘horrid doubt’,

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”
    Charles Darwin

    ,,,but Darwin, in that letter, was using his ‘horrid doubt’ selectively to only undermine his own belief in God. Darwin apparently did not realize that the ‘horrid doubt’ inherent within naturalism applies ‘across the board’, i.e. to all ideas and beliefs that humans may have. Especially to his own naturalistic belief since it is that worldview which generated the ‘horrid doubt’ in the first place:

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,
    Darwin’s Selective Skepticism
    People are sometimes under the impression that Darwin himself recognized the problem. They typically cite Darwin’s famous “horrid doubt” passage where he questions whether the human mind can be trustworthy if it is a product of evolution: “With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.”
    But, of course, Darwin’s theory itself was a “conviction of man’s mind.” So why should it be “at all trustworthy”?
    Surprisingly, however, Darwin never confronted this internal contradiction in this theory. Why not? Because he expressed his “horrid doubt” selectively — only when considering the case for a Creator.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Balfour, of the ‘Balfour Declaration’ for Israel in 1917, also noted the epistemological failure inherent within naturalism:

    Remembering Arthur Balfour, Friend of Science and Friendly Opponent to Atheist Bertrand Russell
    Mike Keas – November 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Balfour understood the anti-rational implications of naturalism (and Darwinism). He argued that the assumptions of naturalism (including in its Darwinian manifestation) lead to conclusions about the origin of rationality that undermine rationality itself, and thus undermine any alleged scientific support for naturalism. In contrast, theism — including the idea that humans bear the divine image — grounds human rationality quite well.
    The following is from Balfour’s The Foundations of Belief, pages 279-283.
    “Consider the following propositions, selected from the naturalistic creed or deduced from it:
    (i.) My beliefs, insofar as they are the result of reasoning at all, are founded on premises produced in the last resort by the collision of atoms.
    (ii.) Atoms, having no prejudices in favour of truth, are as likely to turn out wrong premises as right ones; nay, more likely, inasmuch as truth is single and error manifold.
    (iii.) My premises, therefore, in the first place, and my conclusions in the second, are certainly untrustworthy, and probably false. Their falsity, moreover, is of a kind which cannot be remedied; since any attempt to correct it must start from premises not suffering under the same defect. But no such premises exist.
    (iv.) Therefore, again, my opinion about the original causes which produced my premises, as it is an inference from them, partakes of their weakness; so that I cannot either securely doubt my own certainties or be certain about my own doubts.
    This is scepticism indeed; scepticism which is forced by its own inner nature to be sceptical even about itself;,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91361.html

    J.B.S. Haldane and C.S. Lewis, though they disagreed about much, none-the-less they agreed on the epistemological failure inherent within naturalism:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter”.
    J. B. S. Haldane [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    More recently Alvin Plantinga ‘formalized’ this epistemological failure inherent within naturalism with his ‘Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism:

    Why No One (Can) Believe Atheism/Naturalism to be True (Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4QFsKevTXs

    Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga – video
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL80CAECC36901BCEE

    Content and Natural Selection – Alvin Plantinga – 2011
    http://www.andrewmbailey.com/a.....ection.pdf

    of related interest: Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism finds valdity in computer modelling:

    Quote: “In evolutionary games we put truth (true perception) on the stage and it dies. And in genetic algorithms it (true perception) never gets on the stage”
    Donald Hoffman PhD. – Consciousness and The Interface Theory of Perception – 7:19 to 9:20 minute mark – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dqDP34a-epI#t=439

    Thus. if you believe in ‘thought’, and think that your overall thought process of perception and reasoning are trustworthy and reliable, then you should reject naturalism:

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity, p. 32

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things? Perhaps we have non-physical souls too. In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.
    http://www.patheos.com/Evangel.....#038;max=1

    ” Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All (Stephen) Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules.
    Hawking needs God in order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter – Photo
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

  5. 5
    velikovskys says:

    box:
    What does it to a person to hold the believe that consciousness does not exist? What are the effects of the denial of one’s own existence?

    Not sure,but Strawson certainly believes consciousness exists as well as his existence.

    “You’re certainly not a realistic physicalist, you’re not a real physicalist, if you deny the existence of the phenomenon whose existence is more certain than the existence of anything else: experience, ‘consciousness’, conscious experience, ‘phenomenology’, experiential ‘what-it’s-likeness’, feeling, sensation, explicit conscious thought as we have it and know it at almost every waking moment.”

  6. 6
    Box says:

    Velikovskys,

    Strawson explains his reasoning:

    Full recognition of the reality of experience, then, is the obligatory starting point for any remotely realistic version of physicalism. This is because it is the obligatory starting point for any remotely realistic (indeed any non-self-defeating) theory of what there is. It is the obligatory starting point for any theory that can legitimately claim to be ‘naturalistic’ because experience is itself the fundamental given natural fact; it is a very old point that there is nothing more certain than the existence of experience.

    IOW according to Strawson no theory can (coherently) deny the existence of consciousness and (even) physicalism is not exempt from to that rule.

    Strawson:
    It follows that real physicalism can have nothing to do with physicSalism, the view—the faith—that the nature or essence of all concrete reality can in principle be fully captured in the terms of physics. Real physicalism cannot have anything to do with physicSalism unless it is supposed—obviously falsely—that the terms of physics can fully capture the nature or essence of experience.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Box, it seems that Strawson is a bit hard on physics in general. While I certainly agree that physics can’t ‘fully capture the nature or essence of experience’, physics, especially quantum physics, has gone a long way in validating the Theist’s contention that consciousness (and free will) must be the ultimate universal reality:

    “quantum theory entails and irreducible subjective element in its conceptual basis. In contrast, the theory of relativity when fully exploited, is based on a totally objective view.”
    – Sachs – 1986

    “We wish to measure a temperature.,,,
    But in any case, no matter how far we calculate — to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer.”
    John von Neumann – 1903-1957 – The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 – 1955

    Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump.
    That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    – Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    A few quotes of note:

    “The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”
    Charles Darwin to Doedes, N. D. – Letter – 2 Apr 1873

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – Started the Quantum Mechanic revolution – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    – Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
    Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”;

    Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963. Wigner also stated:

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality”
    – Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961

    Of supplemental note to the preceding Wigner ‘consciousness’ quotes, it is interesting to note that many of Wigner’s insights have now been experimentally verified and are also now fostering a ‘second’ revolution in quantum mechanics,,,

    Eugene Wigner – A Gedanken Pioneer of the Second Quantum Revolution – Anton Zeilinger – Sept. 2014
    Conclusion
    It would be fascinating to know Eugene Wigner’s reaction to the fact that the gedanken experiments he discussed (in 1963 and 1970) have not only become reality, but building on his gedanken experiments, new ideas have developed which on the one hand probe the foundations of quantum mechanics even deeper, and which on the other hand also provide the foundations to the new field of quantum information technology. All these experiments pay homage to the great insight Wigner expressed in developing these gedanken experiments and in his analyses of the foundations of quantum mechanics,
    http://epjwoc.epj.org/articles....._01010.pdf

    Thus, since Wigner’s insights into the foundational role of the ‘conscious observer’ in Quantum Mechanics are bearing fruit with a ‘Second Quantum Revolution’, then that is certainly very strong evidence that his ‘consciousness’ insights are indeed true.

  8. 8
    velikovskys says:

    More from Galen Strawson :

    “It follows that real physicalism can have nothing to do with physicSalism, the view—the faith—that the nature or essence of all concrete reality can in principle be fully captured in the terms of physics. Real physicalism cannot have anything to do with physicSalism unless it is supposed—obviously falsely—that the terms of physics can fully capture the nature or essence of experience. It is unfortunate that ‘physicalism’ is today standardly used to mean physicSalism because it obliges me to speak of ‘real physicalism’ when really I only mean ‘physicalism’—realistic physicalism.”

  9. 9
    velikovskys says:

    Box:
    IOW according to Strawson no theory can (coherently) deny the existence of consciousness and (even) physicalism is not exempt from to that rule.

    So we agree that the belief that all phenomenon are physical:

    “I take physicalism to be the view that every real, concrete phenomenon in the universe is…physical. It is a view about the actual universe, and I am going to assume that it is true. For the purposes of this paper I will equate ‘concrete’ with ‘spatio-temporally (or at least temporally) located’, and I will use ‘phenomenon’ as a completely general word for any sort of existent. Plainly all mental goings on are concrete phenomenon.”

    does not require one to believe that all things can be reduced to particles.

  10. 10
    Eugen says:

    News

    Yes,yes,yes! Now we even have corporations preaching morality while at the same time they want to be exempt from the moral rules.
    http://news.nationalpost.com/f.....ing-stones

  11. 11
    Popperian says:

    And, special pleading that somehow magically exempts one’s own view from a critique it cannot face, is fallacious special pleading.

    Organisms contain that knowledge of how to create copies of themselves in the form of instructions as found in their genomes. The origin of those biological features is that knowledge. Right? So, the key question is, what is the origin of that knowledge?

    Again, a designer that “just was”, complete with the knowledge of which genes would result in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because on could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with the knowledge of which genes would result in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features, already present.

    Neither actually explain anything. Nor is the latter evolutionary theory. When I point this out, the magical exceptions appear.

    Specifically, it seems to me there are two options. The designer either…

    A. …possessed that knowledge and put it there when it created the organism. But in this case, how did the designer know what steps would result in the organism building a copy of itself? What is the origin of that knowledge? All this proposes is that the knowledge was moved from one place to another, which doesn’t actually solve the problem. If I ask who designed the designer or the origin of the knowledge it used, and so on, you’ll say we have to stop somewhere, which is an arbitrary choice.

    Do you think that God always possessed the knowledge of how to create any organism that has, does or could possibility exist? If so, you seem to fall into this camp.

    B. …spontaneously made that knowledge appear out of nothing while creating those organisms, which is the spontaneous creation of knowledge. This doesn’t solve the problem either. If you take this option, It’s unclear why you’re “Ok” with spontaneously knowledge in the case of the former, but not the latter. That’s a case of special pleading.

    If you think God isn’t actually complicated enough to need his own explanation, but merely merely will things into existence, then you seem to fall in this camp.

    Of course, if anyone has some other option that I missed, I’d be interested in hearing it.

    Darwinism, on the other hand, says that knowledge is created via variation and selection, which is a form of conjecture and criticism. It genuinely didn’t exist before, but did not appear spontaneously either. Darwinism It’s part of our current, best explanation for the universal growth of knowledge. However, theism lacks a universal explanation for the growth of knowledge. It just pushes the problem up a level without actually improving it.

    And, as I’ve pointed out on another thread, no one has explained how a search for truth, as implied here, is actually possible. As such, it’s unclear why anyone would be surprised a professor would call the search for truth incoherent. Perhaps one’s surprise is based on a claim to know it’s true that truth in that sense exists? If so, what infallible source one is referring to and how did they infallibly interpret it?

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    Worldviews commit suicide when they subject other philosophies to a critique that they cannot withstand themselves?

    Such as the Intelligent Design Movement criticizing “Darwinism” for providing an incomplete and inadequate account of how life emerged and how it evolved when all it has to offer is a proposal for who might have done it

    Christian creationism is no better. Genesis tells us what God did and in what order but there’s not a word about how.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Paul Giem has a new lecture up from the book ‘Biological Information’:

    Biological Information – Explaining Metabolic Innovation 4-11-2015 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LsuS2h9HL8

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky you are still painting a strawman caricature of the design inference. This now becomes speaking with disregard to readily accessible truth. KF

  15. 15
    tjguy says:

    Popperian @11

    Again, a designer that “just was”, complete with the knowledge of which genes would result in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because on could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with the knowledge of which genes would result in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features, already present.

    Wow, Popperian, do you really think that a simple cell just appeared complete with the knowledge of which genes would reulst in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features?

    Do you really think that is a rational logical position to believe in?

    If the choice is between the magical appearance of a simple first cell complete with all this knowledge and an omniscient Creator, for me it’s a no brainer.

    And, why do you select the miraculous cell over a supernatural Creator? Just your preference, right? It is what you want to believe. No bias there, right?

    I’m continually amazed by the fantastic miracles atheists ARE ready and willing to believe!

    The possibilities are endless! They will believe ANY seemingly irrational thing as long as those miracles do not have a purpose to them or a Mind behind them.

    This is a perfect example of this biblical truth:

    18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”

    In the end, we all have beliefs/faith, even Materialists!

  16. 16
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Darwinism self-destructs when evolutionists argue that ideas gain currency not because they are true, but because they help us survive and reproduce.

    A response I’ve seen at times:

    “Ok, Darwinism self-destructs. That’s right. But who is the designer? And how did God design the world? And which religion do you believe in? And who designed the designer? Huh? huh?”

  17. 17
    Popperian says:

    TJGuy: Wow, Popperian, do you really think that a simple cell just appeared complete with the knowledge of which genes would reulst in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features?

    I specifically predicated just such a response and addressed it in my comment. For your convenience…

    Neither actually explain anything. Nor is the latter evolutionary theory. When I point this out, the magical exceptions appear.

    So, with that out of the way, does anyone actually have any criticism of what I wrote, that I haven’t already addressed in my comment?

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Popperian

    Darwinism, on the other hand, says that knowledge is created via variation and selection, which is a form of conjecture and criticism.

    It says this but doesn’t demonstrate it. Actually, I don’t think Darwinism necessarily speaks about the creation of knowledge in those terms.

    I’d be interested in seeing a scientific definition of knowledge as such. Depending on how it is defined, I don’t believe knowledge can be empirically observed.

    To say a cell “knows” things is different than saying that the cell “responds to information”.

    In either case, Darwinism is an insufficient explanation for the creation of new information.

  19. 19
    tjguy says:

    Popperian @ 17

    TJGuy: Wow, Popperian, do you really think that a simple cell just appeared complete with the knowledge of which genes would reulst in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features?

    I specifically predicated just such a response and addressed it in my comment. For your convenience…

    Yup. You tried valiantly to head off that type of comment. You tried to make either view – belief in a Creator or belief in a magic cell look equal, but it didn’t work.

    In the end, you choose the magic cell that just went “poof” and appeared. That is what you want to believe, which is fine. It’s a free world, but it is NOT equal to the option of an eternal Uncaused Creator God, which easily and more rationally explains the design, wisdom, and knowledge that we see. PLUS there are millions of people, some of whom have had their lives radically changed by Jesus, who would testify to having a relationship with this God. Plus we have biblical records and eye witness testimony of miracles and men who dedicated their lives as if they were true, etc. supporting this explanation as well. Again, you are free to accept or reject this testimony for whatever reason you choose, but for me, the Creator God option makes much better sense of the data and the world than the Materialistic view of things that sees no purpose, plan, future, or intrinsic meaning in anything that exists, including our own lives and no mind, soul, free will, or consciousness.

    And, as Silver pointed out, your claim that random chemical processes can produce meaningful knowledge and complex specified information which makes up the core of life, has yet to be experimentally demonstrated.

  20. 20
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus @ 14

    kairosfocusApril 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm
    Seversky you are still painting a strawman caricature of the design inference. This now becomes speaking with disregard to readily accessible truth. K

    The first part of my comment concerned the constant criticism of “Darwinism” for offering an account of biological origins and evolution that is incomplete and fundamentally inadequate. If I was called upon to substantiate this claim in a court of law I am confident I could prove it beyond all reasonable doubt solely by citing OPs under the News byline and a selection of comments from various threads on this blog.

    As for the Design Inference, I will quote the definition from the Resources section:

    The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

    In a broader sense, Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection — how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose. Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.

    If the Intelligent Design movement (IDM) limits itself to detecting signs of design in the living world then it cannot offer an alternative account of how life originated and changed over time because that is beyond its remit. On that basis, while it is certainly free to highlight the shortcomings of the theory of evolution in those respects, any implication that IDM can offer a better alternative is misleading to say the least.

    Also, even if the IDM does speculate about the nature of a putative designer, since such a being must be considerably more advanced than we are in terms of science and technology, it cannot offer anything other than the vaguest speculation about how such a being might have accomplished its designs. So, again, it cannot meet the explanatory and evidentiary standards it is demanding of evolutionary science

  21. 21

    There is much discussion of truth in these comments – or rather the lack of truth in the context of evolution. The idea that free-will does not exist, but rather our human world is the result the final selections of the atoms and molecules seems odd and a little bit dangerous in its ultimate consequences – you see I do believe that ideas have consequences.

    I wrote an article awhile back “Presidential Trust” at https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/presidential-trust/ which I think is appropriate here.
    The more that Atheistic Materialism is the default world view in our culture and in our schools, and the more our Judaic/Christian world view is crowded out, it seems we will eventually arrive at a point where truth is no longer much of a factor in the behavior of our leaders. I think we are seeing this being played out in the behavior of our President who is the most profoundly dishonest president we have ever had … and thus the worst, because trust in leadership has been eroded. The same is true of the former Senate Majority Leader who told a significant lie about a presidential candidate of the opposite party, and when questioned about it said ” … he lost didn’t he?”

    Truth matters ladies and gentlemen … and the more this idea is eroded and corroded by a world view that denies the transcendental idea of conciseness and the idea of moral right and wrong, the further down this road we will descend … a decent to the place where “strength of body will determine right and wrong.” (HT Ravi Zechariah)

  22. 22
    Popperian says:

    Yup. You tried valiantly to head off that type of comment. You tried to make either view – belief in a Creator or belief in a magic cell look
    equal, but it didn’t work.

    First, I don’t recall my comment saying anything about a “magic cell.” Rather I was specifically referring to the instructions in the genome of an organism. In either case, the cell follows those instructions to make copies of itself. There’s nothing magic or even controversial about that. Right? Rather, my question was, what is the origin of those instructions?

    Second, It didn’t work? Why don’t you start out by explaining which part didn’t work, in particular. For example, which of the two camps do you fall in? If neither, then please enlighten me with your alternative.

    In the end, you choose the magic cell that just went “poof” and appeared.

    I did? Are you sure we’re referring to the same comment? I’m asking because, well, that’s not what I said. Perhaps you can elaborate on how you reached that conclusion?

    It’s a free world, but it is NOT equal to the option of an eternal Uncaused Creator God, which easily and more rationally explains the design, wisdom, and knowledge that we see.

    It does? Yet you have yet to indicate which camp you happen to fit into. Nor have you presented an alternative.

    For your convenience…

    Specifically, it seems to me there are two options. The designer either…

    A. …possessed that knowledge and put it there when it created the organism. But in this case, how did the designer know what steps would result in the organism building a copy of itself? What is the origin of that knowledge? All this proposes is that the knowledge was moved from one place to another, which doesn’t actually solve the problem. If I ask who designed the designer or the origin of the knowledge it used, and so on, you’ll say we have to stop somewhere, which is an arbitrary choice.

    Do you think that God always possessed the knowledge of how to create any organism that has, does or could possibility exist? If so, you seem to fall into this camp.

    B. …spontaneously made that knowledge appear out of nothing while creating those organisms, which is the spontaneous creation of knowledge. This doesn’t solve the problem either. If you take this option, It’s unclear why you’re “Ok” with spontaneously knowledge in the case of the former, but not the latter. That’s a case of special pleading.

    If you think God isn’t actually complicated enough to need his own explanation, but merely merely will things into existence, then you seem to fall in this camp.

    Of course, if anyone has some other option that I missed, I’d be interested in hearing it.

    IOW, I’m attempting to take your own claim seriously for the purpose of criticism, along with the rest of our best, current explanations for how the world works, in practice, which I think even you would find uncontroversial. Namely, if a creator did it, that would have implications regarding the instructions of how to build copies of organisms.

    However, since you’ve pointed to scripture, could it be that your choice is based on divine revelation revealed by an authoritative source rather than attempting to take those claims seriously for the purpose of criticism. Do you not want to take your own claim seriously?

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, design is a process of intelligently directed configuration. It is a commonplace all around, indeed you exerted it to create posts of commentary beyond the FSCO/I threshold. It also often leaves empirically detectable, reliable signs such as said FSCO/I. One may infer reasonably from sign to signified process without knowing technical details of exact process, or identifying the designer. My Parker 45 ball pen is designed. I can infer that on its features without knowing whodunit or how twerdun. And, pace your dismissive remarks, such is readily accessible, has long been on the table and has revolutionary impact on helping us move out of the a priori question-begging, evolutionary materialist [notice the terms of description I strongly tend to use with the likes of Sagan, Lewontin, Crick and Dawkins et al as exemplars], we may only explain on blind chance and mechanical necessity dead-end. KF

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