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Revealing in-thread exchanges on the imposition of evo mat scientism/ naturalism (and on the tactics to deflect attention from that)

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The imposition of evolutionary materialistic scientism (aka naturalism) is one of the key issues driving the march of folly in our civilisation. It is also very difficult to discuss as there are some very powerful rhetorical deflectors at work.

Sometimes, then, the best thing we can do is to clip from one of UD’s exchanges and headline it so we can see what is going on from the horse’s mouth:

_________________________

It is amusing at first (then on deeper reflection, quite saddening) to trace some of the onward discussion in the thread from which the OP comes:

JDK, 94: >>Hi JAD. I don’t think there has been anything in this thread about purposelessness. The OP has been about teleological explanations in science, which is a more limited matter than teleological explanations in general.>>

[–> notice this highlighted misleading point, as JDK knows or should know that scientism rules the roost, and in fact in the OP the whole point of the study was to try to identify teleological thinking as the root of both “Creationism” AND conspiracism, AKA tinfoil hat conspiracy theorising]

ET, 95: >>Oh my. Teleological explanations pertain to purpose, Jack. They even say it in the first sentence of their article.>>

JDK 96: >>Yes, teleological explanations in science, as I said.>>

ET, 97: >>But if you have science saying one thing- the one that goes against what you know to be true because of the preponderance of evidence- even the scientific kind- that is akin to what john a designer is talking about. Then you get atheists jumping all over what science sez to rub it in the faces of those who know better.>>

JDK, 99: >>to JAD: Many millions of religious people (and thus not atheists) agree that teleological explanations do not have a place in scientific explanations. To single out atheists as believing this is true misconstrues the situation.

I know we’ve been over this many times, and it’s not the subject of this thread. Also, I know that many here believe that teleological explanations do have a place in science, which is the topic of this thread, but I want it to be clear that those that do believe this are just a subset of all religious people.>>

JAD, 100: >>If there is no purpose to the universe or life here on earth then there is no ultimate purpose for human existence. That’s what atheists say that science says. But if that’s true, how do they know it and what is the point of convincing everyone else it is true.

Here is a quote from article cited in the OP:

Because teleological and animist thinking are part of children’s earliest intuitions about the world and are resilient in adulthood [8, 9], they thus could be causally involved in the acquisition of creationist and conspiracist beliefs. However, our results do not rule out the possibility that acceptance of such beliefs could, conversely, favor a teleological bias. Yet, in both cases, the ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘it was meant to be’ intuition at the heart of teleological thinking not only remains an obstacle to the acceptance of evolutionary theory, but could also be a more general gateway to the acceptance of anti-scientific views and conspiracy theories.

In other words, we are all “hardwired” to believe that there is some sort higher purpose evident in nature. How does the atheist come to the dogmatic conclusion that this intuitive sense of purpose is all an illusion that needs to be suppressed? What’s the argument?>>

ET, 102: >>jdk:

Many millions of religious people (and thus not atheists) agree that teleological explanations do not have a place in scientific explanations.

I would need evidence for that. I could easily say billions of others do.

Also, I know that many here believe that teleological explanations do have a place in science, which is the topic of this thread,

They definitely do and have since the time of the ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle. Fast forward to Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern science, who definitely allowed teleological explanations into his science.

Laplace helped stop that but with nothing but hand-waves and concepts he didn’t understand. Darwin tried to get rid of Paley but now we know he also failed.

but I want it to be clear that those that do believe this are just a subset of all religious people.

Except they are the subset, ie those who say what you claim.>>

JDK, 103: >>JAD, did you understand my points in 99 and 94?

To repeat, many people have religious beliefs that the universe and human life have meaning and purpose, but also believe that explanations about such meanings and purpose are not part of science.

Here’s a simple example, which I’ve used before, although I don’t recall that anyone has ever addressed the distinction I’m making with the example. A man misses an airplane flight because a newspaper flies in front of his car on the way to the airport, causing a small accident, and thus causing him to miss his plane. The plane crashes and all aboard are killed.

The man then expresses the quite orthodox Christian belief that God spared him: that it was not part of God’s plan that he die that day.

A scientific explanation of the situation would mention all the physical causal factors (the wind, the flying newspaper, the auto accident, the circumstances that caused the plane to crash, etc.) The scientific explanation would not include the explanation that this all was God’s will. The fact that the scientific explanation does not mention God does NOT mean that science is denying God’s existence: it just means that the teleological presence of God is not something that falls in the domain of science to investigate.>>

ET, 105: >>[Clips JDK]

To repeat, many people have religious beliefs that the universe and human life have meaning and purpose, but also believe that explanations about such meanings and purpose are not part of science.

And many more believe otherwise.

And your analogy is a joke as it has nothing to do with what we mean by teleological thinking in science.

We’re talking about the origins of the universe, the physical laws, the formation of the just-so solar system we have and our own just-so earth moon system, and you bring up someone thanking God for an accident that spared him from death. Why didn’t God just let him live through the crash? Do you have no shame, sir?>>

JAD, 106: >>Cornell University professor William Provine made the following claim in his 1994 debate at Stanford University with Phillip Johnson:

“Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear, and I must say that these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposeful forces of any kind, no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be completely dead. That’s just all—that’s gonna be the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”

He’s very clearly claiming that since science shows no ultimate purpose and meaning in nature human existence has no ultimate meaning and purpose.

jdk claimed, “Many millions of religious people (and thus not atheists) agree that teleological explanations do not have a place in scientific explanations.”

That’s a logically fallacious ad populum argument.>>

ET, 107: >>john a designer- Jack doesn’t care. Read his pathetic analogy, his special pleading and emotional response.

But he ain’t no steekin’ materialist, (wink, wink)>>

ET, 109: >>[elaborating on evidences supporting a design inference:]

“The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”

“The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”

“There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”

From what I understand the eclipses have given us a window into many scientific discoveries of light spectra and one even help confirm Einstein’s equation for gravity’s affect on light.

(the above quotes are from “The Privilege Planet”)

Our just-so rotation that mixes the atmospheric gases so we can live from pole to equator. How the heck did cosmic collisions do that? It isn’t like we are a gas giant so the figure skater effect doesn’t apply. We allegedly were bombarded from all angles.>>

ET, 110: >> [picking up from a secondary exchange as it here intersects]

daves, If we were created for a reason and science is about reality, ie the truth to our existence (in this case), then science has to include teleological language or else it is a work of fiction. It is actually doing more harm than good by not allowing us to find and fulfill our purpose.

Did you see “Men in Black”? Right now we are exactly what the cockroach said.>>

JDK, 111: >>JAD: Yes, Provine believes that. So does Lewontin. There are materialists, so of course that is what they believe.

But, many millions of religious people don’t agree with them. Millions of religious people believe, as I explained above, that science limiting itself to non-teleological explanations is the proper scope for science, but that teleological explanations are critical to one’s understandings that go beyond science. Science doesn’t include all knowledge, understanding, or belief.

People like Provine or Lewontin don’t speak for everyone. Just quoting them doesn’t not settle anything other than stating what a materialist thinks, and the majority of scientific literate (or the general populace) are not materialists.>>

[ –> In short, we see here the policy of ignoring inconvenient cat-out-of-the-bag admissions and refusing to engage the substantial issues thereby raised. Just as we have seen since 6 in the thread. This also is a smoking gun, a declared intent to ignore plumb line tests that could correct the crooked yardstick. It also exposes the problem of the enabling fellow traveller who provides useful cover for an agenda, blunting and deflecting correctives. This comment mat be one of the most important, most saddening remarks ever made at UD.]

JDK, 112: >>jad writes, “jdk claimed, “Many millions of religious people (and thus not atheists) agree that teleological explanations do not have a place in scientific explanations.”

That’s a logically fallacious ad populum argument.”

I’m not arguing that they are right just because they are lots of them. That would be the fallacy you mention.

I am arguing that the presence of so many people makes it clear that there are different beliefs among people, so that the statements of one person (say Provine) can’t be taken as a definitively true statement about the situation: that is just one person’s belief.>>

[–> In fact, one of the remarks and cites JDK studiously ignores is the July 2000 declaration by the US national association of science teachers, NSTA. Let me cite:

PREAMBLE: All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts [–> ideological imposition of a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism, aka natural-ISM; this is of course self-falsifying at the outset] . . . .

[S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific [–> loaded word that cannot be properly backed up due to failure of demarcation arguments] methods, explanations [–> declaration of intent to censor instructional content], generalizations and products [–> declaration of intent to ideologically censor education materials] . . . .

Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work [–> undermined by the question-begging ideological imposition and associated censorship] . . . .

Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations [–> ideological imposition of a loaded definition] and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> question-begging false dichotomy, the proper contrast for empirical investigations is the natural (chance and/or necessity) vs the ART-ificial, through design . . . cf UD’s weak argument correctives 17 – 19, here] in the production of scientific knowledge.

We see here the establishment of evolutionary materialistic scientism in education, here also clearly backed by the US National academy of Scientists, as would come out in the notorious joint letter on Sci Edu in Kansas of 2005, something JDK must have close knowledge of.

I again cite:

{Joint NAS-NSTA statement on the Kansas science standards of 2005 corrective defintition to the 2001 tendentious re-defintition that “Science is the human activity of seeking natural [–> patently, natural-ISTIC] explanations of the world around us.”]:

. . . the members of the Kansas State Board of Education who produced Draft 2-d of the KSES have deleted text defining science as a search for natural explanations [–> read, natural-ISTIC, as that is the obvious intent] of observable phenomena, blurring the line between scientific and other ways of understanding.

[–> What, to say that “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation, that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena” is to confuse science with non science? Nonsense!]

Emphasizing controversy in the theory of evolution — when in fact all modern theories of science are continually tested and verified — and distorting the definition of science [–> this is turnabout projection, which will create confusion in the minds of those ill-equipped to judge apart form the credentials of those who speak] are inconsistent with our Standards and a disservice to the students of Kansas. [–> false accusation of educational malpractice, in a jurisdiction with sensible libel laws this would have been come to court with a fat check book time] Regretfully, many of the statements made in the KSES related to the nature of science [–> including, a reasonable and historically well justified correction to the trendentious 2001 redefinition?] and evolution also violate the document’s mission and vision. Kansas students will not be well-prepared for the rigors of higher education or the demands of an increasingly complex and technologically-driven world if their science education is based on these standards.

[–> a threat to abuse institutional power and influence to rob students of the accreditation of their education for higher studies and the job market, this is utterly inexcusable on the grounds before us]

Instead, they will put the students of Kansas at a competitive disadvantage [–> outright falsity] as they take their place in the world. [–> intimidation by false assertion backed up by improper use of prestige and power]

Smoking guns left, right and centre.]

ET, 114: >>[clips from above:]

If we were created for a reason and science is about reality, ie the truth to our existence (in this case), then science has to include teleological language or else it is a work of fiction. It is actually doing more harm than good by not allowing us to find and fulfill our purpose.

Period. End of story.

It makes me wonder what Jack thinks science is about>>

JDK, 115: >>But science is not about all of reality. Science is limited to a certain type of investigation: it doesn’t, and can’t, study everything that we know and believe.>>

ET, 116: >>Strawman Alert:

But science is not about all of reality.

1- I didn’t say anything about “all of reality”

2- You aren’t the one who can make such proclamation, anyway.

3- I never said we had to study everything that we know and believe. And if we know it that would mean we already studied it

Science can explore our origins. And science cannot [be] run by dogma, which is the opposite of what you are trying to say is OK. Only dogma disallows teleological thinking from science, Jack. This is worse than what the Church dogma did. At least they had something right.

In the end, if there was a scientifically testable alternative to ID , then we could say science doesn’t need it so it is OK to disallow it- teleological thinking.>>

[–> as will come out in 118, naturalism, the driving force behind the impositions, does entail that science is about all of reality]

JAD, 117: >>jdk wrote,

But science is not about all of reality. Science is limited to a certain type of investigation: it doesn’t, and can’t, study everything that we know and believe.

But it’s okay for atheists, like Will Provine, to argue that science shows that “There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.” And he’s not alone. Do you want a longer quote from Stephen Pinker who unabashedly promotes scientism– the view that science can serve as a basis for one personal world view

Pinker writes,

[that] the findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures—their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies—are factually mistaken. We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We know that our species is a tiny twig of a genealogical tree that embraces all living things and that emerged from prebiotic chemicals almost four billion years ago. We know that we live on a planet that revolves around one of a hundred billion stars in our galaxy, which is one of a hundred billion galaxies in a 13.8-billion-year-old universe, possibly one of a vast number of universes. We know that our intuitions about space, time, matter, and causation are incommensurable with the nature of reality on scales that are very large and very small. We know that the laws governing the physical world (including accidents, disease, and other misfortunes) have no goals that pertain to human well-being. There is no such thing as fate, providence, karma, spells, curses, augury, divine retribution, or answered prayers—though the discrepancy between the laws of probability and the workings of cognition may explain why people believe there are. And we know that we did not always know these things, that the beloved convictions of every time and culture may be decisively falsified, doubtless including some we hold today.

In other words, the worldview that guides the moral and spiritual values of an educated person today is the worldview given to us by science.

Why aren’t you criticizing Pinker?>>

KF, 118: >>JDK,

as you know or should know, “millions” have been indoctrinated with the premise behind the opening remark in the paper I have put on the table since comment 6:

Main Text

Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

[–> banned by whom, on what grounds, when, with what sound inductive warrant, given say discovery of alphanumeric code, thus language that functions algorithmically in the heart of the living cell? Coded language and programs are inherently teleological]

The questions I asked a few days ago regarding imposition are still relevant and are still unanswered. Which is itself revealing.

That’s a smoking gun.

So is the indubitable parallel to the well known remarks by eminent scientist Lewontin which you tried to dismiss with a laugh. Tellingly, you have been silent on the parallel since I began to lay it out in 88:

Consider key parallel no. 1:

Pascal Wagner-Egger, Sylvain Delouvée, Nicolas Gauvrit, Sebastian Dieguez, annotated, Aug 2018:

>> teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning . . .

[–> banned by whom, on what grounds, when, with what sound inductive warrant, given say discovery of alphanumeric code, thus language that functions algorithmically in the heart of the living cell? Coded language and programs are inherently teleological]>>

vs.

Lewontin, annotated, 1997:

>>It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons].>>

Do we see the ideological imposition and its consequences for science and for truth-seeking?

Going further, it is notorious and obvious from the just cited that a dominant and domineering faction in science, science education and linked policy-influencing circles advocates or enables evolutionary materialistic scientism, indeed in a recent discussion we had here at UD it emerged that this is a key component of much of so-called naturalism.

I remind, from AmHD, sense 3:

nat·u·ral·ism (n?ch??r-?-l?z??m, n?ch?r?-)
n . . .
3. Philosophy The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.

However, this whole scheme is inherently, inescapably self-referentially incoherent and self-falsifying, thus false and misleading. Indeed, it dresses falsity in the lab coat and sets out to establish it with power and manipulation. Precisely the might and/or manipulation make ‘truth,’ ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘justice,’ etc that I have often warned against.

But I get ahead of myself.

Let’s review.

For one, scientism as summarised in AmHD as it defined naturalism, in effect implies that evolutionary materialism circumscribes reality (which is by its insistence physicalist) and infers then insists that all “real” or serious knowledge is therefore scientific. Whatever knowledge claims others make on other grounds are either nonsense (the delusional perceived demons in Lewontin’s and Sagan’s language) or are trivial and displaced once big-S Science comes knocking with its evolutionary materialistic agenda.

The obvious problem with Lewontin’s “science [is] the only begetter of truth,” or the claim summarised by AmHD “all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural [= evolutionary materialistic] causes and laws” is that this is, necessarily a philosophical claim, an epistemological one.

So, it self-destructs.

Going further, the evolutionary materialism reduces our minds, consciences etc to GIGO-driven computation on a material computational substrate, brain tissue in effect. That instantly undermines rationality, responsibility, knowledge and bodies of knowledge. That has stood on the table since Haldane’s telling observation:

“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.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in a current book, Finding Truth.)]

Reppert draws out the computational substrate issue (echoing and extending Leibniz):

. . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

In short, we see here the imposition of the sort of crooked yardstick I pointed out in 86 above and have also headlined separately:

. . . there is a silly little mental game we can consider.

[The Crooked Yardstick Effect:]

Step one, define that a certain crooked yardstick, S, is the standard of straight, accurate and upright.

Once that is done, no stick I that is genuinely so can ever conform to S: I != S. So on the S-standard I will always be rejected.

This seems silly, until it is in place on an ideologically tainted matter, ask, how can we move from S to the incommensurable I. Only, by interposing a plumbline P that you are willing to accept is naturally upright and straight. But, if you are committed to S, you may well refuse to acknowledge P.

So, if we can be led to set up a false standard S, it can be self-sustaining in the teeth of all corrections, until something catastrophic forces a change.

Resemblance to too much of political (and so also military and ideological) history is NOT coincidental.

Therefore your ad populem/ bandwagon argument is not only a fallacy but a pernicious technique in establishing a crooked yardstick. The ruinous effects are increasingly evident all around us.

But of course, all of this is in a sense secondary.

Underlying is a battle for truth and submission to truth rather than to the power brokers of some ideology or another as a core principle of science. Where, what is truth is also in the stakes.

If science seeks to discover and provide support for accurate description of the facts and principles/laws of the empirical world through observation, experiment, hypothesis, testing, analysis, discussion etc, then it must be free to follow the evidence. The sort of ideological captivity to evolutionary materialistic scientism that is yet again being exposed inadvertently, therefore speaks volumes.

DNA is a string digital data structure which stores coded information in the specific sequence of bases, G/C/A/T, both for protein coding and for regulation/control

Going on, the key issue at stake is freedom to follow the import of discoveries and massively evident facts on the table. For instance, from 1953, alphanumeric code was found to lie at the heart of the cell, in DNA (and by extension in RNA and proteins, thence the working of the living cell). This is language and algorithms with associated storage, reading and execution machinery that may be profitably studied by comparing von Neumann’s 1948 on kinematic self-replicating machine framework — I often abbreviate, vNSR. Moreover, such functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (FSCO/I for handy short) have — per trillions of observed cases and blind needle in haystack search-challenge analysis alike — precisely one empirically and analytically plausible cause: origin by intelligently directed configuration, aka design. Which is of course purposive.

Going back a step, it is trivial to observe that language is inherently intentional and purposive, with algorithms and associated machinery constituting a capital example, here, a cybernetic system.

[I add, from Crick’s March 19, 1953 letter:]

Crick’s letter

Trivial and patent, but demonstrably ideologically banned by the evolutionary materialistic scientism establishment.

The evidence of what 100 trillion cells in our bodies screams, design and purpose, is being suppressed by imposition of a crooked yardstick.

The implications of such imposed and established error and folly for our civilisation cannot be good.

(But of course, pointing out such dangers — even by someone who has lived through two societies marching off the cliff — is silly apocalypticism, to be dismissed without serious consideration. As, obviously, is the sort of exposition laid out above.)

A plumbline

It is time for serious rethinking and for taking seriously the obvious plumb line tests:

[a] the necessity of responsible rationality for even science to be done (so the only viable worldviews are those with room for that — and evo mat scientism is not one of these);

[b] the patent reality of code, language, algorithms and associated execution machinery in the living cell (so that purpose in the world is massively evident through scientific study, regardless of silly bans such as we see announced in the paper discussed in the OP).

The power of the plumb line is that it is naturally straight and upright.

But many will studiously ignore its correction to the crooked yardstick.

As we have seen in and around UD for years.>>

The imposition stands exposed.

_________________________

Food for thought. END

53 Replies to “Revealing in-thread exchanges on the imposition of evo mat scientism/ naturalism (and on the tactics to deflect attention from that)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Revealing in-thread exchanges on the imposition of evo mat scientism/ naturalism (and on the tactics to deflect attention from that)

  2. 2
    jdk says:

    kf writes,

    As JDK knows or should know that scientism rules the roost, /

    Baloney, kf. Don’t go telling me what I do know, or should know. If you can’t or won’t honestly represent my beliefs, then just don’t mention me.

  3. 3
    jdk says:

    Ooops, again. I need to look at posts after I send them:

    Kf writes,

    As JDK knows or should know that scientism rules the roost.

    Baloney, kf. Don’t go telling me what I do know, or should know. If you can’t or won’t honestly represent my beliefs, then just don’t mention me.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, with all due respect, you do know or full well should know. For, we both know your track record and policy-influencing roles [snip]. KF

    PS: And no, I am not going to give you a free pass to spin away here at UD. As for your insinuation of dishonesty in my making a remark under fair comment, it falls of its own weight given your track record.

  5. 5
    jdk says:

    $^&$*&^% you, kf. There is nothing respectful about making no effort to honestly represent someone else’s understandings or position.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: To show just how much evolutionary materialistic scientism rules the roost, let us note again on how a peer-reviewed paper purporting to connect creationism and conspiracism BEGINS its analysis, tying back to no 6 in the previous thread:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

    [–> banned by whom, on what grounds, when, with what sound inductive warrant, given say discovery of alphanumeric code, thus language that functions algorithmically in the heart of the living cell? Coded language and programs are inherently teleological]

    it persists in childhood cognition,

    [–> loaded subtext, implying childishness on the part of the despised, dismissed other]

    as well as in adult intuitions and beliefs [1 , 2].

    [–> “persists” continues in force, so adults who believe that “life on Earth was purposefully created by a supernatural agent” are automatically childish and by definitional fiat antiscience]

    Noting similarities between creationism (the belief that life on Earth was purposefully created by a supernatural agent) and conspiracism,

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

    [–> dismissed as antiscience by definition at the outset and further silently dismissed as not being possibly true, material evidence having been suppressed]

    could underlie and associate

    [–> oh, we are diagnoising your delusions, borderline lunacy]

    both types of beliefs.

    Let us also note, the definition in Am HD again:

    nat·u·ral·ism (n?ch??r-?-l?z??m, n?ch?r?-)
    n . . .
    3. Philosophy The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.

    KF

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, you have gone straight to ad hominems and slightly disguised obscenities. That justifies my pointing here in context to give some specific, relevant context for why I say you know or should know, as of c 13 years past. KF

  8. 8
    ET says:

    It looks like willful ignorance rules jdk’s roost. The dogma cannot spelled pout more clear than:

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning, …

    Only materialistic dogma does that.

    So jdk endorses materialistic dogma even though he claims not be a materialist. It is clear he doesn’t care about science

  9. 9
    jdk says:

    I don’t know why I bother to repeat obviously true facts which are never acknowledged or remembered, but many, many religious people believe that teleological explanations don’t belong in science.

    It is definitely not true that “Only materialistic dogma does that.”

    This is not an argument that those people are correct just because there are a lot of them. It is an argument, and in fact a proof, that the above quoted statement is false by virtue of pointing to millions of counterexamples.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Jack, you have serious issues. Anyone interested in reality and science knows that science cannot be governed by dogma and no options are taken off the table.

    It is true that only materialistic dogma does that. Your alleged religious people are clueless. The vast majority of religious people disagree with you, Jack.

    Only materialistic dogma says teleological thinking has been banned from science. Only dogma does such a thing.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    many religious people believe that teleological explanations don’t belong in science.

    I don’t believe you. You have never supported that claim.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, if you go to say the (highly relevant) debates in Kansas, you will find religious leaders who enabled the sort of censorship we are seeing: “BANNED.” They have been persuaded that for centuries, this has been the rule of science, just as the infamous Judge Jones. They imagine that to reject this is to undermine science and that students taught a traditional, historically well justified and philosophically well founded school level definition of science and its methods have lost the accreditation of their education. This simply means they have been deceived about the history and philosophy of science, and that they have been further deceived about the basic import of something like seeing alphanumeric code in DNA, serving algorithms and being executed on molecular technology machines implementing a metabolising, kinematic self replicator. They have been indoctrinated not to connect the patent numbered dots. Remember, all of this is in Nobel Prize winning scientific work. And, my point above is simple: when you stand up to influence education policy, you are duty-bound to seek the real truth, the real reachable truth. If that truth is, we don’t really know, say it, do not mislead our children. But it is not at this level here, DNA in context screams, purposeful, algorithmic systems lie at the foundation of the technology of life. We know it, or we should know it, regardless of who may try to say different and regardless of what august status they may have. This is what I mean by pointing out the dangers of setting up a crooked yardstick as standard for straight, accurate, upright. KF

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I recall attempts by objectors to dismiss the following from high quality dictionaries from 20 – 50 years ago, which just happen to be in my collection:

    science: a branch of knowledge conducted on objective principles involving the systematized observation of and experiment with phenomena, esp. concerned with the material and functions of the physical universe. [Concise Oxford, 1990 — and yes, they used the “z” Virginia!]

    scientific method: principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge [”the body of truth, information and principles acquired by mankind”] involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. [Webster’s 7th Collegiate, 1965]

    PPS: Contrast, what was done in Kansas, knowing the force of AmHD’s definition of “naturalism”:

    2001 Definition: “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations of the world around us.”

    2005 Definition: “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation, that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.” [Emphases added.]

    2007: “Science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us”

    Smoking gun.

  14. 14
    jdk says:

    re 11: Theistic evolutionists, many Buddhists and HIndus, etc.

  15. 15
    jdk says:

    kf, there is a difference between limiting the nature of science to not including teleological explanations, which does not make any claims about teleological explanations in other fields such as religion or metaphysics, and scientism, which says science is the only valid approach to knowledge.

    You know that this distinction is true, but you insist on conflating the two for your own ideological purposes.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    e 11: Theistic evolutionists, many Buddhists and HIndus, etc.

    Umm that doesn’t support your claim, Jack. You have no idea what the members of those religions say with respect to science

  17. 17
    ET says:

    kairosfocus- Paley was at the beginning of the 219th century. Darwinism wasn’t accepted until the middle of the 20th. So clearly those religious people you speak of are just clueless.

  18. 18
    ET says:

    there is a difference between limiting the nature of science to not including teleological explanations,

    Science cannot be limited in such a way. Only dogma limits science.

    Science is the search for the reality behind what is being investigated. Period. End of story.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    Linus Pauling, winner of 2 Nobel prizes wrote,

    “It is sometimes said that science has nothing to do with morality. This is wrong. Science is the search for truth, the effort to understand the world; it involves the rejection of bias, of dogma, of revelation, but not the rejection of morality.”

    And Albert Einstein

    “But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding.”

    “A healthy science is a science that seeks the truth.” Paul Nelson, Ph. D., philosophy of biology.

    The truth need not be an absolute truth. Truth in the sense that Drs. Pauling, Einstein and Nelson are speaking is the reality in which we find ourselves. We exist. Science is to help us understand that existence and how it came to be.

    As I like to say- science is our search for the truth, i.e. the reality, to our existence via our never-ending quest for knowledge.

    I always thought science was about uncovering reality- separating the real from the fantasy and fake and finding/ figuring out the truth behind some phenomena, object or event. That is what investigations are all about. If you are going to start with a conclusion already in hand you aren’t doing science. You are being very biased. And by banning teleological explanations from science you are starting with a conclusion.

    If we do not use teleological explanations and we are the result of telic processes, then there is no way we will ever understand what we are observing. Meaning we are not interested in science.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    I see I put Paley well into the future in post 17. 😎

  21. 21
    Fasteddious says:

    I don’t understand why purpose and meaning in science are so disliked by materialists. Perhaps I am too simple, but it seems to me that in regard to origins studies (cosmology, origin of life, origin of species, etc.), there are two possibilities: either supernatural agencies were involved (~theism) or they were not involved (~atheism). Neither possibility can be dismissed a priori on mere logical grounds. Therefore, an open minded scientist starting his research into these areas would say, “let’s consider all possibilities”, and would begin looking for evidence that could support one or other of the two possibilities. Ruling out one of the two a priori is simply unfounded. And dismissing evidence that might point to one or other of the possibilities simply based on your metaphysical preferences can hardly be called scientific. Of course scientists do not first look for supernatural explanations, but if presented with evidence pointing in that direction they should not rule it out of court.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    Umm, ID doesn’t require the supernatural. The distinction is between natural and artificial. Teleological explanations are not reserved for the supernatural.

    Perhaps that needs to be added to UD’s ID FAQ

  23. 23
    OLV says:

    Y’all may want to have this for dessert:

    Complex systems theory is concerned with identifying and characterizing common design elements that are observed across diverse natural, technological and social complex systems. Systems biology, a more holistic approach to study molecules and cells in biology, has advanced rapidly in the past two decades. However, not much appreciation has been granted to the realization that the human cell is an exemplary complex system.

    Currently, we do not fully understand all of the molecular details about how cell signalling networks actually integrate and process information to regulate cellular function. Open questions include how the many different ligands, diffusing in the extracellular media, and capable of binding to different and multiple receptor types, initiate intracellular activity changes that result in alternative cellular phenotypes.

    Complex systems biology

  24. 24
    PeterA says:

    OLV,

    The text you quoted states:
    “Currently, we do not fully understand…”

    Many folks out there have mistakenly associated that with the so-called “god of the gaps” of the “I can’t understand it, therefore god did it”. However, as Dr. John Lennox has said, God is not a “god of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.

    What is known is what points to intelligent design.

  25. 25
    jawa says:

    Peter,

    I agree.

    Check this out:

    mixed epistasis* between a gene pair can be explained by the action of a third gene that modulates the interaction

    (*) different gene sets respond in different ways

  26. 26
  27. 27
    PaoloV says:

    OLV, Peter, jawa,

    Did you guys intentionally dump all that information here in order to silence KF’s stubborn opponents?

    😉

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, so-called methodological naturalism is addressed in no 17: https://uncommondescent.com/faq/#methnatsci (and see ff,) KF

    PS: No 17:

    >>17] Methodological naturalism is the rule of science

    Methodological naturalism is simply a quite recently imposed “rule” that (a) defines science as a search for natural causes of observed phenomena AND (b) forbids the researcher to consider any other explanation, regardless of what the evidence may indicate. In keeping with that principle, it begs the question and roundly declares that (c) any research that finds evidence of design in nature is invalid and that (d) any methods employed toward that end are non-scientific. For instance, in a pamphlet published in 2008, the US National Academy of Sciences declared:

    In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena. Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature, scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations. [Science, Evolution and Creationism, p. 10. Emphases added.]

    The resort to loaded language should cue us that there is more than mere objective science going on here!

    A second clue is a basic fact: the very NAS scientists themselves provide instances of a different alternative to forces tracing to chance and/or blind mechanical necessity. For, they are intelligent, creative agents who act into the empirical world in ways that leave empirically detectable and testable traces. Moreover, the claim or assumption that all such intelligences “must” in the end trace to chance and/or necessity acting within a materialistic cosmos is a debatable philosophical view on the remote and unobserved past history of our cosmos. It is not at all an established scientific “fact” on the level of the direct, repeatable observations that have led us to the conclusion that Earth and the other planets orbit the Sun.

    In short, the NAS would have been better advised to study the contrast: natural vs artificial (or, intelligent) causes, than to issue loaded language over natural vs supernatural ones

    Notwithstanding, many Darwinist members of the guild of scholars have instituted or supported the question-begging rule of “methodological naturalism,” ever since the 1980’s. So, if an ID scientist finds and tries to explain functionally specified complex information in a DNA molecule in light of its only known cause: intelligence, supporters of methodological naturalism will throw the evidence out or insist that it be re-interpreted as the product of processes tracing to chance and/or necessity; regardless of how implausible or improbable the explanations may be. Further, if the ID scientist dares to challenge this politically correct rule, he will then be disfranchised from the scientific community and all his work will be discredited and dismissed.

    Obviously, this is grossly unfair censorship.

    Worse, it is massively destructive to the historic and proper role of science as an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) search for the truth about our world in light of the evidence of observation and experience. >>

  29. 29
    OldAndrew says:

    The problem with this isn’t that it’s wrong:

    “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations of the world around us.”

    It’s that it’s too ambiguous to be right or wrong. What is “natural?” If we say that a thing appears to be designed but that the designer and technology are unidentified, is that not natural? Why not? How can science be a method for acquiring knowledge while simultaneously (and arbitrarily) proclaiming that the unobserved is not natural?

    Arthur C. Clarke said

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    The bottom of line of many anti-design arguments is that science must exclude design because the designer would be magic (non-natural.) It’s an irrational, illogical, unscientific, arbitrary, ideological, predetermined conclusion.

    The absurdity becomes more apparent when we realize that when it comes to origin of life, absolutely anything is on the table. It happened in clay, it happened in space, it happened in a pond that was struck by an asteroid, it started in ice, it started near a thermal vent. (It’s funny how everyone wants to say where it happened but not how it happened. If we had a shred of a clue how it happened then the where would be easier. But we don’t, so there’s an endless speculation on where something happened without saying what the “something” is.) Apparently we don’t have enough information to rule any of these out, but we can say for a certainty that it wasn’t designed because… science?

    No one should take such so-called reasoning seriously.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, 15:

    the logical integrity of inductive reasoning depends on not begging questions ahead of time through ideological impositions.

    For example, the recent peer-reviewed article speaks of BANNING; implying not only censorship but that something would otherwise be there absent the censorship.

    The use of such loaded language is already a smoking gun, why?

    (And yes, alternative splicing, dialects of the code, apparently regulatory impact of alternative AAs etc all add to this, but the first level is more than enough.)

    Further to this, we have on the table a massively evident case of complex, alphanumeric coded information (thus, language and algorithms) and associated execution machinery. It is fairly easy to see that a minimal first genome would be of order 100 – 1,000 kbits worth, or a comparable number of bases.

    Just the code, would utterly overwhelm the blind chance and or mechanical search capability of the observed cosmos, and that does not take into account associated cellular organisation and the complexities of AA sequence space to pick deeply isolated functional forms. The only actually observed source of such codes and information systems is design (trillions of cases now), and the search challenge — absent the arbitrary imposition — would be decisive.

    And indeed, it goes further: code, alphanumeric code, is linguistic, here implicating protocols that connect code symbols to targetted AA’s. Where, the SAME CCA tool-tip is used in the transfer RNA’s, it is the loading of the tRNA’s based on their conformation that actually effects the coding. The anticodon triplets and the in-common tool tips are separated.

    In short, we have to account for a modular system using information to guide coding.

    Where, further, as noted code is language, associated here with instructions: start and load methionine. Extend and load the next, stop. Those are essentially purposive, symbolic, informational, linguistic. So, the imposition flies in the face of direct evidence and forces the explanations accepted by the guild into a pre-set ideological mould that serves a known dominant agenda. Or if you want more marxist language: a given class interest.

    Smoking gun.

    Where, in my context, the natural comparison is then to the case of domestic slaves more zealous of massa’s interest than massa was himself.

    KF

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    OA, you have raised a very old point addressed by Plato himself. What is nature, phusis. In this context, it is quite clear that evolutionary materialistic scientism implies in effect physicalist monism, which simply cannot be right given that it radically undermines the freedom required for actual reasoning. KF

  32. 32
    OldAndrew says:

    I used to spend a lot more time with this. The trouble is that a prolonged argument against the irrational is itself irrational.

    Pointing out that this or that is too complex to have evolved is actually a perfectly sound argument, because the accumulation of human knowledge does not include complex systems arising without design. If someone decides not only that complex things do arise without design, but that it’s the default explanation because somehow design = not natural = not science (?!?!?) and that it somehow adds up to logic and reason, then there’s just no reasoning out of it, ever.

    The real magic trick was convincing people that “it’s too complicated to have happened by itself” isn’t sound reasoning. It’s awesome reasoning that lines up with everything that we’ve ever known about anything, ever, without exception.

    I’m always interested in reading yet another discovery of the astounding complexity in nature. It doesn’t let up. The more we look the more we find. But it’s tiresome and depressing imagining those same discoveries from the viewpoint of someone who says, “So what? Complex things happen by themselves all the time. What’s one more?” Except they don’t.

    How can you reason with someone who believes that something that never happens always happens, and thinks it makes sense because of a methodology supposedly based on observation? You can’t.

    I’m sure someone might have similar arguments against some of my beliefs, but I don’t claim that they are derived from a rigorous process of observation and experimentation.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    OldAndrew:

    Pointing out that this or that is too complex to have evolved is actually a perfectly sound argument, because the accumulation of human knowledge does not include complex systems arising without design.

    As long as you make sure you are talking about evolution by means of blind and mindless processes. Part of the intelligent design process could very well be similar to our genetic algorithms, which exemplify telic evolution

  34. 34
    ET says:

    In short, the NAS would have been better advised to study the contrast: natural vs artificial (or, intelligent) causes, than to issue loaded language over natural vs supernatural ones

    Thank you. Perhaps you could put that at the top of the list too

  35. 35
    OldAndrew says:

    ET

    As long as you make sure you are talking about evolution by means of blind and mindless processes. Part of the intelligent design process could very well be similar to our genetic algorithms, which exemplify telic evolution

    Absolutely. It’s evident that living things change, and that they change in ways which adapt them to their environments. The question is how. We tend to associate “mutation” with “random,” but mutation is really just change. And there’s already observation of changes which clearly aren’t random.

    That’s what blows my mind. The more we look, the more we find. If humans build something, humans can reverse engineer it. I’m not saying we can’t reverse engineer life and the way it changes, but right now we’re not even close. That’s not a negative against science, but an observation of the vast depth of what it’s exploring.

  36. 36
    ET says:

    OldAndrew- It is my view that given living organisms were intelligently designed it follows they were given the ability to adapt and change.

    What we may be able to reverse engineer are structures like ATP synthase to figure out highly efficient energy producers.

  37. 37
    john_a_designer says:

    jdk asked me on the earlier thread (Claimed link between creationism and “conspiracism”) to comment following hypothetical.

    Here’s a simple example, which I’ve used before, although I don’t recall that anyone has ever addressed the distinction I’m making with the example. A man misses an airplane flight because a newspaper flies in front of his car on the way to the airport, causing a small accident, and thus causing him to miss his plane. The plane crashes and all aboard are killed.

    The man then expresses the quite orthodox Christian belief that God spared him: that it was not part of God’s plan that he die that day.

    A scientific explanation of the situation would mention all the physical causal factors (the wind, the flying newspaper, the auto accident, the circumstances that caused the plane to crash, etc.) The scientific explanation would not include the explanation that this all was God’s will. The fact that the scientific explanation does not mention God does NOT mean that science is denying God’s existence: it just means that the teleological presence of God is not something that falls in the domain of science to investigate.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/claimed-link-between-creationism-and-conspiracism/#comment-663572

    ID is not about the existence of God. Though some of us do believe in God, that’s a theological extrapolation (a natural theology inference) from the apparent design we see in nature. So as IDist’s our arguments are based on the apparent design and teleology we see in nature. For instance, in your example above in you mentioned an airplane and then went on to describe an accident. To understand my point you have to focus on the airplane and the question: how did man learn to fly?

    Otto Lilienthal pioneered human powered flight by scientifically studying birds. As a matter of fact he pubished the results of his research in a book titled, Birdflight as The Basis of Aviation.

    After a comprehensive scientific study of how birds fly, Lilienthal recognized the superiority of curved wing surfaces. He then developed a theory of flight and designed and built a series of gliders. From 1891 to 1896 he made over 2,000 glides—bridging the gap between those who dreamed of flying and those who flew. Learning of Lilienthal’s fatal gliding accident in 1896, the Wright Brothers became inspired to investigate “the problem of human flight.” Lilienthal had a tremendous influence on the Wrights, who considered him their hero. They carefully studied his work, developed their own theories and designs, and invented the airplane.

    https://www.sae.org/publications/books/content/b-900/

    In other words, man learned to fly by first studying then co-opting the design that was already there in nature. The design we see in nature is not real design?

    As far as jdk’s hypothetical Christian believing “that God spared him: that it was not part of God’s plan that he die that day.” I would agree that’s not something you could prove scientifically. So?

  38. 38
    jdk says:

    re 37: JAD writes, “I would agree that’s not something you could prove scientifically. So?”

    Theistic evolutionists and believers in other philosophies and religions believe that the guidance God has provided to the progression of life on earth is like the example I gave: all the observable details are of empirical, physical events (blowing newspapers, etc.), and the guidance of God takes place in ways that are beyond our experience and understanding. Science describes what has happened in the physical world, and faith and religious belief sees the guidance and purpose behind it all.

    I know you and most people here decry this position as a sellout to materialism, etc., but to the those who believe in this way, the conclusion that this is how God is present in the world is central to their faith.

    That’s the answer to the “So?” question.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    OA, the issue is not merely complexity, but functionally specific complex organisation (thus, coherence towards an apparent goal) and associated implicit or even explicit information. For example, a random bit string of a long enough length (500 – 1,000 bits) is easy enough to generate, just line up so many coins and flip. Or, to be more relevant, so many atoms in a paramagnetic substance in a weak B field. What would be very different would be to find 500 – 1,000 or more coins in a string spelling out part of the text of this comment in ASCII code, say. Or, to find such spelling out source code or byte codes or machine code. With DNA, we precisely find a string data structure expressing machine code in a context of execution machinery, all using molecular nanotech in the heart of cell based life. That points to design, strongly. KF

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, for the umpteenth time, as the just above to OA will show, the scientific inference to design on observed, tested, reliable signs is not an inference to designers of any particular identity or ontological status. The question at work remains, does origin by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, or origin by design of an entity leave characteristic signs in at least some cases that can be used to recognise their presence? That is, per the logic of inference to the best explanation (we are obviously not examining cases where we directly see the causal process). The answer is clearly yes, and we in fact routinely infer design on observing FSCO/I, with trillions of cases in point where observational cross checks confirm the inference process as reliable. The problem is not the inference, it is that there is an ideologically enforced lockout for cases such as alphanumeric algorithmically functional code in DNA, where serious candidate designers are inconvenient for the evolutionary materialist establishment. To enforce the ban — censorship — that protects their ideologically anchored power, science is being fettered from freely pursuing a truthful explanation of the relevant evidence. Where, given the known scientism at work — cf the Am HD def’n 3 on “naturalism” suggestions to the lay public that oh, science does not cover all knowledge ring distinctly hollow. KF

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    OA, it is true that those who have made a crooked yardstick S their standard of straightness, uprightness and accuracy will reject what is actually such I because of a flawed standard. (Cf discussion in the OP on The Crooked Yardstick Effect, or just click here.) The issue, then, is to force a comparison with a plumb line P that is credibly, patently upright and straight. In many cases, that obviously will be dismissed by those indoctrinated into using crooked yardsticks, but in the end, it will tell, starting with those who look on and see that irrationality is being enforced by power and manipulation. Also, there is nothing preventing a reasonable discussion with others who are also present but are not locked into the crooked yardstick system. KF

    PS: The utterly obvious case here is DNA. Alphanumeric, precisely functional code of enormous complexity in the heart of life. Notice, how it is studiously avoided by those who have tried to ban inference to design on tested, reliable signs. Or when forced to address it, we see pretence that “code” is just an analogy (which is alleged to be untrustworthy) and so it isn’t relevant. Meanwhile, making good inferences across analogous, essentially similar cases is a key to good inductive reasoning, and embedded machine code in cybernetic systems is a major phenomenon. Indeed, von Neumann’s kinematic self replicator contemplated using a prong height code similar to what we find in Yale type locks. The exchanges with UB on semiotics are instructive on the problem of the crooked yardstick effect.

  42. 42
    john_a_designer says:

    Several years ago on the now defunct site Telic Thoughts I got into a debate with a biologist who was defending Darwinian evolution. Somehow we got into a discussion of teleology and typically he defended Darwinian evolution as being non-teleological. However, he then stunned me by conceding that he didn’t deny that within the biosphere there were clear examples of teleology– that on an individual level organisms and organs reveal a plan and purpose.

    Think about it; he is absolutely right. What is the purpose of an acorn? To become an oak tree. Indeed, the purpose of any kind of reproduction is to keep replacing each successive older generation with a newer one and therefore sustain the species. Every organ of an organism has a plan and purpose. What is the purpose of the eye, the ear or the nerve endings of our skin? Yet these things in and of themselves would be useless without a brain and central nervous systems. Indeed, we cannot simply talk about organ without talking about the highly integrated system that that organ is a part of. For example, it is meaningless to talk about the heart without talking about veins, arteries, capillaries and the entire circulatory system… but then we also have to talk about other systems critical for survival, like blood, blood cells and blood clotting… that leads to a discussion of the immune system… Of course, there are other systems we need to talk about– the digestive system, the reproductive system… the systems within the cell, on the sub-cellular level… symbiosis and ecology. All this is integrated to work together as a plan with a purpose. So how could it come about without any kind of plan and purpose– “just accidently?”

    The burden of proof is on those who believe that some mindless, purposeless process can “create” a planned and purposeful (teleological) process. Frankly, this is something our regular interlocutors consistently and persistently fail to do.

  43. 43
    OldAndrew says:

    all the observable details are of empirical, physical events (blowing newspapers, etc.), and the guidance of God takes place in ways that are beyond our experience and understanding. Science describes what has happened in the physical world, and faith and religious belief sees the guidance and purpose behind it all.

    This highlights the disconnect I see in some of these discussions.

    Why is something “beyond our experience and understanding” unapproachable to science? Half of what we know was once beyond our experience and understanding.

    It seems very logical to me to say, “Design is the best explanation for this thing. But we have no idea what or how could have designed it. Let’s explore!”

    It’s irrational to reason that we should discard any evidence of design and in fact consider the possibility contrary to science because the details are unknown to us.

    The reasoning seems to be that it’s okay to keep exploring and looking for what we haven’t observed, as long as that something is evidence of undirected abiogenesis or evolution. If that something involves design then we should ignore what we see because… science.

  44. 44
    john_a_designer says:

    In his 1996 book, The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins claimed:

    “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    However, if something appears to be designed isn’t it logically possible it really could be designed?

    The main premise then for an argument for design then can be stated very simply:

    If it looks designed, it really could be designed.

    And from that the main argument for the design can be stated as follows:

    1.If it looks designed, it really could be designed.

    2. Even the simplest self-replicating life form, Mycoplasma genitalium, looks designed.

    3. Therefore, it really could be designed.

    In other words, if it’s logically possible that something could be designed then it’s not illegitimate to consider the possibility that it really might be designed. Indeed, it would be foolish not to.

    If, on the other hand, you believe that design is not possible then you have the burden of proof to prove that. But to do that you have to begin with a premise that is either self-evidently or factually true, or demonstrate that it is logically impossible.

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    keep going, please . . .

  46. 46
    daveS says:

    In other words, if it’s logically possible that something could be designed then it’s not illegitimate to consider the possibility that it really might be designed. Indeed, it would be foolish not to.

    If, on the other hand, you believe that design is not possible then you have the burden of proof to prove that. But to do that you have to begin with a premise that is either self-evidently or factually true, or demonstrate that it is logically impossible.

    Seems reasonable so far…

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm: don’t we know that design as process is possible as actual as we ourselves are designers (starting with composing comments here)? Is it not then actually an argument that designers were not possible at OoL or at origin of sol system and wider cosmos? Where, already as we see from Venter et al, design of cell based life on earth (what we observe) is possible starting with say an orbiting molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond where we now are? So, in reality is this not about oh, design of a cosmos is not possible for want of a possible designer, pivoting on such being by definition super-natural? Is that not going full circle to begging huge questions in the ideological imposition of the ban discussed in the OP? KF

  48. 48
    ET says:

    kairosfocus, the question is-

    What prevents us from using tried and true (intelligent) design detection methods in biology and other scientific venues?

    (HINT- it’s the title of a movie with Ben and Matt (as expelled Angels) with George Carlin playing a Catholic Bishop)

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, logically, epistemologically, nothing — especially with copious algorithmically functional code (so, language, intent, means-ends matching etc) staring us in the face in DNA at the heart of the cell. Ideologically, a censoring ban backed by raw institutional power and a controlling agenda of evolutionary materialistic scientism. Smoking gun, yet again. KF

    PS: I generally don’t watch the movies or know who their stars are. (I assume, this is some sort of classic?)

  50. 50
    ET says:

    It’s a classic comedy of sorts. The name is “Dogma” and refers to Catholic Dogma which somehow gives two expelled Angels a back-door back to Heaven.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    john_a_designer says:

    Here are a few of the top synonyms for teleological: intentional, purposeful, and planned. However, the committed Darwinist believes there is no design, no plan or purpose to life’s biology. That it’s all just an illusion.

    J. Scott Turner a professor of biology and physiology at the State University of New York (College of Environmental Science & Forestry) in Syracuse, New York, was a committed Darwinist till, ironically, the Dover (read: Scopes II) trial in Dover, PA, caused him to rethink some of his assumptions. It’s ironic because, as we all know (because it’s what we’ve been told,) Dover was the final nail in the coffin of the misguided ID movement.

    Turner, “explains the impact that media coverage of the Dover trial had on him, the smears directed at ID proponents, the trite attacks on “creationism” that seemed to have been preserved in vinegar from the Scopes Monkey Trial eighty years before. Turner met Stephen Meyer and other advocates of intelligent design. He was startled to find that they were quite a different crowd from what you’d imagine based on press coverage and published comments from Darwin defenders.”

    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/03/how-scott-turner-evolved/

    While not an ID proponent himself, Dover caused him reconsider some of Darwinism’s dys-teleological claims. That rethink resulted in his 2017 book, Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something “Alive” and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It.

    Perry Marshall in his review, at Amazon, explains what Turner’s book is all about:

    Rock-star biologist Carl Woese lamented at how reductionist thinking reduced biology to “become a science of lesser importance, for it had nothing fundamental to tell us about the world.” He described how biology has become shackled by the confines of reductionist physics. He hoped that it will “press forward once more as a fundamental science.”

    Enter J. Scott Turner, whose deep work with termites (and many other things) lead him to conclude: “This Darwinian dog don’t hunt.” He, like Noble, is a physiologist, and as such acknowledges that it’s manifestly incoherent to claim that hands only *appear* to have the purpose of grasping, and that hearts only *appear* to have the purpose of hunting, and wings only *appear* to have the purpose of flying.

    This dogma of purpose being mere illusion has been used for decades to shame scientists into thinking that IF they think there is purpose in nature, then they really are not scientists after all.

    Turner finally came to the conclusion that this is nothing but an arbitrary piece of philosophical dogma, and worse, it sucks the true power out of the science of biology.

    I could not agree more. The purposefulness of living things is apparent to any six year old. It is manifest at every level at which you study life. So as in Mao’s China, it takes a great deal of “re-education” for people to unlearn the obvious. After all, how is a Darwinist who says nature only *appears* to be purposeful, being any more honest than a Creationist who says nature only *appears* to be billions of years old.

    In other words, if it appears to be purposeful and designs its logically possible that it really is purposeful and designed. Indeed, not only is it logical, it’s common sense.

  53. 53
    R J Sawyer says:

    ET

    (HINT- it’s the title of a movie with Ben and Matt (as expelled Angels) with George Carlin playing a Catholic Bishop)

    A great movie. It makes you think about how organized religion can capitalize on something that should be personal.

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