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Larry Moran misses the point about Gunther Witzany


2015-08-06-1438863394-5913560-GuntherWitzany.jpg Further to “Philosopher of science: Schoolbook Darwinism needs replacement” (Witzany: All these concepts that dominated science for half a century are falsified now):

Over at University of Toronto biochemist Larry Moran’s Sandwalk blog, we are informed,

Here’s why you can ignore Günther Witzany

Günther Witzany is one of those people who think the Modern Synthesis needs to be overthrown but he missed the real revolution that took place in the late 1960s. He’s part of The Third Way crowd that includes Denis Noble and Jim Shapiro [see Physiologists fall for the Third Way and The Third Fourth Way].

He was not one of the Altenberg 16 but he clearly wants to be part of the outer circle. It’s not clear why anyone should consider him an expert on evolutionary biology.

Oh dear, Moran seems to have quite missed the point: The perspective of the critics of the modern synthesis—so far from being shunned—is now one that attracts an “outer circle.” Hardly the sign of a failing cause.

Second, the key reason this is happening is that evolutionary biology is now such a train wreck that one hardly needs to be an expert. Just being an eyewitness is enough.

Let’s keep our eye on Witzany. Maybe he’ll have an outer circle one day too.

Note: Moran also misses the point about interviewer Suzan Mazur, of whom he says dismissive things. When journalists who publish in key venues become interested in an otherwise obscure train wreck, we can reasonably suspect that a shift is taking place. That’ why we call it “news” and not “olds.”

Origin of Life Circus Hat tip: Suzan Mazur, author of The Origin of Life Circus, and The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry

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wd400: If someone choices the wrong assumptions when running a model in physics not (sane) person would claim that’s physics proved wrong. Just the assumption. A very hard sentence to try to make sense of. Implicit in your logic, by way of analogy, is the statement: "Nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution." This is religious fundamentalism, not science. Never has a greater, nor higher, "ivory tower" been erected. PaV
Exactly which experimental observation has ever been made that has confirmed neo-Darwinian claims that unguided material processes can create non-trivial functional complexity/information over and above what is already present in life?
"Charles Darwin said (paraphrase), 'If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' Well that condition has been met time and time again. Basically every gene, every protein fold. There is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in a gradualist way. It's a mirage. None of it happens that way. - Doug Axe PhD. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5347797/ Is Evolution True? Laying Out the Logic - December 4, 2014 In contrast, our argument is as follows: 1. Is evolution true? Test case: do enzymes evolve by a process of natural selection and random mutation? 2. Modern enzymes are the only thing we can test. 3. No one knows if ancient enzymes were different. They are lost in the deep past, so claims with regard to their promiscuity or ability to evolve are hypothetical and unfalsifiable. 4. Modern enzymes can’t evolve new functions, based on our own experiments. 5. We haven’t tested the universe of modern enzymes, so our result is qualified, but the nine most similar enzymes did not change function. 6. Our estimate for the likely waiting time for an enzyme to evolve a new function is at least 10^15 years. 7. Therefore evolution of enzymes is likely to be impossible. 8. Given the sophistication of enzymes and the way they work together, intelligent design is the best explanation for the origin and current diversity of modern enzymes. http://www.biologicinstitute.org/post/104413161394/is-evolution-true-laying-out-the-logic
As to tremendous plasticity observed in animal breeding, such as dog breeding, the variations all occur from a loss of genetic information. i.e. Neo-Darwinism doesn't even need to apply for the job of being the proper explanation for animal breeding since it is a loss of preexisting information and since animal breeding has been around for thousands of years before Darwin ever came along:
Interview with Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig - Mar 22, 2014 Excerpt: Richard Dawkins and many other evolutionary biologists (claim) that dog breeds prove macroevolution. However, virtually all the dog breeds are generated by losses or disturbances of gene functions and/or developmental processes. Moreover, all the three subfamilies of the family of wild dogs (Canidae) appear abruptly in the fossil record. http://dippost.com/2014/03/22/interview-with-wolf-ekkehard-lonnig/ podcast - On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin talks with geneticist Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig about his recent article on the evolution of dogs. Casey and Dr. Lönnig evaluate the claim that dogs somehow demonstrate macroevolution. http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2013-02-01T17_41_14-08_00 Part 2: Dog Breeds: Proof of Macroevolution? http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2013-02-04T16_57_07-08_00 The Dog Delusion - October 30, 2014 Excerpt: In his latest book, geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany takes on the widespread view that dog breeds prove macroevolution.,,, He shows in great detail that the incredible variety of dog breeds, going back in origin several thousand years ago but especially to the last few centuries, represents no increase in information but rather a decrease or loss of function on the genetic and anatomical levels. Michael Behe writes: "Dr. Lönnig shows forcefully that one of the chief examples Darwinists rely on to convince the public of macroevolution -- the enormous variation in dogs -- actually shows the opposite. Extremes in size and anatomy come at the cost of broken genes and poor health. Even several gene duplications were found to interfere strongly with normal growth and development as is also often the case in humans. So where is the evidence for Darwinian evolution now?" The science here is indeed solid. Intriguingly, Lönnig's prediction from 2013 on starch digestion in wolves has already been confirmed in a study published this year.,,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/10/the_dog_delusio090751.html
The reason “evolutionary biology” doesn’t appear to be failing is because it explains observations that can also be explained by other paradigms. So therefore predictions it can make are predictions that other paradigms could make.
This differs very much from News' view of the world. And sounds more YEC-like than ID (which is meant to be a scientific alternative/objection to evolutionary biology, is it not?) wd400
Supplemental note:
at 37:51 minute mark of following video, according to the law of identity, Richard Dawkins does not really exist as a real person: (the unity of Aristotelian Form is also discussed afterwards) Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s
Thus, since the reductive materialism that neo-Darwinism is built upon is grossly inadequate to explain information, consciousness and form, then, as mentioned in my first sentence of this post, neo-Darwinism, i.e. the modern synthesis, does not need to be extended, it needs to be buried. Verse and Music:
Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' ROYAL TAILOR - HOLD ME TOGETHER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbpJ2FeeJgw
And again, if it is impossible to live consistently within your wordlview, then that is rock solid proof that your worldview is not the correct description of reality:
Existential Argument against Atheism - November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen 1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview. 2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview. 3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality. 4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion. 5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true. Conclusion: Atheism is false. http://answersforhope.com/existential-argument-atheism/
In fact, unless free will is real, and is not an illusion as materialists hold, then science itself would not be possible:
Sam Harris's Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It - Martin Cothran - November 9, 2012 Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state -- including their position on this issue -- is the effect of a physical, not logical cause. By their own logic, it isn't logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre066221.html (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts. (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain. (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2) (4) no effect can control its cause. Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality. per Box UD
Dr. Nelson humorously highlights the irrationality that is entailed in denying the reality of free will as materialists do:
Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let's Dump Methodological Naturalism - Paul Nelson - September 24, 2014 Excerpt: "Epistemology -- how we know -- and ontology -- what exists -- are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, "We cannot know that a mind caused x," laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won't include minds. MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn't write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact. "That's crazy," you reply, "I certainly did write my email." Okay, then -- to what does the pronoun "I" in that sentence refer? Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,, You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse -- i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss -- we haven't the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world -- such as your email, a real pattern -- we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,, some feature of "intelligence" must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we're back to physics versus physics, and there's nothing for SETI to look for.",,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set090071.html
And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:
“You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.” “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.” “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion you of that event after the fact.” “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
Dr. Craig Hazen, in the following video at the 12:26 minute mark, relates how he performed, for an audience full of academics at a college, a ‘miracle’ simply by raising his arm,,
The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xVByFjV0qlE#t=746s
What should be needless to say, if raising your arm is enough to refute your supposedly ‘scientific’ worldview of atheistic materialism, then perhaps it is time for you to seriously consider getting a new scientific worldview? Moreover, it is not as if materialists are standing on solid empirical ground when they deny the reality of their own consciousness (and free will). Many leading materialists themselves readily admit that they have no clue how consciousness can possibly emerge from a material basis
“We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.” Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’ David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist Sebastian Seung makes this clear in his book “Connectome,” saying:
“Every day we recall the past, perceive the present and imagine the future. How do our brains accomplish these feats? It’s safe to say that nobody really knows.”
There is simply no direct evidence that anything material is capable of generating consciousness. As Rutgers University philosopher Jerry Fodor says,
"Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness. Regardless of our knowledge of the structure of the brain, no one has any idea how the brain could possibly generate conscious experience."
As Nobel neurophysiologist Roger Sperry wrote,
"Those centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension at present that no one I know of has been able even to imagine their nature."
From modern physics, Nobel prize-winner Eugene Wigner (who was not a materialist) agreed:
"We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind."
Contemporary physicist Nick Herbert states,
"Science's biggest mystery is the nature of consciousness. It is not that we possess bad or imperfect theories of human awareness; we simply have no such theories at all. About all we know about consciousness is that it has something to do with the head, rather than the foot."
Physician and author Larry Dossey wrote:
"No experiment has ever demonstrated the genesis of consciousness from matter. One might as well believe that rabbits emerge from magicians' hats. Yet this vaporous possibility, this neuro-mythology, has enchanted generations of gullible scientists, in spite of the fact that there is not a shred of direct evidence to support it."
In fact, we have very good principled reasons for believing that it is impossible for consciousness to ever 'emerge' from a material basis:
Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist - May 05, 2015 Excerpt: "Non-computability of Consciousness" documents Song's quantum computer research into TS (technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence). Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That's important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine. Song's work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. "If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain," said Song. "The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn't lie." Of note: Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/consciousness-does-not-compute-and-never-will-says-korean-scientist-300077306.html Reply to Mathematical Error in "Incompatibility Between Quantum Theory and Consciousness" - Daegene Song - 2008 http://www.neuroquantology.com/index.php/journal/article/download/176/176 Sentient robots? Not possible if you do the maths - 13 May 2014 Over the past decade, Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have developed a mathematical framework for consciousness that has become one of the most influential theories in the field. According to their model, the ability to integrate information is a key property of consciousness. ,,, But there is a catch, argues Phil Maguire at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He points to a computational device called the XOR logic gate, which involves two inputs, A and B. The output of the gate is "1" if A and B are the same and "0" if A and B are different. In this scenario, it is impossible to predict the output based on A or B alone – you need both. Crucially, this type of integration requires loss of information, says Maguire: "You have put in two bits, and you get one out. If the brain integrated information in this fashion, it would have to be continuously haemorrhaging information.",,, Based on this definition, Maguire and his team have shown mathematically that computers can't handle any process that integrates information completely. If you accept that consciousness is based on total integration, then computers can't be conscious. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25560-sentient-robots-not-possible-if-you-do-the-maths.html#.U3LD5ChuqCe
As to the inability of 'form' to be explained by reductive materialism, Stephen Meyer states it succinctly as such:
‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ Stephen Meyer - (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate - 2009) (52:57 minute mark) https://youtu.be/7yqqlZ29gcU?t=3177
Many more notes an the inability of 'form' to be explained by reductive materialistic explanations are gone over in the following post:
This insurmountable problem of ‘form/shape’ for ‘bottom up’ neo-Darwinian explanations has now been demonstrated by a few of different methods. – June 2015 https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/schopenhauers-cycle-completed-july-1-2015/#comment-570759
As I said in the other thread, neo-Darwinism, i.e. the modern synthesis, does not need to be extended, it needs to be buried. Both Shapiro and Noble have a good overview of some of the main faults inherent in the assumptions of neo-Darwinism:
How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. - 2013 Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611 "Physiology Is Rocking the Foundations of Evolutionary Biology": Another Peer-Reviewed Paper Takes Aim at Neo-Darwinism - Casey Luskin March 31, 2015 Excerpt: Noble doesn't mince words: "It is not only the standard 20th century views of molecular genetics that are in question. Evolutionary theory itself is already in a state of flux (Jablonka & Lamb, 2005; Noble, 2006, 2011; Beurton et al. 2008; Pigliucci & Muller, 2010; Gissis & Jablonka, 2011; Shapiro, 2011). In this article, I will show that all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved." Noble then recounts those assumptions: (1) that "genetic change is random," (2) that "genetic change is gradual," (3) that "following genetic change, natural selection leads to particular gene variants (alleles) increasing in frequency within the population," and (4) that "inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible." He then cites examples that refute each of those assumptions,,, He then proposes a new and radical model of biology called the "Integrative Synthesis," where genes don't run the show and all parts of an organism -- the genome, the cell, the body plan, everything -- is integrated. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/physiology_is_r094821.html
And although those faults outlined by Shapiro and Noble are good as far as they go for undermining neo-Darwinian claims, that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg as far as the insurmountable problems with neo-Darwinism are concerned. The main fault inherent in the assumptions of neo-Darwinism, and even the main fault inherent within the naturalistic theories that are seeking to either replace, or extend, neo-Darwinism, is the faulty philosophical assumption of reductive materialism. Reductive materialism is an assumption that holds that information, consciousness, and an organism's form are emergent from, or reducible to, a materialistic basis. There simply is no empirical evidence whatsoever that any of those properties, i.e. information, consciousness, form, can possibly 'emerge' from a material basis. As to the property of information, unlike neo-Darwinism in which there is no rigid demarcation criteria, (at least no criteria that is broadly accepted by Darwinists), that would allow a person to go into the lab and potentially falsify neo-Darwinism by experiment, on the other hand, if a person could demonstrate just one instance in which unguided material processes generated non-trivial levels of functional information and/or complexity, it would falsify Intelligent Design as to being a 'scientific' theory.
The Origin of Information: How to Solve It - Perry Marshall Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community: “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.” “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer. A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery. We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research. http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/ The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness - David L. Abel Excerpt: "If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise." If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: "No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone." https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness "Matter does not make rules. Matter is governed by rules." fifthmonarchyman - UD blogger It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.- Dr Behe in 1997
And since it is, as Dr Behe pointed out, much easier to falsify Intelligent Design than it is to falsify neo-Darwinism, then that makes Intelligent Design scientific and makes neo-Darwinism "insert derogatory word of choice here":
"In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality." Karl Popper - The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge
As to consciousness (and free will), this is perhaps the most direct falsification of the reductive materialistic claims of neo-Darwinists since it is falsified within our own personal lives. As Nancy Pearcey pointed out in her recent book, "Finding Truth", even leading materialists themselves many times honestly admit that they cannot live consistently within the reductive materialism they champion in their classrooms and papers:
[Nancy Pearcey] When Reality Clashes with Your Atheistic Worldview - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Kpn3HBMiQ podcast - Are Humans Simply Robots? Nancy Pearcey on the “Free Will Illusion” http://www.discovery.org/multimedia/audio/2015/08/are-humans-simply-robots-nancy-pearcey-on-the-free-will-illusion/#more-30001 Casey Luskin interviews Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture Fellow Nancy Pearcey. Discussing her new book, Finding Truth: Five Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes, Pearcey points out the inconsistency of evolutionary materialists who hold that free will is simply an indispensable illusion. Darwin's Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails - Nancy Pearcey - April 23, 2015 Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, "Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get." An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, "The impossibility of free will ... can be proved with complete certainty." Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. "To be honest, I can't really accept it myself," he says. "I can't really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?",,, In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots -- that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one "can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free." We are "constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots." One section in his book is even titled "We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.",,, When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine -- a "big bag of skin full of biomolecules" interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, "When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, ... see that they are machines." Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: "That is not how I treat them.... I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis." Certainly if what counts as "rational" is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis within Brooks's worldview. It sticks out of his box. How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn't. Brooks ends by saying, "I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs." He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/04/when_evolutiona095451.html The Heretic - Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? - March 25, 2013 Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/heretic_707692.html?page=3
The reason "evolutionary biology" doesn't appear to be failing is because it explains observations that can also be explained by other paradigms. So therefore predictions it can make are predictions that other paradigms could make. It also survives because it is observably true but erroneously extrapolated. And consequently because the advocates cannot wrap their head around natural selection with existing kinds of organisms does not equal a single celled organism changing to a multicellular one, and a multicellular one changing to Mozart or Einstein. Dr JDD
That was just food for thought, wd. Not an accusation of anything. I apologize if it came across that way. Silver Asiatic
Have i either argued against religion SA? Or are you just making assumptions. PaV, I'm afraid you are very boring on this topic. If someone choices the wrong assumptions when running a model in physics not (sane) person would claim that's physics proved wrong. Just the assumption. wd400
The journals I mentioned are full of papers using evolutionary biology to learn about the world ...
It can also good argument in support of religion. Hundreds of academic journals, theology schools and scholars, learning about the world, providing immense benefit for people in all cultures. Silver Asiatic
wd400' Go see what Max Planck had to say about 'scientific revolutions.' And he had in mind the supposed "hard science" of physics. As to the Journals, et. al: "junk in; junk out." If you don't have the proper theory with which to analyze experimental results, then what have you learned really? At Phys.Org today there is a story about Lake Michigan perch, which have recovered in "decades," and not in "centuries." Where does the "century" time come from? A simulation which was run using "the notion that the selective pressures favoring delayed maturation are much weaker than the pressures exerted by intensive fishing." Ah, yes. Population genetics is wrong again. Oh, but no need to worry about that because "evolution is a fact," and "neo-Darwinism" is alive. And the beat goes on . . . PaV
If you run the universities, and purge any contrary thought, it will take considerable time to overthrow the orthodoxy. That doesn’t make your position right.
...and we get the conspiracy theory of science. The clock ticing down to my death is a new touch though. OF course, none of this answer questions. Why is such a terrible science proving such a profitable paradigm? The journals I mentioned are full of papers using evolutionary biology to learn about the world, and indeed related feilds like genomics lean heavily on tools form evolutionary biology. wd400
PaV: "The Copernicus Revolution, so called, took a hundred years to come about." Please tell me that you see the irony in this statement. tintinnid
Evolution has been "about to collapse" for a lot longer than that. See G. R. Morton's "The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism":
In recent reading, Dembski and other ID proponents make the claim that evolution (or major supporting concepts for it) is increasingly being abandoned by scientists, or is about to fall. This claim has many forms and has been made for over 185 years. This is a compilation of the claims over time. The purpose of this compilation is two-fold. First, it is to show that the claim has been made for a long, long time. Secondly, it is to show that entire careers have passed without seeing any of this movement away from evolution. Third, it is to show that the creationists are merely making these statements for the purpose of keeping hope alive that they are making progress towards their goal. In point of fact, no such progress is being made as anyone who has watched this area for the last 50 years can testify. The claim is false as history and present-day events show, yet that doesn't stop anyone wanting to sell books from making that claim.
PaV may attribute this to institutional inertia; others claim it's due to conspiracy, philosophical bias, etc. But you really should consider that maybe the reason evolution has held on so long is that it's you who is misjudging the evidence for it. Gordon Davisson
wd400: If you run the universities, and purge any contrary thought, it will take considerable time to overthrow the orthodoxy. That doesn't make your position right. You're here, you say, because you want to learn about what kind of thinking sees the end of a science when, in fact, the scientific results support the current thinking of the science. I, OTOH, find it interesting that so many "unexpected" results don't seem to destroy an ounce of your confidence in the science. But, you will die; and others will replace you---just like Darwin relied on winning over the youth in order to prevail. What goes around, comes around. PaV
Sounds familiar PaV, the always around the corner but totally goign to happen collapse of evolutionary biology. wd400
wd400: If you only read UD you’d think mainstream evolutionary biology was a failing science, with the major underpinnings of field being called into question. . .. But that’s just wrong, as even a glance across specialist and general journals would make clear. When evidence surfaces that completely contradicts the prevailing dogma, and the dogmatists simply "hand-wave" the evidence away, or shout down the "bearer of bad tidings" (e.g., Moran's view of ENCODE), it becomes very hard to 'fail.' A "consensus" has been reached, no matter the evidence. And then the theory becomes, you might say, "too big to fail." Yet all the signs of how the theory now fails to connect to genomic evidence is there for anyone who wants to look without prejudice. The Copernicus Revolution, so called, took a hundred years to come about. It's simply a matter of time. PaV
WD, ok i apologize. I misunderstood you. beau
I'm not talking about credentials at all. If you only read UD you'd think mainstream evolutionary biology was a failing science, with the major underpinnings of field being called into question. I guess that's what News meant by the quoted comment(?). But that's just wrong, as even a glance across specialist and general journals would make clear. So I'm curious as to how someone can gather and maintain such a skewed view of the science. wd400
WD00 I'm not sure if you're defending evolution or Moran but if you bring published papers into the battle Moran is eliminated early isn't he? The credentials argument is so inconsistent. beau
Oh dear, Moran seems to have quite missed the point: The perspective of the critics of the modern synthesis—so far from being shunned—is now one that attracts an “outer circle.” Hardly the sign of a failing cause.
I'm not really sure what this means. But do you seriously think mainstream evolutionary biology is failing? I suggest you read, say, Evolution, JEB, American Naturalist, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Geneticsor Molecular Ecology and count how many times the third wayers are cited. While you're there look how much science is being done with evolutionary biology. wd400
"Evolutionary biology is now such a train wreck that one hardly needs to be an expert. Just being an eyewitness is enough."
LOL - one of those little gems that it's easy to miss.
The perspective of the critics of the modern synthesis—so far from being shunned—is now one that attracts an “outer circle.” Hardly the sign of a failing cause.
That's it. The bolder voices created an inner circle. That's making it safe for other joiners to casually align themselves. Moran talks about a Third Way and a Fourth Way. As the old synthesis collapses there's a scramble for who is going to be the ruling elite among the jumble of speculations that arises to fill the gap. One thing (among many) that kept the Darwin myth alive all this time was the retention of Darwin's name in the title of the so-called theory. That was a rallying point and a great unifier. An illusion was created that all biologists are in complete agreement about the certainty of neo-Darwinian theory. Ironically, Mr. Moran himself has almost no use whatsoever for Darwinian mechanisms. But if that illusion of unity breaks apart and the rebels and individualists get more attention, that doesn't just kill Darwin. It splinters the entire evolutionary network into rival camps. Publicly, they'll still try to admit that "there are no weaknesses in evolutionary theory" but some will eventually admit that they don't know the mechanisms and they don't have a coherent theory. The last thing to fall will be common descent. That will remain the great unifier for a while. Silver Asiatic
It’s not clear why anyone should consider him an expert on evolutionary biology.
. Unless "expert" is defined as someone who drinks the Kool Aid, it's not clear why anyone should consider Moran an expert on evolutionary biology. . cantor

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