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On the absurdity of “naturalism” (and the equal absurdity of its censorship of science and education)

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A little while ago, UD’s News noted on the tenth anniversary of Louisiana’s science education law, and an exchange has developed on the significance of “methodological” and “philosophical” “naturalism” in science, education — and by implication society.

A crucial issue is the July 2000 statement of the US National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) on science education and how it must be confined to naturalistic concepts and explanations. For cause, I have long marked up that statement as follows:

>>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.>>

This statement and the like have been made to seem plausible to many by way of the supposed distinction between “methodological” and “metaphysical” naturalism. However, it seems that the distinction is questionable. So, after an exchange that has been ongoing since July 2 – 3, I have now added the following, which I believe is worth headlining and amplifying by including images:

KF, 92:>>JDK (& attn Sev),

your argument points simply fail to address the significance of the worldview commitments and how ideas — including terrible ones such as evolutionary materialism — have consequences. Including, awful ones.

I again point to the core issue as I marked up from SEP:

The self-proclaimed “naturalists” [of early-mid C20] . . . urged that reality is exhausted by nature [= the physical], containing nothing “supernatural”, and that the scientific method should be used to investigate all areas of reality [–> i.e. if all that is is ultimately physical, the point of knowledge is to understand how that matrix gave rise to all things we see], including the “human spirit” (Krikorian 1944; Kim 2003) [–> this of course runs into the challenge of reducing mindedness to a GIGO-limited computational substrate, thus becomes self-refuting as I and many others note. This is the historical context of Haldane’s sawing off the branch remark] . . . . The great majority of contemporary philosophers would happily accept naturalism as just characterized—that is, they would both reject “supernatural” entities, and allow that science is a possible route (if not necessarily the only one) to important truths about the “human spirit” [–> so, naturalism, i.e. evolutionary materialistic scientism, has ruled the roost for the past century or so, and has of course had consequences] . . .

It is this expansive view of naturalism, so called, which led me to observe as follows at 80 above:

if for argument “nature” is broadened to imply reality in toto, whatever it may contain [say, including God], then “nature” loses meaning, and “the supernatural” would then by definition be a term for non-being.

So, we can safely hold that the term natural in praxis implies physical and quasi-physical as the substratum of reality. All else that is, comes from ultimately blind interactions of said substratum. And, as it is the sciences which give knowledge of that substratum and how it may act (through blind mechanical necessity and/or chance/stochastic processes) then indeed we see where science becomes the framework of reliable and grounded knowledge.

Once one swallows the frame, in whatever vague form, the above consequences become self-reinforcing. One may speak of even religious naturalism or of “merely” methodological naturalism as a reliable and successful way to learn about the world, even stipulating that there are other ways to acquire knowledge but the end result is the same. So soon as “science” so redefined comes knocking, it takes over.

The point is, leaving the underlying worldview commitments, logic and epistemology un-examined does not remove their impact.

The Big Bang timeline — a world with a beginning

And, we see further that science has become little more than applied atheism: the best evolutionary materialistic account of the world from hydrogen to humans.

Such an all-encompassing cultural agenda can seem as irresistible as the proverbial juggernaut. Especially when the alleged centuries long track record of success of such science, the squeezing out of god from gaps, the follies of pseudoscience and the over-running of domains once thought beyond science are trotted out.

But the whole turns on question-begging tendentious redefinitions, half truths on scientific methods and progress [multiplied by outright falsities] and on failure to adequately assess the challenge of the gap between a GIGO-limited mechanical and/or stochastic computational substrate and insightful, meaning based contemplation and responsible, rational, free mind.

That is why methodological naturalism, so called cannot be disentangled from the logic of being [= ontology] of naturalism. Its natural sense is, the physical and/or quasi-physical (branes, multiverses and whatnot) constitute and bound reality at root and evolve through blind mechanical necessity and equally blind chance, to form all of the world that we experience. So, logically, all true and more or less reliable knowledge comes from studying how that substratum unfolds blindly from hydrogen to humans, locking out consideration of the fever-demons that haunt the deluded minds of hoi polloi. That is the direct and proper understanding of what Lewontin noted as a longstanding member of the guild making a tribute on the passing of his fellow member, Sagan, through reviewing Sagan’s last book: The Demon-Haunted World.

It is thus utterly unsurprising to see that lesser lights would distill such thoughts into the sort of imposition on science education that we see in the July 2000 NSTA statement, just six months later.

The logic is quite plain, and we must thank Lewontin for his frankness.

The name of the game is: indoctrination through institutional domination and that is exactly what for telling example played out in Kansas across seven years.

When so historically, epistemologically and logically well warranted a view as that cited in 17 above:

“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.”

. . . becomes targetted for manufactured outrage, branding, scapegoating and holding the education of the children of Kansas hostage in order to impose the radical agenda of evolutionary materialistic scientism, that is a sobering warning as to the game that is afoot in our civilisation.

Yes, science addresses the natural lawlike regularities and it addresses chance circumstances and stochastic phenomena, often with great success. But that is not at all that science, properly, can and does address. For we know that intelligently directed configuration is a significant feature of the world, e.g. the text in posts in this thread.

A communication system

Whole sciences exist to study such phenomena, starting with communication and information theory.

At the heart of that theory as pioneered by Shannon, Nyquist and others lies a key concept: signal to noise [power] ratio, often expressed in decibels. That is, by empirically observable characteristics we can routinely distinguish intelligent signal from natural noise due to mechanical necessity and/or chance processes. We may then use instruments and scientific processes to measure the two, and take their power ratio, defining S/N as a figure of merit. Onward we define for example the noise figure/factor or noise temperature, etc. We may distinguish diverse kinds of noise and identify source phenomena: white or pink noise, Johnson noise due to statistical properties of a resistance, flicker noise, shot noise etc.

The per aspect design inference explanatory filter

So, already, in a major scientific discipline, information-bearing artificially produced signals are distinguished from natural noise due to mechanical necessity and/or chance. The design inference is there, and the per aspect form explanatory filter that allows attribution of effects across mechanical necessity, chance and/or intelligently directed configuration is there. We routinely quantify, calculate and measure resulting values. In an Internet era, all of this is central to the global economy and society.

That was already evident c 2000, so we must ask pointed questions about imposed definitions of science that lock out things that are so well-established.

And, not just established for technological fields.

Genetic code (RNA form), courtesy Wiki

For, coded, alphanumerical, algorithmically functional information, since 1953, has been known to lie in the heart of the living cell, to be the key to the assembly of proteins, and thus to be the key to understanding cell based life.

That is, information theory is directly and inextricably intertwined with the heart of life. Where, beyond doubt, the signal characteristics of DNA plainly assign it to the signal side of the signal vs noise threshold.

Now, the only empirically observed and analytically plausible cause of such complex, alphanumerically coded — thus, linguistic — signals is intelligently directed configuration. Newton’s rules of scientific inference are plain on such a matter: the only causes now in operation adequate to and actually observed to create digital, complex, functionally specific, information bearing signals are causes tracing to intelligently directed configuration. Design, in one word.

Where, too, search challenge in implied configuration spaces (backed up by say patterns of protein folds in AA sequence space) presents a needle in haystack search challenge that easily overwhelms the atomic and temporal resources of the observed sol system or the observed — the only actually observed — cosmos, once we exceed 500 – 1,000 bits. At a nominal 4.32 bits per AA for proteins, that kicks in at 116 – 232 AA’s. The average protein is 250 – 300 bases, and there are thousands of them in any functional, cell based life form.

The signal-noise verdict of information theory is plain: the genetic information in the living cell points to intelligently directed configuration — the ART-ificial and intelligent — as its most reasonable causal explanation.

But, once we impose the censorship in the NSTA’s July 2000 edict, we may only explain on or use naturalistic concepts in science and in science education. So no, we may not tell students about the import of information theory for cell based life and its origin. Or, for the origin of major body plans. (Plausibly, first cell based life needs 100 – 1,000 kbases of genetic information, and main body plans 10 – 100+ million, well beyond the threshold where blind chance and/or mechanical necessity could be even remotely plausible.)

The result is a patent absurdity and instantly reduces clever arguments that try to make such censorship seem reasonable to the status of agit prop fallacies.

And that is before we face the stinging, saw off the branch on which we must sit force of Haldane’s challenge to such evolutionary materialistic scientism:

“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.)]

It is time to face the reality of the sad pass that our civilisation has been reduced to.>>

Nor is this just a matter of some random bloggist. Here, for example, is Yockey:

Yockey’s analysis of protein synthesis as a code-based communication process

 

Where, we may envision and summarise protein synthesis:

Protein Synthesis (HT: Wiki Media)

and embed it in the wider cellular metabolism network (top, left below):

So, it is clearly time to re-think the imposition, agit prop in support and censorship. END

PS: It is perhaps helpful to post here p. 5 from Crick’s letter to his son, March 19, 1953, as a reminder:

Crick’s letter

 

 

56 Replies to “On the absurdity of “naturalism” (and the equal absurdity of its censorship of science and education)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    On the absurdity of “naturalism” (and the equal absurdity of its censorship of science and education)

  2. 2
    jdk says:

    The question of whether naturalism is an absurd position or not has NOT been the subject of the other thread.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, actually, it is integral to the issue. Imposition of an absurdity by power. KF

    PS: Note the issues on which absurdity arises:

    1] Self-referential, saw off the branch on which we all sit WRT the credibility of mind required to do even science.

    2] Absurdity on a priori locking out of consideration the only actually observed cause of the sort of digital, alphanumeric, algorithmic complex code that we also find in cell based life.

    3] Absurdity of turning science into ideology and science education into indoctrination in same; undermining the premise that science is to seek the empirically warranted truth about our world.

  4. 4
    john_a_designer says:

    In his book, The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins tried to argue that biology was “the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Notice that to explain away design he has to concede that there is the appearance or intuition of design. But is it merely just all appearance– just an illusion?

    Notice the logic Dawkins wants us to accept. He wants us to implicitly accept his premise that that living things only have the appearance of being designed. But how do we know that premise is true? Is it self-evidently true? I think not. Why can’t it be true that living thing appear to be designed for a purpose because they really have been designed for a purpose? Is that logically impossible? Metaphysically impossible? Scientifically impossible? If one cannot answer those questions then design cannot be eliminated from consideration or the discussion.

    I have said this here before, the burden of proof is on those who believe that some mindless, purposeless process can “create” a planned and purposeful (teleological) self-replicating system capable of evolving further though purposeless mindless process (at least until it “creates” something purposeful, because, according to Dawkins, living things appear to be purposeful.) Frankly, this is something our regular interlocutors consistently and persistently fail to do.

    As a theist I do not claim I can prove (at least in an absolute sense) that my world view is true. Can naturalists/ materialists prove that their world view is true? Personally I believe that all worldviews rest on unprovable assumptions. No one can prove that their world view is true. Is that true of naturalism/ materialism? If it can someone with that world view needs to step forward and provide the proof.

  5. 5
    jdk says:

    JAD writes,

    Personally I believe that all worldviews rest on unprovable assumptions. No one can prove that their world view is true.

    I agree.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    JAD- Materialism and naturalism are refuted by our existence. 😎

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    The “natural world” is utterly non-natural.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD & JDK, it is true that every full orbed worldview must start from in part postulates beyond proof. This is because we are finite and fallible so we cannot trace an infinite regress. So, instead we have finitely remote first plausibles, which form a good slice of the core structure. We then do a grand inference to best explanation on comparative difficulties: factual adequacy, coherence, balanced explanatory power. In that context, worldviews can be more or less well supported. As a part of this, there are self-evident truths which serve as plumbline tests that while they cannot wholly frame a worldview, sharply prune possibilities that remain viable. In short, worldviews choice needs not be blind or radically subjective or relativist. You may wish to see my 101 here: http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....u2_bld_wvu KF

    PS: The self-referential incoherence pointed out in the OP indicates one reason why evolutionary materialism is not a coherent scheme of thought and should be pruned. Attempts to isolate naturalism from its physicalist roots — as outlined — predictably fail. But that does not prevent it from being institutionally dominant. Just, it makes it dangerously unstable.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, care to expand and explain? are you for example pointing to fine tuning? KF

  10. 10
    john_a_designer says:

    Even though I think I.D. provokes some interesting questions I am actually not an I.D. proponent in the same sense that several other commenters here are. I don’t think I.D. is “science” (the empirical study of the natural world) any more than naturalism/materialism is science. So questions like “who designed the designer” are not scientific questions; they are philosophical and/or theological questions. However, many of the questions have philosophical/theological answers. For example, the theist would answer the question, “who designed the designer,” by arguing that the designer (God) always existed. The materialist can’t honestly reject that explanation because historically materialism has believed that the universe has always existed. Presently they are trying to shoehorn the multiverse into the discussion to get around the problem of the Big-Bang. Of course, this is a problem because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for the existence of a multiverse. In other words, it just an arbitrary ad hoc explanation used in an attempt to try to wiggle out of a legitimate philosophical question.

    However, this is not to say that science can’t provoke some important philosophical and theological questions– questions which at present those questions can’t be answered scientifically.

    For example:

    Scientifically it appears the universe is about 14.5 billion years old. Who or what caused the universe to come into existence? If it was “a what”– just natural causes– how do we know that?

    Why does the universe appear to exhibit teleology, or design and purpose? In other words, what is the explanation for the universes so-called fine tuning?

    How did chemistry create the code in DNA or RNA?

    How dose mindless matter “create” consciousness and mind? If consciousness and mind are “just an appearance” how do we know that?

    These are questions that arise out of science which are philosophical and/or theological questions. Is it possible that they could have scientific explanations? Possibly. But even if someday some of them could be answered scientifically that doesn’t make them at present illegitimate philosophical/theological questions, because we don’t know if they have, or ever could have, scientific answers.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    JAD- ID makes testable claims and can be falsified. What else does it need to be considered scientific?

  12. 12
    ET says:

    KF- If the “natural world” is really an artifact then Mung is right.

  13. 13
    jdk says:

    Nice post, JAD.

  14. 14
    PeterA says:

    Inherency in development and evolution is the idea that aspects of the phenotype are latent in the organism’s material identity and that these features will spontaneously emerge if the conditions are right. This chapter is primarily concerned with inherency of form in the animals (metazoans). Regarding development, inherency means that certain structural motifs (e.g., tissue layers, lumens, segments, appendages) can be readily generated by physical organizing forces acting on tissue masses, with minimal programming by the genome. With respect to evolution, it means that body plans and organ forms will inescapably be characterized by these motifs despite their not having arisen by multiple cycles of selection for improved fitness. The notion of inherency is therefore at odds with the theory of natural selection and its twentieth-century embodiment, the modern evolutionary synthesis. While a recently proposed extended synthesis relaxes the gradualism, gene-centrism, and assumption of unbiased modes of variation of the modern synthesis, it is similarly challenged by inherency, since in most renditions it remains focused on adaptation as the criterion of evolutionary success. Inherency makes generation of form ontologically prior to its uses. It implies that since organisms are limited with respect to potential morphologies, and innovation within these limits may be sudden and unprecedented, the major factor in establishment of new lineages is not competitive struggle in preexisting niches but ingenuity of organisms in using the means at their disposal.

    Inherency

  15. 15
    ET says:

    “Inherency” sounds like “we don’t know but this may be worth throwing out there”. Sort of like fly fishing.

    That said “inherency” seems to have a lot in common with epigenetics in which “aspects of the phenotype are latent in the organism’s material identity and that these features will spontaneously emerge if the conditions are right“.

    In the Axolotl it reaches sexual maturity without further metamorphosis. However when put into a pond rich in iodine they realize their true adult form.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, the inference to design — intelligently directed configuration — as key causal process on empirically well warranted signs is a scientific inference. I illustrated a relevant case by speaking to signal-noise ratio and to the required empirical distinction, in the OP. It then turns out that this same phenomenon lies in the heart of the living cell. We are scientifically entitled to infer design as cause of those core systems in the world of life. KF

    PS: Last I looked, it was 13.85 BY but the point remains.

  17. 17
    john_a_designer says:

    Sometimes we hear committed Darwinians argue that Darwin’s theory of evolution is settled science. But what exactly is “settled science?” Here are a couple of examples of so-called settled science that were established early in the twentieth century:

    Scientists had always believed that noble gases, also known as inert or rare gases, were chemically unable to react. Helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon (all gases at room temperature) were viewed as the “loners” of the Periodic Table. Their inertness became a basic tenet of chemistry, published in textbooks and taught in classrooms throughout the world.

    In other words, noble gases could not form chemical compounds. Indeed that is what I was taught as fact in my H.S. chemistry course in the 1960’s. And there was good reason to believe that this was irrefutable or “settled science.”

    Conventional scientific wisdom held that the noble gas elements could not form compounds because their electronic structure was extremely stable. For all except helium, the maximum capacity of the outer electron shell of the noble gas atom is eight electrons. For helium, that limit is just two electrons. These electron arrangements are especially stable, leaving the noble gases without a tendency to gain or lose electrons. This led chemists to think of them as totally unreactive.

    Or in other words, this view was the scientific consensus– the OVERWHELMING consensus.

    Except it wasn’t true. In 1962 Neil Bartlett, “who was teaching chemistry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada,” succeeded in creating a compound that used xenon as one of its chemical components.

    He was certain that the orange-yellow solid was the world’s first noble gas compound. But convincing others would prove somewhat difficult. The prevailing attitude was that no scientist could violate one of the basic tenets of chemistry: the inertness of noble gases. Bartlett insisted that he had, to the amusement and disbelief of some of his colleagues! The proof was in the new compound he had made. That orange-yellow solid was subsequently identified in laboratory studies as xenon hexafluoroplatinate (XePtF6), the world’s first noble gas compound.”

    https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/bartlettnoblegases.html

    Since then over 100 noble gas compounds have been discovered.

    Another example, of a well-established settled science being overturned, was a new discovery made by Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman, “who suffered years of ridicule and even lost a research post for claiming to have found an entirely new class of solid material… when he observed atoms in a crystal he had made form a five-sided pattern that did not repeat itself, defying received wisdom that they must create repetitious patterns, like triangles, squares or hexagons.”

    “People just laughed at me,” Shechtman recalled in an interview this year with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, noting how Linus Pauling, a colossus of science and double Nobel laureate, mounted a frightening “crusade” against him, saying: “There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists.”

    After telling Shechtman to go back and read the textbook, the head of his research group asked him to leave for “bringing disgrace” on the team. “I felt rejected,” Shechtman remembered.

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....EP20111006

    In 2011 Daniel Shechtman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of quasicrystals.

    Ironically, Linus Pauling “who mounted… a ‘crusade’” against Shectman is one of the “few chemists [who] questioned the absolute inertness of the noble gases,” before Bartlett’s discovery in 1962.

    Is there such a thing as settled science?

    So in what sense then is Darwin’s theory of evolution “settled science?”

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Inherency @ 14

    Stuart A. Newman …
    He’s been trying to get some traction for his non-Darwinian evolution for a long while now, but I think he’s as much a pariah in the biological community as ID is.

    It seems like the idea is something like “it is in the nature of (inherent in) chemical compounds that they will evolve a variety of tissues, cells, and features”. Or as he says: “features will spontaneously emerge if the conditions are right”.

    Spontaneous generation. It’s basically the same as creationism.

    It also solves origin of life. Supposedly, when “the conditions are right” for certain chemicals, then living organisms spontaneously emerge from them.

    Newman is basically saying “we don’t know”.

    “The notion of inherency is therefore at odds with the theory of natural selection …”

    At odds with the theory that is “more certain than gravity”? He doesn’t know that “there are no weaknesses in evolutionary theory”?

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, appeal to consensus is usually useless in science — especially on matters where there is substantial disagreement, but also even on cases where no-one has figured out the answer such as how to form noble gas compounds. If the substance is there, give it. And falling under g is an observation, not a theory — especially something like a theory of the origin of a solar system. Where the actual remote past of such origin is unobservable, we must reconstruct from traces in the present and known, actually observed forces capable of causing the like effect. Which, in the OP, comes up on accounting for digital, coded, complex, algorithmic, alphanumeric information in the living cell. KF

  20. 20
    bb says:

    Scientism is often hard to spot, but one useful clue is when people claim that “the science is settled” on a topic, in order to shield those invested in a particular policy or concept from further scientific inquiry.

    -Jonah Goldberg, “Was the Enlightenment Racist?“, National Review 6/21/2018

  21. 21
    john_a_designer says:

    According to Stuart Newman,

    The program of advancing materialism against supernaturalism and superstition is clearly a necessary one…

    So very clearly he is not an ID’ist or a creationist. On the other hand, he does see serious problems with the current Darwinian paradigm…

    when it comes to the innovation of entirely new structures (‘‘morphological novelties’’) such as segmentally organized bodies (seen in earthworms, insects, and vertebrates such as humans, but not jellyfish or molluscs), or the hands and feet of tetrapods (vertebrates with four limbs), Darwin’s mechanism comes up short. This is a reality that is increasingly acknowledged by biologists, particularly those working in the field of evolutionary developmental biology, or “EvoDevo…”

    Contrary to the expectations of the Darwinian model, the fossil record is deficient in transitional forms between organisms distinguished from one another by the presence or absence of major innovations. Niles Eldredge and the late Stephen Jay Gould emphasized this point when they propounded their scenario of ‘‘punctuated equilibria’’ almost four decades ago. And although our current knowledge of the cellular and genetic mechanisms of the development of animal forms is relatively sophisticated, it is difficult to come up with plausible scenarios involving incremental changes in developmental processes that would take an organism from one adult form (e.g., an unsegmented worm) to one embodying an innovation (a segmented worm)…

    The present-day neo-Darwinists… [nevertheless] persist in the hand-waving consignment of all problematic aspects of the origination of complex subcellular entities to the putative universal mechanism of random variation and natural selection. … Unless the discourse around evolution is opened up to scientific perspectives beyond Darwinism, the education of generations to come is at risk of being sacrificed for the benefit of a dying theory.

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....tions.html

    (Apparently, Newman’s full paper is no longer available. It may have been moved… Find it and I’ll send you a copy of my new novel– when I get it finished and published. 🙂 )

    Newman is not the only non-IDist who sees serious problems with neo-Darwinism. So why is there such fierce resistance to hold on to a paradigm which is becoming increasingly obsolescent? As Kuhn has suggested there may be a built-in institutional resistance to change. In my experience that does seem to be part of human nature. However with Darwinism I think there are deeper philosophical/ ideological why people cling to the theory. No other theory of origins gives materialists such a snug hand and glove fit with their preferred world view. Dawkins said it the best when he said, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” For the Darwinian Theory to be a ubiquitous theory (a biological theory of everything) it cannot admit any kind of teleology in the door. However, that’s what any other viable alternative seems to suggest.

  22. 22

    “Now we believe that the DNA is a code.” Francis Crick

    Unguided natural processes working on random variations simply cannot create a code. It is impossible.

    A/mats know this… but dare not admit it.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    Truth,

    correct.

    If you scroll up you will find something conspicuous by absence in the thread: addressing the key case study of information theory as an unquestionably important and widely significant field of scientific study.

    One, that studies intelligently directed configurations that constitute signals, and which then may be distinguished from noise caused by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, by observable characteristics. Sufficiently so, that signal to noise [power] ratio is a key figure of merit.

    So much for NSTA’s imposition of “naturalistic concepts” as a criterion for a field of study being scientific.

    Where, too, lo and behold — as Crick pointed out 65 years ago (in the context of epochal, Nobel Prize winning work . . . ) — signal bearing, alphanumeric digital code based information systems are observed to be in the heart of cell based life.

    Such codes are linguistic phenomena.

    Alphanumeric code based language is a common phenomenon, and has just one known adequate cause, intelligence. This, in a context where search challenge in configuration spaces readily explains — see, how NSTA’s “naturalistic explanations” begs big questions and imposes censorship? — why that is so.

    So, now, we need to ask pointed questions about the NSTA’s imposition, given that information and communication systems are pervasive in a high tech age AND are found in the heart of cell based life. Found, in the context of world-famous, epochal work.

    The ideologically driven imposition of naturalism on science and on science education fails.

    KF

  24. 24
  25. 25
    PeterA says:

    Where is the [macro]Evo in Evo-Devo?

    the proportion of presentations referring to “morphology”, “organism”, “selection”, “adaptive”, “phylogeny” and their derivatives was higher in the 2017 meeting, which therefore had a more ‘organismal’ feel. However, there was a decrease in the use of “evolution”/its derivatives and of macroevolutionary terms related to the tempo and mode of evolution in the 2017 meeting. Moreover, the disproportionately high use of genetic/genomic terms clearly shows that Evo-Devo continues to be mainly focused on Devo, and particularly on “Geno”, i.e. on molecular/genetic studies.

    No improvement this year either:

    detailed programme PDF

    Satellite session 1 PDF

    Satellite session 2 PDF

    Satellite session 3 PDF

    Poor things, still looking for something to show…

    Let’s wait and see, but don’t hold your breath.

    Here’s the only thing they have shown thus far

  26. 26
    Charles Birch says:

    IMHO there is no such thing as ‘settled science’. The very phrase is a contradiction in terms.

    If it’s science, it’s not settled. If it’s settled, it’s not science.

    Science is a never-ending process of enquiry into nature, and a never-ending process of updating our models. Science stops the moment someone – or some consensus – claims that our knowledge of a subject is ‘settled’.

    Whenever I hear or read about ‘settled science’, my dogma detector moves into the red zone.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    CB, you have a point. Underlying, is the tendency to suppress the significance of epistemological, logical and linked concerns so that the challenge of inductive reasoning and its inherent limitations is not properly understood. Ironically, those who appeal to “settled” are then often found calling for more research funding by the taxpayer. The implications of what research is about are being overlooked. KF

  28. 28
    PeterA says:

    Charles Birch @26:

    Whenever I hear or read about ‘settled science’, my dogma detector moves into the red zone.

    What about the “Central Dogma” (DNA->mRNA->proteins)?
    Isn’t that settled?

    Also, what about the Modern Synthesis or Neo-Darwinian theory? Isn’t that settled too?

  29. 29
    OLV says:

    PeterA (28):

    No, those aren’t settled. Not even closely.

    A settled science example could be this situation:
    you grab a rock and lift it up from the ground, then stop holding it. Most probably it will fall down toward the ground, unless it contains a high concentration of iron ore and a relatively strong magnet (or EMF) is very close to it when you drop it.

  30. 30
    Charles Birch says:

    PeterA @ 28

    Good questions!

    Quantum mechanics seems to be as ‘settled’ as science can get, but by 3018 we may be laughing at all those dumb 20th-century bozos who didn’t realise that the phenomena described by QM are illusory, being nothing more than perturbations of the Transdimensional Pangalactic Throbknobbler Field.

    (The notion that in 3018 humanity will look back at NeoDarwinism and think “wow, those guys 1000 years ago had got it ALL figured out” is just too ludicrous for words!)

  31. 31
    OLV says:

    Charles Birch (30):

    PeterA asked questions that seem out of touch with reality. Only a person who hasn’t been reading the ongoing debate within academic circles could ask such questions.

    Hasn’t he noticed the heated debates on Modern Synthesis or Neo-Darwinian theory lately? I’m not talking about ID folks, but scientists that are not ID-friendly.

    Hasn’t he heard about Denis Noble, James Shapiro, Eugene Koonin, just to name a few?

  32. 32
    PaoloV says:

    Oscar Luis,

    Better calm down and don’t be so judgmental so quick.

    You may want to look at what PeterA posted @14 and @25 before drawing conclusions.

    PeterA just asked simple questions @28.
    Charles Birch correctly called them “good questions” @30.

  33. 33
    OLV says:

    Paolo,

    OK, I see your valid point. Thanks.

    It was a knee-jerk reaction. I should be more cautious next time.

    My apologies to PeterA.

  34. 34
    PeterA says:

    OLV,

    No problem. It’s alright.

  35. 35
    john_a_designer says:

    It has been fashionable for those on the ID side to highlight (the critics would say quote-mine) the following quote from Richard Lewontin’s 1997 NYT review of Carl Sagan’s book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

    We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us 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 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, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    Indeed, Lewontin is to be commended for his honesty, for being up front about his philosophical biases. On the other hand, he provides absolutely no justification for his philosophical beliefs. Because Richard Lewontin believes something doesn’t make it true for everyone else. He just asserts without argument that scientific explanations based on materialism are for some reason absolute. According to what standard? Indeed, he appears (at least to me) to contradict the criticism he made just a few paragraphs earlier of his fellow Darwinists.

    As to assertions without adequate evidence, the literature of science is filled with them, especially the literature of popular science writing. Carl Sagan’s list of the “best contemporary science-popularizers” includes E.O. Wilson, Lewis Thomas, and Richard Dawkins, each of whom has put unsubstantiated assertions or counterfactual claims at the very center of the stories they have retailed in the market. Wilson’s Sociobiology and On Human Nature rest on the surface of a quaking marsh of unsupported claims about the genetic determination of everything from altruism to xenophobia. Dawkins’s vulgarizations of Darwinism speak of nothing in evolution but an inexorable ascendancy of genes that are selectively superior, while the entire body of technical advance in experimental and theoretical evolutionary genetics of the last fifty years has moved in the direction of emphasizing non-selective forces in evolution. Thomas, in various essays, propagandized for the success of modern scientific medicine in eliminating death from disease, while the unchallenged statistical compilations on mortality show that in Europe and North America infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and diphtheria, had ceased to be major causes of mortality by the first decades of the twentieth century, and that at age seventy the expected further lifetime for a white male has gone up only two years since 1950. Even The Demon-Haunted World itself sometimes takes suspect claims as true when they serve a rhetorical purpose as, for example, statistics on child abuse, or a story about the evolution of a child’s fear of the dark.

    I wholeheartedly agree. Just-so stories are never adequate. The honest answer when we don’t know is to honestly admit that we just don’t know. Scientific theories need to be built on factually established evidence not Darwin of the gaps just-so-stories.

    In other words, how do you get from “unsubstantiated just-so stories” to “a prior commitment… to materialism” which is absolute? Why is it illegitimate for a theist to draw a posteriori philosophical or theological inference from the scientific evidence? Because the materialists are the ones making up the rules?

  36. 36
    Seversky says:

    john_a_designer @ 4

    Notice the logic Dawkins wants us to accept. He wants us to implicitly accept his premise that that living things only have the appearance of being designed. But how do we know that premise is true? Is it self-evidently true? I think not. Why can’t it be true that living thing appear to be designed for a purpose because they really have been designed for a purpose? Is that logically impossible? Metaphysically impossible? Scientifically impossible? If one cannot answer those questions then design cannot be eliminated from consideration or the discussion.

    I agree. We cannot rule out design as a possibility.

    However, the only designers we know of are ourselves and we are not capable of designing such things – not yet, at least. I suppose it’s just possible that our distant descendants might be capable of time travel and go back into the remote past to design themselves, grandfather paradox be damned. I doubt it, though.

    That leaves alien or non-human designers, which we agree are possible, but if you want the proposal to have some degree of scientific credibility you have to provide evidence that such beings exist or, at least, suggest where to look for such evidence and what form it should take.

    I have said this here before, the burden of proof is on those who believe that some mindless, purposeless process can “create” a planned and purposeful (teleological) self-replicating system capable of evolving further though purposeless mindless process (at least until it “creates” something purposeful, because, according to Dawkins, living things appear to be purposeful.) Frankly, this is something our regular interlocutors consistently and persistently fail to do

    Yes, the burden of proof for a claim rests with whoever is making the claim if they want to persuade an audience that the claim has merit. If someone claims that the life we observe around us could have come about through purposeless, mindless, natural processes then they are obliged to provide arguments and evidence to support that claim. That is what Darwin did in On The Origin Of Species. The same burden rests with anyone proposing an Intelligent Designer as an explanation of life on Earth.

    As a theist I do not claim I can prove (at least in an absolute sense) that my world view is true. Can naturalists/ materialists prove that their world view is true? Personally I believe that all worldviews rest on unprovable assumptions. No one can prove that their world view is true. Is that true of naturalism/ materialism? If it can someone with that world view needs to step forward and provide the proof.

    No, I cannot prove my a/mat worldview is true either. The limits of our knowledge mean that we have no choice but to rest on unprovable assumptions and that is true both for proponents of ID and evolution.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, we have well tested, empirically reliable signs backed up by the analysis of blind needle in haystack search challenge, which allows us to make the credible inductive inference that certain features of life forms [start with code in the living cell] were designed. The fine tuning of the observed cosmos — the only actually observed cosmos — points in the same direction. Indeed, the latter sets up the former. KF

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: We can show that certain worldviews are not credible, especially when they are irretrievably subject to self-referential incoherence. Evolutionary materialism is a case in point, as Haldane aptly summarised long since:

    “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.)]

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states:

    No, I cannot prove my a/mat worldview is true either. The limits of our knowledge mean that we have no choice but to rest on unprovable assumptions and that is true both for proponents of ID and evolution.

    Actually the ‘unprovable assumptions’ of Atheistic Materialism lead to the catastrophic epistemological failure for the atheist’s worldview. Whilst the ‘unprovable assumptions’ of Christianity gave rise to modern science.

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    The truth about science and religion By Terry Scambray – August 14, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century. Whitehead pointed out that science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.
    The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.
    http://www.americanthinker.com.....igion.html

    A Heavyweight Look at the Negative Impact of Modern and Postmodern Philosophies – Casey Luskin April 22, 2014
    Excerpt: “Not only divine Scripture, but also sound reason teaches us that we must look with amazement on the machine of the universe produced and created by the hand of the infinite Artist. … Neither art, nor genius, can even imitate a single fibre of the endless tissues that make up each body. The smallest filament, in fact, shows the Finger of God and the Artist’s signature.” (p. 120)
    Carl Linneaus, inventor of our modern system of biological classification
    (Paul Gosselin, Flight from the Absolute: Cynical Observations on the Postmodern West)
    Gosselin observes that “we have discovered further levels of complexity that Linneaus, or even Darwin, could not have imagined.” (p. 121) He concludes: “Before the twentieth-century, this symbiotic relationship between science and Christianity was the norm, but since then the Enlightenment and modern propaganda have ‘buried’ it, keeping such facts out of view.” (p. 122) According to Gosselin, this is just another way that modernist philosophy has engaged in a form of intellectual fracking, trying to destroy the theological, philosophical, and other intellectual foundations that built the West.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....84581.html

    In fact there is a entire field in Christian apologetics called ‘presuppositional apologetics’ which shows that the atheist’s ‘unprovable assumptions’ are self-defeating assumptions.

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 Greg Bahnsen debate available at the bottom of the site
    Excerpt: When we go to look at the different world views that atheists and theists have, I suggest we can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary.
    The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,
    http://justinholcomb.com/2012/.....god-exist/

    The Atheist’s Guide to Intellectual Suicide – James N. Anderson PhD. – video
    https://vimeo.com/75897668

    Induction is dependent on Theistic premises about unchanging universal constants – Why Atheism Cannot Account for Science | James N. Anderson, PhD – video (conclusion at 17:40 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/8FvwDdRH9pM?t=1060

    “Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules. Hawking needs God In order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter

    Photo – an atheist contemplating his ‘mind’
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

  40. 40
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    That leaves alien or non-human designers, which we agree are possible, but if you want the proposal to have some degree of scientific credibility you have to provide evidence that such beings exist …

    We know of non-humans who use intelligence to freely design things.

    Once I prove to you that such beings exist, you should accept the inference that since we observe degrees of and different kinds of intelligence, that a designer of the universe also exists.

  41. 41
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    We cannot rule out design as a possibility.

    Given our knowledge of cause and effect relationships design is the only possibility when it comes to life.

    However, the only designers we know of are ourselves and we are not capable of designing such things – not yet, at least.

    So that means it must have been some other designer(s), duh.

    That leaves alien or non-human designers, which we agree are possible, but if you want the proposal to have some degree of scientific credibility you have to provide evidence that such beings exist or, at least, suggest where to look for such evidence and what form it should take.

    Already done. And you don’t have anything that can explain the evidence. So that would be a problem for you.

    Yes, the burden of proof for a claim rests with whoever is making the claim if they want to persuade an audience that the claim has merit.

    And you cannot do that for your position.

    If someone claims that the life we observe around us could have come about through purposeless, mindless, natural processes then they are obliged to provide arguments and evidence to support that claim. That is what Darwin did in On The Origin Of Species.

    No, Darwin did NOT do that. He tried but he failed.

    The limits of our knowledge mean that we have no choice but to rest on unprovable assumptions and that is true both for proponents of ID and evolution.

    Except ID is NOT anti-evolution so clearly you don’t know what you are talking about.

  42. 42
    john_a_designer says:

    Consider the following list of five different basic world views:

    A.Theism

    B. Atheistic Naturalism

    C. Pantheism

    D. VR Idealism (Think of “The Matrix,” brains-in-a-vat, consciousness and mind uploaded into a computer etc.)

    E. Solipsism (one version of solipsism is the “Boltzmann brain” paradox.)

    I am not claiming this is an exhaustive list and, of course, there are numerous versions of each position. Each of the first three on the list has a strong following worldwide. A and B, for example, are competing philosophies in the west while, C, (Pantheism) is dominant in eastern cultures.

    Meanwhile, D and E are admittedly more off-the-wall ideas with at best very few followers. Nevertheless, over the past couple decades they have been used in thought experiment mode by people interested in the multiverse and AI etc. The point is that most people are willing to concede that D and E are at least logically possible. So why is it that they don’t have a stronger following? I suspect that most would say that they are “counter intuitive.” But it we reject a world view because it is counter intuitive, is it unjustified to accept a world view because it is intuitive? If no one can prove their world view is true what do we have to choose one world view over another?

    In other words, if we are to decide between A, B and C what criteria do we use to make that choice?

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    But it we reject a world view because it is counter intuitive, is it unjustified to accept a world view because it is intuitive? If no one can prove their world view is true what do we have to choose one world view over another?

    In other words, if we are to decide between A, B and C what criteria do we use to make that choice?

    A worldview that denies rationality, does not need to, and cannot prove anything.

    Many people, however, realize that the reasoning process is a necessary human activity that enables us to grow and develop our character.

    For those people, irrational worldviews must be rejected in favor of the rational.

    Theism offers an explanation for the origin and purpose of human reason.

    Where there is no purpose or meaning, there can be no good reason for an intelligent discussion or search for understanding.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power (neither simplistic nor ad hoc). Cf here for a 101. KF

  45. 45
    john_a_designer says:

    Theism is the only world view which avoids an infinite regress of causes so it’s the only one which has an ultimate explanation as to why something rather than nothing exists. With “turtles all the down” you never really reach an explanation– because your explanation requires an explanation which requires an explanation, which requires an explanation… ad infinitum. Isn’t an explanation better than no explanation at all?

    One of the basic criteria of choosing between competing world views is an inference to the best explanation. Again, an explanation is better no explanation at all.

  46. 46
    jdk says:

    The Tao of Taoism qualifies as much as the God of theism.

  47. 47
    Quaesitor says:

    john_a_designer

    Isn’t an explanation better than no explanation at all?

    No explanation would be better than a wrong explanation.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, I would suggest, a necessarily false explanation or one known to be false but imposed by power interests would be worse than no explanation. There is nothing wrong with acknowledged ignorance, and correction of an error is actually a bit of new knowledge, we now know X to be false. KF

    PS: Evolutionary materialism and scientism are necessarily false. The first on self referential incoherence that undermines mindedness itself. The second, imposes a philosophical criterion for epistemology while denying the validity of such philosophy as a key way to knowledge.

  49. 49
    PaoloV says:

    #46:
    Vague incomprehensible comment.
    What does it mean “the God of theism”?

  50. 50
    Quaesitor says:

    PaoloV

    Theism states that the existence and continuance of the universe is owed to one supreme Being, who is distinct from Creation.

  51. 51
    jdk says:

    I highly agree with Quasitor, and kf when he writes, “There is nothing wrong with acknowledged ignorance.

    We don’t know what the ultimate nature of reality is, can’t know, and should learn to live with that uncertainty.

  52. 52
    ET says:

    I strongly disagree with jdk:

    We don’t know what the ultimate nature of reality is, can’t know, and should learn to live with that uncertainty.

    Unless by “we” he means himself and his mouse. Our knowledge base grows daily and there isn’t any reason to believe that we won’t ever answer the ultimate questions.

  53. 53
    ET says:

    Quaesitor:

    No explanation would be better than a wrong explanation.

    Which is why we need to rid ourselves of evolutionism.

  54. 54
    john_a_designer says:

    Quaesitor @ 47,

    No explanation would be better than a wrong explanation.

    Your response assumes that we can we can epistemologically distinguish the right and wrong explanations when it comes to worldviews. Explain how that is possible.

    @ #36 Seversky wrote,

    No, I cannot prove my a/mat worldview is true either. The limits of our knowledge mean that we have no choice but to rest on unprovable assumptions and that is true both for proponents of ID and evolution.

    Is it just presuppositions then? I would argue that there is a rational way to discriminate between competing world views– explanatory scope and power. It’s what we call abductive logic or inference to the best explanation.

    Notice the corner Seversky has painted himself into. To believe in atheism he must believe on the basis of faith. I thought atheists rejected faith for reason. How ironic that they now have to abandon reason for faith.

  55. 55
    PaoloV says:

    jdk & Quaesitor:

    @46:
    “The Tao of Taoism qualifies as much as the God of theism.”

    @50:
    “Theism states that the existence and continuance of the universe is owed to one supreme Being, who is distinct from Creation.”

    1. What does “The Tao of Taoism” mean?
    2. What does it mean that it qualifies as much as the God of theism?

    Thanks.

  56. 56
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is a summary of reasons why I do not think philosophical naturalism is sufficient as a world view.

    Naturalism (or materialism) cannot provide:

    *1. An ultimate explanation for existence. Why does anything at all exist? (see my comment at 45)

    *2. An explanation for the nature of existence. Why does the universe appear to exhibit teleology, or Design and Purpose?

    *3. A sufficient foundation for truth, knowledge and meaning.

    *4. A sufficient foundation for moral values and obligations.

    *5. An explanation for what Aristotle called form and what we call information. Specifically how did chemistry create the code in DNA or RNA?

    *6. An explanation for mind and consciousness. How dose mindless matter “create” consciousness and mind? If consciousness and mind are just an appearance how do we know that?

    *7. An explanation for the apparently innate belief in the spiritual– a belief in God or gods, and the desire for immortality and transcendence.

    Of course the atheistic naturalist will dismiss numbers 6 or 7 as illusions and make up a just-so story to explain them away. But how do they know they are illusions? The truth is they really don’t know and they certainly cannot prove that they are. They just believe. How ironic to be an atheist/naturalist/ materialist you must believe a lot– well actually everything– on the basis of faith.

    However, they are good at doing one thing. They are good at pretension and posturing. I move that we consider giving them an award for that. Any seconds?

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