Intelligent Design

Back At Special Agent ERV’s Blog…

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DMS, with an as yet undetermined appendage writes:

Might I suggest that “someone” (perhaps a group effort) work up a brief flyer to hand out to people going to see Expelled. It should be non-snarky, non-confrontational, with some simple points and web addresses to go to for more information

Great idea! I think they should shave their heads, wear togas, and chant ziiiiiiii-enzzzzzz ziiiiii-enzzzzz ziiiiii-enzzzzz. People will wonder if the Hare Krishnas are making a comeback and be naturally curious.

Now boys and girls at Ms. ERV’s website please, no applause for this awesome marketing strategy. Just send me money to show your appreciation. Y’all have paypal, right? Of course you do.

209 Replies to “Back At Special Agent ERV’s Blog…

  1. 1
  2. 2

    Opps, sorry about that. I think I stumbled upon a filtered word…

    You spilled the beans. Maybe they (the evolanders) would have taken DMSO’s bait. Now they’re likely to think a little longer….and dress up as their favorite star trek character instead.

    I wouldn’t call her a special agent…

  3. 3
    Charlie says:

    Handing out flyers sure beats some of their other ideas; like sneaking in to disrupt the showing or pirating the film to destroy its box-office.
    You might expect more if their leaders weren’t Dawkins and Myers.
    Makes me miss the high-brow antics of reshelving ID books so they won’t sell.

  4. 4

    Makes me miss the high-brow antics of reshelving ID books so they won’t sell.

    What is reshelving? Putting the books in the wrong section of the book store? And when did this occur?

  5. 5
    Charlie says:

    Hi William,
    Perhaps I meant to say “misshelving”.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....in-zealot/

  6. 6
    FtK says:

    “Special Agent ERV”

    ROTFLMAO…I like it.

  7. 7

    Unbelievable. I’ve seen similar things occurring in the public libraries–certain books by conservatives being checked out for months on end by liberals just to keep them out of circulation. By the time I get a copy I reserved months before, it is either brand new and unread, or, less common but more annoying, it has liberal commentary hand written in the margins. Of course, the brand new book could be to replace stolen copies.

    Sickening!

  8. 8
    Gods iPod says:

    Handing out anything contrary to Expelled will only exemplify the very message of the film. Please, do it!

  9. 9
    DeepDesign says:

    I’m not even going to try and be diplomatic about this. These people are Fascists.

    Yes, that means you too Jack Krebs.

  10. 10
    DeepDesign says:

    Darwinian Fascism.

    Let’s see if we can get Steve Fuller to start writing here.

  11. 11
    TRoutMac says:

    I might make up my own flyer to carry in with me, to hand to someone who tries to hand me anything similar to what ERV describes.

    I’ll have to ponder the content of said flyer a bit more. But I think that’d be funny.

  12. 12
    Jack Krebs says:

    to DeepDesign: The depth of your animosity and the extent of your hyperbolic judgments are scary.

    And when did handing out fliers become a fascist thing to do? Last time I looked, that was a pretty common example of American free speech in action.

  13. 13
    FtK says:

    “I’m not even going to try and be diplomatic about this. These people are Fascists.

    Yes, that means you too Jack Krebs.”

    LOL…way to go, DD!! [Chances are that you’re another sock puppet, but it’s hilarious anyway.]

    Diplomacy be damned! It’s an impossible feat in this particular debate.

  14. 14
    FtK says:

    “The depth of your animosity and the extent of your hyperbolic judgments are scary.”

    I’ll tell you what’s scary. Have you watched the Expelled clip with Dawkins and PZ? Chilling….

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    I do not agree with Jack Krebs on much having to do with the evolution debate but what is going on is getting out of hand. Jack is generally very polite so I fail to see the animosity towards him. I rather save it for his positions.

  16. 16
    Jack Krebs says:

    Thanks Jerry.

  17. 17
    FtK says:

    There are several reasons why I feel animosity toward Jack, but I’ll not go into them here. I apologize to you, Jerry, for having some fun at his expense. It’s probably not appropriate in this particular venue.

    There was a time when I wouldn’t believe it to be appropriate anywhere, but I’m sick to death of the way some of Jack’s cohorts carry on. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

  18. 18
    StephenB says:

    What is the one response that will most decisively vanguish your opponent, while at the same time minimize your stress level.

    R-I-D-I-C-U-L-E

    Learn the lesson of THE MACHINE . ….”Dick to the doctor the PhD, he smarter that you, he’s got a science degree”……..

    That video wounded our adversaries. You could tell by their comments. Put your imagination to work and ask yourself this question: How can I use humor to describe their desperate and pathetic behavior?

  19. 19
    wnelson says:

    Agreed. Anyone who has ever read a Greek play where someone tempted fate…

    There jokers did this to themselves.

  20. 20
    Bob O'H says:

    Dave – you’ve got it wrong. We’ll be chanting “Peee-Zzzzeeeee Peee-Zzzzeeeee”.

    I wonder if they’ll let us in to see the film.

  21. 21
    AussieID says:

    G’day Charlie & William Wallace,

    I thought that the most mild aspect of anarchy, namely the misshelving of books in libraries, was a real once off … until I met a similar type of act. I requested the local city library to purchase a couple of ID friendly resources, one of which was Wells’ The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Amazingly – to me – they purchased them. [They may have thought they were anti-ID and would fit in with the usual rhetoric that lines the shelves in public libraries]

    Anyway, I read and returned them. About six months on I went to look up Wells’ book on some point only to find it wasn’t there. ‘OK, someone’s got it out.’ So I checked on a return date, only to find there was no book listed. I made an enquiry at the desk only to be told that it wasn’t in any file or database …

    Arrh, them pesky materialist librarians. I’ve always thought they were up to no good. All that shush shush shushing …

    What bets are there that if I requested the same book to be purchased (ie, in this case read ‘replaced’) that it won’t be because someone had now read it and it didn’t fit with the dogma?

    On that point, has anyone requested their own libraries to purchase some seminal ID literature? What response did you get? I think readers here would be quite interested in this feedback.

    Anyway, every library carrying a copy of Behe’s Edge of Evolution would be a great start!

  22. 22
    tribune7 says:

    Truth beats Ridicule every time.

    If the evo-mats are right you can ridicule them till the monkeys finish typing Shakespeare and they will still triumph at the end.

    And vice-versa, of course 🙂

    I think the only time ridicule works is if it is done without real malice — which can be done i.e The Machine video — and is used against those with power who are using their power with malice and/or seeking to acquire more power.

  23. 23
    tribune7 says:

    We’ll be chanting “Peee-Zzzzeeeee Peee-Zzzzeeeee”.

    I wonder if they’ll let us in to see the film.

    Bob, that’s a very good idea. Get every evo in this country and yours to sign on. The National Center for Science Education can buy the tickets.

    It would have an impact 🙂

  24. 24
    mathstudent says:

    I’m confused. What’s so fascist and ridiculous about handing out info? That’s one of this countries oldest traditions and a common practice of many Christian groups.

  25. 25
    Lutepisc says:

    If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

    I wrestle with the same impulse myself, FtK, and from time to time I’ve succumbed to it.
    And then I take a fresh look at the conditional: “IF you can’t beat ’em…” And I realize that joining them is, in effect, surrender. I ain’t gonna do that!

  26. 26
    StephenB says:

    —-tribune 7: “Truth beats Ridicule every time.”

    You are right, of course. There is no substitute for truth. For my part, I would like to apply a one-two punch: tell the truth, then ridicule the error. Part of telling the truth is exposing the error in as dramatic a fashion as possible. To sell a good product most effectively one must compare it to the bad product. That’s where the ridicule comes in.

  27. 27
    StephenB says:

    —–math student: “I’m confused. What’s so fascist and ridiculous about handing out info? That’s one of this countries oldest traditions and a common practice of many Christian groups.”

    THE MACHINE has been systematically, maliciously, and tyrannically suppressing free speech in classrooms and labs for decades. You don’t see the humor in their pathetic plea for a fair hearing on both sides of a controversy?

  28. 28
    Frost122585 says:

    What we need to be doing is creating false information that the animation was indeed stolen from Harvard. That was it’ll make the news and get the movie more publicity. The idea that the animation in the movie actually was stolen and that it really is a legal issue is utter ridiculous nonsense. This contrived controversy can only help Expelled.

    And amusing isn’t it how the main and only controversy that is surrounding the movie isn’t even one about the subject of the movie. It goes to show you which side actually has the substance.

    What would make it even better is that if we could induce a bad law suit by making the other side jump off sides then we could counter sue for slander on the standing that the other side was obviously trying to destroy the credibility of the movie and its purpose strictly for political reasons.

    I think this kind of a thing would be funny to watch.

  29. 29
    FtK says:

    “I wrestle with the same impulse myself, FtK, and from time to time I’ve succumbed to it.
    And then I take a fresh look at the conditional: “IF you can’t beat ‘em…” And I realize that joining them is, in effect, surrender. I ain’t gonna do that!”

    Of course, I know you’re right Lutepisc, I just get so irritated with the way they act at times. It was getting late last night and I had just read something that Jack wrote about me in another forum. That’s no excuse to start name calling and cussing.

    Interestingly, in church this morning our Pastor addressed this very issue of how we should treat others in these type of situations. Weird how that works sometimes. It’s kinda like getting a Bible beating to show you where your going wrong.

    Honestly, I spend to much time reading their side of the arguments. While I think it’s a good idea to understand where they’re coming from, all the ridicule wears on a person. In turn, I often succumb to acting like an ass myself.

    sigh…I’ll try to work on it (again).

  30. 30
    DeepDesign says:

    These guys are fascists.

  31. 31
    Jack Krebs says:

    According to wikipedia,

    Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state, party or society as a whole. Fascists seek to forge a type of national unity, usually based on (but not limited to) ethnic, cultural, racial, and/or religious attributes. Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: patriotism, nationalism, statism, militarism, totalitarianism, anti-communism, corporatism, populism, collectivism, autocracy and opposition to political and economic liberalism.

    This definition does not apply to me. What exactly do you think “fascist” means?

  32. 32
    Jack Krebs says:

    And, deep design, what is wrong about handing out fliers? Why is that a “fascist” tactic?

  33. 33
    toc says:

    Jack Krebs:

    You might want to read Jonah Goldberg’s recent LIBERAL FASCISM.
    Here is a Blog Reference.
    http://liberalfascism.nationalreview.com/

    It seems that this might be the intent of some comments above, pejorative though they are.
    Goldberg’s definition has more to do with Fascism (drawing upon socialist ideology – whether nationalist or Marxist) replacing religion and free thought with the state or some other substitute. Given that definition, Darwinism fits like a glove in western culture. The academy, et al, certainly seem to mandate falling in line or else, don’t you think?

  34. 34
    tribune7 says:

    Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: patriotism, nationalism, statism, militarism, totalitarianism, anti-communism, corporatism, populism, collectivism, autocracy and opposition to political and economic liberalism.

    Ya gotta love Wiki (which sometimes I actually do).

    They are saying that patriotism and anti-communism are elements of fascism. LOL. Oh yeah, and totalitarianism.

    So what happens if you oppose the totalitarianism of communism?

    Anyway, you want to understand why fascism is not an unfair description of the emo evo crowd that controls the academy.

    Look at the parts of the Wiki definition that includes autocracy and “opposition to political and economic liberalism.”

    Political liberalism means free speech, tolerances of dissenters and due process. Economic liberalism means — anyone, anyone, Bueller, Bueller — a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard.

    Believe it or not.

    The word “liberal” has been stolen, twisted and perverted by collectivist leftists and most people thing it means the exact opposite of what it says in the dictionary.

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    Is Jack associated with the folks who are recommending these tactics? Is he involved in the planning process? In not, then, in this case, the most anyone can charge him with IN THIS ONE INSTANCE, is playing the role of “enabler.” Save your heavy artillery for criticizing him in his official capacity for the initiatives that he himself undertakes. You have plenty of opportunity and material to do that at the appropriate time and place. So, be cool.

    In a broader sense, the term “fascism” can be used to describe radically autocratic behavior. Now, for the necessary clarification. There is nothing fascist about the ACTIVITY of passing out flyers. The people who are doing it just happen to be fascists busily engaged in the practice of damage control. I hope that helps.

  36. 36
    Graceout says:

    Sorry to be dense, but I can’t seem to make anything out of “ziiiiiiii-enzzzzzz ziiiiii-enzzzzz ziiiiii-enzzzzz”.

    A little hint, please? sci-ence

  37. 37
    jstanley01 says:

    It looks to me like, much better than RIDICULE, are going to be THE BOX OFFICE NUMBERS!

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    Steve:

    Jack — per the upshot of the recent Complex Speciation thread here, from 117 on — is an educator and state-level curriculum developer in Kansas.

    He has in that context been a major leader of the attempt to redefine science as taught to students there, as in effect applied materialism; cf the 2007 standards, especially the “natural explanations” clause. (I call that, for excellent reason, substitution of ideologically loaded indoctrination for education, through abuse of the state education powers; a la Plato’s Cave.]

    He is also associated with the group KCFS as a principal leader, and has thus also been associated with the declared PR policy stated on the KCFS forum he then moderated, by its PR person [cf FtK’s remarks on that, at 533], namely:

    [KCFS’ PR] strategy [as declared in their online forum by their PR person, circa 2005] . . . is the same as it was in 1999: notify the national and local media about what’s going on and portray them [i.e. those who advocate for objectivity, fairness and balance in science definitions and in teaching about the science of origins] in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc . . . . Our target [i.e. this is not just a loose cannon speaking] is the moderates who are not that well educated about the issues, most of whom probably are theistic evolutionists . . . . The solution is really political . . .

    Strategy sounds familiar?

    Sadly, it should.

    GEM of TKI

  39. 39
    Leo Hales says:

    I don’t get the impression that the Darwinists are particularly “wounded” by the Machine video. They were actually wondering if it was someone on their side who produced it: that means, scarily enough, they approved of the contents, and revela themselves to be little better than caricatures in their attitudes.

    I imagine Eugenie Scott may be somewhat wounded by being so grotequely sexualized in the video. I would sympathize with her there: I don’t agree with sexual portrayals of individual women, without their consent, being made public, for any reason.

  40. 40
    StephenB says:

    —-“KCFS’ PR] strategy [as declared in their online forum by their PR person, circa 2005] . . . is the same as it was in 1999: notify the national and local media about what’s going on and portray them [i.e. those who advocate for objectivity, fairness and balance in science definitions and in teaching about the science of origins] in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc . . . . Our target [i.e. this is not just a loose cannon speaking] is the moderates who are not that well educated about the issues, most of whom probably are theistic evolutionists . . . . The solution is really political . . .

    kairosfocus, thanks for helping me make the connection. Somehow, I was not aware of the fact that the KC group’s propoganda machine contacted the national media in this fashion.
    I all makes sense, though. If, in order to perpetuate his ideology, Jack would impose oppressive policies at the state level and encourage the persecution of ID scientists, it follows that he would not hesitate to disturb the peace of movie goers for the same reason.

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus #40 was written to you.

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    Leo Hales: “I don’t get the impression that the Darwinists are particularly “wounded” by the Machine video. They were actually wondering if it was someone on their side who produced it: that means, scarily enough, they approved of the contents, and revela themselves to be little better than caricatures in their attitudes.”

    You may be right. I thought as you do at first, but I concluded that no one could possibly be that clueless and that their reaction was a desperate attempt at damage control. Its a little like a boxer who has been hit hard and tries to pretend that he is not hurt. Even so, the fact that they posted it on their website would support your theory.

  43. 43
    Jack Krebs says:

    to StevenB and kf:

    Bullshit.

    Ban me if you must for being so crudely blunt, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    If you knew me and how I behave instead of believing stereotypes and lies, you would know how wrong you are.

    Yes, I believe differently than you do, but I have always acted civilly and always with respect for the democratic principles of our country.

    KF lies when he says that the quote he has taken to posting every time my name comes up is or was KCFS’s policy, and I defy him to find an example of something that KCFS has done that has been anything more than acting to express our views in a democratic manner – which we have every right to do.

    I am a very public spokesperson for the benefits of civil and on-topic discussion as opposed to polarized demonization of people. I have no problem disagreeing with people and explaining why I think they are wrong, and I have no problem with making judgments that I think I can back up with evidence.

    But I don’t engage in gratuitous insults or bigoted generalizations about people, and I don’t demonize people just because they disagree with me.

    So I hope at least some of you reading this will see beyond the crass and unfounded generalizations that are aimed at me here just because I hold a minority position here, because I am politically active in support of my position, and because I’m interested enough in the civic value of dialogue to come here occasionally and try to discuss things with you guys.

  44. 44
    vividblue says:

    “KF lies when he says that the quote he has taken to posting every time my name comes up is or was KCFS’s policy, and I defy him to find an example of something that KCFS has done that has been anything more than acting to express our views in a democratic manner – which we have every right to do.”

    Jack,

    Liz was your PR person posting the strategy of KCFS on the KCFS online forum for heavens sake. At the time did you correct her or object in any way to her portrayal of the policy of KCFS?

    Does KCFS notify the media and use the media in order to let them know whats going on? Has or does KCFS portray those that disagree with youas “religious”, “creationists”,”anti scientific”, “anti science”, etc?

    Vivid

  45. 45
    StephenB says:

    Jack: I am prepared change my mind if evidence warrants it. Here is what I have so far:

    —–Jack: “KF lies when he says that the quote he has taken to posting every time my name comes up is or was KCFS’s policy, and I defy him to find an example of something that KCFS has done that has been anything more than acting to express our views in a democratic manner – which we have every right to do.”

    —–vivid blue: “Liz was your (Jack) PR person posting the strategy of KCFS on the KCFS online forum for heavens sake. At the time did you correct her or object in any way to her portrayal of the policy of KCFS?

    —–“Does KCFS notify the media and use the media in order to let them know whats going on? Has or does KCFS portray those that disagree with youas “religious”, “creationists”,”anti scientific”, “anti science”, etc?”

    Sort it out for me. Unlike Darwinists, I do not have a “no concession policy.” I apologize every time I am wrong.

    Explain to me why KF and vivid blue are wrong. That correspondence that was alluded to seems like a smoking gun to me.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Stephen:

    I pointed you to a recent thread where you can see from 117 on, Mr Krebs in action. [NB: Cf my initial remarks at 123 – 4, and the resulting exchanges up to the closing off of the thread.]

    That will fully underscore the reason for my concerns about what happened in Kansas, as an experienced science and technology educator who has worked in curriculum development. One who knows, for instance that a sound basic definition of science [I am very aware of the demarcation issues etc] looks like this:

    science: a branch of knowledge [“true, justified belief”] conducted on objective principles involving the systematized observation of and experiment with phenomena, esp. concerned with the material and functions of the physical universe. [Concise Oxford, 1990.]

    scientific method: principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge [”the body of truth, information and principles acquired by mankind”] involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. [Webster’s 7th Collegiate, 1965; I have deliberately chosen definitions from dictionaries that were published before the current controversies.]

    NOT like this:

    [Kansas Sci “Defn.” circs 2007] Science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural [in effect, evolutionary materialistic, usually disguised as “meththodological naturalism” — as opposed to objective and truth-seeking] explanations for what we observe in the world around us . . . As it is practiced in the late 20th and early 21st century, science is restricted to explaining only the natural world, using only natural cause. This is because science currently has no tools to test explanations using non-natural (such as supernatural [in the context, this is a slanderous allusion to the design inference, which in fact infers through observed organised, evidently purposeful complexity to INTELLIGENT (as opposed to “supernatural”) CAUSE]) causes.

    In short, right there in this question-begging ideologically loaded attempted redefinition of science by the Kansas School Board circa 2007, we can see the manipulation of the ignorant and slander against those who challenged it; all in the name of “education” and “democracy.” Corroboration, anyone?

    So, it is unsurprising to see one of the advocates who carried off the above educational coup now in effect calling me a liar, while refusing to deal squarely with facts — such as what a sound definition of science is historically and philosophically [cf 123 – 4 etc]. The linked thread will also show several instances of Mr Krebs ducking from the issues on the merits but rushing off on red herrings leading out to strawmen soaked in ad hominem oil and burning them. This gives further evidence that the truth is that the cite I sued above is dead right as to what KCFS has done since 1999, with Mr Krebs a prominent leader of the movement circa 2005 when, on supportive testimony by FtK [an eyewitness to the events in Kansas], the above cited remark was made by a PR officer of that group in a forum moderated by Mr Krebs, and reportedly neither repudiated nor rebuked.

    Worse, the described propagandistic stratagem is accurate to the long since observed tendencies of the Evo mat agenda all across the US for many years now, e.g. Dover case, Sternberg, Gonzalez, etc etc etc.

    Let us therefore hear FtK — an eyewitness — in 533 in the linked thread:

    [JK:] “The quote you offer is not, and never was, the stated policy of KCFS. Not only that, the quote is wrong – the word “our” was inserted by others. That statement was from a post on public discussion forum, was a personal opinion and not at all the “stated policy” of KCFS, and started with the word “my”, not “our”.”

    [FtK:] Oh, good grief…kf, don’t let Jack BS you. That “personal opinion” came from LIZ CRAIG, Jack’s right hand gal at KCFS and very much a part of their public relations. She was also the president of KCFS at one time.

    She made the statement in the KCFS forum, and I didn’t see Jack or anyone else correct her. He’s the moderator so you’d think he’d set her straight if she was off base.

    Now, let’s compare the remark his PR person made in that forum JK moderated again, here giving it in the literal exact words used as saved and entered into the long-term record by KFS circa 2005, with emphases and explanatory square brackets:

    My strategy [as declared in their online forum by Ms Liz Craig, their PR person, circa 2005] at this point is the same as it was in 1999: notify the national and local media about what’s going on and portray them [i.e. those who advocate for objectivity, fairness and balance in science definitions and in teaching about the science of origins] in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc.

    There may no way to head off another science standards debacle, but we can sure make them look like asses as they do what they do.

    Our target [i.e. this is not just a loose cannon speaking] is the moderates who are not that well educated about the issues, most of whom probably are theistic evolutionists. There is no way to convert the creationists.

    The solution is really political. . . .

    Posted by Liz Craig, Member no 70 KCFS .org Discussion Forum

    So far,observe how JK has claimed that the cite leads with “My” not OUR. Fine — that is why I have taken time to use the bracket in explanation above. Then, observe where it goes:OUR TARGET.” This is a PR officer of the group then headed by JK, speaking of her strategy, which has a target in common with the group as a whole. So, JK’s objection in the previous thread was a half truth, which is too often often a whole lie, the common resort of the manipulator.

    In short, on the evidence in hand and the patterns we can still see — including flying off and in effect calling me a liar instead of simply showing how Ms Craig was slapped down for going out of line — John Calvert and William Harris et al have both accurately summarised and have evidently spoken accurately about the actual practised strategy of KCFS, including Mr Krebs.

    As to Mr Krebs’ claim “I am a very public spokesperson for the benefits of civil and on-topic discussion as opposed to polarized demonization of people . . .” let his record in the already linked thread when challenged on the issues speak for itself. And, the just above.

    FYI, Mr Krebs:

    1 –> as the American revivalist [and lawyer and educator] C G Finney aptly defines, lying is “any species of CALCULATED DECEPTION.”

    2 –> I am speaking the truth as I see it, based on the objective evidence I have; which includes cross-checks and observation of your behaviour in the previous forum thread as linked.

    3 –> That said, I am of course finite, fallible and just as fallen as you are; so I am aware that I can be in error or worse. Thus, anything that I say about a state of affairs in the empirical world is inherently provisional.

    4 –> In other words: if you are able to show me in error through solid facts or cogent reason relative to he facts, I will immediately withdraw my claim, and apologise for my mistake and for harm done.

    5 –> However, to date I have seen nothing from you that would lead me to the conclusion that I am wrong. But, just the opposite — including a latest ad hominem that would elicit a personal challenge from me if you were to say it to my face: for, FYFI: I am not a liar.

    GEM of TKI

  47. 47
    Frost122585 says:

    Kairosfocus,

    I am more interested in this claim that we cannot test things which are outside of materialistic causes.

    I am a transcendentalist (not the early American kind but more like the German) who understands that the fact that since we can metaphysically grasp the concept and even image of transcendence then we can apply it to the materialistic world in various contexts.

    The common ignorant argument from the other side is that you cannot calculate probabilities backwards. This has been the grand antidote to Dembski’s and more recently Behe’s work on probability and Darwinian pathways in biology. People like Miller claim that “the actual probability for DE is 1 or 100% because it happened.” This is idiotic. If you can’t probabilistically evaluate “a theory about the past” which no one witnessed and given that of the fossil record we have some .0000001% of the evidence in, you would think that computer models, that is “mathematical models” would be warranted to critique and test the DE hypothesis. If of course Dembski’s and Behe’s calculations came out in favor of a DE explanation we can be certain that we would not hear any complaints from the demagogues of the other side. In fact they would most lily co-opt the work for their own publications.

    My question to you Kariosfocus is this — Kant synthesized physical and metaphysical reasoning way back in the 1700’s in his great Critique of Pure Reason… what leg has science to stand on today separating the two formats of knowledge, experience and reasoning and only including the physical into its methodology?

    We have people who want to turn sceince into the poltical “materialist party.”

  48. 48
    tribune7 says:

    leo,

    Why can’t Jack address KF’s and Stephen’s points.

    Does KCFS (and Jack) portray those that disagree with them as “religious”, “creationists”,”anti scientific”, “anti science”, etc?”

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Frosty:

    I hear your concern. I too am interested in the metaphysical and epistemological issues, adn would love to chat a bit on them.

    However, I responded to a request for clarification on a point of contention, and brought to bear unfortunately relevant facts.

    Sadly, I then had to respond to someone who has in effect now called me a liar, and who to do that has flown in the teeth of the evidence in this blog for several weeks now. [As I noted already, he may correct my errors by raising cogent facts and reasoning that show me in error, but simply dismissing evidence and calling me a liar in effect will not do.]

    On the — far more pleasant — issues you raise:

    1] this claim that we cannot test things which are outside of materialistic causes . . .

    The basic evidence is that we can — and routinely do — test across unintelligent and intelligent causes; if you want, you can call them proximate causes.

    This only becomes controversial — guess why — when we are cutting across the plausibility of evo mat scenarios and underlying worldview assertions. [BTW, JK — by his own admission — taught STATISTICS, so he knows that contingency comes in two main flavours: chance and intent, and that there are stats tests routinely used to discern the two empirically.]

    More specifically, we can see that in certain instances, empirically anchored inference to intelligent action may raise the possibility that there are non-human agents at work. In a subset of these cases, it may be credible — e.g the origin of the observed cosmos with its multi-dimensionally and convergently fine-tuned life facilitating physics — an Extracosmic, powerful, hioghly intelligent agent is a likely explanation.

    Such an agent resembles the God of traditional theism sufficiently to make the atheists get worried and agitated. For me, my conclusion is that I happen to know God independent of any science I may do, and I find that the God I know fits with what sound science points to, just as Rom 1:18 – 23 argues [and in so doing exposes the core of the Gospel to empirical test].

    2] since we can metaphysically grasp the concept and even image of transcendence then we can apply it to the materialistic world in various contexts

    Fair enough as it stands, as an exercise in phil. [Remember; I have had the peculiar experience of having taught both phil and sci-tech at tertiary level; it was interesting to see how the sci students had it hard to think about the underlying worldview level issues in sci,a nd how the arts students turned green around the gills when sci came up. Was it Snow who deplored the two academic cultures? For me, I came to think about phil largely by way of asking hard Qs on sci and its basis. Charles Sanders Peirce is a personal intellectual hero.]

    3] The common ignorant argument from the other side is that you cannot calculate probabilities backwards . . . People like Miller claim that “the actual probability for DE is 1 or 100% because it happened.”

    A sad revelation of mathematical and philosophical incompetence — on the charitable interpretation.

    Scientifically informed reconstructions of the unique past are just that: reconstructions, not that past as it “really” happened. They are provisional and cannot be known with 100 % certainty. So, DE is not known to be so with 100% certainty, though one may hold that it seems true to him/her with moral certainty. [And IMHBXO, one would greatly err to do that!]

    In fact, we routinely ask, and meaningfully so: as to what the a priori probability of an observed outcome was. Indeed, in comms theory, we often have to look at the a posteriori and the a priori probabilities of a given message: if we detect M after the fact, what were the odds M was sent? And, before messages are sent, what is the probability that M will be sent across the possible universe of messages?

    Cf my Section A on this — this leads straight to a metric for information!

    That leads to a dilemma: [A] if men like Miller don’t know this, they don’t know enough to comment on the inference to design competently, or [B] if they do know, they are exploiting the ignorance of those who don’t know this.

    3] Kant synthesized physical and metaphysical reasoning way back in the 1700’s in his great Critique of Pure Reason… what leg has science to stand on today separating the two formats of knowledge, experience and reasoning and only including the physical into its methodology?

    I have my doubts on Kant’s thought, as say Kreeft and Tacelli highlight:

    [Kant’s] “Copernican Revolution in philosophy” was the claim that our knowledge does not conform to a real object but vice versa . . . All the form, determination, specificity or knowable content comes from the mind and is projected out onto the world rather than coming from the world and being impressed upon the mind . . . .

    Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” is self-contradictory, just as simple [radical or selective] skepticism is. After all, if Kant was right, how could he possibly have known he was right in terms of his system? He couldn’t. He could never know that there are “things- in- themselves,” onto which the knowing self projects all knowable content. That would be knowing the unknowable, thinking both sides of thought’s limit.

    There is a half truth in Kantianism. Some knowledge is conditioned by our forms of consciousness(e.g. Colors by the eye, measurements by artificial scales and ideological positions by personal preferences). But even here there must be some objective content first that is received and known, before it can be classified or interpreted by the knowing subject.[Handbook of Christian Apologetics, (Crowborough, England: Monarch, 1995) pp. 372 – 373.]

    It is credible that, however imperfectly, provisionally and subjectively conditioned, we may observe and know about the real world.

    So, when we think scientifically, we must bridge the inner and outer worlds, however imperfectly and provisonally.

    In so doing, one of the things we entail is the power of mind, and int hat the power of real choice to alter the course of thought and events: we must be able to really decide if we are to think correctly and act effectively in that light.

    That brings us back to the point where I was as a student about 20 – 25 or so years ago:

    4] The self-referential absurdity of evolutionary materialism:

    Here is the up to date form of my thoughts circa 1985 – 6:

    ________

    [evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of “science”] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance and psycho-social conditioning, within the framework of human culture.)

    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” them. And, if our materialist friends then say: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must note that to demonstrate that such tests provide empirical support to their theories requires the use of the very process of reasoning which they have discredited!

    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes “Materialism.” For instance, Marxists commonly deride opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismiss qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? And, should we not simply ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is simply another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze?

    In the end, materialism is based on self-defeating logic . . . .

    ________

    GEM of TKI

  50. 50
    Jack Krebs says:

    to kf: Now that you have correctly started the quote with “My strategy” instead of [KCFS’s startegy] you are no longer lying.

    You are still very wrong, but you are no longer lying. Hope that eases your mind.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    LS:

    That’s disappointing.

    If I am saying nonsense, why not just refute it on the merits — the always linked is right there, a single click away; and has been all along while I have occasionally interacted with you.

    And, well you should know just why those of us who work on the ID side of the current issue are often compelled to resort to anonymity: the “machine” tactics as just again adverted to.

    In my case, however, a couple of clicks from my always linked will suffice to get through to me.

    Now, on why I have taken the effort to make this now extended — and BTW, drawing to a conclusion (have patience, soon you will not have to “bother” with me here at all . . .) — blog visit to UD:

    1] Has it ever occurred to you that there may be a very serious reason why I am making addressing the rising tide of evo mat pseudoscientific advocacy in our civilisation a major focus of my attention and effort, even in the wee hours of the morning?

    2] Something like: sufficiently helping me to understand and thus to slow down the disintegration of a civilisation that I aim to preserve enough of to hand on something worth having to my kids and grand kids to be, even out here in the Caribbean? [A Caribbean that when you Americans sneeze, we get flu . ..]

    3] Not to mention, caring enough about science and sci education to object when I see them being horribly abused?

    4] And, what about exposing and standing up to cultural bullies who would destroy much that is precious if they have their way, while doing a lot of harm to a lot of innocent people?

    5] Such as — for just one instance — the students in Kansas who are being taught the distorted version of what “science” is, as excerpted above from their state science STANDARDS?

    6] And, in light of say Rom 1:18 – 23, just maybe, I see myself as also duty bound to use what I know to stop those who would make innocent little ones stumble, to their spiritual peril, too?

    GEM of TKI

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    JK:

    To insert a correctly descriptive parenthetical remark is not a lie. (Or even one that is THOUGHT to be correct . . . )

    Again: a lie is a CALCULATED DECEPTION. I have neither calculated nor am I factually in error, much less misleading those who would be inclined to accept what I have summarised in the relevant parenthetical note.

    It is plain that LC was speaking as an officer of KCFS, and that her strategy was not only her own but that of KCFS. Onlookers, note the import of “OUR TARGET” and the statement that the solution is a “political” one, in a context where plainly the ignorance of the moderate middle is to be exploited.

    You therefore, sadly, have slandered me yet again — even while pretending to have successfully exposed and corrected me in a grievous wrong.

    Not that that matters much to me, but it is revealing on the tactics being by your ilk used to promote evolutionary materialism in our schools, institutions of science and the wider culture and civilisation.

    Please, rethink and correct what you and yours are doing — before it is too late and science finds itself utterly discredited as an institution in our culture, not to mention science education and related policy-making.

    The consequences of such developments and the resulting backlash are far, far too horrendous to even think about.

    GEM of TKI

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    LS:

    One last, before I get up and go.

    1] You are imagining things! Assertions do not make confutations. Many have asserted and then have conssitently run off following red herrings to strawmen, duly burned to announce dismissive “triumph.” I have yet so see a serious, actual confutation on the merits. [And BTW, “gadly” is actually an honour — that was the title held by one certain Socrates of Athens . . .]

    2] If you read above you will see that I do not claim that I am truly anonymous.

    3] The Kansas standards in fact are neither historically nor philosophically well-warranted. As to “current praxis” under the domination of the evo mat atheocrats, why of course the definition reflects their view and praxis — that is exactly the problem. [It is time to step outside Plato’s Cave into the sunshine Leo . . . hope you enjoy the video; never mind its own odd moments of bias.]

    4] And, has it ever occurred to you that I care about BOTH science and souls?

    5] As well as, sound education, and logic and facts and truth and . . .?

    [In short, you have indulged in ad hominerm-laced quote mining that exactly fulfills the point in the LC strategy about portraying those who dispute the evo mat agenda as “evangelical activists.”]

    GEM of TKI

  54. 54
    jerry says:

    leo stotch, Jack Krebs,

    Just a side note. The Kansas science standards prevent the teaching of Darwinian macro evolution because it is not science according to these standards. However, that does not stop them from teaching it or putting it into the curriculum.

    No one has an explanation for that. Jack Krebs certainly doesn’t. Jack always ducks the relevant issues. We had this discussion a few weeks ago.

  55. 55
    Frost122585 says:

    Kairosfocus, excellent*** post.

    I want to push this a little further if you‘d like. The underlying essence of this sight as posted in the sights description is the idea that “materialistic” ideology or even religion is subverting science. That is science as defined as the honest search for total and objective truth.

    Now whenever I bring up Kant he gets an unfair beat down from you. I don’t know if you quotes are from Kant or people critical of his work. I however am one who fell in love with science and philosophy once reading Kant at age 17 or 18. Once I read him I knew that there was something infinitely deeper, more useful and constructive than psychoanalysis and socialist ideology. There were many different “shapes of thought” and constructs beautifully connected and aligned in his Critique that I feel enlightened me beyond the common man of today- though I wish the common man was enlightened as well.

    Here is what you said about Kant…

    I have my doubts on Kant’s thought, as say Kreeft and Tacelli highlight:

    [Kant’s] “Copernican Revolution in philosophy” was the claim that our knowledge does not conform to a real object but vice versa . . . All the form, determination, specificity or knowable content comes from the mind and is projected out onto the world rather than coming from the world and being impressed upon the mind . . . .

    Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” is self-contradictory, just as simple [radical or selective] skepticism is. After all, if Kant was right, how could he possibly have known he was right in terms of his system? He couldn’t. He could never know that there are “things- in- themselves,” onto which the knowing self projects all knowable content. That would be knowing the unknowable, thinking both sides of thought’s limit.

    There is a half truth in Kantianism. Some knowledge is conditioned by our forms of consciousness(e.g. Colors by the eye, measurements by artificial scales and ideological positions by personal preferences). But even here there must be some objective content first that is received and known, before it can be classified or interpreted by the knowing subject.[Handbook of Christian Apologetics, (Crowborough, England: Monarch, 1995) pp. 372 – 373.]

    I am always disappointed when I see you giving Kant such a hard time. I myself think he was the greatest mind of all- that is raw talent wise. I think part of your frustration with Kant comes from the fact that he had reduced his faith to very little by the time he began to write his great works. As a young man he wanted to become a priest and had supreme religious devotion but after his earthly senses kicked in he rejected the miracles of the bible and as the story goes he became a philosopher of the highest order. Now, this is also the same story that you find with Einstein. He wanted to be a theologian but then after “seeing the light” that is rejecting the idea of miracles, he went to philosophy. I however think that it is their religious roots that gives their philosophies and in Einstein’s case his physics such depth and deep value. But my point is that indeed Kant concluded against Design as a deductive method for science. And indeed Kant considered the conception or ontological reality of God to be beyond the reach of any empirical markers- that is evidence for or against God’s existence. So I can understand your frustrations here with Kant but I do think you take them too far. Einstein for example was very similar to Kant but certainly his contribution with Relativity has to be taken aside from the fact that he rejected fundamentalist religion in his adult life.

    When I talk about Kant I am referring to his main work – the one considered the finest in philosophical history- The Critique of Pure Reason. For me Kant’s philosophy breaks down to what he says it breaks down to – Experience and Intuition. Experience includes the metaphysical as well as the empirical and physical or the senses and intuition is the sense of knowing but not knowing exactly how you know it. Intuition is internal natural backbone of reason. My post above was about experience and intuition when I used the word metaphysical and physical I was referring to the empirical and how we rationalize it. My point was that Kant knew such intuitions and experiences existed and were very real to say the least. It is my view that such intuitions about design and experiences that we have via phenomenological reflection are as real as any strict materialistic interpretation of empirical data.

    Perhaps what I was trying to focus on here with Kant was the metaphysical reasoning and rationalization we experience when thinking about empirical subjects. That is, how can science claim empiricism for materialism when it is anti-intuitional?

    We see the cell and wonder who built it. No materialistic mechanisms can surmount this intuition by convincing us otherwise. So the intuition of design remains but yet they seek to synthetically eliminate it. The best the other side can do is claim that they do not experience such an intuition but this becomes unreasonable or difficult to relate to and believe when you see the molecular machines in the cell.

    Ill ask the question again and you can run with it if you like. Where does science get off separating the physical form the metaphysical and only accepting the physical as its domain? This is not supportable and it is anti-intuitional.

    Now you point about the self contradiction of Kant in this matter I find to be incorrect. Kant fought to preserve metaphysics and unite it with materialism into his manifold. So I don’t see why you are paining him as the self contradictory one. If you mean to pain those in science who fight only for materialism as the self contradictory ones you would be spot on. That is to say, “how can you claim only matter exists while at the same time attaching some metaphysical significance to your philosophical construct” which is solely metaphysical because if material is all that exists then there is no reason to discriminate between the visions of a schizophrenic and a rational person. They are both “merely” material manifestation with no objective purpose.

  56. 56
    Charlie says:

    Hi KF (good convo Frost),
    It will be a shame to lose you. Your posts are very useful.
    ===
    Poachy,
    See Leostotch’s remarks here for why he is not considered, although pseudonymous, a sockpuppet.
    He’s often on the wrong side and often offensive, but he’s not trying to pretend he’s saying something that he’s not.
    ===
    LS,
    Speaking of stalking and harassing, your personal opinion about how many words KF types and how many syllables each contains is just that. And we’ve heard it many times already. If you really have a problem with repetition then you know where you can start to correct the problem.

  57. 57
    Charlie says:

    Jack Krebs refers to ID as “creationism”, “antievolution”, and “Christian fundamentalism”, as well as calling his opponents “culture warriors” and remarks not only upon the facts of their statements but upon their honesty. He then says that Liz’ strategy is not his and cries righteous foul, declaring that he does not stoop to bigotry and generalizations.
    The facts don’t jibe with the self-righteous posturing.

    On the other hand, the goading term “fascist” is a little much. The examples provided in defence of applying the term are sufficient without the rhetorical value of the term itself.

    IMO

  58. 58
    Frost122585 says:

    Charlie,

    “It will be a shame to lose you. Your posts are very useful.”

    Am I or Kariosfocus going somewhere?

  59. 59
    Frost122585 says:

    Kariosfocus,

    This is why this issue about the metaphysical and the physical and the proper domain of sceince is so important to me. I have seen Dembski get killed in interviews debates where the otherside clamis that if it is not materialistic it is not science. We need to have a coherent understnaing and line on this issues because matphysics is as much of a part of sceince as physics is. And in fact physics is loaded with metaphysics.

  60. 60
    Charlie says:

    Sorry, Frost, that part was for KF.
    Yes, KF said so to LS.

  61. 61
    jerry says:

    Charlie,

    I believe kairosfocus was referring more to going to work for the day. Most of his posts are early in the morning. He is an early riser.

  62. 62
    JPCollado says:

    “It should be non-snarky, non-confrontational, with some simple points and web addresses to go to for more information”

    So it’s not gonna have nice words like IDiot written all over it?

  63. 63
    Frost122585 says:

    However Kairosfocus, on post 58 I am critical of you disposition towards Kant but I would like ot suspend my judgement on this issue because thanks to your wonder citation I am taking up Peirce right now. Peirce has a collective writing online that I am very interested in reading. I will read it then let you know what I think. It appears just from an early skimming that Peirce really cretiques Kat quite a bit. THis should make for a great read.

  64. 64
    StephenB says:

    Jerry, don’t forget that the KC standards are also promoting methodological naturalism as the norm. Being an ID kind of guy, that should disturb you as well.

  65. 65
    jerry says:

    StephenB,

    A lot disturbs me but you can only ask for so much at one time. I rather argue with Jack and anyone else defending the Kansas standards over Darwinian macro evolution then over methodological naturalism.

    Even Jack cannot defend Darwin and how it fits into Kansas standards. He probably never realized till he was challenged a few weeks ago on the chimp thread. When he realized the difference between micro and macro evolution, he did his famous not answering act which he is very good at. You could argue over methodological naturalism for weeks and get no where.

  66. 66
    StephenB says:

    —-“Even Jack cannot defend Darwin and how it fits into Kansas standards. He probably never realized till he was challenged a few weeks ago on the chimp thread. When he realized the difference between micro and macro evolution, he did his famous not answering act which he is very good at. You could argue over methodological naturalism for weeks and get no where.”

    Jerry, all those things granted. Still, I understood that you had “no problems” with the standards themselves. To me, that in itself, is too much of a concession, given the methodlogical naturalism.

  67. 67
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus, after studying the evidence presented by FtK and your follow up comments, I have changed my mind about Jack Kreb’s role as a major player in the culture wars. Clearly, he wants to use the power of the state to promote oppressive science standards and persecute ID scientists. What I didn’t understand, until now, was the extent to which he promotes, supports, and defends a well -organized disinformation campaign. I am less concerned about its possible involvement with Erv’s initiative and more concerned about the fact that it exists at all.

    Oh, but Jack insists, that there is no such policy, except that, if there is, it isn’t his. Huh? No, it originated from some “other person,” who as it turns out, is right hand gal, who, as it also turns out, is the past president of the same organization. So, we have vertical continuity in time and horizontal continuity from person to person. Everyone is surely on the same page here.

    Either that, or there must be a hell of lot of friction in that office. After all, Jack, by his account, strives to interact with the ID community in a spirit of friendliness and mutual respect,” while Liz, it would seem, is out telling the press that we are “political opportunists” “evangelical activists,” ignoramuses, “breakers of rules,” and “unprincipled bullies. If I believed that explanation, I would certainly have to take my hat off to two people with such radically opposed agendas coexisting so harmoniously.

    Of course, I don’t believe that. Reason dictates that I come to the same conclusion as the one arrived at by you, FtK, vivid blue, and for that matter, all rational observers.

  68. 68
    Jack Krebs says:

    Jerry, FYI: I have understood the difference between microevolution and macroevolution for a long time – both in the sense that the scientific community makes the distinction and in the sense anti-evolutionists make the distinction. This was not something new that you pointed out to me.

  69. 69
    jerry says:

    Jack Krebs,

    If you understand the difference between micro and macro evolution then why did you present micro evolution as examples when you know that ID has no problem with this part of evolutionary theory. Also are you in agreement that Darwin’s theory does not meet the Kansas science standards because it is not empirically based but only speculative. Since you never answered this query, we assume you agree with us.

    It there criticism of Darwin’s theory in the curriculum because the theory does not present evidence for its conclusions but only speculation. Remember micro evolution is only a small uncontroversial part of the Darwinian paradigm. Darwin was not interested in the micro evolutionary phenomena but mainly in extending the modest findings he found in South America and the Galapagos to all species ever formed.

    Does the Kansas curriculum point out that Darwin’s claims are unwarranted since there is no evidence to support them. I am sure you will help lead the way to a more honest interpretation of the standards in the curriculum by advocating that criticism of Darwin’s ideas should be part of what is taught in every Kansas high school biology course.

    Jack, welcome aboard the honesty in education bandwagon we are trying to implement here. You and the ID people are not denying the importance and extent of micro evolution, only that it was a minor part of Darwin’s theory and the main part of his theory does not qualify as science.

  70. 70
    jerry says:

    StephenB,

    I have no problem with methodological naturalism as long as its users don’t claim extraordinary things in its name. It is science and as such has made some extraordinary findings. It is when people misuse it that it is a problem.

    In the case of Darwin, its users are making claims for his ideas that are not backed up by methodological naturalism. That is why I rather challenge the writers of science standards to justify how Darwin’s ideas make the cut as science. They obviously fail so why don’t people like Jack Krebs challenge the inclusion of Darwinian macro evolution in the curriculum.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    Participants (and onlookers):

    First, thanks for some kind words. indeed, my time here at UD is drawing to an end — having seen and learned [and shared . . .] enough from interactions with both sides for my own purposes here in the Caribbean. So, I am now winding down my participation here.

    Thanks again

    GEM of TKI

  72. 72
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus: Thanks for your many valuable contrbitutions. I am sorry to hear that you will not be participating in this forum, as you will be missed greatly. I hope that you will at least return for intermittant guest appearances. My best wishes

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    Now, on some points:

    1] Frosty, on Kant:

    Okay, folks, this one is for Frosty!

    A tribute to his intellectual hero, and one of the all time great thinkers . . .

    Kant was indeed a philosopher of the first rank, and ALL of us in this day and age owe something to his thinking. It so happens though that he is for one reason or another not one of my personal intellectual heroes – but he certainly is respected, for excellent reason. In another context Frosty, i.e. when I wear the sustainable development hat, I make significant use of his Categorical Imperative (first two forms; never was able to make much sense of the third!) to help discuss the SD principle as an application of longstanding ethical thought tracing tot he classical Golden Rule. (And yes, I know his attitude to the GR.)

    Perhaps a good place to look at his work is to excerpt the opening words from the 1781 preface of his greatest work, the Critique of Pure Reason [and I give you the gift here of a link to the full online edn at Gutenberg]:

    Human reason, in one sphere of its cognition, is called upon to consider questions, which it cannot decline, as they are presented by its own nature, but which it cannot answer, as they transcend every faculty of the mind.

    It falls into this difficulty without any fault of its own. It begins with principles, which cannot be dispensed with in the field of experience, and the truth and sufficiency of which are, at the same time, insured by experience. With these principles it rises, in obedience to the laws of its own nature, to ever higher and more remote conditions. But it quickly discovers that, in this way, its labours must remain ever incomplete, because new questions never cease to present themselves; and thus it finds itself compelled to have recourse to principles which transcend the region of experience, while they are regarded by common sense without distrust. It thus falls into confusion and contradictions, from which it conjectures the presence of latent errors, which, however, it is unable to discover, because the principles it employs, transcending the limits of experience, cannot be tested by that criterion. The arena of these endless contests is called Metaphysic.

    Time was, when she was the queen of all the sciences; and, if we take the will for the deed, she certainly deserves, so far as regards the high importance of her object-matter, this title of honour . . . . In recent times the hope dawned upon us of seeing those disputes settled, and the legitimacy of her claims established by a kind of physiology of the human understanding–that of the celebrated Locke. But it was found that–although it was affirmed that this so-called queen could not refer her descent to any higher source than that of common experience, a circumstance which necessarily brought suspicion on her claims–as this genealogy was incorrect, she persisted in the advancement of her claims to sovereignty. Thus metaphysics necessarily fell back into the antiquated and rotten constitution of dogmatism, and again became obnoxious to the contempt from which efforts had been made to save it. At present, as all methods, according to the general persuasion, have been tried in vain, there reigns nought but weariness and complete indifferentism–the mother of chaos and night in the scientific world, but at the same time the source of, or at least the prelude to, the re-creation and reinstallation of a science, when it has fallen into confusion, obscurity, and disuse from ill directed effort . . .

    Of course, in that light, the discovery of a fundamental irreconcilability in his own thoughts should not be all that surprising. (BTW, I don’t agree with everything said by my personal intellectual heroes [e.g. the late, thrice great, Sir Fred Hoyle — a true member of the Noble Order of the Gadfly, that!]), and across time I don’t always agree with myself either!

    His intro to the main text is similarly interesting:

    That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt. For how is it possible that the faculty of cognition should be awakened into exercise otherwise than by means of objects which affect our senses, and partly of themselves produce representations, partly rouse our powers of understanding into activity, to compare to connect, or to separate these, and so to convert the raw material of our sensuous impressions into a knowledge of objects, which is called experience? In respect of time, therefore, no knowledge of ours is antecedent to experience, but begins with it. But, though all our knowledge begins with experience, it by no means follows that all arises out of experience. For, on the contrary, it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion), an addition which we cannot distinguish from the original element given by sense, till long practice has made us attentive to, and skillful in separating it. It is, therefore, a question which requires close investigation, and not to be answered at first sight, whether there exists a knowledge altogether independent of experience, and even of all sensuous impressions? Knowledge of this kind is called a priori, in contradistinction to empirical knowledge, which has its sources a posteriori, that is, in experience . . .

    There is a lot in that to chew on.

    Equally chewable are the concluding remarks, some 800 pages later – words that remind us on how the word “Science” has been changed in how we use and think about it, though the more things change the more they remain the same on debates over . . . method:

    Method is procedure according to principles. We may divide the methods at present employed in the field of inquiry into the naturalistic and the scientific. The naturalist of pure reason lays it down as his principle that common reason, without the aid of science–which he calls sound reason, or common sense–can give a more satisfactory answer to the most important questions of metaphysics than speculation is able to do. He must maintain, therefore, that we can determine the content and circumference of the moon more certainly by the naked eye, than by the aid of mathematical reasoning. But this system is mere misology reduced to principles; and, what is the most absurd thing in this doctrine, the neglect of all scientific means is paraded as a peculiar method of extending our cognition. As regards those who are naturalists because they know no better, they are certainly not to be blamed. They follow common sense, without parading their ignorance as a method which is to teach us the wonderful secret, how we are to find the truth which lies at the bottom of the well of Democritus . . . .

    As regards those who wish to pursue a scientific method, they have now the choice of following either the dogmatical or the sceptical, while they are bound never to desert the systematic mode of procedure. When I mention, in relation to the former, the celebrated Wolf, and as regards the latter, David Hume, I may leave, in accordance with my present intention, all others unnamed. The critical path alone is still open. If my reader has been kind and patient enough to accompany me on this hitherto untravelled route, he can now judge whether, if he and others will contribute their exertions towards making this narrow footpath a high road of thought, that which many centuries have failed to accomplish may not be executed before the close of the present–namely, to bring Reason to perfect contentment in regard to that which has always, but without permanent results, occupied her powers and engaged her ardent desire for knowledge.

    Okay, Frosty: this one’s for you!

    With high regards

    GEM of TKI

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    Now, for the rest:

    2] Frosty, 62: I have seen Dembski get killed in interviews debates where the otherside clamis that if it is not materialistic it is not science. We need to have a coherent understnaing and line on this issues because matphysics is as much of a part of sceince as physics is. And in fact physics is loaded with metaphysics.

    Here I advert to – and slightly extend — Lakatos, who aptly sees a belt of scientific theories, concepts and models surrounding a worldviews-tinged core as the structure of a given research programme or paradigm. In short,t he problem is dogmatism, which fails to understand that the methods of science owe their credibility to the influences of another discipline, philosophy!

    Then, too, I highlight that telling word: debates.

    For, we must understand that debates are about popular persuasion rooted in rhetoric, the art of persuasion, not proof. It is dialectic – reasoned, informed discourse guided by critically aware reason and indeed by good old phil, that we so desperately need. Unfortunately, Plato’s estimate that only a tiny minority ever rise to that level, holds true from that day to ours. Can we, in an era of mass College education, rise to a level where we THINK?

    3] 66, re: Peirce

    Worth study in in his own right as a great exemplar of the philosopher-scientist who never lost the common touch. [One of his most influential works ever was published in: Popular Science! True, in 1878 . . .]

    This was the work which of course launched Pragmatism, though CSP later was so disgusted with how it was popularly understood [and taken by other philosophers] that he declared a new foundation: Pragmaticism.

    4] SB, 70: Re JK

    Sadly, the evidence warrants what you say there, Steve.

    And, BTW, thanks for some kind words; I hope you and others will find ways forward. [BTW, the return to a fuller focus on the region will make more time for my own blog and other initiatives, like a cyber college we need to build in our region to give us a flu shot against some very disturbing trends from the North; not to mention from the East. And, with Mr Chavez [an ally of Iran!] stirring things up in the S, we are in for historically “interesting” times in the Caribbean over the next several decades. I LIKE boring times (the more peaceful, proserous ones . . .), but am fated to live in interesting ones . . .]

    5] Jerry, 72 – to JK: If you understand the difference between micro and macro evolution then why did you present micro evolution as examples when you know that ID has no problem with this part of evolutionary theory.

    For that matter, neither do YECs!

    What is going on here is the usual icons of evolution problem: evidence that is taken way out of its due proportion, to make a persuasive case for those who have been fed on the idea that science is inherently materialistic and that this materialism is what has led to its triumphs; never mind its roots in Christendom and in thinking God’s thoughts after him – the God who is “a God of order.” To that end, the truth about a great many key founders and teir thought, as well as the similar thought world of many proficient and even eminent practitioners today is suppressed.

    Welcome to Plato’s Cave . . .

    6] It there criticism of Darwin’s theory in the [Kansas] curriculum because the theory does not present evidence for its conclusions but only speculation. Remember micro evolution is only a small uncontroversial part of the Darwinian paradigm. Darwin was not interested in the micro evolutionary phenomena but mainly in extending the modest findings he found in South America and the Galapagos to all species ever formed.

    Jerry: the whole target of KCFS etc was to eliminate a curriculum that would have introduced such critical awareness into the curriculum. (Notice, the much despised circa 2005 revisions were EXPLICIT in excluding ID as a subject of major exposition [it could come up in discussions, as would be fair], but spoke to objective definition of science, to serious presentation of NDT, and to examination of critiques thereof – indeed there were public hearings which were intended to publicly air both sides on the critiques. The Darwinists in effect boycotted, taking their ball home.)

    Have a look here.

    GEM of TKI

  75. 75
    StephenB says:

    I would like to make one more point about kairosfocus’ contributions on this forum. It isn’t often that one finds a well trained scientist, who understands first principles and can comment on each in the context of the other. This special talent, cultivated and developed to a skill level brings a special kind of authority to each commentary. I have found this quality in all of kairosfocus’ writings.

    There are some, of course, who resent this kind of ability, almost as if they feel it was a talent that should have been theirs. It never occurs to them that their cynicism is the very thing that has prevented them from finding their own voice. Rather than use the opportunity to interact with an unusually knowledgeable person and gain from the process, they resort to insult, distraction, and, at times, character assassination. But, it has always been so. Human nature will be human nature I guess.

    The good news is, most of us recognize the real thing when we see it. While I try to think most things through, there are times when I feel premature in my analysis, and I feel the need to compare notes with one the best thinkers around. That is when I appreciate kairosfocus the most—and—yes, I have often consulted his systematically developed links. This is a much underrated resource that deserves more attention. In any case, I am grateful for his participation on this forum. I am sure that many others feel the same way.

  76. 76
    gpuccio says:

    kairosfocus:

    we would really miss you… Please, stay here, at least occasionally!

  77. 77
    Frost122585 says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Your post is great and your knowledge is of quite remarkable magnitude.

    I am very interested in what Peirce has to say and as soon as I am done the readings that I am currently enthralled with I am going to read his writings. I would use your online link to The Critique but I own a well worn copy myself that I am very fond of.

    I hope I was able to open up the discussion to what I think is one of, if not “the,” core issue and mountain that ID has to climb to order to gain mainstream notoriety and public acceptance. That is, to show that it’s metaphysically derived conclusions fallow from physics and pure reason, just like all good science, and are a fruitful and perfectly adequate interpretation of phenomena as it is experienced.

    That is to say, “ID “IS” scientific!”

    KF, thanks be to you for the kind words and as always the generous attention paid in great detail to my thoughts and comments. I considered you a friend.

    And I don’t have to have met you in the person- that is, “in the physical” to appreciate the value of your existence. I find it safe to say that you surely didn’t happen by chance.

  78. 78
    Frost122585 says:

    Thoughts on KF’s Kant post-

    “Knowledge of this kind is called a priori, in contradistinction to empirical knowledge, which has its sources a posteriori, that is, in experience”

    The a priori is like the intuition formalized. I must say though I don’t agree with him here although I ALMOST do…

    “In respect of time, therefore, no knowledge of ours is antecedent to experience, but begins with it.”

    This is a further development from the main idea of his philosophy which is that all knowledge owes itself to experience. I find this 99.9% correct but somehow I still think that there are indeed “things we know, but, don’t know we know” and therefore don’t have any “cognitive experience we directly know of.” This creates a small wormhole in his philosophy. But for the most part I totally agree that most of our knowledge is derived, or at least can be reduced to experience, whether that be mathematical intuition or cognition, or direct sensous experience (sight, hearing, touch, smelling, taste)but after reading Dembski’s No Free Lunch my natural intuitive doubts about the absolute truth of this claim have strengthened.

    Kant is to me a phenomenological philosopher of the critical kind and of the first order in this category. That is to say he starts off with a predisposition to being critical to dogmatism and sort of builds his philosophy around a kind of reductionism or slightly negative argument…

    “All knowledge begins with experience.”

    A concise reduction of philosophy I think. Though it should be noted that such a statement does in fact speak miles.

    All of the greats have their unique contributions. Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Aquinas. Spinoza, Descartes, and there are many other’s that don’t get their due as the great philosophers they were such as, Newton, Leibniz, St. Augustine, Maimonides, Hegel (even though I don’t understand a word of him) and many others…

    But for me Kant was the best. He was not perfect or the whole story and did not even speak to some of the most important issues especially today with my current focus on ID but his philosophy I find timeless and seemingly infinitely useful. Kant is not my hero but I do owe him some credit for a great deal of the enlightenment that I have obtained.

  79. 79
    StephenB says:

    Jerry: Off topic: I had an experience recently that you can identity with. While debating a materialist over the merits of ID, I was told of a Christian fundamentalist who complimented the Discovery Institute for its capacity to bring people back to God. It certainly makes it harder for the rest of us who try to make a distinction between ID science and religion doesn’t it?

    On topic: Methodological naturalism rules out ID in principle. To accept it is to reject ID.

  80. 80
    jerry says:

    StephenB,

    Why does methodological naturalism rule out ID? A few things:

    1. Maybe we are on different pages as to what it methodological naturalism means. To me it is the scientific method applied to the material world. And before we get into any discussion of the scientific method, I am well aware it has different meanings and that there is no approved definition of science.

    But evidence is generated and that evidence has been useful but it does not explain everything and there is no reason to expect it will.

    2. I believe the EF is within the domain of methodological naturalism and as such points to design on several occasions. It does not necessarily say the designer is out of this world or supernatural.

    3. Darwin’s theory on macro evolution fails as science under the methodological naturalism paradigm. We will have to wait and see if Jack Krebs answers my challenge to him on this issue.

    If you have any objections to this please let me know. I am not that knowledgeable on all the issues with methodological naturalism. To me it is just a term that prescribes what a scientist in general can do and no way prescribes how he interprets the data which is philosophical in many occasions and not warranted nor part of methodological naturalism.

  81. 81
    tribune7 says:

    KF– reconsider.

    If you don’t though, good luck and God speed.

  82. 82
    congregate says:

    Jerry-
    Re macroevolution, have you looked at Donald Prothero’s “Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters”? Skip the first five chapters, they’re focused more on the politics. But some of the examples seem pretty convincing. Of course I’m not hyperskeptical in this area. There’s a brief section called “What about macroevolution?” in chapter 8.

  83. 83
    StephenB says:

    —–Jerry: “Why does methodological naturalism rule out ID? ”

    Methodological naturalism is really a kind of rule. In insists that science must restrict itself to naturalistic explanations in all things. Under the circumstances, anything other than a naturalistic explanation cannot be science. In effect, it rules out the possibility of a design inference even before the investigation begins.

    As you know, the design filter is ID’s methodology for detecting design in nature. In effect, it asks three questions in the following order; (1) does a law explain it? (2) Does chance explain it? (3) Does design explain it? According to methodological naturalism, we may not proceed to step three, because it suggest something other than a naturalistic explanation. That is another way of saying that ID is not science.
    The whole concept of methodological naturalism is really only about twenty years old. If you consult any textbook on the philosophy of science, indeed, if you research the entire history of the philosophy of science, you will find nothing about methodological naturalism before the 1980’s. It was cooked up as a special recipe to put intelligent design out of business.

    Now it is true that science has long placed a priority on natural causes. But it is one thing to say that science is PRIMARILY about natural causes; it is something else to say that science is EXCLUSIVELY about natural causes. The difference is critical. It if is exclusively about “natural causes”, then obviously, ID cannot be science, because ID is about “intelligent causes.” That is why the Kansas City standards are problematical. They define science exclusively in terms of natural causes for the sole purpose of relegating ID to non-scientific status. It is a political initiative calculated to disfranchise ID from the scientific community.

    Of course, as you pointed out, Darwin’s general theory doesn’t qualify for their standards based on other related criteria. Quality education and reasonableness, however, is not the issue with them. Their mission is to de-legitimatize ID.

  84. 84
    jerry says:

    congregate,

    I did not know what Donald Prothero’s book said. I never heard of it till now. After reading the reviews on Amazon it looks like it is anti YEC more than anti ID though most of the reviewers conflate the two. That is not hard to do since mfany YEC’s promote ID and it is hard to separate the two because of this.

    Every book on Darwinism speculates on macro evolution and you get the obligatory forrest animal to whale, or hippopotamus to whale, or reptile jaw bone movements to mammal ears, or dinosaur to bird, or some have re-introduced the horse evolution. Others will bring up the occasional intermediary but none of these has shown one sample of transitions of one species to another that is not just basic micro evolution. Intermediaries are not transitions unless there are several showing the transition to new complex functional novelty. Nothing in the fossil record supports gradualism that I have seen so far.

    If the Prothero book has some good examples, then I suggest you read the book and present them and we can evaluate them. I will see if a local library has it. I like reading the books of Darwinists. I learn a lot reading them but have yet to find one that threatens ID. At the moment I am not in the mood for spending $30 for another book.

  85. 85
    congregate says:

    StephenB- Wake up and smell the coffee. Intelligent and natural are not mutually exclusive! The designers could have been time travelers, or aliens.

    Jerry- My local library has their own catalog and the interlibrary loan system on the internet. It’s fabulous!

  86. 86
    StephenB says:

    congragate: Wake up an smell the
    coffee:

    —–“StephenB- Wake up and smell the coffee. Intelligent and natural are not mutually exclusive! The designers could have been time travelers, or aliens.”

    You are importing the confused Darwinist notion of “natural” with the ID established definition of “natural.”

    Darwininists, consciously or unconsciously, use the word “natural” to mean anything that occurs “in” nature, except that they don’t know what “in” means.

    ID uses natural to mean either law or chance. That means that aleins or time travelers would NOT be natural causes. Those things are not ruled out.

    This is typical for ID critics. Becauase they do not know what ID is, they criticize it for what it isn’t.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    Trib:

    Thanks for the kind thoughts.

    I need to focus on issues, challenges and initiatives closer to home, including ideas towards a cyber college. [Indeed, the visit with you all at UD was in part towards that.]

    It was good, but must now move to the end. (I will of course occasionally be back for old times’ sake; but nothing like the day-to-day, point-by-point slogging matches.)

    [And for now it seems I need to keep an eye on RF for a few days yet. TVR knows how to contact me if he wants to carry things further in the 2 LOT thread.]

    Meanwhile, I am highly confident that you, SteveB, GP, Eric, and so may others, as well as of course up and coming young IDers like Frosty will make a solid showing.

    Grace and peace be with you all

    GEM of TKI

  88. 88
    Frost122585 says:

    Kairosfocus, I have your email from you linked and I hope you wont mind if I stay in touch. Rarely have I found I mind that I feel is so close to my own in train of thought. I hold you in high regard and as I get deeper into the issues and substance of ID I hope you will be there to help me think though some of the issues. I consider meeting you a blessing.

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    Frosty:

    You — and anyone else who is civil — are welcome to communicate with me by email. Especially those who are studying — chalkdust gets in the blood.

    GEM of TKI

  90. 90
    Jack Krebs says:

    StephenB brings up an interesting issue when he writes,

    You are importing [sic] the confused Darwinist notion of “natural” with the ID established definition of “natural.”

    Darwininists, consciously or unconsciously, use the word “natural” to mean anything that occurs “in” nature, except that they don’t know what “in” means.

    ID uses natural to mean either law or chance. That means that aleins or time travelers would NOT be natural causes. Those things are not ruled out.

    This is typical for ID critics. Becauase they do not know what ID is, they criticize it for what it isn’t.

    First of all, I am curious as to where this ID definition has been “established”?

    But, be that as it may, Stephen seems to be assuming here, consciously or unconsciously, that human beings (as well as alien beings) are in some sense “not natural” because they exhibit something other than an expression of law and chance – presumably intelligence.

    But this assumptions begs the very question at issue: how does one know that human beings are anything other than a material being? Attempts to scientifically determine that human beings are anything other than material beings have all failed, and dualistic philosophical positions have certainly not been universally convincing, even as philosophy.

    I am sure that most scientists would accept aliens coming to earth and seeding it with life, and perhaps farming it at times in the future, as a natural cause that just pushes the origin question back to “where did the aliens come from?”.

    But to assume that those aliens would necessarily be contain something from outside of nature – something not a product of the material properties of the universe – is to assume as true the very issue that is in question, which is is there some outside source of intelligence that somehow imposes itself upon the material world.

  91. 91
    jerry says:

    congregate,

    I have ordered the book online on the local library system. The 40 libraries in our county act as one so the book will be at my local branch in a couple days. There were 5 copies in the system so one will make it to my library by Friday,

  92. 92
    StephenB says:

    Jack, you get one merit for understanding the core issue, and one demerit for not understanding its significance. Dualism vs. Monism is indeed the issue. If we don’t assume metaphysical dualism, the entire rational enterprise collapses. Science is possible only under the following metaphysical conditions: [A] We have rational minds, [B] We live in a rational universe, and [C] There is a correspondence between the two. Without a non-material, rational mind, there is no tool with which to conduct the investigation; without the rational universe, there is nothing to investigate; without correspondence, the logic of the mind would not be synchronized with the logic of the universe. Unless [A] and [B] both exists, and unless the law of non-contradiction applies to both realms, rationality leaves the building.

    An ID inference occurs when a rational mind apprehends the detectable rational elements in the natural world. Darwinist monists reject the possibility of any such inference even before the investigation begins. Their monism forbids any such enterprise in principle. They insist that there is no such thing as a rational universe and no such thing as a rational mind. Both elements are conflated into one meaningless, monistic, materialistic jumble. The universe is limited to matter and the mind is reduced to “brain.” Why wouldn’t monist/Darwinists argue against a rational inference to the best explanation? They have already renounced the necessary conditions for rationality itself.

  93. 93
    Daniel King says:

    Without a non-material, rational mind, there is no tool with which to conduct the investigation

    Hi, StephenB,

    Delurking just to point out that you’re “begging the question,” unless you can cite evidence that “mind” is not material.

    Cheerio,

    Daniel

  94. 94
    nullasalus says:

    Daniel King,

    “Delurking just to point out that you’re “begging the question,” unless you can cite evidence that “mind” is not material.”

    Considering even self-proclaimed materialists can hardly decide what’s material nowadays (Is a reductionist view the only true one? How about a non-reductionist or emergent view – still material? Should we even call ourselves materialists given what we see in quantum mechanics – are we physicalists now?), I’d say everyone needs to get their ducks in a row before that fight is fought.

  95. 95
    Daniel King says:

    nullasalus:

    All I asked for was evidence, peace be upon you.

  96. 96
    Jack Krebs says:

    StephenB writes,

    If we don’t assume metaphysical dualism, the entire rational enterprise collapses.

    This is a standard anti-materialist view, and I don’t think it’s true: it’s certainly not what actual materialists think.

    Let’s look at some of what he says:

    Science is possible only under the following metaphysical conditions: [A] We have rational minds, [B] We live in a rational universe, and [C] There is a correspondence between the two. Without a non-material, rational mind, there is no tool with which to conduct the investigation; without the rational universe, there is nothing to investigate; without correspondence, the logic of the mind would not be synchronized with the logic of the universe. Unless [A] and [B] both exists, and unless the law of non-contradiction applies to both realms, rationality leaves the building.

    I’ll accept quite a bit of this. We do live in a rational, ordered universe in the sense that all the particles, forces and principles seem to have definite and consistent ways of being, and those ways interact with each other to have created the a world with lots of orderly interacting features. Also, we, as human beings, have the sensory apparatus to apprehend parts of the universe, and we have (this is the interesting part) the ability to experientially and symbolically comprehend and represent the universe: at least in part, we have a rational mind.

    However, there is no reason why there has to be some dualistic part of our mind to create the correspondence between the two of which Stephen speaks. The most primitive forms of life have very simple feedback systems between their sensory input and their behavior, and, as we look at more advanced creatures we see a steady increase in the ability to apprehend and comprehend rationally, in the sense of behaving in appropriate ways to the environmental state around the organism. In fact it is a basic evolutionary principle that of course there is a correspondence between the internal information processing of the organism and the external environment, because those organisms that had more information processing systems have been successful and survived, and less accurate ones have not. There is nothing mysterious about this, and no non-material aspect of our being needs to be posited to explain it.

    Interestingly enough, Stephen does not accurately represent the materialist position.

    He writes,

    An ID inference occurs when a rational mind apprehends the detectable rational elements in the natural world. Darwinist monists reject the possibility of any such inference even before the investigation begins. Their monism forbids any such enterprise in principle. They insist that there is no such thing as a rational universe and no such thing as a rational mind. Both elements are conflated into one meaningless, monistic, materialistic jumble

    This, and especially the bolded part, is utterly false. Materialists accept that the universe is rational in the sense that I described it above, and they believe that we can, within limits, know it in a rational manner, as described above.

    Stepping back from the immediate issue, it is interesting to me to try to understand how non-materialistic dualists understand materialism. There is a circularity in their understanding that is natural, hard to describe, and in some important ways, wrong.

    The non-materialistic dualist believes in an external rational mind, and believes that such a mind is necessary to supply a sense of meaning and order to the world. Therefore, this person thinks, if someone doesn’t believe in such a mind, the world is just “one meaningless, monistic, materialistic jumble.”

    But the materialist himself doesn’t need a belief in an outside mind to find meaning and order. The world is not a jumble at all – we can investigate it and understand it reasonably well without any recourse to non-materialistic explanations.

    This bother this the non-materialist because denying the non-material takes away the non-materialists framework for understanding, but to the person that doesn’t depend on the belief in the first place, denying the non-materials doesn’t have this effect.

    So when Stephen writes, “They [materialists] have already renounced the necessary conditions for rationality itself,” what he means is that they have renounced Stephen’s necessary condition, but they have not renounced the necessary conditions for rationality when that is understood from a materialistic viewpoint.

  97. 97
    nullasalus says:

    Daniel King,

    I realize. I’m just clarifying with the issue of ‘non-material’ isn’t simple. The very notion of ‘materialism’ is fraught with confusion even among proponents.

    Nothing more.

  98. 98
    StephenB says:

    —–Jack Krebs: In fact it is a basic evolutionary principle that of course there is a correspondence between the internal information processing of the organism and the external environment, because those organisms that had more information processing systems have been successful and survived, and less accurate ones have not. There is nothing mysterious about this, and no non-material aspect of our being needs to be posited to explain it.

    The environment and the organism are all part of the reality that is outside the human mind. Rationality requires a correspondence between the mind and reality, not reality in correspondence with itself. What is truth? The answer to that question is really quite simple. Truth is the CORRESPONDENCE OF THE MIND TO REALITY. Obviously, that means that there must be a mind and a reality to do the corresponding. For Jack, there can be no correspondence. To apprehend truth, the mind must make the journey to reality. If there is no mind, there is no vehicle to make the journey; if there is no reality, there is no destination. For Jack, and the monistic world of materialist Darwinists, the vehicle is the journey, which is, of course, ridiculous.

    This unfortunate jumbling creates the next logical misfire:

    —–Jack: There is no reason why there has to be some dualistic part of our mind to create the correspondence between the two of which Stephen speaks.”

    No one is talking about a “dualistic part of the mind.” Dualism consists as mind and reality, plain and simple. Consider also that the mind can hardly “create” the correspondence any more than it can create the reality.

    —-“The non-materialistic dualist believes in an external rational mind, and believes that such a mind is necessary to supply a sense of meaning and order to the world. Therefore, this person thinks, if someone doesn’t believe in such a mind, the world is just “one meaningless, monistic, materialistic jumble.”

    The mind cannot “supply” a sense of meaning and order. Reality must be “apprehended” by the mind as something outside the mind. It is the materialist/ Darwinist who refuses to acknowledge meaning outside the mind and must therefore fabricate it, meaning he makes it up as he goes along. It is this kind of subjectivity that keeps the materialist from acknowledging design. For him, design cannot be real; nothing exists outside the mind, design included.

    —–But the materialist himself doesn’t need a belief in an outside mind to find meaning and order. The world is not a jumble at all – we can investigate it and understand it reasonably well without any recourse to non-materialistic explanations. This bother this the non-materialist because denying the non-material takes away the non-materialists framework for understanding, but to the person that doesn’t depend on the belief in the first place, denying the non-materials doesn’t have this effect.

    The materialist most certainly does need belief in two realms and assumes that each time he tries to reason in the abstract. Unfortunately, he renounces the very thing he depends on and unconsciously believes for ideological reasons. That is why he contradicts himself each time he tries to reason in the abstract. We are not talking about the non-materialists “framework for understanding,” we are talking about the necessary conditions for rationality itself. I am not arguing on behalf of my own biases and prejudices, I am arguing on behalf of the principle that, if truth exists, it must be a correspondence between the mind and reality. That requires two realms of existence, which means that Darwinism/monism is incompatible with reason.

  99. 99
    StephenB says:

    —–Daniel King: “Delurking just to point out that you’re “begging the question,” unless you can cite evidence that “mind” is not material.”

    You are missing the point, my friend. I am not trying to prove the existence of the mind. I am pointing out that if the non-material mind doesn’t exist, rationality is impossible.

  100. 100
    Jack Krebs says:

    Stephen writes,

    I am arguing on behalf of the principle that, if truth exists, it must be a correspondence between the mind and reality. That requires two realms of existence, which means that Darwinism/monism is incompatible with reason.

    And on what grounds are you justified in invoking this principle as true? Where exactly does this principle come from?

    Of course if you assume – as you are doing – that truth must involve a correspondence between mind and reality, then you are building into your very premise the conclusion that if one thinks this non-material mind doesn’t exist, one can’t know the truth.

    But how do we know your assumption is correct, and that your definition of truth is true? I don’t agree with your assumption, and I don’t think you have any evidence, as Daniel pointed out, to show that it is true. You have made some philosophical assertions that are meaningful to you, but not binding on anyone who starts with a different philosophical framework.

  101. 101
    StephenB says:

    —–Jack: “Of course if you assume – as you are doing – that truth must involve a correspondence between mind and reality, then you are building into your very premise the conclusion that if one thinks this non-material mind doesn’t exist, one can’t know the truth.”

    —–“But how do we know your assumption is correct, and that your definition of truth is true? I don’t agree with your assumption, and I don’t think you have any evidence, as Daniel pointed out, to show that it is true. You have made some philosophical assertions that are meaningful to you, but not binding on anyone who starts with a different philosophical framework.”

    You might as well ask me to prove the law of non-contradiction. Rational people accept my definition of truth and irrational people don’t. That was what all the fuss over Kant was about. He questioned the correspondence principle, meaning that he mistakenly believed that the images in the mind may not represent reality. Adler corrected his error. In any case, there was no question that there are two separate realms, except of course among materialists who say there is no truth or any non-material realities at all. If there is no truth, then obviously reason is either useless or non-existent. Reason’s job, after all, is to discover truth, the very thing materialists say doesn’t exist.

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    JK;

    This is what you have to answer to, in a nutshell (and onlookers observe the previous thread on this from here on, to see what happened to the evo mat advocates’ arguments under sustained point-by-point slogging . . . no prizes for guessing why I link it . . .]:

    ________________

    [evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of “science”] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance and psycho-social conditioning, within the framework of human culture.)

    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” them. And, if our materialist friends then say: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must note that to demonstrate that such tests provide empirical support to their theories requires the use of the very process of reasoning which they have discredited!

    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes “Materialism.” For instance, Marxists commonly deride opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismiss qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? And, should we not simply ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is simply another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze?

    In the end, materialism is based on self-defeating logic . . . .

    In Law, Government, and Public Policy, the same bitter seed has shot up the idea that “Right” and “Wrong” are simply arbitrary social conventions. This has often led to the adoption of hypocritical, inconsistent, futile and self-destructive public policies.

    “Truth is dead,” so Education has become a power struggle; the victors have the right to propagandise the next generation as they please. Media power games simply extend this cynical manipulation from the school and the campus to the street, the office, the factory, the church and the home.

    Further, since family structures and rules of sexual morality are “simply accidents of history,” one is free to force society to redefine family values and principles of sexual morality to suit one’s preferences.

    Finally, life itself is meaningless and valueless, so the weak, sick, defenceless and undesirable — for whatever reason — can simply be slaughtered, whether in the womb, in the hospital, or in the death camp.

    In short, ideas sprout roots, shoot up into all aspects of life, and have consequences in the real world . . .

    ________________

    GEM of TKI

  103. 103
    Jack Krebs says:

    Hmmm. I don’t think Stephen makes his case, but my guess is that further discussion will not get us anyplace. To him, his position is self-evident and rational, and that is enough for him.

    So, over and out.

  104. 104
    StephenB says:

    Well, if it is not yet evident to you, then try a little experement. Try defining truth or rationality.

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Re JK:

    To him, his position is self-evident and rational, and that is enough for him. So, over and out.

    If a claim is indeed self-evident, to reject it will end in logical absurdity.

    For instance, take “error exists.” if you try to deny it, you end up affirming it instead, i.e. it is self-evidently true once you understand the terms involved and how they relate, relative to the world of our experiences.

    What Stephen is saying is not begging the question and closing the mind, it is an invitation to the challenge – test for being able to deny and still make sense:

    JK: ”But how do we know your assumption is correct, and that your definition of truth is true? I don’t agree with your assumption, and I don’t think you have any evidence, as Daniel pointed out, to show that it is true. You have made some philosophical assertions that are meaningful to you, but not binding on anyone who starts with a different philosophical framework.”

    SB: You might as well ask me to prove the law of non-contradiction. Rational people accept my definition of truth and irrational people don’t. That was what all the fuss over Kant was about. He questioned the correspondence principle, meaning that he mistakenly believed that the images in the mind may not represent reality. Adler corrected his error. In any case, there was no question that there are two separate realms, except of course among materialists who say there is no truth or any non-material realities at all. If there is no truth, then obviously reason is either useless or non-existent. Reason’s job, after all, is to discover truth, the very thing materialists say doesn’t exist.

    a –> First, that the truth corresponds to reality and the untruth doth not is evidently entailed by JK’s quesiton: “But how do we know your assumption is correct, and that your definition of truth is true?” [Correct — corresponds to the real world . . .]

    b –> Next, we see JK affirming that this is true — i.e. corresponds to reality — “I don’t agree with your assumption . . . ” To do that he affirms in effect that it is real that there is an “I” who has a particular opinion.

    c –> One that would imply that it is simultaneously real that JK exists and does not exist, ans d that he does and does not hold the opinion that the correspondence of truth to reality is a core part of its meaning.

    d –> Similarly, what does he mean by using conjugations of the verb be such as: is, ands are? Apart from affirming the reality of certain states of mental or physical affairs?

    e –> Reductio ad absurdum. QED.

    GEM of TKI

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: here is Ari’s discussion; the REAL case that has to be answered to in the first instance — and without self referential absurdity or other similar confusions:

    _____________

    Aristotle, Metaphysics

    [1011b][1] But perhaps it is for this reason that those who argue not from a sense of difficulty but for argument’s sake are compelled to say that the appearance is not true in itself, but true to the percipient;and, as we have said before, are compelled also to make everything relative and dependent upon opinion and sensation, so that nothing has happened or will happen unless someone has first formed an opinion about it; otherwise clearly all things would not be relative to opinion.

    Further, if a thing is one, it is relative to one thing or to something determinate. And if the same thing is both a half and an equal, yet the equal is not relative to the double.If to the thinking subject “man” and the object of thought are the same, “man” will be not the thinking subject but the object of thought; and if each thing is to be regarded as relative to the thinking subject, the thinking subject will be relative to an infinity of specifically different things.

    That the most certain of all beliefs is that opposite statements are not both true at the same time, and what follows for those who maintain that they are true, and why these thinkers maintain this, may be regarded as adequately stated. And since the contradiction of a statement cannot be true at the same time of the same thing, it is obvious that contraries cannot apply at the same time to the same thing.For in each pair of contraries one is a privation no less than it is a contrary–a privation of substance. And privation is the negation of a predicate [20] to some defined genus. Therefore if it is impossible at the same time to affirm and deny a thing truly, it is also impossible for contraries to apply to a thing at the same time; either both must apply in a modified sense, or one in a modified sense and the other absolutely.

    Nor indeed can there be any intermediate between contrary statements, but of one thing we must either assert or deny one thing, whatever it may be. This will be plain if we first define truth and falsehood. To say that what is is not, or that what is not is, is false; but to say that what is is, and what is not is not, is true; and therefore also he who says that a thing is or is not will say either what is true or what is false. But neither what is nor what is not is said not to be or to be. Further, an intermediate between contraries will be intermediate either as grey is between black and white, or as “neither man nor horse” is between man and horse. If in the latter sense, it cannot change (for change is from not-good to good, or from good to not-good);but in fact it is clearly always changing; for change can only be into the opposite and the intermediate. And if it is a true intermediate, in this case too there would be a kind of change into white not from not-white; but in fact this is not seen.1

    1 It is not qua grey (i.e. intermediate between white and black) that grey changes to white, but qua not-white (i.e. containing a certain proportion of black).

    Preferred URL for linking to this page: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/c.....t.+4.1011b

    __________

    harder to cogently answer without absurdity, than to dismiss I’d say.

  107. 107
    Daniel King says:

    StephenB:

    You are missing the point, my friend. I am not trying to prove the existence of the mind. I am pointing out that if the non-material mind doesn’t exist, rationality is impossible.

    As Jack Krebs most eloquently pointed out in #96, the materiality or immateriality of “mind” is irrelevant to propositions about rationality.

    Nevertheless, you might care to cite some evidence (not philosophical argument) to support the proposition that a “mind” is a substance independent of the functioning of a brain.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    DK:

    You are ducking the point in 102:

    [evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of “science”] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance and psycho-social conditioning, within the framework of human culture.)

    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” them. And, if our materialist friends then say: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must note that to demonstrate that such tests provide empirical support to their theories requires the use of the very process of reasoning which they have discredited!

    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes “Materialism.” For instance, Marxists commonly deride opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismiss qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? And, should we not simply ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is simply another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze?

    In the end, materialism is based on self-defeating logic . . . .

    GEM of TKI

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: and relabelling empirically anchored logical argument “philosophical argument” then deriding it as not being “evidence” — which includes issues of fact and logic — is selective hyperskeprticism.

    You need to show us that as a claimed material entity with a brain and body suitably controlled by chance + necessity only, as conveyed through the four major forces and whatever non-purposive conditions serve as boundaries on the relevant forces, your thoughts and conclusions can be taken as more than lucky noise.

    Or, echoing Richard Taylor, suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.

    Would you believe the apparent message, why?

  110. 110
    StephenB says:

    —–“As Jack Krebs most eloquently pointed out in #96, the materiality or immateriality of “mind” is irrelevant to propositions about rationality.”

    No, he didn’t point it out; he simply made the empty claim. Rationality requires a subject and an object or, if you like, an investigator and something to be investigated. You can’t reason your way to a destination if there is no place to go.

  111. 111
    Daniel King says:

    KF, I thought you were retiring from these premises, at least for a while. Let me add my congratulations for your fine work on this site so far and my best wishes for success in those endeavors to which you are now turning. And may you enjoy good health, without which we are all handicapped in achieving our potential.

    Call me a selective hyperskeptic if you will. If I am such, then are not all those who call themselves “scientists?” Because all they and I ask is that you and StephenB cite empirical evidence for the existence of a substance called “mind” that exists in a form separable from a brain.

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    DK:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    On empirical evidence for mind, it is all around you.

    To see it why not just try to address the “WELCOME TO WALES” question, in context:

    echoing Richard Taylor, suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.

    Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    That should be enough to show the difference between mind and blind chance + necessity acting on matter + energy across space and time.

    GEM of TKI

  113. 113
    StephenB says:

    DK: Everytime you make a mental decision that reverses the brain’s impulses, you prove the existence of the mind. The “placebo” effect alone provides strong evidence of a mind. Conquering a bad habit proves the existence of the mind. Matter can’t reverse its own decisions or change its mind or reflect on itself.

    In any case, that is a separate matter from the fact that two realms are needed for rationality and the perception of truth.

  114. 114
    Daniel King says:

    KF,

    Always delighted, especially when you have couched your view in such a concise form. But it is a shame that we keep meeting so far below the page-break, beyond the reach of many onlookers.

    Your strawman (colossal enough to bestride the Bosphorus and boy will that light up the sky when the oil of crimson herring with which it has been copiously annointed is ignited!): “blind chance + necessity” does not advance the discussion.

    Because I do not question the existence of a behavior that is called “mind.”

    I ask only for evidence that it is a substance separable from the activity of a brain.

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    DK;

    Again, simply work through the following example:

    echoing Richard Taylor, suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.

    Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    The implications thereof will suffice to show what is going on, once you reckon with the implications of the four forces of physics and chance acting on matter and energy without mind as an INDEPENDENT causal factor.

    Since we have already argued the issue out at hundreds of posts length [with the evo mat position IMHBXO failing to hold up a solid ground for the mind — word magic like “emergence” will not do], I can only think that this is the best way forward:

    (1) If you believe the product of chance + necessity without residue gives coded information and even truth [ARI: that which says of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not], why?

    (2) if not then you ave to reckon with the implications of the visible world of symbolic code that refers to reality, and even makes a difference to it — starting with the fine tuned convergent multidimensional physics of a life-facilitating cosmos, and going on through the implications of DNA and our need for minds to apprehend all this.

    Ah gone. God bless!

    GEM of TKI

  116. 116
    evo_materialist says:

    I have been watching this discussion unfold with interest. Daniel King’s call for empirical evidence has been met mainly by the other side of the empirical/rational divide, namely reasoning (of a sort) that a materialist view of mind is self-contradictory or self-refuting. Yet I don’t know to what they (StephenB or kairosfocus) mean when they refer to a “materialist” view of mind. Such views come in many forms, and I see very little evidence that those who provide cartoon versions of materialism here comprehend that.

    So I suggest a bit of reading. A good start would be The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates, edited by Block, Flanagan, and Guzeldere. Many of the big names are represented therein, including many serious materialists, and nothing in that 800+ page book looks remotely like the strawman constructed in the previous posts.

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    EM;

    I am monitoring for the moment, so a few more remarks.

    I see you have made some dismissive references on how we are caricaturing evolutionary materialistic views [but please cf. 102 above; which is very general on the issue of chance + necessity acting on matter + energy –> mind], and are trying to say that we are making a logical not an empirically based case. Even though reasoning processes and exercises are in fact in this case, empirical ones; ones that we can use metacognition about.

    More to the point, though, if you will look above, you will see that I have provided a little thought experiment to trigger a real world exercise and [re-]constructivist discussion.

    [Again: since we happen to be mental creatures, that is not only empirical — experience based — but a live example of the issues of mind and brain, mentality and materiality. We are not confined to simply blindly following the opinions and declared conclusions of claimed experts — we can think for ourselves, and need to, as: [a] no expert is better than his/her facts, reasoning and assumptions, and [b] we may be living in an intellectual Plato’s Cave of manipulative shadow shows backed up by force to suppress dissent — as Expelled publicly documents starting today.]

    The case, the third time of asking:

    . . . echoing Richard Taylor, suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.

    Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    Why don’t you do it?

    If you do so, I believe you will discover:

    1 –> Functionally Specified Complex Information is a characteristic product of mind, and even in cases where such FSCI — per thought experiment [just try to observe this little exercise: rocks rolling down a hill per chance + necessity only and spontaneously forming a full sentence in English, with letters properly formed, happen in the real world . . . !] — is believed to originate by chance + necessity only, it then loses credibility. (For, chance + necessity cause-effect chains are unconnected to ground-consequent issues. This is the exact issue I raised in 102 above.)

    2 –> Further, how did you become aware of the text you read and responded to? [Your eyes as sensors, true, but how then did swatches of black and white etc become meaningful words and sentences in a language [as opposed to i/o signals and noise in a control loop or the like]? And how did you then make the observations, inferences and decisions relative to the excitation of rods, cones and connected neurons? If by chance and necessity only, you are back at 1. Namely, apparent messages tracing to “lucky noise” and/or non-foresighted, non-purposive mechanical necessity are not credible.]

    3 –> Next, we are aware/conscious of our bodies and how they function, thence the external world, through: mental processes. Thus, the phenomenal world is a mental world, leading to the Kantian bridge challenge . . .

    4 –> Namely, how do we bridge from things as they are perceived and conceived and subjectively experienced, to the noumenal world of “things in themselves”? [And, “inter-subjective consensus” does not help as your belief that we exist may be a part of that mental world isolated from things in themselves.]

    5 –> Kant of course concluded that we cannot know things in themselves, but only as perceived. [Go back to 49 ff above and see why I and others think this leads us to a self-referential inconsistency and/or absurdity; and why it therefore makes sense to take certain truths to be self-evident, namely that we are aware, however provisionally and imperfectly, of an external, real world and can act into it, based on the use of our minds and how they influence the behaviour of our bodies.]

    6 –> Notice, also how this exemplifies how the worlds of experience and of mind interact; thence, how we come to hold a well-warranted belief on evidence of fact and logic. Once we accept that real knowledge exists [note the given simple definition in a nutshell], they cannot be separated, in short.

    7 –> And, to make the claim that knowledge does not exist is to claim . . . to know. Oops. [Yet another self-evident truth, once we have a functioning mind that understands and experiences.]

    8 –> So, we know that mind exists — that is how we come to perceive, be aware of, then understand and know everything else in our world, starting with our own bodies. MIND is more certain than the external world! [Or, haven’t we learned from Kant?]

    9 –> But, is mind just “a matter of” a particularly useful configuration of matter and energy, as encoded, stored or transmitted information indubitably is? That brings us right back to 1 again: can we reasonably trust the deliverances of chance + necessity only acting on matter + energy to give us access to knowledge, understanding, reason and truth? [No word magic about “emergence” permitted — you have to explain.]

    10 –> And yet, by the very fact of participating in the blog thread, you believe that reason, evidence, knowledge, understanding and communication are possible, actually existing and important. [Never mind the use of name-dropping and appeal to authority to dismiss a serious question without addressing it even in outline on the merits.] So, why?

    11 –> ANS, part 1: because you know by experience [an observation that was immemorial in the days of Plato], that causal factors in the world in which we live trace reliably to:

    [1] natural regularities rooted in mechanical necessities,

    [2] chance configurations (which, per accident or happenstance, take up whatever values they hold, and could “just as easily” have taken up other values) and their constraining effects on such mechanical necessities,

    [3] intelligent, intentional, decisional action, and its supervening effects on situations embracing necessity + chance.

    12 –> ANS, part 2: Such intelligent, decisional actions result in matter and energy taking up complex, organised functional configurations that would otherwise be too rare in the relevant search space for reasonable random walk based processes to reach without exhausting available probabilistic resources — and one has to get TO the shores of islands of functionality before one can start to climb hills to better performance through whatever handy hill-climbing procedure you want to use. [Think of being stranded at a point at random in a vast Pacific dotted with tiny islands, and being on a raft with limited food and water. What are the odds of landing on an island before you run out of resources? But, what if you had a map, nav tools and an engine with enough fuel to head to the relevant nearest island? See the difference intelligent action makes?]

    13 –> This of course brings us right back to the significance and revolutionary power of the empirically anchored inference to intelligent action based on observed characteristic signs of intelligence. The design inference in short.

    14 –> And, it shows why there is a self-referential inconsistency in the reasoning of those who have to use their MINDS to think that all is matter + energy, acted on by chance + necessity. Worse yet, some dare to redefine Science — “knowledge” — to embed and entrench and defend this assertion.

    So, EM, join us: “Step into the sunshine, and step out of the cave!”

    GEM of TKI

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A bit of background reading on the issue of mind and matter: Reppert on mental causation, on defining materialistic worldviews — and in response to an attempted rebuttal, MP on materialism and truth,.

  119. 119
    Frost122585 says:

    On the discussion above featuring on evidence of the nonmaterial mind. I think that KF hits the nail on the head with his implication of Kant’s philosophy. What is true for me on many levels may or may not be true for you but nonetheless logically one of us is right and we have to appeal to the forces and matrix of data from which we both derive our conclusions, namely experience.

    “5 –> Kant of course concluded that we cannot know things in themselves, but only as perceived. [Go back to 49 ff above and see why I and others think this leads us to a self-referential inconsistency and/or absurdity; and why it therefore makes sense to take certain truths to be self-evident, namely that we are aware, however provisionally and imperfectly, of an external, real world and can act into it, based on the use of our minds and how they influence the behavior of our bodies.]”

    So it is, so its always been. I find it always imperative to invoke Leibniz in general discussions about consciousness. In this most important quote below Leibniz argues convincingly from the perspective of self referential experience.

    Leibniz uses the incredible illustration of the mill…

    17. “Moreover, it must be confessed that perception and that which depends upon it are inexplicable on mechanical grounds, that is to say, by means of figures and motions. And supposing there were a machine, so constructed as to think, feel, and have perception, it might be conceived as increased in size, while keeping the same proportions, so that one might go into it as into a mill. That being so, we should, on examining its interior, find only parts which work one upon another, and never anything by which to explain a perception. Thus it is in a simple substance, and not in a compound or in a machine, that perception must be sought for. Further, nothing but this (namely, perceptions and their changes) can be found in a simple substance. It is also in this alone that all the internal activities of simple substances can consist.”

    Also lets discuss the difference between consciousness as we experience it – the only way which it can be known- and as it may seem existent in say material objects such as a computer. The computer is just a mechanistic device that is not conscious of its surroundings or its origins- and the computer cannot conceptualize the infinite- you can program an infinite like algorithm but the concept of anything qualitative like infinity or benevolence is not a communicable- it has nothing to do with mathematics and counting-

    The computer is a slave of the human who is its designer- The human has unpredictable or free will- but the computer is already programmed-

    Moreover the computer could never be as intelligent as the human because as soon as we come up with a concept or program to put into the computer we have already cognized a new set of reasoning and sets that are not included in the latest and therefore the computer is merely waiting for the next set of instructions that the human experiences first. It is this experience that keeps man inevitably greater and ahead of the computer’s quantitative world- yet it amounts to a qualitative observation about the computers derivation and dependency on man and the difference in experience between the two-

    Human consciousness is therefore unique in many respects. I need not bring into this discussion Hamlet’s dialectic by I think I shall anyways.

    “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”

    Only man can claim to be the paradigm of all animals. To profess a belief, to possess a spirit, to live, to die. We are at once the valiant dust that makes up all of the cosmos and yet then again somehow we are very different. Man mysteriously owes his to the divine that brought his order out of a world of disorder. The computer and the mill all owe their construction to the exact mysterious force that organizes for man- intelligence. The human being has consciousness on a level that no animal can claim. Man, is differnt though i nthat he has a full soul. But if what we mean of consciousness is self reflection “I think thereof I am” then only one known entity in this world can claim such a developed form and that is man.

    As we infer intelligence from its effects. That is through the explanatory filter, we are ONLY inferring design. That is the filter is not finding consciousness but assuming it is there because its effects are obvious indicators. Once again this concept of intelligence and consciousness comes from a qualitative notion that we gather from self referential experience and reflection of our own existence. It is in this form of understanding that a computer will never be able to cogitate. This is an issue of quality not quantity. I ask you what is good? What does the concept “good” feel like? It cannot be found with in the matter itself- and perhaps not even in it’s shape. Quality “transcends” matter. And I can not tell you “exactly” why except to speak in negations of improbability or lack of explanation for.

    The sense experience of consciousness is one that we all feel and we all have. We can not imagine it any other way. You have it too don’t lie. 😉

    Most everything begins and ends with experience. Without consciousness there would be no experience. Without mind no design. And no material process has been shown to mimic true design. Consciousness must be somewhere else in the laws that construct matter. The only place we know where to look for the source of laws is in a legislator and design in a designer. Here in this realm consciousness in manifest, indivisable and as real anything else. In the physical order of things we look for an ultimate cause, one that can account ofr the first at the big bang. All we can guess is that this thing is a non material thing- because we know of no material process that can exist without a cause. INcidently that cause must be able ot account for the complexity of life- it therefore must have mind and consciousness. A non material consciousness has therefore been inferred. An self referentially I know that mind is not merely dust.

  120. 120
    evo_materialist says:

    kairosfocus,

    What? Would I believe I was in Wales if I also believed the rocks spelled out WELCOME TO WALES by chance? What a silly question! I would have no reason to hold such a belief, because I know that people — intelligent agents of which I have first-hand knowledge — arrange rocks all the time. I’ve seen them do it. I’ve even done it myself. So as a Gedankenexperiment it’s pretty weak.

    I won’t go through all 14 points and the PS because I don’t want to waste a lot of time, but I will say this about point 8: No. We do not know that “mind” exists as you describe it. We know that thinking exists, but the existence of that process does not necessarily lead to mind as an ontologically distinct entity.

  121. 121
    Frost122585 says:

    Evo-m,

    You are worng. Totaly anf gloriously worng.

    How do we know that thinking exists? Because we expierence. How do we know that inteligence exists because we expierence it and because its effects produce improbable novely. We can’t aways infer it but a great deal of the time we can.

    THinking is no differnt from any other material process like water falling or rocks rolling. The thing that gives it its unique quality is th eexpierence we have when we think. Your term “thinking” is just a bluff because thinking is only one part of consciousness. We have sense, feeling, subconscious, a mix of those rpocesses, and expierence that we cant really call thinking or not- they are like half thoughts or just sensous impressions. We have inutions, we have inferences and deductions, we have all of the words in the entire huan language and then many expierences that we have not given a formal word name to.

  122. 122
    evo_materialist says:

    Frost122585, I’m wrong how exactly? Every materialist I know fully admits all the things you mention: experience, sense, feeling, etc. (Well, there’s some debate about “subconscious” and related terms such “unconscious.”) None of this, however, leads to the conclusion that “mind” exists as such or that what we call mind is anything other than the product of material forces. Is it reducible to those forces? Even materialists disagree, with only a few, such as Paul Churchland, offering an unqualified yes.

  123. 123
    evo_materialist says:

    A short further point: I posted here originally because materialist views of mind were being caricatured without any reference or, as far as I can tell, understanding of the important figures in the field or the differences among them. So far, the responses have been silent on that point: kairosfocus in fact continues to paint with the broadest possible brush and cycling back to his usual themes.

  124. 124
    kairosfocus says:

    EM:

    First, congratulations on making a design inference based on organised, functional complexity. (Mind that gets you Expelled!)

    (Think about what such an inference means in relevant cases such as DNA, a code-bearing, algorithmically functional molecule in cell based life that starts at about 300,000 4-state elements, i.e a config space of some 9.94 *10^180,617, i.e it vastly exceeds the search capacity of the whole observed universe.]

    In the meanwhile, let’s get back to the main point:

    . . . echoing Richard Taylor, suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.

    Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    Now, how did you respond?

    ANS: By inferring that only design — presumably on overwhelming improbability of chance + necessity making sense much less making true sense out of rocks tumbling down a hill — could credibly account for such a configuration.

    In other words, you find it incredible (on overwhelming improbability) that chance + necessity acting without intelligent direction can arrive at functionally specified complex information. (Rightly so, BTW.)

    BUT “WE” DO THAT ALL THE TIME, WHEN WE WRITE, SPEAK, WORK READ ETC — even when we arrange rocks to spell out “WELCOME TO WALES.”

    So, just what is that “we” or “I” and just where does it come from?

    ANS: An intelligent agent, i.e. a mind with capacity to somehow — just how, admittedly, we know not — act into the world through our bodies [including brains, tongues and hands] so that one creates meaningful, complex and functional configurations of matter as part of one’s exercise of one’s mind. And, to know that is not vitiated by failing to know precisely how.

    At any rate, we have plainly arrived at properties that we experience, and which we know that it is incredible for chance + necessity to generate.

    So, we have very good reason to infer to an independent order of existence not driven by mechanical necessity + chance acting on matter and energy [the entities held by materialism to constitute reality]; to wit, the mind, as very traditionally understood.

    Worse, without credibly functioning minds — i.e minds not originating in, constituted and thus wholly controlled by chance + necessity acting on matter + energy — one can’t even credibly think materialistic thoughts.

    So, Richard Taylor’s little story has a point.

    GEM of TKI

  125. 125
    evo_materialist says:

    kairosfocus, I only inferred design because I know of human designers who can, and do, make patterns using rocks. I no of no designer or intelligent designing agency that preexists humanity and even, apparently, life on earth, so I have no reason to infer design in the absence of a credible designer. So, Taylor’s story has a point all right: to show the limits of his own reasoning.

  126. 126
    StephenB says:

    evo-materialist: The proof of mind consists in its ability to renounce the brains impulses. The “placebo” effect alone indicates the presence of a non-material mind. Self-control indicates the presence of a non-material mind; goal setting indicates the presence of a non-material mind; free will indicates the presence of a non-material mind. The brain is situated in a mechanistic world of necessary cause and effect, which means that it is a slave to the promptings of that world. Every time you liberate yourself from that world, you prove the existence of the mind.

    Yes, I know, some materialists think that something like a mind “emerged” from the brain and yet remains “grounded” in matter. This is another variety of the irrational nature of materialism that I have been complaining about. (“Its matter–wait its not matter”]. Straight out materialism, while irrational, is not that irrational.

  127. 127
    evo_materialist says:

    For “no of no” read “know of no,” of course.

  128. 128
    DLH says:

    evo_materialist at 125

    I have no reason to infer design in the absence of a credible designer.

    See Detecting Intelligence in the Movies
    If shown the monoliths in 2001: A Space Oddessy, how would you respond?
    With no “credible designer” on the horizon, do you infer law & chance?

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    EM:

    Briefly; before running off to the real world [I have a drive to reconfigure, on techie advice . . .], we have no good — non question begging — reason to infer that we are the only possible or actual intelligent agents.

    On the other hand, the fact that we are such indicates that agents are possible in the cosmos in which we live; and its convergently multidimensionally fine tuned organised complexity points strongly to extra-cosmic agency as the best explanation for the origin of the cosmos.

    And, as SB has underscored, we act with freedom to think, decide, communicate etc [the point of the WALES example]; we are not under the control of chance + necessity.

    That speaks strongly to the nature of mind as non-material, as it has such radically different properties and capabilities from matter and energy as moved by chance + necessity.

    GEM of TKI

  130. 130
    JunkyardTornado says:

    KF wrote: In the meanwhile, let’s get back to the main point:
    . . . echoing Richard Taylor, suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.
    Would you believe the apparent message, why?
    ——————
    What if you were travelling eastward through northern Louisiana and reached a river over a mile wide. Would you believe you were entering the state of Mississippi and why? Was the Mississippi river intelligently designed? Does it take a nonmaterial mind to decide to make a river the border for a state?

    What if a government truck were barrelling down the road with the back door inavertently open, and signs were occasionally falling out along the way, and one said “Welcome to Wales”. If you encountered this sign along the roadside would you believe it, and why?

    Is there some sort of inherent connection between intelligent design and the truth? What percentage of human writings are true? Do you believe “The God Delusion” because it was intelligently designed?

    What if a robot equipped with GPS followed public roadways like a roomba, and when it reached a border, checked the country, and then spelled out “Welcome to…” with rocks adding the appropriate name. Would you say this robot had a nonmaterial mind? Would you say it would take a nonmaterial mind to even conceive of such a robot or build it? Why?

    Just some random thoughts.

  131. 131
    evo_materialist says:

    kairosfocus,

    I have to run as well for today. I’ll just respond to this:

    we have no good — non question begging — reason to infer that we are the only possible or actual intelligent agents.

    Perhaps not. But to infer the existence of such unknown, non-human and non-human-like agents requires more, much more, than the reasons you’ve given. In other words, you’ve given no good reasons for someone to infer design many orders of magnitude different from our experience of design.

    But all of this is a distraction from the issue I raised above. StephenB can pound the table and cry “the mind is nonmaterial! it is!” as long as he wants, but that won’t make the picture of materialist philosophy of mind anything other than a cartoon. Still no engagement with significant people in the field: just a gesture toward the placebo effect.

  132. 132
    Frost122585 says:

    Evo-M,

    No, you say that you admit them but you don’t accept them in their totality. It doesn’t matter how you view nature whether that is reductionism as in all things are merely material matter in different form. I don’t accept this view because I think we have different forces at work that are novel within themselves. But take the materialist perspective- you have matter but as consciousness exists it has “form.” What accounts for this form? We say intelligence. Since intelligence requires consciousness to exist – that is we as conscious beings can design computers but they themselves are nothing without or conscious efforts- we can infer that the form of consciousness came from a higher nonmaterial conscious. Now we can say that consciousness in this world can be reduced to material but not without the caveat of appealing to a higher conscious, one that transcends material. I gave you the Kalam argument and the transcendent cause hypothesis or inference above as one way to reach the intuition that self referentiality brings forth about the nature of consciousness which is that it is more than matter.

    This is a discussion of form. We both have to admit that consciousness exists otherwise we cannot have a discussion on this topic. I have explained that its form requires law like processes that are in my view inextricably linked to a designing intelligence that to must be conscious by logical inferential necessity based upon what i know about the cause and effect structure of the world. The presently acting cause for intelligent systems that is FCSI owes its ultimate manifestation to consciousness via regress.

    I too am willing to make that claim about my own. You don’t have to but you have no standing to profess your belief system as fact. Ours is a much more powerful and solid employment of pure reason if i do say so myself. And I do.

  133. 133
    Frost122585 says:

    Evo-M, you clever fox,

    non-human-like agents

    I sense that you are either dishonestly or carelessly trying to fame this debate on your terms. No one said- nor are there any good reasons to suspect that any non-empirically detectible or corporeal being must be non-human like. On the contrary it is our own experience and self reference that leads us to our nature of the possible being and it is OUR design in the world that makes possible the design inference. We have very good philosophical grounding to suspect that the designer if we can detect it by its works- is to some extent “human like.” Otherwise our inference wouldn’t work. This is one of the obvious limitations and possible problems with ID. We can ONLY detect intelligence that acts as we ourselves understand intelligence to act. Luckily our experience based inference does turn up evidence for such a “human like” intelligence acting in the cosmos, and in particular biology. Whether its accurate or no we can not say at this time, nonetheless it exists.

    I have not framed ID in human terms. “I am framed” in human terms.

  134. 134
    StephenB says:

    EvoMaterialist: I have engaged the materialists and found them to be non rational. You assume too much. I have taken very complex arguments in favor of a philosophy of mind and distilled them to their bare essence. It is up to you, therefore, do to the same for your point of view. If you think these materialists, many of whom I have read, have something to say, then give me the essence of their argument. If you have something to say in favor of materialism, then say it.

    I didn’t “pound on the table,” I made my case. Here it is again: The proof of mind consists in its ability to renounce the brains impulses. If you have a counter case to make, then make it and stop complaining.

  135. 135
    Frost122585 says:

    Evo-M says,

    “None of this, however, leads to the conclusion that “mind” exists as such or that what we call mind is anything other than the product of material forces. Is it reducible to those forces? Even materialists disagree,…”

    I think this illuminates the inconsistency of your side. If you guys on the self declared “materialist side” cannot even come to grips with whether consciousness is reducible to material or not then where does that leave the rest of the nonbias world?- and people like myself who are biased towards a nonmaterial or transcendent reality/cause of/in nature?

    For your information if you dont think that consciousness can be reduced to material processes then you arent a materialist. Simple as that. A nonmaterial cause for consciousness is a powerful negation of the materialistic wolrd view.

  136. 136
    evo_materialist says:

    Hi Frost122585 [132]. Back from work. I don’t understand this:

    But take the materialist perspective- – you have matter but as consciousness exists it has “form.”

    I’m not sure who you’re quoting on “form,” but it’s not me — I only used the word to refer to different types of materialism. I certainly never described materialism in such a way, and I think it’s perplexing and not very helpful.

    But, ok, let me try to understand it. First, all of nature has form, so I’m not sure what you’re saying — are you suggesting that some kinds of matter are without form? Second, all thinking that we know of seems to take place in and through embodied beings. There is no scientific evidence of intelligences operating outside of bodies. Further, there is abundant scientific evidence that intelligence and consciousness (assuming for the take of argument that “consciousness” exists in some fashion) are at the mercy of material forces. From the first inklings of brain localization (in the case of Phineas Gage) to the tranformation of self under the ravages of Alzheimer’s, we have seen people waver, disappear, and reappear as material conditions change. The vast bulk of brain research confirms and elaborates this malleability.

    I agree that “self referentiality” has something to do with the nature of consciousness. One thinks of children learning to say “I” after they say “Baby” and “Kevin” and to speak of themselves as a subject of understanding. This has been widely investigated by psychologists. But if this produces — as it seems to in many, though not all children — a sense of transcendental self-importance, there’s no reason to think that such fantasies are true.

  137. 137
    evo_materialist says:

    Back from dinner, and continuing with Frost122585 [133]. Here you say:

    On the contrary it is our own experience and self reference that leads us to our nature of the possible being and it is OUR design in the world that makes possible the design inference. We have very good philosophical grounding to suspect that the designer if we can detect it by its works- is to some extent “human like.” Otherwise our inference wouldn’t work.

    Well, in the case of a biological or cosmological design inference, I think you’re on to something: namely, it doesn’t work. Certainly it doesn’t work as science. But your comment points toward a truth of human psychology: that we create God in our own image.

  138. 138
    Frost122585 says:

    I sent my post above by accident without proof reading or spell checking. I ask that it be removed. Here is a more readable version of the above post.

    In post 136, I am simply putting “form” in parenthesis for added significance.

    Further, there is abundant scientific evidence that intelligence and consciousness (assuming for the take of argument that “consciousness” exists in some fashion) are at the mercy of material forces.

    I disagree with the brain localization assertion. That is merely a case of stimulating “the effects” of consciousness not consciousness itself. Once again consciousness is something that only the individual can know of. That is we cannot know by looking at the person under the influence of the physical manipulation of the brain whether that person is conscious. A machine no less operates by outside manipulation but it is not conscious. The person being manipulated is conscious of their own actions/feelings but your example does nothing to reduce the experience of consciousness to material processes. All that example does is show that the hardware can be manipulated in such a way that conscious effects can be altered. But we don’t find or get to know consciousness by its effects- we know intelligence by its effects.

    All the brain experiments show is that human free will in the physical world is limited and can be manipulated. This is nothing of surprise if you ever played football you know that people’s bodies can be controlled and influenced by other bodies. This is the nature of the physical world but the internal experience of consciousness exists independent from this world. We have the ability to understand things that are nonexistent and reject things that are. The mind of Kurt Gödel pointed out that the human mind is more than machine because it can always move outside of any system or set when it is not being held under duress by other physical means. Leave the brain alone and it will function quite fine “on it’s own accord” without the physical interference.

    I never said that the mind could not be manipulated I said it wasn’t reducible to material. You can only witness this from our ability to mentally move around physical processes. We can, when not under physical duress, use the nonmaterial mind through the material brain to produce intelligent effects.

    On the contrary there is no evidence that purely material processes can do what the mind can. Once again you pretend not to understand what I mean by “form” but anyone with a brain knows the meaning of the world. Conciseness has a certain form (that is shape, quality, outline, significance, feeling, structure, teleology, feeling attached to it, uniqueness, symbolism that makes it’s definable etc) – in some senses it is quantitative in that it’s effects can be manipulated by varying degrees “in the physical” but in other cases it has a qualitative form which allows for the internal experiences we have that we don’t assume computers have.

    And so mind is not machine on any universally functional level, at least not in a logical, mathematical or physical sense. What the experiment you listed tries to call into doubt is free will but free will as the Heisenberg principle shows is a necessary ubiquitous law of nature and the fundamental back bone of QM. To argue against the uncertainty principle is nothing but to argue against the sky being blue. Any debate of this kind is pointless and one that I refuse to partake in for a multitude of reasons- one because the math and physics of the argument are too complex and don’t allow themselves for demonstration on a limited forum like this one.

    So yes all things have form of course- but it is the nature of that form that is always in question. We write in words but that is nothing unless we understanding the form of their meaning. I gave you the Kalam argument for transcendence I can also give you the negative argument against materialism as well…

    If form comes from “only” matter and laws and assuming that laws themselves count as material processes (which they don’t but we will give them too you anyway) than I ask you simply where do the secular laws come from? This is of course no different than the question I ask of the pitiful theory of DE regarding the fitness landscape which is somehow magically responsible for the evolution of species through NS and adaptation etc- “Where do we go to find the fitness landscape for the fitness landscape?” What evolved and facilitated the apparent design of the fitness landscape that you place all of the faith and mechanical explication of the theory?

    Eventually you are going to have to go outside the system to answer these questions even though we have already gone outside of materialism by implying the most needed and mysterious “laws of nature” to account for matter’s form.

    So please instead of dodging my question lets pick one topic and try to resolve it. I ask you again where does the form come form?

    Now in regards to post 137, You made a couple of “assertions” that were not nearly as well articulated or interrelated to the subject matter at hand as the conclusions I drew from my inductive “arguments.”

    I’m sure you love Freud- too bad he was wrong. I think that psychology does play a roll here though; namely yours, in that I wrote you several well thought out posts of decent length and the best you could do was to respond to them with 2 and a half nonsensical assertions that don’t apparently fallow from any existent premises.

    My quote that you used above points to the essence of ALL reasoning (“all” includes scientific) which begins with the nature of human condition- something I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume we both share. 🙂

    If design exists, and it does, it will by our own experiences with it and in particular its effects, that will have to form the template whereby we infer design in cases where a designer is not immediately evident. This works quite amazingly well. If you had ever taken a statistics class you would know this. But back to my point about psychology, that is yours, who’s choice to ignore the obvious thrust of my arguments says something about your aim and disposition in this little back and forth; namely, to dismiss the argument and repeat the mantra “ID is not science.” This is politics not science and certainly not rational debate. I wont continue wasting my time if you insist on posting any more lazy nonsense posts like your last. You’ll have to take your game up with some armature closer to your own level.

  139. 139
    StephenB says:

    Frost: we do not CONCEIVE design, we PERCEIVE it. Mortimer J. Adler corrected Kant’s egregious epistemological error. Read his articla, “Little Errors In The Beginning.” You can find it on the internet.

  140. 140
    evo_materialist says:

    Frost122585 [138], what a response! First you conflate materialism with reductionism. You also dismiss experiments out of hand (suggesting that no experiments will convince you), gesture vaguely toward the uncertainty principle (but you don’t want to talk about the math), mention somebody named Kalam (but you’ve given me no argument at all for transcendance), etc.

    With so much smoke in the room, it’s hard to see clearly. Recall that I started posting because people were talking about the mind with no understanding of the current debates. Your response shows that you don’t care to understand because they’re all the same “side” to you. As a point-by-point rebuttal is a losing proposition in such situations, my response will be selective.

    As I wrote earlier, there are few truly reductionist materialists among cognitive scientists. But you apparently think this is a weakness, as you earlier accused me of inconsistency [135]: “If you guys on the self declared “materialist side” cannot even come to grips with whether consciousness is reducible to material or not then where does that leave the rest of the nonbias [sic] world?” I’m sorry if such disagreement distresses you, but that’s what researchers do when they’re serious about working out problems rather than choosing “sides.”

    Speaking of inconsistency, here are two statement from you:

    1. “consciousness is something that only the individual can know of. That is we cannot know by looking at the person under the influence of the physical manipulation of the brain whether that person is conscious.”

    2. “A machine no less operates by outside manipulation but it is not conscious.”

    If you can only know your own consciousness, then you can not claim that a machine cannot be conscious. That’s the essence of the Turing test: if a machine convinces us that it’s conscious, we must grant consciousness to the machine.

    Your claim that “the internal experience of consciousness exists independent from this world” is without foundation, since we have no such experience whatsoever. Further, we have ample evidence that brain will not function “quite fine ‘on it’s [sic] own accord” — that’s why extended sensory deprivation leads to madness and amounts to torture.

    I think you’re trying to get to what the philosophers call qualia. I would not deny that qualia exist, and certainly it’s important to explore how they are known, function, and so forth. But simply insisting that they are transcendent isn’t evidence.

    I can’t make head nor tail of your discussion of form. Your final question means what, exactly? What is the referent of “form”? “The form” of what, exactly?

  141. 141
    StephenB says:

    evo-materialist: Materialism is irrational. The issue is monism vs. dualism. If we don’t assume metaphysical dualism, the entire rational enterprise collapses. Science is possible only under the following metaphysical conditions: [A] We have rational minds, [B] We live in a rational universe, and [C] There is a correspondence between the two. Without a non-material, rational mind, there is no tool with which to conduct the investigation; without the rational universe, there is nothing to investigate; without correspondence, the logic of the mind would not be synchronized with the logic of the universe. Unless [A] and [B] both exists, and unless the law of non-contradiction applies to both realms, rationality leaves the building.

    An ID inference occurs when a rational mind apprehends the detectable rational elements in the natural world. Darwinist monists reject the possibility of any such inference even before the investigation begins. Their monism forbids any such enterprise in principle. They insist that there is no such thing as a rational universe and no such thing as a rational mind. Both elements are conflated into one meaningless, monistic, materialistic jumble. The universe is limited to matter and the mind is reduced to “brain.” Why wouldn’t monist/Darwinists argue against a rational inference to the best explanation? They have already renounced the necessary conditions for rationality itself.

    Rationality requires a subject and an object or, if you like, an investigator and something to be investigated. You can’t reason your way to a destination if there is no place to go. Now all of this is independent from the problem of proving the existence of the mind. It simply points out that IF there are not two realms of existence, there is no rationality. That is why materialism is irrational.
    In addition to this point, we can, indeed, point out that any semblance of free will requires a mind independent of the brain. Every time you make a mental decision that reverses the brain’s impulses, you prove the existence of the mind. The “placebo” effect alone provides strong evidence of a mind. Conquering a bad habit indicates the existence of the mind. Changing your mind requires the existence of a non-material mind. Matter can’t reverse its own decisions or change its mind or reflect on itself. Like the materialistic realm of which it is a part, the mind is a total slave to the world of physical cause and effect. Only a faculty such as a non-material mind can extricate the individual from this mechanistic world and function as a means for using those very physical laws for its own purposes. Design, rationality, and free will are all part of the same package; take away any one of them, and the entire rational enterprise collapses. Materialism is irrational.

  142. 142
    Frost122585 says:

    Evo-M, nothing in your response to my postings is even reminiscent of an argument. The quotes work together fine and are logically sound. You need to go take logic. The first quote says only the individual can experience his or her own consciousness and therefore on by self reference can we know of it. I see no consciousness in a robot or computer I simply see pre programmed form. Human being’s form comes from Design, creation, the big bang or w/e but the ultimate form of the human being is not conceived of by us yet the robot or machine is. Therefore I see no evidence of consciousness and can only know consciousness by self reference and therefore think the machine does not have it. Can I be totally sure? Nothing is 100%, this is the problem of induction, but I have no reason to suspect other wise.

    Your claim that I did not give you the Kalam argument for transcendence is wrong as I did at the end of post 119.

    Here it is again in its modern form.

    Premise 1: Every event man has ever experienced has a preceding cause.

    Premise 2: Modern cosmology shows that there most likely was a first cause.

    Premise 3: Because we cannot conceive nor have experienced a first cause ever, one can infer that the first cause may have some nonmaterial cause or property which allows it to be the only exception to the rule. Since matter has laws and form related to it, and since complex form and laws are known to be arranged by intelligent minds the unique property of intelligence may have a role in the first cause of the big bang which then accounts for much of the form found din the universe.

    This is an obvious argument. Everything has a cause there was a first cause therefore it must have a cause, yet there is no evidence for a material one- so we postulate a nonmaterial one.

    It’s an argument. Its very convincing to me- if not to you I don’t really care. Reject it if you like- you have no proof for materialism accounting for all things and I admit I have no proof for consciousness transcending matter. Gödel showed you cant really prove anything anyways.

    You will respond to my cosmic transcendence argument by asking “what evidence do I have for there being a cause for the first known one?” And I will say “what evidence do you have against it?”- You will hen say that “absence of evidence is evidence of absence“- and I will say that “you have merely argued from the gaps by saying “we don’t know how this is so, so it must be only this”- the ONLY part is the fallacy and it can be applied to any mystery. Where did energy come from? It is must have just been there is not a good answer. We do know that it is a good theory that every other thing in the universe has a preceding cause and so the first cause is the one and only extreme exception. Statistically it is 1 out of what every number quantifies all events ever (ie the largest possible real number). So I ask you this “give me a materialistic explanation for how the first cause is isolated from all other events in the universe.” Jus to say that “it is” is not an explanation but merely repeating the fact- this doesn’t exclude the possibility that there is one of the reality of that fact that I have offered one- There is no explanation for this but I ask it anyway. On the other hand we could assume mind played a role in the shape and form of the universes construction but if so it would however have to be non materialistically interlinked with the physical first cause. Believe whatever reductionism or materialism you like- I will stick to experience; my own personal self referential ones and the others revealed by good ethical moral science which is the result of a comic order that can only be attributed to a cosmic nonmaterial mind.

    As regards uncertainty principle I assume neither of us is prepared to battle over that issue mathematically anyways. It wouldn’t get us anywhere either. The bottom line is that it proved that you will never be able to know the exact characteristic of any given event. There is no simultaneity in the universe and this when coupled with Einstein’s relativity proved a universe in constant flux. Dawkins and other types like him too have admitted as much. Therefore even materialism is at the mercy of cosmic uncertainty and order (ie form). Yes we can predict things and get better and closer at such – but in the end there is no hope for ultimate determinism- the universe is just simply not deterministic in its deepest core nature.

    Bottom line, science is ultimately about discovery in an orderly, moral and ethical process and ID will amount to this is fine magnitudes. In fact it has already done more for science then DE materialism ever will. Isaac Newton was an obsessed theist and produced the fundamentals of modern physicist and contributed much to arithmetic. Science stands on the shoulders of his work which he viewed as reading the mind of God. That is, he looked at physics from the stand perspective of trying to discover the “real” processes of “design” in nature. There will be more great things out of ID to come. Newton will forever live on but Darwin will one day be replaced and forgotten, his contributions to natural history left in the dust of obscurity replaced by a statistical quantum law like understanding of organization and complexity in nature which will reduce his mechanisms to insufficient, archaic and tribal like interpretations of life‘s development.– something which to people like myself, they all ready are.

  143. 143
    evo_materialist says:

    Frost, the term “Kalam argument” was unknown to me until this thread. In 119 you did not identify it as such. Retrospectively, in 132, you said you had given that argument. I looked for earlier reference to it by name and found none.

    Anyway, I went back to 119 and read the post again (only now identified as the Kalam argument). To me, 119 looks like a lot of woo-woo, and the later version looks like a restatement of Aristotle’s “unmoved mover.” Good for those who buy it, but entirely unnecessary to my life: I have no need of that hypothesis. Moreover, I have no evidence of such action beyond the physical universe affecting anything now. Finally, such actions are incapable of being scientifically tested — only conjectured where science ceases to be science and becomes metaphysics.

    I would have hoped that Ernst Mach and his tradition nailed down that coffin, but, zombie-like, metaphysical mumbo-jumbo keeps getting up and making trouble at the mall. This week it’s invading the multiplex in the ghoulish form of a Nixon speechwriter and eyedrop spokesman.

    As for inconsistency, it is this: you claimed that the only consciousness we can truly know is our own. If that is the case, then you can’t deny consciousness to others should they warrant it, even if those others are things like computers. I know no computers warrant it: but I’m saying you shouldn’t even deny it in principle, given the limitations of your direct experience of consciousness to your own case.

    StephenB [141], contra your assertions, materialist science does not assume that the universe is irrational. Rather, it asserts that the same material natural laws operate everywhere.

    The existence of free will is indeed a fascinating subject. Here again I tend to think we’re entering metaphysical territory and leaving science, and that the language used to frame the issue tends to be constraining.

    Of course, I could simply give up at the power of your logic. Think about it: thousands upon thousands of practicing scientists think that, by restricting their investigations to the material world, without recourse to metaphysics, they’re simply doing good science. Yet in a single blog comment you’ve shown the hollowness of their practice and reduced their work to absurdity. It’s a wonder anybody goes back to the lab.

  144. 144
    Frost122585 says:

    Evo- you keep dodging my question. Where do the laws of nature come from if not from mind. What is there origin?

  145. 145
    evo_materialist says:

    Frost, it seems much more plausible that the *mind comes from the actions of nature lrather than the other way round.

  146. 146
    Frost122585 says:

    Ah but again you did not answer the question.

  147. 147
    evo_materialist says:

    That’s because the question is not scientific.

  148. 148
    Frost122585 says:

    Of course, any question that you cant answer you say “thats not scientific.” Where do the laws come from? Not scientific. Where did matter come from? Not scientific. Which came first? Not scientific? Why are the laws the way they are and not other wise? Not sceintific.

    The only thing not sceintific in this discussion is your preferred ignorance.

    But let me give you the proper answer to my questions above.

    “You. Don’t. Know.”

    That’s because you have an unfounded bias against intelligent design a priori.

  149. 149
    evo_materialist says:

    Bingo. Yes, I don’t know. And there’s no way to know the answers to those questions by means of scientific testing. And so any answers I reach on those questions will be metaphysical speculation. Meanwhile, science gets by fine non-metaphysically and without the need for such abstractions.

  150. 150
    StephenB says:

    —–evo-materialist: “Bingo. Yes, I don’t know. And there’s no way to know the answers to those questions by means of scientific testing. And so any answers I reach on those questions will be metaphysical speculation. Meanwhile, science gets by fine non-metaphysically and without the need for such abstractions.”

    You are laboring under a great misconception. We know a great many things that are not arrived at by the scientific method. Further, all science depends on philsophical assumptions, the “the law of non-contradiction” being foremmost among them. Indeed, any conclusion that we arrive at through a deductive reasoning is more reliable than anything the scientific method can produce. That things do no cause themselves is obvious to all rational people.

  151. 151
    evo_materialist says:

    StephenB, of course you’re right that there are other ways of knowing. I would not deny that: in fact, I once had a long argument with hardcore reductionist Paul Churchland about precisely that issue. But I thought we were talking about things that can be known scientifically.

  152. 152
    Frost122585 says:

    Evo- at 149,

    You should go see Expelled and if you have an ounce of humanity in your body you’ll realize that science does not get along fine without metaphysics. It is completely blind at best. Also we have a scientific explanation for the complexity of life and possibly the laws. There is only one known acting cause of such things and that is intelligence. We have an explanation that you reject for no reason except out of bias. You have NO explanation at all. Excluding metaphysical explanations a priori is not scientific.

  153. 153
    evo_materialist says:

    Frost, even the very few positive reviews of Expelled have pointed out that it doesn’t make a case for ID. So I have no desire to see it.

    Stephen, deductive reasoning can make no progress, as it only formalizes what’s contained in its premises. I’ll stick with the limitations of the scientific method, thanks.

  154. 154
    Frost122585 says:

    I dont know why you would want to see a move that makes a case for ID when you rule out the possbility a priori.

  155. 155
    Frost122585 says:

    And the movie was excellent. Especially compared to most of the other unintelligent garbage out there. But you wont give it any credit at all most e. That is because you are “bias” against ID just like a racist is bigoted against people of color. You point that ID is not scientific does not address the point that if others disagree with you then why not let them have a say in the process. ID has in the past lead to discover. The laws of physics that were mostly the result of the super genius of sir Isaac Newton was the result in large part of Newton’s belief that he was discovering God’s laws- that they were the product of mind, mean tot be discovered and therefore were comprehensible. When one thinks the world does have things in it that are “meant to” and “can be” discovered it is far more motivating. This is true of al things in life. If no one had ever broken 80 in golf before one struggling to do so might easily loose hope. But since a lot of people do usually after long and hard practice and work, we know that if we keep trying there is a good chance for success. Likewise with ID we don’t know if more laws and such are discovered- and as you pointed out we don’t know where they come from but we can assume from the ID perspective that there is a good chance that they are out there and are comprehensible. DE offers no such hope. It relies totally on one’s personal desire and convenience to keep trying to solve a problem that they have no reason to suspect there is any solution to. How inspiring.

    These are the facts of life.

  156. 156
    evo_materialist says:

    Frost, how kind of you to compare me to a racist. Nice. No wonder you don’t find the holocaust hyperbole of the Expelled crowd offensive.

    I’m not biased against people who hold to ID (or for that matter creationists), some of whom are friends and family. I am biased against ID as a theory and an explanation, because it’s neither.

  157. 157
    Frost122585 says:

    You say the origins of the laws of nature isn’t science. I say it is because its a question with important implications and only minds have been shown to produce laws. I think we therefore have the scientific explanation for such.

    No I don’t find the hyperbole of the Expelled movie offensive and neither do you. Your just using this issue to drive an emotion wedge between the obvious connection between there being no purpose to life – no nature intrinsic value of life planned into nature (which is not proven and I think is false) and the theory of DE which puts all of its weight on unguided natural processes and natural selection. Hitler wanted to kill off all of the disabled, gypsies, Jews etc because they were in his view less fit. The connection is perfectly clear to anyone who saw the film and whether its offensive or not is in my opinion not nearly as important as getting the much overlooked point across. While DE is insufficient, morally bankrupted, and hopeless, ID is the opposite of these three. That coupled with its evidence is why I support it and why I think many people will in the future.

    Poeple say its not scientific but it does cast doubts on various Dariwnian claims and therefore produces scientific tests which can either disprove it or add evidence to its assertions. The “it’s not science” stuff is IMOP a patent lie and nothing more than a mantra. It’s no wonder your posts either simply dissent from my view by professing your own “belief” or focus on a personal qualitative statement I make about the character of your posts as above. You have made it very clear that you aren’t interested to speaking to the arguments I posted above in all of my lengthy posts.

    I don’t think we have anyhting more to talk about. I’ll stick with my Design Inference and you can have your incredulity. Time will have the final say and sort it all out.

  158. 158
    Frost122585 says:

    KF asked me to post this for him-

    Participants (and Onlookers) – with thanks to Frosty:

    It is time to put the above in context, especially in light of the underlying repeated ducking of actually dealing squarely with serious issues, e.g the plain implications of the WELCOME TO WALES example – cf. my remarks from 112 on and then DK at 114, EM at 120 and JT at 130. When a point is so strongly ducked by several advocates of an opposed position, it can be taken as well made.

    So, let us now take up a look from another angle, in light of context.

    Contextimposed evolutionary materialism . . .

    This is not a surprise – after all, we are in an age where there are many who try to re-define science – in the teeth of history and philosophical issues – as in effect the best evolutionary materialistic account of the cosmos from hydrogen to humans, usually disguised nowadays under terms like “natural explanations” or “methodological naturalism.” It boils down to only “allowing” explanations that fit in well with evolutionary materialism. Censorship, in one word.

    No more is this more blatantly evident than in what is now often called cognitive science – the “scientific” study of the mind and its operations. So, let’s start there:

    Cognitive “Science” — the hard question, massively begged . . .

    Ned Block’s article on phil issues connected to cognitive science — recall, as Lakatos informs us, phil issues are embedded in the core of scientific research programmes — for the Enc of Cognitive Science [MIT?] is all too emblematic of the problem:

    The Hard Problem of consciousness is how to explain a state of consciousness in terms of its neurological basis . . . . There are many perspectives on the Hard Problem but I will mention only the four that comport with a naturalistic framework . . . . Eliminativism . . . . Philosophical Reductionism or Deflationism . . . . Phenomenal Realism, or Inflationism . . . . Dualistic Naturalism

    a –> Note, how the materialistic perspective is imposed, right from the outset, via the presented definition of the problem: explain[ing] a state of consciousness in terms of its neurological basis. So, any explanation that does not set out to in effect account for consciousness on the basis of neurons and their electrochemistry or the like is excluded from the outset.

    b –> Block then sets out to look at four “naturalistic” alternatives: [1] the view that “consciousness as understood above simply does not exist,” [2] allowing that “consciousness exists, but they ‘deflate’ this commitment—again on philosophical grounds—taking it to amount to less than meets the eye,” [3] the view that in effect consciousness emerges from but is not reducible to neurological activity [a comparison is made to how heat as a concept may be explained as tracing physically to thermal agitation of molecules, but is conceptually different], [4] views that “standard materialism is false but that there are naturalistic alternatives to Cartesian dualism such as pan-psychism.”

    c –> What is never on the table is the key issue that the design inference points to: we know, immemorial, that there are three major causal factors, chance, necessity, intelligence. Necessity is associated with mechanical regularities [e.g. how heavy objects fall and come to rest on a table], so is not associated with highly contingent outcomes. Contingency [e.g. which face of a die, having fallen to and settled on a table is uppermost] traces to chance or agency. When we have functionally specified, complex information, we have a situation that in observation and on grounds of inadequacy of required search resources, reliably traces to intelligence, not chance.

    d –> Indeed, when EM finally did say something about the WALES example, he inferred to intelligent action on the grounds that he could not reasonably expect such an outcome to happen by chance and necessity, as did JT. Of course, EM also tried to insist that we know relevant agents are about, to constrict the possibility for making a wider inference to agent action. In so doing he both let the cat out of the bag that should have had a piglet in it, and opened himself up to the counter that we have no good reason to assume or imply that humans constitute the only possible or actual intelligent agents.

    e –> So, we see clearly that there is a characteristic and even routine sign of intelligence: FSCI, which — per want of search resources — is beyond the reasonable reach of chance on the gamut of our observed cosmos, and which is marked by high contingency, thus does not fit the known characteristic of mechanical necessity summarised in laws of nature: natural regularities.

    f –> That means that attempted reductions or explanations in light of neural networks and their electrochemistry etc is doomed to failure. An apt example of why can be found in Phil Johnson’s response to Sir Francis Crick’s claim to reduce consciousness etc to neuronal activity in his The Astonishing Hypothesis. For, to be consistent, Crick should be willing to preface each of his writings: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Johnson then aptly comments that “[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.”

    g –> In short, the whole evo mat project – precisely because of its monistic attempt to reduce the cosmos and its contents to matter + energy acted on by chance + necessity across space and time — grinds to a halt in the face of the self referential incoherence I highlighted at 49 above.

    h –> Thus, options 1 and 2 fall apart directly, and 3 and 4 boil down to defiantly flying the materialistic flag in the teeth of consistent explanatory failure. But the failure is not just a matter to be fobbed off with a promissory note or two on future deliverances of “Science,” it is inherent in the redefinition of what science is and tries to do. For, the exclusion of intelligence ends up in both question-begging and in self referential incoherence. The explanations cannot even explain the works of the researchers themselves.

    i –> This brings us right back to the force of the WALES example:

    suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.

    Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    j –> ANS: IF one believes that rocks sliding down a hillside at random just happened to line up in accord with the abocve sentence in English, THEN one would have no good reason to accept that the result is likely to have any reasonable or accurate reference to empirically observable reality. For, chance + necessity are about what is by accident of boundary conditions and/or the undirected forces of nature. Irrelevant attempted dismissals notwithstanding.

    k –> So [a] the overwhelming majority of outcomes will not be in accord with any functionally specified outcome as described, and [b] if we do see such an outcome, we have no reason to believe that the chance + necessity will reliably connect to the empirical realities of the situation. Apparent messages are logically possible based on chance + necessity, but when such a potential sufficiently complex and functionally specified, even were we to see it – admittedly, maximally unlikely – we have no grounds for accepting it as factually or logically well grounded.

    l –> And that is precisely why EM above struggled so hard with the little thought experiment. For, he knows that complex, functionally organised information such as apparent messages, reliably trace to mind, and that mind has capabilities that do not credibly trace to chance + necessity acting on matter + energy. In short, we have strong empirically based reason to see that with mind as viewed through the characteristics of its traces, we are dealing with something that points beyond the world of matter + energy acted on by forces tracing to chance + necessity only.

    So, let us call on the denizens of the evo mat cave of manipulative shadow shows: “step into the sunshine, and step out of the shade . . .”

    GEM of TKI

    PS: This reworks and replaces comments submitted earlier that did not make it through the mod filter for one reason or another, as also happened to short test submissions.

  159. 159
    evo_materialist says:

    kairosfocus, you have grossly overstated how hard I “struggled.” The WELCOME TO WALES case was poorly stated and a bad analogy. I struggled only with responding in a way that did not waste your valuable time or mine. I know you’re quite pleased with the case, as you keep coming back to it, but my response was quite adequate to the quality of the case.

    I have “ducked” nothing. In fact, I would say that others have ducked plenty. My initial post in this forum was to suggest that people against materialist theories of mind learn a little of what they’re talking about by reading the major figures in the field. So far, nobody seems to have taken me up on that.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    Re EM:

    GEM at 112 above:

    suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES.

    Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    That should be enough to show the difference between mind and blind chance + necessity acting on matter + energy across space and time.

    EM, 114:

    What? Would I believe I was in Wales if I also believed the rocks spelled out WELCOME TO WALES by chance? What a silly question! I would have no reason to hold such a belief, because I know that people — intelligent agents of which I have first-hand knowledge — arrange rocks all the time. I’ve seen them do it. I’ve even done it myself. So as a Gedankenexperiment it’s pretty weak.

    GEM, 124:

    First, congratulations on making a design inference based on organised, functional complexity . . . . let’s get back to the main point: [The WALES example]

    Now, how did you respond?

    ANS: By inferring that only design — presumably on overwhelming improbability of chance + necessity making sense much less making true sense out of rocks tumbling down a hill — could credibly account for such a configuration.

    In other words, you find it incredible (on overwhelming improbability) that chance + necessity acting without intelligent direction can arrive at functionally specified complex information. (Rightly so, BTW.)

    EM, 159:

    you have grossly overstated how hard I “struggled.” The WELCOME TO WALES case was poorly stated and a bad analogy.

    It is easy to see that EM was unable to address the case on its terms, so he tried to proposed a restriced inference to design.

    That ran into two problems, [1] he was using FSCI to infer to design, in a context where he has no good grounds for claiming that humans exhaust teh set of actual or possible intelligent agents, [2] he implies that chance + necessity are unable to achieve a sense-making, relevant and even reliable message.

    In short, he has implied that chance + necessity acting on matter + energy cannot credibly account for the properties of mind, at least on the gamut of the observed universe; not least because of the search space problem.

    As to the onward appeal to authority, EM has to address the problem of censoring science to evolutionary materialism, based on the just noted challenge.

    Otherwise what we are seeing is not an empirically anchored search for t5he truth about the observed world, but an attempt to find the best evolutionary materialist explanation of the cosmos from hydrogen to humans.

    That is, science is held hostage to worldview, agenda and ideology, by begging the question from the outset. [And, in that context, kindly note that I cited from a relevant, more or less standard reference.]

    Let us step into the sunshine, stepping out of the evo mat cave of shadow shows.

    GEM of TKI

  161. 161
    Daniel King says:

    Good work, evo-materialist. Your erudition and patience are exemplary.

    Ain’t seen no evidence that “mind” is a substance separable from the activity of a brain…yet.

    The appearance of that evidence seems to have been delayed by a confusion on the part of the metaphysicians here about the difference between evidence and argument. But that is autochthonous to the species, is it not?.

  162. 162
    Daniel King says:

    Here’s a thought experiment (Gedankenexperiment) for kf:

    Separate your “mind” from your body and explore the universe. Fly as high and as far and as long as you like.

    Of course you won’t be able to see anything, because you left your visual apparatus behind. Ditto for hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing heat or cold or touch or pain, etc., etc.

    Did you experience anything?

  163. 163
    evo_materialist says:

    kairosfocus, the references you provide seem wrong — 114 is Daniel King, not me.

    Anyway, one more time:

    One reason the WELCOME TO WALES hypothetical is silly is that I have to “believe [the rocks] were pushed there by chance and necessity only.” It’s therefore absurd, since I don’t believe chance messages. Now, would I believe the message if I thought it were put together by humans? Depends: if I were on a train to Wales, maybe. If I were on a train to Philadelphia, probably not. It’s a loaded, pointless example. Futher, it points to an kind of design that is well within our experience of human design, as the cosmos, life, etc. are not. I would need much more than the form of a thing to infer design in those instances. I would need other evidence that a plausible designer may exist.

    Back to the silly example. Maybe it’s not spelling “Welcome to Wales.” Maybe I just see the pattern, like an animal in a constellation, because I have wanted to visit Wales since childhood and dream of Wales nightly. Messages can be awfully subjective. Let’s I saw the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich, or Jesus on the trunk of a silver maple. Have I made a design inference? If so, I’d call that a false positive.

    All of this yet again has zero to do with my plea for a little understanding of the philosophy of mind upthread. And again, my plea continues to have no effect.

  164. 164
    StephenB says:

    —-evo-materialist: “StephenB, of course you’re right that there are other ways of knowing. I would not deny that: in fact, I once had a long argument with hardcore reductionist Paul Churchland about precisely that issue. But I thought we were talking about things that can be known scientifically.”

    I appreciate hearing from you on this, because, my approach has been different that KF’s, though I do agree with his points. So, yes your instincts are correct. While I like the scientific arguments, I like the philsophical arguments much better, and those are the ones that I am appealing to. My argument is clean and quick.

    The issue is monism vs. dualism. If we don’t assume metaphysical dualism, the entire rational enterprise collapses. Science is possible only under the following metaphysical conditions: [A] We have rational minds and [B] We live in a rational universe. Without a rational mind, there is no tool with which to conduct the investigation; without the rational universe, there is nothing to investigate.

    Put another way, rationality requires a subject and an object or, if you like, an investigator and something to be investigated. One cannot reason his way to a destination if there is no place to go. In effect, monism is too restricted, because it acknowledges only on realm. If monism is true, something essential for rationality will be missing, because one of two situations will be the case: Either 1) everything in the universe is an object with no subject to apprehend it; or 2) everything is a subject with no object to apprehend. What happens is this: materialists posit monism, but each time they reason they unconsciously assume dualism. That is because dualism is the necessary condition for rationality.

  165. 165
  166. 166
    evo_materialist says:

    StephenB, you won’t be surprised that I disagree. It may be that, to the extent I care about philosophy, I come from a different philosophical tradition. I certainly don’t agree with you about dualism, since “subject” and “object” seem much more likely to be constructed historically than not. They’re real now, of course, in the sense that we (usually) either experience our world in such terms or talk about our experience as though it conformed to such terms. But they’re not necessarily pre-existing. The world happens to have gotten carved up that way, for (most of) us, now. It could have been carved up a number of other ways.

    But dualism has plenty of problems too. When I referred to other ways of knowing, I was thinking not of philosophy but of love, interpersonal relationships, poetry, art, music. My relation to dualism can be expressed in these lines by Jack Spicer:

    When I praise the sun or any bronze god derived from it
    Don’t think I wouldn’t rather praise the very tall blond boy
    Who ate all of my potato-chips at the Red Lizard.
    It’s just that I won’t see him when I open my eyes
    And I will see the sun.
    Things like the sun are always there when the eyes are open
    Insistent as breath.
    One can only worship
    These cold eternals for their support of
    What is absolutely temporary.

    And later:

    The voice sounds blond, sounds tall, sounds blond and tall.
    “Goodbye from us in spiritland, from sweet Platonic spiritland,
    You can’t see us in spiritland, and we can’t see at all.”

    That’s my view of dualism.

  167. 167
    StephenB says:

    evo-materialist: the investigator does not socially construct the investigation. There is either something there to investigate or there is not. This is the standard for rationality and your materialism is at odds with it. As a materialist/monist, you must think of the investigator and the investigation as being of one and the same substance. As a practical matter, you understand that the investigator and the investigation are different substances. Thus, you believe in one philosophy, but you practice another. That is not rational.

  168. 168
    evo_materialist says:

    StephenB, my earlier comment apparently got lost in the jam over the last few days. Now that comments are appearing again, I’ll simply say this: there are many philosophical and other traditions that do not hold to your view of dualism. I don’t have the time or inclination to bring you up to speed on this, but there it is. What’s more, I think most self-respecting dualists would cringe at your facile dismissal of all non-dualist perspectives as irrational. “Different substances” indeed.

  169. 169
    StephenB says:

    evo-materialist: If you understand the subject, you will not need to appeal to the other traditions, you will simply make you case. So make it. How do you conduct an investigation if the investigation is the investigator?

  170. 170
    evo_materialist says:

    StephenB, I never said “the investigation is the investigator” — that was your coinage, as is the use of Platonic “substance” to infer dualism. What, is the next step to go Aristotle on me and talk about essence and accident?

  171. 171
    kairosfocus says:

    Okay . . .

    Let’s see if this has been fixed after a week . . .

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I have added an appendix, no 6, to my always linked, on the core issue at stake in this thread.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    Yay!

    Okay, here is a long-standing response:

    ____________

    First and foremost, let us observe, again, how — even after I have now several times pointed out the logical structure of the WALES example — neither EM nor DK have been able to answer it on its terms.

    A few corrective- for- the- record remarks are in order, but the thread above already makes it quite plain that evolutionary materialist adherents are unable to account for the origin of a credible mind within the terms of their system of thought. That is, their whole system of thought is on the evidence of this and earlier threads, arguably self-referentially incoherent as a worldview.

    Nor – per red herrings and strawman arguments just above — can they face the implications of the sort of question-begging redefinition of science at the outset that came out in the Enc of Cognitive Science article I cited above. Sadly, that turns far too much of the sort of professional level exposition EM wants us to all peruse, into erudite elaboration on a cracked foundation: a worldview-level question-begging claim rooted in a historically and philosophically unjustifiable attempt to redefine science away from being an empirically anchored search for the truth about our world, into little more than applied evolutionary materialist philosophy repackaged under the prestigious name, “Science.” [If that echoses of Paul’s “Science . . .” — gnosis — “knowledge” –“. . . falsely so called,” that, sadly, is no accident.]

    Okay, on a few selective points:

    1] EM, 163: 114 is Daniel King, not me

    My mistake was simply in the numbering, I cited 120, accurately – from EM.

    I then responded to it, pointing out that the basic problem is that EM has ducked the issue by trying to deny the antecedent in the Wales example:

    . . . echoing Richard Taylor, suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES. Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    But when he said:

    Would I believe I was in Wales if I also believed the rocks spelled out WELCOME TO WALES by chance? What a silly question! I would have no reason to hold such a belief, because I know that people — intelligent agents of which I have first-hand knowledge — arrange rocks all the time. I’ve seen them do it. I’ve even done it myself . . .

    . . . all he succeeded in is showing just how well-warranted the design inference on functionally specified complex information is; especially since we have no good reason to infer that humans exhaust the list of possible or actual intelligent agents. Thus, we see we have excellent, empirically anchored reason to infer to agent action per FSCI etc as reliable signs of intelligence.

    But in fact – and as I have repeatedly noted here and elsewhere – it is strictly logically and physically possible for rocks rolling down a hillside by chance to spell out WELCOME TO WALES. Just, per overwhelming improbability, due to the vastly more common non-functional configurations, utterly unlikely to happen. The focus on this case was on the unlikely becoming actual: per chance + necessity acting on matter + energy, an apparent message. Would such a message-by-chance [and rocks arranged by humans next to a railroad in Pennsylvania are irrelevant!] be credible?

    Obviously not: for cause-effect tracing to mechanical necessity + chance happenstance has no good correlation to ground-consequent and warrant. And, therein lieth revealed the core gap in the evo mat account of the mind, for it claims that chance + necessity acting on matter + energy gave rise to the machines, algorithms and codes of life, thence to the diversification up to and including man with mind. So, chance + necessity controls all, and accounts in principle for all. That brings us right back to the point cited in 49; kindly scroll up for details or hit this link to an earlier thread.

    Easy to divert attention from, a lot harder to answer to on the merits.

    Not to mention, at length in 163, EM said:

    2] 163: One reason the WELCOME TO WALES hypothetical is silly is that I have to “believe [the rocks] were pushed there by chance and necessity only.” It’s therefore absurd, since I don’t believe chance messages.

    In short, EM has — while trying to deflect and dismiss the force of the Wales example — inadvertently conceded the point: apparent messages originating in chance-driven processes are not credible. Now, since the mechanical necessity only accounts for the low contingency natural regularities, the alternatives for the high contingency part showing up in the arrangement are: chance or intelligence. [Cf: (a) how a die sits on a table — NR; and, (b) which side is uppermost — chance or intelligence.]

    Next, EM rejects the possibility of chance giving rise to the apparent message, and thus its reference to empirical reality. [NB: I actually only hold the weaker, thermodynamics rooted, empirically anchored point that such apparent messages — per the dynamics of configuration spaces — are highly improbable once the apparent messages are sufficiently complex. Dembski’s UPB is a metric of just such “complex enough.” And BTW, as a glance at the clouds or irregularly cracked concrete pavement or pitch pine panelling etc will show, so long as there are lobate lines and blobs in a medium, our pattern recognition capability will see faces and bodily shapes of men and beasts. The FSCI is in that in-built pattern recognition software, not in the common shapes that may trigger it whimsically. So, the answer tot he Virgin in a slice of toast etc examples is: where did the irreducibly complex framework of coding, algorithms and implementing machinery etc come from in our brains, per CV + NS etc, all the way back to the underlying origin of cell-based life?]

    So, we see that chance + necessity are plainly inadequate to explain functionally specified, complex information. But, the deliverances of minds are replete with just that FSCI – well beyond the UPB, i.e what it is reasonable that chance + necessity could do on the gamut of the observed cosmos. Therefore, given EM’s “I don’t believe chance messages“, where did this come from: surely, not chance + necessity acting on matter plus energy across the space and time of the observed cosmos?

    And, if resort is then made to the speculation that there is a quasi-infinite array of cosmi giving many opportunities for chance + necessity to work, and we just happen to inhabit the one that lucked out, that is philosophy, not empirically anchored science.

    Indeed, it is metaphysics of the worst kind: unobserved, probably unobservable, and ad hoc.

    Extracosmic Mind as the explanation of mind as we experience it, and indeed of the complex, finetuned and multidimensionally convergent life-facilitating physics of matter and energy in our observed cosmos, then makes a lot better sense, relative to the key issues of comparative difficulties: factual adequacy, coherence, explanatory power.

    Once we take question-begging out of the picture and see Mind as seriously on the cards for explaining the existence of the FSCI-rich physical cosmos, it is not surprising at all to then see that our derivative minds are rational, able to understand, and able to act into a world made by Mind, starting with being able to act on our own brains, bodies, sense organs and effectors [hands, tongues, etc].

    [ . . . ]

  173. 173
    kairosfocus says:

    3] All of this yet again has zero to do with my plea for a little understanding of the philosophy of mind upthread. And again, my plea continues to have no effect.

    This, from a man who has failed to address the presentation of an actual excerpt from and link to a key article in the enc of cog sci on the hard problem as they see it, and the exposed question-begging and explanatory failures that trace thereto.

    Just cf 158 for details.

    Sorry, the problem is that we DO understand the phil that is being embedded in the foundation of the sci – worldview level evolutionary materialist question-begging. So, again, we have excellent reason to conclude that the complex theorising that follows – sadly — is little more than erudite elaboration on a fatally flawed foundation. No wonder it becomes a “hard problem.” Indeed, self-referential absurdity lurks therein: materialists have to use their minds to infer to evolutionary materialism, and within their materialism have no good grounds to truth the deliverances of said minds.

    4] DK, 162: Separate your “mind” from your body and explore the universe. Fly as high and as far and as long as you like. Of course you won’t be able to see anything, because you left your visual apparatus behind. Ditto for hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing heat or cold or touch or pain, etc., etc.

    See the problems of [a] diversion from the issue as put in the WALES example, [b] embedding of materialistic assumptions, [c] resulting self-referential absurdity? Not to mention, [d] DK, have you shown that it is it logically and physically impossible that pure mind may be able to perceive and act into external reality in the physical world by mechanisms we do not currently understand, starting with the possible origin of the observed, life-facilitating, multidimensionally and convergently fine-tuned physical cosmos by Mind? (Otherwise your thought experiment challenge comes down to little more than question-begging.)

    FYFI, DK, Kant was there long before you.

    We hold and filter our perceptions through our sense organs and associated internal “software,” forming the phenomenal world as opposed to the noumenal world of things in themselves. Multiply by the embedding of such organs and synapses etc in brains that are on evo mat assumptions originated, driven and controlled by chance + necessity acting on matter + energy. Such a dynamic, however, has no reliable correlation to [a] the logic of ground-consequent, or [b] the truth of reference of concept to reality, or [c] the possibility of free and reasonasble action of an agent into the world using brain, hands, tongue etc. And, the Wales example simply underscores just this point.

    You have an umbridgeable chasm between the noumenal and phenomenal, one that resists even appeal to empirical observation, as the empirical is filtered through the same suspect system.

    Wheel, and tun, and come again . . .

    5] DK, 161: Ain’t seen no evidence that “mind” is a substance separable from the activity of a brain…yet.

    Onlookers, let’s see: evidence that chance + necessity acting on matter + energy cannot credibly account for accurate or reasonable information and the reason that sometimes marks our internal lives is not “evidence”? Thence, the observation that intelligence in action and its signs — which BTW are the most central of our experiences [i.e. we are CONSCIOUS OF and ACT INTO the external world through our . . . minds in action . . .] — has radically different properties not accountable for on the basis of such C + N etc, is not “evidence”?

    Ah, DK is sticking out for the old: I gotta see this with my own eyes and feel with my own fingers route. Oops, DK: HOW, on evo mat premises, do you convert physico-chemical impulses in your own eyes and hands and electrochemistry of neuronal impulses into seeing, feeling and understanding with your mind – without self referential absurdity tracing to the sort of error made by Sir Francis Crick as previously cited, or simply and plainly begging the question?

    Namely:

    FK, The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994: “ ‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.”

    PJ, Reason in the Balance, 1995: Observes that Sir Francis should be willing to preface his writings thusly: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” In short, “[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.”

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Ona personal note, this morning, I go sit in a hot seat on energy, 9:30 am EDC time, ZJB

  174. 174
    Frost122585 says:

    Good luck bro.

  175. 175
    Megan.Alavi says:

    kairosfocus

    evolutionary materialist adherents are unable to account for the origin of a credible mind within the terms of their system of thought.

    I find this fasincating. Could you tell me what your credible account of the origin of mind is please?

    Also from your always linked I you say

    underscoring that neither evolutionary materialist school of thought on origin of life has a credible, robust chance + necessity only model for the origin of the FSCI in life:

    Presumably you have a credible robust model for the origin of the FSCI in life? What is is please?

    Also as your position, as far as I can tell, is that chance + necessity cannot account for the complexity found in biological life.

    Kairosfocus, at this point I think it would be worthwhile to find out what you think chance + necessity can accomplish. Anything? What level of complexity can chance + necessity alone create?

    I’m reading your always linked now, but coud you tell me what units FSCI is measured in? And you go to alot of trouble to define it in your always linked but I don’t see any examples of you working of the value of FSCI for both a negative (I.E a naturally created item) and a positive (I.E A bac-flag). Is that possible? It would help illustrate the main point of the dicussion, for me anyway.

  176. 176
    Megan.Alavi says:

    kairosfocus,
    I think the problem people are having with your “Welcome to Wales” example is that sure, it’s unlikely that a bunch of rocks will spell out such a message. However, I don’t believe that anybody is claiming the same for biological life. Nobody is saying that “this complex message (cell) randomly assembed from parts (rocks) lying about”

    Perhaps your rock example could better be reworked as something like rocks rolling down a hill but there is a mechanism at the bottom of the hill that rejects rocks based on a given set of criteria. So if the message “Welcome to Wales” has as it’s analogue in this new system “Optimised for the enviroment” then rocks that fail to meet this criteria (or within a given tolerance) are rejected. Over time rocks that meet the criteria build up the message. Where is the “selection” in your example? To use such an example and try to avoid selection (as it’s a critical component of Evilution) simply misleads the less educated reader into thinking your example actually has some relevance to the real world.

    my 2c.

  177. 177
    Frost122585 says:

    Meg, the problem with your anology is where does the origin of the rejection mechinism come from? Evolution is perfectly compatible with ID but you still need ID for the evolution or rock rejecter to climb mount improbable. What you are referring to is the “exogenous” factors. They are necessary for any evolutionary theory to work but still not enogh if you dont have rocks in the first place and vise versa. Both require assembledge instructions which easily imply mind and hence ID.

  178. 178
    Megan.Alavi says:

    Meg, the problem with your anology is where does the origin of the rejection mechinism come from?

    Where does the intelligent designer come from? 🙂 OK, no not really, the rejection mechinsm comes from the nature of reality. Some things survive and some things don’e (they are “rejected”). The things that survive propogate.

    Evolution is perfectly compatible with ID but you still need ID for the evolution or rock rejecter to climb mount improbable.

    Of course. However the issue I have is that on one side you have a mechanism that has been explored and documented in detail (step by step micro-evolution leading to macro evolution) and on the other side we appear to have “some features of the universe are best explained by intelligent agency”. Sure, I accept that ID cannot tell us about the designer as such, but then what hope of explaining the origin of complexity?

    What you are referring to is the “exogenous” factors.

    Indeed. What are the “exogenous” factors around the designer?

    They are necessary for any evolutionary theory to work but still not enogh if you dont have rocks in the first place and vise versa.

    Presumably this refers to the origin of life problem? Frost, what came first, the Chicken or the Egg? Does the fact that the designer created life have bearing on what came first? Chicken or Egg?

    Both require assembledge instructions which easily imply mind and hence ID.

    Lay observations and thinking imply the sun orbits the earth. Imply is not proven. I remain unconvinced by this line of argument.

  179. 179
    Frost122585 says:

    Everything comes from the nature of reality that doesn’t explain why the form of something is one way vs another. This is not an answer because it can be applied to anything and tells us nothing in regards to purpose. But in the cell an din DNA and fine tuning we have positive evidence for design. A mind though does have the dialectical power to choose and form. Either way you need mind because that is the only thing we know of that can design form. Since nature cannot be shown to “pick itself” because the first cause of the universe is not known in property or in conceptual form I have to reject a materialistic cause that is not intelligent. And obviously I posit that mind transcends matter from the inference of the Kalam argument that all things that come into being have a cause – the universe came into being as the big bang has strongly solidified and hence the universe has a cause that as far as I can tell must have been non-material as the current models hold.

    I remain “convinced” of a nonmaterial mind.

    Now run along.

  180. 180
    Megan.Alavi says:

    If “time” did not exist before the big bang then “before” is of little use. In any case there is significant debate on the “big bang”. Some folks think it was simply the latest in a series of bangs. And in that case there is no “coming into being” as it was always there.

    Either way you need mind because that is the only thing we know of that can design form.

    Termites “design” complex structures, even to the extent that they are air-conditioned. Is that the sort of mind you had in mind?

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    Frosty & Megan:

    First Frosty, thanks — I will need the odd prayer or two as I pick up five smooth stones and walk with a sling IN my hand. (Ole big G didn’t see the sling . . . till it was too late!)

    Off back to sleep after trying to figure out why my HP PC keeps dumping my HP printer under Vista. [Oh well, maybe that’s the problem . . .]

    But, as I was shutting off saw the above at UD. Sadly, several of them sound like a very familiar pattern: rushing off after red herrings leading out to strawmen to be pummelled.

    Some very brief initial remarks:

    1] Turnabout on burden of proof

    Megan, I provided an account that we reliably trace cause-effect to one or more of chance, necessity, intelligence.

    As the very Wales example [and Section A the always linked] shows, high contingency does not trace to necessity, and chance is per probabilistic hurdles, not credible as the source of FSCI.

    We have just such FSCI, and so we infer to agency: on origin of a fine tuned life facilitating cosmos, origin of life relative to the FSCI in cells, origin of body plan level biodiversity per Cambrian revolution etc. On origin of our minds, I have pointed out why it is that we have good reason to infer that mater is the product of mind, and not the converse.

    It is you who need to address evidence not brush it aside.

    2] I think it would be worthwhile to find out what you think chance + necessity can accomplish. Anything? What level of complexity can chance + necessity alone create?

    You have the always linked, which you have cited an excerpt from a quote from, in section B. It addresses the issue you just raised.

    In a nutshell, C + N can create all things that are within logical and physical possibility, as I directly stated.

    In terms of credibly observable creations of C + N acting on M + E, as the app 1 discusses, in effect the boundary is the available probabilistic resources. In practical terms, if a highly contingent phenomenon stores well over 500 – 1,000 bits or so, then it is credibly beyond the reach of C + N on the gamut of the observed cosmos. And, BTW, this sort of reasoning is what underlies the statistical form of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, as App 1 discusses, look at the quite from a couple of my favourite Russians, Yavorsky and Pinsky.

    For a lot of more common cases, a contingency bound a lot lower than that is good enough, e.g. See hyp testing using Fisherian elimination.

    3] coud you tell me what units FSCI is measured in?

    You will see that functionality is OBSERVED, i.e it is a one-bit metric: yes/no. [Remember RION or NOIR on the different sorts of metric scales? That is measures of ordinal [e.g. Likert scales] and nominal states [e.g. male/female, true/false] are also metrics.]

    Complexity is measured, and in this case I have used bits and indicated the bound used by Dembski. A quantitative discussion of the overarching quantity Complex Specified Information is here. [I am using a far easier to handle subset of CSI, with a 2-d, i.e. vector metric: functionality as specification [and we could use verious metrics of that . . . e.g. measures of length of specification, per K-compressibility; cf here Able and Trevors as discussed and diagrammed in App 3 on OSC, RSC and FSC], and complexity in usually bits. multidimensional quantities are common in a lot of fields of study.]

    4] I don’t believe that anybody is claiming the same for biological life. Nobody is saying that “this complex message (cell) randomly assembed from parts (rocks) lying about”

    Have a look at what is being said about the remote prebiotic origin and assembly of the macromolecules in the living cell, starting with Shapiro and Orgel’s recent work – both of which are linked and cited in the always linked. This, of course I discuss with linked onward discussions, usually studied under the heading Origin of Life.

    5] your rock example could better be reworked as something like rocks rolling down a hill but there is a mechanism at the bottom of the hill that rejects rocks based on a given set of criteria. So if the message “Welcome to Wales” has as it’s analogue in this new system “Optimised for the enviroment” then rocks that fail to meet this criteria (or within a given tolerance) are rejected. Over time rocks that meet the criteria build up the message. Where is the “selection” in your example? To use such an example and try to avoid selection (as it’s a critical component of Evilution) simply misleads the less educated reader into thinking your example actually has some relevance to the real world.

    First, recall, the appendix 6 is just that, a SIXTH appendix. It is in appendix 1 that a discussion on the underlying thermodynamics of OOL are done, not to mention sections A and B.

    And, the idea of pre-life natural selection is incoherent, i.e there was no reproduction to have differential success.

    Third, the issue there is that the components – before you get to assembly — are themselves well beyond the UPB.

    But most of all, the Wales example is not actually about OOL as a main point. It is about the problem that evo mat accounts of MIND have to reduce mind to chance + necessity acting on matter and energy across time. In that regard, it is asking – through a very simple but surprisingly general example from Richard Taylor — on the CREDIBILITY of a mind “produced” by such means, and ends up in showing that the deliverances of such a mind are seriously to be doubted.

    Let’s hear Plantinga as excerpted [link is in my always linked] on one of many inter-related challenges in accounting for the mind from an evo mat view:

    . . . evolution is interested (so to speak) only in adaptive behavior, not in true belief. Natural selection doesn’t care what you believe; it is interested only in how you behave. It selects for certain kinds of behavior, those that enhance fitness, which is a measure of the chances that one’s genes are widely represented in the next and subsequent generations . . . But then the fact that we have evolved guarantees at most that we behave in certain ways–ways that contribute to our (or our ancestors’) surviving and reproducing in the environment in which we have developed . . . . there are many belief-desire combinations that will lead to the adaptive action; in many of these combinations, the beliefs are false.

    See the problem with the “selector” on getting to a credible mind on evo mat premises?

    6] the rejection mechinsm comes from the nature of reality. Some things survive and some things don’e (they are “rejected”). The things that survive propogate.

    Observe Plantinga just above on what survives and what does not, then see if that gets you to a credible mind from C + N acting on M + E across time in the physical, biological, and socio-cultural worlds.

    7] step by step micro-evolution leading to macro evolution

    Gross extrapolation that ignores the issue of the UPB on origin of body plans. Cf Section C the always linked and many onward discussions linked therein, starting with Meyer and Loennig in the peer-reviewed literature.

    REALLY gotta go now!

    GEM of TKI

  182. 182
    Megan.Alavi says:

    We have just such FSCI, and so we infer to agency

    The only “agency” we are aware of is ourselves. I find it something of a stretch to automatically presume a non-material entitiy must have created the FSCI. Logically as we have never had information on non-material entities we’ve no evidence whatsoever for their existance. And we do have evidence (us) for material agents who can create FSCI. So to me you are arguing in effect that Aliens created life. Aliens who are just like us, insofar as they are material beings.

    In a nutshell, C + N can create all things that are within logical and physical possibility, as I directly stated.

    Ah, and here is the crux of the matter. Then why can it not also create complexity as shown in biological life? Is that beyond it’s reach?

    Complexity is measured

    What units is it measured in? Bits? Just want to get this straight as i’ve seen the phrase “increase in information in a cell” alot and I want to know how this “increase” is being worked out.

    Have a look at what is being said about the remote prebiotic origin and assembly of the macromolecules in the living cell, starting with Shapiro and Orgel’s recent work

    Nobody is claiming the first replicator resembed a cell so the maths showing that it’s impossible for a cell to self assemble are kind of missing the point.

    Third, the issue there is that the components – before you get to assembly — are themselves well beyond the UPB.

    I simply don’t know how you can say that as
    a) Nobody knows that the first replicator consisted of
    b) Therefore nobody knows what components were needed
    c) Therefore it’s impossible to say it’s “well beyond the UPB”.

    If you disagree please show your assumptions/working.

    See the problem with the “selector” on getting to a credible mind on evo mat premises?

    No, can you make the argument yourself? And anyway “mind” is a sliding scale. Does a stick insect have a mind?

    Gross extrapolation that ignores the issue of the UPB on origin of body plans. Cf Section C the always linked and many onward discussions linked therein, starting with Meyer and Loennig in the peer-reviewed literature.

    Citations?

  183. 183
    Daniel King says:

    kairosfocus #173

    Onlookers, let’s see: evidence that chance + necessity acting on matter + energy cannot credibly account for accurate or reasonable information and the reason that sometimes marks our internal lives is not “evidence”?

    Correct.

  184. 184
    Frost122585 says:

    Meg says,

    “If “time” did not exist before the big bang then “before” is of little use.”

    The modern models of the Big Bang say that it begins with “an information wave” which is nothing but SC “form” shaping into reality. Thus so as time exists you have a nonmaterial bending of space and time which comes from nowhere in the from of information imposed on matter. This to me says that if an information wave can come from nowhere to build the entire universe that there could most likely be a mind that put that wave into action. This is obvious to all. If you think that the wave was it and there was no mind then you have to accept a non-causative universe that defies the laws of physics. If you postulate a nonmaterial mind that does not obey the laws of physics because its not physical then you have an explanation that is removed from contradiction. In logic we try to avoid contradiction. Just so. If you think that there is no mind but instead some random world of nonmaterial action and laws “out there” that cause the universes design, then since everything come out of nothing you have to accept random miracles. This is of course also highly contradictory because the laws of physics give us consistent repeatable actions. In other words you need a multi-verse to bridge the gap of SC. But you can believe in your multi-verse even though “there isn’t a shred of evidence for it.”

    Now it is just merely a hypothesis if we don’t find other evidences. We have now a criteria of specified complexity and FSCI that gives away the game. Things like the cell or DNA don’t just self organize in the natural world even with all of the Darwinian mechanism granted. You need both origin of life and then a great deal of design world. Termites don’t EVER produce FSCI.

    You claims above dissolve away into thin air.

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    Frosty and onlookers (and also MA and DK):

    There comes a time when it is plain that a matter cannot — or at least will not — be addressed on its merits by the other side of an exchange.

    In this case, the persistent resort to side issues and strawmen and refusal to address a clear enough mater on the merits, makes the matter plain enough. In the case of DK, let us note that this is the SECOND extensive blog thread in recent months where he has been unable to provide warrant for the claim that evolutionary materialism can ground the credibility of the mind — and in the previous thread, his persistent resort was to strawmen also. So, there seems to be little reason to spend more time here, unless there is clear evidence of a serious engagement. (And recall, I am spending time on this as a mopping up exercise only; as I am wrapping up my extended blog visit here at UD, and moving on to other matters of priority!)

    [FYI, onlookers, if you are interested in a fairly simple, albeit basic College Algebra level [NB: with some extensions into basic thermodynamics in Appendix 1] survey that addresses the issues that I think are the major ones on the inference to design, I suggest that you examine the always linked. Then make up your own mind for yourself. This thread, currently, is actually on a specific point: grounding the credibility of mind relative to evo mat premises, and my appendix 6 sets up the context for th the challenge.]

    Having noted that, I would like to comment on a few points:

    1] Re DK, 183:

    GEM, 173: . . . evidence that chance + necessity acting on matter + energy cannot credibly account for accurate or reasonable information and the reason that sometimes marks our internal lives is not “evidence”?

    DK, 183: Correct.

    That speaks for itself!

    Especially, given the actual remarks I made at point 5 in 173:

    5] DK, 161: Ain’t seen no evidence that “mind” is a substance separable from the activity of a brain…yet.

    Onlookers, let’s see: evidence that chance + necessity acting on matter + energy cannot credibly account for accurate or reasonable information and the reason that sometimes marks our internal lives is not “evidence”? Thence, the observation that intelligence in action and its signs — which BTW are the most central of our experiences [i.e. we are CONSCIOUS OF and ACT INTO the external world through our . . . minds in action . . .] — has radically different properties not accountable for on the basis of such C + N etc, is not “evidence”?
    Ah, DK is sticking out for the old: I gotta see this with my own eyes and feel with my own fingers route. Oops, DK: HOW, on evo mat premises, do you convert physico-chemical impulses in your own eyes and hands and electrochemistry of neuronal impulses into seeing, feeling and understanding with your mind – without self referential absurdity tracing to the sort of error made by Sir Francis Crick as previously cited, or simply and plainly begging the question?
    Namely:
    F[C], The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994: “ ‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.”
    PJ, Reason in the Balance, 1995: Observes that Sir Francis should be willing to preface his writings thusly: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” In short, “[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.”

    2] Re MA, 182: The only “agency” we are aware of is ourselves. I find it something of a stretch to automatically presume a non-material entitiy must have created the FSCI. Logically as we have never had information on non-material entities we’ve no evidence whatsoever for their existance. And we do have evidence (us) for material agents who can create FSCI. So to me you are arguing in effect that Aliens created life.

    First, the Weasel example [as the above thread shows and as the aleways linked app 6 discusses] is directly about the point that, per logical and physical POSSIBILITY, chance + necessity acting on matter + energy can create apparent messages. Then, it asks about the credibility that such apparent messages are true ones – ones that refer, with credible accuracy, to the real world:

    . . . suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES. Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    The answer is so obviously “no” that there is a persistent substitution of various strawmen, strawmen that provide more or less “plausible” ways to avoid addressing the implications of the limitations of C + N acting on M + E relative to getting to true messages that have credible reference to the real world.

    Let’s pause again and bring up the already cited excerpt from a 58 pp paper by the noted philosopher Plantinga, on one way that this general point applies to the assumed or asserted evolutionary materialist origins of our minds:

    . . . evolution is interested (so to speak) only in adaptive behavior, not in true belief. Natural selection doesn’t care what you believe; it is interested only in how you behave. It selects for certain kinds of behavior, those that enhance fitness, which is a measure of the chances that one’s genes are widely represented in the next and subsequent generations . . . But then the fact that we have evolved guarantees at most that we behave in certain ways–ways that contribute to our (or our ancestors’) surviving and reproducing in the environment in which we have developed . . . . there are many belief-desire combinations that will lead to the adaptive action; in many of these combinations, the beliefs are false.

    That is a serious, and so far un-addressed challenge on the evo mat side.

    Now, how many agents are we aware of: for each of us, just one, namely ourselves. We infer that other similar creatures are self-aware agents, based on the signs of creative, self-directing intelligence that they show – i.e we see that our fellow humans are not acting on mere instinct or impulse. One of these well tested, highly reliable signs is FSCI. We then infer that when we see similar signs in other situations, it points to intelligences acting in fresh situations. Some of those it so happens are credibly not in situations where human intelligence is relevant, e.g. the origin of the FSCI encoded in DNA [bio-functional, 500 k – 3+ billion bases, at 2 bits storage capacity per base]. Also, we may look at the origin of the observed cosmos, which exhibits multidimensional, convergent, fine-tuned organised complexity in its life-facilitating physics. (This last point suggests, BTW, a connexion between the two situations.)

    Further to this, Megan should know that ever since the very first technical level ID work, TMLO by Thaxton et al, it has been plainly stated in regards to the origin of cell-based life with the nanotechnologies and FSCI involved:

    . . . the view of intelligence creating biological specificity comes in not one, but two types: (1) a creating intelligence within the cosmos, and (2) a creating intelligence beyond the cosmos . . . . [p. 196]

    And, of course, the evidence we have of signs of intelligence in cell based life points to intelligence, not the specific nature of that intelligence. Multiply that by the radically different nature of mind from the known properties, dynamics and capacities of matter + energy acted upon by chance + necessity, and we see that — absent imposition of materialistic assumptions [which as shown, evidently end in self-referential incoherence and absurdity] – we have no good reason to confine intelligence to human and/or similar embodied entities. Indeed, since the very matter that makes up our bodies in itself contains signs of intelligence pointing to its origin in mind beyond the physical cosmos as we know it, that in turn points to the principle that it is probably far more reasonable to say that mind created matter than the converse.

    [ . . . ]

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    3] MA: why can it [C + N acting on M + E] not also create complexity as shown in biological life? Is that beyond it’s reach?

    This, in response to the EXPLICIT observation that we are dealing with a probabilistic resources challenge, not a question of logical or bare physical possibility. Indeed, right at the outset, the Wales thought experiment is about how there is a bare logical and physical possibility that C + N acting on M + E can create apparent messages.

    However, the key point is that once we pass the UPB, we are dealing with exhaustion of the probabilistic resources of the observed cosmos.

    To see just how much so, let us use the case of DNA. It is based on a code, and is associated with algorithms and nanotech molecular machines that implement that code. The relevant messages start at about 500 k bases and go up to 3+ bn. 500 kbases is a config space of 4^500k ~ 9.90 *10^301,029. To give an idea of what that means, even if there were 10^1500 islands of functionality, each embracing as many functional states as there are quantum states in the cosmos across its estimated lifespan, 10^150, the odds that a random walk search in any plausible or even very generous prebiotic soup could be likely to find any such island are vanishingly small: this is not a credibly winnable lottery. [This is BTW, the very same pattern of reasoning that grounds the statistical form of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.]

    But, we do know a causal force that easily surmounts such odds and generates FSCI on the relevant scale: intelligence. [1 M bits is at ASCII rates of 7 bits per character and average 7 characters per word of English is a text of about 20,408 words.] So, we have a case of inference to a dubious cause based on a prior and self-referentially incoherent evolutionary materialist metaphysical commitment, in the teeth of the known existence of intelligence, which can easily generate the observed order of functionally specified complexity.

    On inference to BEST explanation, this one is no contest.

    4] What units is it [complexity] measured in? . . . i’ve seen the phrase “increase in information in a cell” alot and I want to know how this “increase” is being worked out.

    As has long since been identified and as has just been exemplified, the complexity part in FSCI is easily measured as information storage capacity [often measured in bits, sometimes with adjustments for configs not taken up – basic information theory this; cf. App 1 the always linked in light of Section A, with a note on Bradley’s recent remarks on Cytochrome C], or as scale of configuration space. Consult Meyer’s paper on the Cambrian revolution for a discussion in a relevant context.

    5] Nobody is claiming the first replicator resembed a cell so the maths showing that it’s impossible for a cell to self assemble are kind of missing the point.

    The relevant mathematics in the always linked — and for that matter from the onward linked online chapters 7 – 9 of Thaxton et al’s 1984 work, TMLO — is EXPLICITLY about the self-assembly of empirically observed, highly informational macromolecules — as opposed to unobserved hypothetical molecules such as Mr Dawkins et al present on. When you have an easily accessible discussion but present a misrepresentation, that is a strawman; at best through failure to do basic homework.

    6] I simply don’t know how you can say that as a) Nobody knows that the first replicator consisted of b) Therefore nobody knows what components were needed c) Therefore it’s impossible to say it’s “well beyond the UPB”.

    Onlookers, observe the repeated substitution of a hypothesised, empirically unsubstantiated self-replicating molecule for the known, observed macromolecules of life, which EASILY surpass the UPB collectively and in many cases — e.g DNA — on an individual basis.

    7] can you make the argument [regarding the challenge to get to a credible logically thinking, reasoning mind] from yourself?

    H’mm: I did, in an appendix to the always linked, and above.

    But of course, the objection is evidently primarily to my citation of and excerpt from a 58 pp paper by Plantinga (as is linked above), which in the always linked, appendix 6, is embedded as a note in my citation of an updated form of a training briefing I wrote about 20 years ago. The excerpts make the case as I wish to do so, and in a way that is a commonplace of serious discussion; for, I there quote, explicitly endorse and acknowledge my intellectual debt to Plantinga’s remarks as illustrative of the sort of incoherence that attempted evolutionary materialist accounts of the origin of mind face.

    Note how there is, again, no response on the merits.

    8] And anyway “mind” is a sliding scale. Does a stick insect have a mind?

    As to stick insects, first show me evidence of conceptual reasoning and communication in verbal language then we can discuss what sort of mind/intelligence they have. If stick insects show “evident active, intentional, creative, innovative and adaptive [as opposed to merely fixed instinctual] problem-solving behaviour similar to that of known intelligent agents, we are justified in attaching the label: intelligence.” [Def’n of intelligence, the always linked.]

    9] Citations?

    These were explicitly stated to be in Section C the always linked. That is but one link-click away, in a resource you have already cited in the thread above. (Or, do I need to spell out that this sort of behaviour on your part does not comment itself to me as a serious participation in a serious discussion?)

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Frosty, thankfully, the radio discussion on Energy Policy went well — the hottest issue raised was the question of “American interference” into the Middle East. (I think we need to wake up about what Mr Ahmadinejad has been saying and reading in the Hadiths that speak of the Mahdi’s global conquest starting from Iran. But that is another story for another context . . . ]

  187. 187
    Frost122585 says:

    Also, regarding materialism and its empirical pretensions I give you Kant who reminds us to keep empiricism in check. Materialism has the pretension that all that we see is matter in form and hence all that the mind could be is thus. Yet the mysterious force of gravity is not known to be a material force but is understood as its effects on matter. Intelligence I remind you is much the same way. The empirical view though could reduce all things to material processes but it is upon close examination that we discover that minds and purpose differ from randomness and chance. It is in the materialistically indescribable phenomenology of consciousness that we appreciate it in its true character and its difference from that of material processes which from an empiricists point of view cannot real true consciousness as it actually is- an experience.

    “The empiricist will never allow himself to accept any epoch of nature for the first–the absolutely primal state; he will not believe that there can be limits to his outlook into her wide domains, nor pass from the objects of nature, which he can satisfactorily explain by means of observation and mathematical thought–which he can
    determine synthetically in intuition, to those which neither sense nor imagination can ever present in concreto; he will not concede the existence of a faculty in nature, operating independently of the laws of nature–a concession which would introduce uncertainty into
    the procedure of the understanding, which is guided by necessary laws to the observation of phenomena; nor, finally, will he permit himself to seek a cause beyond nature, inasmuch as we know nothing but it, and from it alone receive an objective basis for all our conceptions and instruction in the unvarying laws of things.

    In truth, if the empirical philosopher had no other purpose in the establishment of his antithesis than to check the presumption of a reason which mistakes its true destination, which boasts of its insight and its knowledge, just where all insight and knowledge
    cease to exist, and regards that which is valid only in relation to a practical interest, as an advancement of the speculative interests of the mind (in order, when it is convenient for itself, to break the thread of our physical investigations, and, under pretence of extending our cognition, connect them with transcendental ideas, by
    means of which we really know only that we know nothing)–if, I say, the empiricist rested satisfied with this benefit, the principle advanced by him would be a maxim recommending moderation in the pretensions of reason and modesty in its affirmations, and at the same
    time would direct us to the right mode of extending the province of the understanding, by the help of the only true teacher, experience.

    In obedience to this advice, intellectual hypotheses and faith would not be called in aid of our practical interests; nor should we introduce them under the pompous titles of science and insight. For speculative cognition cannot find an objective basis any other where than in experience; and, when we overstep its limits our synthesis, which requires ever new cognitions independent of experience, has no substratum of intuition upon which to build.

    But if–as often happens–empiricism, in relation to ideas,
    becomes itself dogmatic and boldly denies that which is above the sphere of its phenomenal cognition, it falls itself into the error of intemperance–an error which is here all the more reprehensible, as thereby the practical interest of reason receives an irreparable injury.

    And this constitutes the opposition between Epicureanism* and Platonism.”

    That is to say that we need to be careful of our lying eyes when we have other experiential evidence that falls outside of empiricism that points to the contrary. It is usually deep within the intutive faculties of cognition and reason that our deepest truths are derived; not always in the superficial realm of plain sight. Just because you assume all things are the product of matter, based upon what you see with you eyes, doesn’t mean you cannot see deeper with the mind’s eye.

    Just ask the mathematician who’s deductions paint the real world not as it can be actually seen but as it “only” can be understood. Gravity, uncertainty, black holes, etc all owe theirs to the minds transcendent reasoning and inutiton. Without the mind none of these things could be either seen nor understood. Yet they all exist.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    Frosty:

    Please don’t get my bad insomniac habits! [Do as I say, not as I do, pleeeze . . .!]

    Your Kant cite is really interesting, especially the punchline:

    But if–as often happens–empiricism, in relation to ideas, becomes itself dogmatic and boldly denies that which is above the sphere of its phenomenal cognition, it falls itself into the error of intemperance–an error which is here all the more reprehensible, as thereby the practical interest of reason receives an irreparable injury.

    So, now, back to bed for some good old fashioned ugly sleep . . .

    GEM of TKI

  189. 189
    StephenB says:

    evo-materialist and Megan Alavi:

    Inasmuch as neither of you believe in a mon-material mind, you obviously cannot believe in fre will. Since you obviously do not believe in free will, why do you bother to argue for anything? How can minds be changed if there are no minds to change?

  190. 190
    Frost122585 says:

    KF at 188,

    Thanks be to you for giving me the online search version! I have been skimming it from time to time and found that aformentioned gem of a passage. It’s point is timeless. So much of Kant is.

  191. 191
    Daniel King says:

    kairosfocus #185

    There comes a time when it is plain that a matter cannot — or at least will not — be addressed on its merits by the other side of an exchange.
    In this case, the persistent resort to side issues and strawmen and refusal to address a clear enough mater on the merits, makes the matter plain enough.

    Well put. That is exactly my view of your behavior on this thread.

    In the case of DK, let us note that this is the SECOND extensive blog thread in recent months where he has been unable to provide warrant for the claim that evolutionary materialism can ground the credibility of the mind — and in the previous thread, his persistent resort was to strawmen also.

    Please specify the “strawmen” to which you are referring.

    As to providing warrant for the credibility of “the mind,” that is meaningless to me, because I know nothing of “the mind.” I know of behaviors exhibited by myself and my fellow creatures that may be labeled “mind.” kairosfocus evidently considers the reliability of minds to be a metaphysical issue, but I see it as an empirical issue. In that view, I am in the good company of neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and law-enforcement authorities, family members, friends, acquaintances etc, etc. In real life, we judge an individual’s rationality by his behavior. No further warrant is needed – except by metaphysicians and theologians who require nonobservable entities to justify their sectarian beliefs.

    A second request, sir: What is your warrant for “the credibility of the mind?”

    I am confident that you will take the opportunity to have the last word, kairosfocus. It is your modus operandi. Indeed, it seems to be your modus vivendi. It is now ten days since I wished you well in your more productive endeavors. I reiterate those wishes.

    You can do better than this.

  192. 192
    StephenB says:

    —–“Daniel King: “Ain’t seen no evidence that “mind” is a substance separable from the activity of a brain…yet.”

    That is because you dismiss evidence that you don’t like. I take it, for example, that you have not yet read, “The Spiritual Brain.” I will not take time to present the arguments, but I would ask you a related question. What is your answer to the phenomenon of medicine’s “placebo effect?”

    —–DK: “The appearance of that evidence seems to have been delayed by a confusion on the part of the metaphysicians here about the difference between evidence and argument. But that is autochthonous to the species, is it not?”

    I, for one, am not confused by the difference between evidence and argument, although I do use both. Logical arguments are often better than evidence. For example, I have tried to supplement KF’s evidence with philosophical arguments of my own, humble though they may be. No one has even come close to addressing them, except of course, to deride them as “metaphysical,” which is another way of saying that they can’t answer them. Science is not the only or even the best way of knowing.

    —–“I know of behaviors exhibited by myself and my fellow creatures that may be labeled “mind.” kairosfocus evidently considers the reliability of minds to be a metaphysical issue, but I see it as an empirical issue. In that view, I am in the good company of neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and law-enforcement authorities, family members, friends, acquaintances etc, etc. In real life, we judge an individual’s rationality by his behavior.”
    You are focusing on the effects of rational behavior when you should be focusing on it causes. The question is, what is the origin of that behavior? How can a brain overrule its own impulses if there is no mind? If there is no immaterial mind or will, how do you explain free will? Or, do you even believe in free will? You are the one who is arguing against common sense, so make your case.

  193. 193
    StephenB says:

    192 Extended>>>>

    —––DK: “I know of behaviors exhibited by myself and my fellow creatures that may be labeled “mind.” kairosfocus evidently considers the reliability of minds to be a metaphysical issue, but I see it as an empirical issue. In that view, I am in the good company of neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and law-enforcement authorities, family members, friends, acquaintances etc, etc. In real life, we judge an individual’s rationality by his behavior.”

    You are focusing on the effects of rational behavior when you should be focusing on it causes. The question is, what is the origin of that behavior? How can a brain overrule its own impulses if there is no mind? If there is no immaterial mind or will, how do you explain free will? Or, do you even believe in free will? You are the one who is arguing against common sense, so make your case.

  194. 194
    kairosfocus says:

    DK:

    I will further comment on your onward remarks, starting with a few bracketed remarks in the excerpt below, from your comments in191:

    I know nothing of “the mind.” [NB: actually, you can only be aware and KNOW by using – your mind!] I know of behaviors exhibited by myself and my fellow creatures that may be labeled “mind.” [And, do the labels “say of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not”? If that is not possible beyond perceptions and behaviours driven by chance and necessity in a causally closed evolutionary materialistic world then reasonable discourse is at an end] kairosfocus evidently considers the reliability of minds to be a metaphysical issue [false, and I am on record that I consider that factual adequacy, logical and dynamical coherence and explanatory power are three tests of warrant for claims, scientific and otherwise] , but I see it as an empirical issue. In that view, I am in the good company of neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and law-enforcement authorities, family members, friends, acquaintances etc, etc. [but the problem here is that too often the so called hard problem of consciousness is set up in a way that begs the question in favour of materialism as a worldview, as I discuss in the app 6, the always linked] In real life, we judge an individual’s rationality by his behavior. [Irrelevant, as you have long since repeatedly been told: we are not dealing with rationality of individuals, but addressing the GROUNDs for such rationality in light of the claims of evolutionary materialist systems of thought and associated scientific research programmes] No further warrant is needed [That is DK wishes to beg the real question actually at stake] – except by metaphysicians and theologians who require nonobservable entities to justify their sectarian beliefs. [I will deal with this ad hominem below, and also with the issue of unobservables, as DK here inadvertently reveals his profound ignorance of science and the balance between observations and explanations in science . . . not to mention the easily shown fact that one cannot extricate sicence from philosophical considerations so easily as he imagines]

    Let’s start here, with the theologians that DK so plainly despises:

    a –> There is an old pulpit joke about a contest between God and a scientist, who proposed to create life for himself. As the scientist set out to create life, scooping up some mud, God stopped him: “Get your own dirt, first.”

    b –> And, that joke with a deadly serious point highlights precisely the first big problem with your insistently attempted dismissal of a considerable body of evidence that points to mind as the source of matter, rather than the converse.

    c –> For, once we see the multidimensional, convergently fine-tuned nature of the physics that undergirds our life-facilitating observed cosmos [which is also of finite age and is aging as we speak, i.e it is a contingent entity which had a beginning and thus a cause], we see that it shows what we know to be reliable signs of design. Also, we see that with but slight local variation, such a life-facilitating cosmos would just not happen: no “dirt” to make brains, in short.

    d –> That inference leads on to the empirical evidence anchored point that mind is SCIENTIFICALLY arguably logically independent of matter as we know it, including that matter that forms our brains. Not to mention, we here have seen in ourline, evidence of mind as causally and ontologically prior to matter; not on a basis of demonstrative proof beyond rational dispute [does such even exist, post Godel?], but on the basis on which we conduct scientific reasoning – inference to best explanation in light of the observed credible facts.

    e –> That leads to your main fallacy no 2. For, if you consult modern, post Lakatos phil of science — and the study of how scientific warrant works is a project in phil not science — you will see that scientific research programmes [the term is from Lakatos] have a characteristic structure. We see a belt of outer [sub-]theories and empirically linked models that connect more directly to observed reality, and then in the middle a core of inner theoretical ideas and constructs that are deeply embedded with worldview-level commitments. In short your attempt to divide objective scientists from sectarian metaphysicians and theologians fails, spectacularly. Indeed, it brings up the classic philosopher’s rebuttal that: one cannot escape having a metaphysics, the issue is whether it is a critically examined metaphysics or a naïve, blind metaphysics that is a classic case of endarkenment posing as enlightentment. And had you listened to a certain wise theologian from Nazareth, you would have been in a better position on this one, noting how we still talk in terms of worldVIEWS:

    MT 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

    f –> Furthermore, and using examples form my home discipline, physics, often these inner components of unquestionably scientific theories include unobservables — some, in praxis, some in principle. [E.g. if you think you have ever observed, e.g. an electron (negative or positive [positron]), think again: we have observed phenomena we trace through theories and models of how instruments and displays and bubble chambers or photo plates etc work, to electrons. Indeed, one of my favourite models is the idea that a positron is an electron travelling from the future to the past. Of course, both the past and the future are strictly speaking unobservables, too. You may recall my remarks that geological reconstructions of a plausible past for any significant feature, strictly speaking are scientifically informed historical reconstructions.]

    g –> In short, your ever-ready datum line between the scientific and philosophical is fallacious.

    h –> On the specific issue of the mind vs the brain, I note again, on the Taylor example you and otehrs have so often diverted from in this thread:

    . . . suppose you were in a train and saw [outside the window] rocks you believe were pushed there by chance + necessity only, spelling out: WELCOME TO WALES. Would you believe the apparent message, why?

    Here are my remarks from the work in progress Appendix 6 the always linked:

    1 –> We know, immediately, that chance + necessity, acting on a pile of rocks on a hillside, can make them roll down the hillside and take up an arbitrary conformation. There thus is no in-principle reason to reject them taking up the shape: “WELCOME TO WALES” any more than any other configuration; especially if, say, by extremely good luck we have seen the rocks fall and take up this shape for ourselves. [If that ever happens to you, though, change your travel plans and head straight for Las Vegas before your “hot streak” runs out!]
    2 –> Now, while you are packing for Vegas, let’s think a bit: [a] the result of the for- the- sake- of- argument stroke of good luck is an apparent message, which was [b] formed by chance + necessity only acting on matter and energy across space and time. That is, [c] it would be lucky noise at work. Let us observe, also: [d] the shape taken on by the cluster of rocks as they fall and settle is arbitrary, but [e] the meaning assigned to the apparent message is as a result of the imposition of symbolic meaning on certain glyphs that take up particular alphanumerical shapes under certain conventions, i.e. it is a mental (and even social) act.
    3 –> But, this brings up the key issue of credibility: should we believe the substantial contents of such an apparent message sourced in lucky noise? That is, would it be well-warranted to accept it as — here, echoing Aristotle in Metaphysics, 1011b — “saying of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not”? (That is, is such an apparent message credibly a true message?)
    4 –> The answer is obvious: no. For, the example illustrates how cause-effect chains tracing to mechanical necessity and chance circumstances, acting on matter and energy are utterly unconnected to the issue of making logically and empirically well-warranted assertions about states of affairs in the world. For crude but illuminating instance, neuronal impulses are in volts and are in specific locations in the body; but meaningfulness, codes, algorithms, truth and falsehood, propositions and their entailments simply are not like that. That is, mental concepts and constructs are radically different from physical entities, interactions and signals and it is highly questionable (thus needs to be shown not merely assumed or asserted) that such radical differences could or do credibly arise from mere interaction of physical components. Indeed, in a typical cybernetic system, the physical cause-effect chains around a control loop are set up by intelligent, highly skilled designers taking advantage of and manipulating a wide range of natural regularities, so that the sensors, feedback, comparator, and feedforward signals, codes and linkages between elements in the system are organised to cause the desired interactions and outcomes of moving observed plant behaviour closer to the targetted path in the teeth of disturbances, drift in component parameters, and noise.

    [ . . . . ]

    10 e] . . . we have reason to note that the observed cosmos’ underlying physics reflects multi-dimensional, convergent, fine-tuned, highly complex, functional order, and similar reason to note that the said observed cosmos began at a specific time in the past. Thus, we have good reason to infer (per inference to best, empirically anchored explanation) that the origin of the cosmos itself is marked by the signs of intelligent design. And, pace the remarks of objectors, as the just linked section discusses, that IS evidence of non-human intelligent agent(s). For, mere objection on your part does not constitute “absence of evidence” on my part!

    10 f] Moreover, since we are speaking of the beginnings of our observed matter-energy and space-time domain, said inferred intelligence was credibly able to create and initiate — thus, interact with — matter while not being material; this last referring to the “stuff” of the physical cosmos. For, matter is here an effect, not a cause, and — per self-evident proposition — an entity cannot cause its own origin. (Classically: “that which begins has a cause, but that which has no begining needs have no cause”; i.e we are here raising the issue of the difference between contingent and necessary beings; duly modified by the observation that we credibly live in an observed, contingent cosmos. And, the most credible “alternative,” in effect a quasi-infinite array of sub cosmi, is just as much a metaphysical proposition — and one that runs into much more serious difficulties on a comparative basis. )

    10 g] Consequently, it is not at all an obvious given that a “pure mind” entity would be unable to observe, interact with, speak into and act upon — thus, experience — the physical world.

    10 h] Indeed, considering our own minds and brains, the brain is a bodily, material entity; subject therefore to chance and necessity under the electrochemical etc forces and interactions acting on and in it; which (given the Wales example) makes it not credible as the ultimate source of messages and actions that point — beyond the credible reach of such forces — to intelligent, purposeful, creative [as opposed to mere random], functionally successful action. (NB: The Derek Smith cybernetic model of a two-tier controller for a biologically relevant system, with the upper level strategic and creative controller guiding and overseeing a lower level one acting as a supervised input-output controller, may be a fruitful discussion model for a mind-brain system, e.g. if one — for the sake of argument — looks at a mind using quantum gaps to “feed” signals into the brain-body system.)

    In short, with all due respect, it is not want of empirically based evidence — evidence, BTW, that you have simpley never seriously addressed above — leading to a well-warranted inference to best current explanation on my part that is the evident problem.

    GEM of TKI

  195. 195
    Frost122585 says:

    KF and onlookers,

    It was Wittgenstein that said “of that which we cannot speak of we must remain silent.” His point was to get rid of all the stuff you just said KF because it creates too much and too deep confusion. You are right that we “infer” non material matter as a matter of internal experience and the existential evidence we like to call ontological. The big bang has reopened the question of design and the existence of evidence for God, and has also had the effect of adding weight to the logical assumption that form is imparted onto matter and in fact seems to preced matter with a transcendent nature.

    That is to say that matter appears, and then BOOM out of nowhere (and I mean literally “nowhere”) the magic that is uniquely capable of imparting SC comes from the nonmaterial realm into the material one. Matter comes alive after it is imparted with this mysterious ineffable “mind like” special dominating force.

    From the Design inference we discern this nonmaterial property of being closest to “mind” in its meaningful SC actions and driven nature. Our mind is of course the product of our consciousness.

    Yet Wittgenstein is not happy. If we don’t know where or what this magic stuff is, and what it’s all about, then we should not—we cannot— discuss it, not at least in a meaningful way and so as Wittgenstein’s argument goes “if it’s devoid of real meaning we cannot truly speak of it at all.” Or can we?

    Of course in light of such a maniacal and “detached” demand, we will first need to recruit something reminiscent of the thought police out of Orwell’s 1984 if Wittgenstein’s modus operandi is to be realized. People dont speak about what they think they can speak about about. They speak about what they can speak about. End of story. It has already been done, it has been thought and so it has been spoken! [Gasps] The mind’s essence (found in consciousness, self reflection and phenomenology) is, so it seems, “nonmaterial.”

    Yet to put such nonsense and the suspense of this synthetic conflict, in it’s proper light I give you a quote about Wittgenstein’s hypocritical behavior (do as I say but not as I do)…

    “Did Feigl tell you how Wittgenstein and Schlick enjoyed talking for hours about the unspeakable?”

    –Marcel Natkin to Gödel

    We shall not be silenced by positivism, materialism or mechanical determinism.

    And this quote regarding the impact that Gödel perceived of his own great work the [incompleteness theorem] on the nature of mind…

    “What has been proved is only that the kind of reasoning necessary in mathematics cannot be completely mechanized. Rather constantly renewed appeals to mathematical intuition are necessary. The decision of my “undecidable” proposition … results from such an appeal. … Whether every arithmetical yes or no question can be decided with the help of some chain of mathematical intuitions is not known. At any rate it has not been proved that there are arithmetical questions undecidable by the human mind. Rather what has been proved is only this: Either there are such questions or the human mind is more than a machine. In my opinion the second alternative is much more likely.”

    —Kurt Gödel [9, p. 162, Letter to David F. Plummer]

    That’s right. Not only is the evidence of the mind ontologically pointing towards a nonmaterial nature but epistemologically a complete mechanization of consciousness is logically and arithmetically impossible. The quote may be over used by yours truly but it is only because it is of the utmost illustrative importance and relevant to so many diverse matters.

    The mind is, it seems, indeed more than matter and it is also “clearly” more than a deterministic machine.

  196. 196
    JunkyardTornado says:

    Frost wrote: Wittgenstein’s argument goes “if it’s devoid of real meaning we cannot truly speak of it at all.” Or can we?
    Of course in light of such a maniacal and “detached” demand, we will first need to recruit something reminiscent of the thought police out of Orwell’s 1984 if Wittgenstein’s modus operandi is to be realized. People dont speak about what they think they can speak about about. They speak about what they can speak about. End of story.

    How could Wittgenstein not realize that anything that can be verbally alluded to in some way is of necessity a coherent and meaningful concept. (Actually, I’m having a little trouble with that concept myself.)

    (Frost:)“And this quote regarding the impact that Gödel perceived of his own great work the [incompleteness theorem] on the nature of mind…

    “What has been proved is only that the kind of reasoning necessary in mathematics cannot be completely mechanized. Rather constantly renewed appeals to mathematical intuition are necessary. The decision of my “undecidable” proposition … results from such an appeal. … Whether every arithmetical yes or no question can be decided with the help of some chain of mathematical intuitions is not known. At any rate it has not been proved that there are arithmetical questions undecidable by the human mind. Rather what has been proved is only this: Either there are such questions or the human mind is more than a machine. In my opinion the second alternative is much more likely.” [emphases added].

    —Kurt Gödel [9, p. 162, Letter to David F. Plummer]
    That’s right…epistemologically a complete mechanization of consciousness is logically and arithmetically impossible.”

    Please reconcile your direct commentary above on the Godel quote you provided with the highlighted portion of that quote.

    In my experience virtually every theorem in every mathbook I have ever seen has been proven mechanically, and that mechanical proof is always provided. I guess ID wants to fill textbooks with theorems which cannot be proven. Any proposition must be proven by demonstrating how it follows mechanically from already accepted axioms. Its how Godel proved his theorem as well. Godel said there is not a finite set of axioms (or recursively enumberable set of axioms or whatever) from which all other truth can be derived. Fair enough. But we have no choice but to work with a finite set of axioms at any given time. What point is there in verbally rhapsodizing about some hazy unknown out there which exceeds our ability to fully capture or predict with our current state of knowledge. Or are we going to denegrate science because no matter what brilliant theory they come up with its provable that contradictions to it will eventually be found. In other threads someone has talked about the human mind’s inherent ability to discern and detect Truth and questioned how could evolution have produced that. Well, we don’t have some magical ability to discern and detect Truth.

  197. 197
    JunkyardTornado says:

    Frost:

    Just following up because maybe my remarks weren’t fully understood.

    The following was your characterization of the quote you provided from Godel:

    That’s right…epistemologically a complete mechanization of consciousness is logically and arithmetically impossible.”

    I am telling you it is my understanding that he was not saying anything like that.

    The following part of Godel’s quote might have thrown you off a little bit:

    What has been proved is only that the kind of reasoning necessary in mathematics cannot be completely mechanized. Rather constantly renewed appeals to mathematical intuition are necessary…

    I can tell you for a fact that he did not mean he had proven that in order to derive a mathematical proof for a proposition, it is necessary for someone to employ a non-mechanistic process of “intuition”. It is patently clear from the last part of his quote that I emphasized previously that he accepted the possibility that thought might be a mechanism.

    By “intuition” what he meant was generally accepted axioms which are merely assumed by not proven and from which all other truths are mechanically derived.

    In short, I feel you mischaracterized completely his quote, so was curious whether you concede that you did (although I’m not a Godel historian in case you have some other quotes of his.)

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    Frosty and JT:

    I believe you will find this discussion by Prof Marks of Baylor interesting and relevant. [HT: Ms O’Leary.]

    GEM of TKI

  199. 199
    Daniel King says:

    GEM of TKI:

    Thank you for your extensive rebuttal #194. I have rested my case.

    Let’s start here, with the theologians that DK so plainly despises:

    I think that is unfair. I don’t despise theologians. I noted only that they have sectarian beliefs that I disagree with and that they would be lost without metaphysics.

    One final request and I will depart these premises. Nowhere within your #194 did I find an answer to the question I posed in my #191, “What is your warrant for “the credibility of the mind?”

    I will not challenge whatever answer you care to give. I simply want to know.

    With respect and good wishes,

    Daniel King

  200. 200
    JunkyardTornado says:

    KF thanks for taking the time to post that presentation. Most of it I was already familiar with. I think people should fully understand that nothing in Godel’s proof or that presentation has any bearing on the subject of dualism at all, i.e. whether the human mind transcends mechanism (i.e. whether the human mind works by virtue of something that cannot be systematically described at all, i.e. something that is not a mechanism, whatever that might mean.)

    Something else I wanted to point from FrostN’s Godel quote:

    “At any rate it has not been proved that there are arithmetical questions undecidable by the human mind. Rather what has been proved is only this: Either there are such questions or the human mind is more than a machine. In my opinion the second alternative is much more likely”.

    So, to Godel, the idea that there could be arithmetical questions undecidable by a human mind was apparently just too incredible for him to fully accept. In fact he asserts that in his opinion it is much more likely that it is not the case, i.e. that man must therefore be something more than a mechanism. His personal viewpoint seems to be only explainable by some culturally-conditioned hubris that would ascribe God-like attributes to our species by default. Furthermore his personal viewpoint is nothing that by any means he claims are implies to have proven.

    In the presentation you supplied, only by the vaguest and briefest allusions does the author imply that we can infer somehow that man transcends mechanism:

    “There are some things we know exist that we can prove we will ever know. Most doubt a computer will ever write a deeply meaningful poem or a classic novel.”

    That’s it – the only remark in the entire presentation that touches on the subject of dualism.

    To me, it is just kind of pathetic for someone to consider “Ode to a Cloud”, e.g. “Oh Cloud! How doest thou traverse the endless sky… blah blah blah…” and exalt that as some indelible mark of Godhood in the human race.

    Could a computer ever come up with something so brilliant? Could a human ever write a first-hand account of what it feels like to be dog? If not, would that mean a dog is superior to a human? Would it prove a dog isn’t a mechanism? Can two things that are different be the same?

    Here’s an interesting discussion from The Straight Dope on “the seven basic literary plots”

  201. 201
    JunkyardTornado says:

    To me, all Godel’s theory says is that there is no perfect model, i.e. it is indeed true that,
    “two things that are different cannot be the same.” So of knowledge is building models whereby we can predict the behavior of something else, we know tha

  202. 202
    JunkyardTornado says:

    To me, all Godel’s theory says is that there is no perfect model, i.e. it is indeed true that,
    “two things that are different cannot be the same.” Any body of knowledge is an abstract model, whereby we attempt to capture certain properties relevant to us of some aspect of our external environment such that we can predict the behavior of the thing modelled with a certain degree of accuracy. We know that whatever that formallized body of knowledge is, its going to miss something.
    Call the unknown or unpredicted phenomena “God” or “spirit”, or just “the unknown”, or perhaps merely “the unmodelled”.

    The only perfect model of a human brain would be another human brain subject to the exact same stimuli at the same time and the same place, which is impossible.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    A footnote or three, but first a thank-you:

    Thanks to DK, EM MA, JT etc and of course Frosty, SB, etc for a useful thread that has prompted then contributed to the development of appendix 6, the always linked, on mind and matter [and thence morality].

    This thread is now winding down, but it has served to show again to the discerning reader just where the balance on the merits lies on the key matters raised above. I see some further remarks, though, and think it is worthwhile noting a few hopefully final observations:

    1] DK, 199: I don’t despise theologians. I noted only that they have sectarian beliefs that I disagree with and that they would be lost without metaphysics.

    And, post-Lakatos et al, and in light of the underlying implications of say methodological naturalism for how they too often look at the world, evolutionary materialist scientists have no metaphysical commitments that they would be “lost without”?

    That is, sadly, the objection is plainly selectively hyperskeptical, and shows the underlying prejudice that I spoke of. Perhaps, though, I spoke too sharply: “dismisses” may be a better term.

    2] “What is your warrant for “the credibility of the mind?”

    From one perspective, this looks a lot like an attempt to turn around the burden of proof, serving to distract from the self-referential incoherence difficulties of evolutionary materialism as highlighted above [and in the draft appendix 6 the always linked], once it has to address the nature and origin of mind. But, we can look at the matter from a philosophical perspective as a call to comparative difficulties analysis, across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power.

    Let us use the latter view for the moment, noting that this is addressed to me as an individual with his own worldview and associated presuppositional framework of first plausibles articulated into a story of the world and our place and mission in it. In my case, a Judaeo-Christian, theistic worldview [anchored in the end principally through knowing God as a person, in relationship based ont eh risen Christ, and historically by the resurrection, attested to by 500+ eyewitnesses and associated power flowing across the centuries of history above and beyond all the failures, sins and limitations of the Christian church as a very human institution. The glory yet shines out through the cracks in the “clay pots” . . .

    Such a framework is theistic, and sees our cosmos as a creation by a supremely Intelligent, wise and powerful designer, a creation that brims over with his signature style. Thus, it is not surprising that there is an intelligible, mathematically, empirically and logically discernible order to the cosmos, and that we are placed and adapted to discover it at least in part, using minds that are made in the image of the Mind who formed the worlds.

    Indeed, historically, this is the precise worldview that in a unique time and place then generally known as Christendom, gave birth to the still ongoing scientific revolution. Newton’s General Scholium to his Principia — cf here App 4 the always linked — states that historically foundational scientific view aptly, even eloquently:

    . . . This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another.

    This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator , or Universal Ruler . . . And from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being . . . He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present; and by existing always and every where, he constitutes duration and space . . . God is the same God, always and every where. He is omnipresent not virtually only, but also substantially; for virtue cannot subsist without substance. In him are all things contained and moved [i.e. cites Ac 17, where Paul evidently cites Cleanthes] . . . It is allowed by all that the Supreme God exists necessarily; and by the same necessity he exists always, and every where. [i.e accepts the cosmological argument to God.] . . . . We have ideas of his attributes, but what the real substance of any thing is we know not. In bodies, we see only their figures and colours, we hear only the sounds, we touch only their outward surfaces, we smell only the smells, and taste the savours; but their inward substances are not to be known either by our senses, or by any reflex act of our minds [notice his awareness of the limitations of empirical thought and his anticipation of the noumenal-phenomenal challenge]: much less, then, have we any idea of the substance of God. We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and final cause [i.e from his designs]: we admire him for his perfections; but we reverence and adore him on account of his dominion: for we adore him as his servants; and a god without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. [i.e necessity does not produce contingency] All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing [That is, implicitly rejects chance, Plato’s third alternative and explicitly infers to the Designer of the Cosmos.] . . . And thus much concerning God; to discourse of whom from the appearances of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy.

    Onlookers, no prizes for guessing why this passage is not commonly mentioned when discussions on the roots of ID thought come up!

    3] PS to JT: on the implications of Godel . . .

    I raised Marks’ remarks on Godel and other topics as a matter of interest primarily.

    FYI, the central implication of the incompleteness theorems is that [a] no sufficiently rich as to be useful mathematically anchored system can be complete relative to a set of coherent axioms, and [b] there is no constructive procedure for getting to a known coherent set of axioms, even where these are incomplete.

    As a direct consequence, mathematico-deductive reasoning loses all claim to certainty of proof.

    We may know with high confidence and good warrant, but we must never confuse our degree of certitude with certainty. Thus, mathematicians, computer scientists and scientists all must live and work by trust relative to core first plausibles, i.e points of faith. And so wisdom is to be open-minded and open-hearted about this, for we are finite and fallible. So, in the end, we all live by such faith-points, the cores of our worldviews, and wisdom is to be aware that the first undeniable truth is this: error exists, which means that truth exists but we may at least in part be mistaken about it.

    Reason and belief are inextricably intertwined in the roots of our worldviews and intellectual careers.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    Grace to all, and thanks again . . .

    GEM of TKI

  204. 204
    Frost122585 says:

    JYT said,

    “That’s right…epistemologically a complete mechanization of consciousness is logically and arithmetically impossible.”

    I am telling you it is my understanding that he was not saying anything like that.”

    We he simply is because if you cannot show how the mind works with some deductive logical analysis then your model cannot be proved. Gödel’s proof is about deduction and it was Hilbert’s hope to prove deduction as a system rich enough to deal with all things. Consciousness will never be proven mechanistically- simple as that- and it cannot be proven as such then why should be think it TRULY so? In fact Gödel was convinced that the mind was more than could be contained in it- as clearly expressed in that quote. Hence, my conclusion fallows like the night to the day. Gödel’s proof is that strange place where epistemology and ontology meet vis-a-vis.

  205. 205
    Frost122585 says:

    I think that you are taking the position of demoting his proof to something more like an anomaly- but here is another Gödel quote that I think pertains to how he felt about his proof and its implications- for anyone who has any doubts…

    “It was to be expected that my proof would be taken up by religion sooner or later. This is justified in a certain sense.”

    From what I gather up until the end of his life he remained a deep believer. Though I think he died an atheist. But for most or all of his life he believed like Newton that the world was made to be understood and was in fact like the mind, rational. That is he didn’t just think that the mind was rational because of evolution, but that the world , like the predictable effects
    of gravity, was meant even perhaps designed to be understood. Here at some last Gödel quotes to consider…

    “Human reason will develop in all directions.”

    “Religions are mostly bad, but religion is good.”

    “My philosophical views:
    1.The world is rational.”

  206. 206
    Frost122585 says:

    I think that the “more than matter” inference of the mind that I gather from Gödel’s proof can be understood like this…

    If the mind can transcend sets then no set can contain it. Since no set can contain it, it cannot be formalized. If it cannot be formalized is cannot be deduced.

    In this sense the mind cannot be proven to operate in any particular mechanical way because whatever axioms that you use to represent its range- that is the “sets”- they will either be themselves incomplete or will lead to a eventual contradiction. as KF puts it so beautifully…

    “…no sufficiently rich as to be useful mathematically anchored system can be complete relative to a set of coherent axioms, and [b] there is no constructive procedure for getting to a known coherent set of axioms, even where these are incomplete.”

    So we have said what it proves but what does it really mean?

    To quote from Yourgrau’s book AWWT

    “…the system should be complete, in the sense that all true statements expressible within the system (under a suitable interpretation) should be derivable from the axioms. To prevent circularity, the system in which consistency is to be proved must not itself employ any mathematically suspect or controversial procedures that could render its own consistency suspect. It must be, to use Hilbert’s invented term, not exactly finite but rather “finitary,” in the sense that its proofs must be in principle surveyable by sense experience and must not at any point appeal to an abstract, completed infinity of the kind proposed by Cantor.”

    So it cant be contradictory, it cant be infinite, and it MUST be complete.

    Since logic is not and then later arithmetic was proven to also share the same fate- knowledge is left up to true induction through intuitions and the like, to give us the sense perceptions that we use to come to formalistic proofs. In this sense to me the world begins to look more like an experience or a thought than a provable material process. It is here that I say the mind cannot be reduced and is, it seems, more than matter. The self experience of phenomenological consciousness is not materialistic in that it is self referential and matter does not display any such capacity in utero. So it seems to be that mind is more than matter. To say my conclusion in the reverse “if it could be demonstrated that a formalistic complete proof could show how the system of consciousness arose and functions as a material process then it would fallow that mind is simply a material machine.”

    Thanks to Gödel I can rest assured.

    I gather from his quotes especially the one that started this discussion…

    “At any rate it has not been proved that there are arithmetical questions undecidable by the human mind. Rather what has been proved is only this: Either there are such questions or the human mind is more than a machine. In my opinion the second alternative is much more likely.”

    that as I siad before

    “That’s right… epistemologically a complete mechanization of consciousness is logically and arithmetically impossible.”

    is true and that what you said

    “I am telling you it is my understanding that he was not saying anything like that.”

    misses the thrust and the point.

    [I] think what is throwing “you” off is this part of his comment…

    “it has not been proved that there are arithmetical questions undecidable by the human mind”

    What he means is that perhaps the mind can “know” and therefore, to use his word, “decide” all things but that some cannot be mechanically formalized into complete expressions that are provable within themselves. THis means that any mechanical, material explanation of consciousness would have to appeal to richer axioms or intuitions that do not exist within the system to complete it.

    The first possiblity of his dialectic refers to concepts, numbers- but the second refers to the system by which those numbers can be formalistically proved meaningful. My focus was not on whether we can or can not understand or rationalize all things but that all things cannot be proven in a material mechanically reductionist model that say Dawkins would subscribe to.

    The one place I go further is that I take the ontological point behind Godle and assume it true for the mind. Any why not? The mind ontologically exists to me and I see no reason why it should not be freed by incompleteness as well. Call it “irreducible complexity of the nonmaterial consciouness.”

  207. 207
    Frost122585 says:

    Ok, finally here is a quote by Kurt Godel out of Hao Wang’s personal notes from their meetings together.

    “My incompleteness theorem makes it likely that mind is not mechanical, or else mind cannot understand it’s own mechanism. IF my result is taken together with the rationalistic attitude which Hilbert had and which was not refuted by my results, then [we can infer] the sharp result that the mind is not mechanical. This is so, because, if the mind were a machine, there should, contrary to this rationalistic attitude, exist number-theoretic questions undecidable for the human mind.”

    So either the mind isn’t a machine (what Gödel and I subscribe to) or there are number theoretic questions undecidable for the human mind. I the second is true that materialism is grated a new stay in that the mind may just simply be inadequate. But if Gödel is right then the idea of a mechanically deducible mind and universe is a non-reality. I should also point out that if the second possibility is correct this means that still epistemologically the mind will be incapable of understanding itself because it will be able to deduce true propositions. The only exception is that those propositions are “undecidable.” That means the mind still can not be viewed in a complete formal way even if materialism is true.

    So materialism is either false as Gödel inferred, or it is true but we will never be able to fully prove it.

    My point was that I feel both are a little bit like two sides of the same coin. If we can’t prove it then how do we know it’s possibly true? This leads me to appeal to other evidences on the question of the origin of mind like those regarding the big bang and the appearance of information and form into matter which is not capable of producing or comprised of the stuff that designs or accounts for form. I see Gödel’s proof as clearly a leap away from a materialistic reductionist reality and a step in the right direction towards nonmaterial reality of the mind. He of course thought is was even more than a step in the right direction. He thought it was a proof.

    Remember he said as an undergraduate that he wanted to produce a mathematical result that would have meta-mathematical implications and consequences so that Platonism could be proven as the true reality of being and rationality. Gödel said he wanted to do for mathematics what Newton did for physics. And guess what, he did.

  208. 208
    kairosfocus says:

    Perhaps . . .

    An excerpt from the Rodriguez-Consuegra review of Wang’s 1996 presentation on Godel’s philosophy [Modern Logic, Vol 8 nos 3 – 4 (May 2000 – Oct 2001), pp. 137 – 152] may be helpful, and certainly help us see a wider frame of possibilities than we are wont to if we are in thralldom to he evolutionary materialist paradigm:

    From the publication of Wang’s From mathematics to philosophy in 1974 we know Godel’s main arguments against any possible attempt to identify minds and computers (in the context of his comments about Turing machines). They were: that the use of the mind is in constant development, while computers are static; that the states of every computer are necessarily finite, while mental states might converge to infinity because of their development, and that there may exist mental procedures which are not mechanical in nature (he was obviously thinking of mathematical intuition, which for Godel cannot be reduced to any mechanical procedure). [HT, Frosty]

    It would be helpful to understand the point of the above if we see a further excerpt:

    “Even if the finite brain cannot store an infinite amount of information, the spirit may be able to. The brain is a computing machine connected with a spirit” (p. 193). As usual then, Godel was much more cautious in his publishable writings than in his private reflections.

    Reverting to monads [which Godel consciously used], Godel is seeing the observable functions of the human mind as a result of a composite whole that embraces entities from a physical and a spiritual world. The brain is the mind’s input/output computer that interfaces with the empirical, materially embodied world, in effect. And to support that idea, in his 1951 Gibbs lecture, he has in effect used the results of his theorems to show that mechanical axiom-theorem-proof approaches cannot exhaust the range of credibly knowable mathematical truth. He then presented the implications as a “dilemma”:

    either the system of all demonstrable propositions (subjective mathematics) surpasses all machines, or the system of all true mathematical propositions (objective mathematics) surpasses subjective mathematics. If the first, the human mind cannot be reduced to the brain; if the second, mathematical objects and facts cannot be our creation, so they are independent of our mental acts. Obviously enough, both alternatives were to be unacceptable for materialists, so they together may be indirectly argued in favour of spiritualism.

    Worth a few thoughts.

    And, the thoughts will bring us back to the issue that mathematico-logical reasoning, conclusions and associated decisions require the reality and correspondence to the empirically observed world of entities that are radically different from the elements and characteristic interactions and laws or necessity or of chance of the material world. Worse, when we try to sort out first principle propositions and systematise the rest by deductive inference, we see that for realistically rich axiomatic systems, we run into incompleteness and/or incoherence.

    Thus, the world of propositions, truths etc is irreducibly complex in the sense of resistance to finite, coherent axiomatisation and algorithmic inference to implications. That in turn raises serious questions on the nature of mathematical and related truths, reasoning and knowledge. Questions that point away from the materialistic picture of the world – it turns out to be far too simple to correspond to major aspects of reality.

    Not least, let us observe that faith and reason are not clashing opposites, but are deeply intertwined in the deepest roots of our thought life.

    GEM of TKI

  209. 209
    Frost122585 says:

    KF,

    Well I see you read it over the good paper. That’s great. The thing that strikes me the most about the paper is how much of a “mind is more than matter and machine” kind of guy Gödel really was. One might think that his theorem was hijacked by religious zealots to support an extreme view that wasn’t his own. These notes pretty much put that to rest. Chalk up another one of the greats to anti- methodological materialism. Virtually all of his most explicit comments (and what we know about him) seem to point to the fact that he was a true Platonist of the modern era. Perhaps he could be referred to as a neo-Platonist. In any event he used Husserl’s phenomenology as a launching pad to help grow his philosophical views (Platonism) into what he saw as a modern synthesis. You KF are a believer in self referential experience as a means of deriving senses and truths that result in pure reason- so you must be able to appreciate his phenomenological venture. I like this quote by KG-

    “I do not fit into this century.”

    I would have loved to see what he would have thought about the works of Behe and Dembski. Can you imagine that obsessive genius mind getting hold of biological data and the NFL theorems? DE would be over in a week; maybe less.

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