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Claimed link between creationism and “conspiracism”

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All Seeing Eye, Dollar, Conspiracy Theory, Illuminati At Current Biology:

Teleological thinking — the attribution of purpose and a final cause to natural events and entities — has long been identified as a cognitive hindrance to the acceptance of evolution, yet its association to beliefs other than creationism has not been investigated. Here, we show that conspiracism — the proneness to explain socio-historical events in terms of secret and malevolent conspiracies — is also associated to a teleological bias. Across three correlational studies (N > 2000), we found robust evidence of a teleological link between conspiracism and creationism, which was partly independent from religion, politics, age, education, agency detection, analytical thinking and perception of randomness. As a resilient ‘default’ component of early cognition, teleological thinking is thus associated with creationist as well as conspiracist beliefs, which both entail the distant and hidden involvement of a purposeful and final cause to explain complex worldly events. (open access) Pascal Wagner-Egger, Sylvain Delouvée, Nicolas Gauvrit, Sebastian Dieguez, “Creationism and conspiracism share a common teleological bias” at Current Biology , Volume 28, Issue 16, Pr867-r868, August 20, 2018 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.072

Wow. These authors must feel quite threatened. They are really reaching. Their two topics cannot even be equated as concepts: Creationism is a position on a specific subject (origin of life and the universe); conspiracism, which is more commonly called “conspiracy thinking,” is a tendency of thought (it’s all a Big Plot, you see…) which may be applied to any position on any subject.

And, of course, the perception of a plan or a pattern behind events (“teleological thinking”) is not, in isolation, evidence of creationism or conspiracy thinking, though it would be a necessary component of both. It would also be a necessary component of a marketing strategy or a blueprint.

Maybe the authors assume, naively, that their own worldview is simply a neutral, non-biased, non-limited view of the facts. But everyone thinks that about their own worldview. People sheltered by an enforced consensus can afford to assume that their assumption is simply true, hence this kind of stuff gets written and published on a regular basis.

But why do they feel so threatened?

See also: At New York Times: Darwin skeptic Carl Woese “effectively founded a new branch of science” In fairness, many of us DID sense that the people splintering lecterns in favor of Darwin’s Tree of Life were more certain than the facts would turn out to warrant. Every so often, a new poll would announce, to general hand-wringing, that much of the public doesn’t “believe in” evolution. Most of us didn’t fight with anybody about it, we just waited… A world where horizontal gene transfer is a “thing,” (and epigenetics and convergent evolution as well) actually makes a lot more sense from experience than the “selfish gene” world.

and

Sociologist: How ID foxes can beat Darwinian lions

126 Replies to “Claimed link between creationism and “conspiracism”

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    News,

    First, any statistician worth his salt knows that correlation is not causation.

    Where, it is effectively self-evident that the socio-historical world is replete with agendas, strategies, plots, crimes, movements etc which show that central driver of history and of change (or resistance to change) in action: agency.

    Where there is a legitimate concern about conspiracist thinking, is where there is poor warrant for claiming that a particular plot leading to some claimed undesirable outcome actually exists and traces to certain particular suspects. The problem, here is one of want of thinking based on an adequate grasp of requisites of warrant. Though, the very word “cover-up” warns us that the powerful, corrupt and clever seek to conceal their tracks. And, where putting people in positions of great trust is concerned, prudence dictates that a precautionary, least regrets approach be used.

    Turning to the design inference on tested, reliable signs in the world of life and the fine tuned physics of our observed cosmos, lack of warrant is precisely what does not obtain. We routinely observe origin of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information — there are trillions of observations — and in every known case, the cause is design.

    Per Newton’s rules of reasoning, there are precisely zero observed cases where blind chance and/or mechanical necessity has given rise to such FSCO/I. Where, an analysis of search challenge and available atomic or temporal resources on the gamut of the Sol system or observed cosmos will reveal that the blind, needle in haystack search challenge posed by just 500 to 1,000 bits worth of configuration space is such that maximum plausible search viewing atoms as observers viewing new configs at 10^12 – 14 times/s for 10^17 s will round down to negligible search. So, as FSCO/I is by its nature found as deeply isolated islands in the space, blind search is not a practically feasible mechanism.

    That’s why FSCO/I strongly points to design.

    Cosmological fine tuning shows a combination of factors embedded in the physics of the world setting it to a deeply isolated operating point conducive to C-chem, aqueous medium cell based life that points to design as credible cause.

    So, we are precisely not dealing with lack of warrant and mere suspicion of yet another establishment elite.

    Nor, should we overlook that in today’s climate of censorship by digital empires, the insinuation: “fake news,” is toxically loaded and potentially leading to severe injustice.

    Ironically, the item you have cited is a far better candidate for junk pop sci news based on ill-founded insinuations, sensationalism and propagandistic spin tactics with linked hostile or outright toxic projection etc than UD is.

    Which should give sobering pause.

    KF

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: As a concrete example, to mark up Lewontin’s famous cat out of the bag remark as below is not conspiracism, it is to highlight what is inadvertently revealed (largely via subtext) to the knowing eye:

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    I think this is the most pertinent paragraph from the paper (italics in the original: bold added to emphasise the less technical bits):

    In order to investigate the correlational structure of our different measures of causal and intentionality perception, we ran a principal component analysis (with orthogonal rotation, Varimax method). The KMO index proved satisfactory (KMO = 0.81), and Bartlett’s test of sphericity significant, chi2(21) = 1242.86, p 1), we retained a two-factor solution. We called the first factor ‘animism’, as it clusters measures involving attribution of consciousness and agency to nonliving entities. The second factor, ‘finalism’, tapped instead into the attribution of purpose and final causes to the universe and human life. We then conducted a series of multiple regressions with creationism and conspiracism as dependent variables, and animism and finalism, as well as science rejection, analytical thinking and randomness perception, as predictors. Finalism was the main predictor for creationism, ? = 0.55, t = 17.19, p < 0.05, followed at a smaller degree by animism, ? = 0.23, t = 6.93, p < 0.05, whereas rejection of science and animism were the main predictors for conspiracism (respectively ? = 0.30, t = 8.80, p < 0.05; ? = 0.32, t = 9.65, p < 0.05), jointly with finalism to a slightly lesser extent, ? = 0.23, t = 7.26, p < 0.05 (Figure 1C; Supplemental Information).

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    In the paper they claim that “teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning.”

    Definition of teleology
    2 : the fact or character attributed to nature or natural processes of being directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose

    Too funny, besides science being impossible without presupposing teleology on some level, all of science, and biology itself, must be ‘conspiring’ against atheists in order to infuse ‘teleological thinking’ into biology (and into science in general).

    Besides fairly compelling evidence from physics, in molecular biology we find that every molecule in our bodies is literally screaming to us that we have objective meaning, value, and purpose for our lives, i.e. have teleology.

    As Professor of physiology Denis Noble notes in the following article, “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”

    “the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence.
    Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”
    – Denis Noble – Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    And in the following article Stephen Talbott challenges scientists and philosophers to “pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness”

    The ‘Mental Cell’: Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! – Stephen L. Talbott – September 9, 2014
    Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”.
    Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness 1.
    One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself.
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....ell_23.htm

    This working biologist agrees with Talbott’s assessment and states, ‘we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.’

    Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Ann Gauger – June 2011
    Excerpt: I’m a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.
    Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn’t troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it’s high time we moved on.
    – Matthew
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-8858161

    Thus, since it is impossible for molecular biologists to speak of molecular biology for any length of time without using language that directly implies goal directed purposes, and/or teleology, then it is hardly fair for Darwinian atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and William Provine to falsely claim, as they do in these following quotes, that there is no ultimate meaning in life and that we live in a universe of ‘nothing but pitiless indifference’

    “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”
    – William B. Provine
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/09/william_provine/

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    In fact, given the the fact that teleology, i.e. goal directed purpose, is so intricately infused into life at such a fundamental molecular level, I would hold that it takes a rather large amount of willful intellectual blindness on the part of evolutionary biologists for them to say that life gives no indication of purpose or meaning.

    The plain fact of the matter, despite what leading evolutionary biologists, and Atheists in general, may claim, is that every one of the billion, trillion protein molecules in our bodies screams that we have a intrinsic meaning and purpose for our lives.

    As Stephen Talbott goes on to state in the following article which happens to be entitled “How Biologists Lost Sight Of The Meaning Of Life And Are Now Staring It In The Face”, “A given cell, typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. ,,, “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells.,,, And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,”

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”. ,,,
    Further, the billion protein molecules in a cell are virtually all capable of interacting with each other to one degree or another; ,,
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo,,,,
    “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades.,,,
    And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    Contrary to what atheists apparently desperately want to believe despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, modern science, and biology in particular, consistently, and overwhelmingly, reveals that our live do indeed have true Meaning, Value, and Purpose.

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog

    Of supplemental note, the artificial imposition of Methodological Naturalism onto science is a sad, insane, joke.

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Paper with references for each claim page; Page 37:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pAYmZpUWFEi3hu45FbQZEvGKsZ9GULzh8KM0CpqdePk/edit

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: the notes made in comments 1 and 2 are also highly relevant to identifying underlying biases in the statistics. There is an unfortunately long and unfinished history of seemingly impressive statistics that is flawed at the root through worldviews level biases. In this case, there is decisive evidence of ideologisation of science through turning it into atheism dressed up in a lab coat and locking in those agendas. Further, there is significant and indeed decisive evidence pointing to design in the natural world: complex alphanumeric code — language — and execution machinery in the heart of the living cell for just one instance. Kindly show us just one actual observation of FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits arising by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. We are confident that you cannot, even as we can readily point to trillions of cases observed to come from design. So, the whole premise of the study is decisively undermined and its categorisations/ definitions (explicit or suggested), correlations and suggested causations are discredited as little more than toxic ideological agendas dressed up in a lab coat. For just one instance, if science has been ideologically redefined as atheism in a lab coat (and thanks to NAS and NSTA etc that has demonstrably happened, as Lewontin inadvertently exposed), being “anti-science” becomes little more than refusing to kowtow to today’s lab coat clad atheistical shibboleths. KF

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: If proof of utterly question-begging ideological loading is needed, kindly observe how the main text of the article begins:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,
    [–> banned by whom, on what grounds, when, with what sound inductive warrant, given say discovery of alphanumeric code, thus language that funcyions algorithmically in the heart of the living cell? Coded language and programs are inherently teleological]

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

    See the problems?

    Then, given the rise of ideological censorship by digital empires, this all takes on menacing overtones.

    We need to wake up fast.

    KF

  7. 7
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 5 –

    Kindly show us just one actual observation of FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits arising by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    A couple of years ago there were regular challenges to you and other people on this site to give a calculation of FSCO/I for a real example. None was ever forthcoming. I can’t give any observation because I haven’t seen any calculation of FSCO/I for a real system. If not even the developers of FSCO/I can use it, how can anyone else?

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: We thus see how corrupting was the radical, question-begging redefinition of science as applied atheism. This now needs to be corrected, exposed and decisively repudiated. Further to this, suppression of freedom of thought and expression through the sort of censorship we are seeing marks a first step down a road we have seen in all too indelible living memory — it is fair to ask: is that why the apparatchiks wanted to suppress a life story based advert for a candidate who is the daughter of refugees from Cambodia? The road we are seeing, on terrible history, ends in the gulag. KF

  9. 9
    asauber says:

    In other news:

    “Eye-roller study: “Climate change denial strongly linked to right-wing nationalism”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/21/eye-roller-study-climate-change-denial-strongly-linked-to-right-wing-nationalism/

    It’s amazing how political enemies pop up everywhere in scientific studies.

    Andrew

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: You seem to forget that many examples were given over and over across years of real life values, and that in principle they have been on the table ever since the beginnings of the genetic revolution. For just one quick example, a protein has 4.32 bits raw per AA [20 state string data structure], so a typical 300 bit protein has 1296 bits, raw; there are thousands of proteins in a living cell so that if even 1% of that raw value are functionally specific, the living cell is indisputably well beyond the FSCO/I threshold. More to the point, the alphanumerical algorithmic information in the cell is obviously linguistic and goal-directed [making proteins used to carry out key life functions] thus teleological. We can do more sophisticated calculations, and Durston’s work has been in the literature since 2007. Your assertion is false and has been notoriously false for over a decade. Meanwhile, your enabling side-tracks from a sobering, even menacing issue that is on the table are duly noted. KF

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    AS,

    I looked up the abstract:

    ABSTRACT

    In their article ‘Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States’ the authors state: ‘Clearly the extent to which the conservative white male effect on climate change denial exists outside the US is a topic deserving investigation.’ Following this recommendation, we report results from a study in Norway. McCright and Dunlap argue that climate change denial can be understood as an expression of protecting group identity and justifying a societal system that provides desired benefits. Our findings resemble those in the US study. A total of 63 per cent of conservative males in Norway do not believe in anthropogenic climate change, as opposed to 36 per cent among the rest of the population who deny climate change and global warming. Expanding on the US study, we investigate whether conservative males more often hold what we term xenosceptic views, and if that adds to the ‘cool dude-effect’.1 Multivariate logistic regression models reveal strong effects from a variable measuring ‘xenosceptic cool dudes’. Interpreting xenoscepticism as a rough proxy for right leaning views, climate change denial in Norway seems to merge with broader patterns of right-wing nationalism.

    These folks seem to be blissfully unaware that if they impose ideological redefinitions of what science is, suppress legitimate scientific discussion and plaster namecalling labels backed up by studies that turn on the fact that polarisations tend to come in ideological, party-aligned clusters, they are destroying the objectivity of science thus its credibility.

    Multiply by the menace of censorship we are seeing and the road they are dragging us down becomes obvious.

    No sane civilisation would go down that road.

    KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I dug up a briefing note I did nearly a decade ago, here. Let’s see if BO’H is now willing to correct his talking-point and to stay corrected on it. KF

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – you give some numbers, but which is FSCO/I? And how is it calculated?

    Durston does not, as far as I understand it, calculate FCSO/I: certainly that acronym doesn’t appear in the paper you link to. I also can’t find how he defines function, which seems important.

  14. 14
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 12 – I’m sorry, I can’t see where FSCO/I is calculated on that page. I’m asking for something specific, but which should be basic in the presentation of a numerical method.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    I also can’t find how he defines function, which seems important.

    Buy a dictionary. Are you really that daft that you don’t understand what “function” means? Really? Is that supposed to be an argument? Really?

    Find a sequence of DNA that codes for a protein/ enzyme that is used to do something, ie provides a FUNCTION. Then, using Shannon, calculate the sequence information (2 bits per nucleotide per Shannon). Once you get that you would have to determine how much variation that sequence can maintain and still provide that protein for that function.

  16. 16
    Bob O'H says:

    ET – read the paper. Tell me where he defines the functions of the proteins he analyses and come back. That has to be specific, so that one can then look at the space of AA sequences that provide the function. This is then next thing that I can’t find.

  17. 17
    jdk says:

    re 12: Perhaps briefing notes should be, you know, brief. 🙂

  18. 18
    ET says:

    Bob- So proteins don’t have functions, Bob? The body just cranks out proteins just because?

    You do realize it was Crick who defined information with respect to biology, right, Bob?

    Functional sequence complexity is FSCO/I, Bob. Your willful ignorance isn’t even an argument.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Tell me where he defines the functions of the proteins he analyses and come back.

    Wow. You can look those up, duh.

  21. 21
    Bob O'H says:

    *sigh* ET – Table 1 gives some numbers, but no definitions.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Table 1 gives some numbers, but no definitions

    What definitions are you looking for Bob?

    Whether right or wrong scientists assume the people reading their papers have a minimal education

  23. 23
    Bob O'H says:

    ET, I’m sorry but I don’t see the point of engaging with you: I have made it clear what I’m looking for, and your response has been to be uncivil in your response, without giving me any relevant answers.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H:

    I must first note that you continue to play a distractive game in a context where a sobering issue of censorship and ideological atmosphere poisoning is on the table.

    First, functionally specific complex organisation and associated information is a descriptive abbreviation. One that comes down from the likes of Orgel and Wicken BTW [I have simply used an abbreviation, FSCO/I], it long antedates the modern design theory movement.

    Any reasonable quantification of information in an entity that is functional based on configuration and specific will classify as such.

    Selective hyperskeptical games to say that any actually calculated values are not FSCO/I simply show that the argument from your side — even on the tangent — is evasive not serious.

    FYI, Durston et al used a framework of calculation which is in the literature and can be seen. Ten years or so ago, I worked with GP and others to draw up a heuristic model that simplifies and applies Dembsky’s 2005 metric so that we can address any number of real cases. I took Durston’s fits values and took out the threshold to identify bits beyond threshold in the cases cited.

    Above, I simply used standard estimators of strings and then pointed out that if even 1% of the AAs are specific — as can be estimated by assessing stability of composition of given proteins across the span of life forms, knowing how proteins fold into domains — then the fact of 1,000’s of proteins in a cell and the length of a typical protein (300 AA) imply that FSCO/I beyond the relevant threshold is present in cells, leading to the warranted inference, design.

    The onward objection, oh how are protein functions defined is telling on what is increasingly clearly — this is fair comment — willful obtuseness. By definition, proteins function, function in ways dependent on specific AA sequence, folding, agglomeration and addition of support elements. The concern is not whether they function, but to what extent AAs can be mutually substituted. That is what Durston et al explored and on that basis they were able to generate the values in their table 1.

    I simply took their values and applied a threshold where blind search becomes utterly implausible.

    Going to multicellular organisms we can put the genome on the table. A simple observation that it has been seen that our genome and that of the kangaroo can be compared and will show that huge swathes of the human genome are sitting there in the Kangaroo genome, a marsupial usually rated as separated from placentals what 150 mn ya, indicates that major body plans are also cases of FSCO/I. Reasonable estimation will rapidly show the quantity is 10 – 100+ mn bases, or a comparable number of bits.

    Going beyond, FSCO/I is not just biological, any system that is constrained based on sufficiently complex structure and interaction of parts has FSCO/I. Text such as comments in this thread are cases in point, closely parallel to genetic information. Structured elements where we can represent a composite or shaped component based on a nodes-arcs pattern are also cases in point and I have long since pointed to cases of AutoCAD drawing files.

    This is the context in which I can readily point to trillions of cases.

    Start with the Internet.

    Your objections that no values have been shown, no calculations have been given and the like are without merit, period.

    Now, we return to the context, where digital empires are practising sobering ideological censorship, and YouTube (a province of IIRC Google) was just seen putting warningt labels to marginalise one side of the climate debate. Above, using dubious definitions, the same marginalisation proceeds apace. Where, “right wing . . . nationalistic” has been twisted to mean in effect Nazi.

    Which is slander as starting from the meaning of Nazi will instantly reveal: National Socialist German Worker’s Party. Fascism was an ideology of the left, and Nazism is generally seen as a form thereof. Political messianism which is totalitarian-statist and centres on a superman figure seen as saviour of the central identity group in the face of allegedly unprecedented crises that demand that he be given dictatorial powers to act decisively beyond law.

    Ideological messianism is idolatry, FYI. As the Barmen Declaration forthrightly declared, it is anti-Christ.

    The associated tendency to accuse Christians of being right wing Christo-fascists seeking to overturn science and erect a totalitarian theocracy is a slander, one of grave import given what is already on the table.

    I sum up, censorship, stereotyping, scapegoating and smearing based on dubious historical allusions are extremely dangerous.

    Above, I could readily see that something is seriously wrong, something you have studiously avoided by successive tangents based on a misrepresentation of FSCO/I.

    Let me clip from 6, taking up the main text of the article referenced in the OP:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

    This is evidence of destructive ideological captivity of science and of creation of a narrative of scapegoating that has now moved on to censorship.

    This sets out down a road that has a known end: gulags.

    I suggest, you would be well advised to do some serious rethinking about what you are enabling.

    KF

  25. 25
    asauber says:

    without giving me any relevant answers

    Splinter, plank.

    Andrew

  26. 26
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    I’m sorry but I don’t see the point of engaging with you:

    There isn’t any point in engaging with you, Bob- well just to show how ignorant and desperate anti-IDists are is about it

    I have made it clear what I’m looking for,

    That just made you look like an immature jerk, Bob.

    and your response has been to be uncivil in your response

    You are a hypocrite, Bob.

    without giving me any relevant answers.

    That is your uneducated opinion, anyway.

    I don’t care if you never respond to me, Bob. I will continue to expose you as the loser that you are

  27. 27
    jdk says:

    Proving Bob’s point.

  28. 28
    ET says:

    Oh my. Bob doesn’t have a point, Jack. Neither do you. But it is entertaining watching one loser try to stand up for another loser

  29. 29
    jdk says:

    I like this line form the OP:

    As a resilient ‘default’ component of early cognition, teleological thinking is thus associated with creationist as well as conspiracist beliefs, which both entail the distant and hidden involvement of a purposeful and final cause to explain complex worldly events

    Children are animists: everything is alive and acts with a purpose. This is a property of “early cognition”. Learning to understand how “complex worldly events” are a very multifaceted result of many causal strains, with varying degrees of independence, interdependence and co-dependence, is a learned adult skill. Falling back on mysterious and unverifiable “purposeful and final causes” is easier, and more appealing to our naive nature.

  30. 30
    ET says:

    Earth to Jack- materialists appeal to any naïve nature. Scientists reach the inference of purpose and intent based on the evidence along with the possible causes.

    The design inference is NOT easier, Jack. Do you any investigative experience at all?

    And it remains that to refute any given design inference all one has to do is show that nature is up to then task. Whining about us isn’t going to get it done

  31. 31
    jdk says:

    I am not a materialist. Make a note, ET.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, do you notice how a very serious ant current issue is consistently being distracted and diverted from? That is no accident. KF

    PS: I again put the substantial matter back on the table, from 6 above — citing the article referred to in the OP:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    jdk:

    I am not a materialist.

    Right, you just argue like one.

  34. 34
    ET says:

    If Jack is not a materialist, as he claims, then he should be fuming over the paper in the OP.

  35. 35
    jdk says:

    One can not be a materialist and also believe that teleological explanations are not supported within the framework of science.

  36. 36
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 24 –

    The onward objection, oh how are protein functions defined is telling on what is increasingly clearly — this is fair comment — willful obtuseness. By definition, proteins function, function in ways dependent on specific AA sequence, folding, agglomeration and addition of support elements. The concern is not whether they function, but to what extent AAs can be mutually substituted.

    Yes, proteins function, and different proteins have different functions. So how do you define a function so that you can calculate FCSO/I for that protein?

  37. 37
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Yes, proteins function, and different proteins have different functions. So how do you define a function so that you can calculate FCSO/I for that protein?

    You couldn’t be any more of an obtuse arse if you tried, Bobby.

  38. 38
    ET says:

    The protein function is an OBSERVATION, meaning we have observed it providing a function. You can actually look up proteins to see what their function is.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: You full well know what is focal to this OP and thread as well as how grave it is, and you have consistently distracted attention from it. You simply refuse to acknowledge that there is configuration based function in proteins (and in D/RNA), which simply has to be recognised — where functions of particular proteins are specific to the protein as is well known and we collectively know it well enough to say note differences between human insulin, pig insulin etc while recognising that they are all insulins — indeed pig insulin was commonly used to treat human diabetics, despite differences . . . an island of function is a cluster of related configs. Durston et al use the variability and fixity at nodes in the AA chain to identify information content (and also degree of function can be addressed). Your quarrel on this point is with Crick and Watson c 1953, which says enough. Meanwhile the ideological impositions, stereotyping and scapegoating now in use to feed ideological CENSORSHIP, you studiously ignore. That speaks volumes and rings warning bells. KF

    F/N: To again draw us back to focus, I clip from the article addressed in the OP. Notice, this is how the main argument begins, utterly tainting the results that follow and perverting them into little more than agit prop giving a lab coat of apparent respectability to ideological dogmatism, bigotry and attacks to the despised other:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

    We can safely draw the conclusion at this stage that there is no defence for this, so we are meeting distractions, selective hyperskepticism and more instead.

    PS to ET: Please, pull back from vulgarities.

  40. 40
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 39 –

    You simply refuse to acknowledge that there is configuration based function in proteins (and in D/RNA), which simply has to be recognised

    No, I’m happy to acknowledge that. What I’m still not seeing is a calculation of FCSO/I, or even an explanation of how the F in FCSO/I is defined in a way that makes the specification possible.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, just to indulge you one last time, you have had two linked derivations with one providing a table of resulting values, and an in-thread calculation based on standard information approaches. Functional specificity is observed, and the point where variation in config breaks down function shows shoreline; that’s an underlying factor in Durston surveying protein alignment across world of life on protein types — what failed did not survive, in effect. I assume you know that info in bits is a log probability metric or alternatively a metric on known alternatives for string structures (as for instance Shannon provided in his 1948 paper). In the simple bit case on/off or 1/0 is one bit, a 4-state element is 2 bits and a 20 state one is 4.32 bits. I ask whether you so hotly deny hard drive, memory stick or ram or computer file bit metrics and cry fraud, which are essentially the same, this is a commonplace and can be readily taken as such. Further to this, strings are WLOG as node-ark networks can be reduced to y/n structured Q’s as say we see with AutoCAD files. Such is more than enough to see that your dismissiveness manifests little more than willful obtuseness as a form of selective hyperskepticism, given what has already been put in play above and likely whenever the claimed prior case happened. Meanwhile, we duly note yet another pass at distraction from a grave matter and draw the due conclusion. KF

    F/N: Here again, from 6 above, which clearly blows up your little game at 3:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

    Something is soberingly, seriously wrong here and needs to be faced, not distracted from.

  42. 42
    jdk says:

    kf writes,

    BO’H, just to indulge you one last time, you have had two linked derivations with one providing a table of resulting values, and an in-thread calculation based on standard information approaches.

    To save me reading through all this thread, and perhaps parsing some difficult syntax, could you point specifically to the links or comments in which these occurred?

  43. 43
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    What I’m still not seeing is a calculation of FCSO/I, or even an explanation of how the F in FCSO/I is defined in a way that makes the specification possible.

    He isn’t worth the time, kairosfocus. Bob O’H is the vulgarity here. How many times are you going to explain things to people before you realize that they just don’t care and are just poking you?

    Just sayin’…

  44. 44
    ET says:

    jdk- Read the Durston paper linked to in comments 10 and the chart in 19

  45. 45
    ET says:

    jdk:

    One can not be a materialist and also believe that teleological explanations are not supported within the framework of science.

    No. The only people who say that teleological explanations are not supported within the framework of science are those wedded to materialism. I say that because teleological explanations are the only ones supported within the framework of science. You have to completely misunderstand science to not understand that.

    ID is the only position that makes testable claims

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, are you aware of what is the focal issue on the table from the OP, and why it is soberingly important? KF

  47. 47
    jdk says:

    Yes to your first question, and no, I don’t have the same concerns you do, to your second.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    ET (& BA77): it is clear that the sort of enabling of bigotry feeding censorship and what lies beyond it that is exposed above is sobering and is being studiously ignored to the point of enabling. Let us now focus the first premise of that awful paper, ” teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning.” This is an ideological imposition on science, viewed as applied inductive logic. Once there is an observation that designing, purposeful agents, meaning, goal-directed systems and artifacts exist, it is at least possible that such can be found as a causal factor in the world of life and in the physics of the cosmos. Such is routinely identified in forensics and archaeology. So, to rule this out ahead of time is to beg huge questions and to rob science of its power as an unfettered pursuit of truth based on empirical evidence. That is already betrayal of our civilisation by agenda-driven ideologues. Compound that with the projection that those who resist such a betrayal are childish, delusional and anti-science and you see bigotry and intent to subvert institutions so that they cannot be reformed once the ideologues hold power. Multiply by the appeal to consensus tactic used to further lock out reform, and the betrayal is compounded. Mix in the sort of censorship and collusion to exploit network economics and dominant power that backs the censorship. That crosses the line and steps down a road that ends in show trials, murderous chekists and gulags. Such is an opening act of, frankly civil war, as if you lock out prime freedoms and subvert institutional power to lock in oppression, you corner people who value liberty and force them to fight. Of course, some hope to set it up to make it seem like the cornered who fight back are in the wrong so that the mushy middle will not see what is going on until it is too late. Right now, we are seeing lawfare, abuse of institutional power and riotous antifa mobs. The only hope to avert kinetic conflict is to break the censorship and expose the agenda now. But, that is already going to be very hard to do and not long from now it may be impossible. Worse, nukes may go on the loose. We are playing with fire and refuse to recognise the hellish conflagration that may burn up our civilisation. And of course, those who refuse to attend to the grim signs of our time will mock, deride and dismiss. They don’t see what they are enabling. We need to stop the demonic madness of a suicidal march of folly for our civilisation now. KF

  49. 49
    ET says:

    kairosfocus- The only reason why ” teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning.” is because the dogma of materialism has taken over science. Science is no longer the search for reality, ie the truth to our existence. Science is now just a wet noodle of its former self.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, enabling then. KF

  51. 51
    ET says:

    jdk doesn’t have any concerns over what was said in the OP because he isn’t interested in reality, either. He has no idea how to test the claims made by the non-telic position and yet he is sure there isn’t any scientific evidence for teleology.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, that is a betrayal of our civilisation, and the things now in play compound it into a hellishly explosive mix. KF

    PS: Observe here on in another thread, on a smoking gun document on the collusive censorship that abuses monopoly and cartel power: https://uncommondescent.com/free-speech/the-id-issue-vs-digital-empire-cartel-concerns-information-utilities-superhighway-vs-shadow-censoring-de-platforming-information-gatekeepers/#comment-663293 The doc is 45 MB, but is worth the download, here: http://www.matrixfiles.com/Dav.....-Trump.pdf get it and hold it, do an OCR so you can quote it. See the Gateway Pundit expose here, which gives some key graphics: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/08/top-democrat-activist-organizations-admitted-to-working-with-facebook-and-twitter-to-eliminate-conservative-content/ The doc was mentioned months ago but the big difference is, we now have clear on the ground events that connect dots. And it’s not just politics, Christians are being targettede for shadow-censorship. The private firm argument being used is hellish and needs to be countered by understanding that historically abusive censorship came from non state actors too. Given network economics and the betrayal of trust that people were dealing with platforms, drastic anti-cartel actions may be needed given domination of news and views. (How people came to trust such entities beats me.)

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: What UD’s news exposed above just shows that these same tactics and strategies are being extended to science. Climate trends and the design issue are obvious cases in point but there are many others. And of course once science is in play science education and general education are also in play.

    PPPS: We need to realise that Plato’s parable of the mutinous ship of state is a WARNING, not an instruction manual.

  54. 54
    ET says:

    Yes, it is a huge betrayal of our civilization. The only reason no one is doing anything about it is people just don’t know what is going on. Or maybe they do and that is why the trust in scientists is very low.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, the contentions surrounding climate trends and YouTube’s posting of loaded, one-sided warning labels speaks. The shadow-censorship games [93 – 99+% lockdowns on traffic through destructive algorithms), de-platforming and slanders speak. Even the proposals to strip people of their degrees and the career busting we have seen. Where, science and linked technologies are among the most important tools to improve the lot of ordinary people. But then some of the radicals out there want a die-off of up to 90% of the population as they view humanity as a plague on the earth. I think instead this century should be the fusion power century that then makes the deserts bloom like a rose through desalination, and turns water into the key energy resource (deuterium). Beyond, solar system colonisation, e.g. by fusion drive rockets tthat can put us on gas giant moons in 2 1/2 months. The opportunities that are being locked out boggle the mind. KF

  56. 56
    jdk says:

    Kf writes,

    in 48

    it is clear that the sort of enabling of bigotry feeding censorship and what lies beyond it that is exposed above is sobering and is being studiously ignored to the point of enabling.

    in 50,

    JDK, enabling then. KF

    in 52,

    that is a betrayal of our civilisation, and the things now in play compound it into a hellishly explosive mix.

    Pretty serious allegations, kf. However, I long ago learned to not take your apocalyptic, hyperbolic, paranoid pronouncements seriously.

  57. 57
    ET says:

    Jack, it is all true. Your version of science is total dogma, which is the antithesis of science

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, the documentation is there, just read it with an eye to the classic agit prop tactic of turnabout accusation manifesting projection and the Alinsky tactic of they are the devils. Don’t forget I cut my eye-teeth dealing with communists, and living through a mini civil war. (Which, they are now beginning to admit was a civil war. While it was going on, that language was utterly off the table.) The issues on the table are truly sobering but many are in denial — as were ever so many when Stalin’s purges, show trials and deliberate starvation of the Ukraine were in full swing. KF

  59. 59
  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Once you cross the censorship threshold, you are undermining prime rights and the deadly juggernaut has been set rolling. I wonder if most of those caught up in the agit prop hysterias realise the hellfire that has been set a-blazing.

  61. 61
    ET says:

    They don’t see it as censorship. They see it as saving people from having to read about a failed religious philosophy. They are truly a hypocritical and sad lot.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, censors always think they are right, that is how they resolve cognitive dissonance. Also, note how if you make a crooked yardstick your standard for straight, upright and accurate, then what is really those things will never pass the test of conformity to crookedness. It takes willingness to accept the verdict of a plumb line to get out of that one, and believe you me many will not listen until they are in such pain and despair at the foot of a cliff that you do not want to go there. 38 years later many are in denial in my native land. 23 years later, same here — even after they were warned about the risks being run in advance, in public on videotape. I almost forget, two weeks after giving that warning, there was the Minister of Govt on radio denouncing the neurotic with visions of disaster — JDK does not realise he is right on cue. The ones in denial often hate those who were right. And of course, agit prop cannon fodder never dream that they are being led to the slaughter, from behind as much as from in front. I could go on, but enough has been said for those with eyes to see and ears to hear backed by hearts inclined to understand. KF

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    Basically the “Creationism and conspiracism” paper in the OP is claiming that people who believe in God, i.e. “creationists”, are more prone to believe in conspiracies and are therefore more mentally ill, on average, than atheists.

    Yet when one looks at the actual empirical evidence, (instead of looking at statistical studies in which the p values derived in those studies are notoriously prone to reflecting the researchers’ personal and apriori bias rather than reflecting the actual truth about reality)

    Scientific method: Statistical errors – P values, the ‘gold standard’ of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume. – Regina Nuzzo – 12 February 2014
    Excerpt: “P values are not doing their job, because they can’t,” says Stephen Ziliak, an economist at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, and a frequent critic of the way statistics are used.,,,
    “Change your statistical philosophy and all of a sudden different things become important,” says Steven Goodman, a physician and statistician at Stanford. “Then ‘laws’ handed down from God are no longer handed down from God. They’re actually handed down to us by ourselves, through the methodology we adopt.”,,
    One researcher suggested rechristening the methodology “statistical hypothesis inference testing”3, presumably for the acronym it would yield.,,
    The irony is that when UK statistician Ronald Fisher introduced the P value in the 1920s, he did not mean it to be a definitive test. He intended it simply as an informal way to judge whether evidence was significant in the old-fashioned sense: worthy of a second look. The idea was to run an experiment, then see if the results were consistent with what random chance might produce.,,,
    Neyman called some of Fisher’s work mathematically “worse than useless”,,,
    “The P value was never meant to be used the way it’s used today,” says Goodman.,,,
    The more implausible the hypothesis — telepathy, aliens, homeopathy — the greater the chance that an exciting finding is a false alarm, no matter what the P value is.,,,
    “It is almost impossible to drag authors away from their p-values, and the more zeroes after the decimal point, the harder people cling to them”11,,
    http://www.nature.com/news/sci.....E-20140213

    A Litany of Problems With p-values – February 5, 2017
    Excerpt: In my opinion, null hypothesis testing and p-values have done significant harm to science. The purpose of this note is to catalog the many problems caused by p-values. As readers post new problems in their comments, more will be incorporated into the list, so this is a work in progress.
    The American Statistical Association has done a great service by issuing its Statement on Statistical Significance and P-values. Now it’s time to act. To create the needed motivation to change, we need to fully describe the depth of the problem.,,,
    http://www.fharrell.com/2017/0.....alues.html

    Yet when one looks at the actual empirical evidence, one finds a very different conclusion for mental illness than the conclusion the researchers are trying to put forth in their present “Creationism and conspiracism” paper.

    Namely when one looks at the actual empirical evidence, instead of looking at ‘statistics’, one finds that the shoe for supposed mental illness is squarely on the other foot.

    For instance, as to the susceptibility to believe in weird things, i.e. to believe in “conspiracies”, we find that,

    Look Who’s Irrational Now – 2008
    Excerpt: “What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....54585.html

    Don’t Believe in God? Maybe You’ll Try U.F.O.s
    By CLAY ROUTLEDGE JULY 21, 2017
    Excerpt: People who do not frequently attend church are twice as likely to believe in ghosts as those who are regular churchgoers. The less religious people are, the more likely they are to endorse empirically unsupported ideas about U.F.O.s, intelligent aliens monitoring the lives of humans and related conspiracies about a government cover-up of these phenomena.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/opinion/sunday/dont-believe-in-god-maybe-youll-try-ufos.html

    But the detrimental effects of Atheism go much further than just believing in weird, but relatively harmless, “conspiracies”. The detrimental effects of Atheism are found to have pronounced detrimental effects on both our mental and physical well being:

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PR11#v=onepage&q&f=false
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Research on religion and serious mental illness
    Harold G. Koenig David B. Larson Andrew J. Weaver
    – 27 February 2006
    According to this review, religion plays a largely positive role in mental health; future research on severe mental disorders should include religious factors more directly
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/yd.23319988010

    Apparently, the depressing effects inherent within the Nihilism of Atheism,,,

    “If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we’re alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.”
    ~Damon Linker – ‘Must Atheists Be Nihilists?’

    ,,,, Apparently, the depressing effects inherent within the Nihilism of their Atheism are far more pronounced than Atheists have ever realized and/or are ever willing to admit to in public.

    Fortunately, contrary to what Atheists may believe, modern science overwhelming confirms that our lives are not completely worthless but that our lives do indeed have intrinsic meaning, value, purpose and dignity.

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    To drive the “it is detrimental to believe in atheism” point firmly home, Atheists are found to, on average, die significantly younger than people who believe in God.

    Atheism and health
    A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health

    Can attending church really help you live longer? This study says yes – June 1, 2017
    Excerpt: Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
    “For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/02/can-attending-church-really-help-you-live-longer-study-says-yes/364375001/

    Study: Religiously affiliated people lived religiously affiliated lived “9.45 and 5.64 years longer…”
    July 1, 2018
    Excerpt: Self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity. However, previous work has largely relied on self-report data and volunteer samples. Here, mention of a religious affiliation in obituaries was analyzed as an alternative measure of religiosity. In two samples (N = 505 from Des Moines, IA, and N = 1,096 from 42 U.S. cities), the religiously affiliated lived 9.45 and 5.64 years longer, respectively, than the nonreligiously affiliated. Additionally, social integration and volunteerism partially mediated the religion–longevity relation.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/study-religiously-affiliated-people-lived-religiously-affiliated-lived-9-45-and-5-64-years-longer/

    Can Religion Extend Your Life? – By Chuck Dinerstein — June 16, 2018
    Excerpt: The researcher’s regression analysis suggested that the effect of volunteering and participation accounted for 20% or 1 year of the impact, while religious affiliation accounted for the remaining four years or 80%.
    https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/06/16/can-religion-extend-your-life-13092

    Moreover, as was referenced in the “Creationism and conspiracism” paper, people have a natural tendency, from childhood, to see the world as being designed:

    Children are born believers in God, academic claims – 24 Nov 2008
    Excerpt: “Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....laims.html

    Predisposed to believe – July 2011
    Excerpt: Science Daily reports “A three-year international research project, directed by two academics at the University of Oxford, finds that humans have natural tendencies to believe in gods and an afterlife.” As my friend added, “This research was quite costly – they could have saved money by reading the Bible!”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....o-believe/

    Even Professional Scientists and Atheists themselves have a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to “See Purpose in Nature”, i.e. to believe in God:

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    As the following video clearly shows, atheists have to mentally work suppressing their “knee jerk” design inference!

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    As the preceding video clearly highlighted, it is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves see in nature.

    And yes, Denialism is a mental illness:

    Denialism
    In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.[1] Denialism is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of a historical experience or event, when a person refuses to accept an empirically verifiable reality.[2]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism

    Perhaps the two most famous quotes of atheists suppressing their innate ‘design inference’ are the following two quotes:

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit

    First off, contrary to what Dawkins stated, natural selection certainly does NOT explain the “appearance of design”

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Secondly, when just looking at a cross section of DNA, even before getting into the astonishing multiple overlapping coding within DNA, it is easy to see why Crick stated that “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”

    Cross Section of DNA – google search
    https://www.google.com/search?q=cross+section+dna&hl=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwi4uLGe_ILdAhVI7qwKHXBPCncQ_AUICigB&biw=1600&bih=782#imgrc=_

    Thus in conclusion, the Christian is well justified in trusting his intuition that the world is Designed. And the Atheists is found to be artificially, and without empirical warrant, suppressing that same intuition in Design.

    As molecular biologist Doug Axe stated in his book “Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed”, “Our intuition was right all along.”

    “Our intuition was right all along.”
    https://www.amazon.com/Undeniable-Biology-Confirms-Intuition-Designed/dp/0062349597

    Verse:

    Romans 1:19-20
    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

  66. 66
    Bob O'H says:

    Basically the “Creationism and conspiracism” paper in the OP is claiming that people who believe in God, i.e. “creationists”, are more prone to believe in conspiracies and are therefore more mentally ill, on average, than atheists.

    No, this is wrong on several coutsn:
    1. not everyone who believes in God is a creationist.
    2. no, they don’t look at the correlation between creationism and belief in conspiracies
    3. they make no link to mental illness
    4. they do not look at religious affiliation, so don’t make any link to atheism.

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave) at his usual dishonest tactics once again.

    1. not everyone who believes in God is a creationist.

    They believe in no god worth having then!

    2 Timothy 3:5
    having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

    2. no, they don’t look at the correlation between creationism and belief in conspiracies

    And yet from the OP itself:

    “we found robust evidence of a teleological link between conspiracism and creationism,”

    3. they make no link to mental illness

    So, tin foil hat conspiracy thinking is not a ‘mental illness’ in your book?

    Despite the fact that some conspiracies may be true, for the average layman, the link to mental illness is implicit in the accusation of “conspiracism”

    4. they do not look at religious affiliation, so don’t make any link to atheism.

    The title once again:

    “Creationism and conspiracism share a common teleological bias”

    Save for the fact that Atheists deny teleology and Christians and/or Theists embrace teleology, you might have been in the ballpark of reason.

    As it is, you are, once again, a shining example of the mental illness of ‘denialism’, that is rampant among atheists, that I highlighted in post 65.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: The paper presents a doubly or triply loaded and manipulative definition of “Creationism.” Namely, “belief that life on Earth was purposefully created by a supernatural agent.” This first neatly sidesteps the focal point of the design inference, design as key causal factor may be inferred on empirically observed reliable signs, further distorting to suggest inference to a particular designer. Second, this suppresses the proper alternative, natural [blind chance and/or mechanical necessity] vs the ART-ificial. Third, it is far too broad-brush, patently intent on tainting with imposition of a religious dogma when in fact it is a reasonable philosophical inference to hold that the world and life in it are created by God, without reference to any particular religious tradition. In short, the whole premise of the study is deeply flawed. And again, you are missing in action on the sobering issue at work as was highlighted at 6 above. We are entitled to draw conclusions. KF

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The clear subtext created by “persists” language, starting with children and then extending to the despised other adults is loaded. Further to this, conspiracism is deemed delusional thinking which is at minimum a borderline mental disorder. It seems you have not seriously read how the duly peer-reviewed article opens (this does wonders for the credibility of peer review . . . NOT):

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

  70. 70
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 –

    1. not everyone who believes in God is a creationist.

    They believe in no god worth having then!

    it sounds like you agree with me – you might not like the God these people believe in, but you’ve not arguing that they don’t believe in the Christian God.

    2. no, they don’t look at the correlation between creationism and belief in conspiracies

    And yet from the OP itself:

    “we found robust evidence of a teleological link between conspiracism and creationism,”

    OK, I should have been more careful, because this is a subtle point and what I wrote was too brief, so my apologies.

    What the researchers did was to show that there are factors that explain creationist belief and belief in conspiracies. They find that there are some factors in common, although they are not the strongest for both. What they do not do is look to see if people who are more likely to be creationists are more likely to be conspiracy theorists: it is possible, for example, that what the authors call animism makes one more likely to be either a creationist or a conspiracy theorist, but then one becomes one or the other, depending on finalism or rejection of science. Thus there may not be a correlation, because it wasn’t tested.

    3. they make no link to mental illness

    So, tin foil hat conspiracy thinking is not a ‘mental illness’ in your book?

    Despite the fact that some conspiracies may be true, for the average layman, the link to mental illness is implicit in the accusation of “conspiracism”

    The writers of this paper are not “average layman”, and did not make the link to mental illness.

    4. they do not look at religious affiliation, so don’t make any link to atheism.

    The title once again:

    “Creationism and conspiracism share a common teleological bias”

    Right. See my first point.

    Save for the fact that Atheists deny teleology and Christians and/or Theists embrace teleology, you might have been in the ballpark of reason.

    This is your claim, not theirs: once more, they do not look at religious affiliation, and particularly not atheism.

  71. 71
    ET says:

    The paper is full of crap and it starts out with nonsense:

    Teleological thinking — the attribution of purpose and a final cause to natural events and entities — has long been identified as a cognitive hindrance to the acceptance of evolution,…

    That depends on how you define “evolution” because even YECs accept that allele frequencies change over time- ie evolution.

    The hinderance to accepting blind watchmaker evolution is the total lack of science and evidence to support the position.

    So clearly the authors have serious mental issues.

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

    Except for all of the scientific venues that count on it, of course. Archaeology depends on teleological thinking, as does forensic science. Again, clearly the authors have mental issues.

    First, we sought to establish whether teleological thinking, classically associated with creationism,

    That is an outright lie. Teleological thinking is classically associated with the ancient Greeks.

    Do the authors know anything? Apparently not.

  72. 72
    ET says:

    Earth to Bob O’H- Clearly you are as ignorant as the authors. Theistic evolutionists accept teleological explanations and they are not creationists.

    Everyone who believes in God accepts teleological thinking. They also see a purpose to our being, along with a final cause.

  73. 73
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    The writers of this paper are not “average layman”, and did not make the link to mental illness.

    No, an average layman would not have made as many mistakes as the authors did. And the authors appear to be linked to a mental illness.

  74. 74
    asauber says:

    a cognitive hindrance to the acceptance of evolution

    So why is acceptance of ‘evolution’ so important?

    No one even knows what it is, in a scientific sense, that’s why there are many definitions of it.

    This is not about science, never was, prolly never will be.

    Andrew

  75. 75
    ET says:

    Evolutionism must be the new “opiate for the masses”

  76. 76
    bornagain77 says:

    Only in the contorted reasoning of a mind warped by Darwinian/Atheistic thinking is Bob’s claim and response reasonable.

    His reasoning is garbage.

    But such as it typically is in trying to reason with those whose worldview undermines reason altogether.

    Paul Herrick, “C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Reason: A Defense,” Gonzaga Socratic Club – video (14:00 miinute mark)
    https://youtu.be/tHkN2nD8dJA?t=835

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    of supplemental note to 76:

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    The Case Against Reality – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Hoffman seems to come to a conclusion similar to the one Alvin Plantinga argues in ch. 10 of Where the Conflict Really Lies: we should not expect — in the absence of further argument — that creatures formed by a naturalistic evolutionary process would have veridical perceptions.,,,
    First, even if Hoffman’s argument were restricted to visual perception, and not to our cognitive faculties more generally (e.g., memory, introspection, a priori rational insight, testimonial belief, inferential reasoning, etc.), the conclusion that our visual perceptions would be wholly unreliable given natural selection would be sufficient for Plantinga’s conclusion of self-defeat. After all, reliance upon the veridicality of our visual perceptions was and always will be crucial for any scientific argument for the truth of evolution. So if these perceptions cannot be trusted, we have little reason to think evolutionary theory is true.
    Second, it’s not clear that Hoffman’s application of evolutionary game theory is only specially applicable to visual perception, rather than being relevant for our cognitive faculties generally. If “we find that veridical perceptions can be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality” (2010, p. 504, my emphasis), then why wouldn’t veridical cognitive faculties (more generally) be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality? After all, evolutionary theory purports to be the true account of the formation of all of our cognitive faculties, not just our faculty of visual perception. If evolutionary game theory proves that “true perception generally goes extinct” when “animals that perceive the truth compete with others that sacrifice truth for speed and energy-efficiency” (2008), why wouldn’t there be a similar sacrifice with respect to other cognitive faculties? In fact, Hoffman regards the following theorem as now proven: “According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness” (Atlantic interview). But then wouldn’t it also be the case that an organism that cognizes reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that cognizes none of reality but is just tuned to fitness? On the evolutionary story, every cognitive faculty we have was produced by a process that was tuned to fitness (rather than tuned to some other value, such as truth).
    http://www.gregwelty.com/2016/.....t-reality/

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield on Free Will – Michael Egnor – July 26, 2018
    Excerpt: in fact, there is strong support for the reality of free will from neuroscience, in addition to decisive philosophical and logical arguments for free will.
    For a philosophical example, consider that affirmation or denial of free will is a proposition, which is a statement that may or may not be true. But matter has no truth value — propositions aren’t material things. Matter just is; it is neither true nor false. Thus, when a materialist claims that material causes preclude the possibility of free will, he is also claiming that his own opinion cannot be true (or false). Denial of free will on the basis of materialistic determinism is self-refuting.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/neurosurgeon-wilder-penfield-on-free-will/

  78. 78
    Bob O'H says:

    Well, this thread seems to have run its course.

  79. 79
    ET says:

    No, Bob, you have run your irrational course and clearly you are exhausted.

    We are still picking apart the asinine claims made the authors

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, let him go. We have enough to draw a conclusion. KF

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Am I the only one to see many parallels to the Lewontin cat out of the bag statement from 1997?

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    KF

  82. 82
    ET says:

    kairosfocus-

    Bob was just a flea I needed to scratch. I’m better now. 😎

  83. 83
    jdk says:

    Glad we got Lewontin in here: the thread wouldn’t have been complete without it! 🙂

  84. 84
    ET says:

    Great, Jack is back with its usual nothingness. 😛

  85. 85
    daveS says:

    jdk,

    “I didn’t think he was going to do Moon River, then BAM, second encore!”

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK (attn, DS), kindly take a look at the telling parallels in thought. If that does not give you sobering pause, it should. KF

    PS: But then, there is a silly little mental game we can consider.

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

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

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

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

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

    It even reflects a lot of exchanges in and around this blog on ID and related themes.

    Sadly, including the case that infers that those who reject the establishment of atheism in a lab coat as the somehow standard definition of Science, its methods and conclusions are deluded and childish, to be taken in charge by their betters, the bright ones.

    We need to pause and see what we are doing, the clip from 6 above on comes from the peer reviewed literature, indeed it is literally where the argument that sets up a seemingly impressive study begins.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: read and weep time:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Consider key parallel no. 1:

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

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

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

    vs.

    Lewontin, annotated, 1997:

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

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

    KF

  89. 89
    john_a_designer says:

    What is the purpose of convincing anyone else that ultimately there is no purpose to anything, especially when you cannot give a logically valid argument as to why such a view is true? Is the universe, life and human existence purposeless simply because that is what you believe? Who are you to tell everyone else what to think and believe?

  90. 90
    ET says:

    john a designer:

    What is the purpose of convincing anyone else that ultimately there is no purpose to anything, especially when you cannot give a logically valid argument as to why such a view is true?

    Because it makes them feel good to poke at other people they disagree with. Muddying the waters does wonders 😎

  91. 91
    john_a_designer says:

    I’m just curious as to how some of our regular interlocutors can find purpose in purposelessness.

    I have said this here before that if I was an atheist, I would leave other people alone. What is the point of trying to convince others that ultimately there is no purpose to their lives?

  92. 92
    daveS says:

    JAD,

    I doubt that most atheists here feel their own lives are purposeless*, or are trying to convince theists that their lives have no purpose.

    I think atheists are here because they like to debate/discuss some of the great issues. I’m not trying to convert anyone to my worldview.

    *As an example of one way I find purpose, my wife asked me to do a few projects around the house this summer. If I do them, she will be happy, which makes me happy. These projects will increase the quality of both our lives; that’s part of my purpose at the moment.

  93. 93
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    JAD @ 91:

    I have said this here before that if I was an atheist, I would leave other people alone. What is the point of trying to convince others that ultimately there is no purpose to their lives?

    I think purpose here is a red herring. The real currency is truth and the consequent moral claims on one’s life. As J. Budziszewski described in his seminal essay 20 years ago, The Revenge of Conscience, a violated conscience cannot rest. If not healed through repentance and faith, it becomes a runaway engine of evil deeds. The owner of such a conscience will try to wrench the moral axis of its universe to its crazy tilt rather than simply admit its spiritual brokenness. That goes for sophisticated atheists as well as common pagans.

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1998/06/the-revenge-of-conscience

  94. 94
    jdk says:

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

  95. 95
    ET says:

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

  96. 96
    jdk says:

    Yes, teleological explanations in science, as I said.

  97. 97
    ET says:

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

  98. 98
    ET says:

    daves- The purpose you speak of is not the purpose being discussed. We are more interested in the purpose to our existence.

  99. 99
    jdk says:

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

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

  100. 100
    john_a_designer says:

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

    Here is a quote from article cited in the OP:

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

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

  101. 101
    daveS says:

    ET,

    If JAD (and you) are talking about a purpose such as “you were brought into existence to love God” or something along those lines, I agree that of course I don’t believe I have such a purpose.

    Referring back to JAD’s post, I’m certainly up for debating the existence of God, but I’m not trying to convince anyone there is no purpose for their existence. In fact, unless the other person brings it up, I don’t really care what their religious beliefs are.

  102. 102
    ET says:

    jdk:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  103. 103
    jdk says:

    JAD, did you understand my points in 99 and 94?

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

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

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

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

  104. 104
    ET says:

    daves:

    If JAD (and you) are talking about a purpose such as “you were brought into existence to love God” or something along those lines, I agree that of course I don’t believe I have such a purpose.

    Oh my. No, and I don’t understand how you got there from what I said. A purpose would be something we have to do/ fulfill. Put the pieces together, figure out what the puzzle says and follow it. One example would be the purpose illustrated in “The Privileged Planet”- that our place in the universe was intelligently designed for scientific discovery. Discover those puzzle pieces and find the prize.

    A purpose beyond whatever you can ever achieve now. The bringing together of humanity to find and fulfill its destiny.

    That purpose.

  105. 105
    ET says:

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

    And many more believe otherwise.

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

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

  106. 106
    john_a_designer says:

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

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

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

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

    That’s a logically fallacious ad populum argument.

  107. 107
    ET says:

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

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

  108. 108
    daveS says:

    ET,

    I was just giving an example, and meant to include scenarios such as the one you described as well. Any situation where we were deliberately created by a Designer for a reason, really.

  109. 109
    ET says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  110. 110
    ET says:

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

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

  111. 111
    jdk says:

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

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

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

  112. 112
    jdk says:

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

    That’s a logically fallacious ad populum argument.”

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

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

  113. 113
    jdk says:

    JAD, what do you think of my example in 103? Is there a difference between a strictly scientific explanation and one that also includes teleological explanations?

  114. 114
    ET says:

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

    Period. End of story.

    It makes me wonder what Jack thinks science is about

  115. 115
    jdk says:

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

  116. 116
    ET says:

    Strawman Alert:

    But science is not about all of reality.

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

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

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

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

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

  117. 117
    john_a_designer says:

    jdk wrote,

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

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

    Pinker writes,

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

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

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....humanities

    Why aren’t you criticizing Pinker?

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK,

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

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

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

    That’s a smoking gun.

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

    Consider key parallel no. 1:

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

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

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

    vs.

    Lewontin, annotated, 1997:

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

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

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

    I remind, from AmHD, sense 3:

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

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

    But I get ahead of myself.

    Let’s review.

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

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

    So, it self-destructs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    [The Crooked Yardstick Effect:]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    As we have seen in and around UD for years.

    KF

  119. 119
  120. 120
    jdk says:

    JAD writes, “Why aren’t you criticizing Pinker?”

    Because Pinker is not here having a discussion with me. I’ve never even ever read anything by Pinker.

    And I don’t agree with his statement that “In other words, the worldview that guides the moral and spiritual values of an educated person today is the worldview given to us by science.” As I have been saying, I don’t think science is the pathway to all knowledge.

  121. 121
    daveS says:

    jdk,

    It is interesting how JAD’s question reflects an expectation that you should already have prepared something like a file of position papers on, at least, public figures perceived to be on the same “side” as you in these debates.

    [To expand slightly on your post #120] I propose a rule (really just a reminder): Participants are responsible for defending or criticizing their own views only.

    Obviously the views of non-participants are a legitimate topic, but no participants have pledged allegiance to Lewontin, Pinker, etc, AFAIK.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Pinker is yet another inconvenient voice inadvertently exposing the agenda of evolutionary materialistic scientism which comes out in the opening words of the main argument for the paper in the OP.

    Let’s clip again, noting how studiously key issues have been dodged:

    Main Text

    Although teleological thinking has long been banned from scientific reasoning,

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

    it persists in childhood cognition,

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

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

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

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

    [–> projection, and guilt by invidious association]

    we sought to investigate whether teleological thinking

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

    could underlie and associate

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

    both types of beliefs.

    Let us note, they speak of BANNING teleological reasoning in science. This implies censorship power and use of that power, in a peer reviewed paper that sets out to characterise creationists as indulging ill-founded conspiracism. Given what is going on with the digital empires, that should give us serious pause.

    Then, let us note the highly relevant meaning 3 for naturalism, from AmHD:

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

    In short, evolutionary materialistic scientism — the force of “naturalism” — implies that science under materialistic censorship monopolises knowledge and reality.

    That is central, regardless of deflection attempts by advocates, enablers, fellow travellers (even religious ones), dismissive talking points and the like.

    KF

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, it is fair to expect reasonably informed participants to deal with the substantial core of an issue and with relevant evidence. We are dealing with open acknowledgement of imposition of censorship by evolutionary materialistic scientism (aka naturalism) in the peer reviewed literature. A cat out of the bag admission by a leading member of the guild is relevant (Lewontin) as is a remark by another (Provine). There are many others. The policy-shaping remarks and actions of the US NSTA and NAS c 2000 – 2005 and on are relevant, as are associated actions by activists who shaped outcomes at that time. In that context, it is material that there has been a narrative that pretends that scientism does not rule the roost, used to induce sections of the public (including the religious public) to go along with the censorship. The implication of that censorship is plain: announcements and claims by the scientific establishment on matters tied to the design inference are tainted by question-begging, sustained abuse of positions of trust to impose ideological agendas that cripple science from unfettered pursuit of truth, and frankly by lawfare leading to unjust imposition under colour of law. Those are sobering issues, that now are taking a very dark turn as credit card agencies use SPLC smears to join the digital empires in censorship and de platforming. Maybe, you have forgotten how the Revelation speaks of how no man could buy or sell save he took the mark. That, is where we now are. KF

  124. 124
    bornagain77 says:

    Although some Darwinian Atheists in this thread, apparently because of the patent absurdity of denying teleology, would like to hold on to some type of teleology, the plain fact of the matter is that without reference to ‘immaterial mind’, and the ‘intentionality’ inherent therein, there simply can never be ‘real’ teleology within nature or within ourselves.

    As Dr Egnor elaborates:

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature.
    Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature.
    In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

  125. 125
    ET says:

    Hold. The. Press-

    What about the conspiracy claim that Intelligent Design is just a Trojan horse for Creationism?

    Or the conspiracy of teleological language undermining science?

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, all are addressed in the weak argument correctives. KF

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