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Dilbert’s creator, Scott Adams, gives lessons in being a troll for science

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Courtesy Salvo 49:

Last fall, Dilbert creator Scott Adams held his first online “Troll College.” Sitting in front of a wonky whiteboard, the satirist extraordinaire and sarcastic poker-of-fun at all things pompous, taught seven rules for would-be internet trolls. One capitalized on the straw man fallacy, which involves misstating your target’s argument, then criticizing the misstatement. Others focused on rhetorical strategy: always issue a “halfpinion,” for example, which reduces a complex issue to one variable, rather than a real opinion, which would require taking all factors into account.

“You should also pretend,” Adams said, moving on to rule number five, “that you as a troll [do] something called ‘understanding science.’ . . . Just make the assumption that you know more about science than other people.” And like a good teacher, he modeled how it should be done. “Ah huh huh huh,” he guffawed, demonstrating the condescending, arrogant, mocking tone you should assume. “You don’t know anything about science, ah ha ha. . . .” A troll should never give reasons for what he “understands.” What matters is the attitude.

Terrell Clemmons, “When Darwin’s Foundations Are Crumbling, What Will the Faithful Do?” at Salvo

They seem to have followed the script, Clemmons reports, with Michael Behe’s Darwin Devolves.

You can sit on the observation deck here.

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

See also: Dilbert’s Scott Adams And The Reproductively Effective Delusion Evolutionary Thesis

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Schrodinger’s cat applies for a job

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118 Replies to “Dilbert’s creator, Scott Adams, gives lessons in being a troll for science

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    News, the problem is, some may think this is a textbook rather than a satirical troll roast. We may have a live case in point. KF

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “You should also pretend,” Adams said, moving on to rule number five, “that you as a troll [do] something called ‘understanding science.’ . . . Just make the assumption that you know more about science than other people.” And like a good teacher, he modeled how it should be done. “Ah huh huh huh,” he guffawed, demonstrating the condescending, arrogant, mocking tone you should assume. “You don’t know anything about science, ah ha ha. . . .” A troll should never give reasons for what he “understands.” What matters is the attitude.

    Perfect. We saw an excellent example of this from a participant here just this week, with AaronS and myself referring to that exact thing “condescending, arrogant, mocking tone” that Mr. Adams notes. It’s great to have this validation. A phenomenon obvious enough that the whole world of Dilbert fans can laugh at it.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    He made an odd comment to you specifically I notice, that you were ranting about a subject you just learned two days ago. The reason why that was odd was you never said that you were unaware of outbreeding depression (again lots of disadvantages One to two incidental advantages, his argument that it was an advantage) Or that he was the source of your knowledge of it he just assumed and he assumed that you knew nothing about it

  4. 4
    hazel says:

    I can think of several regular posters here who in general support the main premises of this site and are often arrogant and condescending about their sense of superiority about understanding science. Do they count as trolls?

  5. 5
    OLV says:

    Is it possible that we have in this website a distinguished commenter (summa cum laude) alumni from Scott Adams’ Troll College?

  6. 6
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    I can think of several regular posters here who in general support the main premises of this site and are often arrogant and condescending about their sense of superiority about understanding science. Do they count as trolls?

    Arrogant and condescending ID proponents on this site? That is just crazy talk. 🙂

  7. 7
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Arrogant and condescending ID proponents on this site?

    More like arrogant and condescending blind watchmaker evolutionary proponents on this site. And then when they are corrected and exposed the people correcting and exposing them are called arrogant and condescending.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Condescending arrogance:

    A glaring misunderstanding of how evolution works in the very first sentence. That does not bode well for the rest of the OP.

    Right. On. Cue.

  9. 9
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AaronS

    He made an odd comment to you specifically I notice, that you were ranting about a subject you just learned two days ago. The reason why that was odd was you never said that you were unaware of outbreeding depression (again lots of disadvantages One to two incidental advantages, his argument that it was an advantage) Or that he was the source of your knowledge of it he just assumed and he assumed that you knew nothing about it.

    Exactly. My point was that there are a lot of disadvantages for it, and massively great advantages if it did not exist. He never addressed that. Instead, as long as Wikipedia said something and gave “examples” (which I ripped apart without a reply), his point was proven.
    That’s also the case within the evolutionary community itself. Generate an arcane paper on the most trivial finding, which doesn’t even answer the problem, and then claim that the science is settled beyond a doubt. In fact, anyone who doubts it is said to be ignorant of the research. Then, months later, a new paper overturns the previous conclusion. We are then told “that’s how science works”, again with the attitude of “you don’t know anything about science”.

    Those guys have been well-schooled at the troll college.

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    I can think of several regular posters here who in general support the main premises of this site and are often arrogant and condescending about their sense of superiority about understanding science.

    How can a minority view which is ridiculed, black-listed and persecuted by mainstream science be seen as having a sense of superiority? The arrogance comes entirely from one direction in this case.

  11. 11
    hazel says:

    Often, and surely you know there are examples here, that members of a minority position display a very strong sense that they are right and the mainstream is wrong. I assume you are familiar with posts by bornagain and kf. It would be easy to find examples of what I mean.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    H, kindly give us an actually observed case of functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information beyond 500 – 1,000 bits coming about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity: _____ . We can readily supply literally trillions via Internet and a world of technology (gears, nuts and bolts etc count!) caused through intelligently directed configuration. We can back this up with search challenge in config spaces i/l/o atomic resources of sol sys or observed cosmos. That gives us inductive reasoning based epistemic rights to claim good warrant. Warrant, is not arrogance, it is drawing responsible conclusions well within epistemic rights, having done due diligence regarding the duties of right reason. Your projections above are clearly misplaced; raising questions of a rhetorical projection. KF

    PS: I think this inadvertent, cat out of the bag remark throws an interesting sidelight i/l/o Adams’ troll roast, as I have marked it up:

    . . . 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.]

  13. 13
    OLV says:

    Just noticed that my question @5 was inaccurate. It should have been plural.
    🙂

  14. 14
    hazel says:

    Lewontin, again!!!

    I am really puzzled why you think one quote from one guy is a definitive statement that everyone who thinks that science is the “surest method of putting is in contact with physical reality” is somehow beholden to. Lewontin is certainly not any “official spokesperson” for science, or any other group.

    Also, I’ll point out that your continually posted quote is virtually unreadable because of the way you interject your editorial comments.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    H, you clearly have failed to read the statement with sufficient care; and it is readable enough, indeed there is also a link to the article as a whole. My notes are a markup. Lewontin wrote as a representative of the elites, of which he has been a member for decades, in a review of the final book by another member of those elites, Sagan (yes, of the original Cosmos). He set out a worldviews level challenge and described what the cultural elites thought and set out to impose. There is abundant further evidence of the pattern, I append from the US NSTA below as just one telling example as this is meant to control how the rising generation is taught about science. Do not force me to adduce further on how children were held hostage by the NSTA and NAS through a threatening letter for failing to toe the partyline. I also notice that while you dismiss, you actually have not answered here and in fact have never cogently answered. Thus on fair comment your dismissiveness is empty rhetoric. KF

    PS: “Moar” evidence — you asked for it:

    All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. [–> yes but a question-begging ideological imposition is not an accurate view] Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation [–> correct so far]. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts [–> evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed] and the laws and theories related to those [–> i.e. ideologically loaded, evolutionary materialistic] concepts . . . . science, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products [–> censorship of anything that challenges the imposition; fails to appreciate that scientific methods are studied through logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, which are philosophy not science] . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science [–> a good point, but fails to see that this brings to bear many philosophical issues], a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations [–> outright ideological imposition and censorship that fetters freedom of responsible thought] supported by empirical evidence [–> the imposition controls how evidence is interpreted and that’s why blind watchmaker mechanisms never seen to actually cause FSCO/I have default claim to explain it in the world of life] that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument [–> ideological imposition may hide under a cloak of rationality but is in fact anti-rational], inference, skepticism [–> critical awareness is responsible, selective hyperskepticism backed by ideological censorship is not], peer review [–> a circle of ideologues in agreement has no probative value] and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic [= evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed by definition, locking out an unfettered search for the credibly warranted truth about our world i/l/o observational evidence and linked inductive reasoning] methods and explanations and, as such [–> notice, ideological imposition by question-begging definition], is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> sets up a supernatural vs natural strawman alternative when the proper contrast since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is natural vs artificial] in the production of scientific knowledge. [US NSTA Board, July 2000, definition of the nature of science for education purposes]

  16. 16
    hazel says:

    I read the whole essay. I don’t support everything Lewontin says, but I also don’t see him as an “elite” who can impose anything on anyone. Many people believe that science should look for natural causes, with lots of variation in what that means: most (like me, as I said in 127 on the Egnor thread) don’t believe that only science can provide truth even though I support science as “the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality.” Lewontin, however, only speaks for a small subset of people (if he can be said to speak for anyone but himself at all.)

  17. 17
    hazel says:

    And I find it quite, we might say, telling, that you don’t quote the sentence which follows the “foot in the door” line and concludes the paragraph:

    The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    This seems like a good objection to me. If God is allowed as a scientific explanation, he can be invoked to explain anything, and therefore would really explain nothing.

    So, in the interest of intellectual honesty, perhaps you should amend your frequent quote to include these last lines.

  18. 18
    hazel says:

    Another point: you and other make the point (there was just a whole thread on it) the design is a valid scientific inference, but that is separate from any speculations about the designer. Therefore, what difference does it make if God is excluded from scientific explanations?

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    Often, and surely you know there are examples here, that members of a minority position display a very strong sense that they are right and the mainstream is wrong.

    I think we all believe that here. But condescension and arrogance come from a position of power, and we have little or no power over the mainstream media. We are the ones who get fired for mentioning something positive about ID. We are the ones who are banished from academia, the media, politics and culture. They even made teaching ID illegal. So, we’re talking about arrogance, power, superiority, mockery and pompousness of mainstream evolutionary science. There’s nothing like that in ID.

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    Lewontin, however, only speaks for a small subset of people (if he can be said to speak for anyone but himself at all.)

    If the term ‘elite’ means anything in the academic sphere, then he is one of them. His views represent the mainstream of evolutionary science.

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen. ”

    This assumes that evolution is built upon and refers to “regularities of nature” as the mechanism for the development of life. But random events are not regularities. To appeal to blind, random, unintelligent forces as the cause for the development of life, in many ways, is not different from saying that God did it.

  22. 22
    hazel says:

    My guess is that a majority of evolutionary scientists have some metaphysical beliefs other than pure materialism, including the Christian one of what you called theistic evolution in another thread (and which we had a brief discussion about, I think), or vaguer agnostic beliefs about the relationship between physical reality and whatever might be more than physical reality. However, in part because of that wide diversity and lack of consensus about what is “more”, science can only talk about the physical relationships between things, and leave the metaphysical interpretations to individuals. That all seems reasonable to me.

  23. 23
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    My guess is that a majority of evolutionary scientists have some metaphysical beliefs other than pure materialism, including the Christian one of what you called theistic evolution in another thread (and which we had a brief discussion about, I think), or vaguer agnostic beliefs about the relationship between physical reality and whatever might be more than physical reality.

    It’s a generous and broad-minded view. I’d like to see some support for that notion. For example, are there popular books about evolution from a non-atheistic point of view, matching something like Dawkins’ books? I haven’t seen them. I don’t think we can deny that many of the popular leaders in evolutionary thought (Dennett, Dawkins, Coyne, Myers, Moran) are stridently atheistic.

    However, in part because of that wide diversity and lack of consensus about what is “more”, science can only talk about the physical relationships between things, and leave the metaphysical interpretations to individuals.

    I don’t know if you saw the post I offered on quotes from evolutionary textbooks that indicated that the materialist metaphysic was the foundation of evolution, but that’s what it means when evolution is referred to as “blind, undirected, purposeless”.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, weird as it seems, statistics tells us that chance processes are riddled with regularities. Hence distributions. In Physics, these are the meat and potatoes of statistical thermodynamics, which studiesm populations at micro level with typically 10^18 – 24 particles. A classic text for that begins that the main task is to deduce the zustandsumme, the partition functions. From Z, just about everything else flows. KF

  25. 25
    hazel says:

    I have not read any of the people you mention, although I’ve heard of all of them but Moran. I think someone named Collins, as well as someone named Miller, are religious people who support mainstream evolutionary science. However what you call “popular leaders” might also be thought of as “infamous” because being “strident” sells.

    But I’ll once again point out that atheism is not synonymous with materialism (although the people you mention may all be materialist, also): one may be a non-materialist and yet not believe in any “gods” in the sense of beings who participate actively in the physical world or the lives of human beings.

    And I didn’t see, and would be interested in seeing, the list of textbooks you posted.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    H, science as you will know or will readily recognise, is a celebrity system. That is, it has the onion, inner circle elite pattern, and admission to ever tighter inner circles comes with prestige, funding, recognition, influence and power, which anyone who knows about power games will tell you is wide, open to faction games and linked progressive corruption to the point of cultivating sociopaths as dominant in core power centres — suicide for a civilisation. Many non-high prestige, non elite scientists (who hold but little power) indeed are all over the worldviews map. The power elites who dominate and too often domineer, unfortunately, are pretty much as Lewontin let the cat out of the bag about. He should know, he has been a card-carrying member for decades. The influences we have pointed out for so many years fit right in with those patterns. And BTW, wider Academia, the media, legal circles and elite education systems have much the same patterns and influences. That’s part of why dissident sites like this one are important, we are today’s equivalent to samizdat. And I note the web oligopolists are trying to censor and suppress the non politically correct as we speak — of course, blaming the victim all along the way. A key sign is reversal of burden of warrant so that accusatory swarming replaces protection of innocent reputation. To that, my answer is, you can be a publisher or a platform. If you abuse regulatory power and dominance to turn censor, you become responsible for consequences; potentially, in ways that are not going to be pretty if the degree of polarisation and domineering that we see further spins out of control. In the case of the USA, we are already in low grade civil war, though not as violent as the 1850’s there. Lawfare, street theatre, mob violence and media lynchings so far are not going over into general shooting but on current track that’s coming. Foolishly ill-advised, but then the collapse of legitimacy in the UK over Brexit spells much the same story. And more. What is happening with science is part of a widespread, pretty ugly picture that includes enabling of the worst holocaust in history under false colour of law. KF

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel, states that I have “a very strong sense that they (ID proponents) are right and the mainstream is wrong”.

    Other than the fact that it is not any ethereal sense that I may have but is a concrete scientific fact that is established, she is correct in her assessment that I have “a very strong “sense” that they (ID proponents) are right and the mainstream is wrong”.

    I’m sure the same can be said for the vast majority of ID proponents who have carefully examined the scientific evidence. In fact, the very article in the OP itself recounts Dr. Behe’s careful examination of the scientific evidence over the last several decades. Being sure of what the scientific evidence is actually saying is a far cry from the trollish attitude of typical atheists on the internet that Scott Adams alludes to in the video. In fact, Dr. Behe is shining example of dispassionately following the scientific evidence where it leads. Something that Darwinists would do very well to emulate instead of viciously attacking him personally as they have repeatedly done. (All without vindictive retaliation from Dr. Behe I might add)

    Hazel, after falsely trying to tar me as being as bad as atheistic trolls are notorious for being, goes on to ask, “what difference does it make if God is excluded from scientific explanations?”

    Well, it makes a tremendous difference. A difference that results in catastrophic epistemological failure for the (methodological) naturalist.

    To repeat,

    In fact, (as I have pointed out several times now), assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    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.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    Thus, although the Darwinist may 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;

    On top of all that, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on intelligent design and is certainly not based on methodological naturalism as is presupposed by Darwinists.
    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science, i.e. that the universe is rational and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can dare understand that rationality, to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results, from top to bottom science itself is certainly not ‘natural’.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever just found laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analysed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.

    Moreover, by any reasonable measure that one may wish to judge whether a theory is scientific, Darwinian evolution fails to qualify as a scientific theory:

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17
    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

    Whether or not a scientific theory is potentially falsifiable is considered the gold standard by which to judge whether a theory is scientific. As Popper himself stated,

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    In regards to that standard, it is not that Darwinism is not falsifiable, it is that Darwinists simply to refuse to accept the fact that their theory has been falsified by numerous lines of evidence. In the minds of Darwinists, empirical evidence is simply never allowed to falsify Darwinian evolution as a scientific theory. Here are a few falsifications of Darwin’s theory that Darwinists simply refuse to accept as falsifications of their theory:

    Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are found to be ‘directed’.

    Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the modern versions of it.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are certainly not explainable by ‘chance’ (nor is consciousness explainable by any possible reductive materialistic explanation in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, ‘immaterial’ mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm that mathematics exists in. i.e. Darwinian evolution actually denies the objective reality of the one thing, i.e. mathematics, that it most needs in order to be considered scientific in the first place!

    Donald Hoffman has, via population genetics, shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Yet the scientific method itself is based on reliable observation. Moreover, Quantum Mechanics itself has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’ proves that our conscious observations are reliable!.

    The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information, via experimental realization of the “Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment, is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract property of an immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution. i.e. Assuming reductive materialism and/or Naturalism as the starting philosophical position of science actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!

    Darwinist’s, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

    In short, Darwinian evolution, since its practitioners refuse to accept falsification of their theory, is much more realistically classified as a unfalsifiable pseudoscientific religion for atheists.

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

    And whereas Darwinists simply refuse to accept any empirical falsification of their theory, on the hand Intelligent Design is easily falsifiable. Just demonstrate that Darwinian and/or material processes can generate information. In fact there is a up to a 10 million dollar prize being offered for the first person who is able to meet that falsification criteria:

    What is the Secret of Life?
    Solve the #1 Question in all of Science
    Excerpt: Natural Code LLC is a Private Equity Investment group formed to identify a naturally occurring code. Our mission is to discover, develop and commercialize core principles of nature which give rise to information, consciousness and intelligence.
    Natural Code LLC will pay the researcher $100,000 for the initial discovery of such a code. If the newly discovered process is defensibly patentable, we will secure the patent(s). Once patents are granted, we will pay the full prize amount to the discoverer in exchange for the rights. Our investment group will locate or develop commercial applications for the technology.
    The discoverer will retain a percentage of ongoing ownership of the technology, sharing in future profits of the company, while benefitting from the extensive finance, marketing and technology experience of our investment group. Prize amount as of May 31, 2019 is $10 million.
    https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0

  28. 28
    hazel says:

    I did some reviewing of key sections about evolution in a copy of Biology by Campbell, which is a college textbook. I saw nothing that spoke to materialism, FWIW.

  29. 29
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    But I’ll once again point out that atheism is not synonymous with materialism…

    There are exceptions and contradictions among every group of believers. But we don’t argue by way of those exceptions. For the sake of discussion, we talk about the predominant trends. Generally speaking, Christians believe that God exists. Not all do. There’s no point making that qualification though. Generally speaking, atheists today (it may have been less true at another time) are materialists.

    And I didn’t see, and would be interested in seeing, the list of textbooks you posted.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/interesting-quotes-from-biology-textbooks/

  30. 30
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    SA, weird as it seems, statistics tells us that chance processes are riddled with regularities.

    It depends on how we define regularity and what level of prediction we’re comfortable with.

    If we’re saying that in any given string of events, it is 100% certain that “something will happen”, then yes.

    But by definion, a random sequence is non-ordered. So, if we mean by “regularity” an ordered process, then no.

    If we mean that random mutations will necessarily create certain functional, new traits beneficial to an organism over a period of time, I’ll say “no” to that also. Mutations are random and will not necessarily create anything viable. They might do it, based on some probabilities. But that is different from the regularity that we see in a force like gravity, for example.

  31. 31
    EDTA says:

    Hazel @ 17,
    >This seems like a good objection to me. If God is allowed as a scientific explanation, he can be invoked to explain anything, and therefore would really explain nothing.

    I think this holds for naturalistic explanations; we might agree on that. But I don’t think God fits into the category of a scientific explanation. But if God does exist and did create us and the world we live in, he would _have_ to be the explanation for some things, starting with our existence.

    I don’t see this as an objection to the idea of God. It does say that scientific and metaphysical explanations need to be distinguished. But I don’t think is an airtight argument against God.

  32. 32
    OLV says:

    Hazel @25:

    “I have not read any of the people you mention, although I’ve heard of all of them but Moran.”

    I think the one you haven’t heard of is a professor at a Canadian university who embarrassed himself here a few years ago when he affirmed that he knew exactly how morphogen gradients are formed.

    Apparently humility is not an abundant commodity within the Darwinian crowd.

    🙂

  33. 33
    hazel says:

    sa writes, “Generally speaking, atheists today (it may have been less true at another time) are materialists.”

    I don’t think that is true, and my guess is that there might be some surveys (of whatever reliability) about this someplace. My impression is that lots of people are disillusioned with religion which makes specific claims about specific gods, but believe there “is something out there” above and beyond just material existence.

    to edta: I didn’t mean to imply in any way that what I said was an argument against the existence of God. I did mean to say clearly that “scientific and metaphysical explanations need to be distinguished.” Many people believe that somehow something was/is the cause of our universe and its attributes which can and have led to life, but we have no way to investigate the specifics of that: thus it is a metaphysical belief, not a scientific one.

  34. 34
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    I don’t think that is true, and my guess is that there might be some surveys (of whatever reliability) about this someplace. My impression is that lots of people are disillusioned with religion which makes specific claims about specific gods, but believe there “is something out there” above and beyond just material existence.

    I’ve argued with atheists via evolution debates for 15 years or more. Now, the situation may be changing and it would be great, if so. Perhaps these years of clashing between atheists and believers has softened the hard-line atheist position that was so common a decade ago. Perhaps now, people realize that the primitive notion of materialism, championed by the likes of Dawkins and Coyne, is totally useless as a philosophy of life, and they are tired of being destroyed in debate. So … yes, maybe there is a New New Atheism, which tries to fit “something out there” into an atheist belief. That’s a positive step. At the same time, I haven’t seen such persons “in action” in the ordinary debates. I don’t think we’ve seen any (or very few) atheists like that here on UD, although I’ve been away for several months (are there any here today?). I think usually and almost universally, the atheists we encounter are absolute materialists. For them, there is nothing immaterial. There is nothing “out there” other than matter. I guess most of them by now want some kind of multiverse to fill the void. But it’s all based on the same concept.

    If, however, there really is a strong contingent of “immaterial believing” atheists out there … I think they’ll run head-long into the problems that Plato and Aristotle attempted to solve, and have to admit some things. Where did this “something” come from? It can’t come from matter. If it exists always, we’re talking about an attribute of God. If it has intelligence and power, those also cannot come from matter. If they self-exist, then we have God again. Eventually, the attributes of this “something out there” will be “that which we call God”.

  35. 35
    hazel says:

    Uh, I am such a person, FWIW. I’ve spent quite a bit of time explaining my views the last six months or so, and I think you’ve been around for some of those discussions.

    Also, you can Google “spiritual not religious” to find out more about the prevalence of such beliefs these days.

  36. 36
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel
    There are probably 10 atheists who are active on this site presently, maybe more.
    Ok, you are one that believes in the existence of some immaterial being of some kind. But I think you’re the only one. 90% are materialists. That’s enough for me to generalize.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, thanks for thoughts. I am pointing to the phenomenon of statistical or probability distributions, where phenomena driven by chance manifest an underlying lawlike order. Yes, they are highly contingent but end up in definite patterns, e.g. binomial, Gaussian, Weibull, Beta etc distributions and the various distributions of statistical mechanics. KF

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    H,

    generally speaking, textbook authors will not be so foolish as to explicitly advocate evolutionary materialistic scientism [= naturalism, where the ISM part in fact points to an ideological and/or worldview commitment] in their books. What we will find instead is an implicit naturalistic pose and the associated inference that everything is explainable and/or has been explained sufficiently by Big-S, naturalistic science.

    Likely, with dashes of scientism, the presumption that “Science” [usually, naturalistically understood] dominates credible knowledge, often implying or at least suggesting that that which is not scientific has low or no credibility. When, in fact, the grounding of knowledge is a matter of logic and epistemology, matters of philosophy. Which, is sometimes explicitly attacked.

    Sometimes, too, there is the suggestion that the naturalistic reconstruction of the past of origins is so certain as to be effectively facts as certain as that the earth is round and orbits the sun under gravitational forces; a serious logical-epistemological error regarding attainable degree of warrant for an unobserved past and imposition of ideologically loaded, deeply question-begging bias.

    This sort of stance is made a little more explicit in the US NSTA Board statement of July 2000, which I marked up to show its errors, agendas and censorship. Remember, that is presented as the proper definition of science, when in fact it is riddled with demonstrable fallacies.

    What is of course lost in the process is the understanding that sciences are open-ended searches for the truth about our world i/l/o observation and reasoned argument, creating inherently provisional bodies of observation, explanations and soft sense knowledge anchored by credible empirical reliability.

    Where, accessible degree of knowledge and reliability not only hinges on observational testing but on what aspect of the body of knowledge is being addressed.

    Empirical observations and results of tests are inherently more reliable than inferences and especially theories which are in effect inferences to best current explanation. The empirical reliability of a theory is a matter of empirical test and is inherently provisional. From this perspective, a live theory is a possibly true, empirically well tested explanatory model. Older theories that have had limitations identified [e.g. Newtonian dynamics] are well tested limiting cases that implicitly constrain successors or augmentations through the need to reduce to the limiting case.

    (That’s why for instance we speak of rest mass, such that E = m_0*c^2. Which is a valid supplementary point to Scott’s example above. Kinetic energy under relativistic terms has in it a term that does not vanish when velocity is zero.)

    And so forth.

    KF

    PS: For reference, I again put up my markup on the US NSTA July 2000 Board statement:

    All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. [–> yes but a question-begging ideological imposition is not an accurate view] Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation [–> correct so far]. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts [–> evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed] and the laws and theories related to those [–> i.e. ideologically loaded, evolutionary materialistic] concepts . . . . science, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products [–> censorship of anything that challenges the imposition; fails to appreciate that scientific methods are studied through logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, which are philosophy not science] . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science [–> a good point, but fails to see that this brings to bear many philosophical issues], a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations [–> outright ideological imposition and censorship that fetters freedom of responsible thought] supported by empirical evidence [–> the imposition controls how evidence is interpreted and that’s why blind watchmaker mechanisms never seen to actually cause FSCO/I have default claim to explain it in the world of life] that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument [–> ideological imposition may hide under a cloak of rationality but is in fact anti-rational], inference, skepticism [–> critical awareness is responsible, selective hyperskepticism backed by ideological censorship is not], peer review [–> a circle of ideologues in agreement has no probative value] and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic [= evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed by definition, locking out an unfettered search for the credibly warranted truth about our world i/l/o observational evidence and linked inductive reasoning] methods and explanations and, as such [–> notice, ideological imposition by question-begging definition], is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> sets up a supernatural vs natural strawman alternative when the proper contrast since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is natural vs artificial] in the production of scientific knowledge. [US NSTA Board, July 2000, definition of the nature of science for education purposes]

  39. 39
    KJul3s says:

    Naturalism has no real, rigorous definition, it is just an excuse to be lazy and to not even think about testing or exploring certain ideas.

    ID advocates here complain about naturalism and materialism a lot, but they aren’t the real issue and tearing them down won’t do anything to convince people because they are wedded to the idea of progress. If human history is a story of progress, then there must constantly be a stream of new things replacing old things and old ideas must never, ever come back. If they do, it threatens the modern worldview.

    Modern society has invested extremely heavily in this narrative and it would be devastating to modern humanity’s self-image and self-confidence to admit that their core beliefs (nature is undesigned and new ideas are always better) are over-valued.

  40. 40
    Bob O'H says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 29 (& Hazel) –

    But I’ll once again point out that atheism is not synonymous with materialism…

    There are exceptions and contradictions among every group of believers. But we don’t argue by way of those exceptions.

    I knew I should have bookmarked this page. It refers to a survey which shows that only a minority of atheists surveyed didn’t believe in any supernatural forces. From the report:

    As can be seen above, in none of our six countries surveyed does the percentage of unbelievers who qualify as naturalists approach 50%. Even among American atheists, the most naturalistic group across our surveyed countries, only a third seem to have a wholly naturalistic world view.

    So if anything, materialists would be the exception.

    (note to self: work harder on condescending, arrogant, mocking tone)

  41. 41
    forexhr says:

    The Fact of Evolution Refutes the Theory of Evolution – https://evofact.wordpress.com/

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    You simply can’t make this stuff up, nobody would believe it.

    Only an atheist would think that supplying the rope for his own hanging would somehow exonerate him of the crime that led to his hanging in the first place.

    Bob O’H, in response to,,,

    Silver Asiatic @ 29 (& Hazel) –

    But I’ll once again point out that atheism is not synonymous with materialism…

    There are exceptions and contradictions among every group of believers. But we don’t argue by way of those exceptions.

    Bob O’H, in response to that cites this study from a conference on unbelief that was held at the Vatican

    Major ‘unbelief’ conference held at Vatican – 28 MAY 2019
    Excerpt: The multidisciplinary research programme,,, mapped the nature and diversity of ‘unbelief’ across six countries including Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, UK and the USA.
    Researchers asked unbelievers across the six countries about attitudes to issues such as supernatural phenomena, whether the “universe is ultimately meaningless” and what values matter most to them.
    Their interim findings, published in a report “Understanding Unbelief Atheists and agnostics around the world”, showed that in all six countries, the majority of unbelievers identified as having ‘no religion’. Unbelievers, the report found, exhibited significant diversity both within, and between, different countries. It also found that a lack of belief in God didn’t necessarily entail unbelief in other supernatural phenomena – the majority of unbelievers in all countries surveyed expressed belief in one or more supernatural phenomena.
    The report also found that, contrary to popular belief, only around a third of unbelievers in each country regard the universe to be ultimately meaningless.
    The report also tackles the implication of unbelief on morality and values, finding that most unbelievers endorse objective moral values, human dignity and attendant rights and the “deep value” of nature, at similar rates to the general populations in their countries.
    https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/11733/major-unbelief-conference-held-at-vatican-

    Here’s the pdf

    Reports – Understanding Unbelief – Research – University of Kent
    – Atheists and agnostics around the world: Interim findings from 2019 research in Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States
    Excerpt conclusions:
    5. Unbelief in God doesn’t necessarily entail unbelief in other supernatural phenomena. Atheists and (less so) agnostics exhibit lower levels of supernatural belief than do the wider populations. However, only minorities of atheists or agnostics in each of our countries appear to be thoroughgoing naturalists. (2.2, 2.3)
    6. Another common supposition – that of the purposeless unbeliever, lacking anything to ascribe ultimate meaning to the universe – also does not bear scrutiny. While atheists and agnostics are disproportionately likely to affirm that the universe is ‘ultimately meaningless’ in five of our countries, it still remains a minority view among unbelievers in all six countries. (2.4)
    7. Also perhaps challenging common suppositions: with only a few exceptions, atheists and agnostics endorse the realities of objective moral values, human dignity and attendant rights, and the ‘deep value’ of nature, at similar rates to the general populations in their countries. (3.1)
    8. There is remarkably high agreement between unbelievers and general populations concerning the values most important for ‘finding meaning in the world and your own life’. ‘Family’ and ‘Freedom’ ranked highly for all. Also popular – albeit less unanimously so – were ‘Compassion’, ‘Truth’, ‘Nature’, and ‘Science’. (3.2)
    https://research.kent.ac.uk/understandingunbelief/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2019/05/UUReportRome.pdf

    Thus, a study that was central to a conference that was held at the Vatican that proved that the vast majority of atheists do not live consistently within their naturalistic worldview, but harbor many supernatural beliefs, is somehow, for Bob (and weave) O’Hara and Hazel, proof that their atheistic worldview is correct???

    Give me a break. The fact that atheists themselves are forced to back off a completely naturalistic worldview and adopt ‘supernatural’ beliefs about meaning, purpose, and morality in their lives, and are unable to live consistently within naturalism, is actually a knock down proof that Atheistic naturalism cannot possibly be true and is certainly not any sort of proof that can be construed to be against Theism being true.

    Besides the rope that Bob (and weave) himself supplied for his own hanging, in the following article Nancy Pearcey cites many leading atheists who reluctantly admit that it is impossible for them to live consistently within their naturalistic worldview,

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, “Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get.”
    An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”,,,
    In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots — that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one “can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free.” We are “constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots.”
    One section in his book is even titled “We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.”,,,
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    Even Richard (selfish gene) Dawkins himself admitted that it would be ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if his atheistic materialistic worldview were actually true

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible for you to live as if your naturalistic worldview were actually true then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    Thus, it turns out that the argument that Hazel and Bob (and weave) themselves were trying to advance, namely, “But I’ll once again point out that atheism is not synonymous with materialism”,, is actually another proof that atheistic materialism cannot possibly be true. i.e. The atheist, in order to avoid living his life in a completely insane manner, must ‘borrow’ from Theism. As the following article noted, ” A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.”

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    To repeat,

    In fact, (as I have pointed out several times now), assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    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.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    Thus, although the Darwinist may 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;

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob

    I knew I should have bookmarked this page. It refers to a survey which shows that only a minority of atheists surveyed didn’t believe in any supernatural forces.

    As BA77 indicated, this merely shows the inconsistency and illogic of the atheistic view. To admit that some, undefined supernatural forces exist is to undermine atheism. If these forces exist, why can’t they or don’t they act upon nature? Scientism is killed off with this notion also. So, you’re giving us good news. I’m happy to be corrected.

    I mentioned to Hazel that I judged the percentage of materialist-atheists from interactions on this site (and others) debating atheists.

    Where do you place yourself on the spectrum, Bob? Materialist? Or believer in some supernatural forces?

  44. 44
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 42

    As BA77 indicated, this merely shows the inconsistency and illogic of the atheistic view. To admit that some, undefined supernatural forces exist is to undermine atheism

    No, atheism is the position that there exists no evidence sufficient to compel belief in a specified deity or group of deities. Admitting the possibility that there are as yet unknown phenomena underlying what we can currently observe in the Universe does not undermine that position in the slightest. I prefer “unknown” to “supernatural” because I regard the latter as an incoherent and largely redundant concept.

    If these forces exist, why can’t they or don’t they act upon nature?

    A perfectly good question and one that implies that you agree with me that we can only know of such phenomena through their observable effects on the material world.

  45. 45
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel is a believer in some supernatural something out there.

    What about Bob? Seversky? Mimus? DaveS? Brother Brian? There are “supernatural forces” out there?

  46. 46
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Admitting the possibility that there are as yet unknown phenomena underlying what we can currently observe in the Universe does not undermine that position in the slightest.

    It undermines the question “where is the evidence”? On what basis do you conclude there is “the possibility”?

    I prefer “unknown” to “supernatural” because I regard the latter as an incoherent and largely redundant concept.

    You affirm then, that non-material (immaterial) forces, entities or beings exist? So you are not a materialist in the ordinary understanding of that term, correct?

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, is there evidence enough to COMPEL belief in essentially anything of consequence, factoring in grand delusion models of the world, Boltzmann brains, etc? Belief and inference simply are not compelled, they are inferred or acknowledged i/l/o irreducibly free choice. Even, perceptual beliefs — what compels acceptance that the world you see is real? Instead, atheism is the choice exerted to disbelieve in God, and that to claim one has adequate warrant for such disbelief — as opposed to having doubts that God exists. This joint claim is very hard to justify on comparative difficulties grounds starting with implications of the logic of being and arguable need for an adequate, finitely remote root of reality; to be further discussed. Later today after church, DV . . . and I think that it’s worth an OP. KF

  48. 48
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    I am really puzzled why you think one quote from one guy is a definitive statement that everyone who thinks that science is the “surest method of putting is in contact with physical reality” is somehow beholden to. Lewontin is certainly not any “official spokesperson” for science, or any other group.

    It’s called the argument from authority fallacy. Just as the claim that a hand written sentence from a note written by Crick is proof that DNA is a code is an argument from authority fallacy. Or Plato’s cave. I wouldn’t be surprised if the argument from authority fallacy is one of the “weak arguments” that KF often directs us to.

  49. 49
    hazel says:

    Various replies to SA:

    First, as I implied at 25, by “atheist” I mean someone who does not believe in any “gods” in the sense of beings who participate actively in the physical world or the lives of human beings.” I also agree with Sev that atheism implies that the gods described by all religions do not exist when he writes “No, atheism is the position that there exists no evidence sufficient to compel belief in a specified deity or group of deities.”

    Second, SA says of me, “Ok, you are one that believes in the existence of some immaterial being of some kind.”

    No, not at all, as I said above. I believe there is more than matter, but I don’t think that is a “being” of any kind.

    Also, SA says, “Hazel is a believer in some supernatural something out there.”

    I don’t think “supernatural” is a good description of my beliefs: this discussion should not be about my particular beliefs, I don’t think, but my basic metaphysical speculation is that there is an underlying unknowable oneness from which both mind and matter arise through what we experience at the physical level as quantum processes. This oneness does not have the quality of personhood, nor take any active interest in human affairs, but it is the source of our minds with which we create personhood within ourselves, and is the creative force which structures matter and mind so that they can function as they do.

    But the point is that this is an example of a non-materialistic atheism.

    SA writes, “There are probably 10 atheists who are active on this site presently, maybe more.” and then surmises other than me the other nine are materialists. He then mentions five people (Bob? Seversky? Mimus? DaveS? Brother Brian): I can’t think of other current posters. I’m pretty sure Dave has said he is not a materialist, but he hasn’t shown any interest in discussing his beliefs (and we certainly can’t blame him for that!) Sev has explained that he is agnostic about ultimate reality. That leaves Bob, Brother Brian, and Mimus as potentially materialists, although I don’t know for sure whether any of them have so stated about themselves.

    Side note: supernatural is not a good term, as one can argue (I do) that mind arises as naturally as matter. Non-material is better, I think. And as Sev says, “unknown” applies to lots of things, some of which, in my opinion, will be forever unknown because they are beyond any experience we can ever have.

    Last, you write to Sev, “You affirm then, that non-material (immaterial) forces, entities or beings exist?” I don’t think he said that at all. He said there is a “possibility that there are as yet unknown phenomena underlying what we can currently observe in the Universe,” which I agree with (with the caveat, as stated above, that they may be permanently unknowable to human experience.

  50. 50
    Brother Brian says:

    SA

    What about Bob? Seversky? Mimus? DaveS? Brother Brian? There are “supernatural forces” out there?

    I don’t know. But until there is evidence to the contrary I will live my life under the premise that they do not exist.

    I think the source of confusion has to do with how we define supernatural. Some perceive things like magnetism and gravity to be supernatural forces. I consider that anything that can be measured and that interact with matter are natural (material) forces. That does not preclude some God from interacting with the material world. But if one does, and we can measure/observe these interactions, then he is a natural force. The fact that there have been no confirmed incidents of God interacting with the material world (seeing Jesus in a slice of toast or claiming that one is only alive because of God’s intercession don’t count) any belief in such a being must be taken on faith.

  51. 51
    hazel says:

    Good point, BB.

  52. 52
    daveS says:

    hazel,

    I’m not a materialist in that I do believe abstract things (numbers, propositions, etc.) actually exist independently of us. That belief comes with a whole host of problems for which I don’t have answers, unfortunately.

  53. 53
    hazel says:

    kf writes, ” I think that it’s worth an OP.”

    Keep it short, and don’t paste stuff you’ve pasted dozens of times before. My 2 cents.

    Also, kf says, “Instead, atheism is the choice exerted to disbelieve in God, and that to claim one has adequate warrant for such disbelief — as opposed to having doubts that God exists. ”

    I don’t believe in leprechauns, or angels and demons, or fairies. Do I have to provide warrant for such belief, or just point out there is not anywhere enough evidence for such for me to even bother wondering whether they exist?

  54. 54
    john_a_designer says:

    Here’s a clear and classic example of trolling:

    kf writes, “DS, Hazel and BB, I now extend the formal challenge to you.”

    Baloney!

    There is a huge body of literature about evolution, and some clear distinctions, I am sure, about the difference between metaphysical and physical statements about what has happened. To expect a few laypersons to summarize all that in 6000 words is silly.

    Here’s my challenge to you. Write up a summary of all your arguments about design and do something with them to impact a wider audience of qualified persons rather than posting repetitively on some relatively obscure internet forum with three or four diehards who are willing to keep discussing things with you. Will you accept that challenge?

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/first-ever-natural-narwhal-beluga-hybrid-found-has-bizarre-teeth/#comment-679759

    Know-it-all Hazel and “her” fellow interlocutors won’t take up the challenge because, as we all know (including them, if they are honest) they don’t have any arguments to begin with. Nevertheless, for some reason Hazel feels compelled to comment here almost every day and several times a day. Why? It’s obvious that she and her friends know how to be argumentative. However, do they understand the difference between making a sound logically valid argument and being argumentative? Personally, I don’t care what Hazel believes and thinks. (Now just watch “she’ll” try to do a rhetorical turn-around with what I just said like she tried to do above with Kf.) But what will that prove? Nothing. So why is she so obsessed with this site? Frankly, it’s irrational. Empty rhetoric proves nothing.

    I found the following sentence especially telling:

    “Write up a summary of all your arguments about design and do something with them to impact a wider audience of qualified persons rather than posting repetitively on some relatively obscure internet forum with three or four diehards who are willing to keep discussing things with you.”

    So, why is Hazel wasting time on a third rate site like UD? And why is she wasting everyone else’s time with her argumentative yet baseless and vacuous comments? Is it because she feels our third rate site is a threat to civilization? Or, is it because she feels socially intellectually superior to the “rubes” who post here. (Maybe she’ll be open and transparent and finally tell us.) Is it ethical to waste other people’s time– especially people you don’t know– with inane and stupid “arguments”? She and her minions certainly know how to obfuscate and obstruct and how to disrupt and derail the discussion. But what’s the point?

    People on the ID side need to stop taking the bait! They need to stop enabling and pandering to these people. I have said that here many times before but for some reason it doesn’t sink in. The only thing more foolish than being a fool is being played by one. PLEASE STOP being played by these people. If they don’t offer a logically valid argument, with fact based of evidence based premises, don’t reply. If want to be polite then remind them they need to make a valid argument. But please don’t pander.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, you are setting up a strawman and knocking it over, and you know or should know better. While Lewontin’s discussion as a member of the elites is striking as he responded to his friend Sagan’s last book, The Demon-haunted World, Sagan being a leading populariser of evolutionary materialistic scientism, there are in fact a great many cases that amount to much the same. The impression I get from your reaction and attempts to dismiss is that you have no cogent answer on the merits to what is inadvertently exposed here but do not wish to be reminded of the fact. KF

    PS: Here is Alex Rosenberg’s admission as he tries to celebrate evolutionary materialistic scientism — and note the title:

    Alex Rosenberg as he begins Ch 9 of his The Atheist’s Guide to Reality:

    >> FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. [–> So, just how did self-aware, intentional consciousness arise on such materialism? Something from nothing through poof magic words like “emergence” won’t do.] Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. [–> grand delusion is let loose in utter self referential incoherence] Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates [–> bye bye to responsible, rational freedom on these presuppositions].

    The physical facts fix all the facts. [–> asserts materialism, leading to . . . ] The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We [–> at this point, what “we,” apart from “we delusions”?] can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives [–> thus rational thought and responsible freedom]. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live.>>

    PPS: Similarly, here is Crick (a Nobel Prize winner):

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    PPPS: William Provine in his U Tenn Darwin Day address:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    And there are more.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    H, all worldviews need responsible warrant. Faith in God is not even comparable to that in fairies and the like in terms of logic of being and core of worldview. The comparison is itself telling. KF

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, H et al know that UD has more influence than they suggest in their comments. That itself speaks volumes, that they resort to berating and false assertion-based belittling; there is a reason why UD has a penumbra of attack sites and there is a reason for the ad hominem tone of those sites. Second there is a place for exposing just how empty the rhetoric we deal with is. On this, the core matter is that over the past few days things deteriorated to the point where for the first time in years I thought it advisable to remind of the still open challenge to actually warrant the blind watchmaker thesis. The ducking, dodging and evasion shows by implication that those who so busily expend rhetorical effort to attack the design inference and anyone willing to support it know they don’t have a sound case on the merits. You can rest assured that if there were such a warrant, it would be triumphantly trumpeted all over the Internet. There isn’t. As it is we see clear evidence of ideological imposition (which they don’t like to be reminded of) and we find that there is no good observational warrant for the claim that FSCO/I arises by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, whilst trillions of observed cases show it to be a reliable sign of design. This is backed by something else they can only distract attention from, search challenge. The issue on substance is actually settled: there is every good reason to infer from the FSCO/I in the world of life that it is designed. Cosmological fine tuning points to a designed cosmos set up to support such life. The onward issue is to identify how the rhetoric of distraction and the politics of imposition work, and to counter them. KF

  58. 58
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 q 41 –

    Thus, a study that was central to a conference that was held at the Vatican that proved that the vast majority of atheists do not live consistently within their naturalistic worldview, but harbor many supernatural beliefs, is somehow, for Bob (and weave) O’Hara and Hazel, proof that their atheistic worldview is correct???

    I can’t speak for Hazel, but I wasn’t offering it up as proof that my worldview is correct, but rather that to dismiss atheists who aren’t materialists as exceptions is erroneous. If anything, atheists who are philosophical naturalists are the exception (even in the Us only about a third fall into that category).

  59. 59
    Bob O'H says:

    Brother Brian @ 49 –

    SA

    What about Bob? Seversky? Mimus? DaveS? Brother Brian? There are “supernatural forces” out there?

    I don’t know. But until there is evidence to the contrary I will live my life under the premise that they do not exist.

    Oh that’s nice. FWIW, I’m not a supernatural force (although I suspect some of our parrots are), but I do exist. I suspect.

    🙂

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Back on Dec 7, 2007, WmAD posted here on a telling discussion about the US NAS:

    https://uncommondescent.com/religion/nas-at-85-atheists-lets-bump-it-up-to-100/

    Tyson: I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t. That’s really what we’ve got to address here. Otherwise the public is secondary to this. [Moderator then turns to the panel for responses.]

    Larry Krauss: It’s hard to know how to respond to Neil, ever. But the question you asked about “Why 15%” disturbs me a little bit because of this other presumption that scientists are somehow not people and that they don’t have the same delusions — I mean, how many of them are pedophiles in the National Academy of Sciences? How many of them are Republicans? [laughter] And so, it would be amazing, of course, if it were zero. That would be the news story. But the point is I don’t think you’d expect them in general to view their religion as a bulwark against science or to view the need to fly into buildings or whatever. So the delusions or predilections are important to recognize, that scientists are people and are as full of delusions about every aspect of their life as everyone else. We all make up inventions so that we can rationalize our existence and why we are who we are.

    Tyson: But Lawrence, if you can’t convert our colleagues, why do you have any hope that you’re going to convert the public?

    Krauss: I don’t think we have to convert those people. They’re fine. That’s the point. They’re doing science. I don’t understand why you need to do that.

    Dembski then observes:

    It’s rare for Larry Krauss to come across as the voice of reason in these debates. But that’s only because Tyson is by comparison so scary. Not only does Tyson want to “convert” his fellow scientists to atheism but he won’t be content with anything less than 100% conversion. I seem to recall past leaders who demanded that 100% of their subjects conform to the religion of the land on pain of death. Is this any different? But of course it is: that was religion, this is science!

    Question: You think there might be some self-selection going on at the National Academy of Sciences?

    The next day, the late Gil Dodgen (we miss you, hope you are enjoying the hang gliding up there!) wrote:

    I was an atheist, brainwashed by the establishment, into my 40s. I got a triple dose of indoctrination: from the public schools, from the secular environment in which I grew up (a small college town, surrounded by intellectual university types), and from the university itself. There was no doubt in my mind that God was a human fabrication and that we were the product of purposeless Darwinian mechanisms. In retrospect, however, I realize that I accepted these conclusions completely uncritically, which is ironic, because educated intellectual types supposedly take pride in critical thinking.

    I was once debating “evolution” with a friend, and I was spouting all the platitudes I had been taught. He said, “Look, rather than debating me, why don’t you read a book, Evolution, A Theory in Crisis, by Michael Denton”? I assumed that it would be some nonsensical religious hogwash, but I was in for a big surprise.

    I devoured the book in a couple of days, and when I was finished I slapped myself on the forehead and thought, “I’ve been conned all my life!” My atheism was quickly unraveling.

    This is what the hysterical anti-ID folks fear: Once the evidence of modern science is evaluated without the blinders of a passionately materialistic worldview, design screams at us from every corner.

    That’s what we are up against.

    KF

  61. 61
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ok:
    Hazel: Not materialist. Believes in some unidentified … some(thing) or whatever exists??? Nothing more given.
    Dave: Not materialist. Believes numbers and propositions are immaterial (entities, beings, things, somethings) that exist. Does not know where they came from.
    Bob and Brother Brian: Materialists
    Seversky: Believes it is possible that there is something other than material, but has no evidence, so does not affirm that such exists. We consider that Materialism
    Mimus: I’d guess a Materialst.

    If I’m right on the last one, that’s 4/6 atheists identified as Materialists. 67% It’s less than I projected.

    As for Dave and Hazel, I think there are a lot of questions, driven simply by logic, that you should strive to answer. I don’t see how you can consistently oppose the ID proposition but affirm that there are immaterial entities/existences out there. In any case, obviously in my view, you’re some steps closer to the truth about reality than the pure materialist is. As I said before though, if the source of your immaterial “things” has certain characteristics that we also assign to God, I think it’s tougher to say that’s an atheistic viewpoint.

  62. 62
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    I don’t believe in leprechauns, or angels and demons, or fairies. Do I have to provide warrant for such belief, or just point out there is not anywhere enough evidence for such for me to even bother wondering whether they exist?

    You believe that there are some immaterial existences out there. What evidence do you have that they/it exists? I’ll assume that there is more evidence for whatever that is, than there is for the existence of leprechauns or fairies.

  63. 63
    daveS says:

    SA,

    I don’t see how you can consistently oppose the ID proposition but affirm that there are immaterial entities/existences out there. In any case, obviously in my view, you’re some steps closer to the truth about reality than the pure materialist is.

    For my part, I don’t really oppose the ID proposition. I don’t think I’ve ever made an argument against ID per se. Rather, specific pro ID arguments that I believe have weaknesses.

  64. 64
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, you are setting up a strawman and knocking it over, and you know or should know better.

    What strawman are you referring to? You accuse me of erecting so many that it is difficult to keep track.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Just as the claim that a hand written sentence from a note written by Crick is proof that DNA is a code is an argument from authority fallacy.

    Except said hand written sentence is supported by the science. The genetic code is as real a code as Morse code.

    But until there is evidence to the contrary I will live my life under the premise that they do not exist.

    And yet there isn’t any supporting evidence for materialism. So you have quite the problem.

  66. 66
    vividbleau says:

    JAD re 53
    “People on the ID side need to stop taking the bait! They need to stop enabling and pandering to these people. I have said that here many times before but for some reason it doesn’t sink in. The only thing more foolish than being a fool is being played by one. PLEASE STOP being played by these people. If they don’t offer a logically valid argument, with fact based of evidence based premises, don’t reply. If want to be polite then remind them they need to make a valid argument. But please don’t pander.”

    Yeh I had a pretty interesting experience the other day on the Egnor thread with both Hazel and BB. To my surprise Hazel agreed with a point I was making to rebut some of BB incredible ignorance relating to early American History. BBs reaction was to in effect remind Hazel whose side she must kowtow to and it wasn’t me, as if an argument must be decided upon based on tribalism. In effect BB felt betrayed, let Hazel know it and predictably Hazel folded like a cheap suit. Lost a lot of respect for Hazel on that one.
    The capper was when I made it very clear to BB that I did not agree with him on a certain subject and his final post was to say how glad he was that I came around to his position , absolutely bizarre behavior. I decided hey this guy or gal is either unable to read, has serious reading comprehension problems , mentally ill or was not interested in anything but trolling, all bad and all not worthy of a direct response. So good advice JAD

    Vivid

  67. 67
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Therefore, what difference does it make if God is excluded from scientific explanations?

    Because science cares about reality. That is the reality behind the existence of whatever we are investigating. Therefore, you would exclude God only by providing a more simple explanation, ie one that doesn’t require God.

  68. 68
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DaveS

    For my part, I don’t really oppose the ID proposition. I don’t think I’ve ever made an argument against ID per se. Rather, specific pro ID arguments that I believe have weaknesses.

    As I see it, a guarded acceptance of ID (if that’s right) puts you on a path to encounter some bigger questions and some realities that may be (should be) a challenge to atheism. We just look at what the evidence gives us and then affirm what the best explanation we have for it is at this present moment. Evidence of design by intelligence in nature, the existence of immaterial entities present in reality … those two things require an answer for their origin.

  69. 69
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    I don’t think, but my basic metaphysical speculation is that there is an underlying unknowable oneness from which both mind and matter arise through what we experience at the physical level as quantum processes. This oneness does not have the quality of personhood, nor take any active interest in human affairs, but it is the source of our minds with which we create personhood within ourselves, and is the creative force which structures matter and mind so that they can function as they do.

    This seems good. It’s something to work with. Thank you.
    You offer some details here: a oneness from which mind and personhood emerge, the creative force that structures matter and mind.
    In my view, this is far more advanced and reasonable than the typical materialist speculation.

    But why not speculate that God exists, with the immaterial attributes that are understood through logic, and that God is the source of the mind? Why prefer an unknowable oneness as the force? Doesn’t this leave many questions as to why it is unknowable, where it comes from and what the purpose of the mind is? Is the unknowable oneness an intelligent force, which created the rational intellect of human beings? If so, doesn’t intelligence act for a purpose?

    Which seems more reasonable to conclude :
    – there is an unknowable force acting for an unknown reason to create our minds which seek truth and knowledge?
    or
    – there is a potentially knowable force acting for reasonable purpose that created our minds to seek truth and knowledge of reality?

    On what basis would you choose between those options?

  70. 70
    hazel says:

    SA writes, “In my view, this is far more advanced and reasonable than the typical materialist speculation”

    My short response is that this is not a materialist speculation: it speculatively posits that the material physical world (matter) and the immaterial world (as manifested as our minds to us) arise from the source. It is not a version of materialism.

  71. 71
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    SA writes, “In my view, this is far more advanced and reasonable than the typical materialist speculation”
    My short response is that this is not a materialist speculation: it speculatively posits that the material physical world (matter) and the immaterial world (as manifested as our minds to us) arise from the source. It is not a version of materialism.

    Yes, understood. I was saying your view was more reasonable Than a materialist view.

  72. 72
    hazel says:

    Vivid writes, ” let Hazel know it and predictably Hazel folded like a cheap suit. Lost a lot of respect for Hazel on that one.”

    What are you talking about? I recall disagreeing with BB about some point on a history/government thread of some kind, but I wasn’t very invested in that and I don’t think I kept posting. For you to consider that “folding like a cheap suit” is an extremely biased interpretation, I think.

    I went back and looked at the thread. I disagreed with BB and agreed with you on one point.

    On another point I misinterpreted what BB had said, and then agree with him when he clarified. These were two separate points. Go back and review, starting with post 57.

  73. 73
    hazel says:

    re 70. Thanks, SA, for the clarification.

  74. 74
    hazel says:

    It is so hard to get clear understanding with people in a forum like this.

    SA writes, “You believe that there are some immaterial existences out there.”

    No, I have tried to make it clear that I don’t believe there are any “immaterial existences” out these, as in entities which interact as individual beings with the world. I do believe there is an immaterial component to the world which manifests itself in our experience as our minds, and possible manifests itself as a creative force at levels beyond our immediate experience. But these are not “existences.”

  75. 75
    hazel says:

    SA writes, ” I don’t see how you can consistently oppose the ID proposition.”

    I, like Dave, think I can say that I have never opposed the ID proposition. I remember asking some questions about the source of design, prefacing my questions with an acceptance of the design inference, and about details about where design took place (which kf had mentioned as a factor.) I don’t think you can find any place where I have “opposed the ID proposition”, much less consistently done so.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    That’s how you begin to see that the core case has been made. Namely that empirical signs such as FSCO/I are reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration as relevant causal factor.

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    At post 51 DaveS states,,,

    I’m not a materialist in that I do believe abstract things (numbers, propositions, etc.) actually exist independently of us. That belief comes with a whole host of problems for which I don’t have answers, unfortunately.

    Interesting that DaveS considers it ‘unfortunate’ that he is forced to believe that mathematics exist in an immaterial platonic realm.

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Why in the world would anyone hope that Atheistic materialism be true and be disappointed with the fact that he is forced to admit, via mathematics, that it must be false?

    Where are the honest atheists? – Damon Linker
    Excerpt: 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.
    Honest atheists understand this. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God, but he called it an “awe-inspiring catastrophe” for humanity, which now faced the monumental task of avoiding a descent into nihilism.,,,
    https://theweek.com/articles/466865/where-are-honest-atheists

    Indeed, the realization by DaveS that Atheistic materialism must be in some fundamental sense, via mathematics, false should have been a realization that brought a great sense of relief to DaveS, for at least the possibility that the utter dispair of the nihilism inherent in Atheistic materialism has the very real possibility of being completely averted. It is very much similar to a man on death row considering it unfortunate that he will be released from prison because new evidence came forward that proved he was not guilty of his crimes.

    Despite DaveS’s misguided disappointment, DaveS is in good company. Both Einstein and Wigner are on record as to regarding the applicability of mathematics to the universe as a ‘miracle’:

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein – Letter to Solovine

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Alfred Russell Wallace himself thought mathematics alone was sufficient to infer the existence of a soul. Specifically, “Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.,,”

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.,,,
    ,,, for those who have eyes to see and minds accustomed to reflect, in the minutest cells, in the blood, in the whole earth, and throughout the stellar universe–our own little universe, as one may call it–there is intelligent and conscious direction; in a word, there is Mind.” ,,,
    (Wallace) shook his head and smiled amiably upon the hotheadedness of Darwinians. “The scales on the wings of a moth,” he said quietly, “have no explanation in Evolution. They belong to Beauty, and Beauty is a spiritual mystery. Even Huxley was puzzled by the beauty of his environment. What is the origin of Beauty? Evolution cannot explain.”
    — Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, – 1910

    And indeed, the inference to a soul from mathematics is fairly straightforward, as Kepler himself noted,

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) quoted from his book Harmonices Mundi:

    Moreover, the case for a soul has recently become much stronger. Specifically, advances in quantum biology have, in no uncertain terms, confirmed the existence of a transcendent component to man, i.e. conserved quantum information, that is capable of existing beyond the death of our material bodies.

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    As Stuart Hameroff states in the following video, the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://www.disclose.tv/leading-scientists-say-consciousness-cannot-die-it-goes-back-to-the-universe-315604

    Moreover, it is also interesting to note that the evidence for life after death is far, far, stronger than the evidence for Darwinian evolution is,,,

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    Thus the Christian Theist, as far as science itself is concerned, is well justified in his belief that his life does not end at the grave and that his life does indeed have meaning and pupose. This is GREAT NEWS. And yet, DaveS, against all reason, considers such a proposition ‘unfortunate’. Hopefully DaveS might someday return to sanity and consider the fact that God has an unimagiably great future planned for him and his family to be a very ‘fortunate’ thing to know and indeed a very great unbreakable promise from God to take hold of.

    1 Corinthians 2:9
    However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–

    Indeed DaveS is ‘anything worth more than your soul?’

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  78. 78
    hazel says:

    I am intrigued by the way simple statements get misread.

    Dave wrote,

    I’m not a materialist in that I do believe abstract things (numbers, propositions, etc.) actually exist independently of us. That belief comes with a whole host of problems for which I don’t have answers, unfortunately.

    ba replied,

    Interesting that DaveS considers it ‘unfortunate’ that he is forced to believe that mathematics exist in an immaterial platonic realm.

    I hope the misreading is obvious.

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    If DaveS believes otherwise than what I wrote about an immaterial platonic realm he can comment, It is not on you to comment on his specific beliefs Hazel. Sheesh!

  80. 80
    hazel says:

    ba asks Dave, “Is anything worth more than your soul?”

    Here’s Dylan’s answer to this question: a great song, and worth watching the performance if you like Dylan at all. I Ain’t Going to Go to Hell for Anybody

    I can manipulate people as well as anybody
    Force ’em and burn ’em, twist ’em and turn ’em
    I can make believe I’m in love with almost anybody
    Hold ’em and control ’em, squeeze ’em and tease ’em
    All that satisfies the fleshy needs
    I’ve been down that road, i know what it needs.
    But I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    Not today, not tonight, not tomorrow, no never, no way!

    I can persuade people as well as anybody
    I got the vision but it caused division
    I can twist the truth as well as anybody
    I know how to do it, i’ve been all the way through it
    But it don’t suit my purpose and it ain’t my goal
    To gain the whole world, but give up my soul.

    But I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    Not for father, not for mother, not for sister, not for father, no way!

    I can twist the truth around as well as anybody
    Wine ’em and dine ’em, fool ’em and rule ’em
    I can rob and steal from people as well as anybody
    I know how to do it
    But it don’t suit my purpose and it ain’t my goal
    To gain the whole world but give up my soul.
    But I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    Not for father, not for mother, not for sister, not for father, no way!

    Smoke arises for ever, on a one-way ticket to burn
    A place reserved for the devil
    And for all those that done evil
    A place of darkness and shame, you can never return.

    I can influence people as well as anybody
    I can cause division, can cause division
    I can mislead people as well as anybody
    Burn ’em and roll ’em, rob ’em and hold ’em
    Won’t get my story in tricks or cards
    I can see through man’s delusions, i can see through his facades.
    But I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    Not today, not tonight, not tomorrow, no never, no way!

    I can write and steal from people as well as anybody
    Know all the devices, paid a lot of prices
    I can influence people as well as anybody
    Go right up to ’em, i know how to do ’em
    Don’t need to depend on tricks or on cards
    I can see through man’s delusions, I can see through his facades

    But I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
    Not today, not tonight, not tomorrow, no never, no way!

  81. 81
    EDTA says:

    Atheists who are not strict materialists? I’ve only heard of such folk in the last year or two. But with survey evidence, plus several guests here saying so, I guess I’ll have to accept that it happens.

    This is only speculation, but it understandably crosses my mind: I wonder whether some wish they could be true atheist/materialists, but after taking a hard look at what that entails, they have decided that it is indeed unlivable. So they had to move back to the right a little, picking up some “spiritual”/metaphysical beliefs to soften the edges. Not so many that they have to deny being atheists, nor so many that they can be accused of being religious.

    (Plus it has the advantage of making them harder to pin down than a greased pig… 😎

  82. 82
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel answers the science presented with a song from Dylan?

    Double sheesh!!

  83. 83
    hazel says:

    More misreading! 🙂 The Dylan song is not at all about science. It was in response to your Bible quote.

  84. 84
    hazel says:

    To EDTA. No. What an ungenerous reading of the situation. Not much sense in discussing something with somebody who thinks I don’t have considered thoughts and have honestly expressed them.

    Maybe your problem is that you think people need to be “pinned down”, though.

  85. 85
    bornagain77 says:

    And the bible quote was presented right after the science was presented. You know that whole taking context into consideration thing?

    FWIW, I consider such antics to be trollish behavior on your part.

  86. 86
    hazel says:

    I know you think differently, ba, but to me saving one’s soul has nothing to do with science.

  87. 87
    hazel says:

    re 78. I was not commenting on Dave’s beliefs. I was commenting on your misreading of his comment.

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    Well seeing as most of your posts have nothing whatsoever to do with the science at hand, but with you stating your personal opinion as if it carried any weight on its own, I can see where you would believe that.

    Since the vast majority of the world’s population does believe in the existence of a immortal soul of some sort, then if or if not the soul really does exist is certainly a valid line of scientific inquiry. And again, via recent advances in quantum biology, science has answered in the affirmative:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    As Stuart Hameroff states in the following video, the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://www.disclose.tv/leading-scientists-say-consciousness-cannot-die-it-goes-back-to-the-universe-315604

    Of course Hazel, since there is nothing you can really do to overturn this line of scientific evidence, (indeed the evidence from quantum biology is progressively getting stronger), then your only other option is to ignore it, cite Dylan songs, tell me I am wrong in my reading Dave;’s sentiment, etc… etc… anything except ever honestly addressing the actual scientific evidence at hand.

    Your not even in the ballpark of being scientific.

    Your fellow atheistic trolls are proud of you!

  89. 89
    hazel says:

    I don’t think very much of what I post is about science, either. I usually discuss philosophy or social or psychological issues.

  90. 90
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    It is so hard to get clear understanding with people in a forum like this.

    You didn’t address my comments in #68

    No, I have tried to make it clear that I don’t believe there are any “immaterial existences” out these, as in entities which interact as individual beings with the world. I do believe there is an immaterial component to the world which manifests itself in our experience as our minds, and possible manifests itself as a creative force at levels beyond our immediate experience. But these are not “existences.”

    Yes, it is hard to get a clear understanding on this. There an immaterial “component”. But this “component” does not exist? If the “component” exists, then it is an “existence”. It is something that exists. Also, it does something. As you said, it “manifests itself”. So, it is an “existence that manifests”. Additionally, it is a “component” which exists (or it doesn’t exist?) which is (or manifests itself as?) a creative force. A “creative force” does something. Usually, it “creates”. Or, perhaps you’re saying it does not actually “create”. It’s a “creative force component” which does not exist, does not create. Right? You assert this “creative force manifesting component” which actually does not exist? Or? Perhaps it actually does exist? So, it is an existence. An existence is something real. An immaterial existence possesses that which makes it exist. Your immaterial component (an existence) actually does things (creative forcing, manifesting) and has an effect on other aspects of reality by manifesting mind.

    So, there’s a lot to explain here. Where did it come from? What evidence do you have of this? How do you know this is not simply God?

  91. 91
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    I, like Dave, think I can say that I have never opposed the ID proposition. I remember asking some questions about the source of design, prefacing my questions with an acceptance of the design inference, and about details about where design took place (which kf had mentioned as a factor.) I don’t think you can find any place where I have “opposed the ID proposition”, much less consistently done so.

    I find that to be very good. To not oppose it, is to accept the evidence of intelligence in the design found in nature. I think this is very big. We observe aspects of nature. Perhaps you would observe the human mind. We observe that material mechanisms alone cannot produce the effect. But we know intelligence can – so a Designing Intelligence is the most reasonable cause.
    If you don’t oppose this kind of approach, I don’t see that you can go that much farther with ID. People here could argue about what the intelligence is. But you could claim a number of things, as has been discussed, including something from any number of religious traditions, or some sort of immaterial force (as you’ve asserted).
    From an ID perspective, there’s nothing to debate on that.

  92. 92
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EDTA

    Atheists who are not strict materialists? I’ve only heard of such folk in the last year or two. But with survey evidence, plus several guests here saying so, I guess I’ll have to accept that it happens.

    I mentioned something similar. I had not seen the presence of non-materialist atheism. I’m going back to the early days of the atheist surge online, when Dawkins, Dennet, Harris and the like were preaching materialism and seemed to have a lot followers.
    My unofficial survey here says that about 70% of the atheists active now on UD are of the standard materialist sort.

    This is only speculation, but it understandably crosses my mind: I wonder whether some wish they could be true atheist/materialists, but after taking a hard look at what that entails, they have decided that it is indeed unlivable.

    I think that’s right and it’s a good thing. I see it as progress. Once there is “something else” in reality, the whole evolutionary program is threatened. Now, the origin of human consciousness would have a reasonable cause – an immaterial power. But more importantly, it’s difficult to dismiss ID. Dawkins says that reality looks like it has been designed by intelligence. Well, an immaterial entity of some kind would be a candidate for that designing power now.

    This is very good for ID. If all of atheism moved away from strict materialism, I think ID would just call it a victory and be done with it (not that ID alone would be the cause of that change in atheism).

    Moving from “a spiritual or immaterial essence of some kind”, which still permits atheism, to a theistic belief, is outside of the scope of what ID can work with. It’s all about philosophy and religion after that point.

  93. 93
    hazel says:

    Are you folks familiar with Buddhism, which has no gods? A Buddhist is an atheist who is not a materialist, and there are over 500 million of them.

  94. 94
    hazel says:

    Also, as I understand it, ID claims that design is scientifically detectable, not just that something other than materialism is true. As discussed a bit recently, and often at other times, millions of Christians believe in God and don’t accept ID, which is a sectarian issue about the nature of God among Christians, so I don’t see how “if all of atheism moved away from strict materialism, I think ID would just call it a victory.”

  95. 95
    Mimus says:

    I find this thread kind of interesting, in as much as it highlights the massive difference in background between myself and other commentators

    I don’t live in the US, so I don’t come from a place where acceptance of evolutionary biology is part of cultural identity. I don’t plenty of Christians who are evolutionary biologists and almost noone who thinks that the sceince of evolutionary biology si a threat to their religion.

    So when I talk about evolutionary biology I’m interested in the scientific field, how makes sense of biological data and the framework it gives us to ask more questions about the history (and present and future) of life on earth. However, most posters here are more interesting in the metaphysical ramifications of evolutionary biology. So any correctin of push back agaisnt a mistake is seen as support for a metaphyscial position and, almost inevtiably, any error is leads to a gish gallop back to the origin of life or the latest acronym -soup to replace CSI.

    So, from my point of view most people here want to dismiss an entire field of study without every understanding any aspect of it in detail. I guess SA and crew think I want to focus on details becaus as a distraction from some Epic Metaphyscial Claim that i’m not the least bit interested in.

  96. 96
    hazel says:

    EMC ™ = Epic Metaphysical Claim. I like that. It really is what virtually all of this is about.

  97. 97
    EDTA says:

    Hazel,
    >No. What an ungenerous reading of the situation. Not much sense in discussing something with somebody who thinks I don’t have considered thoughts and have honestly expressed them.

    I think your beliefs are well thought-out, and that your are being honest. But I’m wondering about the millions of others in the general category. Many people don’t like to think really hard about their beliefs (I’ve met them), and they really don’t want them to be criticize-able. So they seem to end up where they are most comfortable. A local minimum if you will. This dynamic really could be at play here.

    >Maybe your problem is that you think people need to be “pinned down”, though.

    That’s a good point. I do think that. Beliefs need to be tested in the fire of reality; otherwise, they can go off the deep end to where few peoples’ beliefs match up with reality, and nobody agrees with anybody else. Then we can’t get along. If we ground ourselves properly in the same reality. our culture might start to come back together again. Although I don’t expect it.

  98. 98
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mimus

    I guess SA and crew think I want to focus on details becaus as a distraction from some Epic Metaphyscial Claim that i’m not the least bit interested in.

    You really can’t promote the theory without making an epic metaphysical claim. It is the supposed science of how bacteria became human beings. Evolutionary theory makes a claim about the origin of human life and therefore has a huge impact on the meaning, purpose or goals of life and human culture. To say that you’re not in the least interested in that, while at the same time, being an avid promoter of the theory, is not very thoughtful.
    It’s like a guy who invents a bomb that can destroy an entire continent and when asked he says that he’s really only interested in the mechanics of the device and has no interest at all in what the bomb could actually do to human life on earth.

  99. 99
    bornagain77 says:

    Mimus states,

    “plenty of Christians who are evolutionary biologists and almost noone who thinks that the sceince of evolutionary biology si a threat to their religion.”

    The disconnect of logic in that sentence is fairly obvious.

    I’ve never heard of anybody being led to Christ through Darwinian evolution. NOT ONE PERSON! Whereas I’ve heard of plenty of young people who were led away from Christianity through Darwinian propaganda. A couple of prominent Evolutionary biologists too, Provine for example. My take is that Mimus himself has never once ever considered becoming a Christian because of the ideas contained within Darwinian evolution. And for good reason:

    Daniel Dennett’s Dangerous Idea
    Daniel Dennett’s fertile imagination is captivated by the very dangerous idea that the neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution should become the basis for what amounts to an established state religion of scientific materialism. Dennett takes the scientific part of his thesis from the inner circle of contemporary Darwinian theorists: William Hamilton, John Maynard Smith, George C. Williams, and the brilliant popularizer Richard Dawkins. When Dennett describes the big idea emanating from this circle as dangerous, he does not mean that it is dangerous only to religious fundamentalists. The persons whom he accuses of flinching when faced with the full implications of Darwinism are scientists and philosophers of the highest standing: Noam Chomsky, Roger Penrose, Jerry Fodor, John Searle, and especially Stephen Jay Gould.
    Each one of these very secular thinkers supposedly tries, as the simple religious folk do, to limit the all-embracing logic of Darwinism. Dennett describes Darwinism as a “universal acid; it eats through just about every traditional concept and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view.” One thinker after another has tried unsuccessfully to find some way to contain this universal acid, to protect something from its corrosive power. Why? First let’s see what the idea is.,,,
    http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/dennett.htm

    Now if Mimus is the rare exception to the rule and has become a Christian because of Darwinian evolution, I certainly would like to hear exactly he achieved that. Indeed, if he did so, he should write a book on his conversion experience.

    The title would certainly be an eye catcher, i.e. “How Darwin Led Me To Christ” 🙂

  100. 100
    hazel says:

    Thanks, EDTA, for, may I say, the generous comment. I agree that most people aren’t very interested in the issues discussed here and they still lead good, productive lives.

    You say, “Beliefs need to be tested in the fire of reality,”, but I think most of the metaphysical matters we are discussing can’t really be tested. And again, most people are concerned primarily with how to act, not the metaphysical background. People of very different metaphysics can agree, for instance, to pay more taxes for a mental health center and yet have very different political, social, and metaphysical philosophies about why one should do that. I think the world is much too diverse to expect our culture to settle on one metaphysic, especially since, in my opinion, they is no way to test one against the other.

  101. 101
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    Also, as I understand it, ID claims that design is scientifically detectable, not just that something other than materialism is true.

    Right, the two go together. If there is evidence of design (at the cosmic scale), then materialism is false.

    As discussed a bit recently, and often at other times, millions of Christians believe in God and don’t accept ID, which is a sectarian issue about the nature of God among Christians, so I don’t see how “if all of atheism moved away from strict materialism, I think ID would just call it a victory.”

    If some kind of immaterial, creative presence is accepted as existing, then there is no argument against ID. As you stated before, all Christians accept some form of Intelligent Design. It is contradictory to state that Jesus rose from the dead as the Gospels state, and yet that event was not scientifically observable. There’s no argument against ID from that perspective.

  102. 102
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I’d think that if you’re intelligent and interested enough to be debating about Intelligent Design on this particular blog, you’d also have the interest in the metaphysical foundations of ID and evolutionary theory.
    The concept of Design itself is a metaphysical concept. Science cannot tell us what Design is. We use philosophy to distinguish between chance and design.
    Darwin was arguing against the Teleological Argument itself.
    Scientism is a metaphysical concept. Is all knowledge ultimately reducible to the physical and therefore to physics? That is a widespread belief. Science is the only path to knowledge. All human thoughts and actions can be understood through science. That’s a very significant metaphysical position — and we shouldn’t be blind to it through lack of interest.

  103. 103
    hazel says:

    I’m interested in all this kind of stuff, or I wouldn’t be here. My remarks to EDTA were about the fact that the majority of people aren’t interested in this kind of stuff.

    As to scientism, I think it is quite wrong, but I think you give two different definitions. I think it’s possible for a materialist to not support scientism. Let me explain.

    You write,

    Scientism is a metaphysical concept. Is all knowledge ultimately reducible to the physical and therefore to physics? That is a widespread belief. Science is the only path to knowledge. All human thoughts and actions can be understood through science. That’s a very significant metaphysical position — and we shouldn’t be blind to it through lack of interest..

    I think scientism means your second definition: “Science is the only path to knowledge.” That is different than saying scientism means that “all knowledge [is] ultimately reducible to the physical and therefore to physics.”

    I have knowledge of subjective things, such as values, moral beliefs, political beliefs, etc. These are not amenable to scientific investigation (other than verifying that I say I have those beliefs.) A materialist might believe that such knowledge is grounded exclusively in a material body.

    Such beliefs would not be scientific but they would be ultimately reducible to physical causes. (I know you don’t believe this is possible, but that is not my point.) My point is that I think scientism is generally understood to mean that science is the only path to knowledge, which is a stronger point than all knowledge can be reduced to physical causes.

    Wikipedia says,

    Scientism is an ideology that promotes science as the only objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values. The term scientism is generally used critically, pointing to the cosmetic application of science in unwarranted situations not amenable to application of the scientific method or similar scientific standards.

    I think this is a good statement about the fundamental flaw of scientism.

  104. 104
    hazel says:

    SA writes, “The concept of Design itself is a metaphysical concept. Science cannot tell us what Design is. We use philosophy to distinguish between chance and design.”

    I thought the fundamental point of ID was that design was scientifically detectable. But here you are saying it is a matter of metaphysics.

    Again, the theistic evolutionary Christian (or whatever they are called) would agree that design exists from a metaphysical (in this case, theological) sense, but not in the “scientifically detectable” sense.

    So I’m confused about which of the two you mean by ID?

  105. 105
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    More misreading! ???? The Dylan song is not at all about science. It was in response to your Bible quote.

    I got it. What is interesting is that BS77 didn’t. Very telling.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the concept that big-S Science dominates credible knowledge goes along with onward views. Famously, there are physicists who hold that any given science reduces to physics, or else to stamp collecting. (I think the last was a dig at taxonomy.) The point is, cosmology sets up the world, leads on to OoL and thence origin of body plans including our brain, where too mind is held to reduce to brains. Metaphysically, Alex Rosenberg put it: the physical facts fix all the facts. Epistemologically, the frame is to reduce phenomena to dynamic-stochastic processes on material substrates amenable to physical calculation. Cosmology of course being expanded applied general relativity in its heart. Emergence, in that context is an unstable claim: it either explodes into dualism or else collapses into physicalist reductionism. The consequences for freedom to be rational are well known. Provine’s summary is but one of many. That’s why I have so often highlighted that naturalism in essence is evolutionary materialistic scientism. Where, the scientism claim shows how incoherent it is: it is an epistemological claim that undermines philosophy including logic and epistemology. KF

  107. 107
    ET says:

    mimus:

    So, from my point of view most people here want to dismiss an entire field of study without every understanding any aspect of it in detail.

    Perfect sentence for this thread. Evolutionary biology is devoid of details. That is its whole problem. All of its aspects are pure speculation devoid of science.

  108. 108
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Hazel

    I have knowledge of subjective things, such as values, moral beliefs, political beliefs, etc. These are not amenable to scientific investigation (other than verifying that I say I have those beliefs.)

    I agree with this. But, if all of reality (everything that exists) is reducible to the physical or material, then your thoughts, beliefs, dreams and imaginations are physical. They can be investigated through brain-scans, and materialists imagine more powerful instruments that can observe the exact molecular formation of every human thought. That’s what scientism is.

    Such beliefs would not be scientific but they would be ultimately reducible to physical causes. (I know you don’t believe this is possible, but that is not my point.)

    That’s a contradiction. If they are reducible to the physical, then they are observable. They are molecular patterns of some kind. Materialists believe those patterns are generated in the brain. So, science, for them, will tell us everything about human thought, emotion, spirituality — everything.

    I thought the fundamental point of ID was that design was scientifically detectable. But here you are saying it is a matter of metaphysics.

    I think Mimus’ quip about the Epic Metaphysical Claim revealed a common mistake about what metaphysics is. I think you have followed that. For a lot of people, metaphysics is like magic. It’s weird stuff that might happen, or spiritualism, or fortune tellers. That is completely wrong. I hope Mimus is reading this.
    Metaphysics is the foundation of all science. It is the study of Being or Existence or Reality. It structures our rational thought through logic. It gives us the first principles, like Law of Identity. Science cannot function, cannot exist without metaphysics. What do we mean by chance? Science cannot tell us that. We interpret scientific results through metaphysics.

    Again, the theistic evolutionary Christian (or whatever they are called) would agree that design exists from a metaphysical (in this case, theological) sense, but not in the “scientifically detectable” sense.

    Again, I gave you a specific case that contradicts what you said above. You did not address the example I gave. “Scientifically detectable” means “observable in reality”. Every Christian believes that ID, in the scientific sense, is true. The Gospels show this in several cases. The Jews of the time had to fabricate a story to try to cover-up the scientifically observable evidence. A body was in one place, then the body was not there. That happened by chance or by intelligent design. That’s how we do science. That is ID detection.

  109. 109
    Mimus says:

    June 30, 2019 at 8:41 pm
    I’d think that if you’re intelligent and interested enough to be debating about Intelligent Design on this particular blog, you’d also have the interest in the metaphysical foundations of ID and evolutionary theory.
    The concept of Design itself is a metaphysical concep

    Well, taht might be the case if the blog was about design or the Intelligent Design movement was still moving. But that doesn’t really seem to be the case. I have this, admidetly naive, idea that exposure to real evolutionary biology/thinking might be encourage people to learn more about the science. As I say, coming from a place where evolution is not part of identity politics I probably underestimate the degree to which any science contributes to folks position on this , though.

  110. 110
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mimus

    I have this, admidetly naive, idea that exposure to real evolutionary biology/thinking might be encourage people to learn more about the science.

    We don’t read “real evolutionary biology/thinking” here every day?

  111. 111
    Mimus says:

    No. There are press releases from uni offices, but even they are usually filtered through a very strange lens here.

  112. 112
    ET says:

    Mimus:

    I have this, admidetly naive, idea that exposure to real evolutionary biology/thinking might be encourage people to learn more about the science.

    That is true. Once you learn about evolutionary biology and science you will see that evolution, as it is currently taught, does not meet the definition of science.

    Mimus is clearly just a bluffing troll.

  113. 113
    ET says:

    hazel:

    The Dylan song is not at all about science.

    Neither is materialism nor its bastard child evolutionism.

  114. 114
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mimus

    No. There are press releases from uni offices, but even they are usually filtered through a very strange lens here.

    We read articles from popular science media and most of those reference the actual papers and research. But yes, we take a very critical view of the claims that are presented in favor of evolutionary theory.

  115. 115
    vividbleau says:

    SA re 90
    “Yes, it is hard to get a clear understanding on this. There an immaterial “component”. But this “component” does not exist? If the “component” exists, then it is an “existence”. It is something that exists. Also, it does something. As you said, it “manifests itself”. So, it is an “existence that manifests”. Additionally, it is a “component” which exists (or it doesn’t exist?) which is (or manifests itself as?) a creative force. A “creative force” does something. Usually, it “creates”. Or, perhaps you’re saying it does not actually “create”. It’s a “creative force component” which does not exist, does not create. Right? You assert this “creative force manifesting component” which actually does not exist? Or? Perhaps it actually does exist? So, it is an existence. An existence is something real. An immaterial existence possesses that which makes it exist. Your immaterial component (an existence) actually does things (creative forcing, manifesting) and has an effect on other aspects of reality by manifesting mind.”

    Hazel never addressed these questions has she? And no ,mumbling about “have you heard about Buddhism” is a pretty pitiful response I think

    Vivid

  116. 116
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Vivid

    Hazel never addressed these questions has she? And no ,mumbling about “have you heard about Buddhism” is a pretty pitiful response I think

    Thank you, Vivid!

    I’m sitting here, after offering a detailed explanation that taught her what she was clueless about, and which (in my view) destroyed whatever sort of ill-considered concept she was proclaiming, and … not a word.

    If you didn’t say anything, this would have been lost. I was tempted to do something, say something to her. But I always wonder, “did anybody read what I said? Even friends?” I then wonder if perhaps what I said didn’t make any sense. So, the explanation and discussion just gets lost. It’s a thread-killer. Hazel will just go off and repeat the same stupidity elsewhere, as if I never said anything. A month later, she says the same thing about “components that manifest the mind” and how these are not something that actually exist, or maybe they do or whatever … then we have to repeat it. Then she says “you never refuted my view before”. Of course nobody can remember this because the thread died and was lost.

    Did she read what I said? Maybe, probably yes. She read and was silenced. Then moved on. Did she understand what I said? Well, if so, she can’t say a word? How about “thank you for explaining what I didn’t understand. I am going to rethink my opinion”? Ha ha. We wish for that day.

    Anyway! I truly appreciate your attention to what actually happened here. I will remember it when I see the arrogant attitude surface again. There is simply nothing behind the posturing and when clearly and patiently corrected, in detail, the individuals would no longer engage in the topic and no longer pretend to be interested in learning.

  117. 117
    vividbleau says:

    SA
    Your welcome.

    I started laughing at your first sentence “Yes it’s hard to get a clear understanding on this” because I was thinking the same thing. I laughed even more as your post went on and as you proceeded to turn Hazels brain into a pretzel.
    As to Hazels devastating rebuttal “Have you folks ever heard of Buddhism..? No Hazel we never heard of that is this something new? You say 1/2 billion people? Wow when did this happen? Sheesh

    Hazel likes her worldview window to be smeared as much as possible, you went to the window and cleaned the window and said “Hey Hazel look out the window” Hazel on the other hand turned her head away while smearing it again “ Hey folks have you never heard of Buddhism..?

    I liken Hazels gobbledygook to a vat of jello, she likes her worldview to be as amorphous as possible.
    BTW you might take a look at my post 66.

    Vivid

  118. 118
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Vivid — yes your 66 — I made a point to go back over to the Egnor thread to trace the action there and got a very good laugh out that one. It happened just as you said. Hazel followed her good sense and was defending the integrity of the American founders and then just openly sided with you. BB caught it and said “Et to [sic] Brute!” as if she had just stabbed him in the back. Wow, traitors to the cause will be pressured. And that’s what happened, as Hazel broke down and fell into line again. That was pathetic.
    But as before, I’m glad you pointed that out because a very illuminating episode would have been lost to me otherwise. It’s going to be more difficult for me to think that there is some kind of integrity in it — rather than just group-think and propaganda to support a cause.

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