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Education and Absurdity

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As I viewed the animation of the working of molecular machinery Dr. Torley posted below, two things occurred to me. 1. It is the very acme of absurdity to assert those machines assembled themselves spontaneously through the accretion of random errors sorted by a fitness function. 2. Many highly educated people assert just that. Then a third thing occurred to me. 3.Vast amounts of education do not necessarily insulate one from making absurd asertions; to the contrary, for many people it appears to have equipped them to do so.

Absurdity is part and parcel to the Atheistic-Materialistic worldview. Reason itself cannot be grounded within materialism (C.S. Lewis; A. Plantinga). And if your foundational worldview cannot ground reason (or mind) in the first place then, of course, eventually you will forced to accept claims that are completely contrary to reason. Such as the belief that automated factories (i.e. cells) can 'randomly' assemble themselves. Yet despite absurdity being 'built into the foundation' of atheism, more than once, I've heard atheists adamantly insist that only their materialistic worldview was truly 'scientific'. When the fact of the matter is that atheism is anti-science, or more particularly, anti-reason. On facebook today, a guy called Philosophical Theist had an interesting quote from Koons on this subject;
Two great creation myths contend for dominance. According to the first, in the beginning was Chance. Chance was responsible for the origin of the cosmos and for its causal constitution. Hence, all subsequent events, including the origin of life and consciousness on earth, are ultimately attributable to the agency of Chance and of Chance alone. The impression that something more has been involved is an illusion generated by the operation of natural selection over long periods of time and (perhaps) by the statistical bias necessitated by the fact that conscious observers can only occur in very special kinds of universes. According to the alternative myth, the cause of the cosmos is a positive reality that is not, with felicity, referred to under the name of "Chance". Instead, this first cause bears some analogy to intelligence and purposefulness. We can even glean something of its quasi-purposes: the eventual emergence of complex life, consciousness and meaningful agency. It is one of the ironies of history that the devotees of the first myth have claimed the authority of Science for their doctrines, attributing all conviction attaching to the competing myth to dogma, wishful thinking, and a variety of psychopathologies. In fact, there is nothing especially scientific about the first myth: in some form it antedates science by millennia, being one of the first explanations (or pseudo-explanations) of the cosmos. It is the second myth that has the far greater claim to the allegiance of Science, both because it was first formulated at the inception of science in antiquity, and also because it fostered the growth of scientific knowledge through promoting a faith in the contingent intelligibility of the universe. Robert C. Koons, A New Look at the Cosmological Argument
OT: A Key Inference of The Edge of Evolution Has Now Been Experimentally Confirmed - Michael Behe - July 14, 2014 (first of a three part essay) Excerpt: However, at the time the book's chief, concrete example,,, was an inference, not yet an experimentally confirmed fact.,, the deduction hadn't yet been nailed down in the lab. Now it has, thanks to Summers et al. 2014. It took them years to get their results because they had to painstakingly develop a suitable test system where the malarial protein could be both effectively deployed and closely monitored for its relevant activity,,, Using clever experimental techniques they artificially mutated the protein in all the ways that nature has, plus in ways that produced previously unseen intermediates. One of their conclusions is that a minimum of two specific mutations are indeed required for the protein to be able to transport chloroquine.,,, The need for multiple mutations neatly accounts for why the development of spontaneous resistance to chloroquine is an event of extremely low probability -- approximately one in a hundred billion billion (1 in 10^20) malarial cell replications -- as the distinguished Oxford University malariologist Nicholas White deduced years ago. The bottom line is that the need for an organism to acquire multiple mutations in some situations before a relevant selectable function appears is now an established experimental fact. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/07/a_key_inference087761.html bornagain77
Barry, you write, "Vast amounts of education do not necessarily insulate one from making absurd asertions; to the contrary, for many people it appears to have equipped them to do so." The education is often intended for explicitly that purpose. A news writer friend pointed out years go that there was an iconic style of news writing familiar from the now-junk-stock New York Times: *Experts puzzled: Violent crime down despite higher jail population* The entire article is written, of course, without any serious consideration of the possibility that - if the right people happen to be in jail - violent crime will indeed be down. A friend's husband is a retired Toronto cop and it was his observation while on the force that there were about 500 guys in town, "known to the police," such that - if you could legally detain them all overnight - crime would be noticeably down. He wasn't advocating that; merely making a commonsensical observation, attested by observation and experience - but unknown to the kind of education that the Timesman would usually receive. Indeed, it is fair to say that the Timesman's education is designed to discourage him from making such observations, to substitute instead, a series of sophistries and fatuities about "giving people hope," etc. Similarly, the Timesman KNOWS that nature only looks designed, but isn't really. How does he know? Because Top People say so. Just as Top Criminologists wouldn't be able to fathom why violent crime would be down if the "500 KNOWN most dangerous guys in Toronto" were locked up overnight. Their education has consisted largely of avoiding knowing such facts. Note: Of course, we can't just lock those guys up without charges. But that fact has nothing one way or the other to do with an inability to recognize who commits violent crimes. For that you need an education in sophistry, not policing. Put another way, just any two guys on their break will *not* get into a deadly knife fight over how to divide a pizza. But one of those guys mentioned above might - and it only takes one to commit manslaughter. The biggest improvement I can think of in education wold be to restore common sense reasoning. News

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