Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Embattled “social sciences hoax” prof is not a hero, he’s a canary


Feeling dizzy in the coal mine. Yesterday, we looked at the fallout from the Sokal hoax. recently perpetrated on social science journals, wherein concerned academics got the journals to publish intentional rubbish that passed Political Correctness standards. A reader writes to say that hoaxer Peter Boghossian’s 2013 book, A Manual For Creating Atheists popularized “street epistemology.” This is an atheist tactic where the evangelist for atheism repeatedly asks non-expert Christians why they believe what they believe: ““Express empathy,” but expect resistance: “Street Epistemologists should prepare for anger, tears, and hostility.”*

In his Manual, he critiques ID:

Currently, intelligent design (ID) is a type of God of the gaps argument. The idea behind ID is basically, “You don’t know how life was formed and sustained, so it was God that formed life and sustains life.” Questions about origin of life present another God of the gaps-type argument, “You don’t know the process by which living organisms naturally arise from non-living matter; therefore the cause was God.” (p. 172)

The reader notes that the criticism bears no resemblance to actual ID work (cf Biologic Institute).

No, it doesn’t. And it also bears no relation to the reasons why Boghossian’s job is at risk, a situation which the reader who wrote to us firmly opposes, of course. But we need to keep the file up to date.

Some of us wish more people in the middle understood: Boghossian’s job is at risk because, so it would seem, social justice warriors (SJWs) are people with degrees but little serious scholarship. They need the right to propound rubbish in accepted venues, in support of their current objectives—whatever they happen to be. Once they have started, or parasitized, an academic journal, they, of course, defend it against all comers.

The fact that Boghossian is an evangelistic atheist banging the drum for “science,” won’t save him. Did he help make fun of the idea that humans impose “heteronormativity” on dogs? Drive him from his job! He defiled a (current*) sacred cause! More, he damaged the reputation of journals the SJWs started or captured.

Religion in the traditional sense is of no concern to SJWs. You can be a witch or an astrologer and be right at home in their circles. The only thing you can’t believe in is intellectual freedom, due process, rationality, evidence, or any other ideas that SJWs associate with the threat of not getting what they want. Some of us call them the raging Woke, and not without reason.

*If you, reader, think that all this won’t affect you in your comfy job somewhere, remember that the raging Woke differ from most fanatics in one important way: Their causes have comparatively early sell-by dates and change often. They don’t concern you now? May later. Any aid you give them today by tolerating their concerns, however apparently well-meaning, could come back to haunt you. And you will have that many fewer allies.

*Note: Jonathan McLatchie, often featured here, addresses that sort of street epistemology here.

See also: Social science hoaxer’s job at risk for revealing “bias” If science of any kind survives, the question will be not “Why are the journals allowed to be so debased?” but “Why is this field publicly funded?” Oh, and, “Why do degrees in the subject matter?”

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As I believe you indicated the other day, BA77, and on many other occasions, non-locality gave materialism its 'coup de grace' all those years ago ; and I would add that the A/Mats are not so much 'dead men walking', as chickens with their head cut off, running around in circles, not realising it. Non-locality gives me the distinct impression that empirical science is a kind of particularly basic Lego game God has given our tiny minds to play with. Ironical that science has such a name for truth-bearing. Some insulting things have been said about theology, but its title as Queen of the Sciences, intrinsically thoroughly deserved, surely has, insofar as the latter includes empirical science, lost much of its lustre. I was soon disabused of the notion I had as a youngster, that at least 'science' was honest. Of course, fallen human beings can deface and defile honesty and purity in rag-time. A chimpanzee 'fumbling with a Sevres vase' doesn't come into it, where there are A/Mats at large with truth close by. And all because they insist on the truth following the direction they desire - no matter what the evidence to the contrary. Axel
EvilSnack, atheists often accuse Theists of appealing to 'God of the Gaps' type arguments, but, as you alluded to, the shoe is squarely on the other foot. If anyone should be accused of making a 'Gap style' argument it is the Atheistic materialist in his claim that someday materialists will figure out how unguided material processes can possibly produce information and consciousness., aka "materialism of the gaps": In fact, I would argue that this 'materialism of the gaps' style argumentation of atheists is far more prevalent than just materialism's failure to explain information and consciousness. Can't explain the beginning or the fine tuning of the universe? Just postulate an infinity of other untestable universes to 'explain away' the beginning and fine tuning. Can't explain quantum wave collapse? Just postulate a virtual infinity of untestable parallel universe splitting off from this universe. Can't explain where life came from? Just pretend that the 'elephant in the room' information enigma is no problem at all and 'someday' materialism will explain it all. Can't explain the fossil record? Just postulate undiscovered fossils to 'explain away' the sudden appearance and overall stasis consistently revealed in the fossil record. Can't explain the 'appearance of design' screaming at us from biology? Just postulate the illusory and impotent 'designer substitute' of natural selection. Can't explain consciouness? Just postulate that consciousness is an illusion. Can't explain morality, meaning, value, or purpose for life? Likewise just postulate that morality, meaning, value, or purpose are illusory. Can't explain immaterial information in biology? Just postulate that immaterial information is a metaphor. This would be ludicrously funny if atheists were not dead serious in their 'materialism of the gaps' claims. But, as anyone with common sense can see, the shoe is squarely on the other foot as to who is actually making 'gap style' arguments so as to avoid falsification of their base assumption of Atheistic materialism.. bornagain77
Has any Darwinist explained why assuming that the evolution fills the observed gaps is anything but an assumption? EvilSnack

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