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ID’s problem in a nutshell

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Laszlo BenczeLaszlo Bencze offs a thought on how to survive in a culture that thinks that design in nature is unreasonable but an infinity of flopped universes is reasonable:

In my reading of a very fine book subtitled “How the Christian Middle Ages launched the scientific revolution” I encountered this passage:

Sir Isaac Newton explicitly stated that he was investigating God’s creation, which was a religious duty because nature reflects the creativity of its maker. In 1713, he inserted into the second edition of his greatest work, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, the words:

Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and everywhere, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of organisms which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing….And that is enough concerning God, to discourse of whom from the appearances of things does certainly belong to natural philosophy.

It would take Charles Darwin (1809-1882) to prove Newton wrong. —The Genesis of Science, James Hannam, p. 349

Mind you, this book bends over backwards to be sympathetic to Christianity, frequently reminding the reader that the Middle Ages produced much excellent science and that the church was neither frightened of such knowledge nor fought against it. But sympathy has its limits. The flat statement of fact closing this passage certainly represents the standard secular view of science and its relation to Christianity. Darwin made God obsolete. That’s that. Any discussion of evolution which proposes taking God seriously as an actual existing entity is backwards, primitive, outmoded, and, frankly, contemptible. Such is the world view which pervades intellectual society.

I find it fascinating that Hannam does such a good job of explaining the metaphysical controversies of the Middle Ages, some of which were quite subtle, yet manages to miss the elephant in the room of our current discourse. Of course Darwin did not disprove Newton’s statement. His achievement was insignificant in terms of advancing science and negligible as theology. But the problem is that he wrote so beguilingly that his work was accepted as both paradigm changing science and irrefutable theology. The best minds of the past 150 years have generally been conned into both opinions. And those opinions are seemingly unshakable.

Vast human capital gets infested in such theories. Only obituaries help in such cases, unfortunately. Suddenly, the relicts and dependents provided for, it becomes safer to say that it is all rot.

76 Replies to “ID’s problem in a nutshell

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    Denyse,

    Do you have the link for Bencze’s comments. I went to the web site and all I could find was his photos

    Absolutely perfect read of the world on this.

  2. 2
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Bencze’s reading of Hannam is, to put it mildly, ludicrous.

    Hannam points out, quite correctly, that evolution by natural selection is a non-interventionist, non-teleological explanation of adaptation. From this it follows that Newton was wrong when he stated that “All that diversity of organisms which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing” (emphasis added).

    In other words, Newton was wrong when he claimed that there is no alternative explanation for the diversity of living things besides divine will and intelligence. Darwinism is, indeed, an alternative explanation.

    That said, Bencze is just fantasizing, or free-associating, when he so much as insinuates that Hannam’s agreeing with Darwin against Newton on this particular point commits him to anything at all about either the existence of God or the role of God in evolution.

    ID’s problem in a nutshell is that it consists of beating a straw horse — constantly refuting a position (“materialism”) that no one has actually held.

  3. 3
    nightlight says:

    The problem of DI’s ID is that it has been taken over by philosophers, theologians and born-again folks who are needlessly dragging the debate with their consciousness-talk and agency-talk into the bottomless tarpits of philosophy and medieval scholastics, snatching the defeat out of the jaws of victory. The otherwise perfectly valid scientific objections to neo-Darwinism are being squandered and misdirectied into scientifically sterile rhetoric by the shortsighted greedy leap: neo-Darwinism flawed => therefore ‘conscious agency’.

    For ID to get any traction as a candidate for science, DI urgently needs to rephrase their ‘consciousness intelligence’ talk into more modest ‘computational process’ terms, the stuff that scientists can work with and build something upon. There is nothing science can do with ‘consciousness’, intelligent or any other, since ‘consciousness’ is not a functional element of the present natural science.

  4. 4
    wd400 says:

    Some of ID’s problem might be relate to the fact IDers can says something as witless as “[Darwin’s] achievement was insignificant in terms of advancing science” and others can agree without batting an eye.

    Whatever else you might think about evolutionary biology, that’s just not the case.

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    nightlight,

    There is nothing science can do with ‘consciousness’, intelligent or any other, since ‘consciousness’ is not a functional element of the present natural science.

    Frankly, I’m stunned by your assertion.

    If your education has included Physics, surely you’re familiar with quantum mechanics, and the role played by measurement together with the potential for conscious observation. Consciousness has been repeatedly and convincingly demonstrated to collapse wave functions.

    Are you skeptical then of QM phenomena such as quantum erasure? If so, how do you explain it?

  6. 6
    Jerad says:

    Consciousness has been repeatedly and convincingly demonstrated to collapse wave functions.

    I’ve never seen it put quite that way in the physics classes I took. Could you provide a reference please?

  7. 7
    nightlight says:

    @Querius #5

    Frankly, I’m stunned by your assertion. If your education has included Physics, surely you’re familiar with quantum mechanics, and the role played by measurement together with the potential for conscious observation. Consciousness has been repeatedly and convincingly demonstrated to collapse wave functions.

    I happen to know a bit on that subject since my MSc thesis was titled “Quantum Paradoxes” (i.e. ‘Kvantni Paradoksi’ in Serbo-Croatian; it dealt with measurement problem, Bell inequalities, locality, etc). Few earlier posts in UD (post1 and post2) cover those questions in more detail, so I will only summarize the gist of it here.

    There is no empirically demonstrated ‘wave function collapse’ in QM (Quantum Mechanics), despite nearly a century of speculation on the subject and numerous experiments. See for example this long thread in Physics Forum explaining the blatant cheating in the most recent experimental claims of the ‘collapse’ demonstration.

    Consciousness entered that topic in 1932 as an offhand, perhaps tongue in cheek, remark by von Neumann in his analysis of the quantum measurement problem. He wasn’t even specific on whether it was human or divine consciousness, nor what it is.

    By analyzing a measurement apparatus as a quantum object via dynamical laws of QM (unitary evolution eqs.) he realized that the apparatus cannot enter the state with definite result but remained in a superposition of states of all possible results. In order to fix it, he added apparatus A2 to “measure” the first apparatus A1, then treated both A1+A2 as quantum object, and still the combined system remained in an undefined (superposed) result state. Then he added infinite chain of instruments A3, A4, A5,… ultimately including the entire universe into a quantum object, each apparatus in the chain “measuring” the previous one, but still the linear equations could only produce the undefined (superposed) result for the entire chain.

    The immediate problem with such theoretical “prediction” was that it contradicted the most bare empirical fact which is that a definite result does occur even with single apparatus A1. The most obvious conclusion would be that QM equations were incomplete i.e. that there is perhaps a finer grained theory with variables which could predict or fix a single definite result of the measurement. In other words, QM would be a coarse grained statistical description of some deeper theory (hidden variable theory, HV). That was Einstein’s view.

    But in the previous chapter of his 1932 QM monograph von Neumann believed he had proven a no-go theorem, showing that no such finer grained theory is possible. Hence he believed one couldn’t assume that some finer grained theory than QM can exist and fix the problem. So at this point, with the infinite chain of instruments A1,A2,A3,… that included entire universe still in superposition, unable to pick a definite result according to QM equations, he gratuitously threw in a closing remark, that since all matter-energy of the universe was already included in the chain, the only thing he could think of that is outside of the matter-energy universe would be ‘consciousness’ (whose consciousness?).

    And that was that, nothing more to it. This informal, light-hearted remark was soon taken up by the popularizes and mystics and elaborated into a cottage industry of vapidity and wild speculations.

    Few decades later it turned out that von Neumann’s proof of impossibility of hidden variables was flawed since it was based on empirically unsupported assumptions. The last nail in the coffin of the von Neumann’s impossibility proof was struck by none other than John Bell in 1963. At the same time Bell came up with a weaker impossibility proof (making in turn his own empirically unsupported assumptions), showing that any finer grained theory has to be non-local, provided his premises are empirically supported. The empirical criterium he gave at the time for that support is known as ‘violation of Bell inequalities’ — if the violations can be demonstrated empirically, then any finer grained theory must be non-local. So far, half a century later no such violation was observed despite countless experiments which sought to demonstrate it — all of the experiments had “loopholes” (euphemism for “experiment failed to violate Bell inequalities”).

    The measurement problem itself, the superposition of the von Neumann’s infinite chain, is still open as it was when he posed it. One option is that QM is incomplete, but the priesthoods of experts are averse to such answers. Some question whether there is any collapse at all since it was never demonstrated experimentally. Others question whether the QM measurement postulate is valid (making needlessly strong assumptions for composite systems). As explained in the earlier post1, I find the last possibility (gratuitously strong measurement postulate for the composite systems) the most convincing and the most economical in the assumptions (it doesn’t add any new assumptions but merely drops one unsuppored old assumption).

    In any case, the measurement problem is a highly speculative, philosophical, borderline mystical, little corner of Quantum Theory, with no empirical evidence to ground the speculations and with nothing in practical uses of QM depending on any of it (i.e. it’s an example of mental self-gratification).

    Regardless of the outcome of any future Bell inequality experiments or eventual resolution of the measurement problem, physicists have no more clue or expertise about ‘consciousness’ than any ten random guys Jay Leno picks on the street to ask for an opinion. No empirically based physics or physics experiment has any bearing on the matter, speculations by popularizers and mystics notwithstanding.

    A philosopher or cognitive scientist is far more clued and coherent on the subject of consciousness than a physicist. Yet even they too are nearly as clueless today as the ancient Greeks were thousands of years ago when the subject was first articulated coherently. Frankly, it makes me cringe any time I see the most speculative fringe recesses of Quantum Theory, the darkest place in its hairy armpit, being brought into the ID debate in support of the existence of the ‘conscious agency’.

    If one were to ponder what is the best strategy to derail ID from becoming a legitimate, respected branch of natural science, dragging it and drowning it in the ‘consciousness’ tarpit would be hard to beat in effectiveness.

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    Hannam points out, quite correctly, that evolution by natural selection is a non-interventionist, non-teleological explanation of adaptation.

    Adaptation and evolution are not the same thing. Just what is evolution by natural selection? If it is modern day genetics, then is this really evolution in the molecules to man scenario? Or is it just a clever design mechanism for organism to survive better? They are not the same thing.

    The debate is not over adaptation. Nobody has ever shown that adaptation has led to anything significant in the evolution debate. Bencze’s reading is not ludicrous. He has nailed it. Darwin contributed little to science. He did create as Bencze said, the biggest con job in science history.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    as to nightlight’s comment:

    “If one were to ponder what is the best strategy to derail ID from becoming a legitimate, respected branch of natural science, dragging it and drowning it in the ‘consciousness’ tarpit would be hard to beat in effectiveness.”

    There is just so much wrong with that statement it is hard to know where to begin. First off, let’s be perfectly clear, Darwinism is a pseudo-science not Intelligent Design. If any theory should have to prove that it is ‘legitimate science’ it should be Darwinism! Anyone who disagrees with that statement please produce the rigid mathematical falsification criteria so that we may see how to falsify Darwinism scientifically!!!. As to nightlight’s ‘educated’ diatribe against consciousness (something nightlight experiences first hand by the way and knows more concretely that anything else he can possibly know in reality),,, well both consciousness, and free will, are now shown to play a central (axiomatic) role in quantum mechanics,

    Can quantum theory be improved? – July 23, 2012
    Excerpt: However, in the new paper, the physicists have experimentally demonstrated that there cannot exist any alternative theory that increases the predictive probability of quantum theory by more than 0.165, with the only assumption being that measurement (observation) parameters can be chosen independently (free choice, free will, assumption) of the other parameters of the theory.,,,
    ,, the experimental results provide the tightest constraints yet on alternatives to quantum theory. The findings imply that quantum theory is close to optimal in terms of its predictive power, even when the predictions are completely random.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-quantum-theory.html

    Now this is completely unheard of in science as far as I know. i.e. That a mathematical description of reality would advance to the point that one can actually perform a experiment showing that your current theory will not be exceeded in predictive power by another future theory is simply unprecedented in science! And please note that free will and consciousness are axiomatic to Quantum Theory in the experiment. This is born out in more detail here:

    What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? – By Antoine Suarez – July 22, 2013
    Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices.
    To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,,
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will

    Moreover, we have several lines of compelling evidence that atheistic materialists have to deal with in order to try to ‘explain away’ consciousness and free will in quantum mechanics. Here is a basic overview of the disingenuous way materialists have tried to cope thus far:

    Divinely Planted Quantum States – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCTBygadaM4

    But to go into a bit more detail, we have, at least, four different intersecting lines of experimental evidence, from quantum mechanics, which all converge to this one following conclusion;

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Here are the four intersecting lines of evidence from quantum mechanics. Wheeler’s delayed choice, Leggett’s inequalities, Wigner’s symmetries and Quantum Zeno effect;

    #1. Here’s Wheeler’s Delayed Choice,

    Alain Aspect speaks on John Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – video
    http://vimeo.com/38508798

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Here is a variation of Wheeler’s Delayed Choice which highlights free will’s position within quantum mechanics;

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    i.e. how can my present choices effect the state of material particles into the past? Within the materialistic worldview this experiment is not even possible!:

    #2. Here’s Leggett’s Inequality

    “I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.

    Preceding quote taken from this following video;

    Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness – A New Measurement – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D (Shortened version of entire video with notes in description of video)
    http://vimeo.com/37517080

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    #3, here’s Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’
    http://www.informationphilosop.....ts/wigner/

    Here is Wigner commenting on the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries,,,

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    Here is a corroborating piece of evidence that goes very well with Wigner’s work:

    Causing Collapse: Can One Affect an Atom’s Spin Just by Adjusting the Way It Is Measured? – Mar. 18, 2013
    Excerpt: One of the most basic laws of quantum mechanics is that a system can be in more than one state — it can exist in multiple realities — at once. This phenomenon, known as the superposition principle, exists only so long as the system is not observed or measured in any way. As soon as such a system is measured, its superposition collapses into a single state. Thus, we, who are constantly observing and measuring, experience the world around us as existing in a single reality.,,,
    They “measured” the atom by shining laser light on it. Just as our eyes observe the world by absorbing the photons — light particles — scattered in our direction by objects, the researchers observed the process of spin collapse in the atoms by measuring the scattered photons. In results that appeared recently in Science, they showed that the direction that a photon takes as it leaves the atom is the direction that the spin adopts when superposition collapses.
    Next, the team measured the polarization of the emitted photon and found that the observed polarization determines the effect of measurement on the spin. This suggests that an observer can influence the collapse of superposition just by adjusting the orientation of his photon-polarization measurement apparatus.
    The reason for this “action-at-a-distance” is that the spins of the measured atoms and the emitted photons were entangled. That is, even after they were separated, a measurement of one of them instantaneously affected the other.,,,

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....133026.htm

    #4 The Quantum Zeno Effect:

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    The reason why I am very impressed with the quantum Zeno effect as to establishing consciousness’s primacy in quantum mechanics is, for one thing, that Entropy is, by a wide margin, the most finely tuned of initial conditions of the Big Bang:

    The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”

    How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.
    (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    For another thing, it is interesting to note just how foundational entropy is in its explanatory power for actions within the space-time of the universe:

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    Evolution is a Fact, Just Like Gravity is a Fact! UhOh! – January 2010
    Excerpt: The results of this paper suggest gravity arises as an entropic force, once space and time themselves have emerged.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....fact-uhoh/

    In fact, entropy is also the primary reason why our physical, temporal, bodies grow old and die,,,
    And yet, to repeat,,,

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    per wiki

    This is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should conscious observation put a freeze on entropic decay, unless consciousness was/is more foundational to reality than entropy is? And seeing that entropy is VERY foundational to explaining events within space-times, I think the implications are fairly obvious that consciousness precedes the 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe:

    Thus, we have at least four different intersecting lines of experimental evidence, from quantum mechanics, which all converge to the one Theistic presupposition which holds that consciousness precedes all of material reality!

    More fascinating details on establishing the ‘geometric’ centrality of consciousness in the universe may be picked up here:

    The Galileo Affair and consciousness as the true “Center of the Universe”
    Excerpt: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    Of related interest to consciousness preceding material reality, The following site is very interesting;

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features)
    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale.....olor=white

    The preceding interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality (not just ‘nearly’ in the exponential center!). i.e. 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of ‘observable’ length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the exponential middle;

    Verse and Music:

    Luke 17: 21
    Nor will they say, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘Look over there!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you and around you.”

    Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon Heath
    http://myktis.com/songs/give-me-your-eyes/

  11. 11
    Jerad says:

    nightlight: thanks for your post (comment 7). That helped clarify some of my impressions.

  12. 12
    nightlight says:

    @bornagain77 #9,#10

    We’ve spent enough time in this ‘darkest place in the armpit of Quantum Mechanics’ earlier to be worthy further sniffing. Your latest quote stream consists of either informal speculations in popular literature or imaginative interpretations of otherwise unremarkable experiments through the lenses of a particular set of far fetched assumptions (the strong measurements postulate of composite systems, see post1 and post2) which themselves have still not been empirically demonstrated despite countless experiments that pursued that holy grail. It’s a house of cards resting on wishful thinking and the pa$$ion for research grants.

    My impression so far is that the chief programmer of the universe doesn’t care much for the cheap, flashy magic tricks, whether psychedelically induced or quantum magic induced, since the creation is amazing enough as it is to need any such embellishments. They would be like framing Mona Lisa into bright colored flashing neon signs to make it prettier, or modernizing Mozart’s violin concertos with gangsta rap vocals to make them more masculine.

    While generally you bring in lots of interesting quotes and useful links, it is when you drag it into this subject that I have to cringe, unfortunately, since it is not helping ID but turning those who know better off.

    On the bright side, that still does far less harm to ID than what Meyer and some other DI fellows are doing, having much bigger loudspeakers, with their ‘conscious agency’ obsession. If they could have just got off it and stuck with the likes of Michael Denton, Barbara McClintock, Lynn Margulis, James Shapiro, or even better, Stuart Kauffman and other Santa Fe Institute researchers to help frame ID as a conjecture about the powerful underlying computational process, the ID might have made it into schools as a genuine natural science by now. Instead, they have dragged into the ‘consciousness’ swamp to wallow and drown with philosophers and theologians for few more millennia.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    nightlight, to me it seems rather obvious that you are the one who is not presenting any hard evidence whatsoever for your position that consciousness has nothing to do with quantum mechanics. Despite your seemingly shallow and snooty dismissal of the evidence I presented, Leggett’s inequality, among the other experiments, is hardly to be considered ‘informal speculations’ of some fringe experiment but is a straight forward interpretation of an experiment that was devised precisely to try to deny consciousness any role in quantum mechanics and to maintain ‘objective realism’ apart from consciousness.

    A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: Leggett’s theory was more powerful than Bell’s because it required that light’s polarization be measured not just like the second hand on a clock face, but over an entire sphere. In essence, there were an infinite number of clock faces on which the second hand could point. For the experimenters this meant that they had to account for an infinite number of possible measurement settings. So Zeilinger’s group rederived Leggett’s theory for a finite number of measurements. There were certain directions the polarization would more likely face in quantum mechanics. This test was more stringent. In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

    Please note in the preceding article that Leggett himself, even though he had devised the experiment to ‘reality was really out there with no need for conscious observation’, would not, because of his a priori philosophical bias, would not accept the implications of his experiment but stated:

    Leggett agrees with Zeilinger that realism is wrong in quantum mechanics, but when I asked him whether he now believes in the theory, he answered only “no” before demurring, “I’m in a small minority with that point of view and I wouldn’t stake my life on it.” For Leggett there are still enough loopholes to disbelieve. I asked him what could finally change his mind about quantum mechanics. Without hesitation, he said sending humans into space as detectors to test the theory.

    To which Zeilinger responded:

    When I mentioned this to Prof. Zeilinger he said, “That will happen someday. There is no doubt in my mind. It is just a question of technology.” Alessandro Fedrizzi had already shown me a prototype of a realism experiment he is hoping to send up in a satellite. It’s a heavy, metallic slab the size of a dinner plate.

    Richard Conn Henry, professor of physics at John Hopkins university, sums up the situation in quantum mechanics, with dogmatic physicist who refuse to follow the evidence where it leads, this way:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (i.e. Leggett’s inequality)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Also somewhat related interest, Zeilinger’s team recently closed the ‘last loophole’ for Bell’s inequalities. Closed it by 70 standard deviations!

    Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – Jun 11, 2013
    Excerpt: In the years since, many “Bell tests” have been performed, but critics have identified several conditions (known as loopholes) in which the results could be considered inconclusive. For entangled photons, there have been three major loopholes; two were closed by previous experiments. The remaining problem, known as the “detection-efficiency/fair sampling loophole,” results from the fact that, until now, the detectors employed in experiments have captured an insufficiently large fraction of the photons, and the photon sources have been insufficiently efficient. The validity of such experiments is thus dependent on the assumption that the detected photons are a statistically fair sample of all the photons. That, in turn, leaves open the possibility that, if all the photon data were known, they could be described by local realism.
    The new research, conducted at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Communication in Austria, closes the fair-sampling loophole by using improved photon sources (spontaneous parametric down-conversion in a Sagnac configuration) and ultra-sensitive detectors provided by the Single Photonics and Quantum Information project in PML’s Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division. That combination, the researchers write, was “crucial for achieving a sufficiently high collection efficiency,” resulting in a high-accuracy data set – requiring no assumptions or correction of count rates – that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-b.....otons.html

    For me the closing of the last loophole leaves the skeptics in a rather awkward situation. i.e. They have to maintain the local realism is forever hiding in the ever shrinking loopholes and that local realism never presents itself as a valid of reality when directly measured for it. The situation in quantum mechanics is much like evolution’s punctuated equilibrium, in that, we are assured by Darwinists, that we don’t find transitional fossils where we ought to in the fossil record because evolution happens to fast for us to expect to find them. i.e. Quantum physicists/skeptics who want to hold onto a purely deterministic universe, such as Einstein did, are left with unbelievable ‘just so’ stories instead of any actual hard evidence to support their case!

    Here is a clip of a talk in which Alain Aspect talks about a debate between Neils Bohr and Einstein, and the failure of ‘local realism’, or the failure of materialism, to explain reality:
    Quantum Entanglement – The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    Os supplemental note:

    Although I would like to hear your speculations on this following double slit video, which the Zeilinger group, arguably the best experimentalists in quantum mechanics today, has listed on their outreach page:

    Double slit
    http://vcq.quantum.at/outreach.....ideos.html

    and this video in which Dr. Zeilinger ‘tries’ to explain to Morgan Freeman the double slit experiment:

    Quantum Mechanics – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything real? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    nightlight, instead of soliciting your opinion on those videos on the double slit, and consciousness’s enigmatic/foundational role in the double slit, I just want to point out that the countervailing view that you seem to be supporting, the view that consciousness is not foundational to reality but that consciousness simply ’emerges’ from some material basis, is the truly ‘fringe/lunatic/psychopathic’ view to hold about reality:

    We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    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

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    nightlight you want to

    frame ID as a conjecture about the powerful underlying computational process (so that) ID might have made it into schools as a genuine natural science

    If by natural science, you mean materialism, well as Chaitin elucidated from Godel’s work, that dog won’t hunt!,,

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.,,,
    http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

    In fact Chaitin, although he was well aware of the limitation that Godel’s incompleteness theorem placed on computers ever being able to generate functional/algorithmic information such as we find in genomes, tried to develop a computer program that could be ‘proof of principle’ that Darwinian evolution could genrate functional/algorithmic information and this is what he found:

    At last, a Darwinist mathematician tells the truth about evolution – VJT – November 2011
    Excerpt: In Chaitin’s own words, “You’re allowed to ask God or someone to give you the answer to some question where you can’t compute the answer, and the oracle will immediately give you the answer, and you go on ahead.”
    per VJ Torley

    Here is the video where, at the 30:00 minute mark, you can hear the preceding quote from Chaitin’s own mouth in full context:

    Life as Evolving Software, Greg Chaitin at PPGC UFRGS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlYS_GiAnK8

    Moreover, at the 40:00 minute mark of the video Chaitin readily admits that Intelligent Design is the best possible way to get evolution to take place, and at the 43:30 minute mark Chaitin even tells of a friend pointing out that the idea Evolutionary computer model that Chaitin has devised does not have enough time to work. And Chaitin even agreed that his friend had a point, although Chaitin still ends up just ‘wanting’, and not ever proving, his idea Darwinian mathematical model to be true!

    related notes:

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

    i.e. although many people seem to have an unreal impression of computers, an impression that they are somehow a super-intelligent thing that can generate unlimited information,,, (people such as Michael Denton, Barbara McClintock, Lynn Margulis, James Shapiro, or even better, Stuart Kauffman),,, the fact of the matter is that computers are very limited in the amount of algorithmic/functional information that they can generate,,,

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    And without such a ‘unlimited’ capacity for computers to generate useful, functional, information, computers are basically left with just a blind search for finding ‘elegant engineering solutions’:

    Applied Darwinism: A New Paper from Bob Marks and His Team, in BIO-Complexity – Doug Axe 2012
    Excerpt: Furthermore, if you dig a bit beyond these papers and look at what kinds of problems this technique (Steiner Tree) is being used for in the engineering world, you quickly find that it is of extremely limited applicability. It works for tasks that are easily accomplished in a huge number of specific ways, but where someone would have to do a lot of mindless fiddling to decide which of these ways is best.,, That’s helpful in the sense that we commonly find computers helpful — they do what we tell them to do very efficiently, without complaining. But in biology we see something altogether different. We see elegant solutions to millions of engineering problems that human ingenuity cannot even begin to solve.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....58591.html

    Supplemental note as to the disconnect between theory and empirical evidence. Here’s Shapiro on ‘natural’ genetic engineering:

    How Natural Genetic Engineering Solves Problems in Protein Evolution – James Shapiro – May 2012
    Excerpt: When I pointed out the potential of domain shuffling by natural genetic engineering to Intelligent Design advocates who claimed protein evolution by natural mechanisms was impossible, they refused to recognize genomic data as irrefutable evidence and insisted on real-time experiments. I disagree with them strongly on the DNA sequence data.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....41180.html

    Although Shapiro admits he has no ‘real time’ empirical evidence for the origin of novel protein domains and/or genes by Darwinian processes (so as to be able to have the ‘protein domains’ to shuffle around in the first place) but must rely, as do neo-Darwinists, on the DNA/protein sequence similarity/dissimilarity data to try to make his case that novel protein domains were created in the distant past so that ‘natural genetic engineering’ can presently create all the diversity we see in life on earth today. Yet, just as with neo-Darwinists, Shapiro relying on sequence similarity/dissimilarity data to ultimately try to make his case for ‘natural genetic engineering’ has the very same ‘unscientific’ problem that neo-Darwinism has of assuming the conclusion beforehand to try to prove the very question being asked. i.e. Can novel functional information we see in protein domains and/or genes ever be generated in a ‘bottom up’ fashion by the unguided material processes of neo-Darwinism?

    Exon Shuffling: Evaluating the Evidence – Jonathan M. – July 2013
    The Problems with Domain Shuffling as an Explanation for Protein Folds
    Excerpt: The domain shuffling hypothesis in many cases requires the formation of new binding interfaces. Since amino acids that comprise polypeptide chains are distinguished from one another by the specificity of their side-chains, however, the binding interfaces that allow units of secondary structure (i.e. ?-helices and ?-strands) to come together to form elements of tertiary structure is dependent upon the specific sequence of amino acids. That is to say, it is non-generic in the sense that it is strictly dependent upon the particulars of the components.
    Domains that must bind and interact with one another can’t simply be pieced together like LEGO bricks.
    In his 2010 paper in the journal BIO-Complexity Douglas Axe reports on an experiment conducted using ?-lactamase enzymes which illustrates this difficulty (Axe, 2010).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74441.html

    Doug Axe’s work on the rarity of proteins is focused exactly on the rarity of individual protein domains/folds themselves. Doug Axe addresses James Shapiro’s disconnect between theory and evidence here:

    On Protein Origins, Getting to the Root of Our Disagreement with James Shapiro – Doug Axe – January 2012
    Excerpt: I know of many processes that people talk about as though they can do the job of inventing new proteins (and of many papers that have resulted from such talk), but when these ideas are pushed to the point of demonstration, they all seem to retreat into the realm of the theoretical.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....55471.html

  15. 15
    nightlight says:

    @bornagain77 #13

    Regarding the assertion “Zeilinger’s team recently closed the `last loophole’ for Bell’s inequalities” note that even they don’t claim that it is a loophole free experiment but acknowledge that it leaves locality loophole open.

    What is worse, even the detection loophole they claim to have closed is merely replaced with another loophole that wasn’t under scrutiny in the earlier two channel experiments. Namely, they changed from the two channel to a single channel experiment. That means they “solved” the low detection efficiency problem of two channel experiments by disabling 2 of the 4 detectors altogether, discarding thus half the available data. Then they used PDC source with multiple photon pairs per detection window to artificially boost the yield (their apparent efficiency, if you don’t check for extra pairs) of the remaining half of detectors. The 2nd channel they chose to discard would have revealed this kind of sleight of hand, hence they “solved” the problem by removing those 2 detectors. This is analogous to stage magician always showing one half of the box at a time, while hiding the other half.

    Yet, despite their best effort, a little error slipped through behind the curtains of their latest magic setup, showing up as anomalous counts on one of the settings, and a there was a recent arXiv preprint by a long time friend Emilio Santos pointing out the anomaly. I have also pointed out the above problem to Zeilinger via several back and forth emails and he promised to reveal more data and address the issues raised shortly. Indeed, within weeks after that they added two more explanatory preprints to the arXiv (one and two), unfortunately sidestepping the main problems and answering only several weaker or strawman objections (sort of).

    The fundamental problem with their claim is that they are misusing Eberhard’s inequality (they have to use it because it is insensitive to detection loophole) which assumes single pair of photons per detection window, while nothing in their experiment checks for multiple pairs, leaving thus a new generally unfamiliar loophole, previously not considered (since they disabled half the detectors that could have shown these multiple pairs).

    Namely the laser driven PDC source pumps Poisson distribution of high frequency input photons, producing thus the Poisson distribution of the resulting low frequency photon pairs. The laser pump intensity can be tuned if they wish to do so (which they would want to do) to produce more than one pair per detection window, invalidating thus Eberhard’s inequality. Their experiment is deliberately set up not to check for or detect such multi-pair instances. Another friend from that same group in Spain (as E. Santos) is working on a paper to derive more general Eberhard’s inequality that covers real PDC sources with multiple photon pairs. That way he can explain the anomalous counts and challenge them on the new primary loophole theoretically, pointing out the correct inequality they needed to violate, not the broken one.

    In short, it’s another bogus claim, just running fast on a newly created, unfamiliar loophole (it’s generally unfamiliar, except to a handful of experts, since it was not relevant for the two channel experiments). They have got a little while to run and strut before the wider physics community catches up to the new trick. If you have followed the history of this problem, the same little game went on for each new unfamiliar loophole for the last half century.

    Note that except for the two very small circles, one of flashy “magicians” who are loud far beyond their actual numbers, and the other of their quiet critics, the vast majority of physicists subscribe to the QM interpretation known as “shut up and calculate” i.e. stay away from the quantum magic tarpit, it’s a dead end.

    I just want to point out that the countervailing view that you seem to be supporting, the view that consciousness is not foundational to reality but that consciousness simply `emerges’ from some material basis, is the truly `fringe/lunatic/psychopathic’ view to hold about reality

    You are completely misunderstanding what I am saying. My point is not about the existence or nature of consciousness. The philosophers have trashed that subject for thousands of years already, and will probably go on about it another few thousand, and I just don’t have that kind of free time to join in with an enterprise with that level of low productivity track record.

    The issue I am discussing is whether consciousness is an element of the models (of the formalism, or generally of the ‘scientific statements’ generating algorithms) of natural science. The answer is — no, it is not. There are, of course, all kinds of scientist from all fields philosophizing about it, but it is not formally defined and specified in any natural science, hence it doesn’t do anything at all as far as the models of science are concerned.

    Any informal, accidental, habitual, figure of speech or poetic mention of consciousness in any science textbook can be safely removed without affecting any prediction of that science, whether it is physics, chemistry, biology, neuroscience,… Nobody has a clue what it is, what it does (other than exist as direct experience), what to do with it, what equations it satisfy, what does it predict that the rest of that science already doesn’t without it,…

    Physicists, whose subject matter is the farthest from it than those of all others, know about it the least. Not that they don’t philosophize with the rest of them, especially in their twilight years, but physics as a science has nothing to with it and it doesn’t shed the slightest bit light on it, much less predict or explain its existence or properties (as you seem to imagine).

    That may be the problem with the present science, a kind of big gap, but that is the way it is. Presently it is a philosophical and theological subject matter, while being idle speculation for all the rest.

    Hence my point about consciousness is that DI keeps complaining that ID is unjustly being kept out of science, when it is none other than DI fellows who, with their constant ‘consciousness’ talk, are the loudest voice defining and advertising ID as a branch of philosophy and theology.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    nightlight you seem to be missing the forest for the trees! Why in blue blazes is it that locality and realism are the ones that keep getting falsified in these particular experiments and not the other way around. i.e. Realism and locality cannot forever be going on somewhere else where we can’t concretely confirm it. You can hide in the loopholes if you wish, and pretend you are being ‘scientific’ in doing so, but I find it severely disingenuous of you to do so and for you to take cheap shots from your, so far, unfalsifiable position is even more confirmation that you are more of a dogmatist than unbiased observer in this.

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    Thank you, bornagain77 for your replies and the included links! I found them interesting and very helpful.

    In one of the videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0), Dr. Anton Zeilinger claims to show experimental evidence for quantum entanglement among other QM effects.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Anton Zeilinger (born on 20 May 1945) is an Austrian quantum physicist who in 2008 received the Inaugural Isaac Newton Medal of the Institute of Physics (UK) for “his pioneering conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, which have become the cornerstone for the rapidly-evolving field of quantum information”. Zeilinger is professor of physics at the University of Vienna and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Most of his research concerns the fundamental aspects and applications of quantum entanglement.

    However nightlight, who professes expertise in QM posted the following:

    There is no empirically demonstrated ‘wave function collapse’ in QM (Quantum Mechanics), despite nearly a century of speculation on the subject and numerous experiments. See for example this long thread in Physics Forum explaining the blatant cheating in the most recent experimental claims of the ‘collapse’ demonstration.

    and

    In any case, the measurement problem is a highly speculative, philosophical, borderline mystical, little corner of Quantum Theory, with no empirical evidence to ground the speculations and with nothing in practical uses of QM depending on any of it (i.e. it’s an example of mental self-gratification).

    So, would it be reasonable to conclude that either Dr. Anton Zeilinger or the person posting here as nightlight is a liar?

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Well I don’t think nightlight is purposely lying. I personally think he is being disingenuous to what the evidence is telling us, and is looking for escape hatches (note how he tried to divorce philosophy from consideration in science which is impossible), but I do not think he is purposely lying. What I do know for sure is that nightlight is fighting a loosing battle against the steady advances of quantum mechanics. As Max Planck has so bluntly stated:

    A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
    – Max Planck – pp.33-34 (as cited in T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions).

    Max Planck, the father of quantum mechanics, and devoted Christian, also had a few other interesting quotes:

    I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
    Max Planck – As quoted in The Observer (25 January 1931)

    As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
    Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)

    Schrodinger also had some strong words on this matter.

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

  19. 19
    nightlight says:

    @bornagain77 #16

    Realism and locality cannot forever be going on somewhere else where we can’t concretely confirm it. You can hide in the loopholes if you wish, and pretend you are being `scientific’ in doing so, but I find it severely disingenuous of you to do so and for you to take cheap shots from your, so far, unfalsifiable position is even more confirmation that you are more of a dogmatist than unbiased observer in this.

    I am not “hiding in loopholes” but merely pointing out that statement:

    A) “There are no loophole free experimental violations of Bell Inequalities”

    is logically equivalent to a more succint statement:

    B) “There are no experimental violations of Bell Inequalities”

    The (B) merely removes the redundant euphemistic misdirection “loophole free” i.e. “flaw free” i.e. “one that violated inequalities”. But that is exactly what the rest of the sentence is already saying anyway, hence it is redundant and we can drop it without losing any facts.

    When on the subject of magic technology and its loophole free demonstration, as luck would have it, there was in 19th century a Zeilinger’s fellow countryman, Wolfgang von Kempelen, who invented a magical chess playing automaton he called Turk.

    The Turk toured European courts and capitals, beating in chess anyone who dared play against it. To show there is no cheating involved (after all there were often big bets at stake) von Kemplen would first “prove” to the spectators that the Turk was just a mechanical automaton, by opening the large pedestal showing myriad loudly buzzing gears inside, then the Turk figure itself, also just bunch of spinning gears.

    But the proof always left a little loophole, since while showing the insides of the pedestal the door on the Turk was closed, and while showing the insides of the Turk the door on the pedestal was closed. There was also always a little “insignificant” pause in between the opening of the two doors. Just enough for a small statured, highly skilled chess player to slide on a little cart from one compartment to another, remaining always invisible to the spectators.

    That’s basically how the shifting loopholes in the BI violations experiments have been behaving ever since that magic show opened for business half a century ago. You shine the light into one compartment and the loophole somehow moves to the other, now dark, compartment. Call me prejudiced, but when I see an Austrian with a pocketful of shifting loopholes peddling the latest magic technology…

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    nightlight you state:

    A) “There are no loophole free experimental violations of Bell Inequalities”

    is logically equivalent to a more succint statement:

    B) “There are no experimental violations of Bell Inequalities”

    and I hold you to be severely disingenuous in your removal of the words ‘loophole free’. You yourself seem to know full well how difficult these experiments are. If you really cannot see how biased you are in this there is really not much else I can do for you, save to send flowers to your funeral! i.e. science progresses one funeral at a time – Planck!

  21. 21
    Mung says:

    Well nightlight, I counted only three links in your post @12 and seven links in BA’s post @13. And seven seems to be the magic number here at UD.

    And again I see only three links in your post @15. Which, amazingly enough to those of you who don’t believe in time travel or ESP or NDE, BA managed to exactly cube in his pre-response @14.

    Now if that’s not proof of consciousness I don’t know what is!

    I’d appreciate some enlightenment. Are we talking collapse of the wave function, quantum entanglement, the measurement problem, or what? Dumb it down of us closet ID’ists please!

    🙂

    nightlight, it was your initial post @3 which caught my eye. Trying to follow that through to the latest has not been exactly easy. Are you saying there is no evidence for consciousness, or that if there is there is no evidence for any effect, or that if there is it’s outside the bounds of science?

    Now I do find your suggestion that ID could be formulated in terms of computation very interesting. But aren’t computers machines, and aren’t machines made by agents for agents, blah blah …

    So do we need to abandon entirely the machine metaphor, in your opinion? What do you have to say about “molecular machines?”

    cheers

  22. 22
    Querius says:

    Thank you for the great quotes, bornagain77!

    As to whether either Dr. Anton Zeilinger or the person posting here as “nightlight” is, in fact, an intentional liar is indicated by their respective definitive statements regarding the results of QM experiments. In addition, nightlight goes so far as to intimate fakery and monetary incentives on the part of QM scientists.

    So how can we tell which one is the liar?

    The question might actually be an interesting one to ID proponents because many of the arguments have been used against scientists who ascribe to ID.

    Scientific consensus. This is clearly in Dr. Zeilinger’s favor

    Publications in scientific journals. Again, score this one for Dr. Zeilinger.

    Educational attainment. It seems that Dr. Zeilinger wins again on this point—the person posting as nightlight only has a master’s degree.

    Expertise. Dr. Zeilinger is an acknowledged expert in QM, but this can also be a source of bias, since no one is going to become or remain an acknowledged expert in a field of which they are skeptical. There’s an analogue here to experts in evolutionary biology discovering (to no one’s surprise) that Evolution is a fact.

    So far, all of these issues to a greater or lesser extent have been used against proponents of ID.

    Logical argument. Here’s where ID proponents usually shine over their Darwinist opponents (with notable exceptions). I’m inclined to tilt this one toward Dr. Zeilinger due to the clarity and simplicity of Zeilinger’s explanations. I was particularly intrigued by his assertions to the effect that the apparent behavior of light is an illusion and is not happening in (our) reality. The person posting as nightlight offered some confusing and symbolic representations that were vaguely reminiscent of existential logic. The snobbery and browbeating was a turnoff for me. Still snobs and bullies can be truth-tellers.

    Repeatability. Many labs have claimed to have been able to successfully repeat the double slit experiment, and demonstrate quantum entanglement. The person posting as nightlight seems to be aware of this, but appears to claim widespread fraud. This is possible, but unlikely. In contrast, with the evolution versus ID debate, the amount of direct experimentation is limited, and some of the results of experiments are controversial.

    So, regardless of which one of these people, Dr. Zeilinger or the person posting as nightlight, is actually a bold-faced liar, the exercise should be instructive to ID proponents including me, to have greater understanding for the objections of people in the field of Biology, whose education was centered around the evolution paradigm.

    You’re right that people rarely change their minds, especially those with a scientific reputation to lose. Still, there are interesting exceptions. In any case, scientists should be noted by their humility and open-mindedness to new data, have extremely high integrity, and should not tolerate sloppy thinking or experiments even by the people they’re in agreement with.

    These are good things for everyone to bear in mind.

  23. 23
    nightlight says:

    @bornagain77 #20

    The quantum magic is going into history to the same place where the above Turk is, and before that perpetuum mobile contraptions, since it shares lots of features with both. Here is a nice survey paper of the BI violations experimental situation by E. Santos drawing the historical parallel with the perpetuum mobile (page 25). Nothing has changed of substance since he wrote it 9 years ago (his other papers on arXiv).

    Even the rest of Quantum Theory, not just the the mystical recesses of measurement theory and Bell non-locality, will be seen in not very long as Ptolomaic epicycles are seen today. The future of physics is not going back to the 19th century pre-quantum era but toward computational and algorithmic models, in the direction pointed to by Wolfram’s NKS (the Book) and Fredkin’s Digital Physics as explained in this post.

  24. 24
    Querius says:

    As I recall analogy is the strongest argument but the weakest proof.

  25. 25
    Gregory says:

    Laszlo Bencze should take on Adrian Bejan’s lowercase ‘design in nature’. But he likely won’t. And neither will UDers.

    “Darwin made God obsolete. That’s that. Any discussion of evolution which proposes taking God seriously as an actual existing entity is backwards, primitive, outmoded, and, frankly, contemptible.” – Laszlo Bencze

    That’s simply an absurd statement, given the presence of TE/EC approaches to the topic. Perhaps Laszlo Bencze just doesn’t know about them or pay them attention.

    It’s such a strange inferiority complex demonstrated by IDists with symptoms of Expelled Syndrome. Otoh, they *really* seem to think that they *are* Revolutionary scientifically. Dembski qua Newton of information, etc. Meyer speaks of a scientific revolution in the making. Behe tells of implications for “all humane studies”. Yada, yada, yawn.

    Yet when it comes to facing actual, serious critiques, IDism has continuously failed. Dembski’s “Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design” (2004) is a clear example of missing the boat. A “biological argument for God” that has *nothing* to do with theology; such silly talk as this.

    Kantian Naturalist and nightlight would dominate *any* duo of IDists attacking them at UD, *both* philosophically and scientifically. I don’t agree with KN’s naturalism/emergentism, but he’s shown much more awareness of actual positions than almost anyone else at UD. nightlight sees through the facade that most UDers have erected in the name of their ideological IDism.

    BS77, KF/GEM, timaeus and co. simply cannot ‘compete’ with their peers on this topic.

    Will Laszlo Bencze show some courage, speaking in his own real name to address Adrian Bejan’s lowercase ‘design in nature’? Probably not. Taking IDists seriously thus becomes a somewhat ridiculous proposition.

  26. 26
    Gregory says:

    “As I recall analogy is the strongest argument but the weakest proof.” – querius

    IDism banks (literally at the DI, Amundson, et al.) on analogy.

    It would take querius another degree of study, at least 5 years of his life, to catch up with the insights nightlight is offering him, graciously with his precious time visiting UD blog.

  27. 27
    Gregory says:

    “No, no, no, KN, nightlight and Gregory, you silly PhDs. You simply aren’t as knowledgeable as most USAmerican high school graduates, community college completers or bachelor’s level ‘thinkers’ who bravely, courageously and ‘selflessly’ (for the good of all mankind!) call themselves IDists. You are doubting what *cannot* be doubted by any ‘rational’ person. You are scientifically stupid.” – IDists

    Oh goodness, but IDists, including the most highly educated leaders of IDism, are being mocked and scientifically put in their place by high level European scholars as obviously absurd and insular. So what? They’re just Europeans who have clearly identified the links between IDism and right-wing USAmerican politics. Who cares about that truth: Rick Santorum? It’s just abstract (photographic rhetoric) talk by ideologues who have concluded already what they claim they can ‘scientifically’ prove.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius, nightlight at post 15 stated this:

    the vast majority of physicists subscribe to the QM interpretation known as “shut up and calculate” i.e. stay away from the quantum magic tarpit, it’s a dead end.

    Querius, what is interesting in this ‘philosophical’ position that nightlight is holding is that even the “shut up and calculate” position has recently been shown to undermine the materialistic local realism model that nightlight is now defending. Dr. Sheldon, PhD. Physics, summed up the recent development this way:

    Bohemian Gravity – Rob Sheldon – September 19, 2013
    Excerpt: Quanta magazine carried an article about a hypergeometric object that is as much better than Feynman diagrams as Feynman was better than Heisenberg’s S-matrices. But the discoverers are candid about it,
    “The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity. “Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.””
    What are these suspect principles? None other than two of the founding principles of materialism–that there do not exist “spooky-action-at-a-distance” forces, and that material causes are the only ones in the universe.,,,
    http://procrustes.blogtownhall.....vity.thtml

    The improvement for the ‘shut up and calculate’ position for QED, that nightlight seemingly prefers, by getting rid of locality and unitarity, i.e. the two of the founding principles of materialism that nightlight is defending, was vast:

    A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics – September 17, 2013
    Excerpt: “The degree of efficiency is mind-boggling,” said Jacob Bourjaily, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University and one of the researchers who developed the new idea. “You can easily do, on paper, computations that were infeasible even with a computer before.”
    https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20130917-a-jewel-at-the-heart-of-quantum-physics/

    Of related note to Feymann’s previous work that has now been simplified mathematically:

    THE INFINITY PUZZLE: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe
    Excerpt: In quantum electrodynamics, which applies quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter, the equations led to infinite results for the self-energy or mass of the electron. After nearly two decades of effort, this problem was solved after World War II by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman, who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for this breakthrough, referred to this sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.”
    http://www.americanscientist.o.....g-infinity

    “It always bothers me that in spite of all this local business, what goes on in a tiny, no matter how tiny, region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time, according to laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out. Now how can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”
    – Richard Feynman – one of the founding fathers of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics)
    Quote taken from the 6:45 minute mark of the following video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obCjODeoLVw

    I don’t know about Feynman, but as for myself, being a Christian Theist, I find it rather comforting to know that it takes an ‘infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do’:

    John1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    Thus underneath the simplification that made unification possible in the first place by Feynman, there seems to be an irreconcilable ‘infinity problem’ that was ignored.

    of related note, in the ‘shut up and calculate’ amplituhedron paper they stated that they still had not achieved unification of quantum mechanics with gravity:

    “The amplituhedron itself does not describe gravity. But Arkani-Hamed and his collaborators think there might be a related geometric object that does.,,,”

    Yet, according to Godel’s incompleteness theorem, a true, ‘complete’, ‘theory of everything’ cannot be a purely mathematical theory of everything as the authors of the amplituhedron paper seem to presuppose.

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Though not directly addressing Godel’s incompleteness, I think Dr. Gordon’s following quote sums up the situation between mathematics and Godel’s incompleteness theorem rather nicely:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,,
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Moreover, if we allow that God ‘can play the role of a person’ as even Godel himself allowed when he had chided Einstein’s belief in an ‘abstract’ god,,,

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman
    Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.”
    – Kurt Gödel – (Gödel is considered one of the greatest logicians who ever existed)
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    ,,if we allow that then we find a very credible reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a ‘theory of everything’, i.e. into an ‘absolute truth’, into the ‘unity’ that we intuitively know must exist:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin – updated video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    Verses and music:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Natalie Grant – Alive (Resurrection music video)
    lyric: “Death has lost and Love has won!”
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KPYWPGNX

  30. 30
    Gregory says:

    BA77, you could at least show the respect by calling him “Dr. nighlight” and me “Dr. Gregory” here. How does that reach you? Your “Dr. Gordon” is imo a rather specialised, i.e. ‘narrow’ thinker, which I know from having met him.

    It seems to me that Dr. nightlight is much broader and wider than Dr. Gordon. But will you eXtend that respect to non-IDists? As I understand it, you personally do no hold a PhD, i.e. you did not defend a thesis in front of scholarly peers after years of work and research. Your respect for those who have done this, however, does you credit.

    – Gregory

  31. 31
    Axel says:

    nightlighte’s #3:

    “For ID to get any traction as a candidate for science, DI urgently needs to rephrase their ‘consciousness intelligence’ talk into more modest ‘computational process’ terms, the stuff that scientists can work with and build something upon. There is nothing science can do with ‘consciousness’, intelligent or any other, since ‘consciousness’ is not a functional element of the present natural science.”

    Scientism at its finest! Still, not to worry, science’s loss is scientism’s gain: Arise, Sir ‘computational processes’! Your day has arrived.

    Traveller: ‘Could you tell me the way to Wigan?’

    Local: ‘Well, if I wanted to go to Wigan, I wouldn’t start from here.’

    Go to the top of the class, nightlight.

    ‘”For ID to get any traction as a candidate for science,’

    Sloppy writing, sloppy thinking. A postulation doesn’t need ‘traction’, or indeed ‘candidacy’ to be science. It only needs to be true. And truth doesn’t need ‘traction’ or ‘candidacy’.

    Acceptance of truth by all too human, career-driven, high-level functionaries is another matter all together, isn’t it, nightlight?

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Gregory, I usually ignore you because I find your incoherent rants against ID extremely absurd, but I will respond to this, I can’t at the present time bring myself to call you nor nightlight Dr.. I have to hold a certain level of intellectual respect to refer to someone that way. But would you prefer the title Emperor to the title Doctor:

    Who was the “Emperor of San Francisco”?
    Excerpt: Whilst flipping through the TV channels, lookin’ for Roller Derby, I accidentally landed on some station called PBS (I think it’s local). Anyway, they were running a historical piece on the history of San Francisco and mentioned a gentleman who roamed the cities back in the 1800’s, styling himself as “The Emperor of San Francisco.” He was evidently well-liked, and most everyone in the city played along with him. They’d give him the best seats in restaurants, stand in acknowledgment when he visited the theatre, wave to him on the streets. They said he even printed his own money–and merchants accepted it.,,,
    http://www.straightdope.com/co.....-francisco

    But alas I don’t think you would like the title emperor from me either for I’m the little boy:

    The Emperor’s New Clothes
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1-Dy.....3BA/s1600/

    The Emperor’s New Clothes
    Excerpt: “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (Danish: Kejserens nye Klæder) is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”,,,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....ew_Clothes

  33. 33
    Axel says:

    Beggin’ your pardon, Sorr, Dr Gregory, if I too have been guilty of lese-majeste.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t take GCE ‘O’ Level Physics, so I couldn’t defend my answers to my estimable peers, and you know what? I haven’t met Dr Gordon. I do have a PHD though. In front of my surname, what’s more. But call me, ‘Sir’, make a slight bow and touch your forelock.

  34. 34
    Gregory says:

    It’s a typical IDist double standard based on ideology.

    “I can’t at the present time bring myself to call you nor nightlight Dr.. I have to hold a certain level of intellectual respect to refer to someone that way. But would you prefer the title Emperor to the title Doctor”…?

    No, I’m not an ‘Emperor.’ But as a researcher in the scientific community I’m obviously more a ‘Doctor’ than V.J. Torley, who teaches English language in Japan. IDists might not agree, but frankly, with such people, who cares? Reality opposes them, no matter how many links BA77 gives for his apologetic purposes.

    IDists are *not* intellectually respected. Period. I just spoke with top-level European scholars. IDism is a joke, an embarrasement.

    But you can hold onto the fantasy that Behe and Meyer and Dembski still hold, i.e. that Uppercase ‘Design’ that is Uppercase ‘Intelligent’ simply *IS* a ‘scientific revolution’ in the making if that is what you want to believe.

    The so-called “ID(ist) problem in a nutshell” is that most scholars don’t accept IDism, and that includes (though American Christian apologists will shut their ears and hearts to this fact) Abrahamic scholars of high credibility and balanced response to (neo-)Darwinian evolution, have soundly *REJECTED* IDism as incoherent, unnecessary and unhelpful.

    Simply claiming probabilism and informationalism in ‘biology’ is not nearly as ‘powerful’ as IDists pretend it is.

    But I don’t expect BA77 to ‘wake up’ to this. Why? Because he is ‘BA’. Of course! 😛 He is not allowed to stay up late enough or to taste the reality of what it is that he vociferously (with far too many naive links) argues cannot possibly be understood.

  35. 35
    Gregory says:

    And what are you a Doctor of Dr. Axel? I’m sure we’ll get to the ‘why then haven’t you published a single credible ID Theory paper’ since you are obviously defending IDism later. But for now in response to your – “I do have a PHD though” – in what field(s) are you a Doctor?

  36. 36
    Axel says:

    I said ‘IN FRONT OF my surname’, Dumbo!

  37. 37
    nightlight says:

    @Axel #31 “Scientism at its finest!”

    You are conflating science with scientism.

  38. 38
    Axel says:

    Poor old Einstein, eh, Gregory!

    Dumb son-of-a-bitch! No, not you, Greg. Einstein… Intellectually-challenged IDist that he vociferously was – to the shame of his poor, sainted parents, I’ve no doubt.

    You know what many of his contemporary, Lilliputian academic elite thought of him, after acquainting themselves with his first theory? That he was an imbecile. Just like you. No, not you. Einstein.

    You’ve stopped taking those tablets, haven’t you, Gregory? You know it’ll all end in tears again if you persist in ignoring your meds.

  39. 39
    Gregory says:

    And your actual real ‘surname’ is what? Silence from fright.

    Dr. of Axiology? Dr. of Elephantitis?

    No, really, ‘Axel’ in Australia, what are you actually claiming to be a Doctor of? Anything that can be verified? Doubtful.

    Dr. Poser? Or is your hopeful first name ‘D-O-C-T-O-R’, even with only a secondary-level education, in the Ken Ham-like Australian Christian apologetics variety?

    Very little truth or disclosure seems to come from Axel’s mouth. People shouldn’t expect him to tell truth about himself due to Expelled Syndrome.

  40. 40
    Gregory says:

    Einstein was an “intellectually challenged IDist”!?!?

    ‘Axel’ is the kind of person for whom one doesn’t need enemies; better to call him a friend of IDism so that higher truth will prevail.

    The guy shoots his own arguments off down under just by typing messages.

    Surely he cannot hold a doctoral degree in IDism?! (Because that title doesn’t and never will exist.)

  41. 41
    TheisticEvolutionist says:

    Gregory wrote;

    IDism is a joke, an embarrasement

    Then when do you spend so much of your time posting on this website 🙂

  42. 42
    Axel says:

    #37. Top marks again, NL! This time for imagination. Even though, I suspect your accusation was of confusion, not conflation – and that only in reference to my stricture concerning your confusing scientism for science, c.f your dismissal of philosophy in #15.

    Are you interested in the truth, or in making a name for yourself with the Consensus?

  43. 43
    Axel says:

    He loves to be embarrassed, TE, and we do our best to oblige.

    Gregory. Nice non-response, confirming your embarrassment at having vaunted yourself above Einstein.

    My name is Paul Hugh Derek BECKE. And don’t you forget it, pip-squeak! What about your name?

  44. 44
    Axel says:

    Poor old Greg still doesn’t get it!

    Gregory. No university, to my knowledge, issues degrees of ANY kind to be apposed before the graduate’s surname.

    And you know what? I have no respect for people who pursue tertiary studies to stroke their egos. Do it for the money and status (however questionable), but don’t pretend you’re interested in the truth.

  45. 45
    Phinehas says:

    Is anything easier than for an anonymous blog poster to claim a PhD? Surely, at the least, the part before the PhD ought to be provided and verified before one starts demanding obeisance. Else we’ll have to start insisting you refer to us as the Exalted Grand Poobah, Phinehas.

  46. 46
    Gregory says:

    “I do have a PHD though.” – Axel

    Should anyone doubt this?

    IDists have a history of pretending qualifications that they don’t actually have(though seemingly less common than among YECists). Axel giving his name as “Paul Hugh Derek BECKE” does nothing to change this unfortunate tendency. What has he actually published about Intelligent Design Theory? Nothing.

    I believe nighlight (because he gave a link to his work) and KN (because he speaks coherently like the philosopher he claims to be, even if I don’t always agree with him) hold PhDs. ‘Axel’ otoh, is just “an anonymous blog poster” more likely an evangelical IDist than a credible person.

    And yes, this preferred ‘anonymity’ amongst Expelled Syndrome IDists is quite obviously one of the IDM’s problems in a nutshell.

  47. 47
    nightlight says:

    @Axel #42 “your confusing scientism for science, c.f your dismissal of philosophy in #15.”

    You are misreading my post #15. I am not “dismissing” philosophy or theology (or ‘consciousness’ for that matter) but merely pointing out that DI shouldn’t complain that their version of ID is not treated as natural science when they themselves are championing ID, via their persistent consciousness-talk, as a branch philosophy or theology.

    The present natural science simply doesn’t have a formal definition of ‘consciousness’ (direct experience) that does anything which the rest of science already doesn’t do without it. If it occurs in any textbook, it’s a non-functional figure of speech or a shorthand for some functional or structural description. It is not part of any formula, algorithm or causal chain or natural law — it’s a nonfunctional empty label for natural science. Hence you can safely remove it without changing any ‘output’ (such as scientific prediction or model) of the natural science.

    That is simply a defect (incompleteness) of the present natural science, not a flaw or a claim of non-existence of ‘consciousness’ or “dismissal” of philosophy and theology which, unlike science, do study subject of consciousness.

  48. 48
    Phinehas says:

    Someone posting as ‘Gregory’:

    And yes, this preferred ‘anonymity’ amongst Expelled Syndrome IDists is quite obviously one of the IDM’s problems in a nutshell.

    Seriously. Who are you? I’m only seeing you casting anonymous stones, but I can’t see where you’ve been shown to be without anonymous sin.

  49. 49

    Interesting post, Nightlight, although I somewhat disagree.

    In my field consciousness is an important variable, and indeed we have a number of proxy measures for it in various contexts, from the Glasgow Coma Scale, to awareness of experimentally manipulated stimuli as determined by behavioural responses and reports.

    This variable is then correlated with proxy measures of neural activity, and forms the basis of much neuroimaging methodology.

  50. 50
    Gregory says:

    “DI shouldn’t complain that their version of ID[T] is not treated as natural science when they themselves are championing ID[T], via their persistent consciousness-talk, as a branch philosophy or theology.” – nightlight

    Yeah, that’s worth repeating. Although again I add that IDT is a ‘theory’ and not something simply reified by repetitiveness. The vast emptiness of consciousness talk, about agency of ‘normal’ (lowercase) design theory awareness by DI fellows is a glaring problem with IDT. Thanks to nightlight for pointing this out.

    Elisabeth knows this but doesn’t seem ready to elevate her cognitive approach to a higher human level. Although, to her credit, I believe she honestly tries.

    “Seriously. Who are you? I’m only seeing you casting anonymous stones, but I can’t see where you’ve been shown to be without anonymous sin.” – ‘Phinehas’

    You should be red in the face, Phinehas-the-anonymous UDer. Click on my name. You’ll find non-anonymous staring directly at you. Obviously you are either not seeing well or simply internet naive. Follow the links, IDist marginal fundamentalist, and find your answers.

  51. 51
    nightlight says:

    @ Elizabeth B Liddle #49

    In my field consciousness is an important variable, and indeed we have a number of proxy measures for it in various contexts, from the Glasgow Coma Scale, to awareness of experimentally manipulated stimuli as determined by behavioural responses and reports.

    Yes, but still the term ‘consciousness’ merely serves as a shorthand for some objective, functional or structural descriptions (objectively describing interaction, communication, responsiveness, answers to questions, etc).

    There is nothing in any natural science that depends in the essential manner on the existence of direct experience (which is the ‘consciousness’ I was talking about) that may or may not be associated with such descriptions. While you may personally believe that other humans and perhaps animals, even objects, also have ‘direct experience’ of some sort, there is presently no way for you or anyone else to verify or falsify such belief, or find out how do they compare to yours. You (or anyone else) have no way of finding out how does ‘white’ look to me, how does it compare to your ‘white’, is it the same or different ‘white’ and in what way. The most you can scientifically establish and state are similarities and differences in objective responses (verbal, motoric, neural, etc) to such stimuli.

    Therefore, no ‘scientific statement generating algorithms’ (the rules determining what constitutes ‘scientific statement’) of your scientific discipline can be based upon quirks of your personal beliefs. These algorithms of natural science must be replicable i.e. anyone ‘skilled in the art’ should be able to logically retrace your steps and verify the validity of your scientific statements, even zombies or automatons, such as Susan Blackmore or Daniel Dennett, who hold that ‘consciousness’ is an ‘illusion’.

    Of course, informal or pedagogical speech or statements are not constrained by such algorithmic rules.

  52. 52
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    And you know what? I have no respect for people who pursue tertiary studies to stroke their egos. Do it for the money and status (however questionable), but don’t pretend you’re interested in the truth.

    I got my Ph.D. for the money, power, sex, and fame. Still waiting, though . . .

    And yes, I do hold a Ph.D. in philosophy. But my areas of specialization are in philosophy of mind, American pragmatism, and 20th-century ‘Continental’ philosophy — not directly relevant to the debates about intelligent design. My main interest lies in various conceptions of “nature” and of “naturalism,” and I’m a strong proponent of liberal naturalism (see also Naturalism and Normativity, reviewed here). I’m presently developing my own version of this view.

    Speaking from that perspective, my main complaint about intelligent design qua philosophy is that it takes for granted a very narrow and rigid conception of ‘nature’, as indicated by the polemics against “materialism”. If one begins with a narrow, rigid conception of ‘nature,’ then one can make non-naturalism (‘supernaturalism’?) look good by comparison — extremely good, in fact.

  53. 53
    Gregory says:

    It’s great that nighlight is speaking of zombies and automatons. IDists are smashed wrt their conceptions of what an ‘agent’ actually means. They’re mainly stuck evangelically in agent/Agent talk, disguised as knowledge by a political-educational movement known as IDism.

    We, and I presumptuously include nightlight here, may not ‘like’ the atheism of Blackmore and Dennett, but speaking scientifically even for theists takes precedence over loose quasi-scientific talk by IDists who are quite clearly out of their league; Meyer, Behe, Dembski included.

    ‘Axel’ hasn’t nearly the guts of ‘Kantian Naturalist.’ Obviously. Although KN doesn’t properly capitalise ‘Intelligent Design’ because at least for now he doesn’t seem to believe in Capitals.

    “I talked to Jesus at the Sewer and the Pope said it was none of his God-damn business.” – Jesus ‘Sixto’ Rodrigues

    Searching for Sugarman (great film!!) – beyond the silly, narrow (OoL) IDist paradigm.

  54. 54
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Although KN doesn’t properly capitalise ‘Intelligent Design’ because at least for now he doesn’t seem to believe in Capitals.

    I don’t capitalize “intelligent design” because I don’t see how capitalization helps to distinguish between

    (1) the design argument (which has deep roots in antiquity and a complicated history in metaphysical and theological speculation),

    (2) “design theory” (which I put in scare-quotes because I don’t think that the current-day ‘intelligent design’ movement has done the work necessary to vindicate ‘the design inference’ as an empirical theory),

    (3) the intelligent design movement, as a socio-political movement aligned with social conservativism, usually (though not necessarily) strongly religious.

    though I think that the movement tends to obscure (1) and (2), as indicated (among other things) by the confusion between a priori and a posteriori considerations, or (what is the same thing), a persistent inability to distinguish between arguments and explanations.

    For that matter, I think that the movement also tends to over-emphasize the pre-Christian roots of the design argument in order to conceal the deep complicity between the critique of evolutionary theory and the critique of secularism and progressivism. But WJM, KF, Axel, and Box have all seen fit to let the cat out of the bag on that one.

  55. 55
    Gregory says:

    “But WJM, KF, Axel, and Box have all seen fit to let the cat out of the bag on that one.”

    Yeah, that’s bang-on.

    Yet the capitalisation issue is still important. kn has not acknowledged this, even personally here at UD.

    Distinguishing btw ‘arguments’ and ‘explanations’ imo isn’t as important as finding connections btw worldview and scientific scrub. I use ‘scrub’ b/c ‘science’ isn’t as prime as some elevate it to be. But it is valuable and inevitable as aspect of our current internet-electronic era. Can’t escape it w/out ignorance…both for science and philosophy, with theology/worldview included. I don’t find kn goes far enough here though nighlight seems both scholarly and vertical.

    Otoh, a guy like ‘Axel,’ aka Paul BECKE – is that him fundamentalising (although I’d most certainly support his anti-Randist attitude) on behalf of IDism – narrow-minded and hearted in Australia? http://www.christianforums.com/t7700422-7/

    Otoh, serious thinking and feeling, not just low-level ‘play’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzY8LA4rxxM and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBBxFKCAaCo

    It’s like 18 million to 400,000. Why? She’s in jail my friends. You’re comfortable mainly white, protestant IDists. Her kids are waiting. NOT a snail YECIST – OF COURSE. Get real from your wanna-be revolutionary IDism, folks. Grow to the era, stop your empty squawk. Drop the pretense, Americano MOVEMENT crack-narrow.

  56. 56
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Yet the capitalisation issue is still important. kn has not acknowledged this, even personally here at UD.

    I’d be happier distinguishing between “intelligent design” and “Intelligent Design” if I knew what that distinction was supposed to capture and why it is best captured in capitalization.

  57. 57
    Axel says:

    I really think you’ve lost it all together now, Greg. You really are rattled, aren’t you? Never a winning characteristic.

    I would have thought it must be clear after repeated clarifications, that I was joking about having a PhD, since no PhD given by an university is placed before the person’s surname. But once you’ve been wound up, there’s no derailing you, is there.

    Why, I even wrote the PHD all in capitals, as well as stating the initials were before my surname(!), against the event of its being read by a truculent, academically-challenged, non-native English speaker, without a vestige of a sense of humour – such as your good self, seemingly.

    What is YOUR surname? Are you scared to reveal it – for fear of being black-balled in the near future, as an anti-Ideist, seeing that the tide is turning against you all?

    After sitting for ‘O’ Level Maths twice, I managed 6 ‘O’ Levels, a mere 2 ‘A’ Levels and a few units towards a BA, before dropping out. I’m not sure I’d have even got into a British university with those qualifications in 1959 or 60.

    Happy now? I am!

  58. 58
    Gregory says:

    “I do have a PHD though.” – Axel

    In short, that was a lie. Yes, it was.

    “I was joking about having a PhD” – Axel

    That’s a public admission. ‘Axel’ actually does not *have* a PhD in Australia, born in the UK.

    This, folks, is IDist idiocy representing Expelled Syndrome.

    Thanks, ‘Axel’ – Paul Hugh Derek BECKE – for personally discrediting IDism with lies in this thread.

  59. 59
    Axel says:

    Greg, do you feel particularly stupid now, to have effectively sneered at Einstein, as an imbecile, for his IDist conviction?

    ‘I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.’ – A Einstein of this parish.

    ‘My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.’ A Einstein of this parish.

  60. 60
    Axel says:

    You Design-Deniers are ephemera, an aberration, a temporary blip.

  61. 61
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    You Design-Deniers are ephemera, an aberration, a temporary blip.

    The first major “design-denier” in Western philosophy was Leucippus, the teacher of Democritus. 2500 years is a long slip.

  62. 62
    Gregory says:

    Acne (Axel) – do you feel particularly dishonest now for lying publically on the internet about your qualifications? You do not hold a doctoral degree, do you? Simple question.

    Just yesterday we spoke about Einstein with German, Italian, Lithuanian, Danish and Russian colleagues. None of them would dare stoop to the low level of ‘Axel’s’ dishonest IDism.

    Happy liar – this is ‘Axel’ – Paul Hugh Derek BECKE – who claimed “I do have a PHD though.”

    ‘Follow the evidence where it leads,’ folks. People like ‘Axel’ mar the IDM with their narrow thinking. Nevertheless, IDists seem to relish in it as fellow ‘victims.’

  63. 63
    Axel says:

    #58 It’s clear now that you are bankrupt of rational capital, and just parroting your laughable would-be ad hominem. You’re just exposing yourself to ridicule, at least in people’s minds.

    Here is effectively a second-tier, secondary-school scholar, and the best you can do is continue to peddle your already comprehensively-exposed twaddle (as if it were not obvious to everyone else) of an accusation of dishonesty.

    If I sought to sue you for libel, I’d be laughed out of court, because your accusation of dishonesty on my part clearly doesn’t even rise to the level of an adult jibe, never mind accusation – most notably, since it is in the teeth of now boringly pedantic, reiterated elucidations. Go back to sleep, there’s a good chap. You’ll be fine in the morning, I’m sure. Aussie Axel. (now watch him call me a liar, because I’m not really an Aussie!!!!)

  64. 64
    Axel says:

    One swallow, even a few, I’m sure, don’t make a summer, KN.

  65. 65
    Axel says:

    I’d like to have said, ‘Nice try’, KN, but I wouldn’t want to be dishonest with Greg ready to pounce.

  66. 66
    nullasalus says:

    The first major “design-denier” in Western philosophy was Leucippus, the teacher of Democritus. 2500 years is a long slip.

    Considering the meager level of prominence that ‘design-denier’ view had at the time, and how it came before nearly two millenia of design-friendly thinking around the world, I think that’d be more evidence for the ‘blip’ of design denial than anything else.

  67. 67
    Axel says:

    Simple question about a doctorate. Simple answer. Not even a fourth class BA. Though it seems nothing could be quite simple enough for you to comprehend on this subject.

    You were obviously hoping I’d be too embarrassed to mention it. Very far from it. I’m not an admirer of the Academy or of the worldly, analytical intelligence, so seldom based, as it tends to be, on sound assumptions.

  68. 68
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Considering the meager level of prominence that ‘design-denier’ view had at the time, and how it came before nearly two millenia of design-friendly thinking around the world, I think that’d be more evidence for the ‘blip’ of design denial than anything else.

    Granted, Leucippus was barely recognized at the time (so far as we know), but through Democritus and then Epicurus and Lucretius, “design-denial” came to exert a fairly substantive influence on Western thinking about these issues. The real ‘blip’ was between the end of antiquity and the Renaissance, when ‘design-denial’ (qua Epicureanism) had disappeared as coherent philosophical view from Western consciousness.

    Although I’m quite critical of Epicurean metaphysics (its denial of teleology) and epistemology (its denial of a priori concepts and judgments), I do find it really interesting that the basic move open to non-theists today who don’t want to be agnostics is, at bottom, still the same Epicurean gambit: if there are infinitely many universes, a universe hospitable to life and consciousness is bound to turn up.

  69. 69
    Axel says:

    You could have a point, nullasalus!!

  70. 70
    Phinehas says:

    Happy liar – this is ‘Axel’ – Paul Hugh Derek BECKE – who claimed “I do have a PHD though.”

    Is the poster who calls himself ‘Gregory’ and demands obeisance toward his anonymously-credentialed self deliberately being obtuse? Or has the obvious joke simply sailed right over his well-educated head?

  71. 71
    nullasalus says:

    I do find it really interesting that the basic move open to non-theists today who don’t want to be agnostics is, at bottom, still the same Epicurean gambit: if there are infinitely many universes, a universe hospitable to life and consciousness is bound to turn up.

    If there are infinitely many universes with the right parameters shifting, there are also universes where ‘design’ rules the roost.

    Infinite multiverses is not a way to dodge design. It’s a way to guarantee it. I’d go so far as to say, atheism is incompatible with accepting an infinite multiverse. At that point, polytheism at the least falls out straightaway.

  72. 72
    Timaeus says:

    Gregory wrote:

    “Laszlo Bencze should take on Adrian Bejan’s lowercase ‘design in nature’. But he likely won’t. And neither will UDers.”

    The last sentence, if not an outright lie, is at least demonstrably false. I met this challenge long ago; Gregory was still participating in the thread after I met it; he did not reply. Later on, when he made the same complaint about Bejan, I pointed out to him that I had responded earlier; he still did not reply. Now he is making the same charge again.

    The fact that Gregory is incapable of responding, or at least unwilling to respond, to a critique of Bejan doesn’t mean that the response hasn’t been given.

    But it’s hard to believe that Gregory *really* wants reasoned responses to any of his “challenges” here; they have been met time and again, and he never deals with the answers he gets. I’ve come to the conclusion that his “challenges” are purely for rhetorical purposes.

    But since Gregory is back, I’m now going to look to see if he has replied to my recent refutation of a false charge he made against me, on the “can we afford to be charitable” thread. It will be interesting to see whether he will respond to the mass of solid textual evidence that completely refutes his charge, or will just ignore it.

  73. 73
    Mung says:

    Gregory:

    No, I’m not an ‘Emperor.’

    A Pope, perhaps? I’ve always wondered at the Pope’s new clothes, myself.

  74. 74
    Gregory says:

    “I’d be happier distinguishing between “intelligent design” and “Intelligent Design” if I knew what that distinction was supposed to capture and why it is best captured in capitalization.” – Kantian Naturalist

    I wrote about it here and here. Does that help explain the distinction?

    re: timaeus’ claimed ‘critique of Bejan,’ let him start his own thread about it. Let it be featured at UD instead of buried in a thread without acknowledgement by most IDists.

    Has timaeus ever started his own thread? Does he have posting privileges? This could be his first attempt to make a statement, instead of just piggy-backing on what other people have started: “timaeus on Bejan’s (lowercase) ‘design in nature'” at his comfortable Expelled Syndrome lair.

    Does anyone think he will actually take up this challenge?

  75. 75
    Mung says:

    Gregory:

    Has timaeus ever started his own thread? Does he have posting privileges?

    This from someone who was asked to start his own thread at TSZ to discuss the book Design in Nature and declined to do so. All available evidence indicates that Gregory does know how to start his own thread at TSZ, and it pretty much follows that he has posting “privileges.”

    Perhaps if Gregory started a thread at TSZ Timaeus could be enticed to participate.

  76. 76
    Mung says:

    Gregory:

    Does anyone think he will actually take up this challenge?

    You’re the one touting the book. Why didn’t you take up the challenge?

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