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If atheism is not a religion, in some meaningful sense…

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… why are there atheist chaplains at U.S. colleges now?

New York Times:

LOS ANGELES — When Bart Campolo broke with the church almost five years ago, he immediately began to feel something missing.

It wasn’t so much that the pastor’s son no longer believed in God; he’d never been that much of a believer anyway. What he missed, Campolo said, was what the church had represented to him: a place where like-minded people could gather for fellowship, to pursue moral justice, to help one another and to try to live good lives.

So the onetime United Methodist youth minister, who worked for decades with the poor in inner-city neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, figured he’d try to keep doing that by presiding over what he cheerfully calls “a church for people who don’t believe in God.”

Campolo, 51, joined a growing movement of college “humanist chaplains,” arriving at the University of Southern California last September. More.

It’s the sort of one-two punch we’ve come to expect in current cultural life.

They persecute people who see the world differently, but then claim to be victims whenever there is pushback because, you see, they are “not religious.” Lazy and conniving people still fall for it.

And they are, of course, Darwinism central. No longer so much a theory of evolution as a cultural moment.

See also: Re Chapel Hill shootings: new atheist Sam Harris says no atheism to see there

New atheists score higher than conservative commentators on “certainty.” Surprised?

Just for fun: Why atheists can’t get dates

Meanwhile, there are some atheists you’d want to know out there. (“First Things magazine covers atheists who are rescuing design”)

Simple rule, easy to follow: Avoid everyone who thinks that our brain are shaped for fitness, not for truth. In other words, girl, he isn’t at fault for deceiving and dumping you, and you aren’t at fault for whatever you do as a result. And ain’t we all happy now?

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60 Replies to “If atheism is not a religion, in some meaningful sense…

  1. 1

    Atheism is a religion for it has a dogma: there’s no God…

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Aurelio, fine tuning of the Universe is commonly accepted as evidence of God. Not proof, but very very strong evidence. Most scientists would agree. Atheist Physicist Susdkind among many many others admit fine tuning is evidence of God. Evidence of a multiverse too. Take your pick;)

  3. 3
    CHartsil says:

    >fine tuning of the Universe

    >I still think 1 planet out of 400 trillion supporting life is evidence that those 400 trillion planets were collectively fine tuned to support life.

  4. 4
    ppolish says:

    CHartsil, fine tuning is accepted as evidence of God. No debate, proof of the acceptance as evidence is available in many places. By many Scientists, by many Atheist Scientists too.

    Fine tuning is widely accepted as evidence, but not proof. God is not provable. Or falsifiable.

    Back to Atheism as Bad Religion. Dawkins preaches “Together we can cure Religion”. His most popular T-shirt design based on sales.

    How to cure? By gene manipulation? Nope. Thinking it will just go away on its own? Nope, it’s spreading. Killing believers? Nope thank goodness.

    New Atheist hope to cure by preaching and evangelical action. Dumb Twit Pics and Twitter debates galore. Spreading the word. Atheism is bad religion.

  5. 5
    CHartsil says:

    “CHartsil, fine tuning is accepted as evidence of God. No debate, proof of the acceptance as evidence is available in many places. By many Scientists, by many Atheist Scientists too.”

    Making the specious claim ad nauseum doesn’t make it so. Especially when your argument is still “1 planet out of 400 trillion supporting life is evidence that those 400 trillion planets were collectively fine tuned to support life.”

    “New Atheist hope to cure by preaching and evangelical action. Dumb Twit Pics and Twitter debates galore. Spreading the word. Atheism is bad religion.”

    That would be counterproductive as religiosity is inversely proportional to intelligence and education. So the best way to get rid of religion is for people to learn

  6. 6
    CHartsil says:

    So is UD ready to drop the canard of ID not being religious?

    You guys make as many religious posts as pseudoscientific ones.

  7. 7
    StephenB says:

    CHartsil

    So is UD ready to drop the canard of ID not being religious?

    Are you still trying to peddle that nonsense? ID is a methodology for detecting design similar to the one used by many other disciplines. Accordingly, it begins with an observation, continues with an analysis, and ends with an inference to the best explanation. The steps have been documented in a flow chart. If you think that religion is involved, then tell us at which step in the process it makes an appearance. Of course, you cannot because ID’s methodology does not include a religious element.

    You guys make as many religious posts as pseudo-scientific ones.

    That is an illogical statement. What does the theme of a post have to do with ID’s methodology, about which you obviously know nothing?

  8. 8
    ppolish says:

    Aurelio, here is a recent vid where Susskind offers “three explanations for fine tuning”;

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2cT4zZIHR3s&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    I’ll edit in another vid from the 2015 Breakthough Prize ceremony that has the co-discoverer of the expanding Universe suggesting God too. Give me a minute….

    Near the end of this talk on the discovery of a physical Cosmological Constant Andre Linde asks the panel for any explanation of fine tuning besides the multiverse….”God, but I’m not Religious” is an answer. Good answer, true answer, scientifically accepted answer to the evidence. The first 10 minutes and last 5 minutes are applicable to our God is an answer discussion…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OjH5B8FpqWU

  9. 9
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: Accordingly, it begins with an observation, continues with an analysis, and ends with an inference to the best explanation.

    That’s fine and dandy. One of the entailments of the claim is that there was or is a mechanism to implement the design; the who, what, when, where, how. What is the evidence of the mechanism of implementation?

  10. 10
    StephenB says:

    StephenB: Accordingly, it begins with an observation, continues with an analysis, and ends with an inference to the best explanation.

    That’s fine and dandy. One of the entailments of the claim is that there was or is a mechanism to implement the design; the who, what, when, where, how. What is the evidence of the mechanism of implementation?
    12

    Read for context, please. The issue I was responding to was the false (and thoughtless) claim that ID is “about” religion. Your comment has nothing whatsoever to do with ID’s methodology or the religious presuppositions that are alleged to inform it.

  11. 11
    StephenB says:

    SB: What does the theme of a post have to do with ID’s methodology, about which you obviously know nothing?

    Aurelio Smith

    Wow, are you really going to enlighten us with the first ever exposition of ID methodology in a biological context? I’m all ears. Please expose away!

    You have the same problem as Zachriel and CHartsil. You want to evade a challenge by issuing another challenge and changing the subject. On the table is the claim that ID is “about” religion. Show me where ID’s methodology involves any religious claims or presuppositions. Explain how the theme of this thread has anything at all to do with that claim.

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    Aurelio Smith

    That many ID proponents are religiously motivated and the whole idea of ID was to subvert the Edwards v Aguillard decision is fairly well documented.

    No such thing has been documented. Defend your claim. Even if your assertion was true, and it isn’t, the researcher’s alleged motives have absolutely nothing to do with the integrity of his methods. Do you know the difference between a motive and a method?

    SB: Show me where ID’s methodology involves any religious claims or presuppositions.

    My point is that there is no ID methodology, religious or otherwise.

    You don’t have a point. You are simply making a wild claim from a position of ignorance. Inasmuch as you have declared that ID has no methodology, define the following terms and tell us whose methodology they apply to if not ID:

    Causal adequacy

    Inference to the best explanation

    Abductive reasoning

    Causes already known to produce the effect

    The explanatory filter

    Irreducible complexity

  13. 13
    JimFit says:

    Atheists believe that they are random cosmic mistakes that nothingness spewed without free will or purpose, can an atheist show me where does science supports Nothingness, Randomness and Luck or where these 3 exist? Of course not, they are beliefs that Science rejects! Science works only with Determinism and Determinism points to a Creator since our existence came after a fine tuned chain of events that the Creator pre-determined with His first cause.

    When Atheists ask proof they want proof of a material God and that’s a mistake since we are not Pagans, asking proof of a Material God is like asking proof of a Material Consciousness, i can raise my hands, yell, kick you in the nuts but you still won’t be able to feel, observe, listen,taste my Consciousness as an entity, proof of God? The Whole Creation is proof of God since everything around us was determined by the first cause which is God.

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ppolish @ 3

    Interviewer: If we do not accept the landscape idea are we stuck with intelligent design?

    Susskind: I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics.

  15. 15
    rvb8 says:

    JimFit,

    I too am in awe of creation. I see the utter unreasonableness of my existence as proof that, I am very lucky to be where I am. I fail to see why this is proof of anything, except that I am possible. If I win the lottery are you seriously suggesting that proves the existence of god? Or is it rather proof that a series of random numbers selected by me,does have a chance of coming up randomly in a random selection?

    I find the ‘random’ hypothesis far more reassuring than the ‘design’ idiocy. This is because I don’t trust a designer, especially after experiencing the disaster of the incompetent design.

    Remember, however devine Motzart, Leonardo, Shakespeare, and Einstein are, you are not they. Your human guaranteed rights are just that, human guaranteed, god is not required. In fact, in the countries where god is required for law, they have no justice, imagine, with god, no justice, without, the Constitution.

    Thank god, for atheists.

  16. 16
    Me_Think says:

    StephenB @ 16 to Aurelio Smith

    No such thing has been documented. Defend your claim.

    Every one knows about the notorious missing link : cdesign proponentsists

    Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view.

    Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.

  17. 17
    rvb8 says:

    Ah yes, who can forget ‘cedesign proponentsists’?

    So the original was ‘creationists’ and then someone sloppily, and smoking gunnishly added ‘design proponents’. Clownish in its unprofessionalism, and also undeniable. And yet UD does indeed deny a connection to Christianity and goddidit arguments.

    The level of cognitive, intense denial going on here is freudian.

  18. 18
    Timaeus says:

    “I see the utter unreasonableness of my existence …”

    I hope you are speaking only for yourself, rvb8. My existence is quite reasonable, even if yours isn’t. For that matter, the existence of “devine Motzart” is quite reasonable as well.

    And by the way, regarding your syntactically incoherent final sentence: in the Declaration of Independence, it is asserted that all men are *created* equal — with the word “created” implying that the nation founded on the principles of the Declaration is a nation in which God, not man, is the ultimate guarantor of human equality, rights, and dignity.

  19. 19
    rvb8 says:

    Sorry about the sentence structure.

    However, I said ‘Constitution’, why did you bring in ‘the Declaration’. I’m no expert, but aren’t they different documents?

    I don’t think my meaning is incoherent, it is this. When god is allowed into the judicial system of any country you have brutality and arbitrary ruling. When man throws god out, rationality and generally good laws (if not enforcement) prevail.

  20. 20
    Timaeus says:

    rvb8:

    The Declaration is the tacit metaphysical underpinning of the Constitution. Most of the Founders whose ideas went into the Declaration and Constitution were Christians, Deists, Masons, etc. They almost all believed in God — some more a Deistic or philosopher’s God, perhaps, but still God. The fundamental premise of equality is not merely posited in the void, but metaphysically justified by the connection with the creator.

    Of course, modern legal philosophers frequently like to downplay any connection between the Declaration and Constitution, and say that we should reason strictly from the Constitution. Well, perhaps from a legal point of view that is correct; but the metaphysical guts of the Constitution involve the assumption of a sanctity of the individual that the State has no right to touch. Where does that sanctity come from?

    It’s not a question of bringing particular claims about God, e.g., claims about Jesus or revelations to Moses, into the courtroom. It’s an acknowledgment that equality is grounded in createdness. That’s what gives equality its metaphysical bite.

    There is no guarantee that throwing God out of the legal environment will lead to less brutal or arbitrary court rulings. The courts under Stalin and Mao were not exactly known for gentleness and balanced judgment, were they? I wonder if Solzhenitsyn thought that Russian courts and laws were generally good.

    You have in mind, of course, countries like Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, etc. You imagine that they have good legal systems because they keep God out. But of course they all inherit the deep moral base of centuries of Christian culture. It’s relatively easy to show that modern secular humanism is mostly secularized Christianity (and secularized Judaism). The moderation of Western courts, their commitment to fundamental human dignity, etc. has a great deal to do with the Bible-influenced past of the people who practice law in them.

  21. 21
    JimFit says:

    rvb8

    I too am in awe of creation. I see the utter unreasonableness of my existence as proof that, I am very lucky to be where I am.

    You speak of Luck like it is something that exists, can you prove me where Luck is? Do you believe in Lucky amulets as well? Your existence is objective and it is based on objective causes. If i throw you a rock you will not blame the rock neither the laws of physics, you will blame me, my action, my idea to throw you the rock which was immaterial at first and then took shape.

    I fail to see why this is proof of anything, except that I am possible. If I win the lottery are you seriously suggesting that proves the existence of god? Or is it rather proof that a series of random numbers selected by me,does have a chance of coming up randomly in a random selection?

    The Lottery Machine has to draw probabilities from something physical for you to exist, since everything physical began the Lottery Machine had to begin as well. That’s why the Lottery Machine is a flawed allegory, it needs to participate and buy a lottery first (to have something physical first) and then win.

    I find the ‘random’ hypothesis far more reassuring than the ‘design’ idiocy. This is because I don’t trust a designer, especially after experiencing the disaster of the incompetent design.

    Can you prove me that Randomness exists?

    A Random even is something that cannot be determined neither can determine anything, such an event can exists only in a state of Nothingness where the absence of everything cannot determine something.

    Remember, however devine Motzart, Leonardo, Shakespeare, and Einstein are, you are not they. Your human guaranteed rights are just that, human guaranteed, god is not required. In fact, in the countries where god is required for law, they have no justice, imagine, with god, no justice, without, the Constitution.

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say…

    Thank god, for atheists.

    Yes thanks God for Atheists because Atheists couldn’t exist without God, Atheist comes from the Greek word Atheos/?????, the word means without God, the Atheists Epicurean Philosophers knew that they could not disprove God so they lived their lives like there was no God.
    They created their own moral system that was based on Nature (Materialism), do you want to know how this ended up? They supported murder, incest, rape, slavery, woman abuse, hedonism, greed, they even supported the worship of the Cesar as God at the absence of a transcendent one.

    What Atheism has offered us? Nazism ans Communism? Both were products of Atheistic Philosophy Marxism and Leninism, in the Communism Manifesto it clearly states that the State is based on dialectical materialism.

  22. 22
    StephenB says:

    Aurelio Smith

    No idea how [has] causal adequacy,

    Rather than try to run a bluff, it would be better for you to just admit that you don’t know the meaning of causal adequacy. Clearly, you do not.

    inference to the best explanation (when not having any explanation)

    “Inference to the best explanation is also a form of ampliative reasoning; with it we reason from the premise that a hypothesis would explain certain facts …..” (Stanford Encyclopedia)

    Obviously, you didn’t know that many scientific disciplines, including ID and even your own precious Darwinism, uses this same methodology.

    Irreducible complexity is an argument from ignorance and a default to “best explantion” without having one.

    I didn’t ask you for your uninformed opinion about irreducible complexity. I asked you for a definition. First, learn what a thing is and then give your opinion about it. Don’t try to reverse the process.

    Abductive reasoning can work.

    “One can understand abductive reasoning as “inference to the best explanation” (Wikipedia)

    First, you say that an inference to the best explanation doesn’t qualify as a methodology. Then, you say that abductive reasoning, which is the same thing, can work.

    In any case, your ridiculous claim that “ID has no technology” has been soundly refuted. It would be better for you to simply acknowledge your error and move on.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    Timaeus,

    I like to highlight the grand statement framework of the US Constitution that makes the connexions plain:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity [–> Links not only to the covenantal view in DoI but also onwards the sequence of calls to prayer, penitence and thanksgiving starting with May 1776 issued by Congress], do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . . . [Main Body, Arts I – VII] . . . . Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord [–> which ever-living Lord, per Rom 1:1 – 5 . . . nb attempt to replace this with “Common Era” which in reality is Christian Era!] one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth [–> delivering on para 2 of 1776 DoI]. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. . . . . [AMENDMENTS].

    It is worth counter-poising to RVB8’s bitterness and hostile dismissiveness the far more successful and historically important US declaration of 1776:

    When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness [–> directly antecedent, indeed doubly so as the Articles of Confederation had failed to adequately deliver]. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions [Cf. Judges 11:27 and discussion in Locke], do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    It suffices to note that this marked a new accession of growing liberty and reformation towards justice and self government of a free people that still shapes the world today.

    KF

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    Do I need to more than mention that blame projection in a day when over the past 100 years well past 100 millions have been murdered by militantly atheistical regimes, is unseemly? KF

  25. 25
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: You have the same problem as Zachriel and CHartsil. You want to evade a challenge by issuing another challenge and changing the subject.

    We accepted your position arguendo, that ID is based on an inference. So we asked about the obvious entailments. It seems that if you claim ID is based on a valid inference, and that this constitutes evidence ID is not religion, then examining the quality of the inference would be relevant. Nonetheless, we’ll move the question elsewhere.

  26. 26
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    Do I need to more than mention that blame projection in a day when over the past 100 years well past 100 millions have been murdered by militantly atheistical regimes, is unseemly? KF

    Not at all,as long as you mention the religious regimes’ carnage in the previous 4,000 and adjust for increase of productivity in the means of murder.

  27. 27
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    We accepted your position arguendo, that ID is based on an inference.

    You didn’t acknowledge the fact that the inferential process is a methodology and that Aurelio Smith was wrong to say that “ID has no methodology.” If you are going to weigh in on that discussion, then you need to take one side or the other. There is no middle ground.

    So we asked about the obvious entailments. It seems that if you claim ID is based on a valid inference, and that this constitutes evidence ID is not religion, then examining the quality of the inference would be relevant.

    You have it backwards. First, you learn what a thing is, then you give your opinion about it. The process cannot be reversed. One cannot evaluate the quality of something without first knowing what it is. That should be obvious.

    ID’s methodology can be expressed in a flow chart as a step by step process. If religion was included or presupposed in any way, it would be found in one of those steps. Anyone who claims, therefore, that a religious component is a part of that same process should be able to tell us at which point in the process it occurs. If he cannot, then he is just making something up.

  28. 28
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: you learn what a thing is, then you give your opinion about it. The process cannot be reversed.

    Actually, science is an interplay between observation and hypothesis. A yet to be tested hypothesis can be considered an opinion, an opinion that has specific and distinguishing entailments.

    StephenB: ID’s methodology can be expressed in a flow chart as a step by step process.

    Yes, the ID flow chart is an elaboration of designer-of-the-gaps.

    As you reintroduced the subject, what is the mechanism to implement the posited design; the who, what, when, where, how. What is the evidence of the mechanism of implementation?

  29. 29
    Joe says:

    Yes, the ID flow chart is an elaboration of designer-of-the-gaps.

    And archaeology, forensic science and SETI are all designer of the gaps arguments.

    Also Zachriel has been made aware of ID’s testable entailments. Its usual willful ignorance means nothing, as usual.

  30. 30
    StephenB says:

    StephenB: ID’s methodology can be expressed in a flow chart as a step by step process.

    Zachriel

    Yes, the ID flow chart is an elaboration of designer-of-the-gaps.

    Again, anyone can make a false claim from a position of ignorance. Show me the flow chart, outline its steps, and explain where the God-of-gaps argument can be found. Of course, you cannot, since you don’t know how the design inference begins, how it develops, and how it ends. Why you would presume to evaluate a process that you know nothing about is a mystery.

  31. 31
    rvb8 says:

    Thanks Timaeus for the pedantic back pedaling. It might come as a surprise to you, but people outside the US do actually read and admire (greatly in my case), the founding documents of your country, and the men (not gods) who wrote them.

    You made a mistake, take courage in both your hands and admit it. You talked about the ‘Declaration’ and its mention of a creator, when I was talking about the ‘Constitution’, and its explicit lack of a mention of a creator.

    Honesty occurs when you can admit mistakes. As an atheist I can do this, can you?

    JimFit,
    you don’t understand my Motzart sentence? Let me explain then. The existance of genius does not prove you have this potential. Your existance is not devine, important, or even necessary, you just are. Should you pass away tomorrow, I and several billion others would not care, be worried, or be inconvenienced, you are, sir, completely and utterly insignificant. Understand?!

    However, that being said, humanity has seen fit to give you and me some level of significance, we have put value on life, and documents such as your own Constitution are examples of that consideration.

    If we all spent alittle less time dewy eyed on our own importance the world might face its problems more squarely. Alexander Hamilton, Franklin, John Adams, Jefferson and Madison, understood this; What happened?

  32. 32
    Timaeus says:

    rvb8:

    I haven’t back-pedalled. I agree that if you insist on deriving law only from within the narrow four walls of the document called the Constitution, then you don’t bring in God. But it is a pretty narrow view of both history and culture to pretend the Constitution wasn’t written by men who held dear the principles of the Declaration.

    I made very clear the sense in which religion is and is not implicated in American legal thought. Perhaps you do not find my discussion to be very familiar territory. Perhaps your field is “comparative government” or something like that, rather than political philosophy.

    As for admitting mistakes, I haven’t seen you do that yet, other than spelling mistakes. But of course my main objection to you is not any particular mistake, but your fundamental intellectual dishonesty, which in a just world would bar you from ever earning a university degree or obtaining a teaching position. A man who condemns the arguments of books he has not read is the very model of untruth and has no place in a community of scientists or scholars — or teaching in the lower schools of any nation on earth.

  33. 33
    rvb8 says:

    ‘or teaching in the lower schools of any nation on earth.’ Heh!:) Can’t help yourself can you? Don’t worry this tendency you display is well known beyond your borders, and citizens of the world just nod, and move on.

    You are right of course, China is a nation, and it is on earth. ‘Lower School?’ My students would take exception to that, and they should, they are quite bright you know.

    Actually, Hainan University is well known for its Tropical Agriculture and Disease programmes. I concentrate on their communication skills, and ability to get to grips with global events; we spend a lot of class time on the US, as is only right of course.

    A little advice; remove the condescension from your tone. It would be fine if you were scholar of note, but comming from one such as yourself, it falls flat. Kind of like Bill Dembsky attempting to patronize Barbara Forrest.

  34. 34
    Timaeus says:

    rvb8:

    I didn’t say your school was a lower school. I said you shouldn’t be teaching in any school, higher or lower.

    If you don’t want me to condescend to you, step up your intellectual and academic integrity levels, and then there will no need for the “descend” part. I believe that all people are owed equal human respect — freedom and fair trials and equal opportunities for jobs and so on — but I don’t believe all people are owed equal intellectual respect. Intellectual respect has to be earned. And the way it’s earned is through demonstrated knowledge, and demonstrated academic integrity. When you display these things, you won’t notice any more condescension.

    Regarding Bill Dembski and Barbara Forrest; as usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re incompetent in Dembski’s field, and you’re incompetent in Forrest’s field, so you are in no position to compare them. But naturally, given your habits, you go ahead and compare them anyway. Sigh.

    As to whether I am a scholar of note, modesty forbids me to say. 🙂

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    rvb8

    You talked about the ‘Declaration’ and its mention of a creator, when I was talking about the ‘Constitution’, and its explicit lack of a mention of a creator.

    The American Founding Fathers established a nation based on the principle of ordered liberty. The Declaration of Independence provides the why; the Constitution provides the how. Accordingly, those two documents are inextricably tied together.

    The former was written to show that the “Laws of Nature” and “Nature’s God” are the source of all human rights. It explains why humans deserve to be free. The latter was written to protect those same rights. It explains how that God-given freedom will be preserved.

    That is why the Constitution contains legal principles that are based on the Bible and the Natural Moral Law. It is, by no means, a Godless document. (Sadly, many America’s contemporary leaders are traitors since they militate against the very constitution they have sworn to uphold).

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    VS, in fact, the track record of atheistical regimes is unprecedented. That is a necessary corrective given the tendency to unduly single out “religion” for blame. A sounder approach is to identify that the pivotal question is unaccountable power in the hands of unchecked, corrupt elites. Which points directly to the deliberate construction of governmental systems of checks, balances and public accountability in the US founding that are directly traceable to the Judaeo-Christian worldview and its emphasis on the double covenant of nationhood and government under God, balanced by the principle of the quasi-infinite worth of the individual enshrined in unalienable rights as an endowment stamped in as aspects of imago Dei. It is high time for a more balanced less angry at God and those who believe in him synthesis. KF

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8,

    a proper, contextually shaped reading of the grand statement structure of the US Constitution will find in it not only:

    a: an explicit acknowledgement of the Lordship of the Risen, exalted Jesus of Nazareth [“in the year of our Lord . . . “] but

    b: direct and pivotal integration of both the US DoI [ 12th year of independence, declaration of purposes i/l/o 2nd para DoI . . . ] and

    c: direct reference to the national spiritual covenant with the God of the Judaeo-Christian tradition implied in the pivotal purpose “to secure the blessings of liberty . . . ”

    To see the first, let us again [cf. 29 supra] cite the grand statement structure — a characteristic style for legal documents:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity [–> Links not only to the covenantal view in DoI but also onwards the sequence of calls to prayer, penitence and thanksgiving starting with May 1776 issued by Congress], do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . . . [Main Body, Arts I – VII] . . . . Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord [–> which ever-living Lord, per Rom 1:1 – 5 . . . nb attempt to replace this with “Common Era” which in reality is Christian Era!] one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth [–> delivering on para 2 of 1776 DoI]. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. . . . . [AMENDMENTS].

    With, the July 1776 DoI:

    When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness [–> directly antecedent, indeed doubly so as the Articles of Confederation had failed to adequately deliver]. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions [Cf. Judges 11:27 and discussion in Locke], do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    And, the May 1776 Congressional, covenantal call to prayer and penitence towards restoration of blessings — a peculiarly covenantal term

    In times of impending calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious and vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensable duty of these hitherto free and happy colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom, virtue, and posterity. . . . Desirous, at the same time, to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely, in all their lawful enterprizes, on his aid and direction, Do earnestly recommend, that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies [–> note direct reference to in the year of our Lord in the constitution, i/l/o other context]; . . . that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies, to animate our officers and soldiers with invincible fortitude, to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown the continental arms, by sea and land, with victory and success: Earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil rulers, and the representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and conventions; to preserve and strengthen their union, to inspire them with an ardent, disinterested love of their country; to give wisdom and stability to their counsels; and direct them to the most efficacious measures for establishing the rights of America on the most honourable and permanent basis—That he would be graciously pleased to bless all his people in these colonies with health and plenty, and grant that a spirit of incorruptible patriotism, and of pure undefiled religion, may universally prevail; and this continent be speedily restored to the blessings of peace and liberty, and enabled to transmit them inviolate to the latest posterity. [–. note direct use of these terms in the Constitution] And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from servile labour on the said day.

    Yes, this last was issued by the US Congress as one of a series of similar proclamations across the years of the Revolution. Here, under the name of the same John Hancock who is famously first signatory of the DoI.

    It is fair comment to note that apostasy and material and stubbornly insistent breach are now at critical mass, not only for the USA but our wider civilisation.

    KF

  38. 38
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: Show me the flow chart, outline its steps, and explain where the God-of-gaps argument can be found.

    The flowchart is simple. It’s not due to chance . It’s not due to law. Therefore, it’s due to design. The “not due to law” equates law with simple processes and is equivalent to we don’t know of any natural cause.
    http://www.ideacenter.org/stuf.....filter.gif

  39. 39
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    The “not due to law” equates law with simple processes and is equivalent to we don’t know of any natural cause.

    A law is the scientific description of an observed regularity. If an arrangement of matter is not the result of an observed regularity, then design is a reasonable inference. This is based on evidence and our experience such that all other objects that contain that same arrangement are known to have been designed.

    It may be logically possible that some kind of natural cause could exist other than law/chance, but science is based on what we know. ID acknowledges this point and says that it could be making a wrong assumption and, if so, it conclusions are also wrong. If only Darwinists were equally modest with their claims.

    Still, based on what we do know, law/chance is the only natural cause(s). ID’s scientific argument for design does not, in any way, depend on a prior belief in God. Accordingly, it is unscientific to reject design on the grounds that a third kind of natural cause may somehow exist. That is pure speculation.

  40. 40
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: A law is the scientific description of an observed regularity.

    The interaction of various laws can result in highly complex phenomena.

    StephenB: If an arrangement of matter is not the result of an observed regularity, then design is a reasonable inference.

    There’s your design-of-the-gaps right there. If we don’t know why the planets trace complex orbits across the sky, it must be the handiwork of a grand designer.

    StephenB: This is based on evidence and our experience such that all other objects that contain that same arrangement are known to have been designed.

    That may be sufficient for a hypothesis. Now you have to determine independent entailments to test that hypothesis; the who, what, when, where, why, how.

    StephenB: It may be logically possible that some kind of natural cause could exist other than law/chance, but science is based on what we know.

    Science is based on hypothetico-deduction. Elimination arguments are often problematic in that they may show only the limitations of the imagination and technical abilities of the researcher. That’s why you need to determine independent entailments subject to testing.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    Z

    The “not due to law” equates law with simple processes

    Eeep, nope, law is assigned to things showing low contingency of outcomes on closely similar initial conditions from which a lawlike regularity or force of mechanical necessity is held to be at work.

    It is under high contingency for an aspect of an object, phenomenon or process, that other factors are considered. (I leave off the slight scatter that often is observed in experimental work, which is due to uncontrolled stochastic factors, a low level of chance.)

    With low complexity, chance can readily account for any outcome and is inferred.

    When that high contingency comes with high complexity, chance will still be held to be at work, UNLESS we see the sort of outcome that we have no right to expect to see by chance but which we routinely see by intelligently directed configuration.

    What is that?

    The sort of functional specificity that would be naturally overwhelmed utterly by the bulk of outcomes to be expected on a random stochastic process.

    1,000 tossed coins will be highly contingent, and will normally come up near 50-50 h-T, in no particular order. But if we were instead to see the ascii code for the first 143 characters of this post, we would instantly infer to design. Because the overbearing bulk of the config space would be anything but something like that.

    This, and the like has been explained to you over and over and you are surely able to read a flowchart, such as here.

    Why is it that we still see such gross distortions of the explanatory filter process? Often, presented as gotchas?

    This is actually the second time today I have had to address distortions of the explanatory filter inferential process, and in this case from someone who has been a critic of design theory for years.

    KF

  42. 42
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: law is assigned to things showing low contingency of outcomes on closely similar initial conditions from which a lawlike regularity or force of mechanical necessity is held to be at work.

    Chaos can be deterministic, but is hardly regular. Indeed, there is high contingency of outcomes on closely similar initial conditions.

  43. 43
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    There’s your design-of-the-gaps right there. If we don’t know why the planets trace complex orbits across the sky, it must be the handiwork of a grand designer.

    Incorrect. ID assigns the orbit of planets to law/chance, not to design. There is no gap argument there or anywhere in the ID framework.

    That may be sufficient for a hypothesis. Now you have to determine independent entailments to test that hypothesis; the who, what, when, where, why, how.

    False. Design detection does not require any such determination. Archeologists do not have to determine who built an ancient hunter’s spear or how they did it in order to know that it was designed by an intelligent agent and was not the product of natural causes (wind, air, erosion).

    Elimination arguments are often problematic in that they may show only the limitations of the imagination and technical abilities of the researcher. That’s why you need to determine independent entailments subject to testing.

    No. The archeologist can detect the design in an ancient hunter’s spear by eliminating wind, air, and erosion as a cause. The forensic scientist can detect murderous intent by ruling out accidental causes. No such independent entailment is required.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, you and I both know that chaos is about sensitive dependence on initial conditions. The dynamics are strictly deterministic but error amplifying in non-linear ways that create great divergences out of tiny initial errors. So, the variability in a chaotic entity after sufficient amplification or system evolution on similar but inevitably not quite identical initial conditions is due to an uncontrollable chance feature. This is of course too often not properly discussed in typical presentations, which over-stress the deterministic dynamics and pass lightly over where the slight differences in initial conditions come from, but it fits in with the frame of thought as already discussed; the attempted objection fails. KF

    PS: In the short run, of course, reflecting the deterministic side, trajectories for close initial states will be close. Then divergence accumulates. Chance and necessity.

  45. 45
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: There’s your design-of-the-gaps right there. If we don’t know why the planets trace complex orbits across the sky, it must be the handiwork of a grand designer.

    StephenB: ID assigns the orbit of planets to law/chance, not to design.

    Read the conditional in our statement.

    Now that a physical law has been discovered, it’s ascribed to physical law. Before people became aware of the simple, underlying relationship, the complex pattern of planetary orbits was considered an example of design on a grand scale.

    StephenB: Archeologists do not have to determine who built an ancient hunter’s spear or how they did it in order to know that it was designed by an intelligent agent and was not the product of natural causes (wind, air, erosion).

    Archaeologists do not ascribe design to disembodied entities. And they don’t wave their hands when someone asks who, what, when, where, why and how. They look for the entailments.

    kairosfocus: the attempted objection fails

    You said, “law is assigned to things showing low contingency of outcomes on closely similar initial conditions from which a lawlike regularity or force of mechanical necessity is held to be at work.” We pointed to a class of phenomenon which are deterministic, but irregular. There’s a hole in your explanatory filter.

  46. 46
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    Archaeologists do not ascribe design to disembodied entities. And they don’t wave their hands when someone asks who, what, when, where, why and how. They look for the entailments.

    ID doesn’t say anything about the designer. Archaeologists don’t always know the who, how, why, and when- both ID and archaeology say what. ID has testable entailments and that is what we look for.

  47. 47
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    The flowchart is simple. It’s not due to chance . It’s not due to law. Therefore, it’s due to design.

    That is wrong. It is simple and goes like this- not due to law/ regularity, not due to law and chance, meets the criteria, therefor it is intelligently designed

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, you show no sign of serious engagement. I identified two aspects of the situation, where in the short run the deterministic dynamics lead to close paths in phase space, then as exponential nonlinear amplification of the chance small differences gains impact, increasingly sharp divergence. First the determinism of the dynamical framework and similarity dominate then as we move to the longer term, the chance differences increasingly dominate. This fits the per aspect analytical framework as described, and in fact contributed to the way the per aspect explanatory filter was laid out. Do you seriously think that physics has not learned how to disaggregate effects and interactions? Indeed, this is directly relevant to why weather forecasts are inherently short-term. The only “hole” there is in your attempt to try to dismiss instead of to observe carefully; we can distinguish the two aspects and apply a reasonable causal assignment. But, I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that I am not dealing with reasonable, responsible discussion but rhetorical talking point games designed to manipulate the ignorant and fend off unwelcome ideas from those IDiots. Please, do better. KF

    PS: You are advised to note that design will only be inferred on joint specificity in a narrow target zone in a config space joined to sufficient complexity to swamp sol system or observed cosmos search resources affecting the same aspect of an object or process. Functional specificity based on interactive organisation is a particularly relevant case. But then, the flowchart in question has been brought to your attention and that of your ilk for years so if you refuse to take simple steps to understand it correctly, that speaks volumes on the persistent recourse to strawman tactic misrepresentations.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, for reference kindly note here, especially the per aspect flowchart:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-relevant/

    KF

  50. 50
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    Now that a physical law has been discovered, it’s ascribed to physical law. Before people became aware of the simple, underlying relationship, the complex pattern of planetary orbits was considered an example of design on a grand scale.

    Strawman 1: Pre-modern superstitions have nothing to do with the scientific inference to design.

    Archaeologists do not ascribe design to disembodied entities.

    Strawman 2: Neither does ID. Both ID and archeology use the same process. They distinguish intelligent agency from natural causes. The process has nothing to do with disembodied entities.

    And they don’t wave their hands when someone asks who, what, when, where, why and how. They look for the entailments.

    Strawman 3. The methodology used by Archeologists to eliminate natural causes does not identify the who, when, what, where, why, and how. So it is with the methodology ID uses to rule out law/chance. So it is with the methodology that forensic science uses to differentiate accidental death from murder. So it is with the methodology by which cryptography decodes messages. So it is with the methodology that universities use to identify plagiarists. How many examples do you need before you grasp the principle?

    Meanwhile, you have still not defended your claim that ID uses a God-of-the-gaps argument. That is easy to understand imasmuch as you have no case. As it is, you are simply using your imagination to prop up strawman after strawman.

  51. 51
    Mung says:

    Atheism is a religion, in any meaningful sense.

    That should be blindingly obvious.

  52. 52
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I identified two aspects of the situation, where in the short run the deterministic dynamics lead to close paths in phase space, then as exponential nonlinear amplification of the chance small differences gains impact, increasingly sharp divergence.

    Yes, you can post lots of words to describe deterministic chaos. As we pointed out, deterministic chaos contradicts your statement about “low contingency of outcomes”.

    StephenB: Pre-modern superstitions have nothing to do with the scientific inference to design.

    We didn’t point to superstition, but a simple application of reaching a conclusion based on ignorance of a natural cause.

    StephenB: Neither does ID. Both ID and archeology use the same process.

    No, they don’t. ID refers to a disembodied intelligent entity. Archaeologists find evidence linking artifacts to art and artisan.

    StephenB: The methodology used by Archeologists to eliminate natural causes does not identify the who, when, what, where, why, and how.

    Archaeologists certainly do consider natural causes; however, they don’t stop there. They also find evidence for the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

  53. 53
    velikovskys says:

    KF

    VS, in fact, the track record of atheistical regimes is unprecedented. That is a necessary corrective given the tendency to unduly single out “religion” for blame.

    Not by me, I think religion has a great many positive virtues.

    A sounder approach is to identify that the pivotal question is unaccountable power in the hands of unchecked, corrupt elites.

    Of course, that is my point. Why invoke atheism then? If it is bad logic blaming religion it is bad logic for you to do the reverse.

    Which points directly to the deliberate construction of governmental systems of checks, balances and public accountability in the US founding that are directly traceable to the Judaeo-Christian worldview and its emphasis on the double covenant of nationhood and government under God

    Some of those same founders realized the pitfalls on too close a relationship between government and religion.

    balanced by the principle of the quasi-infinite worth of the individual enshrined in unalienable rights as an endowment stamped in as aspects of imago Dei.

    Except of course the rights of some men,Indians and women.

    It is high time for a more balanced less angry at God and those who believe in him synthesis. KF

    Perhaps if believers could be less silly equating lack of belief in a particular God to being a mass murderer that would help.

  54. 54
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    We didn’t point to superstition, but a simple application of reaching a conclusion based on ignorance of a natural cause.

    It doesn’t matter whether you call it superstition or something else. The pre-moderns that you allude to ignored secondary causes. This is irrelevant to ID. ID acknowledges secondary causes. It is a strawman argument.

    ID refers to a disembodied intelligent entity. Archaeologists find evidence linking artifacts to art and artisan.

    ID does not refer to “disembodied” intelligent agency. Please provide evidence to support your claim.

    Before the archeologist can link artifacts to art and an artisan, he must first use the principle of design detection to establish that the object in question is, indeed, art and not a product of nature. How do you think he is able to differentiate between an artifact and an object of nature? Answer: Design detection.

    Archaeologists certainly do consider natural causes; however, they don’t stop there.

    I didn’t say that they stop there. We are discussing the process by which they detect intelligent agency and only that process. No one suggested that it is the only process they use. (Strawman #4)

    They also find evidence for the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

    Of course the archeologist also finds evidence for the who, what, when, where, why, and how. So does the forensic scientist. So does the cryptologist. So does the teacher who detects plagiarism. That is a separate matter from the methodology of design detection which does not consider that who, what, when, where, why, and how. First you establish the existence of an intelligent agent. Then you consider the who, what, when, where, why, and how?

  55. 55
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: The pre-moderns that you allude to ignored secondary causes.

    What is a secondary cause? Argue, given the state of knowledge of the ancients, whether the complex motions of the planets is designed or not. In other words, instead of handwaving, grapple the problem.

    StephenB: ID does not refer to “disembodied” intelligent agency.

    That’s easy to resolve. What is the embodiment that is posited to have designed life?

    StephenB: Before the archeologist can link artifacts to art and an artisan, he must first use the principle of design detection to establish that the object in question is, indeed, art and not a product of nature.

    It’s not a two-step, but a consilience of the evidence. They may hypothesize design, but that’s the start of the process of testing the entailments. Lack of any such evidence would tend to undermine the original contention.

    StephenB: Of course the archeologist also finds evidence for the who, what, when, where, why, and how. So does the forensic scientist. So does the cryptologist. So does the teacher who detects plagiarism.

    But not the Intelligent Design speculator. They conclude design and say they can’t be bothered with “entailments” and stuff.

  56. 56
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    What is a secondary cause?

    Argue, given the state of knowledge of the ancients, whether the complex motions of the planets is designed or not. In other words, instead of handwaving, grapple the problem.

    You need to fine tune your question. Are you asking if the ancients thought that an intelligent agent moved the planets directly or are you asking if they thought an intelligent agent designed a law that would cause them to move? The first would be primary causality; the second would be secondary causality. Are you asking if primary causality is a God of the gaps argument? Are you asking if secondary causality is a gap argument?

    That’s easy to resolve. What is the embodiment that is posited to have designed life?

    Why are you asking me? You said that ID posits a disembodied designer? In fact, ID does not posit a disembodied designer. If you think I am wrong, make your case. Tell me why you think that ID posits a disembodied designer.

    It’s not a two-step, but a consilience of the evidence. They may hypothesize design, but that’s the start of the process of testing the entailments. Lack of any such evidence would tend to undermine the original contention.

    We are discussing only the process by which the archeologist rules out a natural cause and detects the existence of an intelligent cause. Nothing more. When the archeologist observes an ancient hunter’s spear, he rules out natural causes (wind, air, and erosion) and concludes that an intelligent agent designed the object. That is called design detection. As I pointed out, many scientific disciplines use the same process. None of that is to say that it is the only process they use. The how, when, why…etc. comes later and by means of another process.

    But not the Intelligent Design speculator. They conclude design and say they can’t be bothered with “entailments” and stuff.

    They don’t say that they “can’t be bothered with ‘entailments’ and stuff.” They say that, according to the evidence, a certain object exhibits features that indicate the presence of an intelligent agent. In principle, it is no different from observing a pattern in the sand that reads, “S.O.S.” According to the evidence, an intelligent agent was the likely cause. The pattern was probably not caused by wind, air, and erosion. There is no need to discuss “entailments” in that context. It isn’t relevant to the argument being made.

  57. 57
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: Are you asking if the ancients thought that an intelligent agent moved the planets directly or are you asking if they thought an intelligent agent designed a law that would cause them to move?

    The movements were considered too complex to be due to a simple law. The mechanism might be like an astrolabe with many moving parts precision-built for the purpose with periodic adjustments by the designer.

    StephenB: Tell me why you think that ID posits a disembodied designer.

    Oh, that’s right. Nudge, nudge. Wink wink. Say no more.

    StephenB: We are discussing only the process by which the archeologist rules out a natural cause and detects the existence of an intelligent cause. Nothing more.

    But that’s not how archaeologists work. Like all scientists they collect all available information and revise their theories based on a consilience of the evidence. If they find a stone that looks like it was knapped, they then collect collateral evidence to support their initial hypothesis.

    StephenB: They say that, according to the evidence, a certain object exhibits features that indicate the presence of an intelligent agent.

    What an incredible finding! Now who, what, when, where, why, and how?

  58. 58
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: In principle, it is no different from observing a pattern in the sand that reads, “S.O.S.” … There is no need to discuss “entailments” in that context.

    Finding the person who made the message is critically important based on the content of the message.

  59. 59
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    The movements were considered too complex to be due to a simple law. The mechanism might be like an astrolabe with many moving parts precision-built for the purpose with periodic adjustments by the designer.

    What does any of that have to do with your claim that contemporary ID paradigms constitute a God-of-the-gaps argument? You are losing track of your own argument.

    Oh, that’s right. Nudge, nudge. Wink wink. Say no more.

    Is that supposed to be an answer? You have failed to provide any evidence or argument to support your claim that ID posits a disembodied designer. Your false charge has been refuted.

    StephenB: We are discussing only the process by which the archeologist rules out a natural cause and detects the existence of an intelligent cause. Nothing more.

    But that’s not how archaeologists work.

    You are incorrect. All sciences, including archeology, detect design the same way. Archeology is only one of many examples. That archeologists do many other things and use many other methodologies is irrelevant to the point.

    They say that, according to the evidence, a certain object exhibits features that indicate the presence of an intelligent agent. (SOS in the sand indicates the existence of an intelligent agent.)

    What an incredible finding!

    Great. You are beginning to understand (I hope). Design detection involves the process of ruling out natural causes.

    Finding the person who made the message (SOS) is critically important based on the content of the message.

    I don’t know why this subject is so difficult for you to grasp. First, you establish the fact that the message was sent by an intelligent agent. It is called design detection. Then, you try to find out where the person is. That requires a different methodology. You can’t find the person by doing design detection.

    In like fashion, the forensic scientist must first establish that a murder has been committed by ruling out accidental death. He cannot find the murderer by using design detection. It is by a different methodology that he discovers the who, what, when, when, why and how of the crime.

    Or, again, the archeologist determines that the object he is inspecting is a spear constructed by an intelligent agent by ruling out wind, air, and erosion as the likely cause. It is by a different methodology that he discovers when it happened, how it happened, or who made it happen.

  60. 60
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: What does any of that have to do with your claim that contemporary ID paradigms constitute a God-of-the-gaps argument?

    You drew a good illustration of ID. That “SOS” must have been by an intelligent entity of unknown characteristics. Well, so much for that. How about lunch?

    StephenB: All sciences, including archeology, detect design the same way. Archeology is only one of many examples.

    Huh? Certainly not. They look at all aspects of the problem, and point to specific artisans, and not “we won’t speculate on the nature of the designer”.

    StephenB: They say that, according to the evidence, a certain object exhibits features that indicate the presence of an intelligent agent. (SOS in the sand indicates the existence of an intelligent agent.)

    That’s funny.

    StephenB: Great.

    Now that you are satisfied that you have detected design. Tell us the who, what, when, where, why, how.

    StephenB: In like fashion, the forensic scientist must first establish that a murder has been committed by ruling out accidental death.

    “Homicide? My Goodness! We won’t speculate on the nature of the designer. Maybe it was an extraterrestrial. Maybe it was Zeus. We calculated the FSCO/I of blunt force trauma, and that’s that.”

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