Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

If naturalism wins, math is over


Essentially, we live in the age of the meaningful illusion:

The more scientists learn about the human brain and how it operates, the more obvious it is that being human is no big deal. We’re just animals, complex biological systems operating according to the laws of nature—from physics to biology and chemistry. Many scientists, like the late Stephen Hawking, and philosophers like Duke University professor of philosophy and neurobiology Owen Flanagan and SUNY University professor of philosophy Gregg Caruso in a recent issue of The Philosopher’s Magazine argue that we have no soul, no fixed self, and no inherent purpose. We exist simply because we exist, tiny specks on a small planet in an infinite universe, and not because a god made the Earth for us. This conception, called “naturalism,” leaves many people feeling deeply uneasy—consciously or unconsciously—and casting about for meaning.Ephrat Livni, “Feeling anxious? It’s not just you, it’s our philosophical era of neuroexistentialism” at Quartz

Livni makes the case quite clear. It’s his conclusion that doesn’t work:

Ignoring evidence isn’t going to resuscitate dated notions of god or the soul or the self or human specialness, and it won’t make life meaningful. Instead, we have to transform our anxiety, individually and societally, because at this point, as they put it, “naturalism is the only game in town.”

The reality is that naturalism is culminating in the war on math. And it’s not going to get better, it’s going to get worse. As long as naturalists are in charge.

After all, if there is no soul, self, or inherent purpose, no fixed right or wrong, there is also no math that matters. Progressive educators understand that.

Hat tip: Heather Zeiger

See also: The progressive war on science takes dead aim at math

How naturalism rots science from the head down


Which side will atheists choose in the war on science? They need to re-evaluate their alliance with progressivism, which is doing science no favours.
Follow UD News at Twitter!

@AaronS1978: 'There is a huge problem with naturalism in general, the idea that we are meaningless specs in the middle of an infinitely huge universe does not make any one person feel like we need to be in this together if we’re going to work together to survive'. Oh my dawkins! 'Global Warming. Let's save the Earth'! Me: Why? Everything is pointless, you imbecile naturalist. You told me so. (Not you AaronS1978). Truthfreedom
Lol I apologize a lot of my stuff was butchered by talk text, I really need to stop using it AaronS1978
“The more scientists learn about the human brain and how it operates, the more obvious it is that being human is no big deal” This idiot should be slapped for such a moronic statement!!!! I keep re-reading it and I keep thinking what science is he quoting or reading that makes the human brain not a big deal or being human not a big deal The neural plasticity of the brain alone shows that it is a huge deal We have found that cognitive therapy can be just as effective as Prozac and other forms of medications that affect the brain Because the brain can rewire itself, This is not the say that medication is obsolete or not needed We found out that meditation is capable of actually rewiring your brain Ba77 quoted in the excellent peace proving this guy wrong Where in the world does he get off thinking he can make such ridiculous statements and think that they are true! AaronS1978
Seversky: Either we get it into our heads that we are all in this together and have to work together or we won’t be around much longer or we won’t be around much longer... The dinosaurs dominated this world for a lot longer then we have and they are now long gone. We could just as easily be next. So what? What's the difference since there is no transcendent Grand Plan? Burning the world down and fighting about it while it burns may be a lot more fun and profitable to some folks.There's no reason to be long sighted when being short sighted is more fun and profitable. There are lions and there are gazelles. There cannot be harmony between the two. Implicit in your statement is that there is something about this planet that is worth saving, something worth unifying over. Where did you come by that irrational nonsense, comrade? That smacks of some kind of goofy religious idea. mike1962
There is a huge problem with naturalism in general, the idea that we are meaningless specs in the middle of an infinitely huge universe does not make any one person feel like we need to be in this together if we’re going to work together to survive. That actually feels like the hubris an idiot that wants to prove their point and here’s the upside will all work together if we all believe were worthless and will all make our own worth. Only a few people will think that The vast majority of people will simply not see the value in themselves or others. This high minded crap that will all suddenly get along and work together because we realize that there’s no meaning in anything we do so our only job is to survive is such b******t For many meaningful value of a human being is the only thing that stops them from harming that other human being and helping that other human being And if naturalism is true then it is natural for that human to find a meaning interview other human beings as meaningful. Take that away, And I guarantee you the results will not be good I’ve dealt with many bouts of depression do to the feeling of being meaningless, I do not see the worse and others when I feel that way either nor do I care it’s strips everything from you Meaning is one of the few things they can drag you out of it Being meaningless makes that depression stronger and gives you more reason to kill yourself or to rid yourself of the world because there’s no reason to live none whatsoever As severesky has pointed out, Pretty much the world sucks and there is no reason to believe it’s going to get any better Furthermore let’s point out the fact that the smartest most powerful animals on the planet are nothing more than meaningless blobs of carbon I want to repeat the smartest and most powerful animals on the planet, that’s humans We are the only species on this planet that as harnessed the power of the sun and has utilized it to power our homes, or kill millions of people and possibly wipe out the entire ready of all life on the planet in a single moment. Go Nuclear power On the same token we have engineered weapons wonderful medical marvels and horrifying devices to both benefit and destroy us We have conquered biology and we now engineer genetics And this is not even going into the fact that we have the power of abstract thought, we can create music and other beautiful things like art, but we are also equally distructive It boils down to if we truly are meaningless then your commentary or anybody else’s commentary is also equally meaningless and then if the neurological patterns in my brain caused me pain because of your commentary then I should respond in kind to the meaningless carbon that is causing me discomfort with equal or worse amounts of discomfort Meaningless gives reason to end lives because they’re meaningless and if they are of no benefit then they should simply disappear. It aggravates me that scientists argue for such meaninglessness but also provides the means for people to wipe them selves off the face of the earth because science is as good or as evil as the person doing it. So let’s make the smartest most powerful animals on the planet feel meaningless and see what they do with their power I guarantee you it won’t be positive and in history and never has been, because often when people go to create their own meaning they generally get rid of people that don’t agree with theirs, usually by killing maming and destroying those that don’t agree. This past century has taught us that with such lovely people like Joseph Stalin, Hilter, and Mao. AaronS1978
per lie #3, "Many scientists,,, and philosophers argue that we have no soul, no fixed self, and no inherent purpose." First, advances in quantum biology provide empirical evidence for a transcendent component to our being, i.e. Quantum Information, that is capable of living beyond the death of our temporal, material, bodies. i.e. a 'soul'
Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology - video https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y
If fact, we have far more empirical evidence, per Near Death Experiences, that we have souls that are capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies than we have evidence that we are the product of mindless Darwinian processes.
Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist's Evidentiary Standards to the Test - Dr. Michael Egnor - October 15, 2012 Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE's are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception -- such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE's have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,, The most "parsimonious" explanation -- the simplest scientific explanation -- is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,, The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE's show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it's earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it's all a big yawn. Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/near_death_expe_1065301.html
i.e. We have far more observational evidence for the reality of souls than we do for the Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can generate functional information. Moreover, the transcendent nature of 'immaterial' information, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain the origin of, directly supports the transcendent nature of the soul: Second, the denial of a 'fixed self' is insane. It is the one thing that we have absolute personal access to and is therefore the one thing that we can possibly be most certain about. i.e. "I am", To deny 'you' exist, just because "Many (atheistic) scientists,,, and philosophers argue" there is no 'fixed self', does not make the denial of 'fixed self' any less insane.
The Consciousness Deniers – Galen Strawson – March 13, 2018 Excerpt: What is the silliest claim ever made? The competition is fierce, but I think the answer is easy. Some people have denied the existence of consciousness: conscious experience, the subjective character of experience, the “what-it-is-like” of experience.,,, Who are the Deniers?,,, Few have been fully explicit in their denial, but among those who have been, we find Brian Farrell, Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, and the generally admirable Daniel Dennett.,,, http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/03/13/the-consciousness-deniers/
Atheists have less than zero evidence that anything material is ever capable of becoming conscious. In fact, the problem is so far beyond any conceivable materialistic solution that it is commonly known to be 'the hard problem' of consciousness.:
David Chalmers on Consciousness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo
Thirdly, the empirical evidence for 'inherent purpose' to and for our lives is multifaceted and empirically robust.
Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog
per lie #4 "We exist simply because we exist, tiny specks on a small planet in an infinite universe, and not because a god made the Earth for us." Evidence from our, by far, two best theories in science, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, as well as 'anomalous' evidence from the CMBR, have all converged and overturned the Copernican principle. Thus returning significance to the earth in general and humanity specifically.
Short take: Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” - January 2019 Copernican Principle https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/bill-nye-should-check-wikipedia/#comment-671672 Agent Causality https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/bill-nye-should-check-wikipedia/#comment-671692
Moreover, the anthropic inequality also argues very strongly that God made the earth 'for us'.
Life and Earth History Reveal God's Miraculous Preparation for Humans - Hugh Ross, PhD - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Y496NYnm8 Lucky Us: Turning the Copernican Principle on Its Head - Daniel Bakken - January 26, 2015 Excerpt: What if intelligence and technology hadn't arisen in Earth's habitability time window? Waltham in Lucky Planet asks "So, how do we explain the remarkable coincidence that the timescale for the emergence of intelligence is almost the same as the timescale for habitability?" Researchers Carter and Watson have dubbed this idea the anthropic inequality and it seems surprising, if it is not for some purpose.,,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/01/lucky_us_turnin093011.html
Thus we can edit their pack of lies to read as such:
The more scientists learn about the human brain and how it operates, the more obvious it is that being human is a very big deal. We’re not just animals, not just complex biological systems operating according to the laws of nature—from physics to biology and chemistry, all disciplines of science give abundant evidence that humans are 'intended' for a purpose, even created by God. Many atheistic scientists,,, and philosophers argue that we have no soul, no fixed self, and no inherent purpose but they are contradicted by the scientific evidence itself at every turn. The plain fact of the matter is that we exist because God created us, and although we are tiny specks on a small planet in a vast universe, we need not despair since we can rest assured the God made the Earth for us and that he will not abandon us to death.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life
as to this pack of lies,
The more scientists learn about the human brain and how it operates, the more obvious it is that being human is no big deal. We’re just animals, complex biological systems operating according to the laws of nature—from physics to biology and chemistry. Many scientists,,, and philosophers argue that we have no soul, no fixed self, and no inherent purpose. We exist simply because we exist, tiny specks on a small planet in an infinite universe, and not because a god made the Earth for us.
per lie #1 "The more scientists learn about the human brain and how it operates, the more obvious it is that being human is no big deal." If anything ever proved that we are 'fearfully and wonderfully made' it is the human brain:
The Human Brain Is 'Beyond Belief' by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * - 2017 Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,, Perfect Optimization The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,, Vast Computational Power Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,, Phenomenal Processing Speed the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,, The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,, Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,, Optimal Energy Efficiency Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,, Multidimensional Processing It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13 He also said: We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,, Biophoton Brain Communication Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,, https://www.icr.org/article/10186
per lie #2 "We’re just animals, complex biological systems operating according to the laws of nature—from physics to biology and chemistry." (SIC) First, there is no bridge 'from physics to chemistry to biology",,,
Super-Saturated Chemistry - Marc Henry - Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Quantum Physics – Dec. 2016 Excerpt: Physics claims to be the unique science of matter. All of the other sciences, physicists believe, are special cases of general relativity and quantum mechanics. It is this position of presumptive supremacy that drives the quest for a Theory of Everything.,,, Yet quantum mechanics cannot explain the periodic table of elements.,,, Even though Schrödinger’s equation gives a good account of simple systems, no inference is possible to more complex systems. An additional inductive step is necessary.12 With multi-electron systems, approximations must be made and validated by comparison with experiment, not through theory.13 It is a quite remarkable form of empirical mathematics. The quantities that interest chemists do not appear in Schrödinger’s equation,,, ,,,, The chemist is an artist of sorts, close in his own way to the mathematician, who is also able to create his own objects.3 Only their tools differ. Chemical activity produces about one million new molecules every year. In 1984, there were about ten million molecules; in 2015, one hundred million.4 http://inference-review.com/article/super-saturated-chemistry Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics - December 9, 2015 Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,, It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, "We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s," added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. "So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists' point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description." http://phys.org/news/2015-12-quantum-physics-problem-unsolvable-godel.html “We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions. We have no idea how the basic set of molecules, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, were made and how they could have coupled into the proper sequences, and then transformed into the ordered assemblies until there was the construction of a complex biological system, and eventually to that first cell. Nobody has any idea how this was done when using our commonly understood mechanisms of chemical science. Those that say they understand are generally wholly uninformed regarding chemical synthesis. Those that say “Oh, this is well worked out,” they know nothing, nothing about chemical synthesis – Nothing! Further cluelessness – From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks let alone their assembly into a complex system. That’s how clueless we are. I’ve asked all of my colleagues – National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners -I sit with them in offices; nobody understands this. So if your professors say it’s all worked out, your teachers say it’s all worked out, they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not worked out. You cannot just refer this to somebody else; they don’t know what they’re talking about.” James Tour – one of the top ten leading chemists in the world The Origin of Life: An Inside Story - March 2016 Lecture with James Tour
Second, we are not 'just animals' operating according to the laws of nature, but are shown to be 'made in the image of God' and are also empirically shown to have free will
The death of Adam and Eve from the supposedly incontrovertible genetic evidence (and fossil evidence) is, much like Mark Twain’s death, greatly exaggerated. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/evangelicals-waving-goodbye-to-adam-and-eve/#comment-671210 … It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’ ,,, than finding both the universe, and life itself, are both ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and, moreover, have come to ‘master the planet’ precisely because of our unique ability infuse information into material substrates.,,, https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/evangelicals-waving-goodbye-to-adam-and-eve/#comment-671211 (December 2018) Neuroscientific and quantum validation of free will https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/three-knockdown-proofs-of-the-immateriality-of-mind-and-why-computers-compute-not-think/#comment-670445 Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4
I suppose this type of philosophical thinking only wins when smart people give up. Just don’t give up AaronS1978
In recent days, here at UD, we are seeing dismissiveness towards demonstrative warrant and the standard that to answer a demonstration you need a counter demonstration. kairosfocus
If naturalism wins then mindless nature is much smarter than our top scientists. Minds from the mindless. Sounds miraculous. ET
We all - hopefully - wake up each morning and muddle through our lives the best way we can. Whether there is a god there or not we are what we are. So what is meant by "meaningful" or "meaningless" here? Suppose we are little puppets, playing out our tiny roles in some grand scenario dreamed up by some super-being like a god. How does that make us more "meaningful"? We had no choice in being who we are or what we are. We had no choice about when or where we came into existence. Either we were created by a God - who apparently still blames us for being what He created us to be - or we came about through naturalistic processes, in which case 'guilt' or 'blame' or 'worth' are for us to decide. If you look around the world at Trump and Brexit and the interminable small wars and the failed or failing states blighted by famine or ridden by crime and corruption, it's hard to escape the conclusion that humanity is making a right pig's breakfast out of the whole thing. Either we get it into our heads that we are all in this together and have to work together or we won't be around much longer or we won't be around much longer. We need to realize that there are no guarantees. The dinosaurs dominated this world for a lot longer then we have and they are now long gone. We could just as easily be next. Seversky
"naturalism is the only game in town." This sort of triumphalism is, in my experience, a sure sign of a failing argument. That it comes from people purporting to represent science is horrific, ironic and perhaps horrifically ironic; science is the one human endeavour with the greatest collection of successful revolutions against the received wisdom of current dogma of any human activity. This is just another way of shouting out that "The science is settled!" and sticking her fingers in her ears. It is classic loopy left progressive tactics to declare victory and run away, so I don't expect anything else in this case either. And since the same people endlessly project their own disorders onto everyone else, the moronically Manichean enemies of Progress in their fiction are always the same: "Resistance is futile!" - Star Trek's Borg. "Resistance is useless!" - Hitch-Hiker's Guide's Vogons. Their philosophers aren't much better: "God is dead!" - Nietzsche. (Where's Nietzsche now, huh?) "The end of history!" - Fukuyama. (oh, really?) Their climate scientists are just the johnny-come-latelies but at least they follow the script: "The science is settled!" Meh. No, it isn't. It never has been. It never will be. And you're not the first generation of historically ignorant poseurs to be encumbered with more hubris than intellect. Those of us who respect the lessons of history because we're not bound by an a priori presumption that we're smarter than those rubes and "this time it's different!" know that when you abandon math as being politically inconvenient your bridges won't magically support themselves, your aircraft won't magically fly reliably, your crops won't magically grow. Engineering will outlive all your pretensions, including this one. ScuzzaMan

Leave a Reply