Intelligent Design

Materialist Fideism Redux

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There is no evidence – none whatsoever – that the genetic code arose through blind unguided natural processes.  The genetic code instantiates a semiotic process in matter.  On the basis of countless trillions of instances of experience, where the provenance of an instantiation of a semiotic process in matter has been actually observed, it has always – without a single exception – been the production of intelligence. 

Thus, there is plenty of evidence that suggests it is, in principle, impossible for the genetic code to have arisen through blind unguided natural processes.  After all, the old aphorism “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” has its limits.  As this article in Forensic Science International discusses, it is only common sense to conclude that the best explanation for failure to find evidence after an intense search for such evidence is that the evidence does not exist.

Everyone knows there has been a decades-long search for evidence that the genetic code arose though natural processes.  The results of that search to date:  Nothing, nada, zilch, zero.  Truly, there are not even plausible speculations about how this could have happened.

Of course, this abject failure does not put the slightest dent in the blind faith of true believers.  That’s why the call it blind faith — it is impervious to logic and evidence.  There is a formal name for such faith – fideism. 

Fideism is the exclusive or basic reliance upon faith alone, accompanied by a consequent disparagement of reason and utilized especially in the pursuit of philosophical or religious truth.  Materialism is at its heart an intensely religious proposition.  And there are many materialist fideists.  I was reminded of this by a recent exchange between JVL and Upright Biped.

In the exchange, UB kept trying to get JVL to admit the glaringly obvious fact that if a process that did not exist in the past (the operation of the genetic code), exists today, there had to be a time when it began to exist. And if that process can only function as it does because of the roles that object A and object B play in the process, then the roles that object A and object B play in the process had to exist when it began to function.

JVL was having none of it.  He refused to address, much less answer, UB’s point.  He simply dismissed it all with:  “Personally I think it was a purely mechanistic process but I admit that is just a belief.”

A more perfect declaration of fideism was never written.  JVL is a materialist fideist.  He has faith, not knowledge.  One can no more reason with him than one can reason with a fundamentalist snake handler in the mountains of Tennessee.  I admire UB’s persistent efforts to do so, but those efforts are wasted on such as he.

This is not to say UB’s efforts have no value.  Certainly they do.  But the value is not in convincing JVL. Fideists are indifferent (or even hostile) to rational argument.  The value of  UB’s efforts lies in showing that materialism is a religious system impervious to logic and evidence.  UB’s efforts also highlight a delicious irony.  Doubtless, JVL believes that he is a paragon of rationalism and scoffs and mocks those religious fundamentalists.  And yet he himself is a religious fundamentalist. 

22 Replies to “Materialist Fideism Redux

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Well, there’s another common reason for lack of evidence. The criminal has hidden or destroyed it. This doesn’t help the random argument, but it also doesn’t help the usual Christian “good and powerful God”. It certainly verifies SOME kind of intelligence, perhaps an evil and sneaky intelligence. Most other evidence from real-life experience points in the same direction.

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    “JVL believes that he is a paragon of rationalism and scoffs and mocks those religious fundamentalists.”

    The perennial question is why do spammers like JVL come to UD under pretense? What is it they are trying to accomplish? If its strictly entertainment value, why can’t they just say so?

    Andrew

  3. 3
    jawa says:

    BA:

    “The value of UB’s efforts lies in showing that materialism is a religious system impervious to logic and evidence. UB’s efforts also highlight a delicious irony. Doubtless, JVL believes that he is a paragon of rationalism and scoffs and mocks those religious fundamentalists. And yet he himself is a religious fundamentalist.”

    Exactly. To many anonymous readers that visit this website, UB’s questions and arguments are a great illustration of the abysmal difference between the opposite worldview positions.

  4. 4
    JVL says:

    Doubtless, JVL believes that he is a paragon of rationalism and scoffs and mocks those religious fundamentalists. And yet he himself is a religious fundamentalist.

    I don’t remember scoffing or mocking anyone. And I would dispute I am a ‘religious’ fundamentalist just because I disagree with someone else’s opinion; especially when I not the only one.

    Asauber: The perennial question is why do spammers like JVL come to UD under pretense? What is it they are trying to accomplish? If its strictly entertainment value, why can’t they just say so?

    I have said why I participate here, several times. It’s not to defend my beliefs but I try and do that when I’m asked because it’s polite NOT because I think I’m going to change anyone’s mind. I’m here so that I can understand views I disagree with better. I try and ask a lot of questions. Sometimes I get good, honest answers and I think you can find examples where I’ve said: okay, thanks for being honest.

    We all know I disagree with you guys on stuff. I’m not hiding it, I’m not pretending. I wouldn’t mention it at all if no one asked me. But they do and I try and answer, sometimes, I admit, not as well as I could. But I am a trying.

    I would be really happy if I was just able to find out what ID people think and believe so that I could better understand their position, so that I DON’T just accept the views of others on that topic. Somehow, in trying to do that and trying to be polite and answer queries I get vilified. And I don’t know why.

    I have participated in other discussions (about COVID-19 and some matters mathematical) but those are side issues surely! What fault have I perpetrated there?

  5. 5
    jawa says:

    Asauber,

    “The perennial question is why do spammers like JVL come to UD under pretense? What is it they are trying to accomplish?”

    Could it be that they experience pleasure in annoying and bothering others by misleading, confusing, ignoring serious questions?

    Human nature is not exactly what one could call “role model”.

    That’s why those who have genuinely decided to follow the only true role model that is available to all, still have to be transformed through a long and winding process known as “sanctification” that only our Creator can operate.

  6. 6
    JVL says:

    Jawa: Could it be that they experience pleasure in annoying and bothering others by misleading, confusing, ignoring serious questions?

    Is there a reason you don’t take me seriously? Should I take you seriously?

    That’s why those who have genuinely decided to follow the only true role model that is available to all, still have to be transformed through a long and winding process known as “sanctification” that only our Creator can operate.

    Ah, so does that affect the application of science?

  7. 7
    asauber says:

    “I’m here so that I can understand views I disagree with better.”

    JVL,

    Thank you for commenting on what I claimed about you. The above quote is likely indicative of where I don’t think you are being 100% honest. I think you understand well enough. You are here to oppose. Which is all well and fine, but the coyness about it is tiring after awhile.

    Andrew

  8. 8
    JVL says:

    Asauber: Thank you for commenting on what I claimed about you. The above quote is likely indicative of where I don’t think you are being 100% honest. I think you understand well enough. You are here to oppose. Which is all well and fine, but the coyness about it is tiring after awhile.

    Is that because of an assumption you are making or because of your past experience? Do you think it is possible that I am being truthful? AND, most importantly, do you think it is worth trying to have an open and honest and respectful dialogue? Can that happen if people prejudge others’ motives?

  9. 9
    asauber says:

    “Can that happen if people prejudge others’ motives?”

    JVL,

    I’m not prejudging your motives. I’m gleaning info from your comments.

    Andrew

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Asauber: I’m not prejudging your motives. I’m gleaning info from your comments.

    Well, I do admit being sarky sometimes, that’s part of my personality I’m afraid.

    But I’m happy to be called on those things. We’re all human beings and sometimes it’s late, we’re tired, the dog is whining, the plants need watering, we can get short with each other.

    Do you think it’s possible to have an open and honest and respectful conversation? I think it is. I’d like that. Because then we could work together better which would be a very good thing.

  11. 11
    EDTA says:

    I think she (JVL) believes that with patience and persistence she can make inroads, no matter how small, against ID.

  12. 12
    jawa says:

    JVL @6:
    “Is there a reason you don’t take me seriously?”

    The problem is that I do take you seriously.

    Observing your discussion with UB makes me think that I couldn’t have UB’s patience to spend so much time exchanging comments without making any noticeable progress. I’d rather go somewhere else. Time is too precious to be wasted.

    Can you explain what is that you don’t understand in UB’s explanation? Can you point to the exact statement that you don’t agree with? Thanks.

  13. 13
    JVL says:

    EDTA: I think she (JVL) believes that with patience and persistence she can make inroads, no matter how small, against ID.

    That is not the case but I can’t force you to believe me so I’ll leave it.

  14. 14
    JVL says:

    Jawa: Can you explain what is that you don’t understand in UB’s explanation? Can you point to the exact statement that you don’t agree with? Thanks.

    On another thread Upright BiPed provided me with a lengthly list of past work that goes into his view and I am going to spend some time looking over what he has written and respond when I feel that I have something substantial and respectful to say. I’ll leave off any further comments on this topic until that time.

  15. 15
    EDTA says:

    JVL @ 13,
    >That is not the case but I can’t force you to believe me so I’ll leave it.

    No problem. It was only an intuited guess, and I don’t doubt your denial. Consider my speculation withdrawn. 😎

  16. 16
    JVL says:

    EDTA: No problem. It was only an intuited guess, and I don’t doubt your denial. Consider my speculation withdrawn. ????

    Thanks. I’m happy to answer any direct questions you might have, allowing me some modicum of privacy.

  17. 17
    Belfast says:

    JVL – ‘ On another thread Upright BiPed provided me with a lengthly list of past work that goes into his view and I am going to spend some time looking over what he has written and respond when I feel that I have something substantial and respectful to say. I’ll leave off any further comments on this topic until that time.’

    Is that a promise?

    Sounds like an exit line.

  18. 18
    JVL says:

    Belfast: Is that a promise?

    Sounds like an exit line.

    No, it’s a promise. But because I want to give it the proper amount of time and consideration one that will not be quick. I do not want to waste anyone’s time, I do not want to parrot old arguments, I want to understand the best arguments/cases ID proponents have.

    That’s what science should be really. Looking at the very best cases. So, I’m going to try and do that. You just need to grant me some time to do that.

  19. 19
    jawa says:

    JVL @ 14:

    “I am going to spend some time looking over what he has written and respond when I feel that I have something substantial and respectful to say. I’ll leave off any further comments on this topic until that time.”

    That seems like a very reasonable way to approach a technical discussion. Specially with UB.
    I appreciate your decision. Take your time. No pressure. There are many factors involved in the scenarios described by UB. Definitely they can’t be taken lightly.

  20. 20
    MatSpirit says:

    JVL: On another thread Upright BiPed provided me with a lengthly list of past work that goes into his view

    Could you tell us which thread that was?

    Thanks

  21. 21
  22. 22
    JVL says:

    MatSpirit, Jawa

    Yes, that is the response I was referring to. As you can see it’s quite densely packed with topics that require some time to digest properly if you haven’t looked at them before.

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