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Matti Leisola: Another gifted scientist poised over the memory hole?

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From ENST re Matti Leisola,

Dr. Leisola is the former dean of Chemistry and Material Sciences at Helsinki University of Technology, and the author of 140 peer-reviewed science publications on enzymes and rare sugars. Among other distinctions, he is a winner of the Latsis Prize of the ETH Zürich.

Matti Leisola

While arguing, from vast experience, against modern evolutionary theory and for intelligent design, the book is also a memoir.

Leisola’s deep knowledge of biology is evident throughout the book, but fellow scientists may find Chapter 10 particularly valuable. There, Leisola unpacks what he has learned about evolution and design from his work on engineering enzymes and microbes. More.

If he is like Gunter Bechly, that’ll sink his career. Darwinism today survives mainly by squelching alternative viewpoints, especially those that have considerable merit. The problem is that the longer this goes on the more dreadful the reckoning will be.

All that approved bilge has taken the place of serious reflection…

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

See also: At Nature: Change how we judge research But what would protect the researcher who submits the suggested bio-sketch from becoming a target for political reasons that are unrelated to research quality? Curry’s idea is interesting but the flaw is that, very often, the reason for silencing the person is to silence the ideas themselves. That is what matters most in the long run. A background in diversity grievance politics is not the best position from which to see that problem.

and

“Erased” paleontologist Bechly gets support from Science and Health Council

4 Replies to “Matti Leisola: Another gifted scientist poised over the memory hole?

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    So your continuing explanation for the failure of ID to gain any traction in the biological community is a conspiracy theory?

    Has it escaped your notice that many early physicists had an equal vested interest in preserving Newtonian mechanics? Yet it was some of those physicist who, recognizing the shortcomings of Newton’s work, began searching for something better, a search that ended with relativity theory. They didn’t hide behind conspiracy theories. They put in the hard work and came up with a better explanation which was supported eventually by irresistible evidence.

    Darwin’s original theory of natural selection was developed and advanced by later work on inheritance and genetics. The addition of neutral theory expanded the field well beyond the original concept of RM/NS.

    None of this, it should be noted, precludes the possibility that an intelligent agent had a role in the emergence of life on Earth. But it will take more than the observation that some biological structures look like something human beings design or the extreme improbability that some complex biological feature could have arisen de novo in one step to compel a conclusion of intelligent design.

    There is no need for some conspiracy to suppress intelligent design. At present, it simply doesn’t have the legs to stand on its own. If Leisola or Bechly or Dembski or Berlinsksi or Sanford or Wells or any of the other advocates for ID had anything like the theoretical case and the evidentiary support equivalent to that which drove relativity theory to pre-eminence in physics, they would be lining up for their Nobels rather than contemplating the prospect of the unemployment line.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    So your continuing explanation for the failure of ID to gain any traction in the biological community is a conspiracy theory?

    What else is there? ID has the evidence and the testable methodology whereas the reigning paradigm has the hope of a-mats and nothing else.

    Darwin’s original theory of natural selection was developed and advanced by later work on inheritance and genetics. The addition of neutral theory expanded the field well beyond the original concept of RM/NS.

    But neither can explain what we observe

    At present, it simply doesn’t have the legs to stand on its own.

    It has more than the reigning paradigm. And no one has received a Nobel for finding support for blind watchmaker evolution.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    I again draw your attention:

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    Ask yourself, what are the likely consequences of embedding that mentality?

    Does this bear any resemblance to what has been going on?

    Why or why not, in your view?

    KF

  4. 4
    ericB says:

    Seversky: So your continuing explanation for the failure of ID to gain any traction in the biological community is a conspiracy theory?

    It’s false that ID has not gained “any traction in the biological community”. Besides the public examples of some scientists switching to ID (e.g. Leisola, Bechly), any of them can tell you about the others they’ve spoken with directly who will privately acknowledge the bankruptcy of Darwinism, but who won’t do so publicly out of concern for their careers. It’s obvious what can happen to those who clearly take that position publicly (cf. the documentary Expelled).

    More importantly, attributing the hostile consequences to “a conspiracy theory” is also a false characterization. A “conspiracy” implies a deliberate secret coordinated plan. Even though there have been specific coordinated efforts hostile to those with ID views, the much larger and more pervasive issue requires no central coordination and no secret back room plan.

    The Semmelweis reflex or Semmelweis effect is discussed in chapter 11 of Heretic. It is related to the issue of the potentially severe resistance to major “paradigm shifts”, which Thomas Kuhn wrote about in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

    Routinely it is the case that major paradigm shifts in science happen as revolutions because they are not an incremental change and those invested in the old paradigm typically oppose and even ridicule the new way of thinking. Because it breaks the old paradigm, it may seem “crazy” to them and not even within reach of serious scientific consideration.

    Even though Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis could document the tenfold reduction in mortality when doctors followed his advice for cleaning their hands, nevertheless this new way of thinking was rejected during his lifetime. Semmelweis was intensely frustrated that people were dying while the minds of his critics remained firmly closed to considering a different way of thinking.

    Likewise Alfred Wegener’s idea of continental drift was generally rejected during his lifetime, despite the evidence he had accumulated. Similarly, thanks to Aristotle’s way of thinking, reports of rocks that fell from the sky were long ridiculed and dismissed as unscientific nonsense. Scientists Didn’t Believe in Meteorites Until 1803.

    Today, due to the entrenched paradigm of materialistic reductionism, biology is still looking for and failing to find any adequate bottom-up unguided mechanism that can author novel information or invent new irreducibly complex systems that are contingent, interdependent and yet functional. Yet the path of trying to get the whole from its parts is bankrupt. Unguided parts simply don’t incline to invent the kinds of systems life depends upon, or that are found, for example, in one phylum but not in another.

    Even though combinations of necessity and chance don’t behave that way and show no inclination to author such systems or information, the alternative is to admit that such configurations of matter require the contribution of top-down intentional arrangements chosen with an end in mind, i.e. choice and design.

    The shift in biology from reductionist bottom-up to intentional top-down is a much greater paradigm shift than any of the other common examples of scientific revolutions, and its implications have far greater emotional impact for those who still prefer to continue to believe that reductionist bottom-up thinking will be found to be adequate.

    If the reader is inclined to think that the Expelled scientists were treated appropriately for their “unscientific” (or even “crazy”) top-down design position, then that reaction itself shows exactly why no conspiracy is needed to produce a hostile reaction to a major paradigm shift.

    The book Heretic is a great place to start to see not only some of the scientific issues, but also how allegiance to the old paradigm can affect even what some people are willing to consider at all.

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