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Naturalism at the end of its tether: New Scientist on “outsmarting evolution”

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From Joshua Howgego at New Scientist:

Evolution has built bias into our brains – here are the best ways to overrule your instincts and make better decisions about everything (paywall) More.

What? To the folk at New Scientist, we are merely products of evolution who probably cannot grasp reality (it is unclear that there is a reality to grasp). And therefore, even if we thought we were outsmarting anything, it would be an illusion, though whose or what’s illusion is unclear.

If Darwinism, the creation story of naturalism, is taken seriously, there is no I in I. Questions of truth are irrelevant but, of course, power is forever.

<em>Coffee</em> Tins Don’t pay for this. Let’s spend our Christmas money on coffee and cookies and take them to unhappy people. Patchy Ausstechformen

See also: New Scientist astounds: Information is physical

and

Science fictions series 4: Naturalism and the human mind

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6 Replies to “Naturalism at the end of its tether: New Scientist on “outsmarting evolution”

  1. 1
    Charles says:

    overrule your instincts and make better decisions about everything

    He says that as if he believed he had free will.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    What? To the folk at New Scientist, we are merely products of evolution who probably cannot grasp reality (it is unclear that there is a reality to grasp). And therefore, even if we thought we were outsmarting anything, it would be an illusion, though whose or what’s illusion is unclear.

    I cannot speak for the staff at NewScientist but science shows us that we do not have the sensory apparatus to detect the whole of reality. There are many light wavelengths we cannot see, sound wavelengths we cannot hear, smells we cannot detect. We have no senses at all that can observe reality at the quantum level or monitor the billions of neutrinos streaming through our bodies every second. The mental model – not illusion – that we construct based on that sensory data is in many respects a highly-detailed representation of what is out there. It is fit for purpose in that it enables us to navigate that world in reasonable safety. But, good as it is, it is still a map, not the territory itself. We do not have the physical means to fully grasp the reality out there – assuming there is one – and anyone who thinks they do is deluding themselves.

    If Darwinism, the creation story of naturalism, is taken seriously, there is no I in I. Questions of truth are irrelevant but, of course, power is forever.

    One truth is that Darwin’s theory was about how life changed and diversified over time after it had appeared. It was never intended to be a theory of abiogenesis or how life might have been created. Yes, he speculated in private about how it might have happened but that was never part of the theory.

    The point about power is apt, of course. Part of the religious resistance to his theory is clearly based on the fear that it undermines the authority – and, therefore, power – of the churches in society.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev, you’ve missed the point completely. Exactly who is this ‘I’ and ‘we’ that you kept referring to in your post?

    There simply is no ‘I’ or ‘we’ in your atheistic worldview.

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

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

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    Per NY Times

    “The neural circuits in our brain manage the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body. They also produce the entrancing introspective illusion that thoughts really are about stuff in the world. This powerful illusion has been with humanity since language kicked in, as we’ll see. It is the source of at least two other profound myths: that we have purposes that give our actions and lives meaning and that there is a person “in there” steering the body, so to speak.”
    [A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide To Reality, Ch.9]

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    I cannot speak for the staff at NewScientist but science shows us that we do not have the sensory apparatus to detect the whole of reality.

    Then STFU.

    It is fit for purpose in that it enables us to navigate that world in reasonable safety. But, good as it is, it is still a map, not the territory itself. We do not have the physical means to fully grasp the reality out there – assuming there is one – and anyone who thinks they do is deluding themselves.

    Great. Then shut your pie hole and stop philosophizing as if you know something beyond mere pragmatism.

    If Darwinism, the creation story of naturalism, is taken seriously, there is no I in I. Questions of truth are irrelevant but, of course, power is forever.

    You are veering quite far off the pragmatic reservation.

    STFU.

    One truth is that Darwin’s theory was about how life changed and diversified over time after it had appeared. It was never intended to be a theory of abiogenesis or how life might have been created. Yes, he speculated in private about how it might have happened but that was never part of the theory.

    “Truth” is a meaningless idea. Pragmatic ideas that lead to greater survival are all that count. Why should anyone listen to your neural ramblings beyond mere pragmatism?

    STFU you twit. If you were in my presence I’d shut you up with a pragmatic tire iron. Now, GFY.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Although I have scant hope, outside of God miraculously changing his heart, of Seversky ever admitting just how insane his Atheistic worldview actually is, none-the-less, for the sake of onlookers who happen onto our out of the way blog, I will lay out what News was alluding to in the Opening Paragraph in a little more detail.

    First off, let us be VERY clear to the fact that ALL of science, every discipline within science, is dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility. Modern science was born, and continues to be dependent on, those basic Theistic presuppositions:

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Moreover, if we cast aside those basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility, and try to use Atheistic Materialism, i.e. methodological naturalism, as our basis for understanding the universe, and for practicing science, then everything within that atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.

    Each of those self refutations within the Atheistic worldview are laid out in more detail on the following site:

    Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a framework of illusions and fantasy
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q94y-QgZZGF0Q7HdcE-qdFcVGErhWxsVKP7GOmpKD6o/edit

    Basically, Atheistic Materialism winds up in catastrophic epistemological failure for every level of reality that it seeks to explain. Put more simply, without God all rationality goes out the window for the Atheist.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview that is more antagonistic to modern science than Darwinian evolution, and Atheistic materialism/naturalism in general, have turned out to be.

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note: Jonathan M had this on his last ‘apologetics academy’ simulcast:

    Stealing from God — Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case: Science (with Dr. Frank Turek)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5lEvx9CHEE

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