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Nelson-Velasco debate: Hold it despite opposition. Anything else is “fascism,” says prof

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Debate Controversy Further to “Debate!: Tree of life? Forest of life? What about matchwood?,” legacy mainstream media are offering their usual sock puppet theatre beside the actual issues* in the Nelson Velasco debate on the supposed Tree of Life.

That said, the local paper reports an interesting comment from a local U prof:

But Dr. Martin Rice of Pitt-Johnstown says ideas on intelligent design and creationism are worth hearing.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a Nazi, he adds.

“I believe in free discourse and inquiry,” says Rice, who teaches philosophy, philosophy of science, logic and philosophy of mathematics.

“Even though I don’t agree with him, I think his views should be aired. People should have the chance to question him, and he should have the chance to explore and question his competition. Anything else is fascism.”

That may sound a little extreme but if you read the Our Town story, it quickly becomes clear that many don’t think Nelson’s perspective should be heard in scholarly circles at all.

Playing to a crowd educated by the likes of Our Town, his opponent Velasco explains,

“I would like to say that in principle, any topic can have a place in scholarly debate,” he says. “But this does not mean that all questions are or should be actively debated by scholars. It is impossible to separate the scholarly activity within science from the political and social ramifications of the practice and interpretation of science. The common ancestry of living things is extremely well-supported by the evidence and explains a number of different kinds of facts about the diversity and distribution of life on this planet.”

The critical difference in this case, Velasco says, is that the debate is not technically “scholarly.”

So if Nelson presents the kind of evidence you can read for yourself in the journals and is covered here at UD, about why the Tree of Life is matchwood, and undermines Velasco’s position, it doesn’t really count. And Velasco will help see to it that the debate never takes place in a venue where it did count.

It’s hilarious listening to rants in legacy media about how supposed creationism in voucher schools contributes to low science rankings. What contributes to low science rankings is precisely the stupidification on display here.

The first step toward reality is to realize that almost anything we hear from Our Town will be aimed at defending a deteriorating status quo, on which it itself depends. The Tree of Life (which Our Town didn’t even want to tell its readers is the real topic of discussion – even though the image it ran (above left) makes that clear – is indeed now matchwood. Shouting otherwise impresses the low information readers — increasingly the ones they are left with.

The topic of the debate should have been: Where do we go from here? Not “Is the thing dead?”

– O’Leary for News

Note: Here’s the link for the live stream of the debate.

*For these reasons, they cannot afford to examine real issues seriously any more.

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2 Replies to “Nelson-Velasco debate: Hold it despite opposition. Anything else is “fascism,” says prof

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Record quantum entanglement of multiple dimensions – March 27, 2014
    Excerpt: An international team directed by researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, with participation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, has managed to create an entanglement of 103 dimensions with only two photons. The record had been established at 11 dimensions.,,,
    Until now, in order to increase the “[quantum] computing” capacity of these particle systems, scientists have mainly turned to increasing the number of entangled particles, each of them in a two-dimensional state of superposition: a qubit (the quantum equivalent to an information bit, but with values which can be 1, 0 or an overlap of both values). Using this method, scientists managed to entangle up to 14 particles, an authentic multitude given its experimental difficulty.
    The research team was directed by Anton Zeilinger and Mario Krenn from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.,,,
    scientists described how they managed to achieve a quantum entanglement with a minimum of 103 dimensions with only two particles. “We have two Schrödinger cats which could be alive, dead, or in 101 other states simultaneously”, Huber jokes, “plus, they are entangled in such a way that what happens to one immediately affects the other”.,,,
    Instead of entangling many particles with a qubit of information each, scientists generated one single pair of entangled photons in which each could be in more than one hundred states, or in any of the superpositions of theses states; something much easier than entangling many particles. These highly complex states correspond to different modes in which photons may find themselves in, with a distribution of their characteristic phase, angular momentum and intensity for each mode.
    “This high dimension quantum entanglement offers great potential for quantum information applications.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-03-q.....sions.html

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this comment:

    The critical difference in this case, Velasco says, is that the debate is not technically “scholarly.”

    It might be to Velasko’s embarrassing dismay if he underestimates Dr. Nelson’s grasp of the details of the subject.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-493948

    As I pointed out yesterday, my respect from Dr. Nelson has steadily grown over the years as I have seen him break down extremely complex subjects in biology for the lay audience and has shown Darwinian explanations to be grossly inadequate.

    But as to his hidden presupposition that a debate with a Theist cannot truly be ‘scholarly’, I would like to point out, once again, that it is the atheistic materialist who has extreme difficultly explaining how it is possible to ‘know’ anything is ‘true’ in the first place if naturalism were actually true.

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Why No One (Can) Believe Atheism/Naturalism to be True – video
    Excerpt: “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4QFsKevTXs

    Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga – video
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL80CAECC36901BCEE

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 Greg Bahnsen debate available at the bottom of the site
    Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,
    http://justinholcomb.com/2012/.....god-exist/

    “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.”
    – William J Murray

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    The Atheist’s Guide to Intellectual Suicide – James N. Anderson PhD. – video
    https://vimeo.com/75897668

    Alan Turing and Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    – Kurt Gödel

    Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
    Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
    – per book description

    “Of all the things I’ve lost, I think I miss my mind the most”
    – Unknown

    Verse and Music:

    Matthew 7:24-27
    24 “Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock.
    25 And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.
    26 And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand;
    27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

    5th service band Featuring TRU-SERVA – Solid Rock
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4jD70Y-mQ0

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