Intelligent Design

New science organization offers to set science free from materialism

Spread the love

After TED Talks removed Rupert Sheldrake’s talk on—you guessed it—the problems with materialism in science.

Set Science Free:

A global community of scientists, academics, and concerned citizens united in the effort to free science and education from the outdated dogma of philosophical materialism

After its successful 2014 TED.com Campaign, Set Science Free (SSF) is now spearheading a related campaign to support post-materialist consciousness studies in university programs. The purpose of the TED Campaign was to demonstrate to TED that there is support among the scientific and academic community to challenge dogmatic materialistic belief systems. Our goal was also to challenge TED to live up to its own mission statement.

We discovered in our conversation with Chris Anderson, curator of TED, that he alone made the decision to pull Rupert Sheldrake’s controversial TED talk (about the limits of materialistic science) based on an “informal discussion” with a few unnamed scientists and journalists. In short, belief-laden interests as well as willful ignorance of valid post-materialistic science guided TED’s actions. To be fair, Mr. Anderson’s decision reflects a common and well known academic and institutional bias in support of philosophical materialism. With that said, willful ignorance and institutional bias do not constitute any semblance of a plan of action for the next generation of scientists. The very spirit of science itself is at stake when solid research (from Sheldrake and a multitude of others) is dismissed sight unseen, solely based on the subject matter and not on the content or merits of the actual research. The education system continues to regurgitate tired and outdated dogmas against post-materialist consciousness studies. The educational system must change to combat this hindrance to scientific progress.

First, materialist studies of consciousness have gone nowhere—except nice venues for conferences—for decades. A failure that is all the odder because great physicists have so often failed to endorse the nonsense anyway.

More, origin of life studies are a Potemkin village in science because life differs from non-life principally in the vast amount of information it embodies, not in a lucky lightning strike somewhere. A lightning strike will not do that.

In any event, once science became committed to materialism (some of us would have said naturalism), any materialist/naturalist explanation became more “scientific” by virtue of its origin than any explanation that took account of facts that didn’t fit that view.

That is how evolutionary psychology, for example, came to be a science, despite the clown shoes, hat, and makeup.

And why compassion, philanthropy, and self-sacrifice are supposed to be some kind of a problem, along with free will. Who said we had to study these phenomena as problems, instead of just facts?

The materialists did. That’s who. And if they can’t come up with a coherent explanation, no one else is allowed to.

Increasing numbers of thinkers from a variety of perspectives are just checking out, one guesses.

Goals of Science Set Free?:

While many scientists and academics worldwide understand and regularly experience the challenges of materialist politics firsthand, they are justifiably engaged with research and professorial duties, and thus do not have the time to act as educational activists. This is where Set Science Free aims to insert itself—in the role of aid and advocate. Our new campaign can be defined as tersely thus:

Set Science Free is currently working with any professor or student organization that has an interest in starting a Consciousness Studies program at their respective university.

Won’t be easy keeping out the legacy science fascists and the new age crackpots at the same time.

But heck, why shouldn’t they try? Has anything else worked?

Will try to keep you posted.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

87 Replies to “New science organization offers to set science free from materialism

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Even many materialistic scientists/philosophers admit that the hard problem of consciousness has no hope for resolution within the materialistic framework:

    ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist

    “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

    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.
    http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/pro.....9919758.do

    Here a Harvard neurosurgeon, a former atheist and who had a life changing Near Death Experience, comments on the ‘hard’ problem:

    The Science of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander – Nov. 18, 2012
    Can consciousness exist when the body fails? One neurosurgeon says he has seen it firsthand—and takes on critics who vehemently disagree.
    Excerpt: Many scientists who study consciousness would agree with me that, in fact, the hard problem of consciousness is probably the one question facing modern science that is arguably forever beyond our knowing, at least in terms of a physicalist model of how the brain might create consciousness. In fact, they would agree that the problem is so profound that we don’t even know how to phrase a scientific question addressing it. But if we must decide which produces which, modern physics is pushing us in precisely the opposite direction, suggesting that it is consciousness that is primary and matter secondary.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/n.....eaven.html

    David Chalmers is semi-famous for getting the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness across to lay people in a very easy to understand manner:

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

    One simple way of demonstrating that the mind is not the same thing as the brain comes from utilizing the ‘Law Of Identity’ to separate properties of mind from properties of the brain:

    Immaterial Mind – video (Law Of Identity)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=720zEnzgTyM

    Mind-Body Dualism – Is the Mind Purely a Function of the Brain? by Michael Egnor
    Conclusion: Strict materialism predicts that mental function will always correlate with brain function, because mental function is the same thing as brain function. Dualism predicts that mental function and brain function won’t always correlate, because mental function isn’t the same thing as brain function. The Cambridge findings are more consistent with the dualist prediction than with the strict materialist prediction.
    http://www.godandscience.org/e.....alism.html

    Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds – podcast and summary (Law of Identity: 6 properties of mind that are not identical to properties of the brain, thus the mind is not the brain)
    http://winteryknight.wordpress.....cal-minds/

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....super.html

    Alvin Plantinga has a humorous way of getting this ‘Law of Identity’ point across:

    Alvin Plantinga and the Modal Argument (for the existence of the mind/soul) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOTn_wRwDE0

    Of related note: Pam Reynolds commented on her perspective of seeing her earthly body during her Near Death Experience

    “It (my body) looked like pretty much what it was. As in void of life.”
    Pam Reynolds – Extremely Monitored Near Death Experience – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbdUEqDB-k

  2. 2
    humbled says:

    This is good news. Science can finally be put right and freed from the shackles of materialism.

    I would then hold a tribunal where those responsible for the scientific dark age we find ourselves in currently are made to account and atone for their grave sins against humanity.

    These science terrorists need to be brought to justice.

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    All this censorship reveals nothing more than that the Emporer has no clothes and they are all afraid to admit it. Quite revealing and actually, it is an encouraging sign to me because censorship is all they have to stand on it seems.

  4. 4
    humbled says:

    Tjguy is right. If these cretins had any actual evidence they’d produce it instead of using sophistry, fraud and positions of authority to silence dissent.

    Not long now though 😉

  5. 5

    What a refreshing development!

  6. 6
    nkendall says:

    In addition to the excellent links and comments by Mr. Bornagain77…I offer the following:

    ABSTRACT THINKING
    Consider Einstein as he pursues the theories which became known as Relativity. Let’s imagine he is riding home on a bus. He gives his mind a few gentle nudges to get on course to solve the problem that has been gnawing at him. In response, his mind brings forth a continuous stream of complex, abstract, related thoughts and images into his consciousness. I note the following aspects of this which cannot possibly be explained by a materialist, reductionist view that the brain is all there is to human consciousness and thought:

    1. There is no conceivable way that abstract thoughts can be represented in brain chemistry. They are not the same kind of thing. Abstract thoughts are not quantifiable.
    2. The set of related thoughts cannot be explained by bottom up causation. At each instance in time, the electro-chemical events in the brain are in no way determined along a pathway to produce a set of related mental events. This demonstrates that mind and free will– top-down causation–are at work.
    3. There is no evolutionary survival advantage to understanding the theory of Relativity.
    4. Given that Relativity reflects reality, this demonstrates that final causes and not contingent causes. The fact that humans can comprehend reality means, in effect, that the human mind can model the complexity of the known world. It can therefore be said that the mind can subsume the complexity of the known world. Where does this complexity come from? It certainly cannot be accounted for in our DNA or any epigenetic phenomenon.

    Of course this goes for any set of thoughts–not just those of Einstein related to Relativity. The intractability in explain Relativity goes for all the thoughts that comprise the sum total of all human knowledge, all human artifacts, all artistic renderings, all human musings from the sacred to the profane; from the sublime to the ridiculous.

    CONTINUITY OF CONSCIOUS THOUGHT
    Consider:

    1. That our thought streams are related and uninterrupted. Notice that the brain (mind) always has something to say and it is always related to the context of one’s prior mental state and one’s general interest. This cannot be explained by a brain-only materialistic view because there is no reason to expect the brain could continuously produce, locate, sequester and present complex, related thoughts to our consciousness within the brain’s components. And how could these thoughts all be sorted out? It is never the case that you have a bunch of different thoughts stepping all over each other as they make their way to our consciousness. And there are no gaps. Physical brain states would in no way be necessitated to produce related mental states, except by chance.

    CONTINUITY OF SELF
    Consider:

    1. No matter what set of states that the brain (mind) traverse through during one’s life, e.g. childhood development, massive perturbations such as cardiac arrest, anesthesia, etc, the brain (mind) always returns with that same sense of self. An extreme case is Pam Reynolds who was under general anesthetic, had all the blood drained out of her head, all molecular activity ceased, yet when the anesthesia wore off and the blood was recirculated through her brain, guess what? Same old Pam Reynolds. Memories restored e.g. she commented about hearing Eagle’s Hotel California when she woke up. The materialistic putative brain reboot program necessary to restore something as complex as consciousness, complex thought, memory, etc, would have to be the most marvelously complex program imaginable. But where is it? Where is the algorithm that allows the brain to restore itself from a state of chaos? In the DNA? Where? And how could it have evolved? With the population sizes of nascent humans and time available, evolution by random mutation and natural selection could not even create the most simple program of all: “Hello World” (40^40th [40 characters in program; 40 keys on keyboard] is much higher than what could be sampled in 5 million years by even a trillion individuals).
    2. 100% up-time in the brain, ever notice that? The brain (mind) just keeps on working rather flawlessly, i.e. no or very few “crashes.” Programming through random mutation and selection is hopelessly, utterly inadequate for anything complex at all, let alone what would have to be the most complex program of all.

    DREAM SEQUENCES – A SIMPLE DISPROOF OF MATERIALISM
    Here is a simple disproof a materialism that everyone can understand; consider dream sequences:

    Assumptions:
    Dreams always involve novel (NEW) content – they are not rehashings or restructuring of various memories; although the topics are in the context of one’s life experiences.
    Dreams are high definition imagery.
    Dreams are real imagery, i.e. you are unaware or unable to distinguish the dream imagery when it is going on from real visual imagery during waking consciousness.
    Dreams contain complex specified information, each image element (analogous to a pixel in HDTV) WITHIN an imagery frame in a dream has to be what it is for the imagery to be coherent and correlated. And each image element (pixel) has to be what it is for the imagery to be coherent and correlated ACROSS frames. I.e. each image element is highly constrained–highly specific.

    Calculation
    Calculating probabilities is an endeavor in searching through large space.
    Calculate the superset of the overall search space:
    – Determine the number of brain components involved.
    – Determine the number of alternative states that the brain components could be in.
    – Determine the refresh rate or frame rate of the dream imagery.
    – Determine the number of image frames in the dream.
    Example:
    Let’s say a neuron synapse is our “brain component” and it could be either firing or not, i.e. binary.
    Let’s say that there would have to be 10 million brain components (synapes firing or not) to produce each imagery frame in the dream.
    Let’s say a 5 second dream sequence has 20 image frames per second.
    So: 2^10,000,000 * (20 * 5) = A prohibitively large number that calculators cannot even represent. This is the super set of possible brain states within which our single precise set of brain states necessary to cause our dream imagery. Yet there is no cause imaginable that could necessitate the lower level physical states along such a precise set of mental states.

    Note that in this exercise I am waving away a whole host of intractable difficulties and just focusing on what can be quantitatively demonstrated. For example I am waving away the following:

    The fact that dreams are imagery that is not initiated by vision.
    The dialog that goes along with dreams.
    The thoughts, sometimes abstract thoughts, that go along with a dream.
    That you seem to be able to focus your attention to a specific point in the dream imagery.
    The difficulty with how the brain could sequester the precise set of brain components involved in producing the dream imagery.
    The difficulty with how the brain even registers imagery in one’s consciousness.

  7. 7
    velikovskys says:

    humbled:
    I would then hold a tribunal where those responsible for the scientific dark age we find ourselves in currently are made to account and atone for their grave sins against humanity.

    These science terrorists need to be brought to justice.

    Sorry cannot access videos, how does one the test the immaterial without material means?

    I agree, there are never enough tribunals and materialist/ naturalists should be made to pay with immaterial punishments.

  8. 8
    Piotr says:

    After its successful 2014 TED.com Campaign…

    Decoded, it means that their petition, signed by 251 people over a period of about a year, was handed over to the curator of TED, who promised to have a look at it.

  9. 9
    Joe says:

    Piotr misses the forest, as usual. Why was a petition even necessary, Piotr? Is materialism so frail it cannot handle such talks with refuting evidence and therefor must censor all dissention?

  10. 10
    Piotr says:

    Refuting evidence? You must be pulling my leg. Sheldrake is the very epitome of crank science. If there were any truth in morphic resonance, his crankitude would be spreading pandemically.

    The talk has been reposted on numerous websites and remains freely available to anyone who might be interested, so where’s the censorship? TED didn’t want to be associated with its promotion, which I find understandable.

  11. 11
    Joe says:

    Materialism is the epitome of crank philosophy- it isn’t even wrong.

  12. 12
    carlg says:

    In an effort to offend people on both sides of the ID debate, let me make a couple of points regarding strategy. ID people want it taught in public schools with their opposition trying to keep it out. Why? I which western countries does a large majority of it’s population believe in God? The USA. Which countries have never required teaching religion in the schools. The USA. We hear shouts of anger over the poles showing half the US population does not believe in evolution and a majority of the rest believes it happened with divine guidance. What accounts for this? The public doesn’t understand or even follow science? True! But here is something they do know about. Who’s trying to con them. They see overheated attempts to con and bully them into a given position as dishonesty. This has then given them a reason to disregard anything said by that person group etc. The major reason juries give for their voting is I did not trust that lawyer or their client. I occasionally play poker in a casino. From time to time a disagreement occurs: “you acted out of turn.” “You shorted the pot.”, and so on. If I’m involved I will take out a hundred dollar bill, and lay it on the table. “Let’s bet on it. We can look at the video.” How often do you think someone takes me up on this offer. Your right if you said never. The put up or shut up argument can be very persuasive. If I wanted evolution to be believed I would encourage the schools to teach creationism or ID. You have little to lose. If I wanted ID promoted I would ignore the schools. You have little to gain and few things have been enhanced by an association with our public schools.

  13. 13
    Joe says:

    ID people want it taught in public schools with their opposition trying to keep it out.

    That is incorrect.

  14. 14
    Mapou says:

    Materialism cannot explain consciousness. It cannot explain why humans are infatuated with music and the arts. It cannot explain why we have likes and dislikes for new things, things that we have never seen before, things that are irrelevant to survival. Materialism is the most stupid “scientific” philosophy ever, worse than the flat earth hypothesis, worse than time travel, worse than chicken feather voodoo.

    ahahaha…AHAHAHA…ahahaha…

  15. 15
    CHartsil says:

    Science is necessarily restricted to materialism/methodological naturalism because scientific models have to be falsifiable and subject to constant certain variables.

  16. 16
    bFast says:

    CHartsil, “Science is necessarily restricted to materialism/methodological naturalism because scientific models have to be falsifiable and subject to constant certain variables.”

    Mind if I diagnose your statement for a bit?

    You state, “because scientific models have to be falsifiable.” Are you daring to state that no non-materialistic hypothesis is falsifiable? I understand that it has been believed by some that thunder was the sound of “gods” fighting. Has that been falsified? ‘Seems to me that non-materialistic hypotheses can be falsified.

    You state, “because scientific models have to be … subject to constant certain variables.” What of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, is it not science? Does it not stand directly in contrast with your conjecture? Further, is not the role of statistical analysis to glean some pattern of constancy out of the inconstant?

    Hmmm, you hypothesize, “Science is necessarily restricted to materialism/methodological naturalism because scientific models have to be falsifiable and subject to constant certain variables.” I contend that I have falsified your hypothesis.

  17. 17
    Mapou says:

    CHartsil:

    Science is necessarily restricted to materialism/methodological naturalism because scientific models have to be falsifiable and subject to constant certain variables.

    Certainly, science must be falsifiable (don’t tell that to the multi-universe crackpots), but science must also convincingly explain existing phenomena such as the origin of life on earth, consciousness and man’s infatuation with beauty and the arts. Since the current paradigm, materialism, cannot explain these things (they are, embarrassingly, outside its explanatory scope), we need a major paradigm shift. But don’t fret, yall. It’ll get here soon enough.

  18. 18
    CHartsil says:

    “Has that been falsified? ‘Seems to me that non-materialistic hypotheses can be falsified.”

    You can’t show that a supernatural explanation is specifically false. You can only evidence non-supernatural explanations. You still can’t prove that gods fighting isn’t what causes the rapid heating and expansion of air during and after lightning.

    “What of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle”

    Uncertainty isn’t named such because it’s uncertain what’s going on or under what conditions. It’s named so because the more certainty had regarding A the less there can be had regarding B. That’s demonstrable and repeatable.

  19. 19
    CHartsil says:

    “but science must also convincingly explain existing phenomena”

    Injecting magical non-answers into the gaps isn’t going to accomplish this. You can count all the scientific models later replaced by supernatural explanations on zero hands.

  20. 20
    CHartsil says:

    You: An intelligent agent not subject to the boundaries of time or space created the universe and life an indeterminate time ago

    Me: You’re all in my head and I’m just a brain in a vat.

    One is as plausible and demonstrable as the other. Hey, you’re ‘here’ so that fits perfectly with you just being figments of my imagination.

  21. 21
    Mapou says:

    CHartsil spews his infertile seed (magical this, supernatural that) in the dust and claims victory. LOL. All the while he is completely incapable of realizing that it is his position that is magical and supernatural.

  22. 22
    CHartsil says:

    “All the while he is completely incapable of realizing that it is his position that is magical and supernatural.”

    How so? In science, you should have no problem saying “I don’t know” if we don’t know.

  23. 23
    Mapou says:

    CHartsil:

    “All the while he is completely incapable of realizing that it is his position that is magical and supernatural.”

    How so? In science, you should have no problem saying “I don’t know” if we don’t know.

    This is not what the materialist church has been claiming. They claim that they know that life self-designed and arose out of dirt all by itself. And they claim that they know that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain and that intelligent robots will be conscious. They claim that they know that all that is necessary for consciousness is a complex enough neural network. They claim that they’ll gain immortality by uploading a copy of their brain into a machine. It’s all pseudoscientific, religious crap. It’s pathetically stupid, in the not even wrong category.

  24. 24
    CHartsil says:

    “They claim that they know that life self-designed and arose out of dirt all by itself.”

    Not to my knowledge and I work in the field of cell & molecular biology. There are some interesting and promising hypotheses on abiogenesis but far from anything that would be considered a theory.

  25. 25
    rhampton7 says:

    This is why I made the argument the other day that Intelligence is a subcategory of Natural and Supernatural causation, and not its own category.

    If the operation of the nature (materialism) can account for human intelligence, then nature can indeed generates irreducible complexity, and that’s a significant detraction from ID theory. However, if human intelligence can only be explained by the supernatural (immaterial) then irreducible complexity is safe from a material explanation. And it would explain why many ID proponents believe that computers/robots will never be able to attain intelligence equivalent to a human being because we humans can not bestow the supernatural upon the natural.

  26. 26
    Box says:

    CHartsil,

    how do you categorize “consciousness” and/or “intelligence”? Are they perhaps in the supernatural category?
    Secondly, do you hold that they are foundational to science?

  27. 27
    CHartsil says:

    “nature can indeed generates irreducible complexity”

    We already know that natural processes can produce irreducible complexity. Not in the sense of the observation of the evolution of intelligence but Lenski’s E. coli was definitively an IC product of evolution.

    “how do you categorize “consciousness” and/or “intelligence”? Are they perhaps in the supernatural category?”

    They’re products of the brain.

  28. 28
    Box says:

    CHartsil,

    “how do you categorize “consciousness” and/or “intelligence”? Are they perhaps in the supernatural category?”

    CHartsil: They’re products of the brain.

    So according to “ÿou”, “you” are nothing but chemistry. Everything “you” say is produced by blind processes that don’t give a hood about meaning, truth, logic or anything; all they care about is natural law.
    Obviously a rational discussion with “you” – nothing but blind particles in motion – is not possible.
    – –
    Don’t take it personal, because – according to “you” – personality does not exist.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “Lenski’s E. coli was definitively an IC product of evolution.”

    That claim is false:

    Richard Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiments with E. coli and the Origin of New Biological Information – September 2011
    Excerpt: The results of future work aside, so far, during the course of the longest, most open-ended, and most extensive laboratory investigation of bacterial evolution, a number of adaptive mutations have been identified that endow the bacterial strain with greater fitness compared to that of the ancestral strain in the particular growth medium. The goal of Lenski’s research was not to analyze adaptive mutations in terms of gain or loss of function, as is the focus here, but rather to address other longstanding evolutionary questions. Nonetheless, all of the mutations identified to date can readily be classified as either modification-of-function or loss-of-FCT.
    (Michael J. Behe, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution’,” Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 85(4) (December, 2010).)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....51051.html

    Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment: 25 Years and Counting – Michael Behe – November 21, 2013
    Excerpt: Twenty-five years later the culture — a cumulative total of trillions of cells — has been going for an astounding 58,000 generations and counting. As the article points out, that’s equivalent to a million years in the lineage of a large animal such as humans. Combined with an ability to track down the exact identities of bacterial mutations at the DNA level, that makes Lenski’s project the best, most detailed source of information on evolutionary processes available anywhere,,,
    ,,,for proponents of intelligent design the bottom line is that the great majority of even beneficial mutations have turned out to be due to the breaking, degrading, or minor tweaking of pre-existing genes or regulatory regions (Behe 2010). There have been no mutations or series of mutations identified that appear to be on their way to constructing elegant new molecular machinery of the kind that fills every cell. For example, the genes making the bacterial flagellum are consistently turned off by a beneficial mutation (apparently it saves cells energy used in constructing flagella). The suite of genes used to make the sugar ribose is the uniform target of a destructive mutation, which somehow helps the bacterium grow more quickly in the laboratory. Degrading a host of other genes leads to beneficial effects, too.,,, –
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....79401.html

    Bacterial ‘Evolution’ Is Actually Design in Action by Brian Thomas, M.S. – Dec. 2012
    Excerpt: At that time, the mechanism underlying the citrate-eating phenotype was unknown. Behe wrote, “If the [Cit+] phenotype is due to one or more mutations that result in, for example, the addition of a novel genetic regulatory element, gene-duplication with sequence divergence, or the gain of a new binding site, then it will be a noteworthy gain-of-FCT [Functional Coded elemenT] mutation.”2
    So, the big question is: Did E. coli evolve into a Cit+ strain by natural selection? Or did mutations construct new and functional coded elements to its DNA? If so, it would be the first in recorded biological history. If not, then it would be just another loss or modification of a pre-existing piece.
    In Lenski’s experiment, the bacteria (both Cit+ and wild-type) already possessed a gene named citT. It encodes a protein that transports a range of citrate-like chemicals. The recent results showed that the bacteria made extra copies of citT and a neighboring sequence—a process called gene amplification.
    More copies of the gene should translate to higher amounts of the transporter protein that it encodes. With enough transporters, the bacteria could access enough citrate. But oxygen deactivates citT, and having many copies of a gene that is turned off is not very useful!
    But the bacteria solved this problem when the amplification event also moved the gene sequence to a different place in the bacterial chromosome, where a different but pre-existing promoter could regulate it. Unlike the original one, it appears that the new promoter does not have an “oxygen off” switching mode. Instead, it allowed expression of citT in the presence of oxygen so that the bacteria successfully imported enough citrate to grow.
    The study authors wrote, “The structure of the cit amplification led us to propose that the Cit+ trait arose from an amplification-mediated promoter capture.”1 Further investigation confirmed the proposal.
    So, the bacteria solved the problem of accessing an alternative food source by generating extra copies of the critical gene and by placing those copies under the control of an appropriate promoter. Does any of this resemble natural, undirected Darwinian evolution? Not at all. This amazing mechanism invented no new functional coded elements. It merely modified pre-existing elements.
    Therefore, not only did the Cit+ bacteria not evolve in the molecules-to-man direction, but they showed what could only be ingenious DNA rearrangement mechanisms. What mainstream headlines portrayed as evidence for evolution is actually the opposite.3
    http://www.icr.org/article/bac.....ly-design/

  30. 30
    bFast says:

    CHartsil, “but Lenski’s E. coli was definitively an IC product of evolution.” Ok, I’m curious. I just spent 15 minutes googling Lenski’s E. coli. ‘Came up with lots of reports about it, none of which declare “IC HERE”. It appears that the biggest success of the experiment is the ability to digest citrate in an aerobic environment. It appears that a relatively neutral mutation happened which allowed another mutation to be beneficial — allowing for the the e-coli to to continue to digest citrate when oxygen was present. Is that about it? Have I missed something in my 15 minutes of research?

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    We already know that natural processes can produce irreducible complexity. Not in the sense of the observation of the evolution of intelligence but Lenski’s E. coli was definitively an IC product of evolution.

    Praise Jesus!

  32. 32
    Andre says:

    Honestly Lenski is cited for IC? Materialists say the darnest things.

  33. 33
    CHartsil says:

    “Don’t take it personal, because – according to “you” – personality does not exist.”

    Strawman, nonsequitur

    “as to: “Lenski’s E. coli was definitively an IC product of evolution.”

    That claim is false:”

    In some 20,000+ generations, his E. coli made a shift from being able to metabolize citrate anaerobically to being able to metabolize it aerobically due to multiple, potentiating mutations. It’s know that it’s the result of multiple, complementary mutations because it can only be repeated after a certain generation. So that’s new information and multiple changes in multiple systems, all conferring one function.

    Of course if you disagree with that, you could always make a youtube video about it.

    bFast, that’s because IC isn’t taken seriously in the scientific community. Just like someone doing a paper on germ theory isn’t going to say “Well our work debunks the idea that demons cause disease”.

    Andre, they produced a novel function requiring multiple changes in different systems all that confer one trait.

    Define IC for us.

  34. 34
    Box says:

    CHartsil: Strawman, nonsequitur

    Incoherent blubbering. No surprise here, considering that, in “your” case, blind unreasonable forces are behind the steering wheel, so to speak. “You” obviously don’t have the tools to grasp the meaning, truth and logic of what is stated in #27. Moreover there is no one home to grasp meaning, truth and logic – “you” are nothing but particles in motion.

  35. 35
    CHartsil says:

    Ignoring the same strawman, it’s the case whether you understand it or not. Just believing in god because it feels good and because it gives you the idea that you have the epistemological high ground doesn’t make it so.

  36. 36
    Box says:

    CHartsil: Ignoring the same strawman, it’s the case whether you understand it or not.

    More incoherent blubberings. My compliments for avoiding to speak in the first person, which doesn’t make sense under materialism. However simply stating that something is a strawman doesn’t make it so and adding “whether you understand it or not” doesn’t change that fact.
    Again, no surprise here. In a way “you” are making the case for materialism: blind forces are behind the steering wheel – at least in “your” case.

  37. 37
    CHartsil says:

    No, the fact that it’s a strawman is what makes it a strawman.

    Again, it’s not just my case. It’s your case, just believing you were created by god doesn’t make it so. Really, you’re using what you think is an unreliable brain and sense of reasoning in order to believe in the god you think gives you the ability to reason.

    It’s completely self defeating.

  38. 38
    Box says:

    CHartsil,

    CHartsil: No, the fact that it’s a strawman is what makes it a strawman.

    It’s pointless to discuss with the chemicals, called CHartsil, but at times it can be amusing.

    CHartsil: Again, it’s not just my case.

    What is this chemical process blubbering about?

    CHartsil: It’s your case, (…)

    Materialism is my case? What?

    CHartsil: (…) just believing you were created by god doesn’t make it so.

    Where did I state that things work that way?

    CHartsil: Really, you’re using what you think is an unreliable brain and sense of reasoning in order to believe in the god you think gives you the ability to reason.

    Wait a minute. The chemical process called CHartsil (CPCH) distinguishes between “you” and “brain” – impossible under materialism. This “you” is using “brain” to believe in a God. Also this “you” reflects on this “brain” and holds it to be unreliable.
    Again, completely incoherent blubberings – blind unreasonable forces behind the steering wheel of reason.

    CHartsil: It’s completely self defeating.

    “Self-defeating”? “You” using that term is truly beyond pathetic. Are you for real? Oh I forgot, “you” don’t exist and are incapable of reasoning – “you” are nothing but disjoint blind unreasonable particles in motion.

  39. 39

    CHartsil said:

    Science is necessarily restricted to materialism/methodological naturalism because scientific models have to be falsifiable and subject to constant certain variables.

    …..

    You can’t show that a supernatural explanation is specifically false. You can only evidence non-supernatural explanations.

    What do you mean by the term “supernatural”, and why do you think you cannot show a theory involving something “supernatural” as part of the explanation to be false?

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM (attn CH),

    what we are seeing is the impact of this bit of mind-twisting question-begging by the US National Science Teachers’ Association, per Board declaration of July 2000:

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . .

    [[S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements in the production of scientific knowledge.

    We can immediately point out the loaded strawman caricature natural vs supernatural, when since plato the discussion has been on natural vs ART-ificial or designed . . . tracing to intelligently directed configuration. Which can indeed leave detectable empirical traces and is easily subjected to potential empirical falsification. Just, show a credible case where blind chance and mechanical necessity, per observation, produce FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits.

    As you know we have had dozens of attempts in and around UD, all failed. With the typical problem being failure to recognise how active information was intelligently injected or failing to realise that a lot of intelligent design was injected.

    In addition, there is the hint of problems with scientism by imagining such “science” delimits serious or legitimate knowledge. Of course the self-refutation in that is this is a philosophical or at least an ideological, non-scientific claim.

    A sounder approach in my view would be to identify an ideal for scientific work:

    let us give a “rough working definition” of science as it should be (recognising that we will often fall short):

    science, at its best, is the unfettered — but ethically and intellectually responsible — progressive, observational evidence-led pursuit of the truth about our world (i.e. an accurate and reliable description and explanation of it), based on:

    a: collecting, recording, indexing, collating and reporting accurate, reliable (and where feasible, repeatable) empirical — real-world, on the ground — observations and measurements,

    b: inference to best current — thus, always provisional — abductive explanation of the observed facts,

    c: thus producing hypotheses, laws, theories and models, using logical-mathematical analysis, intuition and creative, rational imagination [[including Einstein’s favourite gedankenexperiment, i.e thought experiments],

    d: continual empirical testing through further experiments, observations and measurement; and,

    e: uncensored but mutually respectful discussion on the merits of fact, alternative assumptions and logic among the informed. (And, especially in wide-ranging areas that cut across traditional dividing lines between fields of study, or on controversial subjects, “the informed” is not to be confused with the eminent members of the guild of scholars and their publicists or popularisers who dominate a particular field at any given time.)

    As a result, science enables us to ever more effectively (albeit provisionally) describe, explain, understand, predict and influence or control objects, phenomena and processes in our world.

    In addition, origins questions are freighted with major consequences for our worldviews, and are focused on matters that are inherently beyond our direct observation.

    So, since we simply were not here to see the deep past of origins, we are compelled to reconstruct it on more or less plausible models driven by inference to best explanation. This means that in origins investigations, our results and findings are inevitably even more provisional than are those of operational science, where we can directly cross check models against observation. That further means that origins science findings are inherently more prone to controversy and debate than more conventional theories in science.

    A glance will suffice to show how this avoids a priori lab coat clad materialist question-begging presented as high-prestige “knowledge.”

    And of course, this is an old debate in and around UD resurfacing as someone has come by who probably does not realise the lurking issues and begged questions.

    KF

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    CH (attn Box):

    Here is, in a 101 outline, the inherent self-referential incoherence in a priori evolutionary materialism:

    >> 13 –> Some materialists . . . suggest that mind is more or less a delusion. For instance, Sir Francis Crick is on record, in his 1994 The Astonishing Hypothesis:

    . . . 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.

    14 –> Philip Johnson has replied that Sir Francis should have therefore been willing to preface his works thusly: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Johnson then acidly commented: “[[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.” [[Reason in the Balance, 1995.]

    15 –> In short, it is at least arguable that self-referential absurdity is the dagger pointing to the heart of evolutionary materialistic models of mind and its origin . . . .

    This issue can be addressed at a more sophisticated level [[cf. Hasker in The Emergent Self (Cornell University Press, 2001), from p 64 on, e.g. here as well as Reppert here and Plantinga here (briefer) & here (noting updates in the 2011 book, The Nature of Nature)], but without losing its general force, it can also be drawn out a bit in a fairly simple way:

    a: Evolutionary materialism argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature; from hydrogen to humans by undirected chance and necessity.

    b: Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws of chance and/or mechanical necessity acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of happenstance initial circumstances.

    (This is physicalism. This view covers both the forms where (a) the mind and the brain are seen as one and the same thing, and those where (b) somehow mind emerges from and/or “supervenes” on brain, perhaps as a result of sophisticated and complex software looping. The key point, though is as already noted: physical causal closure — the phenomena that play out across time, without residue, are in principle deducible or at least explainable up to various random statistical distributions and/or mechanical laws, from prior physical states. Such physical causal closure, clearly, implicitly discounts or even dismisses the causal effect of concept formation and reasoning then responsibly deciding, in favour of specifically physical interactions in the brain-body control loop; indeed, some mock the idea of — in their view — an “obviously” imaginary “ghost” in the meat-machine. [[There is also some evidence from simulation exercises, that accuracy of even sensory perceptions may lose out to utilitarian but inaccurate ones in an evolutionary competition. “It works” does not warrant the inference to “it is true.”] )

    c: But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this meat-machine picture. So, we rapidly arrive at Crick’s claim in his The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994): what we subjectively experience as “thoughts,” “reasoning” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as the unintended by-products of the blind natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains that (as the Smith Model illustrates) serve as cybernetic controllers for our bodies.

    d: These underlying driving forces are viewed as being ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance shaped by forces of selection [[“nature”] and psycho-social conditioning [[“nurture”], within the framework of human culture [[i.e. socio-cultural conditioning and resulting/associated relativism]. And, remember, the focal issue to such minds — notice, this is a conceptual analysis made and believed by the materialists! — is the physical causal chains in a control loop, not the internalised “mouth-noises” that may somehow sit on them and come along for the ride.

    (Save, insofar as such “mouth noises” somehow associate with or become embedded as physically instantiated signals or maybe codes in such a loop. [[How signals, languages and codes originate and function in systems in our observation of such origin — i.e by design — tends to be pushed to the back-burner and conveniently forgotten. So does the point that a signal or code takes its significance precisely from being an intelligently focused on, observed or chosen and significant alternative from a range of possibilities that then can guide decisive action.])

    e: For instance, Marxists commonly derided opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismissed qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? Should we not ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is little more than yet another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze? And — as we saw above — would the writings of a Crick be any more than the firing of neurons in networks in his own brain?

    f: For further instance, we may take the favourite whipping-boy of materialists: religion. Notoriously, they often hold that belief in God is not merely cognitive, conceptual error, but delusion. Borderline lunacy, in short. But, if such a patent “delusion” is so utterly widespread, even among the highly educated, then it “must” — by the principles of evolution — somehow be adaptive to survival, whether in nature or in society. And so, this would be a major illustration of the unreliability of our conceptual reasoning ability, on the assumption of evolutionary materialism.

    g: Turning the materialist dismissal of theism around, evolutionary materialism itself would be in the same leaky boat. For, the sauce for the goose is notoriously just as good a sauce for the gander, too.

    h: That is, on its own premises [[and following Dawkins in A Devil’s Chaplain, 2004, p. 46], the cause of the belief system of evolutionary materialism, “must” also be reducible to forces of blind chance and mechanical necessity that are sufficiently adaptive to spread this “meme” in populations of jumped- up apes from the savannahs of East Africa scrambling for survival in a Malthusian world of struggle for existence. Reppert brings the underlying point sharply home, in commenting on the “internalised mouth-noise signals riding on the physical cause-effect chain in a cybernetic loop” view:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions. [[Emphases added. Also cf. Reppert’s summary of Barefoot’s argument here.]

    i: The famous geneticist and evolutionary biologist (as well as Socialist) J. B. S. Haldane made much the same point in a famous 1932 remark:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (Highlight and emphases added.)]

    j: Therefore, though materialists will often try to pointedly ignore or angrily brush aside the issue, we may freely argue: if such evolutionary materialism is true, then (i) our consciousness, (ii) the “thoughts” we have, (iii) the conceptualised beliefs we hold, (iv) the reasonings we attempt based on such and (v) the “conclusions” and “choices” (a.k.a. “decisions”) we reach — without residue — must be produced and controlled by blind forces of chance happenstance and mechanical necessity that are irrelevant to “mere” ill-defined abstractions such as: purpose or truth, or even logical validity.

    (NB: The conclusions of such “arguments” may still happen to be true, by astonishingly lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” or “warranted” them. It seems that rationality itself has thus been undermined fatally on evolutionary materialistic premises. Including that of Crick et al. Through, self-reference leading to incoherence and utter inability to provide a cogent explanation of our commonplace, first-person experience of reasoning and rational warrant for beliefs, conclusions and chosen paths of action. Reduction to absurdity and explanatory failure in short.)

    k: And, if materialists then object: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must immediately note that — as the fate of Newtonian Dynamics between 1880 and 1930 shows — empirical support is not equivalent to establishing the truth of a scientific theory. For, at any time, one newly discovered countering fact can in principle overturn the hitherto most reliable of theories. (And as well, we must not lose sight of this: in science, one is relying on the legitimacy of the reasoning process to make the case that scientific evidence provides reasonable albeit provisional warrant for one’s beliefs etc. Scientific reasoning is not independent of reasoning.)

    l: Worse, in the case of origins science theories, we simply were not there to directly observe the facts of the remote past, so origins sciences are even more strongly controlled by assumptions and inferences than are operational scientific theories. So, we contrast the way that direct observations of falling apples and orbiting planets allow us to test our theories of gravity.

    m: Moreover, as Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin reminds us all in his infamous January 29, 1997 New York Review of Books article, “Billions and billions of demons,” it is now notorious that:

    . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel [[materialistic scientists] 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 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, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [[And if you have been led to imagine that the immediately following words justify the above, kindly cf. the more complete clip and notes here.]

    n: Such a priori assumptions of materialism are patently question-begging, mind-closing and fallacious.

    o: More important, to demonstrate that empirical tests provide empirical support to the materialists’ theories would require the use of the very process of reasoning and inference which they have discredited.

    p: Thus, evolutionary materialism arguably reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, as we have seen: immediately, that must include “Materialism.”

    q: In the end, it is thus quite hard to escape the conclusion that materialism is based on self-defeating, question-begging logic.

    r: So, while materialists — just like the rest of us — in practice routinely rely on the credibility of reasoning and despite all the confidence they may project, they at best struggle to warrant such a tacitly accepted credibility of mind and of concepts and reasoned out conclusions relative to the core claims of their worldview. (And, sadly: too often, they tend to pointedly ignore or rhetorically brush aside the issue.) . . . >>

    Stumbled fatally in the starting gates.

    KF

  42. 42
    Box says:

    Kairosfocus #40,

    KF: The key point, though is as already noted: physical causal closure — the phenomena that play out across time, without residue, are in principle deducible or at least explainable up to various random statistical distributions and/or mechanical laws, from prior physical states. Such physical causal closure, clearly, implicitly discounts or even dismisses the causal effect of concept formation and reasoning then responsibly deciding, in favour of specifically physical interactions in the brain-body control loop; indeed, some mock the idea of — in their view — an “obviously” imaginary “ghost” in the meat-machine.

    Physical causal closure is indeed the key point wrt naturalism/materialism/physicalism. No matter what comes next (emergentism, evolution or whatever): blind physical interactions are in the driving seat.

    KF: Reppert: . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . But if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and so we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    Reppert shows us that there is no bridge between mental ‘laws’ (overview, meaning, logic) and physical laws. They are not in the same realm.

    KF: if such evolutionary materialism is true, then (i) our consciousness, (ii) the “thoughts” we have, (iii) the conceptualised beliefs we hold, (iv) the reasonings we attempt based on such and (v) the “conclusions” and “choices” (a.k.a. “decisions”) we reach — without residue — must be produced and controlled by blind forces of chance happenstance and mechanical necessity that are irrelevant to “mere” ill-defined abstractions such as: purpose or truth, or even logical validity.

    Exactly!

  43. 43
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    What do you mean by the term “supernatural”,

    A non contingent cause.

    why do you think you cannot show a theory involving something “supernatural” as part of the explanation to be false?

    Because you can’t show it is true,either.

  44. 44

    Velikovskys said:

    A non contingent cause.

    Why would a non-contingent cause be immune to being proved as the cause of something and immune to falsifiability?

  45. 45
    CHartsil says:

    Box, Kairos, you’re using your brain to say that your brain is unreliable if god doesn’t exist. You’re then using you brain to say god exists. It’s self defeating.

    William, because falsifiability is necessary. Otherwise you could say any magical account of the origin of existence is just as valid as any other.

  46. 46
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    Why would a non-contingent cause be immune to being proved as the cause of something and immune to falsifiability?

    Science can only show likelihood not proof.

  47. 47
    velikovskys says:

    Chartsil:
    William, because falsifiability is necessary. Otherwise you could say any magical account of the origin of existence is just as valid as any other.

    Falsifiability is important because it means the explanation has entailments, gravity bending spacetime for instance.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    CH,

    Nope — we are exposing the fatal flaw that falsifies evolutionary materialism.

    Precisely because mindedness and responsible freedom do not play out as evolutionary materialist models would imply, the models are falsified.

    This is the key point underscored by J B S Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    But thanks for at least facing the major problem with evolutionary materialism (even though you seemed to think it is a problem we faced . . . ).

    That’s a first step to a better understanding.

    If you want an idea of the road I (I don’t speak for Box on this) go down, start with the Smith two-tier controller model, with the brain-cns as front-end I/O controller and data store.

    KF

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    CH & VS:

    The relevant falsifiability point for design theory lies in what you have been led not to see, as you have obviously swallowed the NCSE talking point about natural vs supernatural cause, compounded by some mis-perceptions about what God could or would do.

    The design context of thought from Plato’s day to now has contrasted the natural (blind chance and/or mechanical necessity) with the ART-ificial, i.e. intelligently directed configuration, AKA design. Without regard to debates on agents being within or beyond the observed cosmos, it has looked at a key empirical issue: can we find empirical traces that help us detect if design was involved?

    To this, one answer has been functionally specific complex wiring diagram nodes-arcs organisation and associated information. In a simple case observe text S-T-R-I-N-G-S, beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of info capacity. It is inductively generalised and backed up on a solar system or cosmos scale blind needle in haystack search analysis, that such should reliably come from design.

    This can in principle be readily tested and even falsified empirically. Just provide reliable observation of such FSCO/I coming about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. As a simple case try random text generation . . . so far up to 20 – 24 ASCII characters worth of coherent English, or a factor of about 1 in 10^100 short of the low end threshold scale of config space.

    This has of course been pointed out over and over and over again, but the indoctrination not to see this seems to close minds from recognising it.

    Let’s just say, over the years in and around UD some dozens of attempts were made all failed. Evo algors turn out to feed off active info and depend on intelligently fine tuned parameters acting within islands of function. And the like.

    That seems to be why we now tend to see really strange rhetorical gambits.

    So, nope the notion that the design inference is not open to empirical test and potential falsification, is a misrepresentation.

    Just, it keeps passing such tests with flying colours.

    Indeed every post in this thread is another case in point on the source of FSCO/I, design.

    KF

  50. 50

    It seems that CHartsil and velikovskys are avoiding my question.

    CHartsil originally asserted:

    You can’t show that a supernatural explanation is specifically false. You can only evidence non-supernatural explanations.

    I asked CHartsil:

    What do you mean by the term “supernatural”, and why do you think you cannot show a theory involving something “supernatural” as part of the explanation to be false?”

    CHartsil’s response:

    William, because falsifiability is necessary. Otherwise you could say any magical account of the origin of existence is just as valid as any other.

    Not only did he fail to explain his term “supernatural” as asked, but please note that the response is a non-sequitur. Also note that the original issue was non-materialism; CHartsil replaced that term with “supernatural” and now “magic”.

    Please answer my questions, CHartsil.

    velikovskys attempted to define “supernatural”:

    A non contingent cause.

    Please note this appears to be an entirely idiosyncratic definition of the term. I can’t find anywhere where “supernatural” is so defined. That’s fine, but I’m just pointing it out to onlookers for future reference.

    My next question was:

    why do you think you cannot show a theory involving something “supernatural” as part of the explanation to be false?

    velikovskys responded:

    Because you can’t show it is true,either.

    I followed up with this question:

    Why would a non-contingent cause be immune to being proved as the cause of something and immune to falsifiability?

    To which he offers the non-response:

    Science can only show likelihood not proof.

    Surely velikovskys understands how the term “proved” is used in science – as an indication that evidence gathered has well supported a scientific proposition. I can only conclude he is avoiding my question.

    The question for both of them is: why does the state of being “supernatural” render something immune from scientific investigation? This would require a definition (unless both agree to velikovskys’ idiosyncratic definition “a non-contingent cause”) and an explanation.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM:

    AmHD may help jog a few minds:

    su·per·nat·u·ral
    (so?o?p?r-n?ch??r-?l)
    adj.
    1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
    2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
    3. Of or relating to a deity.
    4. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous.
    5. Of or relating to the miraculous.
    n.
    That which is supernatural.
    su?per·nat?u·ral·ly adv.
    su?per·nat?u·ral·ness n.

    ++++++++++

    nat·u·ral
    (n?ch??r-?l, n?ch?r?l)
    adj.
    1. Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.
    2. Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.
    3. Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.
    4.
    a. Not acquired; inherent: Love of power is natural to some people.
    b. Having a particular character by nature: a natural leader.
    c. Biology Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned: natural immunity; a natural reflex.
    5. Characterized by spontaneity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or inhibitions. See Synonyms at naive.
    6. Not altered, treated, or disguised: natural coloring; natural produce.
    7. Faithfully representing nature or life.
    8. Expected and accepted: “In Willie’s mind marriage remained the natural and logical sequence to love” (Duff Cooper).
    9. Established by moral certainty or conviction: natural rights.
    10. Being in a state regarded as primitive, uncivilized, or unregenerate.
    11.
    a. Related genetically: the natural parents of the child.
    b. Born to parents who have never been married to each other: the natural son of the king.
    12. Mathematics Of or relating to positive integers, sometimes including zero.
    13. Music
    a. Not sharped or flatted.
    b. Having no sharps or flats.
    n.
    1.
    a. One having all the qualifications necessary for success: You are a natural for this job.
    b. One suited by nature for a certain purpose or function: She is a natural at mathematics.
    2. Music
    a. The sign (?) placed before a note to cancel a preceding sharp or flat.
    b. A note so affected.
    3. A yellowish gray to pale orange yellow.
    4. Games A combination in certain card and dice games that wins immediately.
    5. An Afro hairstyle.

    This has but little to do with the point that intelligently directed configuration will often leave empirically observable, reliable traces such as FSCO/I or fine tuned components in an integrated whole.

    Whether the designer behind the design is within or beyond the observed cosmos is a secondary matter to the question that is properly at main stake, can such design be detected on signs.

    Which, on very good warrant, can be answered yes.

    KF

    PS: And the significance of FSCO/I can be tested empirically and potentially falsified should there be a case where, credibly per observation, it is produced by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. This has been on the table for literally years, but studiously ignored by those with ideological talking points to make over imagined contrasts between natural and supernatural vs what ID actually studies natural (blind chance and mechanical necessity) vs ART-ificial (design)

  52. 52

    kf,

    I don’t mind that they use an idiosyncratic definition of the term “supernatural”, as long as they state it and explain why “the supernatural” is incapable of being scientifically investigated.

    Without a definition and an explanation, one can only conclude they are are simply reacting in defense of their materialist ideology with diversionary semantics and denialism.

    In any normal sense of the term, the “supernatural” is as open to scientific investigation as anything else. Scientists have been investigating the “supernatural” for over a century, at least since the time physicist William Crookes formally investigated psychic/mediumship phenomena and, along with Nobel Prize winner Charles Richet at the time, concluded that certain such “supernatural” phenomena were definitely real.

  53. 53
    nkendall says:

    Much of the focus in the mind-brain discussion pertains to the obvious absurdity of rational belief associated with materialism. I wanted to offer another way of looking at the absurdity of materialism related to the mind-brain problem that is quantitative. One way of looking at the mind-body problem is to construct an analogy between brain-mind on the one hand and genes-proteins on the other and then to examine these in light of William Dembski’s searching through large spaces, Stephen Meyer’s observation about the DNA molecular code and Michael Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity.

    The brain components–according to materialism–must somehow give rise to mental states in much the same way genes give rise to proteins, tissues, cells, organs and so on. Mental states could be abstract thoughts, artistic imaginings, imagery in dream sequences, etc. Just as Meyer notes that there is no necessary casual relationship between the concatenated amino acids in the DNA molecule that give rise to proteins, so it is with the putative brain components that according to materialism are supposed to give rise to a stream of thoughts because the causation in reductionism is bottom up. There is no necessary causal relationship between the states of the multitude of brain components that would be involved in giving rise to the corresponding sequence mental states. The underlying brain states producing the mental states at each instant in time and throughout a continuous thought stream are irreducibly complex in the sense that the brain components would have to be highly specific because they are highly constrained by the content of the mental events both spatially and temporally. In other words, if materialism were true, then at each instant in time and throughout a period of time, the collection of brain components supposedly giving rise to a perception or imagery, would have to be precisely what they are in order for a coherent, correlated thought or image to be rendered in one’s mind.

    A rough calculation could be carried out by assessing the entire space of possible brain states for the components involved and contrasted that with the diminishingly small set of arrangements of these components that would satisfy the mental phenomenon. If the brain components were the firing of neuron synapses (binary on/off) and there were, say 10 million synapses involved over a 10 second period of thought, then the calculation could be given as: 2^10 million * (the number of distinct brain states within that 10 second period). Obviously searching through a space this large using bottom up causation dictated by materialistic reductionism would be futile and clearly disproves materialism given what we now know. Rather a top-down, creative causation must be involved especially in light of the fact that so many of our thoughts seem to be the result of final causation rather than contingent causation in that they are capable of reflecting the truth about reality, e.g. Einstein’s series of thought streams that eventuated in the theory of Relativity.

  54. 54
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    Please note this appears to be an entirely idiosyncratic definition of the term. I can’t find anywhere where “supernatural” is so defined. That’s fine, but I’m just pointing it out to onlookers for future reference.

    It seems mainstream.whole cosmological argument is based on the need for a non contingent cause,therefore God.

    Why would a non-contingent cause be immune to being proved as the cause of something and immune to falsifiability?

    Science can only show likelihood not proof.

    Surely velikovskys understands how the term “proved” is used in science – as an indication that evidence gathered has well supported a scientific proposition. I can only conclude he is avoiding my question.

    Now who is using idiosyncratic definitions? Scientific results are conditional on evidence, what we can be sure of is that our knowledge is finite, new evidence and theories take the place of old.

    The question for both of them is: why does the state of being “supernatural” render something immune from scientific investigation?

    It is not,as long as it has entailments that we can test or measure or observe. The problem is the ability to discern the difference between an unknown natural cause and an unknown supernatural cause. Any suggestions how to detect the difference?

    This would require a definition (unless both agree to velikovskys’ idiosyncratic definition “a non-contingent cause”) and an explanation.

    Actually it is exactly the issue, we have no idea what a non contingent , a non entailed, cause is doing or not doing.

    Actually the answer is simple, the non contingent cause just needs to provide the scientific method to detect its presence.

    Or William you can provide the means to detect the presence or non presence of the supernatural, also how to determine false positives and lastly an operational testable definition.

    Or simpler still, how did you personally prove scientifically the existence of God and detect supernatural actions?

  55. 55

    velikovskys responds to my statement that his definition of “supernatural” is idiosyncratic with:

    It seems mainstream.whole cosmological argument is based on the need for a non contingent cause,therefore God.

    Are you unaware that “supernatural” and “god” are not synonymous? Do you think that the cosmological argument is a “mainstream” conceptualization of what “supernatural” means? Are ghosts, mediumship and psychic phenomena intractably linked to the cosmological argument? If it is a mainstreawm definition, where did you find it?

    Now who is using idiosyncratic definitions? Scientific results are conditional on evidence, what we can be sure of is that our knowledge is finite, new evidence and theories take the place of old.

    This isn’t an answer to my question. It’s a diversion from it by quibbling over what the term “prove” means. Are you going to claim that scientists do not use the term “prove” in their papers or discussions? If not, then I suggest you assume I mean “prove” in the same sense that they mean it.

    I asked:

    why do you think you cannot show a theory involving something “supernatural” as part of the explanation to be false?

    velikovskys responded:

    Because you can’t show it is true,either.

    Apparently meaning that you cannot scientifically show a “supernatural” cause to be true (I’ll set aside for now whether or not science deals with “truths”) or false, thus indicating that the “supernatural” is immune from scientific investigation.

    Now, however, velikovskys appears to have changed his mind. When I asked:

    why does the state of being “supernatural” render something immune from scientific investigation?

    He backtracks and says:

    It is not,

    One wonders how, if something cannot be shown to be true or false, it not immune to scientific investigation?

    However, he seems to have changed his mind. Great! Then we both agree there is no logical reason why the “supernatural” cannot be investigated by science, nor any logical reason why scientific conclusions cannot be reached about supernatural phenomena.

    The problem is the ability to discern the difference between an unknown natural cause and an unknown supernatural cause. Any suggestions how to detect the difference?

    Since I don’t agree with your definition of the term “supernatural”, there is no need for me to offer any such suggestion. For over 100 years what has been considered by the mainstream to be the “supernatural” has been under scientific investigation, beginning with William Crookes and Nobel Prize winner Charles Richet. It goes on today in the work of scientists from many disciplines.

    I suggest the way forward in science is to treat unknown causes as just that – unknown causes, without imprisoning them into ideological constraints that may or many not be true via the baggage-laden terms “natural”, “supernatural”, “materialist” or “non-materialist”.

  56. 56

    AS @ 53:

    If one is going to define the “supernatural” as “that which is not real”, then one has created a useless definitional tautology. Saying then that the supernatural is immune to scientific investigation is like saying that to be a bachelor, one cannot be married. Well, how profound.

    Perhaps what is “supernatural” (non-material) is real but in a different way than phenomena we consider to be “material”, and is open to a different kind of scientific investigation than that which we normally apply to “matter”. In any event, defining the non-material, or the supernatural, as “imaginary” or “unreal” is nothing more than a means for a self-serving narrative to protect itself.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    VS,

    I suggest to you that the supernatural and the Deity are not necessarily equal.

    Second, seeking to know God is a project in knowledge and is not subject to any special concerns above and beyond ordinary warrant of knowledge, especially as regards knowledge of persons.

    Do you trouble yourself, staying up nights worrying about false positives in your general knowledge base or knowledge of science?

    I doubt it.

    We simply accept that knowledge in general is what is well warranted and credibly true, having regard to what degree of warrant is feasible. (Then, where we find an error, we fix it. No big deal.)

    And, I rather doubt that, say, you trouble yourself greatly over whether your knowledge of your mom is a false positive.

    Nor, are you overly worried about operational testable definitions.

    In truth, whether or not you are inclined to acknowledge it, millions have come to meet and be transformed for the good by God, across the world and down the long reach of time.

    That we are all labouring under grand delusion is a highly dubious suggestion.

    Finally, you seem to be caught up in scientism, seeking SCIENTIFIC proof of God’s existence and actions.

    Science does not delimit knowledge.

    Supernatural actions and events can be recognised by their character, e,g, the flying priest seen by thousands across decades, including fairly hostile scrutiny and with abundant lifetime record would count.

    Save, if there is an agenda of selective hyperskepticism.

    In which case the problem is not really the types and quality of evidence and argument, but an undue resistance to what would lead where one does not wish to go.

    Which, we all must be careful to examine ourselves for.

    And, I suspect here will be a good point of departure for pivotal case no 1, Jesus of Nazareth.

    KF

  58. 58
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    velikovskys responds to my statement that his definition of “supernatural” is idiosyncratic with:
    It seems mainstream.whole cosmological argument is based on the need for a non contingent cause,therefore God.
    Are you unaware that “supernatural” and “god” are not synonymous?

    Actually that would be “God”, I guess not, which non contingent Cause is a contignent cause?

    Do you think that the cosmological argument is a “mainstream” conceptualization of what “supernatural” means?

    It is the only one based on logic if that is your question.Do you have another?

    Are ghosts, mediumship and psychic phenomena intractably linked to the cosmological argument?

    What is the logical argument that those occur? If none then their existence,if any , is provided by natural world, just because we do not know how something works does not make it supernatural, it makes it unknown.

    If it is a mainstreawm definition, where did you find it?

    The cosmological argument is classic apologetics then it follows
    If A = B
    and if B = C
    then A = C

    Do you disagree that the Creator of all things is supernatural or non contingent ?

    So your definition of supernatural is non material? That seems problematic.

  59. 59
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    I suggest to you that the supernatural and the Deity are not necessarily equal.

    I would contend that one cannot be a non contingent Cause and not be supernatural, sorry at work, will continue later on my own time

  60. 60

    velikovskys said:

    It seems mainstream.whole cosmological argument is based on the need for a non contingent cause,therefore God.

    The cosmological argument is a logical argument that works towards a necessary premise regardless of if one defines that premise as “supernatural”, as you seem to have done.

    My question was about science & evidence, not about logical arguments.

    It seems that this is where you have gone off the rail.

    However, you have already agreed that science can investigate the supernatural, so there’s nothing left for us to debate.

  61. 61
    velikovskys says:

    Sorry KF, lost my post, will attempt to resurrect tomorrow

  62. 62
    velikovskys says:

    The cosmological argument is a logical argument that works towards a necessary premise regardless of if one defines that premise as “supernatural”, as you seem to have done

    So God is not supernatural but esp is, interesting choice

    My question was about science & evidence, not about logical arguments.

    A logical argument is evidence, if the premises are correct

  63. 63

    velikovskys said:

    So God is not supernatural but esp is, interesting choice

    I never said anything of the sort. I pointed out that in a debate about science and evidence, you switched to what you idiosyncratically propose as a philosophical definition for the term “supernatural” as it relates to the cosmological argument. That’s a non-sequitur. I’m not arguing the cosmological argument here or what the term “supernatural” may or may not mean in relation to it.

    A logical argument is evidence, if the premises are correct

    It’s not scientific evidence, which is what the debate is about.

    What are you arguing about? You’ve already agreed that just because something is supernatural doesn’t mean it cannot be scientifically investigated.

  64. 64
    wallstreeter43 says:

    “how do you categorize “consciousness” and/or “intelligence”? Are they perhaps in the supernatural category?”

    Chartsil says “”They’re products of the brain.””

    It’s obvious Chartsil that you have been spending too much time in the laboratory . What you need to do singer out of your little box and see what medical science is saying about the ridiculous notion that consciousness is a product of the brain. Maybe then you can overcome your sheer ignorance

    If you had taken a break from yoir lab a simple google search would have provided you with sam parnia’s recent aware study results published in a legit UK medical journal .

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....study.html

    The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences has discovered that some awareness may continue even after the brain has shut down completely.

    One man even recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room.

    Despite being unconscious and ‘dead’ for three minutes, the 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, recounted the actions of the nursing staff in detail and described the sound of the machines.

    “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating,” said Dr Sam Parnia, a former research fellow at Southampton University, now at the State University of New York, who led the study.

    “But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped.

    “The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three minute intervals. So we could time how long the experienced lasted for.

    “He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.”

    Now Chartsil , remove your foot from your mouth and explain to us that if consciousness is a product of the brain then. How can a person have conscious awareness without a functioning brain.

    Chartsil , I think with all the ignorant dogma that your spewing maybe u should join one of those atheist churches that are starting to open up.
    They love people of blind faith such as yourself 😉

  65. 65
    CHartsil says:

    Do you have any idea how many chemicals flood the brain as you’re dying? The only wonder is that it can still function after resuscitation.

    Instead of accusing me of being incredulous, how about giving us an example of someone who had an NDE and came back with then documented knowledge they could not have possibly had at the time.

  66. 66
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Chartil said “”Do you have any idea how many chemicals flood the brain as you’re dying? The only wonder is that it can still function after resuscitation.

    Instead of accusing me of being incredulous, how about giving us an example of someone who had an NDE and came back with then documented knowledge they could not have possibly had at the time.””

    You obviously didn’t read the article did you. The guy saw everything happening in the room when his brain wasn’t functioning and it was verified by the hospital staff.

    It’s called a veridical nde , this is why I brought u a veridical nde and not a regular nde . You bviously don’t know the difference .

    No one saying the brain isn’t flooded with chemicals , and even with the deep brain surge that happened with a patient when the EEG was flat this experience can’t be explained. The deep brain surge lasts for 30 seconds .

    This is just one example of many veridical Nde’s where a person got information that was verified by outside witnesses as being true , but this was the first time that it was verified as happening after the 30 second brain surge.

    You cannot explain veridical Nde’s with chemicals. Skeptics and atheists have known about them for a long time and have tried to explain thm in – few ways .

    1.The patients and all the witnesses were all lying and it was a grand conspiracy

    2.not enough strict controls on the studies

    3. Somehow the chemicals and electricity caused the brain to reach out and experience these things in a materialistic way without the eyes or auditory senses . A sort of materialistic extra sensory perception if you will.

    Now that finally a veridical nde was documented as happening during the time of no brain function these 3 explanations seem like delusions.

    This study was the largest of its kind and was published in a respectable secular uk journal .

    Now if this study showed that veridical Nde’s are caused by the brain u would have been jumping up and down and cheering them .

    Dude soon your materialistic paradigm will be as archaic as the dinosaurs and you will then change ur mind to follow the crowd to the mountain to find out we religious and spiritual folk were there all along waiting for u to catch up.

    Remember that veridical Nde’s aren’t the same as regular Nde’s

    Doctor eben Alexander had a very unique nde where he brought back information from the after life of a sister he never even knew existed and when he found his real parents they showed him pics of a beautiful young lady who was his sister who died in her early thirties , and he immediately recognized her as his spirit guide in heaven .

    Alexander was a materialist atheist before this experience . He no longer is one now 😉

    Chartsil u attending the atheist church this week in ur area ? Or are you still stick in ur lab 😉

  67. 67
    wallstreeter43 says:

    William j Murray , or maybe the current paradigms definition of science is to strict .
    I think the ancient Greeks got it when as they originally defined science as acquiring knowledge which doesn’t just mean acquiring lab tested , repeatable knowledge but all other types of knowledge .

  68. 68
    CHartsil says:

    He described a surgery. Let me guess, there was some anesthetic, some cutting, maybe some gauze and then some stitching.

    That’s not exactly beyond the scope of human knowledge. I want a detailed prediction of a natural disaster or even some winning lottery numbers.

  69. 69
    wallstreeter43 says:

    No he described the nurses and staff that was in the room , something that he didn’t have access to before the surgery , and the controls were tight for this study and it passed peer reviewed in no major medical journal.

    Right now your in emotional denial my friend . People like u will always revise to believe regardless of the evidence . This is called fanatical dogmatism .

    This veridical nde is but one of many. The others had even more fascinating evidence such as seeing things outside the persons field of visual view and people blind since birth have had veridical Nde’s.

    But I see you have made up ur mind a long time ago befire even knowing about these things .

    Suddenly ur faith in materialsm isn’t lookimg that rock solid is it my friend 😉

  70. 70
    wallstreeter43 says:

    “”That’s not exactly beyond the scope of human knowledge. I want a detailed prediction of a natural disaster or even some winning lottery numbers.””

    Now I understand why u work in a lab, but what I don’t understand is who is the nitwit that let you out if the lab?

  71. 71
    CHartsil says:

    Let’s see, they were female, dressed in white, had masks on, maybe some hair nets

    Personal attacks are the last ditch effort of someone coming to the end of their intellect

  72. 72
    CHartsil says:

    “Right now your in emotional denial my friend . People like u will always revise to believe regardless of the evidence . This is called fanatical dogmatism .”

    Psychological projection is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.

  73. 73

    AS said:

    I can’t think of a way to investigate a “thing” that is supernatural or “non-material” other than by being able to detect some effect.

    I agree. The question is if such effects must conform to the same kind of quantification and parameters as so-called “material” phenomena. Investigations by several scientists over decades indicate that such effects are of a different nature, and require a different kind of observational/evaluation paradigm.

    So a supernatural phenomenon that has no effects that can be observed is indistinguishable from a non-existent or imaginary phenomenon.

    You might investigate the effects the imagination can have on the body. Also, if certain theories of mind are true, imagining a thing might have observable, quantifiable exterior effects.

  74. 74
    Axel says:

    What do you have to say about wallstreeter’s averral, CH?

    ‘No he described the nurses and staff that was in the room , something that he didn’t have access to before the surgery , and the controls were tight for this study and it passed peer reviewed in no major medical journal.’

    You see, it’s all very well your accusing him of projection, but the point he has just made is actually QED in terms of your expressed doubt. Now that ought to have consequences in terms of your world-view. If not you will be behaving quite irrationally, unless you can present a plausible reason.

    It’s absolutely crucial in these kinds of discussions, to recognise when a definitive answer to the central question cannot be repudiated, isn’t it? Otherwise, it’s like audience-participation, TV infotainment programmes, rather than a genuine mutual desire to establish the truth (hopefully in your favour, of course, but not at the expense of the whole subject of the argument!)

    As wallstreeter said, there are a number of NDE video-recordings made under sophisticated controls e.g. a Pam Reynolds clip, cited and linked by BA77, in which the patient is able to describe objects, people, and conversations, always out of his view and hearing. Even conversations between relatives in the nearby waiting-room – and in the family home, in one video!

    In another video, a pair of old trainers was verified to be on the roof of the hospital as the patient had described from his out-of-body experience.

    So, is your mind closed against such apparently veridical experiences; if not on what basis do you continue to hold out against their veracity?

  75. 75
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Axle this is the crux of the problem here . When someone is dogmatically married to their position great evidence isn’t enough . They will just keep moving the goalposts back in order to have something to hold onto as far as their worldview is concerned .

    But what’s even more irrational is that he would not only ignite great evidence but that he would ignore it to hold onto a worldview that has no ultimate value, no ultimate purpose , no ultimate meaning and no ultimate hope.

    This is why I responded the way I did as he threw critical thinking and common sense out the door .

    I won’t confuse him with the facts anymore as he is dogmatically wants his atheism and materialism to be true .
    This is an emotional position not an intellectual position.

  76. 76
    velikovskys says:

    KF

    I suggest to you that the supernatural and the Deity are not necessarily equal.

    That we do not know by any logical argument, the cosmological argument only applies to a non contingent cause. It does follow that that non contingent cause is outside natural cause and effect, supernatural

    Do you trouble yourself, staying up nights worrying about false positives in your general knowledge base or knowledge of science?

    Not at night, but when working with high voltage it certainly is a concern

    We simply accept that knowledge in general is what is well warranted and credibly true, having regard to what degree of warrant is feasible.

    You seem to have some issues with knowledge that is considered well warranted and credibly true. It seems what is credibly true differs depending on one’s point of view.

    (Then, where we find an error, we fix it. No big deal.)

    Unless the ship hits an iceberg and sinks. Some errors are a big deal

    And, I rather doubt that, say, you trouble yourself greatly over whether your knowledge of your mom is a false positive.

    Actually if it was a false positive I would need to figure out whose ashes those were.

    Nor, are you overly worried about operational testable definitions.

    I find clarity beneficial in most endeavors , unless obfuscation is the goal

    In truth, whether or not you are inclined to acknowledge it, millions have come to meet and be transformed for the good by God, across the world and down the long reach of time.

    I will acknowledge that, with the exception of changing ” God” to “Gods”

    That we are all labouring under grand delusion is a highly dubious suggestion.

    Not if that delusion was beneficial, it would be encouraged no matter how unfounded it was

    Finally, you seem to be caught up in scientism, seeking SCIENTIFIC proof of God’s existence and actions.

    You are completely mistaken in the most terrible direction, that is my philosophical objection to ID. It seeks to diminish the need for faith by technological means, proof of God by science.

    Science does not delimit knowledge.

    Of course,

    Supernatural actions and events can be recognised by their character, e,g, the flying priest seen by thousands across decades, including fairly hostile scrutiny and with abundant lifetime record would count.

    In which case the problem is not really the types and quality of evidence and argument, but an undue resistance to what would lead where one does not wish to go.

    That of course your opinion and an insult to the honesty of those who disagree with your assessment, have you considered the third option?

  77. 77
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:

    I never said anything of the sort. I pointed out that in a debate about science and evidence, you switched to what you idiosyncratically propose as a philosophical definition for the term “supernatural” as it relates to the cosmological argument. That’s a non-sequitur. I’m not arguing the cosmological argument here or what the term “supernatural” may or may not mean in relation to it.

    Since you have yet to provide an operational scientific one ,a logically based one seemed preferable to none, sorry

  78. 78
    velikovskys says:

    What are you arguing about? You’ve already agreed that just because something is supernatural doesn’t mean it cannot be scientifically investigated.

    Not exactly

    Wjm:
    The question for both of them is: why does the state of being “supernatural” render something immune from scientific investigation?

    “It is not,as long as it has entailments that we can test or measure or observe. The problem is the ability to discern the difference between an unknown natural cause and an unknown supernatural cause.”

    The question remains open to whether supernatural causes have entailments.

  79. 79
    Axel says:

    Wallstreeter, I foolishly allowed myself to waste my time responding to a zealous, secular fundamentalist on a thread I started at Christianforums.com.

    No matter what evidence I produced, it will count for nothing for him. Though I did have some fun, hoisting him with his own petard, when, seeking to discomfit me, he asked me if I could describe the contents of the video-clip I’d posted, as, he claimed, he didn’t understand ‘how to work videos’. I’ve been asking him if he managed to find a friend who could explain to him ‘how to work a YouTube video’

    The response to his request, however, was simple enough, even for li’l’ ole ‘technoprat’ me, in that it was Eric Metaxas’ exposure of the folly of attributing the fine-tuning of the universe to chance.

    Interesting point you made about CH’s nihilism adding insult to injury. Well, it is the last straw, isn’t it?

  80. 80
    Axel says:

    Velikovskys, does not the very word, ’cause’ mean to entail? I don’t know what is the matter with you chaps. You know the danger of going round in ever-decreasing circles.

  81. 81
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Hey axel, that is actually a pretty good site . I visit it often . I have a friend there that is an agnostic but he is has a very unbiased , open mind and he finds parnia’s work extremely convincing .

    Your right that there are simply people that will never allow themselves to believe no matter what the evidence is.

    A classic case of this was when a very big atheist forum heard of the parnia aware results. All of a sudden they were all in an anxiety filled frenzy . Their worst nightmares came true . There really could be an afterlife .

    Seeing them get all worked just made me shake my head in disbelief .the thought of an eternal afterlife made them go nuts .
    What really made me laugh was what one of the main bloggers there said in one of her blogs posts .

    She said relax everyone , this doesn’t prove there is an afterlife . It only proves that a person can have conscious awareness without a functioning brain lol.

    I should have left it at that when he brought out the lottery post as it became apparent that I was tossing the so called pearls to the so called swine .

    Yea the secular lad on the Christian forums site seems to have a classic case of emotional denial . Axel , all you can do is share the facts which u did well. Maybe one day when he has become a little less emotional ally charged against God and the supernatural, hopefully he will look at the evidence with a new pair of eyes 🙂

    But there was another purpose for me bringing this discussion to him. There was another atheist that I was having a debate with in this very subject and when he sees how Chartsil dodged, denied and moved the goal posts hes going to get my point. This other guy is a very open atheist and thanks to Chartsil he now has some pretty bad doubts about his atheism.

    Special thanks to Chartsil from me and my secular friend .
    You’ve done a great service man
    Keep it up

  82. 82

    velikovskys said:

    Since you have yet to provide an operational scientific one ,a logically based one seemed preferable to none, sorry

    I have yet to provide one because it’s not me that brought it into the debate; CHartsil did, and you employed it; if you wish to debate whether or not science can investigate it, then it is up to you or CHartsil to provide an appropriate definition.

    I have no use for the term; IMO, it only serves to draw an imaginary, biased, cultural line between things we can explain and things we currently cannot; between things we accept as common and mundane, and things which appear to be very strange and confounding.

  83. 83
    CHartsil says:

    Axel, that’s still not anything beyond the possibility of human knowledge. Ever seen a psychic cold read someone? Ever seen one win the million dollar paranormal challenge by James Randi? Of course not, that would require actual psychic ability.

    >He knew what some people said

    vs

    >He knew a 7.1 magnitude earthquake was going to occur in Brasilia at 6:22 PM on March 3rd 2015

    Give me the latter and I’ll be convinced. Try taking 1% of the scrutiny you apply to methodological naturalism and apply to this nonsense and you’ll see where I’m coming from.

  84. 84
    Me_Think says:

    wallstreeter43 @ 84
    Did you notice that in the AWARE study, not a single patient- out of over 2000-saw the placards which were placed in strategic locations to verify NDE? The lone patient who recalled nurses could easily have been recalling memory from the time he was not ‘clinically dead’. Note that Clinically dead is still controversial term, so the 3 minutes is not significant. There are cases when..

    .. a woman was erroneously declared dead after having a heart attack and wound up freezing to death in a body bag in the morgue. Another woman gave birth to a baby three months after she technically died. Then, there was a case of a skier who became submerged under freezing water for hours, but was revived and suffered no brain damage

    Doctors can also declare people dead if their heart stops beating and won’t start up again on its own. But hearts can sometimes be restarted after they stop beating, so the call is tricky.
    “The question is, how long does the heart have to stop beating before you can call someone dead?” Bernat said.Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can revive people many minutes after their heart stops beating, often with no lasting brain damage, so doctors should perform CPR for at least 38 minutes, a 2013 study presented at the American Heart Association meeting found.
    Doctors can issue a death certificate before that point, and often do if a patient has a do-not-resuscitate order. But sometimes, CPR is not performed for long enough. That raises the possibility that some revivable patients die when they didn’t have to

  85. 85
    JimFit says:

    Me_Think

    Did you notice that in the AWARE study, not a single patient- out of over 2000-saw the placards which were placed in strategic locations to verify NDE?

    I am alive, i have my eyes open but i still don’t notice some things around me even if someone points at them, does that make me dead? Of course not.

    The aware study proved that 46% of the patients that were considered dead for more than 3 minutes had awareness of the environment and experiences. These experiences felt like real events for the patients.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....190359.htm

    That’s incredible if you think that it takes only 20 seconds for the brain to stop functioning after the heart has stopped. These experiences cannot be considered as Hallucinations since the brain doesn’t store Hallucinations as real events.

    Note that Clinically dead is still controversial term, so the 3 minutes is not significant.

    I don’t think the purposeless random cosmic mistakes (atheists materialists) know when someone is dead, if you consider yourself a collection of atoms then technically you never die since even when you are dead you are still composed of atoms, i mean, what separates matter from matter? This force that we describe as soul or consciousness must exist to declare someone dead since this force makes material self alive and separates him from this.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregla.....croSet.jpg

  86. 86
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 88,

    Me_Think :Did you notice that in the AWARE study, not a single patient- out of over 2000-saw the placards which were placed in strategic locations to verify NDE?
    JimFit:I am alive, i have my eyes open but i still don’t notice some things around me even if someone points at them…..

    Do you undersand what you are saying ? You are essentially saying AWARE’s methodology (of using placards to ascertain NDE) is wrong. If the methodology is wrong, the conclusions are obviously wrong. I agree.

    JimFit: The aware study proved that 46% of the patients that were considered dead for more than 3 minutes had awareness of the environment and experiences…

    MT:Note that Clinically dead is still controversial term, so the 3 minutes is not significant.
    JimFit:I don’t think the purposeless random cosmic mistakes (atheists materialists) know when someone is dead….

    Well, so you agree clinical death controversial is controversial.
    Conclusion: We both agree the AWARE study is useless.

  87. 87
    JimFit says:

    Well, so you agree clinical death controversial is controversial.
    Conclusion: We both agree the AWARE study is useless.

    We agree that the brain doesn’t provide Consciousness that’s why all these people had awareness long after the brain has drained from oxygen. I think we agree on that the NDE is wrong term since its a transmission event and not the actual afterlife. The study also concludes that many people had those experiences and awareness but they forget it because of the amnesia drugs before the surgery.

    “This suggests more people may have mental activity initially but then lose their memories after recovery, either due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory recall,” explained Dr Parnia, who was an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Southampton when he started the AWARE study.

Leave a Reply