Intelligent Design

Quote of the Day : Hyper-credulity, the Flip Side of Selective Hyper-skepticism

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From our own WJM:

What is so frustrating/baffling at times is the ongoing use of terminology by materialists to deny/obfuscate what are relatively simple, straightforward observations – as if the example of the sun seemingly moving through the sky serves as a universal principle of hyperskeptical fallibility through which every statement/observation can be summarily ignored/dismissed.

If one cannot admit there is a significant difference between a sandcastle and a sandpile that is not merely “incidental”, what hope is there for meaningful debate about anything?

It’s useful to recognize that such hyperskepticism is only applied one way – it is never applied to their own materialist or atheist ideology, its assumptions, “truths”, faith, or line of logic. Apparently, logic is perfectly valid when it supports atheistic materialism; it is nothing but a local, fallible evolutionary feature when it undermines that view.

Of note is the fact that we have never witnessed any hint of macroevolutionary success (a biological entity becoming something other than simply a slightly different version of the same kind); we have never witnessed natural forces assembling anything remotely as functional as the complex machines we find in the cell – nor do we have any idea how it could have occurred; we have no explanation for consciousness or the existence of highly functional information that is transcendental to material substrate; we have no answer to the existence of semiotic systems in biology; yet there is zero skepticism on the part of materialists that such things can be and in fact were manufactured by chance according to natural laws and tendencies.

Yet, when it challenges their ideology, they are willing to announce their skepticism that A=A, which by itself destroys any support they could possible offer for their position. They are willing to abandon their mind and destroy the value of their own premises simply to avoid a conclusion they cannot tolerate.

This is the hell evil is the path towards – the pain of absurd denialism leading to the willful annihilation of self in service of the ideology of ultimate meaninglessness.

16 Replies to “Quote of the Day : Hyper-credulity, the Flip Side of Selective Hyper-skepticism

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    From the OP:

    If one cannot admit there is a significant difference between a sandcastle and a sandpile that is not merely “incidental”, what hope is there for meaningful debate about anything?

    Well, if this is written in response to something posted by E.Seigner, then no doubt “incidental” is being used in some technical metaphysical sense.

    Because if you look it up online:

    being likely to ensue as a chance or minor consequence

    occurring merely by chance or without intention or calculation

    Otherwise I’d be inclined to share your frustration.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    E.Seigner:

    I have described the difference between the mound of dirt and the sand castle as incidental difference of shape.

    here

    E.Seigner must be speaking in a technical metaphysical sense.

  3. 3
    rich says:

    It’s a bit like looking at a clock for a tenth of a second and lamenting you’ve witnessed no hours. Did you expect to?

  4. 4

    Rich said:

    It’s a bit like looking at a clock for a tenth of a second and lamenting you’ve witnessed no hours. Did you expect to?

    You do seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. First, you think “designed” referred to the legos themselves and not the arrangement of legos.

    And now here, obviously, what I’m lamenting is not that we do not see hours pass on the clock, but rather, I’m lamenting the faith-based, infinite credulity and certitude expressed by those that have looked at “the clock” for a 10th of a second (as you say) and have extrapolated that into virtual certainty that “the clock”, over time, came into being by chance and natural forces and through those processes developed all the different kinds of functional, accurate time pieces found on Earth.

    Even when there is no evidence obtained in that 10th of a second to believe that chance and natural forces are capable of creating a single clock.

    And yet, that which is known to regularly create a wide variety of functioning clock-like mechanisms is dismissed out of hand.

    That is what we call “selective hyper-skepticism” combined with “selective hyper-credulity”.

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    rich admits his position is untestable. Throwing father time at the problem means you have left science behind.

    Why isn’t there any microevolutionary events we can extrapolate into macroevolution, rich? If there were that may lend some credence to your position.

    In the absence of testing you would need to provide some probabilities, yet you can’t.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Here’s my remark from years back, on why selective hypercredulity is the flip side of the coin of selective hyperskepticism:
    _____________

    >> A quick follow-up counter-challenge now gate-crashes the party: what about “selective hyper-credulity”?

    We see, here, the perception that there is a “mirror-image” fallacy, as “believers” — poor, naive sheepish things — are generally not skeptical enough to be intellectually credible; at least in “serious” company. That is, those who openly acknowledge that they walk “by faith” (especially religious faith) in today’s skeptical climate, invite dismissal as being naively accepting of incredible factual claims without proper critical inquiry — and, of course, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” [–> cf here onward, also cf here on for those enamoured of Jesus was a myth, and Christians believe fairy tales, etc . . . a very common context of dismissive mockery. Here on on building a worldview may be helpful also.]

    Indeed, it would be claimed in many quarters that this is the “real” problem.

    So, let us pause and take a bit of a closer look:

    Q: Must we accept that for every “overly skeptical” thinker, there is at least one “overly credulous” believer?

    SHORT ANS: No.

    WHY: So soon as we recognise that we live in a world of many contrary worldviews and associated fact claims — which plainly cannot all be true — we at once see that the material challenge is to have a coherent, consistent standard by which we can reasonably decide — however cautiously, however provisionally and however potentially fallibly — which fact claims to accept; and thus also, which to reject or even just to leave unsettled for now. That is, once we recognise the challenge of the fallacy of selective hyperskepticism, we have already brought the main issue into focus, and that in a way that brings to bear the key point: consistency in critical thought while allowing us to — however provisionally — accept some things as credible. (For, if one reverts to radical absolute skepticism, one dismisses all knowledge claims. This, of course, immediately must include the knowledge claim implicit in the radical skeptical assertion that “knowledge is impossible.” This is, notoriously, itself a knowledge claim so it is plainly self-contradictory and thus self-refuting. We simply cannot consistently live like that. So, like it or not, in the end we must all live by faith, the real root issue thus being which one, why.)

    In sum, Greenleaf’s identification and description of the fallacy of selective hyperskepticism is all that we need to competently address the problem.

    Then, once the problem is properly addressed, the resulting solution will allow us to reasonably, critically, consistently and fairly decide (a) what to believe, (b) what to disbelieve, (c) what to leave undecided for now. It will also help us give sensible reasons — i.e. explain the warrant — for why we have done so. Moreover, we can see that if someone believes something he should not (i.e. on inadequate or improper evidence or grounds), such — necessarily — is so because he already disbelieves something else, that on the evidence he knows or should know, he should believe.>>
    _____________

    Just for food for thought.

    KF

  7. 7
    Heartlander says:

    Ah yes, anything is possible given enough time. Although when SETI locates a signal of obvious intellect, I doubt that they will proclaim that they expected this – blind, undirected, and artless signal to occur in space given enough time.

  8. 8
    keith s says:

    WJM:

    And now here, obviously, what I’m lamenting is not that we do not see hours pass on the clock, but rather, I’m lamenting the faith-based, infinite credulity and certitude expressed by those that have looked at “the clock” for a 10th of a second (as you say) and have extrapolated that into virtual certainty that “the clock”, over time, came into being by chance and natural forces and through those processes developed all the different kinds of functional, accurate time pieces found on Earth.

    William,

    You’ve confused yourself by changing the role of the clock mid-metaphor, from timepiece to evidence for evolution vs design. No one is claiming that watching a clock for a tenth of a second demonstrates that it evolved, or that watching a human body for a short time demonstrates that it evolved.

    Rich’s point is that if you see a clock running for a tenth of a second and you understand the principles behind it, there’s no reason to claim that it can’t continue running for an hour. Macroevolution is just microevolution writ large.

    IDers assume that microevolution runs up against some mysterious barrier that prevents it from continuing and becoming macroevolution.

    The evidence says exactly the opposite. Unguided evolution is literally trillions of times better than ID at explaining the evidence.

  9. 9
    OldArmy94 says:

    IDers assume that microevolution runs up against some mysterious barrier that prevents it from continuing and becoming macroevolution.

    We don’t assume anything. We observe the evidence and make a logical inference.

  10. 10

    Keiths said:

    IDers assume that microevolution runs up against some mysterious barrier that prevents it from continuing and becoming macroevolution.

    Incorrect. Note the unspoken, fundamental assumption in your statement – that microevolution is the short-term version of macroevolution, and that IDists are assuming a barrier between the two.

    Microevolution has never been demonstrated to be the incremental version of macroevolution – it is only so assumed by many Darwinists. Any proposed relationship between the two has never been observed, and has never even been demonstrated realistically possible.

    It’s not that IDists assume there is a barrier between the two; Idists simply don’t assume one is an incremental version of the other because there is no warrant for such an assumption nor any evidence to support that view.

    The idea that short term random mutations that are only known to cause slight variances within kind and are often harmful can collect haphazardly over time into entirely new, complex, sophisticated, highly functional mechanisms is a huge leap of Darwinist faith in the face of increasing evidence to the contrary.

    The kind of certainty (that one “is” a short term form of the other) your statement suggests, in light of the lack of supporting evidence, can probably best be explained as another case of ideological hyper-credulity.

  11. 11
    Eric Anderson says:

    keiths

    IDers assume that microevolution runs up against some mysterious barrier that prevents it from continuing and becoming macroevolution.

    No. It is called evidence and reasonable inferences.

    On the other hand . . .

    Materialists assume that microevolution never runs up against the obvious and well-documented barriers that prevent it from continuing and becoming macroevolution and creating everything we see around us.

    There. Fixed it.

  12. 12
    keith s says:

    Eric,

    What are those “obvious and well-documented barriers” to macroevolution?

    If they exist, as you claim, then why does the evidence point overwhelming in the opposite direction, as I explain in my TSZ post?

    The evidence doesn’t merely undermine creationism. It wipes out ID, including the version of ID that accepts common descent but claims that it is guided by a Designer.

  13. 13
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Specious Speciation: The Myth of Observed Large-Scale Evolutionary Change – Casey Luskin – January 2012 – article
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2…..55281.html

    Here is part 2 of a podcast exposing the Talk Origin’s speciation FAQ as a ‘literature bluff’

    Talk Origins Speciation FAQ, pt. 2: Lack of Evidence for Big Claims – Casey Luskin – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom…..9_41-08_00

    Related notes:

    A Critique of Douglas Theobald’s – “29 Evidences for Macroevolution” by Ashby Camp
    http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1b.asp

    Hat tip: BA77

  14. 14
    Eugene says:

    > What are those “obvious and well-documented barriers” to macroevolution?

    I am not a biologist, I am in computer science, and I am very puzzled by this entire debate. I am assuming that someone has already quantified and published the typical amount of genetic “distance” observed and required for macro-changes compared to the largest distance observed between 2 particular life forms which can still be expected to breed with each other? Genetic search works through blind permutations over a set of steps. Depending on the actual number of “bits” required to be found and fixed in the dna in order to progress to the next improved form of life, genetic search can be easily judged to either succeed or fail the task. If the number of bits is reasonably small, say, up to 20-30 (that is, requiring up to 1 billion of permutations) then it is still feasible that the new combination can be found through blind search and the next incremental form of life be created and be used as a base for the next search. However, if we find that 40-60-100+ bits are often needed to progress to the next form then genetic search fails as we start running out of billions of years required for it to run through the permutations.
    In other words, to claim that genetic search has produced the entire tree of life, starting from single cells and going all the way to humans is to claim that there, at least at some point in time, existed a path through the tree where the largest genetic distance between the 2 livable life forms was never wider than what could be solved through blind search (and this distance would typically be limited to 20-30 bits). Where does research stand w.r.t. having this kind of data?

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    Eugene,

    Good question @ 14. Read Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution.” Short answer: Blind search is not looking like a viable process beyond very trivial changes.

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    keiths, please see my refutations of your silly arguments, also posted at TSZ.

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