Intelligent Design

Seversky Gets it Exactly Wrong

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In a comment to a prior post Seversky writes:

Materialism has given us all the science and technology that we now take for granted.

*Palm slaps forehead*

This statement is demonstrably false.  And that demonstration is readily available to anyone with the slightest curiosity about the subject.

Here is a little primer on the subject published in the LA Times today:

The myth of the eternal war between science and religion – Robert Barron – Nov. 12, 2015

Excerpt: But this myth is so much nonsense. Leaving aside the complexities of the Galileo story, we can see that the vast majority of the founding figures of modern science — Copernicus, Newton, Kepler, Descartes, Pascal, Tycho Brahe — were devoutly religious. More to the point, two of the most important physicists of the 19th century — Faraday and Maxwell — were extremely pious, and the formulator of the Big Bang theory, Georges Lemaitre, was a priest . . .

It is no accident that modern science first appeared in Christian Europe, where a doctrine of creation held sway . . .if the world were considered unintelligible, no science would get off the ground, because all science is based on the presumption that nature can be known. But the world, Christians agree, is thoroughly intelligible, and hence scientists have the confidence to seek, explore and experiment.


7 Replies to “Seversky Gets it Exactly Wrong

  1. 1
    Barry Arrington says:

    UDEditors: It seems KF and we were on parallel tracks. The following is KF’s response from the other thread:


    Following up a bit in a gap in the day, and I must express thanks for inadvertently bringing to light some of the underlying issues and dangers we face:

    Materialism has given us all the science and technology that we now take for granted. There is not a single current major theory in science that posits the existence of a god as one of its foundational assumptions or requires such an hypothesis.

    The assertion is so blatant a case of triumphalist and propagandistic evolutionary materialist scientism and misrepresentation of the actual history of science, technology and economic progress, that it deserves to be headlined.

    Materialism is not responsible for the progress of science and technology, not for its roots; that you seem to think so itself speaks volumes on just how far out of touch with accurate history of ideas and of sci-tech you have become.

    Science is not equal to materialism, no more than that it is equal to religion, and no theory relevant to he actual progress in physics, chemistry, engineering, industry, or even medicine is critically dependent on or controlled by materialist philosophy. Those theories that are, are deeply problematic, as with evolutionary biology.

    For, again, evolutionary materialism is self refuting and necessarily false and incoherent.

    Second, the notion, assertion or assumption that science [especially as controlled by the materialistic magisterium] delimits reliable knowledge or reason is itself an epistemological claim, a philosophical claim. It is self refuting as a direct result.

    Further to all this, knowledge goes far beyond science and science is only one province of knowledge.

    As to the self-congratulatory but ill informed notion that it is when the atheists took over that science got anywhere, let me for the moment clip from Peterson in a 2005 American Spectator article:

    Sometimes the most obvious facts are the easiest to overlook. Here is one that ought to be stunningly obvious: science as an organized, sustained enterprise arose only once in the history of Earth. Where was that? Although other civilizations have contributed technical achievements or isolated innovations, the invention of science as a cumulative, rigorous, systematic, and ongoing investigation into the laws of nature occurred only in Europe; that is, in the civilization then known as Christendom. Science arose and flourished in a civilization that, at the time, was profoundly and nearly exclusively Christian in its mental outlook.

    There are deep reasons for that, and they are inherent in the Judeo-Christian view of the world which, principally in its Christian manifestation, formed the European mind. As Stark observes, the Christian view depicted God as “a rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being and the universe as his personal creation, thus having a rational, lawful, stable structure, awaiting human comprehension.” That was not true of belief systems elsewhere. A view that the universe is uncreated, has been around forever, and is just “what happens to be” does not suggest that it has fundamental principles that are rational and discoverable. Other belief systems have considered the natural world to be an insoluble mystery, conceived of it as a realm in which multiple, arbitrary gods are at work, or thought of it in animistic terms. None of these views will, or did, give rise to a deep faith that there is a lawful order imparted by a divine creator that can and should be discovered.

    Recent scholarship in the history of science reveals that this commitment to rational, empirical investigation of God’s creation is not simply a product of the “scientific revolution” of the 16th and 17th centuries, but has profound roots going back at least to the High Middle Ages. The development of the university system in medieval times was, of course, almost entirely a product of the Church. Serious students of the period know that this was neither a time of stagnation, nor of repression of inquiry in favor of dogma. Rather, it was a time of great intellectual ferment and discovery, and the universities fostered rational, empirical, systematic inquiry.

    A newly published work by Thomas Woods (How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization) is replete with far more examples of the contributions of medieval scholars than can be mentioned here. But as Woods recounts, one need only look at some of the leading figures in the universities in the 1200s to see that they were already well along in the development of principles of empirical scientific inquiry. Roger Bacon, a Franciscan who taught at Oxford, wrote in Opus Maius:
    Without experiment, nothing can be adequately known. An argument proves theoretically, but does not give the certitude necessary to remove all doubt; nor will the mind repose in the clear view of truth, unless it finds it by way of experiment.

    Albertus Magnus — prodigious scholar, naturalist, teacher of Thomas Aquinas, and member of the Dominican order — affirmed in his De Mineralibus that the purpose of science is “not simply to accept the statements of others, that is, what is narrated by people, but to investigate the causes that are at work in nature for themselves.” Another 13th-century figure, Robert Grosseteste, who was chancellor of Oxford and Bishop of Lincoln, has been identified as “the first man ever to write down a complete set of steps for performing a scientific experiment,” according to Woods.

    WHEN THE DISCOVERIES of science exploded in number and importance in the 1500s and 1600s, the connection with Christian belief was again profound. Many of the trailblazing scientists of that period when science came into full bloom were devout Christian believers, and declared that their work was inspired by a desire to explore God’s creation and discover its glories. Perhaps the greatest scientist in history, Sir Isaac Newton, was a fervent Christian who wrote over a million words on theological subjects. Other giants of science and mathematics were similarly devout: Boyle, Descartes, Kepler, Leibniz, Pascal. To avoid relying on what might be isolated examples, Stark analyzed the religious views of the 52 leading scientists from the time of Copernicus until the end of the 17th century. Using a methodology that probably downplayed religious belief, he found that 32 were “devout”; 18 were at least “conventional” in their religious belief; and only two were “skeptics.” More than a quarter were themselves ecclesiastics: “priests, ministers, monks, canons, and the like.”

    Down through the 19th century, many of the leading figures in science were thoroughgoing Christians. A partial list includes Babbage, Dalton, Faraday, Herschel, Joule, Lyell, Maxwell, Mendel, and Thompson (Lord Kelvin). A survey of the most eminent British scientists near the end of the 19th century found that nearly all were members of the established church or affiliated with some other church.

    In short, scientists who were committed Christians include men often considered to be fathers of the fields of astronomy, atomic theory, calculus, chemistry, computers, electricity, genetics, geology, mathematics, and physics. In the late 1990s, a survey found that about 40 percent of American scientists believe in a personal God and an afterlife — a percentage that is basically unchanged since the early 20th century. A listing of eminent 20th-century scientists who were religious believers would be far too voluminous to include here — so let’s not bring coals to Newcastle, but simply note that the list would be large indeed, including Nobel Prize winners.

    Far from being inimical to science, then, the Judeo-Christian worldview is the only belief system that actually produced it. Scientists who (in Boyle’s words) viewed nature as “the immutable workmanship of the omniscient Architect” were the pathfinders who originated the scientific enterprise. The assertion that intelligent design is automatically “not science” because it may support the concept of a creator is a statement of materialist philosophy, not of any intrinsic requirement of science itself . . .

    Your epistemology and wider philosophy are wrong and self refuting, your history of sci-tech and progress is wrong.

    That is just for starters.

    Of much deeper concern is that you have let the cat out of the bag and allowed us to see the mentality and agenda we are dealing with, a mentality and agenda that are as ill informed, bigoted and indoctrinated as they are triumphalistic and dangerous.

    Just as a quick follow up you MUST know that the founders of modern science saw themselves as thinking God’s creative and sustaining thoughts after him (hence terms like LAW of nature) and that down tot his day science is not about being applied atheism but about exploring the order of our world as informed by empirical evidence.

    For starters.


  2. 2
    Jack Jones says:

    They certainly didn’t believe themselves to be rats like zach does in order to ground science.

  3. 3
    ppolish says:

    The apple that fell on Newton’s head was material. The book Principia is material. Materialism gave us Classical Mechanics.

    Einstein’s thought expirement of a light speed train? Train = material. QED IDiots.

    Of course Newton was a flaming Theist and Einstein wanted to understand the mind of the “Old One”. But QED anyway. Speaking of QED, Feynman’s diagrams were penciled squiggles on paper. Pencil. Paper. Material.

    Meditation and Prayer.

  4. 4

    How creationism has been so succesful in science is because it categorically distinguishes fact from opinion, which releases each to it’s full potential.

    Emotions play a large role in doing science, and belief in God and the soul accommodates subjectivity very much.

    You obviously have to provide acknowledgement of the validity of both subjectivity and objectivity in the basic generic philosophy, and solely creationism does that.

    It is very evident that materialism had lots to do with the popularity of communism and nazism at universities, and now atheism. That’s the real result of using materialism as a generic philosophy, it’s not any benefit for science.

  5. 5
    bornagain says:

    as to:

    “Materialism has given us all the science and technology that we now take for granted.”

    Funny that quantum mechanics has now proven materialism to be false:

    “Atoms are not things”
    Werner Heisenberg

    “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
    Werner Heisenberg

    “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”
    Niels Bohr

    “Despite the unrivaled empirical success of quantum theory, the very suggestion that it may be literally true as a description of nature is still greeted with cynicism, incomprehension and even anger.”
    (T. Folger, “Quantum Shmantum”; Discover 22:37-43, 2001)

    “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.”
    James Jeans

    “[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, …materialism is not.”
    Eugene Wigner
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.,,
    The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
    Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”;

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    Of supplemental note to the preceding Wigner ‘consciousness’ quotes, it is interesting to note that many of Wigner’s insights have now been experimentally verified and are also now fostering a ‘second’ revolution in quantum mechanics,,,

    Eugene Wigner – A Gedanken Pioneer of the Second Quantum Revolution – Anton Zeilinger – Sept. 2014
    It would be fascinating to know Eugene Wigner’s reaction to the fact that the gedanken experiments he discussed (in 1963 and 1970) have not only become reality, but building on his gedanken experiments, new ideas have developed which on the one hand probe the foundations of quantum mechanics even deeper, and which on the other hand also provide the foundations to the new field of quantum information technology. All these experiments pay homage to the great insight Wigner expressed in developing these gedanken experiments and in his analyses of the foundations of quantum mechanics,

    Thus, since Wigner’s insights into the foundational role of the ‘conscious observer’ in Quantum Mechanics are bearing fruit with a ‘Second Quantum Revolution’, then that is certainly very strong evidence that his ‘consciousness’ insights are indeed true.

    As well, the anti-materialistic theory of quantum mechanics has certainly had some breathtaking inventions:

    10 Real-world Applications of Quantum Mechanics – 2013
    Excerpt: The study of quantum mechanics led to some truly astounding conclusions. For instance, scientists found that electrons behave both as waves and as particles, and the mere act of observing them changes the way they behave. Revelations like this one simply defied logic, prompting Einstein to declare “the more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks.”
    Einstein’s sentiments still resonate today, more than a century after humanity’s first insights into the quantum world; quantum mechanics makes perfect sense mathematically but defies our intuition at every turn. So it might surprise you that, despite its strangeness, quantum mechanics has led to some revolutionary inventions over the past century and promises to lead to many more in the years to come. Read on to learn about 10 practical applications of quantum mechanics.
    10. The Transistor
    9. Energy Harvesters
    8. Ultraprecise Clocks
    7. Quantum Cryptography
    6. Randomness Generator
    5. Lasers
    4. Ultraprecise Thermometers
    3. Quantum Computers
    2. Instantaneous Communication (highly debatable)
    1. Teleportation (with huge caveats)
    Go here to read details of each

    As well, advances in mathematics lays behind many modern inventions

    Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011
    Excerpt: Mathematics underlies virtually all of our technology today. James Maxwell’s four equations summarizing electromagnetism led directly to radio and all other forms of telecommunication. E = mc2 led directly to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The equations of quantum mechanics made possible everything from transistors and semiconductors to electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging.
    Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time.
    “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.”

    Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

  6. 6
    mike1962 says:

    Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it. –CS Lewis, Miracles

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    All inventions/doscoveries from man come from people figuring things out.
    Unrelated to big theories of thought or presumptions.
    Materialism has no effect upon mans science.
    neither did religion.
    The only thing the protestant reformation did was motivate more of the common people to get intelligent relative to their ancestors or non protestants.
    So a rising intellectual curve is seen in the protestant people groups over the last centuries with the creation of the modern world. npw all peoples aere involved in the curve upon association..
    It was just a smarter common people that created everything. unrelated to philosophy’s save in motivations.

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