Intelligent Design

Tania Lombrozo on Evolutionary Belief and Cultural Factors

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When an article begins with the statement that “The theory of evolution by natural selection is among the best established in science,” you know the author won’t be defending that claim but rather will be assuming it as a given. You also know the author, in this case psychology professor Tania Lombrozo at the University of California, Berkeley, is sufficiently distant from evolutionary theory such that facts won’t confuse the message. Even committed evolutionists have long since admitted that natural selection, at best, can only be one of several modes of evolutionary change. In fact biological adaptations we can observe are dominated by rapid, directed change in response to environmental challenges, not slow, random change accumulated via natural selection as evolutionary dogma had insisted.  Read more

10 Replies to “Tania Lombrozo on Evolutionary Belief and Cultural Factors

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to Lombrozo’s comment here:

    “in the last 20 years or so, research in psychology and the cognitive science of religion has increasingly focused on another factor that contributes to evolutionary disbelief: the very cognitive mechanisms underlying human cognition.”

    There is a mechanism underlying my cognitive abilities? Really???

    Something smells rotten in Denmark! Let’s analyze this a bit more closely with our ‘mechanism’ of human cognition shall we?:

    Cognition is the set of all mental abilities and processes related to knowledge: attention, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and “computation”, problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language, etc.
    per wikipedia:

    As to all that “judgment and evaluation, reasoning and “computation”, problem solving and decision making” of human cognition, exactly how does Lombrozo propose we do all that “problem solving and decision making” if she, as a materialist, denies we have the free will to make decisions in the first place?

    [Nancy Pearcey] When Reality Clashes with Your Atheistic Worldview – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Kpn3HBMiQ

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain.
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    per Box UD

    The practical benefits of believing in free will and that you are not a robot (several studies):
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-565274

    Perhaps after Lombrozo turns her incredible analytical/cognitive abilities on her unsolved problem of free will in her materialistic worldview, i.e. figuring out exactly how we can possibly make rational decisions without the inherent ability to make rational decisions, she can then turn her incredible analytical talents on the hard problem of consciousness?

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

    Philosophical Zombies – cartoon
    http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11

    ‘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

    There is simply no direct evidence that anything material is capable of generating consciousness. As Rutgers University philosopher Jerry Fodor says,

    “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness. Regardless of our knowledge of the structure of the brain, no one has any idea how the brain could possibly generate conscious experience.”

    As Nobel neurophysiologist Roger Sperry wrote,

    “Those centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension at present that no one I know of has been able even to imagine their nature.”

    From modern physics, Nobel prize-winner Eugene Wigner agreed:

    “We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”
    Contemporary physicist Nick Herbert states,

    “Science’s biggest mystery is the nature of consciousness. It is not that we possess bad or imperfect theories of human awareness; we simply have no such theories at all. About all we know about consciousness is that it has something to do with the head, rather than the foot.”

    Physician and author Larry Dossey wrote:

    “No experiment has ever demonstrated the genesis of consciousness from matter. One might as well believe that rabbits emerge from magicians’ hats. Yet this vaporous possibility, this neuro-mythology, has enchanted generations of gullible scientists, in spite of the fact that there is not a shred of direct evidence to support it.”

    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

    Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist – May 05, 2015
    Excerpt: “Non-computability of Consciousness” documents Song’s quantum computer research into TS (technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence). Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That’s important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.
    Song’s work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. “If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain,” said Song. “The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”
    Of note: Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news.....77306.html

    Mathematical Model Of Consciousness Proves Human Experience Cannot Be Modeled On A Computer – May 2014
    Excerpt: The central part of their new work is to describe the mathematical properties of a system that can store integrated information in this way but without it leaking away. And this leads them to their central proof. “The implications of this proof are that we have to abandon either the idea that people enjoy genuinely [integrated] consciousness or that brain processes can be modeled computationally,” say Maguire and co.
    Since Tononi’s main assumption is that consciousness is the experience of integrated information, it is the second idea that must be abandoned: brain processes cannot be modeled computationally.
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/mathematical-model-of-consciousness-proves-human-experience-cannot-be-modelled-on-a-computer-898b104158d

    I think Lombrozo has her work cut out for her on the hard problem. 🙂

    of related note: Due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    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):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    Verse

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

  2. 2
    nightlight says:

    What’s the soap commercial for? Is it trying to suggest that women shouldn’t concern themselves with the big questions in science and philosophy but stick to the housewifely duties?

  3. 3
    Virgil Cain says:

    Natural selection has proven to be impotent. Eliminating the less fit does not explain the fit.

  4. 4
    Silver Asiatic says:

    nightlight – no, the title of the commercial will give you a clue. She’s soaking in it.

  5. 5
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Researchers have argued that a variety of basic human tendencies conspire to make natural selection especially aversive and difficult to understand, and to make creationism a compelling alternative.

    The question of whether one or another is true appears to be irrelevant – as it should be in the Darwinian world. Evolution supposedly makes us think one thing or another. There’s no truth standard by which to measure any of it by.

    For instance, people tend to prefer explanations that offer certainty and a sense of purpose when it comes to their lives and the design of the natural world and they have an easier time wrapping their heads around theories that involve biological categories with clear boundaries — all of which are challenged by natural selection.

    This assumes that theistic belief is ‘easier’ to wrap one’s head around. People tend to prefer certainty, as when reading articles about evolutionary claims. People tend to prefer purpose. For myself, I’d prefer my evolutionary journalists to write entirely without purpose.

    These possibilities are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. The fact is, there’s a lot we don’t know and the reality is likely to be complex.

    It’s good she mentioned that her options are not exhaustive. She accepts that evolution created our minds to think the way we do. But one possibility she excluded was that God actually shapes human thought — especially among those who believe and pray that God will guide them.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Journey Home – 2015-06-01 – video interview with former atheist Dr. Holly Ordway
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAz_sKuHSnM

  7. 7
    Axel says:

    Wow. Thanks for that, BA77.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Thomas Kindell – Amazing Design of Honey Bees – video (13:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/OKuhx8dALnY?t=797

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Slow Life – video
    https://vimeo.com/88829079
    Description: “Slow” marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives. These animals are actually very mobile creatures, however their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen.
    Make sure you watch it on a large screen! You won’t be able to appreciate this clip or see individual cells moving in a sponge on a smartphone. ,,,
    The answer to a common question: yes, colors are “real” and not exaggerated by digital enhancement.

  10. 10
    Robert Byers says:

    They are so bitter they are losing. so they say creationists have brain defects. Oh brother.
    First cHristianity has not been proven false. for many genesis is very Christian in its truth.
    Second its most likely smarter people see through error, especially after some competition, then others. Thats why creationism is more here in North america then elsewhere. I presume everyone agrees we arte the smartest peoples in human history. We are.

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