agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games Darwinist rhetorical tactics Free Speech governance Media Media Manipulation, Agit-Prop &/or Lawfare Of General Interest Politics/policy and origins issues Selective Hyperskepticism warrant, knowledge, science and belief You're a Nazi/fascist/racist/fundy/creationist etc

The agit prop, spreading lie/slander well-poisoning game

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Just now, I responded to a point JM made in the current James Tour thread. I think the comment chain is worth headlining:

KF, 14: >> why debate someone when instead:

[a] you can ignore, marginalise and rob of publicity?

[b] you can caricature, smear, slander and poison the well?

[c] you dominate institutions and are utterly ruthless in imposing a crooked yardstick as the standard for straightness and accuracy?

(If you doubt me, see the Wiki article on ID. Resemblance to current trends in discussing political issues, policy alternatives and personalities is NOT coincidence.)>>

D, 15: >>you have described very accurately the pathetic situation in this world.

Facing the strong arguments of a scientist like Dr Tour, the still dominant voices in academia just circle the wagons, but that won’t keep them from defeat anyway at the end of the day. It’s just a matter of time.>>

JM, 16: >>“It’s not a lie, if you believe it…”- George Costanza>>

KF, 17: >>it’s not so simple. There is an epistemic duty of responsible warrant before believing or propagating a claim. For, to lie is to speak with disregard to truth in hope of profiting from what was said or suggested being taken as truth. You can first lie to yourself, then spread deception to others, based on a self-serving belief. That’s how agit prop operators get the politics of personal destruction by slanderous accusation to work: people BELIEVE smears (without carrying out reasonable and responsible tests for truth and fairness on such destructive claims) and spread them — which BTW I am betting we are going to see a lot more of in coming months. Major media houses, I am looking straight at you. This dirty game goes beyond merely being in honestly acquired error, having done duty to truth, fairness and right.>>

I fear, we are going to see things getting uglier and uglier as truth and fairness are increasingly trashed in pursuit of advantage in cases where shifting public opinion counts. Wiki’s hatchet job on ID is just one case in point. END

46 Replies to “The agit prop, spreading lie/slander well-poisoning game

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    KF,

    I’m guessing that J-Mac’s comment was in jest (or meant ironically). Do you know who George Costanza is?

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Let’s think about the increasing trend of agit-prop, media manipulation, slander and well-poisoning connected to ID and to other important concerns.

    PS: Current Wiki lead for ID article:

    Intelligent design

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This article is about a form of creationism. For generic arguments from “intelligent design”, see Teleological argument. For the movement, see Intelligent design movement. For other uses of the phrase, see Intelligent design (disambiguation).

    Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins”,[1][2] though it has been found to be pseudoscience.[3][4][5] Proponents claim that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”[6] Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses.[7][8][9] . . .

    Let’s see how many ways this speaks with utter disregard for readily accessible truth to promote its obvious ideological agenda, lies and smears, making utter mockery of Wiki’s boasted of neutral point of view . . .

    By contrast, here is the New World Encyclopedia lead:

    Intelligent design

    Intelligent design (ID) is the view that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection” [1] Intelligent design cannot be inferred from complexity alone, since complex patterns often happen by chance. ID focuses on just those sorts of complex patterns that in human experience are produced by a mind that conceives and executes a plan. According to adherents, intelligent design can be detected in the natural laws and structure of the cosmos; it also can be detected in at least some features of living things.

    Greater clarity on the topic may be gained from a discussion of what ID is not considered to be by its leading theorists. Intelligent design generally is not defined the same as creationism, with proponents maintaining that ID relies on scientific evidence rather than on Scripture or religious doctrines. ID makes no claims about biblical chronology, and technically a person does not have to believe in God to infer intelligent design in nature. As a theory, ID also does not specify the identity or nature of the designer, so it is not the same as natural theology, which reasons from nature to the existence and attributes of God. ID does not claim that all species of living things were created in their present forms, and it does not claim to provide a complete account of the history of the universe or of living things.

    ID also is not considered by its theorists to be an “argument from ignorance”; that is, intelligent design is not to be inferred simply on the basis that the cause of something is unknown (any more than a person accused of willful intent can be convicted without evidence). According to various adherents, ID does not claim that design must be optimal; something may be intelligently designed even if it is flawed (as are many objects made by humans).
    Contents
    [hide]

    1 History
    2 Ideas of Some Leading ID Theorists
    2.1 Michael J. Behe
    2.2 William A. Dembski
    2.3 Stephen C. Meyer
    2.4 Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards
    3 Some Aspects of the Controversy
    3.1 Philosophy
    3.2 Science
    3.3 Education
    3.4 Theology
    4 Notes and references
    5 Selected Bibliography
    5.1 Pro-ID Books
    5.2 Anti-ID Books
    6 External links
    6.1 Pro-ID Internet Sites
    6.2 Anti-ID Internet Sites
    7 Credits

    ID may be considered to consist only of the minimal assertion that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent agent. It conflicts with views claiming that there is no real design in the cosmos (e.g., materialistic philosophy) or in living things (e.g., Darwinian evolution) or that design, though real, is undetectable (e.g., some forms of theistic evolution). Because of such conflicts, ID has generated considerable controversy . . .

    PPS: This same pattern obtains for ever so many other issues, online or traditional media houses, PR campaigns and personalities. and yes, other cases in connexion with the trend of our civilisation over the cliff are on-topic, but please restrain from flame wars and the like, or the problem of ever increasing tangents.

    PPPS: I see I was firsted.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, ‘ent got a clue, and it actually works just as well. I assume he is a humourist or the like? There is honestly arrived at sincerity and there is irresponsible malicious belief that feeds gossip, slander and agit prop. KF

  4. 4
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, ‘ent got a clue, and it actually works just as well.

    True, and I can’t disagree with this:

    people BELIEVE smears (without carrying out reasonable and responsible tests for truth and fairness on such destructive claims) and spread them

    It appears that people are very gullible and easy to manipulate these days.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: This definition and discussion of lying is long gone from Wiki’s lead page on the subject:

    To lie is to state something with disregard to the truth with the intention that people will accept the statement as truth . . . . even a true statement can be used to deceive. In this situation, it is the intent of being overall untruthful rather than the truthfulness of any individual statement that is considered the lie . . . . One can state part of the truth out of context, knowing that without complete information, it gives a false impression. Likewise, one can actually state accurate facts, yet deceive with them . . . . One lies by omission when omitting an important fact, deliberately leaving another person with a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions. Also known as a continuing misrepresentation . . . . A misleading statement is one where there is no outright lie, but still retains the purpose of getting someone to believe in an untruth . . .

    KF

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, sadly, yes. KF

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, Did a search lookup: “George Louis Costanza is a character in the American television sitcom Seinfeld, played by Jason Alexander. He has variously been described as a “brain-damaged, short, stocky, slow-witted, ugly, old, bald man” and “Lord of the Idiots”. George and Jerry were junior high school friends and remained friends afterwards.”

  8. 8
    harry says:

    I fear, we are going to see things getting uglier and uglier as truth and fairness are increasingly trashed in pursuit of advantage in cases where shifting public opinion counts.

    They are desperate. The more the truth gets out the more outrageous their tactics become, which causes more people to doubt them, which makes them more desperate …

    They are in a death spiral. The truth has power of its own and the Truth is the ultimate source of all power. They are spiraling down the toilet, but yes, they will resort to uglier and more vicious tactics on the way down.

  9. 9
    Dionisio says:

    harry,
    the days ahead don’t look encouraging for them at all.
    Every new discovery is pushing their pseudoscientific ideas deeper down the trash bin.

  10. 10
    J-Mac says:

    “Jerry, just remember. It’s not a lie… if you believe it…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn_PSJsl0LQ

    I will let the readers judge what my comment was all about…

  11. 11
    J-Mac says:

    BTW: My favourite “truth” promoted on this blog is the “truth” of the immortality of the soul, which obviously automatically leads to other “truths”, such as eternal hell fire, limbo, purgatory etc;

    “The concept of the soul’s supposed immortality was first taught in ancient Egypt and Babylon. “The belief that the soul continues in existence after the dissolution of the body is…speculation…nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture…The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent, who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangely blended” ( Jewish Encyclopedia, 1941, Vol. 6, “Immortality of the Soul,” pp. 564, 566).

    Secular history reveals that the concept of the immortality of the soul is an ancient belief embraced by many pagan religions. But it’s not a biblical teaching and is not found in either the Old or New Testaments.
    Plato (428-348 B.C.), the Greek philosopher and student of Socrates, taught that the body and the “immortal soul” separate at death. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia comments on ancient Israel’s view of the soul: “We are influenced always more or less by the Greek, Platonic idea that the body dies, yet the soul is immortal. Such an idea is utterly contrary to the Israelite consciousness and is nowhere found in the Old Testament” (1960, Vol. 2, “Death,” p. 812).

    Early Christianity was influenced and corrupted by Greek philosophies as it spread through the Greek and Roman world. By A.D. 200 the doctrine of the immortality of the soul became a controversy among Christian believers.

    The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology notes that Origen, an early and influential Catholic theologian, was influenced by Greek thinkers: “Speculation about the soul in the subapostolic church was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy. This is seen in Origen’s acceptance of Plato’s doctrine of the preexistence of the soul as pure mind ( nous ) originally, which, by reason of its fall from God, cooled down to soul ( psyche ) when it lost its participation in the divine fire by looking earthward” (1992, “Soul,” p. 1037).

    Secular history reveals that the concept of the immortality of the soul is an ancient belief embraced by many pagan religions. But it’s not a biblical teaching and is not found in either the Old or New Testaments.”

    https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/what-happens-after-death/the-history-of-the-immortal-soul-teaching

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, no critique of you was intended, the issue was the statement which needed to be set in a more sound context. KF

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    JM,

    you raise an old debate. Though this is not a thread about theology much less exegesis, and this blog is not about theology, it is worth a pause to give some balance. In C1, the Sadducees and Pharisees had disputes on the matter:

    Matt 22:23 On that day some Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection [of the dead], came to Him and asked Him a question, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies, leaving no children, his brother as next of kin shall [d]marry his widow, and raise children for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. 26 The second also [died childless], and the third, down to the seventh. 27 Last of all, the woman died. 28 So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”

    29 But Jesus replied to them, “You are all wrong because you know neither the Scriptures [which teach the resurrection] nor the power of God [for He is able to raise the dead]. 30 For in the resurrection neither do men marry nor are women given in marriage, but they are like angels in heaven [who do not marry nor produce children]. 31 But as to the resurrection of the dead—have you not read [in the Scripture] what God said to you: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching. [AMP]

    This should help to give some balance to those willing to accept it.

    KF

  14. 14
    J-Mac says:

    “you raise an old debate.”

    True… which you and many others have never been able to to provide sound and logical evidence for your calims to be true…

    You claims insult the God of justice but that is not my judgment… thank God…

    Have a nice life!

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    harry, the contrasting clips on ID above give an illustration of just how desperate ever so many are in our day. For just one instance, I suggest to the Wikipedians that the very wiki page in question is yet another addition to the literally trillions of cases of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information, which demonstrate that reliably, such comes from intelligently directed configuration, aka design. So, the claim that the design inference lacks empirical evidence is patently false, but if people are misled about it by a dominant reference site then a false impression can be spread. The issue is, the agenda that drives men to do that. KF

    PS: And, Lewontin lets the cat out of the bag on that agenda:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . ] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] 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 [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] 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 [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Here is the US National Science Teachers’ Association in a July 2000 Board declaration:

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts [–> ideological imposition of a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism, aka natural-ISM; this is of course self-falsifying at the outset] . . . .

    [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 [–> loaded word that cannot be properly backed up due to failure of demarcation arguments] methods, explanations [–> declaration of intent to censor instructional content], generalizations and products [–> declaration of intent to ideologically censor education materials] . . . .

    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 [–> undermined by the question-begging ideological imposition and associated censorship] . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations [–> ideological imposition of a loaded definition] and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> question-begging false dichotomy, the proper contrast for empirical investigations is the natural (chance and/or necessity) vs the ART-ificial, through design . . . cf UD’s weak argument correctives 17 – 19, here] in the production of scientific knowledge.

  17. 17
    Latemarch says:

    KF@13
    I’ve always kind of liked this one.

    Ecclesiastes 3:11 New King James Version

    He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

  18. 18
    J-Mac says:

    KF,

    I like you…I mean it…
    You remind me of me when I couldn’t see through my blindness…

    BTW: Would you burn your kids alive, if they disobeyed you?

  19. 19
    J-Mac says:

    Kf can’t answer this challenge @18 because it violates the the very principles of his real faith…

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, have you stopped beating your wife? (See how your game of loaded questions on tangents runs?) KF

    PS: While again this is not a theology forum or thread, it seems a balancing pointer or two will be helpful for those inclined to follow up seriously in appropriate fora. If you are making a twisted and somewhat erroneous Internet gnu atheist style allusion to OT law against incorrigible juvenile delinquents [in an era without police forces etc], you should know that OT case law and civil codes or ceremonial rules and traditions have been understood for 2,000 years as not relevant. Kindly read the report of the AD 49 Jerusalem Council in Ac 15, and note how it affects Alfred’s Book of Dooms — a significant root of the common law tradition. Note too how the decalogue is understood i/l/o the neighbour love principle in say Rom 13:8 – 10.

    PPS: Kindly, read the OP to see what is focal for this thread. False accusations running amok can easily destroy reputations, careers, families, lives. The current one on sexual harassment claims for example seems to have had at least two suicides so far, both apparently of men who despaired of being able to defend their innocence in a climate of multiple unsupported accusation is tantamount to proof. The Wiki case that has been headlined above, shows how incorrigible malice can come to dominate a major reference institution that millions naively turn to for what they imagine is a credible account. I hope we don’t end up with someone feeling he has nothing left to lose and applying rule 303 to journalists, but that is a predictable consequence of weaponised accusations run amok. Of course, should that happen, it will lead to doubling down. Yet another sign of how our civilisation is heading over the cliff in a march of utterly ruinous folly.

    PPPS: Running off on irrelevant tangents and attempted thread-jacking through such, is a sign of trollishness. UD’s management has a short way with trolls. There is enough of substance to discuss within UD’s ambit without resort to atmosphere poisoning tactics. I also add that in my present condition and with the things on my table locally, I do not have a lot of time or energy to spend on moderating threads.

  21. 21
    J-Mac says:

    KF,

    “JM, have you stopped beating your wife?

    I didn’t even know one would do such a thing…
    Where did you get such an idea from?

    It must be from the “scriptures” your have been so familiar with… Please tell us KF it is not so…

    Congratulations KF!
    You have reached the prime!

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, you know the context — a classic Logic textbook example of loaded questions aka the fallacy of the complex question — and have played one rhetorical game too many. I now request of you as thread owner, that you stick strictly to the subject of the thread as outlined in the OP or leave this thread. KF

  23. 23
    J-Mac says:

    KF,

    Get some help! You have already made a fool of yourself by starting this OP…Should you continue? Only if you wish…

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, You have moved to a further level. I think it is advisable that you leave this thread. KF

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us remind ourselves of a key context for this thread, from 2 above; which will show the concerns in action:

    Current Wiki lead for ID article:

    Intelligent design

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This article is about a form of creationism. For generic arguments from “intelligent design”, see Teleological argument. For the movement, see Intelligent design movement. For other uses of the phrase, see Intelligent design (disambiguation).

    Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins”,[1][2] though it has been found to be pseudoscience.[3][4][5] Proponents claim that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”[6] Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses.[7][8][9] . . .

    Let’s see how many ways this speaks with utter disregard for readily accessible truth to promote its obvious ideological agenda, lies and smears, making utter mockery of Wiki’s boasted of neutral point of view . . .

    By contrast, here is the New World Encyclopedia lead:

    Intelligent design

    Intelligent design (ID) is the view that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection” [1] Intelligent design cannot be inferred from complexity alone, since complex patterns often happen by chance. ID focuses on just those sorts of complex patterns that in human experience are produced by a mind that conceives and executes a plan. According to adherents, intelligent design can be detected in the natural laws and structure of the cosmos; it also can be detected in at least some features of living things.

    Greater clarity on the topic may be gained from a discussion of what ID is not considered to be by its leading theorists. Intelligent design generally is not defined the same as creationism, with proponents maintaining that ID relies on scientific evidence rather than on Scripture or religious doctrines. ID makes no claims about biblical chronology, and technically a person does not have to believe in God to infer intelligent design in nature. As a theory, ID also does not specify the identity or nature of the designer, so it is not the same as natural theology, which reasons from nature to the existence and attributes of God. ID does not claim that all species of living things were created in their present forms, and it does not claim to provide a complete account of the history of the universe or of living things.

    ID also is not considered by its theorists to be an “argument from ignorance”; that is, intelligent design is not to be inferred simply on the basis that the cause of something is unknown (any more than a person accused of willful intent can be convicted without evidence). According to various adherents, ID does not claim that design must be optimal; something may be intelligently designed even if it is flawed (as are many objects made by humans).
    Contents
    [hide]

    1 History
    2 Ideas of Some Leading ID Theorists
    2.1 Michael J. Behe
    2.2 William A. Dembski
    2.3 Stephen C. Meyer
    2.4 Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards
    3 Some Aspects of the Controversy
    3.1 Philosophy
    3.2 Science
    3.3 Education
    3.4 Theology
    4 Notes and references
    5 Selected Bibliography
    5.1 Pro-ID Books
    5.2 Anti-ID Books
    6 External links
    6.1 Pro-ID Internet Sites
    6.2 Anti-ID Internet Sites
    7 Credits

    ID may be considered to consist only of the minimal assertion that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent agent. It conflicts with views claiming that there is no real design in the cosmos (e.g., materialistic philosophy) or in living things (e.g., Darwinian evolution) or that design, though real, is undetectable (e.g., some forms of theistic evolution). Because of such conflicts, ID has generated considerable controversy . . .

    This is a real, on-topic, highly relevant and even topical issue.

    Let us focus on it.

    For instance, is it even anywhere near the truth or an honest error for Wiki to begin: Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God?

    Does it even come close to a responsible, reasonable, objective opening, by contrast with say the NWE?

    As in: Intelligent design (ID) is the view that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection”

    Why is Wiki so insistent on false accusation loaded assertions right in the opening lines, when readily accessible corrective information can be easily had?

    What has consistently happened when well-informed people have tried to correct this and similar hit jobs?

    What does this say about attitude to truth, respect, fairness or even seeking peace?

    What does such tell us about where our civilisation is headed?

    KF

  26. 26
    Querius says:

    Funny that scientists even bothered to try to determine whether this object was intelligently designed. By definition, it could not have been–even if it was.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/892580/space-news-ufo-alien-life-nasa-interstellar-asteroid-meteor-Breakthrough-Listen-project

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology beyond magic is indistinguishable from evolution.” – Querius

    -Q

  27. 27
    rvb8 says:

    This article is one of a long line of ID articles which smacks of nothing more, than sour grapes.

    Latemarch @17 quoting the Protestant Christian Bible understands more clearly what ID is, than does kairos.

    ID is a Christian outreach, and an evangelising organization, with zero scientific input, or indeed output.

    Let us listen to Phillip E. Johnson:

    “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God,before the academic world and into the schools.”

    I suppose the article is about the unfair margenalisation of ID. This is simply not true, it is bordering on a lie, and I don’t want to accuse kairos of that.

    ID produces nothing, it theorises nothing, it challenges nothing, but it is ignored by the scientific community, and largely by the Church.

    Prophesising the immenent demise of Evoutionary Biology may well be comforting, but in the real world of scientific discovery, where we now know every star in the galaxy has at least one planet,these prophecies ring hollow.

    I hate this phrase, but in the current context it is most appropriate;

    “Put up, or shut up!”

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I should note on how dangerous false but inherently tainting accusations can be. Yes, victims of assault or workplace harrassment and genuine whistle-blower need to be honestly and fairly heard, followed up and protected, or at least respected, e.g. the Moira Greyland case shows the importance of that. However, we must also reckon with what vengeful, spiteful people can do — a point acknowledged in law through protection against defamation and perjury. A classic point of reference is of course, Jacob’s son Joseph who was betrayed and sold into slavery in Egypt who then found himself falsely accused of attempted rape and gaoled (apparently without a serious trial). This video discussion is sobering. KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8,

    kindly actually address the evidence on the table.

    You have before you the cited opening words of the Wiki article on ID, you have before you the opening words of another online encyclopedia on the same topic. If you cared, you could easily compare the UD Resources tab above.

    It is not difficult to learn the fact that the scientific design inference is based on an empirical investigation of objects, processes and phenomena in the natural world, which seeks to identify whether — for cases where we did not or cannot observe the actual causal process — there are reliable signs that indicate that a or the relevant causal factor is intelligently directed configuration.

    Whatever worldviews or cultural interests particular ID supporters, scholars or scientists may or may not have, that is objective. And, one may readily demonstrate that bias can go in a very different direction as regards origins sciences. Witness, the NSTA Board declaration of July 2000 as is cited above; which hopelessly entangles science and science education with evolutionary materialistic scientism and indoctrination of children in schools. Something which was demonstrated as not just theoretical just five years later when the same NSTA and the US NAS sought to hold children of Kansas hostage to a false declaration of invalid education for the thought-crime of their being taught an historically well founded, fairly traditional definition of science and its methods.

    As in, here is the “heresy” on which students were to be stripped of accreditation for their whole education:

    2001 radical re-Definition: “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations of the world around us.” [Let me add, the 2007 re-imposition after a radical push to discredit the 2005 corrective: “Science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.”]

    2005 more traditional Definition: “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation, that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.” [Emphases added.]

    Way back, I pulled some classic dictionaries from my shelves:

    science: a branch of knowledge conducted on objective principles involving the systematized observation of and experiment with phenomena, esp. concerned with the material and functions of the physical universe. [Concise Oxford, 1990 — and yes, they used the “z” Virginia!]

    scientific method: principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge [”the body of truth, information and principles acquired by mankind”] involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. [Webster’s 7th Collegiate, 1965]

    (For shame! Yes, a decade later, when the media hype, witch hunt and hysterical denunciations have faded, things look very different in the cold light of day. But reputations have been unfairly harmed, and indoctrination in materialism dressed up in the lab coat has been institutionalised as science and science education.)

    Let us turn back to the scientific design inference.

    A major observable sign warranting such an inference is complex functionally specific organisation and/or associated information.

    Of this, there are literally trillions of observed cases that uniformly show that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design as a relevant causal process. Indeed, to object as you just did, you added another case. Further to this, analysis of search challenge in large config spaces at or beyond 3.27*10^150 to 1,07*10^301 possibilities shows that such FSCO/I naturally comes in deeply isolated clusters that we can term islands of function, due to the need for well-matched components interacting to yield function, e.g. parts of an Abu 6500 C3 fishing reel, or the protein synthesis system of the living cell — or, I add, its wider metabolic reaction network as we may compare with say the process flow network diagram of an oil refinery. Then, atomic and search time resources at solar system or cosmos level scope immediately show that no plausible blind search of such a space is likely to be successful. Needle in haystack search on steroids.

    Thus, one is well warranted scientifically, to infer on seeing such FSCO/I, that its most credible causal explanation is intelligently, purposefully directed configuration. That is, design as causal process.

    It will be readily seen that what is warranted is inference to causal process, not inference to any particular designer or designers or class thereof. Indeed, in the very first technical ID work, by Thaxton et al 30+ years ago, it was explicitly identified that inference to design as causal process for OOL does NOT warrant inference to a class of designer within or beyond the cosmos. In short, the evidence is silent on whodunit. It speaks loudly that tweredun. Here at UD I have repeatedly highlighted that a sufficiently capable cause of cell based life on earth would be a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al.

    All of this has been “put up” in the scientific literature dozens of times, and it has been pointed out to you in particular in painstaking detail dozens of times. Uniformly, you have brushed more than adequate warrant aside as it does not fit your agit-prop agenda. Frankly, I am in too much personal pain just now and have far too much on my policy analysis plate to have the energy to play at rhetorical crocodile death roll. I will simply append a clip to this comment that will document my point for someone who is genuinely interested in regarding truth and fairness.

    Against that factual backdrop, neither Wiki’s claims nor yours can be seen as responsible. Especially, as correction has been repeatedly provided but insistently brushed aside in haste to try to taint.

    Let me go on.

    While most debates on ID are about cell based life, the older wing is in fact cosmological, with patron saint the lifelong agnostic and Nobel-equivalent prize holder Sir Fred Hoyle. Namely, inference to design of the observed cosmos on evident fine tuning of its physics and circumstances leading to supporting the possibility of life like ours.

    And again the matter is inference to intelligently directed configuration of a cosmos on sign not an exercise in natural theology, a completely different discipline in a different domain of studies, philosophical theology.

    Let’s hear old “saint” Fred hisself:

    >>[Sir Fred Hoyle, In a talk at Caltech c 1981 (nb. this longstanding UD post):] From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]>>

    . . . also, in the same talk at Caltech:

    >>The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [ –> 20^200 = 1.6 * 10^260] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . .

    I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . .

    Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix. >>

    . . . and again:

    >> I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the [–> nuclear synthesis] consequences they produce within stars. [“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]>>

    I trust you will now be inclined to dial back the rhetorical voltage from 11 to like 0.5, and engage in a more balanced and fair minded discussion as say Stephan Molyneux (who is an atheist) has done on the case of current media hyped accusations.

    KF

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I document, in a clip that has been brought to your specific attention but studiously and insistently brushed aside:

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC AND ANNOTATED LIST OF
    PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
    SUPPORTING INTELLIGENT DESIGN
    UPDATED MARCH, 2017

    PART I: INTRODUCTION
    While intelligent design (ID) research is a new scientific field, recent years have been a period of encouraging growth, producing a strong record of peer-reviewed scientific publications.

    In 2011, the ID movement counted its 50th peer-reviewed scientific paper and new publications continue to appear. As of 2015, the peer-reviewed scientific publication count had reached 90. Many of these papers are recent, published since 2004, when Discovery Institute senior fellow Stephen Meyer published a groundbreaking paper advocating ID in the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. There are multiple hubs of ID-related research.

    Biologic Institute, led by molecular biologist Doug Axe, is “developing and testing the scientific case for intelligent design in biology.” Biologic conducts laboratory and theoretical research on the origin and role of information in biology, the fine-tuning of the universe for life, and methods of detecting design in nature.

    Another ID research group is the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, founded by senior Discovery Institute fellow William Dembski along with Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. Their lab has attracted graduate-student researchers and published multiple peer-reviewed articles in technical science and engineering journals showing that computer programming ”points to the need for an ultimate information source qua intelligent designer.”

    Other pro-ID scientists around the world are publishing peer-reviewed pro-ID scientific papers. These include biologist Ralph Seelke at the University of Wisconsin Superior, Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig who recently retired from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany, and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe.

    These and other labs and researchers have published their work in a variety of appropriate technical venues, including peer-reviewed scientific journals, peer-reviewed scientific books (some published by mainstream university presses), trade-press books, peer-edited scientific anthologies, peer-edited scientific conference proceedings and peer-reviewed philosophy of science journals and books. These papers have appeared in scientific journals such as Protein Science, Journal of Molecular Biology, Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Complexity, Quarterly Review of Biology, Cell Biology International, Physics Essays, Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum, Physics of Life Reviews, Quarterly Review of Biology, Journal of Bacteriology , Annual Review of Genetics, and many others. At the same time, pro-ID scientists have presented their research at conferences worldwide in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, engineering, and computer science.

    Collectively, this body of research is converging on a consensus: complex biological features cannot arise by unguided Darwinian mechanisms, but require an intelligent cause.

    Despite ID’s publication record, we note parenthetically that recognition in peer-reviewed literature is not an absolute requirement to demonstrate an idea’s scientific merit. Darwin’s own theory of evolution was first published in a book for a general and scientific audience — his Origin of Species — not in a peer-reviewed paper. Nonetheless, ID’s peer-reviewed publication record shows that it deserves — and is receiving — serious consideration by the scientific community.

    The purpose of ID’s budding research program is thus to engage open-minded scientists and thoughtful laypersons with credible, persuasive, peer-reviewed, empirical data supporting intelligent design. And this is happening. ID has already gained the kind of scientific recognition you would expect from a young (and vastly underfunded) but promising scientific field . . .

    QED

  31. 31
    daveS says:

    Stephan Molyneux?? Please, no …

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, in this specific case that particular atheist has a point that we all need to listen to [and, yes, I have cringed to see some of his atheistical videos]. Two men have been reduced to the despair of suicide already, it is high time to restore responsible balance. Don’t forget, I cut my eyeteeth dealing with Communist agit prop and know the scent of tainting accusations all too well. Do I need to say, show trials? KF

    PS: Let me add, that I am actually dealing with live cases of tainting, false accusations in a project cycle management context right now as part of a much wider policy conflict with serious consequences for four UK OT’s that are disaster-ravaged after September just past. (Up to that point, it was just one, lingering in a post-disaster malaise.) This is not a little rhetorical chess game that after it is over, no real harm has been done and the pieces quietly go back in their box and the box goes back up on a shelf. We are dealing with real people who are getting hurt needlessly and in some cases to the point of suicide; and beginning to verge unto 4th generation cultural civil war judging by Antifa and other street paramilitaries deliberately using primitive weapons so far. My conclusion is, whistleblower protection is vital, but so is the need to ground claims of incompetence, fraud, harassment, quackery and worse. I find that far too many are inclined to believe accusations without adequate warrant and then will pivot and dismiss cases that are well warranted but inconvenient. Not to mention, that there is a temptation to be passive in the face of grave injustice backed by real, potentially menacing power. I am actually talking of the need for project/programme marshals to go after hitmen and their backers.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let’s go a little deeper in that opening remark at Wiki, to see how framing with disregard for truth or fairness can mislead:

    >>Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God,>>

    1 –> If the design inference on the world of life were a natural theology argument, it would have long since been abandoned as a failed argument.

    2 –> Wiki here fails to address and account for how this argument was acknowledged from the days of Thaxton et al as incapable of indicating whether a designer of cell based life as observed on earth is within or beyond the cosmos.

    3 –> So, it has here set up a strawman, which it proceeds to knock over, indeed the very word “religious” is in the eyes of the intended audience, already tainting.

    4 –> On the cosmological side, of course, the first problem for the Wiki framing is that a key pioneer was a lifelong agnostic, who was clearly a practrising scientist and saw the implications of fine tuning as indicative of design of the observed cosmos.

    5 –> Now, this conclusion along with many other arguments could be used in an argument to God’s existence, but in fact the same can be said of results of science that seem to support evolutionary materialism, save that such are used in anti-theistic arguments.

    6 –> So, motive mongering is futile when there is an issue of the merits of an empirically grounded inductive [modern sense] inference to the best explanation on the table.

    7 –> Where, by definition, science is about empirically grounded inductive inferences regarding our world.

    >> presented by its proponents as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins”,[1][2]>>

    8 –> Dishonest framing. No, the issue is that there is a question — a question — on the table: can we infer from observable reliable signs that certain features of objects, processes etc in the world indicate design as a or the key causal factor?

    9 –> This is not confined to the origin of life, or of the various body plans, or even cosmology plus the world of life. No, it is a routine issue in archaeology, forensic science, cryptology, information theory/tlelcommunication science and more. In such fields the answer is routinely, yes.

    10 –> For instance, in communications, a key question is informational, intelligent signal vs noise and signal:noise ratio is a key metric. So, it is beyond reasonable question that design inferences are a routine, uncontroversial part of scientific praxis.

    11 –> Moreover, when one looks at a case of coherent, complex functional organisation such as an Abu 6500 fishing reel (no prizes for guessing one of my lifelong interests), we may readily see that one can compose a description language that specifies its construction by a structured set of Y/N Q’s, such that we see implicit information embedded in functionally specific organisation.

    12 –> This means that discussion of information-bearing strings is WLOG.

    13 –> So, the tainting accusation of dishonesty is beginning to fall apart.

    >> though it has been found to be pseudoscience.[3][4][5] >>

    14 –> Of course, this accusation has been levelled at ID. It is primarily levelled by those who misrepresent what it is doing, its logic, its evidence and its conclusions.

    15 –> If ID were simply a matter of philosophical theology, it would not e a scientific project. But as was shown above in outline, the assertions that this is the case are ill-founded.

    16 –> Moreover, a great many of those who augustly pronounce such the case as well as those who propagate this claim in fact have imposed a radically loaded anti-theology based radical redefintion of science that makes science into applied atheism.

    17 –> The assertions of the US NSTA, NAS etc are cases in point, where — as Lewontin all too tellingly though inadvertently summarised, science has been taken ideological captive to Scientism and to atheistical materialism.

    18 –> A more serious investigation on phil of sci, however, would readily demonstrate that there is no good, simple, objective definition of science that allows it and its investigative methods to be easily demarked from non-science and from pseudo-science.

    19 –> The sort of definitional imposition that we saw in Kansas or coming from the NSTA actually would make all of science into pseudo-science, by taking it ideological captive to atheism dressed up in a lab coat.

    >>Proponents claim that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”[6]>>

    20 –> Notice how long the introduction takes to get around to allowing design thinkers and theorists to speak in their own voice, having first framed the whole matter and determined a conclusion that implies that this is little more than a lie?

    21 –> This is an example of lying by half truth.

    22 –> Yes, the just cited is what design theorists say for themselves, and they have backed it up with now about 100 publications in the peer reviewed and professional literature, even in the teeth of the sort of hostility that we see here.

    23 –> Of course, that inconvenient fact also has to be buried.

    >> Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a form of creationism>>

    24 –> Asserted is true, framed and accused is true, but demonstrated is false.

    25 –> By distracting from the focal design inference issue and reframing as an exercise of philosophical theology, this is made to seem plausible, but this is speaking with disregard to highly material truth.

    26 –> For first instance, design inferences are in fact routinely used in indisputably scientific contexts — information theory, and such is relevant to looking at the explicit and implicit information found in cell based life and body plans, as well as the implicit information found in the structure of the cosmos that is credibly fine tuned in many ways that jointly work to support such life.

    27 –> For second instance, just the D/RNA code in the living cell is an alphabetic, complex, algorithmic, linguistic entity, raising the obvious question:

    Can codes, so language and algorithms plus associated execution machinery credibly assemble themselves out of lucky noise and blind mechanisms in Darwin’s warm little pond or the like pre-life environment?

    28 –> the struggles of OOL are eloquent testimony to the obvious answer, no, the search challenge in implied configuration spaces is far too hard to make a lucky accident a credible explanation. And onward, this luck has to grow to miraculous proportions across the world of life.

    29 –> What is in fact done is to impose an ideological redefinition of what science is, does and concludes, which then begs the question. That fallacy is then imposed by authoritative pronouncement backed up by institutional power, sometimes in pretty ruthless and dirty ways.

    30 –> And even so, something on the order of a hundred professional grade publications say different, and say so on evidence that is as obvious as the DNA code in action in protein synthesis.

    31 –> Trillions of examples suffice to consistently show that functionally specific and complex, information rich coherent organisation can be and routinely is produced by intelligently directed configuration.

    32 –> Where, as we are patently highly contingent beings, we cannot exhaust the set of possible designers to carry out such intelligently directed configuration. that silly caricature of an inductive inference has long passed sell-by date.

    33 –> In fact, the current case of an apparently tumbling elongated object passing through our solar system on a hyperbolic path and rising a discussion of it being an alien space ship suffices to show the point.

    34 –> My own comment on the matter is, it is most likely an elongated rock, tumbling away as it passes through space and happened to come into our neighbourhood.

    >>that lacks empirical support>>

    35 –> A trillion cases of FSCO/I arising by observed design and showing that reliably this feature points to design as credible causal factor, gives the lie to this assertion. So do the about 100 professional publications out there.

    36 –> So strong is this body of evidence that it has to be denied and dismissed at any cost.

    >> and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses.>>

    37 –> Rubbish. A single credible observed demonstration of FSCO/I coming about by blind chance and mechanical necessity would suffice to destroy the design inference on the world of life.

    38 –> An Internet full of cases shows just how reliable it is that such FSCO/I comes about by design, and the config space search challenge readily shows that there is a reason why that is so.

    39 –> Let me go to the Wiki article on the Million/Infinite Monkeys theorem to see if the remarks on random document generation are still there. Okay, here we go:

    The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. However, the probability that monkeys filling the observable universe would type a complete work such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero).

    In this context, “almost surely” is a mathematical term with a precise meaning, and the “monkey” is not an actual monkey, but a metaphor for an abstract device that produces an endless random sequence of letters and symbols. One of the earliest instances of the use of the “monkey metaphor” is that of French mathematician Émile Borel in 1913,[1] but the first instance may have been even earlier . . . .

    The theorem concerns a thought experiment which cannot be fully carried out in practice, since it is predicted to require prohibitive amounts of time and resources. Nonetheless, it has inspired efforts in finite random text generation.

    One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on August 4, 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the “monkeys” typed, “VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t” The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from “Timon of Athens”, 17 from “Troilus and Cressida”, and 16 from “Richard II”.[24]

    A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on July 1, 2003, contained a Java applet that simulated a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took “2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years” to reach 24 matching characters:

    RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r”5j5&?OWTY Z0d…

    Due to processing power limitations, the program used a probabilistic model (by using a random number generator or RNG) instead of actually generating random text and comparing it to Shakespeare. When the simulator “detected a match” (that is, the RNG generated a certain value or a value within a certain range), the simulator simulated the match by generating matched text.

    40 –> 19 – 24 ASCII characters is 133 to 168 bits, roughly 330 bits short of the 500-bit lower end of the FSCO/I complexity threshold. The search space of that sort of length is about a factor of 2.2 * 10^99 short of the 3.27*10^150 implied by the config space for 500 bits. Where for each bit the space doubles.

    41 –> this illustrates the search challenge.

    In short, had Wiki done what NWE did, for example:

    ID may be considered to consist only of the minimal assertion that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent agent [intelligently directed configuration, that is design; which is habitually associated with the action of intelligent agents]. It conflicts with views claiming that there is no real design in the cosmos (e.g., materialistic philosophy) or in living things (e.g., Darwinian evolution) or that design, though real, is undetectable (e.g., some forms of theistic evolution). Because of such conflicts, ID has generated considerable controversy . . .

    . . . we would have no complaint, but that is exactly what it did not do. It has clearly spoken with disregard to truth in hope that what it said and suggested would be taken as true, in pursuit of some end.

    KF

  34. 34
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, in this specific case that particular atheist has a point that we all need to listen to [and, yes, I have cringed to see some of his atheistical videos]. Two men have been reduced to the despair of suicide already, it is high time to restore responsible balance.

    And Molyneux also takes a number of other cringe-worthy positions.

    Don’t forget, I cut my eyeteeth dealing with Communist agit prop and know the scent of tainting accusations all too well. Do I need to say, show trials?

    I think that actually could be a hindrance for you. It seems you see agitprop everywhere. What are in reality sincere discussions are just more battles in a larger culture war in your view (that’s my impression, anyway).

    I’ve experienced this firsthand. I come here because of the interesting questions that arise, and, it must be said, because there are plenty of other posters who disagree with me and are willing to explain why. I’m not a culture warrior, rather just another person who likes to get in their 2 cents now and again. Yet, I’m tagged with the offensive labels “fellow traveler” and “enabler” of this or that horrific act regularly. I believe you call that “playing the invidious association card”.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    a glance at this thread will show a pretty serious example in the case of Wikipedia. Better break into paras, ran longer than I intended.

    I think founding idealists underestimated trollishness, which took over and is entrenched.

    When it comes to the issue of dirty ruthless agendas, that is a longstanding fact of life — I was just refreshing my memory on the origin of the Great War and what was going on in Berlin and Vienna. The sealed train for Lenin is a fact, with what 60 million ghosts moaning out the consequences. When the Sov Bloc collapsed, that was a global conspiracy backed by a super power. Demonstration of actualities, and the opened files were revealing. The apology visit to Jamaica was a revelation; but a lot of people have round-filed that or never heard of it.

    The cultural marxists are real though there is a preference to talk in terms of “critical theory” etc, which is acknowledged to be very influential. In the US, simply ask what is a community organizer and what are the roots of that; the gap between conventional wisdom and truth is telling.

    The 1 million further victims per week, 800+ million victim ongoing holocaust of posterity in the womb and how medicine, nursing, law, government, policing, media, education and more have been corrupted to sustain and enable it provide sobering facts; our whole culture is tainted on this. What has to have been going on behind the Iran and No Ko nuke programmes speaks.

    Coming to design debates, the phalanx is too solid for the opposition to the design inference epitomised by the Wiki article to be coincidence. I have spoken to evo mat scientism and ideological fellow travellers, which is readily seen as a movement or should I say dominant trend and some of the reason for that summary was discussed above . . . Lewontin’s cat out of the bag moment is more blunt but the point is there in the NSTA and NAS and more, from NCSE to ACLU and more.

    That’s organised, networked stuff, demonstrable, it is not just ideas in common.

    On the phil front, I have separately spoken of evo mat scientism and fellow traveller ideologies that through accommodation share in the self referential incoherence and whether they realise or not, end up enabling its inherent amorality.

    I think that to my best recollection I have in the main dealt with you on issues as that is where you have by and large engaged. For instance, you pointed to the surreals, which I have found does unify the domain of numbers.

    While we have obviously sharply differed on traversal of a countable infinite in finite stage steps (probably our longest direct exchange on an issue), I do not recall you reverting to habitual trollish misconduct or willful and active enabling of say the abortion holocaust. Though with mass blood guilt on the table, we all should be standing up to say an open, public no.

    I do think you have seemed to walk with the evolutionary materialists on worldview matters and maybe have come close to scientism at points, but I do not recall you as a rabid advocate for such. However, I do point out that scheme’s self-falsification and inherent amorality. I dunno if I have inadvertently let fellow traveller as a term become ambiguous between worldviews and socio-cultural agendas. I will try to watch that.

    KF

    PS: I have not endorsed Molyneux’s corpus as a blanket whole. I have said he raises some good points in one specific video. Points we need to ponder.

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato’s parable of the mutinous ship of state is a caution, too:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  37. 37
    Querius says:

    kairosfocus,

    Thank you for your well-researched responses. Ironically, rvb8 is completely immune to facts or logic, apparently being convinced that his unsupported assertions constitute irrefutable proof.

    Agitprop functions as an intellectual pacifier for useful idiots. As we’ve seen, those that don’t happily suck on it are eventually met by force in one form or another.

    However, those who believe that reality is infinitely malleable, created by those with the means to enforce it, eventually meet destruction as nature inevitably prevails, and the Truth is vindicated by her children.

    But first come the dark ages . . .

    -Q

  38. 38
    JSmith says:

    I certainly agree with KF that the bit about ID in Wikipedia is the result of trolling behaviour. But I am skeptical that it is a coordinated attack. There are far more people who believe in evolution than believe in ID as described here and elsewhere. I think that the text and tone of the Wiki description simply reflects a numbers game.

  39. 39
    jdk says:

    Oops – no message.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    Q,

    we need to understand the psychology and networked sociology of tainting accusations. People like RVB8 exemplifies (not to pick on him, he has unfortunately made himself a poster-child above) are not just cynical spreaders of things they know to be false or false and slanderous, agitated by some mysterious urge to deceive and manipulate others. Leave that to the fairly rare — but in a networked world there are too many in absolute numbers — sociopaths and their dark triad mentality. They BELIEVE what they say, and perceive themselves as being the bright ones, the enlightened, riding the wave of progress out of bondage under Christo-fascist demonic superstition — that’s Sagan’s and Lewontin’s language — and they are disciples of “the only begetter of truth.” Big-S Science.

    So, when they see something like the Wiki lead on ID, it seems true, it punches all the right buttons, it frames those Christo-fascists and their agenda to return us to the days of Torquemada and the Inquisition just right to resonate with what they expect to see about those wicked but sly religious hypocrites — and the distorting prejudice, unwarranted suspicion/hostility and even hate in extreme cases are even harder to admit to. But of course, the Wiki hit piece lead is full of that, to those who are a little less worked up and a little more open to the force of evident facts and logic.

    RVB8, unfortunately, cannot even accept and acknowledge (after having been confronted with it before) that there are about a hundred pro-grade ID articles out there that show results of scientific work under the ID paradigm.

    As for that FSCO/I is as obvious as the text of his own objecting article and that a blind chance and necessity process of complexity beyond the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold reliably would only produce gibberish or a repetitive pattern, not even that breaks through the defences.

    C S Lewis used to say that an irony of atheistical, rationalist skepticism was how un-skeptical such folks were about the narrative they so eagerly nodded yes to.

    When you are selectively hyperskeptical and hostile, you are also more or less forced to believe what you have no good warrant for. And so, ironically, you become a credulous true believer (using their language) and putty in the hands of the real agit-prop operators. And yes, it is comfortable and soothing to have your expectations so handily reinforced.

    The trolls ruling the roost at Wiki know what they are reinforcing. And they have so twisted the framing of ID that the evidence right before their eyes cannot be heard in its own voice. No, it is just window dressing on the conspiracy to capture Science, the only begetter of truth.

    The idea that they have actually become captive to scientism, which is patently incoherent is going to be very hard to swallow. But, let’s point it out: that big-S Science is “the only begetter of truth” is actually a claim in epistemology, you crossed the border into a different discipline that works by different methods. And in this case, you have a philosophical claim dressed up in a lab coat and often coming from representatives of or publicists for the new magisterium. So, is it that Science is the only begetter of truth, or is it that this is a self-referential and incoherent philosophical claim?

    Yet again.

    So, too, it is very hard for such a person to come to accept that something is very wrong and ill-founded with the framing and narrative that fits in so well with what they wish were so. But eventually, enough critical mass will build up to break the log-jam.

    One only hopes it does not take a collapse over the cliff to get to that stage.

    But, unfortunately, marches of folly tend to be ruinous.

    KF

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, the co-ordination in Wiki on too many topics is notorious. There is a hierarchy of ever more powerful users/members, and when a critical mass seizes control of a given topic, attempted corrections will be Wiki-ruled into oblivion and the offending party will be rapidly expelled. It’s not just numbers, it is dirty power games with rules. There are too many cases, and that is a reason why many informed people have written off Wiki on ideologically tinged topics. Then, at the next level, NCSE, ACLU, SPLC and the like, there is concerted effort to reinforce the evolutionary materialistic scientism agenda, backed by significant funding from donors fearful of a Christofascist takeover. This is the level where you get sued in court and smeared in the mass media, often without effective opportunity to reply. And don’t forget, the slander hits harder and spreads further than the modern equivalent of the back-page correction, especially when people are increasingly confused about duties to truth, fairness etc. Unless, key people have been hit personally and institutionally with a massive, crippling court ordered fine or settlement. But in the US that is especially hard to do because the defamation laws there have been so far broken down in recent decades. People are making a career out of this in the NGO sector. And at a sufficient level, Wiki is part of that sector. At the next level yet, we have major institutions that are heavily invested in evolutionary materialistic scientism, such as NSTA and NAS in the US, Unis and much more. These are the folks who have run the con of a patently tendentious redefinition of what science is that locks in their agendas and ideologies. Of course, in their minds, most are simply making it plain what science is as science is the great hope for the future. And we find ourselves in a culture where a crooked yardstick is the standard for straightness and accuracy. Which creates an agit-prop operator’s dream world: what is truly straight, accurate and upright cannot pass the test of fitting in with crookedness and will be rejected. And, if people are resistant to plumbline tests that are naturally straight and upright, then only collapse will be corrective. Welcome to the world of Plato’s cave of shadow-shows confused for truth. KF

    PS: Ever wondered why the Parable of the Cave, from the angle of media/ institutional manipulation and resulting mass false enlightenment, is not a routine part of education, media discussion and popular culture?

  42. 42
    Origenes says:

    KF @

    WRT psychology, the common denominator of much of what we see today is anti-Christianity, wouldn’t you agree? And this broad movement has some strange bedfellows.

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, yes. If one were to say, anti-theism, we see the delicate accommodations routinely made to Islam etc. Likewise, Judaism is not targetted other than by lunatic fringes of anti-semitism. It is specifically the Christian tradition and heritage in our civilisation that is targetted and attacked with too often patently demonic ferocity, or a subtext of utter contempt and hostility that points to hate, or a sort of sneering bigotry that would not be tolerated in any other case. The consequences were warned against (for the case of Germany) by Heine, in his prophetic remarks c 1830:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [–> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . do not overlook the obvious], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame [–> an irrational battle- and blood- lust]. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world.

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [–> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [–> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831]

    Provine drew out some of why, though I doubt he consciously reflected on the just above:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    And, of course, 2350+ years past, Plato warned:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

    Wikipedia is a case study in the small of what is liable to happen in the large (with rivers of innocent blood) if the spirit of anti-Christ is allowed to prevail.

    That’s what 100+ million ghosts from the past hundred years, and the shades of 800+ million victims of the holocaust of posterity in the womb (with a million more per week), are trying to warn us on.

    KF

  44. 44
    JSmith says:

    KF, thank you for your response @41. However, I think that you are reading far mor into Wiki than is actually there. I can’t speak to the other examples that you provided.

    At best (and sometimes worse) Wiki is nothing more than crowd sourced material with the bare minimum of fact checking. If statements can be shown to be false, and the falsehood supported by evidence, it is often removed. Sadly, the statement that ID is religiously based is strongly bolstered by the Dover decision. Even though I disagree with the rationale used to support his ruling, it has never been overturned on appeal. A court ruling is going to go a long way to being accepted on Wiki.

    I don’t know if any teachers who would allow the use of Wiki as a primary source in any student project. It is a great tool in many respects but just like any source of information, it shouldn’t be accepted as gospel.

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, there is a long track record of people trying to straighten out Wiki articles. The patterns I describe are unfortunately characteristic. In some cases where outright defamation was involved, only the direct force of impending legal action elicited grudging, minimal change. KF

    PS: Dover turns out to have been a judge 90% copying ACLU et al in post trial submissions, and was utterly corrupt.

    PPS: At this stage, I would warn people who don’t know exactly what they are doing to avoid Wikipedia, except for very cautious use on non-controversial subjects; and that, with significant cross-checking. But then, that is my advice as regards major media houses on any topic of controversy, too. Ours is a very sad day.

  46. 46
    Querius says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with kairosfocus regarding Wikipedia.

    What started out as an open, idealistic, populist initiative, devolved into a tyranny of editors who will revert your corrections, sometimes within minutes.

    I’ve also learned that even first-person corrections to a Wikipedia article are rejected unless the person in the article can reference a Recognized Authority on themselves or the event at which they were present.

    This effect is related to why experiments in utopia always seem to produce gulags and genocide. Similarly, consider this cynical observation:

    Truth never triumphs–its opponents just die out. Science advances one funeral at a time. – Max Planck

    In the case of large human institutions, the funerals may be prearranged.

    -Q

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