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Atheist philosophy professor (sympathetic to ID) Bradley Monton’s new book, papers

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Readers may recall University of Colorado atheist philosophy prof Bradley Monton, who has written sympathetically about ID. He’s resigned recently (“I’ve been unhappy with the administration’s recent treatment of me and others in the philosophy department”) amid speculation.

A friend points out, however, that his Web page tells us,

In philosophy of time, I confess a sympathy for presentism, the doctrine that only presently existing things exist, and I’m currently at work on a book, The Flow of Time, defending that doctrine (and I have a lot to say in my book about how to define the doctrine more precisely than I just did).

\In philosophy of religion, I have two new papers forthcoming, a short one (“Mixed Strategies Can’t Evade Pascal’s Wager”) and a long one (“Against Multiverse Theodicies”). Also, I wrote a book, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design. Click on the “ID” link above for more information.

In philosophy of physics, a recent research project (“Prolegomena to Any Future Physics-Based Metaphysics”) critiques some metaphysicans who appeal to physics to attempt to establish metaphysical conclusions.

In probabilistic epistemology, I’m interested in in developing a probability theory which can handle indexical propositions (self-locating beliefs), an area where Bayesian epistemology breaks down. I also am interested in various issues involving reasoning with infinite possibility spaces.

So he is still in the game.

Here’s some information about his book, Seeking God in Science, and here is Salvo’s interview with him.

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4 Replies to “Atheist philosophy professor (sympathetic to ID) Bradley Monton’s new book, papers

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “In philosophy of time, I confess a sympathy for presentism, the doctrine that only presently existing things exist, and I’m currently at work on a book, The Flow of Time, defending that doctrine (and I have a lot to say in my book about how to define the doctrine more precisely than I just did).”

    Well Dr. Monton, with advances in quantum mechanics, certainly has a lot of evidence to back up “presentism”.
    Einstein was once asked by a philosopher,,,

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    The ‘now’ quote from Einstein was taken from the last few minutes of this following video, and what the philosopher meant by the question can be read in full context in the article following the video:

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, July 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://www.saintcd.com/science.....imitstart=

    Moreover, ‘the now of the mind’, contrary to what Einstein thought possible for experimental physics, and according to advances in quantum mechanics, takes precedence over past events in time.

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!” (Leggett’s Inequality)
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    Quantum Physics – (material reality does not exist until we look at it) – Dr. Quantum video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ezNvpFcJU

    A Short History Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: “Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.”
    per bottomlayer
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    i.e. per LaPlace, quantum mechanics says of time ‘I have no need of that hypothesis’. In fact, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now of the mind’ to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    It is also interesting to note how the perception of time radically changes for Near Death Experiencers who go through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension,,

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    https://vimeo.com/92172680

    As well, it is interesting to note that Einstien’s special relativity supports this ‘higher dimensional, “eternal now”, view of time:

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    https://vimeo.com/93101738

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    Verse and Music

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Fish: He is before all things, Colossians 1:17,18
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhQ2LR1KGDo

    supplemental note:

    If temporal time has always existed, (as was held in materialism prior to the discovery of the Big Bang), due to the infinite regress, we could never reach the present ‘now’:

    Time Cannot Be Infinite Into The Past – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg0pdUvQdi4

  2. 2
    CHartsil says:

    All this shows is that there are even a few atheists that can’t spot pseudoscience when they see it.

  3. 3
    Axel says:

    Well, as they say in the (horse)racing industry, Bradley is with the ‘smart money’, according to this brief YouTube video-clip, as William Lane Craig makes an interesting comment on a revolution going on in the philosophy departments at some of the most prestigious universities in the Anglo-American world, since the late 1960s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14YM7MP6HzY

  4. 4
    Axel says:

    By the way, the term, ‘smart money’ is a pun on the legal term for: ‘Vindictive, punitive, or exemplary damages given by way of punishment and example, in cases of gross misconduct of a defendant.’ Which could itself be a circular pun anticipating the racing term – in which the meaning of smart as ‘shrewd’ is the more common.

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