Culture Naturalism Science

A funny thing happened on our way to Darwin’s Cathedral…

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naturalism/funnytools, via Pixabay

From Denyse O’Leary at Evolution News & Views:

The scientific discoveries that might have supported the naturalist view of the universe, life, and the human mind have never actually occurred. Stubborn problems, old and new, make such discoveries less likely than ever. New technology in neuroscience, for example, has enabled unexpected new findings that point unambiguously in a non-naturalist direction, raising the suspicion of more such findings to come.

Naturalists are not taking it well; fighting superstition is easier than fighting magnetic resonance imaging. For some decades, we have simply been informed that “science would find the answer” to stubborn problems. But what happens if “stubborn problems” are signals that our ideas are incomplete and new insights are needed?

It doesn’t help that science journalism is uniquely bad. One problem is that, relative to news writers in other fields, science journalists tend to adopt the role of “defenders” of science. I call it pom-pom waving. To see the difference pom-pom waving makes, consider how you would feel if your local sports columnist was a defender of “sports” in general and too driven by ideology to be a reliable source of stat and play analysis. You’d do best to go elsewhere for eye-openers and for the bigger picture.

Others have noticed a problem with science journalism. More.

See also: How naturalism morphed into a state religion

13 Replies to “A funny thing happened on our way to Darwin’s Cathedral…

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    remove the space

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Excellent article. Thanks.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    block quote

    blockquote

    remove space

  4. 4
    News says:

    Thanks, Dionisio above, for noticing; the space is gone.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    my pleasure to serve

    excellent article
    very timely

  6. 6
    Dionisio says:

    “We have no idea what consciousness is but naturalism’s only possible model is: an evolved natural phenomenon. That’s a dogma, not a finding. As dogmas are prone to do, it generates assumptions. One assumption is that human beings can create conscious machines.”

    Accurate description.

    Well, some folks say it’s some kind of quantum stuff (is it served with chips?)

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    “A powerful computer cannot have more insight or different intentions from its programmer’s ability for the same reasons as characters in a novel cannot have more insight or different intentions from the author’s conception.”

    Apparently some folks out there don’t understand that clear statement.

    Or maybe don’t want to accept it publicly?

  8. 8

    Denyse,

    I read your essay on Evolution News and it was a very rewarding and informative reading.

    It became clear to me that you are putting to excellent use your daily mining on news or science articles that have any relevancy for your and our interests here at UD – and I guess also your other wide interests elsewhere.

    Your essay is a very goud “tour d’horizon” of significant science and cultural news under the three titles you enumerate in the text. But it is not only educative – I followed a few of your links to other interesting articles – it is spirited and I found again that you have supperb writing skills.

    For me you play here a very good role of cultural corypheus – i.e. leader, analyst, intepreter and sometimes – I would say – denunciator of cultural and scientific trends – many of them exotic if not outward absurd or nightmarish.

    Keep on doing your good works Denyse!

    A happy beneficiary

  9. 9
    News says:

    InVivoVeritas at 8, thanks for your kind words! As a lifetime news hack, I am happy to help.

    You can learn much more deeply from profs than from me. But in contentious times, you also need a reporter, mid-riot, to phone back the street level news.

    You’d be way better off with more of us, which is precisely my point about current science writing. It stinks (!) because so many science writers are just cheerleaders, not reporters.

    Suzan Mazur is one of the few who comes immediately to mind for doing the job the way media should be doing it, and she’s freelance like me. Pardon my old age if I missed a few others.

    Basically, you can’t be a page boy and a constructive critic at the same time.

    Anyway, thanks, and watch this space.

    Encourage responsible science writing when you see it.

  10. 10
    Axel says:

    One of the funniest articles I have ever, ever read – and I still haven’t read the third paragraph yet !

    More fun with Dionisio’s #6 ! I expect a bonanza ahead.

  11. 11
    Axel says:

    Dioniso @#7

    “A powerful computer cannot have more insight or different intentions from its programmer’s ability for the same reasons as characters in a novel cannot have more insight or different intentions from the author’s conception.”

    Psst! Don’t tell that to Hawkings or the wonderfully-named Elon Musk, for crying out loud.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    Axel @11:

    The text I quoted @7 is from Denyse’s article.

    BTW, I don’t think those folks you mentioned would understand what Denyse meant, because it’s against their religious beliefs. 🙂

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