To deny free will, biologist Jerry Coyne tries, once again, to defeat the implications of quantum mechanics, neuroscience, and logic.
Egnor: The intellect and will depend on but are not created by bodily functions, senses, and memory. They are, however, affected by deficits in these areas.
Egnor: The cause of the universe must be something other than the universe itself and must have the power to cause things independently of the laws of nature. That is what all men call God.
The main reason that interest in panpsychism is growing is probably the inability of materialism to provide a coherent account of consciousness.
Gordon thinks idealism (= reality is first and foremost a mental phenomenon) is defensible, reasonable, and too easily discarded.
Egnor: [t]he logic pointing to God’s existence is overwhelmingly stronger than the evidence and logic supporting any other scientific theory in nature. Aquinas’s First Way proof of God’s existence, for example, has exactly the same structure as any other scientific theory. The empirical evidence is the presence of change in nature. Because infinite regress is logically impossible in an essentially ordered chain of changes, there must be a Prime Mover to begin the process and that is what we call God.
Logic and evidence both point to the existence of God, whatever atheists may think: Michael Egnor addresses three arguments in Steve Meyer’s new book, The Return of the God Hypothesis.
Takehome: If people are judging what the rest of us think based on this, stop letting them. It could get beyond a joke.
Michael Egnor: No. The mind is the opposite of computation. Mental states are always intentional and computation, by its nature, is never intentional.
Egnor: “Notably, Swamidass completely leaves out the one criterion that is the cornerstone of accreditation of educational institutions: outcome metrics… don’t know (and Swamidass has nothing to say about it) how students from Christian colleges compare, but is it well established that homeschooled kids (who are disproportionately taught by conservative Christian families) score almost 100 points higher on the SAT and score correspondingly higher on the ACT than the national average.” Okay, but no one sponsoring the war on math is concerned about outcomes because educators have the power to jimmy marks to reward whatever they want to reward and then pass the problem on to others who must then do the same.
Sheldon has some fun with the logical nonsense of the concept.
Egnor: If tiny bits of the brains from all the people in my neighborhood were transplanted into my brain, would there be a neighborhood in my skull?
Michael Egnor: As with so many metaphysical questions about the mind-body relationship, we need first to understand the meaning of the words we use.
Michael Egnor: The fact that the universe is tuned — that is, the fact there is any consistency at all in the laws of physics — demonstrates God’s existence. This is Aquinas’ Fifth Way, which is the proof from design.
Egnor: The problem is, to make their claim credible, [Novella and Goff] must show that there actually are localities in the universe in which the laws of physics differ in a way that would make fine tuning likely by chance.