Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


At The Debrief.org: Is Consciousness Really A Memory System For Our Interactions With Reality? New Research Says Maybe.

"A recent study published in the journal Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology proposes a new theory of consciousness, suggesting subjective awareness is merely a memory system that records our unconscious interactions with reality." Read More ›

At SciTech Daily: Harvard Researchers Have Linked Spirituality to Healthier Lives and Longer Lifespans

Researchers: “Integrating spirituality into care can help each person have a better chance of reaching complete well-being and their highest attainable standard of health.” Read More ›

For the first time, “No Religion” is the most popular choice for Americans

People who, forty years ago, would have cited the church their parents once attended as their “religion” now say “no religion.” That's probably because, in current urban society, they no longer experience social penalties for being honest. It’s still a decline but to discuss it intelligently, we need to see clearly what it is a decline in. Read More ›

Jonathan Bartlett: The spiritual side of a digital society

The more that software encompasses the whole of life, the more it needs to take into account the whole of the person using it: In the early days of computing, software developers could completely ignore the spiritual needs of users. Computers were a tool—usually a business tool, used for brief periods to accomplish a task. They were not the backdrop of our lives. Today, however, users are practically attached to their computers—sometimes day and night. More and more human interaction takes place digitally. As the percentage of time that users spend with computers increases, the amount of humanity that software developers need to take into consideration increases as well. In short, because humans are spiritual beings, software needs to start Read More ›

Miserable Creatures

Imagine if atheistic materialism was actually true and humans are nothing more than biological automatons – complexly programmed and reactive robots that behave and think in whatever manner happenstance chemical interactions dictates at any given time.  Let’s think about what would actually mean. There would be no way for a biological automaton to determine whether or not any statement was in fact true or not since all conclusions are driven by chemistry and not metaphysical “truth” values; indeed, a biological automaton reaches conclusion X for exactly the same reason any other reaches conclusion Y; chemistry.  If chemistry dictates that 1+1=banana, that is what a “person” will conclude. If chemistry dictates they defend that view to the death and see themselves Read More ›

No-one Knows the Mind of God . . . Except the Committed Atheist

Fair warning to the regular readership. Typically I like to cover intelligent design and evolution-related issues, but I trust I may be permitted a bit of a detour.  There have been a couple of interesting posts recently by Sal, vjtorley and Barry about issues of a more philosophical bent.  vjtorley’s OP, in particular, quoted parts of an essay from Professor Jerry Coyne.  I would like today to share some thoughts on point. With apologies to those not of the Judeo-Christian tradition, my comments will focus in part on the Bible, given that the Bible and the God of the Bible have been the brunt of many new atheist attacks recently, including Coyne’s.  Similar points, no doubt, could be made with Read More ›

A.N. Wilson on Darwinism and Christianity

Now that Wilson mentions it, how come almost all the books claiming that morality is just a human construct that evolved from our being a social species are in fact written by Darwin’;s followers. And none by Bonhoeffer’s? That must mean something. Not nothing. Read More ›

Dawkins mutation in the mind music video: “this is your brain on bad acid”

In the video, Dawkins gets his head split open and then all we see are his brains and eyeballs, then they multiply…. at the end he says, “as for me, I’d rather spread memes than genes anyway.” We then see him tooting his own horn while a dinosaur swallows a shark. The video that Richard Dawkins made for an advertising company in Cannes is like a particularly vivid anti-drug commercial: this is your brain on bad acid, except, of course, that this is a portrait of a brain wrecked by self-importance. Richard Dawkins Meaningless Meme Skip to about 4:50 to see the video. [youtube GFn-ixX9edg] Enjoy! HT: Mike Gene PS Despite all the sadness in the world, the few glimpses Read More ›

The Shallowness of Bad Design Arguments

The existence of bad design, broken design, and cruelty in the world inspires some of the strongest arguments against the Intelligent Design of life and the universe. I consider the “bad design” argument the most formidable of the anti-ID arguments put forward, but in the end it is shallow and flawed. I will attempt to turn the “bad design” argument on its head in this essay. The “bad design” arguments have at least two major themes: 1. An Intelligent Designer like God wouldn’t make designs that are capable of breaking down 2. God (as the Intelligent Designer of Life) doesn’t exist because of all the cruelty and evil in the world To address the first point, consider the synthesis of Read More ›

How to Bring Healing and How Not To

In our final video for the Engineering and Metaphysics conference, we have Dr. Walter Bradley, famous in ID circles for his book, The Mystery of Life’s Origin. Here Dr. Bradley shares with us his work on helping relieve poverty in third-world countries through engineering. He also tells us about practices that people attempt to use to relieve poverty which are unhelpful. This is a great summary of the practices that work and the practices that don’t work. If you have trouble with this, you can see it at the following URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X92BDBku6g4 I hope you enjoyed the Engineering and Metaphysics conference! It was great to get to know everyone, and to get to spend time talking about these things with Read More ›

How do Models of Reality Relate to their Users?

Next up in our Engineering and Metaphysics conference lineup is Baylor’s William Jordan. Jordan compares the way that physics models relate to engineering with the way that theological models relate to religious practice. He looks at how innovation works in both theological and physical models, and how engineers and practitioners should treat them. He also looks at the way in which realism affects education in both systems. I don’t have slides for this, but you can see the slides pretty well on the video.

Does the Constructal Law Give Evidence of Design?

In Bejan’s “Design in Nature”, Bejan promotes what he calls the “constructal law,” which states, “For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the imposed currents that flow through it.” Bejan has denied that this relates at all to any ultimate form of design, but is this claim correct? In our next Engineering and Metaphysics video, Halsmer and Odom look into the constructal law and whether it indicates design, as well as other, new aspects the constructal law might be applicable to. If you are unable to see the video properly, the YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eda6Mls1RBk

He said it: Alfred Russel Wallace on the gradual evolution of his scientific and linked philosophical views

ENV reports on how there seems to be an attempt to reclaim the co-founder of evolutionary theory for the anti-design camp. Such an enterprise is bound to fail the test of historical accuracy in light of a simple reading of Wallace’s The World of Life; as was recently republished by — we can’t make this up — Forgotten Books. Using a modern style, the book is: The World of Life: a manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind and Ultimate Purpose. That should tell us something, but evidently not enough to satisfy the enthusiasts and champions of evolutionary materialism. (Cf. the earlier posts here and here (video) on the suppressed/”forgotten” history of Darwin’s Heretic.) We could read the book, which substantiates the Read More ›