Category: Ethics

For the Easter Weekend, 2014 . . .

Here. (HT: VJT, also, Charles Babbage.) Video: embedded by Embedded Videovimeo Direkt more

Kirk Durston on “God and Science – Is there a Conflict?” . . . food for thought

I think we need to watch a video by Friend of UD, Kirk Durston. But first, a loop-back note: I have been rather busy elsewhere with issues like AS-AD, Kondratiev waves, Hayek’s investment triangle, SD and Schumpeterian creative destruction.(Pardon the resulting absence.) BTW, this line of thought leads me to hold that the oh- so- […] more

On babies, bathwater, matters ontological and Plantinga . . .

I think that sometimes, it helps to pull back a bit and reflect on the meta . . . philosophical . . . issues connected to design, mind, being, cause and effect, what it would mean to be a necessary being, etc. I have also been thinking in that context, that the modern, modal ontological […] more

Newswatch — tracking the Ukraine crisis in light of the shadows of 1938 . . .

Preliminary thoughts are here, I  have a very queasy feeling in my tummy over this one. For historical context, here is Wiki’s summary of developments coming out of the 1938 “Peace in our time” crisis of 1938, which began with German agitation over the claimed plight of the Sudeten Germans living under Czech rule — […] more

Science, Worldviews & Society, 1: An argument from necessary (thus, eternal) truth to the reality of God as eternally contemplative . . . and, designing . . . Mind

This past month has been quite busy, and I have had but little time to respond to some questions on foundations of reality and modern theistic arguments from a budding young philosopher. (BTW, his 3 month post op check up has been positive I take occasion to publicly thank St. Georges Hospital, London and others.) […] more

C S Lewis on The Magician’s Twin . . . a video critique of Scientism

Let me cross-post and adapt, in further following up on the Nye-Ham debate, through exploring and replying to the underlying problem of scientism . . . the ideologisation of science: _____________ >> The following video critique of Scientism (science turned into ideology or quasi-religion and means of gaining power) based on C S Lewis’s thought, is […] more

My take on the Nye-Ham Debate (and its wider context)

I have felt it useful to blog on the Nye-Ham debate at my personal blog, here. I trust the thoughts there will be helpful for onward discussion. My conclusion, in light of say the life and career of this notorious Creationist  ignoramus, and blundering incompetent at scientific fields . . . NOT: . . . […] more

“Intelligent Design is NOT Anti-Evolution” — a guest post

Good day, my name is JoeG and I would like to get something out in the open and hopefully have it become fully understood by everyone. For decades I have been debating against evolutionism and for decades I have been told that my position is “anti-evolution.” I found that strange because my position allows for […] more

ID Foundations, 22: What about evolutionary trees of descent and homologies? (An answer to Jaceli123′s presentation of a typical icon of evolution . . . )

As has been noted, sometimes people come to UD looking for answers to questions about what they have been taught regarding “Evolution”; typically in the context of indoctrination under the Lewontinian ideological a priori materialism that he outlined thusly in his infamous 1997 NYRB article: [T]he problem is to get [the general public] to reject […] more

“Who de cap fit, let ‘im wear it . . . ” — a (preliminary) collection of seen-in-the-wild Darwinist fever swamp fallacies

I am thinking it is time we began a collection of Darwinist fever swamp fallacies found in the wild. (Make sure to get your Malaria shot before going there . . . ) After the now standard “your’e a quote miner” false accusation and the “it’s a Gish galloper” smear of a man not present […] more

WJM gives us a “typical” conversation between an ID supporter and an objector . . .

On Christmas Day, WJM put the following hypothetical conversation in a comment. Since he has not headlined it himself, as promised yesterday, I now do so: Typical debate with an anti-ID advocate: ID advocate: There are certain things that exist that are best explained by intelligent design. Anti-ID advocate: Whoa! Hold up there, fella. “Explained”, […] more

ID Foundations, 21: MF — “as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation” . . . a root worldview assumption based cause for rejecting the design inference emerges into plain view

In the OK thread, in comment 50, ID objector Mark Frank has finally laid out the root of ever so many of the objections to the design inference filter. Unsurprisingly, it is a worldview based controlling a priori of materialism: [re EA] #38 [MF, in 50:] I see “chance” as usually meaning to “unpredictable” or […] more

Coyne et al cheer on censorship — it is time to take notice . . .

Yesterday, UD News  headlined a case of radical secularist censorship in Los Angeles being cheered on by Jerry Coyne et al. The case concerns the removal of the following sign (shown under fair use) that was formerly present at a Museum of Natural History in that city: Notice, what Coyne says in exultation over the […] more

ID Foundations, 20: Caught between the Moon and New York City . . . the Privileged Planet thesis

Yesterday, News put up a post on the mysterious origins of the moon, invoking a classic song on being caught between the Moon and New York City. (Niwrad added a post here on the multiverse that is also worth seeing. Kindly bear in mind this earlier ID Foundations post on fine tuning.) Mahuna aptly comments: […] more

Understanding self-evidence (with a bit of help from Aquinas . . . )

It seems that one of the pivotal issues in reasoned thinking about design-related questions — and in general –  is the question of self-evident first, certain truths that can serve as a plumb-line for testing other truth claims, and indeed for rationality. (Where, the laws of identity, non-contradiction and excluded middle are foremost among such […] more

A challenge to strong Artificial Intelligence enthusiasts . . .

For some little while now, RDF/AIGuy has been advocating a strong AI claim here at UD.  In an exchange in the ongoing is ID fatally flawed thread, he has said: 222: Computers are of course not conscious. Computers of course can be creative, and computers are of course intelligent agents. Now before you blow a […] more

FYI-FTR: The “Creationists” are spreading their tainting of Science textbooks from Texas — or are they?

A few days ago, UD News posted a comment on a scare mongering story in a British popular science magazine, on how “Creationists” in Texas were allegedly tainting textbooks through the buying power of that state. By comments 3 and 4 we read: 3 wd400October 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm First, how do they know? […] more

FYI-FTR: TSZ post, Sept 12, 2013 describes “creationists” — ENEMIES OF HUMANITY

Sometimes, it is necessary to shine a spotlight on behaviour that is beyond the pale of reasonable civil discourse. Especially if, after repeated attempts to call for correction, we see instead the blog owner — here, EL of TSZ — and others insistently pretending that such falls within the circle of reasonable freedom of expression. […] more

UD Pro-Darwinism essay challenge unanswered a year later, I: Let’s get the essence of design theory as a scientific, inductive inference straight

Today marks a full year since I issued an open challenge to Darwinists to ground their theory and its OOL extension and root, in light of actually observed capabilities of blind watchmaker mechanisms of chance and necessity through an essay I would host here at UD. The pivot of the challenge is the modern version […] more

Remembering Battle of Britain Day, Sunday Sept 15, 1940 . . . when a few stood in the gap [+ lessons on the significance of a force- in- being strategy]

I looked at the date and thought, quite a lesson from history, and a follow up from those of 9/11. Summer, 1940, when  The Few in their Hurricanes (mostly!) and Spitfires stood between civilisation, however flawed, and a nightmare of aggressive barbarism, with the peak being Sunday, Sept 15, 1940. (That day and date thing […] more

(And while the narrator has a point on broader themes, if Fighter Command had been knocked out, the Germans would have been able to dominate the battle from the air, and would have won. More thoughts here.)

A lesson for us as we stand in the gap today, against fairly long odds.

And, coming off a shower, let me add some notes on those lessons.

First, the key victory was a force in being success. As long as Fighter Command was a viable force, Hitler could not invade Britain with confidence. So it is significant that Sept 15 was the original target landing date.

Just so, as long as the design movement has a viable inductive argument and a significant number of competent people able to support it, it provides a base for the overwhelming number of people who recognise from the world that — despite the talking points to dismiss it — there are strong signs of it being designed, long run, we win.

And the objectors know that, they must sweep the field clear of the idea that there are signs in our world that on a reasonable examination in accord with sound inductive reasoning and historically valid scientific methods, point to design.

They obviously cannot overwhelm those signs unless they inject the Lewontinian a priori materialism that Philip Johnson so aptly rebuked:

For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
. . . .   The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

Hence some of the desperation of opponents to dominate institutions and the resort to censorship and smears.

Which, so long as we are not cowed, is ultimately as self defeating as attacking London was for Hitler’s bombers.

And so we come right back to the challenge that science is not properly to be equated to applied materialist ideology, and that on billions of observed cases without effective exception, FSCO/I is best explained by design.

The cosmos is full of signs of complex fine tuning that organises a cosmos supportive of cell based life. When an agnostic like Hoyle is the one who has led the charge on the point, that says something.

Similarly, on the world of life, we have yet to see an actual, non question-begging, observationally warranted reason to accept that blind watchmaker forces of chance and necessity in a warm pond or the like, threw up code using, algorithm using life. Then, onwards, body plans dozens of times over, that require increments in FSCO/I of 10 – 100+ mn bits.

In short, 150 years later, the very first icon of evolution, the tree of life, remains its Achilles heel:

In that context the ongoing resort to smears, deliberate misrepresentations calculated to stir up hostility and trigger legal or administrative actions, career busting and censorship are the strongest — if inadvertent, and painful  — proof that the ideological materialists know the pivotal challenge they face.

Namely, a significant body of scientific evidence and associated cogent inductive reasoning that backs up the intuitive sense that the world around us reeks of design.

So, let us take heart and let us stand. END

PS: Images are giving me a warm time this morning . . .