Category: Science, worldview issues/foundations and society
|July 24, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Free Speech, Intellectual freedom, Laws, Religion, Science, Philosophy and (Natural) Theology, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Carpathian, sadly but predictably, in the face of remonstrance has continued his attempts to support ghettoising, stigmatising and silencing the voice of the Christian in public; making himself a poster-child of a clear and present danger to liberty in our time. For example: >>Religious activities should all be private. Any prospects for religious conversion should […]
|July 23, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Education, Ethics, Religion, Science, Philosophy and (Natural) Theology, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Justice, classically, is often portrayed as a blindfolded lady carrying scales and a sword. This represents the challenge of impartiality and responsible and fair evaluation of cases in light of facts, rights, value and values that must consistently lie behind the unfortunate reality that the state and its officers must wield the sword in defence […]
|July 21, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Ethics, Laws, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Philosophy, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
SB is one of UD’s treasures, who often puts up gems as comments. Accordingly, I headline his current response to Mung on laws of (human) nature: _______________ >>Mung SB, Can you explain why the natural moral law requires a lawgiver? ETA: I don’t believe in natural laws, I believe in natures/essences. So keep that in […]
|July 7, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
ID debates often bring up foundational worldview issues, and the following exchange in the current Answering P thread is also worth headlining: ___________________ P, 62: >>Knowledge is information that, when embedded in a storage medium, plays a causal role in it being retained. This includes books, genomes and yes, brains. Furthermore, knowledge is objective in […]
Answering Popperian’s challenge: “why doesn’t someone start out by explaining how human beings generate emotions, then point out how the universality of computation does not fit that explanation . . .”
|July 4, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under brains and computation vs contemplation, evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
There are some key motifs that often come up in discussions of design theory and linked ideas. Popperian, as captioned, has posed one of these. Notice, his view, that we GENERATE emotions, suggesting a dynamo churning away and generating electricity. That is, the motif that would reduce explanations to mechanisms is here revealed. I think […]
Eric lets the amoral cat out of the bag: “It may be ‘so what’ to you (and me) that morality is ultimately subjective . . .”
|July 1, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism|
It is instructive to see this inadvertently revealing comment on a blog post by Jason Rosenhouse. But first, let’s remind ourselves of a very important visually made point: And now: >>eric April 15, 2015 Of course, you can challenge my definition. You can say that it’s just a product of my own subjective judgment that […]
|July 1, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under brains and computation vs contemplation, evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Intelligent Design, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
I think BA77’s reply deserves to be headlined, as a part of the issue on self-falsification of evolutionary materialism. First, a picture: Now, the clip: >>as to Lombrozo’s comment here: “in the last 20 years or so, research in psychology and the cognitive science of religion has increasingly focused on another factor that contributes to […]
|June 30, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Intelligent Design, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism|
As I ponder the ongoing debates over and consequences of a priori evolutionary materialism (especially when dressed up in the lab coat) I am more and more led to think that the issue of responsible freedom tied to rationality and to our inescapably being under moral government is utterly pivotal. An excellent place to begin […]
|June 11, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, FYI-FTR, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
As was noted yesterday, psycho-social cascades can often create a locked-in, socially mutually reinforcing perception in a society at large or in a polarised sub culture, that can continue indefinitely. Regardless of true facts and duties of care to fairness. This is why the wedge document canard is particularly pernicious in and around discussions of […]
FYI-FTR: Part 12, More from Kuran and Sunstein; on “sheeple” mass pseudo-consensus by way of manipulating opinion (and policy . . . ) through cascade effects
|June 10, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Creationism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, FYI-FTR, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
It is worth pausing to pull up more from the rich motherlode of the Kuran-Sunstein Stanford law review article on opinion and reputation cascades, to help us understand what has been going on: >> the probability assessments we make as individuals are frequently based on the ease with which we can think of relevant examples.‘ […]
|June 9, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Free Speech, FYI-FTR, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
Today, I must postpone my intended next FTR, but I believe we will find very useful, the Olin Foundation paper as captioned, with abstract: >>Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation Timur Kuran* and Cass R. Sunstein** An availability cascade is a self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation by which an expressed perception triggers a chain reaction […]
|June 8, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, FYI-FTR, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
It is appropriate to pause a moment to reply to RTH at TSZ: >>your FYI / FTR posts are a bad idea. Here’s why: By not allowing criticism to be directly attached to them you are not proceeding in the most intellectually honest way. You keep relinking to them so criticisms have to be redrafted […]
|June 7, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Education, Ethics, FYI-FTR, science education, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
In a current UD News thread, we see how Megan Fox at PJ Media reports: >>If you want to know why people dislike atheists, it’s because they’re thoroughly dislikeable. And if you should find yourself on the wrong side of atheists, like I did by simply posting a video [–> perhaps, this] of myself walking through […]
FYI-FTR: Part 8, an objection — >>nobody has solved the OOL challenge from an ID perspective either. And they never will until ID proposes the nature of the Designer (AKA God) and the mechanisms used (AKA “poof). >>
|June 6, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR, Origin Of Life, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
The captioned comment comes by way of an email, from YM: >>nobody has solved the OOL challenge from an ID perspective either. And they never will until ID proposes the nature of the Designer (AKA God) and the mechanisms used (AKA “poof). >> (In addition, I have received a slander-laced remark from one of the […]
FYI-FTR: Part 7, But >>if you want to infer a designer as the cause of an apparent design, then you need to make some hypotheses about how, how, where and with what, otherwise you can’t subject your inference to any kind of test>>
Not so. With all due respect, EL’s error here is a case of failure to think through the inductive logic of abductive inference to best explanation on a tested, reliable sign. (And indeed the statistics of Type I/II error extend that to cases of known percentage reliability, especially when multiple aspects or signs are involved […]
FYI-FTR: Part 6, What about “howtwerdun” and “whodunit” . . . >>[the ID case has] no hypothesis about what the designer was trying to do, how she was doing it, what her capacities were, etc.>>
|June 4, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
One of the key diversions made by objectors to a design inference on empirically tested, reliable markers of design as causal factor, is to try to switch topics and debate about the designer. Often, this then bleeds over into assertions or suggestions on “god of the gaps” fallacies and even accusations of ID being “Creationism […]
|June 3, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, FYI-FTR, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
One of the persistent dismissive assertions we see from objectors to design thought is the notion that there is “no evidence” for a designer. As we have already seen, that is questionable, immediately a reflection of selective hyperskepticism, but I believe something deeper lurks. For, the very intensity of this dismissive talking point is a […]
|June 2, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR, Intelligent Design, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
Sometimes, one of the most telling issues in a debate is the point the other side utterly refuses to take up. The one it tries to pretend is just not there. Even, as it hastens off to a red herring dragged away to strawman caricatures laced with loaded accusations or insinuations and set alight to […]
FYI-FTR*: Part 3, Is it so, that >> . . . What undermines the “case for design” chiefly, is that there isn’t a case for a designer>>
|June 1, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Creationism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Ethics, ID Foundations, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
It has become apparent that a major objection by EL et al, is that ” . . . What undermines the “case for design” chiefly, is that there isn’t a case for a designer” — clearly implying God as Designer/ Creator. This objection is closely backed by the now far too common atheistical/ secularist notion […]
Let’s discuss: >> Elizabeth Liddle: I do not think the ID case holds up. I think it is undermined by [want of . . . ???] any evidence for the putative designer . . . >>
|May 30, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism|
In a current UD thread, Mung clips and comments: >> OT: Over at TSZ, fossils of reason occasionally appear, quite by accident. Elizabeth Liddle: I do not think the ID case holds up. I think it is undermined by any evidence for the putative designer – no hypothesis about what the designer was trying to […]
I. The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism, by which it was carried on, he would perceive, in this new observation, nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done,–for referring the construction of the watch to design, and to supreme art. If that construction without this property, or which is the same thing, before this property had been noticed, proved intention and art to have been employed about it; still more strong would the proof appear, when he came to the knowledge of this further property, the crown and perfection of all the rest.
II. He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that, in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair; the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use. With respect to these, the first watch was no cause at all to the second: in no such sense as this was it the author of the constitution and order, either of the parts which the new watch contained, or of the parts by the aid and instrumentality of which it was produced. We might possibly say, but with great latitude of expression, that a stream of water ground corn: but no latitude of expression would allow us to say, no stretch of conjecture could lead us to think, that the stream of water built the mill, though it were too ancient for us to know who the builder was. What the stream of water does in the affair, is neither more nor less than this; by the application of an unintelligent impulse to a mechanism previously arranged, arranged independently of it, and arranged by intelligence, an effect is produced, viz. the corn is ground. But the effect results from the arrangement. The force of the stream cannot be said to be the cause or author of the effect, still less of the arrangement. Understanding and plan in the formation of the mill were not the less necessary, for any share which the water has in grinding the corn: yet is this share the same, as that which the watch would have contributed to the production of the new watch, upon the supposition assumed in the last section. Therefore,
III. Though it be now no longer probable, that the individual watch, which our observer had found, was made immediately by the hand of an artificer, yet doth not this alteration in anywise affect the inference, that an artificer had been originally employed and concerned in the production. The argument from design remains as it was. Marks of design and contrivance are no more accounted for now, than they were before . . . >>
Paley goes on:
>>Nor is any thing gained by running the difficulty farther back, i. e. by supposing the watch before us to have been produced from another watch, that from a former, and so on indefinitely. Our going back ever so far, brings us no nearer to the least degree of satisfaction upon the subject. Contrivance is still unaccounted for. We still want a contriver. A designing mind is neither supplied by this supposition, nor dispensed with. If the difficulty were diminished the further we went back, by going back indefinitely we might exhaust it. And this is the only case to which this sort of reasoning applies. Where there is a tendency, or, as we increase the number of terms, a continual approach towards a limit, there, by supposing the number of terms to be what is called infinite, we may conceive the limit to be attained: but where there is no such tendency, or approach, nothing is effected by lengthening the series. There is no difference as to the point in question (whatever there may be as to many points), between one series and another; between a series which is finite, and a series which is infinite. A chain, composed of an infinite number of links, can no more support itself, than a chain composed of a finite number of links . . . The machine which we are inspecting, demonstrates, by its construction, contrivance and design. Contrivance must have had a contriver; design, a designer; whether the machine immediately proceeded from another machine or not. That circumstance alters not the case. That other machine may, in like manner, have proceeded from a former machine: nor does that alter the case; contrivance must have had a contriver . . . >>
Paley is direct: “[c]ontrivance must have had a contriver; design, a designer . . .”
That is, we may extend the per aspect causal explanatory framework:
P1: design processes call out for explanation, and
P2: the only reasonable explanation of such is that the functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information [FSCO/I] we see point to intelligently directed configuration as proximate, actuating cause and onwards to the intelligence and purpose of a contriver as the first, root cause. So,
C: such calls for the explanation: “[c]ontrivance must have had a contriver; design, a designer . . .”
Thence, we go back to Plato in The Laws, Bk X:
>>Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.
[[ . . . .]
Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?
Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?
Ath. I do.Cle. Certainly we should.Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?[[ . . . . ]Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?
Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?
Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.
Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?
Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?
[[ . . . . ]
Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.]>>
So, who is right, Paley and Plato, or Liddle, why? END