Category: Science, worldview issues/foundations and society
|April 19, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
While I am busy locally, I think it is important to discuss the issue as just headlined here at UD. Let me clip from the “Materialism makes you stupid” thread: >>27 CLAVDIVSApril 18, 2016 at 7:52 pm Design as a cause is compatible with materialism. Where’s the beef?>> and >>28 kairosfocusApril 19, 2016 at 5:14 […]
|April 5, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, News, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
This is just to illustrate a point in further reply to MT: To put things into perspective, let us put in Jesus and Mohammed: As further context, and bearing in mind that the band Google trusts the most is 1800 – 2000, broad-brush trends since 1500 may be seen by adding God and the Bible: […]
|March 4, 2016||Posted by DLH under academic freedom, Creationism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Intelligent Design, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Evolutionist inquisition over Chinese scientists mentioning “Creator” force PLOSOne retraction.
|February 29, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under FYI-FTR, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Mathematics, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism, Stirring the pot (tentative thoughts/explorations)||
Over the past month in response to a suggestion on an infinite temporal past (and the counter argument that such is dubious), there has been quite an exchange on numbers. In that context, it is worth headlining FYI/FTR, HT DS, a unification with continuum — oops, link — based on surreals discussed by Ehrlich: where […]
|February 26, 2016||Posted by DLH under Atheism, Big Bang, Books of interest, Cosmology, ID Foundations, Intelligent Design, Of General Interest, Origin Of Life, Philosophy, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Criminologist and former atheist Mike Adams summarizes the three foundational philosophical alternatives to the Cosmos: First, we can say that it came into being spontaneously – in other words, that it came to be without a cause. Second, we can say that it has always been. Third, we can posit some cause outside the physical […]
Is Barker right (or at least in possession of responsibly justified belief) in his book title: “God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction”?
|February 13, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Science, Philosophy and (Natural) Theology, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism|
It seems atheist Dan Barker has built on a notorious remark by Mr Dawkins and has published a book bearing the title as headlined. The question immediately arises: is he right, or is he holding a responsibly justified belief even were it in error? A glance at the Amazon page for the book gives the […]
|January 31, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Mathematics, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Stirring the pot (tentative thoughts/explorations)|
In recent days, the issue of an infinite temporal past as a step by step causal succession has come up at UD. For, it seems the evolutionary materialist faces the unwelcome choice of a cosmos from a true nothing — non-being or else an actually completed infinite past succession of finite causal steps. Durston: >>To […]
In the current UD thread on Darwinism and an infinite past, there has been an exchange on Spitzer’s argument that it is impossible to traverse an infinite past to arrive at the present. Let me share and headline what is in effect the current state of play: DS, 108: >>KF, DS, ticking clocks meet dying […]
|January 14, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Fine tuning, Science, Philosophy and (Natural) Theology, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Ran across this clip at Christian Post: Atheist author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins says the best argument for God he’s ever hard has to do with a deistic God as the fine-tuner of the universe . . . . Dawkins prefaced his answer by making it clear that he is not “in any sense […]
|December 18, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Origin Of Life, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
I ran across a vid of a proposal developed by Martin Marietta to explore Mars, towards settlement (and terraforming?): embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt What I find highly interesting is the motivations given. In addition to the Mars colonisation idea, there seems to be hope that finding “independent” life on Mars would show life must […]
|December 4, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under academic freedom, Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Education, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
The core challenge being addressed (as we respond to abuse of a critical thinking curriculum) is the notion that belief in the reality of God is a culturally induced, poorly grounded commonplace notion. An easily dismissed cultural myth or prejudice, in short. Let us remind ourselves of the curriculum content used by teachers in a […]
|December 3, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under academic freedom, Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
In further addressing the curriculum abuse that sought to induce twelve year olds to imagine that belief in God is little more than a culturally induced ill-supported notion, it is critical to address the favoured ideology, evolutionary materialist scientism and/or its fellow travellers. For, never mind the lab coat clad magisterium, evolutionism is self-referentially incoherent […]
|December 2, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Education, FYI-FTR, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
As we continue to respond to the abuse of curriculum authority that tried to present to 12 year olds in Texas that belief in God is in effect a culturally stamped but ill supported notion, it is appropriate to pause and watch how William Lane Craig responds to the sort of arguments presented by Dawkins […]
FYI-FTR: Ravi Zacharias on the existence of God (for Jordan and other intelligent and brave 12 year olds)
|December 2, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, FYI-FTR, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
As we continue to respond to the abuse of curriculum authority that tried to present to 12 year olds in Texas that belief in God is in effect a culturally stamped but ill supported notion, it is appropriate to pause and watch the always entertaining — and perfect for twelve year olds — but oh […]
|December 2, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Education, FYI-FTR, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
As we continue to address the abuse of curriculum authority that tried to present to 12 year olds in Texas that belief in God is in effect a culturally stamped but ill supported notion, it is appropriate to pause and watch Kreeft’s video lecture: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt Food for thought. END
|December 1, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
I headline as a notice, to deal with trollish misconduct: >>I warned about hijacking threads of discussion, took time to give pointers of correction and even link where there are discussions of this sort of sophomoric parody, e.g. http://www.truefreethinker.com…..l-part-2-4 (as in: this sort of foolishness has long since been corrected, that which is made of […]
Is the view that there is a God little more than a poorly supported, culturally induced commonplace notion?
|December 1, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under academic freedom, Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Education, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Yesterday, I highlighted a case in Texas in which a School-level Critical Thinking Curriculum has been manipulated to set an assignment (in a section for 20 points) gives a question requiring the answer that “There is a God” is not fact or credible view but a cultural commonplace, poorly supported and dubious assertion that apparently […]
|November 30, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under academic freedom, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Education, Media, News, Politics/policy and origins issues, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Here (make sure to watch the embedded Fox26 video which I doubt I can embed at UD). Is it reasonable to be putting such a question to 12 year old students in class? (And if you think this was just one teacher, note how it came up the next day in other classes and in […]
BTB, 4: Evolutionary Materialism as “fact, Fact, FACT” and its self-falsifying self-referential incoherence
|November 13, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, brains and computation vs contemplation, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
One of the challenges commonly met with in re-thinking origins science from a perspective open to design, is that the evolutionary materialist narrative is too often presented as fact (not explanation), and there is also a typical failure to recognise that materialist ideology cannot be properly imposed on science. Likewise, there is a pattern of […]
To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.
A few thinkers, to their credit, recognize the problem. Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”
On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.”>>
And [as may be seen] she highlights several cases where the issue is increasingly recognised as a significant one. But instead of addressing the substance, you tried to indulge a personality laced ad hominem that in effect appeals to the contempt laced notion that those who disagree with the evolutionary materialist establishment are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Which, post Umpqua, your side needs to seriously walk back to help dial back the voltage polarising and poisoning the atmosphere.
Let me elaborate the substantial issue just a tad, by way of Reppert, building on Lewis, who in turn made reference to Haldane:
. . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.
Got the key point? Namely, It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference.
That is, computation is inherently a blind mechanical process of cause and effect, just as the flowing water that energises a mill’s wheels is about the blind force not the functionally specific information rich organisation that mills the corn. That is GIGO obtains for computation precisely because it is blindly mechanical. One cog cares not that it is part of a mill, it is only blindly acting under imposed force. The effectiveness of the programming depends on intelligently directed configuration, not on the mere possibility of mechanism. The contrivance behind mechanism has to be adequately accounted for.
But, as we will readily experience in ourselves, our self-aware, rational contemplation is utterly unlike that. There is a categorical difference to be accounted for, and it is pivotal as without responsibly free, rational contemplation, reason, warrant, knowledge and logically driven discussion collapse in a sea of blind, GIGO-limited mechanical cause-effect driven mill wheel grinding computation and accidents of programming.
The effects of this sort of thinking, influenced by precisely the sort of evolutionary materialistic scientism that is so dominant in power centres and is spreading though our civilisation, are evident all around us. And, not for the good.
Now, let me outline my own chain of thought on the matter . . . rooted in reflections and findings that are now some 25 – 30 years past:
a: Evolutionary materialism argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature; from hydrogen to humans by undirected chance and necessity.
b: Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws of chance and/or mechanical necessity acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of happenstance initial circumstances.
(This is physicalism. This view covers both the forms where (a) the mind and the brain are seen as one and the same thing, and those where (b) somehow mind emerges from and/or “supervenes” on brain, perhaps as a result of sophisticated and complex software looping. The key point, though is as already noted: physical causal closure — the phenomena that play out across time, without residue, are in principle deducible or at least explainable up to various random statistical distributions and/or mechanical laws, from prior physical states. Such physical causal closure, clearly, implicitly discounts or even dismisses the causal effect of concept formation and reasoning then responsibly deciding, in favour of specifically physical interactions in the brain-body control loop; indeed, some mock the idea of — in their view — an “obviously” imaginary “ghost” in the meat-machine. [[There is also some evidence from simulation exercises, that accuracy of even sensory perceptions may lose out to utilitarian but inaccurate ones in an evolutionary competition. “It works” does not warrant the inference to “it is true.”] )
c: But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this meat-machine picture. So, we rapidly arrive at Crick’s claim in his The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994): what we subjectively experience as “thoughts,” “reasoning” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as the unintended by-products of the blind natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains that (as the Smith Model illustrates) serve as cybernetic controllers for our bodies.
d: These underlying driving forces are viewed as being ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance shaped by forces of selection [[“nature”] and psycho-social conditioning [[“nurture”], within the framework of human culture [[i.e. socio-cultural conditioning and resulting/associated relativism]. And, remember, the focal issue to such minds — notice, this is a conceptual analysis made and believed by the materialists! — is the physical causal chains in a control loop, not the internalised “mouth-noises” that may somehow sit on them and come along for the ride.
(Save, insofar as such “mouth noises” somehow associate with or become embedded as physically instantiated signals or maybe codes in such a loop. [[How signals, languages and codes originate and function in systems in our observation of such origin — i.e by design — tends to be pushed to the back-burner and conveniently forgotten. So does the point that a signal or code takes its significance precisely from being an intelligently focused on, observed or chosen and significant alternative from a range of possibilities that then can guide decisive action.])
e: For instance, Marxists commonly derided opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismissed qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? Should we not ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is little more than yet another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze? And — as we saw above — would the writings of a Crick be any more than the firing of neurons in networks in his own brain?
f: For further instance, we may take the favourite whipping-boy of materialists: religion. Notoriously, they often hold that belief in God is not merely cognitive, conceptual error, but delusion. Borderline lunacy, in short. But, if such a patent “delusion” is so utterly widespread, even among the highly educated, then it “must” — by the principles of evolution — somehow be adaptive to survival, whether in nature or in society. And so, this would be a major illustration of the unreliability of our conceptual reasoning ability, on the assumption of evolutionary materialism.
g: Turning the materialist dismissal of theism around, evolutionary materialism itself would be in the same leaky boat. For, the sauce for the goose is notoriously just as good a sauce for the gander, too . . . .
j: Therefore, though materialists will often try to pointedly ignore or angrily brush aside the issue, we may freely argue: if such evolutionary materialism is true, then (i) our consciousness, (ii) the “thoughts” we have, (iii) the conceptualised beliefs we hold, (iv) the reasonings we attempt based on such and (v) the “conclusions” and “choices” (a.k.a. “decisions”) we reach — without residue — must be produced and controlled by blind forces of chance happenstance and mechanical necessity that are irrelevant to “mere” ill-defined abstractions such as: purpose or truth, or even logical validity.
(NB: The conclusions of such “arguments” may still happen to be true, by astonishingly lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” or “warranted” them. It seems that rationality itself has thus been undermined fatally on evolutionary materialistic premises. Including that of Crick et al. Through, self-reference leading to incoherence and utter inability to provide a cogent explanation of our commonplace, first-person experience of reasoning and rational warrant for beliefs, conclusions and chosen paths of action. Reduction to absurdity and explanatory failure in short.)
k: And, if materialists then object: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must immediately note that — as the fate of Newtonian Dynamics between 1880 and 1930 shows — empirical support is not equivalent to establishing the truth of a scientific theory. For, at any time, one newly discovered countering fact can in principle overturn the hitherto most reliable of theories. (And as well, we must not lose sight of this: in science, one is relying on the legitimacy of the reasoning process to make the case that scientific evidence provides reasonable albeit provisional warrant for one’s beliefs etc. Scientific reasoning is not independent of reasoning.)
l: Worse, in the case of origins science theories, we simply were not there to directly observe the facts of the remote past, so origins sciences are even more strongly controlled by assumptions and inferences than are operational scientific theories. So, we contrast the way that direct observations of falling apples and orbiting planets allow us to test our theories of gravity . . . .
o: More important, to demonstrate that empirical tests provide empirical support to the materialists’ theories would require the use of the very process of reasoning and inference which they have discredited.
p: Thus, evolutionary materialism arguably reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, as we have seen: immediately, that must include “Materialism.”
q: In the end, it is thus quite hard to escape the conclusion that materialism is based on self-defeating, question-begging logic.
r: So, while materialists — just like the rest of us — in practice routinely rely on the credibility of reasoning and despite all the confidence they may project, they at best struggle to warrant such a tacitly accepted credibility of mind and of concepts and reasoned out conclusions relative to the core claims of their worldview. (And, sadly: too often, they tend to pointedly ignore or rhetorically brush aside the issue.)
On right of fair comment, I think I can safely say there is a serious case to be answered, that evolutionary materialist scientism is inherently self-referential, incoherent and self falsifying . . . >>
As there is a live thread in progress, onward discussion may be had there. END