Category: ID Foundations
|March 21, 2014||Posted by Eric Anderson under Complex Specified Information, Design inference, ID Foundations, Informatics|
In my first post I discussed the concept of information, in particular whether information is contained in a physical object by its mere existence. In this post I would like to consider an additional issue relating to information, namely, the point at which information arises or comes into existence. Information is often closely associated with […]
|March 19, 2014||Posted by Eric Anderson under Complex Specified Information, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, ID Foundations, Informatics|
First of all I want to thank the Uncommon Descent moderators for allowing me to post, with a particular hat tip to StephenB. As I indicated on a prior thread, I am not sure how often I will take the time to create a new thread, but hopefully I can occasionally post something of interest. […]
|January 28, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, They said it . . ., Video|
VJT has recently posted on what kind of cosmos God made, remarking on the Don Johnson bioinformatics lecture. He linked but didn’t embed, so here is the lecture: embedded by Embedded Videovimeo Direkt And, here is the handout. No comments — go to VJT’s thread. OOPS, something funny there so I open back up comments […]
|January 28, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under academic freedom, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, ID Foundations, science education, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism, They said it . . .|
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 […]
ID Foundations 23: Dr Stephen Meyer on The Design Inference on Complex [often, Functionally] Specified Information and the Origin of Cell-based Life (OoL)
|January 9, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Irreducible Complexity, The Design of Life|
This lecture by Dr Stephen Meyer of Discovery Institute, with Q & A may be a good refresher and focus for thought on OoL, HT WK: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt WK — a useful blog to bookmark and monitor to see trends and issues — gives a helpful bullet point outline, in part: intelligent […]
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 […]
“I’ve grown accustomed to your face . . . ” — headlining a comment by ayearningforpublius to pose the question of origin of a significant case of FSCO/I . . . functionally specific, complex organization and/or associated information
|December 28, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Intelligent Design|
New UD commenter ayearningforpublius has put up a comment on the implications of facial recognition, several times. I think it significant enough as a case of FSCO/I and the challenge of addressing its origin, to headline it. But first, let’s put up the vid clip he links: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt Now, his remarks: […]
|December 27, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, ID Foundations, Intelligent Design, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, They said it . . .|
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”, […]
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
|December 24, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Philosophy, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, They said it . . .|
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 […]
The famous Feynman Lectures on Physics hosted free for all by Caltech (and taking a peek at entropy . . . )
|December 7, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Education, ID Foundations, Physics, science education, thermodynamics and information|
Christmas is early this year. Here are the famous Feynman Lectures on Physics (Vol II is forthcoming) hosted for free by Caltech. A useful point of reference for one and all. Just for fun, note here on on entropy, irreversibility and the rise of disorder: Where does irreversibility come from? It does not come from […]
|December 6, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Astronomy, Cosmology, Design inference, Fine tuning, ID Foundations, Privileged planet, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
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: […]
|October 29, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Comp. Sci. / Eng., Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
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 […]
|October 1, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Design inference, ID Foundations, Intelligent Design|
HT, ENV. Let’s Embed, from here: Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually. And, let us discuss. END
|September 27, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under academic freedom, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, FYI-FTR, ID Foundations, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
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. […]
|September 25, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinism, Evolution, ID Foundations, Origin Of Life, UD's Pro-Darwinism essay Challenge|
It seems we can now put together at least a draft outline composite response to the UD pro-darwinism essay challenge of a year ago, based on Jerad’s remarks at 70 in the one-year anniversary thread, and a key concession by EL at 149 in the same. In the interests of moving the discussion on the […]
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 […]
Ran across this Biola video lecture (in course BB ST 450) on scientism in a thread from a few months back, HT BA77 as usual. I think it is well worth pondering: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt So, thoughts? END
They said it: “in the spirit of Carthago delenda est . . . ” — AF issues a strawman fallacy-tainted challenge to design thought
|August 7, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR, ID Foundations, They said it . . .|
Longtime design objector AF has just issued an inadvertently revealing challenge in the Info by accident thread: AF, 224: >> And in the spirit of Carthago delenda est if anyone has a testable hypothesis of “Intelligent Design”, that would be good, too!>> This is brazen, and utterly revealing. Cato’s “Carthage must fall” was a declaration […]
RDF/AIG as a case of the incoherence and rhetorical agenda of evolutionary materialist thought and/or its fellow- traveller ideologies
For the past several weeks, there has been an exchange that developed in the eduction vs persuasion thread (put up May 9th by AndyJones), on first principles of right reason and related matters. Commenter RDF . . . has championed some popular talking points in today’s intellectual culture. We can therefore pick up from a […]
REFERENCE: The Smith Model, an architecture for cybernetics and mind-body/ free will/ determinism/ compatibilism analysis . . .
|June 4, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Animal minds, Atheism, Cybernetics and Mechatronics, Evolutionary psychology, Human evolution, ID Foundations, Neuroscience, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Since the issue of agent freedom and cause has again come up, it is worth the while to post the following summary on the Smith Model for agent cause and cybernetics, from the IOSE unit on minds etc: __________ >>(c) Of neurons, brains and minds The neuron (in its various types) is the key building […]
. . . This issue can be addressed at a more sophisticated level [[cf. Hasker in The Emergent Self (Cornell University Press, 2001), from p 64 on, e.g. here as well as Reppert here and Plantinga here (briefer) & here (noting updates in the 2011 book, The Nature of Nature)], but without losing its general force, it can also be drawn out a bit in a fairly simple way:
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.
h: That is, on its own premises [[and following Dawkins in A Devil’s Chaplain, 2004, p. 46], the cause of the belief system of evolutionary materialism, “must” also be reducible to forces of blind chance and mechanical necessity that are sufficiently adaptive to spread this “meme” in populations of jumped- up apes from the savannahs of East Africa scrambling for survival in a Malthusian world of struggle for existence. Reppert brings the underlying point sharply home, in commenting on the “internalised mouth-noise signals riding on the physical cause-effect chain in a cybernetic loop” view:
. . . 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. [[Emphases added. Also cf. Reppert’s summary of Barefoot’s argument here.]
“It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays , Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (Highlight and emphases added.)]
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.
m: Moreover, as Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin reminds us all in his infamous January 29, 1997 New York Review of Books article, “Billions and billions of demons,” it is now notorious that:
. . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel [[materialistic scientists] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [[And if you have been led to imagine that the immediately following words justify the above, kindly cf. the more complete clip and notes here.]
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.)
16 –> Notwithstanding such sharp exchanges, through the Derek Smith model we have potentially fruitful frameworks of thought on which we can investigate the nature of mind and its interaction with the body and brain. >>
Food for thought, and to reflect on the possibilities in the Smith Model. END