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“Enough is enough” — it is time for independent, community-based education, starting with independent education in origins science

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Yesterday, Dr Cornelius Hunter headlined (full story here) how a Washington, DC-based, bipartisan Governor- and Captains of Industry- led Next Generation Science Standards initiative is pushing for an evolutionary materialism-loaded programme of science standards.

The standards are intended to be accepted and adopted “in whole, without alteration.”

A clear warning sign in an age of ever so many agendas being pushed on us as “solutions” to real or imaginary crises A to Z.

The warning flag is tripped for good reason. For, a s CH documents, the proposed standards include:

Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today, and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent . . . . Genetic information, like the fossil record, also provides evidence of evolution. DNA sequences vary among species, but there are many overlaps; in fact, the ongoing branching that produces multiple lines of descent can be inferred by comparing the DNA sequences of different organisms. Such information is also derivable from the similarities and differences in amino acid sequences and from anatomical and embryological evidence . . . . The section begins with a discussion of the converging evidence for common ancestry that has emerged from a variety of sources (e.g., comparative anatomy and embryology, molecular biology and genetics) . . . . Finally, the core ideas in the life sciences culminate with the principle that evolution can explain how the diversity that is observed within species has led to the diversity of life across species through a process of descent with adaptive modification. Evolution also accounts for the remarkable similarity of the fundamental characteristics of all species . . .

To make such confident manner assertions, the inherent limitations of the logic of inductive reasoning highlighted by Newton in Principia and in Opticks are ignored. The further limitation that on matters of origins we deal with an unobserved past that we are trying to model based on traces in the present and inference to best explanation — ideally, on demonstrated adequate cause (but, no-one has demonstrated body plan macro-evolution on Neo-darwinian or similar mechanisms) — has not been adequately discussed. And of course, the demonstrated adequate cause — the ONLY demonstrated, adequate cause — for functionally specific, complex information and associated information [FSCO/I] is suppressed.

In short, the perceived — and in some aspects, real — educational crisis is being exploited to push through an evolutionary materialist ideological agenda dressed up in the holy lab coat and wielding sticks of chalk at the chalk board.

I responded to CH, as follows (I add illustrations, which UD’s comments do not allow):

____________

>>. . . the USA is embarking on an unprecedented level of tertiary education.

100 or even 50 years ago, you were not trying to push nigh on half your age cohorts through to Colleges. So, I suspect, part of the issue is the attempt to do mass tertiary education instead of the older skim the cream approach.

My own solution/suggestion [cf here also for a part time version, and here for the Dip. Ed/ M. Ed to retool people to teach and administer] as a curriculum architect has been: do second chance secondary studies and then move up to tertiary level by a bridge programme. (Other people — IMO — should be doing a modern apprenticeship in a skilled trade, with a qualification ladder that gives the equivalent of an Associate at some definite point.)

That way, you set up a viable bridge that solves problems before you hit the fast-paced, demanding college level. And, given the difference in economics [notice, your education debt crisis], I am inclined towards reaching up, through community colleges then transition to degree completion and onward to the Masters level which has now become the real threshold for professional praxis.

In addition, I note, there is a coming wave of Android Tablets that can work with wireless networks, digital libraries {cf. here, also},  ebooks etc to be a viable education platform that transforms cost and accessibility of learning resources. This wave is kicking in over the next year or two.

A 7" Tablet computer in a folio with a keyboard, suitable for use as a go-anywhere education access appliance

So, while there are genuine problems, I think part of this is the usual pressure group spin tactic: to get your change on the agenda, create a [perceived] crisis. Similarly, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Of course, a crisis is the best time to carry out a coup; especially if there is a panic and there is a cluster of factions that can be mobilised to push through the agenda. (A current example is how the Arab Spring is rapidly becoming an un-headlined IslamIST winter, in Egypt and elsewhere.)

So, let us observe: there is an education debt-crisis, and there is a broader economic malaise (in significant part triggered by foolish ideologically motivated interventions in the market place leading to bubbles and collapses).

I do not doubt that there are rafts of ideologues out there who perceive an opportunity to push through their agendas.

CH has headlined one of them, a push to swallow whole an alleged national high school curriculum reform, one that is chock full of evolutionary materialist dogma pushed in the name of sound science. As we can clip from his onward linked personal blog post:

Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today, and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent . . . . Genetic information, like the fossil record, also provides evidence of evolution. DNA sequences vary among species, but there are many overlaps; in fact, the ongoing branching that produces multiple lines of descent can be inferred by comparing the DNA sequences of different organisms. Such information is also derivable from the similarities and differences in amino acid sequences and from anatomical and embryological evidence . . . . The section begins with a discussion of the converging evidence for common ancestry that has emerged from a variety of sources (e.g., comparative anatomy and embryology, molecular biology and genetics) . . . . Finally, the core ideas in the life sciences culminate with the principle that evolution can explain how the diversity that is observed within species has led to the diversity of life across species through a process of descent with adaptive modification. Evolution also accounts for the remarkable similarity of the fundamental characteristics of all species . . .

Of course, the gaps, contradictory evidence, inherent limitations and a priori materialist ideology dressed up in the holy lab coat are not identified as topics for discussion. No, that is “creationism,” a loaded code word.

Materialist indoctrination, not education.

And that is expected to prepare our civilisation’s youth for higher education and the challenging global jobs market?

All, duly rubber-stamped by a bi-partisan group of state governors [say the magic word: "consensus"] and a sprinkling of some captains of industry.

Any properly trained Alinsky Rules for Radicals method “Community Organizer” would be drooling at the prospect.

But, then, that should be no surprise, in 2000 the US National Science Teachers Association [NSTA] Board went on record on their agenda:

The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts [--> redefines science as applied materialist ideology] . . . .

[[S]cience [--> so redefined] , along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes [--> ideological lock-in] to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific [--> loaded language] methods, explanations, generalizations and products [--> neatly left off: the warrant for the scientific method, so-called, is a matter of epistemology and the logic of induction, which are PHILOSOPHICAL concerns, and require a different method, comparative difficulties across competing alternatives that have a right to sit to the table, not by sufferance of the ideologues in the holy lab coat]. . . .

Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. [--> further ideological lock-in of materialism] Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations [--> Even more materialistic ideology lock-in] and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [--> willfully loaded language, the real alternative since 360 BC is Plato's Nature vs ART, and -- as arson investigators, forensic scientists, and archaeologists routinely practice -- art is eminently suitable for scientific investigation on empirical signs. and NSTA's board knew or was responsible to have known this.] in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000. Emphases added.]

So, when we see a demand for “standards” for science education that are to be taken:

“in whole, without alteration”

. . . we have a right to be highly suspicious.

What can we do?

We are dealing with ideologues in full agenda-push mode in the face of crises that are the now traditional vehicle for radical change.

Such can be exposed and stopped, if there is a balance of forces adequate for the task; but, we should know that if professional ideologues sense that the time and trends are right for their push, they think they have good prospects for success.

If their momentum cannot be broken, then it is time to secede.

There is absolutely no reason why in the USA an alternative system of education from K to MS, cannot be created, built on what is already in place. Especially where there is now a broadband digital infrastructure to back it up.

{Added: an easily implemented community based multimedia seminar room for a network of such institutions could be:

A video teleconferencing-ready Multimedia Seminar room facility for independent community-based education. (Based on a prototype implemented in the Caribbean a decade ago.) Such a facility would easily fit in with existing community infrastructure and facilities. The original was built in a room that was 15' x 30.'

(Also cf. here.)}

But for that to work, people in a critical mass have to see that we are dealing with ideological empire building and coups that are driven by ruthless agendas, not by sound considerations.

So, the first thing is that there needs to be a broad, community based programme of education in origins science from a design theory perspective, independent of the materialist ideologue-dominated systems. (Try this for a first, rough draft.)

Such a programme should target two main groups: (i) educators for the new approach, (ii) students needing a balance in their science education that will counterweight the indoctrination they are going to get anyway. In addition, it should target the sort of community leadership that will be the core of the critical mass to get an alternative going.

So, if the ideologues insist on being unreasonable and have the power to capture the schools as temples of materialism, let them discover that the temples are increasingly empty.

And if they try to impose their agenda on that which is independent of their control, based on slander campaigns, that shows them up as ruthless nihilistic tyrants, to be stoutly exposed and resisted.

Enough is enough . . .   >>

____________

I am convinced that our civilisation stands at a civilisational watershed. And by the forces that are at work at such a divide, once you are on different sides of the line, you will be forced farther and farther apart. In the case of the US’ education systems, there is an entrenched, ideologically driven power elite that cannot be removed by any ordinary means. That means, an alternative has to be built, on fresh ground.

Just as in1776, the separation from the regime of George III reached a point of no return.

Let us therefore remind ourselves of the principles on which the US founders took their stance, and the principle on which they built a new founding, on a green field site, so to speak:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .

That is, there is a right and responsibility of genuine reform, and if remonstrances cannot move the hearts and minds of those who wield power, a right to found a new alternative on a sounder foundation.

It looks to me — given the proverbial “long train of abuses and usurpations” –  uncommonly like the time has come for that.

So, the question we need to ask ourselves, given what is happening on ever so many fronts is: “if not now, then when? if not here, then where? if not us, then who?” END

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15 Responses to “Enough is enough” — it is time for independent, community-based education, starting with independent education in origins science

  1. 1

    Its great there has been so much impressive creationist action and threat that the bad guys must respond.
    Yes education is important on these matters and its to be the interest of the whole public.
    Not just a few weird tyrants.
    Error is being overthrown in our time.

  2. F/R: on select comments appearing at CH’s blog discussion thread:

    1] EL: All arguments I’ve ever heard for ID have been based on [bad] statistical arguments.

    This strawman- caricature- and- knock-over is from someone who interacted at UD for almost a year as probably the most prolific objector, and spun off a blog based on that interaction. I suggest she needs to read the UD FAQ’s. (This article from Abel will probably help as well to clarify the significance of search resources relative to scope of search. And, this will help focus what was discussed at UD. Note EL’s interventions from 30 on in a near on 400 post thread.)

    The design inference is fundamentally an inference to best, empirically anchored explanation, in light of empirically reliable signs of design, such as functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information. Where, even blog posts are an illustration of just how reliably they point to design.

    The bad statistics taunt is probably an attempt to dismiss something that is a commonplace of engineering work or the like: if something is complicated based on multiple parts, and those parts have to be in a particular configuration to work together to yield function, relatively few of the possible arrangements of parts will work, and these will tend to cluster together in highly similar clusters, the usual metaphor being islands of function.

    The commenter has yet to show such function emerging from simple, incrementally complex clusters that work all the way. Just as, you do not get by small random increments from a Hello World program to an operating system, working all the way.

    2] Sc: What’s archaic is your [CH] pre-enlightenment conception of human knowledge that is either irrational, supernatural or absent all together. Your objection to evolutionary theory suffers from the same flawed conception.

    Namecalling, strawman based dismissal of the actual issue raised by design theory: natural causes (tracing to chance and necessity) have characteristic signs, and so do causes tracing to ART. That has been on the table since Plato, and as just seen above, it is still valid.

    The tossing in of “supernatural” as though it is the alternative to “natural” — which evolutionary materialists generally are loathe to actually define [lest it reveals their question-begging a priori materialism, it seems] — is an example of a willful distortion to set up a strawman that appeals to anti-Christian bigotry and fear. Notice, the suggestion “irrational” as well.

    This objector needs to learn that once we look at the “turtles” problem, of warrant for knowledge claims, we end up with turtles all the way down [absurd infinite regress] or turtles in a circle [question-begging] or else the last turtle in the chain of support has to stand somewhere. That is, our systems of knowledge, reasoning and belief all rest on first plausibles that are not subject to further proof, other than that some of them may be self-evident and undeniable on pain of patent absurdity. That is, reason and belief are inextricably intertwined in our worldviews, including when we come to think in science and about science. So, one aspect of thinking about science is that we need to look at the comparative difficulties attaching to alternatives.

    This is not pre enlightenment [fallacy of trying to tell truth by the clock], it is a well established and fairly easily shown foundational issue in thinking about knowledge and warrant.

    But then, the imagined superior post enlightenment view too often boils down to open or disguised materialist a prioris and a supercilious dismissal of challenges thereto.

    3] Th: the fallacious abuse of the loaded word “materialist” serves only to drag a hot distractive red herring across the track of truth, and to lead it out to a strawman . . .

    This is of course simply a dishonest turnabout rhetorical fallacy.

    He has not actually addressed the matter, just pretended that I am guilty of some blunder. As the original post’s citation from the US NSTA Board in 2000 shows beyond reasonable doubt, imposition of naturalism/materialism IS a problem that ideologically distorts science education. Since objectors are often lazy on this sort of thing, let me clip from the OP, noting my bracketed comments:

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts [--> redefines science as applied materialist ideology] . . . .

    [[S]cience [--> so redefined] , along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes [--> ideological lock-in] to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific [--> loaded language] methods, explanations, generalizations and products [--> neatly left off: the warrant for the scientific method, so-called, is a matter of epistemology and the logic of induction, which are PHILOSOPHICAL concerns, and require a different method, comparative difficulties across competing alternatives that have a right to sit to the table, not by sufferance of the ideologues in the holy lab coat]. . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. [--> further ideological lock-in of materialism] Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations [--> Even more materialistic ideology lock-in] and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [--> willfully loaded language, the real alternative since 360 BC is Plato's Nature vs ART, and -- as arson investigators, forensic scientists, and archaeologists routinely practice -- art is eminently suitable for scientific investigation on empirical signs. and NSTA's board knew or was responsible to have known this.] in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000.]

    And those who gleefully jumped up and down on this one, simply show their incompetence and want of checking basic facts before deciding who “wins” an exchange of debate points. (VS, this means YOU.)

    Th also indulges in outing behaviour, further showing how he is an example of the problem of incivility that so often shows up on the part of objectors to design theory. (And yesterday I had to deal with a further case of incivility on his part.)

    4]RC: before using someone’s name [Alinsky] as an insult, you should really make sure you don’t agree with that individual’s core methods and successes.

    RC of course failed to examine the actual techniques/tactics I pointed to [which sound rather familiar], and failed to address what happens after the community organisers seize power in institutions.

    Simple, they continue their habits — after all they “worked” to get them in power, and end up abusing the power and marginalising and demonising or belittling those who dare to differ with them.

    Y’see RC, I went to a Marxist university, and saw how Marxists operated when they seize control of institutions. Alinsky was demonstrably a neo-marxist, as can be examined in the just linked. The tactics I see Alinsky promoting are all too familiar to me.

    Let me add a snippet from his list of rules, to illustrate what i am talking about:

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” [--> translate this into cruel taunting and you get an apt picture of too many darwinist sites on the Internet, and you will see why they so often try to brand those they attack as Right-Wing, Religious, believers in the derided supernatural and as irrational and hypocritical, instead of dealing with the actual merits. Then, turn to official statements by NAS and NSTA and lo and behold much the same emerges. That thinking is the clear assumed backdrop for the proposed standards]. . . .

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. [--> NB: Notice the evil counsel to find a way to attack the man, not the issue. The easiest way to do that, is to use the trifecta stratagem: distract, distort, demonise. Which is so common that it had to be named. ] In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

    “…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ [--> as in, guess who is allegedly responsible for undermining science education and the economic prospects of the US etc etc?] When you ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. [--> so if someone points out the injustice, he too is targetted] They become visible by their support of the target…’

    “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” [--> Cf Dawkins' dismissal that those who object to his evolutionary materialism because of their Bible-based theistic tradition are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Then, read between the lines of the way the curriculum "reforms" in view are being couched.]

    5] VS: KF point is not a logical disagreement with the Alinky’s methods,as you say he actually advocates them.

    More turnabout false accusation tactics.

    Somehow it has not dawned on RC & Vs et al that we have a summary of the proposed standards, and the attempt to ram them through as to be implemented without alteration. That fully warrants saying that the figureheads — who are not experts in science and science education in their own right — were relying on their technical advisors, i.e. they rubber-stamped what the ideologues told them.

    Further there is a pretence at “consensus” on origins science that seeks to impose a reigning orthodoxy.

    Finally,as for Mr Obama, I see no evidence that he has anything to do with this. So, the dragging in of Mr Obama and “Fox news” or the like is simply more polarising distractors.

    __________

    All of this is ever so familiar, and sad.

    KF

  3. Hi Robert:

    It is not just creationists or design thinkers that are the “problem,” the NCSE going over to add climate issues — it’s a little late given the Climategate whistleblower revelations — shows that there is a broad problem of ideologised science, and the sleeping public is waking up.

    Hence, why the ideologues are running around tossing verbal stink-bombs.

    KF

  4. 4
    material.infantacy

    “There is absolutely no reason why in the USA an alternative system of education from K to MS, cannot be created, built on what is already in place. Especially where there is now a broadband digital infrastructure to back it up.”

    There is definitely a need for this. A growing number of people are fed up with the indoctrination that’s replaced education, and are opting to home school their children, thank goodness. I’d especially like to see comprehensive, complete self education programs for math, science, and philosophy, spanning a wide range of levels.

  5. MI,

    I hear you about home schooling, and that can work very well for especially the elementary levels. But once we get to the upper high school and college levels, particularly where science is involved, that model becomes less apt.

    I also strongly believe in the principle that a college should be a community of learning and expertise.

    That is why I suggest that micro-campus centres based in communities and supported by qualified facilitators can address up to the Associate level quite readily.

    For the more advanced levels, I think a blend of local, distance and intensive campus based sessions is the most cost effective approach.

    And, I think this can grow rapidly using a network approach.

    KF

  6. F/N:

    Here’s the problem: “experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    In short the old way is familiar, established and “easy.” The new one is “untried.”

    But, we can plainly see “a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object,” and it is time to realise that we are being subjected to monopolisation by ruthless ideologues. Just for one instance, notice above how there was deriding of mentioning Alinsky. What you are NOT going to be told by the other side, is that teachers are routinely taught from Alinsky’s book and are told that his change methods “work.” Indeed, when I checked, the US National Education Association is one way to get the book.

    So, we have to reach back to a much deeper model, the reformation principle of the compact of government: nationhood/ peoplehood is under God, and government is by compact under God, tasked to defend the civil peace of justice. But when authorities and officials go wrong and refuse to listen to remonstrances by those who have stood up as interposing representatives, then it is not time any more for begging and pleading with those who have hardened their hearts and are set on a determined path like Pharaoh when he said you are lazy, make bricks without straw.

    It is time to walk away.

    (And, no I do not mean, it is time to wave the BATNA card of walking away, that will only be used to pretend to “compromise,” to gull and pull you into more of the same. It is the time to walk away, period.)

    Why should we subject our children to materialist ideological indoctrination under the fraud — and yes, fraud it is, those who promote it do or should know better, but hope to profit from a misleading claim — that they are being taught science and only if they are so indoctrinated they will be ready for higher studies or the world of work?

    Those who choose to associate themselves with such a fraud, have disqualified themselves from the highly responsible task of nurturing our children. A far more august voice than you or I has warned that if one causes a little one to stumble, to be cast into the sea with a millstone around the neck would be far better. The ideologues filling the Internet with fallacy-riddled ideological materialism based skepticism should pay careful heed to this warning.

    [I say this, having had to correct a case for such a young person just yesterday. Imagine, you have statistics in hand that 3/4 of doctors have accepted that miracles occur today. Has it dawned on you that these are the best positioned and qualified witnesses one could have, and that when on a controversial matter we have 3/4 -- that is called a consensus vote -- saying what runs contrary to the cultural messages of the dominant elites, it could be because they have good warrant based on known cases? Nah, this ideologue demands that some particular kind of healing has not been happening so he needs not look at the evidence and can assert confidently that prayers for such healing are being "ignored." So we see how the selective hyperskepticism proceeds to ignore inconvenient truth and relevant testimony in haste to make talking points to push its agenda. All I will say is that the fact that I am alive to be typing here is living proof that miracles in answer to prayer do happen today. And, the last time I spoke with a doctor during a checkup about how my own chronic and potentially life threatening condition has responded to prayer, her remark was in effect: that happens all the time.)

    What is happening is that a system is broken and the folks who have usurped power do everything possible to block getting it fixed.

    Time to walk away.

    Time to start afresh.

    For sure, there is no question that the capacity and resources to implement an alternative community-based and responsible education system from K to MS exist in the USA, and for that matter elsewhere as necessary. And, there is an existing set of accrediting schemes that can be used to assure and manage quality. And if then some would try to dismiss the accreditation, then they will have to answer to the issue of substantial equivalence on substance vs ideological agenda.

    Similarly, it is time for a media walkaway.

    The dominant media are little more than propaganda organs for the materialist establishment and their fellow travellers. It is time to expose them for their incompetence and repeated failure to carry out duties of care regarding the truth, the whole truth and the fair view of issues, not to mention to be responsible in entertainment, instead of pandering to the corrupt. And, again, they resist correction; as we can see on the way that design theory has consistently been mistreated in the teeth of easily accessible correct information and competent spokesmen.

    So, simply walk away -- don't even bother trying to negotiate -- and go to sources that are sound and responsible. If they do not exist, create them. At minimum, a whole broadband Internet is out there, paid for by the addicted to porn. Well, let's put it to better use (and BTW, porn is based on vicious human trafficking, the moral equivalent of slavery . . . yes, I say we declare war on it as human trafficking and exploitation: "am I not a woman and a sister?" [that is adapted from the motto for the antislavery society, in turn drawn from Philemon vv 15 - 17]).

    The resources and capacity are there, the only questions are vision and will.

    So, the issue is not whether it can be done, but are we willing to do it.

    So also, we must ask: if not now, then when? if not here then where? if not us, then who?

    GEM of TKI

  7. F/R 2: Let’s follow up with some more talking points at the CH thread, and I have linked this post there, here. Notice, BTW how consistently these are based on the distract, distort, demonise/denigrate trifecta fallacy.

    6] RC: Clipping one line of our well-thought out comments and running off to another blog we aren’t allowed to post out isn’t really going to do much for the conversation.

    This is of course the Alinsky tactic of personalising, polarising and targetting the man rather than addressing the issue on its merits with a modicum of civility.

    I have posted a link to where I have addressed the issue, so anyone who wants to find out the other side of the story, can do so. That is obviously not running off or away.

    And at this stage having been subjected to outing tactics and personal abuse, there is no conversation to be had, Conversation implies civility and respect. That, I have not had. so I am exposing and correcting.

    as for the notion that picking up specific pivotal points in context — which context I linked — and responding is somehow to fail to cogently address allegedly “well thought out comments” let’s just say that above I have shown that the comments in question are anything but well thought out.

    7] RC: What is ‘neo-marxist’ or ‘Alinsky-style’ about private foundations and corporations generating and presenting science standards for Governors to approve?

    This of course distorts what I said.

    I spoke to ideologically driven technocrats exploiting their expert status to create a warped set of standards, now that the subversives have come to hold influence and power.

    This is a pattern that is happening across whole domains, with charitable foundations,m think tanks and national or international agencies creating a pseudo-consensus that is driven by ideology and agenda.

    The matters exposed over the past few years by the Climategate whistleblower are a good illustration of a much wider pattern that I have seen at work from inside institution after institution, and in the wider history of the fascist and communist revolutions.

    Ruthless nihilistic radicals who gain power by the success of their vicious scheming become abusive and tyrannical.

    That story goes back to the French Revolution and beyond.

    8] RC: you propose community organization as a solution to evolution in schools. I’m puzzled. I guess you think you are a better person than Alinsky?

    Notice, how RC fails to respond to my specific point above about the state governors and captains of industry, but instead erects a turnabout accusation strawman:

    it has not dawned on RC & Vs et al that we have a summary of the proposed standards, and the attempt to ram them through as to be implemented without alteration. That fully warrants saying that the figureheads — who are not experts in science and science education in their own right — were relying on their technical advisors, i.e. they rubber-stamped what the ideologues told them.

    Further there is a pretence at “consensus” on origins science that seeks to impose a reigning orthodoxy.

    I am not proposing to embark on campaigns of vicious ridicule, or polarisation and poisoning of the atmosphere by targetting the man for ad hominems rather than dealing with the issue.

    I am saying — and explicitly on the reformation government as compact principles that are in the US declaration of independence, 1776 [which RC willfully failed to address] — that when those in power abuse their power and will not heed remonstrance, then it is time to walk away and start afresh. leave them to their ideologically corrupted systems, go out and start afresh. Go out and create an independent education system that owes nothing to the governments and the lobby groups.

    As in — and notice, I laid out down to an outline for a multimedia seminar room facility based on a prototype that was created a decade ago — go build schools in communities answerable to people on the ground in communities. You will even see how I spoke of the strengths and limitations of homeschooling, and what seems reasonable to create programmes from K to MS levels. Based on experience with education programme design.

    What was the rhetorical pivot of the twist-about into oh you are just a pale copy of Alinswky and are morally questionable?

    That I spoke of something that is community based!

    But that which is community based and genuinely responsive to the people in the community has nothing whatsoever to do with the sort of cynical subversion based on stoking rage and manipulating the unsuspecting that Alinsky advocated — the clips from RfR that document this are all there, and were studiously avoided, folks.

    So, we see here more strawman tactics.

    9] RC: what did Alinsky accomplish that you find so objectionable? Improving the living conditions of minority communities? Helping Black workers get treated with dignity? Helping Southern blacks vote?

    This is a strawman based smear, in the teeth of linking and explaining just what was objectionable in what Alinsky did. Namely, teach ruthless nihilism and subversion.

    No, he did not just stand up for dispossessed people of my ethnicity. my Grandma’s great uncle did that and ended up on a rope at the hands of a kangaroo court. MLK did that, and was murdered by a racist fanatic. Many others did that and had much to do with the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden.

    Did you see me attacking any such? No.

    Did you see me speaking about the perversion of legitimate grievances into nihilistic ruthlessness. Yes. That is what Alinsky did and it is what I objected to and object to now that his disciples — direct and indirect — influence or even hold power in their own right.

    And what was my proffered solution?

    To go out and build schools of rescue and nurture, capacity building and positive empowerment. To use technologies and exemplars that were tested and proved to work. To make positive use of emerging technologies.

    To EDUCATE and EMPOWER people, free of the interference of agenda-driven ideologues.

    Which RC in his cynicism wishes to equate to neo-marxist subversion and atmosphere-poisoning incivility. Not to mention, hinting that I hate people of my own race.

    For shame!

    See the destructive viciousness of the influences we are talking about, folks?

    10] Sc: A designer that “just was” complete with the knowledge of how to build the biosphere doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose. This is because one could more economical state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with the knowledge of how to build the biosphere, already present in their genomes . . . . All you’ve done is push the problem into some explanation-less realm, then claimed you’ve solved it.

    At least, this is on something of merit.

    I point out in summary that the basic principles of inductive explanation and inference and warrant per logic obtain. As Newton championed 300 years ago and as still hold good.

    Namely, when we seek to explain what we cannot inspect and observe directly, we must infer to on signs we can detect and examine, in light of known, adequate causes for such signs. And the evidence we have is that functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information [the relevant aspects of CSI] is routinely and only observed to be caused by ART, not by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    That is, we have a perfect right on induction to provisionally infer that where we see such signs as FSCO/I, the best causal explanation is design. Note, design, not designer.

    A crucial difference: process, not specific agent. That is to be settled by doing an investigation of the possible suspects or candidates as the case may be.

    As in, we first determine that a fire was arson not accident, then we ask who are the likely suspects who had motive, means and opportunity. The latter is detective work, the former is forensic science.

    It is the conflation of these two distinct issues that is being used to feed a rhetorical agenda.

    And, obviously, design as process is just as much a possible and reasonable causal explanation as would be mechanical necessity or chance contingency leading to outcomes in accordance with a random distribution model.

    In particular, it credibly eliminates a whole school of thought on how life came to be and how major body plans came to be. That school of thought appeals to causes that are empirically not warranted per observed capacity and are analytically shown to be wanting per the infinite monkeys type analysis.

    11] Sc: Is there a particular reason why you’ve completely ignored alternate epistemologies as if they simply do not exist?

    False.

    First, we have compared evolutionary materialist theories with the possibility of design, and have noted how design has been excluded by imposing ideological materialism as a controlling a priori — cf the clip above from NSTA. In short, we have corrected a major begging of the question which fatally undermines a process that has to work by inference to best of possible explanations.

    In case you want to see what I have done to analyse the epistemology of science and address issues of definition and methods, cf here.

    11] Sc: From the Wikipedia entry on Critical Rationalism . . . . “Justificationism is what Popper called a “subjectivist” view of truth, in which the question of whether some statement is true, is confused with the question of whether it can be justified (established, proven, verified, warranted, made well-founded, made reliable, grounded, supported, legitimated, based on evidence) in some way.”

    Pardon, but have you noticed that as a matter of long standing, truth has been understood — here, I citre Ari Metaphysics 1011b — as “that which says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not.” KNOWLEDGE, by sharp contrast, has classically been identified with justified, true belief. Per Gettier counter-examples and a lot of modern re-engagement and generally following Plantinga, I normally speak of two distinct senses of knowledge, using the term warrant to distinguish an objective from a subjective approach:

    1: Strong-form, essentially certain knowledge: well- warranted, true belief. (A capital example of such knowledge would be self evident first principles of right reason that we must accept on pain of immediate and patent descent into self-refuting absurdities.)

    2: Provisional, weak-form knowledge: warranted, credibly true (and often tested, reliable) but inherently provisional belief. (For instance, at their best, scientific knowledge claims are of this form. So would be things we know to moral certainty, i.e. it would be irresponsible to act as though they were false.)

    So, it seems the confusion you are citing Wikipedia as talking about is irrelevant to me, and to the philosophically literate in general. Truth, belief and knowledge have long since been distinguished, the debates turn on what transforms belief into knowledge. On that, I plunk for case by case objective warrant, which can come in degrees of strength, so that for instance my acceptance of Quantum and relativity is provisional but informed by empirical reliability. That is, like Newtonian Dynamics before it, we have at least got a limiting case in hand that we would be irresponsible to treat as suspect and false in the zone of its tested reliability.

    But, something could come along tomorrow to show the limitations that are likely to be there. (in short, I hold to the pessimistic induction about scientific knowledge: on experience we have no reason to believe at any time we have final theories in hand.)

    So, please address the real man, not the straw one.

    12] Sc: you do not recognize your pre-enlightenmtne view of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism. Therefore, you think it’s not necessary to even acknowledge other forms of epistemology.

    Strawman.

    Also, what is being snuck in under the door is the notion that to reject a priori materialism, rationalism and imposition of question begging methodologies that force science to adhere to materialist metaphysics, is outdated.

    Truth is not told by the clock, and the position that I am taking traces to my own response to the likes of Plantinga, Kuhn, Popper, Feyerabend, et al, as well as Lakatos. That is hardly a pre-enlightenment [endarkenment, actually] epistemology.
    _______

    G’day.

    GEM of TKI

  8. F/R 3: The distractors, distortions and denigratory dismissals continue. As a third time, let us note for correction:

    13] RC: it is rude to retreat to a site I can’t post at and sound off, telling a one-sided narrative of your imagined victories, your corrections to the record, over here.

    Of course, RC fails to let us know that I have diligently cross-connected the threads [or that he is responding to a notice at CH that points to F/R 2 above], so for the price of a simple click, one can see what is happening.

    Further to this, there will be a reason why RC cannot post here — most likely for cause of incivility or obstructionism, he was banned. All that would be required to fix that would be to open a new account and abide by reasonable rules of civility, cogency and relevance instead of side tracking, distortion and denigration. From what is happening where he regularly posts, he is unwilling to abide by reasonable rules.

    As for “imagined victories,” I have good reason to stand on the record of who has spoken to substance with evidence and who insists on toxic side tracks.

    Notice, this first point today has to be in correction of such side-tracking!

    14] RC: [my comment on how we have a case of Governors and captains of industry rubber-stamping the lock-in of evolutionary materialism as the be all end all of origins science education] Makes no sense, except as vk explained above, that these are terms you apply without thought to people you don’t like

    Actually, such makes perfect sense, and is an objective description with implied call for correction, rather than the alleged empty personal attack. Let us roll the tape again, noting how eminent lay people too often naively lend their prestige to causes without fully understanding what they are giving their seal of approval to, or that they have heard one side of a story:

    it has not dawned on RC & Vs et al that we have a summary of the proposed standards, and the attempt to ram them through as to be implemented without alteration. That fully warrants saying that the figureheads — who are not experts in science and science education in their own right — were relying on their technical advisors, i.e. they rubber-stamped what the ideologues told them.

    Further there is a pretence at “consensus” on origins science that seeks to impose a reigning orthodoxy.

    15] VS: Adam Brandon, a spokesman for the conservative non-profit organization FreedomWorks, which is one of several groups involved in organizing Tea Party protests, says the group gives Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to its top leadership members.

    If he is giving out the rules by way of corrective warning, that is a reasonable thing to do. If he is giving them out as a pattern to follow, he is being foolishly wrong: let us do evil that good may come is suicidal folly. (And of course, I have no affiliation with the Tea Party movement or Mr Beck.)

    BTW, observe, onlookers how we are off on toxic tangents, not dealing with substance.

    But, we can infer from the attempts to justify Mr Alinsky’s subversive incivility, that this is the pattern by which the objectors we are dealing with operate.

    16] VS: Kf’s link to Klinghoffer, “This is, once again, how Darwinists maintain the fiction that the scientific community has reached a freely determined “consensus” in favor of Darwinian evolution and against competing scientific views like intelligent design. The consensus is maintained by intimidation”

    And, of course, the evidence that warrants this was presented, starting with the fact that substantially the same point that evolutionary materialism is unable to ground morality has been acknowledged or implied by leading Darwinist spokesmen for nigh on 150 years (and starting with Darwin). They have not been singled out for rebuke and correction, but were praised. It is when a Christian points to this key problem that it becomes an issue, addressed by intimidatory rhetoric.

    Notice, onlookers, the objectors are unable to ground OUGHT on the ISes of evo mat, and are unable to show that leading spokesmen for darwinism have never admitted such. Their objection is to the man not the issue.

    17] SC: [In reply to my pointing pout his fallacy of trying to tell truth by the clock] KF, how do you explain our relatively recent, rapid increase in the creation of knowledge?

    Of course, this is a further error. That there is a genuine increase of knowledge in recent times does not imply that all that was said in the past can be dismissed, or that all that is said today is correct. Especially in a context where the problem is that by a priori imposition of materialism, there is a refusal to address the actual observed evidence — very much in the present, that FSCO/I is areliable sign of design per empirical test. Where, life, starting with DNAS, is replete with FSCO/I.

    And of course, the error I corrected [more than once already] was, per the tape we now roll:

    12] Sc: you [KF]do not recognize your pre-enlightenmtne view of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism. Therefore, you think it’s not necessary to even acknowledge other forms of epistemology.

    Strawman.

    Also, what is being snuck in under the door is the notion that to reject a priori materialism, rationalism and imposition of question begging methodologies that force science to adhere to materialist metaphysics, is outdated.

    Truth is not told by the clock, and the position that I am taking traces to my own response to the likes of Plantinga, Kuhn, Popper, Feyerabend, et al, as well as Lakatos. That is hardly a pre-enlightenment [endarkenment, actually] epistemology.

    Onlookers, I of course took time to address the issues of belief, truth and warrant, which are ducked in the haste to try to score with rhetorical talking points.

    18]SC: The inference you’re referring to depends on assumptions about how knowledge is created. Specifically, pre-enlightenment, authoritative conceptions of human knowledge. It’s from these assumptions that you make your appeal to design.

    SC here insists — in the teeth of the evidence in front of him — on projecting a strawman. The logic of inductive reasoning is not under test, it is SC’s a priori materialism that is.

    It remains true that we cannot directly observe the remote past of origins, so we are forced to infer based on traces in the present and causes adequate to explain those traces. FSCO/I — starting with the digital code in DNA — is abundantly present in cell based life, and the only empirically or analytically credible source for FSCO/I is design. So per the uniformity principle of explanation, we are well warranted to here infer that like causes like.

    This is not convenient for SC so he goes off on a talking point tangent.

    19]SC: it’s not that we ignore what we know about designers. It’s that you do not recognize your conception human knowledge, which plays a key role in design, as an idea that is subject to criticism and can be improved.

    The evidence of course is just the opposite. By a priori imposition of materialism, it is asserted that science must explain by natural-ISTIC concepts and principles and causes, so we are not permitted to infer to the known and empirically reliable cause of FSCO/I, design. No no no that is “supernatural” and suspect — comparable to believing in absolute monarchy or a flat earth etc.

    So, the label and dismiss games go on, refusing to recognise that the real contrast on empirically testable signs is still natural vs artificial causes, and the characteristic signs of chance and necessity vs intelligently directed contingency, AKA design.

    And, we see the way in which the censorship is being imposed.

    20] SC: if I had a genetic condition, I wouldn’t want my doctor to base my treatment on the mere logical possibility that changing just any genes in my genome could improve my condition. Rather, I’d want my treatment based on an explanation that specific genes play a hard to vary, specific role in my symptoms and that changing them in a particular way would have a beneficial impact.Which would you prefer: the former or the latter? Both cases represent conjecture. However, the latter is based on a good explanation.

    Notice the further irrelevancy and insinuations?

    Again, kindly provide a case where chance plus necessity have in our observation produced 500 or more bits — 73 ASCII characters — of digitally coded linguistic or algorithmic information, without design [and Genetic Algorithms are cases of design].

    Further to this, nothing here has addressed the issue SC earlier raised on what knowledge is, nor has he acknowledged that I have given a reasonable answer: knowledge is warranted, credibly true belief, which can in some cases amount to effective certainty.

    21]SC: Evolutionary process also create knowledge using conjecture and refutation. Specifically, conjecture, in the form of genetic variation, and refutation, in the form of natural selection.

    You can’t make this up.

    What evolutionary processes are OBSERVED to do — and that is a case of warrant — is to make minor variations in existing complex functionally specific self replicating beings. Such processes of chance variation and culling of sub populations based on reproductive success have never been observed to de novo create major body plan features, all of that is speculation.

    But by a priori imposition of evolutionary materialism, we are invited to make that grand extrapolation, and to dismiss questions as “pseudoscience” that injects the “supernatural,” shudder.

    22] SC: the sort of knowledge we see in the genome doesn’t appear to be explanatory knowledge. Rather it appears to be non-explanatory knowledge in that the majority of conjectured genetic variations are neutral to detrimental.

    We see digital code and algorithms at work.

    We know the only credible source of such, but that is not convenient so let us side-track.

    23] SC on the grounding of ought:

    KF: You can SAY that. The problem is that if naturalistic evolution = evolutionary materialism is so, and we have no real choice or purpose, not only is it so that there is no ultimate foundation for ethics, but the relative “foundations” we erect boil down to might and manipulation make “right.”

    Exactly why would this necessarily be the case? The fact that you haven’t actually argued for this in any detailed way indicates you do not recognize this as an idea that would be subject to criticism.

    For example, is it not logically possible that God created evolutionary mechanisms as a secondary cause and allowed great freedom as to what kind of life would arise, just as he supposedly created gravity as a secondary cause?

    Did you bother to read the explanation of the issue as linked? Did you bother to take time to read its roots on the record in Plato in the laws Bk X [i.e. the challenge is 2350 years old and unanswered for that duration . . . ], as not only linked but cited to you all?

    A discussion of whether or no God used secondary mechanisms as part of the implementation process of a cosmos and of life in it — and the prime issue here is that he origin of the cosmos fitted for life based on H, He, C, O and N which relies on the fine-tuning of the observed comsos [Cf here for starters] — is irrelevant to the question of on what worldview foundational basis can evolutionary materialism objectively rise above “might and manipulation make ‘right.’ ”

    As just one illustration of the dilemma, let me cite from the already linked Will Hawthorne on the problem of the IS-OUGHT gap faced by evolutionary materialists:

    Assume (per impossibile) that atheistic naturalism [[= evolutionary materialism] is true. Assume, furthermore, that one can’t infer an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ [[the 'is' being in this context physicalist: matter-energy, space- time, chance and mechanical forces]. (Richard Dawkins and many other atheists should grant both of these assumptions.)

    Given our second assumption, there is no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer an ‘ought’. And given our first assumption, there is nothing that exists over and above the natural world; the natural world is all that there is. It follows logically that, for any action you care to pick, there’s no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer that one ought to refrain from performing that action.

    Add a further uncontroversial assumption: an action is permissible if and only if it’s not the case that one ought to refrain from performing that action . . . [[We see] therefore, for any action you care to pick, it’s permissible to perform that action. If you’d like, you can take this as the meat behind the slogan ‘if atheism is true, all things are permitted’.

    For example if atheism is true, every action Hitler performed was permissible. Many atheists don’t like this consequence of their worldview. But they cannot escape it and insist that they are being logical at the same time.

    Now, we all know that at least some actions are really not permissible (for example, racist actions). Since the conclusion of the argument denies this, there must be a problem somewhere in the argument. Could the argument be invalid? No. The argument has not violated a single rule of logic and all inferences were made explicit.

    Thus we are forced to deny the truth of one of the assumptions we started out with. That means we either deny atheistic naturalism or (the more intuitively appealing) principle that one can’t infer ‘ought’ from [[a material] ‘is’.

    In short, unless an IS that objectively grounds OUGHT is in the foundation of your worldview, you can never thereafter ground OUGHT in IS. And, evolutionary materialism patently has in it no such IS.

    __________

    That should be enough F/R for now, to see the further gaps in the case being presented to us as justifying the actions of the evolutionary materialist establishment.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  9. F/N: I have been busy elsewhere, but the issue above is worth some further follow-up. (And I see BA 77 has been busy! In addition, I have further posted on Dr Carson’s speech and the underlying issue here.):

    24: GX: this is the first instance in my many years of Internet wanderings in which I find a blog administrator who actually encourages former offenders to morph and come back to post again . . .

    Actually, it makes sense; especially since it is always possible to create a new account and back-track. in short [for the web savvy], the only thing one may ban anyway is an account.

    If one changes his behaviour and actually becomes a civil contributor to discussion, why not allow such a reformed person to contribute? (That’s called a redemptive second chance. But of course, if bad habits resurface,then the new persona is dead. After a while the message gets through, and right now UD is rebuilding a fairly healthy discussion community.)

    25: ZA: The other interesting aspect is banning for “obstructionism”, which seems to mean disagreeing.

    ZA, of course is the character who violated the confidentiality of a private discussion. One hopes that he will realise that the reason I terminated discussion with him is that violation, not the mere fact of disagreement,

    While I do not carry out or determine UD’s moderation policies, some observations on what has happened over the years are in order given how loaded ZA’s talking point is. And, let us notice: we have long since been pulled away on a tangent by use of a red herring distractor, and are standing before a strawman that has been soaked in subtle ad hominems in order to be set alight, clouding, polarising and poisoning the atmosphere.

    Meanwhile the actual substantial subject is lost in the toxic cloud.

    In short, the obstructionism in view is the repeated, habitual derailment of discussion through red herrings –> strawmen –> ad hominems, and/or evasiveness and empty repetition of loaded talking points that becomes a subtler form of this trifecta tactic.

    The snide suggestion of improper censorship in ZA’s point as just cited is a capital illustration of the problem.

    26: RC: No, “what is happening where he regularly posts” is that I disagree with KF, and want to engage in a discussion instead of a lecture.

    Onlookers, notice the consistent pattern of snide personalities instead of substantial response to the issues?

    RC complained that he cannot respond at UD, using that in an ad hominem. I responded that on UD’s general policies, such banning would be for cause and pointing out that there is a way to redeem himself. I also pointed out that it is a legitimate and reasonable approach to respond here and link.

    All of this is ignored — suggesting that the banning was indeed for cause — and ZA’s toxic talking point that UD, and now of course the undersigned to this post is picked up to be another falsely accusatory talking point for drumbeat repetition.

    FYI RC, I have never yet refused a reasonable exchange on a substantial issue, but for cause I have a low tolerance for the sort of red herring–> strawman –> ad hominem smear tactics you have taken up.

    And — on fair comment — such tactics on your part give the lie to your pious assertions about wanting to discuss issues on their merits. If you want to discuss the issues, kindly see CH’s original post and my own above here at UD. There you will find the substantial issues that we need to address cogently if we are to avert the ever increasing polarisation that is clearly predominantly coming from those on your side of the watershed line.

    And, as the target of ad hominems, I have every right to defend myself for record.

    [--> Notice, onlookers, NOT ONCE in responding to my remarks, do the objectors actually address the substantial matters. I therefore draw attention to how I have further taken up evo mat's pivotal IS-OUGHT gap issue here, today. Let this highlight to you the significance of my having exposed the way their habitual trifecta tactic works to distract from the merits and create polarisation and hostility, e.g. cf. here at UD.]

    27: ScottMay 15, 2012 9:18 PM Do you tentatively accept the idea that consciousness precedes all of material reality? I’m guessing there is nothing tentative about it, at all. Also, what well defined criteria is your acceptance based on?

    I had quite a search before I found something reasonably closely connected to the pivotal issues.

    In response I think it would be helpful if SC were to reflect on the cosmological evidence of design, say, starting here, with a particular view to water and the significance of the five atoms: H, He, C, O, N for — stars, creation of further elements, the possibility of both organic chemistry and its aqueous medium, and that of proteins.

    The relevance of this to the core issue of course, is that the best explanation for a cosmos so patently set up from its fundamental laws and parameters on for C-chemistry, aqueous medium cell based intelligent life, is design by a powerful and intelligent, highly skilled architect of the cosmos. Then, as just such beings, we find ourselves inescapably under moral government; indeed the very trifecta fallacy that objectors to design are so fond of implies that we are under moral government.

    So, as I argued in my new post linked in the first para of this comment:

    evolutionary materialism, ever since at least the days of Plato in The Laws Bk X, has never been able to objectively ground OUGHT in a worldview foundational IS that they accept. And in light of what Hume pointed out with his guillotine argument, if such an objective basis for ought does not lie in the foundation of the worldview, it can never be brought in thereafter. Since we cannot have turtles all the way down, and since turtles in a circle is begging the question, we are left with the challenge that to ground ethics, the last turtle must have solid footing in an IS that grounds ought. The strongest candidate for that solid footing is the essentially good, loving creator God. [Cf. here on, for why I so freely say this.]

    ________

    So, inadvertently, the very attempt to imply or infer that design advocates are morally objectionable points like a compass-needle to the need for a worldview foundational IS that can objectively ground ought. It bears repeating:

    The strongest candidate for that solid footing is the essentially good, loving creator God.

    Where also, the evolutionary materialism we are addressing has no such IS capable of bearing the weight of OUGHT. A little fact that has been on the table for at least 2350 years since Plato warned about this fatal crack in the foundations of evolutionary materialism and its consequences.

    No wonder that ENV, responding to the recent snide attacks on Dr Ben Carson, wrote:

    he addressed the evolution flap and gently but firmly put his critics in their place:

    I know there was some controversy about my views on creation and somebody thought that I said that evolutionists are not ethical people. Of course I would never say such a thing and would never believe such a thing nor would anybody with any common sense. So that’s pretty ridiculous.

    How could the four professors who drew up the petition of complaint seriously think he meant to say Darwin believers are morally defective, as opposed to acknowledging what’s obviously true — that Darwinian evolution undercuts any coherent defense of moral principles?

    Better still, later in the speech and without referencing the Emory dustup, he made an unapologetic pitch for reasoned debate over enforced dogma. “Political correctness,” he said, “threatens the prosperity and the vitality of our nation.”

    let’s see if the objectors can, for the first time in 2350 years, ground ought on their evolutionary materialism. Failing that, further resort to trifecta polarisation tactics will only underscore just how morally bankrupt evolutionary materialism is, and just how often it wishes to borrow moral positions from other views that have a proper right to them — when it is rhetorically convenient.

    (And when something else is convenient, we will commonly see such trying to abuse notions of fairness or equality to try to undermine the foundations that they must so often borrow from without proper acknowledgement.)

    KF

  10. PS: I have posted the link to the just above in the same thread at CH’s personal blog. Let’s see if there is a responsible response.

  11. Folks:

    Let’s add a few remarks for further record:

    28] IS: it is discourteous, to say the least, to post a lengthy contribution to a debate being conducted in one forum to a different one from which, as you well know, many of your opponents are banned. I am not the first person to point this out either.

    Saying that which is false over and over again does not make it true. What has been banned is certain accounts whose owners have been abusive here and/or elsewhere. As already was pointed out, all that would be required would be to open a new account and to be on topic and reasonably civil. That such do not wish to meet that simple test tells us about what they would do if given full reign here. Oh, about what they habitually do elsewhere.

    And, at this point, I am not debating, I am remarking for record, so onlookers can see for themselves just what is going on. (And, I do not even have an obligation to link, that is a courtesy for the interested onlooker. Those onlookers surely see for themselves that the very ones who adhere to systems of thought that boil down to there being no real obligation of ought, are ever so keen to find those who point out that inconvenient fact as being in the wrong. Oops. As in, self-refutation by incoherence.)

    At least IS will take up one point that is germane.

    29] IS: On the question of the IS-OUGHT gap, I freely concede that there is no way to ground ‘ought’ in ‘is’. Moral judgments are necessarily subjective and that would include those of any putative deity. Claims for an objective morality are incoherent on my understanding of ‘objective’ and smack too much of an attempt to claim unwarranted authority for the moral prescriptions of one faith over all others.

    False.

    What IS has actually only done is to imply that on evolutionary materialist premises, there is no IS that grounds OUGHT. Pretty much as Plato and many others have pointed out. He has simply refused to acknowledge the implication that would flow from our living in a cosmos created by the inherently and consistently good God.

    He alludes to the Euthyphro dilemma, to infer that a god — notice my small g — would face the problem that he would be imposing his power, not grounding morality, or that morality would be independent of the god.

    But that is just the problem, the inherently good Creator God is NOT a small-g god, and his character is indeed an objective grounding for morality. The good is not separate from God, and the good is not the arbitrary will of God.

    30] IS: As for “morsl government”, which is usually a euphemism for some form of theocracy, we have too many examples from history of what follows when one religion gains control of the organs of political power to want to repeat those experiments.

    Strawman, loaded with a poisonous false accusation.

    IS knows or could easily know that I pointed out that when we quarrel — as he is trying to do here [i.e. by erecting and knocking over a theocratic strawman that would make it seem that I am in the wrong] — we imply that we are under obligation to OUGHT. That in turn points to the cosmos in which we live being grounded in an IS who is a sound basis for ought. But since the only really viable candidate for such is the good God whom he will not even acknowledge as a possibility, he finds himself diverting into an accusation.

    Theocracy is the establishment of domineering rule in the name of a god, which has nothing to do with our being under the obligation of ought. And, I add that 100 million ghosts from the century just past remind us that militantly secularist states have been far more abusive than states with established religions, within living memory. The shades of 50 million unborn children tell us that secularised, relativised democracies that pervert justice and laws meant to uphold justice can be just as murderous, once they can silence the voice of conscience. That is, the real problem is injustice and corruption of the unaccountably powerful, not whether or no there is a formal established church.

    And as for the establishment of separation of church and state by the US founders, that properly means that they refused to establish a Church of the USA to avert abuses, while adapting the Westphalia-Augsburg principle of locality.

    That is why there were nine landes kirke with established rights of frei kirke in the constitution. What they absolutely refused to do is to separate morality and the foundation of morality from government charged under God — notice the purpose to secure the BLESSINGS of liberty [and the antecedents that give the meaning of that phrase in the solemn day of prayer/thanksgiving proclamations of the congresses from 1776 on] — charged to uphold justice through law. Cf discussion here on in context.

    31]Zach: It’s rather evident that a subjective standard isn’t objectively binding, but an appeal to those who share similar values and similar notions of courtesy.

    Onlookers, notice, the implication here, again, is that might and manipulation make ‘right.’

    In short, the very same ones who are wanting to tear into Ben Carson for pointing out the subjectivism inherent in evolutionary materialism, are ending up admitting just the same.

    Why they are angry with Dr Carson, of course, is that he has pointed out the destructive implications of such a system of thought, and by his very existence as a Christian gentleman, reminds us all that here is an alternative that does solidly ground OUGHT in the foundational IS that founds the world.

    Let us therefore draw the clear conclusion that evolutionary mateialism not only has in it no IS capable of bearing the weight of OUGHT, but resents what points this out and in so doing points to a serious alternative to the implicitly nihilist, amoral premise: might and manipulation make ‘right.’

    And, let us notice, from the generally censorious tone, that the adherents of such systems cannot live consistent with them, they are forced to borrow principles when it suits them, from others. But where it does not suit them — exactly the point where we most need to hear the counsels of OUGHT, they will be severely tempted to refer to the underlying subjectivism and/or relativism of their system to try to wriggle out.

    Hence Plato’s strong warning about what tends to happen when such evolutionary materialism gets loose in the hands of the ambitious.

    KF

    PS: It is well worth the effort to follow up the links posted here by BA 77. And, thanks BA for watching my six.

    PPS: I think it would be helpful for onlookers to look again at Plato’s remarks and Hawthorne’s too on the challenges of evolutionary materialism, as well as in the OP here, which is on the more central issue of the Ben Carson case; the OP above is actually on the linked issue of evolutionary materialist ideologisation of origins science edu and the need to walk away and build an independent approach to education. In addition, here on on the moral dilemmas of evolutionary materialism (including the Euthyphro dilemma), here on relativism and here on grounding a worldview will prove helpful.

  12. Followed up there:

  13. H’mm:

    More emerges as IS interacts with BA 77, let’s just follow up:

    32] IS: In case you’re interested my view is that morality is based in our common interests as human beings: I don’t want to be killed and I’m pretty sure you don’t either and neither do most other people so we agree that it’s best if we all refrain from going around killing each other. What’s to prevent some psychopath from going around raping any woman he chooses? All the women who would prefer not to be raped and all their male relatives and friends who would also take a very dim view of it, that’s who.

    On what grounds does IS infer a common interest that — implicitly, of course — should be respected by all, rather than it is a matter of what I can/cannot get away with given the balance of power?

    In short IS here again brings out the implications of widespread influence of a worldview with no ability to ground ought beyond might and manipulation make ‘right.’

    33] IS: Are you really saying that you would not be able to tell right from wrong yourself, that you only know something is wrong because your God has said so?

    Oh dear, you poor dumb theists who cannot tell right from wrong apart from God telling you so . . .

    And this from someone whose position just reduced to: it is what I can/cannot get away with that counts.

    Perhaps, IS needs to realise that that inescapable voice of OUGHT that he is responding to is telling him that he is under moral government, and that the sense of right/wrong was built into his nature, though it can be suppressed or disobeyed.

    if that law was not written on the tablet of his heart by the moral governor of the cosmos, then it is a subjective illusion, useful only to be manipulated in the interests of the powerful and those clever enough to manipulate moral sensibilities.

    The implications of such cynical amorality are the best pointer to why such is absurd.

    _______

    Step by step, we see the inherent moral hazards and problems of evolutionary materialism emerging.

    KF

  14. F/N: Above, I was moved to remark:

    Theocracy is the establishment of domineering rule in the name of a god, which has nothing to do with our being under the obligation of ought. And, I add that 100 million ghosts from the century just past remind us that militantly secularist states have been far more abusive than states with established religions, within living memory. The shades of 50 million unborn children tell us that secularised, relativised democracies that pervert justice and laws meant to uphold justice can be just as murderous, once they can silence the voice of conscience. That is, the real problem is injustice and corruption of the unaccountably powerful, not whether or no there is a formal established church.

    Given the number of highly destructive secular and secularist tyrannies and even secularist thought driven abuses in generally democratic states in the years since the French Revolution’s terror, I am thinking the strong tendency to focus on specifically religiously motivated abuses is looking more and more like an atmosphere poisoning distractor with a significant elements of a twist-about accusation.

    A fairer estimation is that power, especially unaccountable power, is riddled with moral hazards and we are prone to abuses. So, the pivotal issue is much more of transparency and restraint on power with opportunity for reasonable reform.

    Any system that concentrates unaccountable power is dangerous.

    And, if I may say so as an outsider looking on, the US Supreme Court has become an unbalanced and unaccountable, ideologised element of the US system, where routinely votes on this side or that are totted up.

    I suggest that the tenure of judges should be limited, with say two seven year terms being the upper limit, and with a far stricter “good behaviour” check. Similarly, judges should be accountable to the reasonable intent of the law they are ruling on, and should not become in effect a super legislature.

    But then, similar things can probably be said for any number of other constitutions.

    KF

  15. F/R: LT intervened at CH’s blog, and this time I made my response there. KF

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