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TNA on “The Folly of Scientism”

Here.  An excerpt:

The fundamental problem raised by the identification of “good science” with “institutional science” is that it assumes the practitioners of science to be inherently exempt, at least in the long term, from the corrupting influences that affect all other human practices and institutions. Ladyman, Ross, and Spurrett explicitly state that most human institutions, including “governments, political parties, churches, firms, NGOs, ethnic associations, families … are hardly epistemically reliable at all.” However, “our grounding assumption is that the specific institutional processes of science have inductively established peculiar epistemic reliability.” This assumption is at best naïve and at worst dangerous. If any human institution is held to be exempt from the petty, self-serving, and corrupting motivations that plague us all, the result will almost inevitably be the creation of a priestly caste demanding adulation and required to answer to no one but itself.

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33 Responses to TNA on “The Folly of Scientism”

  1. Cardinal Richard Dawkins?

  2. “Here Here!” to Austin Hughes.

    Nice article.

  3. Materialism is god and mindless automatons in white lab coats are its prophet! :)

    Alan Turing and Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

  4. Can anyone provide a brief synopsis of a reliable way of knowing that is founded on a method other than science?

  5. Please define precisely what you mean by “science”. If you call everything “science”, well then that is pretty useless.

    Are car mechanics scientists?

  6. 6

    Timothya

    Here are a few:

    The principles and methods of logic

    The principles and methods of mathematics

    The principles that undergird science (which, of course, cannot be proven scientifically)

    I love my wife. My knowledge of my love for my wife is completely reliable; yet I did not arrive at that knowledge through the methods of science.

    It is wrong to torture infants for pleasure. The truth of this statement is utterly reliable and you know this even if you refuse to admit it. You did not arrive at your certain knowledge of the truth of this statement through scientific means.

    Also, review the video linked by bornagain concering Godel and human intuition.

  7. 7

    Barry’s examples are good ones for explicating the concept of “science” more carefully.

    (1) The principles and methods of logic

    (2) The principles and methods of mathematics

    (3) The principles that undergird science (which, of course, cannot be proven scientifically)

    (4) I love my wife.

    (5) It is wrong to torture infants for pleasure.

    (1)-(3) are not ‘scientific’ because they are a priori rather than a posteriori, that is, justified by reason alone rather than justified by (empirical) evidence.

    (4) is not ‘scientific’ because it’s a first-person report on one’s own psychological states rather than a third-person claim about how things are in the world.

    (5) is not ‘scientific’ because it’s a prescriptive claim about what one ought not to do, rather than a descriptive claim about what is the case.

    So, taking (1)-(5) together, we can say that science is a kind of knowledge that is empirical (not a priori), available from the third-person perspective (not the first-person), and descriptive (not prescriptive).

    This allows us to reformulate timoytha’s

    Can anyone provide a brief synopsis of a reliable way of knowing that is founded on a method other than science?

    as

    Is there a more reliable way to arrive at empirically-grounded descriptive claims about the world than science?

    And to that, it seems to me that the answer is “no”, because the results of scientific inquiry are a class of empirically-grounded descriptive claims about the world. Put otherwise, science is a sophisticated extension of common-sense, trial-and-error reasoning.

    As I put it in another thread, science can’t explain everything, but nothing else explains anything. That is to be construed as a gloss on how limited explanations are, in contrast with conceptual explications, normative justifications (both epistemic and ethical), aesthetic creations, political critique, and all sorts of other cognitive practices of vital interest to us as semi-rational animals.

    So, what is “scientism”? I can think of a couple of different versions, and they don’t all go together.

    One version would be to say that scientific practices yield more reliable explanations of the world than do other kinds of empirical knowledge. But that, it seems to me, is just true.

    Another, much stronger version would be to say that scientific explanations are more important than other cognitive practices, such as justifications or explications or whatever. And that I would strongly deny.

    A more common kind of scientism, perhaps, would be something like this: that the superior epistemic authority of science/technology justifies its cultural-political status as the ‘engine’ of contemporary turbo-capitalism. And that, I think, is not only false but also extremely dangerous, for both science and for society in general.

  8. Kantian, I find it very peculiar that you, of all people, would try to define what science is to other people when you have no empirical basis to support your very own a-priori metaphysics of naturalism. Specifically my problem with you doing this is this, when, not so long ago, on another thread you mentioned that you rejected reductive materialism I pressed you exactly for any empirical evidence for your ‘non-reductive’ naturalistic view of reality and all I got in response from you was very vague references to computer model’s of self organization and ZERO real world evidence!!,,, Perhaps you would do well to realize that modern science, in its founding in Judeo-Christian cultures, owes much to the rejection of the Greek philosophers that pronounced on how the world should operate instead of interrogating nature itself to see how it actually did operate (S. Jaki)!

    Along that line:

    The ‘Top Down’ Theistic Structure Of The Universe and Of The Human Body

    It is important to note that higher dimensions are invisible to our physical 3 Dimensional sight. The reason why ‘higher dimensions’ are invisible to our 3D vision is best illustrated by ‘Flatland’:

    Dr. Quantum in Flatland – 3D in a 2D world – video
    http://www.disclose.tv/action/....._2D_world/

    Perhaps some may think that we have no scientific evidence to support the view that higher ‘invisible’ dimensions are above this 3 Dimensional world, but a person would be wrong in that presumption. Higher invisible dimensions are corroborated by Special Relativity when considering the optical effects for traveling at the speed of light. Please note the optical effect, noted at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light:

    Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

    The preceding video was made by two Australian University physics professors. Here is the interactive website, with link to the relativistic math at the bottom of the page, related to the preceding video;

    Seeing Relativity
    http://www.anu.edu.au/Physics/Searle/

    It is also interesting to point out that a ‘tunnel’ to a higher dimension is also a common feature of Near Death Experiences:

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

    What’s more is that special relativity (and general relativity) also confirm the ‘eternity’ for this higher dimension. i.e. Time, as we understand it temporally, would come to a complete stop at the speed of light. To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    It is also interesting to point out that this ‘eternal’ framework for time at the speed of light is also witnessed in Near Death Experience testimonies:

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony

    ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’
    Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’ -
    Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE testimony

    ‘Time dilation’, i.e. eternity, is confirmed by many lines of scientific evidence but basically the simplest way to understand this ‘eternal framework’ is to realize that this higher dimensional, ‘eternal’, inference for the time framework of light is warranted because light is not ‘frozen within time’ yet it is also shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light. This paradox is only possible for time at the speed of light if temporal time is a lower dimensional time that was created from a higher dimension that ‘contains all temporal time’,,,Yet, even though light has this ‘eternal’ attribute in regards to our temporal framework of time, for us to hypothetically travel at the speed of light, in this universe, will still only get us to first base as far as the eternal framework of quantum entanglement, and/or quantum teleportation, is concerned.

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    i.e. Hypothetically traveling at the speed of light in this universe would be, because of time dilation, instantaneous travel for the person going at the speed of light. This is because time does not pass for them at the speed of light, yet, and this is a very big ‘yet’ to take note of, this ‘timeless’ travel is still not instantaneous and transcendent to our temporal framework of time as quantum teleportation and entanglement are, i.e. Speed of light travel, to our temporal frame of reference of time, is still not completely transcendent of our temporal time framework since light appears to take time to travel from our temporal perspective. Yet, in quantum teleportation of information, the ‘time not passing’, i.e. ‘eternal’, framework is not only achieved in the speed of light framework/dimension, but is also ‘instantaneously’ achieved in our lower temporal framework. That is to say, the instantaneous teleportation/travel of quantum information is instantaneous to both the temporal and speed of light frameworks, not just the speed of light framework. Information teleportation/travel is not limited by time, nor space, in any way, shape or form, in any frame of reference, as light is seemingly limited to us in this temporal framework. Thus ‘pure transcendent information’ (in quantum teleportaion experiments) is shown to be timeless (eternal) and completely transcendent of all material frameworks. Moreover, concluding from all lines of evidence we now have (many of which I have not specifically listed here); transcendent, eternal, infinite information is indeed real and the framework in which ‘It’ resides is the primary reality (highest dimension) that can exist, (in so far as our limited perception of a primary reality, highest dimension, can be discerned).

    “An illusion can never go faster than the speed limit of reality”
    Akiane Kramarik – Child Prodigy -

  9. To further elucidate this ‘top down’ Theistic structure for the universe, materialism had postulated for centuries that everything reduced to, and/or, given enough time and chance, emerged ‘bottom up’ from material atoms and/or particles, yet the correct structure of reality is now found by modern science to be as follows:

    1. material particles/atoms (mass) normally reduce to energy (e=mc^2)
    2. energy and mass both reduce to information (A. Zeilinger, quantum teleportation; Wheeler and Zeilinger’s ‘It from Bit”)
    3. information reduces to consciousness (geometric centrality of conscious observation in universe dictates that consciousness must precede quantum wave collapse to its single bit state) (Leggett’s Inequalities, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice; Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries)

    Here are my references for the claim that mass “normally reduces” to energy:

    The reduction of matter to energy is comparatively easy to accomplish as is demonstrated by nuclear/atomic bombs:

    Atomic Bomb Explosion – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-22tna7KHzI

    *6.4 mg of mass converted to energy in Hiroshima A-bomb
    *4,400,000 Hiroshima A-bombs equivalent to one ounce of mass
    *1 drop of water equivalent to 10 Hiroshima A-bombs

    Whereas to convert energy to matter is a much more difficult proposition:

    First off, it is important to note that a simple atom is certainly not ‘simple’:

    Delayed time zero in photoemission: New record in time measurement accuracy – June 2010
    Excerpt: Although they could confirm the effect qualitatively using complicated computations, they came up with a time offset of only five attoseconds. The cause of this discrepancy may lie in the complexity of the neon atom, which consists, in addition to the nucleus, of ten electrons. “The computational effort required to model such a many-electron system exceeds the computational capacity of today’s supercomputers,” explains Yakovlev.
    http://www.physorg.com/news196606514.html

    And constructing a new atom from raw energy is far more difficult than just adding enough energy to the mix:

    Why is it impossible, at this point in time, to convert energy into matter?
    Excerpt: “Particle accelerators convert energy into subatomic particles, for example by colliding electrons and positrons. Some of the kinetic energy in the collision goes into creating new particles.
    It’s not possible, however, to collect these newly created particles and assemble them into atoms, molecules and bigger (less microscopic) structures that we associate with ‘matter’ in our daily life. This is partly because in a technical sense, you cannot just create matter out of energy: there are various ‘conservation laws’ of electric charges, the number of leptons (electron-like particles) etc., which means that you can only create matter/anti-matter pairs out of energy. Anti-matter, however, has the unfortunate tendency to combine with matter and turn itself back into energy. Even though physicists have managed to safely trap a small amount of anti-matter using magnetic fields, this is not easy to do.
    Also, Einstein’s equation, Energy = Mass x the square of the velocity of light, tells you that it takes a huge amount of energy to create matter in this way. The big accelerator at Fermilab can be a significant drain on the electricity grid in and around the city of Chicago, and it has produced very little matter.
    http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/d.....0724a.html

    Yet somehow, serendipitously, shortly after the big bang, and in the nucleosynthesis of stars, all the pieces of the puzzle spontaneously fell together to get these complex atoms to form spontaneously from energy (at least according to atheists it was spontaneous):

    Big Bang
    After its (The Big Bangs) initial expansion from a singularity, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

    The Elements: Forged in Stars – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003861

    “Dr. Michael Denton on Evidence of Fine-Tuning in the Universe” (Remarkable balance of various key elements for life) – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....3_59-07_00

    Here are my references for the claim that “energy and mass both reduce to information”:

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    How Teleportation Will Work -
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://science.howstuffworks.c.....ation1.htm

  10. Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://researcher.ibm.com/view_project.php?id=2862

    Unconditional Quantum Teleportation – abstract
    Excerpt: This is the first realization of unconditional quantum teleportation where every state entering the device is actually teleported,,
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont.....6.abstract

    It is also very interesting to note that the quantum state of a photon is actually defined as ‘infinite information’ in its uncollapsed quantum wave state:

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a (photon) qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    As a side light to this, leading quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger has followed in John Archibald Wheeler’s footsteps (1911-2008) by insisting reality, at its most foundational level, is ‘information’.

    “It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom – at a very deep bottom, in most instances – an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that things physical are information-theoretic in origin.”
    John Archibald Wheeler

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    Here are my references for the claim that “information reduces to consciousness”:

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Three intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Leggett’s Inequalities, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice; Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries; )
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    The Galileo Affair and the true “Center of the Universe”
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    Of related note: The following site is very interesting to the subject of consciousness preceding ‘material’ reality:

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features)
    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale.....olor=white

    The preceding interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality (not just ‘nearly’ in the exponential center!). i.e. 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of ‘observable’ length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the exponential middle;

  11. Moreover, the correct ‘top down’ structure for how reality is found to be constructed is closely reflected in how our bodies are constructed ‘top down’.

    1.The lowest level of our bodies are the material atoms of our body.
    2.The next higher level of our bodies is the energy of our bodies (biophotons).
    3.The next higher level of our bodies is the quantum entanglement/information of our bodies (of which the classical information that is encoded on our DNA is found to be a subset of that quantum information).
    4. The highest level of our bodies is the consciousness of our mind.

    References:

    Light is found to be directing the chemical reactions of the material particles in the body by the following:

    Are humans really beings of light?
    Excerpt: “We now know, today, that man is essentially a being of light.”,,, “There are about 100,000 chemical reactions happening in every cell each second. The chemical reaction can only happen if the molecule which is reacting is excited by a photon… Once the photon has excited a reaction it returns to the field and is available for more reactions… We are swimming in an ocean of light.”
    http://viewzone2.com/dna.html

    Quantum entanglement/information is now found in our body on a massive scale:

    Does DNA Have Telepathic Properties?-A Galaxy Insight – 2009
    Excerpt: DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn’t be able to.,,, The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible.
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_.....ave-t.html

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011
    Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way.
    Excerpt: First, a little background on protein folding. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that become biologically active only when they fold into specific, highly complex shapes. The puzzle is how proteins do this so quickly when they have so many possible configurations to choose from.
    To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.,,,
    Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins.
    That’s a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo’s equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....n-folding/

    The implications of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum information/entanglement in our body on a massive scale are fairly self evident:

    Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: The remaining option is to accept that (quantum) influences must be infinitely fast,,,
    “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142217.htm

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/29895068

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness (Permanence/Conservation of Quantum Information) – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
    https://vimeo.com/39982578

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – March 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.
    http://phys.org/news/2011-03-q.....tally.html

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....onsequence

  12. Additionally, encoded ‘classical’ information such as what we find encoded in computer programs, and yes, as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of conserved ‘non-local’ (beyond space and time) quantum entanglement/information by the following method:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy. Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    Music and verse:

    The Police – Spirits In The Material World – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0KW-_48Cc

    Luke 23:43
    Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

  13. supplemental note:

    Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: To derive their inequality, which sets up a measurement of entanglement between four particles, the researchers considered what behaviours are possible for four particles that are connected by influences that stay hidden and that travel at some arbitrary finite speed.
    Mathematically (and mind-bogglingly), these constraints define an 80-dimensional object. The testable hidden influence inequality is the boundary of the shadow this 80-dimensional shape casts in 44 dimensions. The researchers showed that quantum predictions can lie outside this boundary, which means they are going against one of the assumptions. Outside the boundary, either the influences can’t stay hidden, or they must have infinite speed.,,,
    The remaining option is to accept that (quantum) influences must be infinitely fast,,,
    “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142217.htm

  14. 14

    Kantian, I find it very peculiar that you, of all people, would try to define what science is to other people when you have no empirical basis to support your very own a-priori metaphysics of naturalism. Specifically my problem with you doing this is this, when, not so long ago, on another thread you mentioned that you rejected reductive materialism I pressed you exactly for any empirical evidence for your ‘non-reductive’ naturalistic view of reality and all I got in response from you was very vague references to computer model’s of self organization and ZERO real world evidence!!,,,

    (1) I’m explicating the concept of “science” in response to Arrington’s response to timothya. If you would like to criticize my attempt at conceptual explication, by all means do so.

    (2) If metaphysics is a priori, it has no empirical basis, by definition.

    (3) There is plenty of evidence for emergent, self-organizing systems. What we don’t have yet is conclusive evidence that a theory of such systems adequately explains the origins of life.

    (4) If you don’t think computer models count as evidence, you have a very odd theory of evidence. They have severe limitations, of course, which is why they need to be corroborated with other kinds of evidence.

    Perhaps you would do well to realize that modern science, in its founding in Judeo-Christian cultures, owes much to the rejection of the Greek philosophers that pronounced on how the world should operate instead of interrogating nature itself to see how it actually did operate (S. Jaki)!

    (5) It strikes me that the real innovation of modern science, the idea of the experiment, was innovative because pre-modern science was not, as you allege here, prescriptive (“how the world should operate”) but, rather, too descriptive. Granted, this a minority view, but when I read Aristotle, I find him very much a good phenomenologist — describing the world as we experience it — which is not quite the same as explaining it, given modern notions of explanation.

    (6) Thus far no one here has presented any evidence or argument for the claim that, just because science took shape within a culture shaped by Christian theological metaphysics, science today still depends on those assumptions. So far as I can tell, that fact about the history of science has no bearing at all on contemporary philosophy of science or on the conduct of science.

  15. “There is plenty of evidence for emergent, self-organizing systems.”

    Please, don’t be bashful! State the exact evidence in relation to a exact causal mechanism. I’m all ears!

  16. Kantian you state:

    “If you don’t think computer models count as evidence, you have a very odd theory of evidence.”

    Being that computer models are DESIGNED BY INTELLIGENCE, it would seem that you have a very odd theory of what constitutes evidence for your claim that no intelligence is needed to explain your baseless conjecture.

  17. 17
    Kantian Naturalist
  18. 18
    Kantian Naturalist

    Being that computer models are DESIGNED BY INTELLIGENCE, it would seem that you have a very odd theory of what constitutes evidence for your claim that no intelligence is needed to explain your baseless conjecture.

    I don’t understand what the point is supposed to be here. All models are designed by intelligent beings, and the data which the models explain are also collected by intelligent beings. That doesn’t detract from the objective status of the phenomena modeled by those programs — on the contrary, the sense of objectivity is constituted by our cognitive practices (who else’s?), including computer models (and various other tools we’ve invented).

  19. kantian you further claim:

    “Thus far no one here has presented any evidence or argument for the claim that, just because science took shape within a culture shaped by Christian theological metaphysics, science today still depends on those assumptions.”

    to wit:

    The Historical Alliance of Christianity and Science – Kenneth Richard Samples
    Excerpted quote: Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism.
    ~ Alvin Plantinga
    http://www.apu.edu/cris/pdfs/h.....liance.pdf

    supplemental notes:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Credible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Universe
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

  20. as to your petri dish example lets look a bit closer at the details shall we and see where your example falls completely apart?:

    Learning from Bacteria about Social Networks – video
    Description: Bacteria do not store genetically all the information required to respond efficiently to all possible environmental conditions. Instead, to solve new encountered problems (challenges) posed by the environment, they first assess the problem via collective sensing, then recall stored information of past experience and finally execute distributed information processing of the 109-12 bacteria in the colony,,, I will show illuminating movies of swarming intelligence of live bacteria in which they solve optimization problems for collective decision making that are beyond what we, human beings, can solve with our most powerful computers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJpi8SnFXHs

  21. kantian if you can’t see the problem with intelligent beings designing computer programs to prove that intelligent beings are not necessary for complex self replicating systems to arise, there is really not much I can do for your epistemological disconnect!

  22. I don’t understand what the point is supposed to be here. All models are designed by intelligent beings, and the data which the models explain are also collected by intelligent beings.

    It’s an argument by analogy often made by ID proponents. People are intelligent and design things therefore “Intelligent Design” happens!

  23. Is there a more reliable way to arrive at scientific claims about the world than science?

    I’m going to vote no.

  24. timothya:

    Can anyone provide a brief synopsis of a reliable way of knowing that is founded on a method other than science?

    As Barry and KN point out, the scientific method is not scientific.

  25. 25
    Kantian Naturalist

    kantian if you can’t see the problem with intelligent beings designing computer programs to prove that intelligent beings are not necessary for complex self replicating systems to arise, there is really not much I can do for your epistemological disconnect!

    And if you can’t see how intelligent beings can design models which reliably indicate how the world is, independent of those beings, then there’s “not too much I can do for your epistemological disconnect,” either.

  26. Alan Fox is just upset because his position doesn’t even have an argument from analogy. Really, what can he say- “look at that tornado ripping stuff apart, that’s an analgoy for constructing stuff!”

  27. 28
    Kantian Naturalist

    Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism.
    ~ Alvin Plantinga

    That citation appears at the end of Plantinga’s “Darwin, Mind, and Meaning“, his review of Dennett’s Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. In the preceding paragraph he briefly alludes to his “evolutionary argument against naturalism.” The EAAN has been criticized by several philosophers in Naturalism Defeated? Essays on Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism (reviewed here). From what I can tell, there are two fundamental flaws with the EAAN:

    (1) it presupposes a Cartesian view of the mind and the relation between beliefs and action, and neglects the pragmatist alternative developed by Peirce, Dewey, Sellars, Putnam, and others;

    (2) It generates its conclusions by asking about what we find conceivable or imaginable, but this simply won’t do. An argument that not-p is conceivable shows only that p is not a necessary truth. It does not establish that p is not a contingent truth in the actual world.

    As a minor gloss on (1): both Dennett and Rorty, whom Plantinga also cites here, were deeply influenced by Wilfrid Sellars. (Also influenced by Sellars were Paul and Patricia Churchland, the latter of whom has had her remark, “truth, whatever it is, definitely takes the hindmost” taken out of context and ironically held up by Plantinga as being what naturalism is all about.)

    I have arrived at the view that Sellars’ own views were much more subtle and powerful than Dennett or Rorty realized, and that correctly interpreted, show just what is what with the EAAN.

    The bare gist of my view here is that intentionality (what Sellars calls “semantic assertability”) supervenes on teleology (what he calls “picturing”), and that teleology is a reliable target of selection, so that intentionality isn’t “hidden” from selection in the way that Plantinga’s a priori argument takes it to be.

  28. kantian, you state:

    “And if you can’t see how intelligent beings can design models which reliably indicate how the world is, independent of those beings, then there’s “not too much I can do for your epistemological disconnect,” either.”

    ,,,But alas kantian, I’m not the one making the claim that complex systems with functional information can arise without the need for input from intelligence, YOU ARE! For you to validate your claim that it can happen without intelligence you are, just like neo-Darwinists, absolutely required to produce an example of it happening without intelligence. A molecular machine arising by purely ‘natural’ processes should suffice! And using computer models designed by Intelligent programmers surely does not suffice. I don’t know how to make it any more clear for you.

  29. as to post 28 kantian, you don’t have ANY empirical evidence for anything arising spontaneously from selection thus I consider your criticism void of any foundation in reality!

  30. Moreover,

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things? Perhaps we have non-physical souls too. In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.
    http://www.patheos.com/Evangel.....#038;max=1

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    And this is certainly not the only place that naturalism suffers epistemological failure:

    Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs? – January 2008
    Excerpt: it’s hard for nature to make a whole universe. It’s much easier to make fragments of one, like planets, yourself maybe in a spacesuit or even — in the most absurd and troubling example — a naked brain floating in space.,, Alan Guth, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,,, pointed out that some calculations result in an infinite number of free-floating brains for every normal brain, making it “infinitely unlikely for us to be normal brains.” Nature tends to do what is easiest, from the standpoint of energy and probability. And so these fragments — in particular the brains — would appear far more frequently than real full-fledged universes, or than us.,,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01.....&8dpc

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    Dr. Gordon’s astute observation in his last powerpoint is here:

    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist/naturalist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

  31. They would have to be as smart as random chance for their ‘promissory note’ to be cashable.

  32. Casey Luskin has a article up on Hughes ‘The Folly Of Scientism’:

    “There has arisen a curious consilience between the findings of modern cosmology and some traditional understandings of the creation of the universe. For example, theists have noted that the model known as the Big Bang has a certain consistency with the Judeo-Christian notion of creation ex nihilo, a consistency not seen in other cosmologies that postulated an eternally existent universe. (In fact, when the astronomer-priest Georges Lemaître first postulated the theory, he was met with such skepticism by proponents of an eternal universe that the name “Big Bang” was coined by his opponents — as a term of ridicule.) Likewise, many cosmologists have articulated various forms of what is known as the “anthropic principle” — that is, the observation that the basic laws of the universe seem to be “fine-tuned” in such a way as to be favorable to life, including human life.”
    – Austin L. Hughes, evolutionary biologist – “The Folly of Scientism,” The New Atlantis (Fall, 2012):32-50.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67491.html

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