Home » News » Video: ‘Intelligent Design: The Most Credible Idea?’ — A Lecture by Dr Stephen C Meyer

Video: ‘Intelligent Design: The Most Credible Idea?’ — A Lecture by Dr Stephen C Meyer

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

119 Responses to Video: ‘Intelligent Design: The Most Credible Idea?’ — A Lecture by Dr Stephen C Meyer

  1. My thoughts, in light of Paley’s self replicating watch and the question of the root (and main branches) of the darwinist tree of life ANALOGY. KF

  2. This video came out after Steve Fuller’s talk, but now Tyndale has finally published Stephen C. Meyer’s Cambridge 2012 talk. Fuller’s presentation drew Meyer’s astonishing ID+theodicy admission in the question period, already shown at UD. And Meyer lauded Fuller in one of his answers to audience question in the video above. The intellectual priority between these two figures should be quite obvious by now.

    Methinks Meyer is far too specialised and fixated on OoL to reach most people, compared with how broadly Fuller conceives of ID; not just nature in the distant past, but contemporary human insights, choices and innovations. Iow, Fuller’s independent scholar (non-Big-ID) view of ID is one that actually matters (or at least can matter) to most people. Instead, Meyer’s DI-based and (right-wing American) funded Big-ID is unnecessarily scientistic – it seeks to be ‘science-only,’ aloof, detached, elitist.

    Most of this video talk has been spoken by Meyer before. When he speaks analogically of “uniform and repeated experience of cause and effect,” obviously everybody here knows that not a single one of us has such “uniform repeated experience” when it comes to ‘origin(s) of life.’ That realisation, in and of itself, demolishes the ‘historical sciences’ rhetoric Meyer continues to employ. It is false to suggest human beings have “uniform repeated experience” of using our ‘intelligent agency’ to create life itself.

    Otoh, Meyer claims to be using a “standard scientific form of argumentation” and otoh, he claims that he sees Big-ID as a ‘scientific revolution’ in the making. So, which is it, since it cannot be both? Standard-Revolution; Tasty cake one cannot touch.

    A couple of questions: how many actual ‘origin(s) of life’ researchers are there (even just in USA)? My guess is that very few people actually call them-self an OoL researcher. Yet a large part of Meyer’s message is simply to try to legitimise OoL as a field that more people *should* study, as if it is not actually one of, if not the most, highly speculative field today as most people believe it to be.

    Despite his (Presbyterian) protests otherwise, Meyer is still caught in analogism, though he denies speaking analogically. He mentions “identical effects in living systems (E2) and human artefacts (E1),” but that is begging the question that Fuller openly acknowledges. Why Meyer can’t recognise this is a large part of Big-ID’s ‘movement’ problem.

    Human beings as ‘intelligent agents’ simply DID NOT ‘design’ or ‘create’ or ‘construct’ or ‘build’ the Origins of Life or BioLogical Information. That should not be debatable, but Meyer readily flips from theology to science and back again seemingly at will on this topic. Meyer’s univocal predication breaks down because his Big-ID denies theological Designer-talk, all the while yet he seeks legitimacy and credibility precisely for what he denies, thus contradicting his Big-ID exists in a vacuum, i.e. “in a specifically scientific context.” He admits “I’m a theist,” but this is ‘just about science.’ People who look at this from a scholarly or everyday perspective see through this ruse.

    When Meyer says the IDM is trying “to get scientists to see that agency, mind, conscious activity is a part of reality; it’s part of the cause and effect structure of the world,” he is playing a practical joke on reality. There already are many, many scientists who see this!! Why does Meyer not understand this? Why does he not seek out those scientists and try to work collaborative with them on ‘agency, mind, conscious activity,’ on ‘design theory’ as it is meaningful to most scholars and scientists active today? The answer is because he is trained to consider ‘science’ as meaning only ‘natural-physical science.’ Most of the ‘big-tent’ of IDists has followed his weak PoS in this deviant way. It thus offers only a partial and tilted view of science, which explains why Meyer is calling for a ‘Revolution’ without actual ‘natural scientific’ evidence.

    Probably, probably, probably, probably…

    When he admits to promoting Big-ID, “which I know if for no other reasons, [than] from my own introspective experience of being a quasi-intelligent designer,” one might ask why he labels himself as only a ‘quasi-intelligent designer.’ What does Meyer lack that could potentially qualify him as more than just a ‘quasi-’ intelligent designer? Probably he won’t tell us because it would compromise his Big-ID claims, just as much as admitting ID+theodicy does.

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else who participates at or who reads UD posts, but friends, I AM an ‘intelligent designer,’ a ‘designer’ who is ‘intelligent’ (to whatever admitably limited degree). Aren’t you?! I am no ‘quasi-’ even if Meyer thinks he is.

    Luckily for those who haven’t swallowed Big-ID rhetoric, small-id logic stands strong and unfazed by the claims of scientificity by a weak PoS American movement that seemingly cannot admit that human beings didn’t create the Universe. This opens an alternative world of ‘intelligent design’ that neither Stephen C. Meyer nor John G. West is apparently yet prepared to face.

  3. Gregory,

    Do you really believe the trope that you post? Really?

  4. Gregory,

    An intelligent agent can arrange matter in a discernable way which is unique among all other physical conditions. This fact detroys your “analogy” routine, and strips you of its use in your argument against ID as a scientific project. This is why you must be so diligent not to engage it.

  5. Uprighty Biped:

    An intelligent agent…

    Such as a person? A god? An imaginary being? What are you including in your set of intelligent agents? Or are we still being coy on the subject?

  6. Gregory deserves your alliance Alan; you ignore the same evidence and use much of the same rhetoric to do so.

  7. Gregory deserves your alliance Alan…

    I am not sure he would see it like that!

    Anyway, why so touchy? I asked simple questions. Choose another alternative if you need.

  8. Actually, Alan, in this case we are ‘reading on the same page.’ What does Big-ID theory mean by ‘intelligent agent/agency’ specifically? Don’t ask, don’t tell?

    “What are you including in your set of intelligent agents?” is imo a fair question.

    Not sure about you, but I’m not an atheist and find that perspective self-nullifying and disheartening. As a theist, I agree with small-id – the idea that the universe was designed/created by a Creator (respect to Abrahamists). Don’t you, Alan?

    The rightful and massive ‘alliance’ between people who reject Big-ID’s ‘revolutionary’ claims to scientificity, which holds across the theist-atheist divide, should no longer be surprising to Big-ID supporters, certainly not in 2012-2013.

    Joe writes wrong; he meant ‘tripe’ not ‘trope.’ But he’ll likely come back with something ever ‘cleverer’ trying to kick the anti-Big-IDist. = )

    To UB: “Human beings as ‘intelligent agents’ simply DID NOT ‘design’ or ‘create’ or ‘construct’ or ‘build’ the Origins of Life or BioLogical Information.”

    Agree or disagree?

    There are many, many people who see clearly what Meyer doesn’t seem to want to see.

    Good luck fighting scientistically (#4) against your brothers and sisters, UB!

  9. And “good luck” to you Gregory, bulding your movement based on material ignorance.

  10. Actually, Alan, in this case we are ‘reading on the same page.’ What does Big-ID theory mean by ‘intelligent agent/agency’ specifically? Don’t ask, don’t tell?

    “What are you including in your set of intelligent agents?” is imo a fair question.

    Not sure about you, but I’m not an atheist and find that perspective self-nullifying and disheartening. As a theist, I agree with small-id – the idea that the universe was designed/created by a Creator (respect to Abrahamists). Don’t you, Alan?

    I’m an agnostic, Gregory. I’d like answers, sure! But I’d prefer correct answers or even something along the right lines. Maybe humans aren’t bright enough to ask the right questions, let alone work out possible answers. I don’t deny the yearning for explanations is strong in humans. I just don’t find the explanations on the table so far very satisfactory.

    I have to confess my interest in ID is more sociological than philosophical. I don’t think ID has ever merited scientific consideration. But the cultural aspects are fascinating.

  11. I don’t think ID has ever merited scientific consideration. But the cultural aspects are fascinating.

    Two peas in a pod.

    - – - – - – - – - – -

    ignore:

    1: to refuse to take notice of
    2: to reject (a bill of indictment) as ungrounded

  12. An unfortunate man was once found lying in the alley with 27 knife wounds in his back. In the process of drawing inferences about the cause, a detective on the scene considered one of two possible alternatives:

    [a] The man accidentally backed into the knife 27 times or

    [b] Someone purposefully stabbed in 27 times.

    Applying the design inference method, the detective concluded that [b] was the best choice. The man was probably murdered. As fate would have it, Alan and Gregory were at the scene:

    Alan: “Why are you being so coy? Are you afraid to tell us who you think was responsible for this crime?

    Gregory: “You’re methods are a joke. You should be able to develop a single methodology that explains who committed the crime, how he did it, why he did it, and what it means for all humankind.

    Detective:

    – “Alan, I am not being coy. I cannot identify the murderer by using design detection methods. We have ways of doing that, but they involve using a more in-depth analysis.”

    – “Gregory, a methodology is not a think piece or social commentary. It is a rigorous process by which a scientist observes data and tries to make sense of it. Quantitative methods cannot yield qualitative results.

    Alan: “That sounds like a gape of the gaps argument to me.”

    Gregory: “People derive qualitative results from quantitative methods every day.”

    Detective:

    –”Alan, It’s not a gape of the gaps argument. It is an inference to the best explanation.

    –”Gregory, where has anyone derived a qualitative result from a quantitative method?”

    Alan: “Why are you being so coy?”

    Gregory: “You’re methods are a joke.”

    Detective:

    –”Gentlemen, it has been a pleasure to speak with you. I must get back to the lab. We have other methods, you know. Thank you for your input. I can tell that you really care. About what I have no idea.”

  13. Someone purposefully stabbed in 27 times.” – StephenB

    Gee, that’s not an Origin(s) of Life question, so it doesn’t qualify as a legitimate Big-ID theory! Right guys, wink ; )

    Real ‘design theory’ – a small-id legitimate field of scientific study, involving thousands of scholars worldwide – differs significantly from the so-called singular Big-ID ‘design inference method’ preferred by StephenB.

    I’m quite sure the ‘Detective’ in StephenB’s fantasy dialogue *wants* to identify the designer/Designer. Doesn’t everyone here think so? But no, not StephenB. He doesn’t CARE who the designer/Designer is.

    Why not? Because the IDM told him not to care or be scientifically curious. By fiat – don’t think about it!

    StephenB: “You’re methods are a joke.”

    Yes, your methods are a joke. It must be ‘designed’ because it is!! (wink) Go back to the lab, StephenB, though you are not a scientist, and instead take a course in Communication. You designed the bad grammar in your message, didn’t you? Or was it just poor execution?

  14. @ Alan #10 “I’d like answers, sure!”

    What would you do to find them?

    You have recently denied and talked down to philosophy here at UD. What else do you expect but ridicule? Quite frankly, you’ve given no reason for people to trust your will on this topic. And will is much more important than mere reason when it comes to topics of origins, meaning and destiny.

    “the yearning for explanations is strong in humans.”

    Again, what are you prepared to do? Will you read Tolstoy, Max Weber, Berdyaev, Husserl, Dostoevsky, Guardini, Charles Taylor, Everyday Saints – the most popular book in post-atheist Russia? Dare you even try to consider theology rationally, scientifically or do you merely wish to ridicule believers as if they have something you never will?

    Please don’t depend on Meyer’s neutral scientism as if Big-ID has an answer that can be meaningful for agnostics. I don’t for a moment think they have come up with a suitable apologetic to counter your agnosticism. Some of them will agree that Big-ID is not such an attempt, while others in the ‘big tent’ will claim that is their primary objective.

    “I have to confess my interest in ID is more sociological than philosophical. I don’t think ID has ever merited scientific consideration. But the cultural aspects are fascinating.”

    Yes, I can identify with that. The socio-cultural aspects are interesting, which is why I wrote my master’s thesis several years ago partly on the IDM. Meyer was less prominent then, but his peer-reviewed-Sternberg-shepherded article and recent book has changed that. Still, as I indicated above, there are many features of his approach that leave much to be desired. small-id, otoh, is still accepted by the vast majority of Abrahamic believers, and nothing Big-ID has done with its ‘scientistic’ approach has changed that.

    I would listen to Fuller over Meyer 99 times out of 100. This is said after having heard them both. At least Fuller is honest in openly speaking of ID as a science, philosophy, theology dialogue first and foremost. Meyer has yet to reach such a level of public honesty.

  15. Gregory:

    “Yes, your methods are a joke. It must be ‘designed’ because it is!! (wink) Go back to the lab, StephenB, though you are not a scientist, and instead take a course in Communication. You designed the bad grammar in your message, didn’t you? Or was it just poor execution?”

    Oh, you mean the “in” typo that should have read “him.” Touchy, touchy. I must have hit a nerve.

    I am curious, though. You claim to be an expert in the philosophy of science. Which philosophers have you studied formally. What science courses have you ever taken at the academy? At what level did your education in mathematics end, or did it ever begin?

  16. No, I meant the ‘you’re’ instead of ‘your’ typo, when you tried yet again to put words in my mouth. Bad form! Just sloppiness on your part. What you now admit was wrong re: ‘in’ vs. ‘him’ I willingly overlooked. The other mistake seemed more intentional or sloppy.

    I’m quite sure the ‘Detective’ in StephenB’s fantasy dialogue (#12) *wants* to identify the designer/Designer. Doesn’t everyone here think so? But no, not StephenB. He doesn’t CARE who the designer/Designer is. It’s just not part of his pseudo-scientific, pseudo-theological theory.

  17. Gregory, it would appear that you watched the video, so why do you feel like you need to lie about Meyer’s argument?

  18. Yes, I watched the video and took notes, a few of which are quoted above.

    Mung’s #17 is a typical Big-IDist ploy. I must be lying simply because I disagree and have good arguments to back it up. As usual, Mung makes no attempt to face the challenges. Just ad hom accusation.

    So unscientific! ; )

    IDist people are obviously fanatical when they talk this way at UD.

  19. –Gregory: “I’m quite sure the ‘Detective’ in StephenB’s fantasy dialogue (#12) *wants* to identify the designer/Designer. Doesn’t everyone here think so? But no, not StephenB. He doesn’t CARE who the designer/Designer is. It’s just not part of his pseudo-scientific, pseudo-theological theory.”

    Obviously, that is a silly response. Of course, I care who the designer is, just as the detective cares who the murderer is. I know that the designer is God because regularity in the universe requires order, which in turn, requires someone to do the ordering. That would be God.

    Unfortunately, we live in an irrational academic environment that doesn’t accept this obvious fact because the specialties of theology and philosophy have been corrupted by modernist and post-modernist skepticism. Our first task should be to go back and rehabilitate philosophy by assuming a Thomistic superstructure, but no one wants to do that, least of all, Gregory and Steve. If they were to take part in the real solution to the problem, they would no longer have their own gig.

    Meanwhile, we have to work within a scientific framework because too few will submit to a responsible philosophical framework. The best solution to naturalism is Thomistic philosophy, but that option has been taken off the table. The second best approach is big ID or the empirical methods of scientific inference.

    This brings me back to the original point. The method by which the detective distinguishes murder from accidental death is different from the method of questioning witnesses, taking fingerprints, or checking alibis. Those processes cannot be integrated into a single process, but each process can be used in concert with the other.

    Since you think otherwise, Gregory, I am prompted to ask you once again: Which science and math courses have you studied at the university level?

  20. “I know that the designer is God” – StephenB

    Welcome to ‘natural science-only’ Big-ID!!

  21. I want to rephrase my last question to Gregory: What science courses have you taken at the university level?

  22. It is false to suggest human beings have “uniform repeated experience” of using our ‘intelligent agency’ to create life itself.

    Quick, call in Timaeus for help!!

  23. SB [I know that the designer is God]
    Gregory

    Welcome to ‘natural science-only’ Big-ID! –

    Is that supposed to be some kind of refutation or are you arguing by insinuation again?

    Meanwhile, back to the problem of preparation:

    Which science courses have you taken at the university level? Physics? Chemistry? Have you ever been in a lab?

  24. Yes, back to the main problem of this thread, which is Stephen C. Meyer’s presentation at Cambridge:

    It is false to suggest human beings have “uniform repeated experience” of using our ‘intelligent agency’ to create life itself.

    Big-ID theory is supposed to be natural science-only. But StephenB “know[s] that the designer is God.” That sounds like a contradiction.

    But since you asked so politely, actually yes, during a recent scientific internship I shared ‘lab’ space with evolutionary biologists!

    Now, shall we hear about StephenB’s qualifications please?

  25. –Gregory:

    But since you asked so politely, actually yes, during a recent scientific internship I shared ‘lab’ space with evolutionary biologists!”

    So, you have never taken a course in science at the university level, either at the graduate or undergraduate level. Thank you for that concession.

    Big-ID theory is supposed to be natural science-only.

    Right.

    But StephenB “know[s] that the designer is God.

    Right.

    That sounds like a contradiction.

    Why?

  26. StephenB, It appears you are a fake who is attempting to derail this thread. It’s not about me, but about claims made regarding Big-ID which are easily proven false.

    We’re best to await dialogue with/from people who are geniunely interested in discussing Stephen C. Meyer’s speech at the Tyndale event.

  27. What is “natural” science? Science is science- and all it cares about is reality. And reality says that natural processes cannot account for the origin of nature because natural processes only exist in nature.

    That said if God Created the universe and us then science can say something about that. And it matters.

    Also, Gregory, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, how do you suggest we find out stuff about the designer(s) of life and the universe?

    IOW how do we find out about designers we have never observed and can never observe?

    And what claims regarding Big ID are easily proven false? Please tell us or just admit that you are a troll.

  28. Alan Fox:

    I don’t think ID has ever merited scientific consideration.

    Well it appears that you don’t know what science is. Ya see, unlike Darwinism, ID can be tested and either confirmed or falsified. So that is what has you all confused.

  29. Gregory:

    I must be lying simply because I disagree and have good arguments to back it up.

    You must be lying because what you say is false. What is worse is that having watched the video, you know it’s false. Your “arguments” are not “good” because they attack a straw-man.

    My question is, why do you feel the need to lie?

  30. Gregory: It is false to suggest human beings have “uniform repeated experience” of using our ‘intelligent agency’ to create life itself.

    Poor Gregory, do you really think someone is under the illusion that human beings have a uniform repeated experience of using our intelligent agency to create life?

    As powerful as your arguments are, in and of themselves, surely you haven’t led a strawman out on the dance floor? What did Meyer say when you asked to see some of the life he’d created?

    Or do you think just perhaps (what Meyer and others believe) that we agents have a unique faculty when it comes to matter, in which we can create the same unique material conditions as those found at the critical core of living systems?

    (hint: the material evidence you ignore)

  31. Gregory:

    It is false to suggest human beings have “uniform repeated experience” of using our ‘intelligent agency’ to create life itself.

    Please direct us to the point in the video where Meyer asserts that we have “uniform repeated experience” of using our intelligent agency” to create life itself.

    You won’t. You can’t. Meyer never says such a thing.

    We’re best to await dialogue with/from people who are geniunely interested in discussing Stephen C. Meyer’s speech at the Tyndale event.

    People who are genuinely interested in discussing the video would have no need to lie about it’s contents.

    See my question in #29.

  32. “Not an analogical argument” – Meyer, 53:15. (contra Gregory)

    The explanandum: Not the origin of life. 32:13, 51:30, 52:11, etc. (contra Gregory)

    Why lie, Gregory? It’s so easy to be called out. To be shown to be making false statements. Why risk it?

  33. “Not an analogical argument” – Meyer

    No risk. Read again #2: “he [Meyer] denies speaking analogically.”

    This of course does not prove that Meyer does not actually use (read: heavily depend upon) analogy in his Big-ID arguments, even if he protests that he doesn’t.

    “in the absence of direct observation or designer input, how do you suggest we find out stuff about the designer(s) of life and the universe?”

    Theology or worldview studies. Just don’t call it ‘natural science’ and pretend to want to be taken seriously.

    “IOW how do we find out about designers we have never observed and can never observe?”

    Pray or have faith. Just don’t call it ‘natural science’ and pretend to want to be taken seriously.

    “we agents have a unique faculty when it comes to matter”

    Yes, exactly. This is because Meyer believes we (anthropos) are created imago Dei. That Meyer believes this should not be in question here; this is what he personally believes. And of course Meyer requires no ‘material evidence’ to believe this, unless one counts Scripture as ‘material evidence.’

  34. Gregory, I think that your comments at 26 are quite ironic.

    Instead of focusing on the argument, you label the argument-maker (Big-ID) and study its motivations rather than its arguments. This assumes that those you have labeled are not rational because they are guided by sociological forces rather than by reason.

    This is not about “Big-ID” (a term I find unhelpful) this is about philosophy and science.

    And I think that we do actually do have experience with designing life. This science is still young, but it is being done.

    And we also have experience creating machines. Cells contain machines. I do not think that it is analogy to say that humans have experience creating things like life. Sophisticated machinery is sophisticated machinery, whether it is amino acids or electronics.

  35. Gregory, with not much interest I’ve been barely following your posts, as I have been busy doing other things, but this comment of yours caught my eye:

    Theology or worldview studies. Just don’t call it ‘natural science’ and pretend to want to be taken seriously.

    Pray tell, what is this ‘natural science’ you are referring to? Methodological naturalism?

  36. Gregory,

    Inteligent Design, Big ID, is about the DESIGN. And the design exists in nature and in that sense it is natural.

    We can study the design, Gregory. And THAT is where ‘natural’ science comes in.

    That said, archaeology is about designers we have never observed and can never observe. The point being is that in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the only possible way to say anyting about the designer(s), is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    Ya see there are two different parts of an investigation- the first is determining whether or not agency was required- ie determine the cause. We use our knowledge of cause and effect relationships to help us with that.

    The second part would be to study it to figure out more about it. And if design is determined to try to figure out why and who. Those are separate questions from the questions ID asks. ID doesn’t prevent anyone from asking them nor seeking the answers. They are just separate.

    Deal with it.

  37. Gregory,

    While I do not think that Meyer is actually arguing from analogy, even if he did, that is not necessarily bad. Scientists reason from analogy all the time. Scientists reason that a drug that harms a rat’s brain will also harm a human’s brain because they are similar or “analogous.”

    The wikipedia article on analogy actually gives a way that Hume attempted to contradict the teleological (Paley’s) argument by showing that the universe is UNlike a watch in many ways. Hume knew that the way to attach an argument by analogy is not to just label it an analogy and therefore invalid. Rather, he provided counter-analogies. You could try doing the same by pointing to poor design or something.

    And this is why both Darwinists and ID-ists have made such a big deal about junk DNA. The more truly junk DNA exists, the stronger the Humean argument that the cell is not analogous to the watch. And the more perfectly the cell seems to be designed, the more analogous it is to a watch.

    But, I reiterate: I do not think it is analogy. A horse is a horse and a machine is a machine. Machines are designed.

  38. *attack* not “attach”

  39. Gregory @ 2 (emphasis omitted):

    When he [Meyer] speaks analogically of “uniform and repeated experience of cause and effect,” obviously everybody here knows that not a single one of us has such “uniform repeated experience” when it comes to ‘origin(s) of life.’ That realisation, in and of itself, demolishes the ‘historical sciences’ rhetoric Meyer continues to employ. It is false to suggest human beings have “uniform repeated experience” of using our ‘intelligent agency’ to create life itself.

    Meyer isn’t talking about creating life, he’s talking about the origin of the information that is necessary to its creation.

    Human beings as intelligent agents use information to manipulate matter — producing, for instance, the images on your computer monitor — the same way that cells use information to manipulate matter — specifically, Meyer talked about its roll in the folding proteins. No analogy needed.

    Which points to an intelligent agent as the origin of that information as the best explanation for a cause in the unobservable past.

    Otoh, Meyer claims to be using a “standard scientific form of argumentation” and otoh, he claims that he sees Big-ID as a ‘scientific revolution’ in the making. So, which is it, since it cannot be both? Standard-Revolution; Tasty cake one cannot touch.

    So you’re saying that a scientific revolution must be based on non-scientific argumentation? Really? That is your position?

    Truly, that qualifies as the stupidest thing that I have ever seen written on UD. Quite an accomplishment.

  40. Gregory:

    Do you know what functionally specific, complex information (FSCI) is? Are you aware that for example it is embedded in the text of this post and those you have made? Specifically, digitally coded, functional information in English?

    Do you appreciate, that this is expressed through 7-bit ASCII characters (let’s leave off Unicode, not relevant to our keyboards)? That, therefore 72 characters exceed 500 bits of info, and 143, 1,000 bits? That in the first case, across its conventionally estimated lifespan, the atomic resources of our solar system, if harnessed to a search process for the config space of 500 bits, could not sample (assuming blind search driven by blind chance and mechanical necessity) more than the ratio of one straw sized sample to a cubical haystack 1,000 light years on the side — about as thick as our galaxy?

    Do you therefore see that once we have multiple part function dependent on well matched properly arranged parts (the island of function criterion) — such as the ASCII symbol strings that make up posts — we cannot credibly search enough of the space blindly to make it reasonable for us to find an island of function?

    Do you also see that for 1,000 bits, the resources of the observed universe (the ONLY observed universe . . . a criterion of being scientific is that ideas are constrained by observation) would similarly be overwhelmed by the needle in the haystack challenge?

    Are you aware that the DNA complement for the simplest observationally warranted model for primitive life would require 100,000 – 1 mn bits of coded info to make and regulate DNA?

    Do you therefore see why it is reasonable to conclude that DNA in life forms exceeds the reasonable FSCI threshold, and per the empirically tested and reliable cause for such FSCI, is credibly designed? On a strong induction not a vague analogy?

    Next, are you aware that cell based life uses a cluster of nanomachines that are very well organised and function in specific ways relying on information and organisation?

    Do you see how such organisation can be reduced to an equivalent info metric by laying out a description, much as how AutoCAD etc lay out strings that code for 3-D representations?

    Do you see that this too easily exceeds the FSCI threshold, and that the comkposite, FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design?

    Do you recognise that, absent those organised machines, cell based life collapses? (Think of the pricked and poured out cell exercise — the cell never spontaneously re=assembles for the same reason million monkey at the keyboard exercises never produce text beyond the FSCI threshold.)

    From this we can easily see the argument by inference on well tested, reliable sign that the FSCO/I in the living cell, which we can reasonably project back to earliest living cells, points to design as best explanation. And therefore as best, empirically and analytically grounded explanation of the origin of cell based life.

    Where, such intelligent design of meaningful, coded, functional text strings and of complex, functionally specific systems, is a matter of empirical knowledge. Where also, design by intelligent, purposeful agents is as close to hand as the text of posts in this thread.

    so, I am afraid, it is quite plain that you have sadly misconstrued the nature of Mr Meyer’s argument, and that you have therefore been tilting at a strawman.

    The inference to design on well warranted signs is patently an empirical, reasonable, inductive exercise.

    Onward debates over who are candidate designers, is secondary to such.

    On that I will simply join with Newton and Plato to name just two, that the origin of our observed cosmos points to an extracosmic, highly intelligent designer and maker of the world, who is exceedingly powerful. The God of the philosophers is a reasonable candidate for that designer, given that our contingent cosmos also implies an underlying necessary immaterial — matter is contingent in a world of E = m*c^2 — being without beginning or possibilities of ending as causal root.

    That is an exercise in philosophy, but is consistent with science.

    Bringing on board the observation that we find ourselves under moral obligation, i.e. that we are morally governed, opens up that ethical theism is a reasonable worldview, and this is compatible with the Judaeo-Christian tradition of our civilisation. In short generic theology is also in alignment with te results of science so it is not unreasonable or automatically a matter of ideological question-begging to think that he designer of the cosmos is the God of the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

    Bring on board cosmological fine tuning that sets up a cosmos in which the first four elements get us to organic chemistry and the fifth in our galaxy, to proteins, and tothe warer for the processes involved, and we have good reason to think tha tsuch a God is the designer behind the evidently designed live in the cell.

    Thus, the root of the tree of life is evidently the result of design that traces to a designer who is rather consistent with God.

    But notice, again, the science came first the theology after, indeed there was philosophy between.

    I would suggest that your particular sociological assumptions, inferences and assertions should be revised in this light. Sociological influences do not determine the sort of chains of reasoning just outlined, nor do they affect the credibility of those chains on the merits.

    So, I would suggest that sociologising and/or pyschologising away the underlying case for design is an inappropriate and unwarranted response, not only to Meyer’s lecture and book, but to the wider movement you have encountered here at UD and elsewhere.

    KF

  41. F/N: At about 53:30, Meyer highlights that he is NOT reasoning by analogy but on explaining instantiations of the same phenomenon, FSCI as found in information technologies and in the living system. This is of course pivotal to the IBE, per reliable observed cause of a given feature. Gregory, in his discussion needs to directly address this specific point. If he fails to do so, on his claim to be responding on having watched the video, he is open to the charge of negligent or possibly willful misrepresentation and resulting tilting at strawman caricatures. KF

  42. UB: we agents have a unique faculty when it comes to matter, in which we can create the same unique material conditions as those found at the critical core of living systems.

    Gregory: Yes, exactly. This is because Meyer believes we (anthropos) are created imago Dei. That Meyer believes this should not be in question here; this is what he personally believes.

    I hate to pop your balloon, but it doesn’t matter what Meyer believes subsequent to the material evidence – which would obviously encompass whatever he personally believes about divine creation. If their writings are of any guidance, the vast majority of ID proponents and opposition believe that the only thing that matters is what can be materially substantiated by systematic observation. These systematic observations are exactly what you’re motivated to refuse. So you do.

    And of course Meyer requires no ‘material evidence’ to believe this, unless one counts Scripture as ‘material evidence.’

    Material evidence for what Gregory; that the man personally believes there is a transcendent being, or that there is identifiable evidence of agency involvement in nature? If it’s the former, then your accusations are hollow precisely because he doesn’t make his argument based on religious text. Not only can you not demonstrate this otherwise but you also know it’s dishonest to imply he does otherwise. If however, it is the latter you are referring to, then this is precisely the subject matter which you refuse to engage. What is the actual value of your comments on subject matter you refuse to engage? Is it precisely zero?

    It can be demonstrated to you that there is a singularly unique material condition found at the core of living systems. It can be demonstrated that whenever this unique material condition is found elsewhere, there is a singular association with an act of agent involvement. These things can be demonstrated without ambiguity at the material level. You refuse these demonstrable facts, preferring instead to promote false images of ID proponents of your disliking, and attacking those images in place of their actual arguments.

    You won’t be leading any intellectual movements Gregory. Not like this.

  43. Gregory:

    You have recently denied and talked down to philosophy here at UD. What else do you expect but ridicule? Quite frankly, you’ve given no reason for people to trust your will on this topic. And will is much more important than mere reason when it comes to topics of origins, meaning and destiny.

    I think we disagree fundamentally on whether it is possible to reason to enlightenment. Without observing, testing, accepting what is useful, discarding what is not in interacting with our environment, there is no likelihood of avoiding delusion.

    No-one here has said much to gainsay my opinion that pure philosophy has recently had much impact on the advancement of human society and knowledge. I can only think of Marx (opinions on whether his legacy is positive may differ!)and I’m struggling to think of anyone more recent.

  44. Oops

    Missed a rather important “not” there!

    …philosophy has not recently had much impact…

  45. KF:

    Do you know what functionally specific, complex information (FSCI) is?

    Me, please!

    An imaginary concept that has so far proved impervious to any meaningful definition!

  46. It can be demonstrated to you that there is a singularly unique material condition found at the core of living systems.

    I knew it! Why not get a new thread posted. Better yet, publish a paper!

  47. Onlookers:

    The exchange recorded by Mr Fox at 45 above is sufficient to expose his trollish misbehaviour:

    KF: Do you know what functionally specific, complex information (FSCI) is?

    AF: Me, please!

    An imaginary concept that has so far proved impervious to any meaningful definition!

    Of course the very first point is that in order to make the dismissal he just did, AF — as he knows or should know, necessarily provided a sample of digitally coded, functionally specific complex information.

    (Thus, his position is patently self-referentially absurd. Not that those bent on trollish misbehaviour care. This is a looney tunes world [or worse, we are dealing with the neo-Marxist Saul Alinski's devilish well poisoning and cultivation of chaos], to them so willful insistence on patent and often corrected absurdity seems a reasonable response on a serious matter.)

    Indeed, the clip, 168 ASCII characters as typed by AF, comes from a space of [2^7]^168 = 1.236 * 10^354 possibilities.

    The entire atomic and temporal resources of the observed universe, to date, working away at the fastest possible rate of interactions, i.e. using the grossly generous Planck-time unit as a clock-tick, could not reasonably sample as much as 1 in 10^150 of the cluster of possibilities just enumerated.

    That is, on the sign of the FSCI involved, we have every good reason to infer that the text, though utterly unwise in its semantic substance, comes from an intelligent agent.

    As can be discussed in more details, the threshold of 500 – 1,000 bits is a reasonable threshold for making such an inference on observed FSCI. (And if you have been taken in by the sock-puppet Mathgrrl’s attempt to deride FSCI as ill-defined, I suggest you read the 101 here on in context.)

    This has been pointed out over and over again, but it is obvious that we are here dealing with the willfully closed, deeply indoctrinated and smugly hostile mind.

    So, we can note that where the sort of ideologically driven objections we are seeing comes from, is that the DNA of life forms shows the same basic phenomenon, and credibly starts out at 100,000 – 1 mn bits of such information, and so we may overwhelmingly reliably infer to design as its best explanation.

    But to those committed to a priori, question begging materialism and associated redefinition of science in support of their materialist worldview, that is utterly forbidden.

    The sort of trollish stunt above is therefore only to be expected as a means to deflect unwelcome facts and reasoning.

    AF’s willful irresponsibility therefore stands exposed for all who have ears to hear and eyes to see.

    Let us hope that he will one day wake up and have the courage and common sense to rethink.

    KF

  48. PS: Sorry, 1.0263 * 10^354. I think I am a bit tired this morning.

  49. I think I am a bit tired this morning.

    Sorry to hear that, Mr. M. That explains why you didn’t actually give an operational definition for “functionally specific, complex information” in your comment.

  50. PS

    Isn’t Patrick May’s pseudonym “Mathgrrl” equivalent to Mr. G. E. M’s “kairosfocus”? The original meaning of a sockpuppet with respect to the internet was the creation of additional commenters in order to fake an impression of support. Parallel not serial pseudo-anonymity

  51. Two questions that have not been addressed from #2:

    When Meyer says the IDM is trying “to get scientists to see that agency, mind, conscious activity is a part of reality; it’s part of the cause and effect structure of the world,” he is playing a practical joke on reality. There already are many, many scientists who see this!! Why does Meyer not understand this?

    When Meyer admits to promoting Big-ID, “which I know if for no other reasons, [than] from my own introspective experience of being a quasi-intelligent designer,” one might ask why he labels himself as only a ‘quasi-intelligent designer.’ What does Meyer lack that could potentially qualify him as more than just a ‘quasi-’ intelligent designer?

    Iow, what would it take for Meyer to be (i.e. to consider himself) not merely a theoretical ‘quasi-intelligent designer,’ but instead a ‘real intelligent designer’?

  52. repeat question: Gregory, with not much interest I’ve been barely following your posts, as I have been busy doing other things, but this comment of yours caught my eye:

    “Theology or worldview studies. Just don’t call it ‘natural science’ and pretend to want to be taken seriously.”

    Pray tell, what is this ‘natural science’ you are referring to? Methodological naturalism?

  53. Gregory,

    When Meyer says the IDM is trying “to get scientists to see that agency, mind, conscious activity is a part of reality; it’s part of the cause and effect structure of the world,” he is playing a practical joke on reality. There already are many, many scientists who see this!! Why does Meyer not understand this?

    So now you’ve jumped from claiming that Meyer believes we make Life in our spare time, to claiming he doesn’t know that there are fire investigators, criminal detectives and social scientists who take agency seriously. Great.

    When Meyer admits to promoting Big-ID, “which I know if for no other reasons, [than] from my own introspective experience of being a quasi-intelligent designer,” one might ask why he labels himself as only a ‘quasi-intelligent designer.’ What does Meyer lack that could potentially qualify him as more than just a ‘quasi-’ intelligent designer?

    Geez. In this video, when Meyer calls himself a quasi-intelligent agent, he accentuates the phrase, quickly smiling at the person he’s speaking to, as a modest attempt as self-deprecating humour. And here you are with your shackles and chains at the ready.

    As an observer engaged in the study of behavoir between members of the species, you are a complete failure.

  54. AF:

    FYI, KF is my consultancy personality.

    It is not the ripping off of the web moniker of a legitimate Calculus professor for purposes of playing rhetorical games.

    There is thus plainly no moral equivalency between the two, but of course that will not stop those who have every reason to avoid dealing with matters on the merits from making assertions without regard to truth, warrant or fairness, hoping to profit from such misrepresentations being perceived as truth.

    GEM of TKI

  55. F/N: As for the no provided operational definition talking point [which ignores the provision of a flowchart procedure to identify FSCO/I and the related derivation of an equation that provides a metric based in standard work in information theory], operational definitions depend for their significance on ostensive definition, as do precising definitions and genus difference definitions. In short you have to first know what you are dealing with by example and concept formation before you can address other ways to characterise it. And of course, the talking point by AF just above is yet another side-track from the point that FSCI is adequately defined and instantly accessible by example, AF providing yet another case in point by making his objection. Not to mention, he fails to acknowledge that there is a little material factual matter of a provided link to a discussion that grounds the concept at 101 level, in light of the work from Orgel and Wickens forward, including that of Dembski, Durston et al and so forth. Nor is there any evident willingness to engage the OP’s pivotal issue that we have good grounds to infer to design on reliable sign, FSCI. Including in the case of OOL. As is typical, the objections are not serious.

  56. Since Steve Fuller addressed Steve Meyer directly at Cambridge after Meyer’s presentation shown above, I went back to the Fuller video to be reminded of what happened. The exchange between Meyer and Fuller starts at 47:50, with Meyer saying to Fuller: “Steve, this is just terrific.” The back and forth between them carries on again at 54:00 and then 59:40–1:02:10. In my view, Fuller is well ahead of Meyer with where ID is headed and worked Meyer over wrt ‘uniformitarianism.’ Let’s look at this more closely.

    Uniformitarian principle: “causes which are known by our experience to explain the effects in question” – Meyer

    Meyer focuses on materialism, gradualism and methodological naturalism. But Fuller says you can use uniformitarian principles *if* you endorse univocal predication, instead of classic orthodox theology in the A-T Catholic and Orthodox traditions.

    Fuller speaks of the IDM’s approach as:

    “the literalness with which it wants to use intelligence/Intelligence to explain things” … “you [Big-ID advocates] make an extrapolation to God from human intelligence, iow, the idea that God differs from us by degree and not kind, at least with regards to Intelligence/intelligence.”

    This is important because it shows whether or not Meyer and the IDM are using ‘Intelligence/intelligence’ as an analogy or univocally. (And you can see how difficult it is to write about this, since I feel compelled to distinguish Big-I ‘Intelligence’ from little-i ‘intelligence’ – because I don’t consider myself a god!)

    “Intelligent Design does kind of require, if we’re going to take this intelligence/Intelligence argument further into the question of divine agency, that there be univocal predication, iow, Intelligence in God and intelligence in us is using Intelligence/intelligence in the same way, but there’s a difference of degree.” – Fuller

    This is a very important distinction regarding what Big-ID is claiming to be and do. This same recognition is behind Edward Feser’s Christian philosophical rejection of Big-ID as inconsistent with A-T thought. Feser quite rightly notes Big-ID’s “univocal application of predicates both to God and to human designers” (e.g. StephenB’s usage above), while the analogical argument Meyer uses is between human-made and non-human made things as both ‘designed’ (past tense use of verb). The Catholics at UD should pay more attention to this subtle difference, if they want to be rigorous thinkers who follow the evidence and the arguments where they lead and not just fanatical IDists who dismiss anti-Big-ID philosophy when it suits them.

    It is therefore quite important that a supporter of Big-ID like Fuller recognises this challenge. It’s best then to let him have the final word in this post from his recent book Humanity 2.0:

    “I have been quite open about identifying the ‘intelligence’ of intelligent design with the mind of a version of the Abrahamic God into which the scientist aspires to enter by virtue of having been created in imago dei. This claim implies – in a way that has been very controversial in theology but crucial for the rise of modern science – that human and divine intelligence differ in degree not kind. In terms that medieval scholastics of the Franciscan order, notably John Duns Scotus, would have approved, a univocal sense of ‘intelligent’ is attributed to both God and humans, the only difference being that the former possesses infinitely more than the latter. Thus, to say that God ‘intelligently designed’ reality is to implicate the deity in a process in which humans, however very imperfectly, also engage. Without admitting this semantic point at the outset, the ‘intelligence’ behind intelligent design would be mysterious and useless to science.” – Steve Fuller

  57. So now Alan Fox is saying that computer programs are imaginary?

    Earth to Alan, computer programs are examples of FSCI.

  58. Without admitting this semantic point at the outset, the ‘intelligence’ behind intelligent design would be mysterious and useless to science.” – Steve Fuller

    So what? The design is NOT mysterious and is NOT useless to science.

    As I said earlier it is all about cause and effect relationships. We know what nature, operating freely can produce and we know what agencies can produce.

  59. Gregory,

    Let us test the application of Steve Fuller’s analysis to ID as a project concerned with design detection in the material world.

    Let us make the assumption that the intelligence of man and God are different by degree but not by kind. Now please answer this question: Is a materially-arbitrary relationship required to be instantiated in matter in order to record and transfer informartion from the genome?

    Let us now reverse the conclusion, and say that the intelligence of man and God are not only different by degree, but also by kind. Now answer this question: Is a materially-arbitrary relationship required to be instantiated in matter in order to record and transfer informartion from the genome?

    Now if you would be so kind, please compare the answers to these two qustions and provide the value of the applying these assumptions to the ID project.

  60. So Gregory, just so I understand you perfectly clearly, something is not science for you unless it meets this very specific criteria you have for ‘natural science’?? Yes or No?

    Natural Science is the major branch most commonly recognized as “science”. It is the branch of science dealing with the natural world. The sub-branches in natural science include the physical sciences and the biological sciences. The physical sciences sub-branch deals with the physical universe of matter, space, time, and energy. Within the physical sciences are fields of study such as physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, as well as many others. The biological science sub-branch (sometimes called life science) deals with living organisms. Within the biological sciences are fields of study such as biology, zoology, genetics, botany, as well as many others.
    http://www.cnrt.scsu.edu/~psc152/A/branches.htm

  61. Collin #34 wrote: “This is not about ‘Big-ID’ (a term I find unhelpful) this is about philosophy and science.”

    If you would openly admit “this is about philosophy, science and theology,” we’d be on the same page.

    The term ‘Big-ID’ is used to distinguish it from ‘small-id,’ the latter being the orthodox view in Abrahamic faiths, the former being a political-educational movement made in USA and a theory which is trying to claim scientificity for a traditionally theological ‘design argument’ (Dembski). Indeed, small-id does not believe that one can ‘scientifically’ prove the Design/Creation of the universe, while Big-ID does. That’s an important difference, which validates the reason for the meaningful distinction in terms.

    Owen Gingerich, Robert Russell, Edward Feser, Dennis Alexander and John Polkinghorne, are all small-id proponents (even though they rarely use the term ‘intelligent design,’ likely because they don’t wish to be associated with Big-ID and its politics). Michael Behe, William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells are all Big-ID proponents. All 10 are self-professed Christians, but one group claims they are on the cusp of a ‘scientific [design] revolution’ which many of their Protestant evangelical followers have swallowed hook, line and sinker. The other group is more balanced and less radically political when it comes to science, philosophy and theology/worldview discourses.

    Recently, Vincent Torley said: “Maybe we need something in between upper and lower case!” This shows how difficult a topic this distinction is for the IDM.

    Won’t you at least meditate on the rationale for accepting an honest and meaningful distinction between small-id and Big-ID before dismissing it, Collin?

    “I think that we do actually do have experience with designing life. This science is still young, but it is being done.” – Collin

    When you say “we do actually do have experience with designing life,” do you mean life from non-life? I don’t think we have such experience. Please show which ‘experiences’ you would refer us to.

    To reiterate, here is what I asked: “Human beings as [small-i, small-a] ‘intelligent agents’ simply DID NOT ‘design’ or ‘create’ or ‘construct’ or ‘build’ the Origins of Life or BioLogical Information.” Agree or disagree? Meyer refers to this challenge as “the ultimate origin of the information.” Personally, I don’t think any analogy with “causes now in operation” offers a suitable ‘historical scientific’ answer. But I’m aware that folks like KF claim to have a ‘little tent’ rebuttal to propose based on jargon like FSCI and FSCO/I, that very few scientists have adopted.

    Again, the main point is that Meyer flips from science to philosophy and theology in making his argument for a Mind as Designer of “the ultimate origin of the information [by which he really means capital-I 'Information'].” That is his prerogative, but he shouldn’t pretend that he’s simply ‘doing science’ when he states that conclusion. He’s really doing philosophy and theology disguised as science. And you know what, I don’t really have a problem with him doing this, as long as he openly admits he is flipping between science, philosophy and theology when he is doing so. Unfortunately, he seems unwilling to do this due to an apparent desire to appear ‘scientific’ in one of, if not the most speculative of so-called ‘scientific’ fields.

    Origin(s) of Life – this is a science, philosophy, theology conversation, not reducible to natural-physical science or empirical data alone.

    “I do not think that it is analogy to say that humans have experience creating things like life.” – Collin

    Well, human beings do have experience ‘creating things’ – you’ll find no argument from me there. But do you actually in your heart of hearts think that human beings “create things like life?” I don’t mean just having babies, I mean Creation of Life (capitalised in a way that theists [and some agnostics] understand). Meyer’s argument rests on the univocal predication that we do.

    Along with many others who have seen through the Big-ID communication dances, I speak much more clearly and directly than Meyer, who uses small ‘i’/small ‘d’ and Big ‘I’/Big ‘D’ in what seems to be an intentionally misleading way. This is what makes some folks here wish to reject any distinction between Big-ID and small-id; so that they can continue to use it both ways to suit their purpose at a given time. Torley, Timaeus, nullasalus and others who’s names I can’t now remember all agree on the importance of the distinction between small-id (lower case) and Big-ID (upper case), even if this compromises the coherency of the IDM’s definition of ‘Intelligent Design.’

    Speaking at a church? Then use Big-ID. Speaking at a university or public library? Then use small-id. Doing that is simply dishonest or sloppy, folks, even when you get away with it because the audience is not carefully critical enough with your language!

    As Meyer argues, the problem comes down to the inability to explain the Origin(s) of Information (both should be capitalised in this case because associated with Creator). Meyer, as scientist cannot separate Meyer as religious believer on this topic, thus concluding/hypothesising that information/Information implies mind/Mind. That is his personal (Presbyterian) definition of ‘information/Information’ not the result of following physical evidence where it leads.

    “I do not think it is analogy. A horse is a horse and a machine is a machine. Machines are designed.” – Collin

    So are you actually suggesting that horses are *not* designed? Please be clear and direct in answering this. Not answering it would be an admission of incoherency.

    Machines (in the common non-biological sense of the term) are human-made things, but organisms are not.

    I wrote: “It is false to suggest human beings have “uniform repeated experience” of using our ‘intelligent agency’ to create life itself.”

    jstanley01 replied: “Meyer isn’t talking about creating life, he’s talking about the origin of the information that is necessary to its creation.”

    Yes, and we likewise don’t have ‘uniform repeated experience’ of using our [obviously human] ‘intelligent agency’ to create the original information that is necessary to life.

    So the problem again returns to the desire by the IDM to try to be ‘positive’ as a natural-physical science, instead of ‘reflexive’ as a human-social science in a way that welcomes science, philosophy, theology/worldview dialogue. This understanding shows why Big-ID theorists claim not to be able to identify and study Designer(s)/designers (i.e. themselves) and design processes (what human designers do) even if it *can* study specified complexity in artefacts (as KF repeats and repeats). As Collin rightly points out, people design, create, build, construct, make, etc. things, which mean that small-id can do what Big-ID doctrinally cannot.

    I am an ‘intelligent designer’ and so is everyone human (i.e. who is not a bot) that is reading this. Studying my ‘intelligent designs’ will break the myth of “Big-ID *cannot* = *will not* study the designer(s)/Designer(s) of information/Information. Surely you folks understand better after many months of communication why small-id vs. Big-ID makes such a fantastic difference!? Or do you simply not *want* to recognise this and accomodate it into your texts and speech?

    Will UD allow me to conduct a survey/opinion poll on this at UD or is it too afraid of trying to keep its movement together to see the honest results?

    p.s. UB’s questions in #60 are not coherent, too much jargon, too many grammar errors, and too many assumptions, so won’t be addressed.

  62. Assumptions in 60?

    Name them.

  63. BA77: “something is not science for you unless it meets this very specific criteria you have for ‘natural science’?? Yes or No?”

    No.

  64. Gregory, the reason why I want a precise definition of what you think ‘natural’ science is is not to play ‘gotcha’ so much, but is to, hopefully, clearly show you that your definition of “natural” science is incomplete. You see Gregory in order to successfully practice science in the first place certain metaphysical presuppositions have to be made about the nature of reality and the ability of man’s mind to comprehend it. In fact it can be very forcefully argued that it was, and is, the Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and man’s mind that enabled modern science to be brought to a sustained maturity, as is noted here on commentary of Jaki’s work:

    The Origin of Science
    Jaki writes: Herein lies the tremendous difference between Christian monotheism on the one hand and Jewish and Muslim monotheism on the other. This explains also the fact that it is almost natural for a Jewish or Muslim intellectual to become a patheist. About the former Spinoza and Einstein are well-known examples. As to the Muslims, it should be enough to think of the Averroists. With this in mind one can also hope to understand why the Muslims, who for five hundred years had studied Aristotle’s works and produced many commentaries on them failed to make a breakthrough. The latter came in medieval Christian context and just about within a hundred years from the availability of Aristotle’s works in Latin..
    As we will see below, the break-through that began science was a Christian commentary on Aristotle’s De Caelo (On the Heavens).,,
    Modern experimental science was rendered possible, Jaki has shown, as a result of the Christian philosophical atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Although a talent for science was certainly present in the ancient world (for example in the design and construction of the Egyptian pyramids), nevertheless the philosophical and psychological climate was hostile to a self-sustaining scientific process. Thus science suffered still-births in the cultures of ancient China, India, Egypt and Babylonia. It also failed to come to fruition among the Maya, Incas and Aztecs of the Americas. Even though ancient Greece came closer to achieving a continuous scientific enterprise than any other ancient culture, science was not born there either. Science did not come to birth among the medieval Muslim heirs to Aristotle. ….
    The psychological climate of such ancient cultures, with their belief that the universe was infinite and time an endless repetition of historical cycles, was often either hopelessness or complacency (hardly what is needed to spur and sustain scientific progress); and in either case there was a failure to arrive at a belief in the existence of God the Creator and of creation itself as therefore rational and intelligible. Thus their inability to produce a self-sustaining scientific enterprise.
    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/aug.....rigin.html

    Further notes:

    Presuppositional Apologetics – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 debate available on the site
    Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,
    http://theresurgence.com/2012/.....-god-exist

    Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139

    You see Gregory, the ‘presupposition of mind’ is built into our expectation that we can understand reality in a rational way!

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

    Gregory you may say ‘so what’ as if this subtle distinction of ‘presupposed mind(s)’ did not matter for ‘natural science’, but it is very important to note the epistemological failure that would ensue in science if one were to insist on a purely naturalistic explanation for reality and forsakes the presupposition of ‘rational mind’ that was behind the founding of modern science. For instance the epistemological failure of ‘Boltzmann’s Brain’:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

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

    (Last powerpoint from preceding video)
    The End Of Materialism? – Dr. Bruce Gordon
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist 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.

  65. Gregory, besides the cosmos as a whole, this epistemological failure, i.e. this ‘lack of a guarantee’ for trusting our perceptions and reasoning in science to be trustworthy in the first place, even extends all the way down into evolutionary naturalism itself;

    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/

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    Thus Gregory, if you say that only ‘natural science’ is true science, and only allow ‘natural answers to be considered valid, you end up in ignoring the presuppositions that enabled modern science, as well as dooming any path science may take to epistemological failure.

    Related note:

    The integrity of quantum mechanics within science is now so solid that researchers were able to bring forth this following proof from quantum entanglement experiments;

    Can quantum theory be improved? – July 23, 2012
    Excerpt: However, in the new paper, the physicists have experimentally demonstrated that there cannot exist any alternative theory that increases the predictive probability of quantum theory by more than 0.165, with the only assumption being that measurement (conscious observation) parameters can be chosen independently (free choice. free will, assumption) of the other parameters of the theory.,,,
    ,, the experimental results provide the tightest constraints yet on alternatives to quantum theory. The findings imply that quantum theory is close to optimal in terms of its predictive power, even when the predictions are completely random.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-quantum-theory.html

    Now Gregory this is completely unheard of in science as far as I know. i.e. That a mathematical description of reality would advance to the point that one can actually perform a experiment showing that your current theory will not be exceeded in predictive power by another future theory is simply unprecedented in science! Moreover, it was shown in the paper that one cannot ever improve the predictive power of quantum mechanics by ever removing free will or conscious observation as a starting assumption(s) in Quantum Mechanics!

    Thus Gregory, I hope I have shown you the importance of holding correct presuppositions about the nature of reality in order to practice science successfully.

    music and verse:

    Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood – Presence Of The Lord
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFlgDeA6Wog

    Psalm 19:1-2
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

  66. Gregory,

    I think you are ignoring my main point about machines. Although humans have not created life, they have created machines similar to those found in cells. That is where the argument succeeds. “Big-ID” as you call it, does not necessarily hold that all of life was designed. Behe’s idea of irreducible complexity, for example, only points to certain attributes of life that exhibit objective signs of design. Behe probably believes in “small-ID” with respect to other features of life. I think you should take his arguments at face value rather than engage in distraction tactics. You comment so long about side issues that it makes me think you have no answer for FCSI or IC.

    Machines are designed, information comes from a mind. There are machines in cells and information in cells, therefore a mind is responsible. If you can refute these statements, then fine. Please try and stop using distraction techniques.

  67. Gregory,

    A couple of other points.

    There have been dozens of articles on this blog exploring whether or not ID can be scientifically shown or merely philosophically reasoned.

    “A horse is a horse” is just an idiom.

  68. Also, ID-ers claim that they cannot identify the designer because atheists and secularists had certain objections to the teaching of creationism in schools. Then the ID folks eliminated all of the things that made creationism religious and now people are demanding that they identify the designer. Obviously this is an attempt to make ID religious so that it can be shut down without having to take its arguments at face value.

  69. Collin #34 wrote: “This is not about ‘Big-ID’ (a term I find unhelpful) this is about philosophy and science.”

    If you would openly admit “this is about philosophy, science and theology,” we’d be on the same page.

    Will you neither admit this nor say anything at all about it?

    The point about ‘machines’ was addressed above: Machines (in the common non-biological sense of the term) are human-made things, but organisms are not.

    “Although humans have not created life, they have created machines similar to those found in cells.” – Collin

    This is where the argument fails, not where it succeeds.

    “‘Big-ID’ as you call it, does not necessarily hold that all of life was designed.” – Collin

    Many people call it this or upper case ID. I am not special in this regard. small-id “holds that all of life was designed” – this is the orthodox Abrahamic belief. It is the Big-ID position you seem to be defending that is un-orthodox.

    Are you not an Abrahamic believer yourself, Collin?

    “Machines are designed, information comes from a mind. There are machines in cells and information in cells, therefore a mind is responsible. If you can refute these statements, then fine.” – Collin

    That’s very primitive IDist logic! It is a different KIND of ‘intelligence’ involving human-made machines from the ‘Intelligence’ that Big-ID claims to ‘scientifically’ be able to prove in biological information. If you were up on catholic/Catholic philosophy, Collin, you would understand why. Follow the Feser link above to catch the meaning.

  70. Gregory

    You raise many points in your recent posts. I’ll try to be brief.

    1. Your big beef with Meyer’s argument is that human beings do not have “uniform repeated experience” of using their “intelligent agency” to create life itself. True, but human beings do have “uniform repeated experience” of using their “intelligent agency” to create structures whose ability to perform a function (i.e. do a useful job) depends critically on the specific sequencing of their components. We can quantify how critical this sequencing is in mathematical terms, and when we do so, we call it functional complex specified information (FCSI). Life and artifacts can then be represented on a common spectrum: the differences between the amount of FCSI in a living cell and the amount in an artifact can be compared quantitatively. Typically, artifacts are much, much simpler than living things. It is in this respect, and this respect only, that we can speak of living cells and artifacts as differing in degree. (The intrinsic teleology of living things and the extrinsic teleology that defines artifacts are of course different in kind.)

    So to return to your point, humans do have the experience that counts: the experience of creating things that contain FCSI. Specified complexity is a term that has been used repeatedly to describe life by Leslie Orgel and Paul Davies; it’s fairly uncontroversial in that context. As for expressing FCSI mathematically, try this paper: Hazen, R.M.; Griffin, P.L.; Carothers, J.M.; Szostak, J.W. 2007, Functional information and the emergence of biocomplexity, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 104 Suppl 1, 8574-81.

    The other controversial claim is that unguided natural processes are incapable of creating significant amounts of FCSI – that is, amounts large enough to account for the origin of life. Some people say that genetic algorithms refute this claim, but Professor Dembski explains why that won’t work in his article, Conservation of Information Made Simple and in the publications he co-authored with Robert J. Marks II at http://www.evoinfo.org/.

    Thus far the argument is purely mathematical and scientific. It leads us to the conclusion that some sort of Intelligence was responsible for the origin of life. But it doesn’t tell us what kind of Intelligence that is.

    2. You argue that ID proponents are none too clued up when it comes to the writings of Aquinas. Rubbish. About three years ago, I wrote a five-part series entitled, St. Thomas Aquinas and his Fifteen Smoking Guns. It was written in reply to Professor Tkacz, but it also addressed the arguments put forward by Professor Ed Feser, to the effect that Intelligent Design thinking was foreign to the thinking of Aquinas. I delved into Aquinas’ writings for many months and here’s what I came up with:

    The following 15 points were all explicitly taught by Aquinas.

    (a) Physical effects requiring a supernatural cause are the best possible way of demonstrating God’s power and free agency. (The conclusion I draw is that St. Thomas would have therefore highly commended so-called “God of the gaps” arguments, so long as they convincingly demonstrate that some effect which we perceive in the world around us is beyond the power of Nature to produce.)

    (b) God can (and sometimes does) produce effects in Nature without using natural agents.

    (c) Some physical changes are beyond the power of Nature to bring about: they can only be produced by God.

    (d) The physical universe is an open system: without angels acting on it continually, the generation of new life on Earth would come to a complete stop.

    (e) God is an immediate cause of each and every effect occurring in the natural world. Whenever God works in co-operation with a natural agent to produce an effect, the natural agent is also an immediate cause, but it operates as an instrument of God, Who is the Principal Agent. (Concurrentism.)

    (f) A thing doesn’t need to have a natural origin, in order to belong to a natural kind.

    (g) Nature always works in the same regular, repeatable way when producing each kind of thing: it needs the right kind of stuff to work on, plus an agent of adequate causal power, in order to generate the form of that kind of thing. (Hyper-uniformitarianism.)

    (h) God designed a world of fixed kinds, in which the evolution of new kinds of creatures as a result of mutations is impossible. Hybrids between existing kinds can occasionally give rise to new kinds of creatures, but one kind of creature can never “change into” another, over time. (Essentialism.)

    (i) The first animals that were capable of reproducing according to their kind must have been produced immediately by God, and God alone. (Supernatural production of the first animals.)

    (j) The “higher,” more complex animals must have been produced immediately by God, and God alone.

    (k) The bodies of the first human beings must have been produced immediately by God, and God alone.

    (l) Language, no matter where it is found, is a hallmark of intelligence. (The conclusion I draw is that if we find effects in Nature that are written in some sort of language, we can be sure that an Intelligent Being produced them. In particular, since we now know that there is a suite of programs running within the cells of each living organism, then St. Thomas Aquinas, if he were alive today, would unhesitatingly declare that an intelligent agent must have produced these programs, and not some physical process.)

    (m) All of God’s works are perfectly designed in relation to their ends. Hence there are no bad designs in Nature.

    (n) Everything that God made has a purpose; and everything in Nature has a purpose. Hence organisms contain no redundant or vestigial features.

    (o) God is a micro-manager: for each kind of creature living on Earth, each and every one of its natural features was personally designed by God.

    I provide chapter and verse citations in my five-part online reply to Tkacz. Neither Tkacz nor Feser has written an article in response to this post, as far as I’m aware.

    3. There are indeed differences between ID and Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy regarding the nature of intelligence – but the point at issue is not (as is commonly claimed) whether the differences between God’s intelligence and our own are purely differences of degree, or whether the term “intelligent” is predicated univocally of God and human beings. On page 315 of their book, The Design of Life (2008, Foundation for Thought and Ethics, Dallas), Professor William Dembski and Dr. Jonathan Wells define intelligence as “A type of cause, process or principle that is able to find, select, adapt, and implement the means needed to effectively bring about ends (or achieve goals or realize purposes). Because intelligence is about matching means to ends, it is inherently teleological.”

    And here’s how Aquinas describes it in his celebrated Fifth Way:

    Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer.

    The underlying idea here is that the term “intelligent” has the same meaning when predicated of God and ourselves, notwithstanding the infinite disparity between God’s unlimited intellectual capacities and our limited capacities, and the utter dissimilarity between the way God thinks and the way we do.

    “How can it be the same meaning if the modus operandi and the capacity are so dissimilar?” you might ask. The short answer is that “know” or “understand” is not a modal verb; it refers to what the agent does rather than how he/she does it, or for that matter, how easily he/she does it.

    The longer answer is that there is something in common between God’s modus operandi and our own: both require some sort of language. In Part Five of my reply to Professor Tkacz, I argue that the Aristotelian-Thomistic characterization of intelligence in purely teleological terms (e.g. the ability to select means to bring about ends” is insufficient, and that intelligence cannot be adequately characterized without language. (This, by the way, ties in well with “Let there be light,” Genesis 1:3, and “In the beginning was the Word,” John 1:1.)

    In other words, the act of understanding a natural entity can only be characterized by the ability to specify the concept of that entity, in some sort of language. This specification has to include a complete description of its “whatness” (or substantial form), as well as its built-in “ends” (finality). Form cannot be reduced to finality, and neither can finality be reduced to form.

    The reason why this is important for Intelligent Design is that the information required to produce the form can be specified mathematically. Mathematics is a kind of language. At some level, when designing life, or when designing animal body plans, or for that matter human beings (e.g. through a process of guided evolution) God must have specified exactly what He wanted.

    It sounds pretty obvious when you put it like that. Surprisingly, however, Professor Feser thinks otherwise. In a post entitled, ID theory, Aquinas, and the origin of life: A reply to Torley (April 16, 2010), Feser spelt out exactly what he believes happens when God creates something:

    …[W]hether or not we think of God as specially creating life in an extraordinary intervention in the natural order, the way He creates is not properly understood on the model of human artifice. He does not make a living thing the way a watchmaker makes a watch or the way a builder builds a house. He does not take pre-existing raw materials and put them into some new configuration; nor does He even create the raw materials while simultaneously putting the configuration into them. (As I’ve said before, temporal considerations are not to the point.) Rather (as I put it in my earlier post) he creates by conjoining an essence to an act of existence, where the essence in question is a composite of substantial form and prime matter. That is the only way something that is “natural” rather than “artificial” in Aristotle’s technical senses of those terms possibly could be created.

    In a comment on another post, entitled, Nature versus Art (April 30, 2011), Professor Feser also asserted that God could, if He wished, make a man from the dust of the ground, simply by saying, “Dust, become a man.” As he wrote back to me, when I asked him about the sequence of steps involved in such a transformation:

    Forming a man from the dust of the ground involves causing the prime matter which had the substantial form of dust to take on instead the substantial form of a man. I’m not sure what “sequence of steps” you have in mind. There’s no sequence involved (nor any super-engineering — God is above such trivia). It’s just God “saying,” as it were: “Dust, become a man.” And boom, you’ve got your man.

    (For the New Atheist types out there, no, this isn’t “magic.” Rather, it’s something perfectly rationally intelligible in itself and at least partially intelligible to our finite minds once we do some metaphysics. It’s just something that only that in which essence and existence are identical, that which is pure actuality, etc. is capable of, and we aren’t. We have to work through other pre-existing material substances and thus have to do engineering and the like in order to make things. God, who is immaterial, the source of all causal power, etc. doesn’t need to do that and indeed cannot intelligibly be said to do it.)

    Let us suppose, now, that God commanded a piece of dust to become a man, as Professor Feser supposes he did. On behalf of the dust, I would like to reply: “What kind of man would you like me to become, Lord? A tall one or a short one? Brown eyes or blue? A Will Smith lookalike or a Tom Cruise replica? Blood type A, B, AB or O? Oh, and what about the micro-level properties of the man you want me to be? Exactly how many cells should this individual have? What sequence of bases should he have in his DNA? I’m afraid I can do nothing, Lord, unless you tell me exactly what you want.” I won’t belabor the point here: the difficulty should be obvious. The problem with merely telling the dust to become a man is that it under-specifies the effect – or in philosophical jargon, under-determines it. And since dust is unable to make a choice between alternatives – even a random one – then nothing at all will get done, if God commands dust to simply become a man. To get a real man, every single detail in the man’s anatomy has to be specified, right down to the atomic level.

    Now we can see why the psalmist wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).

    There’s just no getting around the mechanics of design, even if you’re a Deity. The reason is simple: in the real world, things are specified at all levels, including the bottom level.

    So contrary to what Professor Feser wrote, I would maintain that God does have to do super-engineering, if He designs an organism.

    4. Professor Feser also thinks he has a quicker and more reliable teleological argument for God’s existence. In a nutshell, he argues that things have built-in causal dispositions, or tendencies – in other words, causes inherently “point to” or are “directed at” their effects. Next, he argues that unintelligent natural causes can “point to” or be “directed at” their effects only if guided by an intelligence. This, in my opinion, is the step that critics will “zoom in” on. Feser refers to the effects that natural causes point to as their “ends” or “goals” – but he also goes to great pains to say that by the term “ends” he really means “dispositions” or “tendencies”, where these are understood as built-in. It is far from self-evident that a natural cause’s having an orientation, or tendency, towards some effect requires a guiding intelligence. Elsewhere in his writings, Feser argues that this is because the effect lies in the future – but a skeptic could argue that most natural causes appear to be only present-directed, and that even future-directed causes (e.g. developmental programs in organisms) supervene on present-directed causal processes (the underlying physics and chemistry).

    In my opinion, Feser might have done better to argue that the laws of Nature are normative or prescriptive (otherwise we could not rely on them) rather than merely descriptive, and that rules are embedded in the very nature of things, as part of their warp-and-woof. One could then argue that if the laws of Nature are really rules, then rules require a Rule-Maker – i.e. an Intelligent Agent. For my part, I find this argument powerful and persuasive, but I don’t believe in putting all my metaphysical (or theological) eggs in one basket. I see the mathematical arguments of the Intelligent Design movement as neatly dove-tailing with those of philosophical theology – although the former do not specify the Nature of the Intelligence that was responsible for the origin of life.

    Well, I think I’ve written enough for one post. I will say one more thing re your distinction between big and small ID, very quickly. Your suggestion that big ID is better suited to churches overlooks the fact that big ID is explicitly mathematical and empirical in its formulation. Most people, when they come to worship, wouldn’t expect to encounter mathematics – and I don’t blame them!

  71. kf:

    On that I will simply join with Newton and Plato to name just two…

    Are those the same two that Meyer mentions which impressed Immanuel Kant as well?

  72. “ID folks eliminated all of the things that made creationism religious…Obviously this is an attempt to make ID religious” – Collin

    Anyone who has followed the IDM for the past decade knows that Big-ID trades heavily in (and receives money from) creationist company. The graphic here reveals this clearly.

    small-id rejects Big-ID’s speculative claims to scientificity and authenticity. small-id is the responsible position to hold for an Abrahamic believer, unless they wish for political reasons to become a Big-ID fanatic. In the latter case, they will be marginal in most universities (other than perhaps private Christian colleges) and sacrifice their publishing potential (e.g Behe) because serious scholars don’t want to publish philosophy and theology masquerading as natural science-only.

    Why Big-ID has not tried its hand more openly and honestly in ‘science, philosophy, religion’ discourse is a mystery yet to be solved.

    #2 & #57 in this thread contain significant challenges to IDist Stephen C. Meyer’s awkward position. But UD regulars sadly don’t seem to wish to face such challenges. They want to insist upon no challenges possible to Big-ID and display their dedication to a Movement deluding itself based on scientism.

  73. Alan Fox:

    I think we disagree fundamentally on whether it is possible to reason to enlightenment. Without observing, testing, accepting what is useful, discarding what is not in interacting with our environment, there is no likelihood of avoiding delusion.

    Oh, the irony.

  74. Gregory:

    We’re best to await dialogue with/from people who are genuinely interested in discussing Stephen C. Meyer’s speech at the Tyndale event.

    I couldn’t help but notice how much you’re written in this thread that has nothing to do with what he actually said in his talk at the event.

    So here’s an idea. Why don’t you lead the way? Lead by example.

  75. And you talk about lying, Mung!!

    I’ve quoted multiple times directly from Meyer’s actual presentation and from his comments to Fuller.

    Please don’t be so ignorant or a mindless provocateur, unless you just can’t help yourself, in which case I find no reason to respond to you.

  76. vjt:

    Most people, when they come to worship, wouldn’t expect to encounter mathematics – and I don’t blame them!

    Mathematics: The New Language of Worship

  77. Gregory you state:

    because serious scholars don’t want to publish philosophy and theology masquerading as natural science-only.

    Please show me how in blue blazes ‘natural science’ can even be practiced without theological presuppositions without ending up in epistemological failure, and then I will grant you that there can be quote unquote ‘serious scholars’ in ‘natural science-only’ that are publishing without having inbuilt philosophical, theological prejudice!

  78. Gregory:

    Anyone who has followed the IDM for the past decade knows that Big-ID trades heavily in (and receives money from) creationist company. The graphic here reveals this clearly.

    I assume you speak of a graphic that shows a series of books and editions of the popular level book pandas and people, which shows Thaxton and others gradually moving away from Creationist language to design terms in the wider context where they felt the former was inadequate to where they wished to go? As in the same Thaxton who, working with Bradley and Olsen, in 1984 — three years before the relevant US Supreme Court decision that is usually cited in “Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” narratives — developed the first technical design theory work?

    As in The Mystery of Life’s Origin, in which argumentation on thermodynamics, Geology, and related chemistry, polymer science, information issues and atmosphere science etc in the context of a prelife earth led them to conclude based on the unfavourable equilibria, that formation of relevant information-rich protein or RNA polymers in such a pre-life matrix was maximally implausible? Then, who went on to discuss the various proteocell theories at the time critically and concluded that none of them were plausible?

    Thence, concluded that the best explanation of formation of life was design, refusing to infer whether there was a ‘Creator” of such life within or beyond the cosmos, on grounds that the empirical evidence did not warrant such?

    So, we are left to infer from Forrest’s graph [where, BTW, the relevant publishers of TMLO were not allowed to speak for themselves in the courtroom . . . ], that the only plausible explanation is an attempt to avoid the implications of a court ruling?

    My comment is that Ms Forrest has zero credibility, and that there is an obvious pattern evident from a technical work that was well received at the time [before there was a debate over the emergence of design theory and resulting polarisation], that provides a completely adequate explanation.

    But if one is committed to the notion championed in the Wikipedia article I am currently marking up, that there is no technical merit to design arguments, there only remains sociological-psychological and political ones to account for its rise.

    In my own case, I will say something in testimony.

    I attended a seminar presented by Thaxton, and began to have some thoughts, that led me to acquire a copy of TMLO in the days before it was easy to get such things courtesy Amazon.

    I sat down and read in light of my own education in Thermodynamics and related areas, and in light of what I knew about information. I came to see the issue of the inductively known source of what I summarised descriptively as functionally specific, complex information as decisive. I engaged discussions online (in other fora), which led me to a stronger and stronger view of the inductively rooted force of the issue, which can be seen reflected in my briefing note [which is now nearly seven years old], which is linked to every post I have ever made here at UD as a comment.

    You will see that that note moves from the source of info to the OOL situation to OO Body Plans, and onwards to the cosmological issue, reflecting the pattern of my reasoning and it is a marker of the influence of TMLO in my thought.

    In early days of commenting at UD, I began to think that there was need for a course or Wiki (better yet, both)that would allow a much wider audience to access the design theory view on origins, which is quite distinct from the Creationist one I had long been familiar with, as well as of course the evolutionary materialist one. (My use of the term evolutionary materialism as a description of the core aspects of the materialist/ naturalist stranglehold on origins thought, goes back 20 – 25 years or so. You will see that I have long held the view that the critical issue with this philosophy is that it is inescapably self referential and self-undermining on mind and morality.)

    In the end I wrote a blog that lays out what I think such a course could cover, as a draft, and I also helped contribute to the upgraded UD weak argument correctives, in collaboration with GP and SB; most recently adding a section on the first principles of right reason in light of quantum theory linked objections. Some time after that upgrade was initially undertaken, I came to accept an invitation to contribute as an original poster at UD.

    Now, obviously, I am not living in an American jurisdiction where US Supreme Court or other court rulings have any force (other than to make me shake my head about the follies of courts censoring classrooms).

    I am not motivated by religion to adopt a theory that is rooted in the end in information theory and thermodynamics issues. I do note, as the WACs say, that Paul and John took what were risky positions 2,000 years ago, that reason and information were written into the substructure of the cosmos, and that this leads to a compelling rational inference to an author who is evidently divine. (They and other authors also argued that our being bound by moral law points to the underling divine lawgiver also.)

    I find it utterly astonishing that the very same ones who would pounce on it having been discovered that the cosmos is fundamentally chaotic as overturning such notions, having instead found them borne out, borne out by current scientific investigations in ways those worthies could never have foreseen, now want to attack the scientific reasoning that I and others have undertaken as being a matter of religion and politics.

    I guess I should start at the level that Thaxton et al did not address as beyond the scope of their investigations, which is the level that does point beyond the cosmos.

    For this, let me cite here a certain scientific hero of mine, the lifelong agnostic, Sir Fred Hoyle:

    From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect [--> as in, a Cosmos-building super intellect] has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]

    This seems to have been part of the conclusion of a talk he gave at Caltech in 1981. Let’s clip a little earlier:

    The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . .

    I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . .

    Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix.

    OF COURSE, IT IS WORSE THAN THIS.

    It turns out that on many dimensions of fine tuning, our cosmos spits out the following first four atoms: H, He, C, O. with N nearly 5th overall, and 5th for our galaxy. That gets us to stars, the rest of the periodic table, organic chemistry, water, terrestrial rocks [oxides or oxygen rich ceramics] and proteins.

    That I find is a big clue.

    Where, we must then see what Hoyle also said:

    I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. [["The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]

    In short, the numbers do not add up as Ms Forrest would have us believe, and the personality who is actually pivotal — evidently including for Thaxton et al — is not by any means a Christian, but a lifelong agnostic.

    And remember, the cosmological ID thinking emerged first, from the 1950′s to 70′s. It ties naturally into the issues being run into by OOL researchers who had by the 1970′s realised they had to account for functionally specific complex information in biology.

    Here we need to remember Orgel and Wicken (it’s all there in the IOSE, folks):

    ORGEL, 1973: . . . In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity. [[The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189.]

    WICKEN, 1979: ‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms [[i.e. “simple” force laws acting on objects starting from arbitrary and common- place initial conditions] and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an [[originally . . . ] external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content . . . Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’ [[“The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 77 (April 1979): p. 353, of pp. 349-65. (Emphases and notes added. Nb: “originally” is added to highlight that for self-replicating systems, the blue print can be built-in.)]

    The source of my descriptive term, functionally specific complex information [and related organisation], per the conduit of TMLO, should be obvious.

    In short, your whole complex collapses, collapses on the grounds that its timeline is wrong and the forebears of intelligent design thought as a scientific research programme are not as you imagine.

    Yes, some Creationists do support design theory, after all they do believe in intelligent design, and are able to pull back a bit and ask, if we lay the business of debating interpretations of Genesis 1 – 11 aside for a bit, what do we see in the book of nature?

    That is a natural way to come to the threshold of design theory, and it is a context in which they can carry out serious investigations on the merits of fact and logic.

    And, given the balance of power in US government (as opposed to the balance of worldviews in the population at large) and who controls where compelled funds from tax payer will go for research and education [whatever the taxpayers want to think], it is utterly unsurprising that Creationists would be found among ID’s funders and supporters more generally. As in, some form of belief in God guiding the origin and development of the world, whether in a short or a long timeframe and whether by direct creation of kinds or by longer processes, takes in was it about 80% of the US adult population?

    Where also, obviously, small and struggling research and policy centres scattered in a few cities and sites should be no threat at all to those who command the flow of billion dollar funding levels.

    Save, that the latter are trying to prop up an ideology imposed on science that has long since passed its sell-by date. That is why the billion dollar funds and the ruthless indoctrination and Alinsky demonisation tactics don’t work as advertised. The evidence does not back up a priori evolutionary materialism as so well summed up by Lewontin:

    . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated . . . [["Billions and billions of demons," NYRB, Jan 1997. if you have been taken in by the "this is quite-mined" talking point, kindly cf the fuller citations and discussion here on.]

    That is why Johnson’s retort was ever so apt:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    KF

  79. Mung:

    0 = 1 + e^i*pi

    Hallelujah, amen, and amen!

    KF

  80. And yet over at TSZ they rest their case on the belief that Hoyle didn’t understand the forces involved. Snort.

    It’s interesting, I had just come across those quotes from Hoyle in some reading yesterday.

    A Fine Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology by Alister E. McGrath

    The importance of the figures cited by Hoyle, and why it’s a part of the fine-tuning argument, isn’t just because Carbon and Water are so important for life. It’s because there must be a balance for both Carbon and Water to be produced in biophilic quantities.

    4He + 4He -> 8Be

    8Be + 4He -> 12C

    Why isn’t 12C immediately converted into 16O?

    12C + 4He -> 16O

  81. Dr Torely,

    In your post at 71 you did the same thing that you have always done here on UD, you provide a rational and comprehensive answer to address the topic at hand. In this particular instance I would like to add one thing to your answer.

    So to return to your point, humans do have the experience that counts: the experience of creating things that contain FCSI.

    I would only add to this that DNA contains more evidence than just that of specified complexity. It also demonstrates a singularly unique material condition which is readily discernable, and that this unique material condition is only found elsewhere as the direct result of an agent. In other words, FCSI is concerned with a mathematical analysis of the sequence itself, whereas this second line of evidence is concerned with the material conditions required for the existence of FCSI in the first place (i.e. the physics of information transfer). And whereas the analysis of sequence complexity may not be assessible to a wider audience (based on mathematical acumen), the evidence of the material requirements to record and transfer information are readily accessible to almost anyone. And finally, I would also add that when the physical requirements of a system capable of recording and transferring information are modeled, logic then steps in to all but dictate that the system could not operate in any other way – profoundly increasing confidence in the model and the observations its based on.

  82. Upright BiPed:

    …the evidence of the material requirements to record and transfer information are readily accessible to almost anyone.

    So why do TSZ’ers avoid it like the plague?

    Why does Gregory pretend to not understand it?

    But you are oh so correct. Where did the information come from begs the question, what is required for us to recognize it as information in the first place? We would not even be asking that question if there was not in place a system for the storage and transfer of information.

  83. Gregory,

    “Meyer uses an analogical argument elsewhere” fails to sustain the assertion that Meyer’s argument in the video is analogical.

    “Some IDers think life is designed” fails to sustain the assertion that Meyer’s argument in the video is that life is designed.

    I’ve quoted multiple times directly from Meyer’s actual presentation and from his comments to Fuller.

    You failed to quote Meyer at the relevant points in his presentation and his response to Fuller is irrelevant to his argument in the video.

    Apart from your quote where he says he’s a “quasi-intelligent designer,” which is not even from his presentation but rather from the QA that followed, where have you quoted Meyer from the video?

    Not only did I have the courtesy, after having accused you of lying, to point out your specific false statements, I asked you to provide actual quotes from Meyer’s video where he makes the claims you attribute to him. Where did you do that?

    Refresh my memory, please.

    Please don’t be so ignorant or a mindless provocateur, unless you just can’t help yourself, in which case I find no reason to respond to you.

    I read your comments before I ever viewed the video, so I knew what to look for. It appears to be the majority opinion here at UD that you did in fact erect a straw-man and attack that rather than the actual argument made by Meyer in the video.

    Your characterization of my response to your claims hardly seems accurate. Not responding to me isn’t going to rehabilitate your character.

    We’re best to await dialogue with/from people who are genuinely interested in discussing Stephen C. Meyer’s speech at the Tyndale event.

    By all means. Let’s discuss the video.

  84. kf:

    It turns out that on many dimensions of fine tuning, our cosmos spits out the following first four atoms: H, He, C, O. with N nearly 5th overall, and 5th for our galaxy. That gets us to stars, the rest of the periodic table, organic chemistry, water, terrestrial rocks [oxides or oxygen rich ceramics] and proteins.

    Don’t forget Phosphate. Can’t forget phosphate. :)

  85. Bornagain77 as usual is very correct in identifying the circular assumptions practiced in the natural sciences when he states “Please show me how in blue blazes ‘natural science’ can even be practiced without theological presuppositions” (I’ll figure out the HTML tags for quoting in white eventually).

    By defining the tangible world as “natural” they/we are often operating under presuppositions that are (aw-theistic) atheistic/materialistic and completely independent of any allowance for a sustaining (metaphysical) Creator. What is even worse is when we REQUIRE circular assumptions that reject any theistic implications of any kind by requiring all naturalistic explanation(s). IOW = only materialistic conclusions allowed. Natural conclusions required for natural assumptions. Without ever addressing these circular
    assumptions they operate without ever questioning what natural really is…and whether it is sustained by an
    Infinite Creator (let alone the result OF a Creator).

    This circular reasoning must be exposed if we are ever
    to allow for theistic implications in the ‘natural sciences.’

  86. Also, in response to some of the comments here, teleological arguments in evidential apologetics only first give evidence that there is “a” Creator (agnostic theism). The general arguments of design from the past do not address the natural of biological information nor mechanical working systems and we can never ‘generalize’ about design or ID without addressing the specific nature of the scientific evidence for agnostic theism. I apologize for the rhetoric here… but just to be clear – the argument for the God of Abraham is a cumulative case argument from agnostic theism *and* the logic (or argument from reason (i.e. being from non-being is illogical) of God’s Aseity as a necessity for existence (the Creator’s Self-Existence). This cumulative case argument comes via eternal Creator – Infinite Creator – monotheism – Orthodox monotheism – God of Abraham – a cumulative case argument first shared by Judaism/Islam/Christianity.

    As a side note (more rhetoric for most of you) when providing evidence for agnostic theism we must also expose the myth of the ‘power’ of chance. Chance can’t create anything nor does it have the “power” to perform trial and error with the process of natural selection. Statistical information (probabilities) do NOT address real causes in causal systems and chance is not a real cause. This must be exposed.

  87. Mung:

    Phosphorus is important, esp. for ATP, but is relatively rare. A lot of other elements are involved too, but I am highlighting the fact that hit me between the eyes, what the most common elements do for life.

    KF

  88. Here is the best explanation I can offer to those that don’t get it, DNA is like a book, the cover is matter, the pages are matter, even the ink is matter, the words in the book however are not. There is nothing in the universe that can create the specified information in a book other than a mind, the same applies to the specified information contained in DNA, it does not consist of any matter…..

  89. Alan Fox wrote:

    “I’m an agnostic, Gregory.”

    I’d say, based on observation of many of your arguments, that “agnostic” is too weak a word. I’d say that while you might be *formally* agnostic — i.e., you don’t take a firm public position one way or the other on the existence of God — your private position is *de facto* atheistic; i.e., you think and reason and conduct your life *as if* God did not exist, and you put the onus on those who believe in God to alter this stance. A true agnostic would show much more openness than you do. A true agnostic would be reading as much Dostoevsky and Lewis and Chesterton and Augustine as Dawkins and Dennett and Coyne and Monod. A true agnostic would spend as much time on Christian blog sites as on skeptical and atheist ones. A true agnostic would spend a good deal of time reading the New Testament, and other religious texts from various traditions, wondering whether things in these texts might be true. So I don’t accept your self-classification. I think that “agnostic” is the word you use to hide from others (and perhaps from yourself) a pretty hard-boiled *de facto* atheism.

    Alan Fox also wrote:

    “No-one here has said much to gainsay my opinion that pure philosophy has recently had much impact on the advancement of human society and knowledge.”

    Actually, in two recent discussions here, people said a great deal, but much of what they said, you didn’t respond to at all, and what you did respond to, you responded to with off-topic blathering about the French economic and educational systems. Then you abandoned those discussions. So you lost those discussions by default.

  90. Gregory wrote:

    “Methinks Meyer is far too specialised and fixated on OoL to reach most people, compared with how broadly Fuller conceives of ID; not just nature in the distant past, but contemporary human insights, choices and innovations. Iow, Fuller’s independent scholar (non-Big-ID) view of ID is one that actually matters (or at least can matter) to most people.”

    Since when is “reaching most people” the first concern of someone trying to communicate a new truth about nature? The results of Clerk Maxwell and Einstein certainly were not accessible to “most people” when first presented. I guess that Clerk Maxwell and Einstein were too “fixated” on calculus, matrices, etc. to enable “most people” to understand their work. Did that make their work a false interpretation of nature? Is that how we measure scientific truth now, by how easily accessible it is to the lazy and vulgar who won’t take the time to learn some math and science before offering an opinion on mathematical and scientific matters? This “democratic” requirement of epistemology is something that I’ve not yet encountered in serious philosophy of science.

    I would be more interested in hearing Gregory’s comments on the validity of Meyer’s arguments than his protest that Meyer’s method of argument is not “democratic” enough.

    (I would add, as one of those who has read Meyer’s book all the way through — something I believe Gregory has not done — that Meyer goes out of his way to make some very difficult technical material in the life sciences accessible to as many people as possible. So the charge of “elitism” is not warranted in Meyer’s case.)

  91. “Please show me how in blue blazes ‘natural science’ can even be practiced without theological presuppositions” – BA77 #78

    Right. So Big-ID, aka ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ has theological presuppositions. Thanks for conceding that! It is rather obvious after all.

    Do you still seriously not understand how you are actually agreeing with my view that Big-ID is properly seen as a science, philosophy, theology discourse, and not just a ‘natural science-only’ affair?!?

  92. BA77: Though I could possibly appreciate your ID Movement zeal as if you have a cause worth defending (Christian-friendly pseudo-science in schools and American culture), obviously you are currently acting simply as a fanatical IDist who can’t allow himself to even consider alternatives and don’t yet seem to notice it or to care if you do.

    “if you say that only ‘natural science’ is true science” – BA77

    Read my lips: “I do not say or think that only ‘natural science’ is true science.”

    Please say this over and over again out loud to yourself while standing on your head TEN TIMES so that you will perhaps start to understand something instead of nothing. Stop putting words in my mouth and act with some integrity!

    That you appear to be simply incapable of understanding my position reveals why yours and others’ IDist fantasies are so widely rejected by scientists, both Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic around the world today. Meyer seems to be aware of this, even if this video was in a faith-friendly venue for him.

    You speak of Judeo-Christian, BA77, but conveniently forget the Muslim contribution to ‘modern science.’ This shows how blind you are to the history, philosophy and sociology of science. Here, start to get educated.

    You quote Bruce Gordon as if he is an authority to debunk legitimate criticism of Big-ID. I met Bruce Gordon and fully outworked him regarding Big-ID because he is simply not fit for PoS on a global scale, as capable as he is in physics, analytic philosophy, systematic theology and playing the piano. He is now teaching at a private Christian university in New York and no credible top-level university will likely hire him to teach Big-ID friendly PoS.

    You have a habit of drowning conversations with links and quotes, BA77. But you haven’t displayed an answer to the very real challenges I raised to Meyer above in this thread. What is worse, you treat me condescendingly like an atheist, who rejects Big-ID because of that worldview. But the truth is that I am not an atheist, and I reject Big-ID because it is presumptuous and arrogant about the limits and possibilities of human knowledge, wanting to try to re-define ‘natural science’ to involve ‘intelligent causes’ when 40-60% university fields today already involve ‘intelligent causes’ in their scholarship.

    Humble yourself, bornagain77! You might learn something instead of peddling a regurgitated Big-ID party-line.

  93. Gregory:

    You complained about a petty typing error in one of StephenB’s posts. You said that it seemed “intentional or sloppy.” (I hardly think that anyone would write “you’re” for “your” intentionally!)

    I think that unless your own posts are error-free, you should let such trivial errors lie unmentioned. Many times your posts have contained typos, spelling errors, etc. For example, when you you misspelled the name of Denis Alexander, was that “intentional or sloppy”? And did you see StephenB complaining about it, or did he stick to the subject at hand?

  94. Gregory your arrogance is astounding!

    “Christian-friendly pseudo-science in schools and American culture”

    Really, could your prejudice not be more transparent!

  95. Obviously, BA77, you didn’t read my lips. You continue to confuse my clarity on behalf and in defense of orthodox Abrahamic faith with what you choose to call ‘arrogance’ on behalf of your fanatical marginal evangelical activism for Big-ID.

    “I do not say or think that only ‘natural science’ is true science.” – Gregory

    Can BA77 possibly accept this, in his heart of hearts!?!?!

    Silence and evasion to this has been BA77′s tactic thus far. Humility and charity is nowhere to be seen.

    Obviously BA77 has not read any of my publications if he believes even an inkling of his statement to be true.

    My confidence in the face of folks like Bruce Gordon is noteworthy. And since Gordon hasn’t an answer to my challenges to his Big-ID, perhaps people at UD might be willing to admit their Big-ID case isn’t as strong as they hope it might be.

    That said, I predict the remainder of this thread, now that Timaeus is participating, to consist of distraction from actually facing what Stephen C. Meyer said and did in Cambridge summer 2012.

    If so, #2 and #57 in this thread offer direct challenges that no-one in the IDM has thus far confronted with satisfying defences for their ‘natural-science-only’ theory of Big-ID.

  96. Gregory instead of you patting yourself on the back as to how smart you are, and how dumb the rest of us are, perhaps you would care to actually show me why the Judeo-Christian presuppositions which lay at the heart of the founding of modern science are ‘pseudo-science’.

  97. The Origin of Science
    Jaki writes: Herein lies the tremendous difference between Christian monotheism on the one hand and Jewish and Muslim monotheism on the other. This explains also the fact that it is almost natural for a Jewish or Muslim intellectual to become a patheist. About the former Spinoza and Einstein are well-known examples. As to the Muslims, it should be enough to think of the Averroists. With this in mind one can also hope to understand why the Muslims, who for five hundred years had studied Aristotle’s works and produced many commentaries on them failed to make a breakthrough. The latter came in medieval Christian context and just about within a hundred years from the availability of Aristotle’s works in Latin..
    As we will see below, the break-through that began science was a Christian commentary on Aristotle’s De Caelo (On the Heavens).,,
    Modern experimental science was rendered possible, Jaki has shown, as a result of the Christian philosophical atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Although a talent for science was certainly present in the ancient world (for example in the design and construction of the Egyptian pyramids), nevertheless the philosophical and psychological climate was hostile to a self-sustaining scientific process. Thus science suffered still-births in the cultures of ancient China, India, Egypt and Babylonia. It also failed to come to fruition among the Maya, Incas and Aztecs of the Americas. Even though ancient Greece came closer to achieving a continuous scientific enterprise than any other ancient culture, science was not born there either. Science did not come to birth among the medieval Muslim heirs to Aristotle. ….
    The psychological climate of such ancient cultures, with their belief that the universe was infinite and time an endless repetition of historical cycles, was often either hopelessness or complacency (hardly what is needed to spur and sustain scientific progress); and in either case there was a failure to arrive at a belief in the existence of God the Creator and of creation itself as therefore rational and intelligible. Thus their inability to produce a self-sustaining scientific enterprise.
    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/aug.....rigin.html

  98. And as hard as it may be for someone of such a high personal opinion of themselves to accept, not only were the Judeo-Christians presupposition necessary for modern science to brought to a sustained maturity, but ‘the end of science’ finds a very credible resolution within the Judeo-Christian framework!

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

    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

  99. Gregory:

    Stop putting words in my mouth and act with some integrity!

    Does Meyer deserve the same courtesy from you?

    We’re best to await dialogue with/from people who are genuinely interested in discussing Stephen C. Meyer’s speech at the Tyndale event.

    Do you have any plans to quote some item of interest from Meyer’s presentation and then discuss, or should we expect more straw men and red herrings?

    Many of us are waiting to discuss the actual content of the video with you. Meyer claims the cell does actual information processing. What say you?

    You appear to admit to the existence of “biological information.” But what makes biological information so different from other kinds of information such that it can only be spoken of analogically? If it is so different from the information humans are used to dealing with, why were we able to recognize it and label it?

    How is it that we are able to apply the same mathematics and other sorts of analysis to the genetic code that we apply to human generated codes? Doesn’t that indicate something more than mere analogy?

    By all means, let’s discuss the video.

  100. BA77, can you actually speak for yourself?

    I’m not patting myself on the back. Have you no shame?!

    Let’s start with what you’ve actually said for yourself, trying like a Big-ID activist to put words in my mouth:

    “Gregory, if you say that only ‘natural science’ is true science” – BA77 #66

    “I do not say or think that only ‘natural science’ is true science.” – Gregory

    Can BA77 possibly accept this, in his heart of hearts!?!?! Yes or no would suffice. Silence and no answer is expected based on precedent.

    I’m getting the impression that American IDists are among the least repentant and most self-righteous believers in the Abrahamic tradition.

    Can/will BA77 prove this impression wrong?

  101. Gregory, I second Mung, come down off your high horse for crying out loud and get into the actual evidence, your self righteous act is getting old very quick!

  102. BA77, Mung is as thoroughly unqualified as you and equally as disrespectful towards those of us who are qualified to speak with knowledge where you have little or none. I am not your average American anti-IDist! You are ill-prepared to argue with my theistic anti-evolutionistic position because you’ve never faced someone like me.

    Yes, Meyer deserves my courtesy and has/will receive it. He is requested to show the same courtesy on that next day, as he showed in Cambridge to Steve Fuller, who put him in his intellectual place and even inspired him to be braver than he had been before. The legacy of this event is not Meyer’s speech, which many of us have all heard before, but his exchange with Fuller, which is why I highlighted it again above.

    My horse is rather middle-of-the-road! Dependable and well-travelled and loveable. Sometimes she runs like Secretariat and sometimes like the donkey in the meadow. I wouldn’t trade her because that’s what I’ve been dealth.

    This small-id vs Big-ID conversation is not just about ‘the actual evidence’ as if science is Science and philosophy is inconsequential to human life. It is about worldview. It is about belief. It is about intuition. It is about more than natural-science-alone will EVER be able to claim. Do you not understand this simply because you are infatuated with being an IDist, with defending Big-ID? Or is there something more to it than that?

    Me saying that I would light you up in a 1-on-1 basketball game is not ‘arrogance.’ It is truth, it is fact, it is reality. You have your own ways you would light me up, which I would not contest as you are now trash-talking to me.

    That seems to be something you don’t want to face and your pseudo-scientific defence of Big-ID is suffering for it.

  103. Gregory, and here I thought you wanted to discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation. Silly me.

  104. Gregory, all I’ve seen from you so far is your patting yourself on your back as to how smart you think you are and a condescending tone to anyone who you find beneath you. I call your manners being a arrogant jerk, but that is just me!,,, Now if you ever want to come down to the real world and get into the actual evidence I will light you up like a kindergartener! But then again that’s just me thinking you are not qualified to defend yourself empirically!

  105. “That said, I predict the remainder of this thread, now that Timaeus is participating, to consist of distraction from actually facing what Stephen C. Meyer said and did in Cambridge summer 2012.”

    On the contrary, Gregory, I would like nothing better than to hear your detailed discussion of Meyer’s arguments as presented on the video above. I’d like to hear your assessment of his arguments regarding information theory and the origin of life. But you don’t really want to discuss Meyer’s talk. You want to discuss Fuller’s talk, and Meyer’s response to Fuller’s talk, even though we already discussed the latter things in great detail under an earlier column. So you aren’t really showing much “courtesy” (104) toward Meyer’s ideas at all.

    The rest of us are interested in Meyer’s ideas for their own intrinsic worth. Therefore, we will listen attentively to any comments you have on Meyer’s discussion — provided that they are comments which seriously engage the intention of Meyer’s discussion, as he outlines it in his opening words. That is, focus on the science, and save the discussion of philosophical and theological implications for later.

    You have on a number of occasions made comments against various people at the Discovery Institute. Above, you make some against Bruce Gordon. You have also more than once mentioned or alluded to a training seminar you did at Discovery. Should we take it that your training seminar left a bad taste in your mouth regarding ID? If so, perhaps you could lay out for us what the activities were in that seminar, who the teachers were, what you learned, and what exactly it was about the experience that turned you so much against ID. If we knew what you were so ticked off about, we might be able to respond to you more constructively. But all we know is that the very mention of Discovery makes you see red; we don’t know why. Those of us who never attended the seminars will need your help to understand why Discovery is such an intellectually bankrupt institution as you imply.

    In any case, a Happy New Year to you and your family, abroad or at home.

  106. Gregory:

    Right. So Big-ID, aka ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ has theological presuppositions. Thanks for conceding that! It is rather obvious after all.

    I will use capital letters to emphasize the important points so it will be easier for you to follow along. Big ID requires a METAPHYSICAL presupposition that can be expressed in the following way: We have rational minds that correspond to a rational universe. In other words, the universe is orderly and can be rationally investigated. Inherent in this metaphysical presupposition is a commitment to the first rules of right reason, including the Laws of Identity, Non-contradiction, and Causality.

    Big ID does NOT require a THEOLOGICAL presupposition, that is, it does NOT require any apriori commitment to the proposition that God created or designed the universe for a purpose. Of course, anyone with half a brain should be able to figure out that an ordered universe requires someone to do the ordering,or that a designed universe requires a designer, but that is a different subject.

    What you need to understand is this: Judeo Christian theology provided the INCENTIVE and MOTIVATION to do science, but its principles are not assumed by, or found in, ID’s design inference process. If that was the case, it would not be an inference; it would be a tautology. (The DNA molecule was designed, therefore it was designed). Thus, ID has theological ROOTS, but it does not have theological PRESUPPOSITIONS. I have explained this fact to you many times, but you appear incapable of grasping it.

  107. I keep on saying to people, how can non-intelligence even mimic design if by its very nature it does not know what design is? How can an effect (intelligence) be greater than it a cause (non-intelligence)? As far as my rational mind goes it does not follow in anyway how non-intelligence could give rise to intelligence…..

  108. Gregory, I can’t help but feel that I’ve responded to you somewhat unfairly and I am sorry if I’ve offended you in my clumsy, brutish, behavior towards you. I could have used a lot more tact to get my points across. I seem to have miscommunicated fairly badly on a few key points. Such as the one point of distinguishing the fact that I understood you clearly when you said you did not hold natural science as the only true science. Instead of acknowledging that fact clearly to you I inappropriately let you continue to think that erroneous thought about me, which led you astray. I had moved on too quickly before preparing the ground for you to understand more deeply where I was coming from. ,,, Granted I still find your objection, from what I can make of it, to be superfluous to the main battle going on between ID and Darwinism, but none-the-less I’m sorry for any hurt feelings I may have caused you.

  109. How can an effect (intelligence) be greater than it a cause (non-intelligence)?

    Anything is possible when you believe in magic.

  110. Gregory and the Meyer Video (Post #2)

    Par. 1: Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 2: Briefly touches on the OOL, which is somewhat tangential to the video, but…

    Gregory:

    Methinks Meyer is far too specialised and fixated on OoL to reach most people…

    There’s a reason for that. I believe Meyer even addresses it in the video.

    Gregory:

    Meyer’s DI-based and (right-wing American) funded Big-ID is unnecessarily scientistic – it seeks to be ‘science-only,’ aloof, detached, elitist.

    I’m confused. I thought that was small i small d id.

    But that’s really neither here nor there, since it has nothing to do with the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 3: Creates straw-man version of Meyer’s argument. Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 4: Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 5: Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 6: Asserts Meyer’s argument is question-begging. Doesn’t explain why.

    Par. 7: Regurgigates the OOL straw-man introduced in Par. 3. Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 8: Gregory appears to argue that many scientists already agree with Meyer, so no revolution is required. Which makes it hard to see why Gregory disagrees with Meyer. Who are these ‘many scientists’ that agree with Meyer, Gregory?

    Par. 9: Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 10: Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 11: Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Par. 12: Doesn’t discuss the content of Meyer’s presentation.

    Gregory:

    We’re best to await dialogue with/from people who are genuinely interested in discussing Stephen C. Meyer’s speech at the Tyndale event.

    But that person doesn’t appear to be Gregory.

  111. Mung… like Dawkins book….. The magic of reality?

  112. Re: “An intelligent agent…” used by Biped

    Alan Fox wrote:

    Such as a person? A god? An imaginary being? What are you including in your set of intelligent agents? Or are we still being coy on the subject?

    I would suspect that Upright Biped would be referring to theistic implication that is CONCLUDED from scientific observation. From a cumulative case it would first address the logical conclusion of a “candidate creator.” It would NOT be an imaginary construct such as a FSM (you can’t create all matter if you are made up of matter) or some finite assertion from mythology (a being that is so limited)nor some finite “person” (as you are probably thinking of when you use the word ‘person’) any more than it would be a pink unicorn, an orbiting tea pot or an invisible dragon in your garage. These concepts are nonsense and do NOT address the logical concept of a ‘candidate’ creator within agnostic theism… such as any higher power… or a deistic type creator which created/designed and left the natural order…OR an Infinite Creator Who has the power to create and sustain all matter in the universe. The Intelligent Designer/Creator that is concluded from scientific observation (that allows for common sense theistic implication) would logically be powerful enough to create all matter in the universe.

    This is the type of Intelligent Agent true unbiased science points to when you don’t approach scientific investigation with the blinding presuppositions of materialism.

  113. BA77,

    Your apology in #110 is accepted. Thanks. Don’t worry, there are no hurt feelings. I’ve been offended enough times by both IDists and anti-IDists to take what both say and write on blogs and in internet forums with the proverbial ‘grain of salt.’ That’s what one gets for offering a non-extremist third way! Face-to-face communication makes a different impression and probably we would get along just fine that way, even if I still reject Big-ID and you support it.

    Things have taken a bizarre turn at UD. I’ve been called (rather aggressively) a ‘heresy hunter,’ stupid, a liar, and ignorant of ID, while as anyone who pays attention knows I’ve studied Big-ID and written one of very few defended master’s theses partially on Big-ID and the IDM and promote the Abrahamic traditions. The intentionally bitter insults and rejections have happened not simply for disagreeing with Big-ID, but for pointing out the fantastically important difference between Big-ID and small-id, which Harvard historian of science, astronomer and Mennonite Christian Owen Gingerich first identified in “God’s Universe” (2006). This clear and appropriate distinction reveals Big-ID’s true colours better than anything proposed by ‘new atheists’ or ‘materialist Darwinists.’ It is also a much more difficult challenge to anyone who would wish to be called an ‘ID’ promoter or supporter, requiring their views of philosophy, science and theology/worldview.

    How else can one explain the strange exclusivity situation at UD, than by referring to Talleyrand: “the United States has 32 religions, but only one sauce”? And I’m rudely told “it’s a free country” (an American expression) by an Australian living in Japan, who knows I don’t live in the USA, and who believes “God-talk has a legitimate place in science”!! Obviously that person doesn’t do science and isn’t in danger of publishing a paper about Big-ID in a peer-reviewed academic journal anytime soon.

    It might seem IDists at UD are completely closed to constructive criticism of Big-ID, even by or especially by fellow (aka small-id) Christians. That may be a minority feeling in the movement. But there are a few posters at UD who simply don’t want to hear anything other than what they’ve been indoctrinated to say and believe about Big-ID. I find this both alarming and disappointing, even if it is understandable by the logic of social movements. Phillip Johnson and Paul Nelson, of course, have and do work closely with Stephen C. Meyer, which shows how ‘evangelical’ the core of IDists actually is.

    Remember, folks, I’m contending that Big-ID, what some of you call ‘intelligent design’ and others (seemingly theologically) call ‘Intelligent Design,’ as a supposedly natural scientific-only THEORY, is better seen as a science (both natural-physical and human-social), philosophy, theology/worldview discourse. Many IDists seem to find this humble claim simply intolerant and will not allow it a voice at the discussion table!!! Bah, humbug to science, philosophy, theology/worldview collaborative conversation, they just want to start counting probabilities and specificities. Perhaps I should be silenced at UD even for suggesting it.

    From a decade of studies, I can state openly that Big-ID actually is not, and cannot possibly be (because of its history and because people reflexively ‘do science’ not in an ideological vacuum) simply a ‘natural science-only’ theory. Meyer gave up his own ‘natural scientistic’ (read: natural science-only) language at Tyndale in his ‘theodicy-friendly’ response regarding ID to Steve Fuller, which is now available in video to the public. This demonstrates how insistence on ‘natural science-only’ has become an ‘entrenched idea’ in the IDM, a people-aren’t-going-to-change position, which imo should be energetically resisted and hopefully, collectively overcome.

    (cont’d)

  114. BA77 (cont’d)

    “I understood you clearly when you said you did not hold natural science as the only true science.” – BA77

    Good. Thanks for saying that. Then please start to follow that evidence where it leads.

    If you did choose to follow that evidence, then you would also start to understand that ‘other’ sciences than simply ‘natural sciences’ are also ‘true science(s)’ (though that’s your term, not mine). Indeed, when I speak here about the IDM, people regularly and intentionally (but unnecessarily) seem to get offended. Why? Because they can therefore be ‘objectively’ studied themselves (because they are part of the IDM) for how and why their prior beliefs, values and who they actually are influences how and why they have come to accept Big-ID theory as a theory.

    Many people here at UD claim that Big-ID is only about ‘scientific’ FSCI or ‘origins of life’ or ‘origins of biological information’ and *not* actually about people, about human beings, about US. Yet they want other people, more people, everyone (!) to positively believe in Big-ID, to accept it and teach it in schools; they want a ‘cultural renewal’ in America spearheaded by Big-ID theory. This is almost humorously backwards in priority from a humanitarian perspective when considering ‘objectivistic’ Big-ID as natural science-only.

    The approach you take is full of contradiction, BA77, because if you accept that “natural science is not the only true science,” as you’ve suggested to me here in this thread, while at the same time demanding, nay, protesting that Big-ID is authentically and properly called ‘natural science-only,’ then it is you and the IDM that is in a no-win situation fighting windmills. The obvious contradiction is not held by someone like me who is ‘objectively’ observing the IDM as a human-social scientist. Yet you seem to want to deny me and my colleagues even the possibility of studying those who posit Big-ID as a natural science-only theory, people like yourself, simply because you claim ‘it is!’ a (duck, aka) natural scientific-only theory. This doesn’t make any sense to scholars (even theist-scholars) who take time to study the IDM phenomena and report about it honestly.

    Otoh, IDists want human-social scientists, i.e. those who study (small ia) ‘intelligent agents’ to be their friends, so that Behe’s Big-ID “all humane studies” and the Wedge Document’s Big-ID plans can potentially be fulfilled (although social sciences have already fallen behind according to that schedule). Otoh, when there is a human-social scientist that looks closely at the various meanings of Big-ID, small-id and at the IDM, creationism and evolution, it proves time and again to be simply too much for IDists to respect and accept. So how can we find common ground in this predicament? I’m open to suggestions from you or others at UD.

    UD intentionally pushes Steve Fuller to the margins, calling him derogatively a ‘secular humanist’ (check the Wiki page again, which doesn’t even call him that anymore!) even though he writes and speaks more profoundly to the core of ‘intelligent design’ (small-id) and also about what ‘Intelligent Design’ (Big-ID) actually means (reflexively speaking ID leaders believe that human beings are made in imago Dei and that the [Big-D] ‘Designer’ is obviously meant to be the Abrahamic ‘God/Allah/Yahweh’) than anyone in the IDM, everyone pro-ID here at UD included.

    Why do you folks do this; just because Fuller is not a natural-physical scientist, but rather a philosopher and sociologist of science and knowledge? As if ‘origins of life’ is such a profoundly important scientific field, the ‘most important question’ according to Johnson, even though completely fails to address daily human themes like education, health, food and water, transportation, citizenship, justice, freedom, democracy and almost all other basic human needs?

    What remains to be said is a simple prediction. The Intelligent Design movement qua movement will get bowled over (think Alabama vs. Notre Dame Jan. 7, 2013) by people who actually study (small i) ‘intelligence.’ That is, ifff IDM leaders break down and allow such things as what Meyer said in Cambridge to be studied by ‘Big-ID’ researchers. Big-ID has generally avoided scholarship about (small i) ‘intelligence’ that is to be found plentifully in the human-social sciences (e.g. small-d ‘design theory’ or Universal Design theory) because Big-IDists are really, privately, personally, undeniably, predominantly (and most often apologetically) interested in ‘transcendent (Big I) Intelligence’ and not ‘mundane (small i) intelligence’.

    Most human-social scientists, on their part, will have nothing to do with Big-ID, as an attempt to scientifically prove the Origin(s) of Life using probabilistic arguments and (univocally predicated) pseudo-theological language based on subjective information theory, which is easily appropriated by both theists and atheists. This is why Big-IDists at UD have disallowed themselves to respond clearly and unequivocally about precisely which ‘intelligent agent(s)/Intelligent Agents’ they are referring to as source(s) of ‘information/Information.’ The IDM has therefore lost the human-social sciences because it tactically ignores them, philology included, even though for a couple of years it tried in the Summer Program to promote positive Big-ID in the humanities and social sciences. That’s a simple fact.

    Why isn’t the IDM focussed intently on the human-social sciences? Why did Meyer bow to Fuller admitting that ID-theodicy is a legitimate topic at Tyndale? For that matter, why was Fuller invited to the Dover trial, as a sociologist of science, rather than a philosopher of science (biology) like Michael Ruse at the 1981McLean trial?

    These are questions that have not been given a satisfactory answer by the IDM, by Big-ID theorists or by anyone at UD.

    For this, BA77, for intentional ignorance of humanitarian ‘ID’, an apology or at least open recognition is still needed.

    Gregory

  115. I do not recall being particularly hostile to Gregory in the past and even agree with him on certain topics. But then I discovered him telling untruths and had the gall to point it out to him.

    I wondered why he felt it necessary to resort to lies. If he has a case to make, surely it should be based upon truth and not lies.

    His response was to add more lies to his prior lies in order to excuse them.

    And we’re still not discussing the content of the presentation, are we.

  116. ‘Statistical information (probabilities) do NOT address real causes in causal systems and chance is not a real cause. This must be exposed.’

    Primordial, Breckmin. But, unfortunately, when exposing atheists’ utter, utter folly simply by referring to the findings of science, is ‘like shooting a fish in a barrel’, where a particular truth figures on a scale of significance becomes irrelevant, lost in all the madness.

    How could a professor in some scientific discipline, who believes that nothing could have turned itself into everything, and could not be persuaded that that is the height of absurdity, be open to even slightly less obvious truths.

    Since I’ve been following this forum, I’ve always felt aware that the whole forum is dedicated to a kind of epistemic psychiatry. Brilliant scientists and philosophers arguing ever so politely and respectfully with little more than ventriloquists’ dummies, and mad ones at that, for whom the acquisition of academic accreditations would reflect more a butterfly mind than an interest in truth.

    One poster expressed the matter and its inevitable upshot, very concisely the other day: it’s a massive philosophical deficiency that the materialists exhibit, and it can only end in tears before bed-time. I mean he didn’t put is as poetically, or perhaps undignifiededly, but that was the gist of it.

  117. ‘Primordial, Breckmin. But, unfortunately, when exposing atheists’ utter, utter folly simply by referring to the findings of science,…’

    I should have added, ‘never mind common sense’, since we’e always having to drag them back from their droll, post-partum fantasies to the question of the ultimate origin of matter; even though the Big Bang is widely accepted now. But then so is quantum mechanics – for all the interest they show in the lessons that imparts, such as the primacy of mind.

Leave a Reply