Why science says nothing about truth.

For the purposes of this debate, “truth” = “models purported to be actual conditions of reality”.

Science is a method of collecting independently reproducible, empirical data, interpreting the data, categorizing it and developing useful and predictive models from that data – useful in the sense that it predicts future data of the same sort, hereafter referred to as IRdata. One can consider “science” to be, entirely, the collection and development of a kind of IRdatabase, the purpose of which is to take IRdata and develop it into useful IRmodels. Continue reading

Two questions regarding William Dembski

I’m working on a book that includes a chapter on Dr. Dembski, and I’m curious about a couple of assumptions I’m making.

First, has Dembski worked through a specified complexity/CSI calculation for anything other than the 4 subjects Dr. Elsberry identified in this post? That’s the Caputo incident, the flagellum, the WEASEL program and the SETI data. I haven’t seen any other significant instances of him actually working through a case, but I want to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Second, is anyone aware of any incident in which the intelligent design community, particularly the credentialed experts but including any prominent member, has scrutinized and rejected an ID idea? Dembski’s temporary rejection of his own explanatory filter would be an example, had he not walked it back a week or so later. Again, I can’t think of any good examples, but want to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Jack Chick comes to the big screen

Some of you may be familiar with the infamous Jack Chick tract Big Daddy?, in which a sweaty, arrogant atheist professor with a hideous combover is defeated by a young, earnest Christian student with a side part.

If so, then this trailer for the new movie God’s Not Dead will seem eerily familiar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMjo5f9eiX8

I saw the movie a few weekends ago, and I’ll post my thoughts in the comment section. Meanwhile, enjoy!

Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul, continued

It’s time to start a continuation thread for Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul, because the original thread is being affected by a software bug. Only the final page of comments is affected.

Moderators, could one of you move all of the comments (except for the metacomments) from the final page to here? Also, could you inform Sriskandarajah by email about this new thread, in case he has bookmarked the old one? Thanks.

Our prejudices: Implicit associations

We all have biases that we should try to be aware of. Our implicit prejudices may be at odds with our explicit attitudes. One problem when discussing issues such as racism and sexism especially is that surprisingly many people seem to think that such things have been largely dealt with in the 20th Century and are now of minimal importance.

https://implicit.harvard.edu has several tests designed to measure our implicit biases. As with any scientific test, there could be issues with methodology etc and, in addition to discussion of implicit biases (e.g. the psychology of them, how they affect our skepticism), that also seems an appropriate topic for discussion here.

What is the moral calculus of atheists

There are a number of professed atheists in this forum. I was curious as to what sort of moral imperative atheists are beholden to when presumably no one is looking.  Speaking as a theist, I am constantly cognizant that there is a God who considers what I do and is aware of what I do, even though that awareness on my part may not always result in the moral behavior which I aspire to.  But let’s take a fairly mundane example — say theft.  We’re talking about blatant theft in a context where one could plausibly or even likely get away with it.  I affirm to you that as a Christian, or more relevantly possibly, as a theist, I would never do that.  Possibly it has just as much to do with my consideration for the feelings and rights of  some other individual, who has “legal” possession of said items, as it has to do with my awareness of an omniscient creator who is aware of what I’m doing and who would presumably not bless me if I violated his laws.  I mean,  I care about the rights of other people.  And, considering other moral tableaus, those of a sexual nature for example — I would personally never consider going to a prostitute for example, in that I feel empathy for that person, and how they are degrading themselves in the sight of God, and how I would not want to contribute to their degradation, so that my own human lust would never result in me victimizing another human being in that way.  So in summary,  there are all sorts of constraints on my personal behavior that stem directly from my belief in God,  and I am honestly curious about the inner life of professed atheists in such matters.  In other words, do atheists for example, in such junctures of moral decision, only consider whether they can get away with it, i.e escape the detection of human authorities?  I am just honestly curious about the inner life of atheists in such matters.