Swamidass vs. Nelson – trying to find a “Common Narrative with ID on MN”?

I’ll intervene on this conversation started by S. Joshua Swamidass as my guess is he’s going to mangle terms & then claim mastery over them, as he has done in the past on the topic of ‘methodological naturalism’ (MN). Paul Nelson (of micro-/macro- distinction) has posted here in the past & has done a fine job of staying more neutral, scholarly and welcoming to discussion than most IDists at the DI. It would be welcome for Nelson to clarify, re-iterate or to add any points here that Swamidass might not wish to address at PS, or in case the naive scientism cum MN lobby grows too loud there.

This is one of those topics where in my view Swamidass scores quite low in credibility and coherency (much like I score in biology! = P). This makes sense because he has little training and doesn’t seem to have done much personal reading in philosophy, social sciences or humanities. Paul Nelson, on the other hand, did a PhD in the philosophy of biology. So if Swamidass starts to try to out-philosophize Nelson, things could get hilarious quickly, as they have in the past, e.g. with Jonathan Burke, who discovered predecessors to GA -> GAE that Swamidass missed & had to add at the last minute.

Let’s see if Swamidass is ready to learn if the term ‘methodological naturalism’ is really a sword he wants to fall on or not. So far, it has been. Nelson, as do I, rejects MNism, & not just as a misnomer.

In the highlighted thread, we see Swamidass ask Nelson for clarification on a topic that Swamidass has obviously done a little bit of armchair talk with buddies about, but hasn’t actually got into the main course yet. Swamidass insists, “For the record, I think MN is legitimate, but that debate is a separate issue.”

Swamidass keeps repeating the same clumsy and imprecise language, then insisting there is nothing to debate about it. He continues to use a word duo (M+N) that he says he thinks is ‘wrong,’ yet without making any attempt to get beyond it. Why not? If he has to hear it 20 times before he understands it, then despite his proficiency in biology & computation, that might be what he needs in order to learn in other fields, such as philosophy. MN is not simply ‘legitimate’ or ‘illegitimate;’ it is rather an expression of ideology about the way (natural) science is done, i.e. its methods. That Swamidass doesn’t realise the inherent bias in the way he is framing the conversation explains much about why people communicating about ‘origins’ topics don’t understand each other.

The reasons Swamidass won’t debate are because, 1. He doesn’t have an original place to stand that was not already taken first by others who likely know the field better than he does, 2. Debate for Swamidass seems always to quickly turn into a kind of non-mainline Christian evangelical apologetics, similar to the BioLogos model, at least how he frames his ‘Empty Chair Confessional’ scenario, as if he were the Science Pope. And when you can’t evangelize evangelcalism to your opponent, or claim A&E as your own in front of them, then the game is up, and, 3. He’s trying to promote peace when there is no peace, using inciting arguments (re: MN) & doing so while flying the confessional banner of the very community that has been among the most protesting & agitating & stubborn & backward (consistent biblical literalistic bigotry & anti-science misunderstanding) in the conversation. And yet he hasn’t yet issued a word of apology for even the METHOD he is using, which comes right out of the same fundamentalist-creationist playbook that caused the problems in the first place and which in his own way, he exacerbates even while ‘scientifically’ preaching peace.

Mature catholic and orthodox Abrahamic monotheists have no need for the highly ideological, scientistic ‘peace’ that Swamidass would sell them on the way down the road to further separation of theology/worldview & human life.

“1. Using God as an explanation is disallowed by MN in scientific work.”

Technically speaking, that comes closer to ‘methodological anti-supernaturalism’ (ASN) than to promoting a naturalism-only approach to methods used in natural sciences. The latter would require a positive signification that Joshue doesn’t adequately provide, which is why the DI produces books like “The Nature of Nature.” It is difficult to figure why Joshua doesn’t understand that MASN does not = MN. Yet he keeps repeating it. One could write it down to a kind of narrow thinking required to ‘do biology’ that may make it difficult to explore other fields of thought respectfully and on their own terms, & thus to try to better understand than just dictating standard-fare (most often, but not always, atheism-driven) MN to philosophers.

Anti-supernaturalism is a different position from pro-naturalism. Methodological naturalism is still a type of naturalism. Swamidass can’t seem to come to grips with or allow his own English language to reflect this in his thoughts. So instead he might pause to ask why philosophers, not to mention social scientists and humanities scholars rather widely, reject the ideology that Swamidass thinks he is defending by simply calling it ‘good science’. We don’t want Swamidass’ naturalistic ideology hidden behind the term ‘methodological,’ yet Swamidass insists we must accept it or be negatively counted.

Sorry Swamidass, ideology is not just automatically ‘good science’ because a PhD in biological computation with a medical degree says it is & encourages others on a soapbox to echo him.

2. Wrong based on answer to 1.

“3. The idea was to discuss an intelligent designer rather than God, design rather than creation, and remove references to Scripture. In fact this was all an attempt to abide by MN.” – Swamidass

How can Swamidass get this so wrong? Is it because he is fixated on MN as a personal ideology he holds as a natural scientist? I have asked Joshua in the past to clearly articulate what a non-naturalist natural scientist looks like & he has avoided answering as if a plague were chasing him. In other words, in his ideological incoherence, he claims both to reject naturalism & accept naturalism at the same time. And now having been caught doing this, doesn’t wish for it to be pointed out. It would be better if Swamidass could learn his error openly & move forward with a clearer message. I believe Paul Nelson could help him do this.

First, it’s an Intelligent Designer, capitalized, if one has a proper sense of Divine Names. C’mon, Paul, don’t just peter out on this – take it head-on! Yes, the DI won’t talk about the Intelligent Designer as part of the ‘theory,’ which is rather minimalist in the end anyway, definitely not a ‘design revolution’. IDism in short: information, therefore mind & therefore a better chance of divine Creation than according to an atheist worldview. Apologetics. Yet Swamidass doesn’t seem to realize how using & promoting the ideology of MN, actually furthers the atheism he somewhat vaguely claims he is against. And the problem is that he can’t just up his science-talk in giving an answer to this because it is not a ‘strictly scientific’ observation or problem he is facing. Pushing harder the wrong way isn’t a good choice. So, when Swamidass gets off his high Science horse, we may actually be able to have a better conversation that takes the ideology of MN more seriously than Swamidass currently does, perhaps just because he can’t see the other side.

4. Facepalm.

“5. Consequently there has been a shift in ID. Rather than work within MN, more and more ID proponents want to get rid of MN in questions of origins.”

No, IDists have been consistently anti-MN since the beginning of the Movement. I’ve been following it since @2002. “In questions of origins,” one of the problems is the scientistic attitude Swamidass brings to the table in contrast with Nelson. Then Swamidass has the gall to ask: “How would you rewrite your narrative in a way that could be common to us?”

I realise the guy deserves some slack, but how about Swamidass making an attempt to rewrite his non-mainline ‘narrative’ in a way that doesn’t particularly privilege the ideology that he holds in the conversation? It would be more productive to instead open up the conversation even to people who patiently, consistently & faithfully reject the scientistic ideology of MN. If Swamidass is unwilling to even consider that it is he who might be misperceiving things, perhaps due to his philosophical immaturity & loose use of concepts & terms, progress with Nelson might indeed take place, which could be good for the future of ‘the conversation.’

One of Nelson’s flaws, of course, is his trust in the work of Stephen C. Meyer, whose definition of ‘history’ leaves more than a lot to be desired. I was quite surprised at what I discovered at Cambridge where Meyer wrote his dissertation & don’t think they appreciate being linked as Meyer & the DI likes to advertise. Let’s leave Meyer out of this & listen to what Nelson has to say.

I’d pick Nelson over Swamidass when it comes to MN. And of course Steve Fuller has gone perhaps even further than Steve Dilley, who Nelson recommended to Swamidass, in exposing MN. Whether or not Nelson can finally get through to Joshua on this topic is another issue. Sometimes more attempts is all it takes.

Nelson wrote that: “MN is the current dividing line because the ID community is united by the bare proposition that “intelligent design is empirically detectable in nature.” In order for design to be detectable, of course, it must have some observational or empirical content which does not reduce ultimately to physics. That’s intelligence as a distinct cause, issuing in distinct effects. MN forbids appeals to intelligence (i.e., as a basic or fundamental constituent of reality). There’s the conflict.”

Here’s where Nelson starts to go off the rails. 1) It’s Intelligent Design, not intelligent design’. The detectability of divine Intelligence, as Phillip Johnson & Charles Thaxton, along with Olsen & Bradley believed & believe. 2) Design is already ‘detectable’, but it is not the end goal simply to ‘detect’ some kind of thing (ontology). Rather, IDism is about implications, the implication of a Mind beyond matter. Good natural science and social science can & do already “appeal to intelligence”. I was speaking with a design theorist & reading a design thinking paper recently. But that’s not ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ and never will be. 3) Science is not a ‘forbidding’ field or discipline. Nelson himself couldn’t see a coherent, clear, valuable ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ even recently, in his own words. The IDists simply have provided no strictly scientific evidence of the instantiation of what they call ‘Intelligent Design’ and instead depend on probabilism & sciency apologetics, the latter much like the earlier ‘creationist’ movements.

So, in the end Swamidass is right about at least this: “The issue is divine intelligence, and the attempt to recognize design without considering the designer (neither approach works in science).” Biology differs considerably from theology & theological biology isn’t welcome; it’s intentionally schismatic. Yet Swamidass is otherwise wrong to suggest that ‘science’ is & only ever can be ‘naturalistic,’ so it’s a rather small & narrow view he is espousing, in the name of Science.

At least S. Joshua Swamidass might learn the difference between philosophy and ideology from Nelson in this conversation. He may then come to realize he’s been foisting a figment of his own imagination that needn’t have been constructed. Then again, he may just shrink back into typical disciplinary language that wreaks of natural scientism, ideological naturalism, biologism & reductionism again. Whatever he does, because I’m calling him out on it here and he doesn’t like being called out away from PS, Joshua will likely deny it all or just ignore it in public because he can’t seem to figure any other way out of the philosophical corner he’s pained himself into than to blame the messenger. Sad to see such an ethically-challenged scientist.

Properly understood, ‘methodological naturalism’ denotes ideology, not ‘good science.’ If Nelson would go further than he has in the past and acknowledge this, a different, likely better conversation would open up. The problem is that Swamidass hasn’t yet shown he’s ready to travel that road. Maybe Nelson will help him get there towards meeting next year with his former ‘hero’ (as Swamidass once briefly called) Behe.

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462 thoughts on “Swamidass vs. Nelson – trying to find a “Common Narrative with ID on MN”?

  1. Gregory-
    I don’t see how science can not be naturalistic. Can you explain/give examples of what you mean?

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  2. Walter Kloover,

    Maybe you’re asking if ‘science’ (there are many types or kinds) can avoid being/becoming ideological in the eyes of scientists? Does this mean you’re suggesting natural scientists have a kind of ‘fall back’ position in ideological naturalism? Or is it really the theology/worldview of the ‘scientists/scholars’ themselves that you are questioning & wishing to understand more clearly? Take it a step further, must one be an ideological naturalist in order to even qualify to start taking the courses & examinations to eventually become a ‘practising [natural-physical] scientist’? Is this ideological naturalism a pre-requisite for even pretending to ‘do science’ nowadays? If so, what impact does this have on the theology/worldview of natural scientists, if they simply know of no way to escape from ideological naturalism because they’ve never actually been exposed to thinking about it?

    It’s a truism to suggest limiting oneself to only the study of natural causes, always & everywhere, proves naturalism. Then again, some people are against the exposure of truisms nowadays. ; )

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  3. I will keep an eye on Swamidass’ ideological challenge to Paul Nelson thread. Glad to be learning some things there from Nelson about the IDM’s history, including stories about Phillip Johnson. Swamidass gets it wrong re: Paul’s ‘marginalization’ of Johnson, being sloppy & heavy-handed as usual, but to Swamidass those kinds of facts don’t seem to matter on his quest for evangelicalistic infamy with GA -> GAE.

    “The original Pajaro letter of invitation, on UC-Berkeley letterhead, was entitled ‘Problems and Prospects of the Darwinian Paradigm’.”

    This highlights the Darwinian fixation among leading IDists from the very beginning. It’s like they wanted an American version of Marxism of their own to face-off with, an enemy & opponent so they created ‘Darwinism’ as the all-functioning boogey man. It’s a Vilification Victimization story in Seattle with IDism.

    This is not about a coherent challenge to ‘evolutionary science’ or even ‘evolutionary thinking’ by the IDM, certainly not one that faithfully stays within ‘normal science’. This is indeed a ‘radical’ attempt to, in a way, mystify natural-physical science with informatics. William Dembski accepts ‘technological evolution,’ for goodness sake! If the IDM were really against ‘evolution’, they wouldn’t grant it hegemonic power in the ceding the definition as mere ‘change-over-time.’ That’s the Whiteheadean inversion the DI has yet to get.

    Paul’s critique of Swamidass’ misunderstanding & communicative mangling of ‘methodological naturalism’ overlaps with this other conversation. I’d rather Swamidass stay out of that one or at least stay quiet listening on the sidelines. He might display that he can indeed learn something from philosophy that so far hasn’t penetrated his ideological shelter.

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  4. Gregory: This highlights the Darwinian fixation among leading IDists from the very beginning.

    Does it? You mean, the scientific consensus is widely in agreement that Darwinism is an outdated concept that is invalid? And its just the IDists who are maintaining its relevance? So what has it been replaced with?

    Pray tell, when did the materialist abandon it, and why is it such a secret in the mainstream consciousness of the developed world? I can’t find science stories written this year talking about Darwinism? Are they laughed at by scientists?

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  5. phoodoo:
    Does it?You mean, the scientific consensus is widely in agreement that Darwinism is an outdated concept that is invalid?

    It’s outdated, but parts valid, parts invalid. You should pay a bit more attention, because we’ve been explaining this a billion times, even directly to you. I wonder if you ask these questions only rhetorically, since you never learn anything from the answers.

    Apologists use “Darwinism” as a label for everything evil in the world to have the creationists united against something that’s also someone (Darwin). Just classic propaganda techniques.

    phoodoo:
    And its just the IDists who are maintaining its relevance?

    Nope. They use it, as I said, to focus creationists on a single enemy. That way they get creationists to put everything under one big umbrella and keep them from noticing how many different scientific fields they’re actually against. Blame “Darwinism” for everything. For example, it was geologists who realized about the age of the planet, yet they’re not called geologists by apologists. They’re called “Darwinists” instead.

    phoodoo:
    So what has it been replaced with?

    A rich theory of evolution that includes positive selection (properly “Darwinian”), negative selection, random genetic drift, advances made with the mathematical framework of population genetics, etc.

    phoodoo:
    Pray tell, when did the materialist abandon it, and why is it such a secret in the mainstream consciousness of the developed world?

    Materialists? Why would materialists have an exclusive claim to “Darwinism”? Why would there be no materialist who doesn’t know anything about it? Why wouldn’t some materialists know that evolutionary theory has grown beyond Darwin?

    It isn’t a secret that evolutionary theory has developed a lot since Darwin. You just have a hard time paying attention.

    phoodoo:
    I can’t find science stories written this year talking about Darwinism?

    I don’t know. Maybe you can find such things. Maybe you cannot. Maybe you’ll find more about evolution and evolutionary theory than about “Darwinism” though.

    phoodoo:
    Are they laughed at by scientists?

    Nope. We just understand that a lot of scientists have other things to do, and thus might not know that evolutionary theory has advanced a lot since Darwin wrote his books. When confronted with such ignorance we offer corrections. Unlike creationists, scientists have a tendency to listen to such corrections.

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  6. Entropy,

    This is the materialist con game. “Of course we don’t believe in Darwinism anymore, that is so outdated, its a caricature!” Then when asked what its replaced by “Well, parts of it are valid. Why are you attacking Darwinism”

    So when Gregory asks why creationists are still talking about Darwinism, you provide the perfect answer Entropy. Because you still are claiming “parts” are valid, and because you guys have zero ability to describe what it is the you believe in, other than some mishmash of “The third way”, you know sort of random, sort of not random, well, things emerge, guided but not really guided, this is just what materials do, …

    organized by the cellular processes in the maternal cells, which in turn, physical/chemical properties and dynamics, ad nauseam.

    Haha!

    So Gregory, now do you understand?

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  7. I am not a materialist. Apparently that means I must understand your whole whacky, ‘non-denominational’ & unorthodox “whatever you call your own ideology” program? No, thanks.

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  8. phoodoo:
    This is the materialist con game.“Of course we don’t believe in Darwinism anymore, that is so outdated, its a caricature!

    What con game? I have never “believed” in “Darwinism.” I accept that there’s evolution because the evidence points that way. But, again, evolution and evolutionary theory are not “Darwinism.” They’ve grown up. Darwin’s theories are not caricatures. Darwin made a very serious effort to put together the data and his explanation. What’s a caricature is the mischaracterizations produced by creationists.

    phoodoo:
    Then when asked what its replaced by “Well, parts of it are valid. Why are you attacking Darwinism”

    I told you something that’s still valid. Try and read for comprehension next time around:

    Entropy:
    A rich theory of evolution that includes positive selection (properly “Darwinian”), negative selection, random genetic drift, advances made with the mathematical framework of population genetics, etc.

    The non-bolded part is newer than Darwin’s ideas. Got it now or should I try with puppets?

    It’s not an exhaustive list, as it’s bound to happen in an online forum. But it should suffice to help a reasonable interlocutor understand that it’s not all about Darwin. That science continues growing and correcting mistakes.

    phoodoo:
    So when Gregory asks why creationists are still talking about Darwinism, you provide the perfect answer Entropy.

    Which is that you cannot read for comprehension and/or prefer to hold to your propagandistic terminology.

    phoodoo:
    Because you still are claiming “parts” are valid, and because you guys have zero ability to describe what it is the you believe in,

    Really? It looks much more like you cannot read for comprehension, as you just so happily demonstrated. I cannot help you understand if you prefer to keep your misconceptions alive instead of understanding what we actually think.

    phoodoo:
    other than some mishmash of “The third way”, you know sort of random, sort of not random, well, things emerge,guided but not really guided, this is just what materials do, …

    That there’s deterministic processes and randomness is not new and is not “Third Way” bullshit. Newton gravitational law, like his laws of motion, describes a deterministic phenomenon and Newton was born before both you and me. Do you really think that physicalists don’t know about Newton’s laws? We know that there’s deterministic processes. We know that nature is not pure randomness. Even you should know that nature is not mere randomness. So, why do you hold to the false idea that nature means mere randomness and that we think that everything is explained by mere randomness? I’m asking rhetorically. I know why: because your creationist/apologetics propaganda demands it so, and you cannot escape your indoctrination. You cannot even try and have a decent conversation.

    That you don’t like being corrected on your mistaken notions is not my fault. That you refuse to understand that evolution, naturalism, and physicalism, have never been about pure randomness is entirely your problem. What I describe is not new to either of those positions. It looks new to you because it doesn’t fall within the stupid creationist narrative, and you refuse to accept that you’ve been fooled by apologists your whole life. Sorry, but we have no reason to be what apologists pretend us to be. The false dichotomy “either randomness or magical-being-in-the-sky” is all yours. You can keep it all for yourself.

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  9. Gregory:
    I am not a materialist. Apparently that means I must understand your whole whacky, ‘non-denominational’ & unorthodox “whatever you call your own ideology” program? No, thanks.

    What’s so hard to understand? You questioned why IDists keep attacking Darwinism, as if its irrelevant. Then you have Entropy saying he doesn’t believe in Darwinism, then he goes on to say how Darwinism is valid (in parts-the good parts, you know).

    So its still hard for you to understand why Idists attack Darwinism? To answer your own question, that requires you to understand MY ideology. That makes no sense at all Gregory. Come on Gregory.

    Maybe they are only attacking the good parts, you know the parts that everyone like Entropy believes in, sometimes.

    Should they instead be attacking the third way that no one can define?

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  10. Entropy: The false dichotomy “either randomness or magical-being-in-the-sky” is all yours.

    The Third Way. Now you are getting it Entropy! Dichotomy. No dichotomy, because Entropy has another (Third, see, SEE??) way.

    Shove your foot in you mouth even deeper, please Entropy.

    No dichotomy for Entropy. Read for comprehension. (Admin-is there a way to search for Entropy’s posts by just typing “read for comprehension”? Would the site just crash? )

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  11. phoodoo,

    I didn’t & don’t ‘question’ it. It is rather clear why IDists attack Darwinism, & continually set it right back up after knocking it down, so that they can simply knock it down again in front of everyone & claim ‘victory’ as ‘scientists’.

    Otoh, is it clear to you or do you even have an inkling about why Abrahamic monotheists (if I recall, you are not one, is this correct?) across a range of fields and branches, faithfully reject the ideology of IDism? Try to express some reasons for this, when you get the opportunity to stop criticizing anti-IDists.

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  12. “To answer your own question, that requires you to understand MY ideology.”

    Frankly said, I’m not sure you understand your own ideology, phoodoo. It’s an ideology of one in a vacuum on an island in an underground shelter that isn’t linked to a single credible figure among many available in science, philosophy & theology/worldview discourse.

    That is why I suggest going mainstream instead of purposefully marginal & quackish, unless you are simply ‘religiously resistant,’ as some people in this conversation have become.

    Can you actually put a name on your ideology or your worldview, using a known category & without rambling on, distracting from answering the question? An answer of ‘No,’ would at least qualify as a clear answer, to what appears to be to you, an overly baffling question.

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  13. phoodoo:
    The Third Way. Now you are getting it Entropy! Dichotomy. No dichotomy, because Entropy has another (Third, see, SEE??) way.

    See? You’re unable to have a decent conversation.

    phoodoo:
    Shove your foot in you mouth even deeper, please Entropy.

    Get your head out of your ass phoodoo.

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  14. Gregory,

    Well, you certainly do claim that it is the Idists creating Darwinism:

    This highlights the Darwinian fixation among leading IDists from the very beginning. It’s like they wanted an American version of Marxism of their own to face-off with, an enemy & opponent so they created ‘Darwinism’ as the all-functioning boogey man.

    You think Idists created Darwinism, that’s just laughable Gregory. Has you missed out on the mainstream science media (pop media, news media, Kardashian media…its everywhere Gregory) for the last 100 years?

    So if all the materialist here are still claiming Darwinism is still valid (hemming hawing, sort of, kind of, well, parts…) , is it really them creating the boogeyman?

    Your status as a scorned Discovery Institute suitor is a bit too glaring.

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  15. phoodoo:
    So if all the materialist here are still claiming Darwinism is still valid (hemming hawing, sort of, kind of, well, parts…) , is it really them creating the boogeyman?

    Hum, “surprisingly” you cannot follow simple instructions. Here it goes again: get your head out of your ass phoodoo!

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  16. phoodoo: What’s so hard to understand?You questioned why IDists keep attacking Darwinism, as if its irrelevant.Then you have Entropy saying he doesn’t believe in Darwinism, then he goes on to say how Darwinism is valid (in parts-the good parts, you know).

    So its still hard for you to understand why Idists attack Darwinism?To answer your own question, that requires you to understand MY ideology.That makes no sense at all Gregory.Come on Gregory.

    Maybe they are only attacking the good parts, you know the parts that everyone like Entropy believes in, sometimes.

    Should they instead be attacking the third way that no one can define?

    Some of what Aristotle wrote is largely correct. Much of it is wrong. So should we worship Aristotle, or should we mock him?

    Apart from your frame of reference, this would be a silly question. But the way you go about it, instead of thinking about physics and the history of thought and discovery in physics, you would refer to Aristotelians. And then you would ask whether Aristotle were perfect or idiotic. You would permit no other answers, and no matter how many times people explained that all of the various fields Aristotle wrote about have advanced enormously since, you would deride them as being “sometimes Aristotelian, sometimes anti-Aristotelian, they can’t make up their minds because they really don’t know what they think!”

    In the field of biology, yes, Darwin had some important but very preliminary insights. But today’s biologists don’t consider themselves “Darwinists” any more than today’s physicists consider themselves Newtonists. Instead, today’s scientists mostly concern themselves with advancing the state of the art in their particular field. Using “Darwinist” as a pejorative to belittle anyone whose knowledge exceeds yours is probably satisfying only to you. “Darwinism” is a term current only in creationist circles. Outside those circles, it’s fairly obvious that to a creationist, a “Darwinist” is anyone whose work (or whose knowledge) conflicts with Creationist religious doctrine. Which is pretty much everyone.

    Now, if your field of interest is the history of biology, you’ll notice that in light of today’s knowledge, Darwin (like a great many past biologists) grasped only a few threads of a complex tapestry. He is historically noteworthy because he grasped (or at least published) them first. In so doing, he made important contributions, but he stood on the shoulders of giants just like every other scientist, all of whom see further than their predecessors.

    Entropy isn’t saying how “Darwinism” is wrong except it isn’t. He’s saying that Darwin, as a historical figure, got some things right. My reading is that Entropy believes in the scientific method, and he probably believes there isn’t a single current theory that will remain unchanged 150 years from now.

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  17. phoodoo:
    Gregory,

    Well, you certainly do claim that it is the Idists creating Darwinism:

    You think Idists created Darwinism, that’s just laughable Gregory.Has you missed out on the mainstream science media (pop media, news media, Kardashian media…its everywhere Gregory) for the last 100 years?

    So if all the materialist here are still claiming Darwinism is still valid (hemming hawing, sort of, kind of, well, parts…) , is it really them creating the boogeyman?

    Yes, IDists created Darwinism in the sense you are using it. Which is not a sense any competent biologist would recognize. “Materialists” aren’t claiming “Darwinism” is still valid, because those terms are meaningful only to creationists. Instead, what you have is people with some grasp of science, recognizing that thousands of past scientists have made contributions to human understandings.

    You probably need to recognize that biology works the way it works, and your efforts to attach silly labels to caricatures of biology, and then say others are confused because your labels don’t apply, isn’t going to change how biology works. Unlike religion, where you accept or reject arbitrary claims on the basis of personal preference, science is steered by reality. Mislabeling biology as “Darwinism” and then attacking that label doesn’t change reality.

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  18. “the Idists creating Darwinism” … “You think Idists created Darwinism”

    How’s the moon this evening, phoodoo?

    No, that’s not what I said or think. IDism postdates ‘Darwinism’ in its original form by over 100 years. Iow, ideological IDism comes significantly later than ideological Darwinism.

    Please stop eating the bad cheese.

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  19. Darwin’s writings were in direct response to Paley. I haven’t seen anything in the ID movement that wasn’t covered by Paley. Better.

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  20. Flint: Unlike religion, where you accept or reject arbitrary claims on the basis of personal preference, science is steered by reality. Mislabeling biology as “Darwinism” and then attacking that label doesn’t change reality.

    That’s a hilariously funny pair! Mislabeling ‘religion’ by a skeptic atheist/agnostic feeds misunderstanding & discord. The proper terms to involve here for a sincere seeker would be theology or worldview. Many peoples’ theology or worldview is indeed based in some ways on personal preferences (e.g. prayer, worship), yet nevertheless “steered by reality.” Barking at ‘religion’ as if it were ‘unreal’ only reveals an impoverished ‘western’ mind, which perhaps read too much of the ‘four horsemen’ yet missed out on much more inspiring, realistic & fulfilling ideas available by contemporary writers & thinkers.

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  21. Flint: Yes, IDists created Darwinism in the sense you are using it.

    Maybe Idists are attacking Darwinism in the sense you are using it. Or maybe in the sense of Darwinism as a waterchute ride? Or as a cake design? How many ways can we use Darwinism?

    My sense is Idists are attacking Darwinism in the sense that Entropy says some parts are valid. When we will know which parts are valid and which parts aren’t according to the materialist is anyone’s guess.

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  22. Nelson has left the thread. Not a surprise due to Swamidass’ misunderstandings & posturing. Swamidass then opens up a thread on the same topic with someone’s name on it not even in the same league with Nelson, who Swamidass scared away with pretense & trying to put words in Nelson’s mouth against his will.

    I don’t have time to address this now; may come back to it again soon. It serves as another example of a natural-physical scientist (Swamidass) simply not understanding that he doesn’t understand the topic he thinks he is a ‘master’ of in dealing with ideological methodological naturalism (IMN), which a philosopher (Nelson) understands quite well & tries to educate the resistant scientist to also learn. Since there is no non-ideological MN, there is no reason to call simply “using natural-physical scientific methods” an ‘-ism’.

    Swamidass seems to *want* to mangle the language & call simply ‘doing natural science’ by an ideological term. So we’re stuck with Nelson speaking properly & coherently about a philosophical & ideological issue, while Joshua pretends ‘no ideology here, just us natural-physical scientists,’ & keeps trying to put words in Paul’s mouth about how Paul needs to adjust to come into Swamidass’ pro-ideology camp.

    It’s astonishing frankly that with his level of education, Joshua is nevertheless blind to this. Yet here we are & Joshua still hasn’t repented for his proud attempts at imperialism, that he denies in the face of others as if they aren’t there. I guess he thinks a contract with IVP & cozying up with WL Craig somehow absolves him of responsibility. Nope.

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  23. phoodoo:
    My sense is Idists are attacking Darwinism in the sense that Entropy says some parts are valid. When we will know which parts are valid and which parts aren’t according to the materialist is anyone’s guess.

    Really? My sense is that you’re unable to get your head out of your ass.

    0
  24. Entropy,

    organized by the cellular processes in the maternal cells, which in turn, physical/chemical properties and dynamics, ad nauseam.

    0
  25. It seems weird to me to say, as Nelson seems to, that ID rejects methodological naturalism because ID holds that intelligence is irreducible to physics. I mean, that’s so bizarre it’s not even wrong. I don’t think there’s a possible world in which that claim makes sense. It’s just gibberish.

    For one thing, I don’t understand what is supposed to be methodological about this claim. I can almost understand why one would think that metaphysical naturalism holds that intelligence is reducible to physics. But defining methodological naturalism this way doesn’t make any sense if one thinks there’s a distinction between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism.

    It also just disregards how everyone in philosophy defines methodological naturalism in Quinean terms, but OK, whatever.

    For another, it’s left as a giant fill-in-the-blanks as to what “intelligence” is supposed to mean — likewise what Nelson has in mind by “physics” (quantum mechanics? general relativity? whatever future theory replaces at least one of them?) or what he has in mind by “reduction”.

    Theoretical biologists and philosophers of biology are still debating whether we even have a successful reduction of Mendelian genetics to molecular genetics, so it just seems foolish to try debating whether or not we could reduce something as vague as “intelligence” to something else as vague as “physics”.

    If that’s what ID amounts to these days, it’s clearly hit a dead-end.

    3+
  26. petrushka:
    What on earth do you mean by reduction?

    Well, philosophy of science is not my forte, but I’ve picked up some here and there, so I’ll give it a shot.

    I treat reduction as intertheoretic reduction: reduction is a relation between theories. Theories include statements that refer to unobservable posited entities, so any ontological reduction depends on the reduction of the ontological commitments of one theory to those of another. So for me the initial question, “does intelligence reduce to physics?” isn’t the right sort of question to ask. We need to ask, first, what is our theory of intelligence?

    Now, ID people have always been reluctant to get into any specifics, but if we were to take them at their word that they are interested in empirical science, then the relevant empirical science of intelligence is, it seems to me, cognitive psychology.

    So now the question is, “does cognitive psychology reduce to physics?”

    Even that won’t do, because “physics” is not the name of a theory: it is the name of a scientific discipline in which there are numerous theories. We can stipulate that what we mean here is fundamental physics, but even that doesn’t really work. There are (at present) at least two theories of fundamental physics — general relativity and quantum mechanics — and at least one of them must be wrong.

    So the bad question that Nelson is asking — “does intelligence reduce to physics?” — can be replaced with “does cognitive psychology reduce to a theory of fundamental physics?”

    Let there be two theories, T1 and T2, and let it be asked: does T1 reduce to T2?

    T1 will reduce to T2 if one can construct, using the conceptual framework of T2, an analogue of T1 that explains and predicts everything that T1 explains and predicts and also show why T2 is a superior theory (e.g. by explaining phenomena that T1 cannot explain).

    For example, Maxwell successfully reduced electricity and magnetism to electromagnetism by showing that the equations that described electricity and the equations that described magnetism could be treated as equivalent. Classical mechanics reduces to general relativity because one can construct within general relativity a model that is epistemically equivalent to classical mechanics.

    it must be stressed that reduction need not favor any specific metaphysics: Berkeleyian idealism is reductionistic because it attempts to explain our vocabulary about physical things in terms of our vocabulary about mental phenomena (sensations). Berkeleyian idealism is just as reductionistic as Epicurean materialism.

    In general, I think that successful intertheoretic reduction is going to be very rare — in fact I think it’s a rather interesting question as to whether there is any successful intertheoretic reduction that is not part of the history of fundamental physics. Reduction, rather than the gold standard of scientific explanation, may be quite unusual.

    With regard to the question, “does cognitive psychology reduce to a theory of fundamental physics?” it seems to me that a perfectly sober-minded response is: no one knows and it doesn’t matter.

    I am however considerably more interested in why ID people aren’t interested in cognitive psychology. Perhaps they are not really interested in the science of intelligence after all?

    2+
  27. phoodoo: Maybe Idists are attacking Darwinism in the sense you are using it.Or maybe in the sense of Darwinism as a waterchute ride?Or as a cake design? How many ways can we use Darwinism?

    My sense is Idists are attacking Darwinism in the sense that Entropy says some parts are valid.When we will know which parts are valid and which parts aren’t according to the materialist is anyone’s guess.

    I’m not using “Darwinism” in ANY sense. That word basically translates as “what Creationists who deny evolution want to call it.” There was in fact a biologist named Darwin, long ago, who made some advances in his field. Many others have done the same. There is no “ism” in the real world.

    And once again, Charles Darwin the scientist did make some suggestions which subsequently turned out to be useful, if limited. That was long ago, and the field has advanced as much in biology as in any other discipline in 150 years of research. Charles Darwin got some things close to correct. He got a lot wrong. But biology isn’t “Darwinsim” any more than humor is “phoodooism”.

    Here’s a challenge for you: see if you can briefly present your notion of biology without using the meaningless term “Darwinism.” You might actually learn something making the effort.

    2+
  28. Gregory: That’s a hilariously funny pair! Mislabeling ‘religion’ by a skeptic atheist/agnostic feeds misunderstanding & discord. The proper terms to involve here for a sincere seeker would be theology or worldview. Many peoples’ theology or worldview is indeed based in some ways on personal preferences (e.g. prayer, worship), yet nevertheless “steered by reality.” Barking at ‘religion’ as if it were ‘unreal’ only reveals an impoverished ‘western’ mind, which perhaps read too much of the ‘four horsemen’ yet missed out on much more inspiring, realistic & fulfilling ideas available by contemporary writers & thinkers.

    Uh huh. Magical sky daddies are solidly based in reality, despite the delusion on the part of impoverished Western minds that what doesn’t exist actually doesn’t exist. The very idea!

    I find the real world entirely inspiring and fulfilling. I don’t need gods, demons, “the supernatural”, ghosts, poltergeists, leprechauns, or whatever church you find necessary to “fulfill” your need for the imaginary.

    I also find it hilarious that you are communicating this need using technologies created by impoverished minds, after your gods spent millennia failing. Hilarious that you use impoverished technology rather than the much more “realistic” approach of just praying your opinions at us, as your worldview would have you do. What, praying doesn’t get the job done? Maybe you need to consult a more contemporary thinker. One “steered by reality”.

    1+
  29. Kantian Naturalist,

    Aside from the naturalistic ideology, the following is agreeable:

    “I am however considerably more interested in why ID people aren’t interested in cognitive psychology. Perhaps they are not really interested in the science of intelligence after all?”

    The same is true of ‘design science,’ ‘design thinking’ and ‘design theory’, as practised by non-IDists, non-creationists & even non-evangelical progressive Protestants. The DI does not appear interested in it or in discussing it in relation to their ideology, which they won’t name, meanwhile implicitly claiming ideological purity & invisibility.

    IDists actually believe that they alone in the conversation are not ideological, just like their somewhat imitated opponents believe is true regarding their own MNism. People both under-represent & intentionally deceive using ideology in these 2 cases.

    At least, even for the convoluted mess of unreformed apostasy & unorthodox scientistic philosphistry in his writings, I appreciate that Kantian Naturalist can be forthright when possible and openly admit his ideologies in public here at TSZ. Forget the non-mainline oriented ‘Empty Chair’ metaphor that avoids ideology like a natural-scientist in a ‘design’ workshop. If only the cagey IDists & ‘theistic evolutionists’ would be so kind and polite as to reveal a bit more about theirs (Swamidass was only recently spelling it ‘idealogy,’ along with Lents, so it’s not like he’s thought about this for long) the playing field might become more level than it is currently. Amen.

    0
  30. Flint: I find the real world entirely inspiring and fulfilling.

    How do we measure that?

    If it can’t be measured its not real.

    0
  31. Kantian Naturalist: I am however considerably more interested in why ID people aren’t interested in cognitive psychology.

    I knew an atheist who didn’t like auto racing. It amazed me that atheist materialists have no interest in combustible engine technology.

    I am also interested in how philosophy professors are able to make such utterly ludicrous proclamations. If that’s what philosophy amounts to these days, it’s clearly hit a dead-end.

    0
  32. Kantian Naturalist: It also just disregards how everyone in philosophy defines methodological naturalism in Quinean terms, but OK, whatever.

    PS has had more thoughtful threads on MN , one of which mentioned the following paper, which I think takes the right approach.

    MN is not some predefined set of rules science must follow. Rather, MN simply captures an important aspect of the how successful scientific communicates operate, and in particular how they evaluate proposed explanations.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225492424_How_Not_to_Attack_Intelligent_Design_Creationism_Philosophical_Misconceptions_About_Methodological_Naturalism

    I see this paper was mentioned deep in the thread, but no one in the thread seems to have recognized its bearing on the rest of the conversation.

    I did not get much out of the PNelson thread at PS, but I did find the “scholars” exchange on gpuccio’s ideas to be very informative, functionally and otherwise.
    https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/gpuccio-functional-information-methodology/7549/210

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  33. “Rather, MN simply captures an important aspect of the how successful scientific communicates operate, and in particular how they evaluate proposed explanations.”

    Sure, BruceS. And the evaluation is based on ideology. Yet is that a term you won’t name either, because it makes your position much more easily understandable and for most people, able to move beyond? As an agnostic/non-religious person, MNism suits your worldview, so you see no reason

    Once you figure out that MNism is an ideology, BruceS, maybe your thinking will open up a little. However, decadence in Torontonian terms would suggest you can’t change because you think you have little choice. Not even to move to a more inspiring & ‘eternal’ perspective on human life. Sadly boring.

    0
  34. Kantian Naturalist wrote:

    “It seems weird to me to say, as Nelson seems to, that ID rejects methodological naturalism because ID holds that intelligence is irreducible to physics. I mean, that’s so bizarre it’s not even wrong.”

    This article may help to clarify my point:

    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/

    MN is a methodological dictum about the possible answers (i.e., inferred causes) we may seek for phenomena. Notice that MN does NOT say, “Find the best testable explanation for x, in light of all the possible causes for x.” That would not rule out ID. In 2006, when a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison science and philosophy faculty wrote a bill to stop the spread of ID in Wisconsin public schools, they defined MN (in the draft bill) this way:

    “The material is testable as a scientific hypothesis and describes only natural processes.”

    Why “only natural processes?” — plainly, because “testable as a scientific hypothesis” doesn’t by itself exclude ID (two of the bill’s authors, Elliott Sober and Ron Numbers, have shown in their professional work that Darwin tested [via observation] the theories of design of his time). For the adjective “natural” to do the necessary ID-excluding work here, therefore, it has to rule out something.

    And what it rules out is irreducible intelligence — “irreducible” in the sense that when one tallies up the complete ontology of the universe, causes such as “mind,” “agency,” “intention,” “purpose,” “telos,” are standing there in the final list of basic items, not derived from any other thing. This shouldn’t be that puzzling. When one reads the writings of philosophical naturalists such as Caltech physicist Sean Carroll, U of Chicago geneticist Jerry Coyne, or New Atheist Sam Harris, they spend multiple chapters going after free will and irreducible agency, as evolutionary illusions.

    MN commits one to a limited ontology of causation. Mind as primary cause just ain’t in the explanatory toolbox.

    0
  35. Gregory: And the evaluation is based on ideology

    Is it a necessarily bad thing to be based on an ideology?

    I think it might depend on whether the ideology is treated as dogma.

    I don’t think science does that.
    I can agree that science follows an ideology but it is one that is open for challenge and update by the scientific community.

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  36. Gregory: Sure, BruceS.

    decadence in Torontonian terms […] Sadly boring

    Hey, you can pick on me, but please leave hogtown out of it.

    Also, some us are quite happy to be boring, depending on the boree.

    0
  37. Paul A Nelson: “The material is testable as a scientific hypothesis and describes only natural processes.”

    I wonder how they defined material? Anything that’s testable?

    Or do they have another definition of physicality?

    0
  38. And what it rules out is irreducible intelligence…

    Not to mention ruling out the following:

    Á Bao A Qu (Malay) – Entity that lives in the Tower of Victory in Chitor.
    Aatxe (Basque) – Bull spirit.
    Abaasy (Yakuts) – Iron-toothed demons.
    Abada (African) – Small unicorn reported to live in the lands of the African Congo.
    Äbädä (Tatar) – Forest spirit.
    Abaia (Melanesia) – Huge magical eel.
    Abarimon (Medieval Bestiaries) – Savage humanoid with backward feet.
    Abath (Malay) – One-horned animal.
    Abura-sumashi (Japanese) – Creature from a mountain pass in Kumamoto Prefecture.
    Acephali (Greek) – Headless humanoids.
    Acheri (Indian Folklore) – Disease-bringing ghost.
    Achlis (Roman) – Curious elk.
    Adar Llwch Gwin (Welsh) – Giant birds that understand human languages.
    Adaro (Solomon Islands) – Malevolent merfolk.
    Adhene (Manx) – Nature spirit.
    Adlet (Inuit) – Vampiric dog-human hybrid
    Adroanzi (Lugbara) – Nature spirit.
    Adze (Ewe people) – African vampiric-forest being.
    Aerico (Greek) – Disease demon.
    Afanc (Welsh) – Lake monster (exact lake varies by story).
    Agni (Hindu) – God of fire and sacrifices.
    Agathodaemon (Greek) – Spirit of vinefields and grainfields.
    Agloolik (Inuit) – Ice spirit that aids hunters and fishermen.
    Agogwe (East Africa) – Small, ape-like humanoid.
    Ahkiyyini (Inuit) – Animated skeleton that causes shipwrecks.
    Ahuizotl (Aztec) – Anthropophagous dog-monkey hybrid.
    Aigamuxa (Khoikhoi) – Anthropophagous humanoid with eyes in its instep.
    Aigikampoi (Etruscan) – Fish-tailed goat.
    Airavata (Hindu) – Divine elephant.
    Aitu (Polynesian) – Malevolent spirits or demons.
    Aitvaras (Lithuanian) – Household spirit.
    Ajatar (Finnish) – Dragon/snake female spirit, is said to spread diseases
    Akateko (Japanese) – Tree-dwelling monster.
    Akhlut (Inuit) – Orca-wolf shapeshifter.
    Akka (Finnish) – Female spirits or minor goddesses.
    Akki (Japanese) – Large, grotesque humanoid.
    Akkorokamui (Ainu) – Sea monster.
    Akuma (Japanese) – Evil spirit or devil
    Akupara (Hindu) – Giant turtle that supports the world.
    Akurojin-no-hi (Japanese) – Ghostly flame which causes disease.
    Al (Armenian and Persian) – Spirit that steals unborn babies and livers from pregnant women.
    Ala (Slavic) – Bad weather demon.
    Alal (Chaldean) – Queen of the full moon.
    Alan (Philippine) – Winged humanoid that steals reproductive waste to make children.
    Alce (Heraldic) – Wingless griffin.
    Aleya (Bengali) – Spirit of a dead fisherman.
    Alicanto (Chilean) – Bird that eats gold and silver.
    Alicorn – Winged unicorn from the Latin “ala” (wing) and “corn” (horn).
    Alkonost (Slavic) – Angelic bird with human head and breasts.
    Allocamelus (Heraldic) – Ass-camel hybrid.
    Almas (Mongolian) – Savage humanoid.
    Al-mi’raj (Islamic) – One-horned rabbit.
    Aloja (Catalan) – Female water spirit.
    Alom-bag-winno-sis (Abenaki) – Little people and tricksters.
    Alp (German) – Male night-demon.
    Alphyn (Heraldic) – Lion-like creature, sometimes with dragon or goat forelegs.
    Alp-luachra (Irish) – Parasitic fairy.
    Al Rakim (Islamic) – Guard dog of the Seven Sleepers.
    Alseid (Greek) – Grove nymph.
    Alû (Assyrian) – Leprous demon.
    Alux (Mayan) – Little people.
    Amaburakosagi (Japanese) – Ritual disciplinary demon from Shikoku.
    Amala (Tsimshian) – Giant who holds up the world.
    Amamehagi (Japanese) – Ritual disciplinary demon from Hokuriku.
    Amanojaku (Japanese) – Small demon.
    Amarok (Inuit) – Giant wolf.
    Amarum (Quechua) – Water boa spirit.
    Amazake-babaa (Japanese) – Disease-causing hag.
    Amemasu (Ainu) – Lake monster.
    Ammit (Ancient Egyptian) – Female demon who was part lion, hippopotamus and crocodile.
    Amorōnagu (Japanese) – Tennyo from the island of Amami Ōshima.
    Amphiptere (Heraldic) – Winged serpent.
    Amphisbaena (Greek) – Serpent with a head at each end.
    Anak (Jewish) – Giant.
    Androsphinx (Ancient Egyptian) – Human-headed sphinx.
    Angel (mainly Christian, Jewish, Islamic traditions) – From the Greek ángelos, divine beings of Heaven who act as mediators between God and humans; the counterparts of Demons.
    Angha (Persian) – Dog-lion-peacock hybrid.
    Ani Hyuntikwalaski (Cherokee) – Lightning spirit.
    Ankou (French) – Skeletal grave watcher with a lantern and scythe.
    Anmo (Japanese) – Ritual disciplinary demon from Iwate Prefecture.
    Antaeus (Greek) – Giant who was extremely strong as long as he remained in contact with the ground.
    Anubis (Ancient Egyptian) – God of the Underworld
    Antero Vipunen (Finnish) – Subterranean giant.
    Anzû (Sumerian) – Divine storm bird
    Ao Ao (Guaraní) – Anthropophagous peccary or sheep.
    Aobōzu (Japanese) – Blue monk who kidnaps children.
    Apkallu (Sumerian) – Fish-human hybrid that attends the god Enki.
    Apsaras (Buddhist and Hindu) – Female cloud spirit.
    Aqrabuamelu (Akkadian) – Human-scorpion hybrid.
    Ardat-Lili (Akkadian) – Disease demon.
    Argus Panoptes (Greek) – Hundred-eyed giant.
    Arikura-no-baba (Japanese) – Old woman with magical powers.
    Arimaspi (Greek) – One-eyed humanoid.
    Arion (Greek) – Swift green-maned talking horse.
    Arkan Sonney (Manx) – Fairy hedgehog.
    Asag (Sumerian) – Hideous rock demon.
    Asakku (Sumerian) – Demon.
    Asanbosam (West Africa) – Iron-toothed vampire.
    Asena (Turkic) – Blue-maned wolf.
    A-senee-ki-wakw (Abenaki) – Stone giant.
    Ashi-magari (Japanese) – Invisible tendril that impedes movement.
    Asiman (Dahomey) – Vampiric possession spirit.
    Askefrue (Germanic) – Female tree spirit.
    Ask-wee-da-eed (Abenaki) – Fire elemental and spectral fire.
    Asobibi (Japanese) – Spectral fire from Kōchi Prefecture.
    Aspidochelone (Medieval Bestiaries) – Island-sized whale or sea turtle.
    Asrai (English) – Water spirit.
    Astomi (Greek) – Humanoid sustained by pleasant smells instead of food.
    Aswang (Philippine) – Carrion-eating humanoid.
    Atomy (English) – Surprisingly small creature.
    Ato-oi-kozō (Japanese) – Invisible spirit that follows people.
    Atshen (Inuit) – Anthropophagous spirit.
    Auloniad (Greek) – Pasture nymph.
    Avalerion (Medieval Bestiary) – King of the birds.
    Awa-hon-do (Abenaki) – Insect spirit.
    Axex (Ancient Egyptian) – Falcon-lion hybrid.
    Ayakashi (Japanese) – Sea serpent that travels over boats in an arc while dripping oil.
    Ayakashi-no-ayashibi (Japanese) – Spectral fire from Ishikawa Prefecture.
    Aziza (Dahomey) – Little people that help hunters.
    Azukiarai (Japanese) – Spirit that washes azuki beans along riversides.
    Azukibabaa (Japanese) – Bean-grinding hag who devours people.
    Azukitogi (Japanese) – Spirit that washes azuki beans along riversides.

    Plus a lot of possible causes starting with B through Z.

    1+
  39. BruceS,

    “Is it a necessarily bad thing to be based on an ideology?”

    No. It’s revealing when a person pretends they have none. Yet that hinders the conversation as well.

    “I think it might depend on whether the ideology is treated as dogma.”

    And you are both dogma-less & anti-dogma, is that right, BruceS? ‘Dogma’ is a bad thing in your grammar, is that it? ‘Doctrines,’ likewise to you sound too ‘religious’, do they not? Just scientific rationality & natural-physical causal closure on which to base your ‘sensible’ worldview. & a bit of common sense that already crosses the religious/irreligious & theist/atheist perceptual divides anyway.

    It’s a question in this case, of which grammar you allow & use. Obviously, both agnostic/quasi-atheists, we find little inspiration coming from BruceS or KN. A lot of attempts to analyze & understand, but no indication much is getting through to them intellectually, since in both cases their words just repeat the same old ‘naturalistic’ arguments. These are obviously incomplete & harmful to uphold as adequate, given so many ‘other’ things that need a ‘different than nature-only’ vocabulary that neither BruceS nor KN has yet found, even though it exists.

    Spiritually stunted, religiously illiterate & insensitive Canadians; BruceS, seems to embrace such an example of dehumanization as progress.

    0
  40. Phoodoo asked: “I wonder how they defined material?”

    “Material” in that sentence refers to instructional or curricular content.

    1+
  41. BruceS,

    It’s not the boring part; it’s the ultimately empty worldview, both intellectually and spiritually, & the apparent glee in apathy towards one’s own worldview (no need to mention it, cuz it can’t be that important, right?) that doesn’t impress. No role modeling in that for people who actually care about theology/worldview to follow.

    ‘Happily agnostic’ & superficially comfortable, trying not to know … on purpose – sure, stay that way then if you must, BruceS. ; )

    0
  42. Paul A Nelson: MN is a methodological dictum about the possible answers (i.e., inferred causes) we may seek for phenomena.

    As in your response above, I notice also in the link you posted that the term ‘ideology’ is also missing. Why do you leave the term ‘ideology’ out? (At BioLogos a few years ago I finally got an answer to this from Burnett in this thread – they’ve erased or hidden the comments – which likewise avoids addressing the ideology involved.) https://biologos.org/articles/what-is-scientism/)

    Noting that you call MN a “philosophical doctrine” in the linked article, could you please answer the following basic definitional questions:
    Do you consider ‘naturalism’ to be an ideology? Yes/No/Undecided
    Do you consider ‘methodological naturalism’ to be an ideology? Yes/No/Undecided

    Thanks.

    0
  43. Poor Bruce.

    First J-Mac tells you that you are ignorant about quantum mechanics and now Gregory thinks you are uninspiring.

    When will it stop?

    0

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