The Science of the Supernatural

If Darwinism fails then supernatural causes are back on the table and should be included in science.

I do not think there can be a science of the supernatural.

I do not think that if Darwinism fails that supernatural causes will become acceptable.

If the hope of ID is that supernatural causes will be allowed back into science if they can only just get rid of Darwinism, ID is doomed.

The tools and methods of ID cannot differentiate a supernatural cause from a natural cause anyways.

Thoughts?

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1,433 thoughts on “The Science of the Supernatural

  1. walto: I forgot. Three is a magic number for you.

    So it was really just about drive by mockery

    walto: What about connotation, denotation and tone?

    Tone as in resonance? That does not work with written language.

    Tone as in connotation? Then we are left with just two things and not three

    walto: syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

    Aren’t those just synonyms for control, meaning and presence?

    walto: Meaning, reference, and use?

    Again aren’t those just synonyms for the terms I used?

    walto: I know the objections: “What about Shemp?

    Do you actually have a fourth when it comes to language? Or is this just more drive by mockery?

    peace

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  2. fifthmonarchyman: I know the objections: “What about Shemp?

    Do you actually have a fourth when it comes to language? Or is this just more drive by mockery?

    Shemp?–Mockery?! Blasphemous!

    Also, connotation isn’t the same thing as tone.

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  3. walto:
    I forgot. Three is a magic number for you.

    My rough impression was that the concepts of reducitibily in science could be applied to the Trinity: Muslims and Jews correspond to ontological reductionists and say Jesus is reducible to God and God is reducible to the Word just as biology is reducible to chemistry and chemistry is reducible to Quantum Field Theory. On the other hand, non-reductions would be closer to Christian views of the Trinity.

    However, I suspect that theologians might think I have the wrong end of the stick on that.

    Perhaps if Putnam had been Catholic instead of Jewish, he would have seen the Trinity as an example of conceptual relativism.

    Anyway, to get back to important matters: which was funnier: Monty Python at its best or Fawlty Towers at its best?

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  4. BruceS: Trinity as an example of conceptual relativism

    Should be “conceptual pluralism
    Mr WordPress and/or Mr Chrome are not letting me edit it.

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  5. walto: haha no

    Then If you really think that these are what are necessary for language while my suggestions are not then why not elaborate.

    peace

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  6. BruceS: On the other hand, non-reductions would be closer to Christian views of the Trinity.

    I think you are close to correct.

    I also think that “non-reductions” are everywhere in our world even extending to things like Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity.

    Being a Christian I often see echo’s of the Trinity in these “non-reductions”. That is why that Walto feels the need to mock.

    That mockery does not mean that there aren’t “non-reductions” or that language is not one of them.

    In my opinion a better response would be to show that one of the things I mentioned was not necessary for language and that there were no “non-reduction” after all.

    His mockery to me simply means that he does not understand what I’m getting at and does not care to.

    peace

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  7. BruceS: Monty Python at its best or Fawlty Towers at its best?

    I’d say Monty Python at its best. Too much hollering for me on Fawlty Towers.

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  8. fifthmonarchyman: That is why that Walto feels the need to mock.

    That mockery does not mean that there aren’t “non-reductions” or that language is not one of them.

    In my opinion a better response would be to show that one of the things I mentioned was not necessary for language and that there were no “non-reduction” after all.

    His mockery to me simply means that he does not understand what I’m getting at and does not care to.

    I’m wondering if there’s a triad there too. I mean, there’s my need to mock, then there’s my feeling of the need to mock. And of course there’s my mocking attitude. While Bruce would reduce, you and Behe likely would not. But of course your feeling of the need not to reduce is also triadic. A lot of people miss that. Like, maybe a third of the population that have thought about it. Which is kind of a lot if you think about it.

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  9. BruceS: I recall you being a stronger supporter of Brandom’s approach years ago when I first started reading TSZ. Is that correct? If so, anything in particular that changed your thinking?

    I think that Brandom definitely advances the conversation in an important way. What Brandom shows is that being a rational animal consists entirely in the ability to engage in distinctive kinds of social activities — what he sloganizes as “‘being able to play the game of giving and asking for reasons”. Though Brandom does not emphasize (as Sellars does) the connection between social pragmatism about rationality and nominalism, I think that Brandom advances the Sellarsian program in crucially important ways. (There’s nothing in Sellars that ties inferential semantics to normative pragmatics, for example.)

    At the same time, I think that McDowell’s criticisms of Brandom are quite on-target, and I think that Kukla and Lance are exactly right to criticize how Brandom privileges assertions over all other speech acts.

    To my way of thinking, Brandom is basically right about sapience (but see above qualifications) but where he goes badly wrong is in his account of sentience — non-sapient, non-rational cognitive activity. Earlier I had thought, somewhat naively, that we could just slap a Brandomian account of sapience as discursive intentionality together with a Merleau-Pontyian account of sentience as motor intentionality. I no longer think that can work and I’m not sure what will. Understanding is hard!

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  10. walto: While Bruce would reduce, you and Behe likely would not.

    I’m not sure I would put Bruce in the reducer camp.

    On the other hand if he is our disagreement is empirically testable unlike most of the stuff discussed here.

    All the “reducers” camp needs to do is produce the thing in question by small incremental steps. When it comes to language the AI folks are hard at working with the testing right now even as we speak.

    peace

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  11. fifthmonarchyman: I’m not sure I would put Bruce in the reducer camp.

    A couple of thoughts on this:

    Irreducible complexity is an important topic, but nothing to do with the reducibility I had in mind. Ontological reducibility for me is, roughly, “there is nothing in the world but the fundamental entities of physics.”. So ontological reductionists say beliefs, genes, molecules etc are not real; only quantum fields are real (as far as we know now).

    I don’t agree with this, FWIW. I think each of our best scientific theories gives different descriptions of reality, each making true claims about causal structures/patterns of that reality. Each science makes true claims about reality.

    So my sorta humor on religion was: .For Christians the trinity gives three equally valid descriptions of aspects of one God and each aspect is divine and real. But for Jews and Muslims, or at least the academic theologians among them, neither a divine Jesus of the NT nor the personal, vengeful God of the OT is real; only an abstract, transcendent, incomprehensible God is real (the Word). Did I say it was not meant to be taken too seriously?

    On mocking: I once had a friend who, knowing nothing of the knowledge built up by experts in an area, claimed that was an advantage because he therefore was not constrained by existing ideas and could invent new ideas that should be taken seriously. Some would mock him. Perhaps he is now doing OPs at TSZ? (I’m not thinking of you). But your ideas in philosophy of language are not what philosophers of language have come up with. Nor linguistists, AFAIK.

    I’m outta this thread now. Take care.

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  12. walto: I’d say Monty Python at its best. Too much hollering for me on Fawlty Towers.

    I get more belly laughs from FT but I do agree because I find that MP has a more satisfying humor that stands up under repeated watching. The inquistion sketch being a great example. FT is John Cleese doing a silly walk; MP is John Cleese’s “Not necessarily, I could be arguing on my own time.” (paraphrasing from memory).

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  13. BruceS,

    I always thought that Fawlty Towers was supreme comedy, but in the light of what is going on in the UK with Brexit I now realise it was a documentary.

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  14. BruceS: But your ideas in philosophy of language are not what philosophers of language have come up with. Nor linguistists, AFAIK.

    Perhaps that is because you are not reading the same philosophers of language and linguists that I am. Did you catch the book that I linked to from Poythress? He has taught linguistics since the 70’s.

    That is where the idea came from.

    One of the good things about these sorts of discussions it that they bring together folks who would not normally interact.

    IMO It would be defeating the purpose if we took the trouble to come here and then lightly dismissed the ideas of others because they seemed foreign to us.

    peace

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  15. BruceS: Irreducible complexity is an important topic, but nothing to do with the reducibility I had in mind. Ontological reducibility for me is, roughly, “there is nothing in the world but the fundamental entities of physics.”.

    I think that for the most part reducibility is reducibility.

    If I understand Behe’s Irreducible complexity correctly it is meant to suggest that certain biological features can not be explained by appealing to Darwinian evolution a process that can in turn be reduced to nothing but chemistry which reduces to physics.

    peace

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  16. BruceS: For Christians the trinity gives three equally valid descriptions of aspects of one God and each aspect is divine and real.

    Close but I would remove the word “aspects” here. That smells of modalism. Person’s is a better term.

    Peace

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  17. BruceS: A couple of thoughts on this:

    Irreducible complexity is an important topic, but nothing to do with the reducibility I had in mind.Ontological reducibility for me is, roughly, “there is nothing in the world but the fundamental entities of physics.”.So ontological reductionists say beliefs, genes, molecules etc are not real; only quantum fields are real (as far as we know now).

    Do many think that? Where I live, many houses are built from stone. Indeed, under certain circumstances, they can be reduced to stone. Doesn’t mean houses aren’t real. Just because thoughts are physical processes occurring in biological tissue, doesn’t make thoughts not real.

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  18. Kantian Naturalist,

    The fundamental problem is no individual is capable of working out how humans think just by thinking about it. Especially as one hemisphere is basically nonverbal.

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  19. Alan Fox: Do many think that? Where I live, many houses are built from stone. Indeed, under certain circumstances, they can be reduced to stone. Doesn’t mean houses aren’t real. Just because thoughts are physical processes occurring in biological tissue, doesn’t make thoughts not real.

    It’s not the majority view among philosophers, AFAIK. I suspect many physicists are reductionists and that few biologists are. Don’t know about chemists. I would guess not.

    Rosenberg is the example of the philosopher-reductionist from the video on naturalism linked much earlier somewhere.

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  20. BruceS: Rosenberg is the example of the philosopher-reductionist from the video on naturalism linked much earlier somewhere.

    Yes, I remember thinking “that doesn’t make sense” during one of his contributions.

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  21. BruceS: I suspect many physicists are reductionists and that few biologists are.

    Me? Never! Name one reductionist word I ever said!

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  22. BruceS: Ontological reducibility for me is, roughly, “there is nothing in the world but the fundamental entities of physics.”

    From my point of view, that would imply that there’s nothing in this world — for the fundamental entities of physics are really abstractions (idealized objects).

    But then I am not a reductionist, so no need to worry.

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  23. walto: Oooh, I wish I knew how to do stuff like that…. 🙁

    Only recently came across them by accident. They are part of the Android keyboard. Just a long touch on “return” and bingo, there are hundreds to choose from.
    😱😯😠😇💪

    ETA they display better in Android.

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  24. If you’re on a PC, you can copy-paste them from here:

    http://classic.getemoji.com/

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  26. walto:

    You are the best, dazz. Thanks!

    No problem 🙂

    BTW, there are keyboard apps that let you do that without the need to copy-paste. If you’re on windows 10, there’s a built in keyboard you can activate by right clicking the task bar and checking the option “Show touch keyboard button”

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  27. dazz: No problem 🙂

    BTW, there are keyboard apps that let you do that without the need to copy-paste. If you’re on windows 10, there’s a built in keyboard you can activate by right clicking the task bar and checking the option “Show touch keyboard button”

    🎉

    Hot damn! 👌👌👌

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