Monday, September 17, 2012

The Magician's Twin

I have a contribution in this Discovery Institute volume, which is another presentation of the AFR.

32 comments:

Bilbo said...

Vic,

I'm sure your contribution is worth reading. However, I worry about the DI guys. I say this even though I'm an ID proponent.

BeingItself said...

I'm surprised you would associate yourself with those hucksters and goons.

Crude said...

BI's confusing the DI with Project Reason. ;)

Thanks for the heads up, Victor. I look forward to seeing your contribution - I don't agree with everything about the ID project, but they deserve a far fairer case than they get.

Victor Reppert said...

BI: Oh dear. I was expecting something like this from someone. I think they have a major problem in getting their message out, because there are so many myths out there about what ID is up to. For example, aren't concerned about getting ID into the public school curriculum as science, and told the Dover defendants that it was a bad idea to push their case.

The shadow all the Young Earth Creationists who have fought against the teaching of evolution in schools hangs over anyone who challenges any aspect of Darwinian theory.

Cole said...

A pretty little argument indeed.

Oh wait. How would I define beauty? I need an argument before I can make a statement like that.

BeingItself said...

Victor,

If you want to argue for ID, bully for you. But the horrendous record of DI and it's goons will certainly tarnish your reputation. I'm embarrassed for you.

Matt DeStefano said...

The DI is so bad that even the Templeton Foundation has called out their quackery:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Institute#Templeton_Foundation

Crude said...

The DI is so bad that even the Templeton Foundation has called out their quackery:

"Even the"? So Templeton is trustworthy when they blast the DI, but not otherwise? ;) Not to mention the wikipedia's the last place to look for for accurate ID/DI representation.

The DI is in better shape than the NCSE. I loved how they got off to the start of this year, with that whole 'hiring a liar and a cheat' bit. And then opposing the TN law in utterly ludicrous grounds.

rank sophist said...

I'm embarrassed for you.

Look, everyone. BI is embarrassed for someone. You know it must be bad.

(No offense, Victor. I'm not particularly familiar with the Discovery Institute either way.)

Papalinton said...

Victor,
Are you happy to be associated with the Discovery Institute or are you just placing an each-way bet in the manner of investing in a hedge fund?

Crude said...

Linton,

Done with Feser's already? I'm sure everyone recognized your brilliance, including the atheists, and it absolutely wasn't the case that they all thought you were a complete twit. ;)

Papalinton said...

Crude
I went in with a spoiler attitude. Didn't feel right.
Feser is a smart bloke, and now that I have broken the ice, will regularly comment over there if and when I have something to contribute. :o)





Crude said...

I went in with a spoiler attitude. Didn't feel right.

You went in with the same exact attitude you enter into every conversation with. And as predicted, you were blown off as a rube.

Deservedly.

and now that I have broken the ice, will regularly comment over there if and when I have something to contribute

Bad news: the only way you'll shake the 'Linton is a complete rube' badge you earned is by not just googling and copy/pasting, but comprehending and having insightful commentary. Frankly, you don't have what it takes. Let's face it: you don't show up in comboxes to learn and understand anything, much less discuss topics intelligently. That shit's difficult, what with the 'reading and understanding' part. So you went for plan B: trying to play cheerleader for someone who does comprehend and discuss, but they wanted no part of it. So, you're cashed.

But hey, let me help you out.

Matt DeStefano, do you need a remora? Because Linton needs a new host.

Papalinton said...

Thanks crude. I'll take your advice on board.

Papalinton said...

Victor
"The shadow all the Young Earth Creationists who have fought against the teaching of evolution in schools hangs over anyone who challenges any aspect of Darwinian theory."

What you have characterized as 'shadow' is simply the process of substantively demonstrating that ID, along with its concept of 'irreducible complexity,' as bona fide science, just as any other scientific proposition would need to do. Science research in the State legislature or science research in the school boardroom, the preferred model practiced by the Discovery Institute as set down in its Wedge strategy document, is simply not kosher science as that done in a loboratory or in the field.
Just not kosker.

Matt DeStefano said...

"Even the"? So Templeton is trustworthy when they blast the DI, but not otherwise? ;) Not to mention the wikipedia's the last place to look for for accurate ID/DI representation.

The Templeton Foundation isn't untrustworthy, but they do tend to fund projects that lean a certain way. I actually appreciate all of the funding they give philosophers.

Crude said...

Victor,

The shadow all the Young Earth Creationists who have fought against the teaching of evolution in schools hangs over anyone who challenges any aspect of Darwinian theory.

Again, as Fodor, Nagel and others have discovered. I think the reaction Fodor and Nagel received is pretty instructive, since in those cases you have two atheists who merely questioned, not even common descent or evolutionary theory generally, but Darwinism/Neo-Darwinism specifically. The response would best be described as a freakout.

Not to mention the responses to Behe, who gets painted as some kind of stealth-YEC radical, when in reality his criticisms and inferences are absurdly tame.

Bilbo said...

From the little I've read by DI guys commenting on Lewis, they think he would support ID wholeheartedly. I doubt this would be the case, since Lewis saw scientific conclusions as being tentative in nature and not the sort of thing one should base their faith upon. Let's hope their book on Lewis is more faithful to him than what they have to say online.

B. Prokop said...

I think the very useful concept of Intelligent Design has been horribly misused and subsequently maligned by people on both sides of the debate of late. Personally, I am a big believer in ID. But... Just as I would never dream of using the Doctrine of the Trinity in an explanation of planetary formation, I think it completely inappropriate to use what is essentially the philosophical concept of ID in a physical sciences context. ID stands in the same relation to the science of biology that Social Darwinism does. Both ideas are ways to view and interpret the data through one's personal philosophical lens.

(Please note that I very carefully used the term "Social Darwinism" and not "evolution" in the above paragraph.)

Crude said...

Bob,

I ask this seriously. Would you state what ID, as considered by its major proponents, actually claims?

B. Prokop said...

I seriously answer that when I observe the universe, it appears designed to me. That is in no way whatsoever a scientific statement, It is a matter of perception. I see no signs of randomness or purposlessness. I see instead incredible fine tuning and an utterly amazing interconnectedness. I find the differing perspectives resultant from varying scales (from the quantum level to the other extreme of taking in all the galaxies at once) to be in perfect harmony. I say to myself, "This doesn't happen by itself! No way."

As for what the "major proponents" of ID have to say, I must confess I've never read any of their work. So perhaps I'm misusing the term, or else using it very idiosyncratically.

Crude said...

Bob,

As for what the "major proponents" of ID have to say, I must confess I've never read any of their work. So perhaps I'm misusing the term, or else using it very idiosyncratically.

Fair enough. If you actually look at what they themselves say, it's ridiculously tame. They don't even pretend you can infer from an instance of ID to God scientifically, and explicitly say such inferences are philosophical or otherwise, and not science.

I still think they're incorrect on certain levels, but the amount of misrepresentation that goes on when it comes to stating what ID proponents claim is stunning.

I agree with your other statements.

B. Prokop said...

There is a fellow member of my astronomy club who is quite serious in his belief that our universe is a computer simulation created by someone in another reality. He's not kidding.

Papalinton said...

Bob
"There is a fellow member of my astronomy club who is quite serious in his belief that our universe is a computer simulation created by someone in another reality. He's not kidding."

Sounds like a variation of the traditional god theme to me, would you say?

B. Prokop said...

No, because he (his name's Phil) thinks that whoever made this simulation is just someone like you or me.

I must admit I can't take the notion the least bit seriously. Sounds dangerously close to solipsism to me.

Crude said...

Bob,

I don't doubt it - it's actually semi-popular in some "atheist" circles.

I think anyone who subscribes to that belief would best be described as a pagan theist. As you said, "A lot like you or me", which would be rather like Zeus or Thor.

B. Prokop said...

It also makes me think of Mormonism, where they think that men (not women!) will eventually become gods themselves and create their own universes (and that our God was also once a man who subsequently graduated into goodhood). In fact, now that I consider it, it's strongly reminiscent of the currently popular "multiverse" theory (in which our universe is the offspring of a previous one, which itself came out of a yet previous universe, ad infinitum.)

Just goes to show you - there are no new ideas!

mattghg said...

Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?

Daniel Anderson said...

Victor, I think it is good that you contributed to the book. It's good to get the argument out there and let people decide for themselves. I am not very familiar with the discovery institute either, but I think the arguments and positions need to be evaluated on their own, to stand or fall.

We want more minds to access the AFR and provide further insight and criticism! So, thank you for your contribution.

Daniel Anderson said...

If we are in a computer simulation then you guys can call me Mr. Anderson.

Papalinton said...

Call you Mr Anderson in a computer simulated universe? No. Your name would be:
01011000110. 10010101010001111001010111000101010101000110001011001011100010. ;o)

rank sophist said...

Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?

I think I lost brain cells by skimming that article.