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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Deluded Darwinist Deals with information his own way

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I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN................................

Ten million generations later.........Drat!


Now for a few words from a genius greatly admired in non-Darwinist circles: David Berlinski

"...Berlinski received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and was later a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University. He has authored works on systems analysis, differential topology, theoretical biology, analytic philosophy, and the philosophy of mathematics, as well as three novels. He has also taught philosophy, mathematics and English at Stanford, Rutgers, the City University of New York and the Universit√© de Paris. In addition, he has held research fellowships at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and the Institut des Hautes √Čtudes Scientifiques. He lives in Paris.">

Website promoting his latest book

At sometime after the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin first entered space, stories began to circulate that he had been given secret instructions by the Politburo. Have a look around, they told him. Suitably instructed, Gagarin looked around. When he returned without having seen the face of God, satisfaction in high circles was considerable.
The commissars having vacated the scene, it is the scientific community that has acquired their authority. Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Weinberg, Vic Stenger, Sam Harris, and most recently the mathematician John Paulos, have had a look around: They haven’t seen a thing. No one could have seen less.
It is curious that so many scientists should have recently embraced atheism. The great physical scientists — Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein — were either men of religious commitment or religious sensibility.
The distinguished physicist Steven Weinberg has acknowledged that this is what the great scientists believed: But we know better, he has insisted, because we know more.
This prompts the obvious question: Just what have scientists learned that might persuade the rest of us that they know better? It is not, presumably, the chemistry of Boron salts that has done the heavy lifting.
There is quantum cosmology, I suppose, a discipline in which the mysteries of quantum mechanics are devoted to the question of how the universe arose or whether it arose at all. This is the subject made popular in Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. It is an undertaking radiant in its incoherence. Given the account of creation offered in Genesis and the account offered in A Brief History of Time, I know of no sane man who would hesitate between the two.
And there is Darwin’s theory of evolution. It has been Darwin, Richard Dawkins remarked, that has made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
A much better case might be made in the other direction. It is atheism that makes it possible for a man to be an intellectually fulfilled Darwinist. In the documentary Expelled, one of those curious exercises in which some scientists, at least, say what they really think, Ben Stein interviews a number of Darwinian biologists eager to evade the evidence whenever possible or to ignore it when not. Rich in self-satisfaction, Dawkins appears at the film’s end.
How did life on earth arise?
The question, Dawkins acknowledges, is very difficult.
Perhaps the seeds of life were sent here from outer space?
It could well be.
Or by a vastly superior intelligence?
Well, yes.
Questions and their answers follow one another, but in the end Stein says nothing. There is no absurdity Dawkins is not prepared to embrace so long as he can avoid a transcendental inference.
Beyond quantum cosmology and Darwinian biology — the halt and the lame — there is the solemn metaphysical aura of science itself. It is precisely the aura to which so many scientists reverently appeal. The philosopher John Searle has seen the aura. The “universe,” he has written, “consists of matter, and systems defined by causal relations.”
Does it indeed? If so, then God must be nothing more than another material object, a class that includes stars, starlets and solitons. If not, what reason do we have to suppose that God might not exist?
We have no reason whatsoever. If neither the sciences nor its aura have demonstrated any conclusion of interest about the existence of God, why then is atheism valued among scientists?
It takes no very refined analytic effort to determine why Soviet Commissars should have regarded themselves as atheists. They were unwilling to countenance a power higher than their own. Who knows what mischief Soviet citizens might have conceived had they imagined that the Politburo was not, after all, infallible?
By the same token, it requires no very great analytic effort to understand why the scientific community should find atheism so attractive a doctrine. At a time when otherwise sober individuals are inclined to believe that too much of science is too much like a racket, it is only sensible for scientists to suggest aggressively that no power exceeds their own.
David Berlinski is the author of the recently released The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions, as well as many books about mathematics and the sciences. A Ph.D. from Princeton University, he has taught at colleges and universities in the United States and France, and now lives in Paris.


How Well Do We Know What Stuff Is Made Of?     06/17/2010
June 17, 2010 — When we think of the “hard sciences,” physics usually tops the list.  A closer look at what physicists think the universe is made of, though, hardly makes the science look hard.  Look at this headline on PhysOrg, for instance: “Study finds there may be multiple ‘God particles’”.  The title refers, of course, to the famed Higgs Boson, not to some supernatural entity.  The Large Hadron Collider was hoping to find evidence of this particle that Nobel laureate Leon Lederman called the “God particle” because, he said, its discovery could help unify our understanding of the universe and “know the mind of God.”  But now, according to Fermilab scientists, there might be five versions of the Higgs boson (which hasn’t been discovered yet).

    Frank Close wrote a book review in Nature this week on this subject.1  The book is Massive: The Hunt for the God Particle by Ian Sample.  He points out that particle physicists hate the label “god particle” that the media continue to give it, and notes that “many argue that it should not be called the Higgs boson because the concept has a longer history.”  It turns out there is as much sociology, theory and nomenclature at work as physics in the conception of what lies at the foundations of matter.  A sample:
Whereas the W and Z bosons that carry the weak force make use of this mechanism, the photon that carries the electromagnetic force does not; it remains massless.  Why this happens remains unanswered....
 Read the entire article here...


Anonymous said...

"Deluded Darwinist Deals with information his own way

I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN................................

Ten million generations later.........Drat!

From the mind that brought you this:

"Do remember that to disparage is not to argue and to continually repeat old saws in finitum ad nauseum will not make them true."

-- creeper

Hawkeye® said...

Good cartoon and good article by Berlinski. Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Further to that creeper, this post is also from the mind that defines "Information" as the weightless and massless, intelligent transmission of intelligence. I mean, how awesome is that?

Oh and don't forget, Radar is also NOT Religious, and NOT a Republican (although his sock puppet, American Vet likely is - Ha).

- Canucklehead.