Archive for December, 2006

Logos

Posted: December 29, 2006 in Intelligent Design, Theo/Philo

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Jean Rostand wrote in his Pensees d’un biologiste:

‘Man has the sole resource of forgetting the indifferent immensity of nature, which ignores and oppresses us… For the individual everything is tragically simple. There is nothing to comprehend, nothing to expect… For us there is nothing to understand and, beyond us, no one there to be understood. ‘

Jacques Monod (Le Hasard et la necessite) : 

‘The blind and disordered processes which led to our origin looked toward nothing, were directed toward nothing, they were stumbling in the dark. Man’s appearance was without purpose and without meaning.’

The above quotes are carriers of information -people are its source and destination .The source, a mind with an idea .The idea that there is no purpose and no intent.How strange is this situation?That a mind that believes there is no purpose or intent would send a message to other minds equally without purpose or intent-Why bother?

Isn’t it the truth that the act of communicating nihilistic ideals is a negation of Nihilism or at the very least inconsistent with a universe devoid of intent or purpose?

The situation is stranger still -that purpose should be a natural product of a universe full of purposeless, that information such as the sentences above should be the product of disorder.

George Gilder says:

‘Everywhere we encounter it, information does not bubble up from a random flux or pre biotic soup. It comes from mind. Taking the hierarchy beyond the word, the central dogma of intelligent design ordains that word is subordinate to mind.Mind can generate and lend meaning to words but words in themselves cannot generate mind or intelligence.’

What evidence is there to demonstrate that information comes from blind random processes, how can white noise produce Beethoven’s ‘eroica’ symphony ?Or even how can white noise can throw up the structure upon which music can be written ?

Dawkins typing monkeys computer program, used to promote the idea of information generated from a random process -in fact the analogy only showed the amount of specification needed. Werner Gitt says that “the goal will always be reached, because the programming is fixed. Even the number of letters is given in advance. It is obvious that no information is generated, on the contrary, it has been predetermined”.

Gilder goes on to say:

‘in all the sciences I studied, information comes first, and regulates the flesh and the world, not the other way around. The pattern seemed to echo some familiar wisdom. Could it be, I asked myself one day in astonishment, that the opening of St Johns Gospel, In the beginning was the word, is a central dogma of modern science?’

Information comes before action, comes before structure, comes before function, information is at the core of what it is to be alive. Currently there is no answer from science about the origin of energy or matter, perhaps the most personal and important question is where did the information come from if not from random process? 

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Grace

Posted: December 24, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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Joy Davidman who, perhaps unjustly, is most noted for changing her surname to Lewis, on becoming C.S.Lewis wife.
She was a novelist and poet, and a searcher for the real, having declared herself an ‘Iron materialist’ and a card carrying communist, later through Lewis’s influence and writings she would finally find the real, when she became a Christian.

She came to Lewis attention after a letter she wrote contained amongst other things the following poem, which I think is wonderful –written regarding the Spanish civil war called:

Snow In Madrid

Softly, so casual,

Lovely, so light, so light,

The cruel sky lets fall

Something one does not fight.

How tenderly to crown

The brutal year

The clouds send something down

That one need not fear.

Men before perishing

See with unwounded eye

For once a gentle thing

Fall from the sky.

Less is more

Posted: December 20, 2006 in Theo/Philo

 bricks.jpgI must give fair warning to anyone reading this post -What follows may offend.Its just that I want to say “Happy Christmas!”

A time originally set aside to remember as C.S.Lewis puts it, the grand miracle-the descent of God into man.I have been dipping into C.S.Lewis’s book ‘God in the Dock’, heres an excerpt regarding Gods descent into human form in order to raise up Humanity:

‘One has the picture of a strong man trying to lift a very big,complicated burden.He stoops down and gets himself right under it so that he himself disappears;and then he straightens his back and moves off with the whole thing swaying on his shoulders.Or else one has the picture of a diver, stripping off garment after garment, making himself naked, then flashing for a moment in the air, and then down through the green, and warm, and sunlit water into the pitch black, cold, freezing water, down into the mud and slime, then up again, his lungs bursting, back again to the green and warm and sunlit water,and then at last out into the sunshine, holding in his hand the dripping thing he went down to get. This thing is human nature; but associated with it, all nature, the new universe.’

Philippians 2 verses 5-7

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

2+2=5

Posted: December 15, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

 

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This sceptred Isle (old blighty) has, as far as I’m aware, suffered under one mad ruler during its history, that of King George III.This monarch spent some time tied to a chair in a straightjacket during extreme outbursts.
After discovering a lock of his highnesses hair a few years ago, it was found that the cause of the Kings malaise was a condition known as Porphyria.
The lock of hair was found to contain 300 times the toxic level of arsenic, which was the initial cause of the Kings attacks.

Unlike King George it seems other leaders cannot excuse madness via physical causes, although it can’t be ruled out. Consider the recent and rather Pythonesque idea of having a conference to whip up denial of the Holocaust.The New York Times has an article regarding the Iranian conference, as evidence that the holocaust never ocurred they reported on  photographs as exhibit ‘A’  which showed:’Signs pointed to smiling prisoners freed at the end of the war with the label “truth.”’If I’d been in a concentration camp and survived to be freed I’d sure smile.

What a great idea –why on earth hasn’t it been thought of before, or has it?

If your government or the ruling elite does not like an idea, here’s how to fix it, just set-up a conference, get some heads together (not academics thanks) for instance, members of the KKK amoungst them, and hey presto! It never happened!
History by government edict. How’s that for brain washing?

Ahmadinejad has traded the truth for a lie in broad day light, I am prepared to buy him a ticket to Auschwitz, there s something there he needs to see.
This would be side splittingly hilarious except for the brute fact that the Holocaust happened, Zyklon B happened, ghettos happened, Swiss banks with Jewish money happened, 6 million people just disappeared, that happened….

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Thank you ‘New Scientist’ for demonstrating with such timeliness and in such an apt manner the points I made in my previous post ‘Be Afraid!’This week in the section of New Scientist called ironically ‘Upfront’ is a little piece entitled ‘Creationism creep’.In this we see the deliberate confusing of ID with Creationism, we also see the use of language presumably designed to elicit a sense of threat and produce in the reader negative associations.

Michael Zimmerman –professor of liberal arts and sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis regarding intelligent design (although he calls it creationism, its clear from earlier in the article he’s talking ID) he says:

“It s spreading worldwide and has made significant inroads in the UK .The best way to overcome this pernicious situation is for religious leaders and scientists to come together to discus how religion and science can be compatible-how they use different methodologies to help people understand the world and the human condition,”

I like the ‘pernicious spreading’ thing, which has made ‘significant inroads’, language reminiscent of some ghastly pathology, unstoppable and dangerous.

I guess if those trying to maintain the status quo can’t muster sufficient arguments to convince people that Naturalistic neo-Darwinism is the way it was and is, and then another tactic is to demonise those opposing you, just look at the way the Discovery institute has been treated.
Demonising the opposition has the effect of adding nothing to the debate, it says nothing at all about the arguments afoot, there’s no refutation of ideas put forward, no data shared.
Associating ID with an organisation (two are mentioned in this article, the Discovery Institute and the UK basedTruth in Science’) is always a good move, with the potential for organisations to make errors such as financial,theoretical and personal all of which can be used. It’s the stuff of every self respecting courtroom drama –discredit the witnesses, look for bias, are their character flaws?

Their testimony maybe accurate but who’s going to believe a witness with history? Maybe the logic is: if the organisation can be shown to be at fault then so must the idea. That of course is, as Spock says, “illogical captain”.

Michael Zimmerman calls for the leaders of religious groups and scientists to get together. Why, because he wants them to talk methodologies. The assumption is, that ID and creationism are the same and, therefore, as all are theistic, so all are creationists, but this simplistic view ignores the heterogeneous mix of beliefs held by those subscribing to ID,not all are theistic for instance.It also ignores the differences between creationists and ID. I won’t deny that ID has a strong affiliation with theistic belief, but it’s not confined by it. As I understand it, intelligent design has one ambition; which is to ascribe design as a possible first cause and subsequent cause’s in the natural world. This ambition opens welcoming doors to many of, differing theistic beliefs and of none,to look at the arguments.

To describe ID as stated previously, as a bunch of PhDs who are closet right-wing Christian fundies with a hidden agenda of take over and slap down to the wayward, is easy to do and an effective way of avoiding dialog.

Here is a snippet from the Design Institutes FAQ:

‘ Is Discovery Institute a religious organization?

Discovery Institute is a secular think tank, and its Board members and Fellows represent a variety of religious traditions, including mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, and agnostic. Until recently the Chairman of Discovery’s Board of Directors was former Congressman John Miller, who is Jewish. Although it is not a religious organization, the Institute has a long record of supporting religious liberty and the legitimate role of faith-based institutions in a pluralistic society. In fact, it sponsored a program for several years for college students to teach them the importance of religious liberty and the separation of church and state.

Any endeavour has metaphysical implications, science born out of the implications of a Christian worldview included.
Rather than get scientists and religious leaders together I think greater good (if might
Use the word ‘good’) would come from Scientists knowing the limits of the data and where the dividing line is between science and scientism.