Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Of Cats and Bags

Not that it's a surprise or anything, but here is the Undiscovery Institute openly admitting that the Intelligent Design Movement's real motive is to roll back the Enlightenment and modern science.

Why is there a debate over intelligent design and Darwinism? Why are people more passionate about how some scientific theories are taught and not others? And perhaps, an even broader question, are these debates new or is it the same debate dressed in different trappings? Nancy Pearcey's latest book, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning, takes a bird's-eye-view of the history of ideas revealing a tapestry of thought dating back to the Enlightenment that provides impeccable insight into why we think the way we do today.
Pearcey, you see, gives "worldviews and cultural commentary" for "both the culture-at-large and ... the Christian sub-culture" by providing "a history of ideas that have lead to the secular worldviews dominating the marketplace of ideas today." And what does that "history" reveal"

Honing in on the Enlightenment line of history, we see a very clear picture of how science and the study of nature was at one time a deeply spiritual and meaningful endeavor, but eventually became a meaningless, exercise of manipulation and control. For example, technological advancement was seen as a way to alleviate people, who had inherent value and dignity, from tasks that were monotonous or dangerous. This view of technology was influenced by a Christian worldview, which assumed man was made in the image of God. The machine did the menial tasks that were not worthy for man to do. It was recognition of man's dignity; that is, until the machine usurped man's dignity.
And what turned science away from the "Christian worldview"? Why, "Empiricism became the dominant philosophy of the day." How did the nasty Empiricists do that?

While it is true that some knowledge can be gained from the senses, empiricism claimed that knowledge can only be gained through the senses. Therefore what we see, feel, taste, and touch is real; everything else is meaningless. In their mind, there was no spiritual realm, no mind, and nothing of meaning beyond the physical world.
Now, anyone who reads this blog knows I have a certain sympathy for the view that science is not the be-all and end-all of human "knowledge" ... that at least some out of the categories of "philosophy, theology, literature, or art" deliver things that we do and should "know." But, when it comes to the "physical world," science is our best, if not only, guide. Not so the DI:

The high regard for the scientific method as a source of reliable knowledge was born in the empiricist thinking.
So, what is really the DI's "enemy" is that "high regard for the scientific method." Their program is not itself scientific. They are out to destroy that "high regard" ... and, with it, science and science education ... because:

These debates go beyond weighing evidences on a scale and seeing which side is the heaviest. Most people agree on what they see, but they disagree on what is the correct interpretation, which is a matter of philosophical perspective.
Now, where have I heard that before? Oh, right ... from the DI's fellow creationists.

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She's repeating the usual ID lie that materialists believe there is "no mind". Of course this is false; we just think the mind is a consequence of the physical properties of the atoms that make up the brain and the electrical signals it receives and processes.

For people who profess to be Christians, the number of lies casually repeated by DI hacks is really astonishing.
It's been said before: "If the DI hacks didn't have lies, they'd have nothing to say at all."
The factory I worked in eliminated jobs because they wanted to save money and not from any religious ideas.
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u little lying hypocrite....
Hey, DM! Are you back? That Twitter foray not going so well?
My first thought was to wonder just how Ms Pearcey thought those machines that had relieved (some) people from monotonous and dangerous tasks were built but by an approach based on the senses being the reliable guide to the physical world, but I've had a seriously annoying day today.

So, instead, I'd like to see Ms Pearcey set to run ing of some of those machines (say an automated drill press) without the use of her senses. Let her use whatever else she thinks yields information about the physical world instead of her senses. Harsh, yes, like Russell's suggestion folk who doubt the reality of the physical world should have to drive a car into a brick wall at a speed proportional to their disbelief, sometimes you've got to drive home to a person some of the attributes of the physical world.

Now, I'm not inhuman, I'd have a doctor standing by to administer morphine so her last moments wouldn't be too painful.
... I'd have a doctor standing by to administer morphine so her last moments wouldn't be too painful.

And they say secularism leads to immorality!
One wonders whether Pearcey or the DI reviewer have the slightest comprehension of why Kant said that he found it necessary to restrict knowledge to make room for faith, or how Kant saw himself as decisively undermining the grounds for materialism and atheism.

I especially liked this point:

As we deal with the specific issues and headlines underlying the debates between Darwinism and intelligent design, perhaps it is important to remember that "...once positivism was accepted in philosophy, then Darwinism -- or something very much like it -- was all but unavoidable in science." (159

Well, if that's right, then they've pretty much admitted that there are no empirical grounds on which we can reject Darwinism. But wait! The very point of design theory was that design is empirically detectable!

This just in from the Discovery Institute: design theory is dead!
I thought they were misreading Kant but I've never read enough by or about him to weigh in on it.

This just in from the Discovery Institute: design theory is dead!

Excellent catch!
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