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#32196 - 10/02/09 10:32 PM Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Discovery Institute "Wedge Document."

Their stated object is to defeat "scientific materialism."

What they do not understand, of course, is that without materialism (methodological materialism, not philosophical materialism), without materialism - it isn't science.

Of course the author of this document was a lawyer and not a scientist. Scientists are often getting advice on how to do science from people who think they know about it, but are manifestly and grotesquely ignorant

Congratulations to Phillip E. Johnson for illustrating this so clearly.

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#32200 - 10/03/09 08:08 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
eccles Offline
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I needed to google "Discovery Institute "Wedge Document.""
to understand your comments.

I have not read the rebuttal, but speaking as an atheist I would say that the ID/creationists cannot be dismissed by any appeal to straight "logic", nor do most "scientists" understand the nature of "belief" which they unconsciously apply to their axioms.

Reference to Wittgenstein, Kuhn and Capra would perhaps more usefully lead to an inderstanding of "what science is" and implications of terms like "materialism". IMO, "purposeful creationism" of any flavour is merely an attempt at psychological closure against the the void of an ontological infinite regress.

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#32209 - 10/04/09 12:22 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: eccles]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Wittgenstein is on my reading list (won't get around to it for years) and Capra isn't and probably won't be. Kuhn was interesting, but though I read his structure of scientific revolution 3 times, I don't feel like I gained much understanding about science. I got better understanding from my first and particularly my second reading of Popper's "Objective Knowledge."

I'm not concerned about "creationism" in some philosophical sense, but only from the perspective of science. Science doesn't require a lot of assumptions, but it does require some.

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#32211 - 10/04/09 03:50 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
eccles Offline
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If you get round to Wittgenstein you will find his demonstration of the "blind alleys" which philosophical language (language on holiday) evokes by coining terms like "materialism", "idealism" etc. His contextually based "language games" are similar to Kuhn's "paradigms" in which "meaning" or "reality" involves a complex web of social activities. Capra pointed out that the pre-occupation of human cognition with "prediction and control" was the basis for what we have hitherto called "science". The fact that such control is necessarily short-term and limited has given rise to a more recent paradigm involving ecological concerns.

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#32219 - 10/04/09 11:40 PM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: eccles]
Ellis Offline
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eccles wrote:
'I would say that the ID/creationists cannot be dismissed by any appeal to straight "logic", nor do most "scientists" understand the nature of "belief" which they unconsciously apply to their axioms.'

Does this imply that "creationists' unconsciously apply the term 'belief' to atheists, (as in- you believe there is no god), when in fact atheism manifests as a lack of belief--- or do you mean atheists unconsciously 'believe' without realising it? And surely scientists can be either- atheism is not compulsory for Science 101.

I may be accused of splitting hairs here, but I think that it is the key difference between atheists and believers. The religious have belief and faith in the existence of the divine, the 'supernatural', the 'whatever it is that appeals', whereas the atheists have no such understanding! At all! Not even a little bit-- unconsciously!

PS- I couldn't find Wedge Document, but I thought my comment broad enough to stand alone.

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#32220 - 10/05/09 12:05 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: Ellis]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Ellis,
There is one reason why creationists (including ID creationists) attack methodological materialism. They want to circumvent physical evidence and physical explanations. When that happens, real science no longer exists and everything is reduced to philosophy / theology / apologetics.

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#32222 - 10/05/09 04:56 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Ellis Offline
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I cannot see how scientists could ever bypass physical evidence and explanations because that is what science is. Scientific research exists to help us understand the physical world in which we live, -and we need that.

Maybe the creationists are worried that one day scientists will find a credible explanation repudiating of the existence of god. Personally I can't see why this should be a worry. If you believe in an Invisible Friend then why should it matter that I do not. Surely a true believer would just not believe the discovery was correct.

Others of us need to discover the rules that govern the universe, and the research should not be conducted just through prayer but also through provable scientific hypotheses, (and that would surely have to include methodological materialism).

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#32223 - 10/05/09 05:55 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: Ellis]
eccles Offline
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Ellis,

FF is correct about the the believer's "bypass". For them all "scientific knowledge" is "by the grace of God". "Evidence" is "in eye of the beholder". Even if the fundamentalists can be dismissed as a bunch of cranks, there are stll the intellectual believers to deal with who position the bible as allegory. Try looking up Johm Polkinghorne for example (eminent particle physicist turned Anglican priest at Cambridge).

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#32227 - 10/05/09 12:44 PM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: Ellis]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Science is not capable of proving or disproving the existence of God. That's not good enough for the obscurantists. What they lack is physical evidence - any at all - in favor of their beliefs.

They look at the advances that science has made and the respect that many people give science and they feel many things, but one above all others - envy. They want their inane ravings to be treated with the same respect. After all, they deserve, because they, like, you know, exist and all.

The road of physical evidence has not worked out so well and so they need another plan - change the game. Enter "the wedge document." They insist that science has been hijacked by materialists who have caused the great ills of modern society. In fact, modern science didn't exist UNTIL its practitioners figured out they had to stick to physical explanation for actual physical evidence.

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#32531 - 11/05/09 07:45 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Another example of anti-knowledge :


"Science and scientific facts are true only as long as they agree with the Qur'an and the authentic Hadith."



Edited by TheFallibleFiend (11/05/09 07:47 AM)

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#32560 - 11/06/09 07:39 PM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Another example of anti-knowledge - this one straight from Pravda, so we know it must be true!

http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/11797_phenomenon.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natasha_Demkina

"Psychic abilities" tend to vaporize in controlled environments.

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#32563 - 11/07/09 12:44 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Zephir Offline
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#32565 - 11/07/09 01:02 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: Zephir]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Hand is touching the globe from behind, but just barely. As his fingers pull backward, his palm clips the back of the globe. At first this is a small effect, but he gets in the rhythm - same principle that makes small pushes on a swing eventually send Sally high in the air. Geez. It's staggering how gullible people are.

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#32567 - 11/07/09 01:22 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Zephir Offline
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Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
It's staggering how gullible people are.
Many people tends to propose rational explanation obstinatelly, although it's evident, they have none. To move sphere in such speed the motion of finger would be visible, too. Such explanation could work at the beginning of experiment - but at the end it's clearly visible, sphere is the fastest object at scene. BTW watch the space between finger shadows and shadow of sphere - it's evident, this hand isn't touching sphere all the time.

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#32568 - 11/07/09 01:27 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: Zephir]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Yea, this is a highly controlled experiment and there's no possible explanation, so it must be "psychic powers." That's logic.

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#32569 - 11/07/09 01:52 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Zephir Offline
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Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
so it must be "psychic powers." That's logic.
Why do you mean? I didn't said something like that.

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#32570 - 11/07/09 01:56 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: Zephir]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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I mean it would be a little more impressive if either the moving hand were further back from the sphere or the camera were situated in such a way as to confirm that the offending hand never actually touches it.

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#32588 - 11/09/09 03:13 PM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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#32591 - 11/09/09 07:54 PM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - examples [Re: Zephir]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Originally Posted By: Zephir


Video was reversed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRscUcBydlY


Edited by TheFallibleFiend (11/09/09 07:55 PM)

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#32595 - 11/10/09 04:11 AM Re: Anti-knowledge from the obscurantists - exampl [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Ellis Offline
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Well done FF!

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