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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

California Parents File Suit Over Origins of Life Course

California Parents File Suit Over Origins of Life Course

This is simply one more example of fear, intolerance, abridgment of academic freedom, preference to communistic indoctrination, limiting free speech, the lack of understanding the difference between endorsement and recognition, the hatred of any authority that questions naturalistic secular-humanism, and the utter hatred to all things that smells faith-based--whether it is or not--associated with Intelligent Design.

And were I to discuss the scientific merits of the debate, I'd write my book and retire.

But today, let's focus in on just one often unmentioned fault of evolution. I don't suggest that the many faults of evolution are proof for ID; they are simply self-effacing.

Who said, "No one, certainly not the Darwinian as such, seems to have any answer to [why...a bunch of atoms have thinking ability]....The point is that there is no scientific answer." Good answer, Dawinist philosopher Michael Ruse.

To be a good evolutionist, you must believe that randomness produces thought, that chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason.

To suggest that consciousness is a product of matter and neural networks contradicts that scientific discoveries of the father of modern neurosurgery, Wilder Penfield who said, "a non-physical reality interacted with the brain". Penfield's findings were later confirmed and built upon by Roger Sperry and Laurence Wood. Complete naturalism also rejects the findings of Nobel Prize winner Sir Charles Sherrington and neurophysiologist John Eccles who both spoke of the distinction between the natural and consciousness. Perhaps naturalists could explain how a 2001 study of clinically brain-dead people were found to have manifested evidence of consciousness (2001, Resiscitation).

There are no laws of nature that govern consciousness; there is no atom in the body that when removed separates a person from their consciousness. According to their own experts (also Geoffrey Medell and Colin McGinn for example) evolution can not account for consciousness. They can't answer this question, "How...do you get something totally different--conscious, living, thinking, feeling, believing creatures--from materials that don't have that" (cite)

They've tried and failed to theorize about the relationship of matter and soul; creating mental potentials, panpsychism, proto-mental states. All of these lead to faith (in something) and are quickly rejected.

Evolution simply can't explain human consciousness. Beautifully, it makes complete sense in a Christian worldview. Humans were made in the image of a thinking, fully conscious God. He created us different from animals and more than matter. He imbued the gifts of thought, free-will, and creativity into humanity. Consciousness shows that we are more than just a collection of atoms.

Trackbacked at Stop the ACLU, Diane's Stuff, TMH's Bacon Bits, MacStansbury, RightWingNation, and Rempelia Prime.

Thoughtful Readers Speak:
The connection of matter to soul is less of a scientific question as it is a metaphysical one. It asks the question, "What is consciousness?" This question has been debated to death in the philosophical community. Essentially, the question is "What is being?" How does one define what a some-thing is? And, for that matter, "What is is?"This question is above science and, I'd say, faith. Faith doesn't so much ask the question as it rests on an answer. Christianity does not actually ask the question at all...it has its answers.

I don't think evolution attempts to answer the why of the issue. It attempts to answer the how. Faith precludes the why into the how. Both are flawed in their approach.

I think the main issue I have with your post is that you throw out evolution for not answering a question it doesn't even attempt to answer (and shouldn't have to). The issue of consciousness has nothing to do with evolution, nothing to do with science (yet), and, really, nothing to do with faith. Consciousness is; people are conscious. Why? Science is not responsible for this, and faith should be a bit more responsible with its approach.
Why do drugs have the ability to alter our mood and personality? Why do head injuries cause the problems that they do?

That being said, there are things outside the realm of science. If it is in the natural world, science will examine it. If it isn't a part of the natural world (like a soul isn't) then science can't examine it and you just have faith. If you want to try and prove things of faith, then you just get the God of the Gaps.
Your 2001 study is nonsense, by the way. It's little more than a collection of unverifiable anecdotes.

It turns out you can get away with that in a medical journal, but that should never be confused with scientific evidence, as you have done.

There's absolutely no evidence that can't be explained equally well by a naturalist explanation of consciousness.
I am completely fine with a naturalistic explanation of consciousness or just a flat-out denial of it. I tend toward material causation myself.

However, every concept has a presupposition: science does; faith does. These presuppositions (intrinsically) are based upon nothing; that's why they are presuppositions. Science claims to be based upon empirical evidence. But that position precludes a confidence in phenomena and our ability to accurately interpret it. Faith/Religion precludes a deity, which precludes a lot of other assumptions. It all comes down to the fact that every position has its assumptions, all of them completely and utterly baseless, and yet we've chosen to adopt a few into our society as "correct." I mean "correct" as in, we're still teaching the scientific method, mathematics, etc., knowing full-well that they, too, are based upon presuppositions that are, in turn, based upon an arbitrary (or, to be nicer, inductive) choice to accept them.
"This is simply one more example of fear, intolerance, abridgment of academic freedom, preference to communistic indoctrination, limiting free speech, the lack of understanding the difference between endorsement and recognition, the hatred of any authority that questions naturalistic secular-humanism, and the utter hatred to all things that smells faith-based--whether it is or not--associated with Intelligent Design."

Your passion is matched only by your ignorance. This isn't a course about ID creationism, which would be fine. Are you even aware that the teacher plans to advocate for young-earth creationism? (This isn't ID creationism but might as well be.) Of course the district was sued -- this kind of curriculum is illegal and has been since 1987 (Edwards vs. Aguillard).

Your hollow potshots at evolution, rooted in speculative and biologically specious arguments about consciousness being "obviously" the result of a creator, are both irrelevant and old hat.
I'm quite pleased with the quality of this analysis and see little reason in your comments to reconsider it.
Science does indeed require the presumption of the validity of empiricism; and there's no basis for asserting that empiricism is a valid form of reasoning except the empirical observation that it leads to valid results.

In other words, it's ultimately circular. (Well, that's what philosophy gets you - you find out that you don't know what you think you know.) But I think the results speak for themselves. Naturalist explanations of the phenomena of the universe have always - always - been more useful and correct than supernaturalist ones.

In regards to consciousness - nobody has an explanation for that. Explanations involving souls merely push the problem back a step; now it's not a question of how brains think, but of how souls do.
I appreciated the post about both science and faith beginning with assumptions. I also agree with the poster who said that naturalistic explanations for the phenomena of the Universe are more useful than supernatural explanations.

Therefore, science begins by looking for a natural explanation for everything. And it uses the scientific method to do so, assuming the validity of that method. So, in this way, science has gained enormous credibility by its discoveries about the real world.

Evolution, as it is taught today, has piggybacked on that credibility. Yet the scientific method is mostly useless to validate Evolution. Why should I believe a theory just because a lot of PhD's say it is so? The problem with evolutionists who oppose intelligent design theory so strenuously is that they just begin with a different assumption, yet fail to recognize it as only an assumption. Many have become very rigid and doctrinaire on this.

Maybe the naturalistic assumption can only go so far? Maybe, most of the time it is correct, but at the point of the origin of life it is incorrect? That is the assumption of ID proponents.

I am suspicious of those who want to close down the discussion and say, "You better agree with our orthodoxy or get out." Yet that is the stance much of the scientific establishment has taken.
All very interesting. However, I think you may be very well impressed by how many Scientists are actually Young Earth Creation Scientists. I have absolutely no reason to believe in either Evolutoin, Theistic or Atheistic, Progressive Creationism, or Intelligent Design as legitimate. I have found more evidence for a Young Earth than anything else available. I constantly hear that, "Maybe we'll figure it out tomorrow" speech. We can firmly state that this is just Naturalistically an answer, that is simply not suitable as a response (see NETDAV by McDowell for further overview). Its a bit of a special pleading and obfuscates the point. At any rate, I have some really interesting sites that have compelled me to stay away from this whole Political debacle period, and side with the Young Earth Creation Science side, as they have the most credible evidential support for their position available today.
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