Promissory materialism isn't even plausible, is it contradicted by historical facts.

#21
There is a PR problem with ID. At the very least a new moniker would be useful. "3rd Way Evolution"? "NuEvolution"? "Science Based Evolution"? (perhaps just "Evolution"?;))...
No I don't think so. The zealots still have violent opposition to the concept of the third way proposed by Shapiro. It certainly does have bad PR when all the information in public opinion is tainted by misconceptions from opponents and there strawmen. Old refuted talking points are regurgitated ad nausea from opponents. The noise is deafening and the actual arguments Are put aside so as to attack on political and religious grounds. I include atheism with religion here, it is just fundamentalism of a different colour after all. And yeah some ID folks like Behe believe in common descent so I don't think a change of terminology would make a lick of difference.
 
#22
No I don't think so. The zealots still have violent opposition to the concept of the third way proposed by Shapiro. It certainly does have bad PR when all the information in public opinion is tainted by misconceptions from opponents and there strawmen. Old refuted talking points are regurgitated ad nausea from opponents. The noise is deafening and the actual arguments Are put aside so as to attack on political and religious grounds. I include atheism with religion here, it is just fundamentalism of a different colour after all. And yeah some ID folks like Behe believe in common descent so I don't think a change of terminology would make a lick of difference.

It wasn't me, but Larry, that said that the ID folks are:

... embedded in a right wing conservative agenda.
... but he makes a great point about perception.

I'm not even discussing the rightness or wrongness of your arguments (there are enough threads for that already ;)) but you must see how PR is important. sometimes you just have to play that game...

I think Shapiro gets that and is striking a sweeter note with the mainstream by decoupling from the ID train. In any event, it may not be the mainstream he is upsetting the most:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/01/is_james_shapir_2055551.html



 
#23
It wasn't me, but Larry, that said that the ID folks are:

... but he makes a great point about perception.

I'm not even discussing the rightness or wrongness of your arguments (there are enough threads for that already ;)) but you must see how PR is important. sometimes you just have to play that game...
PR means nothing to me. I do know that it suffers from PR issues. The ones that wish to put politics and religion over actual scientific issues seem to be the loudest. If one actually bothered to investigate you would find sometimes the complete opposite of what is perceived. Like I said after years of looking at the subject. I have no idea where Larry is getting this from except from the vocal minority. The only agenda I am aware of is academic freedom.

I think Shapiro gets that and is striking a sweeter note with the mainstream by decoupling from the ID train. In any event, it may not be the mainstream he is upsetting the most:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/01/is_james_shapir_2055551.html
I beg to differ, Shapiro is greatly appeciated within ID. That is if you are implying he upsets them. He even wrote a paper with Richard Sternburg some years back. Which was later supported by the Encode team years later btw.

I am a big fan of Shapiro, and I do think his decoupling is exactly because of PR. P for political and R for religious. :)
Truth be told there is no real third way. Shapiro's Intelligent design is within the cell itself through internal systems and cognition no less. Cellular intelligent design. Personally I do think this is a great place to start but ultimately it leads you back to the central argument of ID concerning information. Good baby steps you could say. Shapiro is very smart here, we have seen how support for ID can end carreers and cause all sorts of academic obstacles.
 
#24
The term "promissory materialism" makes it seems as if there is some sort of "promises-delivered immaterialism." Could someone post links to those articles?

~~ Paul
The point is, that science should simply acknowledge those issues where it can't supply an adequate explanation. It is invalid to argue that because some approach worked in a very vaguely analogous situation, it must work again in future. It is invalid to talk as if the future of science is known, and that a certain approach must work given time.

Materialism doesn't want to admit fresh - fundamentally different ontological primitives (to use your phrase). Yet I think science has actually developed enormously by doing just that! Immaterialists (I am starting to write like you - but your words don't always spell check!) can't seem to let go enough to even speculate freely about what it would mean to accept mind as another fundamental component of the universe.

The reason we want to include mind as an irreducible component, is that so many phenomena seem to be hardly described at all by materialist science. Mind and matter seem to be orthogonal (loosely speaking) - something that affects mind - e.g. a poem - may do next to nothing physically, and that poem can be written on paper, or a metal sheet, or in sand, and it will have the same effect.

I am not religious, and I haven't had any significant ψ experiences, but the above argument seems at the core of my feeling that mind is fundamental, and that when people report NDE's in situations in which it is stupid to argue that some residual brain action is taking place, they are probably telling us something important.

Regarding all those famous fine tuning of physics arguments, I can't help wondering if they arise in a very different way. That we started out as purely mental beings, but our desire to explain our existence physically has gradually created the physical universe we know, but 'we' needed those finely tuned constants just to get those theories to work - but we could have devised other theories, and the external world would have gradually come to look that way instead!

Indeed, maybe we 'created' life back in the days when we were purely mental, rather like people now create all sorts of abstract 'mechanisms' and then play with them.

David
 
#25
You must have a rather narrow and erroneous idea about Christianity (and christian life especially) if you think it is all "a matter of belief from authority". Certainly not: it is about ridding oneself of old unwanted habits, and of obtaining new life in love of truth and neighbors. The Christian god is also immanent in nature: to live inside the inmost reaches of living beings to give them life and consciousness.
;;/?
 
#26
Junk DNA is an exception that proves the rule. An exception that proves the rule is an exception to a rule that is an exception for a good reason that is entirely consistent with the rule. In this case the rule is that history does not support promissory materialism. Junk DNA is an exception to this rule because later findings have shown that junk DNA is not junk it has functions. If scientists had promised that in the future they would have an explanation for junk DNA, they would have been right. Unfortunately for promissory materialists, they didn't promise to have an explanation in the future. Materialists were too enthusiastic about using junk DNA as a proof that God does not exist. Materialists made the theological argument that life could not have been created by God because they believe God is perfect (21% of atheists believe in God) and would not produce junk DNA.

The progress of science doesn't show that DNA is full of junk left over by blind, undirected, evolution as materialists promised, the progress of science shows that DNA has many functions beyond simply coding for proteins. Promissory materialism fails again.
 
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#27
Junk DNA is an exception that proves the rule. An exception that proves the rule is an exception to a rule that is an exception for a good reason that is entirely consistent with the rule. In this case the rule is that history does not support promissory materialism. Junk DNA is an exception to this rule because later findings have shown that junk DNA is not junk it has functions. If scientists had promised that in the future they would have an explanation for junk DNA, they would have been right. Unfortunately for promissory materialists, they didn't promise to have an explanation in the future. Materialists were too enthusiastic about using junk DNA as a proof that God does not exist. Materialists made the theological argument that life could not have been created by God because they believe God is perfect (21% of atheists believe in God.
Heh, by definition that can't be true - and I'm sure the same thought went through your mind as mine which is that either they didn't understand the question or the question was unclear or too broad. I note it looped in spirituality in there as well - depending on how one defines that there is no conflict between being an atheist and being spiritual. Any, this is it really related to the op.

As for that theological argument its not used (or shouldn't be for that matter) to disprove all gods, just some versions of deities. It wouldn't apply to a non perfect conception of a deity.
 
#28
Heh, by definition that can't be true - and I'm sure the same thought went through your mind as mine which is that either they didn't understand the question or the question was unclear or too broad. I note it looped in spirituality in there as well - depending on how one defines that there is no conflict between being an atheist and being spiritual. Any, this is it really related to the op.

As for that theological argument its not used (or shouldn't be for that matter) to disprove all gods, just some versions of deities. It wouldn't apply to a non perfect conception of a deity.
Why are you arguing with this? Jim Smith's post is completely correct and not really up for debate. And you aren't a dedicated materialist anyway, so why are you defending it?
 
#29
An exception that proves the rule is an exception to a rule that is an exception for a good reason that is entirely consistent with the rule.
I think we need to look at the meaning of the word 'prove' here. In this context, prove means to test ('the proof of the pudding is in the eating'). So it is an example which tests the rule, to see whether the rule is true or not. Generally speaking such examples are ones which find the rule wanting, that is they actually disprove it.

If this is not the concept you are trying to express, then perhaps it is better that you don't attempt to bring this idiomatic expression into the conversation. (rather than, as it appears - to attempt to mangle and re-define the expression to pretend it means what you want it to mean).
 
#30
I think we need to look at the meaning of the word 'prove' here. In this context, prove means to test ('the proof of the pudding is in the eating'). So it is an example which tests the rule, to see whether the rule is true or not. Generally speaking such examples are ones which find the rule wanting, that is they actually disprove it.

If this is not the concept you are trying to express, then perhaps it is better that you don't attempt to bring this idiomatic expression into the conversation. (rather than, as it appears - to attempt to mangle and re-define the expression to pretend it means what you want it to mean).
I think you are nitpicking here. Jim was completely clear.
 
#31
Why are you arguing with this? Jim Smith's post is completely correct and not really up for debate. And you aren't a dedicated materialist anyway, so why are you defending it?
Sorry, I was on my ipad and though one could probably have figured it out from what I wrote I realise it may not have been clear that when I wrote "by definition that can't be true" I was referring to the part about 21% of atheists believing in god.
 
#32
I think you are nitpicking here. Jim was completely clear.
I didn't say he was unclear. I merely suggested that by introducing this expression inappropriately he made the explanation more difficult than it needed to be, since he first needed to undefine then redefine the expression.
 
#33
I have no idea where you get this from. ID makes no claim on the identity or nature of the designer. Quite puposefully, as it only addresses scientific issues Not theological ones. There is a clear separation here. If someone is using it as a way of putting one religion over the other we are no longer within the realms of ID. This seems to be something you made up. I have following the ID arguments for over a decade, read stacks of books and papers and never have encountered what you are saying here.

Rupert is a christian by the way. And whether Lipton identifies with a certain group we call ID he certainly conforms to those views.
There is a wide range of opinion within those we recognise as IDers. ID has been around since the beggining of western science. ID is just a label like any other.
I understand that the ID folks make an effort to separate their own theistic pretensions from what they consider their scientific theory. The problem I have is that their main audience and their funding come from a far more dogmatic type of Christianity. I’ve always wondered why Meyers and company don’t take a stronger stance at separating themselves from the creationists in the debates. They tend to allow their opponents – Marshall, Ward, Shermer. . . to wax on and on about how they are just creationists in disguise. I read Darwin’s doubt, which wasn’t easy without a science background. I think Meyers does an amazing job at exposing just how weak the mechanism of random mutations and natural selection is at accounting for the appearance of new animal forms. I was very open and excited about how this could possibly lead to a more open approach to science. Where the whole project started to go south for me was in reading evolution news and views. I noticed that socially politically and philosophically that these folk had a very conservative view and agenda – economically in the form of capitalism they advocate and their emphasis on human exceptionalism in relation to animals and the environment as well as a pejorative attitude toward the quote “new age” which include much of what we are interested in on this form. I listened to Meyers lecture at Christian schools and got the feeling of a hidden agenda to bring a more conservative form of Christianity into secular society. I’ve heard him refer to a dialogue between ID folks and creationist as an intramural dialogue. I’m happy to be disabused of my misperception and erroneous notions but I’ve got to call it as I see it.
 
#34
I didn't say he was unclear. I merely suggested that by introducing this expression inappropriately he made the explanation more difficult than it needed to be, since he first needed to undefine then redefine the expression.
Ok. I understand where you're coming from.
 
#35
Sorry, I was on my ipad and though one could probably have figured it out from what I wrote I realise it may not have been clear that when I wrote "by definition that can't be true" I was referring to the part about 21% of atheists believing in god.
He had a link to his source. You may have missed it.
 
#36
He had a link to his source. You may have missed it.
I didn't miss it, when I wrote "I note it looped in spirituality in there as well " I was referring to the report of the study itself, linked in the link Jim gave.

Indeed, one-in-five people who identify themselves as atheist (21%) and a majority of those who identify themselves as agnostic (55%) express a belief in God or a universal spirit.
http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/report2religious-landscape-study-key-findings.pdf

I should have actually written: "I note it looped in universal spirit in there as well." and that depending on how one defined universal spirit one could still be an atheist.
 
#37
What makes you think that theists (Christians and others) have not also experienced the divine? Certainly there are many reports from Christian mystics about this, and also endless reports from meeting Jesus as God and the great improvements that result from that.
Quite possibly they have, but the problem with religions, and Christianity in particular, is that they see their set of beliefs as being superior to all others. I think Christianity has layered a lot of dogma on top of whatever insights it started with.
You must have a rather narrow and erroneous idea about Christianity (and christian life especially) if you think it is all "a matter of belief from authority". Certainly not: it is about ridding oneself of old unwanted habits, and of obtaining new life in love of truth and neighbors. The Christian god is also immanent in nature: to live inside the inmost reaches of living beings to give them life and consciousness.
The problem is that every Christian describes his own church, and those can vary from the very liberal to the church that Rev Fred Phelps used to run - nobody could say he wasn't authoritarian!
ID people never claim to have the whole story: they are just trying to establish the first step away from materialism! Christianity consists of a great deal more than intelligent design.

As for me, I know that I am not God.
Though in every breath I depend on God.
I think Skeptiko is about trying to understand the non-material world afresh. ID seems likely to be relevant in some form, but what form the intelligence took is not really clear. I can't quite see the God you believe in, as designing parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in the young of other species.

I was brought up as a Christian, but I think we should avoid dogma and that itch to 'know' for certain.

David
 
#40
Quite possibly they have, but the problem with religions, and Christianity in particular, is that they see their set of beliefs as being superior to all others. I think Christianity has layered a lot of dogma on top of whatever insights it started with.
When we talk about science etc, we naturally think those that explain more are 'superior to others'. Einstein is superior to Newton. Why cannot religions have content that explains more than others?
The problem is that every Christian describes his own church, and those can vary from the very liberal to the church that Rev Fred Phelps used to run - nobody could say he wasn't authoritarian!
I was not talking about churches. They have their own problems!
I think Skeptiko is about trying to understand the non-material world afresh. ID seems likely to be relevant in some form, but what form the intelligence took is not really clear. I can't quite see the God you believe in, as designing parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in the young of other species.
Investigating the 'form the intelligence took' is what ID is about. I'm glad to see you are on board.
I was brought up as a Christian, but I think we should avoid dogma and that itch to 'know' for certain.
David
That of course never happens at Skeptiko, does it!

(Actually, everyone has their own dogma. Larry's, for example, is that "the universe is a single conscious being")

Ian
 
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