Sunday, May 28, 2006


Sometimes the journal Nature seems like a sort of New York Times for scientists, with everything that entails. So when they say a book is dangerous, I seek it out. This one seems like it may be good:
In case anyone missed it, there was a little row in the realm of science last year. In the spring of 1992, Bryan Appleyard, the science and philosophy columnist for the Sunday Times in London, published a work that set off a flurry of debates over the place of science in today’s world. Even before its publication, Nature, the bellwether of opinion in the British scientific community, denounced Understanding the Present:
Science and the Soul of Modern Man
as an extremely dangerous book. The problem was not just that Appleyard had renewed ‘the old assertion that science affronts human dignity,” it was that he did it in a way that was ‘likely to be persuasive,” especially among those who control the flow of resources to scientists.
(Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man
by Bryan Appleyard
Review author: Daniel C. Johnson
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 32, No. 4. (Dec., 1993) :406) (Emphasis added)

It's that last bit about funding that will set the Herd to running because these days a successful "scientist" is not necessarily the one who is the most successful in science but the one who is most successful at getting funding. The two can coincide but they usually do not because the meek/geek that inherit the earth usually do so because they turn inward to the conceptual world of words in their own heads and then apply what they learn from language and Logos to the earth. I.e., the meek tend not to have so-called "social skills" at first and if they did then they would tend not to inherit the earth later. I've never much cared for so-called "social skills" myself and would rather talk to a person I know has to be communicating in authentic ways rather than one who is skilled at mixing the authentic and the inauthentic. There again, games can be fun.

It is humorous that when the meek are attacking the meek things like this: "Well, there's a possibility about a missing variable over here." are basically the emotional equivalent of a vicious personal attack. So this fellow who is one of them who seems to be telling the truth about science will be attacked, apparently they've even gone so far as to call his book "dangerous." Dangerous to their funding perhaps. Note that there is one thing that Left and Right, Democrat and Republican will just keep throwing vast amounts of money at: "Science." It seems that Republicans are marginally on the right side of a reformation among the geeks given that some feel the need to write books such as this: The Republican War on Science. The Left has always abused science while claiming that everything they do or say is "scientific," so it is not surprising that the Right would answer some. It is not suprising that the Left would continue to do what it always has done. What is telling is that the Right is also taken in by some of the myths of modern science these days.

An interesting view, note the supposed fact/value split:
The equation of liberalism and science is neatly set up in Appleyards glossary:
“Liberalism is the precise correlative of the scientific view that we must remove ourselves from the world in order to understand it — in liberalism the equivalent concept is that we must remove ourselves from values in order to understand them.’ Thus, all that is characteristic of the soul of modern man — the absence of conviction, the hypertrophied notion of tolerance, the narcissistic devotion to self-cultivation — can be traced back to the influence of science. For there is no question that Appleyard regards the spirit of science as the primary mover in the development of “liberal scientific culture.” As much as he fancies himself a disciple of Max Weber, his understanding of the present is more reminiscent of Jaques Ellul’s The Technological Society than of anything Weber put out. Far from pursuing Weber’s more nuanced analyses of the dialectical development of culture, Appleyard relentlessly identifies science as the ultimate causal factor in the rise of modernity.
This is evident in his sweeping appraisal of the history of science and philosophy from Galileo to the present. Once the principle of efficient causality was enshrined, once it was agreed that we must place ourselves outside the cosmos in order to gain a proper perspective on the nature of the cosmos, science was free to overwhelm and transform the inherited culture. Why? “Because it worked,” Appleyard replies. A few heroic thinkers — notably Pascal, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Ludwig Wittgenstein — did dare to expose the perils inherent in the advancing system of thought. The vast majority, however, capitulated, providing a rationale for the dominance of science and championing its cause. Inexorably, science pushed on to its unsettling conclusion: With the work of Darwin and Freud, the formerly inviolable human self finally became just another component in the mechanistic world of the scientific imagination.

That science met little resistance from the congregation it had systematically stripped of meaning is to Appleyard a tribute to its devastating effectiveness. Even when the horrors of modern warfare and environmental devastation demonstrated the capacity of science to do evil, the progress of scientific understanding was not checked. If anything, such specters as the A-bomb...gave science yet one more area in which to assert its expertise: in the oversight of science itself.* Scientists could shield themselves from blame by invoking the conventional distinction between value-free research and the ethical issues surrounding the use of that research. In the meantime, who better to assess the implications of global warming or nuclear winter than scientists themselves? After all, science works.

Given the absolute authority accorded science, the only ones who can truly question it anymore are the scientists themselves. What makes this point especially interesting is the fact that developments within science over the course of this century have in fact given rise to a number of questions.
(Ib. :407) (Emphasis added)

That last is part of where something like ID enters in on the basis of a wedge that is very thin along the edge, so thin that many Darwinists will impale themselves on it.

Note that there is no such thing as a fact/value distinction. All that could possibly be argued about such a distinction is that it might be a useful heuristic to pretend or "imagine" that there is one.

An interesting phrase: "...just another component in the mechanistic world of the scientific imagination." It's not just Darwinists who include their own imaginations as evidence, yet their radical and extreme example is helpful in recognizing such "reasoning"/imagining throughout science. It would seem that Darwinists (i.e. many biologists) are not scientists in any conceptual sense no matter how low the epistemic bar is set.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Down with Absolutes?

It seems that Mike thinks that he finally has a place for judgment, such as it is for one who often wallows in his own "filth" and the like. It seems that moral judgment has been turned into a sensationalistic public relations stunt for those who generally lack it. It is odd that a supposed "preacher" like Phelps would so often use filth and obscenities in his sermons, isn’t it Mike?

I would argue that some of the most important knowledge that you can know of a man is his family life:
For example, as a means of encouraging the wives and children to "submit to the father's authority in the home," Phelps began encouraging his congregants to beat them if necessary; he was once forced to bail one of his parishioners out of jail after counseling the man to punch his wife in the face until she became "subjugated."
One of his sons claims that his first memory in life was that of the drunk, stoned Phelps shooting a dog for defecating on the lawn, the incident which led to the majority of Phelps' supporters leaving him and returning to Eastside.
Phelps continued to take drugs, consume alcohol, and binge eat for six years...

He's like Hitler in falling into such patterns, then come attempts at "purification." That pattern would not be surprising given that he seems to have the elements of an anti-Christ type figure. E.g.:
Two of his sons, Mark and Nate, claim that the church is actually a carefully planned cult that allows Phelps to see himself as a demigod, wielding absolute control over the lives of his family and congregants, essentially turning them into slaves that he can use for the sole purpose of gratifying his every whim and acting as the structure for his delusion that he is the only righteous man on Earth. In 1995, Mark Phelps wrote a letter to the people of Topeka to this effect; it was run in the Topeka Capital-Journal. The children's claim is partially backed up by B.H. McAllister, the Baptist minister who ordained Phelps. McAllister said in a 1993 interview that Phelps developed a delusion wherein he was one of the only people on Earth worthy of God's grace and that everyone else in the world was going to Hell, and that salvation or damnation could be directly obtained by either aligning with or opposing Phelps. Phelps maintains this belief to this day.
(Ib.) (Emphasis added)

It is hard to believe that any could be confused in their moral reasoning by men such as these:
Hitler very seriously compar[ed] himself to Jesus. He said on one occasion, as he lashed about him with a whip, "In driving out the Jews I remind myself of Jesus in the temple"; and on another, "Like Christ, I have a duty to my own people..." He considered himself betrayed by Ernst Röhm in 1934 and drew the analogy to the betrayal of Jesus, saying, "Among the twelve apostles, there was also a Judas. . . ."
Hitler substituted Nazi high holy days for traditional religious holidays. They included January 30, the day Hitler came to power in the year he referred to as “the Holy Year of our Lord, 1933,”...
The close parallel between Christian commitment to God and the sacred oath of allegiance to Hitler is best seen in a description of public oath-taking recorded in the Nazi newspaper, Westdeutscher Beobachter: “Yesterday witnessed the profession of the Religion of the Blood in all its imposing reality.. . . Whoever has sworn his oath of allegiance to Hitler has pledged himself unto death to this sublime idea.”
... [Hitler] directly approved the patent paganism and Führer worship of the Warthegau church as a model for the church he planned after the war. And he did not object to the following version of the Lord’s Prayer which was recited by the League of German Girls:
Adolf Hitler, you are our great leader Thy name makes the enemy tremble.
Thy Third Reich comes, thy will alone is law upon earth. Let us hear daily thy voice and order us by thy leadership, for we will obey to the end, even with our lives.
We praise thee! Heil Hitler!
It is to be noted that prayers were given not only for the Führer, but to him as a deity.

In speeches and soliloquies, and in ways he may not have been aware, Hitler himself spoke in the very words of Christ and the scriptures—thereby revealing a considerable knowledge of the Bible. A few examples will suffice here: In dedicating the House of German Art in Munich he observed, “Man does not live by bread alone.” In talking to the Brown Shirts on January 30, 1936, he echoed the words of Jesus to his disciples as recorded in St. John’s Gospel, saying, “I have come to know thee. Who thou art, thou art through me, and all I am, I am through thee.” He reminded one of his disciples that “I have not come to Germany to bring peace but a sword.” In a public speech in Graz in 1938 he announced, “God Almighty has created the Nation. And what the Lord has joined together let not Man set asunder.”

He was particularly prone to Biblical quotations when talking to the Hitler Youth. On September 5, 1934, he told them, “You are flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood.” In 1932 he advised them either to be “hot or cold, but the lukewarm should be damned and spewed from your mouth.” The phrasing is too close to the New Testament to be coincidental. The Revelation of St. John reads: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”

During one of the last suppers with his followers, Hitler invited them to eat of their Leader’s body, asking them if they would like some blood sausage made from his own blood. In effect he was saying, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you.. . .“
(Adolf Hitler's Guilt Feelings: A Problem
in History and Psychology
by R. G. L. Waite
Journal of Interdisciplinary History,
Vol. 1, No. 2. (Winter, 1971), pp. 229-249)

I don't really believe that people are confused by anti-Christ type figures, instead they are looking out for their own interests.

*I don't usually use Wikpedia but they seem to have their sources in order.

He might be gone.

So a note on reasoning of this form: "Who is to decide what is the metaphoric Light, if "common sense" is subject to any doubt?"

Who is to decide to question if there are any doubts about doubt itself?

This fellow's form of reasoning seems to be a form of logic or pseudo-logos that is eating itself up to the point that it eats its own tale, as represented with this parable.

The supposed benefits of doubt:
Why sacrifice a transcendental truth for immanent certainty? This is the fallacy inherent in scientism.
In settling for certainty, you cut out part of the dialectic, and hamstring the everlasting approach to transcendental truth, and to God.
I would answer that with the words of Max Planck, father of Quantum Physics: “Religion and natural science are fighting a joint battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against skepticism and against dogmatism, against unbelief and superstition... [therefore] ‘On to God!”

Or to add some lines to the parable: "I, uh, eh....what? Woman! Why don't you come away with me to this cliff and throw yourself off of it? Won't God have to come near to you to save you the farther away that you try to get? I've tested this by trying to kill myself many times already, yet I am not dead yet. Try it and see, for how else can you know for certain that God loves you unless you are uncertain of it?"

To which she says with a laugh, "Was I supposed to be certain or uncertain? I forget."

And so on. As for me, I seldom settle for certainty. So I'm not as certain as this fellow seems to be that it is doubt that results in an everlasting approach to transcendental truth and so on. No, it seems to me that there must be something else causing people to pursue the truth against their doubt, since that is what they are doing.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Common sense

The interesting thing about common senses are that they can come out in many forms, including a perverted form. E.g., an insult of this type seems to reveal a common sense being perverted: "You're secretly just like me!"

This fellow in my comments seems to lack some common sense, yet I suspect that if he is not careful then his own common senses will come out. He's intelligent, so it probably will not be as obvious as the example above. (Good judgment on the difference between secretion and excretion but it still does nothing for arguments against seeking a sound knowledge of Natural Law.)

Anna Venger on the same sort of topic, read her because she'll probably write about it in politically relevant ways in terms that most people can understand. That can be better than meandering off onto various issues of philosophy, psychology, history and what have you in the way a person more interested in seeking knowledge than in writing a good, relevant and timely blog post might.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Speaking of "biological thinking," censorship and book burning...

...such things seem typical to a mind of the synaptic gaps that has sought to fold in on itself, supposedly encompassing all knowledge. We can use the buzzwords of "science" and "religion" when it comes to knowledge, yet in actuality much of it is the same knowledge stated in different cultural forms. The priest or charlatan of old would have told you that the world was pooped from a cosmic turtle and perhaps ten percent of the population believed in this imaginary history enough to regard it as a truth worth promulgating, seeking to establish or live by, just as about ten percent fully believe in the imaginary mythological narratives of naturalism typical to the Darwinian creation myth these days. For the most part it seems that the majority of people do not care about origins even as they live in cultures fundamentally shaped by beliefs about origins.

But when we do think about it we seem to have a hard time admitting that we do not know something, whether the form of knowledge is called religion or science the same issues come up. E.g.
In September 1981 the prestigious scientific journal Nature carried an unsigned editorial (subsequently acknowledged to be by the journal’s senior editor, John Maddox) titled ‘A book for burning?’ (Maddox, 1981). It reviewed and damned Rupert Sheidrake’s then recently published book A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Causative Formation (Sheidrake, 1981) and raised a storm of controversy whose fall-out is still very much with us.
Up to this time Sheldrake was a well-respected up-and-coming plant physiologist and the recipient of academic honours including a fellowship at his Cambridge college. The furore that grew out of the assault in Nature put an end to his academic career and made him persona non grata in the scientific community. Over twenty years later this journal still runs the risk of ostracism by publishing his work. What can explain this deep and lasting antagonism?

The Origins of the Controversy

The saga began a week ahead of the book’s publication, when Sheldrake had trailed his hypothesis of formative causation in an article in the New Scientist magazine. The piece was provocatively headlined: ‘Scientific proof that science has got it all wrong’. An editorial introduction admitted that, to modern science, an idea such as Sheldrake’s was ‘completely scatty’, but justified its publication on the grounds that first, ‘Sheldrake is an excellent scientist; the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age discovered continents and mirrored the world in sonnets,’ and secondly, ‘the science in his ideas is good. ... This does not mean that it is right but that it is testable’.
This was mid-June, and over the summer Sheldrake’s ideas were subjected to much discussion in journals and newspapers, and his book was reviewed in a variety of scientific and religious publications. Attitudes were predictably mixed and by no means all negative. Then came the bombshell in Nature.
Nowhere did the editorial actually say the book under review ought to be burned. Indeed, it said the exact opposite: ‘Books rightly command respect ... even bad books should not be burned; ... [Dr Sheldrake’sl book should not be burned.’ But it also contained the comment ‘[Sheldrake’sl book is the best candidate for burning there has been for many years’ and — probably the real clincher— there was that headline: ‘A book for burning?’ Dozens will read a headline who never read the text, and how many of those troubled to note the question mark at the end of the heading? Thus the myth was born: Nature says Sheidrake’s book should be burned.
What concerns us in this editorial is not Sheldrake’s hypothesis, but Maddox’s ‘hysterical attack’ (as a writer to his own letters page called it a week or two later). Why did the editor of Nature, himself a noted secularist, deliberately invoke the language of book-burning, an activity inevitably associated not only with religion, but with forcibly imposed dogmatic teaching? What caused him — in the words of another correspondent — to treat his editorial column as ‘a pulpit from which to denounce scientific heresies’? The answer came most clearly in an interview on BBC television many years later, in 1994, when Maddox said:
Sheldrake is putting forward magic instead of science, and that can be condemned in exactly the language that the Pope used to condemn Galileo, and for the same reason. It is heresy.
This quotation makes absolutely explicit a charge that appeared in more muted form in the original editorial. Here Maddox had written that,
Sheldrake’ s argument is an exercise in pseudo-science. ... Many readers will be left with the impression that Sheldrake has succeeded in finding a place for magic within scientific discussion — and this, indeed, may have been a part of the objective of writing such a book.

The image of Sheldrake as the opponent of science was also presented in a radio discussion between the two protagonists in the autumn of 1981. In his closing speech, Maddox first spelled out his very conservative approach to new theories:
The conventional scientific view, which I think is entirely proper, is that there is no particular point in inventing theories which in themselves require a tremendous feat of imagination* and constitute an assault on what we know about the physical world as it stands, when there is at least a chance, and in this case a good chance, in my opinion, that conventional theories will in due course provide an explanation.
Several things in these quotations point to why Maddox found religious terminology so appealing in his own defence of science, and they indicate how similar in some respects are the scientific and religious establishments. These similarities throw light on the nature of the hostility most mainstream scientists and philosophers continue to show toward Rupert Sheldrake and his research programme.

Heresy in Religion and Science

Sheldrake is accused both of ‘putting forward magic instead of science’ and of ‘finding a place for magic within scientific discussion’. This is noteworthy because the only reference to book-burning in the New Testament is when the magicians of Ephesus, under the influence of St Paul’s preaching, came out on to the streets and publicly burned their books of spells (Acts 19.19). There is an implied contrast here between the openly proclaimed teachings of Christianity and the secret arts of the magicians, and much early Christian polemic praised the transparency of the public orthodox tradition over against the secret knowledge claimed by the Gnostics. Orthodox science is orthodox religion’s true heir in this respect, putting its trust in public replicable experiments rather than spooky unpredictable effects.
Another motif in the Ephesus incident is the idea that written words have an inherent power, so that false words need to be physically destroyed (burned).
(Sheldrake and His Critics: the sense of being glared at
by Anthony Freeman
Journal of Consciousness Studies
Volume 12, No. 6 (2005) :5-6)

I'll finish this later. Some meanderings which I may reformulate later.

Part of the little things that Sheldrake goes into is the sense of being stared at, as apparently there is data similar to the placebo effect that people can tell if someone is staring at the back of their head. That's the sort of "magic" that sends scientists running for their lives and so on. The thing about the "magic" of the placebo effect and other things of this nature is that they have been observed empirically, magic or no. It seems that sometimes the empirical facts do not matter to scientists whose make a god of what they imagine matter to be. What they seem to be imagining are little billiard balls governed by Newtonian physics, one bumping into another and so on and on. In all of it each cause and effect can be traced to another, all else is of the "magic" that shuts down the pursuit of knowledge and so on. Why, it may as well be a Flying Spaghetti Monster and this sort of thing if it doesn't fit in with their little imaginings about one billiard ball hitting another and causing it to move, then another, another, another and so on to a mystical infinity hidden away in millions of years.

That's interesting.

The post below this one seems to have been censored off of the blog of a little fellow waging a Kulture Kampf based on the scientism of his day. I thought it might be, which is part of the reason I saved it here. I didn't actually make the connection to him but the reasoning that he engages in and the scientism of the day that he believes in seems to be similar enough that the sweaty little hands of the censor come out when the form of proto-Nazi reasoning is pointed out. The irony of the common move toward censorship is that censorship of the truth about Nazi attempts to engage in "biological thinking" is typical to Nazism.

Those who want to engage in proto-Nazi forms of scientism tend to burn books and censor because history is their natural enemy.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A comment...

Revised from here:
I listed numerous examples of such comparisons being made by prominent ID advocates like Jonathan Wells, William Dembski, John Calvert, Mark Hartwig and Phillip Johnson.

Anyone opposed to the usual Darwinian attempts at "biological thinking" (instead of thinking through and about biology) should make such comparisons for sound historical reasons, lest history repeat itself. For example, biology as a mask for the urge to merge:
Biological thinking in Nazism:

“And they were all doctors like me, who tried to think biologically, biology as the foundation of medical thought. . . . We didn’t want politics—we were critical of politics—but [concerned} with the way human beings really are—not just an idea or philosophy.”

National Socialism as Applied Biology:

The nation would now be run according to what Johann S. and his cohorts considered biological truth, “the way human beings really are.” That is why he had a genuine “eureka” experience—a sense of “That’s exactly it!”—when he heard Rudolf Hess declare National Socialism to be “nothing but applied biology” (see page 31). Dr. S. felt himself merged...
(The Nazi Doctors: Medical
Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide
By Robert Jay Lifton :129) (Emphasis added)

Is it really a brute "scientific fact" at issue or did the little fellow just like feeling merged to overcome the "Jewish influence" of alienation? It seems that all that is essential and conceptual is alienating for some little fellows. They are the true believers in so-called "natural selection" like the Nazis Klebold and Harris.

As one put it:
Our whole cultural life for decades has been more or less under the influence of biological thinking, as it was begun particularly around the middle of the last century, by the teachings of Darwin...
(Hitler’s Professors: The Part of Scholarship in
Germany’s Crimes Against the Jewish People
By Max Weinreich
(New York:The Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1946) :33) (Emphasis added)

All these who only think that they are thinking about biology often begin running with the Herd, naturally! They usually like to murmur about science and imagine little historical narratives about things to play pretend that they are engaging in scientific reasoning. Yet Darwinists specifically simply cannot seem to engage in conceptual thinking because they are usually trying to engage in "biological thinking" instead. That leads to a scholarship of this form:
The scholars whom we shall quote in such impressive numbers, like those others who were instrumental in any other part of the German pre-war and war efforts, were to a large extent people of long and high standing, university professors and academy members, some of them world famous, authors with familiar names and guest lecturers abroad...
If the products of their research work, even apart from their rude tone, strike us as unconvincing and hollow, this weakness is due not to inferior training but to the mendacity inherent in any scholarship that overlooks or openly repudiates all moral and spiritual values and, by standing order, knows exactly its ultimate conclusions well in advance.
(Ib. :7)(Emphasis added)

Anyone who has debated those trying to prop up the Darwinian creation myth these days knows that the apt summary of this historian matches Darwinian reasoning, which is often based more on a repudiation of the spiritual than actual evidence. Indeed, Darwinists sometimes say that their repudiation of the spiritual in negative theology is their best evidence. Those with the urge to merge often try to engage in the same forms of unreasonable reasoning to this day.

On the other hand, anyone comparing those who tend to oppose those supporting Darwinian "reasoning"/imagining or "biological thinking" to Holocaust deniers has probably never debated a Holocaust denier. Try it sometime, it's probably more useful when it comes to knowledge than imagining little histories that often degenerate into mythological narratives of naturalism based on a wave of the hand and the mystical magic of millions of years ago.

[Edit: I was busy tonight, busy! So I didn't get much done with blogging.]

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A local on ID

From Anonymous Opinion.

Thanks for the link, I didn't know that any local bloggers were that interested in it.

[Edit: My hits are way down today, I can't blame people given my sporadic updates after moving. It will get better sometime but I'll actually be rather busy this week too. Well, given that my hits are going down it is important that all eleven of you click the above link.]

A point I have sometimes made.

Ironically, ancient wisdom, much of it presumably discredited by modern science, is making a comeback and vindicating itself.
It turns out that the vitalists were right in a sense. Living matter is fundamentally different than non-living matter. Living matter requires information.
(Read the middle at: Uncommon Descent)

Stated in the crude way that Darwinists have: "Scratch a creationist and you'll find a vitalist." Yet what if the vitalists were correct "in some sense," so you have to have sense to make sense. If so, then given the way that the Darwinian mind has acted in the past it will quickly be all over the new developments or observations, merging things together while merging itself into it all by claiming that it has something to do with all progress while denying the very basis of progress. (Not to mention that such a mind is denying a transcendent perspective to trace or judge progress over time anyway.)

I.e., they will excrete more hypothetical goo over the facts while claiming that the "overwhelming" amount of their excrement makes for valid science. Science relies on accurate words and accurate information perhaps even more than a study of formations, yet the pollutions of language typical to the Darwinian mind are common. In modern times this begins at the foundation with the abuse of the term "evolution" itself.

Another example, applicable to vitalism:
Modern biology grew up in opposition to vitalism, the doctrine living organisms are organized by purposive, mindlike principles (Fig. 5.5).
Mechanists denied this. But modern biology now has purposive mindlike organizing principles of its own: the genetic programs. Moreover, purpose is no longer denied but admitted. The old term teleology, with its Aristotelian associations, has been replaced by the new term teleonomy, the “science of adaptation.” As Dawkins has pointed out, “in effect teleonomy is teleology made respectable by Darwin, but generations of biologists have been schooled to avoid ‘teleology’ as if it were an incorrect construction in Latin grammar, and many feel more comfortable with a euphemism.”
Thus the paradigm of modern biology, although nominally mechanistic, has in effect become remarkably similar to vitalism, with genetic “programs” or “information” or “instructions” or “messages” playing the role formerly attributed to vital factors such as entelechies.
Mechanists have always accused vitalists of trying to explain the mysteries of life in terms of empty words, such as entelechy, which “explain everything and therefore nothing.” But the vital factors in their mechanistic guises have exactly this characteristic. How does a marigold grow from a seed? Because it is genetically programmed to do so. How does a spider instinctively spin its web? Because of the information coded in its genes. And so on.
(Morphic Resonance & the Presence of the Past
by Rubert Sheldrake :86-87)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Platonic theology vs. Christianity

I came across this on the blog of a professor who will be teaching a course on ID. He was so ignorant and willfully stupid that he apparently does not realize where his ideas come from. It is typical to Darwinists/"evolutionists" to condemn and work against notions of any form of transcendent essence even as they rely on belief in transcendent forms of "natural law" governing the Cosmos in their own philosophy. Ironically, they come to have faith in natural law to the point that they feel comfortable sitting in judgment on the Creator based on natural laws. Therefore, in their theology God breaking natural laws is forbidden even as the fact that God wrote such "laws" is forgotten. God is the only support for the metaphor of "law" by which they are understanding Nature. I put evolutionist in quotes above because they are not even true evolutionists who apply the doctrines of evolution to all things, instead they save a metaphor of unchanging and essentially eternal laws that "govern" the Cosmos. It is scientific to understand natural laws, it is not scientific to reject all meta-scientific limitations to try to make a God out of such Law or the eternal Platonic Forms. Aquinas was right to note that if such laws exist then they are merely thoughts in the Mind of God.

The Darwinian mind seems to be that of a Christian apostate, as its reasoning usually relies on a Christian foundation and Christian theology. Yet it is usually using Christian reasoning to deny elements of Christianity. In the case of this professor one of his messages ended by arguing of the move toward ID that: "I don't want your naturalistic God." Again that seems to be Platonism where the form is taken to be purer than the matter in which it is manifest, therefore God would get dirty if He's actually done anything in history. If we derive any of our knowledge from the Bible instead of the empirical facts that point to invisible forms of "pure" mathematics, those forms of knowledge that can be metaphorically seen by insight behind the forms that we see by sight, then the gardening God has gotten dirty indeed! Ironically, we'd hardly know of invisible mathematical attributes of a logical God by which to do away with our loving Father God if He didn't love all his children enough to leave us some poetry in the Bible. It would also be quite odd for humans to condemn God for working in and with the humus given that it is what they are formed out of originally and we return to it in Death even as Life emerges from life. Yet the "creature of the earth" is an odd creature that seems quite anxious to reject its own salvation in favor of condemnation as it is human, all too human.

At any rate, it's hard to believe how stupid and ignorant an actual American university professor is with respect to the dirty little secret of the roots of his own Platonic ideas. Given that he considered the laws and the forms to be so pure that they cannot touch or impact physical reality (the unclean!) he also argued that a God who meets us on our own human terms given this little matter of the humus is a sort of "dirty God" and so on, like the "naturalistic God" that he condemns on Platonic terms.

Because of the level of ignorance another commenter noted rather sardonically that while the professor is borrowing major elements of Christianity to get from point A to point B logically he's also denying Christianity, naturally. And all the while, many Darwinians seem to feel that they are Christians. The comment:
Here is a little reminder that blind faith is never called for—and that God does not shy away from offering physical proof:

• In the book of Judges, Gideon asks for multiple physical proofs that God was God. The proofs were given. The bible does not contain a footnote that reads: “and Gideon, after serving his military purpose, was cursed for demanding proof.”

• When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God complied with the request. The bible does not contain a footnote that reads: “And Moses’ inability to rely solely on blind faith is the real reason he wasn’t allowed into the Promised Land.”

• Psalm 19 teaches that the heavens declares God’s glory. The bible does not contain a footnote that reads: “but only as a crutch for the weak-minded.”

• When Jesus forgave the sins of a lame man, he then healed the man. Instead of containing a footnote that reads: “and for those who required the latter, let them be anathema,” the bible reads that Jesus said it was so we may know the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.

• When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost. He showed them he was flesh and blood, and that he could even eat. The bible does not contain a footnote that reads: “and their rewards in heaven were diminished because they relied on physical proof rather than blind faith.”

• Paul writes, in the letter to the Romans, that since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. The bible doesn’t have a footnote that reads: “but pay attention to that evidence at your own peril.” Instead, Paul adds that the reason for this (scientific data) is so that men are without excuse.

• Even in the case of “doubting” Thomas, where Jesus allows Thomas to examine His wounds, and even though Jesus blesses those who believe without seeing, the bible does not contain a footnote that reads: “and Thomas was cast out for his reliance on proof.”
You have to like the anonymous commenter sometimes. The professor's answer was that he suspects the commentator adheres to a "pernicious" theology.

That's because he's being a crybaby. I wrote something sardonic about his astounding level of ignorance and stupidity as well. You might say that sardonic comments come to me, naturally!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Social Leftists at it again.

I would call them "liberals" but the new sort of moral degenerates on the Left just aren't in the same class as traditional liberals.

An example of trying to put ideas in kids' minds:
Port Washington - Parents are angry and school leaders are promising action in response to a "Heterosexual Questionnaire," approved by two teachers, that asked students questions such as: "If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn't prefer it?"

It's probably the same way that you know not to eat your own excrement without trying it. It's a basic natural fact, although the insane sometimes forget it. If you're going to ask a question about knowledge that has to do with Natural Law and the basic distinctions and categorical discriminations that it relies on then that brings up various issues dealing with basic judgments of sane behavior, sanitation, civilization and the like. No matter how much people are conditioned to make a special case for homophilia in their moral reasoning any doors that are opened in such reasoning will apply to all sexual behaviors and all behavior. If accepted incorrectly in one area the same reasoning begins to be logically applied to more deviant things like zoophilia, pedophilia, etc. Logical reasoning based on a philosophy of hedonism was already applied by the Romantics to heterosexual promiscuity and adultery. I.e., Gays© are making use of a form of moral reasoning that is already there. In the modern template of Gay© propaganda the old moral reasoning would look like this: "Promiscuity people just have a different culture, yet they are discriminated against by current marriage law! Well, I know a person who is promiscuous and they seem nice and friendly. So yay for me and my acceptance and tolerance of promiscuity people!" Etc. Tucked away inside it is the fact that a philosophy of hedonism is being assumed and used to define groups of people as well as their sexual ethic.

It seems that after a group identity is established the relationship between Leftists and their groups can get odd, as Leftists tend to use their groupie groups of Victims to get political power for themselves. Sometimes their use of groups for power continues to the point that it seems that they do not really care about supporting their constituents as people and individuals after all. E.g., if the Democrats really believed that the absence of same-sex marriage was some sort of human rights abuse against individual people, instead of an issue to be mined for the sake of identity politics with yet another supposed collective, then their platform wouldn't be leaving the issue to the states.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Darwinists on the run again...

As I noted before it's actually their position to avoid debating creationists while murmuring about science and now some are running from ID too. They and their mentally retarded ideas are going to be through in the coming generations if good speakers do not emerge from running with the Herd soon. Publishing in journals controlled by those for who the blurred term "evolution" is the be all, end all, has all the merit of members of the Herd sniffing each other's butts and acting as if they do not stink.

A waste of time?

A hypothetical satire on books and in favor of video games:
In this [hypothetical] universe, kids have been playing games for centuries—and then these page-bound texts come along and suddenly they’re all the rage. What would the teachers, and the parents, and the cultural authorities have to say about this frenzy of reading? I suspect it would sound something like this:
Reading books chronically understimulates the senses. Unlike the longstanding tradition of gameplaying—which engages the child in a vivid, three-dimensional world filled with moving images and musical soundscapes, navigated and controlled with complex muscular movements—books are simply a barren string of words on the page. Only a small portion of the brain devoted to processing written language is activated during reading, while games engage the full range of the sensory and motor cortices.
Books are also tragically isolating. While games have for many years engaged the young in complex social relationships with their peers, building and exploring worlds together, books force the child to sequester him or herself in a quiet space, shut off from interaction with other children. These new “libraries” that have arisen in recent years to facilitate reading activities are a frightening sight: dozens of young children, normally so vivacious and socially interactive, sitting alone in cubicles, reading silently, oblivious to their peers.
Many children enjoy reading books, of course, and no doubt some of the flights of fancy conveyed by reading have their escapist merits. But for a sizable percentage of the population, books are downright discriminatory. The reading craze of recent years cruelly taunts the 10 million Americans who suffer from dyslexia—a condition that didn’t even exist as a condition until printed text came along to stigmatize its sufferers.
But perhaps the most dangerous property of these books is the fact that they follow a fixed linear path. You can’t control their narratives in any fashion—you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you. For those of us raised on interactive narratives, this property may seem astonishing. Why would anyone want to embark on an adventure utterly choreographed by another person? But today’s generation embarks on such adventures millions of times a day. This risks instilling a general passivity in our children, making them feel as though they’re powerless to change their circumstances. Reading is not an active, participatory process; it’s a submissive one. The book readers of the younger generation are learning to “follow the plot” instead of learning to lead.
It should probably go without saying, but it probably goes better with saying, that I don’t agree with this argument.
(Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Pop-culture is Actually Making Us Smarter
by Steven Johnson :19-20)

He makes some interesting points, yet I do not know just how useful the form of intelligence that you get from games is. Like the virtual world of books, I suppose it depends on what the game is and what its quality is. Many games probably are not the complete and total waste of time that the old timers think that they are, although ironically the same people seem to think that computers are like magic. Information technologies are usually merely knowledge in a different medium, although it does get to the point where no single person really knows how to put it all together, thus the impression of magic or something for nothing.

Well, I just played a few games with my brothers. Maybe we're the smarter for it. If we ever have to manage resources, armies and economies to conquer the world then I guess we'll be ready.

A few screenshots from our last game of Age of Mythology tonight:

My little brother, getting beat:

Me, not getting beat:

My titan, muwhahaha!(<---Sheesh, what's the right way to write an evil laugh, anyway?):

Game over,

Just for you Nancy... becomes white, dark becomes light.

I'll probably fiddle with this blog later. There was already some broken code on it, etc.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Worth quoting...

I was just reading some blogs and came across this:
In the real world, not the paranoid fantasies of anti-Patriot-Act mouth-frothers, there is not a shred of evidence that America is using torture anywhere. Not even in Guantanamo.

And if we learn anything from the aberrant events at Abu Gharib, it's this: If wacko mistreatment of prisoners is going on, it can't be kept secret.

American soldiers are not perfect. In the heat of battle, terrible things are done. There really is such a thing as blood-lust, the berserker mentality in which adrenalin-charged people carry out appalling acts of slaughter, and Americans are not immune to it.

There are also sick or evil people who use war as an excuse to indulge their immoral desires.

These things happen in all armies, throughout all of history. And in many cultures, such acts are institutionalized. Many American Indian tribes routinely tortured prisoners; the Spanish Inquisition really happened.

What is remarkable about American soldiers is that, on average, there has never been a more humane group of soldiers in the history of the world. Sure, Yanks have been resented as occupiers or conquerors -- what occupiers or conquerors have not been?
American soldiers have died or risked death to save civilian lives. They have also served the civilian population in many other highly visible ways. Many Iraqis -- perhaps most -- trust an American soldier more than any other figure in their country right now.

Yet somehow most charges of widespread torture by Americans in Iraq come from insane anti-American Americans, like Ramsey Clark and his ilk. Most Iraqis know they have been liberated from a terror state, not had a new one imposed on them.

With our highly targetable weaponry, America has virtually renounced damage to civilians as a method of war. In our ground engagements, our soldiers are able to be far more selective in targeting than any army in history.

No army has ever been as self-restrained as our army is today. And that is not because of pressure from the Left. It's because our soldiers are decent American citizens who are serving their country, not getting vengeance or indulging authority fantasies.

So these charges of torture, so carelessly and negligently made by our leading television writers*, are being applied to Americans who are innocent of such offenses.

Yet foreigners are being convinced that Americans are all torturers, because our own TV shows admit it; and it is hardly far-fetched to say that this creates part of the climate from which our terrorist enemies recruit their bombers. Indeed, I think it is fair to say that there will be an undeniable causal chain from these charges of torture to dead American, military and otherwise.
(Orson Card from

*The only television show I watch is Lost because the writing is decent, although some may argue for other reasons, and sure enough the Americans as torturers notion was written into it. It seems to be an element of the pop-culture now. Usually all it takes to shatter the pop-cultural imagery of the moment is a minimal amount of historical and philosophical knowledge. E.g., the American Empire is the most benevolent to have ever achieved hegemony and even if it purposefully tortured and killed thousands of people it would generally still have to be ranked at the top given how low the standards for running the human race have been set by other cultures. For what is the standard, is it relative to other cultures and Empires or not? In the case of America, it seems to me that there has never been another nation founded on metaphysical notions of transcendence to the same extent. Instead, most nations have always been about the physical tribe, culture and so on instead of the metaphysical ideas like those at the roots of America that are applicable to all its citizens because all its citizens are supposed to believe that an essential Natural Law transcends cultures, race/skin pigmentation, ethnicity/communication habits, etc., like light defining and sustaining all the colors of a rainbow.

I tire of the Leftist tendency of rebelling against all notions of transcendence, yet living as intellectual parasites on the very same notions anyway. I believe in shaking them off of what they live on, thus opening the possiblity that they will evolve and learn to support the metaphoric Tree of Liberty rather than eat away at its roots.

Note that in America the most neurotic Leftists who take the pattern to the point that it is the material of satire are so phobic and neurotically anxious to defeat the "Christian Taliban" (Who establish their theocracy by putting "In God we trust." on the money and this sort of thing combined with assorted horrors like public displays of the Ten Commandments.) that they'll turn a blind eye to the real Taliban succeeding. Yet they will come to find what "theocracy" and the Taliban really is if they succeed in their goal of treating cultures which are not equal, as if they are equal. Once a physical host dies there is no longer anything protecting a parasite from cold external realities and the same seems to apply in the metaphysical world of ideas. It's the same with these intellectually incompetent artists and writers who cannot find the courage to engage in negative imagery with respect to other cultures, leaving only their own to create such imagery of. You can be sure that someone is going to have negative imagery created about them, as there is not much of a way to tell a good story otherwise, so when it is politically incorrect to be creative in that way with respect to pretty much all other cultures it finds an outlet against our own. We're probably the only culture that does this, as artists in other cultures seem to have no problem creating negative imagery about America.

This film portrays the Kurds of northern Iraq as puppets of the Americans and as a motley crew of dirty, cowardly soldiers with the exception of one soldier who (what else?) sides with the Turks. The Americans' atrocities include attacking a wedding and killing the groom as well as a child -- in front of its mother of course -- before relishing in the torture of any survivors. The doctor who peddles organs is a Jew who selects his victims as if in a concentration camp before readying their organs for export to the US and Israel. Another traditionally dressed Jew with ringlets of hair (in northern Iraq!) leaves the area at the first sign of danger.

The irony of negative imagery is that it is usually a projection of one's own conscience creating the imagery of its own condemnation. That's why you have to be careful about such things when it comes to creating metaphors and verbal pictures. Or in this case film, as note that it is Turkey as a culture and nation that engages in torture often enough that evidence of it threatens its path to the EU and so on. It seems that the film may be a fitting national projection. It would be interesting to see what American artists projected onto their screens if they ever felt comfortable with creating and projecting negative imagery outward. Yet for now most of their creativity is masked behind cultural and moral relativism, a sort of inward and subjective babeling if you will. If the artist engaging in that is pressed, then their latent creativity/imagination will come forth.

[Still reading? If so, I'm surprised you lasted this long. Reading and thinking can be hard, just watch your own imagery and metaphors as they will usually reveal that your mind is condemning you again. But that's not always the case.]

Thursday, May 11, 2006

That's better.

I haven't been blogging much lately. I'll get back to it. I should watch an action movie on my new screen but instead I put on Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price. It's not the best Leftist kook type documentary ever.
In the beginning it shows the proverbial mom and pop stores vamping up to compete with Walmart. So it would seem that mom and pop could stand a little update? Then it shows some abandoned stores that seem like they had always been old and run down. It reminds me of the local hardware store being against the Home Depot coming in, yet because they don't carry much sometimes I have to drive to the Home Depot anyway. Would the Home Depot put them out of business, probably, but the employees would probably be paid more anyway.

On this local note, the way Newark is there will probably always be a bunch of old blowhards ready to ramble about the "fabric of Newark" for however long it take to make them feel important, then vote to protect some tattered remains of the so-called "fabric." What is the fabric of Newark, exactly? After all, even the University of Delaware apparently is not a part of it given the statements of some city leaders. They actually seem to view themselves as protecting the city from the University, failing to see that much of the city is the University. Much of it seems to boil down to this pattern of viewpoint: "Progress? We don't need no progress or Home Depot. Why, when I was a boy we had to gnaw wood to pieces with our teeth! That's how Newark was built, by my fabrication of its fabric, I says. So by my fabrications of the way things were that's the way they will stay until the day I die!"

Ironically, old conservatives will come into agreement with so-called progressives on progress because they both tend towards the same attitude about technology although they get there through different paths. It's odd that the Left and so-called progressives are usually against the tycoons, Big Business and so on because it is a matter of history that the tycoons are likely to bring "progress" and change even if they are often corrupt.

Who is it that is supposedly merely reactionary and driven by fears of progress, technology, science and change again? The Right? As for me I don't believe in fitting in with either the Left or the Right, yet the so-called Center has been filled with all the people that are merely too stupid and ignorant to make up their minds instead of being the place of the ideal Aristotlean zenith/mean between two vices. I.e., the centrist these days often seems to believe that merely avoiding being associated with the Right or the Left means that they must be of the ideal Center when actually it may just mean that you sit in the center of your own lack of judgment.

I suppose I'll just think what I think about things and let others try to classify my pattern of thought if they like. The Right and the Left are useful definitions and ways of classifying thought, that's probably why they evolved the way they did, yet they're also often relative.

Monday, May 08, 2006


It would seem that someone did not get that far beyond good and evil. E.g.
The author of the account of [Nietzsche's] collapse speaks beautifully of Nietzsche’s mind, forever extinguished in 1889: it was born out of music and that it expired in music. The strange desire, so frequent in Germany: to pass away in beauty, was fulfilled for him. .... As the correspondence of his last period reveals, he imagined himself to be either the God Dionysos or the Crucified. In this latter role he caused a public—and in reality humanely beautiful—scandal, which led to his transfer to the asylum for nervous diseases in Turin:
Nietzsche interfered in Turin with a cab driver who was mistreating his horse, as so often happens in Italy. Nietzsche embraced the horse’s neck and prayed that it be beatified in the name of God. Then he collapsed.
(Nietzsche and After
by Robert Rie
Journal of the History of Ideas,
Vol. 13, No. 3. (Jun., 1952) :366)

It is a fitting end to the life of the mind. For all his comical preaching about the Superman in the world of ideas it seems that Nietzsche was always too tender hearted to go beyond good and evil himself, as that is evil.

I've debated whether Nietzsche was a proto-Nazi before. There is a case to be made that he was (many of his ideas were picked up by the Nazis) and a case to be made that he wasn't (he was like an anti-anti-Semite). In the past I would make the case for his proto-Nazi side, yet I can also agree with this:
The tension between Nietzsche’s ideals and his complete impotence explains the collapse. His sentences and catchwords, his formulations, but never his intentions, caused German Nazi misdeeds.
(Ib. :369)

It still seems to me that if your words and formulations are not linked to reality and your intentions, then you are merely a liar. Yet there is in the words, language and ultimately the Word at least a little space for learning a knowledge of good and evil, and then perhaps even going beyond good and evil by grace.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Darwinian reasoning....

I have found the thing about explaining Darwinism to someone who has not been indoctrinated and imprinted with its fraudulent type of "imagery" as a child is that it seems fundamentally unreasonable to them, naturally. It seems that again and again a Darwinist will have to rely on their own imagination, so if your imagination does not match then the arguments that they've based on their own imagination will not make any sense.

Darwin's skill was transmuting his own blurred imagination to supposed "facts" about form, e.g.:
He who will go thus far, if he find on finishing this treatise that large bodies of facts, otherwise inexplicable, can be explained by the theory of descent, ought not to hesitate to go further, and to admit that a structure even as perfect as the eye of an eagle might be formed by natural selection, although in this case he does not know any of the transitional grades.
The Origin of Species (I.e., the origin of form in life forms.)

After a Darwinist is through going through all of Nature sifting it for similarities to imagine historical claims about while rejecting differences that falisfy their imaginings, then they claim that the rest ought to be imagined! As if they had not done enough imagining about history already? Darwin may be lost in his own imagination about history yet the result is that he simply lies about what he is doing when it comes to hypothetical imagination vs. theoretical reasoning, as ironically he continues in the next sentence:
His reason ought to conquer his imagination; though I have felt the difficulty far too keenly to be surprised at any degree of hesitation in extending the principle of natural selection to such startling lengths.
(Ib., emphasis added) Yet if reason had conquered his imagination then he wouldn't be asking others to imagine that natural selection can be extended in nearly infinite ways, nor that it has some sort of "sight" by which it can "pick" different forms to draw out images. It seems to me that Darwin is explaining what is going on in his own head as he picks forms and patterns of imagery that suit his further imaginations that culminate with the claim being we should imagine natural selection with near infinite capacities. This is why I cannot do anything but call the imaginary mind of this man a liar when it claims that "reason must conquer imagination." Not to worry, I didn't attack the man, just the mind that he seems to have lost somewhere in his own imagination.

Given the reliance of such a mind on imagination, even the supposed possiblity of the falsification of its ideas are clearly impossible being that they are based on a possible failure of its own imagining. And why would a mind want to imagine its own failure? E.g.:
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.
(Ib. emphasis added) He just can't admit that he's the one imagining numerous, successive, slight modifications and instead merges and mixes his own imaginings in with supposed actual cases. I think it is telling that to remain atheistic when it comes to Life and the fundamental origins of its form people have to engage in Darwininan "reasoning" in which you work your own imagination in to count as fact to such a point that even your supposed falsification is clearly a negative argument of impossiblity that has nothing to do with the facts. No one will ever be able to prove a negative that is rooted in your own imagination. And of course it is impossible for you yourself to "imagine" a sequence in which your own theory absolutely breaks down.

But that's only because it was your own hypothetical excrement* to begin with.

*Although "unclean" excrement does have this way of being turned back to forms of life, it is not the origins or cause of form. Maybe there is some metaphoric Excrement that considers being equal with that which is truly the genesis of form something to be grasped. Then I suppose some might ask, "But who excreted the Excrement?" But that's another post.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A new blog...

Here's another ID blog, sort of, they seem a little uncertain of themselves and unaware of how weak their opponents are. I've been amusing myself in the comments section. (Here and here...if I could sharpen my rhetoric and barbs more, I would. It's a goal. I look at it this way, if you have to eat your words then they'll be especially bitter. One may as well make use of language to learn, since that's what one of its main purposes seems to be.)

Maybe I will do a post on the whole embryonic "gill slit" canard that Darwinists believe in sometime. It's hard to make what amounts to Haeckel's old ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny sound reasonable enough to argue against. Perhaps I'll just compare it to some more ancient ideas about embryos that are also amusing.

It is hard to believe that biologists, biology textbook writers and American university professors still believe such things and are still looking for ways to prop up the argument, yet they do.