Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Flatulence and Natural Theology

See: Atheism's Trump Card at Two or Three

I would like to write more satire. It seems that I haven't been in the mood.

Tangentially related: Benjamin Franklin, Vegetarianism and Flatulence


I need to begin archiving a historical irony given how progressives tend to represent things. It's ironic that progressives have invested a lot of rhetoric in making fundamentalist a stigma word given that the Darwinian creation myth was often originally propped up by Christians with theological arguments, including "fundamentalists."

The most notable evolutionist contributor to The Fundamentals was George Frederick Wright, a renowned glacial geologist and professor of the harmony of science and revelation in Oberlin College. Wright had been a Darwinian for more than forty years when The Fundamentals appeared. In the mid-1870s he joined with Darwin’s most prominent American supporter, Asa Gray, in publishing a collection of Gray’s essays on Darwinism and natural theology.
...we shall have to look to the decade after the First World War to find a movement militantly opposed to evolution, a Fundamentalism that supplied the imagery to reinforce the metaphor in which the post-Darwinian controversies had been cast.
(The Post-Darwinian Controversies
by James Moore :72-73)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Pictures of my kitesurfing instructor from last weekend:

(NE winds, about 30mph)

Related posts: Gone Windsurfing

Monday, September 17, 2007

Moral relativism..... supposedly...

Many moral relativists seem to lose the capacity for reasoned moral judgments/"discriminations" and so have to wait for a little emotional moment in which they sneak a judgment in by association with imagery which "everyone knows" is evil. The very words good and evil sound archaic to a modern relativist and progressives have been conditioned not to discriminate, so they are left with trying to be intolerant of intolerance or discriminating against discrimination in some unreasoning way that has no real basis in good reasoning.

Usually progressives of this sort won't actually say on what basis they think anyone who opposes them are ultimately right or wrong in principle, instead they have to rely on the same sort of emotional conditioning that their minds have been lost in. So here come the Nazis marching through the conditioned minds of this sort of half-wit, given that such a mind is conditioned to be indiscriminate it has to rely on the fact that everyone knows the Nazis were evil even if it cannot allow itself to go too far into discriminating why things are right or wrong.

It seems that what is left of the progressive mind reads a little like this in so far as it can be specified in actual thinking/language and reason: "I won't say that anything is good or evil because I've been conditioned to feel that would be a narrow minded kind of discrimination. It's downright intolerant. After all, the Taliban, the KKK and the Nazis have all said that some things are evil.... which proves my point that saying things are good or evil is....uh kinda wrong or somefin'!"

And so on, language and thinking itself seem to degenerate as such a weak mind is conditioned to be indiscriminate based on patterns of negative emotional conditioning which it tries to spread to others through the same methods and modes by which it was conditioned. Ironically this evil pattern (Evil? Oh my!) of emotional conditioning is found in the typical structure of Nazi and Islamist propaganda itself.

It seems that a mind that is conditioned to be indiscriminate and tolerant above all else must always lift evil up as the equal of good or tear good down to the equal of evil, ultimately it driven to seek equality. So this pattern of "thinking"/conditioning will have to portray old allies like the American and British as the moral equivalent of Islamists and Nazis with no regard for what is actually reasonable so that what is generally good can be portrayed as generally evil and vice versa. (A local example and a comment critical of critics, in so far as "It's just like somethin' or somethin'." imagery can be referred to as critical.)

It's ironic that progressives are typically ignorant enough to believe in the Darwinian creation myth and seem to derive much of their moral relativism from a Darwinian worldview which they believe to be scientific.

As the philosopher David Stove noted, if we agree that the Nazis were evil then such a worldview is associated with evil*:
It is less well known that...Adolf Hitler found or thought he found an authorization for his policies in the Darwinian theory of evolution. He said, for example, that "if we did not respect the law of nature, imposing our will by the right of the stronger, a day would come when the wild animals would again devour us--then the insects would eat the wild animals, and finally nothing would exist except the microbes. By means of the struggle the elites are constantly renewed. The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle by allowing the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature." is perfectly obvious that accepting Darwin's theory of a universal struggle for life must tend to strengthen whatever tendencies people had beforehand to selfishness and domineering behavior towards their fellow humans. Hence it must tend to make them worse than they were before, and more likely to commit crimes: especially crimes of rapacity, or of cruelty, or of dominance for the sake of dominance.

These considerations are exceedingly obvious. There was therefore never any excuse for the indignation and surprise with which Darwinians and neo-Darwinians have nearly always reacted whenever their theory is accused of being a morally subversive one. For the same reason there is, and always was, every justification for the people, beginning with Darwin's contemporaries, who made that accusation against the theory. Darwin had done his best to separate the theory from the matrix of murderous ideas in which previously it had always been set. But in fact, since the theory says what it does, there is a limit, and a limit easily reached, to how much can be done in the way of such a separation. The Darwinian theory of evolution IS an incitement to crime: that is simply a fact.

(Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors
of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution
By David Stove :106-109)

*Besides being evil, such a worldview is empirically groundless in the case of Homo sapiens because they are indeed sapient and so escape being governed by a law of natural selection at all times given that they are capable of intelligent selection. Darwinian reasoning can be rejected on the grounds that empirical evidence shows that it is not true and it can also be condemned as evil.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Someone else's comment:
My problem with God is that it seems to be terribly wasteful to have forced billions years of evolution from single-celled to multi-celled organisms and all that infinite space around us also seems to be too hostile and too wasteful if we are to play any part in his creation.
Calm yourself. Relax. There's nothing to worry about. If scientists told us tomorrow they had made some mistakes, and that the universe was actually only 1 light-year in diameter and only 100,000 years old, I doubt it would spark wild global street parties outside of the Bible Belt.

Heck, if you were a mere photon, you could fly across the universe in no time at all, because the distance between your starting point and your destination would be measured as zero in your frame of reference.

And remember: God is Light. In him there's no darkness, so in God's frame of reference, there are no spacelike or timelike separations, as it were. So in his frame of reference, maybe the universe is really, really tiny and no older than it was at the Big Bang.

Why do you always have to insist on making your frame of reference the measure of space and time? You are so darn anthropocentric! Where's the Copernican spirit? Here's leading string physicist Brian Greene, in The Elegant Universe, (p. 51):
…Thus light does not get old; a photon that emerged from the big bang is the same age today as it was then. There is no passage of time at light speed.
[emphasis added]


You go on:
Your post is quite impressive, but it leaves no hope for any scientific experiment to validate it.. it is not science, notwithstanding the possibility that it might be true, because science simply doesn't work that way.
Nor does poetry, or music, or tennis, or kissing work that way. They're not science either.
Perhaps, after the LHC is fired up in May and comes up with extra dimensions, we'll have a better idea what's happening.
I doubt it. But let's suppose it confirms 10-dimensional string theory. We'd still want to know how strings manage to cause poetry, music, tennis, and kissing.

Actually, most of us wouldn't. Most of us would be unable to follow the mathematics involved even if we were interested, which most people on the planet wouldn't be. We'd say, "Whatever", and go back to kissing. --Stunney

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Magic as a stigma word...

I've noted at times that those who believe in scientism use the word "magic" as a stigma word, a word of judgment which defines an idea as irrational without any further thought necessary.

For example, a commenter here once used magic as a stigma word in the case of the technology* of DNA: "Not organized by chemical laws? Then how does it hold together? Magic? And what kind of 'information' does it store? Be specific."

Ironically the impression that an artifact is evidence of "magic" may itself be evidence that the artifact in question is actually an instance of an intelligent mind using logic to create technology which then mediates the impact of its intelligence on the world. When lesser minds see the artifacts of a mind that is beyond them then they tend to see it as an issue of "magic."

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
--Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of The Future

Ironically, if intelligence is magical in some sense (See: The Magic of Intelligent Design) then the intelligent processing of logic that goes into any technology is "magical" anyway.

It's also ironic that those who believe in scientism these days use the term magic as a stigma word when they were the class of people who were the magicians of old. That is to say that chemists used to be alchemists, astronomers used to be astrologers, etc. Not to mention that there are now transhumanists that see some of the "magic" of intelligence applying itself in technology who would be the new magicians.

There is nothing new under the sun.

*"[DNA] is not merely a matter of complexity. The uniqueness of nucleic acids lies in the fact that their nucleotides are encoding symbols for amino acids. Symbolic encoding systems are familiar to us of course. You encounter them in the course of reading and their causal source is always intelligence." (Intelligently Sequenced)