Saturday, March 24, 2018

Reading The Entrails of Atheist Faith

The other day I posted an excerpt of Elliot Sober's critique of Alex Rosenberg's contention that natural selection was the only biological law.   That passage shows much if not everything that is wrong with the kind of science which is pushed by materialists, atheists and the faithful of the atheist ideology of scientism.

Start out with this passage which claims for the vitally important component of one of their most prized of doctrines, natural selection, prized because it so often supports, in those who don't think about it very hard, their scientistic materialism, the predominant faith holding of their religion.

Consider, for example, what we can know about fitness.  Fitness is the supervenient biological property par excellens.  What do a fit zebra, a fit dandelion, and a fit bacterium have in common?  Presumably, nothing much at the level of their physical properties.  However, this has not prevented evolutionists from theorizing about fitness.   I have already mentioned Fisher's theorem and there are lots of other lawful generalizations that describe the sources and consequences of fitness differences (Sober 1984). 

In the extreme position which the monistic, reductionistic faith of materialism logically necessitates, our ideas MUST be an expression of specific physical representations of what those ideas denote, manufactured in our brains, when those correspond to other physical entities in the universe, they are "true" the extent to which any idea we have can be true. 

Alex Rosenberg, in his semi-popular book The Atheist's Guide To Reality made such a claim to divert attention from his claim that our minds, even our sentences can't carry meaning of significance.   He claimed what his book would do to the reader - and presumably in many cases buyer -

This book isn't conveying statements. It's rearranging neural circuits, removing inaccurate disinformation and replacing it with accurate information.

In order for his ideology to be "accurate" it would have to "rearrange neural circuits" so as to represent actual physical entities in the physical universe, nothing else being real, in his religion.

But, get back to "fitness" as the devotees of the doctrine of natural selection as a scientific law require to even construct the idea of natural election.  If, as Sober reasonably, I would say obviously points out, there is no physical structure, no physical correspondence of "fitness" of a zebra, to that of a dandelion, or a bacterium, there is no physical structure that constitutes "fitness" as one thing.   In order for "fitness" to be one thing that could have any meaning in the scientific theory of natural selection "fitness" itself has to have a transcendent meaning apart from the actual physical structures of the organisms which are said to possess that quality.  If there is any accurate meaning to the "information" called "fitness" that could meaningfully take its place in any statement about "natural selection" it would have to be non-physical. 

If you want to make the claim that fitness is known to be a real thing which can fit into a scientific theory because it is an expression of survival of organisms that is problematic also.  Natural selection doesn't claim that all "unfit" organisms die before they can reproduce, though that is one of the means by which it defines "unfitness." it also covers those organisms which leave fewer offspring in a population within a species, subspecies, variety, tribe, family, etc.   Which is one more complication for the idea of "fitness" as a scientific concept. "Fitness" doesn't have a specific physical character, it doesn't describe one state of physical being.  It has not actual physical character except in its end point and that, itself is varied, no offspring, fewer offspring, more offspring, perhaps every whole number over countless generations could be held to be that meaning.

And to fit in with the neo-Darwinism that is the current faith of such people as Rosenberg and Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, every instance in which such variable reproductive rate is not the product of genetic differences between individuals and groups its physicality cannot either be ascertained as relevant to the results or it cannot be accounted for by "fitness" and so escapes the universal faith of Darwinism as the triumph of monistic materialism which Ernst Haeckel was only the first to claim it was.  That faith is the predominant one held by such scientistic atheists, today.

Sober goes on to, in essence, anticipate the criticism I made of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow,  their demand that science dispose of the requirement of theories being held up against the physical universe, empirical demonstration, to test its accuracy or even reliability as a representation of something real instead of merely wished for. 

 It might be objected that these generalizations are a priori, and so are not laws, properly speaking.  This raises the question of whether laws must be empirical, but let us put that issue aside.

Well, let's not put that aide.  Any such laws which are not held up to physical verification cannot be known to be "accurate information" any such law has an unknown probability of  "rearranging neural circuits, removing inaccurate disinformation and replacing it with accurate information,"  Putting aside the rather stupid and untested metaphor of "neural circuits" which such materialists don't understand is an untested metaphor and so likely constitutes inaccurate information. 

That demand made by such scientists, and I've never heard it made by any scientist except those who have a great emotional investment in atheism, is, itself, a demand that "truth" that information must be held to be transcendent of the physical universe, or why else should anyone who holds their faith accept such a demand that their theories be held to have such a super natural status?    That they want to violate some of the requirements that constitute one of the highest prides of science, that its ideas are so tested against the observation and measurement of the entities they claim they represent, shows how decadent this effort it. 

That such a claim must be made for natural selection is a consequence of only a very small percentage of the organisms, their physical remains and the all important life histories, environmental conditions, interactions with their changing or stable environments, other members of their kind (especially in those specie with sexual reproduction) with other organisms of other species,  chance events which have no genetic significance, etc.   Isn't surprising.  The entire theory of natural selection, for which all of those in all of life would have to be entirely relevant, can never have such rigorous testing because what you would need to test it is so unknown, the largest majority of that information is, effectively, as lost to science as Hawking used to think "information" lost in a black hole would be.  That Hawking and Mlodinow made that demand in relation to multiverse conjecture for which that information will never be in hand is also no great shock.   They are asking to be exempted from doing science but calling what they produced science and it having the prestige and status of science.

The same is as true for psychology which has seldom to never practiced that, coming up with absurd pantomimes of "study" and making absurdly grand and general claims for what that shows.  As I mentioned, the history of psychology is a study of ideas put up as reliable science but, one after another, not only the details, but entire intellectual framings falling into disuse.  But holding not only a status as "truth" but also having even legal power in the meantime.*

All such "science" especially when cited by such ideological scientists and the kind of philosophers who are more groupies of scientism than rigorous thinkers, are merely demonstrating that they don't really believe their own professions of faith in materialism, in scientism, themselves as they demand exemptions for their faith holdings from being held up to the harsh light of critical examination of them by others not of their faith.   That remind you of anything?   Lots of religious people have left that stuff behind, in many cases centuries ago. 

* Even today, more so than in the past, Rorschach testing is ordered and is held to have evidentiary value in criminal trials, under "expert" testimony.   It would be interesting to know how many times that crap-science has gotten people convicted or maybe even a death sentence. 

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