Just false

If is what does that make Christianity and other faith-based religions? Just pseudo.

I’ve been wanting to use that throwaway comment for awhile, but not having any desire to discuss ID (I’m glad there are people out there dedicated to debunking obvious crackpot pseudoscientific claims, though for some reason the targets don’t particularly provoke in me amusement, interest, or outrage, unlike purveyors of economic-political-religious-social crackpot ideas — odd peronality quirk I suppose), I haven’t until now, occasioned by the Technology Liberation Front group blog’s (I’ve cited several times) incredibly stupid decision to add a employee to their roster.

My ignorant comment on ID: Overall, a positive development. Theists feel compelled to justify their faith on scientific-sounding grounds and are eager to debate real scientists. Even if the theists’ reasons for wanting to debate are completely disingenuous clearly they are on a slippery slope away from faith, which requires no evidence.

Update 20060901: Tim Lee’s TLF post addressing the Discovery Instituteis an utmost example of decency.

5 Responses

  1. Gordon Mohr says:

    There have been some Slate pieces that roughly concur with your assessment of ID — compared to old-style and ‘young earth’ creationism, it’s indicative the creationism is weakening. Some examples:

    Unintelligible Redesign: This is the way creationism ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper by William Saletan

    What Matters in Kansas: The evolution of creationism by William Saletan

    I wonder, though, is ID really much different from thesimulation argument?

    Or the idea our universe is someone else’s physics experiment, as discussed in this other Slate piece:

    The Big Lab Experiment: Was our universe created by design? by Jim Holt

    “You might take this all as a joke,” [Stanford physicist Andrei Linde] said, “but perhaps it is not entirely absurd. It may be the explanation for why the world we live in is so weird. On the evidence, our universe was created not by a divine being, but by a physicist hacker.”

    Linde’s theory gives scientific muscle to the notion of a universe created by an intelligent being. It might be congenial to Gnostics, who believe that the material world was fashioned not by a benevolent supreme being but by an evil demiurge. More orthodox believers, on the other hand, will seek refuge in the question, “But who created the physicist hacker?” Let’s hope it’s not hackers all the way up.

  2. Thanks for the Slate links. I particularly enjoyed “What Matters In Kansas”:

    You don’t have to dig deep in the fossil record to see this change unfolding.


    The simulation argument implies , not design, no?

  3. Gordon Mohr says:

    I think that kind of ‘cosmological evolution’ is more related to the ‘anthropic principle’.

    The simulation argument from Bostrum is that if you believe some relatively plausible things projected out from today, we’re probably already in an intentionally-created simulated universe.

    A 1992 argument along the same lines was Pigs in Cyberspace, by roboticist Hans Moravec, which concludes on the note:

    If these minds spend only an infinitesimal fraction of their energy contemplating the human past, their sheer power should ensure that eventually our entire history is replayed many times in many places, and in many variations. The very moment we are now experiencing may actually be (almost certainly is) such a distributed mental event, and most likely is a complete fabrication that never happened physically. Alas, there is no way to sort it out from our perspective: we can only wallow in the scenery.

  4. I’m intentionally conflating simulations and new universes. If either is easy, a simulation argument like argument says we’re in an ancestor or simulated universe or both and an evolutionary argument says we’re in or simulated in the type of universe most likely to spawn more universes or simulations.

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