• Philosophy of Mind,  Philosophy of Science

    Folk Psychology: Not a Theory

    Humans are said to be unique in virtue of our beliefs, desires, and language use. Or so we thought. That was until we envisaged the possibility of machines doing what we do and doing it better. A.I. paranoia has fed Hollywood and conspiracy theorists in equal measure, but Alex Rosenberg argues that the problem with A.I. fantasies is our presumption that beliefs and desires can be replicated. They can’t and that’s because they don’t exist, not even in humans. Thus, the threat to human distinctiveness comes not from the possibility of A.I. but the possibility that what we think makes us unique is an illusion: …we are convinced we have…

  • Philosophy of Science,  Scientism

    Feser on Scientism

    Feser on scientism: Scientism is simply not a coherent position. You cannot avoid having distinctively philosophical and extra-scientific theoretical commitments, because the very attempt to do so entails having distinctively philosophical and extra-scientific theoretical commitments. And if you think that these commitments are rationally justifiable ones – and of course, anyone beholden to scientism thinks his view is paradigmatically rational – then you are implicitly admitting that there can be such a thing as a rationally justifiablethesis which is not a scientific thesis. Which is, of course, what scientism denies. Thus scientism is unavoidably self-defeating.

  • Philosophy of Science,  Pragmatism


    “…pragmatism is perhaps the worst idea that philosophy ever had” says recently deceased philosopher, Jerry Fodor. Not only is it bad, but according to Fodor it is false, and necessarily so. Pragmatism suggests that rationalists have got it all the wrong way round. Instead of having thoughts about the world, we make plans in it. We can believe in the existence of material objects because belief in material objects is indispensable for science and science is what we want to do in the world. The problem is that it is impossible to put the cart before the horse. Whichever way one sets it up, being committed to the truth value…

  • Creation,  Evolution,  Philosophy of Science,  Science,  Young Earth

    Is Creationism a Science?

    I recently got into a debate over young earth creationism. One objection to the view went as follows: “A scientific theory is a concise set of statements which has broad explanatory and predictive power within its purview. In order to be considered scientific, a hypothesis must predict what must or must not be observed if it is true. If such things are not observed/observed, then the hypothesis is considered falsified. [Scientific Creationism] does not espouse any idea which makes exclusive predictions about what must or must not be observed. Every biological observation falls under “God made it that way” or borrows from evolutionary theory and says “it adapted that way.”…

  • Natural Theology,  Philosophy of Science

    Scientific Realism and Natural Theology: The Wedding

    According to a fairly standard realist view of scientific explanation, a given set of phenomena is explained by postulating some unseen entity or causal process. The entity or process in question is not directly observable, but is explained by an analogy with something with which we are more familiar. Consider our conception of gas molecules. We postulate the activities of gas molecules by an appeal to commonly encountered spherical objects such as billiard balls. In same way billiard balls bounce, gas molecules are said to bounce. The analogy is necessary for the explanation because the gas molecules are not directly observable. A realist concludes from the performance of such an…

  • Philosophy of Science,  Politics,  Science,  Worldview

    Earth Day: When Earth and Rationality Part Company

    In honor of earth day, here are three fallacious earth day arguments: The first one suggests that scientific research strongly entails some particular government policy. It is used to suggest that any disagreement over government policy is directly related to one’s attitude toward science. Here is a formal version: If you accept science, then you accept policy P.You reject policy PTherefore, you reject science A good example of this sort of fallacy is provided by Bill Nye (a good source of silly fallacies, by the way). “All science is political” he said. And then he proceeded to bash the highly qualified scientist who disagreed with Nye’s position on the role…

  • Creation,  Evolution,  Philosophy of Science,  Science

    AiG vs. BioLogos pt.2: Dr Jeanson (AiG)

    There is a clock in DNA. Does it show how old the species is or not? We have less than 5% of DNA’s function. This is small fruit and does not conclusively tell us that ancestry is common or not. So, what do the number of DNA differences show? DNA resides in the nucleus and mitochondrial DNA resides in a separate part of the cell. The mitochondria is passed on through the maternal line (the sperm unites only with the nucleus). DNA has its own language comprising of four letters, ATCG. We can compare two DNA strands. When there is similarity and difference we can see it. DNA strands might…

  • Creation,  Evolution,  Philosophy of Science,  Science

    AiG vs. BioLogos pt2: Dr Venema (BioLogos)

    Dennis Venema I am sitting waiting for part 2. Some comments on what I’ve heard so far: So far the talks have not focused on Adam. Instead, we have heard arguments for the thesis that the similarities of traits across species do not show common ancestry and that they do. Neither argument is conclusive since both arguments conclude from that the data does not disconfirm the respective theories. Conclusions are thin. Design was a feature of Dr Jeanson’s talk – all the data is compatible with design. But this is true even if evolution is true. The data would not be radically different given either evolution or young earth. This…