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Mike Aparicio

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Skepticism can be out of scope.

Skepticism limits and scope.

Radical skepticism holds a strong position regarding evidence. For an extreme skeptic view, plausibility, relativism, holism and other forms of though are aberrations. Skeptics tend to ignore the impossible-to-prove things.
Skepticism should NOT get involved in judging paranormal concepts, such as life-after-death.
Neither should have a thing to do with emotional subjects like Love, passion, etc.
Love cannot be proven. That is a fact. Even skeptics must "believe" in Love. Some argue Love is proven by actions. But such statement is a fallacy because actions can have many motifs like convenience, duty, obligation, interest, etc. and it is impossible to prove Love.
Claiming for "proof" is then an aberration.

The same with the perennial discussion about very far space objects, galaxies, starts, etc. Their current existence CANNOT be proven. We see only the energies emitted by those objects thousands of years ago. Can we prove those far objects exist today? No.

Universal creation without a Creator! Very contradictory!
What cannot be proven is the possibility of something to exist in an organized form which does not origin from a creative effort.
The basic fundamental requisite for a SYSTEM to exist is: Purpose!
There cannot be a "system without purpose"...
If the Universe is a System of Systems, just like a human being or any living entity, they MUST have a purpose to exist, or should not be considered systems.
Theo Jansen speaks of "animal evolution" when speaking of his mechanical creations and their further "evolution" into different "species" of "Mecha-bots".

True evolution, understood not as simple change but as "change towards a increase in complexity and functionality" cannot happen without the creative mind behind..
Theo could "demonstrate" it , as seen by the "evolutionist minds" by dropping millions of tubes, nuts, links, hoses and bottles in a deserted island.
How long would it take to form one of his creeping "animals"?

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    Jun 23 2013: Wow you have a lot packed into that opening statement.

    Believe whatever you like, but don't be surprised when some are reasonably skeptical about your assertions, some of which are fallacious arguments from ignorance etc etc.

    I'm not sure what is wrong with suggesting a bit of evidence may be useful to distinguish one speculative assertion from another. Is it Valhalla, reincarnation, hades or hell?

    Also, perhaps one of the most powerful inventions ever, science, relies on evidence. Technology doesntvwork because of wishful thinking.
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      Jun 23 2013: To "Obey 1": Would you kindly explain where is what I am ignoring? I don't see the need of detracting as a means to discuss.
      • Jun 23 2013: Then why did you try and *detract* my comment below by calling it "just a crude repetition of the same nonsensical arguments ..." instead of trying to understand it and properly address it?
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        Jun 24 2013: You seem to start with a strawman regarding radical scepticism. Then state scepticism in general should not apply to the paranormal.

        You then argue the relevance of scepticism to a concept like love. I suggest it is a category fallacy, depending on what you define as love, to relate conclusions you make about the concept of love and scepticism to the paranormal.

        I’d also suggest scepticism has its place in love and relationships. If someone says they love you yet cheat, steal, humiliate, beat, abuse you, you have a right to be a bit sceptical.

        Your point on not knowing whether the stars and galaxies we see still exist was not clear to me. Hubble is seeing the light from galaxies billions of years old. It seems reasonable some stars in these may not exist.

        I’m not sure if you are arguing primarily against an extreme sceptical view. That may be a bit like me pointing out evidence against an fundamentalist religious view and then stating all gods and religion beliefs are false or of no benefit. It is a false dichotomy fallacy to assert either extreme scepticism or anything goes. I can live not really knowing with absolute certainty if the sun will rise tomorrow but expecting it will based on our scientific understanding and past experience.

        Most arguments asserting a creator must be required to explain the universe are just arguments from ignorance or incredulity. And they fail to explain the creator or process of creation or use special pleading fallacies. Just magic.

        Assigning purpose or agency to natural is also flawed. Are the intricate patterns of snowflakes designed or just the result of polar molecules solidifying in some conditions. Humans can attribute purpose to nature and natural events, but that does not mean there is an absolute purpose or intent.

        You comments about evolution also point to arguments from ignorance and category fallacies.

        I suggest the paranormal or supernatural is exactly the type of claims where a reasonable level of scepticsm
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    Jun 27 2013: O.B.! Thank you too!

    This conversation was very satisfying and made think deeply into my understanding of things. I learned a lot from you as well.
    We sometimes get so caught in speculation and excessive reasoning, while forgetting the simple satisfaction and enjoyment found in the awesome beauty of the world, the great people around us, and the fabulous moments near a beloved one, when the intellect stops, leaving us free to feel and perceive the simplicity and mystery of the "Here and Now".

    Let´s keep in touch!

    Mike
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    Jun 27 2013: mike, also like to say thanks . recent comments have made me think about stuff and realise how amazing life is. we tend to forget sonetime. ob
  • Jun 24 2013: The problem Mike, is that your ideas and examples contain problematic concepts.

    I don't think that skepticism can be out of scope. It is about an attitude towards propositions, not about absolute proofs. Evidence might suffice to convince a skeptic about the possibility of something even if there's no absolute proof.

    For example, as you said, actions that show love can also be due to other motivations. Yet, those actions are still evidence enough to convince a skeptic that it is reasonable to think that love exists.

    Had you not tried to smuggle gods into those other ideas, also by misuse of language as proof, rather than language as attempt at description, then your point would not have gone that much astray. You seem unable to help it. In your clarification you still make a lot of mistakes.

    Anyway, to your point. Yes, some proposals might be well beyond evidence and proofs. Well, to me that's precisely a very good reason to be skeptical of those proposals. To be skeptical means that you rather not accept them until you see some evidence that could at least make the proposal reasonable. That's precisely what skepticism is about. If you have a proposal whose whole design is not to be testable, evidenced, or proven, then there's no reason to accept it.
  • Jun 23 2013: Everything in moderation.
  • Jun 23 2013: "Universal creation without a Creator! Very contradictory!"

    Then don't call it universal creation, but simply the existence of the universe. Presto, no contradiction. If you like the "universal creation" wording, then imagine natural phenomena as "creators," and presto, we get rid of those ridiculous fantasies about omnipotent intelligent beings playing with universes while caring too much about such minutiae as the genitalia of those tiny humans.

    A system is just a bunch of stuff that works kind of in concert. Purpose if not necessary to call something a system. The solar system is called so because it has several components and we can describe them by their relationships, which arose out of the way nature works (mainly gravitation). Pure natural phenomena explain how this happened. So, you can change your concept of what a system is, and presto, we get rid of those ridiculous fantasies about omnipotent ...

    True evolution, as it happens in nature, is just hereditary change. Given the time it has been going on, complexity is one of many things that happened. However, there has also been simplification, and other stuff. The ones that increased complexity and functionality not only can happen without "the creative mind behind," it has happened that way. That it can has been well established. Theo Jansen was using the word evolution only as a metaphor, and as such it's fine. That does not mean that you can use that as a basis to dismiss natural evolution. In order to properly determine if evolution requires a creative mind you would have to properly understand evolution. You could start by taking a look at the role of reproduction and heritable traits, something those nuts and tubes lack.

    Finally, in order to criticize radical skepticism you became radically skeptic about the possibility of proving many things: love, galaxies, et cetera. Then you turn around and just make up weak arguments, based on word play, towards a creator. I would call that self-refuting.
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      Jun 23 2013: To Entropy: I am affraid you have no understanding of what a system is. Please read the definition of "System" to improve your understanding of what I am saying.
      The rest of your comment is just a crude repetition of the same nonsensical arguments trying to deny the Exquisite Order and evident Intelligence involved in all existing phenomena.
      • Jun 23 2013: Hello Mike,

        I don't think that you even tried to understand what I wrote.

        Nothing of what I said is "crude repetition" of anything. I think with my own mind. If what I said was nonsensical you would have been quite able to show so, but instead you just call it nonsense. Asserting things in an authoritative absolutist tone does not make something into whatever you want it to be.

        We have that "system" as example that mere assertions do not cut it. I know about natural systems quite a bit. My work is about understanding a few of them. I still thought, maybe Mike is bound to a dictionary definition, so I went, took a look at a few dictionaries, and, while there was lots of definitions, some related to engineered systems, some to natural ones, some to music, curiously none said, let alone in absolutist terms, that:

        "The basic fundamental requisite for a SYSTEM to exist is: Purpose!
        There cannot be a "system without purpose"..."

        None. Not one. But I shall go further. I am pretty sure that there must be some dictionary where "purpose" is part of one among other definitions for system. But then your argument would be a fallacy of equivocation (via dictionary), where you are misusing a word just to pretend that because such word is used for a natural groups/complex of things, therefore the natural thing has a purpose, when the proper course of thinking should be that purpose cannot be determined by what we call something in nature, but by studying whether such natural thing actually has a "purpose." Leaving aside that determining purpose in nature is quite the challenging problem, your assertions via some obscure dictionary prove nothing but linguistic plasticity. That human ability to move words around to try and conceptualize different things by extension and metaphor.

        Hasta otra.
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          Jun 23 2013: Pues aquí viene! Entropy!

          First check this link: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/system.html

          There we find:

          An organized, purposeful structure that consists of interrelated and interdependent elements (components, entities, factors, members, parts etc.). These elements continually influence one another (directly or indirectly) to maintain their activity and the existence of the system, in order to achieve the goal of the system.

          The last part says: "In order to achieve the goal of a system. Goal? is it not a purpose?

          Please tell me of just one system without a goal or purpose!...

          Por favor!!!!!
      • Jun 24 2013: If you look closely enough you will see that I wrote something after saying:

        "I am pretty sure that there must be some dictionary where "purpose" is part of one among other definitions for system."

        What is written there makes your effort at showing me that definition useless. I wrote a lot. There's also all the issues I raised in the first message. Can you make a better effort at understanding what I said?

        ¡Por favor!
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    Jun 27 2013: mike to summarise some recent comments. common sense or intuitive explanations may be useful on a human scale but they often fail when trying to understand the more complex aspects of the universe and life.

    you have the benefit of 300 years of modern science so are comfortable with disease being a natural phenonena. but just as it was an incomprehensible mystery to people 2000 years ago, there are aspects of life and the ubiverse that confound our senses and cognition. i syggest you may be doing the modern day equivikent of assuning agency for disease.

    secondly, plugging some unexpkaibed intelligence into gaps or over tge top of science where it clashes with your human scale perspective just introduxes more unexplained complexity. you can resort to magic beings to fill gaps but just on the surface. it explains nothing really saying irs magic with no way to prove it.

    just because you find a natural process hard to accept is not really a good reason to accept some hidden agency. the so called evidence in the link is not direct evidence of a creative intelligence. its simply applying a human scale perception to the complexities of life and the universe and having a sense that this could not happen without help. you could say the same about atoms must be designed or held together by some magical force because their conplexity confounds you.
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    Jun 26 2013: Lamar: Why is it you keep confusing biology with evolution?
    You are back again with the "genes stuff"...
    I said it before: Biological evolution is only a VERY small part, extremely small and insignificant, compared with the ultra complex myriads of millions of fine tuning details in the whole Universe.
    My linked article is NOT 50 years old if it is presenting highly modern concepts of Quantum Mechanics and advanced Mathematics.
    True, for the unprepared, the linked text might sound just like "pseudo-science" or Aristotelian talk buy I can assure you it is an AMAZING collection of detailed evidence of the required planning, design, test and improvement to make a working Universe.
    Once again Lamar: Put your mind out of the reduced biology scope and try to see and understand the whole idea behind true Evolution, in every sense.
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    Jun 26 2013: Obey! The problem now is shifting into the question "why would the universe need "help" to force evolution into some direction... We must remember true evolution means "change" with no particular direction... That is, when "evolving" things simply change but not necessarily in one direction. (Entropy conducting to chaos eventually)
    If we actually apply GOOD REASONING, please tell me how is it "reasonable" to think incredibly complex order can come out of chaos WITHOUT an external force applied?

    Would you find me a "reasonable" person if I would state: "IF we drop 100 airplane loads of watch parts on a beach in a deserted island, it will take a certain time for the sea waves, moving and shaking the parts, to actually assemble a watch, then later wind it up so it starts ticking and later synchronize it with the Greenwich time"

    At our computer facility, using extremely fast computers we ran a program designed to permute alphabetic characters at top speed, (simulating the usual slow evolutionary process), so the program would run for an equivalent of 1000 Million years doing permutations, 1 new letter order per millisecond!!!. If I would tell you, " suddenly a simple coordinated piece of text came out saying "Hey! This works!, and letting the system run for another simulated 1000 Million of years an improved version of the first page of Hamlet came out..." would you accept the simulated evolution of disordered alphabetic letters, thanks to "all that time" finally came out with some sense...?

    I bet, you or anyone else would say "Hey! the Programmer did something to force the letters fall in coherence" "It is so silly to think some intelligent, ordered, meaningful, inspiring and entertaining text would EVER come out!!!"

    And if you don't accept my challenge ask a good friend expert in computer sciences if such thing could be possible...
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      Jun 27 2013: Hi Mike,

      So we agree in part there is some form of evolution.

      Just to clarify are you comfortable that once there is complex multi-cellular life then evolution via natural selection can occur happily without agency. That birds descended from dinosaurs? That homo sapiens share a common ancestors with chimps about 5-8 million years ago?

      So perhaps the areas we differ are just around the origins of life and how complex multicellular life developed.

      First off, my understanding is there is no comprehensive well established scientific explanation for the initial development of life, abiogenesis.

      My understanding is the working models involve many steps. I guess you may agree there were many steps but you don’t accept these could not happen without agency, right?

      Would you agree that the elemental building blocks for carbon based life exist in nature? Would you agree that chemical reactions happen around us naturally all the time? That amino acids, can form naturally? To me the next bit is somewhat speculative, but not unreasonable, that a simple self replicating molecule occurred naturally, perhaps a precursor to RNA, then DNA etc. I’m not sure of all the details, how precursors to an RNA based entity similar to a virus might form, to DNA based single cells etc. I would say we can see the descendents of some of these more simple entities around us today. Single cell life exists. Viruses exist.
      I’m also not clear on every step of how single cells get to simple multi- celluar life and to more complex multi-cellular life, but again if you look around we can see life similar to many of the links living today, and the progression in the fossil record.

      Honestly I don’t know why matter exists as atoms. I don’t know why we have gravity. I can do the calculations for chemical reactors but struggle to conceptualise an atom, electrons, subatomic particles, bosons, energy, forces etc. There are lots of thing my primate brain struggles with in physics and science etc. But
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        Jun 27 2013: Obey: By the apparent immensity of the Universe, biology, carbon life and those topics are just a minute sub-part of the whole complexity.
        I can detect you did not read thoroughly the article linked before. I can understand that because there is a human tendency to put more interest in what favors our line of thought. Nevertheless, to find the proof or Creativity within evolution process we must look at it holistically, as we are discussing the presence of an entity influencing the WHOLE universe and not only life on earth or biological subjects.
        We should avoid focusing too much on the biological process as it might be a region where Creativity upon its Will relaxes the strength of direction as to explore the effect of randomness on defined designs!
        Contrarily, the fundamental requirements and the fine tuning of the "universal infrastructure" requires more adherence to rules, because even minimal deviations from certain fundamental parameters could cause the Universe to either collapse instantly or blow away in permanent dispersion.

        This perception seems accurate as demonstrated by physicists, mathematicians and cosmologists to discover the Fundamental Ruling Laws, while within the confined biological phenomena, the deliberate lassitude, allows for many small laws, which rule and sometimes leave alone certain processes, which is a common way for a designer to work.

        Compare this to a music composer. I am a musician too. When I "create" a composition I lay down the basic structure from which I won't tentatively depart. Then I allow my self lassitude to play with the harmonies until I try several harmonic sequences until I find one justifiable. Then I give a lot of freedom to my melody improvisation, which can produce lots of "species" from a single structure. (Several songs, structurally similar)
        If I write down all this process, as it happens when I routinely save the project with correlative numbers, I have the "fossils" from the song's "evolution"
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      Jun 27 2013: Honestly I don’t know why matter exists as atoms. I don’t know why we have gravity. I can do the calculations for chemical reactors but struggle to conceptualise an atom, electrons, subatomic particles, bosons, energy, forces etc. There are lots of thing my primate brain struggles with in physics and science etc. But I don’t assume agency is necessary as a starting point to address my failure to have a full picture.

      I would also point out that there were and are natural forces acting on matter and energy. Once there was stuff , it just followed the laws of physics.

      There is incredible order in crystaline solids. No agency needed to organise them.

      There is incredible consistency in atoms in there form and how they behave and react with each other at the quantum through to the cosmic scale. Stars seem to occur naturally. Carbon and other elements behave according to natural dynamics.

      So in part your view is an argument from ignorance.

      I can intuitively fill in some gaps and are more comfortable with a materialist explanation.

      I'm also happy accepting there is lots of stuff counter intuitive and that the universe does not owe to fit common sense from a human perspective when obviously life and the universe goes far beyond human scales. It's amazing we understand as much as we do. But we do that with evidence and science. Intuitive understanding has limits and you are looking at areas that go beyond your intuitive capabilities.
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      Jun 27 2013: The probability arguments are suspect in my view. Even the probability that you exist is miniscule just going back to your parents. Of all the possible combinations of your parent’s genes you exist. If they had a million children the odds of another genetically identical sibling is virtually impossible. Yet here you are.

      We can’t see all the atoms in the atmosphere and in the oceans interacting all the time. But they are. We obviously didn’t evolve to consciously be aware of the atomic scale. Our immune systems deal with the microscopic. But our senses and brains are not set up for the quantum and cosmic scales. We also evolved to assume agency for survival. Stuff happens naturally we can not see and can barely comprehend. I think we often err when we go to comfortable intuitive explanations when the universe is not intuitive to us at the quantum and cosmic scales. What is matter? What is energy? What is gravity and what makes it work?

      What are the odds that Earth would form this far from an appropriately sized star, with the elements necessary for carbon based life. Miniscule. Yet it happened.

      Life and universe is complex. Therefore god? I accept there is some intuitive satisfaction in what you propose. Humans did the same for lightning, disease, floods, earthquakes, the sun, the stars etc. Drawing intuitive conclusions from their primate sized view of the universe. And they were proven to be wrong.

      I suggest you are potentially doing the same thing with Life and the universe. It seems impossible to you to happen without agency. Just like it seemed impossible that Earthquakes would happen without agency before science filled in the gaps.

      So to repeat, some aspects of the universe and life are counter intuitive and a struggle for our human senses and intellect. We have the benefit of 300 years of modern science. But there are gaps and limits to intuition understanding many aspects of life and the universe. Science and evidence works better than our intuit
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    Jun 26 2013: Hi Obey!
    Conversation is getting more pleasurable now!
    The way you put some things is interesting but might not be accurate, to my point of view. IT seems to be a confusion when you say "I suggest people can choose not to apply reason and evidence to beliefs". There is reasoning in belief! But the reasoning does not have to do with external sourced evidence. Life experience, inner perceptions and the ability to OBSERVE our own life, moment by moment allows to establish a correlation between what is "believed" and the actual facts of Life. I have always insisted in talks, belief MUST be transformed into Knowledge. The problem with pragmatic thinking is it always expects the knowledge from external sources. Science, research, books, articles clinical trials, academy papers, etc. While inner, spiritual understanding comes from the INSIDE. We can reason about it, but not as exchange reasoning with others. These matters are personal, internal, nontransferable and many times incommunicable.
    About the "flaws" (apparent) found in the Universe there is a lot of "fabric to cut" about the concept. Evolution, as I think, is actually the "time table" used by the Creative Mind to process, polish, review, change, discard and enhance a Cosmic idea until it becomes solid and real. I don't see the intellectual need to consider Evolution "autonomous" or better said, I don't see why the notion of Creative Guidance jeopardizes pure scientific research and deep investigation. On the contrary, the Guidance or Creativity could be considered as the "external force" spoken about in the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
    Cosmic Order and Harmony are clearly explained and justified in the article whose link I posted here and which you strangely consider "out of ignorance" while Doctors in Math and Physics I talked with recently have reviewed the concepts in the mentioned paper and found them VERY deep, accurate and amazing!
    (Space is short, so I will write an extension to this)
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      Jun 26 2013: Hi mike, I'm open to reason if the premises are valid and the argument is valid.

      Great if the position is backed by evidence, or at least consistent with conservation.

      But if there was a compelling argument without direct evidence is change my view.

      Problem with most arguments for deities is they are not that ccompelling, often fallacious like the uncsused cause. Asserting a universe couldn't exist without help, but a universe creating being could. Its a poor argument as it stands.

      Good to hear you are open to reasoning. But we may have different ideas of what reasoning is. For me it is more than drawing intuitive connections, or disregarding science where it is counter intuitive.

      I probably differ on the subjective personal experiwnce s and interpretations as bring reliable as well. If someone has a profound dream, or experience that leasdsvthem to believe in a particular god view, are you okay with that.

      If someone rationalises their religious book is correct via cognitive bias and poor logic, are you okay.

      Are all the subjective god concepts equally valid, even though they can not be true.

      Whats process ddo you use to rationslise your creative mind concept as being preferred to other god concrpts .
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    Jun 25 2013: Just to recap Mike...

    I suggest scepticism, the use of reason and evidence has a role to play in most aspects of life. This does not mean there is not a place for intuition. They can complement each other. Intuition has a place in hypothesising and survival situations. Reason and evidence has a place confirming the validity of your intuitions or whatever.

    Reason and evidence does apply to faith based claims, and often shows them to be unsubstantiated, at best neither proved nor disproved.

    You may be confusing your choice not to subject some of your beliefs to reason and evidence, with the question of whether reason and evidence has a place in assessing these claims.

    It's refreshing in a way to hear someone to admit some of their beliefs are speculative and not based on evidence and reason. On TED theists generally assert their beliefs are supported by reason and evidence then we discuss why they are speculative or fallacious.
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    Jun 24 2013: OK! Skeptic world is the world of evidence demand!

    Fine! If you are a solid skeptic, and want to stay like that, YOU SHOULD NOT visit this link:

    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9403/evidence.html

    WARNING: This reading requires constancy, a good level of education, a good understanding of mathematics, a very wide room for complex interrelated ideas.

    I suppose most skeptics feel they have the attributes, so.... Go ahead!
    • Jun 24 2013: Do you or do you not want to derail your idea into a debate about gods and intelligent designers Mike?

      P.S. if the stuff you linked was evidence for intelligent design, which it is not, then, by accepting the possibility, we would not stop being skeptical, we would rather be accepting some possibility out of the evidence. As I said, you seem to misunderstand what skepticism means.
    • Jun 24 2013: Mike,

      I have addressed many of your points, except what you are linking here, which would take a while to show you why it fails, and would derail the conversation far too much. Anyway, you have not addressed any of my points. You have either dismissed my answers, or gone into something else. I think I have already explained to you what skepticism is about, and why, therefore, it is not out of scope when dealing with things that can't be evidenced, tested, or proven. Since you do not seem very willing to entertain answers, I say see you later, and I'm out.

      Sayonara.
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      Jun 26 2013: If life evolved naturally to survive on earth, would it be reasonably well suited to the environment?

      Science suggests intelligent design proponents have it all backwards. You have the appearance of design due to natural selection.

      As to the “fine tuned” universe, maybe the universe couldn’t exist as it does if the physical constants were not the way they are. Could the physical constants have been any different from the way they are? How is pointing to something in nature proof of a creator? Do we know why the universe is the way it is? This is just an argument from ignorance. Asserting a magical being is responsible for the things you can not explain.

      I guess I’m not going to convince about evolution via natural selection even though a 150 years of scientific study has reasonably demonstrated it. Even though you can see the evidence of the shared ancestry humans have with other apes, mammals, vertebrates and all DNA based life. Even though you have the mechanism clearly demonstrated and explained, with DNA and genes etc.

      As I mentioned below, if there is a designer, what a crappy or cruel job. Life is 3 billion years of struggle to survive and the result is all animals surviving by killing and eating other living things, disease, parasites, aging, arthritis, dementia, myopia. 99% of all the species we know of are extinct. Mmmm. Great design. Seems intuitively more consistent with what you would expect from a natural process.

      What we see around us is amazing, but if it was designed in some way it fails in so many ways.

      In summary the article provides no proof or evidence of design, it just argues that you can sort of fit design principles to what evolved. And asserts a magical unexplained intelligence is responsible for the things that are hard to explain. A fallacious argument from ignorance that actually explains nothing. It provides no explanation of how or why. Its just magic. And no explanation of the creator that sits outside of reality.
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      Jun 26 2013: I note this is a materials engineer talking about biology/cosmology, so it barely counts as an argument from authority.
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    Jun 24 2013: Entropy D. : Is your inclussion of Spanish phrases in your comments, a means of looking down to people of Latin origin? I am starting to think so...
    Anyway: Who is that "nature" you speak about? Might it be the "invisible" Creative?

    Prove it is not!

    Is there any proof Evolution is NOT the process used by the Creative to accomplish the works?
    When speaking of "creation" skeptics invariably think of a "magic" act. Skeptic minds always visualize the Creative as an "Instant magician", because it is much easier to attack such view. Skeptics fail to see the strong possibility of the Creative employing a development process (evolution) , to accomplish his purposeful design and creation.
    It certainly is a heavily biased way of thinking.
    So.... Be it!
    Please avoid your seemingly provocative usage of Spanish phrases.
    • Jun 24 2013: Mike,

      "Is your inclussion of Spanish phrases in your comments, a means of looking down to people of Latin origin? I am starting to think so..."

      Why exactly? Be very careful to show exactly how it would be a way of looking down at people from latin origin. This is the very first time I get such a reaction in my whole life.

      "Anyway: Who is that "nature" you speak about? Might it be the "invisible" Creative? ... Prove it is not! "

      You've got it all backwards my friend. I'm a skeptic, not a willy-nilly believer. You're also engaging in a philosophical blunder: the burden of proof is in the one making the positive claim that it is some conscious intelligent creator (is that what you meant by invisible creative?).

      "Is there any proof Evolution is NOT the process used by the Creative to accomplish the works?"

      Is there any proof that it is? I see none. therefore I reject your proposal. Do you have evidence commensurate with such a strong proposal?

      There's nothing biased in my way of thinking. Please try and read what I'm saying. So far you seem far from trying to understand it, otherwise you would not make these kinds of questions and assertions.

      See ya later.
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      Jun 25 2013: Hi Mike,

      I am well aware there are a range of beliefs in regards to creative agency behind life and the universe.

      There are probably just as many different views as there are believers. As a sceptic I need people to define precisely what they mean by a creative agency and what it is supposed to have done before discussing in detail. I cannot assume one size fits all.

      Which just goes to show the problems you when you dump reason and evidence from this topic. People can imagine what they like. So we end up with multiple contradictory beliefs.

      I would also point out that there is an element of magic and magical other dimensional beings whether pointing to rainbow serpent of Australian Aborigines or the 6 days in Sumerian creation mythology (plagiarised by Hebrew tribes), to your sort of hidden guiding hand, to some non interventionist deity that set things in motion and left them to themselves. Others refer to some sort of vague intelligence or life energy dispersed throughout the universe, or connected cosmic consciousness etc.

      There are probably ways to make even the evangelical Christian literal creation stories align with what is observed. With an all powerful magical being anything is possible including making a universe in 6 days 6000 years ago that looks 13 Billion years old.

      Your view seems to be a more subtle magic with some invisible intelligence sitting in a dimension outside of our universe but able to create and influence inside it. Not much dogma or myth but still magic.
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        Jun 25 2013: Obey: For a moment I thought you have recovered the topic which was intended to be the true scope of skepticism. It seems you identify, as others do, I am holding some beliefs, which makes it easy to evade and twist the main subject.
        Following you and leaving my subject can I ask you: Have you looked at the link I posted?
        I have to say you got a wrong perception of my views regarding Deity. What you have "as my beliefs" is really either a proyection of "what you think most people believe in" of what you used to believe when you were not a skeptic.
        Sidewise from the topic, what I CONSIDER Deity to be, is a Deep Mind containing all the possible ideas, with a full understanding of "its" main creation Mathematics. Such Mind Entity is NOT far away' hiding as you say, actually being everywhere at the same time, Just as you are within all your body. Deity should be for the whole Totum (de Chardin) as your mind is for your self. When I say "your mind" I am not talking of the minuscule part of it, the intellect or "reasoning machine" but of ALL your mind, conscious, subconscious, autonomous biologicall systems, body intelligence and so on, the WHOLE you.
        It is amazing skeptics cannot see the "magic" as you call it, which is in reality the infinitely complex interelation of everything into a single major entity.
        Quantum science brings us to the notion everything is only one WHOLE "thing", permanently flowing and transforming itself, letting us (part of it, of course) to be partially aware of "it" so we can live in what we call "reality" but it is only the product of our limited perceptions.
        I suppose you are aware it is not me alone "caught in the delusion of Order and Perfect Harmony" created and sustained by the Totum.
        Isn' it more beautiful and exiting than a "random world of chaos, with no sense, no wisdom, no order, no justice"?
        Anyway my view is so ample, science is a great part of it, and at a point it will reveal to all the wonder of wonders...
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          Jun 26 2013: Hi Mike,

          As to your core proposition, I suggest people can choose not to apply reason and evidence to beliefs, but that does not mean scepticism has no value in determining the validity of claims.

          Thanks for expanding on your view of a deistic intelligence. I have come across similar views. Key aspects such as the cosmic intelligence are still unverifiable and undetectable, or indistinguishable from life and individual biological based consciousness without any magical help or outside agency.

          I commented directly on the intelligent design link. Not the best I have seen and still essentially an argument from ignorance. Evolution explains the appearance of the flawed crappy design we see.

          We must be looking at different universes if you only see order and harmony. We might be wiped out any time by an asteroid impact. We have disease and suffering. We survive as do all animals by eating and killing other living things. Perfect indeed.

          However, I also appreciate my conscious existence; have a sense of wonder about the universe and life. I just try to base my beliefs on evidence and reason.

          Seriously, we are the results of 3 billion years of evolution. We are descendants of millions of generation of survivors. We are made from elements formed in the first generation of stars. We are cousins to all DNA based life. We get to choose what gives our life meaning. That is more profound to me than some elusive intelligent agency.

          You seem to be having it a bit both ways saying scepticism doesn't apply to faith based claims and then proceed to try and justify some examples of faith based beliefs. Are you unconsciously recognising the value of applying evidence and reason to your beliefs in the areas you asserted are out of bounds.

          We can actually have a discussion and debate and consider the arguments if you try to apply reason and evidence to support your beliefs.

          Other wise you are essentially saying you can believe anything I want without good reason.
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    Jun 24 2013: I disagree with everything you say, specially when you detract other ways of thinking, including philosophy.
    It does not take long to unmask a radical skeptic.
    The rigid, single brain lobe thinking translates as always into te same cacophony.
    To skeptics it is impossible to understand NO one is trying to convince him of something.
    I apreciate your input as it made my convictions stronger and my reserves about radical skepticism as well.
  • Jun 24 2013: Skepticism can be out of scope?
    I live in San Luis Obispo, so using obispo and the distance the mind can reach is common here.
    If you know what I mean. lol
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    Jun 24 2013: Mike you asked me to expand on the issues and fallacies in your opening statement.

    Can I take your moving on to other topics as acceptance of my points.

    If you want to rely on fallacious positions and purely speculative beliefs, if you want to dump reason and evidence, you can. But I can't see a reason to turn off critical thinking or believe in things that are not supported by reason and evidence.
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      Jun 24 2013: Obey: Demanding to speak only in the crude "critical" pure reasoning (limiting) fashion is highly reductive.

      Do you have no room for speculation, idealism, hope, compassion, paradox, uncertainty, plausibility, etc ?

      Live can be boring. Getting "that" stiffness can REALLY be boring all the time.

      Why you feel like that?
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        Jun 25 2013: Yes I do.

        But I see these things working in tandem with reason and evidence.

        There is a time and a place for intuition, brainstorming etc and for reason and evidence.

        These perspectives can be complementary. But the way to confirm the validity of intuition is via evidence and reason.

        You seem to be projecting your black and white binary view of the universe onto me.

        My approach is more subtle and nuanced than you seem prepared to accept. I manage all sorts of ambiguities every day.

        In fact you are the one proposing to arbitrarily restrict one type from some aspects of investigation.

        Why would compassion be incompatible with critical thinking?

        Hope is possible without believing in unsubstantiated wishful thinking.

        Finding meaning is possible without assuming a creator with some arbitrary intent.

        Appreciating the uncertainty of an assertion is a key aspect of sceptical thinking.

        I don't feel like that. Why don't you focus on my argument rather than telling me what you think I am feeling or thinking.

        If can not imagine idealism and compassion being compatible with reason and evidence, state your proposition and make your case. Don't assume I am feeling something because it suits your world view.

        Why assume reasonable scepticism makes you a robot?
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    Jun 24 2013: Obey: If you cannot SEE why Skepticism can be out of bounds why don't you explain why you can't?

    Read carefully now: I am NOT defending the "idea of gods"

    I am clearly explaining why Skepticism CAN be out of bounds.

    Are we in a dead-end alley?
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      Jun 24 2013: It's not out of bounds.

      You just want to believe your beliefs that are not supported by reason and evidence are valid.

      I get that gods are not your prime subject, although isn't god the usual term for an intelligence responsible for life and the universe and an afterlife and judgement etc etc.

      I understand your proposition. I just disagree with it.

      You are basically saying reason and evidence should not apply to things you want to believe that are not supported by reason and evidence. Seems circular and self serving and intellectually dishonest and a waste of our neo cortex.

      You haven't made a case for why reason and evidence shouldn't apply if you want to believe more true things than false things, or move closer to the truth.

      Its like saying you can't make up fantastic nonsense about the universe if you rely on evidence and reason, so dump evidence and reason. Go for what is more intuitively comfortable for you if you can't get your head around the science.

      No thanks.
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    Jun 24 2013: Well... Obey!

    The problem PRECISELY is most skeptics (If not take a look at JREF forum) strongly DENY Creationist concepts.
    Badly, some scientists (pseudos, I call) also strongly deny Intelligence in the Universe.

    What I cannot understand is why the notion of an "speculative creative force" creates so much aversion in those circles?

    Assuming the "speculative creative force" does exist, then... How does it change science process, work and protocols? And if it "does not exist" then: How does it make science better ?

    IF it does not exist... Then: Why trying to destroy peoples faith and why placing to much energies on denials that will NEVER FRUCTIFY?

    Could it be an internal, highly repressed feeling of fear and guilt?
    Fear of an Ultimate Justice... Fear of the possibility of living again?
    Fear?
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      Jun 24 2013: Mike,

      You seem to be proposing that reason and evidence should not apply to things you want to believe that are not supported by reason and evidence.

      I can understand how that would push a few buttons.

      Still most skeptical people I know are just as skeptical of claims to know there is no god or afterlife.

      What I can't understand is why you want to switch of the part of your brain that works with reason and evidence. Aren't you interested in what can reasonably be demonstrated to be true?

      I have no issue with freedom of religion within limits, but if people are going to assert Zeus, Allah, reincarnation, hades, Maduk, Yawheh or Scientology and associated dogma or whatever as being true they should be prepared to back these claims up.

      Why believe in something not supported by reason and evidence?

      So far you have suggested because beliefs in the supernatural and gods and life after death are popular.

      Or because you can't comprehend a universe existing and working without a guiding hand.

      What I can't understand is people switching of reason and critical thinking when it comes to big questions like this.

      I suggest facing up to life as it appears, with no guiding agent or arbitrary purpose from some divine dictator is a brave act in a way. I try live a good life because I value fairness, the rights of others and want to make a positive contribution, not out of fear some judgement after death.

      Why assume a deity will judge us fairly? That is just another speculation on top of the rest.

      I'm not trying to destroy faith. If people want to discuss fine. If people want to force their beliefs and dogmas on me with no sound reason, I will resist. I'm interested in what is true. What it is reasonable to believe. I do feel a bit sorry for people inheriting the religion of their parents, not having the opportunity of questioning or challenging. I do feel a bit sorry for people stuck in belief systems without a sound basis, making decisions based on falsehoods.
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    Jun 24 2013: God and Darwin.

    This is VERY interesting:

    Darwin used the word "Creator" nine times, and the word "God" twice in the sixth edition [iii]. Of greater importance is what he said about life and the Creator's role in it. Darwin never said that evolution was Godless or directionless. In fact, a reading of the sixth edition of Origin proves that both of these assertions are factually incorrect. The second page of the Origin prominently displays this quote:
    To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both. - Bacon: "Advancement of Learning"[iv]


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/what_darwin_said_about_god.html#ixzz2X6KIcT99
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
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    Jun 24 2013: To Entropy:
    Amigo: This is not actually the topic in question. Anyway....
    It is very difficult to see how you can deny the concept of "Systems purpose"
    In plain crude language a System "purpose" is what the system actually does!
    If it does nothing then it is NOT a system; it is just a kludge.
    To apply this notion you must enter a holistic approach.
    WARNING! A holistic approach is not sin, superstition, heresy....

    Here an extract from Systems Philosophy:

    Main article: Systems biology
    Systems biology is a movement that draws on several trends in bioscience research. Proponents describe systems biology as a biology-based inter-disciplinary study field that focuses on complex interactions in biological systems, claiming that it uses a new perspective (holism instead of reduction). Particularly from year 2000 onwards, the term is used widely in the biosciences, and in a variety of contexts. An often stated ambition of systems biology is the modeling and discovery of emergent properties, properties of a system whose theoretical description is only possible using techniques that fall under the remit of systems biology. The term systems biology is thought to have been created by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1928.[14]

    Simply put, a holistic approach to something starts by asking: What does it do? Why it does it?, and so on.
    Further ahead you start looking at "How is it implemented"; "How is it done"; "what does affect the system externally"... etc.

    Although derailed I will then conclude: A system purpose or goal is what id does. If a system produces an undesirable result it is a defective system. But it MUST do something... I

    To BE or not to BE.... Isn't that the question?

    Ya no sigas hermano!
    • Jun 24 2013: ¡Mike mi amigo!

      This is where I expected you to go sooner or later. OK, if we are going to define "purpose" as whatever a system does, then it is not possible to infer a creator from the existence of systems. After all, then everything would have a "purpose" and "purpose" is therefore meaningless when trying to infer creators.

      Our solar system's "purpose" then would be to turn around and around. That big rock's "purpose" would be to be sitting there by the side of my garden, etc. Not a very strong foundation to infer gods, is it?

      Nos vemos.
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    Jun 24 2013: I suggest scepticism is not just about disproving. Sometimes a lack of evidence or ability to test or verify a claim just suggests the claim cannot be proven one way or the other.

    I guess my core disagreement with you is on the relevance and outcomes of a reasonably sceptical outlook to the paranormal and supernatural, gods, ghosts, demons, kami, djinns, evil spirits whatever.

    A sceptical outlook might lead you to the conclusion that we cannot disprove that Zeus, Bacchus, El, Yahweh, Mormon Jesus, fertility gods, or pink unicorns exist, but similarly there seems to be insufficient evidence to support claims of their existence. We don’t know. These beliefs are speculative. It seems reasonable to challenge speculative assertions.

    I’m not saying Zeus or Yahweh do not exist because there is insufficient evidence. I’m saying we don’t reasonably know if they exist because there is insufficient evidence.

    Same with all the magical speculative assertions about life after death. Logic and reason tells us all the contradictory beliefs cannot be true. At best one is. It could be they are all false. Is there sufficient evidence to confirm one view or is it an open question? I suggest the latter.

    So should I be overly concerned about the Christian Hell, or the Olympian Hades, or the any other speculative afterlife regime?

    I’m not saying Valhalla does not exist because there is insufficient evidence. I’m saying we don’t reasonably know if Valhalla exists because there is insufficient evidence.

    One point you may also be missing is that sometimes these types of paranormal or supernatural beliefs are tied to dangerous or harmful dogmas. Brainwashing kids to fear hell. Refusing medical treatment. Treating women as chattel. Killing homosexuals. How can you argue with someone if you can not apply reason and logic and point out there is insufficient evidence to force these speculative views on other people?

    So I’m saying believe what you want, but recognise it is speculative.
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      Jun 24 2013: Obe: Oh!
      Neither Mickey Mouse or Spider Man have strong possibilities to exist either.
      By the same token:
      Far galaxies cannot be proven to exist today...
      The EGO center within the brain has NOT BEEN pinpointed in the brain.
      It has not been demonstrated the Universe has no goal or purpose.
      Evolution has not been proven. It is just a theory. Worse the silly theory of Natural Selection!
      The true purpose of Man is unknown. (survival maybe?)
      True Love cannot be proven. Just suggested.

      All the above are invariably answered with assumptions by skeptics.

      Come on man! I am NOT saying "this or that is true" or it is highly disproved or proven.....

      What I was saying and keep saying is: Skepticism is out of scope when it is a matter of things BEYOND POSSIBLE PROOF.

      It seems the concept is really cryptic or difficult to accept!!!
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        Jun 24 2013: You are basically proposing reason and evidence should not apply to things you want to believe that are not supported by reason and evidence.

        I just think this is a poor approach to life if you are interested in what is true.

        Evolution is reasonably well demonstrated and is the best explanation we have for the diversity of life etc. I guess you have heard of DNA and genes. I guess you are aware of the biological similarities of humans, with other apes, other mammals, other vertebrates etc.

        I'm not sure you understand what a scientific theory is, like the theory of relativity, or atomic theory.

        They are not just speculative assertions.

        I guess you just believe what you want to believe. Fine, but don't pretend there is a good reason to believe what is borne out of ignorance, incredulity, and the cognitive weaknesses we evolved such as agency detection etc.

        You can make the personal choice that reason and evidence does not apply to these topics. You can choose what feels right to you. But for others believing in things without proof, whatever the topic is irrational and a waste of human intellect.
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    Jun 24 2013: (CONTINUING ON LAST MESSAGE)
    Dear folks participating in this conversation: PART 2
    The negation of a Creative Process is also futile because it collides with a profound inner conviction present in thousands of millions of people who feel and understand the work of Creation as done by a Higher Intelligence.
    The futile and unnecessary systematic negation creates a conflict of dualism in education, mainly to children and young people, which are confronted by two apparently opposite ideas, with the consequent damage to moral principles acquired during early home education.

    It is perfectly possible to explain, understand and expand scientific knowledge without conflict with Creationism. By the same reason it is perfectly possible to respect people's Faith, beliefs, and understanding by not ridiculing and attacking them, as they are NOT IN ANY MANNER hampering, destroying or altering scientific knowledge.

    Of course I am NOT including fanaticism and destructive radicalism in this considerations.

    Put in very simple words: Creationism centers around "Who is the Doer of it all" while science centers in the "How and why it is done". Both concepts, if properly married surely lead to the perfect Metaphysics Knowledge.

    I think it is time to start dissolving such an unpractical, unproductive dualism.
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      Jun 24 2013: Who is negating some magical higher intelligence?

      There could equally be 10 invisible other dimensional unicorns sitting beside me. These unicorns are responsible for the force of gravity I'm experiencing. Could be. I don't know how.It's magic. You can not prove or disprove.

      There is equal evidence for both the unicorns or a universe creating deity.

      I'm half agreeing with you. there could be a supernatural creator that made a universe that looks like there is no supernatural creator. This supernatural creator may have been created by an uber creator of supernatural universe creators. Which in turn was created by an uber uber creator who made the super gods who made the god who created our universe. I agree it is possible if it is possible to have other dimensial beings. Just because it is possible, should I believe. Should I give this any more credence than a speculative posibility?

      People used to think disease, famine, floods, lightening was caused by invisible gods and nature spirits. They could have been right. Just because beliefs are popular does not mean they are correct. that is where evidence comes in.

      You forgot to mention there is a lot of disagreement about these speculative creative forces.

      There may be magical realms and beings but we can not tell if there are.
    • Jun 24 2013: Sorry Mike, you still managed to make this clarification into an attempt at defending the idea of gods, rather than about showing that skepticism can be out of bounds.
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    Jun 24 2013: Dear folks participating in this conversation: PART 1

    I am afraid to say the subject is derailing beyond the original idea. Part of it is my blame, caused maybe by my usage of examples to illustrate the concept.
    This thread was intended to center discussion around the concept of Skepticism not being in scope when it is a matter of impossible things to be proved.

    The way I presented the examples opened the door to send me arguments on the example subjects and not on the main idea.
    At our University and associated neighbor UFM, we have a school of Philosophy and in a discussion table I presented the concept of Skepticism scope and boundaries. A few doctors there agreed with the notion of skepticism being out of bounds in spiritual, paranormal, religious and philosophical subjects, including things beyond the possibility of reasonable proof.

    IF a good, unbiased analysis is given to the the subject it will be evident the reasoning is sound, no matter skeptic minds feel attacked, as if the notion would be detracting the basic scientific tool of critical and skeptical thinking, which is not the case. The problem with many scientists and skeptics is in the futile and unnecessary denial of ideas suggesting or affirming the participation of a Higher Intelligence in the Universal Manifestation.
    I say it is unnecessary because the notion of a Creator does NOT AFFECT in any manner the process scientists use to study phenomena.
    The whole evolution process, as well as the inner function of systems of any kind, either biological, spatial, electronic, chemical, etc. can be studied as deep as possible without collision with the Creationism thinking.
    What I do, and many scientists and authors do themselves, is to consider scientific findings as the result of discovering the mechanism, process and tools used by the Creative Mind to resolve the issue of existence.

    (TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT MESSAGE)
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      Jun 24 2013: Thanks for clarifying Mike.

      I can almost grasp what you are trying to say.

      Perhaps something like there is a realm of faith outside evidence and reason.Or when you are talking about claims and beliefs that can not be proven one way or another then leave your scepticism at the door.

      Sort of like the idea of non overlapping magesteria between religion and science.

      I have no issue with people exploring intuitive or speculative concepts. But a bit of critical thinking or being reasonably sceptical is useful for assessing the validity of the claims.

      I agree what we see in nature could be compatible with some creative agency (probably a committee given the results we see). Basically if you assume every natural process that seems to run without agency was pre-planed by some agency, there is little conflict with the evidence.

      The question then is perhaps why assume agency when agency does not seem necessary and there is no direct evidence of the agency. There seems to be no difference between a universe we see today without some supernatural agency, and one where there is some hidden elusive agency. It might as well not exist.

      It could exist. There could also be life after death. But having no evidence, the best you can say is perhaps we can not disprove your position. Not being able to disprove something supernatural is not a particularly powerful argument in its favour. In part this is why we have so many conflicting beliefs about gods and goddesses and afterlifes, because you can not disprove them. People are free to speculate anything supernatural they want as long as it does not clash with the evidence. And invisible, other dimensional beings and places sit outside the reality we can test and verify.

      As far as we know Valhalla and Odin or a deistic god or non specific afterlife sit only in our imaginations as concepts. They may be real. We don't know. which is the whole point. You are asserting something you realise can not be proven and want a pass?
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    Jun 23 2013: Salim:
    I did not say: "Skepticism is NOT vital in scientific research." Not at all!!! What I am saying is: Skepticism has NO GROUNDS in subjects beyond proof possibility. Why? Because skepticism relays on proof by evidence only.
    For instance: Life-after- death cannot be proved with comunicable evidence, but it does not mean it does NOT exists.
    Same case with spiritual values.
    Some pseudo-scientists insist the ego (self) radicates in brain activity, but such idea is imposible to prove and is just speculation (theory). The fact of Soul existance is beyond proof so it is not possible to be skeptic about it.
    The only way to prove life-after-death is by dying, but it is a personal experience beyond proof.
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      Jun 23 2013: This would feel like more of an open-minded inquiry to me if you did not label widely accepted views/hypotheses held by serious neural scientists as pseudo -science.

      To me this seems like a rhetorical gambit that interferes with productive exchange of ideas.
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        Jun 23 2013: Fritz: If the "pseudo" part annoys you, please discard it!
        I used the term "pseudo-science", as a reminder to its frequent usage, in critics about Para-Normal experiments and its further banning in a supposedly democratic Internet Community,
        When Sciences evades the obvious evidence offered by the meticulous, mathematic, precise, beautiful and extreme order in the Universe, is seeing with one eye only and thinking with half brain too.
        That is why I call it "pseudo-science"
        Or is it my imagination and idealism to see the marvelous LAWS of Nature as precise, incredibly complex and perfectly logical, as an abundant proof of a Higher Mind behind everything?
        Or should I accept the absolutely far fetched belief of all this marvel, with extreme and fascinating order and interconnection has happened and it is happening just because "It is!"...., ????
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          Jun 23 2013: If you want to withdraw your description of such scholarship as pseudo-science, you can actually go in and edit your post. I think your labeling such work pseudoscience gives everything else you write less credibility to anyone who knows the distinction. This will make for a less substantively healthy thread, I think, assuming that was what you were looking for here.

          I think you know that many of the great scientific minds of this generation do not see proof of a higher mind behind everything. It is up to you whether you discount their minds, work, and judgment because they disagree with you or whichever thinkers you have chosen to follow.
        • Jun 24 2013: Yes, it is your imagination and idealism that makes you believe that the way nature works is proof of a higher mind. In some logic this is called a non-sequitur.

          But let me show you further: if this higher mind exists, then what makes this higher mind work the way it works? You don't want me to believe that the higher mind works the way it works just because "It is", do you? I mean, if you reject that idea for the things we can check, like nature itself, then why should we accept it for the things that are only in your imagination, like that higher mind? If we therefore had to accept that at some level things just are what they are, why not stop within what we have evidence for, such as nature, rather than imagine a higher mind?
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      Jun 23 2013: How one will understand that something is beyond proof until s/he becomes skeptic to look for proof? However even if someone fails proof something at some point of time doesn't mean it will never be proven , and such thing happened many times in quest of knowledge specially science.

      I agree with you if someone is religious s/he need to be free from skepticism. But that again becomes a threat to humanity , and plenty of examples are out there about it. Skepticism less religious belief tend to make one to denounce all other religions / belief system as s/he is confirmed that only her/ his religion is the only one from god and rest are invalid. Human history is full of examples of such skepticism blind belief .
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        Jun 23 2013: Salim: Make an effort to understand the concept of "something impossible to be proven".
        It means "evidence" as required by a true skeptic thinker, is unobtainable. An honest person would not be anymore skeptical but would instead admit he is at list Uncertain.
        There is absolutely no religious intention in my post or my thoughts. I am being very practical.

        IF something is impossible to be proved YOU CANNOT BE SKEPTIC about it anymore because skepticism EXPECTS EVIDENCE OR PROOF.
        We must then accept there ARE UNCERTAIN THINGS we cannot prove or deny.
        Do this "things" scare us? DO they represent a "menace" to critical thinking?
        Maybe they "do not exist" because it is not convenient...

        If you don't agree, then please tell me of a good, valid evidence, absolutely positive of Life-After-Dead...
        What could prove beyond doubt or confusion there is LIFE AFTER DEATH?
        Nothing! True skeptics told me that many times.

        So.... Because it cannot be proven it MUST not exist.... ?????
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          Jun 24 2013: My point is simple, what can't be proven today , tomorrow it will be....it happened many times in human history.

          As per science there are plenty proof about non existence of "Life after Death"
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          Jun 24 2013: Why believe in something that is impossible to prove?

          Why believe in something not supported by reason and evidence?

          You seem to be reverting to animal instinct and intuition and agency assumption, or wishful thinking.

          I suggest it's lazy and intellectually dishonest to believe whatever you want to believe just because you can not prove or disprove it.
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    Jun 23 2013: Skepticism out means , exploration of knowledge is out & death of Curiosity.
    Is that what the proposition above is proposing ?
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    Jun 22 2013: Lamar: Actions are not proof of a motif or reason, as the same action can be induced by very different reasons.
    We can serve , care, nourish a person because of love, but we could do it also because of duty, compassion, remorse, remuneration or altruism. Which then is the true emotion?

    Internal or external stressors? What causes the stress in such way that increased complexity is attained?
    Is stress capable of introducing order, coherence and purpose?
    Evolution is not exclusively biological. There is the evolution of the Universe, comprising each and every process or system, by far, much more complex and vast than simple biological evolution alone.
    P.S. Genes predictable mutation? Who designed the gene and its awsome architecture?
    Why?
    • Comment deleted

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        Jun 23 2013: To Lamar: I am sorry to see you are twisting my words... And yours too.
        Also: This is NOT a biology conversation. I am trying to avoid tiresome repetition of what insensitive materialist professors say at school.
        I am trying to explain with examples why skepticism is NOT suitable to discuss certain topics. Honestly I did not expect irate reactions to a simple and clearly explained reasoning.