The Mind and Its Discontents

In this week’s National Review (December 3, 2007), theoretical particle physicist Stephen Barr takes on those who claim that the findings of modern science have banished the ideas of mind or soul. Barr, with whom many of us at Discovery have misgivings regarding his use of the word “random” in neo-Darwinian theory, nonetheless gives an excellent exposition of philosophy of mind’s intersection with contemporary physics in his article “The Soul and Its Enemies” (sorry: password required). Barr concludes: We see, then, that those who confidently assert that scientific discoveries have banished the soul to the realm of myth offer only a limited view of the evidence. Indeed, the very possibility of scientific discoveries points to man’s openness to truth and Read More ›

Dr. West’s Heritage Foundation Lecture Now Available

For those of you who missed Dr. John West‘s lecture at The Heritage Foundation this week in Washington, D.C., it is now available online (look for November 6, 2007). West had a strained voice that day, yet he spoke eloquently on “The Abolition of Man? How Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science.” In this lecture, he covers what he sees as five impacts of scientific materialism on public policy. If you like what you see, don’t forget to check out Darwin Day in America.

Weikart Responds to Avalos

Iowa State atheist professor of religion Hector Avalos (yes, the same Professor Avalos who harassed Guillermo Gonzalez about astrobiology) seems to now consider himself an expert in modern European History as well. Avalos recently challenged (see: “Creationists for Geoncide“) the work of California State University, Stanislaus professor of history Richard Weikart. Weikart is author of the acclaimed From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany. Weikart recently responded to Avalos’s charges in a comment left at Panda’s Thumb. I’ve pasted it below for wider distribution:

Scientism’s Forefathers

Have you ever spent time pondering the intellectual pedigree of scientism–say, of the Dawkins variety? It would be nice if folly really were an orphan, but unfortunately he is not. And Herbert Spencer was only one link, though an important one, in a long chain of Western scientism. Consider this Spencerian quote from Steven Shapin’s recent New Yorker article “Man with a Plan: Herbert Spencer’s Theory of Everything“:

“A Stealth Creationist Theory” Which Is Neither Stealth Nor Creationist: Discuss!

Stealth: the act or action of proceeding furtively, secretly, or imperceptibly Pronunciation: ‘stelth Function: noun Etymology: Middle English stelthe; akin to Old English stelan to steal Richard Brookhiser’s recent TIME magazine article “Matters of Morality” is just lovely in its description of intelligent design: In 2005 Bush said that both intelligent design (a stealth creationist theory) and evolution ought to be taught in schools. Wow. First of all, ID is not creationism–and no one is more vociferously insistent about this than the major creationist organizations like Answers In Genesis. We’ve heard this charge before. But stealth? Stealth…like black helicopter stealth? I guess we better take all of our pro-ID websites down. Michael Behe better round back up the quarter million Read More ›