Neuroscience and Hylomorphism

R.R. Reno, features editor at First Things, has a fine essay on the mind-brain problem that addresses many of the issues that Steven Novella and I have been debating over the past year or so. The substance of my arguments against Dr. Novella’s dogmatic materialism and his astonishing hubris regarding the application of neuroscience to the mind brain problem (“Every single prediction of materialism has been proven…”) has been twofold. First, I assert that the materialistic understanding of the mind isn’t even logically coherent. The salient characteristics of the mind, such as intentionality, qualia, free will, restricted access, continuity of self through time, incorrigibility, and unity of consciousness are not properties of matter, and there are very strong philosophical and Read More ›

A Partisan Affair (Part 5): Misconstruals of Religion and Science in Edward Humes’ Pseudo-History of Kitzmiller, “Monkey Girl

[Editor’s Note: For a full and comprehensive review and response to Edward Humes’ book, Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, and the Battle for America’s Soul, please see A Partisan Affair: A Response to Edward Humes’ Inaccurate History of Kitzmiller v. Dover and Intelligent Design, “Monkey Girl.] To give a feel for the partisan nature of Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul, Edward Humes’ website for his book has boasted glowing endorsements from reviewers like Eugenie Scott, P.Z. Myers, Michael Shermer, and conspicuously, no ID -proponents. One of the major themes of Humes’ book is to promote the view that evolution is compatible with religion. As discussed below, Humes even goes so far as to claim (wrongly) Read More ›

Darwinist Hypocrisy in the UC Berkeley Website Lawsuit: Is There Really “No Such Thing as a Little Constitutional Violation”?

During their opening statements in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, the plaintiffs argued that “there is no such thing as a little constitutional violation,” and thus Dover’s requirement that biology teachers read to students a short 4-paragraph statement that briefly mentioned intelligent design (ID) could be unconstitutional. (See Trial Transcript, Day 1, pg. 13.) But this is not how attorneys defending the pro-evolution UC Berkeley Evolution website argued in the Caldwell v. Caldwell lawsuit, where the 9th Circuit recently ruled that a parent could not sue because she had suffered no “injury in fact,” even though she had observed government-endorsement of pro-evolution theology on a government-sponsored website. Apparently when Darwinists themselves face accusations of violating the establishment clause, they happily Read More ›

Sacking Little Green Footballs’ Outrageous Claim That “Discovery Institute Is in League With Islamist Creationists” (Updated)

Earlier this year, the popular blog Little Green Footballs (LGF) made an outrageous attempt to link Discovery Institute to the Muslim creationist Harun Yahya (a.k.a. Adnan Oktar). Their post claimed, “Discovery Institute is in league with Islamist creationists, a fact that is indisputably true,” specifically mentioning Yahya / Oktar (“just happens to be a former volunteer for Harun Yahya”). Discovery Institute’s president Bruce Chapman dignified their charges with a forceful refutation, but LGF’s reply to Mr. Chapman was basically a string of ad hominem attacks that relied on a tenuous chain of distorted and incomplete facts. If there was any doubt left that Discovery Institute and Islamic creationists are not “in league,” consider a recent interview with Harun Yahya/Adnan Oktar Read More ›

Anglican Spokesman Recommends Church Apology to Darwin Over Legendary Affairs

The media is abuzz about a suggestion made by a Church of England spokesman that it should apologize for initially opposing Darwinian evolution back in Darwin’s day. An Associated Press article in the International Herald Tribune says that “[t]he church did not take an official stand against Darwin’s theories, but many senior Anglicans reacted with hostility to his ideas, arguing against them at public debates.” The example given is the account of Bishop Wilberforce: “At a University of Oxford debate in 1860, the bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, famously asked scientist Thomas Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed to be descended from a monkey.” According to the legend, Huxley reportedly replied that he Read More ›