Why accept consensus as reality?

Yep, that’s Hume(a)n normal.

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Hume was cool for his time. I think we should be capable of more nuance by now. There are many reality filters but there is no way to see reality in its entirety with the naked eye. We all have to decide how much to give up and what we can trust in. If nothing but rational 24/7 floats your boat good luck to you. I enjoy my Jungian depths and the fount that sends me inspiration, insight and the wonder those inspire. I think what we trust/believe in is where the choices we make influence the ability of the resulting reality to carry meaning and fulfillment. We all have choices to make but I wouldn’t confuse our choice making function for the most important aspect of our self. What is not up to us is more basic and essential.


Haidt brings nuance, tastes to Hume. My passions float my boat, just like everyone else. Rationality is one of them. So is great science and other fiction. Been here before. Here we are again.


So there are others besides “just” rationality?

Aye. And they could all be moot in a week.

I’m really late to this party, but …

They called me mad, and I called them mad, and ■■■■ them, they outvoted me.
– Nathaniel Lee


So if there are two alternative theories to our existence…evolutiona and creation, and one states evolution is insufficient, what is the alternative? Wouldnt one agree that only leaves the other side of the debate?

A summary of Behees view…

Lehigh University
in Pennsylvania
Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture
Thesis Investigation of some physical chemical factors affecting the gelation of sickle cell hemoglobin (1978)

Behe’s claims about the irreducible complexity of essential cellular structures have been rejected by the vast majority of the scientific community,[6][7] and his own biology department at Lehigh University published a statement repudiating Behe’s views and intelligent design.[8][9]


Education and academicsEdit

Behe grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he attended grade school at St. Margaret Mary School and later graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School.[10][11] He graduated from Drexel University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He received his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 for his dissertation research on sickle-cell disease. From 1978 to 1982, he did postdoctoral work on DNA structure at the National Institutes of Health. From 1982 to 1985, he was assistant professor of chemistry at Queens College in New York City, where he met his wife, Celeste. In 1985, he moved to Lehigh University and is currently a Professor of Biochemistry. From 2005 to 2015, Lehigh University’s Department of Biological Sciences exhibited a position statement on its website stating that its faculty reject Behe’s views on evolution:

While we respect Prof. Behe’s right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.[8]

As of 2021, his faculty webpage includes “Disclaimer. My arguments about irreducible complexity and intelligent design are my own, and are not endorsed either by Lehigh University in general or by the Department of Biological Sciences in particular.”[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Michael Behe is a devout Catholic.[13] He is married to Celeste Behe and they have nine children who are homeschooled.[14]

Irreducible complexity and intelligent designEdit

Further information: Irreducible complexity and Intelligent design

Behe says he once fully accepted the scientific theory of evolution, but that after reading Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), by Michael Denton, he came to question evolution.[15] Later, Behe came to believe that there was evidence, at a biochemical level, that some biological systems were “irreducibly complex”. He thought that these systems could not, even in principle, have evolved by natural selection. He believed that the only possible alternative explanation for such complex structures was that they were created by an “intelligent designer

I think it hillarious that a scientific collective use the argument that Behees philosophical conclusion has not been tested scientifically. That is a pretty darn stupid response to his research (which is scientific)…him making a philosophical conclusion doesn’t change the facts of his research itself…that it cannot be explained via evolutionary means.strong text

Nope. Classic false dichotomy. Creation can be young earth, old earth, and lots of variation such as progressive, intelligent design, day age, gap, as well as combinations which are not uncommon, with ID accepting some evolution, evolution with seperate creation of Adam and Eve, etc. Even a lot of holders of evolution may agree that God may have had to boost the process through some difficult spots (such as the initial beginning of life, perhaps even so much as wiping out the dinosaurs so mammals could flourish etc.
And more variants are present than I mentioned off the cuff.

Why hilarious? I have not seen any scientific tests showing his point. Have you? Reference them if you have. Lots of scientists may have philosophical stances that are not held by many, but do not affect the quality of their work. In fact, I suspect the majority do so in one way or another. I think Behe is no doubt a bright guy and suspect he is also a good teacher and even a good scientist despite his being wrong in that area of thought, in my opinion. However, because of his setting himself up as a spokesman for ID and books written for the popular audience, his university rightly felt it necessary to set boundaries and distance themselves from his philosophical stance. I suspect many Christian colleges do the same thing with their faculty in the other direction to some extent, although many of the more fundamentalist bent just fire them. I suspect if Behe worked for Bob Jones, he would be toast.



Yeah that’s probably true. I know I would not be allowed to teach at many universities unless I pull a Galileo and only talk about some things from modern science as if they are just an unproven hypothesis. Or in other words, something that can be easily dismissed and is not worthy of having serious thought other than mentioned in passing.

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Not in the civilized world.

I see you are looking to the evidence and logic. That is totally what we need more of even in our discussion on this topic.
However, a cynical look considers only what facts are they not getting straight. Nothing can ever be evidence or logical to the cynic except when it matches their previous beliefs. Then the cynic stops being cynical and becomes a cheerleader. Of course there is nothing we cannot accept as true or false about reality when we are cynical.
The balanced skeptical look considers a statement for what is supported or not by the evidence and logic. What facts are correct and which are not. It must be an equal consideration of any proffers, pro or con, in a statement and in a response to a statement.

It is a simple thing to enumerate the points and evidence of different sides. But it seems too much of the discussion is in ignoring the strongest evidence for a side in favor of fallacies such as:

  1. appealing to authority such as consensus
  2. ad hominem to dodge evaluating evidence contrary to your notion by attacking others.
  3. begging the question by assuming your notion is right as evidence that your notion is right.

I am probing the belief of naturalism. There are many flavors of naturalist including those defining it as I gave in the OP.
Merely stating a belief that abstract concepts exist in our minds or that the physical is first doesn’t establish whether the they consider an abstract is real or how they consider it to be real.
Why do you consider this “skewed”?

Actually, I know it is not cheating. I made a clear If/ then statement. Do you disagree with the statement? Do you think a consensus built on naturalism would be valid? Or merely that it would not be group think or …?

You’re funny. And you’re employing the same reasoning as Sara Walker but over a group. “Life exists so it must be natural.” is not evidence. It is a faith statement.

This is the exact example of group think substituting evidence and logic.

So again I’ll ask. What is the evidence for the cell arising naturally?

Empirical evidence shows that life only arises from life. Your faith demands it to be otherwise. But this is a scientific question not a question of your faith.

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Everything that exists is natural. Where natural empiricism is naturally impossible, we have natural rationality to naturally extend beyond it.

There isn’t a technologically-advanced means to see a set of points of mass gathering together and moving in orderly fashion, like a flock of bird, and forming sets that are larger than single points but smaller than the constituent parts of atoms, then forming atoms which combine to form molecules, and so on. So, the evidence you want appears–but really “only appears”–to be non-existent.

Moral: there’s more to a cosmos than “meets the eye”. Give thanks to God our Father and move on. There’s work to be done and thanks to Jesus Christ, reason for doing it.

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What evidence do we have on the rate of random evolutionary mutations?

Do you not consider the 2 nucleic acid changes for Malaria required for it to get chloroquine resistance to be scientific? Or perhaps you have issues with the odds of it being 10^20?

Overall, I think evidence beats a “just so” story.

So on what basis do you accept that a cell arises naturally if it is not evidentiary?

Would you claim this to be science?

Observation is the easiest manner to see what nature does. Even if we use tools to “see” it.
Just claiming something must happen naturally when it is not observed to happen naturally is merely a faith statement.
Claiming such when the empirical evidence shows it doesn’t happen naturally is an infringement on the scientific method based on a faith. No?

Atoms forming molecules happens is quite evidentially based. How do you think that equates to a cell arising naturally?

Bigotry is unbecoming to any person or profession.
Sadly too many consider anyone not of their naturalism religion to be “unscientific” And any scientific concept of intelligent design to be mandated as scoped within their own religious level of acceptance.

So do you believe that science infers to your view of lack of the metaphysical but cannot ever be allowed to infer to a presence of the metaphysical?

None of them were bigots. What is naturalism religion? Any scientific concept of ID is an oxymoron. There is no need to go there. If nature manifested intelligent design both the design and its intelligence would be incontrovertible.

I don’t know what metaphysics has to do with reality. If science were confronted by observable, measurable, repeatable, invokable, six sigma supernatural agency, that would then be incorporated into science. It would have to be of the qualitative impact of the raising of the dead. When by Mum and Dad and Nan come back I’ll let you know.

Such things are ultimately explained by natural means, and the odds of it happening are pretty much certain given natural selection. Here is a discussion of such: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.221440898

Plus, if you are holding that the development of chloroquine resistance is impossible naturally, then you are in the odd position of holding that God purposefully intervened and created a resistant parasite to kill more of the weak and vulnerable.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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