Can Naturalism Design Anything?

first_imgPhilip Ball in the Sept. 23 issue of Nature1 gave a title to a news feature that might catch a reader off guard and think he is allowing the Intelligent Design Movement to have a voice in a scientific debate: “Enzymes: By chance, or by design?”  Upon further reading, however, it is clear the debate is between materialists and materialists.  He has no Intelligent Designer in mind but natural selection. Most biologists would scoff at the idea that their subject is simply applied quantum mechanics.  But for some enzymes – the catalysts of biology – quantum effects may be an important part of the way they work [see 09/16/2004 headline].  This revelation has left chemists and biologists arguing about whether enzymes have evolved to do this, or whether the effect would happen regardless of the enzymes’ activity.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)So a personal Designer or God is the last thing on Ball’s mind, despite the title.  His debate is whether enzymes take advantage of quantum mechanical efficiencies by chance, or whether natural selection designed them to do so.  “The debate shows little sign of being resolved quickly.  And until it is, we must remain uncertain about the limits of nature’s ingenuity,” he concludes.1Philip Ball, “Enzymes: By chance, or by design?”, Nature 431, 396 – 397 (23 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431396a.It’s a sign someone is so drunk on his worldview that he has lost touch with reality when he incorporates the lingo of his opponents and fails to see the contradiction.  Ball cannot use the word design, nor the word ingenuity.  He is a naturalist, a materialist, and the realm of ideas cannot be circumscribed by material substances and remain ideas.    Like Ball, the astronomer Robert Jastrow is also a materialist.  Jastrow defined materialism in the Q&A section of the new film The Privileged Planet (see 09/01/2004 headline) as follows: “I believe the world consists entirely of material substances, and when you specify those substances, the atoms and molecules, and the laws by which they interact, you’ve done it all; there isn’t anything more to be said or to enter into your model of the universe.”    A materialist is forced to explain the illusion of ideas in terms of atoms and forces, like trying to explain love in terms of the photons that reach a man’s retina when he sees a woman, and the neural responses and biochemical reactions that result.  But this approach commits the self-referential fallacy.  C. S. Lewis pointed out that if love can be explained via brain biochemistry, so can explanations.  Therefore, one has no way to judge whether his explanation is true, because the idea of truth is merely a complex interaction of molecules (see 06/16/2004 and 06/03/2004 headlines).    Evolutionists commit this fallacy all the time.  They shift seamlessly between strict materialism and pantheism.  Pantheism is merely a cloak for materialism; it allows a materialist to personify nature and equivocate with terms like design and ingenuity, when such terms fall within the realm of ideas.  Evolutionists cannot see that they are assigning the attributes of deity to material substances: intelligent design, wisdom, and autonomous self-existence.  To be consistent, they could never assume that natural selection designs anything with uncanny ingenuity.  When they do, they illogically make nature into a god.    Jastrow saw this.  He began with the quote shown on the top right of this page, then said “I’m what’s called in philosophy a materialist” and defined it as quoted above.  Then he continued: “That’s what my science tells me, and I’ve been a scientist all my life, but I find it unsatisfactory; in fact, it makes me uneasy.  I feel that I’m missing something.”  Jastrow, author of God and the Astronomers, a book that illustrated the discomfort other materialist astronomers felt when confronted with evidence for a beginning to the universe, is now an elderly man.  Sadly, having rejected the only answer that fits the evidence – supernaturalism – he ended his comments, “but I will not find out what I’m missing within my lifetime.”  Would that he had followed C. S. Lewis’s logic, that a longing for meaning that cannot be satisfied by anything in this world must have an object beyond it.  At least Jastrow feels the hangover.  Ball is apparently too drunk on materialism to feel anything.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Session 4 photo highlights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There was plenty in the packed Session 4 including the Creed Speaking Presentation, officer awards, a keynote presentation from National FFA Secretary Victoria Harris, CDE winner announcements, the Prepared Speaking Presentation, the Agriscience Fair recognition, and the Ohio FFA Officer parent recognition. Ryan Matthews The top reporters in the state were recognized. The top treasurers in the state were recognized.. The top secretaries in the state were recognized. Johnathon Cottingim CDE winners were recognized Student reporter Kolt Buchenroth is ready for Session 5! Agriscience Fair winners were recognized Agriscience Fair winners were recognized National FFA Secretary Victoria Harris Josie Montoney thanks her parentslast_img read more

Solar Access on the Florida Ballot

first_imgSolar advocates in Florida say that they have proof that electric utilities are attempting to trick voters into supporting a ballot initiative that appears to broaden their access to solar energy but in fact will do just the opposite. In an article earlier this month, the Miami Herald said that the policy director of a utility-supported think tank admitted at a conference that the utility effort to pass an amendment to the state constitution was “an incredibly savvy maneuver” that would undermine efforts to make solar energy more accessible to Floridians.Florida allows state residents to own or lease solar panels, but does not permit third-party sales. As a blog at Forbes explains, the ballot question would allow residents to lease panels through a utility but does not address third-party power purchase agreements. The ballot measure, supported by a group called Consumers for Smart Solar and $21 million in utility backing, also would let utilities add new fees to the bills of solar customers to compensate for lower sales.Sal Nuzzo, a vice president of the James Madison Institute, was taped saying utility support of the ballot measure amounted to a “little bit of political jiu-jitsu.” Consumers for Smart Solar denied it had hired the think tank, and Nuzzo’s boss later claimed Nuzzo “misspoke.”The Forbes blog noted, “Amendment #1 was labeled as a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ by Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente… She went on to say, ‘Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, this proposed constitutional amendment, supported by some of Florida’s major investor-owned electric utility companies, actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.’”The fight over Florida’s solar future has been messy, as this earlier report at GBA suggests. A competing group, Floridians for Solar Choice, wants to remove the ban on third-party sales and allow customers to lease their solar generation to neighbors or building tenants. But an attempt to get that measure on the ballot failed.last_img read more

Govt to buy potatoes from farmers to stop suicides

first_imgA day after a potato farmer allegedly committed suicide after suffering heavy losses, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her government will purchase 28,000 tonnes of potatoes, required for Anganwadi centres and midday meal programme, directly from farmers. Her announcement comes at a time when potato farmers across the State are facing a severe crisis — at least two of them have committed suicide — due to the sharp drop in prices following this years’ bumper crop.Krishak Dibas“We have decided to buy 28,000 tonnes of potatoes directly from the farmers which we need every month for the Anganwadi centres and the midday meal programme. The government will buy potatoes at ₹4.60 per kg,” she said. Ms. Banerjee was speaking at a government programme on Krishak Dibas (Farmers’ Day) observed by the Trinamool Congress government on March 14 to pay tribute to those who died during the anti-land acquisition movements at Singur in Hooghly district and Nandigram in Purba Medinipur district. As per the projected estimates of the State government, the number of schools (up to Class VIII) to be covered under the midday meal scheme is 83,673 and the number of students is about 1 crore. According to potato merchants, this is the first time that the TMC government is directly purchasing potatoes from farmers.The development comes a day after a potato farmer allegedly committed suicide due to losses in farming in the Anandapur area of Paschim Medinipur district’s Keshpur block. According to his family, Swapan Hajra (45) committed suicide after sustaining “heavy losses” in potato farming. ‘Heavy debt’“He incurred a large debt for cultivating potatoes in four bighas (1.60 acres) of land,” Mr. Hajra’s son Indrajit told journalists.The Opposition, however, is sceptical whether the move will be beneficial for the potato farmers. “This is nothing but a face saving move. If the TMC government is really bothered about the farmers they would have purchased potato from them at a much higher rate,” said CPI-M district secretary of Paschim Medinipur Tarun Roy.last_img read more

Manipur varsity acting V-C apologises to Governor

first_imgActing Vice-Chancellor of the Manipur University K. Yugindro Singh has apologised to Governor Najma Heptulla for stating that she extended “overt support” to agitators during a recent stir at the varsity, a Raj Bhavan official said on Wednesday.Prof. Singh wrote to the Officer on Special Duty/Secretary to the Governor on October 8 and apologised for his “incorrect and inappropriate” remark, he said.Prof. Singh, in a letter written to the the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on October 3, had claimed that Ms. Heptulla questioned his taking charge as V-C of the central university and expressed her support in favour of the agitators, during a meeting on September 21. “I, hereby, humbly and respectfully tender my unconditional apology to the Governor of Manipur for incorrect and inappropriate statements made by me, including breach of protocol and propriety, related to the Governor,” Prof. Singh said in the letter. He said during the meeting the questions asked by the Governor were not fully understood by him because of “mental stress”. “I had inadvertently made incorrect and inappropriate understanding of the questions of the Governor,” he said.last_img read more