Posts Tagged ‘Domains of Knowledge’

Intelligent Design

August 12, 2016

Intelligent Design provides an excellent example of what defines science and the importance of different domains of knowledge staying within their domain of knowledge (see the healthymemory blog posts “Domains of Knowledge,” and “A Longstanding heated Debate That Can Easily Be Resolved”).  Advocates of intelligent design point to all the wonders of nature and conclude, how could such things emerge without an intelligent designer, who is God.  What they fail to acknowledge are all the extinct species that didn’t survive.  When they are considered, some sort of random selection process is needed. Or, as the humorist Tony Kornheiser noted when he was simultaneously suffering from nausea and diarrhea, “what a perverse sense of humor God had when he designed the human body.”  For intelligent design to be a science, there must be a means of disproving intelligent design.  Absent that, it is no science.

Actually religious people would be better off arguing the anthropic principle.  The conditions under which the universe was created were quite specific and absent these specific values of critical factors, it could not be created.  Apparently few religious people have the knowledge of physics or cosmology to make this argument.

Intelligent Design provides a good example of why different domains of knowledge need to stay in their appropriate domains.   People are entitled to whatever  beliefs they may hold, except when their beliefs have adverse effects on other domains of knowledge and on their fellow human beings.  Actually HM is in favor of teaching both intelligent design and evolution in the public schools, as that shows, unless improperly taught, the essence of science.  Evolution should not be taught as a dogma, but as a finding from science and an example of how science is done.  Students should be taught how to think rather than what to believe. Absent evolution, biology and medicine, at the very least, would be severely constrained.

James Flynn, the author of “How to Improve Your Mind:  Twenty Keys to Unlock the Modern World,”makes the following interesting observation, “Obscurantist churches talk about “intelligent design” as an alternative science, and some university lecturers say, “reality is a text.”  The latter have less excuse for talking nonsense.  The universities are fields on which a great battle rages.  It is a contest pitting those who attempt to help students understand science, and how to use reason to debate  moral and social issues, against those of whom it might be said that every student who comes within range of their voices is a bit worse off for the experience.  It is up to the rest of us to point out the error of their ways, so that students can think clearly enough to filter their words and distal something of value.”

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Longstanding Heated Debate That Can Be Easily Resolved

July 29, 2016

One of the most notable findings in the original “Freakonomics” is how the authors related the legalization of abortion in the 1970s to the increase in crime that did not happen that had been anticipated for the 1990s.  Their theory was that a rise in abortion meant that fewer unwanted children were growing up in the sort of difficult circumstances that increase the likelihood of criminality.  Here you should read or reread the healthy memory blog post “Turning on Genes in the Brain.”  It notes that the single best predictor for the healthy growth of a baby is to ask its mother, “Did you want this child?”  Research has documented what happens to children whose mother answered “No” to this question.  The short answer is a troubled childhood followed by a troubled adulthood (Read the blog  for justification for this statement), with adverse consequences to society.

You should also read or reread the healthy memory blog “Domains of Knowledge.”  There are many domains of knowledge, but two especially that should be kept distinct:  science and religion.  Historically, religion has tried to stand in the way of science; fortunately, it failed, or our existence today would be quite primitive.   Even today there are religious people who interfere with the accurate teaching of science, with the implication of policies based on science,  and with the conducting of important research.

Biological life is essentially irrelevant to religion.  Souls are what is important.

Imagine someone is being questioned by God or one of his subordinates as he tries to enter heaven and argues that he is entitled to enter because he is pro-life.  God might well be insulted and ask, “Don’t you think I’m a loving and merciful God?  Do you think I advocate a policy that not only makes the child’s life miserable, but also does myriad damages to society?.  Or do you think I am a vengeful God and want to punish someone who did not follow my commandments even though that punishment would have many adverse effects?  Or do you think that I am incompetent and am incapable of saving the soul when physical life is destroyed?

HM would not have this problem as he is pro-quality life.  There might be other obstacles to prevent him from entering heaven, but he would get a pass on the abortion question.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.