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Does ID have something to offer? can it play with the adults?

Let´s see:
Signature in the Cell: Intelligent design Faces its Critics

Quote from: Brock Adams, Director, UN Health Organization
"To achieve world government it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism, and religious dogmas."

American Psychology Association Former president, Nicholas Andrew Cummings,  explains when political considerations took over scientific ones

Apologetics and Theology / H.H. uncertainty principle
« on: August 31, 2015, 11:19:45 am »
H.H. offered an interesting opinion in another thread:
.... And since there are many within the faith as well as those outside of it that don't find those arguments convincing, the only honest approach is either fideism or deconversion.

And, I am wondering what is the principle or principles behind it.

Perhaps, something like:

If professional peers disagree on a given topic, then, the only reasonable thing is to not believe either side.

if So, does that work? what consequences it implies?

If not, what is it? and, how does it work? what is its motivation ? from which principles it follows?
what are the consequences of it?

I am not a scientist, much less a physicist. But, I will offer a summarized account of what involves the calculation of zero energy density in quantum field theory (as I understand it), which ends up predicting the vacuum energy density of space with an error of 120 (10^120) magnitudes from actual measurements.

I do this to try to spell out what are the assumptions used for such calculation, that could, perhaps, be found to be shaky.

Physicists feel free to correct, add, and clarify for us (thanks in advance).

1. Quantum field theory posits that in every point in space there is a harmonic oscillator of every possible frequency

2. They can be excited in a different way, and, a certain excitation appears to us as particles.

3. Quantum field theory postulates such view because it could be said that everything in physics is formulated in terms of harmonic oscillators.

4. Essentially any perturbative quantum field theory that is Lorentz invariant is going to be described to first approximation as a quadratic Lagrangian with  up to 2 derivatives.  This is the heart of it all.

5. This is why harmonic oscillators show up everywhere in physics. It would appear that the structure of physics is almost always approximated by a harmonic oscillator.

6. The equation of the Harmonic oscillator is roughly of the following form

H = ( n + 1/2) h Wn           n=0,1,2,3,4...

7. And what is interesting and important is that even at energy level n=0, its lowest state,its ground state (zero point energy ) H is not zero (this is due to Heisenberg´s uncertainty principle when applied to energy)

H= (1/2) h *  W0 

8. This, as far as I know, is the heart of quantum field approaches, as explained above, this  is motivated by what appears to be a pervasive fact of nature.


9. If we  wanted to compute the ground zero energy density in a given volume of space, we would add up all the energies of all the oscillators of that volume of space (for n=0).

10. This means adding all of the ground zero energy-momentum of all the harmonic oscillators in the given volume.

11. This addition is done up to around Planck scale, where we would expect Quantum field theory to break down.

12. And this yields an energy density 10^120 greater than what has been measured to be the energy density in vacuum space.

On different ocassions, I have understood skeptics/atheists to be saying that theists are biased, non critical, and not objective in their search for truth.

That they are the ones on the side of science and the critical thinking approach to truth, and these are the superior methodologies in the search for truth.

Indeed the great revelation of the scientific method is that we should search hardest for evidence that contradicts our beliefs. Evidence which merely confirms what we already know is actually not very informative, and does not lead to much improvement in understanding.

Edit: One of the nicest, and simplest, demonstrations of this I have seen:

So, I have some Questions for the atheists/skeptics community, which I will not follow with any argumet for or against, it is more a survey of their thinking, if they want to share it:

Which scientific hypothesis experimental confirmation has shown that we should search hardest for evidence that contradicts our beliefs?

Isn´t the scientific method predicated on the capacity of its hypotheses predicting observations?

Isn´t  the whole point of being informative  to provide further understanding on what to expect?

When was the last time any scientist tried to disproof the scientific method?

How is the search for evidence that contradicts atheism, going?

If a scientific theory predicts a result with an error of over 120 magnitudes,
what should we do with it? ( 10 ^120)

None of these question are meant to deny the importance of disconfirmation and falsability.

This is not a post for theists. I just want to read atheists thoughts on these questions.Thanks.

PS: To everyone, do watch the video Kurros posted, it is an excellent lesson.

This is not a thread about proving God´s existence, This is not a thread about believing in God´s existence being justified, this is not a thread about Atheists being this or that, or theists being so much better.

I just came accross this study, and, aside from getting my curiosity up about the details, the twists and turnds of it, I was wondering what other studies like this are out there, and, what are the philosophical correlations and or implications.

This is a thread to converse on the subject of religious correlates to our brains and cognitive faculties.

high-risk adults who reported high importance of religion or spirituality had thicker cortices than those who reported moderate or low importance of religion or spirituality

Results  Importance of religion or spirituality, but not frequency of attendance, was associated with thicker cortices in the left and right parietal and occipital regions, the mesial frontal lobe of the right hemisphere, and the cuneus and precuneus in the left hemisphere, independent of familial risk. In addition, the effects of importance on cortical thickness were significantly stronger in the high-risk than in the low-risk group, particularly along the mesial wall of the left hemisphere, in the same region where we previously reported a significant thinner cortex associated with a familial risk of developing depressive illness. We note that these findings are correlational and therefore do not prove a causal association between importance and cortical thickness.

Conclusions and Relevance  A thicker cortex associated with a high importance of religion or spirituality may confer resilience to the development of depressive illness in individuals at high familial risk for major depression, possibly by expanding a cortical reserve that counters to some extent the vulnerability that cortical thinning poses for developing familial depressive illness.

We previously reported a 90% decreased risk, assessed prospectively for 10 years, of developing major depressive disorder (MDD) in adult offspring of depressed probands (high familial risk
) who said that religion or spirituality was highly important to them.1 Attendance at religious services and religious denomination did not decrease the risk of MDD. Among the same participants in our 25-year, longitudinal, multigenerational study of MDD who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we identified large expanses of cortical thinning across the lateral surface of the right cerebral hemisphere and mesial wall of the left hemisphere in adult offspring of the HR group.2 These findings led us to explore whether the regions where cortical thinning was located in the HR adults would be thicker in those who report a high personal importance of religion or spirituality and whether these findings would be significantly more prominent in persons at HR compared with low familial risk (LR) for MDD. A relatively thicker cortex in these regions could potentially account for the protection against depression that religion or spirituality seem to afford. (For ease of reading, we will refer to the personal importance of religion or spirituality simply as importance.)

Numerous studies have found an inverse association between religiosity and depression, and additional studies have attempted to identify a neurobiological basis for religious and spiritual experiences.3- 9 In healthy individuals, for example, transcranial magnetic stimulation of the temporoparietal regions evoked feelings of sensed presence.10 A study11 on older adults using structural MRI prospectively associated born-again status, life-changing religious experiences, and Catholicism with subsequent greater atrophy in the hippocampus. Several functional neuroimaging studies2,12- 15 of healthy adults using functional MRI and single-photon emission computed tomography revealed that the intensity of self-evoked religious experiences during MRI was associated with increased blood flow in various subregions of the prefrontal and parietal cortices. These neurobiological correlates of religious and spiritual experiences, however, have yet to be investigated in terms of the risk and protective benefits that they confer for MDD.

In the present study, we followed adults for more than 30 years adults were at either HR or LR for MDD, during which time the participants self-reported importance and frequency of attendance at services and were assessed for symptoms of depression. We assessed the associations of importance with measures of cortical thickness measured on MRIs of the brain acquired at the 25-year follow-up. In addition to reporting thinner cortices in HR adults that averaged nearly 30% across the lateral surface of the right hemisphere and mesial wall of the left, we also previously reported that thinner cortices in the HR group were state independent (ie, a thinner cortex was independent of whether participants were ever depressed and therefore was likely an endophenotype for MDD) and that the cortical thickness mediated the associations of familial risk for MDD with inattention and difficulty recalling social stimuli, cognitive disturbances that in turn were associated with increased symptoms of anxiety and depression.2,15

We therefore hypothesized that adults with self-reported high importance compared with those with low or moderate importance would have thicker cortices in brain regions, which was previously identified as an endophenotype for familial MDD. Because we have previously found that the effects of religious importance in protecting against MDD are greater in HR compared with LR adults, we further hypothesized that the HR compared with the LR participants would have larger expanses of the brain in which cortical thickness correlated positively with religious importance.

Apologetics and Theology / Probabilistic support
« on: August 22, 2015, 11:08:06 pm »
Take with a grain of salt:

Tomoji Shogenji ( the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2003), pp. 613-616.) has shown that, even though, "It is well known that probabilistic support is not transitive" , an intermediary proposition screening off the original evidence with respect to the hypothesis in question is a sufficient condition for the transtivity of probabilistic support. This has the consequence that probabilistic support is transitive when the original evidence is testimonial, memorial or perceptual (i.e., to the effect that such and such was testified to, remembered, or perceived), and the intermediary proposition is its representational content (i.e., to the effect that the such and such occurred).

Screning off (Reichenbach):

*:  Causal connection.
-->:  logical implication.

  causal sequence
A     *    B    *    C
B screens off A from C. B screens off C from A.
P( B | C) > P( B)   & P ( A | B )  > P ( A)    -- > P( A | C) > P( A)    by transitivity of support, C suports A. (shogenji)

  common cause
              *            *
        A                        C

B screens off A from C. B screens off C from A.
P( B | C) > P( B)   & P ( A | B )  > P ( A)    -- > P( A | C) > P( A)   by transitivity of support, C suports A (shogenji).

Some examples:

Ex. 1
B:( Tratidiontal Cristianity is true. God exists and has instantiated a world with Atonement, according to his divine design of salvation. God resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, the 2nd person of the trinity,  that incarnated, lived among men, suffered, was crucified, and raised by God.)  A  divine bodily resurrected Jesus commissioned the apostles to carry his messages, and, tell of all the events regarding his teaching and atoning sacrifice,  resurrection, and, post assumption continued, appearing on diverse situations and occasions, to many.

A: Reports of bodily appereances and experiences.

C: Reports of non bodily appereances and experiences.

              *            *
        A                        C

P( B | C) > P( B)   & P ( A | B )  > P ( A)    -- > P( A | C) > P( A)    by transitivity of support, C suports A.(shogenji).

There are other combinations that are also interesting:


Ex. 2
B:( Tratidiontal Cristianity is true. God exists and has instantiated a world with Atonement, according to his divine design of salvation. God resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, the 2nd person of the trinity,  that incarnated, lived among men, suffered, was crucified, and raised by God.)  A  divine bodily resurrected Jesus commissioned the apostles to carry his messages, and, tell of all the events regarding his teaching and atoning sacrifice,  resurrection, and, post assumption continued, appearing on diverse situations and occasions, to many.

A: B compatible (causally connected) Event X , with details a,b,c reported

C: B compatible Event (causally connected) Y, with details, d,b,e,f reported

And so on.

P( B | C) > P( B)   & P ( A | B )  > P ( A)    -- > P( A | C) > P( A)    by transitivity of support, C suports A.


If this is roughly correct, it seems under certain conditions ( screening off ) discrepancies in testimony is not really a problem for it to be mutually confirmatory ( probabilistically support each other ). 

Testimonials / When and How I became a Christian
« on: August 01, 2015, 08:16:22 pm »

Apologetics and Theology / XO Mark 2:18-22
« on: June 20, 2015, 04:33:54 am »

18Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”

19Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

21“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

Apologetics and Theology / XO. Church fathers
« on: April 24, 2015, 11:55:30 am »
I have read a bit about the church fathers, and, Im  currently reading a little more of their writtings intently.

What do you guys think about the importance of the Church fathers?

I really want to know how Ignatius, Polycarp, Clement of Rome, and the others saw Christianity.

I found Clement´s comments on Jesus making a place for us to repent (paraphrasing) somewhat enlightening, a well as his telling of what Peter and Paul went through, for testifying what they saw and knew.

While reading I am very aware of thoughts like " these guys probably knew the eyewitnesses, and, I need to pay attention on what they learned ".

Thoughts, advice, etc...?


Different error theorists offer different grounds for thinking there are no moral facts of the sort our moral thought presupposes. J. L. Mackie, 1977, for instance, maintains that there could be such facts only if there were “objectively prescriptive” features of the world that worked effectively to motivate all who recognized those features. Others maintain that there would have to be categorical reasons that apply to people independent of their interests and desires, still others that there would have to be a God who takes an interest in human activities. In each case, the argument starts by identifying something that would putatively have to be the case for there to be moral facts ...

  (2005-12-22). The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory (Oxford Handbooks). Oxford University Press, USA. 

These are a little more than 3 minute videos explaining a very interesting conception of the incarnation.
And, I would like to read comments from those who have been researching and studying these matters for some time now.

As, these are new subjects to me.

Mostly, I just want to have a friendly discussion in an environment of sharing knowledge and ideas, and not of everlasting dissension, for a change.

JP Moreland on logic and the incarnation

Timothy Pawl considers whether God becoming man is logically impossible.

As to not derail PCH thread.

I am at the office, so, I might take a while to come back.

No you misunderstood him, and because of that you quoted him out of context. He said in reference to EPIPHENOMANLISM, we are all zombies, because EP is ridiculous. But to say we are zombies in any other context is take him out of context. He clearly doesn't believe in p-zombies. know that epiphenominalism is the only recourse to naturalism right? To say dualism is not true, and epiphenominalism is not true would entail actual p-zombies.

No I don't know that. And I don't think you know what EP is either.

I work on the brain for a living. A have a graduate degree in brain and behavior research. Before that I studied philosophy of mind. I've worked with cognitive psychologist and neuroscientists.

I've never met a single person in any of those fields who believe in EP (or dualism).

I have a question.

How does the true belief content, "Good, JudeNebula, has a graduate degree in brain and behavior research. And before that, he studied philosophy of mind. He is in the know" enters the causal chain that leads to me writing the following question?

Why do you, Jude Nebula, think those people do not belief in EP nor dualism?

You can put the 2nd question aside, if you prefer.


Great question! But it actually stems from the same faulty assumption that leads to both dualism and EP. So if you understand this faulty assumption, you will then see why dualism and EP are false, and why these people don't believe in either.

The faulty assumption is that biological processes and beliefs are two different things, instead of the same thing viewed from two different perspectives.

So in EP - biological processes (A) cause mental processes (B), which in turn have no causal effect the other way- at least as usually stated by EP believers.

in Dualism- biological processes (A) and mental processes (B) are two different substances.

But what most philosopher's of mind/neuroscientists/cognitive psychologists believe is that mental processes are simply the subjective experience of biological processes. Meaning what it is like when you ARE those biological processes.

A belief is the 1st person experience of neurons firing. Just as sight is the first person experience of light entering the retina and signaling parts of the brain.

Therefore that belief "Jude Nebula etc.." is part of the causal chain because it is neurons firing (from an objective perspective)

Is that clear?

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