Friday, December 2, 2011

Is Martin Mahner an Anti-Realist?

In his new paper on why science must presuppose metaphysical naturalism (the view that there is no supernatural, but only a materialistic world) Martin Mahner largely ignores questions of completeness and realism. Indeed, completeness goes unmentioned and Mahner’s only mention of the question of realism versus antirealism is in an end note where he dismisses the issue as not too relevant:

… there is an ongoing realism/antirealism debate in philosophy. However, this debate concerns mostly epistemological problems regarding the justification of more detailed realistic claims such as the status of unobservable entities, the truth of scientific theories, etc.

Well perhaps questions of completeness and realism are not what Mahner wants to address in his paper, or perhaps they are just inconvenient. In any case, Mahner is stuck with losing one or the other. As we have discussed before, such as here, here and here, those who mandate method necessarily lose a guarantee of either completeness or realism.

Bacon forfeited completeness and Descartes forfeited realism, but evolutionists will forfeit neither (which is possible only by introducing additional metaphysics which, of course, evolutionists do).

When mandating methodological or metaphysical naturalism, questions of completeness and realism immediately become important. But evolutionists want simply to mandate naturalism without reckoning with the implications. Mahner’s paper, unfortunately, does nothing to remedy this.


  1. as to:

    metaphysical naturalism (the view that there is no supernatural, but only a materialistic world)


    Regardless of philosophical presuppositions, Reductive Materialism is now falsified within science as a coherent philosophy:

    Quantum Entanglement – The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video

    The falsification for local realism (materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.

    (of note: hidden variables were postulated to remove the need for ‘spooky’ forces, as Einstein termed them — forces that act instantaneously at great distances, thereby breaking the most cherished rule of relativity theory, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.)

    Quantum Mechanics has now been extended by Anton Zeilinger, and team, to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:

    ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
    Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.

    It is important to note that the following experiment actually encoded information into a photon while it was in its quantum wave state, thus destroying the notion, held by many, that the wave function was not ‘physically real’ but was merely ‘abstract’ (As with Everett’s parallel universes interpretation). i.e. How can information possibly be encoded into something that is not physically real but merely abstract?

    Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon
    Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.

    The following paper mathematically corroborated the preceding experiment (and cleaned up some pretty nasty probabilistic incongruities that arose from a purely statistical interpretation, i.e. seems that stacking a ‘random’ infinity (parallel universes to explain quantum wave collapse), on top of another ‘random’ infinity, to explain quantum entanglement, leads to irreconcilable mathematical absurdities within quantum mechanics:

    Quantum Theory’s ‘Wavefunction’ Found to Be Real Physical Entity: Scientific American – November 2011
    Excerpt: David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum mechanics that he has seen in his 15-year professional career. “This strips away obscurity and shows you can’t have an interpretation of a quantum state as probabilistic,” he says.

    The quantum (wave) state cannot be interpreted statistically – November 2011

  2. Moreover, as if the preceding wasn’t more than enough to falsify materialism, quantum teleporation has now shown that atoms, which are suppose to be the basis from which ALL functional information ‘emerges’ in the materialistic neo-Darwinian view of life, are now shown to be, in fact, reducible to the transcendent (beyond space, time, matter) functional quantum information that the atoms were suppose to be the basis of in the first place!

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.

    Also of note is exactly how well established, and solid, quantum theory is as to being ‘correct’:

    An experimental test of all theories with predictive power beyond quantum theory – May 2011
    Excerpt: Hence, we can immediately refute any already considered or yet-to-be-proposed alternative model with more predictive power than this (quantum theory).

    Quantum Mechanics came out on top of general relativity for explaining the Centrality we witness for ourselves in the universe:

    Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Plausible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

    Quantum Mechanics falsified neo-Darwinism:

    Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information

    Quantum Mechanics provides a coherent ‘mechanism’ for the ‘soul’:

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)

    Quantum Mechanics provides a solution for the phenotype vs. genotype dilemma;

    A few comments on ‘non-local’ epigenetic information implicated in 3-D spatial organization of Body Plans:

    Further notes:

    The Predictions of Materialism compared to the Predictions of Theism within the scientific method:

    Verse and Music:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

    Paul Colman – The One Thing

  3. CH -

    The bottom line is that science DOES necessitate methodological naturalism. This is does for practical reasons (not religious ones, before you start barking) since it is impossible to perform any experiments if you don't. It is not a religious bias to exclude non-naturalistic agents, it is pure practicality. Science is IMPOSSIBLE if you don't assume methodological naturalism.

    Now you can complain that since SCIENCE (and again, that's SCIENCE, not EVOLUTION), assumes methodological naturalism then it is not a complete representation of how the world is. That is a perfectly valid point to make. But it is a philosophical (or, perhaps, religious) point, not a scientific one. You are the one coming at this from a religious perspective. Religion drives YOU, not science.

  4. Science is not even possible in the materialistic framework!

    Epistemology - Why Should The Human Mind Even Comprehend Reality? - Stephen Meyer

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion - Michael Egnor - June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method -- the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature -- has nothing to so with some religious inspirations -- Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.

    How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things?
    — Albert Einstein

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences - Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed 'Presuppositional apologetics'. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Presuppositional Apologetics - easy to use interactive website

    Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature - Presuppositional Apologetics - video

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking's irrational arguments - October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the "Boltzmann Brain" problem: In the most "reasonable" models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.

  5. Materialism simply dissolves into absurdity when pushed to extremes and certainly offers no guarantee to us for believing our perceptions and reasoning within science are trustworthy in the first place:

    Should You Trust the Monkey Mind? - Joe Carter
    Excerpt: Evolutionary naturalism assumes that our noetic equipment developed as it did because it had some survival value or reproductive advantage. Unguided evolution does not select for belief except insofar as the belief improves the chances of survival. The truth of a belief is irrelevant, as long as it produces an evolutionary advantage. This equipment could have developed at least four different kinds of belief that are compatible with evolutionary naturalism, none of which necessarily produce true and trustworthy cognitive faculties.

    What is the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? ('inconsistent identity' of cause leads to failure of absolute truth claims for materialists) (Alvin Plantinga) - video

    The following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that neo-Darwinism can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth he is giving in the interview, (which begs the question of how was he able to come to that particular truthful realization, in the first place, if neo-Darwinian evolution were actually true?);

    Evolutionary guru: Don't believe everything you think - October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.

    “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning...”
    CS Lewis – Mere Christianity

    "But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" -
    Charles Darwin - Letter To William Graham - July 3, 1881

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.” J. B. S. Haldane ["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    This following video humorously reveals the bankruptcy that atheists have in trying to ground beliefs within a materialistic worldview;

    John Cleese – The Scientists – humorous video

    It is also interesting to point out that this ‘inconsistent identity’, pointed out by Plantinga, which leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to make absolute truth claims for their beliefs, is what also leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to be able to account for objective morality, in that neo-Darwinists cannot maintain a consistent identity towards a stable, unchanging, cause for objective morality;

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris' Moral Landscape – William Lane Craig – video

    Hitler & Darwin, pt. 2: Richard Weikart on Evolutionary Ethics - podcast

  6. You almost have to laugh at him dismissing the truth of scientific theories as a minor and irrelevant concern. Something tells me it would become a lot less minor for him were people to use his reasoning to deny the truth of Darwinism en masse.

  7. Oh look the crack smoking tool of the scroll-wheel industrial complex is spamming again. Do humankind a favor, BA77, and give in to the urge to jump off that cliff.

  8. bornagain77,

    Are you replying to me?

    I'm not going to trawl through that massive index of URLs you've just thrown out just to try to figure out what point you might be making.

    Do your audience a favour and make your point as concise and understandable as possible.

    Science absolutely necessitates methodological naturalism. That is the point I was making. Challenge it if you wish, but please make your point clearly.

  9. Blogger refuses to load bornagain77's blog for me. Is it trying to protect my own sanity?

  10. Attempting to visit BA77's blog yields this error:

    "Request took too long"

    How apropos!

  11. It's not even clear the sort of completeness that Cornelius is referring to is even possible in the first place, let alone that it's important to evolutionary theory.

    Specifically, it seems Cornelius is following the following formula….

    01. Start by knowing your target audience believes divine revelation is a valid means of justifying conclusions and the gold standard for "truth"

    02. Disingenuously misrepresent "evolutionists" as claiming evolution is "true" to this same standard (i.e. claim it's predictions are essentially prophecy, in that It can account for an infinite number of unrelated, yet parallel effects, which only a supernatural being could supposedly do)

    03. Point out this misrepresentation is impossible without accepting the existence of supernatural beings

    04. Imply that "completeness" is important since any claim that evolution is "true" depends on it, which is a reference to the same misrepresentation.

  12. Scott -

    It's taken a while but I do believe I've unravelled Cornelius' knotty logic. Essentially it goes like this:

    The purpose of science is simply to uncover how the world works. Scientists therefore should not restrict themselves by assuming naturalism. If they came across un- / sub- / super- natural forcves, they wouldn't be able to recognise them as such. So if science restricts itself to assuming naturalism, they will never get a complete picture of how the world works. I believe that is what he means by 'completeness'.

    Just to add to the confusion, he calls such scientists who work by methodological naturalism 'evolutionists', apparently believing Darwin was somehow responsible for instilling methodological naturalism into science in an attempt to exclude God from it.

    He utterly refuses to realise, or to even acknowledge, that science mandates methodological naturalism at it's most fundamental level. It was not a deliberate ploy by Enlightenment atheists to drive God out of our world picture, but an essential part of being able to perform science. And also that this convention has absolutely nothing to do with Darwin or the theory of evolution via natural selection.

    The truth of the matter is simply that Cornelius has a problem with ToE specifically because it contradicts his religious beliefs. That being the case, it obviously must be science which is wrong, even if that means deconstructing science in its entirety and denying everything that makes it possible. Whether he quite realises that he in fact opposes the WHOLE of science - every theory in every field, I am not sure. I suspect it is something he desperately avoids trying to face.

  13. If it took you a while to "unravel" something that's rather straightforward, you must not be very intelligent.

  14. The Deuce -

    I'm wounded. No, really, ouch!

  15. To ba77, the spammer for his imaginary god:

    Hey phil, have you ever even considered engaging in an actual discussion, and not just hit and run accolades for fellow godbots, snarky attacks on evolutionists and scientists, preaching, proselytizing, non-scientific bald assertions, and a ton of irrelevant links and quotes and off topic garbage?

    What's the matter phil? Are you afraid to face challenges to your bald assertions? Is that why you hide in the UD sanctuary and only respond here with spam and other BS?

    You are a poster boy for thoroughly indoctrinated, goose stepping god zombies.