Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

World Views & Models That Work (part II) …

Mary Poplin

Further on the topic of world views and reality. Once again I am quoting from Mary Poplin, from her book “Is Reality Secular?” She does such a good job I am not going to muck about with a work of art …

so I just decided to stop with my own opinion and just strongly recommend that you go to Amazon.com and pick up the book, just 10 bucks for the Kindle version and worth every penny. Please read it and pass on the information, the “model”, to those you care about.

This is from Mary Poplin’s, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” (Veritas Books) (on p. 76). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

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Old-earth special creation.

Old-earth creation proponents look at the seven-day story more in terms of geological epochs or as a narrative framework for interpreting the origins account as did many of the early church fathers.55

They accept the traditional dating of the universe and earth but do not accept evolution as an adequate explanation for the origins of life.56  Some point out that the fossil record does basically follow the same order as listed in the “generations of days of creation” in Genesis, while others will disregard the apparent chronology.

These scholars use scientific evidence to argue for the existence of God and believe that scientific ideas are evident in the Bible but that not all these biblical passages are to be interpreted literally. Old-earth creationist and Orthodox Jewish physicist Gerald Schroeder is a physicist, earth scientist and theologian whose science degrees are from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His early scientific work centered primarily on the control of radioactivity. He is a popular and prolific writer on the “confluence of modern science and ancient biblical commentary.”57 He was influential in the conversion of famous philosopher Antony Flew.58

Hugh Ross

The most prominent old-earth creationist, astrophysicist Hugh Ross, has pulled together scholars across the scientific disciplines to develop the Reasons to Believe Institute.59 RTB has a large number of scholars working to articulate the latest discoveries to a well-educated audience who may or may not be scientists.

Their mission is to equip Christians “by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature.”60

Ross was the youngest person (at seventeen) to serve as director of observations for Vancouver’s branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He is a prolific writer articulating a biblical creation model that is testable, falsifiable and predictive.61

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God or Material Origins

John Lennox

John Lennox asks the ultimate question that theistic evolutionists, intelligent-design theorists and old- and young-earth creation theorists ask: given whatever the materials, processes and laws one believes caused the universe to exist, where did or do the basic building blocks of the material world come from, and, in particular, where did information (coded in DNA) come from?

Lennox asks, “How much more likely, then, is the existence of an intelligent creator behind human DNA, the colossal biological database that contains no fewer than 3.5 billion ‘letters’—the longest word yet discovered?”65 DNA’s storage density alone has been found to be six powers of ten denser than flash-drive technology.66

Anthony Flew

Once an apologist for atheism, Antony Flew advised us to follow the evidence where it leads. In science, as in all human endeavors, scientists cannot afford to hold on to a priori ideological commitments (secular or religious) that may become blinders for themselves or others. In all these theories, none is any more dependent on faith than any other.

Most important, none of these five perspectives on origins and agency inhibits scientific inquiry or discovery. Quite the opposite, they all encourage it. Proponents of nontheistic evolution, theistic evolution, intelligent design, old-earth creation and young-earth creation all use the same scientific methods when they conduct actual studies.

John Polkinghorne

These highly politicized metaphysical battles over five distinct scientific theories about the origin and agency of life on earth cannot be solved on one side or the other using the scientific method alone. Cambridge physicist, theologian and former chancellor John Polkinghorne, an esteemed scholar of both science and religion, reminds us that metaphysical claims need to be defended with metaphysical arguments.67

Evolutionary biologist Michael Ruse admits the naturalist’s Darwinian evolutionary bias has political intent: Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality.

biologist Michael Ruse

I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today. . . . Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.68

Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne describes the theist logic: We find that the view that there is a God explains everything we observe, not just some narrow range of data.

philosopher Richard Swinburne

It explains the fact that there is a universe at all, that scientific laws operate within it, that it contains conscious animals and humans with very complex, intricately organized bodies, that we have abundant opportunities for developing ourselves and the world, as well as the more particular data that humans report miracles and have religious experiences.

In so far as scientific causes and laws explain some of these things (and in part they do), these very causes and laws need explaining, and God’s action explains them. The very same criteria which scientists use to reach their own theories lead us to move beyond those theories to a creator God who sustains everything in existence.69

This above is excerpted from Mary Poplin’s, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews”(Veritas Books) (pp. 76-79). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

That’s all for now folks. My point in retelling all this is to point the finger at the inconvenient truth that any world view that doesn’t include GOD inevitably results in a murderous totalitarian self centered society however it is manifested. These last two posts have been an appeal to authority supporting my own world view, but unlike the secularists, I am in no way appealing to my own self image and my own intellectual authority, my vanity and narcissism.

Today’s modern culture in the west  denigrates and belittles any one who disagrees with the prevailing view regardless of their proven integrity and intelligence and regardless of the empirical proofs offered. Today’s “brights” care nothing for truth, but rather seek license and avoid responsibility, and this worship of self and love of self always and everywhere results in the death of the innocent and the helpless.

Cheers

Joe

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

World Views & Models that Work …

 

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, Thomas N. Seyfried, 2012

So, slogging along between bouts of accounting, and IT frustration, I am recreating in the evening by reading my copy of “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease …”. It is slow going and were I not so interested in the “model” I might not be reading this book, it is definitely not a page turner.

On the other hand It also works way better than sleeping pills, so you win some you lose some. It is heavy going but understandable with a couple of years of university biology and chemistry under my belt and a wife who studied organic chem to whom I direct questions on occasion.

It is both discouraging in its recounting of the past 50 years and very encouraging of my fasting Keto lifestyle. I have posted snippets here and there when I found stuff clearly relevant to fasting and Keto, but for starters, a revisit to the Forward (by Dr. Peter Pedersen, Professor of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD):

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Peter Pedersen, PhD

Cancer persists as a major disease of mortality and is afflicting more people today than ever before. Few families remain untouched by this insidious and vicious disease. In fact, cancer is predicted to overtake heart disease as the prime cause of death in industrialized societies during this century (21st). …

The Nobel laureate, Otto Warburg, was the first to provide evidence during the early part of the last century for the involvement of disturbed respiration with compensatory fermentation (glycolosis) as a common property of cancer, thus perceived to be related to its uncontrolled growth and progression. Few subjects have been as controversial in the cancer field as Otto Warburg and his theory of cancer. … “

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And now we are reading Chapter Four “Energetics of Normal Cells and Cancer Cells”, and we find the following:

“METABOLIC HOMEOSTASIS: Homeostasis is the tendency of biological systems to maintain relatively stable conditions in their internal environment” and “This is especially important for humans that follow a feast/fast schedule of nutrient supply. Metabolic homeostasis within cells is dependent … on the energy supply to the membrane pumps. Hormones such as Insulin and Glucagon can regulate global system energy homeostasis in order to maintain steady energy balance within the cells of each organ.”

That is just the simple introduction to the chapter explaining how the above “Energetics” process takes place, at the microscopic level, in every cell and organ of our body, every second of every day of our lives. And if even a bit of it goes wrong then we die … in this case by Cancer … but there are many other killers opportunistically waiting for us, “the self”, to deviate from the “Manufacturers Instructions” and set off into the empty blank part of the map where lie “Dragons”.

And the complexity about which I am reading intuitively leads me to reject the hypothesis that reality is all just accidental random chemical processes. In my primitive ignorance I simply can’t accept the Material Naturalist or Secular Humanist view reducing everything to chemical accidents. The machinery is far too precise and complex to be an accident of evolution. I find myself coming up against the idea of irreducible complexity.

It seems that “Darwin’s theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought. It is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.”  Dr. David Berlinski, Philosophy. Darwinism is just another mutation, a religion by any other name. Even Darwin didn’t believe what modern materialists and humanists believe.

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Further on topic the following is a direct quote from Mary Poplin, from her book “Is Reality Secular?” She does such a good job I am not going to muck about with a work of art …

” …  More recently, evolutionists point to genetic similarities between species to bolster Darwinian views of evolution. It has been widely reported that the human genome and that of the chimpanzee share about 95-98 percent similar DNA. This is used by material naturalists to bolster their arguments against the exceptionality of human beings in nature.

But why would we not expect God to use the same material for many different things? We use metal for children’s toys, skyscrapers, mechanical limbs and bombs. Rather, the more obvious question is how much then can the physical genome actually explain? While there are some obvious physical similarities between apes and humans, there are vast differences in our behaviors, histories and abilities.

This argument seems only to suggest that DNA studies may not be sufficient to describe the radical differences between the species. Why if there are such similarities at a molecular level are there so many differences in nature? No chimpanzee, ape or similar animal has ever set up complex societies, built houses, produced works of art and music, developed an oral or written language, or studied itself.

Where do these tremendous differences come from? Perhaps, as salmon scientist Ernie Brannon suggests, there is something more to the biblical explanation that God breathed his spirit into man and made him in his image than is thus far evident in the gene pool.

Intelligent design. On sabbatical in 1993, Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson began reading about the theory of evolution. From his position as a lawyer, he reasoned that the theory lacked evidence. He later wrote asking some troubling questions about Darwin’s theory.

From this beginning, Johnson attracted other scientists with similar concerns. These now form a group of scientists and philosophers who collectively refer to themselves as intelligent design theorists and scientists.

Biochemist Michael Behe, famous for the study of the bacterial flagellum, argues that certain biological systems would have to have been assembled in one fell swoop in order to function. His argument on “irreducible complexity” dovetails with the argument of philosopher William Dembski’s notion of “specified complexity,” revealing the impossibility of particular complex systems to have emerged in the manner described in neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.

Stephen Meyer’s work suggests that the complexity of the DNA genetic code is evidence alone of a designing intelligence. Other ID advocates include both religious and agnostic scholars Antony Flew, Michael Denton, Jonathan Wells, Caroline Crocker, Richard Steinberger, Robert Marks, Jeff Schwartz, Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards, David Berlinski and Phillip Johnson.

ID proponents scientifically analyze systems in astronomy, biology, physics and chemistry to determine whether the observed structures are most likely products of unguided natural selection, intelligent design or some combination. Like other scientists, they advance their propositions by inference to the best possible explanation and conduct experiments that arise from these hypotheses.

They have discovered new planets and worked on the finely tuned nature of the universe and earth, the initial conditions necessary to support life, the origin of irreducibly complex life including DNA transcription, the origin of major body plans in the Cambrian explosion, biological disparity and species diversity, and the processes of mutation, such as those involved in bacterial drug resistance.

EXPELLED

Intelligent design advocates hold prestigious degrees and have considerable scientific accomplishments but are often marginalized and sometimes even excluded from the scientific establishment in elite universities and other institutions. For example, in August 2013 a university president announced that the theory of intelligent design could not be taught in science classrooms.

Thus proponents who remain in universities work largely under the radar and keep their skepticism of Darwinian evolution and their metaphysical commitments hidden. Ben Stein’s popular film Expelled, though hotly criticized (by all the usual suspects), revealed a reality that ID proponents face often from the same people who paradoxically accuse the early Roman Catholic Church of persecuting Galileo for his doubts. (the coverage of and reaction to the movie “Expelled” are defacto proof of what Mary Poplin is writing about in her book. The Wiki article is a perfect example of media bias pretending to be impartial when reporting sources that disagree with their beliefs).

In an attempt to discount the academic rigor of intelligent-design theorists and their work, material naturalists often label its advocates creationists. The term creationist has suffered so much derision in the media that it makes it easy to dismiss ID out of hand without engaging the advocates’ scientific research and theory.

Unlike young-earth creationism, ID draws its metaphysics not from arguments about the age of the earth or man but from empirical scientific data revealing the design components that would be unlikely to have formed as a result of a slow process of evolution. Intelligent design advocates define themselves as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars seeking to understand the “prodigious evidence of design in nature.”

The Discovery Institute serves as the primary gathering place and think tank for intelligent-design advocates. They believe that the operations of the universe and the intricacies of living things are best explained by an intelligent, purposive design and reject theoretical propositions that solely material phenomena acting according to unguided processes brought the universe and nature into being.

toppling the religion of evolution …

Since 2001, over seven hundred scientists have signed Discovery’s Statement of Dissent from Darwinism, which reads, “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The reason that ID refers to an intelligent designer rather than God is that some members of its community of scholars are agnostics, Muslims or Buddhists in addition to Jews and Christians. Even atheists like Nagel support their work as a viable theory. Nevertheless, one of the criticisms is that most intelligent-design theorists, in fact, do believe in God or at least that God is probable.

Philosopher of science and self-described “ex-Christian” Michael Ruse quips that their use of the words “intelligent designer” rather than God is “a terminological inexactitude.” Mathematician and philosopher David Berlinski, who calls himself a secular Jew, says of intelligent design theory, “I do not know whether any of this (intelligent design) is true. (but) I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false.

Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” (Veritas Books) (pp. 73-76). InterVarsity Press.

The point of this is that believing and using the wrong models is dangerous. Dangerous behaviour based on faulty models kills people. We find that in every field from Engineering, to Aerodynamics, to Social Sciences, bad models invariably get people killed either by engineering system failures, or biochemical system failures.

The Material Naturalists, and Secular Humanists pushing these failed models are not the ones dying, and they don’t care as long as their models are not questioned.  Meanwhile, the ones doing the dying are us, the little guys in the street, the victims of guidelines and regulations and policies based on “an unproven theory” for the ego gratification and fat remuneration of policy makers and department heads and ministers? Yes Minister!

More to follow in the next post.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Models of Self Love …

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

Still thinking about Models. Thinking about what all Models seem to have in common.

It appears to me that Hard Models, those Engineering Models and Physics Models, which keep literally everything we depend on to stay alive and more or less healthy running smoothly, are based on a tangible reality, a measurable reality.

All those Grey Tribe models which the majority of folks take totally for granted and never think about, are mostly based on provable facts, and, or, theories based on facts.

Systems Engineering Models

Systems Engineering Models

Striking similarities between all Hard Models are that they can be used predictively, in fact their utility increases if they are found to be highly predictive and they are all replicable by any number of independent engineers and scientists.

One of the striking aspects of Soft Models, Pink Tribe Models, is the striking lack of anything real or absolutely quantifiable shown in those models. The fudge-factor in Soft Models is huge.

A good site to have a quick look at what I am talking about here is the Semantic Scholar site and the article here.  All the Soft Models have this in common, that they exclusively model “ideas”, they are rooted in “Ideology”. Soft Models may make use of real world objects or observed phenomena but only in the sense that they “need” some reference to reality by analogy to give a patina of reality to their ideology.

An Engineering Model that works

A Hard Model rooted in empirical facts about real world parameters of the modeler

In the world of Soft Models, Pink Tribe models, are all about how we would like things to line up with the “desirable” outcome.

Even in the Soft Model world of pseudo-science like political “science” and social “science”, even there, they at least give lip service to these characteristics of predicative value and replication of models.

Of interest, aside from my purpose here, on the same site are several articles like “3 Secrets to Outsmarting a Narcissist“, and “It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism“, and  “14 Thought-Control Tactics Narcissists Use to Confuse and Dominate You“.

Just remembered something, back in 2014 when I started blogging, what tipped me over the edge into writing about my experiences was the reality of dealing with Narcissists. Wow, I am coming up to four years blogging. That’s over a million words since 2014, self centered words flowing from my own model. My own Narcissism. This change of focus is what I was aiming for when I started writing.

Freud' Commitee, Ideological Models

Freud’ Committee, Ideological Models

I was pretty angry at the time and started writing about things, here, and here, and here, and here, as a kind of self help therapy. I wanted to have some sort of narrative available to which I could refer back when the reality of my experience was re-written by others.

After all, it is not only history which is re-written to cover up the past. Individuals do it every day in their thinking about what happened and how it reflects on their conduct. Freud probably would have had something to say about my hidden motives.

Anyway, the point of this is to illustrate the degree of self love apparent in the kinds of models we make use of to interact with our world, our “reality”. Hard Models tend to have more “real” stuff and significantly lower “self-love” factors. Soft Models tend to have significantly less “real” stuff, and significantly higher levels of the “self-love” factor.

The Mind is not an iceberg

The Mind is not an iceberg. The Ideology is that the Mind is “sort of” like an iceberg in “some ways”

Models rooted in empirical facts and measurable hard data tend to be less about the brilliance of the modeler and more about the real world item being modeled.

Models rooted in Ideology and self referenced opinion of individuals or groups tend to be more about the brilliance of the modeler(s) and less about reality on the ground.

At the foundational level, all this is really about metaphysics and spiritual truths.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the essence of a thing. This includes questions of being, becoming, existence, and reality. The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek words that literally mean “beyond nature”.

“Nature” in this sense refers to the nature of a thing, such as its cause and purpose. Metaphysics then studies questions of a thing beyond or above questions of its nature, in particular its essence or its qualities of being.

The Value of Metaphysics

“The Value of Metaphysics”, as communicated in a Beautiful Artsy Media Graphic meant to “simplify” the “idea” of metaphysics for the simple man-in-the-street.

Now, we “Brights” of our sophisticated modern age, have a way of cluttering up the landscape of thought with ever finer divisions and subdivisions and categories of things.

We do this until the origins of whatever we are discussing are completely obscured in generations worth of Erudite Academic Bafflegab.

For example, we have philosophical periods, thus Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Contemporary.

And within these periods we, as a culture, classify Philosophers somewhat along these lines: Aestheticians, Epistemologists, Ethicists, Logicians, Metaphysicians, and then there are the Social and Political philosophers, the “Johnny-Come-Latelies” of philosophical history, riding on the authoritative coat-tails of the giants who went before, mostly wrapped up in debating and implementing various Pink Tribe Models for government, that serve various sociological agendas and programs amongst various elites in our Progressive polite society.

The Worship Pool

The Worship Pool, O see how bright and beautiful I am … Practically Perfect in Every way.

And to further obfuscate Truth, all these philosophers toil away within an array of “Traditions”. We have split up philosophy into many, sometimes rather arbitrary “Traditions”, such as African, Analytic, Aristotelian, Buddhist, Chinese, Christian, Continental, Existentialism, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Pragmatism, Eastern, Islamic, Platonic, and Western.

BUT … Its really a LOT simpler than all that.

The reality of all these “traditions”, this detailed taxonomy of thought, comes down to only four basic “Models”. Those models are worldviews at their most basic level. The Four Models, the four major global worldviews are Material Naturalism, Secular humanism, Pantheism and Monotheism, represented by Judeo-Christianity.

Now this is all about our Models, and about whether our Models best reflect reality or something else. I am going to quote from a book by Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular” because she does such a good job of setting this all out clearly and concisely. Here is her explanation of the four Models:

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Mary Poplin

Mary Poplin

“Material naturalism is the belief that all that exists in the world is ultimately reducible to material phenomena. From this perspective, Mother Teresa was just a unique bundle of brain chemistry with particular psychoneural processes acting predictably, prompting her to do what she did.

Secular humanism is the belief that human beings are alone in the world and must act responsibly by forming their ethics solely from their human experience, human reason and science. From this perspective, Mother Teresa simply decided who she wanted to be and what she wanted to do and garnered the fortitude, determination and self-discipline necessary to do good works.

Pantheism is the belief that everything in the universe is a manifestation of a universal spirit. From the perspective of this nonsecular worldview, Mother Teresa might be interpreted as a more highly enlightened or reincarnated soul who had a strong spiritual connection to the divine spirit inside all of nature, including human nature.

And then there is Monotheism, (and as some of us might know,) this is the belief that there is a transcendent personal God, external to us, living and acting in the world, as well as in and through us.

In this worldview, the fact that Jesus appeared to Mother Teresa in three visions and asked her to do precisely what she did when she left the safe cloister of the Loreto convent, is an admissible fact. Within the orthodox principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview her visions of Christ and obedience to his request are wholly credible.

For the other three world views, the other three Models, the visions and interactions experienced by Mother Teresa simply cannot be considered an admissible fact. It isn’t plausible through the lenses of the secular worldviews. It isn’t part of the Western secular plausibility structure (the set of meanings in a culture that qualify as being possible).

Even Westernized Christians often find her visions incredible, acceptable only if interpreted as a personal psychological state, not as a reality. Now there are five characteristics of all four worldviews.

First and most consequential, all worldviews begin with faith, a metaphysical belief that cannot be verified using scientific methods. Robert Bellah points out that the Latin word for faith, “fides”, is more akin to the English term for trust rather than belief.

Though these faith statements can be argued philosophically, and from evidence we can inductively and deductively hypothesize, none can be proven empirically through scientific methods, including material naturalism. Every worldview begins with faith in something empirically or scientifically unknowable.

Second, every non-Christian worldview holds within it some principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Thus there is an overlap between principles of Judeo-Christianity and those of material naturalism, secular humanism and pantheism.

Third, there are also principles held by each of these three worldviews that lie outside of the Judeo-Christian worldview, such as the material-naturalist belief that everything that exists is ultimately a material or natural phenomenon. From a Judeo-Christian standpoint, these principles would be considered errors of commission.

Fourth, there are principles of Judeo-Christianity that lie outside the purview of believers in these other three worldviews. The absence of these principles in other worldviews would be considered by Christians as errors of omission.

Finally, none of these worldviews is more progressive or modern than the other. They have all existed ever since recorded history. The only real question is, are one or more of these an adequate description of reality?”

Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” (Veritas Books) (pp. 28 – 31). InterVarsity Press.

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St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607)

St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607)

At the end of this it all comes down to personal spiritual values. and I am going to end this with a quote from a saint in my Monotheistic worldview, St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607), a Carmelite Mystic, thus:

What then, O my God, deprives the soul of Your Spirit? It is perverse self-love, the source and origin of every sin. Alas, I well see that the world remains wholly submerged and drowned in self-love! Some persons are sunk in it by their intellect, some by their memory, some by their will, and some, with their whole soul, submerge themselves in it. What is most displeasing to You, O God, is that this perverse self-love dwells even in Your Priests and in Your (Religious). The disorder of our self-love, of our attachment to our own will is no small thing. It does not require mountains of enormous sins to block the course of this rapid stream, this ocean of love; the sands of our defects, which we think trivial, but which are not, suffice to do so.”  (St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi,)

It really is all about our Models and Self-Love. When one gives it some thought it becomes clear that virtually every evil which we experience in these enlightened times is the direct result of self-love.

Cheers

Joe

The examination of conscience is a long dry march to contrition. Place in me Lord a humble and contrite heart.

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