Discovery Institute Revives Mind-Body Dualism

THE DISCOVEROIDS AT THE Discovery Institute are purveyors of creationism dolled-up as the so-called “theory” of Intelligent Design (ID), which they insist is a better explanation for life’s diversity than that which over 99% of biologists accept — the theory of evolution.

In the Discoveroids’ own words, at their website, they tell us:

The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

Source: Questions about Intelligent Design (emphasis supplied).

Despite the tireless public relations activities of the Discoveroids, ID “theory” seems to be lacking something. What is it lacking? Well, aside from the lack of ID research, evidence, or even a testable prediction, all of which are needed for ID to be taken seriously as a scientific concept, they’re literally lacking a coherent description of what ID theory actually is.

We know about their claims that some unknown intelligence (whether it’s a solitary creature or a vast swarm is never addressed), with utterly unknown characteristics (mortal or immortal, sexual or asexual, plant or animal, physical or spiritual), whose home base is somewhere and whose ultimate origin is a mystery, arrived on earth somehow (in UFOs, perhaps) at some unspecified time (or times), and then in some unspecified way, for unspecified reasons, did something (or maybe several things) to influence the genetic characteristics of some of the creatures on earth. That’s all anyone can figure out from the ID proponents. This is pretty thin stew, yet it’s stridently promoted as the “best” explanation — certainly better than evolution.

The “theory” of ID has taken so many hits lately in courtrooms and in state school boards that the Discoveroids apparently sense the need to beef up their “science” with additional instances of mystery forces at work. Thus — after digging deep into the pre-scientific past — they are now pushing the age-old idea that there are ghosts (or spirits, or something) at work inside the human brain. Yes, that sounds bizarre, but they’re serious.

To further this goal of providing intellectual company for the Intelligent Designer, the Discoveroids are reviving the ancient notion of mind-body dualism; therefore Plato, who flourished about 24 centuries ago, is having a big comeback among the Discoveroids. This reversion to ancient philosophy gives the Discoveroids a multi-syllabic (but content-free) way of asserting that if something isn’t yet fully understood, then the answer must be … Oogity Boogity! This claim that “ignorance of X means proof of Y” is the philosophical foundation for belief in all kinds of unscientific ideas, including the Intelligent Designer.

Surely, you’re thinking, no one could be so intellectually goofy! Ah, you don’t understand the Discoveroids. Observe this recent blog entry of theirs: Materialist Neuroscience and the ‘Hard Problem’ of Consciousness, wherein a Discoveroid writes:

Is there genuinely “nothing left unresolved” in our understanding of the mind-body problem? Are there “no mysteries that cannot comfortably be explained within the completely material paradigm of neuroscience?” The truth is that there remain enormous mysteries, and virtually nothing about these mysteries is resolved. The mind-body problem is perhaps the most active and contentious area of modern philosophy, and there is very little “resolved”.

See what we mean? Read on, because you’re about to see how “ignorance of X means proof of Y.” The Discoveroid rant continues:

How could physical processes give rise to an inner mental life? What is the scientific link between matter and self-awareness? Materialist neuroscience offers no explanation for the subjectivity of our existence, and it’s difficult to see how objective phenomena ever could provide a satisfactory explanation for subjective mental experience. How can subjective experience be explained completely by investigation of brain tissue and neurochemicals?

Hence dualism. Dualism is and always has been an effort to come to grips with the quite real and most intractable problem in understanding the mind: the fact that we experience it in the first person. Dualism accommodates first person experience as well as the profound differences between mind and matter. It is consistent with many religious traditions, and with the way that the vast majority of people understand themselves. …

Neat stuff! Thanks to Plato, the Intelligent Designer isn’t alone any more. He has an invisible buddy in your very own brain! Now you can see how silly it is to deny the “science” of the Discoveroids.

All mystics — including the Discoveroids — like Plato. His dual reality system provides a hidden realm where the Oogity Boogity factor resides. That’s the true reality, and this world of flesh is a base and wretched place. If only the “Darwinists” had any spiritual insight they’d be able to access the spirit world and learn the truth. But because of the Darwinists’ pathetic, materialistic worldview, they’re blind! Pretty good “scientific” argument, huh?

What will the Discoveroids be promoting next — phlogiston, astrology, angels moving the planets, the four humours that permeate the body and influence its health, a dryad in every tree and a nymph in every brook? Why not all of them? Teach the controversy!

See also: Mind-Body Dualism: It’s Back!

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2 responses to “Discovery Institute Revives Mind-Body Dualism

  1. Pingback: Mind-Body Dualism: It’s Back! « The Sensuous Curmudgeon

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