Would you play poker with someone who insists on his own rules, one of which is: “It doesn’t matter what cards I’m holding. If you don’t have a royal flush, then I win.”
That’s the game we see being played at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog in a new post by David Klinghoffer. It’s titled: Astrophysicist Adam Frank: Materialism’s Fatal Flaw Is…Matter. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Whether explaining consciousness, evolution, or the origin of the cosmos, materialists make a common assumption: that they know what matter is. However, if the underlying stuff of physical reality is itself a mystery, on what kind of foundation do purely physical, natural theories have to build anything?
Before proceeding further into what we know about the nature of matter, let’s pause to consider what the Discoveroids know about their intelligent designer. As we said in Discovery Institute: Intelligent Design Redefined:
The “theory” of Intelligent design tells us 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 unknown, and whose ultimate origin is a mystery (evolved, created, or eternal), arrived on earth somehow (in a flying saucer, or maybe on a comet), at some unspecified time (or several times), and then in some unspecified way (technological or magical), for unspecified reasons (boredom, or maybe cosmic fulfillment), did something (or maybe several things) to influence the genetic characteristics of some (but maybe not all) of the creatures on earth.
That’s what the Discoveroids have. You know what you have. Now that the cards have been dealt, let the game proceed. Klinghoffer says:
In an essay for Aeon, astrophysicist Adam Frank focuses on the mystery of consciousness, not evolution. But the objection would seem to be no less powerful there.
This is the essay he’s talking about: Minding matter — The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground. According to Wikipedia, the author, Adam Frank, is:
… a United States physicist, astronomer, and writer. His research focuses on computational astrophysics with an emphasis on star formation and late stages of stellar evolution. His popular writing has focused on issues of science in its cultural context, including issues of science and religion and the role of technology in the human experience of time.
Klinghoffer gives us some quotes from Frank’s essay — about the unresolved questions presented by quantum mechanics:
But behind quantum mechanics’ unequaled calculational precision lie profound, stubbornly persistent questions about what those quantum rules imply about the nature of reality — including our place in it.
Those questions are well-known in the physics community, but perhaps our habit of shutting up has been a little too successful. A century of agnosticism about the true nature of matter hasn’t found its way deeply enough into other fields, where materialism still appears to be the most sensible way of dealing with the world and, most of all, with the mind. Some neuroscientists think that they’re being precise and grounded by holding tightly to materialist credentials. Molecular biologists, geneticists, and many other types of researchers — as well as the nonscientist public — have been similarly drawn to materialism’s seeming finality. But this conviction is out of step with what we physicists know about the material world — or rather, what we don’t know.
After that fuzziness, which always seems to accompany quantum mechanics, Klinghoffer tells us:
In a nutshell, here’s the problem:
[Another quote from Frank:] What exactly is quantum mechanics telling us about the world? What does the wave function describe? What really happens when a measurement occurs? Above all, what is matter?
Klinghoffer is excited. He closes his post with this:
It seems that, when we’re confronted with theories of origins that dogmatically insist on an active role for matter and material forces alone, a reasonable question before going any further is: Define matter. What is it? If Darwinists can’t answer that one, then I’m not sure by what right they command our agreement to any of the rest of their theory.
Now we return to the poker game. You don’t have a royal flush, but the evidence for evolution means you’re sitting there with a full house. Your opponent, Klinghoffer, has a hand full of nothing to support his claims about a magical designer. Who wins?
Klinghoffer wins. Why? Because the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — always wins. Those are the rules the Discoveroids play by.
Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.