11/30/08

Reductionism Ad Absurdum

Atheism’s reductionist, or absolutely materialistic, sect’s conceptualizations have produced many fascinating, or fascinatingly myopic and fanciful, arguments.

Reductionism refers to the analysis of something into simpler parts or organized systems…the oversimplifying of something complex, or the misguided belief that everything can be explained in simple terms.
As the philosopher Fox Mulder put it, “what are we but impulses, electrical and chemical, through a bag of meat and bones?”
Or, as the philosopher Ren put it in referring to Stimpy as a “bloated sack of protoplasm.”

To read/Or not to read


I wanted to offer a quick thought on the atheist [pseudo] counter-argument against the scientifically verifiable fine-tuning of the universe. From its very inception the universe consisted of many very finely tuned variables.
Let us consider any of the variables as a tape measure that stretches from one end of the universe to the other. Let us further imagine that there is a mark at one spot on the tape measure. If you were to move the spot one inch in either direction life would never have existed, various elements essential to life and the very make up of the universe would not exist. This is true of any of the various variables. There is a list of 47 such variables available here or here as a PDF file.

Benjamin D. Wiker described fine-tuning, as the anthropic principle, as follows (in his article, Does Science Point to God?: The Intelligent Design Revolution):
“In short form, it is the discovery that the universe appears rigged, astoundingly fine-tuned, suspiciously calibrated as part of some kind of a conspiracy of order to produce life–indeed intelligent life. This fine-tuned conspiracy occurs on all levels, from the fundamental constants governing the formation of all the elements in the cosmos, to the extraordinarily precise relationship of planets in our solar system, to the delicate balances on our own planet.”

The [pseudo] counter-argument is fascinating and fallacious: it is fascinating in that it is an argument from worldview adherence and fallacious for the same reason, it presupposes reductionism.



Note that the particular atheists who hold to this reductionist-absolutely materialistic argument answer all of life’s and the universe’s deepest questions (and oft the shallow ones as well) in the same way. Whether it is why there is something rather than nothing, or how and why the universe came to be, or how and why life came to be the answer is the same: it just is, it just did, it is just there and that is all.

Oh, you were wondering what the [pseudo] counter-argument is: it is simply to state that that the scientifically verifiable minutely fine-tuned universe is irrelevant because if it were alternately tuned other life forms would surely have arisen. Another [pseudo] counter-argument, or another portion of the one just mentioned, is that if there are multiverses and that each surely has its own fine-tuning and produced its own sort of life (not life as we know it).[1]

The presupposition is that the Big Bang was an arbitrary explosion of arbitrary materials and thus, this view forces the conclusion that fine-tuning, regardless of just how fine-tuned it is in its intricate minutia, is arbitrary.

Yet, the scientifically verified fine-tuning of the universe ought not discount just because some atheist activists build a fa├žade of scientific respectability around their worldview adherence and believe that life is a cosmic accident.

The reason that I refer to a “[pseudo] counter-argument” is that it denies scientifically verifiable minute fine-tuning, it presupposes reductionism-absolute-purposeless-materialism and it denies the scientifically verifiable minute fine-tuning not on a scientific basis but due to the fact that reductionism-absolute-purposeless-materialism is presupposed.

[1] Of course, there is not only no evidence whatsoever for the multiverse but it is also illogical, see Cosmology, Part II: Book, Chapter and Multi-Verse.

7 comments:

  1. “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” G. K. Chesterton

    Oh how right he was (as usual). Reductionism is THE fallacy of our day. It rests safely behind a wall of respectability. A wall that was erected by scientists who abuse their trusted status and foist pseudo-scientific nonsense upon the world.

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  2. What planet are you guys living on? Reductionism is arguably the most successful scientific paradigm ever. Reductionist thinking eventually lead to the solid-state physics that underlie the principles of the silicon chips in your computer and the laws of electricity and magnetism that delivered your misguided messages to this virtual meeting place. Look around - virtually every scrap of technology that you see is a result of reductionism in science. No one today insists that reductionism will explain everything, but this in no way detracts from its merits or its track record up until now.

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  3. "From its very inception the universe consisted of many very finely tuned variables."

    That's a pretty extraordinary claim. How do you know this?

    "The reason that I refer to a “[pseudo] counter-argument” is that it denies scientifically verifiable minute fine-tuning, "

    Mariano, you're the one in denial here. Scientists are perfectly aware that there is something very interesting about the arrangement of our universe, and they are exploring possible explanations for this. You are the one denying the possibility of any other explanation than a teleological one. You are the one presupposing the answer, not the scientists who have not yet settled on a verdict.

    "[1] Of course, there is not only no evidence whatsoever for the multiverse but it is also illogical,"

    As far as I can tell this is a reference to yourself, arguing that if the multiverse exists, then it must contain a universe wherein it is a fact that the multiverse does not exist, and therefore *poof* the whole theory must vanish in a puff of illogical smoke. Am I close?

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  4. adonais,

    I am speaking of reductionism that is applied to everything as though it can do what you say nobody claims.

    The title of the article is "Reductionism Ad Absurdum" and is not referring to reductionism in general but the extreme form that is bordering on delusional.

    It hardly follows that because it has worked in solid state physics, it can be applied to say....morality, as so many internet parrots do.

    Of course, irreducible complexity (which doesn't have to just refer to biology) and reductionism are bound to grind to a halt when facing off. How can you reduce the irreducible?

    By the way, I should mention, I accept evolution and pretty much any other bit of real science that I come across.

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  5. The most absurd notion of all is that the "method of science" can be used to understand all things.

    The "method of science" is incapable of supporting that very statement.

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  6. Derek_M "How can you reduce the irreducible?"
    Send it to Dover?

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  7. Derek_M;
    Thanks for the point. Did you read what Prof. Lewontin had to say about materialism and the apparatus of science here?

    Adonais;
    How do I know that from its very inception the universe consisted of many very finely tuned variables? Science.

    I know, I kwon, give us more time, scientists are working on it. This fills that gaps in our knowledge about anything and everything. First, we presuppose absolute materialism. Then we presuppose absolutely materialist answers for anything and everything. Then when we do not have absolutely materialist answers for anything and everything we say just wait, just wait, give us more time, scientists are working on it. Meanwhile, I believe that God created the material realm along with time which makes material cause and effect relationships possible and so I only expect material causes to be found for material effects.

    “there is not only no evidence whatsoever for the multiverse”
    Is not “a reference to” myself but to science.

    “it is also illogical”
    Is “a reference to” logic.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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