Michael Egnor: The Evidence against Materialism

Egnor has released a flurry of blog posts responding to the arguments I have made here. Naturally, there is no comments section:

https://mindmatters.ai/2019/06/can-buzzwords-about-neural-networks-save-materialist-neuroscience/

https://mindmatters.ai/2019/06/atheist-psychiatrist-misunderstands-evidence-for-immaterial-mind/

https://mindmatters.ai/2019/06/do-epileptic-seizures-cause-abstract-thoughts/

Suffice it to say his responses miss the mark by a wide margin.

I have sent the website an email clarifying that I do not “describe (myself) as a ‘Militant atheist’ and an ‘Anti-Creationist Psychiatrist’”, but rather that those are @swamidass’s pet nicknames for me. :slight_smile:

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Has anyone suggested ‘rabid’? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I suggest “Cuddly Smart Guy.”

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I would need some evidence to put faith in that idea. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I can prove I’m a guy.

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I won’t ask for it. :slightly_smiling_face: And I would accept your M.D. as moderately supporting evidence as to your intelligence. (But I worked in a hospital for three decades, so it is not conclusive evidence to me. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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I love how the DI doesn’t even hide the fact that they lurk these forums to troll for things to write about. A form of confrontational voyeurism I guess, lol. Hi guys! Are you enjoying watching the grownups chat?

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There is nothing wrong with that!

PS had become the premier place for engaging ID. I’m glad they value the opinions of everyone here, even those with whom I disagree on many things, such as @Faizal_Ali.

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But other than some cheap jabs (about your moniker) he actually engaged with what you said. I am happy because this moves the conversation forward. When I watched the video I thought Egnor had some good points. Then you made some good points (I am especially curious about the intellectual seizure) and now he’s responded.

Minus the slight bit of attitude on both sides, this is exactly the type of conversation that needs to be taking place for people to wrestle with what it means to be human in an AI/tech world, in my opinion.

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Engagement would involve actual direct contact between the two of us. I don’t know if he intended to inform me of the posts (I learned of them when another writer there emailed me to confirm my identity, and did not at first mention the articles, which were already up by then. OTOH, I didn’t email him about the thread here.

No comments allowed on his blog. Not much engagement possible there, is there?

I also don’t really see how he advanced the discussion. He pretty well just repeats the claims he made in the video, and does not really show any understanding of my points.

Anyway, he is probably reading this, so he knows there is an open invitation to discuss things here.

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No, you don’t.

Yes, they do. They’re sense organs. Blind people can’t see. Deaf people can’t hear. Unless a disembodied consciousness has organs that react with photons, it won’t be able to see. Unless it has organs that react with vibrations, it won’t be able to hear. Or do you think it’s all just magic?

Hey @swamidass @Faizal_Ali @T_aquaticus @Michael_Callen @dga471 @Jordan @John_Harshman @DaleCutler @John_Dalton @Patrick @nwrickert @Rumraket

I’m not posting this in the new thread because one of the best rules of this place is that posts must stay on topic, but I think the hope you guys have for a constructive dialogue with Egnor is a bit overly optimistic. He’s one of the nastier characters at the DI. He’s no Klinghoffer (because he does have some credentials and expertise) but you probably shouldn’t expect the kind of thoughtful dialogue that you’ve seen from Gauger and Nelson.

Sorry to be a fly in the ointment, but here’s the kind of stuff that Egnor writes:

I despise Darwinism. It is, in my view, an utterly worthless scientific concept promulgated by a third-rate barnacle collector and hypochondriac to justify functional, if not explicit, atheism.

and

Darwin still has some cache [sic] among design advocates — the usual trope is that he provided evidence for common descent and explained microevolution. In this I differ from some of my friends and colleagues sympathetic to ID/Thomism. Darwin’s “theory” is completely worthless to science, a degradation of philosophy, and lethal to culture.

and

“Natural selection” is meaningless junk science — dismal logic put to the service of atheism. Darwinism is the most effective engine of atheism in modern times, except perhaps for consumer culture, for which Darwin bears some responsibility. “Survival of the fittest” casts a scientific imprimatur on acquisition as a life-goal.

and

So why does this idiot “science” gain such respect?

and

And that is the meaning of Darwinism. This worthless science, idiot philosophy, and cultural rot is the creation myth of atheists, and homage is paid, as a duty, to the prophet and to his priests. Darwinian idolatry would be funny, if not for the trail of misery and horror Darwin left in his wake.

You can read one of his unhinged nasty rants here:

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I have been involved in direct exchanges with Egnor before. I am under no illusions about what to expect. An invitation to him is still the right thing to do.

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ah ok. I’ve had that displeasure as well. Good luck!

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The only thing left out of the Darwinian pilgrimage to Oxford is Golgotha. That requires a separate trip to southern Poland, to understand the sacrifice Darwinism demanded, and still demands, of us.

On second thought, I wouldn’t let this guy operate on my brain.

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Some one just has to inform him that we moved on from “Darwinism” back in 1968, probably back when he was in high school.

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17 posts were split to a new topic: Darwinism and Social Darwinism

We have diverged. @moderators should split this side track into a new thread.

Ha! @dga471 was already on it. Great job.

This was an interesting talk that touched on some related issues, from a neuroscientist apparently of a more naturalistic bent :slight_smile: His new book sounds good.