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Closet survey #1

Religion is rapidly on the rise around the world. See Algeria and France for an example of what happens to a secularized society when resisting religious extremists.

So, if an extremist is both stronger and reproduces better than a non-extremist, I'm pretty sure the extremist will win.

A Bayesian Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus

Why would the apostles all die martyrs deaths for someone who didn't live up to his promises? Especially since the gospels show they weren't of the most courageous character either. That is pretty convincing to me, I don't know of a good counter.

Also, if there were so many Christian communities so soon after Jesus' death, then there would be a good community of knowledge to filter false and true accounts of Jesus life.

Finally, why didn't any of the other unorthodox accounts start similar communities? Why are the communities so similar in their beliefs about Jesus, if it is quite likely to have been made up, as you suggest?

Ends Don't Justify Means (Among Humans)

It's coherent to say de-ontological ethics are hierarchical, and higher goods take precedence over lower goods. So, the lower good of sacrificing one person to save a greater good does not entail sacrificing the person is good. It is just necessary.

Saying the ends justify the means entails the means become good if they achieve a good.

An Alien God

The problem with evolving evolution is that the search space becomes exponentially larger every time you go up a level of evolution.

Closet survey #1

I agree. See my comment for this post. My position is controversial, but pretty coherent. At least, no one came up with a counter argument, I was just downvoted alot. So, my opinion is a pretty good example of what the poster is looking for, yet such opinions inherently will not do well. Really, this forum is antithetical to this post.

Pretending to be Wise

@hvkhln

I said that just incase they had any empathetic qualms. I know they don't really need my permission.

Pretending to be Wise

Argh, it seems to be not possible to write about ID without coming across as an ideologue. This is a good blog and I do not want to pollute it. Before anyone complains about those comments, I give the mods full permission to delete them if they don't pass the well written/interesting threshold.

Pretending to be Wise

Now that I've made this argument, some probably have the nagging suspicion that the argument is just more intellectual obscurantism and I'm trying to muddy a clear choice between Creationism and Darwinism. To counteract your nagging suspicion here is a series of links to show you that while many experts claim Dembski is wrong, when you only accept their claims in their areas of expertise and aggregate them, they actually agree with Dembski:

  1. Demski is a good mathematician, but doesn't use the No Free Lunch Theory (NFLT) correctly

Good math bad math http://goodmath.blogspot.com/2006/03/king-of-bad-math-dembskis-bad.html

"In my taxonomy of statistical errors, this is basically modifying the search space: he's essentially arguing for properties of the search space that eliminate any advantage that can be gained by the nature of the evolutionary search algorithm. But his only argument for making those modifications have nothing to do with evolution: he's carefully picking search spaces that have the properties he want, even though they have fundamentally different properties from evolution."

  1. Dembski uses the NFLT correctly, but doesn't fill in all the details to show that it applies to biological coevolution

Wolpert, one of the originators of the NFLT http://www.talkreason.org/articles/jello.cfm

"Indeed, throughout there is a marked elision of the formal details of the biological processes under consideration. Perhaps the most glaring example of this is that neo-Darwinian evolution of ecosystems does not involve a set of genomes all searching the same, fixed fitness function, the situation considered by the NFL theorems. Rather it is a co-evolutionary process. Roughly speaking, as each genome changes from one generation to the next, it modifies the surfaces that the other genomes are searching. And recent results indicate that NFL results do not hold in co-evolution."

  1. The NFLT applies to biological coevolution (see example 4 and conclusion)

Wolpert and Macready on coevolutionary free lunches http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/m/pub/869h/0869%20(Wolpert).pdf (example on page 2, but doesn't state the evolution finding in the conclusion)

http://cs.calstatela.edu/wiki/images/1/15/Wolpert-Coevolution.pdf (example on page 5, contains statement in conclusion)

"On the other hand, we have also shown that for the more general biological coevolutionary settings, where there is no sense of a “champion” like there is in self-play, the NFL theorems still hold."

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