Intelligent design advocate William Dembski has introduced a measure of information called "complex specified information", or CSI. He claims that CSI is a reliable marker of design by intelligent agents. He puts forth a "Law of Conservation of Information" which states that chance and natural laws are incapable of generating CSI. In particular, CSI cannot be generated by evolutionary computation. Dembski asserts that CSI is present in intelligent causes and in the flagellum of Escherichia coli, and concludes that neither have (...) natural explanations. In this paper, we examine Dembski's claims, point out significant errors in his reasoning, and conclude that there is no reason to accept his assertions. (shrink)
Intelligent design theorist William Dembski has proposed an ``explanatory filter'' for distinguishing between events due to chance,lawful regularity or design. We show that if Dembski's filter were adopted as a scientific heuristic, some classical developments in science would not be rational, and that Dembski's assertion that the filter reliably identifies rarefied design requires ignoring the state of background knowledge. If background information changes even slightly, the filter's conclusion will vary wildly. Dembski fails to overcome Hume's objections to arguments from design.
The behavior of individuals currently living will generally have long-term consequences that affect the well-being of those who will come to live in the future. Intergenerational interdependencies of this nature raise difficult moral issues because only the current generation is in a position to decide on actions that will determine the nature of the world in which future generations will live. Although most are willing to attach some weight to the interests of future generations, many would argue that it is (...) not necessary to treat these interests as equivalent to those of the current generation. A common approach in this context is to use a system of discounting to evaluate future benefits and harms. This paper assesses the logic of discounting drawing on the writings of economists and philosophers. Much of the economic literature concerns the choice of an appropriate social discount rate. The social discount rate can be taken to reflect beliefs about the rights of future generations, a subject that has been extensively debated in the phioosophic literature. The writings of both economists and philosophers concerned with the weight to attach to the interests of future generations are reviewed and evaluated in this paper and the implications for environmental policy are discussed. (shrink)
The Kyoto Protocol on global warming has provoked great controversy in part because it calls for heavier burdens on wealthy countries than on developing countries in the effort to control climate change. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to oppose any agreement that does not require emissions reductions in low-income countries. The ethics of this position are examined in this paper which shows that there are good moral reasons for supporting the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. Such a conclusion follows easily (...) from considerations of distributive justice but can also be supported by more narrowly self-interested arguments. (shrink)
The classical wave-particle problem is resolved in accord with Newton's concept of the particle nature of light by associating particle density and flux with the classical wave energy density and flux. Point particles flowing along discrete trajectories yield interference and diffraction patterns, as illustrated by Young's double pinhole interference. Bound particle motion is prescribed by standing waves. Particle motion as a function of time is presented for the case of a “particle in a box.” Initial conditions uniquely determine the subsequent (...) motion. Some discussion regarding quantum theory is preseted. (shrink)
1. Bd. Die Relativitätstheorie fällt : physikalische, philosophische, wissenschaftssoziologische und allgemeinverständliche Korrektur : hundert Jahre Kultus des Irrtums sind genug -- 3. Bd. Die Urknalltheorie fällt.
There has been much discussion of changing agricultural structure in the United States. In this paper, the author reviews some of the factors contributing to structural change in the United States and describes the policies adopted by the European Community with respect to agricultural structure. The European experience with structural policies suggests that this approach is not very promising for the United States where no specific structural policies exist. The argument developed in this paper is that structural changes in agriculture (...) are simply one example of economic adjustment in a capitalist economy, that economic adjustments are generally desirable although they are not costless, and that discussions of agricultural structure should focus on methods to alleviate the costs of adjustment rather than on efforts to prevent change. (shrink)
The Michelson-Morley result is described empirically by generalized Doppler equations. If the phase of a light wave is not invariant, in agreement with the quantum nature of light, special-relativistic kinematics need not be assumed. Einstein particle dynamics and Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics in a moving system are derived without assuming special-relativistic kinematics. An alternative explanation for the decay rate of moving radioactive particles is presented. The observation of a third-order Doppler effect may yield the velocity of the closed laboratory.
Voigt's 1887 explanation of the Michelson-Morley result as a Doppler effect using absolute space-time is examined. It is shown that Doppler effects involve two wave velocities: (1) the phase velocity, which is used to account for the Michelson-Morley null result, and (2) the velocity of energy propagation, which, being fixed relative to absolute space, may be used to explain the results of Roemer, Bradley, Sagnac, Marinov, and the 2.7° K anisotropy.
Property rights are important institutions that influence economic performance and reflect the historical, cultural, and political realities of particular societies. Drawing on a variety of concepts from legal and economic studies, a framework for explaining the origin and evolution of property rights is developed and applied to the specific case of changing ground water rights in Nebraska. The Nebraska case is an interesting example of reliance on local control in regulating water use. Despite the importance of local initiatives in ground (...) water management, this case also illustrates the need for external support from the judicial and legislative systems. The evolution of ground water property rights in Nebraska, as in other parts of the United States, has been conditioned by historical circumstances and changing values and attitudes as well as by economic and political forces. (shrink)
Uncoupling the mirrors in Marinov's (1) coupled-mirrors experiment allows them to be separated as far apart as desired, and orders of magnitude improvement in accuracy can be obtained for the determination of the absolute velocity of the closed laboratory.
Corporate governance scholarship focuses on executive malfeasance, specifically its antecedents and consequences. Academic efforts primarily focus on prevention while practitioners are often left to hold firms and executives (including directors) accountable through a variety of sanctions. Even so, executive malfeasance still occurs even in the face of the vast resources used to monitor, control, and penalize firms and executives. In this paper, we posit equity markets do not adequately penalize firms for inaccurate earnings reports. Using a sample of 129 firms (...) identified by the U.S. General Accounting Office for reporting fraudulent earnings in 10K filings, we found support for our assertion. Consequently, the one party who may benefit but escape accountability is firm shareholders. Moreover, we find little empirical evidence that the subset of firms sanctioned by the SEC is penalized more heavily than the full sample by markets at the time they report and correct their 10K filings. Our results raise serious questions whether such managerial opportunism can be eradicated given the apparent lack of consequences in equity markets for investors. We also question whether the SEC is able to discern between fraud and error in financial reporting and its implications. (shrink)
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Community (EC) has been criticized for causing a misallocation of resources, inequitable income transfers, and enormous budgetary costs. The purpose of this paper is to examine the political economy of agriculture and agricultural policy in the EC. The results of the analysis indicate that conflicts between national political objectives and broader, community-wide concerns are important factors in the performance of EC agriculture. The pressures for reform of the CAP will lead to modification (...) of the system, but changes in EC agricultural policy are likely to be moderate because of the inherent inertia of the policy-making process. As a result, the agricultural system in the EC will probably continue to evolve in an atmosphere of crisis with most reforms directed at symptoms rather than fundamental problems. (shrink)
This is a response to Wesley J. Wildman’s “Behind, Between, and Beyond Anthropomorphic Models of Ultimate Reality.” While I agree with much of what Wildman writes, I raise questions concerning standards for evaluating models of ultimate reality and the plausibility of ranking such models. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
Resumo Em 1747, John Wesley, spiritus rector do movimento metodista, publicou a primeira edição do seu guia medicinal Primitive Physic[k] . Qual era o seu propósito num mundo onde a academia real, herbalistas, curandeiros/as, exorcistas e charlatães competiam pela atenção da população? O artigo apresenta os diferentes grupos que atuaram, ou pretendiam atuar, em prol da saúde na Inglaterra do século 18, e compara o conteúdo do guia Primitive Physic[k] com suas propostas e estratégias terapêuticas. Conclua-se que uma parte (...) significativa do guia é composta por orientações da academia real de medicina, mas que sempre se favorecem remédios caseiros, com ingredientes acessíveis para as classes mais humildes. Quanto à chamada Spiritual Physick , menciona-se a oração como medida complementar, mas ignora-se plenamente a prática do exorcismo. Palavras-chave: John Wesley; saúde; Guia medicinal popular; Primitive Physic[k]; academia real de medicina; herbalismo; curandeirismo.In 1747, John Wesley, spiritus rector of the Methodist movement, published the first edition of his medical guide Primitive Physic[k] . What was its purpose in a world where the Royal Academy, herbalists, healers, exorcists and quacks competed for the attention of the population? The article introduces the different groups who promoted or pretended to promote health in 18th century England and compares the contents of the guide Primitive Physic[k] with their proposals and therapeutic strategies. The conclusion is that a significant portion of the guide consists of guidelines of the Royal Academy of Medicine, but that it always favors homemade remedies with ingredients available to humbler classes. In relation to the so called Spiritual Physick, prayer is mentioned as a complementary measure, but the practice of exorcism is totally ignored. Keywords: John Wesley; health; Popular Medicinal Guide; Primitive Physic[k]; Royal Academy of Medicine; herbalism; healers. (shrink)
Wesley Wildman is one of the foremost philosophers of religion calling for the evolution of the discipline from its present narrow focus on theistic beliefs to become a discipline concerned with religions in all their diversity. Towards this end, he proposes that philosophers of religion understand what they do as multidisciplinary comparative inquiry. This article assesses his proposal.
Talk delivered at CSICOP's Fourth World Skeptics Conference in Burbank, California, 21 June 2002, at a discussionÂ titled "Evolution and Intelligent Design." The participants included ID proponents William Dembski and Paul Nelson as well as evolutionists WesleyElsberry and Kenneth Miller. Massimo Pigliucci moderated the discussion.
This paper examines Wesley Salmon's "process" theory of causality, arguing in particular that there are four areas of inadequacy. These are that the theory is circular, that it is too vague at a crucial point, that statistical forks do not serve their intended purpose, and that Salmon has not adequately demonstrated that the theory avoids Hume's strictures about "hidden powers". A new theory is suggested, based on "conserved quantities", which fulfills Salmon's broad objectives, and which avoids the problems discussed.
Earlier in this volume, Wesley Salmon has given a characteristically clear and trenchant critique of the account of non-demonstrative reasoning known by the slogan `Inference to the Best Explanation'. As a long-time fan of the idea that explanatory considerations are a guide to inference, I was delighted by the suggestion that Wes and I might work together on a discussion of the issues. In the event, this project has exceeded my high expectations, for in addition to the intellectual gain (...) that comes from the careful study of his essay, I have benefited enormously from the stream of illuminating emails and faxes that Wes has sent me during our collaboration. Doing philosophy together has been an education and a pleasure. Salmon's essay would place Inference to the Best Explanation beyond the pale of acceptable philosophical accounts of inference. According to Salmon, Inference to the Best Explanation has serious internal difficulties and compares very unfavourably with Bayesian approaches to these matters. My aim in the following remarks is irenic. I hope to show that a number of the claimed difficulties either are not really difficulties or are avoidable. In some cases, the avoidance will require a mild reinterpretation of the account that lies behind the slogan `Inference to the Best Explanation'; in others, it will require admitting limits to the scope of the account. For I accept at the outset that Inference to the Best Explanation cannot possibly be the whole story about the assessment of scientific hypotheses. For me, the interesting idea is simply that we sometimes decide how likely a hypothesis is to be correct in part by considering how good an explanation it would provide, if it were correct. This is the idea of explanatory considerations providing a guide to inference, and this is the idea that I will here promote. (shrink)
Wesley Salmon provided three classic criteria of adequacy for satisfactory interpretations of probability. A fourth criterion is suggested here. A distinction is drawn between frequency‐driven probability models and theory‐driven probability models and it is argued that single case accounts of chance are superior to frequency accounts at least for the latter. Finally it is suggested that theories of chance should be required only to be contingently true, a position which is a natural extension of Salmon's ontic account of probabilistic (...) causality and his own later views on propensities. (shrink)
In his later years, Wesley Salmon believed that the two dominant models of scientific explanation (his own causal-mechanical model and the unificationist model) were reconcilable. Salmon envisaged a 'new consensus' about explanation: he suggested that the two models represent two 'complementary' types of explanation, which may 'peacefully coexist' because they illuminate different aspects of scientific understanding. This paper traces the development of Salmon's ideas and presents a critical analysis of his complementarity thesis. Salmon's thesis is rejected on the basis (...) of two objections, and an alternative view of the relation between different types of explanation is proposed. (shrink)
In this response to essays by Barbara J. King, Gregory R. Peterson, Wesley J. Wildman, and Nancy R. Howell, I present arguments to counter some of the exciting and challenging questions from my colleagues. I take the opportunity to restate my argument for an interdisciplinary public theology, and by further developing the notion of transversality I argue for the specificity of the emerging theological dialogue with paleoanthropology and primatology. By arguing for a hermeneutics of the body, I respond (...) to criticism of my notion of human uniqueness and argue for strong evolutionary continuities, as well as significant discontinuities, between primates, humans, and other hominids. In addition, I answer critical questions about theological methodology and argue how the notion of human uniqueness, theologically restated as the image of God, is enriched by transversally appropriating scientific notions of species specificity and embodied personhood. (shrink)
Wesley Wildman: Religious philosophy as multidisciplinary comparative inquiry: envisioning a future for the philosophy of religion Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11153-012-9339-4 Authors Jeppe Sinding Jensen, Department of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, Tasingegade 3, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
The aim of this article is to analyze the main contributions of Wesley C. Salmon to the philosophy of science, that is, his concepts of causation, common cause, and theoretical explanation, and to provide a critique of them. This critique will be based on a comparison of Salmon's concepts with categories developed by Hegel in his Science of Logic, and which can be applied to the issues treated by Salmon by means of the above given three concepts. It is (...) the author's contention that by means of Hegelian categories it becomes possible to provide a critique of Salmon's philosophy of science and at the same time to enlarge the concept framework of philosophy of science. (shrink)
This essay examines the significance of John Wesley’s moral pneumatology in relation to virtue. Although recent scholars have identified this connection, the present work offers a more integrated exploration of righteousness, peace, joy, and love—gifts/virtues inseparable from the Holy Spirit’s work in the economy of salvation according to Wesley’s practical theology. We will see that, for Wesley, believers become participants in God’s nature as the conjoined τέλος of happiness and holiness shapes the soul with respect to outward (...) moral expression. Righteousness, peace and joy tempered by love are core spiritual fruits in Wesley’s pneumatology and collectively an elemental feature of his theological ethics. (shrink)
The “embeddedness” of economic life in social relations has become a productive analytical principle and the basis of a penetrating critique of economic orthodoxy. But this critique raises another important, social and historical question, of how the economy became “disembedded” in the first place – how the multitude of transactions designated (somewhat arbitrarily) as economic were abstracted from the rest of social life and reconstituted as an object, the economy, which behaves according to its own logic. This article investigates the (...) social sources of some innovations in economic thought that contributed to the emergence of the economy, particularly statistical indicators and mechanical models. By examining the redefinitions of the object of economic research developed by Irving Fisher and Wesley Mitchell in the 1890s and the first decades of the twentieth century, I argue that the abstraction of the economy from the remainder of social life was a strategy linked to the position of these innovators within the field of economics, conceived as a social structure. Possessing a specialized scientific cultural capital, but lacking upper class background, contacts, and dispositions that characterized the founders of academic economics, Fisher and Mitchell elaborated new definitions of their discipline's object of study, and a new type of economic expertise. (shrink)
In an age of enlightenment, Wesley made the plain teachings of the Bible the foundation of the Christian faith and judged insufficient any Christian experience whose content was not founded in Scripture.
When scientist investigate why things happen, they aim at giving an explanation. But what does a scientific explanation look like? In the first chapter (Theories of Scientific Explanation) of this book, the milestones in the debate on how to characterize scientific explanations are exposed. The second chapter (How to Study Scientific Explanation?) scrutinizes the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation, Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon and shows what went wrong. Next, it is the responsibility of current (...) philosophers of explanation to go on where Hempel, Kitcher and Salmon failed. However, we should go on in a clever way. We call this clever way the pragmatic approach to scientific explanation and clarify briefly what this approach consists in. The third chapter (A Toolbox for Describing and Evaluating Explanatory Practices) elaborates the pragmatic approach by presenting a toolbox for analysing scientific explanation. In the last chapter (Examples of Descriptions and Evaluations of Explanatory Practices) the approach is illustrated with real-life examples of scientists aiming at explaining. (shrink)