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.
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)
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)
This paper is an extended exploration of Mead's phrase the emergence of the novel. I describe and characterize emergent systems-complex dynamical systems that display behavior that cannot be predicted from a full and complete description of the component units of the system. Emergence has become an influential concept in contemporary cognitive science [A. Clark Being there, Cambridge: MIT Press], complexity theory [W. Bechtel & R.C. Richardson Discovering complexity, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press], artificial life [R.A. Brooks & P. Maes Artificial (...) life IV, Cambridge: MIT Press; C.G. Langton Artificial life III, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley; C.G. Langton et al. Artificial life II, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley), and robotics [S. Forrest Emergent computation, Cambridge: MIT Press]. I propose that novelty is a necessary property of emergent systems, and I'll explore a specific kind of emergent system: an improvisational theater ensemble. This is an example of emergence in a small social group, which I call collaborative emergence to emphasize several important contrasts with other complex systems that manifest emergence, such as connectionist networks and Alife simulations. (shrink)
There is currently great controversy over the contribution antimicrobial use in animal agriculture has made to antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria with negative consequences for human health. In light of this, the approval process for antimicrobials used in US animal agriculture, known as New Animal Drug Application or NADA, is currently being revised by the federal government. We explore the public deliberations over the development of these new policies focusing our attention on the interaction between pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. (...) Food and Drug Administration. What appears to be an antagonistic public discourse is examined in terms of its ability to simultaneously legitimate the roles of the Food and Drug Administration as the official arbiter of policy on antimicrobial use in animal agriculture and as a protector of the public welfare, as well as the role of pharmaceutical companies as the producers of safe and effective products necessary for the protection of public well-being. (shrink)
Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. It (...) is further argued that these findings, while preliminary, have important implications for recent debates within epistemology about the relationship between knowledge and action. (shrink)
John Wesley did not directly address the question, but he could have answered "Yes'" to "Was Jesus Ever Happy?" given his understanding of "happiness." His eudaimonistic understanding of happiness was that it consists in renewing and actualizing the image of God within us, especially the image of love. More particularly, it consists in actually living a life of moral virtue, love included, of spiritual fulfillment, of joy or pleasure taken in loving God, others, and self, and in minimizing unnecessary (...) pain and suffering, which we are morally obligated to do for others and even for ourselves. Jesus had it all most of the time, though not always, obviously not at the painful end of his life when he felt God-forsaken. -/- . (shrink)
Cognitive architectures have often been applied to data from individual experiments. In this paper, I develop an ACT-R reader that can model a much larger set of data, eye-tracking corpus data. It is shown that the resulting model has a good fit to the data for the considered low-level processes. Unlike previous related works, the model achieves the fit by estimating free parameters of ACT-R using Bayesian estimation and Markov-Chain Monte Carlo techniques, rather than by relying on the mix of (...) manual selection + default values. The method used in the paper is generalizable beyond this particular model and data set and could be used on other ACT-R models. (shrink)
What allows MNCs to maintain their sustainability practices over the long-term? This is an important but under-examined question. To address this question, we investigate both the development and sustenance of sustainability practices. We use the dynamic capabilities perspective, rooted in resource-based view literature, as the theoretical basis. We argue that MNCs that simultaneously pursue both higher R&D intensity and higher internationalization are more capable of developing and maintaining sustainability practices. We test our hypotheses using longitudinal panel data from 1989 to (...) 2009. Results suggest that MNCs that have a combination of both high R&D intensity and high internationalization are (i) likely to develop more sustainability practices and (ii) are likely to maintain more of those practices over a long-term. As a corollary, MNCs that have a combination of both low R&D and low internationalization usually (i) end up developing little or no sustainability practices and (ii) find it difficult to sustain whatever little sustainability practices they might have developed. (shrink)
A thorough examination of John Wesley’s writings will show that he was not a biblical literalist or infallibilist, despite his own occasional suggestions to the contrary. His most important principles for interpreting the Bible were: We should take its words literally only if doing so is not absurd, in which case we should “look for a looser meaning;” and “No Scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works.” Eleven instances (...) of his not taking biblical texts literally are examined. His real view was something like this: Biblical language is infallibly and literally true if and only if it does not contradict more basic scriptures and is not absurd, that is, not construed literally when metaphorical, or not misleadingly metaphorical, or not oversimplified or exaggerated, or not culture bound, or not contrary to reason and experience, or not ethically unconscionable and unloving. (shrink)
A restriction of R-Mingle with the variable-sharing property and the Ackermann properties is defined. From an intuitive semantical point of view, this restriction is an alternative to Anderson and Belnap’s logic of entailment E.
This essay examines the origin of genotype-environment interaction, or G×E. "Origin" and not "the origin" because the thesis is that there were actually two distinct concepts of G×E at this beginning: a biometric concept, or \[G \times E_B\], and a developmental concept, or \[G \times E_D \]. R. A. Fisher, one of the founders of population genetics and the creator of the statistical analysis of variance, introduced the biometric concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in (...) the biometric tradition of biology - partitioning the relative contributions of nature and nurture responsible for variation in a population. Lancelot Hogben, an experimental embryologist and also a statistician, introduced the developmental concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in the developmental tradition of biology - determining the role that developmental relationships between genotype and environment played in the generation of variation. To argue for this thesis, I outline Fisher and Hogben's separate routes to their respective concepts of G × E; then these separate interpretations of G × E are drawn on to explicate a debate between Fisher and Hogben over the importance of G × E, the first installment of a persistent controversy. Finally, Fisher's \[G \times E_B\] and Hogben's \[G \times E_D \] are traced beyond their own work into mid-2Oth century population and developmental genetics, and then into the infamous IQ Controversy of the 1970s. (shrink)
l. There is an antinomy in Hare's thought between Ought-Implies-Can and No-Indicatives-from-Imperatives. It cannot be resolved by drawing a distinction between implication and entailment. 2. Luther resolved this antinomy in the l6th century, but to understand his solution, we need to understand his problem. He thought the necessity of Divine foreknowledge removed contingency from human acts, thus making it impossible for sinners to do otherwise than sin. 3. Erasmus objected (on behalf of Free Will) that this violates Ought-Implies-Can which he (...) supported with Hare-style ordinary language arguments. 4. Luther a) pointed out the antinomy and b) resolved it by undermining the prescriptivist arguments for Ought-Implies-Can. 5. We can reinforce Luther's argument with an example due to David Lewis. 6. Whatever its merits as a moral principle, Ought-Implies-Can is not a logical truth and should not be included in deontic logics. Most deontic logics, and maybe the discipline itself, should therefore be abandoned. 7. Could it be that Ought-Conversationally-Implies-Can? Yes - in some contexts. But a) even if these contexts are central to the evolution of Ought, the implication is not built into the semantics of the word; b) nor is the parallel implication built into the semantics of orders; and c) in some cases Ought conversationally implies Can, only because Ought-Implies-Can is a background moral belief. d) Points a) and b) suggest a criticism of prescriptivism - that Oughts do not entail imperatives but that the relation is one of conversational implicature. 8. If Ought-Implies-Can is treated as a moral principle, Erasmus' argument for Free Will can be revived (given his Christian assumptions). But it does not 'prove' Pelagianism as Luther supposed. A semi-Pelagian alternative is available. (shrink)
This paper first shows that some versions of the logic R of Relevance do not satisfy the relevance principle introduced by Anderson and Belnap, the principle of which is generally accepted as the principle for relevance. After considering several possible (but defective) improvements of the relevance principle, this paper presents a new relevance principle for (three versions of) R, and explains why this principle is better than the original and others.
There are two motivations commonly ascribed to historical actors for taking up statistics: to reduce complicated data to a mean value (e.g., Quetelet), and to take account of diversity (e.g., Galton). Different motivations will, it is assumed, lead to different methodological decisions in the practice of the statistical sciences. Karl Pearson and W. F. R. Weldon are generally seen as following directly in Galton’s footsteps. I argue for two related theses in light of this standard interpretation, based on a reading (...) of several sources in which Weldon, independently of Pearson, reflects on his own motivations. First, while Pearson does approach statistics from this "Galtonian" perspective, he is, consistent with his positivist philosophy of science, utilizing statistics to simplify the highly variable data of biology. Weldon, on the other hand, is brought to statistics by a rich empiricism and a desire to preserve the diversity of biological data. Secondly, we have here a counterexample to the claim that divergence in motivation will lead to a corresponding separation in methodology. Pearson and Weldon, despite embracing biometry for different reasons, settled on precisely the same set of statistical tools for the investigation of evolution. (shrink)
Robert Rosen’s (M,R)-systems are a class of relational models that define organisms. The realization of relational models plays a central role in his study of life, itself. Biology becomes identified with the class of material realizations of a certain kind of relational organization, exhibited in (M,R)-systems. In this paper I describe several realizations of (M,R)-systems, and in particular alternate realizations of the replication component.
We study the filter ℒ*(A) of computably enumerable supersets (modulo finite sets) of an r-maximal set A and show that, for some such set A, the property of being cofinite in ℒ*(A) is still Σ0 3-complete. This implies that for this A, there is no uniformly computably enumerable “tower” of sets exhausting exactly the coinfinite sets in ℒ*(A).
In this chapter we argue that Robert Hare's psychopathy checklist revised (PCL-R) offers a construct of psychopathy that is valid enough for philosophical investigations of the moral and legal responsibility of psychopathic offenders.