All in

You try writing about Alvin Plantinga and Aquinas and their ilk for four hours and see how you feel! This is what I’d like to do tomorrow, except professors don’t have bosses to call:

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h/t: Mark

16 Comments

  1. Robert Seidel
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    > This is what I’d like to do tomorrow, except professors don’t have bosses to call

    Just do it, then.

    • Posted May 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Jerry has students, which are worse than bosses.

      Much, much, much worse.

      b&

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted May 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Humbly beg to differ. And, I have both.

  2. Posted May 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m impressed the cat managed to actually call! That took real dedication….

    b&

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted May 8, 2014 at 4:59 am | Permalink

      Yet another reason not to like catcalls…

  3. Larry Gay
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I think everyone would understand if you called in sick occasionally.

  4. Posted May 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    This might help Jerry with his homework: From my “Plantinga in the Quote Mine and Epistemological Creationism http://wp.me/p21T1L-b1” ; Plantinga indulging in a shocking piece of quotemining, to distort Darwin’s views on the limitations of the evolved mind and make them match his own:

    I wrote “He manages to invoke Darwin himself to support his position, with this excerpt from a letter to William Graham:

    [Quote]With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? [End quote]

    The quotation is genuine, but the meaning is completely distorted, by suppressing its context. Consider the passage in full:

    [Quote] Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? [End quote]

    So the question Darwin was addressing is very narrow and specific; whether we can trust minds evolved from those of animals when they lead us to believe that the Universe had a creator. In other cases where Darwin doubts the reliability of our minds, he is addressing exactly the same question as here, which must have preoccupied him over many years. There is no honest way of recruiting Darwin to support the view that our evolved animal nature makes our minds unreliable on any lesser topic. Yet Plantinga manages to say (Warrant and Proper Function p 219[5]), almost immediately after his truncated quotation,

    [Quote] Darwin and Churchland seem to believe that (naturalistic) evolution gives one a reason to doubt that human cognitive faculties produce for the most part true beliefs: call this ‘Darwin’s Doubt’” [end quote]

    BTW, now you know where the expression “Darwin’s doubt” comes from

  5. docbill1351
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Actually you don’t have to write about anyone else except Aquinas because they’ve all been recycling his arguments since.

  6. Nick
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    OT reminder: Sean Carroll debate/podcast against motion, “Death is not final” starting right now (3:56 pm PDT)at intelligencesquaredus.org

  7. John Harshman
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    Sorry to break in here, but it’s easier than finding your email address and somewhat more likely that you’ll read it.

    Over at Science League of America, Peter Hess has posted an interesting claim, that some people make “…one significant assumption: in order to contribute to modern science you have to be an atheist.”

    And when asked for an example of a person who does that, he gave your name. I find that difficult to believe, but perhaps you could make some kind of statement to clarify.

    SLoA does seem to put up a lot of accommodationist stuff, one trope of which is that creationists and atheists, oops, I mean militant atheists, not the nice, friendly, sad kind, are equally silly extremists. And here we seem to have another example.

    • Posted May 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Actually, I’m faster on email than on comments, which I often read long after they’re submitted.

      I can’t find Hess’s post, but that statement is a contemptible lie. I will go over there and pwn the guy, but I can’t find the link. Please post it or email it.

      Jebus, I’ve always said, for instance, that Francis Collins is a good scientist, and he’s about as religious as they come.

      • John Harshman
        Posted May 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Here it is.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Science League of America sounds like a secret group from a comic book. Didn’t Marvel write about them? ;)

      • John Harshman
        Posted May 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        DC. It’s clearly inspired by the Justice League of America.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted May 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          :D

  8. Chris
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    For some reason whenever I see a certain word that Prof CC used there I replace it with another:

    “You try writing about Alvin Plantinga and Aquinas and their elk for four hours and see how you feel!”

    Sigh.


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