January 2, 2024 | David F. Coppedge

Clueless Scientists Ask Wrong Questions

By definition, you can’t
get a right answer

to a wrong question

 

Today’s leftist, materialistic, Darwinist Big Science Cartel has blinded itself to its own cluelessness. No longer seeking the truth wherever it leads, it publishes only material that conforms to a leftist, materialistic, Darwinist narrative. Those are the only questions it asks, and those are the only questions it tries to answer. It takes an outsider to see the folly in this pursuit.

Clueless scientists can, and do, engage with empirical data in answering their wrong questions. Sometimes the research will be rigorous. No amount of rigorously-assembled data, however, is of any value if the question is wrong. It’s like accurately measuring the dance floor space on the head of a pin to six significant figures.

The Brain: Volts or Thoughts?

An energy costly architecture of neuromodulators for human brain evolution and cognition (Castrillon et al., Science Advances, 13 Dec 2023). This paper by 13 smart people mostly from Germany gives a pile of information about energy consumption in the brain. For scientific value, that’s good to know. (At one point, they determine “an average metabolic rate of 31.35 μmol glucose/min per 100 g of gray matter tissue, which is the equivalent of around 12 cubes of sugar”). OK. So be it. But the paper is not about energy. It is about EVOLUTION. Using the e-word 17 times, Darwin’s moyboys are asking this question: how did the human brain evolve from ape brains and become cognizant?

Over 400 million years, the brain structure of various species has evolved according to similar organizational principles. Neurons, acting as the local signaling units, form a dense connectome with widespread signaling pathways through their synapses. Nonetheless, when compared to humans, certain mammals exhibit larger brain sizes (e.g., the Indian elephant), higher brain-to-body mass ratios (e.g., the mouse), or a greater number of neurons (e.g., the long-finned pilot whale). This suggests that brain structure scaling is not the only factor that has contributed to the emergence of human cognition.

It’s the wrong question! To them, the most obvious aspect of our human nature—our cognition—simply “emerged” by a brain that got bigger and grew more material connections. The 13 authors cannot see past their materialistic blinders. The answer reduces to a circular absurdity: because the brain evolved, it evolved. Because cognition is material, it is to be understood in terms of its connections. Because we are scientists, we have no obligation to look outside the materialistic box.

With a little reflection, a thoughtful reader can see that the paper implodes into self-refutation. If the evolutionists’ thoughts are material, they have no logical validity. C. S. Lewis pointed this out:

The Naturalists have been engaged in thinking about Nature. They have not attended to the fact that they were thinking. The moment one attends to this it is obvious that one’s own thinking cannot be merely a natural event, and that therefore something other than Nature exists.

No further reading is required of this paper, therefore, unless a reader who believes in the legitimacy of logical thought wants some useful measurements of energy consumption by neurons.

Human intelligence: how cognitive circuitry, rather than brain size, drove its evolution (The Conversation, 13 Dec 2023). Robert Foley and Marta Lahr, evolutionists from the University of Cambridge, commit the same fallacy as the above paper, which they reference. In a much shorter article, they use the e-word evolution 13 times. They are blind to their own materialistic self-refutation. Atoms don’t think. People do.

For most animals, the benefits of serious thinking are simply not worth it. But for some reason – the greatest puzzle in human evolution, perhaps – humans found ways to overcome the costs of having a larger brain and reap the benefits.

It’s no puzzle at all if you take off the straitjacket of evolutionary materialism. God, the Word (Logos: thought, communication, logic) endowed humans, and humans alone, with logical thought. We think, because a thinking Creator made us. Our bodies are supportive of our thoughts, but incidental to our rationality and cognition. Materialism lacks the toolkit to make thoughts emerge from atoms.

Evolutionists are obsessed with brain size and neuron connections, but that’s like cutting up the material goose to get the golden egg of rationality. The very act destroys it. Without a living goose and the prior existence of an algorithm for golden eggs, there would be no golden eggs. Without information, there is no discovery of logical thought within the neurons. Does a computer have cognition without a programmer having built logical operations in its circuits? Would these scientists find the “emergence” of logical thought by cutting up a circuit board and studying the silicon atoms? Would they explain how the logic “emerged” by itself from silicon rocks washing downstream?

Their thinking gets even more scrambled and irrational. Your thoughts emerge, they say, from what you eat.

This doesn’t really answer the ultimate question – how did humans manage to break through the brain-energy ceiling? As so often in evolution, the answer must lie in ecology, the ultimate source of energy. To grow and maintain a large brain – whatever social, cultural, technological or other things it is used for – requires a dependable and high quality diet.

If you don’t eat, you won’t think well; that is true. But the converse is false: ‘if you eat material stuff, you will think.’ Try that with a garbage disposer and see what kind of philosophy logic emerges from the grinding sounds.

Winning a noble race (Marcia McNutt, PNAS, 21 Dec 2023). The title of this editorial suggests that Dr McNutt values nobility, which is a good thing. But a look at the content is baffling. She thinks that the more foreign scientists we attract, the more Nobel Prizes our country will win. She uses a couple of graphs to support her argument (in which she has to explain away data that doesn’t fit her point), but the graphs could be interpreted other ways. Scientists know that correlation is not causation—a point she acknowledges—but she builds a case on a logically weak premise and with questionable data.

I argue here that maintaining American excellence in science is not entirely about funding, although stagnation in US research funding and huge investments overseas are a major cause for alarm. Having sufficient resources for basic research is essential to support the very best applicants for graduate research assistantships, regardless of nation of origin…. Concerns are already being voiced that young scientists are finding the United States unwelcoming to foreigners and that they are discovering more attractive opportunities overseas. We must act quickly, for the sake of winning this most noble race, to secure a prosperous future for generations to come.

In a nutshell, her argument is that science improves through diversity. That is a half-truth. Yes, it is good to seek the best and brightest of scientists without regard to their nationality. But it is a non-sequitur to claim scientific excellence is correlated with how many foreign applicants find America “welcoming” to immigrants.

How can Dr McNutt claim that the United States is unwelcoming to foreigners? Does she not know that the border has been wide open for 3 years? Does she not know that Chinese and other immigrants have flooded American universities and labs? How can she claim that the USA is dropping its lead in Nobel Prize counts based solely on an unfriendly atmosphere to foreigners? And with Democrats in power spending trillions of dollars, from whence comes her claim that stagnation in science funding is a major cause for alarm? It’s not the government’s money! It is taken from taxpayers, who have a right to vote how it is spent.

Logically and empirically, her argument seems misguided. Why not ask the right question: how can the USA improve its science education at home? Maybe she should consider another question outside of her materialistic, evolutionary mindset: Is it possible that American students are turned off to science because of its leftist, materialistic, evolutionary bias that censors all Darwin skeptics? (19 Aug 2022).

Why is it that absurd papers based on materialism (naturalism) are never criticized in Big Science Media? Think about that for a moment. Like C. S. Lewis said, the moment you think, you stop being a materialist. For more clarification on this vital point, here is another essay we have recommended in the past: What Are Words? by Matthew Connally.

Scientific publications can seem intimidating because of the highfalutin language and political power wielded by the Big Science Cartel. But if it only took a child to cry out what all the other parade watchers knew (i.e., that the Emperor was naked), it doesn’t take a scientist to see the flaws in bad reasoning. We hope in 2024 that more readers will hone their skills at looking past the Jargonwocky to see the flaws in claims stemming from a wrong worldview asking wrong questions.

The late Dr Phillip Johnson wrote several outstanding books at the onset of the Intelligent Design Movement, one of the later ones titled The Right Questions (2003). His goal in that book was to uncover the narrow-mindedness of the Darwinian establishment that limited itself to worldview-tainted research questions that ignored the elephant in the room: the existence of life, thought, and rationality.

Johnson deftly demonstrates how the reigning naturalistic philosophy not only squelches public debate but also constrains us to ask the wrong questions. Unless we start with the right questions, Johnson argues, our discussions will be framed by the assumptions of that very philosophy which must be challenged.

With his legal mind, Dr Johnson was gifted at opening minds to questions that should be asked. You might want to get a copy of that book. His writing is always witty, astute and approachable.

Another C. S. Lewis quote to remember is this one:

The physical sciences, then, depend on the validity of logic just as much as metaphysics or mathematics. If popular thought feels ‘science’ to be different from all other kinds of knowledge because science is experimentally verifiable, popular thought is mistaken. Experimental verification is not a new kind of assurance coming in to supply the deficiencies of mere logic. We should therefore abandon the distinction between scientific and non-scientific thought. The proper distinction is between logical and non-logical thought.

Speaking of C. S. Lewis, the documentary film The Most Reluctant Convert, starring Max McLean, is very good, describing Lewis’s dogmatic atheism in youth and his resistance to thinking outside that box, till he could no longer resist the evidence and logic for Christianity. It is available for streaming at this link.

 

 

 

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