Bruce Buff and Robert Spitzer on All Hallows’ Eve — Materialism as Reality-Denial

first_img TagsAll Hallows’ EveAll Souls’ DayBruce BuffconsciousnessDan BrownDarwinian theorydeathemergenceHalloweenintelligent designLegosmaterialismmortalityMRINational Review Onlineneuronsorigin of lifephysicalismRobert SpitzersoulsupernaturalThe Soul of the Matterthriller,Trending A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Share Materialism responds to any challenge to its strictures by calling the challenge “anti-science,” or “science denial.” However, it’s materialism that demands faith that on key points, against the available evidence, physical processes alone can explain the most striking aspects of existence: the origin of life, the origin and diversification of complex animal life, and the emergence of human consciousness.Our novelist friend Bruce Buff writing with Fr. Robert Spitzer drives home the point about consciousness in an excellent piece up now at National Review Online. They write in the days leading up to Halloween, a perfect occasion. Why? What do pumpkins, ghosts, and spiders have to do with evidence for the human soul as an objective reality?They start with some historical background to the upcoming holiday that may be new to you; of interest to me personally is an unexpected parallel to the Jewish observance Yizkor.Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, originated as the first in a three-day celebration of the dead consisting of All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. It is not a remembrance of beings that no longer exist, but an honoring of the faithfully departed and the relationship between the living and those in heaven. The essential element of this is the belief that souls are real, they live on, and the way we live has consequences for our souls. Even in today’s secularized Halloween, with the religious element stripped out, the focus is often on mortality, the supernatural, and what may happen after death.But is the soul real? Or is it just an old construct used to explain what a scientifically illiterate society could not? What does the evidence indicate?As it turns out, science, viewed as a means to knowledge and not as a limit of inquiry, provides strong reasons to believe that something besides physical matter is needed to explain what the human mind experiences. The same science that exclaims we are made of stardust also suggests that every time we see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and think, it’s evidence of immaterial minds — our souls — in action.Otherwise, for physics alone to explain what we experience, there would need to be a means to turn states of matter, such as the spin of an electron or a collection of atoms, into subjective experiences. This would require that discrete physical entities can constitute a whole; that this whole can perceive its own subjective meaning; that multiple subjective perceptions can be aggregated into a larger, whole experience; that a subjective perception can evaluate itself and then act on the physical properties that constitute it.But subjectivity is not a property of matter. Summing neurons does not equal a mind. To suggest otherwise would be to say that the experience of being in love with someone else, and the self-aware action of putting your arm around that person, can be explained simply in terms of firing neurons.Our subjective experience, which is that of having a soul, is an everyday refutation of physicalism. Much as Darwinian theory is intended to rescue materialism from the counterevidence of the panoply of life we see around us, the first defense against personal experience of the soul is the concept of emergence.Some materialists, also known as physicalists, give a naturalistic explanation for the mind. One way they try to overcome these known limitations is through the concept of emergent properties. The idea is that if parts come together in a complex system, new properties sometimes emerge that aren’t otherwise apparent in the individual components. So from a group of neurons may emerge a mind capable of subjective experiences.But when it comes to the mind, this idea has its issues. First, all scientifically observed emergence is actually unanticipated behavior resulting from known physical properties, and not new properties that exceed what physics can explain. Some materialists suggest that consciousness might emerge from physical processes on the quantum level, but any emergence there would be disrupted by anything that has an effect on quantum physics — such as holding up a cell phone to your head or getting an MRI. Simply put, emergence depends on properties that already exist in the system’s constituent parts. It doesn’t matter how many Legos are assembled in incredibly complex arrangements, they will never generate a nuclear reaction. Just as radioactivity cannot emerge from the plastic used in the blocks, consciousness does not emerge from the physical parts of the brain.The insistence that human life can be explained without reference to a soul is, you might say, “anti-reality,” or “reality denial.” Buff and Spitzer make a detailed, dispassionate, and convincing case. Read the rest here.Buff, as you know, is sort of the Dan Brown of intelligent design, except that he’s a significantly better writer. Find his thriller, The Soul of the Matter, in paperback here.Image: All Souls’ Day, by Jakub Schikaneder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Recommended Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesiscenter_img “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Intelligent Design Neuroscience & Mind Bruce Buff and Robert Spitzer on All Hallows’ Eve — Materialism as Reality-DenialDavid [email protected]_klinghofferOctober 30, 2017, 1:13 AM last_img read more

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Fluor awarded EPC contract for Dominion’s Greensville County Power Station

first_img Facebook GasCombined CycleNew Projects Twitter TAGSDominion Fluor awarded EPC contract for Dominion’s Greensville County Power Station Twitter Previous articleCalifornia Tribe to install renewable, energy storage hybridNext articleReport: Natural gas genset installations to double by 2024 chloecox Facebook Venture Global LNG adds Zachry to EPC team for Gulf export terminal construction Linkedincenter_img 4.28.2015 Mississippi Power cutting stakes in coal-fired, gas-fired stations to reduce excess MW, emissions Linkedin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) was awarded an engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and commissioning contract by Dominion Virginia Power (NYSE: D) to build its new 1,600-MW Greensville County Power Station, a combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power station in Greensville County, Virginia.Under terms of the contract, Fluor will design the plant at its engineering office in Charlotte. During peak construction, it is anticipated that about 1,000 craft workers will be onsite. The one billon dollar project is expected to be completed by 2019.In 2011, Fluor completed EPC work for Dominion’s 590-MW combined-cycle, natural gas-fired Bear Garden Power Station in Buckingham County, Virginia; and is currently the contractor for the utility’s Brunswick County Power Station, a 1,300-MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired power station in Brunswick County.     Vietnam: scaling back coal-fired plans toward gas, renewables By chloecox – No posts to displaylast_img read more

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On 33-17 vote, Iowa Senate passes wide-ranging gun bill

first_imgBrad ZaunThe Iowa Senate has passed a bill that would extend legal protections to Iowans who shoot to kill in self-defense. Under that so-called “stand your ground” proposal, people in Iowa cannot be charged with a crime or sued if they shoot to protect themselves and their property not only in their own homes and businesses, but anywhere they are legally permitted to be.“This bill, to me, is a huge step forward in restoring our Second Amendment rights,” said Senator Brad Zaun, a Republican from Urbandale.Zaun and 32 other senators voted for the bill. Seventeen senators, including Democrat Pam Jochum of Dubuque, voted no.“This bill goes too far,” Jochum said. “It is no longer balanced.”The bill includes other gun-related measures. It would let Iowans carry a gun into the state capitol if they have a permit for a concealed weapon.“Iowa is a right to carry state and I think our capitol should be a beacon of that,” said Senator Dan Dawson, a Republican from Council Bluffs.Senator Janet Petersen, a Democrat from Des Moines, opposed getting rid of the ban on guns inside the capitol.“How will we ensure the safety of thousands of Iowa schoolchildren who visit the beautiful state capitol building every year?” she asked.The bill also would let children under the age of 14 handle pistols and handguns, if they’re being supervised by a parent. The Senate did tack on a requirement that the supervising parent should not be intoxicated. The Senate changes in the bill must be reviewed and approved by the House before the legislation may go to the governor.During their late-afternoon debate, senators made passionate arguments for and against the overall bill. Petersen said “hudnreds of Iowans” are worried about their safety in a “troubled world.”“For some Iowans, adding more guns to the mix provides a feeling of comfort. For some Iowans, adding more guns to the mix puts more fear in their hearts,” Petersen said. “…I believe this legislation will not make Iowa a safer place to live.”Senator Jeff Edler, a Republican from State Center, said legislators “are answering” to Iowans who want this bill.“As the father of five children, it is my right and a duty to teach my children firearms safety and protect my family from inherent dangers, no matter where we may be,” Edler said. “This bill finally allows parents across the state these opportunities.”Last fall, Edler defeated a Democratic senator who gun rights advocates accused of blocking some of the major provisions of this bill.Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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Akapita & Davis take the honours at Bangpra

first_imgAll were on time so our 2 mini vans got away 5 minutes ahead of schedule at 8.25 am and in just 40 minutes we were at the course where the weather was holding up well.  It was extremely busy so we knew the chances of an early tee-off was remote so we had plenty of time to relax and practice and eventually our first group got away 5 minutes later than our allotted 10.30 time.With many groups in front of us, mostly painfully slow ones we resigned ourselves to a slow round but despite much recent rain the course was not too bad although quite wet in parts.  The greens though were up to their usual tricks despite the rest of the course being wet and three putts were again the order of the day.After a very slow round of five hours and five minutes we eventually finished after most of us found the course tough on the day and indeed we only had one golfer who played to their handicap or better.We had 2 divisions, Division A for handicaps 0 to 17 and Division B for handicaps of 18 and over with 3 places in each division.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the ninth & eighteenth greens.The A Division winner was Bob Akapita with a fine 37 points and with 2 golfers on 34 points a count back was needed which saw Martin “Toddy” Todd (18 point back nine) take second place from Mike Allidi (16 point back nine) who finished third.In Division B it was John Davis winning with 31 points from Patrick Poussier in second spot with 28 points.  Another count back was required to determine third spot and it was Dick “Reverend” Braimbridge (12 point back nine) who prevailed over Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle (10 point back nine).Division A1st Bob Akapita (17) 37pts2nd Martin Todd (8) 34pts3rd Mike Allidi (2) 34ptsDivision B1st John Davis (21) 31pts2nd Patrick Poussier (22) 28pts3rd Dick Braimbridge (35) 26ptsNear Pins:  2nd – Peter Blackburn, 8th – Mike Allidi, 12th – Stu Rifkin, 17th – Stu RifkinLong Putts:  9th – Stu Rifkin, 18th – John PierrelThe Growling Swan NAGA Award (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public) was won by Ebrahim after a three-way count back and he accepted the award in very good spirit.Toddy then kindly paraded Deefa the Dog and of course collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our generous Growling Swan Golfers.Note:  Growling Swan Golf welcomes golfers of any persuasion – low & high handicappers alike, female golfers and beginners.  We generally play Mondays & Thursdays, meeting at The Growling Swan (formerly The Bunker Bar) in Soi Chaiyapoon at 8.00 am with transport departing at 8.30 am.  For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to  petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.We also play bowls out of the Growling Swan every Wednesday and Sunday.  Sunday is Lawn Bowls and Wednesday is Indoor Bowls.  All are welcome and for anyone that is interested the transport leaves The Growling Swan at 10.00am on each of those mornings.  For more information please contact Paul Rennison on 084 345 4005. PSC golf from The Growling SwanMonday, Oc. 14, Bangpra – StablefordAfter raining heavily during the night it was a relief to see the sun break through as I made my way to The Growling Swan to meet up with the remainder of our group of 19 golfers who were signed up to play Bangpra.  We welcomed back Bob Akapita from his work at Gove in the Northern Territory of Australia, Roy “Plums” Dayton and his lady Duangjai “Kae” Tusagad, who have recently returned from California, and good friend Walter “Mr Colours” Baechli who was having a game with us once again.John Davis, Ebrahim & Bob Akapita.last_img read more

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ISL 2018-19: Delhi Dynamos vs. Chennaiyin FC: Dorransoro’s heroics ensure Delhi walk away with…

first_imgAdvertisement 0plr59NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs54fWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ekomf( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) kg3Would you ever consider trying this?😱9ecrCan your students do this? 🌚7y5Roller skating! Powered by Firework Delhi Dynamos and Chennayin FC shared spoils at the JLN Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday after the visitors failed to break the deadlock. With this draw, Chennaiyin got their first points in the table and sit on the ninth position. Delhi Dynamos, meanwhile, sit just above them with 3 points from 4 matches.Advertisement Dorronsoro stood tall to deny Chennaiyin all the three points (credits- indiansuperleague.com)Chennaiyin could have taken the lead at the second minute itself when it took a brilliant save from the goalkeeper to deny Orlandi’s header from the corner kick. The wingers Lallianzuala Chhangte and Nandakumar Sekar troubled the away side, but their resulting crosses were poor and didn’t pose any danger.In the dying minutes of the first half, Delhi again got a wonderful opportunity to draw first blood when Carlos Salom released Thoi Singh down the right-hand side of the penalty box only for Dorronsoro to thwart away the danger.Advertisement As the game resumed after halftime, Chennaiyin blazed all their guns to take the lead. Carlos Salem got the best opportunity of the game when he found himself in a one-on-one position with the keeper. But, Dorronsoro continued his brilliant string of saves when he denied the Palestinian from point blank range. Raphael Augusto and Gregory Nelson took a shy at goal later on in the second half, but the Spaniard didn’t give them any chance whatsoever.Delhi Dynamos will next face Mumbai City FC on 27th of October at the latter’s home ground whereas Chennaiyin FC will travel to the City of Joy to battle out with ATK the day before.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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Ambos strike back

first_imgBy DANIELLE GALVIN PAKENHAM paramedics have hit back at State Government advertisements of their latest pay offer. The advertisements, which…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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First Sight fame in the frame

first_imgBy KATHRYN BERMINGHAM With a career in photography spanning 15 years, Genelle Bevan’s hardest job came in May 2014. The…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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Galway and Mayo ladies set to decide Connacht title in Limerick

first_imgprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email The somewhat unusual setting of the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick will provide the backdrop to the latest chapter in the Galway/Mayo ladies football rivalry when both sides line out tomorrow in the Connacht Final replay at 4pm, ahead of the men’s round 4 qualifier at 7pm. The sides drew a fortnight ago in Castlebar after Mayo scored 3 second half goals to stun Galway and set up a replay at 4pm tomorrow. Tommy Devane spoke to Galway manager Timmy Rabbit ahead of the game…last_img read more

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South Africa’s fashion gold medallist

first_imgTeam South Africa will be walking out in style at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London, in a kit designed by Leigh Schubert. Athletes will walk out wearing a two-piece outfit, consisting of black tops with diagonal stripes in the colours of the South African flag, and black trousers. Criteria for the creation of the designs stipulated that the outfits must be proudly South African and comfortable. The designer launched her label “Leigh Schubert” in 2002. Her collections have been met with great acclaim at local and international fashion events. (Images: Leigh Schubert)MEDIA CONTACTS • Leigh Schubert   +27 31 572 6812 RELATED ARTICLES • Running into the history books • BMX – the cool factor • Shooting for gold • Trio aspires to retain Hector legacyWilma den HartighSouth Africa’s athletes will be walking out in style at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London, in a kit created by Durban designer Leigh Schubert.It was up to South Africans to decide which kit makes it onto the field, and the public voted overwhelmingly in favour of Schubert’s striking designs.The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) invited the public to vote for their favourite kit from a selection of six designs, shortlisted from more than 20 fashion houses and designers who submitted entries.The panel of judges consisted of celebrities such as retired soccer ace and Team South Africa ambassador Lucas Radebe; sporting television personalities Robert Marawa and Carol Tshabalala, and fashion expert Grant Blackbeard.The panel also sought the opinion of marathon runner Rene Kalmer and wheelchair tennis player Lucas Sithole, who are both competing at the Olympics this year.Since Sascoc announced the winning designer, Schubert has become a household name just about overnight. At the opening ceremony, billions of people will also be watching South Africa’s athletes walk out wearing her designs.“One might be a well known name in fashion circles, but this is an opportunity for me to become known in South African homes by consumers who don’t necessarily go to fashion shows,” she says.“And it is nice to win a competition that people have judged. That makes me even more chuffed.”Meeting the briefCriteria for the creation of the designs stipulated that the outfits must be proudly South African and comfortable, and Schubert’s suggested kit met the brief.“I wanted the athletes to be proud of what they are wearing,” Schubert says.She now joins the ranks of other gold medallists of the fashion industry such as Stella McCartney, designer of the Olympic kit for team Great Britain; and Ralph Lauren, who fashioned the US team’s outfits. Another iconic designer, Giorgio Armani, created the Italian kit.Her competitors in the fashion race included prominent South African designers Colleen Eitzen, Craig Native, Gert Johan, [email protected] and JJ Schoeman.As soon as Schubert received the invitation to submit her designs, she started researching previous opening ceremony outfits as she only had a few days to put the design boards together.“I wanted to try something new, yet ensure that it is comfortable and elegant,” she explains. “I did not want the athletes looking like farmers, air hostesses or as if they were about to play lawn bowls.”Athletes will walk out wearing a two-piece outfit, consisting of black tops with diagonal stripes in the colours of the South African flag, and black trousers. “The tops have been designed in such as way that one can see the full South African flag from all angles,” she says.“The kit is African, striking and has strong lines.”And when it comes to footwear, the designer quickly adds that the athletes will not be wearing plastic clog-like shoes known as Crocs, which have been worn once before. Instead, they will be wearing African-style Converse sneakers.“This adds a sense of humour to the kit and the sneakers also have a strong African edge,” she says. “They add a bit of cheekiness.”Top South African designerEven as a young designer, Schubert never doubted that she would have a career in the fashion industry. “I used to make clothes for my Barbies,” she says.Her mom recognised her talent and Schubert got her diploma in fashion when she was only 17 – even before she had a driver’s licence she was ready to get going at establishing a career.Schubert worked as a buyer for South Africa’s largest and fastest growing retail chain, Mr Price. She also became the youngest merchandiser for textile company Ninian & Lester.She’s an all-rounder in the industry, with experience ranging from commercial fashion and clothing retail to financial planning and range assorting, skills which contribute to her acute design sense. Her eye for commercial trends and what makes a viable design is what possibly made her kit stand out from the others.Schubert’s collections have been met with great acclaim at local and international fashion events, but for her, the public’s vote of confidence in her designs and skill is one of the biggest gains of the competition.  Schubert, who launched her label “Leigh Schubert” in 2002, was named one of South Africa’s hottest ten designers, according to Marie Claire magazine’s 2006 shopping directory.The magazine also listed her in its 2007 shopping directory of best South African designers, specifically noting Schubert’s use of texture and her timeless, sophisticated and feminine pieces.“My garments are quite classic, but interesting. I don’t do pretty and I have a hard core rock ‘n’ roll edge,” she says. “I like women to be powerful, in control and sexy.”Manufactured locallyTeam South Africa’s Olympic kit will be manufactured locally. Ahead of the Games in less than a month, Schubert is hard at work making all the tops for about 400 people, including the athletes, managers and anyone who is representing South Africa on the field during the opening ceremony. The manufacture of the trousers has been outsourced to another local supplier.last_img read more

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IRS Answers Questions About Shutdown’s Impact on Tax Court Cases – Update

first_imgThe Tax Court has resumed operations as of January 28, 2019. However, the IRS has provided answers to some questions posed by taxpayers and tax professionals about the government shutdown’s impact on Tax Court cases.Returned DocumentsTax professionals who mailed or sent documents to the Tax Court that were returned should:mail via U.S. Postal Service. or resend the document using a designated private delivery service, andinclude a copy of the original envelope showing the postmark or other proof of mailing.Also, the taxpayer or tax professional should retain the original envelope or container.Canceled Trial SessionsThe Tax Court canceled trial sessions for:January 28, 2019 (El Paso, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA; and Lubbock, TX);February 4, 2019 (Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Paul, MN; Washington, DC; and Winston-Salem, NC); andFebruary 11, 2019 (Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Diego, CA; and Mobile, AL).The Tax Court will inform taxpayers whose trials were canceled of their new trial dates. The Tax Court has not yet canceled the February 25, 2019, trial sessions, but will decide on or before February 7, 2019. The February 25 trial sessions include:Atlanta, GA;Chicago, IL;Dallas, TX;Kansas City, MO; andPhiladelphia, PA.Until further notice, taxpayers whose trial sessions were not canceled or whose trials were not yet scheduled should expect their cases to proceed as normal.Obtaining Tax Court Case Information During Shutdown Taxpayers should contact their representative to get information about their case. Also, the Tax Court’s website is the best source of information about pending cases.Right now, many IRS personnel are on furlough and are not available to answer questions until the government reopens. After the IRS reopens, Appeals and Chief Counsel will try to resolve cases as quickly as possible.The IRS continues to process tax payments and send out bills during the shutdown. Taxpayers who receive a collection notice for a tax liability disputed in the Tax Court should wait until the government reopens. The IRS attorney assigned to the case will determine if the assessment was premature and, if so, request an abatement.Practitioners who would like more information about the shutdown’s impact on the Tax Court and tax season can register for the American Bar Association (ABA) webinar, “How to Advise Taxpayers During the Government Shutdown,” on January 28, 2019. The panel will discuss the impact of the government shutdown on the 2019 filing season and will offer best practices for working with taxpayers during the lapse in appropriations.Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

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