links for 2011-02-21

Edward Feser: Why are (some) physicists so bad at philosophy? Philosophers and theologians are constantly told that they need to “learn the science” before commenting on quantum mechanics, relativity, or evolution. And rightly so. Yet too many scientists refuse to “learn the philosophy” before pontificating on the subject. The results are predictably sophomoric. Yet the […]

links for 2011-02-15

Articles | New Atheists and the Dunning-Kruger Effect | Phillip Jensen In 1999 two psychologists of Cornell University (David Dunning and Justin Kruger) put forward the hypothesis that people of lower competency in an activity tend to overconfidence. This overconfidence comes from the lack of skill to even recognise their level of incompetence. “Are the […]

Sociology of Religion: a “science” used to promote atheism?

Rodney Stark, in his paper Atheism, faith, and the social scientific study of religion (read the full text in google books) outlines an interesting phenomenon from Enlightenment thinkers, still observed in current popular discourse: The social “scientific” study of religion originated in atheism and the basic theses pursued today, especially by psychologists and anthropologists, are […]

Poe’s Law: a poor substitute for a rational argument.

Yes it can be fun to create a strawman and mock one’s opponents but the “Poe’s Law” tactic is a diversion from the actual discussion at hand and attempts to dismiss all arguments without serious consideration. “Lampooning one’s dialectical opponents with grotesque portrayals of their alleged unrepentant intellectual and moral vice may be deeply satisfying, […]