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Column: Deprogram | Salvo 46

AI Apprehension

Is Artificial Intelligence Taking Over? Or Is a Fashionable Panic Afoot? by Denyse O'Leary

. . . AI will make a big difference, Marks reckons, but not by producing brains with metal shells. Rather, he laments, Google knows where he is every second of the day, and where we are, too. No authoritarian regime in history, not even 1984 in fiction, had such potential power. . . . ►►►

Department: Person of Interest | Salvo 43

Feeding the Hungry

Norman Borlaug's Green Revolution by James Wanliss

. . . It is arguable that Norman Borlaug saved over a billion people. He is one of just a handful of people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor. Borlaug was born in Iowa on March 25, 1914. The child of a farmer, he received a Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics in 1942 from the University of Minnesota and then set to work to develop genetically modified, . . . ►►►

Column: Operation ID | Salvo 45

Prodigal Signs

Pervasive Beauty Leads Us Home by Ann Gauger

. . . What I had intuited as a teenager was the argument from beauty to an intelligent designer. Peter S. Williams describes others with similar intuitions: "What could be more clear or obvious when we look up to the sky and contemplate the heavens, than that there is some divinity of superior intelligence?" So wrote Cicero, and the majority of humanity echoes this insight at one time or another. Even David Hume noted that: "A purpose, an intention, or design strikes everywhere the most careless, the most stupid thinker; and no man can be so hardened in absurd systems, as at all times to reject it." Call this the 'intuitive design argument'. I suggest that a major factor in the intuitive design argument is an appreciation of the aesthetic dimension of reality. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 40

Remains to be Seen

On Discovering Extraterrestial Life & Extraterrestrial Intelligence by Hugh Ross

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Feature | Salvo 42

Bot Behavior

Whether Humans or Robots, We Need Moral Programming by Richard W. Stevens

. . . for the human mind to possess knowledge and moral reasoning powers, there must be an outside source of that knowledge and power. The source would have to be intelligent enough to understand morality and skilled enough to instill the morality data and software into human minds. Dr. Zacharias is correct: morality, the software of good and evil, must come from a higher source than undirected physics, chemistry, or biological hardware. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 39

Cogito; Ergo Deus Est

Philosophy Still Lives Because God Isn't Dead by Charles Edward White

. . . When Descartes created modern philosophy by questioning everything he did not know directly, he eventually reasoned that God must exist. Cogito; ergo sum began a process that finally convinced him that there was a God. His train of reasoning was long and involved, but more recently, Oxford mathematician John Lennox, in a response to Hawking's book, has, like Anselm before him, been able to telescope this complicated argument into a simple deduction: Cogito; ergo Deus est: I think; therefore God exists. Einstein marveled that the most incomprehensible fact about the universe was the fact that it was comprehensible. Lennox explains why it is so: both the universe and the human mind come from the logos. And the logos is God. QED: Cogito; ergo Deus est. . . . ►►►

Column: Headquarters | Salvo 33

No Progress Report

How Deafness to Wise Old Voices Distorts the Past, Present & Future by Jason Morgan

. . . In other words, Butterfield was right—but in more ways than he knew. It is not only history, but, indeed, nearly every discipline that now suffers from the pathology of pride. Most of today's intellectuals are still lost in this present progressive tense, deaf to the subtle tones that ought to modulate their voices from behind. They dismiss all who came before them, rejecting whatever wisdom our ancestors might have won through hard trial and costly error. They want the future now, and will not let any notes of caution dissuade them from their project. They have become, in short, very busy little Whigs. . . . ►►►

Department: Archives | Salvo 32

Capital Losses

Nietzsche on Losing English Morality by Cameron Wybrow

. . . Nietzsche perceives that such a situation cannot last. He says "morality is not yet a problem," implying that when the English finally reach the level of self-consciousness that the Germans have achieved (or at least that Nietzsche has achieved), morality will be a problem; they will realize the groundlessness of their habits. Nietzsche was prophetic here; for eventually, certainly after 1945, the English-speaking world did begin to abandon, bit by bit, its secularized Christian morality. It had been living on old moral capital, but now that capital was spent and the religious tradition was no longer there to replenish it. Thus, the secular humanism of today, compared with earlier secular humanism, is virtually rudderless, because most people not only no longer think like Christians, but also no longer feel like Christians. . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 33

Unnatural Births

Assisted Reproductive Technologies & Their Side Effects by Terrell Clemmons

. . . In 2006, Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson, a lesbian couple from Port Hope, Ontario, wanted to have a family. They selected a donor identified as possessing an IQ of 160, a bachelor of science in neuroscience, a master's degree in artificial intelligence, and who was working on his Ph.D. in neuroscience engineering. He had also been described as an eloquent speaker and mature beyond his years. They bought his sperm from Georgia-based Xytex Corporation, and Collins gave birth to a . . . . . . ►►►

Column: Headquarters | Salvo 38

Doctors Delusional

Transgender Disorder & Really Bad Psychiatry by Boris Vatel

. . . Lacking diagnostic means that produce quantitative evidence of a person's condition, such as blood tests, or unambiguous visual data, such as what one sees on a microscope slide or an MRI image, the field of psychiatry relies on a complex set of mental constructs for its notions of normality and pathology. However, inherent to that set of mental constructs is the notion that there is such a thing as verifiable, objective reality. To suggest that there is no such thing as objective reality, or that reality is less important than what one wishes it were, renders the entire concept of psychiatric disorder invalid. In fact, the only way to accept the transgender phenomenon as psychiatrically normal is to say that, as a measure of reality, physical evidence is subordinate to what a person believes about or wishes for himself. And on that logic, we have no basis for calling anyone delusional. . . . ►►►

Department: Logistics | Salvo 42

God & the Gaps

A Response to Data-Free Models for Origins by Hugh Ross

. . . By resting their case for nonbelief on Christians' inability to refute every imaginable non-empirical (non-evidence-based) hypothesis for our universe and life, some nontheists present us with an impossible challenge. What they demand would require complete knowledge not only of the physical universe but also of everything that could conceivably exist beyond the universe. The problem here is obvious. Given that our powers of investigation are constrained by the space-time dimensions of the cosmos, no human mind nor any device created by human minds can ever assemble a complete database cataloging all the properties of the universe, let alone what lies beyond. Our inability to ever gain absolute proof, however, does not mean that we cannot access adequate practical validation of the need for a Creator. . . . ►►►

Column: Person of Interest | Salvo 36

Marriage Matters

An Interview with Patrick Fagan by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Patrick Fagan is the founder and director of MARRI, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (see Allied Front). MARRI studies the impact of marriage, family, and religion on society. Once a practicing psychologist, Dr. Fagan moved into the field of public policy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services under President George H. W. Bush. He recently announced the launch of Marripedia, an online social-science encyclopedia that makes research related to family, marriage, sexuality, and religion accessible to the public. Dr. Fagan spoke with us about what makes for a healthy society, the importance of what he calls "the two great loves," and what he sees as a growing crisis for men. . . . ►►►

Salvo 46

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