Are Dreams Incompatible With Materialism? Discovery Institute thinks so!

UncommonDescentThey reach this conclusion using a version of Dembski’s improbability argument. No, this is not Poe and it is not self-parody. It is for real. (You can visit the Uncommon Descent page that makes this argument, here, and I have used donotlink so that they will not benefit from your visit.). The improbability of any given dream is suitably enormous (it is) and specific (is what it is, not anything else). It follows, by the application of Dembskian statistics, that every dream is Intelligently Designed.

The author, apparently one N.Kendall by way of Barry Arrington, boasts “This is just one of several disproofs of materialism that I have tried out on atheist websites. Never once had anyone lay of glove on it [sic]”.

So there you are. Prepare to be converted from your sinful materialist ways. Laying of gloves optional.

About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on April 19, 2015, in Creationism, Philosophy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Hi Paul, setting “no follow” will mean that the fact that you’ve given a link won’t boost their Google page ranking, but if people click on it it *will* increase their hit count and advertising. If you don’t want people to do that, the usual practice is to link to a copy of the page archived on another internet site (there are sites set up to do that).


  2. Excellent — and very funny. Many thanks!


  3. This right here is a prime example of the Gnostic heresy of radical dualism that fuels these people. Things must either be a magic trick by God or a meaningless material autonomic function. As if God’s own creation were so incompatible with God. Dreams do have a long history of being meaningful in religious traditions. And many of us have had the experience of learning or understanding something from dreams. So clearly, dreams have greater meaning for human beings than, say, a lightening storm. But anyone who’s actually sat in awe of a thunderstorm knows that even a thunderstorm has a way of speaking to the human spirit. Even when you know there’s nothing behind it beyond the physical processes of our atmosphere struggling to maintain equilibrium. Meaningful dreams don’t lose their meaning when you figure out they are physical and psychological processes. Which, if God really did make the world, as Christians claim to believe, means the physical is working just as it ought to. Then again, people can be weird and no doubt there are people who we should be glad don’t take their dreams more seriously. πŸ˜‰


    • “radical dualism… Things must either be a magic trick by God or a meaningless material autonomic function.”

      I have never seen the underlying fallacy of the entire Intelligent Design movement so skillfully skewered. Thank you.


  4. This seems to be confirmation of the application of the methodology of ID to other natural phenomena. Such as to reproduction, the materialistic/naturalistic sciences of reproduction are false. See


  5. YouSirAreWrong

    You can use this to link to such sites:


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