Science and the Sacred

Science and the Sacred


Chopping Logic

posted by kgiberson

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Every Monday, “Science and the Sacred” features an essay from
one of The BioLogos Foundation’s co-presidents: Karl Giberson and
Darrel Falk. Today’s entry was written by Karl Giberson.

Two curiously related things happened to me last month. The first was a request from the college bookstore for my book orders for the Logic course I will be offering this spring. The second was an “Open Letter to Karl Giberson” posted on an anti-evolution site accusing me of not understanding elementary Logic! My immediate reaction, of course, was to cancel my Logic course based on this new revelation that I was unqualified to teach it. After reading the “Open Letter” I realized that I was being provided with a golden opportunity for a warm-up presentation in basic logic, and one with an audience of more than the 8 or 10 students that I will see in the spring. So let me wax logical for a few moments and unfold an often-confused aspect of the relationship between Logic and scientific reasoning.

Logic courses look closely at arguments built around common, but subtle, errors in reasoning. Such arguments appear to establish conclusions when, in fact, they do not. Many such fallacies are so widely used and so effective that they have Latin names and were once studied as a part of all liberal arts curricula. These fallacies are in constant use today as the following examples will indicate.

Consider the common ad hominem logical fallacy that occurs when we try to undermine a conclusion by attacking the people who hold that conclusion. Efforts to undermine evolution by claiming that Darwin was a racist, or a sexist, or an inspiration to Hitler are textbook examples of this fallacy. The viability of evolution is unrelated to whatever personal flaws Darwin may or may not have had or whatever nefarious programs appealed to its logic. This fallacy is so effective, however, that anti-evolutionists eager to undermine Darwin’s theory enthusiastically churn out books and videos trying to establish a connection between Darwin and Hitler, so stench from the latter will rub off on the former. Many readers of such books erroneously conclude that the theory of evolution has somehow been undermined by this argument, as if it derives its credibility from its originator, rather than from evidence.

There are many such fallacies studied in Logic and the one I am being accused of is affirming the consequent. A typical example goes like this: If God designed a structure, like the bacterial flagellum, then science will be unable to explain its origin. Science cannot explain the origin of the bacterial flagellum. Therefore God designed this structure. In this argument the truth of the consequent–science cannot explain the origin of a certain structure–is said to establish the truth of the antecedent–God designed the structure. This is a logical fallacy because we can imagine another explanation. Suppose, for example, that science is unable to provide the desired explanation because some important discoveries have not yet been made. This would imply the same consequent. If both A and B imply C, then the truth of C can hardly be a proof of A and not B.

This problem has a subtle connection to the so-called scientific method. My anti-evolutionary critic states, correctly: “It is a logical fallacy to conclude that confirmed predictions prove the theory (evolution) to be true.” The problem here relates to the nature of scientific claims, however, not to logic. This distinction is, unfortunately, often overlooked.

When science was born in the 17th century, there was a widely shared belief that knowledge should be absolute, and possess the sort of certainty we enjoy when we state that 2 + 2 = 4. Descartes’ famous “I think, therefore I am” attempted to create an absolute foundation for knowledge that would provide mathematical type certainty–proof–for non-mathematical claims about the world. One of Galileo’s public relations problems derived from his claim that he would provide proof of a moving earth, when this, as became painfully obvious, was simply not possible.

Galileo’s problems–which eventually disappeared, of course–stemmed partially from the way the new “scientific method” enthusiastically “affirmed the consequent,” seemingly oblivious to the apparent logical problems. In fact, the ability of science to repeatedly affirm the consequent came to be celebrated as a part of its great explanatory power!

Here are some famous historical examples of science affirming the consequent:

(17th century) If Newton’s theory was correct, there should have been a planet beyond Saturn (to explain anomalies in the orbit of Saturn), and it should be located at a certain spot in the sky. Uranus was discovered at that spot in the sky to loud cheering and Newton’s theory is became even more powerful.

(1919) If Einstein’s theory of relativity was correct, then some stars in the Hyades cluster should appear in a different place during an eclipse. The stars moved as predicted in 1919 and Einstein’s new theory was confirmed by this observation.

(1965) If the Big Bang theory is correct, the universe should be filled with leftover radiation with a certain pattern. The radiation was discovered at Bell Labs in 1965, and the Big Bang theory was confirmed. Its only rival, the Steady State Theory, was pronounced dead and is never heard from again.

(1990s) If whales evolved from land animals, there should be intermediate fossils such as whales with feet. Whales with feet were discovered in the 1990′s confirming their evolutionary origins as land creatures.

These all look like textbook examples of the “fallacy of affirming the consequent.” What is going on here? Has science somehow fallen off the ship into an ocean of illogic? No, and here is why: Science is not about proving anything. Science is about providing evidence to establish its claims with varying degrees of certainty, not proof that eliminates all uncertainty.

In the cases above, affirming the consequent provides evidence for the antecedent. The background radiation is strong evidence for the Big Bang. But it is not proof. There could be some unimaginable alternative explanation. The infamous fallacy of affirming the consequent occurs only when such affirmation is said to provide proof for the antecedent. The weaker claim that the consequent provides evidence is not at all fallacious.

If you look closely at the rhetoric employed by scientists you will see this. For example, in my comments that inspired the “Open Letter” I used terms like “well-established,” and “overwhelming evidence,” rather than “proven” in referring to evolution. The strongest claim I made was that certain genetic evidences collectively provide “essentially proof” for evolution. But what does the qualifier “essentially” mean in contexts like this? It means “for practical purposes,” as in “the sun is essentially unchanged from year to year.” No careful science writer will ever say that evidence provides proof, at least not in the strictly logical sense.

When the probability of a claim approaches certainty we concede that it is “essentially” proven but we do not mean it is established like 2 + 2 = 4. We mean it is established like the claim that “There will be more shoppers in the malls in early December than there are in early June.” Or, “There will be more traffic at rush hour than midnight.” Such claims are not, of course, mathematical certainties, but only a fool would bet against them.

One of my favorite authors, Martin Gardner, uses the phrase in The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener “with a probability indistinguishable from one” to make the point that we can, for practical purposes, “prove” things with a degree of certainty that differs in no meaningful way from absolute certainty. And, we do this in science by repeatedly affirming the consequent and piling up evidence to the point that many key ideas, like evolution, are established, not absolutely, but “with a probability indistinguishable from one.”

If you want to know more about Logic you are welcome to enroll in my class this spring at Eastern Nazarene College.

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Kathryn

posted October 26, 2009 at 9:52 am


More of this, please! Do you know that in my undergrad and graduate studies in biology this is the first lecture on logic I’ve had? It’s always assumed that people know how to reason, but it’s a poor assumption. Philosophy is under-appreciated, even among the scientifically elite; I suppose it’s no surprise then to find it missing in the media and blogosphere.



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Mere_Christian

posted October 26, 2009 at 9:53 am


0 x 0 = Atheism.
Using logic, science, math and evidence (so far).



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Michael Thompson

posted October 26, 2009 at 10:05 am


Hi Karl
great atricle
Is that an online course? I might be interested.



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Jonathan

posted October 26, 2009 at 10:26 am


Mere_Christian,
Your comment is rather cryptic. What do the two zeros in your equation represent? Why are you multiplying them? How can a religious/philosophical position (atheism) be equal to a number?
I imagine you have a point, and I may even agree with it, but I have no idea what it is.



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Charlie

posted October 26, 2009 at 10:29 am


What we define “truth” as must then be a theory that is supported by a sufficient amount of evidence (yes I know sufficient is subjective, but I say it to make a point). Some claim that both science and faith lead to truth. Can anyone think of a definition of faith that could lead to truth? Do you have a different definition of truth so that faith can lead to it?



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Knockgoats

posted October 26, 2009 at 10:48 am


Karl Giberson,
I think you (and many other scientists and philosophers of science) are wrong in saying science does not prove anything. Of course it does not do so in the same sense mathematics does, but this is not the only valid sense of the term: it is also used in law, history, and everyday life, among other domains. There is a specific range of scientific cases in which talk of proof is inappropriate: when we are considering universal generalisations, e.g.: “The gravitational attraction of two masses is always proportional to the product of their masses divided by the square of the distance between them”. As Popper noted, no collection of examples can prove such a universal gener4alisation. However, most of science is not like that: much of it is about establishing that certain phenomena are possible (e.g. pathogens without nucleic acids – prions); or explaining specific processes such as photosynthesis, or patterns, like the pattern of similarities and differences between organisms. Here, it is absolutely appropriate to talk of proof. Of course, it could be that a demon is planting evidence to deceive us, but the same demon could be causing us always to make mistakes in arithmetic.



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Michael Thompson

posted October 26, 2009 at 10:53 am


Hi Charlie
I have a friend who wrote about faith on his blog, mabye you might find it helpful?
http://modeletics.blogspot.com/2006/08/semantics-definitions-and-faith.html
Truth
http://godsdoctrine.blogspot.com/2008/06/62.html



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mmfiore

posted October 26, 2009 at 11:35 am


Interesting article. I find logic and philosophy fascinating. If you are interested in the foundational issuses concerning physics please come to this site:
As an alternative to Quantum Theory there is a new theory that describes and explains the mysteries of physical reality. While not disrespecting the value of Quantum Mechanics as a tool to explain the role of quanta in our universe. This theory states that there is also a classical explanation for the paradoxes such as EPR and the Wave-Particle Duality. The Theory is called the Theory of Super Relativity and is located at: http://www.superrelativity.org
This theory is a philosophical attempt to reconnect the physical universe to realism and deterministic concepts. It explains the mysterious.



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Glen Davidson

posted October 26, 2009 at 2:06 pm


There are many such fallacies studied in Logic and the one I am being accused of is affirming the consequent. A typical example goes like this: If God designed a structure, like the bacterial flagellum, then science will be unable to explain its origin. Science cannot explain the origin of the bacterial flagellum. Therefore God designed this structure. In this argument the truth of the consequent–science cannot explain the origin of a certain structure–is said to establish the truth of the antecedent–God designed the structure. This is a logical fallacy because we can imagine another explanation.

To be science, what ID would have to do is to actually explain how God made the flagellum. That’s what Paley set out to do, saying that God would make things like artificers and architects do. Which failed, so now IDists try to get credit for saying in essence that God is inscrutable, so if we find the unexplained in biology, that means God was the (proximal) cause. What distinguishes science from pseudosciences like ID is that science is concerned about identifiable causes, including intelligent agents. If you can match up an intelligent agent and its causal practices with aspects of a presumably designed object, then, you’re doing science. ID of course doesn’t care about the precision with which we match up cause and effect with respect to intelligent agents, they think that an amorphous “intelligence” is to be identified, and that the details don’t matter. Nor do the predictions of non-teleological evolution matter to IDists, because of course God or any god-like designer could do the same thing. The proper analogy is with Rainbow Arch (or any number of other “natural” arches), where you’d point to all of the features not expected from intelligent design, but which are expected of non-teleological forces, and they’d just tell you that only intelligent beings make arches, so who cares about the predictions of non-teleological forces? That’s about what Stephen Meyer does in his latest book. He ignores the details, makes the most general and reductionistic comparison of the DNA code with human-made codes, and claims that properly by abduction he can assume that the DNA code was made by some undefined being. Of course it’s an undefined being, he’s not doing science–that is, he’s not matching up specific causes to specific effects, he’s instead generalizing from one thing to another. That’s nothing like science, it’s the old faulty analogical method used prior to the scientific method. Glen Davidson http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Gordon J. Glover

posted October 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm


“ID of course doesn’t care about the precision with which we match up cause and effect with respect to intelligent agents, they think that an amorphous “intelligence” is to be identified, and that the details don’t matter.”
And since the details of the Creator’s causal practices include the Judeo-Christian God speaking things into existence ex nihilo, they must stop at a generic (and trivial) conclusion of “intelligence” in order to skirt the establishment clause.
At least with traditional creationism, you know what you’re getting up front.



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Charlie

posted October 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm


To Michael Thompson,
I looked at the links you gave me. The first definition of faith is “Faith is the belief in something you can’t see (“the evidence of things not seen”)” and the examples are gravity and magnetism, however evidence of these are seen so I don’t think we accept these as truth based on faith (something you can’t see and evidence of things not seen are very different too). The second definition was “Faith believes something will happen that hasn’t happened yet.” This is not really related to discovering truth. As far as the blog about truth, I didn’t really understand their definition of truth “facts that create in the Long Term”- don’t really get it. Do they mean sufficient evidence supporting a theory? If anyone else can tell me directly how faith can lead to truth, I’d love to know. Gordon J. Glover, I’d love to get your opinion as well.



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MTbucket

posted October 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm


Hi Charlie.
I think he is going from the bible on the faith defin.
Does faith have to be something that makes up for lack of evidence?
He likes people posting comments and questions on any topic, so he might be able to help you understand where he is coming from.
It has been a while since I read his book Modeling God, so I have some memory loss as to some of his the concepts. He is trying to define theological terms in a non contradictory way so they fit together as a model.
Regarding Truth, He is trying to go a bit deeper than just facts I think. Creat in the long term, are what you say profitable, or damaging? for instance you could say to someone thats overweight, and say “you are fat!” That would be factual, but would it be truth?
I am not commited to these definitions by any means, if you have better ideas, I am interested.
MT



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Michael Thompson

posted October 26, 2009 at 8:43 pm


ooops I entered the username I have on a different forum, the above post is made by me! :D



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Mairnéalach

posted October 26, 2009 at 9:52 pm


Dr. Giberson,
Can you comment about the accusation sometimes made against evolutionary theory that it commits the post hoc fallacy? Thinkers such as R.C. Sproul make this argument.
thank you.



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Gordon J. Glover

posted October 27, 2009 at 12:25 am


“If anyone else can tell me directly how faith can lead to truth, I’d love to know. Gordon J. Glover, I’d love to get your opinion as well.”
Charlie, I’m not sure I fully understand the question. Perhaps I’m over-thinking it? Do you have a specific faith-truth claim in mind?
For me, faith is simply the confidence to act (to pattern my life around certain worldview traditions) without having all the facts of my disposal. Faith is not acting in spite of facts to the contrary, or believing something demonstrably false, or embracing something with no objective support. But it does involve committing fully while seeing partially.
Now, in the case of a criminal investigation or an issue of historical science, you might eventually achieve objective certainty if you stick with your intuitions and pursue the evidence. Or you might be falsified and have to start back at square one. The problem with “faith” claims is that, while there might be good reasons to embrace them, objective certainty is not something they can lay claim to.
That probably did not answer your question.



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Your Name

posted October 27, 2009 at 12:33 am


I love this article. Believe it or not, it ties into some personal stuff I’ve been dealing with as of late. It makes me glad to know that there are believers out there who confront complex topics and engage in deep, meaningful discussions.



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Mere_Christian

posted October 27, 2009 at 2:44 am


Jonathan,
The atheist zeros represent pre-start and in motion “everything.”
I’m sure I don’t know how everything will finally end, but the evidence “overwhelmingly” suggests that something, as in “Some Thing,” caused everything to be. (And yes, I believe a Christian has to admit they are really an agnostic in regards to “everything.”) But atheism (?) that, is the non-mind way of thinking. It’s petty emotionalism on dramatic egotistical overload. Listen to the likes of Daniel Dennett, or debate some clone of his in a dorm or a debate forum. They slam away with bad things happening to good people (bad, bad Sky Daddy), rattle off talking points downloaded from infidels dot org, and then champion the pitiless violence of naturalism without taking a breath to see the spin they apply to their worldview to deny its horrors. It’s a shame we allow them any place at the table of respectability. What a waste of time and space. No pun intended. Well . . .
The new or old atheism has as the foundation of everything nothing by nothing causing it. That’s an eternal truth, as close to an absolute as we can get. And its conclusion arrives at virtue over power via nicey-nice neologism whitewash. Naturalism is pure violence, but atheism, like a con man’s slight of hand advertises it as enlightenment thinking. There’s little evidence for atheism to be a rational thought process other than we humans, as individuals, don’t like suffering. And we know where that leads . . . permissiveness and vice uber alles, with some comforting modernity to make it seem palatable.
Whereas zero can only be applied to rationality as a something solid when viewed with reason, the atheist zero represents non-thought by employing reason. And I don’t mean instinct either. I mean pettiness and cheapness of emotionalism. Or rather, valuing atheism is elevating nonsense to respectability, simply because they, the atheist, demand it loud enough and with an influential college job unshakably secured to shout down opposition to their power. By the way, what gives a PhD the look of nobility? The title “Professor” any valor? The evidence shows so many with those prizes are no more special than a fry cook. And some more dangerous than a serial killer. How many Weapons of Mass Destruction were “created” in a University lab by a person with a Dr. connected to their name?
Since I hail FROM an atheist perspective, my opinion (once) of there being no Creator, to the position I hold now OF there being a Creator, came from listening to many voices and perspectives. Too many C.S. Lewis’s on the deity side of the cosmos impressed me more than the standard humanism and skeptic slant. Or rather rant. There’s just too many Hitchens’ on the atheist team; mocking and pouting at their intended prey. (I don’t use the moniker “freethinker,” that oxymoron for another time.)
From Dennett to Dawkins, the atheists have too much bad theology and simpleton argument (mean Sky Daddy make baby born blind). Their malice for dissenters (religionists are idiots or worse ‘cuz Dr. Atheist say so), just doesn’t hold weight to be believable as a rational and logical view of anything, let alone everything. And I mean everything from the outer limits to the inner mind.
0 x 0 = Atheism. That formula is sound. It is evidence based. Now, hmm, um, I guess I could be wrong, but it looks like not in this universe.
Now Jonathan, on a different note, am I missing something? I’ve been reading these BioLogos posts for a while now. Do they ever get around to defending The Gospel (Evangel) or is the purpose here to just sell copies of Darwin’s books and get them in every Christian household on earth?
Evidence is mounting.



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Charlie

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:16 am


The Biologos mission is “We believe that faith and science both lead to truth about God and creation.” I am just curious as to how they believe faith can lead to truth about anything. I feel faith can lead to a belief, but not truth. Gordon, as far as your criminal investigation example goes, do you feel people’s intuitions are independent of evidence?



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Charlie

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:17 am


The Biologos mission is “We believe that faith and science both lead to truth about God and creation.” I am just curious as to how they believe faith can lead to truth about anything. I feel faith can lead to a belief, but not necessarily truth. Gordon, as far as your criminal investigation example goes, do you feel people’s intuitions are independent of evidence?



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Charlie

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:32 am


Look at this link from Science magazine: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/326/5949/53.pdf
As a scientist, this is how I look for truth when working. It is kind of dense but if you just want to check out the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, I feel Nabel discusses what truth is very effectively. He basically says that truth exists in nature, even if we humans are incapable of seeing it. The only way for us to determine (to the best of our knowledge) what truth is, is to formulate hypotheses and test them.



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Ray Ingles

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:40 am


Mere Christian: I’m afraid atheism doesn’t have the foundation of ‘nothing causing everything’. One can be an atheist regarding gods while being an agnostic about the origins – if any – of ‘everything’.
I really haven’t seen any evidence that “Some Thing” caused everything. The most I’ve seen is people say, “Either causes go back forever without end, or they come to an end, right? We can’t really imagine either one, but I dislike infinite regress more so I’ll say that it must have a beginning somewhere. And I’ll assert that this beginning must have been intelligent.”
Leaving aside the probability that we just haven’t had the right insights to understand the origins of the universe yet (The Earth must either go on forever or come to an edge, right? Oh, wait, no, the Earth is round…), I’ve never seen anyone make a coherent case against infinite regress that amounted to more than, “I just don’t like the idea. I don’t understand and can’t explain how you could have an uncaused cause either, but I just like that idea better.”
Me, I just say, “I dunno, and it looks like nobody else knows… yet.”



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Knockgoats

posted October 27, 2009 at 11:27 am


Mere_Christian,
You really are a hypocrite: your hatred and malice for anyone who disagrees with you far exceeds what the great majority of people, atheist or theist, could manage. You have nothing even resembling an argument, just meaningless rubbish like “0×0=atheism”; and you clearly have no answer to the problem of evil beyond childish sarcasm, or you would have presented it by now. Incidentally, I don’t for a moment believe you were ever an atheist: if you had been, you would understand something about atheism. All in all, you are a remarkably poor advertisement for your religion.



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pds

posted October 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm


Lots of straw man attacks against ID here I see. Kind of ironic in a post about logical fallacies. Misrepresenting your opponent, defeating the argument, then claiming victory is one of the oldest logically fallacious cheap shots in history.
For example . . .
“ID of course doesn’t care about the precision with which we match up cause and effect with respect to intelligent agents, they think that an amorphous “intelligence” is to be identified, and that the details don’t matter.”
And
“And since the details of the Creator’s causal practices include the Judeo-Christian God speaking things into existence ex nihilo, they must stop at a generic (and trivial) conclusion of “intelligence” in order to skirt the establishment clause.”
I have lost a lot of respect for theistic evolutionists because of all these misrepresentations.



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Glen Davidson

posted October 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm


Lots of straw man attacks against ID here I see. Kind of ironic in a post about logical fallacies. Misrepresenting your opponent, defeating the argument, then claiming victory is one of the oldest logically fallacious cheap shots in history.
For example . . .
“ID of course doesn’t care about the precision with which we match up cause and effect with respect to intelligent agents, they think that an amorphous “intelligence” is to be identified, and that the details don’t matter.”

Yes, you took some very cheap and dishonest shots. Nothing new from the ID crowd, of course.
Earlier I simply ignored your ignorant rant, but since I ended up using and encountering blatant IDist statements against doing ID as honest, causal science on another forum, I may as well copy and paste these notorious (I mean to those of us who care about evidence) ID statements in here:

Dembski:
As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.
iscid.org/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000152;p=3

Behe:
Mr. Rothschild: Before we leave the blood clotting system, can you just remind the Court the MECHANISM by which intelligent design creates the blood clotting system?
Dr. Michael Behe: Well, as I mentioned before, intelligent design does not say a MECHANISM, but what it does say is, one important factor in the production of systems, and that is that, at some point in the pathway, INTELLIGENCE WAS INVOLVED.
Mr. Rothschild: This would be a good time for a break, Your Honor.
aclupa.org/downloads/Day12AM.pdf

Not that the truth of my statement hadn’t been demonstrated well before these admissions by Behe and Dembski.
And no, I don’t have any reason to argue this out with someone who either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that IDists reject the details and only utilize overly-general analogies. It’s obvious to any honest and intelligent person.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Gordon J. Glover

posted October 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm


“Gordon, as far as your criminal investigation example goes, do you feel people’s intuitions are independent of evidence?”
No. I think there is usually something that causes them to pursue a line of reasoning. It doesn’t take much to formulate a “hunch”, even though it might take a lot more to actually confirm initial gut feelings. For many theists, there are evident “pointers” that can give rise to intuitions about the cosmos. There appears to be an order, or an intelligence expressed through the ordinary grind of cause and effect (not to be confused with the nefarious fiat-acting unidentifiable mechanism-less intelligence of the I.D. movement). These pointers do not necessarily lead us to theism in a logical step-wise fasion. But rather they create a trajectory by which faith can extrapolate beyond the data.



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Michael Thompson

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm


Hi charlie
I tried to go to the site you posted and it required a subscription to get in.
you ask a good question.
mabye it is the other way around, mabye truth leads to faith? I don’t know, why don’t you post your definition of truth and faith to give me something to think on!
MT



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pds

posted October 28, 2009 at 8:33 am


Glen,
You are spinning their words in a pejorative manner. Those quotes do not say “We don’t care about precision” or “Details don’t matter.”
It is fair to say that ID proponents think it is better to have fewer details than false details. That is very different than how you phrased it.



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Charlie

posted October 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm


To Michael Thompson,
Common definitions of faith are 1. trust in a person or thing and 2. belief in something that is not based on proof or evidence. When asking the question does faith lead to truth, the first definition is off scope and the second definition contradicts the statement with my definition of what truth is. As far as my definition of truth goes, if you want to get philosophical, humans can never conclusively determine what truth is. You can have a TON of evidence supporting a theory but, in the end everything is “just a theory” (a quote said VERY often by the anti-evolutionists). Because, philosophically everything is a theory, we humans determine what a sufficient amount of evidence is so that we can claim a theory is indeed a fact. The theory that the sun is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium is considered a fact due to the sufficient amount of evidence that supports it. What gets tricky in science is that there is no exact definition as to what a sufficient amount of evidence is. When is something considered truth to society? I don’t know. All I know is that the more evidence there is that support a theory, the stronger the theory and the more likely that theory is the truth. So with these definitions, faith cannot lead to truth. What definitions of faith and truth can make that statement work? How can truth lead to faith???



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Charlie

posted October 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm


P.S. if anyone from Biologos is reading this, I would still like to get your definitions of faith and truth since your mission is “We believe that faith and science both lead to truth about God and creation.”



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Arthur Biele

posted November 21, 2009 at 10:43 am


Using Karl Poppers critique of what Constitutes a good scientific theory and what does not, the Big Bang Theory is not a sound scientific theory. It is metaphysical construct based upon the philosophy of naterialism.
The only valid scientific test for Big Bang Theory is the prediction of background noise. And indeed background noise was discovered, thus materialists everywhere (in Science, Academia, News services, etc.) toted that the Big Bang Theory is strongly supported by scientific evidence.
Gilberson writes:
“Here are some famous historical examples of science affirming the consequent
“(1965) If the Big Bang theory is correct, the universe should be filled with leftover radiation with a certain pattern. The radiation was discovered at Bell Labs in 1965, and the Big Bang theory was confirmed. Its only rival, the Steady State Theory, was pronounced dead and is never heard from again.”
“The background radiation is strong evidence for the Big Bang.But it is not proof.”
But this is not true. The Background radiation observed by COBE and WMAP were magnitudes too low to be the Background Radiation predicted by the Big Bang. I remember waiting for years for the WMAP results were finally released and adressed, and I saw why they waited so long, the facts collected does not even support the Big Bang Theory.
The Big Bang Theory is a purely mathematical abstract construct with
very little or no basis in reality, except that the universe is
expanding and that the expansion appears to be accelerating. The math
was invented by materialists in an effort to explain the observation
of our expanding universe and the known helium and deuterium
abundances found in the universe. The math is constantly being tweaked
in an effort to explain the big bang as well as the formation of
galaxies, stars, planets etc. As with biogeny, cosmogony has become
permeated with evolutionary assumptions and conclusions, yet, despite
this, the Big Bang points to an extremely fined tuned low entropic
beginning of our universe that suggest an uncaused cause, that must
exist, that caused the universe to come into existence, and many have
concluded the uncaused cause to be an intelligent being, the I AM, God
Himself.
Whenever problems arise, a big banger will just add some more
mathematics to the equation, thus we have this mysterious mathematical
‘inflation’ to help bring the Big Bang theory into agreement with
theoretical observations. If there was ‘inflation’ at all, then we do
not know what started the inflation and what caused the inflation to
suddenly stop.
Mathematical changes also resulted from the “Big Bangers” failure to
find the predicted gravitons, monopoles, etc. Using their preconceived
materialistic worldview as a constraint, and their intelligence, big
bangers simply devised more mathematics to explain away their failure
to observe the predictions of the Big bang, and now the “Big Bangers”
have new mathematical reasons why we do not observe the predicted
gravitons, monopoles, etc. If they had found the predicted gravitons
and monopoles in the first place, they would not have bothered to add
the new math that makes them invisible or un-necessary.
Karl Popper wrote in his famous paper ‘What is Science?’ if you have to keep changing the variables around to keep your science theory alive, your ‘science Theory’ is a bad theory. The Big Bang Theory is such a ‘bad’ Theory.
Do we have another Theory that does explain the observed background radiation? Yes we do, Astronomers and mathematicians Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickhamshringe demonstrated that Local (i.e. in our galaxy) Supernova’s are capable of producing that such a background radiation.
For my full essay on the Big Bang’s problems, see:
http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Talk/talk.origins/2007-05/msg05192.html



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Arthur Biele

posted November 21, 2009 at 11:47 am


“(1990s) If whales evolved from land animals, there should be intermediate fossils such as whales with feet. Whales with feet were discovered in the 1990′s confirming their evolutionary origins as land creatures.”
Dear Gliberson, This is not true. Real science always seems to catch up with new hopeful evidences for evolution only to disprove these jumps to conclusion at a later date. Pakicetus is no exception.
This was thought to be true when Paleontologist JGM Thewissen discovered a partial mammalian skull in Pakistan which seemingly had whale like ears and teeth. He proposed it as poweful evidence that determined that Whales evolved from a land mammal species that swam in the water and had legs by which to walk on land.
Stephen Gould was so impressed by it that he wrote an essay on it entitled: ‘Hooking Leviathan by Its Past’. Howerver, Gould had the good sense to add: “Verdict: In terms of intermediacy, one could hardly hope for more from the limited material of skull bones alone. But the limit remains severe, and the results therefore inconclusive. We know nothing of the limbs, tail, or body form of Pakicetus, and therefore cannot judge transitional status in these key features of anyone’s ordinary conception of a whale.”
And in 1999, the full skeleton of Pakicetus was found Thewissen.
Also in late 1999 or early 2000, I was challenged by some leading evolutionary proponents to refute the strong evidence of a major evolutionary transformation in the artiodactyls mammal to Whale series of fossils as revealed by the fossil record.
And I new of the Thewissen’s new find and I wisely waited for the publication of it which came in late 2001 and which I read in 2002. Not only were the ears and teeth not at all like that of a whale, it was a walking land animal The new fossils include body bones with the skulls, so we now know what Pakicetus really looked like. It looked just like a land mammal that could run very well. If it had been found without a skull, nobody would have thought that it was a whale ancestor. Pakiscetus is not at all a whale ancestor, but now it is stuck with that name Pakicetus, which means: ‘Whale found in Pakistane’.
I suppose the evolutionists are not going to change the name given this species of mammals because the name itself sounds like evolution in action.



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Arthur Biele

posted November 21, 2009 at 11:57 am


Slight correction: Pakicetus ear did have some minor similarites to a whale ear. This is what led Thewissen to think it may be ancestral to the whale. I did not want to leave the impression that Thewissen had no reason to think that with his inital partial skull may have been ancestral to the whale. The fact remains, it has been eliminated from whale ancestry, except in school books and some museums because it keeps the myth of evolution alive.



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