Sunday, May 12, 2013

That “Inexorable March of Science” Has Finally Reached its Goal

But to the Victors Go the Spoils

Aristotle explained how objects in the sky move laterally whereas objects here on Earth move vertically, but how did it all start? The philosopher needed his Prime Mover to avoid an infinite regress in motion. The Unmoved Mover initiated motion without any prior motion. Isaac Newton overthrew Aristotle, but while the physicist’s new laws explained cosmic motion, they did not explain how the cosmos originated. For that a Creator was needed. Immanuel Kant provided an early version of how the cosmos could have evolved, but he remained in awe of the moral law within. Charles Darwin explained how the species, including any so-called moral laws, evolved, but how did life begin? Did not the Creator breath to life “a few forms”? In the twentieth century evolutionists explained how life could begin, but cosmologists discovered that the universe itself had a beginning. Did not that mean there was an Initiator? Now finally in the twenty first century cosmologists such as Lawrence Krauss explain how even the universe and its natural laws could have originated. It is the ultimate example of something from nothing.

To be sure evolutionists will agree that these great breakthroughs can be improved. Researchers don’t know everything and there are always details to be explored. But nonetheless the inexorable march of science is undeniable. Do not plug God in to handle the unsolved problems, they warn, for one day, in its inexorable march, science will replace your “God of the gaps.”

Well now that warning appears to have reached its ultimate fulfillment. If everything came from nothing then it is pretty obvious that the naturalistic origins narrative has succeeded. That inexorable march has finally reached its goal.

There’s just one problem: None of this is real.

That is, there is no “inexorable march” of science providing scientific explanations for the origins of the world. What Kant provided were powerful religious arguments for why God never would have designed or created the solar system. Kant then added to this a few bits of vague speculation of how the sun and planets formed by themselves. After Kant cosmologists never looked back.

Likewise for Darwin. The Sage of Kent issued all manner of theological mandates for the naturalistic origin of the species. And ever since 1859 those mandates have only become stronger.

This isn’t science, this is religion. Yes there is an “inexorable march,” but it is not of science but rather of religion wrapped in a scientific patina.

Evolutionists insist there is no teleology, no final causes and no design. The world must have arisen by itself. Imagine you have a box with nothing in it. Then later there is an entire universe inside the box, with all manner of cosmic structures and life forms of untold complexity. This, according to evolutionists, occurred. The universe and everything in it arose spontaneously.

Evolutionists view their work and results as a great triumph. But their triumph is their very downfall, for their religious mandates have led to absurdity.

To the victors go the spoils.

189 comments:

  1. In the following video, Anton Zeilinger, arguably the best experimentalist in quantum physics today, goes over the double slit experiment with Morgan Freeman:

    Quantum Mechanics (QM) – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything really physical? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    In the preceding video Dr. Zeilinger states:

    “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passed through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”

    Of course, all this ‘quantum weirdness’ is revealed to us by physicists trying to explain why the wave collapses in the double slit experiment simply by us simply observing it. Materialist, of course, are at a complete loss to explain why conscious observation should have any effect at all on material reality. Whereas the Theist is quite comfortable with consciousness having a central role in the experiment. But rather than the mainstream atheists/materialists accepting falsification for their worldview from the double slit experiment, they invented the unverifiable many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics to try to ‘explain it away’. A view of reality that drives atheistic naturalism even further into epistemological failure than it already was and is (Boltzmann’s Brain; Plantinga’s EAAN). To make it even worse for materialists, further advances in the experimental techniques of Quantum Mechanics, experimentation which, by the way, could care less if the atheist is able to maintain his prior worldview or not, have only dramatically underscored this ‘weirdness’ that is highlighted by the double slit experiment:

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: So Zeilinger’s group rederived Leggett’s theory for a finite number of measurements. There were certain directions the polarization would more likely face in quantum mechanics. This test was more stringent. In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/the_reality_tests/P3/

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    1. Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
      Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
      http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

      As well, as with any robust theory of science, there are several different ways consciousness is confirmed to be ‘central’ to reality by quantum mechanics:

      Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

      There are other lines of evidence for QM omitted for the sake of brevity. But to the main point, besides all this evidence being completely contrary the atheist’s/materialist’s starting presuppositions, it is interesting to note just how tightly all this evidence fits into the Theist’s starting presuppositions. For prime example:

      The argument from motion is known as Aquinas’ First way. (Of note, St Thomas Aquinas lived from 1225 to 7 March 1274.)

      Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover) – video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As

      Aquinas’ First Way
      1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act.
      2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.
      3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act.
      4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature.
      5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency.
      6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series.
      7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God.
      http://egnorance.blogspot.com/2011/08/aquinas-first-way.html

      Or to put it much more simply:

      “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”
      Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/09/jerry_coyne_and_aquinas_first.html

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    2. As well, not only is motion dependent on a “Prime Act”, i.e. on a ‘first mover’, but quantum non locality provides empirical confirmation for the ancient philosophical argument for ‘being’, for ‘existence’ itself!

      ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
      Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624111942.htm

      Zeilinger Group - Photons run out of loopholes - April 15, 2013
      Excerpt: A team led by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger has now carried out an experiment with photons, in which they have closed an important loophole. The researchers have thus provided the most complete experimental proof that the quantum world is in conflict with our everyday experience.
      http://vcq.quantum.at/research/research-groups/zeilinger-group/news/details/419.html

      Aquinas’ Third way – video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V030hvnX5a4

      God Is the Best Explanation For Why Anything At All Exists – William Lane Craig – video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjuqBxg_5mA

      As a Theist, finding Quantum Mechanics to fit hand in glove to what was postulated centuries before in philosophy is, of course, something to be very excited about. But even as someone who tries to be unbiased, a person who believes in the objectivity of science to reveal truth to us about reality, I can only wonder as to what sinister motive would drive a atheist, who claims to believe in ‘rationality’ against superstition, to fight so hard against what has become so obvious from our science?

      Moreover, even though Quantum Mechanics takes precedence over the space-time of General Relativity as to being a more complete description of reality,,,

      LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
      Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must ex­plain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamental­ly spaceless and timeless physics.
      http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchang/Notes10b/0611038.pdf

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    3. ,,,It seems that most Atheists, at least the ones I’ve interacted with, will not even accept the overwhelming substantiating evidence for Theism which is coming from looking at the space-time of the universe itself:

      “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” -
      Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston – paper delivered at Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday party (Characterized as ‘Worst Birthday Present Ever’)
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/vilenkins-verdict-all-the-evidence-we-have-says-that-the-universe-had-a-beginning/

      And as with the First Mover argument, philosophy had also reasoned, centuries before a beginning of the universe was even discovered, that the universe must have a beginning or a 'Uncaused Cause' to explain why it came into being,,

      William Lane Craig - Hilbert's Hotel - The Absurdity Of An Infinite Regress Of 'Things' - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994011/

      Time Cannot Be Infinite Into The Past - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg0pdUvQdi4

      Not Understanding Nothing – A review of A Universe from Nothing – Edward Feser - June 2012
      Excerpt: A critic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical philosophers thought his existence necessary in the first place. So when physicist Lawrence Krauss begins his new book by suggesting that to ask “Who created the creator?” suffices to dispatch traditional philosophical theology, we know it isn’t going to end well. ,,,
      ,,, But Krauss simply can’t see the “difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one.” The difference, as the reader of Aristotle or Aquinas knows, is that the universe changes while the unmoved mover does not, or, as the Neoplatonist can tell you, that the universe is made up of parts while its source is absolutely one; or, as Leibniz could tell you, that the universe is contingent and God absolutely necessary. There is thus a principled reason for regarding God rather than the universe as the terminus of explanation.
      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/not-understanding-nothing

      And please note the Philosophical arguments, and scientific discoveries, were made independent of statements made in the Bible:

      The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
      Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics - co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation - as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

      Music and verses:

      Third Day - Creed - Acoustic
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxEFqjH9G9Y

      REVELATION 4:11
      “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

      Genesis 1:1
      In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

      John 1:1
      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      Supplemental notes as to the quest to find a 'theory of everything', i.e. to find a unification between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics:
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/news/why-the-quest-for-a-unified-theory-may-be-doomed/#comment-454084

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    4. BA77: Quoting .. "For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time."

      J: Do you honestly have any idea what physical meaning can be assigned to the word "entanglement" that doesn't reference space and time in any sense? If so, please articulate it for me.

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    5. No, he doesn't. He doesn't even know what the term entanglement means in quantum mechanics. He just copies and pastes volumes of pop-sci articles.

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    6. This guy seems to have an answer for the double slit experiment...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EPlyiW-xGI

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    7. Jeff, the predictions of quantum mechanics are based on the math of quantum mechanics and are not based on how particles behave over time. So the more appropriate question is, are the equations of quantum mechanics 'instantly true' or do they require time to become true?' I hold that they are instantly true once the measurement/observation is made.

      Wheeler's Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
      Excerpt: So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
      http://www.bottomlayer.com/bottom/basic_delayed_choice.htm

      Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
      Excerpt: The remaining option is to accept that (quantum) influences must be infinitely fast,,,
      “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121028142217.htm

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    8. BA77: Jeff, the predictions of quantum mechanics are based on the math of quantum mechanics and are not based on how particles behave over time. So the more appropriate question is, are the equations of quantum mechanics 'instantly true' or do they require time to become true?' I hold that they are instantly true once the measurement/observation is made.

      J: It seems to me that the more accurate way to articulate it is that quantum theory doesn't explain the math-to-interpreted-observation correlation in terms of what most people mean by particles. Thus, it says nothing about the action or motion of such particles over time. That's different, though, than saying "entanglements ... interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time." Quantum theory, per the consensus interpretation, isn't about actual particles "out there," since it doesn't predict in that sense. It's about correlating a heuristic with an interpretation of an observation. That interpretation is the old classical one, though QT disclaims the existence of such particles.

      What the math gives us is a way to correlate things with that analogical warrant that is gained by enumeration. It doesn't have any intelligible interpretation, though. Thus, it has no implications about God whatsoever. Implications require the intelligibility of premises.

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    9. Divinely Planted Quantum States - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=qCTBygadaM4#t=156s

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    10. BA77, read up on Tom Van Flandern's view of stuff "out there." Forget his infinite scale hypothesis. And then tell me how you can prove his way around metaphysical phenomenalism is false. You can even throw in a kind of panpsychism to solve issues at the extremes of the scales. But from what I've read, the "tests" that seem to imply metaphysical phenomenalism all start with a view of matter that Van Flandern rejects. Per Van Flandern, we never get at true fundamental particles. All we ever get "at" are composites which can decay back into smaller composites.

      Always remember this one thing. The minute you say science is non-tentative on an issue, you're not doing what most people call science. You're doing metaphysics.

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    11. And your metaphysics is appealing why?

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    12. Because it isn't counter-intuitive. It is no surprise that even those who embrace your view find it utterly undesirable, even if true, and for the very reasons you quote. E.g. --

      “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

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    13. And so you think I'm a YEC and then that makes the absurdity of naturalism true? Believing in absurdity because of another absurdity does not sound reasoning make!

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    14. I didn't say you were a YEC. Nor am I a naturalist. The idea is that people find it utterly natural to believe there's something "out there" with what we typically mean by specific material properties (i.e., volume and velocity, and therefore location).

      QT, per consensus claims about it, literally means that there is nothing "out there" being observed or measured. To observe is to have a phenomenological experience that corresponds to some actual material properties of an extra-self entity. The consensus interpretation of the uncertainty principle implies that the effects being interpreted are NOT being caused by extra-self entities with material properties.

      I suspect by your user name, bornagain77, that you are a Christian. If so, do you believe the gospel of John records the sayings of Jesus pretty accurately? And if so, how, on your view of QT, do you interpret Jesus' claim to his disciples that "a Spirit hath not flesh and bones"--i.e., if there's nothing with material properties "out there," what does that statement mean? What are flesh and bones if not composites of material particles of some kind?

      If flesh and bones are mere subject-objects (i.e., not object-objects, or composites of object-objects, as per meriological nihilism), then how could God not "have them" in the same sense anyone does?

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    15. Well, Jeff sorry for thinking you were a Naturalist (that really is turning into a dirty word isn't it?), and I certainly do not hold to a 'consensus' view, whichever way the wind may be blowing the consensus view nowadays, but I hold to a Theistic view of Quantum Mechanics, in which I hold consciousness to precede wave collapse as is perceived from our angle of looking at the quantum wave state. ,,, I reserve comment on John.

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    16. Does the "quantum wierdness" view say consciousness merely precedes the existence of "flesh and bones" "out there" or that it causes it as well? And conscious of what? Clearly not the "flesh and bones" "out there," if the consciousness precedes its existence "out there," right? I'm not seeing how to make logical sense of any articulation of it. IOW, I can't see how it's explanatory per theism or atheism. There's clearly a correlation. But correlation is not always causation.

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    17. i.e. what does it mean for 'you' to move a ball?

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  2. How is an uncaused cause any better or worse then an Uncaused Creator?

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    1. Ian, the real question is how, on the ground that all explanation involves an infinite set of ad-hoc hypotheses (which is what is implied by atheism, etc), how, or in what sense, is ANY explanation better than ANY other competing explanation or a-causal positing.

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    2. Explanation for what? Only religion claims to have an explanation for all things. It accomplishes this by positing x,which by definition is the explanation. As for the explanation of x, see definition above.

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    3. Now if your beef is with atheists who contend that x cannot exist then I agree that that is unwarranted. However if an atheist contends that our present understanding of x is questionable or erroneous then the ball would be in you court to prove your infinite( ? ) number of assumptions are supported by the evidence.

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    4. Jeff May 12, 2013 at 5:04 AM

      Ian, the real question is how, on the ground that all explanation involves an infinite set of ad-hoc hypotheses (which is what is implied by atheism, etc), how, or in what sense, is ANY explanation better than ANY other competing explanation or a-causal positing


      I think you should stop worrying about ad-hoc hypotheses. By definition an hypothesis is an explanation which includes a means of testing. So it's reasonable to assume that, over time, science will eventually test all of them, including or excluding them according to the results.

      As for deciding between competing explanations, that in large part is what science is all about. For example, to qualify as a theory in science an explanation is required to meet certan criteria. In his book The Trouble With Science, anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar puts it as follows:

      What, then, defines a good theory? In his book The Rationality of Science, the philosopher William Newton-Smith lists eight key features. These are: (i) observational nesting (the theory's ability to explain the successes of its predecessors); (ii) fertility (its ability to generate new ideas to guide future research); (iii) track record (its achievements in making correct predictions in the past); (iv) inter-theory support (its ability to provide additional evidence in favor of another theory); (v) smoothness (the fact that it needs few auxiliary hypotheses to explain its failures); (vi) internal consistency (that it contains few statements that lead to the acceptance of logically incompatible predictions); (vii) metaphysical compatibility (that it meshes well with our other beliefs, including our general metaphysical position); and (viii) simplicity (a version of Occam's Razor which says that, when all other things are equal, simpler theories are to be preferred, if only because they will be easier to compute) The basis of his argument is that, if we apply these criteria carefully, the growth of knowledge will proceed in a genuinely rational way.

      Although (v) is clearly a point of contention for Jeff here, I don't see anything particularly problematical about the rest so we do have a means of discriminating between explanations.

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    6. Actually (v) and (viii) are at issue. These are the primary criteria for relative plausibility best I can tell. What else could be?

      As for all conceivable hypotheses being falsifiable, that doesn't seem necessarily true either. You can never test the assumptions that ground what we MEAN by testing. You can't test whether solipsism is true. You can't test whether it's false. Because solipsism rules out the very assumptions that render what we mean by testability intelligible. Similarly, you can't test whether any apparent memories are actual memories, and so on.

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    7. Ian said, "How is an uncaused cause any better or worse then an Uncaused Creator?"

      This is a very good question! I think a couple things could be said in support of a creator.

      An unintelligent cause that has no beginning would have met the criteria for creating our universe in eternity past. It has no power to decide when to create. Such a scenario does not jive with the evidence for our kosmos having a finite beginning. A creator, on the other hand, can rationally decide when to create and this jives with our kosmos not being created in eternity past, but having a finite beginning.

      Secondly, if we assume the only alternative to evolution is special creation and evolution has failed as a scientific theory, then the alternative stands. Life screams design. Evolutionists had their chance to show that what we intuitively assumed was not so. They have simple failed, and the failure is getting worse day by day as our understanding of life grows.

      Unguided nature can not do what evolutionists say it could. Just as people in Darwin's age thought fly's could spontaneously generate, we've moved on since then. Darwin was biased but ignorant. Evolutionists today are simply biased.

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    8. V: Now if your beef is with atheists who contend that x cannot exist then I agree that that is unwarranted. However if an atheist contends that our present understanding of x is questionable or erroneous then the ball would be in you court to prove your infinite( ? ) number of assumptions are supported by the evidence.

      J: You misunderstand the difference between the two infinite sets. Neither of the two infinite sets is "supported by the evidence." The teleological view posits an a pre-creational-choice infinite set of events alright. But they don't have to be posited to be causal of creation (i.e., the analogically-ordered universe). Because a putative libertarian causality that resulted in our universe doesn't depend, as does deterministic causal chains, on past events in any necessary way.

      But per your view, there's an infinite set of past events that are causal of the universe if, indeed, events are caused. But you have no evidence that such an infinite history of non-libertarianly caused events did or could have converged upon the universe at the time of its origin. You have to just POSIT the requisite causally-converging properties to each of that infinite set. That means the only way we can calculate a probability for the truth of the claim is to multiply a fractional probability by infinity, basically. That means the probability of it is zero. All else is personal credulity or incredulity--you know; the stuff you guys whine about all the time.

      Your whole approach is personal credulity and incredulity. You guys NEVER calculate comparative probabilities to make your plausibility/evidential case. Nor do you ever use parsimony in any conspicuous way.

      CH, on the other hand, admits he doesn't care whether UCA is true or not. He just knows there's no overwhelming evidence of it. He hasn't claimed that there IS overwhelming evidence for SA, has he?

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    9. Sorry missed your reply,
      Jeff,
      You misunderstand the difference between the two infinite sets. Neither of the two infinite sets is "supported by the evidence."


      I am saying there is only one infinite set,yours. I say atheism's answer should be " I don't know". You are saying that you do " know" for some reason even though per you it is not supported by the evidence

      The teleological view posits an a pre-creational-choice infinite set of events alright. But they don't have to be posited to be causal of creation (i.e., the analogically-ordered universe). Because a putative libertarian causality that resulted in our universe doesn't depend, as does deterministic causal chains, on past events in any necessary way.

      And all you need is an Uncaused Cause capable of both creation ex nihilo and libertarian free will. With a perceivable telos. And conveniently you assume that exact being from all other possibilities .

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    11. CH, on the other hand, admits he doesn't care whether UCA is true or not. He just knows there's no overwhelming evidence of it. He hasn't claimed that there IS overwhelming evidence for SA, has he?


      So he says, I remain skeptical that it is an accurate portrayal of his true feelings.

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    12. V: So he says, I remain skeptical that it is an accurate portrayal of his true feelings.

      J: What's the ground of your skepticism?

      V: And all you need is an Uncaused Cause capable of both creation ex nihilo and libertarian free will. With a perceivable telos. And conveniently you assume that exact being from all other possibilities .

      J: Right, because I can conceive of how that belief was entailed in the relative plausibility criteria of induction. And no one here or anywhere else I've read has explained inductive relative plausibility criteria.

      Now, you could say, "why do we need to explain inductive relative plausibility criteria?" The answer, IMO, is this--

      For the inductive relative plausibility criteria to be truly truth-approximating in the long run, then either:

      1) that is the case by pure coincidence (which means our belief in it is not warranted)

      or

      2) that is the case because that fit between an extra-solipsistic reality and our modes of inference is non-incidental.

      But an a-teleological evolutionary explanation (which is nothing but a huge set of posited contingencies with ad-hoc'ly posited causal properties) of human mental properties implies 1) is true, which in turn means there is no such thing as warranted belief. And this, in turn, means there is no such thing as warranted criticism.

      In short, one can't prove competent/benevolent theism. But without it, no proofs of any kind are possible. Because there is no account for warranted belief without it. At least, I've seen no other explanation of it.

      So, no, I'm not just "conveniently" assuming it.

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    13. To repeat myself, inductive plausibility is a RELATIVE concept. If one can think of only one logical possibility for something, then there is no inductive plausibility involved. Inductive relative plausibility criteria are comparative in nature, like which of multiple conceived logical possibilities is more parsimonious, etc. We don't even know that naturalistic UCA IS logically possible if we insist that other laws of chemistry and physics were ALSO simultaneously in operation. Because we don't that any posited lineages could have occurred consistently WITH those other laws.

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  3. Cornelius Hunter

    To the victors go the spoils.


    Yep, and there are darn good reasons why science is victorious over oogity boogity! superstitions.

    Want to guess what they are?

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    1. "there are darn good reasons why science is victorious over oogity boogity! superstitions."

      Yes there are!

      Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False - Denis Nobel - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/10395212/

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    2. below double digit belief in atheism? :)

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    3. oogity boogity the universe poofs into existence, and oogity boogity scientism purports indelible faith in a "natural explanation" to everything originating independent of nature. (notice you can't use the words "outside nature" or "before nature" and make sense of this.) Then oogity boogity particles come together and the accidental byproducts are intelligence, love, beauty, tragedy. And oogity boogity thornton and his being ultimately disintegrate into oblivion, just like that, and the microorganisms have a good meal to boot, maybe even evolve in the process.

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  5. You're assuming that unless someone excepts God as an ultimate authoritative justification, they must put some other ultimate justification in his place. But this isn't necessary the case.

    From the following paper...

    "3. Responses to the dilemma of the infinite regress versus dogmatism

    In the light of the dilemma of the infinite regress versus dogmatism, we can discern three attitudes towards positions: relativism, “true belief” and critical rationalism

    Relativists tend to be disappointed justificationists who realise that positive justification cannot be achieved. From this premise they proceed to the conclusion that all positions are pretty much the same and none can really claim to be better than any other. There is no such thing as the truth, no way to get nearer to the truth and there is no such thing as a rational position.

    True believers embrace justificationism. They insist that some positions are better than others though they accept that there is no logical way to establish a positive justification for an belief. They accept that we make our choice regardless of reason: "Here I stand!". Most forms of rationalism up to date have, at rock bottom, shared this attitude with the irrationalists and other dogmatists because they share the theory of justificationism.

    According to the critical rationalists, the exponents of critical preference, no position can be positively justified but it is quite likely that one (or more) will turn out to be better than others in the light of critical discussion and tests. This type of rationality holds all its positions and propositions open to criticism and a standard objection to this stance is that it is empty; just holding our positions open to criticism provides no guidance as to what position we should adopt in any particular situation. This criticism misses its mark for two reasons. First, critical rationalism is not a position. It is not directed at solving the kind of problems that are solved by fixing on a position. It is concerned with the way that such positions are adopted, criticised, defended and relinquished. Second, Bartley did provide guidance on adopting positions; we may adopt the position that to this moment has stood up to criticism most effectively. Of course this is no help for people who seek stronger reasons for belief, but that is a problem for them, and it does not undermine the logic of critical preference."
    (Bold emphasis mine.)

    Note the latter attitude does not require some form of ultimate justification which, as Popper and Bartley pointed out, is impossible.

    In fact, the idea that science has reached its ultimate goal only makes sense if you assume science is based on justificationism. But we can and have made progress on this issue.

    Are you denying that we have made progress in this domain? What other conclusion should we reach?

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    1. Scott, one of the things you quoted above isn't true of common theism except in the sense that it's true of all approaches:

      "True believers embrace justificationism. They insist that some positions are better than others though they accept that there is no logical way to establish a positive justification for an belief."

      All approaches start with axioms which can't be justified inferentially from more fundamental grounds. No one actually does an infinite regress of groundings.

      On the other hand, grounds are always used in inferences as to how "positions are adopted, criticised, defended and relinquished" if reason is involved. You're not making any relevant distinction unless you're arguing AGAINST reason--i.e., grounded inference.




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    2. Jeff: Scott, one of the things you quoted above isn't true of common theism except in the sense that it's true of all approaches:

      You seem to have missed a subtle, but important difference.

      First, let's look at a summary of justificationism from earlier in the essay…

      "Beliefs must be justified by an appeal to an authority of some kind, generally the source of the belief in question, and this justification makes the belief either rational, or if not rational at least valid for the person who holds it."

      Second, let's revisit each of the three attitudes again using this definition.

      From the first attitude…

      "Relativists tend to be disappointed justificationists who realise that positive justification cannot be achieved. From this premise they proceed to the conclusion that all positions are pretty much the same and none can really claim to be better than any other. There is no such thing as the truth, no way to get nearer to the truth and there is no such thing as a rational position.."

      So, relativists are justificationists. What's unique is that, when they realize that it is not possible to actually ground any position in some appeal to a justifying source, relativists end up concluding that no position can better than another, that we cannot make progress towards truth and that there is no such thing as a rational position. They are disappointed justificationists.

      From the second attitude…

      "True believers embrace justificationism. They insist that some positions are better than others though they accept that there is no logical way to establish a positive justification for an belief. They accept that we make our choice regardless of reason: "Here I stand!". Most forms of rationalism up to date have, at rock bottom, shared this attitude with the irrationalists and other dogmatists because they share the theory of justificationism."

      True believers are also justificationists, in that they think beliefs must be justified by an appeal to an authority of some kind. But unlike relativists, they end up concluding that some positions *are* better that others, despite also accepting there is no logical way to establish a positive justification for them as relativists do. Rather than ending up disappointed justificationists, true believers embrace justificationism while also accepting that we make some choices regardless of reason.

      In common theism, this authoritative source is a supernatural being. Some theological positions are not rationally better than others, but accepted as such based on belief. Specifically, God is the source of rationality, despite being uncreated and his rationality being unjustified by some other authority, etc. To quote the paper, "Here I stand!"

      So, both true believers and relativists are justificationists. The difference is whether they end up concluding that some positions *are* better that others.

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    3. Jeff: All approaches start with axioms which can't be justified inferentially from more fundamental grounds. No one actually does an infinite regress of groundings.

      See above. Relativists think that no one axiom cannot be a better starting point than others because they cannot be justified. True believers think some axioms are better than others but, since there is no way of rationally justifying it, the axioms themselves cannot be rationally justified.

      Jeff: On the other hand, grounds are always used in inferences as to how "positions are adopted, criticised, defended and relinquished" if reason is involved. .

      No, that's the key difference. From the third attitude…

      "According to the critical rationalists, the exponents of critical preference, no position can be positively justified but it is quite likely that one (or more) will turn out to be better than others in the light of critical discussion and tests. This type of rationality holds all its positions and propositions open to criticism…"

      So, unlike rationalists and true believers, critical rationalists think we can rationally choose between different positions - while also accepting that no position can be positively justified. This occurs by discarding justificationism completely as a foundation of reason.

      From the Wikipedia entry on Critical Rationalism

      By dissolving justificationism itself, the critical rationalist regards knowledge and rationality, reason and science, as neither foundational nor infallible, but nevertheless does not think we must therefore all be relativists. Knowledge and truth still exist, just not in the way we thought."

      Jeff: You're not making any relevant distinction unless you're arguing AGAINST reason--i.e., grounded inference

      This is the crux of the issue, as you are assuming that arguing against reason is also arguing against grounded inferences. Your claim that I'm not making a relevant distinction suggests that you cannot recognize this is an idea that is subject to rational criticism.

      But this would come as no surprise if you think that, in the absence of justification of an authoritative source, there can be no rationality.

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    4. Scott: critical rationalists think we can rationally choose between different positions - while also accepting that no position can be positively justified.

      Jeff: Would you agree that to "rationally" choose is to infer discursively from grounds? And if all you mean by "no position can be positively justified" is that "no position can be ABSOLUTELY justified," then that's simply what it is entailed in the view that deduction alone is worthless without induction, while induction can not ABSOLUTELY prove anything. You would be hard pressed to find theists who disagree with that if you articulated it properly.

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    5. Jeff: Would you agree that to "rationally" choose is to infer discursively from grounds?

      You're being vague. What do you mean by "grounds?"

      Jeff: And if all you mean by "no position can be positively justified" is that "no position can be ABSOLUTELY justified," then that's simply what it is entailed in the view that deduction alone is worthless without induction, while induction can not ABSOLUTELY prove anything.

      What do we supposedly get that falls between your claim of the "worthless" of deduction alone and induction's inability to "absolutely" prove anything? Here's a hint: xicd : Electoral Precedent

      Jeff: You would be hard pressed to find theists who disagree with that if you articulated it properly.

      Does, "induction can not ABSOLUTELY prove anything." sound like…

      "Some theological positions are not rationally better than others, but accepted as such based on belief. Specifically, God is the source of rationality, despite being uncreated and his rationality being unjustified by some other authority, etc. To quote the paper, "Here I stand!"

      Can we rationally ground God's rationality in some other authoritative source if our rationality is grounded in God, who is himself uncreated and whom's rationality is ungrounded?

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    6. Scott: Can we rationally ground God's rationality in some other authoritative source if our rationality is grounded in God, who is himself uncreated and whom's rationality is ungrounded?

      J: Scott, reasoning is discursive. It's "movement" from grounds to inference/conclusion. This can't involve an infinite regress. There ARE ultimate grounds for any reasoning process of ANY finite mind. If you can't see that, you're really confused. If what you're calling reason is just your own intuitive belief about things, then you're calling reason what most people never have.

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    7. Jeff: Scott, reasoning is discursive. It's "movement" from grounds to inference/conclusion.

      Except, the premisses that movement depends on are not proven. This is because those premises represent a movement from other premises that are not proven either, etc.

      Jeff: This can't involve an infinite regress.

      As I said earlier, "Note the latter attitude does not require some form of ultimate justification which, as Popper and Bartley pointed out, is impossible." It's unclear why I would suggest something that is impossible is possible.

      Jeff: There ARE ultimate grounds for any reasoning process of ANY finite mind.

      Again, as I said earlier…

      Scott: In common theism, this authoritative source is a supernatural being. Some theological positions are not rationally better than others, but accepted as such based on belief. Specifically, God is the source of rationality, despite being uncreated and his rationality being unjustified by some other authority, etc. To quote the paper, "Here I stand!"

      God is infinite by nature of being uncreated and unjustified by some other authority, etc.

      Jeff: If you can't see that, you're really confused.

      What am I not seeing? Specifically, you do not seem to be disagreeing with me in a meaningful way.

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    9. Jeff: If what you're calling reason is just your own intuitive belief about things, then you're calling reason what most people never have.

      Perhaps you can answer my question…

      What is your explanation for our relatively recent and exponential increase in the growth of human knowledge? For example, we only discovered the explanation of star light, radioactivity, within the last 40 years. And what does it consist of? A myriad of other independently formed explanations. Despite the fact that the evidence we used to test Newton's theory of gravity had been falling on every square meter of the earth for billions of years, we only got around to testing it 300 years ago.

      How do you explain this specific growth with this specific timeline?

      Note: any explanation (theory) you provide falls under the field of epistemology, which is the field of philosophy regarding the nature and scope of knowledge.

      But I could be getting ahead of myself, as you might implicitly deny that human knowledge has actually grown.

      For example, Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. Since we cannot justify the existence of an external world, all of the supposed progress around us could just be facts of our internal self. Under this scenario, the idea that real progress was made would just part of an elaborate dream, along with the idea that anyone, including our selves, actually had a rational part of it.

      On the opposite end of the spectrum, the universe we observe could have been created 5 seconds ago by some supernatural being. This too would deny that human knowledge had grown, since the origin of the supposed progress all around us would be that supernatural entity. But, more impotently, it is a form of creation denial because this supernatural entity was uncreated and unjustified (infinite). So, this would deny that even the content in the comment I'm writing was actually created, along with every scientific, philosophical and moral idea, older than 5 seconds ago. Since we didn't exist 5 seconds ago, any recollection we have of being involved with that process (which would also be human knowledge) would be implanted false memories.

      Another variation would be that God continually reveals knowledge he already knew to us with the similar implications. He would also supply false memories to us (human knowledge) that we had something to do with that knowledge genuinely growing. We cannot prove either of these ideas are not true either.

      There would also implications regarding the creation of knowledge as found in DNA, which would be apparent if we dial this back from 5 second to 6,000 years ago, for YEC, or billions of years ago, for OEC, but let's stick to human knowledge for the sake of making progress.

      Note that all of these ideas are justificationist in nature. Solipsists are a form of disappointed Justificationist. Variations at the opposite end of the spectrum embrace justificationism.

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    10. In contrast, critical rationalism is the theory that human knowledge grows though guesses controlled by rational criticism. This includes the conjectured idea that human beings are capable of rational discussion. In fact, critical rationalism suggests the entire history of epistemology represents conjecturing theories about the growth of knowledge, including human knowledge, and rationally criticizing them.

      IWO, to use an analogy from the software world, Critical rationalism eats its own dogfood as CR is itself a conjectured theory, which has withstood significant rational criticism. This is what I mean when I say conjecture and refutation is our current, best explanation for the universal growth of knowledge. It's not grounded in anything, but is an idea that has withstood rational criticism. That we are capable of rational criticism isn't grounded in anything either. It is itself a conjectured idea that has withstood criticism.

      It's in this sense that CR discards justificationism.

      On the other hand, in common theism, rationality in human (finite) beings is justified by a supernatural (infinite) being that was not created and is not justified by anything. To quote the paper. "Her I stand!"

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    11. To further clarify CR...

      I'm a not a non-Solipsists merely because Solipsism isn't intuitive. I'm not a non-Solipsists because the idea has not withstood rational criticism. For example, Solipsism does not explain why object-like facets of my internal self would follow laws of physics-like facets of my internal self. Nor does it explain why physicists-like facets of my internal self can do the math behind them, but I cannot. Nor does it explain why other people-like facets of myself disagree with me over Solipsism.

      IOW, when we try to take it serious for the purpose of rational criticism, Solipsism it fails as an explanation. It's a convoluted elaboration of realism.

      We can say the same regarding a universe created 5 seconds ago. As presented, nothing explains why said supernatural being would create the universe exactly 5 seconds ago, rather than 5 minutes ago, five years ago, etc. Nor does it explain why it would choose to depict this specific growth of knowledge with this specific timeline. Furthermore, it fails to explain the origin of this knowledge. Some supernatural being "just was", complete with the knowledge, already present, and imparted it 5 seconds ago. Rather than explaining the growth of this knowledge, it was merely moved from some inexplicable realm to here, which serves no explanatory purpose.

      Again, when we try to take it seriously for the purpose of criticism, it falls as explanation.

      So, realism isn't something I must accept based on faith or without reason because I've discarded justificationism.

      Furthermore, under CR, Justifcationism is a form of epistemology, which is also a conjectured idea that is subject to criticism. Popper, Bartley and others have pointed out at length that, when we try to take it seriously, Justifcationism does not withstand rational criticism either. That's why I'm a Critical Rationalist.

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    12. Correction: I'm a not a non-Solipsist merely because Solipsism isn't intuitive. *I am* a non-Solipsist because the idea has not withstood rational criticism.

      One to many negatives.

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    13. Scott, to say a criticism is ungrounded is to say it is not rational. Rational thinking, whether critical (analytic) or theory-building (synthetic), is an exercise of reason. As such, it is ALWAYS grounded in some axioms, like the axiom of the law of non-contradiction (which is grounded in the the law of identity), the belief that analogies are indicative of other similarities (such that we can, with supposed warrant, analogically extrapolate over time and space), etc. You're saying nothing at all if, by "rational criticism," you're talking about mere personal credulity or incredulity, independent of any shared axioms. If nothing is obvious, nothing can be indicated inductively or demonstrated deductively.

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    14. Scott: What is your explanation for our relatively recent and exponential increase in the growth of human knowledge?

      Jeff: [no response]

      Should I take your lack of response as an indication that you have no explanation?

      Jeff: Scott, to say a criticism is ungrounded is to say it is not rational.

      Yes, Jeff. I realize that's your position. As I pointed out previously, that's the epistemological idea known as justificationism.

      I suspect you're having difficulty recognizing it as an idea that would be subject to criticism.

      Jeff: Rational thinking, whether critical (analytic) or theory-building (synthetic), is an exercise of reason. As such, it is ALWAYS grounded in some axioms….

      To say something is foundational isn't necessarily the same as saying it represents the kind of "grounding" that you're referring to.

      Jeff: …like the axiom of the law of non-contradiction (which is grounded in the the law of identity)…

      Conjecturing specific ideas about how the world works, then criticizing those ideas, helps us solve problems. If I'm trying to solve a problem, would it be very productive to assume something can be both a solution to a problem and a non-solution to a problem? is this not a valid criticism of an idea?

      Jeff: …the belief that analogies are indicative of other similarities (such that we can, with supposed warrant, analogically extrapolate over time and space),

      Are you referring to analogies of the sort that ID is based on, such as "Intelligent agents create designs with specified complexity, therefore we can infer that all complex specified things were designed."? But there are multiple problems with this. One, for example, is that ID doesn't actually explain the specific biological adaptations we observe. We can boil it down to "That's just what the designer must have wanted.", which doesn't actually serve an explanatory purpose. In absence of such an explanation, it appears to be nothing more than the naive assumption that observations in the distant past should resample observations in the present.

      Jeff: You're saying nothing at all if, by "rational criticism," you're talking about mere personal credulity or incredulity, independent of any shared axioms. If nothing is obvious, nothing can be indicated inductively or demonstrated deductively.

      No, Jeff, I'm not. You keep presenting the same dichotomy as if I must fit into the first two attitudes. Again, it seem that you've having difficulty with the idea that Justificationism is itself an idea that is subject to rational criticism.

      As summarized in the following video

      - All knowledge is created by guesses controlled by criticism
      - All sources of knowledge are fallible and need to be interpreted.
      - Ideas cannot be proven right or probable. Rather we should choose between ideas according to whether they solve problems.

      Is there a particular part of the above that you do not understand? Do you think it is obviously wrong, and therefore ignore it?

      For example, from the Axiom entry on Wikipedia…

      "As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy."

      On the other end of the continuum that embraces justificationism, we have fideism..

      "Fideism is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology)."

      But CR represents exists nowhere on this continuum. It is itself a conjectured theory about how knowledge grows, which has been subject to significant criticism. This includes the conjectured idea that human beings are capable of rational criticism.

      What explanation do you have for the relatively recent and exponential growth of human knowledge? How do you explain it?

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  6. Evolutionists place their faith in Nothing!

    Has a ring of truth about it, but whether it is rational or not is a whole other question!

    I guess it is just us ignorant uneducated commoners who have a problem mustering up enough faith to believe that.

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  7. Scott, this should only be about whether the Darwinian hypothesis of universal common descent has sufficient scientific evidence to support it. The answer is absolutely not! It has failed miserably on multiple levels. It is okay for scientists to simply say they do not have a theory on the origin of species.

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    1. Tedford the Slow

      Scott, this should only be about whether the Darwinian hypothesis of universal common descent has sufficient scientific evidence to support it. The answer is absolutely not!


      Tedford, why did you demand to see the evidence for evolution, then completely ignore the two 900+ page college level texts full of that evidence that were provided?

      Not very honest of you.

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    2. Neal: Scott, this should only be about whether the Darwinian hypothesis of universal common descent has sufficient scientific evidence to support it.

      Whether it's possible for scientific evidence to positively prove any theory, let alone biological darwinism, is isn't relevant?

      Specifically science, in practice, doesn't operate in the sense you're implying. We cannot positively prove any theory is true using observations due to the problem of induction.

      No number of finite observations can prove a universal. Even then, observations are themselves based on theories, etc. So, what we look for are observations that find a theory in error, rather than positively prove it is true.

      So, your argument is that Darwinism isn't science because it's impossible to do what science doesn't do in the first place with any domain, let alone Biological Darwinism. It's hand waving.

      Rather, in science, we first start out with a problem, then conjecture theories about how the world works, in reality, to solve them. It's only then that we use empirical observations to test those theories and look for errors those theories contain.

      Theories are not "out there" to be observed with our senses. This is the same regardless if the phenomena in question is millions of light years away or on the bench in front of you.

      Just as we have theories as to why microscopes help enable us to look at bacteria, we have theories as to why our eyes and brains allow us to "see" things around us. However, both of these theories could be mistaken. It's in this sense that all observations are theory laden. We do not observe anything directly.

      So, we use criticism to test conjectured theories. In the case of evolutionary theory, it has withstood an overwhelming amount of criticism in the form of empirical observations and testing. So it meets the criteria of science.

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    3. Scott, "In the case of evolutionary theory, it has withstood an overwhelming amount of criticism in the form of empirical observations and testing. So it meets the criteria of science. "

      I do not agree. First, the so called fact of evolution is not questioned by evolutionists. Secondly, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism are increasing viewed by evolutionists as gravely insufficient to explain evolution.

      What specifically empirical observation and test has withstood criticism? Can you name one specifically.

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    4. Tedford the Slow

      I do not agree.


      I'm sure science is worried because some scientifically illiterate, willfully ignorant Creationist windbag pastor doesn't like ToE.

      What specifically empirical observation and test has withstood criticism? Can you name one specifically

      The basics that you remain willfully ignorant of. The effects of natural selection - differential reproductive success - in causing heritable beneficial traits to accumulate in a population. The basic mechanisms of genetic variation including HGT. Common descent. That life has been on the planet for well over 3 billion years, and that multicellular life has been here for over 600 million years.

      While scientific advances in a wide range of disciplines (genetics, geology, chemistry, and molecular biology, physics, to name just a few) have expanded and refined the known details of evolutionary theory greatly, the basic tenets have never been seriously challenged.

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    5. Neal: I do not agree.

      We knew that already. The question is why?

      Neal: First, the so called fact of evolution is not questioned by evolutionists.

      Which, as we've already pointed out, is either equivocation or it's because the core of evolutionary theory - biological Darwinism - has withstood significant empirical criticism. Furthermore, we know that evolutionary theory, like all human knowledge, is incomplete and contains errors to some degree. The question is where, to what degree and does it actually effect our ability to make progress, in practice.

      For example, we know that Einstein's theory of gravity contains errors because it conflicts with quantum mechanics. We're just not sure where or to what degree. Yet Einstein's theory represents significant progress over Newton's. As an example, the global positioning system, which you probably use in your car or cell phone depends, on Einstein's theory that time passes faster at very high speeds. Yet, we can still use newton's laws to launch spacecraft.

      IOW, we want to find errors in Einstein's theory. If we do not, then we cannot make progress in unifying GR and QM. The same can be said with all theories, including evolutionary theory.

      So, yes, we do question evolutionary theory. If we did not, there could be no progress. Of course, if you think that it was divinely revealed that "God did it" and that revelation was unquestionable, then it would come to no surprise that you object to the idea that we have made progress in explaining the origin biological adaptations.

      Neal: Secondly, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism are increasing viewed by evolutionists as gravely insufficient to explain evolution.

      You still seem to be confused.

      In evolutionary theory, we can explain the creation of the "knowledge" of when to flip on or off genes for regulatory purposes through the error correcting process of biological darwinism. IOW, they are controlled by knowledge laden genes. As such, if the state of those genes happen to be passed along during reproduction, the origin of those states is still biological darwinism.

      Neal: What specifically empirical observation and test has withstood criticism? Can you name one specifically.

      SInce I, among others, have already given several examples, it seems you refuse to or are unwilling to understand what I mean by empirical criticism or biological darwinism.

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    6. Scott, I think that evolutionary theory has hindered our progress and in some cases has been detrimental to research and culture. Just as spontaneous generation hindered 19th century research. Curiosity and hard science eventually triumph but these superstitions of the past like spontaneous generation and evolution of our day hinder progress. It is even possible for a biologist who just accepts ToE to put it all on the back burner while working hard science. ToE is either neutral or a hindrance to hard science.

      Variation of existing traits is really not evolution. Evolutionists like to equivocate the facts of adapative variation with their superstitions.

      Past examples given here were variation of existing traits, minor mutations, or ungrounded equivocation and exaggeration.

      Perhaps one example of observed animal speciation would be a beginning. It seems you guys can't even get your empirical ship off the ground.

      I do not buy the "not enough time" excuse because we see lots of variation within species that is not directional. The net sum of which, if it was directional, would support your theory. If evolution was true, then we would observe much more plasticity with life forms and strong directional change and speciation.

      Forget the rhetoric about proving stuff, etc. We get all that. Stop sidetracking with assuming skeptics do so on religious grounds. I became a follower of Christ because ToE failed. Your pigeon holing skeptics. ToE fails empirically.

      So, give us your best empirical example. Let's keep it specific and short. I'll point out its failure specifically and in short order also.

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    7. Tedford the Slow

      I do not buy the "not enough time" excuse because we see lots of variation within species that is not directional. The net sum of which, if it was directional, would support your theory.


      The dishonest pastor keeps making the same stupid demands even though he has been shown such evidence a dozen times.

      "Insular Dwarfism is a biological process in which large animals, over time, evolve to be smaller to better suit their environment. This most often happens on islands where food may be in shorter supply (giving smaller animals an advantage) but has also been seen in animals who are genetically cut off from the rest of their species for other reasons."

      Observed instances of insular dwarfism

      Island Foxes
      Pygmy Raccoons
      The Honshu Wolf
      Dwarf & Pygmy Elephants
      Balinese Tiger
      Pygmy Hippopotamus
      Dwarf Water Buffalo

      Time rolls on, Tedford stays a willfully ignorant idiot.

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    8. Neal: Scott, I think that evolutionary theory has hindered our progress and in some cases has been detrimental to research and culture.

      Hindered our progress in what, exactly? Proving biological organisms were designed?

      As for the latter, this commits the fallacy of undesired consequences, which is based on the naturalistic fallacy (natural occurrences ought to occur) or justificationism (in the absence of some authoritative source for moral knowledge there can be no morality since justifcationists assume knowledge in specific domains comes from authoritative sources.)

      Bad consequences based on a misunderstanding isn't an argument that evolutionary theory does not represent significant progress on the origin of concrete biological adaptations.

      Neal: It is even possible for a biologist who just accepts ToE to put it all on the back burner while working hard science. ToE is either neutral or a hindrance to hard science.

      To the degree that it is possible for a biologist to puts the ToE on the "back burner", they it as a useful rule of thumb. However, there are always good explanations behind useful rules of thumb, which is in this case, is biological darwinism.

      Neal: So, give us your best empirical example. Let's keep it specific and short. I'll point out its failure specifically and in short order also.

      Again, your latest comment illustrates you are still confused about the role empirical evidence plays in how we make progress in science. Why should we bother?

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    9. Neal: Scott, I think that evolutionary theory has hindered our progress and in some cases has been detrimental to research and culture.

      You haven't actually argued that evolutionary theory has hindered our progress. You're just asserted it.

      For example, in science, we search for the simplest theories that can explain the phenomena in question. And we do this for multiple reasons. For example, the more assumptions we make, the more difficult it is to determine which of those assumptions might be wrong. If our simpler theories fail, then we conjecture more complex theories, etc.

      In the case of DNA, the most simple theory was that biological adaptations were a function of coding genes.

      While non-coding genes might have had some yet to be discovered function, we conjectured that they did not play a role in biological adaptations. We did this because we had yet to conceive of any specific explanatory functional role they could have played in those biological adaptations, which left the mere logical possibility that they performed some unknown role.

      Furthermore, we start out knowing our conjectures will contain errors to some degree since they are essentially creative, educated guesses as to how to solve a problem. We then devise specific empirical experiments designed provide an opportunity to find errors in some of them, but not others. That's how we make progress. So, by focusing on only coding genes, we had less experiments to make. Nor could we design and run experiments to determine if non-coding genes performed some un-conceived function.

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    10. What we discovered is that coding genes do play a significant role in explain biological adaptations, which resulted in significant progress in explaining the origin of biological adaptations. However, in the process, we noticed observations that indicated our conjecture that they were the *only* explanation was in error. This led us to develop for more complicated theories. Which in turn, led to conjecturing that non-coding genes play specific explanatory roles in that process, devising experiments to find errors in those theories. etc.

      But this should come as no surprise. Since we explain the growth of human knowledge though conjecturing theories, criticizing them and discarding the errors they contain, we had to start out by conjecturing some initial theory so we could find errors in it, etc. This is what I mean when I say that conjecture and refutation is our best, current explanation for the universal growth of knowledge, including human knowledge about biological adaptations.

      Evolutionary theory is still incomplete. In the future, we will continue to find other means of genetic variation such as HTG. But this will not be a problem unless it conflicts with the underlying explanation of evolutionary theory: biological Darwinism.

      On the other hand, you seem to imply that we could have somehow skipped all of this, as if we (human beings) had some other way of knowing the "truth" about biological adaptations. It's as if we didn't need to start out with a guess because, in specific domains, human knowledge comes from authoritative sources, such as divine revelation contained in the BIble.

      IOW, your claim that evolution hindered the process implies there was some other means by which human knowledge grows, such as divine revelation. As a theists, do you deny believing this is true?

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    11. Scott,
      As an example, the global positioning system, which you probably use in your car or cell phone depends, on Einstein's theory that time passes faster at very high speeds


      The faster you travel time passes slower relative to a non traveler. Astronauts age less relative to earthlings.

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    12. Thanks velikovskys. Good catch. Got it backwards.

      The key point is that there is enough difference in speed between a person holding a cell phone on the earth's surface and a GPS satellite orbiting the earth that the clocks would be too far out of sync.

      However, despite being incomplete and known to contain errors, Einstein's theory allows us to compensate for this variation, which makes GPS possible.

      Delete
    13. Been enjoying your posts,you have laid it out nicely

      Delete
    14. "Been enjoying your posts,you have laid it out nicely"

      More I read Scott's comments, slower the time passes.

      Just kidding, it's nice to see Scott back. I think he'll be a good match to Jeff's philosophy.

      Delete
    15. Scott: No number of finite observations can prove a universal. Even then, observations are themselves based on theories, etc. So, what we look for are observations that find a theory in error, rather than positively prove it is true.

      J: You're confused Scott. We can't prove any apparent memories are actual memories. We can't prove there are other minds experiencing similar phenomenological experience as we are. These are INFERENCES in the following sense. What rational people are doing when they infer that an apparent memory is false is applying parsimony to the two distinct histories the two hypotheses require. If it's more parsimonious to infer that an apparent memory is false, we infer it is false.

      What fundamental belief, then, are we actually grounding the discursive rational process in? -- our own inferred greatest long-term satisfaction. If our rejection of naturally-formed beliefs based on parsimony didn't result in the most effective long-term satisfaction increase and/or dissatisfaction decrease, we would reject parsimony, analogy, etc as plausibility criteria. But they haven't failed. So we continue to use them.

      So whereas deduction is grounded in very fundamental laws of thought like the law of identity, etc, induction is grounded in the belief that our natural, SHORT-term satisfaction-oriented/dissatisfaction-averse impulses have impelled us to the very supposed truth-approximating criteria we use in all rational thought FOR adjudicating our greatest LONG-term satisfaction.

      It is the great diversity of what satisfies and dissatisfies humans that explains the great divergence in consistency with which those criteria are applied to all subject matter.

      A person who applies parsimony, etc consistently will necessarily see a teleological explanation of the universe as the very GROUND of the validity of that principle. For otherwise, all explanation requires an infinite set of ad-hoc hypotheses, rendering parsimony, etc absolutely irrelevant as a relative plausibility criteria. And without relative plausibility criteria, NO logically possibility is more or less plausible than any other. This means that solipsism and the 5-minute theory are equally plausible or a-plausible as all other logically possible explanations of one's phenomenological experience.

      Your approach is epistemologically bankrupt precisely because it has no grounds that are considered evidently true from which to start. An inference has no more plausibility than its grounds. E.g., the most parsimonious explanation in the world has no plausibility whatsoever if parsimony, per se, is not known, intuitively or otherwise, to be a VALID relative plausibility criteria.

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    16. Jeff1: What fundamental belief, then, are we actually grounding the discursive rational process in? -- our own inferred greatest long-term satisfaction.

      Jeff2: Jeff1 should have read: What fundamental criteria, then, are we actually grounding the discursive, inductive, rational process in? -- our own inferred greatest long-term satisfaction.

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    17. There are some quite plausible claims that are denied by those who hope to rule out teleological inductivism as the natural human epistemology (which of course includes all the categories of deduction, etc, that are required for induction).

      1) Not all beliefs are volitionally-caused by intentional discursive reasoning. Some occur NATURALLY. These can occur in the indicative mood as well as the subjunctive mood.

      2) We typically volitionally reject those naturally-formed indicative beliefs that contradict our most parsimonious explanations of our phenomenological experience.

      3) We can volitionally reject those naturally-formed indicative beliefs a-rationally or irrationally, even when they don't fail on rational criteria, IF they cause sufficient short-term DISSATISFACTION. Rational relative plausibility criteria have no role in this kind of belief rejection.

      4) Theists, atheists and agnostics are all prone to 3), and for the same reason--i.e., rational relative plausibility criteria warrants our rejection of certain naturally-formed beliefs for the purpose of attaining LONG-term satisfaction over SHORT-term satisfaction, and that is not always possible for or preferable to some people.

      5) If those indicative beliefs tentatively chosen by the scientific consensi can't be used to derive greater satisfaction for humans qua humans, science is absolutely worthless in every conceivable sense for the long term. For an institution that exists to benefit only a subset of the human race (especially if it publicly avows as much) will ultimately bring about less satisfaction for most, every bit as much as terrorists do, by inevitably diminishing freedom, etc.

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    18. Scott: - All knowledge is created by guesses controlled by criticism

      J: If guesses are "controlled" by "criticism," that criticism is grounded. PERIOD.

      Scott: - All sources of knowledge are fallible and need to be interpreted.

      J: Human inference-deriving is subject to error. That's not the same thing as saying we can know that all "sources of knowledge" are fallible. The latter is not knowable. The former is obvious.

      Scott: - Ideas cannot be proven right or probable.

      J: Then there's no such thing as an objective relative plausibility criteria. And thus, you must, unless you're more confused than I already realize, agree with me that it is patently false that there is OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE for naturalistic UCA. Evidence has no intelligible meaning apart from an objectively discernible way to compare the probabilities of ideas. There's an infinite set of merely logically consistent ways of accounting for phenomena.

      Scott: Rather we should choose between ideas according to whether they solve problems.

      J: By your approach, we have to blindly guess whether there even are any problems. By your approach, you don't even know if you any actual memories. You can only blindly guess that you do, thereby blindly believing that there are problems or not. But some else could just as easily blindly guess the opposite. And you'd have no way of contradicting them. But this just means that you're only blindly guessing that you're not the only being there is.

      Dude, ALL inferences are grounded. The ultimate grounds of any argument are either knowable or not. It's no more complicated than that.

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    19. "Been enjoying your posts,you have laid it out nicely"

      This is a revealing analysis because the only thing that Scott has laid out is his great love of sophistry. Some of his conclusions are in fact internally contradictory. He opines endlessly about there being no authoritative truth while in fact making several statements in the establishment of the premise that rely exclusively on his belief being taken as such fact. He's the proverbial man yelling in the streets that we can be absolutely sure that we can be absolutely sure about nothing totally oblivious to his own insanity.

      It happens with many a philosophy student. They read enough about there being no objective provable truth until they are totally unaware that they are accepting the premise as the very proven truth they deride the existence of.

      "It's as if we didn't need to start out with a guess because, in specific domains, human knowledge comes from authoritative sources, such as divine revelation contained in the BIble."

      A) He implied nothing of the sort and you are just being intellectually dishonest there trying to create a caricature.
      B) Your whole idea of "authoritative sources" is skewed based on your ignorance of biblical theology. No book in the Bible ever started out as an authoritative source without reference to human knowledge.

      You are just hopelessly flailing about to detract from the point being made and that is that when a theory fails to answer key questions it is logical and rational to question it In entirety not merely claim that somewhere in the future the kinks will all magically work themselves out. Those of us who claim Darwinism has held science back are not making any claims appealing for biblical authority to replace scientific inquiry (ridiculous claim given many field s of science were founded BY theists). We are stating that failure to consider design has held science back.

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    20. Elijah2012

      We are stating that failure to consider design has held science back.


      There's no prohibition anywhere in science from studying and/or proposing design. The problem science has with ID is that there has not been one iota of positive evidence presented for the hypothesis. The entire ID case rests on the negative "current evolutionary theory can't explain this to my satisfaction, so ID wins by default".

      Science doesn't work that way. You need to present your own positive evidence that supports your hypothesis to the exclusion of others, and provide a way that your hypothesis can be falsified. ID does neither.

      The door is wide open but no IDiot yet has come up with any positive evidence to consider.

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    21. Jeff,

      First, I've address issues of Solipsism this comment. I'm not sure why you've replied here.

      Second, as indicated in the referenced comment, criticism isn't just parsimony. Both examples fail to actually explain the problem at hand. Furthermore, both examples represent the variations of the same general purpose strategy for denying that creation actually took place by assuming there is some boundary where human reasoning and problem solving cannot pass. In the case of Solipsism, the boundary is the self. Any proponent of a universe created 5 minutes ago has merely moved the boundary to 5 seconds ago, under the assumption that we cannot prove God didn't choose to create the universe that way either. Therefore, everything before that time wouldn't have been created. This is because God is supposedly uncreated and is not justified by anything else.

      Furthermore, some designer that "just was", compete with the knowledge of how to adapt raw materials into the specific biological adaptations we observe, already present, doesn't serve an explanatory purpose. This is because one could more efficiently state that biological organisms, "just appeared" compete with the knowledge of how to adapt raw materials, already present in their genome. So adding a designer to the mix merely pushes the problem into a incomprehensible realm.

      Note: the more efficient version is not biological darwinism.

      To illustrate this, another aspect of criticism is the ability of a theory to explain more phenomena that others and even unify other theories, such as the growth of knowledge found in both genes and the human sphere. In this context, knowledge refers to information that tends to remain when embedded in a medium, which includes the genetic material of organisms, books and human brains. So, biological Darwinism is part of an umbrella theory for the universal growth of knowledge. It's a form of conjecture and refutation which *does* explain the origin of knowledge of how to build biological adaptations, which is found in the genome.

      Biological Darwinism suggests that knowledge is genuinely created though a process of conjecture, in the form of mutations that are random to any problem to be solved, and refutation, in the form of natural selection. The result is the creation of non-explanatory knowledge, which represent useful rules of thumb.

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    22. In addition, by discarding Justificationism, we're simply left with rational criticism, which is applicable at every level, including the field of epistemology and Critical Rationalism itself. That's it. The idea that human beings are capable of rational criticism is also a conjectured theory that has withstood criticism. In the case of science, this criticism includes empirical observations, but only to criticize theories after they are conjectured. Additional observations can indicate when a solution to problem contain errors or need to be completely replaced. However, observations do not suggest what should take their place. We guess educated guesses, rather than inducing theories from observations.

      But, by all means, please explain how one can obtain the necessary guidance from induction, in practice.

      Another aspect explained by the growth of knowledge is our preferences. For example, what happens when we change our preferences? We adopt new ideas about how the world works. So, our preferences can be explained in terms of the growth of knowledge, which is conjectured ideas controlled by criticism. This also explains the growth of human of moral knowledge.

      What about human design? Human beings are good explanations for human designed things because we have constraints on our knowledge. We can explain the history of human designed things, such as vehicles, though the growth of human knowledge. For example, vehicles as a trade-offs between cost, performance, safety and efficiently. While being much safer than they were in the past, todays cars are not as safe as tanks. This is because we have yet to create the knowledge how to build safer cars that are also efficient, cheaper and performant. And we can explain particular trade-offs that are actually built based on one's preferences. Sports cars are fast, but expensive, less efficient and more dangerous to drive. People buy sports cars because they fit into a particular idea of how the world works, such as owning one will make one appear more successful, or that life is more interesting when your on the edge of control at 120mph, etc.

      On the other hand, creationism and ID grossly underestimate the role that knowable plays. Specifically, it claims that knowledge in some domains, such as cosmology, moral knowledge and biological are dictated to human beings by an authoritative, supernatural source. This is a form of justificationism.

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    23. Scott: - All knowledge is created by guesses controlled by criticism

      Jeff: If guesses are "controlled" by "criticism," that criticism is grounded. PERIOD.

      So, grounded is another word for controlling?

      Scott: - All sources of knowledge are fallible and need to be interpreted.

      Jeff: Human inference-deriving is subject to error. That's not the same thing as saying we can know that all "sources of knowledge" are fallible. The latter is not knowable. The former is obvious.

      What's the difference, in practice? The idea that any particular source of knowledge is fallible would itself represent knowledge. You'd have to be able to interpret a source as being infallible. But we cannot actually do that, in practice.

      Scott - Ideas cannot be proven right or probable. Rather we should choose between ideas according to whether they solve problems.

      Jeff: Then there's no such thing as an objective relative plausibility criteria. And thus, you must, unless you're more confused than I already realize, agree with me that it is patently false that there is OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE for naturalistic UCA

      There is no *positive* evidence for anything, let alone UCA. There is only criticism of ideas. This is deduction.

      Jeff: Evidence has no intelligible meaning apart from an objectively discernible way to compare the probabilities of ideas. There's an infinite set of merely logically consistent ways of accounting for phenomena.

      Probability isn't a valid form of criticism unless we know what all the possible options are. How would you go about calculating the probably of evolutionary theory? Please be specific.

      Jeff: By your approach, we have to blindly guess whether there even are any problems. By your approach, you don't even know if you any actual memories. You can only blindly guess that you do, thereby blindly believing that there are problems or not. But some else could just as easily blindly guess the opposite. And you'd have no way of contradicting them. But this just means that you're only blindly guessing that you're not the only being there is.

      I've addressed this already.

      Solipsists accept every observation that realists do. They just add the additional claim that these observations are merely facets of our internal self. This includes observations of objects obeying the laws of physics, people disagreeing with them about Solipsism, etc. If you asked a Solipsist why apple-like facets of my internal sell "fall down", he would say, "because that's how it would appear if realism were true." So we have one a theory about realty, Solipsism, that can be understood only in terms of another theory of reality, realism, that it contradicts, yet faithfully mimics.

      As such, Solipsism is a convoluted elaboration of realism.

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    24. Jeff, note that you keep concluding I must be a relativist, which is the first attitude. Unless I embrace justificationism, then I must be a disappointed justificationist instead.

      But this ignores the third attitude, which discards justificationism.

      Do you deny believing human reasoning is justified by a supernatural uncaused cause? Do you deny believing moral knowledge is justified because unless God imparted it to us in some way? And in the absence of such, there could be no moral knowledge?

      Both of these beliefs are a form of justificationism. Both assume knowledge in specific domains comes to us from an authoritative source. And if it's not justified yet, then we cannot use it.

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    25. Elijah,

      This is a revealing analysis because the only thing that Scott has laid out is his great love of sophistry


      I take it you disagree with my opinion, I find that reassuring.

      It happens with many a philosophy student. They read enough about there being no objective provable truth until they are totally unaware that they are accepting the premise as the very proven truth they deride the existence of.

      True,you are describing a relativist, which per Scott he is not one, " So, relativists are justificationists. What's unique is that, when they realize that it is not possible to actually ground any position in some appeal to a justifying source, relativists end up concluding that no position can better than another, that we cannot make progress towards truth and that there is no such thing as a rational position. They are disappointed justificationists."

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    26. A) He implied nothing of the sort and you are just being intellectually dishonest there trying to create a caricature.
      B) Your whole idea of "authoritative sources" is skewed based on your ignorance of biblical theology. No book in the Bible ever started out as an authoritative source without reference to human knowledge.


      What did the books of the Bible start out to be? In case of morality is the Bible the definitive guide? Where does this human knowledge come from? Sorry,for the questions,I am curious. Unless you are directing this to Scott,in which case,nevermind.

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    27. "True,you are describing a relativist, which per Scott he is not one,"

      Not surpisingly you missed the entire point. Scott is alot of things he claims not to be. Every time someone goes down the road of not adhering to either an authoritative source or a process of a arriving at authoritative source they inevitably end up constructing the stance on top of an assumption that relies on said authority.

      "What did the books of the Bible start out to be?"

      IF you are that disingenuous to have participated for some time on this blog in the critique of Theology without knowing rudimentary basics like what the books of the Bible started out as then I could hardly take you questions as being genuinely curious.

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    28. velikovskys: "What did the books of the Bible start out to be?"

      Elijah2012: Every time someone goes down the road of not adhering to either an authoritative source or a process of a arriving at authoritative source they inevitably end up constructing the stance on top of an assumption that relies on said authority.

      So, apparently, according to Elijah2012, the Bible is inevitably constructed on some authoritative source?

      Identifying the source of a good argument for clarification and to allow additional research isn't the same as justifying that argument based *on* that source.

      For example, Popper was improved on by Bartley. And both were improved on by others, such as Deutsch. Others will make improvements in the future, etc. We know that our ideas start out as educated guesses, which contain errors to some degree.

      Our knowledge of this allows us to make progress.

      100 years from now, theists will look back on today's beliefs regarding same sex marriage in the same way that theists today look back at beliefs about God's anger and the weather.

      The idea that we exist in some privileged time is a common folly recorded throughout history.

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  8. If evolution is first an assumed fact, then the least absurd scenario or the scenario that has a shred of potential rational is quickly picked up by evolutionists and added to their mountain of cherry picked evidence. Emphasizing cherry picked data, extrapolating empirical observations beyond the facts, and equivocating vastly different processes can be used to find a mountain of supporting data for any notion.

    It seems that evolutionists have to jump through lots of hoops to say that species have similarities because of descent, but other species evolved similarities independently and others lost specific characters, while supposedly closely related species didn't... and on and on goes the rationalizations. But, like nearly everything in ToE, it all hinges on whether one assumes evolution to be a fact in the first place. And so it is, volumes are written on the supposed mountain of evidence, but it all hinges on this assumption. That design explains it all better is not allowed, while evolutionists aren't even sure if a rabbit fossil in the precambrian would be fatal to their theory. The answer is no it wouldn't.

    Let me take a few seconds and give you a couple scenarios. The rabbit fossil simply slippped down from higher layers and was buried. Or, a very fast evolving line of creatures got jump started before our current species of mammals, but this old line went extinct. There are a few microscopic creatures in the precambrian that simply built up neutral mutations until an explosion (PE) of quick evolutionary activity yielded the rabbit. See, its easy to make stuff up for ToE.

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    1. Tedford the Slow

      If evolution is first an assumed fact, then the least absurd scenario or the scenario that has a shred of potential rational is quickly picked up by evolutionists and added to their mountain of cherry picked evidence.


      Except evolution isn't an assumed fact. It's a scientifically determined fact based empirical observations of physical reality. All the rest of your idiot blithering is therefore pointless, except that pontificating on your ignorance makes you feel better.

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    2. tedford, even if evolution were just an "assumed fact", it would still be light years ahead of your assumed, impossible, religious fairy tales.

      By the way, regarding the religious fairy tales that you as a pastor preach to people, were you there to empirically observe all of that stuff? Did you hang out with jonah while he lived inside a fish? Were you on the ark and did you see dinosaurs and trilobites on it? Did you party with adam and eve in the garden of eden? Did you observe the creation of the universe by god? Have you ever observed goats and sheep giving birth to striped/spotted offspring because they mated while looking at striped sticks? Were you there when jesus and a bunch of other zombies walked around after rising from the dead?

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  9. Here's an good illustration of the difference between a good theory and a bad one.

    "The researchers capitalized on subtle effects predicted by Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity to find the planet."

    The researchers capitalized on subtle effects predicted by Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity to find the planet.

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/05/14/einstein-planet-new-alien-world-revealed-by-relativity/?intcmp=features#ixzz2TH7UDDXv

    Such is not the case with evolution except when it falls under the "broke clock is right twice a day" category. What we see within the field evolution is biologists consistently "falling off their chair" when a new finding is contradicts prior expectations and predictions. Forget the elegant kind of predictive power of Einstein, we have evolution as a growing blob of a bad theory that is hyped by the wizard of Oz smoke and noise.

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    1. Just curious Tedford - do you suck as badly at being a pastor as you suck at understanding actual evolutionary sciences?

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    2. From the article: The world orbits a star located about 2,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus.

      Neal, surely you can see the "problem" with this "discovery", right?

      Since this discovery depends on gravity acting uniformly 2,000 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, which has not been proven via observations, why isn't this just another " bad theory that is hyped by the wizard of Oz smoke and noise"?

      Is it because past observations indicate make the theory that gravity acts the same everywhere in the universe is statically likely?

      But, surely you can see the "problem" with this as well, right?

      While we might have an overwhelming number of observations of gravity acting uniformly in our local vicinity, no one has actually visited everywhere in the universe to actually observe gravity acting uniformly, including. As such, our local observations are merely a drop in the bucket compared to all possible places we could test. Not to mention that some observation in the future or the distant past, which we have yet to observer or were not around to observe, could conflict with the theory as well.

      When we compare the small number of observations we have made to the astronomically number of all possible observations, wouldn't this mean the theory that gravity is a uniform natural law is astronomically unlikely, and therefore the conclusion that a planet was actually discovered 2,000 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, as the article you linked to suggests, astronomically unlikely as well?

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    3. Scott, I understand your point. I understand that we can make inferences based on gravity acting uniformly. But, this is not what evolutionist are doing. What you do is equivocate very different processes and exaggerate outcomes.

      Actually if you took what we observe today in life forms and uniformly applied it to the past and future, we would simply continue to see the same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean, no speciation, and extinction. You guys make up all the rest out of whole cloth.

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    4. Neal, my point is that you're confused about the process by which we make progress in science. You then apply that confusing to evolutionary theory and claim it's not science.

      Specifically, we conjectured the theory that gravity acts the same everywhere in the universe as it does in our local vicinity. SInce we could not actually visit everywhere, we could not have induced that theory from observations. We then criticize that theory using what observations we can make, looking for errors. This includes empirical observations.

      Neal: Actually if you took what we observe today in life forms and uniformly applied it to the past and future, we would simply continue to see the same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean, no speciation, and extinction.

      And you've reached this conclusion how? Why don't you spell it out for us?

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    5. Scott, I understand your point about the progress of science. But, science is performed by fallible people who can get stuck in tradition, bitter towards God and pressured by financing, peer pressure and progressive bullies just like anyone. It suffers from herd mentality.

      You said, "And you've reached this conclusion how? Why don't you spell it out for us?"

      No observed animal speciation. No examples. All variation that has ever been observed is only oscillation, back and forth and never directional resulting in speciation... not to mention large scale changes. Excuses because of deep time don't cut it because we see a lot of variation - sometimes very quickly, but always with limits and never speciation. Same thing with bacteria for which we can observe the populations of trillions over thousands of generations. No speciation.

      Ironically, evolutionists use bird beaks as their prime textbook example of evolution... however... the bird beaks get bigger, then get smaller again. Net change over time is pretty much zero. Galápagos finches can interbreed. There is nothing that we observe that even remotely suggests universal common descent is possible.

      As Charles Darwin's boat came near the shores of Africa his sense of observation wrongly categorized the inhabits as savages and less evolved than himself. He thought of women and less intelligent also. He observed a lot, but he was not good at making accurate assessments.

      No, if we are to apply what we see today to the past and future, evolution would fail as a theory.

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    7. Tedford the Slow

      No observed animal speciation. No examples.


      Tedford resorts to flat out lying about the evidence.

      Observed Speciation

      All variation that has ever been observed is only oscillation, back and forth and never directional resulting in speciation

      Another flat out lie, ignoring the data about directional insular dwarfism resulting in speciation he's seen a dozen times, including in this thread.

      Makes you wonder how a supposed man of God like Pastor Tedford here can stoop to lying so easily and so often just to prop up his ignorance-based claims.

      Just pathetic.

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    8. Neal: Scott, I understand your point about the progress of science.

      No, I don't think you do. See my earlier reply above.

      Neal: No, if we are to apply what we see today to the past and future, evolution would fail as a theory.

      Except science isn't mainly about stuff you can observe. The main subject of science is about unseen things that explain what's seen. You've got it backwards.

      See the video Why Shermer lost a debate with a creationist, which elaborates on this, in detail.

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    9. Scott,

      empirical (ĕm-pîrˈĭ-kəl)
      adj. Relying on or derived from observation or experiment: empirical results that supported the hypothesis.

      adj. Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment: empirical laws.

      adj. Guided by practical experience and not theory, especially in medicine.

      --

      If you took what we observe today in life forms and uniformly applied it to the past and future, we would simply continue to see the same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean, no speciation, and extinction.

      I have asked repeatedly for evolutionists here to name a specific example of an observed speciation and I usually get a link to sites that really do not give anything more than examples of incipient speciation or reproductive isolation due to preference. Perhaps you can do better Scott. I'm open to speciation being possible, but I haven't seen a genuine example. Furthermore, speciation would simply be the very humble start to what evolutionists claim happened -- huge macro changes of immense variety and proportions. So, no based on what we observe and based on honest empirical studies, there is no evidence to support universal common descent.

      We have a pretty thorough history of what we have observed in nature and the limits and issues of artifical selection. Adaptative variation is like a rubber band being stretched. What we observe is change to a point and then either no more change, oscillating change or extinction. Nothing more.

      Now, if you want to strictly talk about inferences based on your assumptions of what we haven't observed ... then ... the fossil record doesn't support evolution either. The fossil record is a cherry pickers dream. The patterns that we should have observed if evolution was true simply haven't panned out.

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    10. Tedford the Slow

      I have asked repeatedly for evolutionists here to name a specific example of an observed speciation and I usually get a link to sites that really do not give anything more than examples of incipient speciation or reproductive isolation due to preference.


      The willfully ignorant pastor picks up right where he left off, lying about the scientific evidence he was shown. What a surprise.

      So, no based on what we observe and based on honest empirical studies, there is no evidence to support universal common descent.

      Except for the petabytes of data we have from the genetic and fossil records. But we expect the usual ignorance-based denial of reality from this lump.

      We have a pretty thorough history of what we have observed in nature and the limits and issues of artifical selection.

      Topped with the usual Creationist stupidity "we didn't see the whole thing in real time so it never happened!"

      Adaptative variation is like a rubber band being stretched. What we observe is change to a point and then either no more change, oscillating change or extinction.

      Finish with the same lie with more ignoring of the evidence that's been presented.

      Pastor Neal Tedford - liar for his religion, willfully ignorant and proud of it!





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    11. Neal, empiricism represents progress because it promoted the importance of empirical observations in science. However, like all conjectured ideas, it contained errors to some degree. Namely, it was mistaken about the specific role empirical observations actually play, in practice.

      So, while empiricism does contain truth, to some degree, it got the role of empirical observations backwards. Theories are tested by observation, not derived from them.

      Your argument is narrow in scope because it doesn't even being to take this into account.

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    12. Scott, ToE was tested by observation and failed. It's inference was tested and failed. Officially, it was not allowed to fail.

      If everyone would come clean they would simply say that Darwin and neo-Darwinism explains a little about adaptive variation and how populations of existing species vary in allele frequency, but it does not explain the hypothesis of universal common descent, nor do any other theories of evolution at present. There is no empirical evidence supporting the idea of universal common descent, but strong evidence against it. The fossil record is a great mystery, but we do know that its patterns of sudden appearance, stasis and extinction do not support the evolutionary inference. We apologize for cherry picking the data and pretending for philosophical, religious, and financial reasons to spread lies under the disguise of science.

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    13. Tedford the Slow

      Scott, ToE was tested by observation and failed. It's inference was tested and failed. Officially, it was not allowed to fail.


      LOL! CONSPIRACY!! CONSPIRACY!!

      Willfully ignorant Pastor Tedford stays true to Creationist form. When lying his ass off won't work, go to Plan B and claim it's all a big CONSPIRACY! by the scientific community to hide DA TROOTH!

      Tell us Tedford, who are the head conspirators of this evil cabal and where is their headquarters? Where do they keep the black helicopters?

      What do you suppose the motivation is that prevents all those millions of scientists worldwide, of all religions and all nationalities, from spilling the beans? How do new graduating scientists get recruited by this evil conspiracy? You 'd think at least one somewhere, sometime would talk.

      What an idiot.

      Delete
    14. Neal: There is no empirical evidence supporting the idea of universal common descent, but strong evidence against it.

      If you're referring to evidence in the context of empiricism, then there is no *positive* evidence for universal common descent. However, empiricism is mistaken. Empirical evidence cannot *positively* support anything, let alone evolutionary theory.

      So, your objection is based on bad epistemology.

      Thorton,

      Don't forget Plan C: Compare Darwin with Hitler, etc.

      Delete
    15. Scott

      Don't forget Plan C: Compare Darwin with Hitler, etc.


      I'm sure that's in the queue.

      I've been dealing with Pastor "Baghdad Bob" Tedford for a few years now. It's the same repeated Creationist lies and stupidity over and over and over and over and over. The boob won't read any scientific literature, doesn't understand it, can only parrot back talking points he gets from ID-Creation websites. He won't learn anything about actual evolutionary theory to save his fat illiterate hide. Tedford really is a monument to willful ignorance.

      Delete
    16. Hey tedford, speaking of a good theory, let's see you use your religious 'theory' (I'm being generous) to predict something that, so far, science cannot do, such as predicting (right now) the day, time, and epicenter location of the next 7.0 or greater earthquake within a 1% margin of error. It should be easy since you have a direct connection to the almighty god who causes earthquakes (an "act of God").

      Delete
    17. Scott, I agree with you that empirical evidence can not support evolutionary theory.

      Delete
    18. Scott: - Ideas cannot be proven right or probable.

      J: Neal, I think Scott agrees with us that there is no evidence for naturalistic UCA. But apparently it's because he doesn't think there's objective evidence (i.e., objective bases for discerning the relative plausibility of competing hypotheses) for any hypothesis whatsoever. If so, his opinion is worthless to everyone who doesn't have his own personal sense of credulity and incredulity.

      Delete
    19. It's because there is no *positive* evidence for anything. However, we can use deduction to find errors in a theory. This is objective progress. I don't know why this is so difficult for you to grasp.

      Also, note that you're concluding I must be a relativist, which is the first attitude. Unless I embrace justificationism, then I must be a disappointed justificationist instead. But this ignores the third attitude, which discards justificationism.

      Apparently, we cannot use human reasoning and problem solving unless it is first justified by some authoritative source, which in your case is a supernatural being.

      So, you're assuming there are specific boundaries where human reasoning and problem solving cannot pass.

      Solipsists and proponents of the 5 seconds ago universe claim that we cannot use human reasoning to determine if an external reality exists or that God wouldn't have created the universe 5 seconds ago, rather than 6,000 years ago, or billions of years ago, because he could have made it appear that way. This too represents a supposed boundary where human reasoning and problem solving cannot pass.

      Again, CR explains the growth of human knowledge though conjecture controlled by criticism. When we solve problems, human knowledge grows.

      Delete
    20. Scott: It's because there is no *positive* evidence for anything. However, we can use deduction to find errors in a theory. This is objective progress.

      Jeff: You can't use deduction to find errors unless there is POSITIVE evidence for the validity of THAT process. Otherwise, even deductive reasoning is just arbitrary.

      Delete
    21. Jeff: You can't use deduction to find errors unless there is POSITIVE evidence for the validity of THAT process. Otherwise, even deductive reasoning is just arbitrary.

      Again, you're presenting the false dichotomy that I must either embrace justificationism or be a relativist, which is a disappointed justifcationist. Apparently you cannot recognize that justificationism is an idea that is subject to criticism, as are all ideas.

      "Idea x is not justified" is a bad criticism as it can be applied to *all* ideas. As such, you can't even use it in a critical way. Specifically, we devise criticisms that would reveal at least one theory to be in error, but not another. That's how we make progress.

      For example, when debugging software, we conjecture possible reasons why feature X doesn't work. We then devise a test that would indicate at least conjectured reason, but not another, is in error. Is the data not getting saved or is the query incorrect? Fire up a SQLite client and look at the raw data. If it's in the database, then we've eliminated the idea that it's not being saved. Does that prove the query is wrong? No, It could be something else, but we've make progress. We then conjecture possible reasons why the query might be wrong, or reasons why it might just appear that the query is wrong. For example, the query could be right, but being run against the wrong database. We then devise tests to find these specifc conjectures are in error, etc.

      Note, at any point, we cannot use observations to prove that the data is or is not being displayed because "that's just what some abstract designer with no defined limitations must have wanted." An abstract designer with no defined limitations could want to bring about absolutely anything. It conflicts with nothing. As such, we cannot criticize it using observations.

      Furthermore, determining that Einstein's theory of gravity contains errors because it conflicts with Quantum Mechanics isn't objective progress?

      Both of them cannot be correct as we do not have working version of Quantum Gravity. Why isn't this objective progress? Because you're under the impression that we make progress proving things are true or probable.

      But, as Popper and others have pointed out at length, this idea does not survive rational criticism.

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    22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    23. Scott: Specifically, we devise criticisms that would reveal at least one theory to be in error, but not another. That's how we make progress.

      J: Devising a criticism that does what you claim it does necessarily assumes things. It assumes you can devise. It assumes you have actual memories. It assumes the criteria you choose to distinguish merely apparent memories from actual memories is a valid criteria for that distinction. It assumes your devised critical approach results in progress. It assumes there are other minds. It assumes the criteria you use to distinguish other minds from non-minds is valid. Etc.

      These assumptions aren't knowable if nothing is self-evident. They are all arbitrary in that case, having therefore ZERO additional plausibility than any other arbitrary set. This in turn means no belief is any more knowably plausible than any other--including the belief that there is progress.

      You're REALLY confused. Whatever relative plausibility criteria is normative for humans must be knowable BY humans. This is precisely what you deny. You can't even get out of the epistemological gate with your degree of skepticism. But then like all atheists, you pendulum swing between absolute skepticism and absurdly uncritical credulity.

      Delete
    24. Jeff: Devising a criticism that does what you claim it does necessarily assumes things.

      It requires that we take ideas seriously for the purpose of criticism. This is in contrast to assuming they have been justified.

      Jeff: These assumptions aren't knowable if nothing is self-evident.

      Are you saying that the epistemological idea of justificationism, as apposed to critical rationalism, is self evident? Or perhaps you're denying that justificationism is itself an idea that would be subject to criticism? But that would imply that we have not and cannot made progress in the field of epistemology. Is that what you're arguing?

      If not, then what is your argument?

      Jeff: They are all arbitrary in that case, having therefore ZERO additional plausibility than any other arbitrary set.

      Translated: If I do not embrace justificationism, then I must be a disappointed justificationist (relativist).

      Jeff:You're REALLY confused.

      Where am I confused? Again, we can boil down your arguments to a false dilemma, which you refuse to actually address. Rather, you keep implicitly presenting the same false dilemma as if it's obviously true, so you need to bother explicitly including in your argument. For example..

      Jeff: Whatever relative plausibility criteria is normative for humans must be knowable BY humans. This is precisely what you deny.

      This is like claiming I must deny liking ice cream unless I affirm liking *vanilla* ice cream. But all one has to do is point out there are other flavors of ice cream than vanilla.

      Delete
    25. Jeff, are you remotely familair with the work of Karl Popper, or other Popperans, such as William Bartley?

      If so, have you taken the time to actually understand their criticisms of induction and justificationism?

      Delete
    26. Scott, no epistemology can prove its axioms. But every epistemology that claims rationality is better for human flourishing than irrationality or a-rationality HAS them. Reason, by definition, is discursive "movement" from GROUNDS to INFERENCE/CONCLUSION.

      With deduction alone, we have no relative plausibility criteria. Because there is an infinite set of merely logically possible historical accounts.

      If we add induction, we have a relative plausibility criteria. But that relative plausibility criteria is, to my knowledge, ONLY explicable in terms of benevolent/competent theism.

      Since you reject benevolent/competent theism, what, for you, constitutes a relative plausibility criteria that isn't the equivalent of just a set of a-plausible beliefs. This is what you and yours never explain. Nor do you explain how inductive relative plausibility criteria itself isn't just a set of a-plausible beliefs apart from benevolent/competent theism.

      Your approach of trying to make progress by eliminating members of an infinite set is pointless. Any finite number divided by infinity is still ZERO. In short, that approach has NO relative plausibility criteria objectively discernible by reason.

      Delete
    27. In short, Scott, you have yet to demarcate science from mere coherent belief. But that means science can't progress--i.e., it's not a knowably truth-approximating methodology!

      Delete
    28. Jeff: Scott, no epistemology can prove its axioms. But every epistemology that claims rationality is better for human flourishing than irrationality or a-rationality HAS them.

      axiom: a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true:

      From the third attitude…

      "Bartley did provide guidance on adopting positions; we may adopt the position that to this moment has stood up to criticism most effectively. Of course this is no help for people who seek stronger reasons for belief, but that is a problem for them, and it does not undermine the logic of critical preference.".

      If by axiom, you mean an idea tentatively accepted because, up to this moment, it has stood up to criticism most effectively, then CR has axioms. However, CR does not include the idea that any idea is self-evident, including the idea that human beings are capable of rational criticism, which is part of CR's explanation for the growth of knowledge.

      Jeff: Reason, by definition, is discursive "movement" from GROUNDS to INFERENCE/CONCLUSION.

      Again, from the third attitude…

      "According to the critical rationalists, the exponents of critical preference, no position can be positively justified but it is quite likely that one (or more) will turn out to be better than others in the light of critical discussion and tests. This type of rationality holds all its positions and propositions open to criticism…"

      There is no privileged position in CR. All ideas are open to rational criticism.

      So, we tentatively accept CR because, up to this moment, it has stood up to criticism most effectively. We tentatively accept that human beings are capable of rational criticism because, up to this moment, it is an idea has stood up to criticism most effectively.

      Jeff: With deduction alone, we have no relative plausibility criteria.

      First, probability isn't a valid form of criticism unless we know what all the possible options are. If by plausible, you mean probable, how would you go about calculating the probably of evolutionary theory? Please be specific.

      Second, I've already provided a criteria. We start out with a problem, conjecture a theory about how the world works *that potentially solves that problem*, then rationally criticize that theory in the light of that problem space. In the case of science, this includes empirical observations.

      For example, does an explanatory theory actually solve the problem is proposes to solve? Is an explanatory theory self consistent? Does it conflict with observations or other explanatory theories. Can it explain more phenomena than others or even unify other theories, etc.

      Delete
    29. Jeff: Because there is an infinite set of merely logically possible historical accounts.

      This is precisely my point. There are an infinite number of logical possibilities that could "account" for any observations. As such, it's unclear how one could extrapolate one theory from observations using induction. However, as of this moment, there are a finite number of *conceived* explanatory theories we've conjectured to explain them. We accept one of these finite number of explanations because, up to this moment, it has stood up to criticism most effectively.

      Jeff: If we add induction, we have a relative plausibility criteria.

      Except, induction doesn't survive rational criticism. No one has formulated a "principle of induction" that actually works, in practice. But, by all means, feel free to provide one, in detail.

      For example, inductivism doesn't indicate what you should observe or why you should observe it since all you have to start out with are observations. Since neither exist "out there" in observations, it's unclear how they could represent guidance provided by inductivism. But, if we first conjecture specific explanatory theories about how the world works, as an attempt to solve a particular problem, this does give us guidance as to what we should observe and why we should observe it.

      A video that explains this criticism in more detail can be found here.

      Jeff: But that relative plausibility criteria is, to my knowledge, ONLY explicable in terms of benevolent/competent theism.

      Induction as a criteria is only explicable in terms of benevolent/competent theism? But, again, no one has formatted a "principle of induction" that actually works, in practice. So, induction works, regardless, because "God wants it to work"?

      Does that mean your explanation for our relatively rapid and exponential growth in human knowledge is that "God must have wanted us to make progress?"

      Jeff: Since you reject benevolent/competent theism, what, for you, constitutes a relative plausibility criteria that isn't the equivalent of just a set of a-plausible beliefs.

      If by plausible, you mean justified beliefs, then you're comparing apples and oranges yet again.

      Jeff: Your approach of trying to make progress by eliminating members of an infinite set is pointless. Any finite number divided by infinity is still ZERO. In short, that approach has NO relative plausibility criteria objectively discernible by reason.

      Which is a strawman of CR, as indicated above.

      Delete
    30. Jeff: But that means science can't progress--i.e., it's not a knowably truth-approximating methodology!

      Again...

      Scott: " ... determining that Einstein's theory of gravity contains errors because it conflicts with Quantum Mechanics isn't objective progress? Furthermore, determining that Einstein's theory of gravity contains errors because it conflicts with Quantum Mechanics isn't objective progress?

      Both of them cannot be correct as we do not have working version of Quantum Gravity. Why isn't this objective progress? Because you're under the impression that we make progress proving things are true or probable.

      But, as Popper and others have pointed out at length, this idea does not survive rational criticism."

      Delete
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  12. Neal Tedford: If you took what we observe today in life forms and uniformly applied it to the past and future, we would simply continue to see the same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean, no speciation, and extinction.

    What? Huh? What?

    There is a clear succession of organic forms in the fossil record. At one time, there was nothing but single-celled organisms, then vertebrates, amniotes, dinosaurs, birds.

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  13. Zachriel, the step from non-living matter to the prokaryote is immensely enormous considering it is more complex than the space shuttle. But, we'll not get into so-called chemical evolution and imagined proto-cells for which no fossil or empirical evidence exists. You may have ideas, but no clear succession up to prokaryotes or to eukaryotes.

    That aside, we have the Cambrian. No honest individual would say that this fits the evolutionary pattern. Even Darwin was honest enough to admit the problem and cast doubt upon him. Spare us the link to the site that shows a handful of supposed ancestors to the three dozen phyla in the Cambrian. There is no clear succession.

    Then there are such examples as the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming which is said to contain a continuous fossil record for 5 million years. Not a single transition can be documented. No evolution.

    The fossil record pattern is stasis. In any local area a species does not arise by steady transformation of ancestors but shows up all at once and fully formed. Species look pretty much the same as when they disappear. Change is limited and directionless - exactly what we observe today. From what we know of the fossil record today, it affirms neither evolution nor young earth creation.

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    Replies
    1. Poor poor Pastor Tedford. Determined to stay a willfully ignorant dufus his entire life.

      Keep squeezing shut those eyes, plugging your ears and going LA LA LA! Tedford. You'll make that mean old scientific evidence go away for sure!

      I wonder what this fool's Biblical explanation for the Cambrian and Precambrian biota is? Did Adam have to name the Wiwaxia, Anomalocaris, and Opabinia as they swam by? :D

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    2. tedford, be more specific about what you said about the Big Horn Basin. Which formation(s), organisms, etc., are you referring to?

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    3. Tedford the Slow

      Then there are such examples as the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming which is said to contain a continuous fossil record for 5 million years. Not a single transition can be documented. No evolution.


      Once again Tedford relies on quote-mined quotes and BS he picks up at YEC websites, is too lazy to check for himself

      Evolution’s Tempo and Mode during the Eocene Epoch: comparison of two long contemporaneous records of the fossil mammal Hyopsodus in the American West.

      Abstract: The spatial and temporal record of the early Eocene mammal Hyopsodus exemplifies the complex and sinuous nature of evolution. I transform the dualism of punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism patterns into a discussion of regional and local evolutionary patterns. In this paper, I show that evolution follows a gradual pattern at the local level, while punctuated changes occur through migration, climate change and ecological shifts at the regional level. These conclusions are demonstrated by comparing two long fossil records of the small mammal Hyopsodus from the Bighorn Basin of northern Wyoming and the Piceance Creek Basin of western Colorado. Separated by a large geographic distance and the high Rocky Mountains, the two sedimentary basins preserve a long record of evolutionary change during the Wasatchian Land Mammal Age(55 to 50 million years ago). In both basins Hyopsodus diversifies into a number of different sized species during the late Wasatchian. Northward migration played an important role in the diversification of Hyopsodus. The large species H. powellianus appears earlier in the Piceance Creek Basin and expanded northward into the Bighorn Basin as global temperatures warmed during the early Eocene. Gradual in situ changes,such as the gradual transformation of H. simplex into H. minor in the Bighorn Basin, are not witnessed in the Piceance Creek Basin. Additional fossils may prove H. minor migrated into the Piceance Creek Basin only after originating from the Bighorn Basin.There currently is a stratigraphic gap between the last appearance of H. simplex and first appearance of H. minor in the Piceance Creek Basin. This paper draws attention to the dense fossil record of the Eocene and the value it serves as a window into understanding evolutionary patterns spanning millions of years.

      You'd think Tedford would tire of making himself look like such an ignorant ass all the time, but no.

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    4. Creationists seem to have a serious problem when it comes to feeling shame/embarrassment, and many are downright proud to display their beliefs in impossible, monstrous, religious fairy tales that make Zap comic books look like benign, college level text books by comparison.

      Hey tedford, are you going to be specific about the Big Horn Basin? Were you referring to Eocene mammalian vertebrates like the ones Thorton pointed out?




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    5. Scott: There is no privileged position in CR. All ideas are open to rational criticism.

      J: That's not logically possible. Whether you have actual memories isn't open to any conceivable rational criticism once you reject inductive relative plausibility criteria. You have yet to explain why it's more rational (if deductive reason is all we have) to suppose I have actual memories as opposed to merely apparent memories. You are over-looking the obvious over and over. ALL reasoning requires grounds. Reasoning just IS discursive "movement" from grounds to conclusion/inference. And no infinite regress of discursive movement is possible.

      You keep speaking of "authority." Induction has nothing to do with "authority." It has to do with relative plausibility criteria that are recognized to be correlated to our long-term satisfaction THUS FAR. That tide could turn. But it hasn't yet.

      I started listening to the video about the supposed problem with induction that you linked to. It started asserting sheer non-sense about how induction works right off the bat. I don't think you know what induction is or how it works.

      Your solution to getting around the infinite set of logically possible histories is not a solution at all. Because it is merely an arbitrary approach that no one could possibly know is "progressive." It could be completely worthless and you would be oblivious to it.

      At some point, you have to just cease rejecting certain naturally-formed beliefs (like memories) arbitrarily and use parsimony and other such inductive relative plausibility criteria for rejection. And we do that because of how those criteria seem to correlate well, THUS FAR, with our long-term satisfaction.

      Your approach, when it's successful, just IS inductive. Take naturalistic UCA, e.g. It's not an inductive inference. And that's why it's an absolutely worthless hypothesis. It's unfalsifiable. And it can't warrant any future free/intentional action. Nothing about that non-inductively-derived conclusion is plausible or valuable for decision-making about the future.

      Delete
    6. First, why do you keep replying to other threads? Do you hope I will not see your response?

      jeff: That's not logically possible. Whether you have actual memories isn't open to any conceivable rational criticism once you reject inductive relative plausibility criteria.

      Are you saying your God is too small to have created the universe five seconds ago? Couldn't one claim God has some mysteriously good reason for doing so, just as he has some mysteriously good reason to allow children to die of cancer?

      Jeff: You have yet to explain why it's more rational (if deductive reason is all we have) to suppose I have actual memories as opposed to merely apparent memories.

      Did you not read what I wrote here and here?

      What is your criticism of this criticism of solipsism?

      Jeff: You keep speaking of "authority." Induction has nothing to do with "authority."

      Authority is related to justificationism. Induction assumes that we derive theories from observations. Neither ideas survive rational criticism.

      Jeff: I started listening to the video about the supposed problem with induction that you linked to. It started asserting sheer non-sense about how induction works right off the bat. I don't think you know what induction is or how it works.

      Merely saying someone is "sheer nonsense" is a bad criticism as it could be applied to anything. Why don't you start out by formulating a "principle of induction" that works, in practice, then point out how that differs from the video?

      Jeff: Your solution to getting around the infinite set of logically possible histories is not a solution at all. Because it is merely an arbitrary approach that no one could possibly know is "progressive." It could be completely worthless and you would be oblivious to it.

      It's worthless at proving things true or more probable? Of course it is. Where did I say that was possible? In fact, I said we cannot use observations to prove things are true or probable. Are you even reading what i'm writing?

      Have you read anything by Popper on this subject? It would seem not.

      Again, we make objective progress when we find conceived, conjectured theories about how to solve problems to be in error. Solving problem is progress. You haven't prevented an argument as to how this is completely worthless.

      Jeff: At some point, you have to just cease rejecting certain naturally-formed beliefs (like memories) arbitrarily and use parsimony and other such inductive relative plausibility criteria for rejection. And we do that because of how those criteria seem to correlate well, THUS FAR, with our long-term satisfaction.

      I use parsimony, etc, because, up to this very moment, it is one of the criticisms that has itself withstood the most criticism.

      Jeff: Your approach, when it's successful, just IS inductive

      Have you actually looked up the term induction? Can you come back here and past the definition or reference a link to it so we can compare?

      Jeff: Take naturalistic UCA, e.g. It's not an inductive inference.

      Why would I think UCA is an inductive inference when I'm suggesting that induction is a false form of epistemology? It doesn't work for anything, let alone UCA.

      Induction as a form of epistemology worthless, so you're trying to imply that UCA is worthless by association.

      To see a practical problem with induction, see the following cartoon about Electoral precedents at xicd

      Delete
  14. Neal Tedford: the step from non-living matter to the prokaryote is immensely enormous considering it is more complex than the space shuttle.

    But that wasn't your comment, which was "we would simply continue to see the same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean, no speciation, and extinction."

    No we don't see "the same old adaptive variations". We see all sorts of novelty. We don't see "oscillation around the mean", but progressive adaptation.

    Neal Tedford: That aside, we have the Cambrian. No honest individual would say that this fits the evolutionary pattern.

    There's even a name for it, adaptive radiation.

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  15. Zachriel, "we see all sorts of novelty".

    We see novelty already existing or adaptive variation in size and color of what is already there. Rarely, we may see relatively small novelty such as sickle cell and nylon digesting bacteria... the kind of stuff that gains immediate advantage, but less net fitness, in a hostile environment via a single step mutation or two. Nothing else. Flavobacterium is still Flavobacterium. E-Coli is still E-Coli. It seems that adaptive variation occurs fairly quickly because the organism is programmed for the adaption already.

    It's all just as we would expect as the fitness landscape is rough and change gets stuck on a little peak.

    Such prime examples barely move the evidence meter towards providing empirical evidence that Universal Common Descent is even possible.

    Evolution fails empirically. It fails the explain the fossil record.


    "Adaptive radiation" - give a plain contradiction to evolution a scientific sounding name and poof all issues are resolved, case closed. Don't be silly Zachriel.

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  16. Neal Tedford: We see novelty already existing or adaptive variation in size and color of what is already there.

    Thought you might remember what you said at least. You were talking about the past and future.

    Neal Tedford: Actually if you took what we observe today in life forms and uniformly applied it to the past and future, we would simply continue to see the same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean, no speciation, and extinction. You guys make up all the rest out of whole cloth.

    When we look at the past we see clear evidence of vast changes.

    Neal Tedford: It's all just as we would expect as the fitness landscape is rough and change gets stuck on a little peak.

    That's right. Humans are just elaborated deuterostomes, tubes with appendages to stuff food in one end and expel wastes out the other. Microevolution.

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  17. Zachriel said, "Humans are just elaborated deuterostomes, tubes with appendages to stuff food in one end and expel wastes out the other."

    The first time you said this it is was weird and funny. Having repeated it many times, it was plain weird. Since this is one of your core value beliefs, it illustrates the silly and simplistic view that Darwinists have of life, particularly human life. Apparently love, joy, engineering, music, reading, writing, mathematics, family relationships, adventure, romance, prayer and a thousand other things a meaningless to you. You really need to get out more.

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  18. Neal Tedford: Apparently love, joy, engineering, music, reading, writing, mathematics, family relationships, adventure, romance, prayer and a thousand other things a meaningless to you.

    Never said that. Actually, we're rather fond of the bipedal apes. They have potential!

    Neal Tedford: Having repeated it many times, it was plain weird.

    It's a reduction of your view, not ours. You had said the past was characterized by "same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean". By that measure, humans are 'just' elaborated deuterostomes, "the same old adaptive variations". Suppose it's a matter of perspective. After all, from a distance, the Earth is just a pale blue dot.

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    Replies
    1. Zachriel, the past was characterized by what we see today, but as I said in earlier posts, the fossil record shows sudden appearance and then stasis. The best explanation for sudden appearance and stasis is not evolution but designed creation.

      The quote "same old adaptive variations, oscillation around the mean" refers to the stasis that we see today and has occured in the past with the exception of creation events.

      Delete
    2. Tedford the Slow

      Zachriel, the past was characterized by what we see today, but as I said in earlier posts, the fossil record shows sudden appearance and then stasis. The best explanation for sudden appearance and stasis is not evolution but designed creation.


      Tedford, why don't you give us your timeline for when all this magic "design creation" happened.

      3 billion years ago the designer POOFED single celled organisms into existence. Then 2 billion years then decided to POOF multicellular animals. 600MYA he separately POOFED the Ediacaran biota. 500MYA he separately POOFED the Cambrian biota. Then later he POOFED primitive fish. Then later he POOFED land plants. Then later he POOFED the Devonian tetrapods. Then later he POOFED the amphibians. Then later he POOFED the reptiles. Then later he POOFED the dinosaurs, which kept him busy for 135 MY until he got tired of them and wiped them out with an asteroid. Then he POOFED all sorts of new mammals. Finally he POOFED humans.

      Of course you have evidence for all this magic POOFING too, right?

      Delete
  19. I need help with this... If I take one living organism,and grind it up, why will it not self organize into something different or the same? By this example you would have all of the necessary chemicals present for a living organism. Why is this not a good test for the hypothesis, nonliving matter becomes living?

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    Replies
    1. What is your definition of 'living'? At what point do you consider non-living matter changes to qualify as living?

      Delete
    2. Marcus, I think I see your point. Life is more than simply having the right chemicals and environment. This goes back to Darwin's ignorant warm little pond mythology that in some form is still propogated by his followers.

      Delete
    3. Thorton, I would expect to see some form of self-replicating closed system of molecules, moving other molecules from one area to another and changing molecules from one form to another at specified rates, with feedback loops to maintain balances of temperature and pH to name two. It has to work within the area it's found. I know this is very simplistic.

      Delete
    4. Neal, I was watching David Berlinski talk about evolution. In one of his examples he asked the engineering question, how many changes would it take to change a cow into a whale? Making an animal that lives it's whole life on land into an animal that lives it whole life in the ocean.
      This question intuitively made sense to me. I thought why not reduce the problem to a single "simple" cell at the beginning.
      I appreciate your posts.

      Delete
  20. I find this post quite bizarre. I'm in the middle of Krauss's book, and it is fascinating. It's not about evolution at all, but about the nature of the universe itself, its origin and its end.

    And far from being not "real" it's based on theoretical equations that have shown to predict observations to a quite phenomenal degree of precision!

    Have you read the book, Cornelius? If so, what makes you think that "None of this is real"?

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    Replies
    1. EL, for starters Krauss is ignoring the huge elephant in the box... namely quantum fields are not "nothing".

      We do know that unguided natural processes can not do what evolutionists believe it did. Krauss is simply putting a new flavor of mythology out there.

      Delete
    2. Neal,
      EL, for starters Krauss is ignoring the huge elephant in the box...


      Ignoring the elephant in the room.

      namely quantum fields are not "nothing".

      Good point. Perhaps quantum fields come into existence the same way as the designer.

      Delete
    3. Tedford the Slow

      We do know that unguided natural processes can not do what evolutionists believe it did.


      Just how do you know this Tedford? Where is your evidence that evolution is impossible? What is the mechanism that 100% prevents microevolutionary changes from accumulating over time into macroevolutionary ones?

      Hint: "we didn't see it in real time" won't convince anyone past kindergarten age.

      Delete
    4. Vel, 'Good point. Perhaps quantum fields come into existence the same way as the designer."

      That's a good question. A couple things in favor of the designer:

      The designer did not come into existence, was not caused, did not begin. Since our cosmos had a finite beginning, this supports design since mindless eternal energy would have met its criteria for forming the universe in eternity past. Unlike a designer, it can not decide to create. If an eternal energy could create it would have done it in eternity past.

      Second, Origin of Life and of species is not possible without intelligence. We know the practical limits of nature and evolution simply doesn't cut it scientifically. ToE belongs in the same bin as the theory of spontaneous generation. Borne in an era of ignorance it is past time to disgard its archaic and silly mythology in favor of intelligent purpose.

      Delete
    5. Neal,
      The designer did not come into existence, was not caused, did not begin


      How do you know that quantum nothingness does not have the same features? Once you assume an Uncaused cause,how can you be sure there are not an infinite number of Uncaused causes?

      Since our cosmos had a finite beginning,

      Our universe came into being,we have no idea what or if anything preceded it

      this supports design since mindless eternal energy would have met its criteria for forming the universe in eternity past.

      How do you know this isn't eternity past? How could you know?

      Unlike a designer, it can not decide to create

      So the Uncaused cause has a choice, how do you know this?

      if an eternal energy could create it would have done it in eternity past

      Infinity is an interesting concept, we would be both in the infinite past and infinite future. Depending on one's point of view

      Second,.......silly mythology in favor of intelligent purpose.

      I an aware that is your theory, but are you saying the designer of life is non living ?

      Delete
    6. Vel, if you check into it, "infinity" is a mathematical concept -- but realistically an impossibility. Also known as the "infinite regress" if you want to research it.

      We are left with an uncaused cause of either an intelligent creator that had no beginning or absolutely nothing (Quantum fields do not count as "nothing").

      Here's why:

      The super intelligent agent capable of creating our cosmos by definition has a choice. The infinite regress is an impossibility, that is why an uncaused unintelligent force would have automatically met the criteria for creating our universe in eternity past - which by definition our universe would have been created and died in eternity past. There is no way to get a handle on eternity past because there is always something before it.

      It is difficult to understand existence without a beginning. That is all we know. Logically the concept is acceptable. Whereas, creation from nothing is not logical. Furthermore, infinite regress is logically impossible.

      It is easier to conceive of what we actually know here. What we know now about natural selection, mutation, empirical observation, the fossil record and such shows us clearly the limitations of nature. It is hard to conceive of how reality works in the realm of a transcedent existence with no beginning, but what we do know in our cosmos and earth - the life we see must have had a super intelligent origin. Why? Because we do know the limits of most adaptive variation. The only alternative I know to failed evolution is special creation... and it matches what we see in the fossil record... sudden appearance followed by stasis.

      Finally, there is the witness of the Holy Spirit upon the experiences of generations of millions of people that should not be dismissed casually.

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    7. Tedford the Slow

      It is easier to conceive of what we actually know here. What we know now about natural selection, mutation, empirical observation, the fossil record and such shows us clearly the limitations of nature.


      You mean what you personally know, which isn't much. The only limitation you've demonstrated so far is your incredible willful ignorance of virtually every aspect of evolutionary theory.

      It is hard to conceive of how reality works

      You do seem to have an amazingly hard time understanding reality.

      Because we do know the limits of most adaptive variation.

      Those are the limits you can never identify or specify. "We haven't seen it in real time" is about the most idiotic excuse possible. I've never seen my neighbor ride his bike more than two blocks from home. That doesn't mean two blocks is a hard limit and that it's impossible for him to ride across town.

      The only alternative I know to failed evolution is special creation... and it matches what we see in the fossil record... sudden appearance followed by stasis.

      Always room in the Creationist repertoire of lies for the false dichotomy.

      BTW, still waiting for your timeline for this "special creation" Tedford.

      Finally, there is the witness of the Holy Spirit upon the experiences of generations of millions of people that should not be dismissed casually.

      ID has nothing to do with religion but my personal GAWD should get credit!

      All science so far!

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    8. Neal,
      Vel, if you check into it, "infinity" is a mathematical concept -- but realistically an impossibility. Also known as the "infinite regress" if you want to research it.


      A being without a beginning and without an end is called

      A) an anthropomorphism

      B) infinite

      C) Charles Darwin

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    9. Neal,
      We are left with an uncaused cause of either an intelligent creator that had no beginning or absolutely nothing (Quantum fields do not count as "nothing").


      Why intelligent? Why is it necessary that an Uncaused cause is intelligent? Perhaps there is a quantum field which is Uncaused? My question remains

      Why is your version of the Uncaused cause more likely? Yours,as Jeff says,requires more assumptions.

      Delete
    10. Neal,

      Finally, there is the witness of the Holy Spirit upon the experiences of generations of millions of people that should not be dismissed casually.


      Actually that is your best evidence, but very subjective. If I find millions of people who feel otherwise, what then?

      Delete
    11. Elizabeth: And far from being not "real" it's based on theoretical equations that have shown to predict observations to a quite phenomenal degree of precision!

      Jeff: No one has "predicted" phanerozoic phenotypes from precambrian initial conditions by applying any defined causes to those initial conditions. When will the sheer non-sense cease from otherwise intelligent people!?

      Delete
    12. Liar for Jesus Jeff

      No one has "predicted" phanerozoic phenotypes from precambrian initial conditions by applying any defined causes to those initial conditions. When will the sheer non-sense cease from otherwise intelligent people!?


      She just got done explaining that the book is "not about evolution at all but about the nature of the universe itself, its origin and its end."

      Try reading before blathering.

      Delete
    13. Moron, take any math, apply it to the inital conditions of a hypothetical big bang, then deduce with great precision the present universe. Moron, they don't even know how to explain motion in galaxies yet in terms of any current theory. They only have speculations which amount to tons of ad-hoc hypotheses, JUST like naturalistic UCA. You're so stupid it's mind-boggling.

      Delete
    14. from http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829162.000-dark-energy-is-still-the-greatest-cosmic-mystery.html?full=true:

      'IT IS 15 head-scratching years since we noticed that some mysterious agent is pushing the universe apart. We still don't know what it is. It is everywhere and we can't see it. It makes up more than two-thirds of the universe, but we have no idea where it comes from or what it is made of. "Nature has not been ready to give us any clues yet," says Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.'

      That's just ONE theoretical problem of massive import. There are many. Explaining some things is not explaining anything like the "nature of the universe itself, its origin and its end." What a moron you are, Moronton.

      Delete
    15. tedford said:

      "Whereas, creation from nothing is not logical."

      Where did "God" come from then? Was it created from nothing? Is "God" something? What did "God" create the universe and everything in it from? Did "God" have a warehouse handy that was stocked with universes and all of the stuff in them to create this one from? If so, was the warehouse created from nothing?

      All you're doing is labeling "nothing", your fears, your authoritative attitude, your ignorance, and what is unknown (so far), as "God", and a specific so-called "God" at that (yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost), and you're including a bunch of ridiculous, impossible, threatening fairy tales to it to try to make it sound more mystical and authoritative.

      Those who can, do. Those who can't, preach.

      Delete
    16. Liar for Jesus Jeff

      That's just ONE theoretical problem of massive import. There are many. Explaining some things is not explaining anything like the "nature of the universe itself, its origin and its end." What a moron you are, Moronton.


      But you're the idiot who misread what Dr. Liddle wrote and started blithering about "predicting phenotypes from Precambrian conditions".

      You should stick to babbling about philosophy because you sure suck out loud at the science stuff.

      Delete
    17. The beauty is, I don't even have to read this non-sense closely to it's mere pontification. A sure sign of idiots is their inability to know when they DON'T or CANT know what they dogmatically assert. And that's you to the hilt, dude. You're bona-fide moron.

      Delete
    18. Velik

      " Why is it necessary that an Uncaused cause is intelligent? Perhaps there is a quantum field which is Uncaused? My question remains "

      ...because somebody has to push the button.

      Delete
    19. Eugen,
      because somebody has to push the button


      There is no button until the button has been pushed.

      Delete
    20. Liar for Jesus Jeff

      The beauty is, I don't even have to read this non-sense closely to it's mere pontification.


      LOL! Now there's the Creationist mantra!

      "I don't need to read or understand, I know everything already!!"

      :D :D :D :D

      A sure sign of idiots is their inability to know when they DON'T or CANT know what they dogmatically assert

      ...says the incredibly self-unaware poster boy for Dunning-Kruger.

      Delete
    21. Genesis 1
      New International Version (NIV)
      The Beginning

      1 In the beginning God created the button


      ...then He pushed it.

      Delete
    22. Neal:EL, for starters Krauss is ignoring the huge elephant in the box... namely quantum fields are not "nothing".

      EL: Have you read his book, Neal? It seems to me that he doesn't ignore that at all. He discusses it in great detail.

      Neal:We do know that unguided natural processes can not do what evolutionists believe it did. Krauss is simply putting a new flavor of mythology out there.

      EL: No, we don't know that, Neal. You clearly think it is the case, and you may be correct. But I do not know that you are correct, and I don't see any demonstration that you are.

      Delete
    23. Eugen,
      Genesis 1
      New International Version (NIV)
      The Beginning

      1 In the beginning God created the button


      ...then He pushed it.


      Ah, must have been asleep in religion class when that was taught.

      Delete
    24. Moronton: "I don't need to read or understand, I know everything already!!"

      J: What have I claimed to know that you or anyone else has demonstrated is false?

      Delete
    25. You keep calming to know that, if I do not embrace justificationism, then I must be a disappointed justificationist. But, as I've already pointed out, this is a false dilemma.

      Delete
    26. No, Scott. You just haven't conceived of all the logical possibilities. Define VERY SPECIFICALLY the 3 possibilities you think are logically possible. And I'll show you step by step why you are wrong on the basis of NOTHING but deduction and it's axioms.

      Delete
    27. Scott: But, as I've already pointed out, this is a false dilemma.

      Jeff: You just haven't conceived of all the logical possibilities.

      We discard a near infinite number of logical possibilities in every day in every field of science. What we look for are good explanations for problems.

      Also, you do realize that all I need is one alternative to justificationism to show your dilemma is false, right?

      Jeff: Define VERY SPECIFICALLY the 3 possibilities you think are logically possible. And I'll show you step by step why you are wrong on the basis of NOTHING but deduction and it's axioms.

      I've already pointed out three attitudes here. Did you read the paper? Do you have any actual criticism of it.

      Specifically, the first two attitudes are variations on justificationism. The third is not.

      I'd again point out that,"Idea X is not justified" is a bad criticism because it applies to all ideas. If you use it, you're implying that justificationism isn't an idea.

      Delete
    28. Scott: from the article you quoted--

      "According to the critical rationalists, the exponents of critical preference, no position can be positively justified but it is quite likely that one (or more) will turn out to be better than others in the light of critical discussion and tests."

      J: That claim is just a blind belief on the assumption that beliefs aren't grounded. You can never know what is better or not better if you don't know you're experiencing actual memories as opposed to merely apparent memories. You're truly confused Scott. ALL reasoning requires grounds. Critical thinking is REASONING.

      What you are misunderstanding is that justificationism is a working hypothesis. We can't prove it's unfalsifiable. But it IS what people do, all the time.

      The minute our experience compels us, via our nature, to believe that nothing we choose freely to do makes any positive difference in our satisfaction, we have no reason to think freely/intentionally via ANY mode of thought. Because all volitional action is satisfaction-oriented. Thus, at that point, we would just cease to act/think freely so as to at least save the effort of volitional action.

      Short of that, we'll do as we always have--see satisfaction (especially long-term satisfaction) as a necessary CONDITION of relative plausibility criteria for freely-caused beliefs, like rationally/discursively-DERIVED beliefs/inferences.

      Beliefs aren't justified in the sense that they are absolutely knowable. Beliefs are justified only in the sense that they are warranted by a relative plausibility criteria that we can not, because of our nature, yet refuse to apply. But we can't demonstrate that our relative plausibility criteria itself is true. We just use it because we have to. Some of us then try to explain it as parsimoniously as possible since our relative plausibility criteria indicates that explaining it, and in the parsimonious fashion, is better than not explaining it since we believe humans haven't always existed and are, along with their essential properties, therefore, CAUSED.

      Delete
    29. Jeff:

      Not sure what you mean here.

      For example, imagine I hypothetical woke up in a virtual realty simulator at some time in the future, but didn't realize it. After spending a month there, I make decisions and take actions that result in reaching a place which I consider the best place to be in the long term. Now imagine that someone or something reveals a subtile hint that what I'm really experiencing is just an very elaborate simulation and that, in reality, I was actually suffering from locked-in syndrome.

      Are you saying my long term satisfaction of the simulated environment would necessarily prevent me from adopting the idea that it's all a just a very satisfying simulation?

      As I mentioned earlier, our preferences are based on ideas we adopt. Ideas are conjectured theories about how the world works. This would include the idea of whether a life of false, yet pleasurable experiences would be better than essentially no external experiences at all, or vice versa.

      So, we can explain someone's preferences base on what theories about how the world works they have accepted. Theories are conjectured ideas that are subject to criticism, just like all other ideas. We can change our preferences when we adopt new ideas.

      If you believe that "worshiping the creation" denies God his rightful worship, and is a mortal transgression against him, you may avoid criticizing that belief and actively seek to avoid or engage other ideas that conflict with it.

      Also, if you think that knowledge in specific spheres comes to us in a way that is obvious, is from a being that is uncreated, eternal and infallible, you will think no truly meaningful progress can be made in those spheres. This idea prevents us from making progress because it is hostile to the very ideas of correcting errors.

      Delete
  21. Neal Tedford: the fossil record shows sudden appearance and then stasis.

    Actually, it shows various patterns, sometimes sudden, sometimes gradual. And the broad sweep clearly show incremental adaptation:

    Thorton: 3 billion years ago the designer POOFED single celled organisms into existence. Then 2 billion years then decided to POOF multicellular animals. 600MYA he separately POOFED the Ediacaran biota. 500MYA he separately POOFED the Cambrian biota. Then later he POOFED primitive fish. Then later he POOFED land plants. Then later he POOFED the Devonian tetrapods. Then later he POOFED the amphibians. Then later he POOFED the reptiles. Then later he POOFED the dinosaurs, which kept him busy for 135 MY until he got tired of them and wiped them out with an asteroid. Then he POOFED all sorts of new mammals. Finally he POOFED humans.

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    1. Actually fish show up in the Cambrian. Anyways, the pattern is sudden followed by stasis. To clarify stasis, I do not mean zero adaptive variation. I mean the kind of adaptive variation we see today.

      The Cambrian illustrates the sudden appearance of three dozen phyla followed by limited adaptive variation and some extinction. Evolution predicted exactly the opposite. One to more to many as Darwin predicted, but many to fewer. More phyla existed in Cambrian than in later ages.

      It is as if evolutionary processes and nature conspired to fool us by leaving a record that looks like special creation.

      Delete
    2. Neal,
      Actually fish show up in the Cambrian. Anyways, the pattern is sudden followed by stasis


      So you believe in geology?

      Delete
    3. Still waiting for your timeline for all these magic creation events Tedford.

      You made the claim, now back it up with some empirical data.

      Delete
    4. Thorton,

      Well buddy, I was right, Sharks over Canucks and Bruins over Leafs. However, my Leafs made life very interesting for the Bruins.

      As I was so correct on this, maybe you should trust my judgment on some other topics.;)

      The second round is going to be tougher for your Sharks I think, especially after the first two games. I think Torres got a raw deal for his hit on Stolle. If this keeps up they will soon be playing with a sponge puck and throwing people out for any type of body contact.

      Now that the Leafs are done I'll cheer for the teams who have long standing players without a cup victory on their resume. That includes the Penguins with Iginla, the Sharks with Thorton and Marleau and the Kings with Regehr. I have to say I have a bigger soft spot for Regehr right now, as he is from my neck of the woods. My wife and his parents went to school together and his sister, a nurse, took good care of me while I was in the hospital for three months with leukemia.

      I think it will ultimately come down to Chicago and Pittsburgh. It will be a heck of a final if it does.

      Sorry I took so long to get back to you, it's just been really busy the last while.

      Delete
    5. Hi Nic. I was starting to get worried, afraid you may have hit the bottle after the Leafs game 7 meltdown. :) Hopefully they can learn from it and come back stronger next time.

      Sharks outplayed Kings both games but Quick is robbing them blind. Be interesting to see how they bounce back after last night. Agree 100% that the Torres suspension was BS. He got suspended for his reputation, anyone else gets off with a fine if anything. I guess that's the price you pay for having a reputation.

      Wouldn't mind seeing the Kings repeat if not the Sharks. Regehr has paid a lot of dues over his career, don't mind seeing veterans like that get rewarded.

      Hope Wings give the Hawks a good series but I think Chicago is just too strong. Same for Pens - neither NY nor Boston will have much of a chance.

      More updates later!

      Delete
  22. Marcus: I need help with this... If I take one living organism,and grind it up, why will it not self organize into something different or the same? By this example you would have all of the necessary chemicals present for a living organism. Why is this not a good test for the hypothesis, nonliving matter becomes living?

    A cow is a highly derived organism. The first life form is not posited to be made of hamburger.

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    1. Thereby proving the designer was not that intelligent.

      Delete
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  24. As a side note to the Gosnell horrors, 80% of people with no religious identity are pro preborn baby murder.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/16/these-americans-are-the-most-and-least-likely-to-support-abortion-plus-are-most-women-really-pro-choice/

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  25. Neal,
    As a side note to the Gosnell horrors, 80% of people with no religious identity are pro preborn baby murder


    I checked the survey, there was no listing for being pro preborn baby murder or even being in less inflammatory terms proabortion.

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  26. Neal Tedford: The Cambrian illustrates the sudden appearance of three dozen phyla followed by limited adaptive variation and some extinction.

    Sudden, as in millions of years. There is now significant evidence of Precambrian metazoa. Fascinating how Darwin made the prediction more than a century ago.

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    Replies
    1. Zachriel, Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

      In the 60's scientist finally caught up with the truth. The universe has a beginning, just like the Bible said for thousands of years.

      Delete
    2. Marcus May 17, 2013 at 10:46 PM

      Zachriel, Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


      There are large number of creation accounts around the world. What makes you think that particular one is true?

      In the 60's scientist finally caught up with the truth. The universe has a beginning, just like the Bible said for thousands of years.

      Science found evidence of an expanding universe far bigger than anything described in the Bible. Following that back through time points to a time when the whole thing would have been compressed into a singularity of unimaginable and incalculable density. At some point it went 'Bang!', suddenly expanding at enormous speed. We don't know what conditions were like in that singularity. We don't know what, if anything, preceded it. We don't know why it went 'Bang!' when it did. We don't know why it went 'Bang!' at all.

      If you think that has more than a passing resemblance to the Biblical account then I think you're reaching.

      Delete
    3. Ian, fare enough, but I think it's significant. Either the universe had a beginning or it didn't. The Bible said it did and scientists found circumstances which tipped the balance of evidence toward the Bible. I'm sure there were scientists and multitudes of educated followers of a static eternal universe who had to change their their minds, maybe they did or didn't. Truth stands, we can find it or not.

      Delete
    4. Is christianity the only religion with an 'in the beginning' type of creation story?

      The "balance of evidence"? Exactly what "circumstances" did scientists find that tipped the "balance of evidence" toward the bible but not toward any other 'in the beginning' type of stories from any of the other religious beliefs that have ever been thought up?

      Delete
    5. Twt, I'm sure other religions have a beginning story but the one in Genesis is backed up by Jesus.
      Since Jesus was a real man; he claimed to be God, and to prove it, he died and came back to life. So if he is a creationist, so am I.

      Delete
    6. Tell you what, have jesus stop by my place today and mow my lawn. That shouldn't be a problem for a real god-man who can die and come back to life.

      Delete
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