Monday, July 8, 2013

Evolutionist: I Follow the Evidence

Really?

Evolutionist Matt Ridley rightly pointed out last week that the scientific consensus does not exactly have a stellar track record:

There was once widespread agreement about phlogiston (a nonexistent element said to be a crucial part of combustion), eugenics, the impossibility of continental drift, the idea that genes were made of protein (not DNA) and stomach ulcers were caused by stress, and so forth—all of which proved false. Science, Richard Feynman once said, is “the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

So why is Ridley an evolutionist? “I agree with the majority view on evolution,” explains the British scientist and author, “not because it is a majority view but because I have looked at evidence. It’s the data that convince me, not the existence of a consensus.”

Looked at evidence? This reminds us of Thomas Huxley’s sentiment that one ought to “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads.”

Every preconceived notion? Well not exactly. Not the preconceived notion that evolution must be true. Other than that, one can follow the evidence.

As for Ridley, here is how he “Looked at evidence”:

We can read in the genes exactly the whole history of life. And we’re gradually understanding all of that, and it absolutely confirms there’s descent with modification with natural selection, and all these things that Darwin said. There’s plenty of room for disagreement about the details. It’s not one dogmatic theory, there’s a whole bunch of theories.

The first thing they should do when they see a consensus is try and shoot it down. But there is no question that all creatures on this planet are [evolutionarily] related. We can see that in the genes. They all share the same genetic code—it looks like a frozen accident. There’s no rhyme or reason why we have the particular genetic code we do. But bacteria have it, we have it, plants have it—it’s all connected.

Exactly the whole history of life? no question?

Of course there are questions. And no, the genes do not reveal the whole history of life. Not if you don’t presuppose evolution to begin with. Yet Ridley is absolutely sure of himself. With evolution, the deviation from the evidence is exceeded only the certainty with which the theory is held.

38 comments:

  1. Ridley: But there is no question that all creatures on this planet are [evolutionarily] related. We can see that in the genes.

    J: Idiocy. Sheer idiocy.

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    1. If all the animals were created by the same designer with the same genes are they not related by virtue of that fact?

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    2. Yes, just like cars! Oh wait...

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    3. Jeff, perhaps you'll be the one to answer my question.

      Are dinosaurs merely an interpretation of our best explanation of fossils? Or are they *the* explanation for fossils?

      We never speak of the existence of dinosaurs, millions of years ago, as an interoperation of our best theories of fossils. Rather, we say that dinosaurs are the explanation for fossils. Nor is the theory primarily about fossils, but about dinosaurs, in that they are assumed to actually exist as part of the explanation.

      And we do so despite the fact that there are an infinite number of rival interpretations of the same data that make all the same predictions, yet say the dinosaurs were not there, millions of years ago, in reality.

      For example, there is the rival interpretation that fossils only come into existence when they are consciously observed. Therefore, fossils are no older than human beings. As such, they are not evidence of dinosaurs, but evidence of acts of those particular observations.

      Another interpretation would be that dinosaurs are such weird animals that conventional logic simply doesn't apply to them.

      One could suggests It's meaningless to ask if dinosaurs were real or just a useful fiction to explain fossils. (Which is an example of instrumentalism as found in the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.)

      Not to mention the rival interpretation that designer chose to create the world we observe 30 second ago. Therefore, dinosaurs couldn't be the explanation for fossils, because they didn't exist until 30 seconds ago.

      None of these other interpretations are empirically distinguishable from the rational theory of dinosaurs, in that their existence explains fossils. But we discard them because they all represent a general purpose means to deny absolutely anything.

      You, and others here, selectively appeal to these same sort of generalizations on a regular basis.

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    4. Jeff July 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      Ridley: But there is no question that all creatures on this planet are [evolutionarily] related. We can see that in the genes.

      J: Idiocy. Sheer idiocy.


      Exactly. How could all those biologists, biochemists, geneticists, geologists, paleontologists, etc have got it so wrong when anyone with a bit of basic training in philosophy or theology can see it's all nonsense? The only logical explanation is a worldwide conspiracy of atheists. Beware the Dark Side!

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    5. I: How could all those biologists, biochemists, geneticists, geologists, paleontologists, etc have got it so wrong when anyone with a bit of basic training in philosophy or theology can see it's all nonsense?

      J: But that's just it, I. Those biologists, biochemists, geneticists, geologists, paleontologists, actually tend to articulate their assumptions at some point or another. And they're ALWAYS based on nothing that can be extrapolated from regularities inductively inferred from observations. And yet such regularities are precisely that which naturalistic explanation has to do. Obviously you can assume the millions of ad-hoc assumptions necessary to imply Ridley's claim is true. But no one has come close to demonstrating that less ad-hoc assumptions is required for ID-SA scenarios. So, for the umpteenth time, science is TENTATIVE and EVIDENCE-based. And there is NO inductive evidence for naturalistic UCA or many of the tree branch-lineages. Arbitrary assumptions are made to use the nested hierarchy approach to tree-generation. But not only do these have profound problems, but those tree-generation rules are high-level rules that are not known to correspond at ALL to actual phenotypic/morphological effects of mutations.

      The whole methodology is built on EXTREME wishful thinking. There's no EVIDENCE that any of it corresponds to historical events. And as Scott admitted, if the Copenhagenists are right, the whole history is illusory. But we never hear you whiners criticizing them. Because they tend to be part of the theist-hating club. And that's really what you guys are all about--NOT science. HATING is not THINKING. It's FEELING.

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    6. BTW, Scott, are you saying the Copenhagen'ists aren't doing rational criticism? And if so, does that mean they're pseudo-scientists? And Scott, how many ID'ists do you know that think fossils don't inductively indicate the existence of past animals? Seriously, Scott, what planet are you from?

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    7. Ian, do you know why lots of middle-Eastern Muslims (like lots of Palestinians) could be brought to public, superficial support of Saddam? Because he lobbed missiles at Jews. IOW, a common hatred can bind together people who otherwise disagree so long as their disagreement is seen as less significant than their disagreement with a mutual enemy (iow, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"). We get it. But it doesn't change a thing about what's plausible in terms of EVIDENCE. So keep sucking up in the "consensus" religion to Copenhagen'ists and other metaphysical phenomenalists who deny the existence of dinosaurs in the past. But for crying out loud, don't bother trying to embarrass rational people thereafter. It's a waste of time and effort.

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    8. Liar for Jesus Jeff

      Those biologists, biochemists, geneticists, geologists, paleontologists, actually tend to articulate their assumptions at some point or another. And they're ALWAYS based on nothing that can be extrapolated from regularities inductively inferred from observations.


      Wow. You come up with more ways to say "JEFF'S A CLUELESS IDIOT" than any other 10 Creationists combined.

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    9. Scott: One could suggests It's meaningless to ask if dinosaurs were real or just a useful fiction to explain fossils. (Which is an example of instrumentalism as found in the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.)

      Jeff: BTW, Scott, are you saying the Copenhagen'ists aren't doing rational criticism? And if so, does that mean they're pseudo-scientists?

      I meant what I wrote, Jeff. Instrumentalism is a way to deny anything, including dinosaurs as the explanation for fossils.

      Wikipedia: In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that a scientific theory is a useful instrument in understanding the world. A concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality.

      Instrumentalism avoids the debate between anti-realism and philosophical or scientific realism. It may be better characterized as non-realism. Instrumentalism shifts the basis of evaluation away from whether or not phenomena observed actually exist, and towards an analysis of whether the results and evaluation fit with observed phenomena.


      Jeff: And Scott, how many ID'ists do you know that think fossils don't inductively indicate the existence of past animals?

      That was my point, Jeff. You think dinosaurs are *the* explanation for fossils. Yet...

      Scott: None of these other interpretations are empirically distinguishable from the rational theory of dinosaurs, in that their existence explains fossils. But we discard them because they all represent a general purpose means to deny absolutely anything.

      Scott: We say that dinosaurs are the explanation for fossils. […] And we do so despite the fact that there are an infinite number of rival interpretations of the same data that make all the same predictions, yet say the dinosaurs were not there, millions of years ago, in reality.

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    10. Jeff: Those biologists, biochemists, geneticists, geologists, paleontologists, actually tend to articulate their assumptions at some point or another. And they're ALWAYS based on nothing that can be extrapolated from regularities inductively inferred from observations. And yet such regularities are precisely that which naturalistic explanation has to do.

      Do they Jeff?

      Then you should have no problem precisely formulating a "Principle of Induction" that is well defined enough to provide the supposed guidance you're claiming an explanation needs to follow.

      Go ahead and fill in the following with something other than conjecture and refutation.

      01. Raw data
      02. ???
      03. Inductive conclusion.

      Take your time, Jeff. I'll wait. Nor will I distract you with another question until you fill in the blank.

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    11. Scott: But we discard them because they all represent a general purpose means to deny absolutely anything.

      J: Hmmm. What explanation implies the denial of absolutely anything? That's not even conceivable. An explanation is an explanation of SOMETHING.

      Scott: We say that dinosaurs are the explanation for fossils. […] And we do so despite the fact that there are an infinite number of rival interpretations of the same data that make all the same predictions, yet say the dinosaurs were not there, millions of years ago, in reality.

      J: Explain how those explanations are less ad-hoc (i.e., less inductive) than positing the existence of animals that lived, died, and left fossils in the way that seems to be occurring today in certain instances. You'll be the first to do it.

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    12. Scott: Go ahead and fill in the following with something other than conjecture and refutation.

      01. Raw data
      02. ???
      03. Inductive conclusion.

      J: Scott, an inductive conclusion is, by definition, tentative. Because data set size can change what is most parsimonious, least ad-hoc, etc. The inductive method is assumed by those who believe it to be valid in the sense of being truth-approximating in the long run as data sets increase. It's not assumed to give absolute truth at a given time with a given data set. We've already been over this.

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    13. Scott: Go ahead and fill in the following with something other than conjecture and refutation.

      Jeff: Scott, an inductive conclusion is, by definition, tentative. Because data set size can change what is most parsimonious, least ad-hoc, etc.

      If it's possible to reach tentative inductive conclusions at any point in time, that conclusion would be based on a snapshot of the raw data at that point in time. Right? So, I don't see how this prevents you from filing in the blank.

      Jeff: The inductive method is assumed by those who believe it to be valid in the sense of being truth-approximating in the long run as data sets increase. It's not assumed to give absolute truth at a given time with a given data set.

      If induction can be used to reach conclusions, tentative or not, it still needs to be defined in such a way that it can be reliably applied to provide guidance to choose between different theories, tentative or not. Otherwise, it's unclear how you're actually using induction to reach any conclusion, tentative or not.

      From the above example..

      And we do so despite the fact that there are an infinite number of rival interpretations of the same data that make all the same predictions, yet say the dinosaurs were not there, millions of years ago, in reality.

      Again, I'm not claiming that we haven't made progress. I'm claiming you're confused about what progress is and how we made it. So, I'm suggesting you're using conjecture and criticism without realizing it. IOW I'm asking you to take your own theory (inductivism) seriously, by filling in the blank.

      For you to have actually used induction to reach an inductive conclusion, it needs to provide guidance based on the raw data. And it needs to do so *before* explanatory theories come into play. Otherwise, you're simply calling conjecture and criticism by another name: induction.

      So, to reformulate….

      01. Snapshot of Raw data
      02. ???
      03. Tentative Inductive conclusion.

      Go ahead and fill in the blank with something other than conjecture and refutation. Take your own theory seriously.

      And this is open to anyone, not just Jeff, on both sides.

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    14. FYI: I'll follow up on your other comment once you fill in the blank.

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    15. In case it's not crystal clear...

      Jeff: But that's just it, I. Those biologists, biochemists, geneticists, geologists, paleontologists, actually tend to articulate their assumptions at some point or another. And they're ALWAYS based on nothing that can be extrapolated from regularities inductively inferred from observations. And yet such regularities are precisely that which naturalistic explanation has to do.

      If it's possible to inductively extrapolate from observations, which you claim is something a naturalistic explanation must do, then you shouldn't have any problem filling in the blank above.

      Please be specific.

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    16. Scott: So, to reformulate….

      01. Snapshot of Raw data
      02. ???
      03. Tentative Inductive conclusion.

      Go ahead and fill in the blank with something other than conjecture and refutation.

      J: You gave an example of how it works. You posit dinosaurs to explain dinosaur fossils. Now by your view, analogy (which is an inductive ground to inference) has nothing to do with that. IOW, the fact that such preservation can be reproduced in the here and now has NO analogical relevance to positing the existence of dinosaurs. But to the vast majority of people who infer dinosaurs from fossils, that inductive analogy is precisely the pertinent point relevant to the inference.

      If you can get scientists to publicly claim that the observations of processes that preserve features of extended objects have no analogous relevance to the inference to dinosaurs, ID'ists can rest their case. Because they will then be admitting they're idiots to the world.

      Scott: Take your own theory seriously.

      J: It's the only one that CAN be taken seriously seeing's how all others are absolutely arbitrary and, therefore, worthless to human choice.



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    17. Jeff: You gave an example of how it works.

      No, I gave an example of how Cornelius' objections are disingenuous.

      Specifically, we say dinosaurs are *the* explanation for fossils, despite the fact that there are an infinite number of rival interpretations of the same data that make all the same predictions, yet say the dinosaurs were not there, millions of years ago, in reality.

      As such, It's unclear why Cornelius doesn't raise the same objection regarding dinosaurs as he does evolutionary theory. Then again, apparently, he does not see the existence of dinosaurs millions of years ago as conflicting with his idea that human knowledge in specific spheres comes from authoritative supernatural sources.

      Jeff: Now by your view, analogy (which is an inductive ground to inference) has nothing to do with that. IOW, the fact that such preservation can be reproduced in the here and now has NO analogical relevance to positing the existence of dinosaurs.

      It's unclear how analogy can have anything to so with something you refuse to clearly define in any meaningful sense.

      The future is unlike the past in most ways. So, it's unclear how one can extrapolate theories from repeated experience though some progress called induction. Explanations come first. Without them, any continuation of any sequence constitutes ‘the same thing happening again’ under some explanation.

      An example of how the truth is unlike the past in most ways can be found at this XKCD comic.

      Jeff: But to the vast majority of people who infer dinosaurs from fossils, that inductive analogy is precisely the pertinent point relevant to the inference.

      The vast majority of people are just as confused as you apparently are. Again, dinosaurs are *the* explanation for fossils, This includes the explanatory theories behind the idea that dinosaurs would be subject to fossilization, as are mammoths, saber tooth tigers, etc. While your subjective experience might suggest this was extrapolated from repeated experience, hindsight is 20/20. Explanations always come first.

      Jeff: If you can get scientists to publicly claim that the observations of processes that preserve features of extended objects have no analogous relevance to the inference to dinosaurs, ID'ists can rest their case. Because they will then be admitting they're idiots to the world.

      The connection is explanatory, not inductive. That is, unless you've figured out how to extrapolate observations without first putting them into an explanatory framework.

      Scott: Take your own theory seriously.

      Jeff: It's the only one that CAN be taken seriously seeing's how all others are absolutely arbitrary and, therefore, worthless to human choice.

      Then put your money where your mouth is and fill in [02]. I don't think you can, but don't let that that stop you from proving me wrong.

      Again, take your time. I'm in no hurry. Nor do I want to distract you, so I won't ask you another question until you do.

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    18. Let's take induction seriously for the purpose of criticism.

      Every designer we've observed designing anything has a material brain. Every designer we've observed designing anything is knowledge laden and complex. Every designer we've observed designing anything was part of the biosphere itself.

      How did you reach this conclusion that these unbroken series of observations of designers would not continue without *first* placing them in some kind of explanatory framework?

      That's what I'm asking you to fill in the blank of [02].

      To be crystal clear, I'm not using these arguments as some kind of proof for evolution. Rather, I'm pointing out that you cannot obtain guidance from induction because it doesn't actually tell you which series of observations should or should not continue. That conclusion is not "out there" for us to observe.

      What we do is start out with problems, conjecture explanations as to how to solve them, then criticize those explanations in an attempt to find the errors they contain. In the case of science, that criticism includes empirical observations in the form of experimental tests.

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    19. Scott: Specifically, we say dinosaurs are *the* explanation for fossils,

      Jeff: The mere existence of dinosaurs doesn't explain the existence of fossils. It's processes that PRESERVE some of the FEATURES of objects (composite or not) COMBINED with the existence of those objects that can INDUCTIVELY EXPLAIN the existence of unobserved objects.

      Scott: ... despite the fact that there are an infinite number of rival interpretations of the same data that make all the same predictions, yet say the dinosaurs were not there, millions of years ago.

      J: That infinite set of rival interpretations that predict a fossil only do some in a way that has no predictive value to human CHOICE. Humans make free choices based on what they believe their apparent memories indicate (inductively indicate, i.e.) will happen in the future. Those other explanations you talk about are irrelevant because they're not inductively derived. That's why there is no inductive (i.e., POSITIVE) evidence for naturalistic UCA. No one has even been able to articulate the millions of assumptions that would imply it. Thus, there is no naturalistic explanation OF naturalistic UCA. Thus, it's not a "better" explanation.

      But when we talk about positive evidence in a court, we MEAN inductive evidence. By your view, all court decisions are totally arbitrary. I bet you'll never find a consensus of judges that will admit to your view. But I never say never. After all, crazy things happen in atheistic regimes.

      Scott: How did you reach this conclusion that these unbroken series of observations of designers would not continue without *first* placing them in some kind of explanatory framework?

      J: It's true that "observed" (observation means different things depending on whether one is a Copenhagen'ist, etc) designers are "observed," whereas the inferred designer we designate by the word(s) "god(s)" are not observed. But we interpret "observations" inductively. And interpretations are thought in the form of INDICATIVE propositions. And indicative statements are "matter of fact" statements. Thus, the inference to GOD is an inference to EXPLAIN how inductive relative plausibility criteria are not merely USED, but are VALID qua criteria. By your view, I could never know any criteria was anything but absolutely arbitrary, having no known correspondence to preference or anything else.

      But once you posit a designer to explain the VALIDITY of relative inductive plausibility criteria, it is fair to explain other observations in terms of that/those very god/gods when there is either no other conceivable explanation or no more inductive explanation for those "observations." This doesn't prove the explanation TRUE. It just proves it WARRANTED per inductive criteria. Your view, because it doesn't include relative plausibility criteria, is utterly WORTHLESS to human choice and, therefore, preference.

      Scott: What we do is start out with problems, conjecture explanations as to how to solve them, then criticize those explanations in an attempt to find the errors they contain.

      J: On the contrary. Once you reject foundationalism, you couldn't know there IS a problem OR a solution OR an error. You can't start believing absolutely NOTHING (which is what non-foundationalism means) and derive any knowledge -- not even knowledge of existing problems, possible solutions, conceivable errors, etc.

      And this is, in fact, why you're right to say that IF your epistemology is the only conceivable one, there is literally ZERO positive evidence for any proposition whatsoever that means anything having to do with the past or the future. And that rules out the knowledge of an existing "problem TO solve."

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    20. Scott, as for plugging a proposition into your #2, that's missing the point. Inductive relative plausibility criteria (which really have to do with greater or lesser warrant) are not reducible to a single proposition. Get any logic book taught in college logic courses and read the chapter on inductive reasoning/logic. Then explain to me how you know that scientists don't think that way. Then, and only then, are you speaking for someone other than yourself. I assure you that the other atheists and anti-ID'ists here do NOT agree with you that there is ZERO positive evidence for naturalistic UCA.

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    21. Jeff: Scott, as for plugging a proposition into your #2, that's missing the point. Inductive relative plausibility criteria (which really have to do with greater or lesser warrant) are not reducible to a single proposition.

      I'm not asking for a proposition, Jeff. In fact, that's exactly my point. A proposition would be a conjecture about how to extrapolate the raw data.

      And I'm the one missing the point?

      What I'm asking for is one or more steps that can extrapolate raw data into a inductive conclusion that doesn't include conjecture and refutation.

      So, let me reformulate for you...

      01. Raw data
      02. Not conjecture or refutation
      0N. Not conjecture or refutation
      [...]something
      0X. Inductive conclusion

      Fill in 02 - 0X with something other than conjecture and refutation.

      I don't think you can. But feel free to show me that I'm wrong.

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    22. Again, as to not distract you, I'll address the rest of your comments one you fill in the missing step(s).

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  2. And when one allows that Darwinism might just be false instead of evolution must be true, then one finds

    Nobel laureate physicist that you sure won’t read on a Darwin pressure group Web site
    Excerpt: Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause! -
    Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down (New York: Basic Books, 2005), 168-69)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/he-said-it-here%E2%80%99s-a-statement-from-a-nobel-laureate-physicist-that-you-sure-won%E2%80%99t-read-on-a-darwin-pressure-group-web-site/

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    1. You might find this valuable BA,

      "“There's another disadvantage to the use of the flashlight: like many other mechanical gadgets it tends to separate a man from the world around him. If I switch it on my eyes adapt to it and I can see only the small pool of light it makes in front of me; I am isolated. Leaving the flashlight in my pocket where it belongs, I remain a part of the environment I walk through and my vision though limited has no sharp or definite boundary.”
      ― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

      “The fire. The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgment; I doubt if all the smoking censers of Dante's paradise could equal it. One breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the American West. Long may it burn.”
      ― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

      "As for the "solitary confinement of the mind," my theory is that solipsism, like other absurdities of the professional philosopher, is a product of too much time wasted in library stacks between the covers of a book, in smoke-filled coffeehouses (bad for brains) and conversation-clogged seminars. To refute the solipsist or the metaphysical idealist all that you have to do is take him out and throw a rock at his head: if he ducks he's a liar. His logic may be airtight but his argument, far from revealing the delusions of living experience, only exposes the limitations of logic."

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    2. bornagain77July 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      And when one allows that Darwinism might just be false instead of evolution must be true, then one finds


      ...a BatShit crazy (when it comes to biology)...

      Nobel laureate physicist...

      Okay, maybe that's a little unfair but tell us, BA, when you have a toothache do you go to a plumber to find out what's wrong and get it treated? No, I thought not.

      Then why quote a physicist on a question in biology? Could it be because you can't find a Nobel laureate biologist saying the same thing?

      And if that's the case, what does it say about Laughlin's opinions about biology? That they're worth about as much as Richard Dawkins' on problems in physics?

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    3. Ian:"Okay, maybe that's a little unfair but tell us, BA, when you have a toothache do you go to a plumber to find out what's wrong and get it treated?"

      I wonder if Scott goes to a fallibilist for surgery or dentistry.

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    4. Ian H Spedding
      Or perhaps a transcendentist?


      Scott is a cross dressing dentist?

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    5. From this article on uncertainty....

      That human beings can be mistaken in anything they think or do is a proposition known as fallibilism. Stated abstractly like that, it is seldom contradicted. Yet few people have ever seriously believed it, either.

      That our senses often fail us is a truism; and our self-critical culture has long ago made us familiar with the fact that we can make mistakes of reasoning too. But the type of fallibility that I want to discuss here would be all-pervasive even if our senses were as sharp as the Hubble Telescope and our minds were as logical as a computer. It arises from the way in which our ideas about reality connect with reality itself—how, in other words, we can create knowledge, and how we can fail to.


      In the first sense, we're all fallibilists, including my dentist.

      However, not everyone takes fallibilism seriously.

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  3. Are dinosaurs the explanation for a specific group of fossils?

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    1. Scott,

      "Are dinosaurs the explanation for a specific group of fossils?"

      Nope, the dinosaur fossils are just the result. The explanation is some form of catastrophic event.

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    2. Nic

      The explanation is some form of catastrophic event.


      Given that dinosaurs existed on the planet for over 135 million years, and that their fossil remains are always found sorted temporally (i.e Allosaurus always earlier than T-rex, Eoraptor always earlier than Allosaurus), what catastrophic event would that be?

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    3. Nic: Nope, the dinosaur fossils are just the result. The explanation is some form of catastrophic event.

      See my above comment. Specially...

      We never speak of the existence of dinosaurs, millions of years ago, as an interoperation of our best theories of fossils. Rather, we say that dinosaurs are the explanation for fossils. Nor is the theory primarily about fossils, but about dinosaurs, in that they are assumed to actually exist as part of the explanation.

      And we do so despite the fact that there are an infinite number of rival interpretations of the same data that make all the same predictions, yet say the dinosaurs were not there, millions of years ago, in reality.


      Does this catastrophic event suggest dinosaurs were not there millions of years ago?

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  4. But there is no question that all creatures on this planet are [evolutionarily] related. We can see that in the genes. They all share the same genetic code—it looks like a frozen accident.

    Gee, I guess 'Windows' operating systems blindly evolved without guidance as well, since you know, they probably share a lot of the same code among themselves. .

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  5. National Velour

    Gee, I guess 'Windows' operating systems blindly evolved without guidance as well, since you know, they probably share a lot of the same code among themselves.


    "Humans design lawn sprinklers, therefore the rain clouds that wet my grass must be intelligently designed".

    There must be a Creationist somewhere on the planet who understands basic logic. Just not on this blog.

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    1. Thorton,

      "therefore the rain clouds that wet my grass must be intelligently designed".

      Well, they're certainly part of an obviously designed system of weather. Or are you under the impression weather is just a continuous series of random events?

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  6. Nic

    Well, they're certainly part of an obviously designed system of weather.


    Hi my good hockey buddy. :)

    What makes the system of weather be "obviously designed"? Please be specific.

    Or are you under the impression weather is just a continuous series of random events?

    Every person I've ever read, heard of, or spoken to has thought weather is stochastic - general patterns can be predicted (hot in the summer, cold/snow in the winter) but not individual events. You have any evidence that weather is not stochastic?

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