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Can Someone Please Tell Me the Difference

Between these following:

Scenario 1:

Galileo:  The earth orbits the sun

Galileo’s opponent:  Idiot.  Ptolemy established that the sun orbits the earth 1,500 years ago and that theory has served us well ever since.

Scenario 2:

ID proponent:  The best explanation for the existence of complex specified information in living things is “act of an intelligent agent.”

ID opponent:  IDiot.  Darwin proposed a chance/necessity mechanism to explain everything about all aspects of living things 150 years ago, and that theory has served us well ever since.

The only difference I can see is that Galileo’s opponent seems to have a better argument, because the theory he was defending had been around 10 times longer.

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43 Responses to Can Someone Please Tell Me the Difference

  1. Yes the theory serves us so well no one uses it except to make money.

  2. You need not rely on antiquity for the greater validity of the geocentric notion in its time. Assume for argument that the Materialist conception is entirely correct and without exception. And that the Dice theory of origins is entirely correct and without exception as a historical matter.

    Then right now, in laboratories all over the Earth, crafty little geneticists are designing large scale ad hoc features into existing organisms. No matter what anyone may think at this very moment, ID is absolutely correct 24 hours from now. And one million years from now it will still be the case regardless of whether our current writings, thoughts, and knowledge on the subject of Dice and Design are wholly ground to dust and lost by the passage of time.

    Or, at least, so long as you permit me to slander the human race with intelligence; and otherwise to avoid the Creation Myth side of both notions.

    In either case the rejection of ID as such is counterfactual to the world at large and as it exists today.

  3. Barry Arrington posted this:

    “Galileo’s opponent: Idiot. Ptolemy established that the sun orbits the earth 1,500 years ago and that theory has served us well ever since.”

    Are you serious? Ptolemy “established” that the sun orbits the earth?

    How big does the strawman have to be before you recognise the tufts of grass sticking out of its ears?

    They (the geocentrists) built a model that described the motions of near- and far-field celestial objects with remarkable accuracy. But, by sticking to a fundamental assumption (of geocentricity), they paid the price of an increasingly complicated mathematics. In the world of a geocentrist, every celestial object has to have its own particular rule of motion.

    Along came Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Newton et al., and they provide progressively simpler models that deliver the same or superior accuracy as explanations of observations (and a few rather important predictions about planetary motions that were not confirmed until later) with vastly fewer unobserved and unproven assumptions. Sentient cosmologists the world over did a facepalm and thought “Why did I not think of that?” (Except a few, Tycho Brahe, for one).

    There is a reason why there are so few geocentrists around these days. They were wrong about causation then, despite the accuracy of their model, and they are wrong now.

    If you want your strawman to work as an argument for IDism, then you need to adduce evidence that can be tested to show that your explanation for biological complexity involves fewer assumptions than the evolutionary explanation.

    So far your argument seems to boil down to: (evolutionary explanation) plus (something supernatural) was also involved but we don’t know when or how or why.

  4. The Galileo affair has certainly turned out to be far different, and far more nuanced, than the simplistic ‘science vs. religion’ narrative that is told in popular culture today.

    Often times a atheist/materialist will try to deride a person’s Christian belief by saying something along the lines of, ‘Well, we also don’t believe that the sun orbits the earth any longer do we?’, trying to mock the person’s Christian belief as some type of superstitious belief that is left over from the Dark Ages that had blocked the progress of science. Yet, those atheists/materialists who say such things to the young Christian fail to realize that the geocentric (Earth centered) model of the solar system was, number one, overturned by three devout Christians, Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, and that number two, that modern science itself was brought to sustained maturity in the matrix of Christian Theism.

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply? – referenced article
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit

    Also of note: It can also be forcefully argued that modern science had its foundation laid during the protestant reformation of the 16th century, and also when the Catholic church had its own private ‘mini-reformation’ from Greek influences over its central teachings during this era. The point being that it can be forcefully argued that modern scientific thought was brought to maturity when a more ‘pure’ Christian influence was brought to maturity in the Christian church(es) of western culture and the stifling pagan influences were purged from it. Please see:

    The Reformation and the Development of Modern Science BY E. L. HEBDEN TAYLOR
    Excerpt: ‘In order to understand Calvin’s influence on the scientific method one must first look at his theological technique. Seeking to reform the church, he turned back to the original Christian source, the biblical text, which he believed to be the Word of God. His method of approach to the Scriptures was basically empirical for he rejected all speculation and all philosophising in favour of a strict grammatico historical exegesis under the guidance of God’s Spirit, which limits one to what the text actually says . . Calvin, however, did not stop with a theological method, for he held that God also revealed Himself in the works of His creation and providence. These latter man comes to know not by studying the Scriptures but by investigating nature itself. Here the two-level theory of reality came into play, for he insisted that one must investigate the things of this earth by appropriate mundane means, the only limitation being that unless men see this earth “in the light of eternity”, by which he means in the perspective of faith in Christ, they will neither understand it truly nor use it properly.
    http://www.allofliferedeemed.c.....cience.pdf

    Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, the three primary scientists involved in overturning geocentrism, were all devout Christians and it certainly was not a atheist, nor some group of atheists, nor some other religion(s), involved in overturning the geocentric model. Johann Kepler (1571-1630), a devout Lutheran, was the mathematician who mathematically verified Copernicus’s, a loyal Catholic, heliocentric model for the solar system.

    Kepler: the Heavens Declare God’s Glory
    Excerpt: About the time that the Reformation was proclaiming Christ rather than the pope as the head of the Church, science was announcing that the sun rather than the earth was the center of our planetary system. A leader in this changing scientific perspective was the German scientist Johann Kepler.,,, Throughout his scientific work, Kepler never sought any glory for himself, but always sought to bring glory to God. At the end of his life his prayer was: I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit.
    http://www.christianity.com/Ch...../11630018/

    In fact, on discovering the laws of planetary motion, Johann Kepler declared:

    ‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’
    http://www.biblicalcreation.or.....cs104.html

    In 1610, it was the Italian scientist Galileo Galilee (1564-1642), who was also a dedicated Christian to his dying day, despite his infamous conflict with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, who empirically verified Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’s (1473-1543) heliocentric theory. Please see:

    Contest Winner! – Barry Arrington – July 27, 2011
    Please note the section titled ‘Primer on the Galileo Affair’ to see how far the popular myth of ‘science vs. religion’ is from the actual reality of the affair
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....st-winner/

    and please see:

    Why Galileo was Wrong, Even Though He was Right – Cornelius Hunter
    Excerpt: The Galileo Affair is far more complex than the simple-minded warfare thesis supposes. Yes Pope John Paul II issued a declaration in 1992 acknowledging the church’s errors. And the church was no doubt mistaken. But the church’s action in the Galileo Affair was far more complex than simply opposing a scientific finding out of religious conviction,,,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....gh-he.html

  5. The heliocentric theory was hotly debated in popular culture at the time, for it proposed a revolutionary idea for the 1600′s stating all the planets revolved around the sun. Many people of the era had simply, and wrongly, presumed everything in the universe revolved around the earth (geocentric theory), since from their limited, and somewhat simplistic, perspective everything did seem to be revolving around the earth. As well the geocentric theory seems to agree with the religious sensibilities of being made in God’s image, although the Bible never actually directly states the earth is the ‘center’ of the universe.

    Job 26:7
    “He stretches the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing”

    Galileo had improved upon the recently invented telescope. With this improved telescope he observed many strange things about the solar system. This included the phases of Venus as she revolved around the sun and the fact Jupiter had her own satellites (moons) which revolved around her. Thus, Galileo wrote and spoke about what had become obvious to him; the planets do indeed revolve around the sun. It is now commonly believed that man was cast down from his special place in the grand scheme of things, for the Earth beneath his feet no longer appeared to be the ‘center of the universe’, and indeed the Earth is now commonly believed by many people to be reduced to nothing but an insignificant speck of dust in the vast ocean of space (mediocrity principle, Please see Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’ and Gonzalez’s refutation of the mediocrity principle in ‘The Privileged Planet’).

    The Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnWyPIzTOTw

    Yet actually the earth became exalted in the eyes of many people of that era, with its supposed removal from the center of the universe, since centrality in the universe had a very different meaning in those days. A meaning that equated being at the center of the universe with being at the ‘bottom’ of the universe, or being in the ‘cesspool’ of the universe.

    The Copernican Revolution – March 2010
    Excerpt: Danielson(2001) made a compelling case that this portrayal is the opposite of what really happened, i.e., that before the Copernican Revolution, Earth was seen not as being at the center, but rather at the bottom, the cesspool where all filth and corruption fell and accumulated.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100317a

    As to the fact that, as far as the solar system itself is concerned, the earth is not ‘central’, I find the fact that this seemingly insignificant earth is found to revolve around the much more massive sun to be a very fitting ‘poetic reflection’ of our true spiritual condition. In regards to God’s ‘kingdom of light’, are we not to keep in mind our lives are to be guided by the much higher purpose which is tied to our future in God’s kingdom of light? Are we not to avoid placing too much emphasis on what this world has to offer, since it is so much more insignificant than what heaven has to offer?

    Verse, music and notes along that line of thought:

    Matthew 16:26
    And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Apocalypitca – Nothing Else Matters -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSMXMv0noY4

    Louie Giglio – How Great Is Our God – Part 2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfNiZrt5FjU

    Quote from preceding video: You could fit 262 trillion earths inside (the star of) Betelgeuse. If the Earth were a golfball that would be enough to fill up the Superdome (football stadium) with golfballs,,, 3000 times!!! When I heard that as a teenager that stumped me right there because most of my praying had been advising God, correcting God, suggesting things to God, drawing diagrams for God, reviewing things with God, counseling God. – Louie Giglio

    This ‘humbling of the world’ to a insignificant speck of dust in the grand scheme of the universe by science is not to be lamented over too much by people of faith, for where the ‘true centrality’ of the universe is found to ultimately be by modern science is much, much, better than if the earth had been found to be central in the universe:

    Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Credible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    Excerpt: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Psalm 139:7-14
    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

    Moreover, the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    And this argument for God from consciousness can now be bore out in empirical evidence:

    Three intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    Thus, as is extremely fitting from the basic Christian view of reality, the centrality of the world in the universe, comparitively speaking, is found to be rather negligible, save for ‘the privileged planet’ principle, whereas the centrality of the souls of men in the universe is found to be primary,,, i.e. “Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:26

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Music:

    Finally Home – Kerrie Roberts
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukyynPEHmnA

  6. Devout Christians who refused to accept the dogma of the Christian church of their time (dogma is not a dirty word in my language, it just means “accepted wisdom”). In other words: Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus and Newton were people who refused to accept the dogma of their times in the face of disconfirming evidence. They were scientists (propose an hypothesis, test, conclude and repeat).

    Oh, and by the way, you would have to draw an awfully long bow to claim Newton as a “devout” Christian. Unless you want to include alchemy is a science sanctioned by religion.

    Oops, I just noticed that you think that quantum effects are expressed at classically physical scales, so I have to presume you do think that alchemy is real. Good luck with the Philosopher’s Stone thing.

  7. Ptolemy “established” that the sun orbits the earth?

    Yes, as much as evos have “established” that chimps and humans share a common ancestor via accumulations of genetic accidents.

    then you need to adduce evidence that can be tested to show that your explanation for biological complexity involves fewer assumptions than the evolutionary explanation.

    The evolutionary “explanation” cannot be tested. THAT is the whole problem.

  8. timothya perhaps you should do a little research to cover your behind before you go spouting things like this:

    I just noticed that you think that quantum effects are expressed at classically physical scales,

    for recent discoveries in science now reveal that your ‘quantum effects only on small scales’ belief is somewhat a outdated, even geocentric belief :)

    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/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    As to Newton being a devout Christian there is no doubt that he was one since he studied and wrote on scripture far more than he did on science,

    Israeli library uploads (Sir Isaac) Newton’s theological texts – February 15, 2012
    Excerpt: He’s considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time.,, However, the curator of Israel’s national library’s humanities collection said Newton was also a devout Christian who dealt far more in theology than he did in physics,, “He (Sir Isaac Newton) took a great interest in the Jews, and we found no negative expressions toward Jews in his writing,” said Levy-Rubin. “He (years before it was remotely feasible) said the Jews would ultimately return to their land.”
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....gical.html

    Newton’s original manuscripts are uploaded here:

    Newton Manuscripts
    http://web.nli.org.il/sites/NL.....ewton.aspx

    As to Newton being a ‘orthodox’ Christian, well no he wasn’t, I never claimed he was, but then again so what? Christianity is hardly a monolithic faith in which one size fits all, as is readily testified by the many different Christian denominations in America!

    further notes:

    Sir Isaac Newton, who is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, scientist who has ever lived, was a avid student of Bible prophecy:

    Sir Isaac Newton’s Prediction For The Return Of Christ – Sid Roth video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041154

    Of note, Newton’s calculation to 2060 is corrected here to 2013 to reflect the different start time that is now known to greater precision:

    Newton’s end times calculation corrected!
    Excerpt: Therefore, correcting Newton’s date, the year 753 B.C. designates the founding of the physical Rome while A.D. 753 establishes the rebirth of spiritual Rome. Counting 1,260 years forward from A.D. 753, one arrives at the year 2013.
    http://www.wnd.com/2008/09/75434/

    Of note to the precision of the start date of ‘spiritual Rome’

    Donation of Pepin
    Excerpt: When Pepin conquered Ataulf the ex-archate of Ravenna fell into his hands. Pepin gave both the ex-archate and the Republic of Rome to the Pope, and this munificent gift is the famous “Donation” on which rested the whole fabric of the temporal power of the Popes of Rome (A.D. 755).
    http://www.infoplease.com/dict.....pepin.html

    Thus adjusting 2013 + 2 = 2015,,,, HMMMM? as well as from another angle we find:

    “Prophetic Perspectives, 2008-2015″ – Jim Bramlett
    Excerpt: For years I have been intrigued with Newton’s interpretation of Daniel 9:25 and the 62 weeks and 7 weeks (62 X 7 = 434 years, and 7 X 7 = 49 years), counted “from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem.” In his commentary on Daniel, a copy of which I have, Newton wrote that the interpretation of those 69 weeks is usually incorrect, violating the Hebrew language. He said the two numbers should not be added together as most scholars do, but the 434 years refer to Messiah’s first coming (which he demonstrated), and the 49 years refer to His second coming, after Israel is reestablished, an idea unheard of 300 years ago but happening in our generation The start date for counting has been controversial. Many thought the 49-year-count would be the date of Israel’s rebirth on May 14, 1948, but, alas, that did not work out. Other dates were tried unsuccessfully. But what if the count begins on one of the two most historical dates in Jewish history, the date in the miraculous Six-Day War when Israel captured Jerusalem and the Temple Mount: June 7, 1967? Assume the 49-year count (49 Jewish years X 360 days = 17,640 days), does start on June 7, 1967. Using a date-counter Web site at http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html we learn that the 17,640-day count takes us exactly to September 23, 2015. September 23, 2015 is the Day of Atonement! What are the odds against that? Many have believed that the Second Coming will be on the Day of Atonement. If he knew this, old Isaac Newton would be doing cartwheels and back flips right now.
    http://www.prophecyforum.com/b.....tives.html

    Quote of note:

    I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily…. All my discoveries have been made in an answer to prayer. — Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), considered by many to be the greatest scientist of all time

  9. Bjornagain – I hadn’t realised you are a numerologist. I will retreat with both hands in clear sight.

  10. Well timothya, you claimed Newton wasn’t a Christian, yet when I showed you he was not only a Christian but that he was one of those ‘crazy Christians’ who had the audacity to actually take the bible literally as to Christ’s return, and your response is to call me a numerologist??? Well so be it, I really don’t know how much stock to put into this whole ‘date setting thing’ and am somewhat averse to the whole concept (no one knows the day or hour), but this whole prophecy thing that Newton was ‘into’, that you so quickly derided as mere pseudo-scientific numerology, actually has far more going for it, as to a firm mathematical basis, than one would be predisposed to believe at first glance:

    Restoration Of Israel and Jerusalem In Prophecy (Doing the math) – Chuck Missler – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8598581

    Moreover timothya it is funny that you would, as a neo-Darwinist, be so quick to label something, anything, as psuedo-scientific (i.e. such as numerology),,, all I can say in response to you doing as such, just to avoid admitting you were wrong about how devout Newton was as a Christian, is ‘take a good, close, hard, look in the mirror’:

    Is evolution pseudoscience?
    Excerpt:,,, Thus, of the ten characteristics of pseudoscience listed in the Skeptic’s Dictionary, evolution meets nine. Few other pseudosciences – astrology, astral projection, alien abduction, crystal power, or whatever — would meet so many.
    http://creation.com/is-evolution-pseudoscience

    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin(ism) can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....27s_theory

    Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos – exposing Darwinism as a ‘degenerating science program’, as a pseudoscience, using Lakatos’s rigid criteria
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LpGd3smTV1RwmEXC25IAEKMjiypBl5VJq9ssfv4JgeM/edit

    C.S. Lewis: creationist and anti-evolutionist
    Excerpt: “In 1951 C S Lewis wrote that evolution was “the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives” and modern civilization. Evolution, Lewis explained, is a picture of reality that has resulted from imagination and is “not the logical result of what is vaguely called ‘modern science’.”
    http://creation.com/c-s-lewis

    Evolution Is Religion–Not Science by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality,,, Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.
    Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse – Prominent Philosopher

    Anti-Science Irony (Who is really anti-science?) – October 2011
    Excerpt: In response to a letter from Asa Gray, professor of biology at Harvard University, Darwin declared: “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.” Darwin was “anti-Science”.
    When questioned further by Gray, Darwin confirmed Gray’s suspicions: “What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work is grievously hypothetical, and large parts are by no means worthy of being called induction.” Darwin had turned against the use of scientific principles in developing his theory of evolution.,,, Just two weeks before the (re)lease of The Origin of Species, Erasmus Darwin, his brother, consoled him in a letter: “In fact, the a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts [evidence] won’t fit, why so much the worse for the facts, in my feeling.”
    http://www.darwinthenandnow.co.....nce-irony/

    The following is a humorous cartoon reflecting Erasmus’s, and present atheists/Darwinists, total disregard for empirical evidence;

    The Atheist Doctor (Denial of Evidence) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRQzQpnYhKI

    Brian Cusack’s Latest: Anti Parsimonious, Teleological, Petitio Principii, Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc and Misrepresentations—Other Than That It’s Perfect – October 2011
    Excerpt: ,,,evolutionists craft clever explanations that cast evolution and its natural selection in the active role of a designer. The theory sounds so much more plausible when natural selection responds to a need by creating a new design. ,, Out of one side of their mouth they rail against teleology while from the other they appeal to it over and over.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....nious.html

    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)

    “We are told dogmatically that Evolution is an established fact; but we are never told who has established it, and by what means. We are told, often enough, that the doctrine is founded upon evidence, and that indeed this evidence ‘is henceforward above all verification, as well as being immune from any subsequent contradiction by experience;’ but we are left entirely in the dark on the crucial question wherein, precisely, this evidence consists.”
    Smith, Wolfgang (1988)
    Teilhardism and the New Religion: A Thorough Analysis of The Teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    ‘Just told I was ignorant and illogical (and something worse) for believing in a Creator God… So, help me with this logic, Mr. Smarty-Pants: Something from nothing; Life from non-life; Order from disorder; Rationality from randomness; Consciousness from chaos; Design from destruction; Information without intelligence… This is the enlightened “logic” on which you base your life. Rock On!’
    Randall Niles – in response to a PhD ‘Smarty Pants’ who was sending him nasty e-mails

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....super.html

  11. Bjornagain posted this:

    “Well timothya, you claimed Newton wasn’t a Christian”.

    No I did not. Read for comprehension. I posted this:

    “Oh, and by the way, you would have to draw an awfully long bow to claim Newton as a “devout” Christian.”

    Note the adjective.

    Newton was a loony about some things, but he never let his “Christianity” get in the way of the conclusions he drew from the observations he made. That is a good lesson in my view.

  12. So in your view of Newton, timothya, it is possible for him to not be considered a ‘devout’ Christian and yet for him to hold that the second coming of Christ was a literal, real, event, that was prophesied in the Bible??? Yes, thanks for clearing that up timothya! For those not accomstomed to such logic, welcome to the ever flexible world of neo-Darwinists where things mean whatever you want them to mean, whenever you want them to mean what you want them to mean, just so as to avoid, at all cost, ever admitting that atheism is completely ludicrous!

  13. Newton’s religious beliefs are completely irrelevant to whether or not his science was true or not. Or to put it differently, Newton’s three laws are either true or not true, irrespective of whether your particular god exists.

    When you you get your head around that particular truth, you will understand why I can respect Newton’s genius as a physicist without giving any respect at all to Newton’s ideas about religion.

  14. Newton’s religious beliefs are completely irrelevant to whether or not his science was true or not.

    Actually tim, as usual, you are completely wrong again (at least you are consistent in being wrong!):

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 debate available on the site
    Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,
    http://theresurgence.com/2012/.....-god-exist

    Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139

    Even Albert Einstein, though he certainly was not considered particularly religious, reflects how the prevailing Judeo-Chriatian worldview of European culture influenced his overall thinking about science in this following quote:

    “I want to know how God created this world .. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” – Albert Einstein – Quoted in Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way, (New York, Morrow, 1988), 177.

    Einstein further commented on the ‘miracle’ of finding such order, instead of chaos, here:

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”
    Albert Einstein – Goldman – Letters to Solovine p 131.

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Presuppositional Apologetics – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    further note:

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.” Creation-Evolution Headlines
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20110227a

  15. Bjornagain: are you claiming that I have to be a Christian for me to believe that Newton’s Laws of Motion are true?

  16. timothya:

    Are you serious? Ptolemy “established” that the sun orbits the earth?

    At the time, pretty much all the evidence was in favor of the geocentric model.

    From astronomynotes.com:

    “Some of the observations that convinced the Greeks that the Earth was not moving are:

    1. The Earth is not part of the heavens. Today the Earth is known to be just one planet of eight (plus 5 dwarf planets at the time of writing) that orbit an average star in the outskirts of a large galaxy, but this idea gained acceptance only recently when telescopes extended our vision.

    2. The celestial objects are bright points of light while the Earth is an immense, nonluminous sphere of mud and rock. Modern astronomers now know that the stars are objects like our Sun but very far away and the planets are just reflecting sunlight.

    3. The Greeks saw little change in the heavens—the stars are the same night after night. In contrast to this, they saw the Earth as the home of birth, change, and destruction. They believed that the celestial bodies have an immutable regularity that is never achieved on the corruptible Earth. Today astronomers know that stars are born and eventually die (some quite spectacularly!)—the length of their lifetimes are much more than a human lifetime so they appear unchanging. Also, modern astronomers know that the stars do change positions with respect to each other over, but without a telescope, it takes hundreds of years to notice the slow changes.

    4. Finally, our senses show that the Earth appears to be stationary! Air, clouds, birds, and other things unattached to the ground are not left behind as they would be if the Earth was moving. There should be a strong wind if the Earth were spinning as suggested by some radicals. There is no strong wind. If the Earth were moving, then anyone jumping from a high point would hit the Earth far behind from the point where the leap began. Furthermore, they knew that things can be flung off an object that is spinning rapidly. The observation that rocks, trees, and people are not hurled off the Earth proved to them that the Earth was not moving. Today we have the understanding of inertia and forces that explains why this does not happen even though the Earth is spinning and orbiting the Sun. That understanding, though, developed about 2000 years after Plato.”

    It’s not like the astronomers at the time were accepting the geocentric model on blind faith. Of course, now we know they were wrong, but at the time this wasn’t at all clear.

  17. tim you ask:

    are you claiming that I have to be a Christian for me to believe that Newton’s Laws of Motion are true?

    No I’m pointing out that you cannot justify why you, as a atheist/materialist, can hold anything to be true. I have no doubt that you believe them to be true, its just that you, starting from materialistic presuppositions justify why you do so.

  18. correction:

    its just that you, starting from materialistic presuppositions CANNOT justify why you do so.

  19. 19

    Timothya writes:

    “Are you serious? Ptolemy “established” that the sun orbits the earth?”

    I am not sure what you mean by this. You seem to have missed the point of the OP. Let me spell it out.

    I am not arguing for ID in the OP. I am arguing against a particularly irksome Darwinist debate tactic. Numerous times on these pages Darwinists have argued to the effect of “Darwinism has been around for 150 years now; it’s gotta be true.”

    Darwinism may or may not be true. That is utterly beside the point I am making. The point I am making is that the fact Darwinism has been around for 150 years has absolutely no bearing on whether it is true.

    My point, Timothya, is that far older theories turned out to be spectacularly false.

    Timothya, writes: “They (the geocentrists) built a model that described the motions of near- and far-field celestial objects with remarkable accuracy. But, by sticking to a fundamental assumption (of geocentricity), they paid the price of an increasingly complicated mathematics.”

    Hmmmm. Let’s substitute some words:

    “They (the Darwinists) built a model that described a process that accounted for the diversity of life. But, by sticking to a fundamental assumption (that only chance and necessity can be considered as causal factors), they paid the price of an increasing understanding of the complexity of and information contained in the cell.”

    Timothya writes: “So far your argument seems to boil down to: (evolutionary explanation) plus (something supernatural) was also involved but we don’t know when or how or why.”

    Irony alert. In his comment Timothya accused me of erecting a strawman. I am not sure what he meant by this, because I was not describing any argument, much less caricaturing an argument. Be that as it may, Timothya either has not taken the time to study ID sufficiently so that he can describe it accurately or he is erecting a strawman caricature himself. I will let others judge which it is.

  20. 20

    Newton was a loony about some things, but he never let his “Christianity” get in the way of the conclusions he drew from the observations he made. That is a good lesson in my view.

    Newton’s religious beliefs are completely irrelevant to whether or not his science was true or not. Or to put it differently, Newton’s three laws are either true or not true, irrespective of whether your particular god exists.

    How would you distinguish this trait in a scientist/researcher of today?

  21. 21
    critical rationalist

    Barry Arrington: I am not arguing for ID in the OP. I am arguing against a particularly irksome Darwinist debate tactic. Numerous times on these pages Darwinists have argued to the effect of “Darwinism has been around for 150 years now; it’s gotta be true.”

    The argument is (or should be in the case of those who use it incorrectly) that Darwinism has withstood over 150 years of criticism. We make progress by conjecturing theories, then testing those theories via observations. Theories found to be in error are either modified in a non-ad hoc fashion or replaced by theories that provide a better explanation of the same observations.

    Barry Arrington: Irony alert. In his comment Timothya accused me of erecting a strawman.

    You’re correct in that it’s a bad argument *as you presented it*. Nor would it come as a surprise that some people employ it without understanding it. However, this doesn’t change the fact that valid forms of the argument do exist.

  22. The argument is (or should be in the case of those who use it incorrectly) that Darwinism has withstood over 150 years of criticism. </blockquote?

    That's not an argument. That is pure nonsense.

  23. 23

    critcal rationalist: Thank you for your post. I don’t know what I expected when I put up this post. I am certain, however, that I did not expect someone to actually defend the “it’s an old theory; therefore it is more likely to be true” argument.

    OK, let’s examine this.

    You say that the proper form of the argument is “Darwinism has withstood over 150 years of criticism.”

    CR, that’s not an argument. That’s one premise. There is no “therefore . . .”

    Let me try to fill in the blank for you. I assume from the gist of your comment that you would say “Darwinism has withstood over 150 years of criticism. THEREFORE, it probably true.”

    I don’t see how that form of the argument is in substance different than the one I posited in the OP. Be that as it may, let’s substitute some words: “Ptolemy’s geocentric cosmology has withstood 1,500 years of criticism.* Therefore, it is probably true.”

    The conclusion does not follow from the premise for Ptolemy (after 1,500 years). Why should the conclusion follow from the premise for Darwin (after only 150 years)?

    CR writes: “Theories found to be in error are either modified in a non-ad hoc fashion or replaced by theories that provide a better explanation of the same observations.”

    Yes, that is the theory of theories. Practice is much different, as you probably know. History is full of theories supported by scientists long after their “dispose of by” date had passed. Moreover, Darwinism is a special case. It is the creation myth of materialist atheism. Therefore, its adherents defend Darwinian orthodoxy with an arrogantly rigid and hide bound obstinacy that would make a medieval churchman blush. Witness the antics of PZ Myers, the Torquemada of the 21st Century Darwinists, and “Darwinism has more evidence than gravity, the atomic theory of matter, and special relativity” Vincent Cassone, as displayed in other posts at UD in the last few days.

    *Surely you will not try to suggest that no one criticized Ptolemy for over 1,500 years.

  24. footnote to post 8 (Newton prophecy):
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-430575

    It may be very surprising for some to learn that the biblical ‘prophetic’ calender is more accurate than our modern day ‘scientific’ calender. The Gregorian calender uses a fairly complex system of leap days to keep accuracy with the sun, whereas, on a whole consideration, the prophetic calender uses a simpler system of leap months to keep accuracy to the sun. When these two systems are compared against each other, side by side, the prophetic calender equals the Gregorian in accuracy at first approximation, and on in-depth analysis for extremely long periods of time (even to the limits for how precisely we can measure time altogether) the prophetic calender exceeds the Gregorian calender in accuracy. i.e. it turns out, God’s measure of time exceeds the best efforts of man to scientifically measure time accurately.,, But as a Christian why am I surprised about this? :)

    Bible Prophecy Year of 360 Days
    Excerpt: Is the Biblical ‘prophetic’ calender more accurate than our modern calender? Surprisingly yes! Excerpt: The first series of articles will show the 360-day (Prophetic) calendar to be at least as simple and as accurate as is our modern (Gregorian) calendar. In the second part of our discussion we will demonstrate how that the 360-day calendar is perfectly exact (as far as our ‘scientific’ measurements will allow).
    http://www.360calendar.com/

    Trust in God’s Perfect Timing – photo
    http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hp.....4442_n.jpg

  25. One big difference between the scenarios is that positive evidence for heliocentrism accumulated (e.g. see this blog post), whereas the only evidence put forward “for” ID is that evolution doesn’t explain something: there is no positive evidence for ID in the natural world.

  26. A Gene:

    whereas the only evidence put forward “for” ID is that evolution doesn’t explain something.

    Wrong again, as usual.

    For one ID is not anti-evolution. For another Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning, ie parsimony, mandate that necessity and/ or chance be eliminated before any design inference is reached. And finally the design inference is based on positive criteria, whereas your position sez “anything but design no matter what the evidence says!”

  27. 27

    A Gene,

    …the only evidence put forward “for” ID is that evolution doesn’t explain something: there is no positive evidence for ID in the natural world.

    Demonstrating what evolution cannot do is not the test standard created by IDist, that standard was set by Charles Darwin himself:

    VI. Difficulties of the Theory

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down”.

    - – - – - – - –

    Now, what Darwin did was to propose the impossible as a test of his theory (one cannot prove that something didn’t happen), so such a test is not viable for the modern materialist ideologue who will never accept any amount of contrary evidence (effectively isolating the theory of disconfirmation). Such a test would have only been meaningful for the rational colleagues Darwin was speaking to in his day.

    In the meantime, IDist have shown a biosystem that could not have developed in incremental steps, and in the process have fulfilled one of their predictions.

  28. A Gene states:

    One big difference between the scenarios is that positive evidence for heliocentrism accumulated

    Actually, there is a striking parallel between the fall of geocentrism and the fall of evolution. It is fairly well known that geocentrism went through a very long slow fall as more elaborate, and more elaborate, ‘epicycles’ were added onto the geocentric theory to accommodate anomalies in known facts. In fact, Imre Lakatos, after much analysis, concluded that the fabrication of additional theories to accommodate known facts is the surest way (surest demarcation criteria) to know that one is dealing with a ‘pseudo-science’, dealing with a ‘degenerating scientific theory’:

    Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) -
    “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosop.....cript.aspx

    Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos – audio lecture
    http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/phi.....nce128.mp3

    Imre Lakatos also stated:

    Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos
    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    And much like the long slow fall of geocentrism, many ‘anomalies’ against Darwinism (on top of the many anomalies it started with), that have to be ‘explained away’ by additional theories, have accumulated as our knowledge has grown about the unfathomably complex inner workings of the cell. Even Darwinists themselves admit that their theory has suffered major renovations in order to fit what the evidence is now saying:

    EMBO workshop focuses on “phenomena that are not part of the traditional narrative of molecular evolution … ” August 2012
    Excerpt: It is impossible to deny that our ideas on evolution are shifting from the simple and rigid ‘random mutation–selective fixation’ scheme epitomized in the Modern Synthesis, to a much more complex, nuanced picture. Under the new view, the interplay between stochasticity and adaptive mechanisms is extensive and essential, both in the generation of variation and in the fixation of the changes.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....evolution/

    There are even many researchers, researchers who believe in the general materialistic framework of evolution, who concede that the neo-Darwinism, as it was originally envisioned, is dead. James Shapiro and Eugene Koonin are two quick examples that come to mind.,,, As to your claim that Intelligent Design has no positive evidence going for it, well, to put it mildly, that accusation is simply false:

    A Positive, Testable Case for Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – March 2011 – several examples of cited research
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....45311.html

    A Response to Questions from a Biology Teacher: How Do We Test Intelligent Design? – March 2010
    Excerpt: Regarding testability, ID (Intelligent Design) makes the following testable predictions:
    (1) Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns that perform a specific function (e.g. complex and specified information).
    (2) Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.
    (3) Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.
    (4) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....rom_a.html

  29. ‘and it certainly was not a atheist, nor some group of atheists, nor some other religion(s), involved in overturning the geocentric model. Johann Kepler (1571-1630), a devout Lutheran, was the mathematician who mathematically verified Copernicus’s, a loyal Catholic, heliocentric model for the solar system.

    I think the key word for the atheist to ruminate on is, ‘devout’. No doubt, Christians were in a substantial majority when those great scientists lived, but what is fascinating and awesome, is that they were what in current popular parlance would be described as ‘religious nuts’; even the word, ‘devout’ scarcely conveys the depth of their passion of their Christian faith. Moreover, Newton lived in an age when the plausibility of the notion of alchemy was no more discounted, than that of the ‘science’ of phrenology or the insanity of neoliberal economics. Eventually, Newton went so far as to declare his contempt for mathematics.

    How can you not warm to such a character. More often than not, ‘mad as a hatter’ is just about the highest compliment you can pay someone in my book. In some connections, to be considered insane in an insane world is something to be aspired to with all one’s might; and the converse, almost the mark of Cain.

    How ironical that someone calling himself Upright Biped, whose intelligence, in comparison with that of Newton, could scarcely merit more than that elementary pre-troglodytic username he has so prophetically chosen for himself, should heap scorn on Newton.

    He is not of course unique in that, in terms of his intelligence, he would not have been fit to lick Newton’s boots, but, nevertheless, the image in relation to himself is conjured up very forcibly by the fatuity of his words; an image of him straining with all his might to lick Newton’s boots, but held back by reins, by leading-strings of loopiness.

    ‘One big difference between the scenarios is that positive evidence for heliocentrism accumulated (e.g. see this blog post), whereas the only evidence put forward “for” ID is that evolution doesn’t explain something: there is no positive evidence for ID in the natural world.’

    Actually A Gene, I cannot but be struck by the extraordinary subtlety of your mind and those of your materialist confreres.

    I think this ID lot have got the boot on the wrong foot: the term shouldn’t be ‘biomimetics’; it should be ‘randomimetics’. Why laud the monkey, instead of the organ-grinder. ‘Invoke the butcher, not his block!’ is what I say.

  30. Imitate randomness in your behaviour, and see where it gets you. Upright Biped will be keeping an eye on you – just in case you’re a budding Newton on the loose.

  31. 31

    Axel, go find your glasses.

  32. It’s not ‘biomimetics’; its’ tother way round. The creaturely subjects of the studies of biomimetics are actually reverse-engineered from the blueprints of random chance, chaos, etc, which so richly inform your minds. It just suddenly came to. You materialist guys are ‘light-years’ ahead of the game.

  33. I don’t know where I put them, UB!

    Magoo

  34. 34

    Axel, perhaps you should stop attacking people in your comments until you find them.

    ;)

    - – - – -

    (I did not say the slightest disparaging remark about Newton, nor would I. On my bookshelf I have an excellent volume on Newton’s Life, very competently written, autographed to me by the author)

  35. Here is a somewhat serendipitous article that just came out:

    The God Particle: Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – Monday, Aug 20, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, it was belief in an intelligent Creator that convinced the great pioneers, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Clerk Maxwell, Babbage and many others that science could be done. C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    The Nobel prizewinner Melvin Calvin traces the rise of modern science to the conviction “that the universe is governed by a single God, and is not the product of the whims of many gods, each governing his own province according to his own laws. This monotheistic view seems to be the historical foundation for modern science.”,,,
    ,,,If the universe, as Krauss alleges, is ultimately the product of a purposeless quantum burp, then so are we and so are our minds. Thus Krauss, in a delightful irony, gives us good reason to doubt the reliability of our human cognitive faculties and, consequently, to doubt the validity of any concepts, beliefs or arguments that they produce, including those involved in the Higgs boson, atheism – and, of course, shenanigans. It is Krauss’s atheism that is at war with his science – not God. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein pointed out that the meaning of a system will not be found within the system. The meaning of the universe will be found where Newton and Clerk Maxwell found it: in God. So what can we say about the Higgs boson? Simply this: God created it, Higgs predicted it and Cern found it. We rightly celebrate the last two – what about the first?
    Clerk Maxwell’s answer is above the door of the most famous physics laboratory in the world: the Cavendish in Cambridge: “The works of the Lord are great, sought out by those who have pleasure in them.”
    http://www.christianpost.com/n.....how-80307/

  36. 36

    A Gene writes: “One big difference between the scenarios is that positive evidence for heliocentrism accumulated . . . whereas the only evidence put forward ‘for’ ID is that evolution doesn’t explain something: there is no positive evidence for ID in the natural world.”

    AG, you are missing the point. The issue is not whether Galileo is right and ID proponents are wrong. The issue is whether appealing to the age of a theory makes it more or less true.

    Again, whether Darwinism is a valid theory or not is beside the point of the OP. The point of the OP is that if Darwinism is wrong, it does not matter how old it is. It is still wrong. And if Darwinism is true, it would be true if it were only proposed yesterday.

    The age of a theory is irrelevant to its truth or falsity.

  37. Well, I certainly need to be more accurate about who says what, UB; which makes my wise-cracks about your u/n all the more lamentable.

    I really am sorry. It’s a fine line – to my mind, and so easy to overstep – between getting a grip of daft evolutionist when THEY overstep the mark, and being gratuitously rancorous and unChristian.

  38. 38
    critical rationalist

    BA: OK, let’s examine this. You say that the proper form of the argument is “Darwinism has withstood over 150 years of criticism.” CR, that’s not an argument. That’s one premise. There is no “therefore . . .”

    Is there a particular reason you ignored the rest of the paragraph? Again, I wrote…

    CR: The argument is (or should be in the case of those who use it incorrectly) that Darwinism has withstood over 150 years of criticism. We make progress by conjecturing theories, then testing those theories via observations. Theories found to be in error are either modified in a non-ad hoc fashion or replaced by theories that provide a better explanation of the same observations..

    While no particular theory can be positively justified as being true, some theories will present better explanations for observations when exposed to significant critical discussion and empirical testing. And, the higher the informational content of a theory, the more ways it can turn out to be wrong when criticized. This is in contrast to merely pointing out theory X conflicts with trusted authority Z, which represents justificationsm, rather than rational criticism.

    Not only has Darwinism withstood over 150 years of significant criticism, but it has expanded to explain more phenomena in the form of Neo-Darwinism. And it’s a good explanation because it consists of a long chain of independent, hard to vary explanations. Furthermore, no other theory has been conjectured which provides a better explanation for the same observations. As such, Neo-Darwinism represents significant progress towards explaining the origin of biological adaptations.

    BA: *Surely you will not try to suggest that no one criticized Ptolemy for over 1,500 years.

    Surely, you’re not trying to suggest science hasn’t made significant progress in how theories are criticized (or initially formed) since Ptolemy’s time?

    If one lacks the knowledge of how to criticize explanations, then bad explanations will remain. If one cannot recognize a particular assumption is an idea that is subject to criticism, then the errors it contains will not be discarded because it will not be criticized. Again, we make progress by criticizing ideas and discarding the errors they contain.

    For example, the problem with Geocentrism is that it didn’t actually solve the problem of explaining planetary motions. Specifically, in Galileo’s time, It did not explain planetary motions without first having to introduce the complications of the heliocentric system. If one were asked why a planetary conjunction occurred on a particular date or why a planet backtracked across the sky in a particularly shaped loop, the answer would always be “that’s how it would have looked if the heliocentric theory was true”.

    So, if we had known how to criticize theories we could have discarded Geocentrism as explanation for the motions of the planets without even bothering with empirical observations since it represented a bad explanation (a convoluted elaboration of Heliocentrism.)

  39. Not only has Darwinism withstood over 150 years of significant criticism, …

    Not by any standards of a critical rationalist.

    And it’s a good explanation because it consists of a long chain of independent, hard to vary explanations.

    More like And it’s a good explanation because it consists of a long chain of independent explanations that are impossible to verify and impossible to test.

  40. Not only has Darwinism withstood over 150 years of significant criticism, but it has expanded to explain more phenomena in the form of Neo-Darwinism.

    Darwin’s original notion made appeals to Lamarckian-esque heredity. So ‘falsified empirically on a key tenet and rewritten wholly’ now counts as surviving criticism, empirical testing, and the notion that Darwinism is a subset of Neo-Darwinism precisely because is isn’t. Which is fine and all, since if you can answer for this then you can answer for Russel’s Paradox, rewrite logic and mathematics, receive a Nobel Prize and undying fame as a nerd starlet.

    Or you haven’t thought about what you’re saying. But that’s not nearly as bad as this self-contradictory sentence:

    While no particular theory can be positively justified as being true, some theories will present better explanations for observations when exposed to significant critical discussion and empirical testing.

    If no theory can be justified as true then ‘critical discussion’ cannot produce a ‘better explanation’. It can only, and properly, weed out theories that are inconsistent. That is, self-contradictory.

    But the central tenet of Natural Selection is put forward as ‘if the animal changes then it was natural selection, and if the animal doesn’t change then it is natural selection’. Now I don’t know how boned up you are on logic. But if one things entails the disjunction of some consequence and the contradiction of that consequence then it is simply a display of the Ex Falso Quodlibet.

    Now the Ex Falso is considered valid as a rule of inference in Classical Logic. But it is also considered impossible for it to be sound. And in Classical Logic the only way to have a ‘trivial’ theory — that is an inconsistent or contradictory one — is to have directly contradictory premises/axioms or make use of the Ex Falso. This is a really low standard to have to meet and Natural Selection as presented fails it.

    Such that for your ‘survives criticism’ the theory can only survive criticism if you pretend that none was levied. For it is necessarily inconsistent as a logical matter. But the other terrible thing about the Ex Falso is that it’s converse entails everything. That is, there is nothing that can possibly disconfirm of falsify it. So there is likewise no possibility that it can be a valid scientific theory unless you start making lewd advances on the corpse of Positivism.

    Despite which you’re still stuck with the problem that if everything is taken as a consequence then everything is confirmative of the theory. That’s a departure from critical thinking so thorough that only the most in-the-sink Jonestown cult members can pull it off.

    And Tom Cruise.

  41. 41
    critical rationalist

    CR: Not only has Darwinism withstood over 150 years of significant criticism, …

    Joe: Not by any standards of a critical rationalist.

    Joe, are you familiar with Popper’s views on Evolution? A summary can be found here: What Did Karl Popper Really Say About Evolution?

  42. critical rationalist- do you understand what “equivocation” means? Do you realize that Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution? Do you realize that the fixity of species is a strawman?

  43. 43
    critical rationalist

    Maus: Darwin’s original notion made appeals to Lamarckian-esque heredity. So ‘falsified empirically on a key tenet and rewritten wholly’ now counts as surviving criticism, empirical testing, and the notion that Darwinism is a subset of Neo-Darwinism precisely because is isn’t.

    You seem to be confused regarding either Lamarckism, Darwinism or both theories.

    While he wasn’t aware of the details as DNA had yet to be discovered, Darwin suggested an error correcting mechanism, based on variation and selection, was at work. This is not the same as Lamarck’s conception of “use and disuse”, which does not address the issue of how the knowledge to actually build biological adaptations was created.

    The fundamental error in Lamarckianism is that it assumes new knowledge is somehow already present in experience or can be derived mechanically from it. But Darwin proposed that new knowledge must first be conjectured then tested. Random mutations occur first (without taking into account the specific problem to be solved) then natural selection discards gene variants that are less capable of causing themselves to be passed on in future generations.

    Furthermore, I said that Darwinism has expanded to explain more phenomena in the form of Neo-Darwinism, not that Neo-Darwinism is a strict “subset” of Darwinism. This is in regards to what appears to be assumptions that theories should not become more accurate or expand to explain more phenomena. Nor are predictions of scientific theories prophecy that can be evaluated in isolation from the underlying explanation they are based on.

    Maus: If no theory can be justified as true then ‘critical discussion’ cannot produce a ‘better explanation’. It can only, and properly, weed out theories that are inconsistent. That is, self-contradictory.

    How, exactly, is it self-contradictory? Please be specific?

    As for the rest of your comment, please see the link I posted in response to Joe’s comment.

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