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 Post subject: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:47 am 
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I was wondering about the definition of science and the scientific method, and the discussion between A) no, creationism is not considered science, and B) yes, creationism can be science.

If its not based just in belief then there must be some proof then ? And by proof i mean, material evidence.

When you ask evolutionists about what kind of proofs they can manufacture, they say a number of things like, fossils, oposable thumbs, hips on snakes, weird deep-sea dweling fish, isolated species, and a lot of other things.

You can't accept something just because the oposite it's not entirelly correct.

So, aside from the lack of explanation by other theories, and the "this is so improbable that it had to be created", (wich are good points, but i would like to know others) what are then the other proofs of creation ? And on what basis can creationism be called science?


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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:33 am 
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jebedaya wrote:
When you ask evolutionists about what kind of proofs they can manufacture, they say a number of things like, fossils, oposable thumbs, hips on snakes, weird deep-sea dweling fish, isolated species, and a lot of other things.

When you ask a creationist scientist, they tend to look at exactly the same evidence but with a different interpretation. An evolutionist explains the data in terms of the evolutionary scenario; a creationist explains it in terms of the creationist scenario. There is no evidence out there which is truly decisive between these two interpretations -- in fact, it's not clear to me that "decisive evidence" can even exist, given that both theories are capable of explaining basically anything at all. The significant point is that most people have been so indoctrinated with the evolutionary interpretation (the creationist one is forbidden in most schools) that they can only see evidence for evolution, even when exactly the same data can be used to support creationism.

jebedaya wrote:
So, aside from the lack of explanation by other theories, and the "this is so improbable that it had to be created", (wich are good points, but i would like to know others) what are then the other proofs of creation ? And on what basis can creationism be called science?

Creationism can be called "science" when the theory is presented in terms of observed data. It may seem like a radical idea to you, but there are scientists (biologists, geologists, paleontologists, etc.) who are creationists and find their models to be quite useful for explaining the data in practice. In geology, for example, the rocks themselves are the facts. The evolutionist (in general) holds to a gradualist model, and interprets the rocks as being very old and gradually formed over time. The creationist (in general) holds to a catastrophist model, and interprets the rocks as having been formed somewhat rapidly and recently. Both explanations fit the data to some degree, and neither is without difficulty.

I have no doubt that most gradualists would pipe up at this point and claim, "but it's not a fair comparison: the gradualist model is vastly superior." In anticipation of this, I would point out that most gradualists in question have never considered catastrophism seriously: they just know of it as an old idea that nobody with any credibility believes anymore. If they're particularly well-informed, they may be able to cite some specific problems with catastrophism, but they probably have a straw-man view of what it is. I come from the Paul Feyerabend/John Stuart Mill school of thought, which says that you're in no position to judge which model is better unless you're well-versed in both, and I don't mean well-versed in the unbalanced sense of "knows all the strengths of X and weaknesses of Y".

I expect that this isn't the answer you wanted. I expect that you want me to cite some specific evidence which is used to support creationism, such as polonium radiohalos, or irreducible complexity, or polystrate fossils, or blah-blah-blah scientific data du jour. There are plenty of books on the subject if you know where to look. There are even good "general counterargument" books. Personally, I've lost interest in the raw data aspect of the problem as I've come to realise more and more that it's not the data that's the issue.

The problem is that mainstream science has become terminally closed-minded about a few key points. The two most obvious points are "long ages" and "natural explanations". It's practically impossible to have a reasonable discussion with anyone in the scientific mainstream about the age of the universe: everyone knows that it's billions of years old, and you're a crackpot (unworthy of debate) if you dissent. Similarly, we've somehow got stuck on the idea that it can't be science if it's not a natural cause, so the question of the origin of life is "how life arose by natural causes", not "whether life arose by natural causes".

Perhaps the best way to address these issues is to take the bull by the horns, and present data-driven arguments for young ages and artificial creation, rather than my "philosophy of science" angle. You're doing exceedingly well if you can get anyone to even listen to such a presentation, however. After all, anyone who holds to these views seriously is a crank, right? What irks me most about this is that those who rave about the intellectual virtues of science over religion usually fail to realise just how dogmatic and closed-minded they really are in this way -- the very things they disdain in "religion".

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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:36 am 
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There is no evidence out there which is truly decisive between these two interpretations -- in fact, it's not clear to me that "decisive evidence" can even exist, given that both theories are capable of explaining basically anything at all.


I do belive that, and though i am more of a "natural explanations" kind of guy, i know that on some cases this is only a matter of personal choice. Some scientists believe on the big bang, just because there's no better explanation for how the world begun. I personally think that the big bang is not even by far a satisfactory (because still leaves the question of what existed before it, and what triggered it) explanation for everything. But still, its a scientific dogma for some of them.

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the significant point is that most people have been so indoctrinated with the evolutionary interpretation (the creationist one is forbidden in most schools) that they can only see evidence for evolution


I could say the same thing about the creationism theory. Some people live with it since the beggining of their lives, and never stop to think it through, they just accept it as an undeniable truth. Well, at least in my country (a 70% catholic majority), i've never met a single person that is not familiar with creationism. The same can't be said about evolution.

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I come from the Paul Feyerabend/John Stuart Mill school of thought, which says that you're in no position to judge which model is better unless you're well-versed in both, and I don't mean well-versed in the unbalanced sense of "knows all the strengths of X and weaknesses of Y".


This is why i try to have this kind of debates with reasonable people, wich are not so easy to be found. The few religious people that do try to learn something of evolution its just in the "know thy enemy" kind of way, and only to find ways to destroy it, sometimes even using misquotations from book and just plainly quoting the Bible.

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everyone knows that it's billions of years old, and you're a crackpot (unworthy of debate) if you dissent

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Perhaps the best way to address these issues is to take the bull by the horns, and present data-driven arguments for young ages and artificial creation

I think that they are pretty much settled on this matter, and instead of trying to proof that the universe is 6.000 ou 10.000 years old, it would be best to acknowledge that this doesn't matter, and that God could've created the universe even if it has billions of years. I've read somewhere that the Pope John Paul II said that the evolution, was "not only a mere theory", and that he tought that religion should embrace it (still he said that the men its too special to be a mere random ocurrence). And i think that this proves that for creationism theory to succed, it would have to make some concessions and be more flexible, as evolution would have to be too, to be more accepted on religious circles.

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Similarly, we've somehow got stuck on the idea that it can't be science if it's not a natural cause

Until something can't be explained, it would still be called be paranormal, but i think that once it became the norm instead of the exception, then the need to call it paranormal would no longer exist, and science would engulf it, the same way that you could say that religion engulfs science. So neither sides could ever be satisfied.

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What irks me most about this is that those who rave about the intellectual virtues of science over religion usually fail to realise just how dogmatic and closed-minded they really are in this way -- the very things they disdain in "religion".

And again, this couldn't be more true, and the main thing that makes me angry about discussing religion (and science sometimes too), is this certainty (one could say arrogance) that some people have, that they are right. That they reached this definitive answer that its not subject to question and improvement.

I know that even if a have a lot of evidence to back something up, something my come up in the future that could prove it wrong, something that we could've never known, maybe because nobody ever though of it, or maybe because the technology wasn't evolved enough. Still, that's why i preffer science over religion, because at least in theory, there's this rule, that nothing is sacred. But there are always those that stray from the path.

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You're doing exceedingly well if you can get anyone to even listen to such a presentation, however. After all, anyone who holds to these views seriously is a crank, right?

If you can back up your beliefs with seriousness, then you're no crazier than anyone else, and that's why i find it compelling, even though i don't agree with it completelly. Sometimes when i disagree i still find both models equally acceptable.

In the end, i think it all boils down to this: If both propositions contain any spark of veracity in it, in the end the truth shall prevail. The correct study of this scientific creationism then, could come to the conclusion that its correct or not, even though its pursue is mainly to prove it to be true. Given that people's intentions where earnest on the matter scientists wouldn't have anything to worry at all.

But to expect that, i think, its too much...


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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:51 pm 
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jebedaya wrote:
I do belive that, and though i am more of a "natural explanations" kind of guy, i know that on some cases this is only a matter of personal choice.

I think that "natural explanations" are right in the vast majority of cases, but we can't rule out supernatural causes a priori. We should aim for true explanations rather than "natural" ones. It's not clear whether science is good at finding truth, but it's still a worthwhile aim.

jebedaya wrote:
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the significant point is that most people have been so indoctrinated with the evolutionary interpretation (the creationist one is forbidden in most schools) that they can only see evidence for evolution

I could say the same thing about the creationism theory. Some people live with it since the beggining of their lives, and never stop to think it through, they just accept it as an undeniable truth. Well, at least in my country (a 70% catholic majority), i've never met a single person that is not familiar with creationism. The same can't be said about evolution.

Yes, but that's because they are taught creation as a tenet of their faith. Science is supposed to be superior to religion (or so I'm told) because it lacks this element of indoctrination. My point is that it doesn't: secularists use science teaching in schools (in the USA, UK, and Australia at least) to indoctrinate students exclusively in the secularist theory of origins, which they claim is the only scientific theory. It attains the status of "the only theory" purely because it's the currently preferred naturalistic theory. Other theories exist, but they are either not preferred or not sufficiently naturalistic. At least the religious folks are honest about the basis of their beliefs: secularists try to smuggle their beliefs in the back door disguised as good science.

jebedaya wrote:
I think that they are pretty much settled on this matter, and instead of trying to proof that the universe is 6.000 ou 10.000 years old, it would be best to acknowledge that this doesn't matter, and that God could've created the universe even if it has billions of years.

No matter in science is ever "settled". There are just different degrees of "universally accepted", and no theory or law is so sacred that it can not be challenged by new data. I'm a great believer in the laws of thermodynamics, for example, and I would be quite prepared to wager against anyone who claims to have found a system which violates them. I expect to win that bet, but it would be extremely interesting if I lost it. The laws of thermodynamics are among some of the most universally accepted laws of science -- but does that mean we shouldn't try to find flaws in them? Certainly not -- although it's a major challenge to come up with an experiment that hasn't already failed to overthrow these laws, which is why they're so well accepted in the first place.

Sadly, modern science does have its sacred cows: long ages and evolution are the prime exhibits. Challenge these and you'll be denounced as a heretic ("crank", "flat earther", "pseudoscientist", and so on). People get very hot under the collar about these things.

You've mentioned that God could have created in long ages just as well as short ages. This is true, but is it relevant? There are scientists who have good evidence for a young universe. Why should they accept that the age of the universe is a settled matter? As far as they are concerned, it's not a settled matter, and they'd like the opportunity to present their data, preferably without being treated as a heretic. Unfortunately, you can't question long ages without implicitly questioning most of geology, palaeontology, cosmology, and evolutionary history. If short ages are true, then great slabs of modern science are built on false premises, and that's unthinkable. Worse, the creationists would suddenly have the best theory of origins again! Atheism would lose its intellectual respectability!

There are very good reasons why certain people want the age of the universe to be a settled matter, and "scientific integrity" isn't one of them.

jebedaya wrote:
Until something can't be explained, it would still be called be paranormal, but i think that once it became the norm instead of the exception, then the need to call it paranormal would no longer exist, and science would engulf it, the same way that you could say that religion engulfs science. So neither sides could ever be satisfied.

Not quite. Providing an explanation does not make the explanation true. If it's true that God created the universe in six days, then no amount of naturalistic explanation is ever going to suffice. Note that there's a difference between a story about history (like the Big Bang or the origin of life) and a story about how things work (like laws of physics and chemistry): if the former are wrong, then they're just wrong; if the latter are wrong, they can still be useful. Newtonian physics is a fair example of this: we know it's not entirely correct, but it's still near enough an approximation to use for a mission to the moon. Come to think of it, stories about history can be useful if they're wrong, but the major uses tend to be social ones, not technological ones.

jebedaya wrote:
Still, that's why i preffer science over religion, because at least in theory, there's this rule, that nothing is sacred. But there are always those that stray from the path.

Much as I like science and technology, I do appreciate the Bible for the fact that it is not subject to revision (or not supposed to be). My slowly advancing appreciation for that document results in constant mental and behavioural adjustment, even though the document itself remains the same. Religion is a lot like science in that regard, actually -- moreso than you think. Scientists study the world, and must be prepared to revise their theories in light of new understanding. Christians ought to study the Word, and be prepared to revise their beliefs in light of new understanding. There's not a lot of overlap between these two studies: scientists learn how the world behaves; Christians should learn how they ought to behave.

A religion with a scripture that changes would be like science in a world where the laws change. Science is hard enough when the laws are static -- or seem to be, at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:18 pm 
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We should aim for true explanations rather than "natural" ones.

Yes, instead of trying to discredit other theories for being oposite, the quest its to find the truth.

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At least the religious folks are honest about the basis of their beliefs

Well, i know quite a lot that aren't, that are actually just afraid that teaching evolution along with creationism is not a good idea. In one side there are scientists that don't want creationism being taught at schools because for them is "un-scientific", and on the other side there are religious people that don't want evolution to be taught at school because it would lead to disbelief.

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No matter in science is ever "settled". There are just different degrees of "universally accepted", and no theory or law is so sacred that it can not be challenged by new data. I'm a great believer in the laws of thermodynamics, for example, and I would be quite prepared to wager against anyone who claims to have found a system which violates them. I expect to win that bet, but it would be extremely interesting if I lost it. The laws of thermodynamics are among some of the most universally accepted laws of science -- but does that mean we shouldn't try to find flaws in them? Certainly not -- although it's a major challenge to come up with an experiment that hasn't already failed to overthrow these laws, which is why they're so well accepted in the first place.


When i say settled, i meant to say in the sense that they just think that they become so accept that they aren't worthy of questioning, and ridicule anyone that says anything against it. I didn't meant to say that its never open to questioning.

Like you said, some of this laws, because they are so reliable, have become universally accept, and have done a great deal for the evolution of the mankind. And even if they are still subject to improvement. They are usefull in a level that for me religion can never be.
I think that religion its best in providing morals than other things.

"if the former are wrong, then they're just wrong; if the latter are wrong, they can still be useful"

So the main character is usefulness, instead of veracity? Other than serving to explain things, these theories would be best regarded if there was any technological use of it. It would be easiest for you to accept then, if evolutionary theory had better pratical uses than creationism?

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Christians ought to study the Word, and be prepared to revise their beliefs in light of new understanding.

If everyone should think like that, i wouldn't have any opositions against religion.


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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:44 pm 
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jebedaya wrote:
When i say settled, i meant to say in the sense that they just think that they become so accept that they aren't worthy of questioning, and ridicule anyone that says anything against it. I didn't meant to say that its never open to questioning.

If you intend to leave something open to question, I recommend against ridiculing those who actually dare to ask the questions.

jebedaya wrote:
Like you said, some of this laws, because they are so reliable, have become universally accept, and have done a great deal for the evolution of the mankind. And even if they are still subject to improvement. They are usefull in a level that for me religion can never be.
I think that religion its best in providing morals than other things.

If you're saying that science is a good basis for technology, and religion is a good basis for morality, then I more or less agree with you.

jebedaya wrote:
So the main character is usefulness, instead of veracity? Other than serving to explain things, these theories would be best regarded if there was any technological use of it. It would be easiest for you to accept then, if evolutionary theory had better pratical uses than creationism?

You don't have to accept something in order to use it. I have to confess that I'm somewhat agnostic about electrons, for instance. I really don't know whether to believe in the existence of electrons or not. There's excellent evidence for them, but I can't help but worry that physics will advance again and electrons will go the way of caloric fluid. I do, however, appreciate the great usefulness of the concept of an electron as applied in electronics, and electronics would probably survive any such advance in physics in the same way that most people use Newtonian physics for most practical applications despite the greater accuracy of Einstein's model. Electronics is useful whether electrons are "real" or not.

I would be happy to acknowledge evolution's utility if it were a good basis for some form of technology. Of course, "evolution" is a number of things, and one of those things is "an account about the history of life on earth". As relates to history specifically, I prefer veracity over utility. I don't like the idea of telling falsehoods about the past, even if it has some social utility. As relates to the on-going behaviour of the universe in law-like terms, however, I think it's best to judge scientific models on their utility, and also their simplicity. (Newton is simpler than Einstein, and good enough in most cases, for example.)

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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:20 am 
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jebedaya wrote:
When i say settled, i meant to say in the sense that they just think that they become so accept that they aren't worthy of questioning, and ridicule anyone that says anything against it. I didn't meant to say that its never open to questioning.

If you intend to leave something open to question, I recommend against ridiculing those who actually dare to ask the questions.

I don't know what you understood by this, but i just realized now that it was rather confuse and misspelled.

What i meant to say was that settled did not signified definite, but something vastly accepted as true, and not easilly open to questioning, because the people that do the questioning are seen as silly, and therefore ridiculed.

Quote:
I would be happy to acknowledge evolution's utility if it were a good basis for some form of technology. Of course, "evolution" is a number of things, and one of those things is "an account about the history of life on earth". As relates to history specifically, I prefer veracity over utility. I don't like the idea of telling falsehoods about the past, even if it has some social utility. As relates to the on-going behaviour of the universe in law-like terms, however, I think it's best to judge scientific models on their utility, and also their simplicity. (Newton is simpler than Einstein, and good enough in most cases, for example.)

I can only agree by saying that i like history to be true rather than useful.

I still find it dificult to mix science and religion (and history too sometimes). Creationism could be scientific, as I came to agree, by meeting some conditions, but you can't never deny that it had its origins on religion. And if you're are going to accept religion based theories, then you have to deal with some of the issues that come with them.

A lot of religions have their own stories of how the world begun, and if you believe in one of them (your own) you usually think that the other is not correct, for they are not compatible (at least not in a religious sense). But what you are telling me, is that all of them, as long as they provide compatible hipothesis with the data that we have, are all valid in a scientific sense?
The "religion scientist" would have to presume that his religion isn't necessarilly true and that from a scientific point of view, this theories could be all valid, when from a religious point of view (the original one) they couldn't. But isn't a important point of religion being true, thus cancelling all the other "wrong" religions ?

And wouldn't later on this scientific creationism be also expanded to try to prove christianism as a whole, instead of just dealing with the origin of the world ? This seems like a natural progression to me, and this whole matter is seen more like a battle of religion Vs. science, than for just knowing the origin of the world.

But i think that this all be material for another discussion, and i might be a little too far from the original subject.


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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:04 pm 
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jebedaya wrote:
Creationism could be scientific, as I came to agree, by meeting some conditions, but you can't never deny that it had its origins on religion.

Why should I deny it? From a purely scientific perspective, the origins of a theory are irrelevant. All that matters is the relationship between the theory and the data it purports to describe.

jebedaya wrote:
A lot of religions have their own stories of how the world begun, and if you believe in one of them (your own) you usually think that the other is not correct, for they are not compatible (at least not in a religious sense). But what you are telling me, is that all of them, as long as they provide compatible hipothesis with the data that we have, are all valid in a scientific sense?

To the extent that they make claims which relate to data in the physical world, they are scientific. The data doesn't even have to be compatible with the theory to earn the label "scientific", although high compatibility is generally a property we prefer over the alternative!

jebedaya wrote:
The "religion scientist" would have to presume that his religion isn't necessarilly true and that from a scientific point of view, this theories could be all valid, when from a religious point of view (the original one) they couldn't. But isn't a important point of religion being true, thus cancelling all the other "wrong" religions ?

You've lost me there. It seems like you're appointing Science as the proper method for determining the truth, but I resist that idea. That's scientific rationalism. A scientist is quite entitled to use a religion as the basis of his theories because (as I said) the origin of a theory is immaterial and irrelevant: only the relationship between theory and data matters. Scientists will argue as to who has the best theory, but this argument is (or should be) based on the relationship between theory and data, not the method by which the theory was formulated, or the motives of the scientists.

Nobody is bound by the results in any case: a person who holds to a particular religious view and constructs a theory based on that view isn't obliged to abandon the religion as "unscientific" if the resulting scientific argument is less than compelling. Instead, he may go back and revise his theory, or seek some other kind of supporting data. Science is quite malleable in this regard, which is why the scientific landscape keeps changing. Similarly, his scientific theory may be compatible with religions other than his own -- but so what? He's not obliged to believe in them on that basis. If he particularly wanted a scientific argument supporting one over the other, he would need to find some way in which the two could be distinguished on the basis of physical evidence. Science isn't the only (or even the ultimate) guide in choosing such beliefs, however.

jebedaya wrote:
And wouldn't later on this scientific creationism be also expanded to try to prove christianism as a whole, instead of just dealing with the origin of the world ?

Once again, it seems you're assuming that people feel the need to validate everything with science, as though we ought not to believe anything which doesn't have a scientist's stamp of approval. This isn't the way it works for me. The Bible makes a number of claims about history, and if a scientific theory makes contrary claims about history, then it is not unexpected that Christian scientists would reject it and propose alternate theories which are compatible with biblical history as well as the physical data. (The usual arguments then follow as to who has the better theory.) The Bible doesn't contain any scientific theories in a direct sense, so the scope of possible disagreement is limited.

The aim is, in my view of things, not to prove the Bible. Believe it or not, I think that science is a lousy tool for "proving" the Bible. If the Bible were a book of scientific theories, then investigation into the behaviour of the physical world would be a most apt way of checking its accuracy, but it's nothing like that. The major purpose of constructing scientific theories which match biblical history is not to "prove" the Bible, but to defend it against scientific theories which purport to falsify it. Specifically, evolution is used as an anti-evangelism tool by anti-Christians like Richard Dawkins (and many others besides). By asserting that evolution is the only reasonable belief one can hold in light of the data, such anti-Christians cast doubt on the historical accuracy of the Bible, and thus on all its other claims as well. Christians are supposed to defend against this kind of attack as a part of our general evangelistic commission to spread "the good news". (It's a great tragedy that many in the church have seen evolution as a non-issue, but that's a different topic.) Scientific Creationism is thus necessary to defend against evolution-based attacks by showing that evolution is not the only reasonable belief, and perhaps not even the most credible belief.

Not everyone is motivated in the way I've described: I'm just trying to offer you a reason why Scientific Creationism is a necessary research programme despite the fact that nobody is trying to "prove" anything. In any case -- I'll say it again for emphasis -- it's not the motives behind the research programme that matter from a scientific perspective: it's the relationship between theory and data. Whether you want your scientific theories to be true or just merely useful, the only significant aspect is the relationship between the theory and the data.

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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:00 am 
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Why should I deny it? From a purely scientific perspective, the origins of a theory are irrelevant. All that matters is the relationship between the theory and the data it purports to describe.

But it is important for a historical perspective. If this theory relates to something that we want to account as history and true (the creation of the world, life and everything else), its origins should be important. We would be stepping out of "scientific territory" here, but, in my opinion this is definitely important.
Quote:
Once again, it seems you're assuming that people feel the need to validate everything with science, as though we ought not to believe anything which doesn't have a scientist's stamp of approval.

I know that everybody doesn't feel that science needs to explain and validate everything, a lot of people are satisfied with much less. But isn't this the whole point of scientific creationism to put the scientists stamp of aproval ?
Quote:
The aim is, in my view of things, not to prove the Bible. Believe it or not, I think that science is a lousy tool for "proving" the Bible. If the Bible were a book of scientific theories, then investigation into the behaviour of the physical world would be a most apt way of checking its accuracy, but it's nothing like that.[...]

The major purpose of constructing scientific theories which match biblical history is not to "prove" the Bible, but to defend it against scientific theories which purport to falsify it. Specifically, evolution is used as an anti-evangelism tool by anti-Christians like Richard Dawkins (and many others besides). By asserting that evolution is the only reasonable belief one can hold in light of the data, such anti-Christians cast doubt on the historical accuracy of the Bible, and thus on all its other claims as well. Christians are supposed to defend against this kind of attack as a part of our general evangelistic commission to spread "the good news". (It's a great tragedy that many in the church have seen evolution as a non-issue, but that's a different topic.) Scientific Creationism is thus necessary to defend against evolution-based attacks by showing that evolution is not the only reasonable belief, and perhaps not even the most credible belief.

But if it's not trying to credit the bible, then is just trying to discredit opposing theories. It makes much more sense when you said that this is all serves a much better purpose of being able to defend itself against agressive evolutionists then to prove anything.

So its kind of like a war, and scientific creationism wouldn't have to exist at all if there weren't any anti-christians.

Personally I have my own reasons for not believing in God (and not liking religion), but I try to stick them to myself, it is only a matter of personal choice, and I don't go out on anti-christian and anti-religious crusade. What I like to do is always question and try to understand both sides. But like You said that there is this anti-christian crusade, there is also an anti-atheist crusade, that in my opinion has been going for a much longer (what you call "spread the good news"). And i too have to fight just to be able to have my own beliefs.

At first I thought that it was kind of stupid that some people go on an anti-christian crusade, everyone is entitled to their own faiths but why not ? Sometimes that might be necessary. When religion starts to affect peoples lives negatively then it must be stopped. At least where I live some churchs do take money from the people only to enrich their owners, and use their influence to elect corrupt mayors and more absurd stuff like that.

There is even a recent story where an archbishop of the catolic church excomunicated a doctor (and the girl's parents too) that performed an abortion on a 9 year old girl that had been raped. The Brazillian law permits abortion on two cases, risk to life, and rape. In his opinion God's law is higher than Man (even tough he was the one that judged on the case, a man) and the girl would just have to find some way to give birth (she was carrying twins) even though the fact she was going to risk her life and probably die. That is, to say the least, un-christian.

I know that everyone is not like that, but this kind of behaviour must not be tolerated, and should be more criticised by christians if they want to more chance in this anti-christian crusade.

I don't really want get into this kind of discussion, because this is not about what belief is best or right, and we where talking about proofs of creation, and scientific creationism. But let me say that at least for me, this has been very productive.


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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:50 am 
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jebedaya wrote:
But it is important for a historical perspective. If this theory relates to something that we want to account as history and true (the creation of the world, life and everything else), its origins should be important. We would be stepping out of "scientific territory" here, but, in my opinion this is definitely important.

So long as it's not a source of prejudice, I don't have a problem with that.

jebedaya wrote:
I know that everybody doesn't feel that science needs to explain and validate everything, a lot of people are satisfied with much less. But isn't this the whole point of scientific creationism to put the scientists stamp of aproval ?

In some sense it is, and in some sense it isn't. From the perspective of Christian apologetics, there would be no need to mount a scientific defence of creationism if science were not held in such high regard as an authority about history. You say, "a lot of people are satisfied with much less," as though science were the highest stamp of approval that could be offered. I've argued that this prestige is misplaced, particularly when it comes to historical matters. The greatest successes of science have been to lay the foundations for technology by modelling the way the world operates in an on-going sense. Not every such model has been fruitful, but the great successes have given the field as a whole an aura of authority. Theories about the past (like evolution) do not form the basis of technology, and are not testable in the same way: the past is a unique event, whereas a theory about the on-going operation of the universe can be tested repeatedly. For the purposes of apologetics, it's important to show either or both of (a) science is not the great authority we believe it to be in this area, and (b) it is quite possible to mount a credible scientific defence of the biblical account of history if one is so inclined.

This issue is exacerbated by some anti-Christians who actively promote the authority of science in the matter of evolution. They are adamant that evolution is exactly like gravity in terms of its scientific status. Some go so far as to say that those who disbelieve in evolution should also disbelieve in gravity, and go throw themselves off a building to prove their point. As you can see, this is as much about the epistemic status of science and its various theories just as much as it is about the scientific process itself.

jebedaya wrote:
So its kind of like a war, and scientific creationism wouldn't have to exist at all if there weren't any anti-christians.

From the perspective of apologetics, it wouldn't have to exist at all if evolution were not a barrier to belief for some people. The anti-Christians aren't the problem, as such: they merely exacerbate it. From the perspective of science itself, however, creationism would still be a useful (and possibly true) belief or paradigm, regardless of its influence on religion. Many great scientists have been creationists (it wasn't uncommon prior to Darwin). It's a popular myth that creationism is incompatible with science because the creationist simply attributes everything to God instead of trying to find a reason. What's often missed is that evolutionists are frequently guilty of exactly the same sin: we have a history of "vestigal organs" which were supposed to be evolutionary leftovers, labelled as such because the function of the organ was not obvious. Most recently we have "junk DNA" which was assumed to be a useless side-effect of evolution. An awful lot of things are left uninvestigated thanks to evolutionary thinking. If we had a healthy mix of creationists and evolutionists engaging in the biological sciences, they might at least keep each other in check with these kinds of errors.

jebedaya wrote:
At first I thought that it was kind of stupid that some people go on an anti-christian crusade, everyone is entitled to their own faiths but why not ? Sometimes that might be necessary. When religion starts to affect peoples lives negatively then it must be stopped. At least where I live some churchs do take money from the people only to enrich their owners, and use their influence to elect corrupt mayors and more absurd stuff like that.

Our beliefs affect the way we live, and the kinds of things we think ought to be law, and so on. No man is an island, and no man's faith is an entirely private matter. It's a biblical principle that Christians should live at peace with everyone else as much as they can (Romans 12:18), but ideological differences sometimes render this impossible. The worldviews produced by belief in creation or belief in evolution, for example, produce some widely divergent views on morality.

jebedaya wrote:
There is even a recent story where an archbishop of the catolic church excomunicated a doctor (and the girl's parents too) that performed an abortion on a 9 year old girl that had been raped. The Brazillian law permits abortion on two cases, risk to life, and rape. In his opinion God's law is higher than Man (even tough he was the one that judged on the case, a man) and the girl would just have to find some way to give birth (she was carrying twins) even though the fact she was going to risk her life and probably die. That is, to say the least, un-christian.

This is a fairly good example of what I mentioned above. For one thing, I would caution you against dictating what some other religion ought to tolerate. You don't have to like the excommunication, but I think you should at least respect the right of the church (or any organisation) to (a) set its own values, and (b) disown members who act in a manner distinctly contrary to those values. That aside, the difference between your viewpoint and that of the church is primarily grounded in evolution, believe it or not.

The modern tolerance for abortion has been promoted by the (experimentally discredited, but still popular) theory of embryonic recapitulation. Abortion is as old as the hills, but until recently it has been thought of as a class of murder. Recapitulation theory softens the idea by making it seem that the embryo is not actually human, but rather an indeterminate evolutionary precursor to the human form that emerges. Genetically speaking, of course, this is utter poppycock: the fertilised egg is genetically as human as it will ever be, but the theory focuses on the physical form of the embryo, not the genetics. In any case, the upshot is that abortion is no longer seen as murder because the embryo is no longer seen as human.

If one happens to be a creationist (or an evolutionist who is, shall we say, a "genetic literalist"), then recapitulation theory provides no justification at all for abortion: it remains a form of murder. This results in two distinct moral views of the picture. In one, two non-humans are sacrificed to avoid threatening the life of a nine-year-old. In the other, two babies are sacrificed to avoid threatening the life of a nine-year-old. The former is an easy choice to make. The latter is a hideous moral dilemma, and I don't envy the position of anyone expected to offer advice on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Quote:
You say, "a lot of people are satisfied with much less," as though science were the highest stamp of approval that could be offered.

I am merely saying that a lot of people belive "just because". They never even bothered to think about it.

Quote:
Some go so far as to say that those who disbelieve in evolution should also disbelieve in gravity, and go throw themselves off a building to prove their point.

As much as I belive in evolution, and gravity, that doesn't make any sense. It's actually kind of funny if you ask me.

"Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)"
Alan Sokal

I think that this comparisson derived from this quote, but it doesn't have anything to do with evolution as you can see.

Quote:
An awful lot of things are left uninvestigated thanks to evolutionary thinking. If we had a healthy mix of creationists and evolutionists engaging in the biological sciences, they might at least keep each other in check with these kinds of errors.

So in a sense creationism is actually working for the advange of evolution, and vice versa. Its a good way of looking into things.

Well, about the abortion question, i sincerly hope i will never have to face this kind of dillema. I don't think that this "embryonic recapitulation" helps much though. Like i said before, everyone is entitled to their own faith, even if they differ from the laws of the state. What I don't apreciate about the whole thing, is that someone would feel that they have the power to condemn others to a eternity of damnation, and still, use that power. This seems more like an act of hate than everything else to me. Why didn't the archbishop forgave them, like he forgave the rapist? In doing this, he said to the society, and this i quote, that "an abortion is more grave than rape", an abortion that was necessary. You see, The guy could have just stayed quiet in his own place, but he felt like he had to add more to the drama of the whole family, that already had to deal with a rape and an abortion, like that wasn't already painful enough.

Truth to be told, If i don't belive in hell, I don't really need to worry about ever being excomunicated, and for the girl parents and doctor, they just said that they will attend to a non-catholic church.


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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:12 pm 
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jebedaya wrote:
"Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)"
Alan Sokal

Even that remark blurs a distinction that should be made clearer. It's not the laws of physics that will kill you in a fall from a high window: it's the fact that you hit the ground at high velocity. The laws of physics are the things we use to explain the facts of physics, and the laws are a social convention (among physicists of a particular school). The facts, on the other hand, are simply "that which happens" -- they are not a social convention, and we ultimately have no guarantee that they will conform to our conventions! That's not to say that the laws of physics can be taken lightly: they're well tested and probably accurate enough to predict your velocity as you hit the ground to several decimal places. Mind you, Aristotle's laws of physics would have done just as well to predict the fact that you'll plummet -- just not with the same precision.

jebedaya wrote:
I think that this comparisson derived from this quote, but it doesn't have anything to do with evolution as you can see.

Maybe. I'd have to research that to see which came first. I do know that something similar did happen back in 1988 when creationist Duane Gish debated (using the term loosely) evolutionist Ian Plimer. At one point Plimer invited Gish to electrocute himself on bare wires to demonstrate that electricity is "mere theory". (Plimer is of the view that one should not humour creationists by engaging them in rational debate: he merely took the debate as an opportunity to sling a lot of mud. This prompted someone to write an article on How Not To Argue With Creationists.)

jebedaya wrote:
So in a sense creationism is actually working for the advange of evolution, and vice versa. Its a good way of looking into things.

This is the thrust of Paul Feyerabend's philosophy of science: conflicting ideas are a good thing; diversity is a good thing; diversity fosters discovery.

jebedaya wrote:
What I don't apreciate about the whole thing, is that someone would feel that they have the power to condemn others to a eternity of damnation, and still, use that power. This seems more like an act of hate than everything else to me. Why didn't the archbishop forgave them, like he forgave the rapist? In doing this, he said to the society, and this i quote, that "an abortion is more grave than rape", an abortion that was necessary.

I'm not familiar with the particulars of the case, of course, but I think you've misinterpreted. To the best of my understanding (which may not be all that good, because I'm not a Catholic), priests do not have the power to condemn: they merely warn about that which is sin and hear confessions of it. The statement that "an abortion is more grave than rape" does not excuse the rape nor condemn the parties involved in the abortion: it's just a reminder that the church understands abortion to be a very serious moral wrong, and one wrong is not excused by another.

jebedaya wrote:
You see, The guy could have just stayed quiet in his own place, but he felt like he had to add more to the drama of the whole family...

Give the guy some slack: he can't just lie low in a situation like that; he's expected to make pronouncements about this kind of thing -- it's his job! It's completely unreasonable to think he was motivated by a desire to make life hard for the poor people in question. He's a moral leader, and he can't afford to compromise his judgement for the sake of sympathy -- or for the sake of looking good in the eyes of the public.

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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 6:13 pm 
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Hi,

I could say something about the creationism...........It is working for the advange of evolution............


Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: Proofs of creation
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:43 pm 
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patricksnead24 wrote:
I could say something about the creationism...........It is working for the advange of evolution............

In what way?

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