Brian, I know this is a late addition to the thread, but - most of the
posters, including you, have missed something, in fact several things.
1. The assumption that Creationism holds to a 6,000 year old event is
exactly that, an assumption. As it turns out, an incorrect assumption.
2. Darwinism has more problems than ID does.
3. The theories of Relativity posit a point at which time began.
4. Then there are the minor things like entropy, anthropic principle and
single handed DNA, to mention a few.
Admittedly, there are brain dead folks who will defend Bishop Usher's to the
death. But there are Darwinist equally as dense. Neither invalidate the
principle they espouse.
For the honest person, the data is all that matters. Before you throw too
many rocks at ID, make sure you check the DATA and not your assumptions or
the "gospel" of some Darwinist zealot.
Which "DATA" might that be?
So far, that's been their problem, they have no data, only a
preconceived notion to make evidential theories to fit--which, of
course, aren't needed anyway if some external force acted outside
natural law. So, if may be a "theory", but it's not a scientific theory.
If they want it to be a scientific theory, all they have to do is
produce a test by which it may be falsified. So far evolution has
passed every test that anybody's thrown at it. Has anybody even
defined a test for "intelligent design"?
Of course not, it's specifically untestable, it specifically makes no
predictions and it cannot be falsified. Ultimately, what
ID/creationism rests on is "we don't like evolultion, therefore this
*MUST* be true".
More importantly though, it also has more solutions to those
problems. Creationism has but one solution to every problem:
"God did it."
More precisely, that is an hypothesis that arises from a relativistic
big bang model. It is not a postulate of either the special or
theories themselves, or of any other theory as far as I know.
But your statement was still a heck of a lot closer to the truth than
No need to rely on assumption.
It is easy to identify the Creationsists who are also 'Young
They are the ones who attack the Big Bang Model, in addition to
evolution and geology.
For a long time that was a mystery to me as the Big Bang model,
at least the dumbed down pseudo-Newtonian version, agrees so
well with the creation Story in Genesis. "And God said, 'Let there
be light.'", and BANG! there was the Universe!
Their problem is the great age of the Universe implied by the
details of the model. For years they tried to advance other
explanations for the cosmological redshift--interstellar reddening,
historical variation in the speed of light and so on.
But they never got anywhere doing that so now they reject
the big bang model outright.
Maybe that shouldn't have surprised me so much. After all,
"God made man from the mud of the Earth." sounds like
shorthand for the evolution of living things from non-living
matter--at least to anyone but a Biblical literalist.
On Sat, 05 Jan 2008 13:44:07 -0600, Tim Daneliuk wrote:
Yep. And the only rational answer to those questions is "I don't know",
an admission the human species has always been loath to make.
Not those who have questions, just those who have "answers" based on
nothing but their cultural bias.
What do I mean by cultural bias? There are approximately 20 major
religions on the Earth. At least 19 of them are wrong. But few people
ever seriously investigate any religion other than the one of the culture
they grew up in. That gives them at best a 5% chance of being right :-).
IOW, Tim, if you'd grown up in Tibet, you'd probably be defending Buddhism
with just as much fervor as you now defend Christianity.
Possibly, but I suspect they were just the group that best meshed with
And I've never said I "knew" the answers to these questions, merely
that: a) They were important questions that needed investigation
and b) Science is inadequate to cope with them.
You have NOT seen me "defend" Christianity. I have defended the
Judeo-Christian roots of our legal system as a matter of historical
fact. I am scrupulous to not inject my personal faith into any of
this. I am not selling anything here, nor am I trying to make
converts. I simply will not sit still when ill-educated
atheists try to dismiss people of faith as if we were idiots.
Not even close to true. In the two main university settings I was
primarily educated (one Evangelical Christian, the other Roman Catholic)
I came away agreeing with *neither* on many significant and foundational
points. You haven't lived until you get hauled into the Dean Of Faculty's
office a month before graduation to 'splain to the head of the
Theology Department why "literal inerancy" is a broken doctrine and
why saying so doesn't make you a heretic. Then go hang out with the
secular rationalists for a while a try to 'splain to them that - as a
consequence of Godel - Reason itself is an inherently limited
method of knowing things. Just for fun, follow that up in the
Philosophy department and point out that ever since Hegel and Kant,
philosophy has been busy destroying knowledge not finding it.
Oh yeah, I really "meshed" with the cool kidz on campus...
My "worldview" such as it is, is that we should use science when it
applies. We should admit that there are deep and important questions
that science cannot in-and-of-itself "prove" (Oh, how I hate that
word - for "proof" does not truly exist outside the narrow confines
of mathematics.) And - most importantly - every thinking person should
make an internal discussion of those questions an important part
of their lives *even if we never get complete answers*. It is in
the asking of these questions that much value can be found.
Some other cold month when I can't get in the shop, perhaps we
can chat about why *no* system of knowledge ever can actually
"prove" anything at all. In the end, what you "know" *always*
depends on what you assume in the first place.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
And most of them are simply unanswerable unless indeed it turns out we
can finally grasp a unified theory and it turns out to be, as I suspect
it will be and hinted at before, inherently contained within itself.
I seriously doubt they were any "smarter" or if they were it was a very
biased sampling. "Different" scope of interest and learning
undoubtedly; "smarter"? -- I doubt it.
The thing is that these "deep" questions may actually turn out to not be
questions at all in the end. And, while interesting philosophical
discussions can and do occur, what is underpinning any of their
conclusions other than some belief system? OTOH, at least w/ a
scientific field, there is the ultimate question of "does it explain
what we observe?" that provides an ultimate basis of comparison.
OK, I said that badly. The theologians I studied were
*far more broadly educated* than the mathematicians and scientists.
The theologians had background than embraced science (archaeology,
in particular is a cornerstone of theology), linguistics,
history, philosophy, and, in some cases, mathematics.
At the end of the day *everything* may be moot. Science - like all
systems of knowledge - hinges upon at least one unprovable starting
axiom. In the case of science that axiom is that we can reliably
observe our universe and draw general conclusions about its
operations based on those observations. While I happen to agree
with that starting point, it is not inherently True and could turn
out to be entirely wrong. Similarly, a quest for information outside
of science has to acknowledge that there are limitations to other,
non-scientific ways of discovery. My point in this whole subthread
was: a) People exploring non-scientific avenues of knowledge are
not necessarily or inherently anti-intellectual morons. b) Science
is not some kind of "better" way to know things. It has great
utility value where it applies, but it also has significant gaps
in what it can even address. It is possible to be schooled in
science, and affirm its value, while at the same time having a life
of faith. I know of a good many practicing scientists who fit into
this exact category.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
And, since you have a small sampling of such you claim all scientists
and mathematicians are intellectually inferior or lacking in training in
other areas of knowledge?
I would repeat it is simply a product of the rapid expansion of
learning, particularly in the scientific arena. It is simply impossible
today for any one person to be fully cognizant at any level of expertise
in all areas of human knowledge. The days of the "natural philosopher"
are long gone. That may be regrettable, but it is simply a fact of life
and as I noted before, that science now is so nearly unknowable to the
broader community is, imo, a leading cause for the impasse (not to leave
out, of course, the simply abysmal current education system).
As I have noted in another location, I've just finished Grant's and
Sherman's memoirs. Apropos to this subject, I was struck by the fact
that simply 150 years ago or so, when Sherman was the first head of the
Louisiana Seminary (now LSU), he was the professor of "natural
philosophy". Now, of course, that field of study is what we would call
"physics", but as recently as the Civil War (he was in this position,
resigning when the secession of Louisiana became fact and returning at
that time to St Louis as he told the committee of oversight he could not
continue to serve in a location not loyal to the Union) the level of
knowledge in the field was such that it was still considered
"philosophy", not "science".
I believe it is that recent development of science as it is now known
and practiced is _so_ recent as compared to the long history of
philosophy going back to the beginning of civilization that makes the
former unfamiliar while the latter is so ingrained as to have become
inate over the ages. Compounded with the level of sophistication it now
requires to even comprehend the basics of science as it now exists and
the philosophical arguments are relatively simple to at least
comprehend. Everybody has an opinion or belief, hardly anyone
understands even the rudiments of string theory.
Well, so far it has worked remarkably well. If we ever find a point in
time or in space where it doesn't work, then the axiom will have to be
modified. That would be one evidence of the outside influence someone
else mentioned, perhaps.
I'll note one "pet thought" of mine regarding your earlier question of
root cause and "where did it come from originally" is that the existence
of quantum fluctuation just _might_ be that external force, or in
another way, that little bit of "wriggle room" in the Heisenburg
principle is the man behind the curtain we're not supposed to be paying
No. I just acknowledged that I said it poorly in the first place.
Having both studied with an read a pretty good swath of theologians,
mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, my contention is
merely much *broader* in their knowledge base. This makes them
far less parochial than some of the arguments we hear coming
from the Rationalist/empiricist camp (as demonstrated in this thread
Which is as it still should be. If you don't know *why* you "know"
things, you will never understand the limits of the system you're
using. Science - whether scientists like it or not - is the handmaiden
of philosophy. It does not stand on its own except as a purely
utilitarian discipline - i.e. The auto mechanics of knowledge.
There is some truth to this. But I still maintain that
if you do not understand the philosophical foundations of your
knowledge system, you cannot ever understand its limits and pretty
soon everything starts to look like a nail for your hammer - much
as we've seen in this thread.
I've never disputed the utility value of science.
And this is the sort of thinking that is productive, useful, and interesting
even though it is not amenable to empirical confirmation.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
I dispute the conclusion and contend that with the "width" comes
inevitably the "shallow", particularly in the sciences.
That is _precisely_ the self-righteous pontification of the liberal
education major of which you smear the scientific community... :(
It is the d-d rare eminent scientist who lacks such founding.
But the same is true from the other direction -- if you do not
understand the _depth_ of scientific theory, how can you possibly
pontificate meaningful upon its meaning (or lack thereof)?
I contend it is like clashing cymbals...
[snippage above repaired to retain context]
Utility aside, the ultimate ability of "a theory of everything" to
understand the "how" of "what" may prove there was no "why" or at least
what the "why" had to do.
It is at least as significant to me you ignore the point that scientific
thought would be thrown into a tizzy and completely regenerated if such
an event as hypothesized were to actually be observed. As opposed to
purely philosophical arguments, the necessity to meet reality is key and
whatever modifications to the axioms of science required would be
promptly created and adopted to meet the revised state of knowledge.
That's a reality folks on your side have as difficult a time of grasping
as the most ardent creationist does of the possibility of more than
seven literal days.
"Productive and useful" I don't know about...interesting, perhaps.
And, as I've alluded to on numerous occasions (which I note you adroitly
avoid even acknowledging), the former is seeming to be likely to be
either what we find or at least a prelude.
I agree that it is not "inevitable". It's just common. When I
hear scientists insist that science demonstrates the lack of
need for a deity, I think they make my case for me.
1) None of my edication was primarily in liberal arts, it was in
applied technology, science, and mathematics. I was just lucky
to go to schools that insisted that *everyone* have a good grounding in
2) I was not attempting to "smear" science or its practitioners.
The fact that you took it as such is just another indication
of how insular science has become as its adherents elevate it
to being the sole font of useful knowledge. The idea that
science - indeed *all* epistemic systems - are the handmaidens
of philosophy is historically unremarkable and certainly (until
the last 100 years or so) would never have been read as polemic.
Maybe. But this thread alone demonstrates my claim in this area.
The moment someone (me) injects doubt about the sufficiency of
science, insists that philosophy is germane, and suggests that
there is a place (in human knowledge, not science proper) for
metaphysics, the howling begins. Y'all may have that "founding"
but you don't seem to respect it much. I, OTOH, *do* respect
the methods and value of science, I just don't give it sole
authority to discover True Things in my life.
First of all, I have not once in this set of threads commented upon
what science "means". I've commented primarily on its sufficiency
to apprehend (in principle) all the True Things that are important
to humans. Big difference.
Secondly, I do not have to be versed in every detailed area of science
to have a pretty good sense of its limits. Why? Because I have
a reasonable understanding of the philosophy that underpins and
enables science. So, for instance, I know that science depends in
some direct way on both empirical observation and logical deduction
about what is observed (I'm not saying this is *all* there is to
science here, BTW). So, science is necessarily limited to stuff
we can observe and reason about. But there are limits to logic
(cf Goedel). There are real limits to what can be observed - even
in principle. So, without having a clue about any of the high
complexity details of modern string theory, I can say things about
the limits of what those theorists will ever be able to do.
This is not some assault on science, it is innate in its very *structure*.
But, these days, science has been given religion-like status in the
popular culture, and good many scientifically literate people
have begun to believe their own P.R. in the matter. Simply put,
I know the limits of any system from its foundational axioms
not by putting together a laundry list of every single fact in the system.
Hmm, I do not understand the last clause of this paragraph.
This is true but unremarkable.
Eh? The only thing I'm having trouble grasping here is the flow of your
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
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