Apr 042007
 

Stephen Jones has a very interesting post here. 

Just one snippet that I found quite interesting:

“Let us begin with a crucial point. The laws of science are not inviolable. They represent a constantly changing logical complex, changing from decade to decade, and even from year to year. Lest this may surprise you let me remark that the world of science is not identical with the physical world itself, with the real world if you like. Science is a model of the real world that we construct inside our own heads. The model is arranged by us to work according to a set of prescribed rules. These are the laws of science. And when we speak of comparing our scientific theories with observation we mean that a comparison is being made between our model and the events that comprise the real world.” (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., “Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge,” Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.55).

  75 Responses to “Science and Reality”

  1. inunison

    Why do you find this paragraph so significant? Surely you knew science was tentative, that scientists are everyday changing the laws of science (albeit in very minor ways). What is it that you thought scientists were doing if not improving that model of reality?

  2. I think Pixie that Hoyle implies that science is not as objective as we would sometimes think. He is saying that science is an image of reality that we construct in our own heads.
    So Steve Jones’s take is that

    Therefore to say that “Intelligent Design is not science” (as the Darwinists do) merely means that Intelligent Design does not correspond with the materialistic-naturalistic “model of the real world” that they have constructed inside their heads, not that it does not correspond with “the real world” itself!

    I find it interesting, not significant.

  3. [off topic]

    Teleologist,
    I have a post waiting in your queue if you would like to check it out.
    Gil

  4. Inunison

    Ah, so Jones is saying that it is all a matter of opinion (well trying to imply that anyway).

    Science is not just in our heads, it is a body of knowledge that pervades a huge number of heads, and books and periodicals too. Furthermore science is about as objective as we can make it. Afterall, all those heads that it pervades have some pretty different metaphysics, from Hindus to Christians to atheists, but despite that nearly all of them agree on what is good science.

    Science is an image of reality that we construct, and then test. It is not a perfect model, but all that testing has given us objective evidence that it is a pretty good model.

    To say that ID is not science is to note that no testing has been done to support any ID origins hypotheses. That does not mean the hypothese are wrong, but it does mean they are not science. And it does make us wonder; if they are right, why has no one done that testing?

  5. Pixie,

    ID is not about origins, it is about detecting design. You should know that by now.

  6. I know the party line. And I know what it is really about.

  7. ditto

  8. Perhaps someone can explain how you could detect that the bacterial flagellum was designed, without determining anything about its origins.

  9. Perhaps someone can explain how you could detect that the bacterial flagellum was designed, without determining anything about its origins

    In the same way you can detect that anonymous letter written in Chinese is designed.

  10. the Pixie:
    Perhaps someone can explain how you could detect that the bacterial flagellum was designed, without determining anything about its origins.

    The same way we can determine murder without knowing how. The same way we can determine an artifact without knowing how it was made.

    the Pixie:
    Furthermore science is about as objective as we can make it.

    But there isn’t any way to objectively test the premise that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor. The only possible test is to assume they did and set out to find what you would consider to be confirming evidence.

    the Pixie:
    To say that ID is not science is to note that no testing has been done to support any ID origins hypotheses.

    The only people who could note that are the same people who don’t bother to look.

  11. Inunison

    In the same way you can detect that anonymous letter written in Chinese is designed.

    If I cam across an anonymous letter written in Chinese, I would deduce it was (a) designed and (b) it originated with a human being who knows Chinese. Sounds like you would only be able to determine the former.

  12. JoeG

    The same way we can determine murder without knowing how.

    Easy to say, easy to claim as a general idea, but let us get down to specifics, and see if this claim holdss up. Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how itwas done? Bet you can’t!

    The same way we can determine an artifact without knowing how it was made.

    Determining that something was designed tells you it was made. And if you have determined it was made, it did not form naturally. I think that is an important finding about the object’s origin, don’t you?

    But there isn’t any way to objectively test the premise that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor. The only possible test is to assume they did and set out to find what you would consider to be confirming evidence.

    That is how science is done. Someone comes up with a hypothesis (be it common descent or relativity) based on observation. He assumes it is true, and determines what the inevitable consequences – or predictions – of that are. If the predictions are correct, and the competing theories do not get them right, then the hypothesis is tentatively accepted.

    Do you think that procedure is flawed? If so, what do you recommend instead?

    Pix: To say that ID is not science is to note that no testing has been done to support any ID origins hypotheses.
    Joe: The only people who could note that are the same people who don’t bother to look.

    Well Inunison did say “ID is not about origins” so I have to wonder if he has bothered to look for any testing to support any ID origins hypotheses. Perhaps you could point us to some? But again, I bet you can’t!

  13. the Pixie:
    Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how itwas done? Bet you can’t!

    We already played this game. Murder can be and is determined in the absence of a body.

    see comments 64 & 65

    Ever hear of Laci Peterson?

    The woman’s cause of death was impossible to discern; due to decomposition, the body was decapitated, armless, and legless.

    I bet you won’t stop this line of nonsense.

    Determining that something was designed tells you it was made. And if you have determined it was made, it did not form naturally. I think that is an important finding about the object’s origin, don’t you?

    I have already covered that:

    The Design Inference- Why it Matters

    But there isn’t any way to objectively test the premise that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor. The only possible test is to assume they did and set out to find what you would consider to be confirming evidence.

    the Pixie:
    That is how science is done.

    No it isn’t.

    the Pixie:
    Someone comes up with a hypothesis (be it common descent or relativity) based on observation.

    Or Common Design.

    the Pixie:
    He assumes it is true, and determines what the inevitable consequences – or predictions – of that are.

    What happens if two different ideas are based on the same observations and share the same predictions?

  14. Joe

    Ever hear of Laci Peterson?

    No, I have not. What evidence was there that she was murdered? From the Wiki article, her husband was convicted of the murder, so I guess the police, and the jury all managed to determine something about the murder – i.e., who did it, which is pretty significant. What was the evidence of murder before the body was found?

    No it isn’t.

    Yes it is.

    Shall we just keep playing this, or do you want to explain where I got it wrong?

    What happens if two different ideas are based on the same observations and share the same predictions?

    Go for the idea that is more specific in its predictions (if one predicts a number from 20 to 40, and the other a number from 4 to 7, go with the latter). Go with the one that is more general in its range of predictions (if one makes predictions in a very specific set of circumstances, the other across a load of situations, go with the latter. Look at exactly what the difference is between the ideas, and hope to find new and differing predictions from that. Finally, you fall back to Occam’s razor, at least tentatively (go with he theory that invokes the least deviation from what we already accept in science).

    Pix: Well Inunison did say “ID is not about origins” so I have to wonder if he has bothered to look for any testing to support any ID origins hypotheses. Perhaps you could point us to some? But again, I bet you can’t!
    Joe:

    I am surprised you did not even try!

  15. OK the Pixie asks me to provide evidence that we can determine murder but not tell how it was done. I provide one case. I know there are many more. the Pixie responds with:

    What evidence was there that she was murdered? From the Wiki article, her husband was convicted of the murder, so I guess the police, and the jury all managed to determine something about the murder – i.e., who did it, which is pretty significant.

    Ummm they didn’t determine anything. It was all guesswork.

    the Pixie:
    Shall we just keep playing this, or do you want to explain where I got it wrong?

    YOU have to explain how you got it right.

    And seeing that culled genetic accidents offers up absolutely no predictions one must wonder why it is in the position it is today.

    BTW the Pixie- I am not going to run around looking for answers to your ID ignorance. I know there are IDists who are scientists working on scientific issues every day. And I know that not one anti-ID materialists can demonstrate that anti-ID materialistic position of sheer dumb luck has any scientific merit.

  16. Joe

    OK the Pixie asks me to provide evidence that we can determine murder but not tell how it was done. I provide one case.

    Yes, I ask you to give an example of some evidence. You provided one case. Can you see why I am not satisfied yet? It is because I was wantting an example of evidence. And not a case. So what was the evidence?

    Ummm they didn’t determine anything. It was all guesswork.

    So as far as you know there was no evidence that pointed to murder? Is that your position?

    YOU have to explain how you got it right.

    Why didn’t you say that before! From Wiki: “Scientific researchers propose specific hypotheses as explanations of natural phenomena, and design experimental studies that test these predictions for accuracy.” See also here. Now, the only way you can draw a prediction from a hypothesis is to assume the hypothesis is right. If I am right about this, then that is what I would expect to see. Einstein assumed relativity was right, when making predictions to support his claim that relativity was right.

    I would love to how you think predictions are made, but I guess you will dodge that one!

    And seeing that culled genetic accidents offers up absolutely no predictions one must wonder why it is in the position it is today.

    One prediction would be that if you deliberately cull a population, selectng individuals on specific traits, then those traits will be reduced and ultimately disappear in later generations. You might, for example, cull cows that (though genetic accident) produce less milk. In a few generations, your cows will be producing more milk on average.

    BTW the Pixie- I am not going to run around looking for answers to your ID ignorance.

    I never seriously imagined you would.

    I know there are IDists who are scientists working on scientific issues every day.

    Cunning wording! Of course there are IDists working in science. But the real question is whether any are doing ID science.

  17. Can you see why I am not satisfied yet?

    Yes you will never be satisfied. However I am more than satisfied that I fulfilled your criteria.

    So as far as you know there was no evidence that pointed to murder?

    Never said nor implied such a thing. There wasn’t any evidence pointing to the suspect. No finger prints and no trace evidence either.

    “Scientific researchers propose specific hypotheses as explanations of natural phenomena, and design experimental studies that test these predictions for accuracy.”

    That is different from what you said.

    I would love to how you think predictions are made

    They are made from the data and observation. Dr Humphreys once used the Bible to make a scientific prediction. It was more accurate and precise than any materialists could muster. That must mean that Creation is science!

    One prediction would be that if you deliberately cull a population,

    Umm that is artificial selection- which is a design mechanism.

    Any predictions made by culled genetic accidents would be nice. That is if you want to show your position is scientific.

    Of course there are IDists working in science. But the real question is whether any are doing ID science.

    Science is science. Right now the debate pertains to scientists conducting scientific research should be allowed to come to a design inference if that is what the data allows. And given the anti-ID materialistic position is nothing more than sheer dumb luck only those wed to that unscientific position would deny it.

    Also there is a lab set up for IDists so that they can conduct that ID research. However that is one more lab than the anti-IDists have to support their position of sheer dumb luck.

  18. Back to the OP-

    In any case, as Thomas Kuhn pointed out, debate about methodological rules of science often forms part of the practice of science, especially during times when established paradigms are being challenged. Those who reject the “teach the controversy” model on the grounds that ID violates the current rules of scientific practice only beg the question. The present regime of methodological rules cannot prevent the controversy for the simple reason that those rules may themselves be one of the subjects of scientific controversy. page xxv of Darwinism, Design and Public Education

  19. Joe

    Yes you will never be satisfied.

    Of course not, because it cannot be done. Any evidence for murder will always give us some clue about how it was done.

    However I am more than satisfied that I fulfilled your criteria.

    I have to wonder at that. Do you understand the difference between “case” and “evidence”? Perhaps not.

    Pix: So as far as you know there was no evidence that pointed to murder?
    Joe: Never said nor implied such a thing. There wasn’t any evidence pointing to the suspect. No finger prints and no trace evidence either.

    Wrong! There was enough evidence to convict him. At least, I assume that is how it is done in the US… You do need evidence to convict someone of muder right?

    But the challenge was to find evidence that pointed to murder, without any clue about how it was done. You have chosen to twist that around, it seems, to find evidence that pointed to murder, without any clue about who do it. Again, not the same thing. I am wondering if maybe you are having difficulty understanding the difference? I will try to elaborate if this is a problem.

    That is different from what you said.

    I was talking about a specific part of the process. I then went on to talk about that specific part of the process. Sorry if this was confusing you.

    Pix: I would love to how you think predictions are made
    Joe: They are made from the data and observation. Dr Humphreys once used the Bible to make a scientific prediction. It was more accurate and precise than any materialists could muster. That must mean that Creation is science!

    Did Humphreys think the Bible was right before he made the prediction? I suspect so. My guess is that he assumed what the Bible said was true, and he then worked out predictions based on that assumption. What do you think?

    Umm that is artificial selection- which is a design mechanism.

    It is a designed experiment that models natural selection.

    Science is science. Right now the debate pertains to scientists conducting scientific research should be allowed to come to a design inference if that is what the data allows. And given the anti-ID materialistic position is nothing more than sheer dumb luck only those wed to that unscientific position would deny it.

    So there are no scientists making predictions based on ID origins hypotheses, and then testing those predictions? That is what I thought.

  20. Of course not, because it cannot be done. Any evidence for murder will always give us some clue about how it was done.

    But I just refuted that. No one knows how Laci was killed. And then there are cases in which a body was never found but someone was still convicted of murder. No body means no one knows how.

    And vague notions are not clues.

    Wrong! There was enough evidence to convict him.

    Circumstantial evidence. It could have been someone else. A “guilty” verdict does not mean the one so charged really did it.

    But the challenge was to find evidence that pointed to murder, without any clue about how it was done.

    And THAT is what I provided. No one knows how Laci was killed. Try to pay attention- it is free.

    What part about that don’t you understand?

    Umm that is artificial selection- which is a design mechanism.

    It is a designed experiment that models natural selection.

    The sad part is you are serious. Artificial selection is not and never will be natural selection. Artificial selection is a design mechanism. It does what nature, had it operated freely, could not or would not, do.

    Science is science. Right now the debate pertains to scientists conducting scientific research should be allowed to come to a design inference if that is what the data allows. And given the anti-ID materialistic position is nothing more than sheer dumb luck only those wed to that unscientific position would deny it.

    So there are no scientists making predictions based on ID origins hypotheses, and then testing those predictions?

    That you would come to such an inference from what was posted confirms what I knew all along. You don’t care about reality. And instead of actually trying to understand ID and its predictions, you choose willfull ignorance. That you ignored Also there is a lab set up for IDists so that they can conduct that ID research. seals the deal.

    How about those predictions based on culled genetic accidents? Any chance of your providing one?

  21. JoeG

    No one knows how Laci was killed.

    Why do you think she was murdered then? Or perhaps you don’t think she was murdered, in which case it does not represent a case of accurate design detection.

    JoeG

    Umm that is artificial selection- which is a design mechanism.

    That’s how experiments are often done. We have an independent variable, which we change to see what effect it has on the dependent variable. For instance, we might adjust water flow in a laboratory aparatus to understand how water flows in a natural setting. Try “Science Fair 101”. Or don’t you think that artifice can be used to study how water flows in nature?

  22. Joe

    But I just refuted that. No one knows how Laci was killed. And then there are cases in which a body was never found but someone was still convicted of murder. No body means no one knows how.

    But unless you can tell me what evidence was produced in court, or what evidence let them determine murder, this does not count as an example of evidence that determines murder, but gives no clue of how it was done.

    You realy seem to have a problem comprehending this. What I was challenging you to find was some evidence that indicates murder, but not how it was done. Anything you produce that dos not hve some specific evidence… well, it is bound to fail the challenge.

    And vague notions are not clues.

    Having no clue about how something happened means you have no basis to form a vague notion. At least, that is what it means in the UK.

    The whole point is that ID does not have vague notions about how design was done, nor any desire to formulate any. As Inunison said, “ID is not about origins“.

    Pix: It is a designed experiment that models natural selection.
    Joe: The sad part is you are serious. Artificial selection is not and never will be natural selection. Artificial selection is a design mechanism.

    But I did not say this was natural selection, I said it was a model for natural selection. Why do you feel the need to twist everything I say to mean something else? I cannot decide if you just do not bother to read what I write, or you are doing it deliberately.

    It does what nature, had it operated freely, could not or would not, do.

    Why do you believe that? Is it not possible that a serious of harsh winters will selectively cull those individuals less able to survive a harsh winter? And if so, surely there will be more individuals left able to survive the next harsh winter? Is it not possible that a serious of dry summers will selectively cull those individuals less able to survive a dry summer? And if so, surely there will be more individuals left able to survive the next dry summer? Is it not possible that a predetor will selectively cull those individuals less able to evade the predator (whether by camoflage, speed, etc.)? And if so, surely there will be more individuals left able to evade the predator?

    I am sorry, but I just cannot see why you find this impossible. And I am (sadly) sure you will be unable to explain.

    That you would come to such an inference from what was posted confirms what I knew all along. You don’t care about reality.

    That you are unable to name ID scientists doing research into ID origins hypotheses tells me that they do not exist. Of course you could not admit that – probably not to yourself even – but that is how it goes.

    Also there is a lab set up for IDists so that they can conduct that ID research. seals the deal.

    But you cannot provide a link to back that up, or the name of anyone working there, or a web page describing their research. Odd that.

    Hmm, perhaps you mean Douglas Axe and associates (though I wonder why you weant to keep it secret). Here is an article about them, for anyone else. It was not that hard for me to find.

    Although the place exists, I am doubtful they are researching ID origins hypotheses. For one thing, as Inunison said, “ID is not about origins“. I think in this instance he is right. If we do ever see anything out of Biologic it will be anti-evolution research. It will not offer us any insight into how the design process occurred.

    How about those predictions based on culled genetic accidents? Any chance of your providing one?

    See earlier. I predict that after an unusually harsh winter a larger proportion of the animal population will be able to survive harsh winters. I predict that after an unusually dry summer a larger proportion of the animal population will be able to survive dry summer. I predict that some generations after the appearance of a new predator a larger proportion of the animal population will be able to evade the predator. (In each case, assuming the population survives, of course)

  23. But unless you can tell me what evidence was produced in court, or what evidence let them determine murder, this does not count as an example of evidence that determines murder, but gives no clue of how it was done.

    That is just nonsensical. And also you have moved the goalposts! I provided the case you can look up the details or continue to wallow in your ignorance. You asked for something and I provided it. Thanks for demonstrating you would rather remain willfully ignorant than to actually follow up on reality.

    The whole point is that ID does not have vague notions about how design was done, nor any desire to formulate any.

    As I have already told you, and just as Dembski stated in “No Free Lunch”, the process is a separate question. That is because the ONLY way to makle ANY determination about the actual process or the designer in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question!

    And guess what? That is exactly how reality says it is done!

    But I did not say this was natural selection, I said it was a model for natural selection.

    Artificial selection is NOT a model for natural selection. Never has been and never will be.

    Is it not possible that a serious of harsh winters will selectively cull those individuals less able to survive a harsh winter?

    Yes it is possible but that is not what we were discussing. The following is what YOU proposed:

    One prediction would be that if you deliberately cull a population, selectng individuals on specific traits, then those traits will be reduced and ultimately disappear in later generations. You might, for example, cull cows that (though genetic accident) produce less milk. In a few generations, your cows will be producing more milk on average.

    However it is obvious that you just cannot follow along.

    That you are unable to name ID scientists doing research into ID origins hypotheses tells me that they do not exist.

    That your argument hinges on what I can or cannot do demonstrates just how empty it is. Dean Kenyon’s origins research led him to be an IDist. His ID origins research says that to find the origins of living organisms one has to find the origins of information.

    But you cannot provide a link to back that up, or the name of anyone working there, or a web page describing their research. Odd that.

    I didn’t know I had to. But OK:

    Intelligent Design Research Lab Highlighted in New Scientist

    And I wasn’t trying to keep it secret. I would have thought that you, being so active in ID bashing, would have known about it by now.

    If we do ever see anything out of Biologic it will be anti-evolution research.

    But ID is NOT anti-evolution. That you don’t even understand that simple fact just demonstrates you don’t want to know.

    How about those predictions based on culled genetic accidents? Any chance of your providing one?

    See earlier. I predict that after an unusually harsh winter a larger proportion of the animal population will be able to survive harsh winters.

    But that would work if the mechanism was designed to evolve rather than culled genetic accidents. IOW you failed.

  24. No one knows how Laci was killed.

    Why do you think she was murdered then?

    There was a big Court deal on TV.

    Umm that is artificial selection- which is a design mechanism.

    That’s how experiments are often done.

    The point is one cannot use a case of artificial selection as a model for natural selection.

  25. Joe

    Pix: But unless you can tell me what evidence was produced in court, or what evidence let them determine murder, this does not count as an example of evidence that determines murder, but gives no clue of how it was done.
    Joe: That is just nonsensical. And also you have moved the goalposts!

    Look back at post 12. I put it in bold, to make it especially easy for you. Here it is again. In bold still. Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how itwas done?

    I am gong to pick out some salient features, because you are clearly haveing a problem comprehending here.

    * Firstly, I challenged you to find an example of some evidence. I quite clearly used the word “evidence” in the challenge. You quite clearly missed that, and read it to meamn something else altogether. Hmm, do you understand what we mean by evidence?
    * This evidence has to point to murder
    * This evidence must “tell you nothing about how itwas done”.

    I am not insisting that you produce an example that was used in court, I would be quite happy with a hypothetical example, but you seemed to want to talk about this specific case, so I imagined maybe there some some example of such evidence in this case. If there is, then what are you complaining about? If not, why did you bring this case up?

    I provided the case you can look up the details or continue to wallow in your ignorance.

    Oh come on! I suggest that you know full well that there is no evidence in this case that pointed to murder, but not how the murder was done, and you are ashamed to admit it. Why else would you want to spent so much effort avoiding providing that example of evidence, when you can blow my argument away so easily (if you were right) by simply providing it? And each post you make that dodges the issue will conince more and more people that I am right and you are wrong.

    You asked for something and I provided it.

    I asked for one thing, and you provided another. I asked again, and you dodged again. I asked again, and you dodged again. Etc. Etc.

    Artificial selection is NOT a model for natural selection. Never has been and never will be.

    Of course it is.

    Yes it is possible but that is not what we were discussing. The following is what YOU proposed:

    They are different predictions. So what?

    But at least you accept that natural selection “is possible”.

    Dean Kenyon’s origins research led him to be an IDist. His ID origins research says that to find the origins of living organisms one has to find the origins of information.

    What is this? Are you actually backing up a claim with a real example? Incredible!

    I am not familar with Kenyon. I had a quick look on Wiki (here for anyone else). What ID origins hypothesis is he working on?

    Pix: But you cannot provide a link to back that up, or the name of anyone working there, or a web page describing their research. Odd that.
    Joe: I didn’t know I had to.

    I had noticed. You seem to think you can just make assertions, as though they were true, without any support.

    But ID is NOT anti-evolution. That you don’t even understand that simple fact just demonstrates you don’t want to know.

    But that was my point! I believe everything that comes out of the Biologic institute will be anti-evolution and not ID. Certainly that is how Axe’s output has been used to date.

    But that would work if the mechanism was designed to evolve rather than culled genetic accidents. IOW you failed.

    I never said the system was not designed to evolve. That is perfectly consistent with natural selection. So of course the prediction is the same either way.

    There was a big Court deal on TV.

    So that is what you call evidence? If there was a coirt case on TV, it must have been murder. Forensic science at its finest!

    You missed this earlier:
    Did Humphreys think the Bible was right before he made the prediction? I suspect so. My guess is that he assumed what the Bible said was true, and he then worked out predictions based on that assumption. What do you think?
    I am still interested to hear how you think scientists make predictions without assuming their hypothesis is right.

  26. Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how itwas done?

    The evidence used to convict Scott Peterson is such an example.

    I suggest that you know full well that there is no evidence in this case that pointed to murder

    Is that your rebuttal? There was a whole court case about it. I take it you won’t look into it because it refutes your premise and for you it is better to argue from ignorance than it is to actually learn something.

    I find it incredible that you can’t type “Laci Peterson” into a search engine and find what you are looking for. That alone exposes the fact that you would rather remain willfully ignorant than to have your premise refuted.

    evidence against Scott Peterson

    I bet you won’t stop being a baby about it. And I know there are other cases in which murder was determined in the absence of a body.

    Artificial selection is NOT a model for natural selection. Never has been and never will be.

    Of course it is.

    There isn’t any scientists who would agree with you.

    But at least you accept that natural selection “is possible” .

    I never doubted it. I know natural selection leads to wobbling stability

    You seem to think you can just make assertions, as though they were true, without any support.

    That is ALL you do. So why should I be held to a different standard?

    I never said the system was not designed to evolve. That is perfectly consistent with natural selection. So of course the prediction is the same either way.

    I specifically asked for a prediction based on culled genetic accidents.

    But that was my point! I believe everything that comes out of the Biologic institute will be anti-evolution and not ID. Certainly that is how Axe’s output has been used to date.

    What you believe is irrelevant. And Axe’s work has not been used as anti-evolution.

    And I take it that Creation is science- that is by your definition. Therefore we should include it in all science classrooms.

  27. In the United States it takes evidence to convict someone of a crime. I don’t know how it works in the UK but if your system is not based on that principle I am glad I don’t live there.

    IOW if Scott Peterson was convicted of murder it is a given there was evidence to support that conviction. That is how it works.

  28. In the United States it takes evidence just to get the case to trial.

    In the Laci Peterson case there is plenty of evidence for homicide, some circumstantial evidence that points to Scott Peterson as the culprit, but no evidence as to how she was killed.

    However, as I have said many times before, by studying the case in point we may be able to make that determination however it is not required to know how someone was murdered to determine they were murdered.

    With ID it is not required to know how something was designed in order to determine it was designed. And by studying it we may be able to make some determination on how to design one. We may never know exactly how it was designed. And the more complicated the object is the more difficult it may be to make any determination as to “how”.

    That is what I think inunison means by ID is not about origins- it is not about “how”. That is a separate question from whether or not it is designed and can we study it so that we can understand it. That is ID- the detection and study of- and no one is preventing anyone from trying to find out “who, how or when”. With the resources available and the opposition based on ignorance that abounds, we IDists have our hands full with what ID was formulated for and educating the ignorant.

  29. JoeG

    I specifically asked for a prediction based on culled genetic accidents.

    The Lederberg Experiment demonstrates how clonal bacteria will mutate antibiotic resistance regardless of whether they are exposed to antibiotics or not. It also shows that once exposed to antibiotics, bacteria with antibiotic resistance will tend to increase their proportion of the population. To recap, we start with genetically identical bacteria, random mutations lead to variations in the population, and the genotype then changes in response to the environment (presence of antibiotics). JoeG, you can actually replicate this experiment with predictable results.

    There are journals full of data on mutation and selection. I have cited these resources for your benefit previously, but you might just try to pick up any issue of the Journal Genetics. You will find many articles propose and test specific hypotheses concerning evolutionary mechanisms, including mutation and selection.

    JoeG

    In the United States it takes evidence to convict someone of a crime… In the Laci Peterson case there is plenty of evidence for homicide

    Please explain the evidence that leads you to a conclusion of homicide.

    JoeG

    With the resources available and the opposition based on ignorance that abounds, we IDists have our hands full with what ID was formulated for and educating the ignorant.

    The ID community would be far more convincing if they spent their time proposing scientific hypotheses and collecting data.

  30. Joe

    Pix: Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how it was done?
    Joe: The evidence used to convict Scott Peterson is such an example.

    Are you thinking about this at all? Are you really saying that the evidence that was used to convict the murderer told the investigators nothing about how it was done? Has it not crossed your mind that maybe this evidence suggested to the police who did it? I think that is pretty significant. I think that is very important information about how the muder was done.

    We really must be failing to communicate big time, because really cannot fathom what your thinking is here.

  31. The ID community would be far more convincing if they spent their time proposing scientific hypotheses and collecting data.

    We do that.

    Please explain the evidence that leads you to a conclusion of homicide.

    Why? Are you too stupid to understand it by yourself?

    The Lederberg Experiment demonstrates how clonal bacteria will mutate antibiotic resistance regardless of whether they are exposed to antibiotics or not.

    I take it you ignored the article about evolution and anti-biotic resistence. Typical.

    There are journals full of data on mutation and selection.

    That does NOT mean the mutations are genetic accidents. Also there isn’t anything in any peer reviewed journal that demonstrates any matation-selection process can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed.

  32. Are you thinking about this at all?

    I am but obviously you can’t.

    Are you really saying that the evidence that was used to convict the murderer told the investigators nothing about how it was done?

    That is the fact.

    Has it not crossed your mind that maybe this evidence suggested to the police who did it?

    They only had scant circumstantial evidence that pointed to Scott. And absolutely nothing on how it was done.

    I think that is pretty significant. I think that is very important information about how the muder was done.

    It is obvious that you aren’t an investigator of any sort. To this date, even well after the conviction, no one knows how she died.

    Your challenge is answered and you lost the bet. Now instead of just accepting reality you flail about like a true wanker.

    Thanks for demonstrating that there isn’t anything that would change your mind once it is locked on to nonsense.

  33. Zachriel: Please explain the evidence that leads you to a conclusion of homicide [in the Peterson case].

    You didn’t answer the question. Is that because you are unable to do so?

    Zachriel: The Lederberg Experiment demonstrates how clonal bacteria will mutate antibiotic resistance regardless of whether they are exposed to antibiotics or not.

    JoeG

    I take it you ignored the article about evolution and anti-biotic resistence. Typical.

    Your cite had nothing to do with your request to provide, “a prediction based on culled genetic accidents.” (And the Lederberg Experiment has nothing to do with horizontal gene transfer or macroevolutionary processes as discussed in your cite.) Your query has been answered.

    JoeG

    That does NOT mean the mutations are genetic accidents.

    In the Lederberg Experiment, it was shown that the relevant mutations were random with respect to the environment. However, research into this aspect of evolution has been ongoing. A contrary finding would not necessarily undermine Common Descent, or the Theory of Evolution.

    JoeG

    Also there isn’t anything in any peer reviewed journal that demonstrates any matation-selection process can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed.

    In the Lederberg Experiment, mutations do explain the observed differences in the survivability of the bacteria under study.

  34. To this date, even well after the conviction, no one knows how she died.

    They know she died at the hands of husband. You seem to think that information is nothing. I think it is particularly salient.

  35. Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how itwas done?

    They know she died at the hands of husband.

    YOUR question was about HOW she died. No one knows HOW she died- ie how it was done.

    You seem to think that information is nothing.

    That thought never crossed my mind.

    Here are more cases in which murder was determined but no one knows how:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2562195.stm

    http://www.findjeanine.com/jeanine/news/MercuryNews_com12-17-2004.htm

    http://www.courttv.com/trials/news/0904/24_nobody_ctv.html :

    One of the first “no body” cases belonged to L. Ewing Scott, who was convicted in 1957 of his wealthy wife’s murder. He took advantage of her finances, and there were rumors of physical abuse. Evelyn Scott disappeared when she decided to divorce her husband. Authorities found ashes of her false teeth in their home, and L. Ewing Scott was sentenced to life in prison.

    In 1985, Gail Birenbaum, the wife of a plastic surgeon, went missing. When her husband Robert Bierenbaum, a licensed pilot, flew over the Atlantic Ocean the day after she disappeared, investigators speculated he had dropped her remains during the flight. That theory led to Robert Bierenbaum’s 20-year jail sentence.

    More recently, in 2000, mother-son crime team Sante and Kenneth Kimes were convicted of murdering Irene Silverman for her $7 million townhouse. Although Sante Kimes used the motto “No body, no crime,” according to her son, she was sentenced to 120 years in prison for that case, while Kenneth received 125 years. The Manhattan socialite’s body has never been found.

  36. Zachriel,

    My request was for predictions based on culled genetic accidents. See comment #20 for How about those predictions based on culled genetic accidents? Any chance of your providing one?

    Not only have you failed to provide that but you provide something that isn’t even evidence for your position.

    Anti-biotic resistence is also a prediction of the Creation model of biological evolution. And it is a prediction of ID.

    And if you really want to know about the evidence in the Laci Peterson case all you have to do is follow the links provided. If you are unable to understand the source it is a given that you won’t understand my explanation. And I have already wasted too much time on you.

  37. Joe

    YOUR question was about HOW she died. No one knows HOW she died- ie how it was done.

    Ah, I see the problem. You think “Who killed her” is an entirely different question. We could know “Who killed her”, but that is quite different to knowing “How did she die”. Like we might know “When did she die” – another question entirely unrelated to “How did she die”. Or how about “Where did she die” or “Why was she killed”. Another different question. “What was she killed with” is, of course, another question. We could know she was killed by a knife, in the bedroom at 0325, by her husband because she was having an affair, which would answer the questions “What was she killed with”, “Where did she die”, “When did she die”, “Who killed her” and “Why was she killed”. But that gets us no nearer to knowing “How did she die”, because that is a different question.

    Hmm. Is it possible that all these questions are just parts of the bigger question of “How did she die”? No. Joe says they are entirely different, and surely that should be enough to convince everyone.

  38. Joe

    I was nearly forgetting. I am still not clear about any scientist doing research based in an ID origins hypothesis. Have we got any further with that. You mentioned Dean Kenyon, but I have not been able to find any mention on the internet of the ID origins hypothesis that he is researching.

    And I am still struggling with this whole prediction thing. I do not get how you can make a scientific prediction (as opposed to a prophesy) without assuming your ideas are right (which is what Dr Humphrey’s for his predictions, I think).

  39. You think “Who killed her” is an entirely different question.

    To all intelligent people “who killed someone” is very different than “how that person was killed”.

    We could know “Who killed her” , but that is quite different to knowing “How did she die” .

    As I said.

    Is it possible that all these questions are just parts of the bigger question of “How did she die” ?

    I take it you are going to keep moving the goalposts until you are satisfied they cannot be reached.

    I take the Pixie has severe problems with staying on the topic he(?) presented:

    Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how itwas done?

    Who did it does NOT tell us anything about HOW it was done. It is true the the person who did it could tell us, but that is not the point. The point is to be able to determine murder, just like we are able to determine design, without knowing how, just like we can determine design and then via research make some possible determination into how. We do NOT have to know how before determing murder or design. That is what reality tells us. However it is obvious that the Pixie has an issue with reality. Most anti-IDists seem to have that same issue.

  40. I am still not clear about any scientist doing research based in an ID origins hypothesis.

    That sounds like a personal problem. Ya see you can’t even deal with the fact that murder can be determined without anyone knowing how. And if you can’t deal with that simple piece of reality I doubt you could deal with anything else.

    As I have told you it is scientists doing origins research and being allowed to reach a design inference. It was Kenyon’s origin’s research that led him to ID. And in the end all origin’s research is ID research. That is just a fact of the matter.

    And I am still struggling with this whole prediction thing.

    I am sure someone like you struggles quite a bit. Education usually cures that.

    Now how about presenting ONE prediction based on culled genetic accidents.

  41. JoeG

    My request was for predictions based on culled genetic accidents.

    And that is exactly what was provided. We can show that the mutations are random with respect to the environment, i.e. that they occur according to a probability distribution regardless of their functional usefulness to the organism, and then the organism is subject to selection based on it phenotype and the environment it finds itself in. You can replicate the experiment yourself, with predictable results. Your handwaving is irrelevant.

    JoeG

    And if you really want to know about the evidence in the Laci Peterson case all you have to do is follow the links provided.

    I take it that means you can’t provide an explanation. Zachriel: Please explain the evidence that leads you to a conclusion of homicide [in the Peterson case].

  42. My request was for predictions based on culled genetic accidents.

    And that is exactly what was provided.

    That you think so is irrelevant. Ya see I know we don’t have the knowledge to make that determination. As far as we know what is observed is built-in responses to environmental cues.

    Also, as I said, the alledged prediction also fits ID and the Creation model. IOW it does nothing to support your position.

    And if you really want to know about the evidence in the Laci Peterson case all you have to do is follow the links provided.

    I take it that means you can’t provide an explanation.

    It means the explanation has been provided and you are just eiethr too lazy to go and read it or too stupid to even try.

    As I have already explained- in the USA there has to be evidence before the case goes to trial. There has to evidence for a conviction. I don’t know how they do it where you live but if it isn’t via evidence then I am glad I don’t live there.

  43. JoeG

    As far as we know what is observed is built-in responses to environmental cues.

    And that means you don’t understand how the experiment works. You know you can actually replicate these results yourself, and this experiment is repeated every day in Universities around the world. It might be helpful if you actually made a few basic scientific observations so you can understand how scientists reach the conclusions they do.

    The Lederbergs demonstrated that the mutations occurred (according to a probability distribution) *regardless of any environmental clues*. That’s the whole point! Please try to read and understand the material.

  44. JoeG

    It means the explanation has been provided and you are just eiethr too lazy to go and read it or too stupid to even try.

    I asked *you* explain the evidence that leads *you* to a conclusion of homicide [in the Peterson case]. I don’t require a detailed explanation, but it is a relevant question.

  45. Zachriel,

    Please try to understand that bacterial resistence is NOT a proper example for the theory of evolution. Bacteria “evolving” into bacteria does NOT help your cause. I have cited an expert in the field that demonstrates exactly that.

    Also we don’t know what is going on inside of bacteria. Sure we can make observations but those observations are pretty much the same as having my 4 year-old try to make sense of a C++ program that I wrote.

  46. I asked *you* explain the evidence that leads *you* to a conclusion of homicide [in the Peterson case].

    I wasn’t part of the investigation team.

    I don’t require a detailed explanation, but it is a relevant question.

    It isn’t relevant to me.

  47. JoeG

    Please try to understand that bacterial resistence is NOT a proper example for the theory of evolution.

    You asked for an example of “predictions based on culled genetic accidents,” which is what was provided.

    Also, I note you didn’t try and correct your misstatement that the Lederberg Experiment could be explained by “environmental cues“. It would be helpful to the discussion if you would admit error when in error.

    JoeG

    I wasn’t part of the investigation team… It isn’t relevant to me.

    That’s fine. Then we can consider this example in response to The Pixie’s question to be withdrawn.

  48. You asked for an example of “predictions based on culled genetic accidents,” which is what was provided.

    What was the prediction?

    It would be helpful to the discussion if you would admit error when in error.

    Perhaps you should follow your own advise.

    I take it you didn’t understand the following:

    Also we don’t know what is going on inside of bacteria. Sure we can make observations but those observations are pretty much the same as having my 4 year-old try to make sense of a C++ program that I wrote.

    You should ask. But I understand your position is too delicate for that.

    Then we can consider this example in response to The Pixie’s question to be withdrawn.

    Of course you will. However that case, and all other cases presented that refute the Pixie, will not go away just because you choose willfull ignorance over reality.

  49. Joe

    I take it you are going to keep moving the goalposts until you are satisfied they cannot be reached.

    Here is the question, as originally stated: Can you think of some evidence that would point to murder but tell you nothing about how it was done?

    Personally, I think knowing the identity of the intelligent agent that perperated the act does count as knowing something “about how it was done”. I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Who did it does NOT tell us anything about HOW it was done.

    Do you imagine capitalisation makes it true?

    It seems to me that knowing whose hand did it is a pretty important part of HOW it was done. But, hey, maybe it is just me.

    It is true the the person who did it could tell us, but that is not the point.

    I do not recall anyone suggesting that was the point.

    The point is to be able to determine murder, just like we are able to determine design, without knowing how, just like we can determine design and then via research make some possible determination into how.

    Right. Now I see. ID tells us nothing about how it was done. It just tells us it was design, and who did it. Have I got this right?

    Well, no, I know full well that is not what ID is trying to do. When it is ID, the evidence gives us no clues about how, why, when, what or where (hmm, perhaps we could say it is completely clueless). But when it comes to the murder… change the rules. Now it is only about how. We know who killed Lacy Peterson. We know where (to with a couple of hundred miles, and probably better than that). We know when it happened (with a few days – compared to ID wavering between 6,000 years and 4,000,000,000 years). I get the impression we have some idea of why it happened too.

    We do NOT have to know how before determing murder or design. That is what reality tells us. However it is obvious that the Pixie has an issue with reality. Most anti-IDists seem to have that same issue.

    It happens at the same time. Any evidence for murder also gives clues about how it happened. Apparently, evidence for ID is different.

    Of course, if all those mythical scientists working on ID origins hypotheses start publishing, we can see if this is true or not. But somehow I get the feeling this could be a long wait.

    As I have told you it is scientists doing origins research and being allowed to reach a design inference. It was Kenyon’s origin’s research that led him to ID. And in the end all origin’s research is ID research. That is just a fact of the matter.

    Sorry, but I do not believe you. And I will not until you can tell me what ID origins hypothesis he is working. Can you even tell me if he hypothesises life startng 6,000 years ago or 4,000,000,000 years ago? No, you cannot (undoubtedly you will tell me it is up to me to find out).

    And as you perhaps realise, you cannot win even if you do. If he says life started 6,000 years ago, that is not ID, that is young Earth creationism. And if he says life started 4,000,000,000 years ago, that is not ID, that is old Earth creationism. The thing you do not get is that ID is not about origins, it is about detecting design. You should know that by now.

    I am sure someone like you struggles quite a bit. Education usually cures that.

    Well, I do struggle with most of your posts actually. I can understand the English fine, but I cannot fathom the ideas behind it. This is why I ask you to explain what you say and support it. Please, educate me about your claims, and we will see if I get cured.

  50. You asked for an example of “predictions based on culled genetic accidents,” which is what was provided.

    Which any intelligent person would have taken in context. Thanks for continuing to demonstrate your inability to follow along.

  51. Personally, I think knowing the identity of the intelligent agent that perperated the act does count as knowing something “about how it was done” .

    Of course you would. However reality disagrees with you. But you could demonstrate your point by showing us exactly what you mean. Tell us what the knowledge of the murderer tells us about how the murder was committed.

    And what happens when murder is determined, they think they got the right guy, he gets convicted and years later they determine it wasn’t that guy after all? That has happened.

    And obviously you don’t see:

    ID tells us nothing about how it was done. It just tells us it was design, and who did it. Have I got this right?

    It is amazing that someone who has been involved in this debate for as long as you have can still remain so ignorant of what you are debating against.

    Try these:

    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence. — William A. Dembski

    Intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?–WD

    and

    “Once specified complexity tells us that something is designed, there is nothing to stop us from inquiring into its production. A design inference therefore does not avoid the problem of how a designing intelligence might have produced an object. It simply makes it a separate question.”
    Wm. Dembski- pg 112 of No Free Lunch

    I know I have already told you all this and you most likely won’t understand this time either.

    Stonehenge- design determined; further research to establish how, by whom, why and when.
    Nasca Plain, Peru- design determined; further research to establish how, by whom, why and when.
    Any artifact (archeology/ anthropology)- design determined; further research to establish how, by whom, why and when- that is unless we have direct observation and/ or designer input.
    Fire investigation- if arson is determined (ie design); further research to establish how, by whom, why and when- that is unless we have direct observation and/ or designer input.

    An artifact does not stop being an artifact just because we do not know who, what, when, where, why and how. But it would be stupid to dismiss the object as being an artifact just because no one was up to the task of demonstrating a method of production and/ or the designing agent.

    And even if we did determine a process by which the object in question may have been produced it does not follow that it will be the process used. ID does not identify the designer.

    As I have already posted: The ONLY way to make ANT determination about the process used or the identity of the designer(s), in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

    and guess what?:

    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence. — William A. Dembski

    And this is just your ignorance speaking:

    When it is ID, the evidence gives us no clues about how, why, when, what or where (hmm, perhaps we could say it is completely clueless).

    It gives us plenty of clues.

    Any evidence for murder also gives clues about how it happened.

    Not in the real world. Sure by studying and research we will hopefully be able to make these determinations. However we can determine murder BEFORE making these other inferences/ conclusions. That has been my point the whole time. And it has been ID’s point forever.

    Of course, if all those mythical scientists working on ID origins hypotheses start publishing, we can see if this is true or not.

    Where is all the publications supporting an origins based on sheer dumb luck? One would be nice.

    If the scientific data points to an Earth 6,000-12,000 years old, ID would accept it.

    The thing you do not get is that ID is not about origins, it is about detecting design. You should know that by now.

    The thing YOU don’t get is what inunison was referring to. And I explained that already.

  52. Q-“How was Ms. Laci Peterson murdered?”

    A-“She was murdered by her husband, Scott Peterson.”

    Q-“How did her husband, Scott Peterson, muder Laci Peterson.”

    A-“He murdered her by causing her to cease living.”

    At least now I understand why the Pixie and Zachriel are evolutionists. They don’t care about reality and just about anything is evidence for their position.

    Thanks. Good luck with that.

  53. JoeG

    Which any intelligent person would have taken in context.

    I checked every instance of “culled” on this thread. The Lederberg Experiment answered your challenge. You clearly misunderstood this fundamental insight into evolution, though you refuse to admit it, or to modify your position accordingly. While reading, I ran across this more general prediction.

    The Pixie: “One prediction would be that if you deliberately cull a population, selecting individuals on specific [heritable] traits, then those traits will be reduced and ultimately disappear in later generations.

  54. JoeG

    At least now I understand why the Pixie and Zachriel are evolutionists. They don’t care about reality and just about anything is evidence for their position.

    Huh? I expressed no opinion on the Peterson case. I asked you to explain how you knew it was homicide. You were unable or unwilling to do so. Yet, here you bring it up again.

  55. Joe

    Of course you would. However reality disagrees with you. But you could demonstrate your point by showing us exactly what you mean. Tell us what the knowledge of the murderer tells us about how the murder was committed.

    What is there not to get here? If you know who the murderer was, then you know who did. It is really as simple as that!

    Pix: ID tells us nothing about how it was done. It just tells us it was design, and who did it. Have I got this right? Well, no, I know full well that is not what ID is trying to do.
    Joe: It is amazing that someone who has been involved in this debate for as long as you have can still remain so ignorant of what you are debating against.

    Hmm, looks like it is about quoting someone out of context.

    The ONLY way to make ANT determination about the process used or the identity of the designer(s), in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

    I do not think I have said anything to dispute that.

    Q- “What do we know about how Ms. Laci Peterson was murdered?”
    A- “Absolutely nothing.”
    Q- “I thought you said her husband did it.”
    A- “That’s right. We know he did it.”
    Q- “So you do know one thing about how it happened.”
    A- “No, no, nothing at all. We have not the slightest idea about any of it.”
    Q- “Do you think it happened when the husband was around?”
    A- “Maybe. We have no way of telling.”
    Q- “But you know he did it?”
    A- “Definitely.”
    Q- “So you are sure he did it, but you do not know if he was actually present at the time of the murder?”
    A- “Exactly.”

    Zachriel (to Joe)

    I asked you to explain how you knew it was homicide. You were unable or unwilling to do so.

    Actually Joe answered this early. He knows it was murder because there was a big court case on TV. You cannot argue with logic like that!

  56. Joe

    Where is all the publications supporting an origins based on sheer dumb luck? One would be nice.

    I did search at PubMed and found these articles:
    * The simultaneous synthesis of peptides and oligonucleotides on kaolinite with the participation of aminoacyladenylates
    * Impact frustration of the origin of life
    * Catalysts of the melanin-melanoidin type in peptide abiogenesis
    * Comparative study of abiogenesis of cysteine and other amino acids catalyzed by various metal ions
    * Non-enzymatic transphosphorylation reactions due to high polymer polyphosphates and their role in abiogenesis
    * Porphyrin abiogenesis from pyrrole and formaldehyde under simulated geochemical conditions
    * Preliminary observations on some aspects of abiogenesis of amino acids. Effect of ultraviolet irradiation on aqueous solutions of hexamethylene tetramine

    Wikipedia gives a good summary of the current thinking here, and this page at Panda’s Thumb may be of interest too. From all this, I believe I can claim that there is an abiogenesis origins hypothesis that scientists are actively involved in investigating.

    So apparently I misunderstood inunison. That should make it easy for you. Find some evidence of a scientist investigating an ID origins hypothesis, or give more and more excuses if you cannot find any. And then we will all know one way or the other.

  57. JoeG, what we have here is presentation of the first and foremost axiom of OOL research:

    Never Underestimate the Power of the Soup

    You are repeatedly showing your ignorance in wilfully denying this great scientific statement

  58. inunison

    Never Underestimate the Power of the Soup

    I think it makes sense to now migrate a bit closer to inunison’s original thread topic. Hoyle’s statement is reasonably correct. Science is a model of nature constructed by a set of “prescribed rules,” the scientific method: hypothesis, prediction, observation, validation, repeat.

    We observe some aspect of the natural world. We form a generalization concerning those observations. We then deduce from that generalization a new observation. We then verify this prediction with new observations. We modify or discard our generalization as necessary. We continue this process and eventually build confidence in our model.

    inunison

    I think Pixie that Hoyle implies that science is not as objective as we would sometimes think.

    This is where you lose track of Hoyle’s argument. Hoyle says, “a comparison is being made between our model and the events that comprise the real world“. Being objective is the shared sense experience independent of the observer. So if we look in a microscope at pond water, we will both see animalcules swimming around. This is an objective observation. (And sharing with your peers is an important step as it allows other observers to confirm and extend your observations, and increases our confidence in the objectivity of the original findings.)

    Steve Jones

    Therefore to say that “Intelligent Design is not science” (as the Darwinists do) merely means that Intelligent Design does not correspond with the materialistic-naturalistic “model of the real world” that they have constructed inside their heads, not that it does not correspond with “the real world” itself!

    And this is where Jones loses track of the argument. When we say “Intelligent Design is not science,” we don’t mean that it doesn’t correspond to philosophical naturalism, but rather — according to your own source — that it isn’t subjected to validation by the “prescribed rules” that comprise the scientific method. The idea of intelligent agency as the source of biological diversity may or may not correspond to “the real world,” but there is no scientific evidence to support such an assertion. Intelligent Design falsely claims that such evidence exists.

    (An evolutionary biologist explains why he’s Not a Darwinist.)

  59. Zachriel,

    When we say “Intelligent Design is not science,” we don’t mean that it doesn’t correspond to philosophical naturalism, but rather — according to your own source — that it isn’t subjected to validation by the “prescribed rules” that comprise the scientific method

    I think Steve Jones is right on target. Your oppinion does not amount to much when you closely examine Materialistic Philosophy of Science. And that metaphysical dogma imposed on science is the exact reason why ID is rejected. Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted. Rather, it is an effort to make true statements about physical reality.

    The inference that life is the product of an intelligent cause rather than unintelligent material forces may certainly have religious implications. But the arguments advanced by intelligent design theorists rely on neutral principles and facts drawn from mathematics, information theory, biochemistry, physics, astrophysics, and other disciplines.

  60. When I utter “Intelligent Design is not science” , I mean it isn’t subjected to validation by the the scientific method. It’s odd you would say my opinion “does not amount to much” concerning the intended meaning of my own utterances.

    inunison

    Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted. Rather, it is an effort to make true statements about physical reality.

    Are you claiming, then, that objective observation is not at the root of the scientific method?

    inunison

    But the arguments advanced by intelligent design theorists rely on neutral principles and facts drawn from mathematics, information theory, biochemistry, physics, astrophysics, and other disciplines.

    Because here you seem to claim otherwise, that we do need to ground our science in objective observation.

  61. inunison

    Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted. Rather, it is an effort to make true statements about physical reality.

    Science attempts to make *accurate statements* about the natural world. Science is a complex undertaking, but it is not willy-nilly, and there is a basic methodology for checking the validity of scientific assertions. If Intelligent Design wants to be called science, it can’t merely co-opt the word. It has to be able to make predictions of specific empirical phenomena that can distinguish the theory from other competing theories.

  62. Teleologist provides this definition, among others.

    Wikipedia

    A theory is an established paradigm that explains all or much of the data we have and offers valid predictions that can be tested.

    Most of the discussion teleologist provides concerns whether or not Intelligent Design meets this definition, but before we get to that, let’s look at his restatement of the definition.

    teleologist

    The explanation of a theory must be observable, testable and produce valid predictions (accurate deterministically reproducible). In other word, a theory must be empirically true.

    Well, a theory must be observable, testable and produce valid predictions. But then, teleologist adds “must be empirically true“. Yet, we know that theories are often modified over time; in fact, all scientific theories are considered tentative. So this statement is a problem, and indicates that teleologist is confused on what constitutes a scientific theory. Scientific theories are judged on their fit to the data, and their ability to generate useful hypotheses.

    The Scientific Method entails making predictions and testing those predictions against observations. And those observations must be objective, meaning they can be replicated by independent observers.

  63. Zachriel: But then, teleologist adds “must be empirically true”.

    Zachriel:So this statement is a problem

    Thank you. I rest my case.

  64. I’m not sure you’ve actually made a case other than that you don’t understand the scientific method. There are no absolute Truths(tm) in science. Science makes reasonable and often approximate determinations of regularities in nature, and theories are judged on their ability to make empirical predictions. So Newton’s Theory has no absolute Truth, but is judged on its ability to make predictions. When a modification of the theory or a new theory is proposed that is more adept at making predictions, then Newton’s Theory is accordingly modified or discarded. That is how science works.

  65. We all know what is standard response of ID critic when shown ID friendly scientific research or scientific paper pertaining to it.

    “Where’s the research” taunts of the ID critics

  66. Zachriel: There are no absolute Truths(tm) in science.

    Did I say absolute Truth?

    Are Darwinists capable of differentiating between something that is “empirically true” and absolute Truths(tm)?

  67. teleologist

    Are Darwinists capable of differentiating between something that is “empirically true” and absolute Truths(tm)?

    Was Newton’s Theory of Gravity “true” when it was proposed? Is it still “true” in a post-Einstein universe?

    I don’t want to get bogged down in semantics, but it seems that your use of the word “true” can lead to multiple conflations. Perhaps you could rephrase your claim.

    teleologist redux

    A theory must be observable, testable and produce valid predictions (accurate deterministically reproducible). In other words, a theory must be empirically true consistent.

    Of course, a scientific theory must be more than merely consistent with the data. It must make valid and unique predictions.

  68. teleologist

    Are Darwinists capable of differentiating between something that is “empirically true” and absolute Truths(tm)?

    “Darwinist” is another term subject to confusion due to its multiple meanings. An evolutionary biologist explains why he’s Not a Darwinist.

  69. Why is someone a Darwinist? Answer: because they refuse to see and admit they are wrong.
    e.g.

    teleologist: Are Darwinists capable of differentiating between something that is “empirically true” and absolute Truths(tm)?

    Zachriel: Was Newton’s Theory of Gravity “true” when it was proposed? Is it still “true” in a post-Einstein universe?

    What does Newton’s theories have to do with “absolute Truths(tm)” ? Did Newton or I make such a claim? But a Darwinist will keep digging his hole deeper to cover up his mistake.
    Newtonian gravitation has to be empirically true otherwise it would not have lasted so long and it is still true today under certain conditions. Ever heard of extrasolar planets? One of the methods for detecting extrasolar bodies is using Newton’s laws, i.e. Newton’s theory of gravitation is still empirically true today under certain circumstances.

  70. teleologist

    Newton’s theory of gravitation is still empirically true today under certain circumstances.

    So, Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation is universally true — except when it’s not. And even then, it is only an approximation. Newton’s Law is not particularly accurate for Mercury. In fact, it is always wrong.

    I had suggested we avoid semantics. You said that a scientific theory had to be “empirically true”. Yet, all observations are approximate and subject to empirical limitations; further, it is intrinsic in science that theories can change and do change in the light of new knowledge.

  71. I had suggested we avoid semantics. You said that a scientific theory had to be “empirically true” .

    It is not just semantics! You went on a tirade equating my use of “empirically true” to “absolute Truths(tm)” , when I made no such claim. You tried to use a straw man to change my argument. Yet in science everything is an approximation. Do you think general relativity is 100% accurate in predicting the perihelion of Mercury? Do you know how far off is Mercury’s orbit with Newtonian mechanics? How accurate is GR in predicting quantum particles? Is QM an absolute predictor of subatomic particles? Nevertheless, we consider these theories “empirically true” because they can be tested, observed and to a close approximation predict an observable event. This is the same method to make your computer work.

    Darwinism is a JOKE compared to a real theory. What’s a Theory? You were wrong in equating “empirically true” to “absolute Truths(tm)” . You are either mistaken and refuse to acknowledge your mistake, ignorant of the scientific method or just maliciously deceptive.

  72. teleologist

    It is not just semantics! You went on a tirade equating my use of “empirically true” to “absolute Truths(tm)” , when I made no such claim.

    Hardly a “tirade”. I went back to your original comment, restated my position, and suggested you do the same.

    teleologist

    Yet in science everything is an approximation.

    Ok.

    teleologist

    Nevertheless, we consider these theories “empirically true” because they can be tested, observed and to a close approximation predict an observable event.

    As I mentioned, I found the word “true” to be confusing in context, especially in this sort of discussion where it can be conflated with other uses of the word “true”. Theories are subject to change and represent an approximate generalization of phenomena.

    teleologist

    Darwinism is a JOKE compared to a real theory. What’s a Theory? You were wrong in equating “empirically true” to “absolute Truths(tm)” .

    We can directly observe evolution, as the change of allele frequencies. We can observe various mechanisms of this change, including natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, etc. We can also observe the nested hierarchy of descent in extant organisms, extinct organisms, embryos, molecular biology, biogeography, and recent genomic sequencing. The Theory of Evolution makes many verifiable empirical claims, hence it meets your definition. In fact, nearly all modern research in biology is done within the paradigm of evolution, the Theory of Evolution being a very fruitful source of new hypotheses. Here a few research articles from this month’s journals:

    Genetics
    * Evolutionary Framework for Protein Sequence Evolution
    * The Evolution of Sex and Recombination
    * Evolution of the Male-Determining Gene

    Science
    * Ongoing Adaptive Evolution of ASPM, a Brain Size Determinant in Homo sapiens
    * EVOLUTION: Aging and Sexual Conflict

    Nature
    * Evolutionary biology: Born-again hagfishes
    * Hagfish embryology with reference to the evolution of the neural crest

  73. I found the word “true” to be confusing in context

    It is confusing because you misread what I said, ignorant of the scientific method or deceptive. I was very clear in context of my post what “empirically true” means, i.e. observable and testable predictions.

    We can directly observe evolution

    This is typical Darwinian obfuscation and equivocation. I am not arguing against microevolution and ID even accepts macroevolution. None of your mechanisms and I bet the articles do not provide observable evidence of a fish evolving into an amphibian. None of your Darwinian mechanism has been observed, tested or predicted the macroevolutionary changes the produced the current diversity of life. Please refrain from using terminology that should be reserved for real scientific theories. Darwinian evolution is a JOKE and has no basis on science.

  74. teleologist

    I was very clear in context of my post what “empirically true” means, i.e. observable and testable predictions.

    Good. Then we may be close to a mutual understanding concerning the nature of scientific investigation. Here are two statements concerning scientific methodology. Do you have a problem with either of these brief statements of the scientific method?

    Zachriel

    We observe some aspect of the natural world. We form a generalization concerning those observations. We then deduce from that generalization a new observation. We then verify this prediction with new observations. We modify or discard our generalization as necessary. We continue this process and eventually build confidence in our model.

    The Pixie

    Someone comes up with a hypothesis (be it common descent or relativity) based on observation. He assumes it is true, and determines what the inevitable consequences – or predictions – of that are. If the predictions are correct, and the competing theories do not get them right, then the hypothesis is tentatively accepted.

    Then there is the implication in the original post that science is not objective. Do you have a problem with this statement?

    Zachriel

    Being objective is the shared sense experience independent of the observer. So if we look in a microscope at pond water, we will both see animalcules swimming around. This is an objective observation. (And sharing with your peers is an important step as it allows other observers to confirm and extend your observations, and increases our confidence in the objectivity of the original findings.)

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