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Author Topic:   On the difference between Science and ID or Biblical Creationism
jar
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Message 1 of 23 (420333)
09-07-2007 1:17 PM


In the thread Message 1 the subject of the Periodic Table came up and I responded in Message 143 but realized that was really offtopic for the thread.

I think that it is an important issue though and one that highlights the difference between Science, specifically the TOE, and either ID or Biblical Creationism.

The importance of Mendeleev's Periodic Table (it was not the first and actually others were working on the same concepts he presented at the time, similar to what happened with Darwin) but it was unique because it not only explained what we did see but also made concrete predictions about what would be discovered including revisions to the then current body of scientific knowledge.

I believe this is a hallmark example of the difference between science and pseudo sciences like ID or Biblical Creationism.

As I said in the other post:

I found it interesting that you brought up the Periodic Table, because it is a classic example of how science does work and why the Scientific Method (TOE) is far more likely to be right than ID or Biblical Creationism.

The important thing about Mendeleev's Table was that it had gaps and reordered many of the placements of elements in earlier attempts at creating a table. He took another series of steps based on the reasoning behind his arrangement and predicted two things; that when the elements he reordered were examined with greater precision the then accepted atomic weights for those elements would be found to be wrong; and that elements would be found to fill in his blanks and even what the properties of each of those elements would be.

I cannot overstate the importance of those actions. He presented a model that explained what was already known, and was also useful for making predictions about what would be learned in the future. In addition, as more was learned we found that the new elements discovered were exactly as he predicted and that the atomic weights of those he rearranged were as he predicted.

His model explained what was seen as well as what would be discovered. It went even further and provided the basis for us to create NEW elements, ones not found on earth, with a high degree of confidence of what their properties would be even before we created them.

The Periodic Table is a great example of why the TOE is valuable and ID and Biblical Creationism are worthless.

The value of the TOE has been in helping us understand what is seen, but in also providing the basis for future discoveries. What we have learned from the TOE has let us make predictions, and so far those predictions have been born out by each new discovery.

ID and Biblical Creationism have no predictive potential. There is nothing there to form our basis. A good example is in ID. When based on the evidence seen in living things it is pointed out that the I in ID should stand for Inept or Incompetent or Inelegant or Inscrutable or Ignorant we are told that we cannot know the Intent of the Designer. Well sorry, if we cannot know the Intent of the Designer then we cannot predict what the Designer will do. If that is the case then the ID concept is worthless.

The same argument is applicable to Biblical Creationism. The two (actually they are really just one) schools of thought are simply worthless.

To understand just how important this was, remember that this was presented before we had any understanding of what atoms were made of. We knew nothing about electrons or protons or neutrons. In addition, he made several important predictions. His table had gaps and he predicted that when elements were discovered that those elements would have specific properties that would be similar to the others listed adjacent to them. For example, at the time elements were arranged based on atomic masses. Using Atomic mass Iodine came before Tellurium but he changed the order and placed Iodine later because its characteristics more closely resembled those of fluorine, chlorine and bromine while Tellurium was more closely related to oxygen, sulfur and selenium. He predicted that once we learned more of how elements were made we would find that that would be correct.

Once we learned about the composition of atoms we found that Atomic Weight, not Atomic Mass was the key and that using Atomic Weight the elements lined up just as predicted by Mendeleev.

The same can be said about the TOE. When it was first proposed by Darwin (and others), we had no knowledge of genetics or exactly what the "unit of transmission" would be. However, from the TOE it was possible to predict that there would be a direct correlation between NEW evidence (genetics) and the original theory presented by Darwin.

Guess what.

New evidence has continued to support and confirm the predictions.

The question is, what predictive qualities of either ID or Biblical Creationism stand out as examples of prediction in the same manner as Mendeleev's Periodic Table allowed predictions of the characteristics of both known and yet to be discovered elements?

Edited by jar, : Per AdminNosy suggestion


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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AdminNosy
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Message 2 of 23 (420335)
09-07-2007 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
09-07-2007 1:17 PM


Bring it all over
I know you linked to the original but I think it would get this thread started off even better if you brought it all over. Even expanded on the nature of the predictions.
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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
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Message 3 of 23 (420340)
09-07-2007 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminNosy
09-07-2007 1:20 PM


Re: Bring it all over
revised per your suggestions


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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AdminNosy
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Message 4 of 23 (420342)
09-07-2007 1:53 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
RAZD
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Message 5 of 23 (420383)
09-07-2007 3:55 PM


T.H. Huxley predicted Archeoteryx?
I have seen a couple of references to T.H. Huxley predicting the intermediate fossil confirmed by Archeoteryx in almost every detail.

quote:
Homology It is quote remarkable how succesful comparative morphology can be in the reconstruction of missing steps in an evolutionary sequence. T. H. Huxley, for instance, when reconstructing the nonflying ancestors of birds, concluded that it was an archosaurian reptile. Archaeopteryx, a remarkable bridge between birds and the archosaurians, was discovered only a few years later, in 1861.

-- Ernst Mayr (2001) What Evolution Is, Basic Books, New York p25


http://www.grisda.org/origins/13048.htm

quote:
Without supporting references, Hoyle et al. (1985) asserted that from he early eighteenth century, the Solnhofen limestone area was notorious for its fossil forgeries and that genuine fossils, altered to form monsters, were sold to museums. After the publication of The Origin of Species, Huxley is said to have predicted the appearance of intermediate forms in the fossil record. Hoyle et al. suggested that this prediction initiated a search for such forms. It also prompted additional fossil forgeries.

Anyone have better information on this prediction?

Enjoy.


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Dr Adequate
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Message 6 of 23 (420390)
09-07-2007 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by RAZD
09-07-2007 3:55 PM


Re: T.H. Huxley predicted Archeopteryx?
I've seen a reproduction of a picture by Huxley which was spookily accurate. Unfortunately, no reference is given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Chiroptera
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Message 7 of 23 (420394)
09-07-2007 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by RAZD
09-07-2007 3:55 PM


Re: T.H. Huxley predicted Archeoteryx?
I, too, thought that I read that Huxley had predicted that birds evolved from dinosaurs and that Archaeopteryx was a confirmation of that. But all the references that I can find now seem to indicate that Archaeopteryx was discovered first, and Huxley then used Archaeopteryx to propose the dinosaur ancestry of birds.

From Wikipedia:

The first complete specimen was announced in 1862, only two years after Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, and became a key piece of evidence in debate over evolution.
...
In the 1970s, John Ostrom, following T. H. Huxley's lead in 1868, argued that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs and Archaeopteryx was a critical piece of evidence for this argument....

More explicitly:

In 1868, another renowned British scientist Thomas Henry Huxley interpreted the Archaeopteryx fossil to be a transitional bird having many reptilian features. Using the fossils of Archaeopteryx and Compsognathus, a bird-sized and bird-like dinosaur, Huxley argued that birds and reptiles were descended from common ancestors. Decades later, Huxley's ideas fell out of favor. The recent discovery of many feathered dinosaurs has proven Huxley to have been right.


I could tell you what I've read about evolution, the big-bang, super-universes, quantum foam, and all that stuff. Eventually you'd ask a question I can't answer, then I'd have to go look it up. Even If I had the time for that shit, in the end you'd ask a question science hasn't answered yet. So let's save time and skip ahead to "I don't know." -- jhuger
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RAZD
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Message 8 of 23 (420397)
09-07-2007 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Chiroptera
09-07-2007 5:19 PM


Re: T.H. Huxley predicted Archeoteryx?
But all the references that I can find now seem to indicate that Archaeopteryx was discovered first, and Huxley then used Archaeopteryx to propose the dinosaur ancestry of birds.

Yes but references abound in evolutionist literature (like Mayr), and on creationist sites that say archy is a fake (ie - made to look like the prediction).

More explicitly:
Huxley argued that birds and reptiles were descended from common ancestors. Decades later, Huxley's ideas fell out of favor. The recent discovery of many feathered dinosaurs has proven Huxley to have been right.

That's another prediction come true.

Enjoy.


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

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jar
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From: Texas!!
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Message 9 of 23 (420453)
09-07-2007 9:22 PM


ID is worthless.
Anyone want to show how ID offers any predictive power?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Rob 
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Message 10 of 23 (420475)
09-08-2007 1:55 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
09-07-2007 9:22 PM


Predictability...
jar:
Anyone want to show how ID offers any predictive power?

The only thing I can think of in terms of predictability, is that Intelligent design can predict that no coherent material explanation will ever avail itself as to the origin of life in the emperical evidence. And the reason is simple. Design is the coherent explanation for the origin of life as per the emperical evidence.

Design predicts utter frustration of your efforts. It is like trying to find light in the darkness.

Design will also predict that no new life forms or species can come into being without intelligent design. If life is intelligently designed, then it cannot be unintelligently designed. So if artificial life is actually achieved by humanity in the lab, it will prove design...

The upside for you, is that design can be falsified if it can be shown that there is in fact a coherent material explanation. Just find one organism that is different from all others in terms of energy currency and a dependance upon adenine synthesis. But you can't create that life because that would prove design not evolution.

So, design predicts that it is impossible to create life without intelligence. It is like looking for darkness in the light.

As I said beforejar... find one without that code and I'll convert to your religion.

In case you find that answer unappealing or lacking comparison, I will concede to Dr. Dembski.

I do recommend reading the whole article: http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_isidtestable.htm

Here is an excerpt...

PREDICTABILITY: Another aspect of testability is predictability. A good scientific theory, we are told, is one that predicts things. If it predicts things that don't happen, then it is tested and found wanting. If it predicts things that do happen, then it is tested and regarded as successful. If it doesn't predict things, however, what then? Often with theories that try to account for features of natural history, prediction gets generalized to include retrodiction, in which a theory also specifies what the past should look like. Darwinism is said to apply retrodictively to the fossil record and predictively in experiments that place an organism under selection pressures and attempt to induce some adaptive change.

But in fact Darwinism does not retrodict the fossil record. Natural selection and random variation applied to single-celled organisms offers no insight at all into whether we can expect multi-celled organisms, much less whether evolution will produce the various body-plans of which natural history has left us a record. At best one can say that there is consilience, i.e., that the broad sweep of evolutionary history as displayed in the fossil record is consistent with Darwinian evolution. Design theorists strongly dispute this as well (pointing especially to the Cambrian explosion). But detailed retrodiction and detailed prediction are not virtues of Darwin's theory. Organisms placed under selection pressures either adapt or go extinct. Except in the simplest cases where there is, say, some point mutation that reliably confers antibiotic resistance on a bacterium, Darwin's theory has no way of predicting just what sorts of adaptive changes will occur. "Adapt or go extinct" is not a prediction of Darwin's theory but an axiom that can be reasoned out independently.

Challenging me in _American Outlook_ biologist Alex Duncan remarked: "A scientific theory makes predictions about the world around us, and enables us to ask and answer meaningful questions. For example, we might pose the question 'why do polar bears have fur, while penguins have feathers, given the similar nature of their environments

Evolution provides an answer to this question. The only answer creationism (or intelligent design) provides is 'because God made them that way.'" Actually, evolution, whether Darwinian or otherwise, makes no predictions about there being bears or birds at all or for that matter bears having fur and birds having feathers. Once bears or birds are on the scene, they need to adapt to their environment or die. Intelligent design can accommodate plenty of evolutionary change and allows for natural selection to act as a conservative force to keep organisms adapted to their environments. Contrary to Duncan's remark, intelligent design does not push off all explanation to the inscrutable will of God. On the other hand, intelligent design utterly rejects natural selection as a creative force capable of bringing about the specified complexity we see in organisms.

It's evident, then, that Darwin's theory has virtually no predictive power. Insofar as it offers predictions, they are either extremely general, concerning the broad sweep of natural history and in that respect quite questionable (Why else would Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge need to introduce punctuated equilibria if the fossil record were such an overwhelming vindication of Darwinism?); and when the predictions are not extremely general they are extremely specific and picayune, dealing with small-scale adaptive changes. Newton was able to predict the path that a planet traces out. Darwin's disciples can neither predict nor retrodict the pathways that organisms trace out in the course of natural history.

But what about the predictive power of intelligent design? To require prediction fundamentally misconstrues design. To require prediction of design is to put design in the same boat as natural laws, locating their explanatory power in an extrapolation from past experience. This is to commit a category mistake. To be sure, designers, like natural laws, can behave predictably (designers often institute policies that end up being rigidly obeyed). Yet unlike natural laws, which are universal and uniform, designers are also innovators. Innovation, the emergence to true novelty, eschews predictability. Designers are inventors. We cannot predict what an inventor would do short of becoming that inventor. Intelligent design offers a radically different problematic for science than a mechanistic science wedded solely to undirected natural causes. Yes, intelligent design concedes predictability. But this represents no concession to Darwinism, for which the minimal predictive power that it has can readily be assimilated to a design-theoretic framework.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


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Percy
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Message 11 of 23 (420488)
09-08-2007 3:58 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Rob
09-08-2007 1:55 AM


Re: Predictability...
Rob writes:

The only thing I can think of in terms of predictability, is that Intelligent design can predict that no coherent material explanation will ever avail itself as to the origin of life in the emperical evidence.

This is more a prophecy than a scientific prediction. The question concerns whether creationism or ID provide any predictions about the natural world, not about how doomed future research based upon methodological naturalism might be.

The answer is yes, of course creationism and ID make predictions about the natural world. For example, young earth creationism predicts that there should be global evidence of a recent world-wide flood, that fossils should not appear in any particular order, and that all geologic layers should date to less than 6000 years old. Non-Behe ID predicts that investigations of life history should not uncover evidence of a hierarchy of descent.

Since a key portion of the strength of a theory is it's ability to make accurate predictions, these failed predictions of creationism and ID argue strongly against them.

But any predictions creationism and ID make, successful or not, cannot help them qualify as science, because theories develop out of a methodological process of experiment, observation, evidence gathering and analysis focused on the physical world, while creationism and ID spring from a religious focus on issues of faith and spirituality.

--Percy

PS - You always misspell empirical. There are spellcheckers out there, Google Toolbar and Firefox to name two.


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jar
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Message 12 of 23 (420516)
09-08-2007 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Rob
09-08-2007 1:55 AM


Re: Predictability...
The only thing I can think of in terms of predictability, is that Intelligent design can predict that no coherent material explanation will ever avail itself as to the origin of life in the emperical evidence.

Except that is not so much a prediction as it is a collection of theobabble prophecy and unfounded assertion.

The rest of your post is simply another example of Dembski misdirecting the audiences attention and misrepresenting the facts hoping no one notices he palmed the pea. Also as usual, it is off topic and irrelevant to the thread.

The question asked in the OP, in case you missed it, is

The question is, what predictive qualities of either ID or Biblical Creationism stand out as examples of prediction in the same manner as Mendeleev's Periodic Table allowed predictions of the characteristics of both known and yet to be discovered elements?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Rob 
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Message 13 of 23 (420518)
09-08-2007 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by jar
09-08-2007 10:51 AM


Re: Predictability...
jar:
The question asked in the OP, in case you missed it, is The question is, what predictive qualities of either ID or Biblical Creationism stand out as examples of prediction in the same manner as Mendeleev's Periodic Table allowed predictions of the characteristics of both known and yet to be discovered elements?

I see... I saw your question as stand alone above. My sincere apologies...

I have no idea what you're talking about, so I suppose I'll have to bow out until I get up to speed. Not all of us are so knowledgeable as you are.

Please do be patient with us oh volitile one...


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Dr Adequate
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Message 14 of 23 (420606)
09-08-2007 5:26 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Rob
09-08-2007 1:55 AM


Re: Predictability...
William Dembski writes:

It's evident, then, that Darwin's theory has virtually no predictive power. Insofar as it offers predictions, they are either extremely general, concerning the broad sweep of natural history and in that respect quite questionable (Why else would Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge need to introduce punctuated equilibria if the fossil record were such an overwhelming vindication of Darwinism?); and when the predictions are not extremely general they are extremely specific and picayune, dealing with small-scale adaptive changes.

Well, he's right you know.

The predictions of evolution are either specific or general.

Why this obvious truism, which applies to every science, should make all the predictions of evolution negligible, Dr Dembski does not explain, possibly because it doesn't.

William Dembski writes:

But what about the predictive power of intelligent design? To require prediction fundamentally misconstrues design.

Damn right. That would be treating ID as science, which would be silly.

William Dembski writes:

Yes, intelligent design concedes predictability. But this represents no concession to Darwinism, for which the minimal predictive power that it has can readily be assimilated to a design-theoretic framework.

Anything can be "readily assimilated" into a framework which makes absolutely no predictions. Though calling such a thing a "framework", I feel, invests it with a dignity which it does not possess.


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DominionSeraph
Member (Idle past 2730 days)
Posts: 365
From: on High
Joined: 01-26-2005


Message 15 of 23 (420653)
09-08-2007 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Rob
09-08-2007 1:55 AM


Re: Predictability...
Rob writes:

The only thing I can think of in terms of predictability, is that Intelligent design can predict that no coherent material explanation will ever avail itself as to the origin of life in the emperical evidence. And the reason is simple. Design is the coherent explanation for the origin of life as per the emperical evidence.

So the fact that someone can hit your car on purpose means that, "It was an accident," can never explain a collision?

Edited by DominionSeraph, : No reason given.


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