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Author Topic:   "If I descended from an ape, how come apes are still here?"
Panda
Member (Idle past 1060 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 271 of 286 (660368)
04-24-2012 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by angletracks
04-24-2012 9:55 PM


angletracks writes:

Your suggestion that YECs are presuppositionalists interests me however. I suspect they are. And that they are not alone. Are you saying that scientists in the disciplines of physics, chemistry, geology and cosmology have found some epistemic foundation which involves no presuppositions?


A presuppositionalist is not simply someone that has presuppositions.
It is someone that claims that all reasoning is dependant on christian truth and morality.

Edited by Panda, : No reason given.


Tradition and heritage are all dead people's baggage. Stop carrying it!

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PaulK
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Posts: 12426
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 272 of 286 (660378)
04-25-2012 1:39 AM
Reply to: Message 269 by angletracks
04-24-2012 9:55 PM


quote:

Your suggestion that YECs are presuppositionalists interests me however. I suspect they are. And that they are not alone. Are you saying that scientists in the disciplines of physics, chemistry, geology and cosmology have found some epistemic foundation which involves no presuppositions?

The term "Presuppositionalist" does not refer to someone who merely has presuppositions, instead as suggested in the post that you reply to it refers to a distinct position on apologetics. The core of that position is that the existence of God cannot be adequately supported with evidence, but must be presupposed (by everyone - they have a horrendous mess of argument - and I do mean a mess).

While Presuppositionalists are very likely to cling to YEC belief, there is also a strong pseudoscientific strain within creationism that must be considered a branch if evidential apologetics, which Presuppositionalists reject.


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angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1701 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 273 of 286 (660444)
04-25-2012 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 272 by PaulK
04-25-2012 1:39 AM


PaulK, your clarification is helpful, I did not have the specific apologetic approach you describe in mind.
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angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1701 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 274 of 286 (660445)
04-25-2012 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 270 by dwise1
04-24-2012 10:18 PM


. . . and by non-sequiter I really meant non sequitur

dwise1, I think I saw the science show you describe - I found it quite amazing, and it helped to validate some of my experiences of apparent understanding between me and some dogs I've had.

Don't know the point of these musings, exactly, but if domestication is the answer for dogs, what happened to cats!? Haven't they been domesticated as long or almost as long as dogs? (Or is this a cat-person sort of blog???)


This message is a reply to:
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angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1701 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 275 of 286 (660446)
04-25-2012 9:07 PM
Reply to: Message 270 by dwise1
04-24-2012 10:18 PM


Are you distinguishing between actual presuppositions that have no basis in evidence and apparent presuppositions which are actually the conclusions reached by a couple centuries or more of observation and experimentation that form the fundamental bases of those sciences?

I was using the term as in “to suppose beforehand.” I see the distinction you are making, though I am not sure that one of them is actual and the other apparent. As long as the suppositions were prior to the main argument, I would think they would all be actual presuppositions. But that’s getting a little picky and likely pointless.

What I was suggesting is that essentially none of our knowledge can be proved without some recourse to circularity, including our observations of the world around us. I believe there is a fly on the window screen in front of me working his front legs in what seems like a taunt, but my evidence for that is based on the same sensory experience that I reported in the first place. I think all I can say in this case without presupposing that my perception is correct is some nonsense about being appeared to flyly. Even so, I think I know there was a fly there a minute ago because my eyesight has been demonstrated to correspond to reality in most conditions like the present ones. But I cannot prove it.

In the case of the scientific disciplines, it appears to me that the methods used have a pretty respectable degree of validity, but no claim to final certainty or enshrinement in the Temple of Truth for several reasons. One, as I’ve been prattling on about, the evidence for the reliability of the scientific method comes from where? The scientific method. Two, the nature of our knowledge gained by experimentation is always contingent. Advances often come at the expense of the previous paradigm (and often over the determined resistance of the old guardians who have so much invested in it). Also, there is often epistemic encroachment from the researcher into research – and how could it be otherwise? Were we talking about presuppositions?

There, not nearly as interesting as Garrison Keillor, but I did finally manage to make my story come back around to the beginning.


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William Rea
Junior Member
Posts: 12
Joined: 12-23-2007


Message 276 of 286 (660737)
04-29-2012 3:54 AM
Reply to: Message 269 by angletracks
04-24-2012 9:55 PM


The best set of assumptions I have heard from someone else are...

1. The universe exists.
2. You can learn something about reality.
3. Models with predictive capability are better than models without predictive capability.

The problem with the philosophy of science is that people confuse it with actual science.

Are you stating that dogs are better than chimps at reading our facial expressions? I'm not aware that they are.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18240
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 277 of 286 (660767)
04-29-2012 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 276 by William Rea
04-29-2012 3:54 AM


Hi William Rea, and welcome to the fray.

The best set of assumptions I have heard from someone else are...

1. The universe exists.
2. You can learn something about reality.
3. Models with predictive capability are better than models without predictive capability.

I would say
1. The universe exists.
2. Objective evidence gives us valid information about reality.

3 does not need to be assumed as it can be demonstrated.

The problem with the philosophy of science is that people confuse it with actual science.

Indeed. Logic alone is not science, as science relies on testing and on objective evidence.

Enjoy.

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we are limited in our ability to understand
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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 2687
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


(5)
Message 278 of 286 (660788)
04-29-2012 1:10 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by angletracks
04-25-2012 9:07 PM


I was using the term as in “to suppose beforehand.” I see the distinction you are making, though I am not sure that one of them is actual and the other apparent. As long as the suppositions were prior to the main argument, I would think they would all be actual presuppositions. But that’s getting a little picky and likely pointless.

OK, perhaps I can illustrate it with an example I was going to present to foreveryoung to illustrate the importance of evidence and of rigeur.

For "to suppose beforehand", let's use the term "hand-waving," which is after all basically what we're talking about here, since when you have nothing more to support what you're saying than your own assumptions, you will employ hand-waving at that point of your presentation.

Though there is another very valid reason to employ hand-waving, which is when it would not benefit the presentation, but rather detract from it, to provide too much information; ie, all the hard background work has been done, but there's no need to plod through that entire mountain range of information nor could you in the 10 minutes you're allotted. Simple example: "Why is the sky blue?" That was one of the questions Clifford Stoll (of The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage fame) was asked in his orals for his PhD in Astronomy. It took him 3 to 4 hours to answer that simple question completely. When your four-year-old asks you that question, that is not the kind of answer that you could or even should give him, but rather the answer that you give him will involve a lot of hand-waving.

Now for the featured example. I have found a handful of different sources for Kent Hovind's solar-mass-loss claim. This one is transcribed from his seminar video as was on his site circa 2003 ( #7, "Questions and Answers", from 37 minutes 40 seconds to 39 minutes 54 seconds):

quote:
All you got to do is step outside and look up. Obviously the sun is burning. It's losing 5 million tons every second. You can't just keep losing 5 million tons a second, pretty soon you start to lose weight. And so the sun is losing this mass -- 5 million tons every second -- which means it used to be larger. And it used to be more massive. If you increase the mass of the sun, going backwards in time for several billion years, you start to create a problem with the gravitational balance between the earth and the sun. It's going to suck the earth in and destroy everything.

Other than the single fact of the rate at which the sun is losing its mass to fusion, the claim is pure hand-waving. The question we must ask is whether he had worked through the problem rigorously enough to support his conclusion that the ancient sun's mass would have been so great as to have sucked the ancient earth in.

So I applied a modicum of rigor by calculating how many seconds there are in 5 billion years and hence how much solar mass would have been lost in that time. It's a really huge amount: 7.8896 × 1023 tons. But then I compared that to the total mass of the sun, which is 2.19 × 1027 tons. That means that only a few hundredth's of one percent of the sun's total mass has been lost through fusion in those 5 billion years. Which means that the ancient sun's mass was about 1.036 times what it is now, which means that the ancient sun's gravitation was 1.036 times as great, which would have "sucked" the earth in by about 34,000 miles.

So we have two different conclusions: Hovind's and mine. Hovind's was based purely on hand-waving, whereas mine was based on actual calculations. However, my presentation here employed hand-waving, since I did not walk you through every step of every one of my calculations. If I had, then you would not have even bothered to try to read it. But even though Hovind and I both employed hand-waving in our presentations, in my case I could provide my calculations if required to, whereas he not only could not, but would do everything he could to avoid doing so (I know, because I had emailed him for any piece of information about how he had arrived at his conclusion).

So, while it would appear that we both based our conclusions purely on assumptions, it is only Hovind of which that is true. My conclusion was based on actual calculations with valid bases. Of course, I had to depend on established scientific findings, such as the measurement of the mass of the sun, the rate of mass loss in its fusion reaction, the very existence of that fusion reaction. The results of decades and even centuries of rigorous work that has been tested almost constantly.

In the case of the scientific disciplines, it appears to me that the methods used have a pretty respectable degree of validity, but no claim to final certainty or enshrinement in the Temple of Truth for several reasons

What scientist has ever claimed to "final certainty" or "enshrinement in the Temple of Truth"? You're tossing out a red herring there.

If you are trying to claim that religion and science are equal because neither has claim of "final certainty", then you are wrong on at least two points:

1. All religion has are unsupported assumptions. Science is based on centuries of rigorous work which involved repeated and near-constant testing. Religion has nothing but its assumptions to support any of its conclusions, whereas science can show you in great detail how it arrives at its conclusions, meaning that, unlike religion, science can indeed support its conclusions.

2. Religion does indeed claim to have "final certainty" and "enshrinement in the Temple of Truth". Nearly all the sects that contradict each other.


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 2687
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 279 of 286 (660790)
04-29-2012 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by angletracks
04-25-2012 8:27 PM


. . . and by non-sequiter I really meant non sequitur

. . .

Don't know the point of these musings, exactly, ...


Then why did you inject it in the first place?

... but if domestication is the answer for dogs, what happened to cats!? Haven't they been domesticated as long or almost as long as dogs?

Domestication is the answer for all domesticated animals. But even though all domesticated animals have been domesticated (which involves selective breeding), those animals are still those animals. Meaning that cows are cows and think like cows, horses are horses and think like horses, dogs are dogs and think like dogs, and cats are cats and think like cats.

Horses, cows, sheep, and goats are herd animals, so we make use of their behavior as herd animals. Dogs are pack animals whose packs have strong social rankings, so we make use of their pack behavior by placing ourselves in the position of their pack alpha -- it could even be argued that in learning to hunt we ourselves learned to take on a pack mentality which also helps us to tap into dogs' pack mentality.

"What happened to cats?" Cats remained cats! Cats are not dogs. Cats are solitary hunters and hence do not have a dog's social mentality that we are able to exploit effectively. Cats are different critters than dogs and behave and think like cats (of all things!), not like dogs. Why would you expect cats to behave like dogs?

that possess canine psychologies and behaviorand they think


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tomato
Member (Idle past 1650 days)
Posts: 39
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 280 of 286 (660871)
04-30-2012 3:42 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by NoNukes
10-12-2011 12:02 PM


I can name one species which has gotten smaller:
the kiwi bird is descended from a larger species.
Since ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, the kiwi bird lays the proportionately largest eggs.
Don't you feel sorry for Mrs. Kiwi Bird?
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tomato
Member (Idle past 1650 days)
Posts: 39
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 281 of 286 (660872)
04-30-2012 3:59 AM


I have a reply which is similar to Dr. Adequate's reply:
"If Brazilians descended from the Portuguese, how come Portuguese are still here?"
Obviously, some of the Portugese took the boat to the New World, some were happy where they were.
Same way with chimpanzees and humans.
One portion of the population wandered off and did their own thing, the other portion was happy where they were.

Edited by tomato, : corrected misspelling+


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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15468
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 282 of 286 (660873)
04-30-2012 4:32 AM
Reply to: Message 281 by tomato
04-30-2012 3:59 AM


I have a reply which is similar to Dr. Adequate's reply:
"If Brazilians descended from the Portugese, how come Portugese are still here?"

Except that the Brazilians aren't just descended from the Portuguese, that's why I picked Iceland, which was empty when the Norse moved in on it.


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tomato
Member (Idle past 1650 days)
Posts: 39
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 283 of 286 (660875)
04-30-2012 4:47 AM
Reply to: Message 277 by RAZD
04-29-2012 8:34 AM


dwise, here is a math problem which I hope you can help me with:

Paleontologists say that they have hauled in:

0 Mesozoic cavemen
2100 Mesozoic dinosaurs
4000 Cenozoic cavemen
0 Cenozoic dinosaurs

The age of the dinosaurs lasted about 160 million years.
The age of the cavemen lasted about 3 million years.

But Creationists tell us that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together.
So the tally should be something like:

3926 Mesozoic cavemen
2061 Mesozoic dinosaurs
74 Cenozoic cavemen
39 Cenozoic dinosaurs

I tried to work this out as a chi square problem, but my Excel program wouldn't go that high.
I asked someone with math skills, who said that the chances of zero Mesozoic cavemen and zero Cenozoic dinosaurs, given the Creationist claim, are 220,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.
He didn't actually work it out, but he estimated.

Can you work this out?
I would like to do a little more than hand wave.


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theVoluminousPoo
Junior Member (Idle past 1681 days)
Posts: 1
From: Southgate
Joined: 05-14-2012


Message 284 of 286 (662276)
05-14-2012 10:16 AM


I too was perplexed as to how to answer this question. My fiance and her mom don't hold evolution in high regard. I tend to be a person who tries to respect my elders/parents (In this case soon to be In-Law), and when she heard I ascribed to the idea of evolution she asked the question mentioned by the O.P.

I tried to explain it as best I could as:
Evolution isn;t a process by which creatures become more perfect or intelligent and their previous generational forms become obsolete and die off. Instead evolution molds creatures to become best adapted to their environment through generations making subtle changes.

I was at a loss as to how to address it without coming off condescending or aggressive towards their views.
(Also, first post here. Hello everyone)


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 4398
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 285 of 286 (662278)
05-14-2012 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 284 by theVoluminousPoo
05-14-2012 10:16 AM


Hi Poo and welcome.

I don't know whether you've read the entire thread or not, so I've just edited my first post to include my most recent version of the chimp & human handholding story so new people can find it more easily.

Just click here: Message 1


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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