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Author Topic:   Testing Theories of Origins
PaulK
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Posts: 12680
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 61 of 143 (694466)
03-25-2013 2:43 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by designtheorist
03-24-2013 8:08 PM


Re: The Major Tests
If you think that there's any good in these points that isn't already covered by predictive power and explanatory power I think we need to see it

quote:

1. "Censorship is not a good test because we have the right to censor out bad science or anything that sniffs of religion or god."

Can you really point to anyone saying that ?

And can you point to any REAL censorship ?

quote:

2. "Stultification is not a good test because it only applies to religious dogma placing certain conclusions beyond question. It cannot possibly apply to our model."

Nope, what's being said is "Hugh Ross's model probably performs badly on this test."

That said, I'd put Lakatos' similar ideas about Research programs as a better version of this - but evolution performs well in that case. They'd probably be a better measure of research passion, too. (Surely just counting people getting BSc and B.Eng degrees is less important to that than the amount of productive research being done !)

quote:

3. "Integration is a good test for young-earth creationism but there is no evidence it is a good general test."

Nope, again. THe fact that YEC performs badly doesn't make it a good test. And really, is there anything that isn't adequately covered by explanatory power ?

quote:

Actually, integration is my favorite among these minor tests. The early conditions of the universe were very special and could not have come about by random chance. The one-time only, low entropy Big Bang has implications for any model of origins. So also, do the hundreds of examples of the fine-tuned universe.

Note that this is NOT an example of integration. Which suggests that you don't even understand your "favorite" test.

quote:

4. "Research passion is not a good test because it results only from removing religious stultification."

Nope. What is being said is that Ross doesn't attempt to make a good measure of research passion, and his own words suggest that religious stultification is the cause of the problem in America (we do not need to - and probably should not - assume that his comments are correct).


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PaulK
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Posts: 12680
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 62 of 143 (694469)
03-25-2013 3:29 AM


Parsimony
Essentially, parsimony is the idea that we should make as few assumptions as we can get away with. This can be a subtle point and counting assumptions is not always simple.

While this is not nearly as important overall as (genuine) explanatory or predictive power it can outweigh small increases in either. e.g. If the currently accepted theory adequately handles an event producing a better explanation would not necessarily be sufficient in itself to overthrow that theory.

Supernatural theories tend to do very badly on this test because they often require a host of assumptions.


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1241 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 63 of 143 (694484)
03-25-2013 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by NoNukes
03-24-2013 8:59 PM


Re: The Major Tests
Regarding my comment that Darwinian orthodoxy is stultifying, you write:

You repeat this without providing any evidence as if simply saying it over and over would convince anyone. It would be helpful if you provided some reason for us to believe this. I think anyone successfully overturning the theory of evolution using the scientific method would be rewarded with a Nobel prize, particularly if he did so by demonstrating an alternative.

Ample evidence exists that people are punished for simply questioning evidence for Darwinism. Did you happen to watch the Ben Stein documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed?" There were several stories of intimidation and punishment for anyone who publicly questioned Darwinian theory. Dr. Carolyn Crocker was one in the movie who did not have her teaching contract renewed. She now runs and organization called American Institute for Science and Technology Education. One of the pages of her website lists a number of teaching and professional scientists who publicly support her organization, AITSE. But it also has this statement.

"AITSE would also like to acknowledge and thank the various PhD and MD scientists who serve as consultants for us, but cannot have their names published for fear of professional and academic repercussions. To date these include a molecular biologist, an immunologist, a biochemist, a microbiologist, two pharmaceutical scientists, two computer scientists, various medical school professors and two surgeons."

Evidence for people getting in trouble because of Darwinian orthodoxy is pretty common. Some people are even upset that Koonin is claiming that Darwin's Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) idea is false. Koonin says genomics tell us there is no "tree of life" so we should be talking about a "forest of life." Richard Dawkins is not at all happy these ideas were published in the literature. I saw a video clip of a panel talking about science and Craig Ventner expressed his support for this view and Dawkins was just shocked. Ventner would not even discuss the evidence with him. I think Koonin and Ventner's careers are safe, but you can see the emotionalism that erupts when anyone doubts a tenet of Darwinian faith, even when there is strong evidence against it.

Another example of stultification is the recent persecution Thomas Nagel is suffering. Nagel is an atheist but he has come out against Darwinism and been branded a heretic for his views. You can read about it in The Weekly Standard and National Post.

Edited by designtheorist, : Added the Thomas Nagel persecution


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1241 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 64 of 143 (694485)
03-25-2013 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Percy
03-24-2013 9:40 PM


Re: Censorship? What Censorship?
censorship has nothing to do with any theory's explanatory or predictive power, which are the only criteria that matter.

Thank you for a clear statement of your views. Yes, you understand correctly. Ross is taking tests used against YEC and saying they should be applied to all models. I agree with Ross that if they are to be applied, it cannot be done unidirectionally. Science is supposed to be unbiased.

i agree with you that the two major tests are the ones that really matter. The minor tests are merely confirmatory. If one model outperforms all other models on the five minor tests and underperforms on the two major tests, then the model that wins on the major tests should be embraced.


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1241 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 65 of 143 (694486)
03-25-2013 8:12 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by NoNukes
03-24-2013 9:52 PM


Re: Censorship? What Censorship?
Well the church didn't invent the scientific method, now did they? Some Christians pursued the scientific method and suffered consequences at the hands of Church officials in cases where they did not wait to publish their propositions while on their death beds.

Ross argues that Christianity developed the scientific method. This is actually an interesting topic that deserves its own debate. Briefly, (and from memory) it is because of certain statements in the Bible show God put order in the universe that caused men to seek to understand that order.

In was Ross's science training that caused him to become a Christian. While Ross grew up an atheist, he became convinced God existed because of the Big Bang. So he started searching the holy books of the great religions to find which one was from God. He figured that if the book contained any factually inaccurate science information, then the book was written by men and not from God. He read the Hindu scripture first and found the claim that people lived on the surface of the Sun. He put that down and picked up a Buddhist book. Soon he put that down. When he came to the Bible he found a number of testable statements and they all were proven accurate. That's why he became a Christian.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15612
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 66 of 143 (694487)
03-25-2013 8:14 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by Dr Adequate
03-25-2013 1:04 AM


Re: The Major Tests
Dr Adequate writes:

To test a theory we compare its predictions (in the sense of "logical consequences") with the data available to us now.

I did see that NoNukes thinks there may be some issue with grammatical tenses at work, but I just wanted to state in terms that make sense to at least me what I think you're trying to say, which is that a theory should make predictions about what we will find. Successful predictions give us confidence in a theory.

--Percy


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1241 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 67 of 143 (694488)
03-25-2013 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by NoNukes
03-24-2013 9:52 PM


Re: Censorship? What Censorship?
In the quoted passage designtheorist1 does try to make the case that scientists have used the test to advance their own proposition. But what he points to is only a claim of censorship and not a claim by scientists that censorship is evidence of validity.

And is designtheorist1 the same poster as designtheorist?

I made the claim that evolutionary biologists often point to the Scopes Trial as evidence the creationists knew their viewpoint was losing - which is why they passed a law and tried to silence the science teacher. I think this is pretty well established.

Science debates are typically conducted in the science literature. Someone writes a paper and another writes a response. The original author writes a reply and the critic writes a rejoinder. But this type of debate within the scientific literature is not happening because the Darwinian priests are afraid of a public scientific debate.

Yes, I am the same poster. Either I forgot my password or something happened to prevent me from logging on. I tried the "Forgot password" link but nothing worked so I registered for a new account.


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1241 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 68 of 143 (694491)
03-25-2013 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by Dr Adequate
03-24-2013 9:56 PM


Re: The Major Tests
I can see we need to discuss the two major tests in more detail, which I will have to do later.

Well that can't be true in your sense of "predictive success", since the near future hasn't arrived yet. You can't have had "predictive success" in your sense, you can only believe without evidence that you're going to. That wouldn't be a test at all.

Yes, Ross claims it is true. Ross claims to have made predictions in the past which have come true. Just because you and I were not aware of the predictions at the time, does not mean he did not make them. And he has made another series of five-year predictions published in his 2009 book. So it is nearly time to check the scorecard.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15612
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 69 of 143 (694493)
03-25-2013 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 7:52 AM


Re: The Major Tests
designtheorist1 writes:

Ample evidence exists that people are punished for simply questioning evidence for Darwinism.

Ample accusations exist, but not ample evidence. Science encourages skepticism. To say that questioning evolution is a good thing is true. To say that the evidence calls evolution into question is false.

Dr. Carolyn Crocker was one in the movie who did not have her teaching contract renewed. She now runs and organization called American Institute for Science and Technology Education. One of the pages of her website lists a number of teaching and professional scientists who publicly support her organization, AITSE. But it also has this statement.

Caroline Crocker was teaching non-science in science class at the college level. She said that the evidence calls evolution into question, which is false, and she made a number of misstatements of fact. See the Wikipedia article on Carline Crocker, particularly the second paragraph of the section titled George Mason University which provides details of some of her claims.

--Percy


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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4752
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 70 of 143 (694495)
03-25-2013 8:44 AM


Clarification
We are getting close to wrapping this so that a separate thread discussing Ross's work can start I think.

However, it might be a good idea of contributors to summarize their understanding of all different understandings of what "predictive power" means.

For example:
It seems some take this as meaning "predicting the future". An example given was Einstein's calculation of the precession of the orbit of Mercury which he calculated a few years before it was measured.

However, others point out that this isn't the scientific concept of "predictive power". It is instead that the theory produces logical consequences which actually describe what is seen. General relativity is also an example of this as the orbital behavior of Mercury is a consequence of the theory.

One could then discuss whether a "prediction" in the second sense counts as a "prediction". I think some argue that it is in the context of a scientific theory.

Which ever side one comes down on I think we can agree that emotionally it is somehow more impressive if the logical consequence is derived before the observation. E.g., the cosmic background radiation.

Can we finish this with summations around this apparent split? I'm curious to see what the Ross book has to say .


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NoNukes
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Posts: 9529
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 71 of 143 (694497)
03-25-2013 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 8:12 AM


Re: Censorship? What Censorship?
it is because of certain statements in the Bible show God put order in the universe that caused men to seek to understand that order.

Which does not come close to stating the method of finding that order. And if the story were true, then the scientific method wouldn't be attributable to Christianity, what with the universe being formed and the scientific method being under development well before Christ walked the earth. If this is Ross's argument, Ross's claim is even more bogus than I suggested.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes. Galileo Galilei 1615.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1241 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 72 of 143 (694498)
03-25-2013 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Blue Jay
03-24-2013 10:33 PM


Re: The Major Tests
Thank you for your comment. I agree that heuristic is an interesting concept in this context. When I see evidence of censorship or stultification, it is an indication of weakness. It is like a pointer: "Dig here. Find out why they are afraid to debate the issues in the literature." However, we do disagree on some other issues.

I think that if a test or heuristic is going to be used to assess one model, then every model should be assessed the same way. Do you disagree?

I don't think endosymbiosis or lateral gene transfer are contrary to Darwinism in any way. So Darwinism has not "yielded" at all. Darwinism yielded to neo-Darwinism decades ago and is yielding now to "Darwinism in the light of genomics" but the yielding is not without pain. Richard Dawkins is still in denial.

I think you have misunderstood the integration test. The idea is not simplification at all. And it will not damage explanatory power but rather enhance it. Scientists need to be aware of the work being done in other fields. When they are, they are more aware of the need to explain facts outside their normal discipline.

I see research passion as a positive outcome but probably not a great indicator of the best model. Darwinism engendered a great deal of research passion in the 19th century. Research passion may be a better test of the newest model... a better indicator of a fad. But perhaps I misunderstand this test.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15922
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 73 of 143 (694499)
03-25-2013 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 8:24 AM


Re: The Major Tests
Yes, Ross claims it is true. Ross claims to have made predictions in the past which have come true.

Then he's comparing the predictions to data now in his possession.

So it is nearly time to check the scorecard.

One question one would have to ask is: did creationism make those predictions, or did Hugh Ross? Were they easy to make without reference to creationist ideas?


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15922
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 74 of 143 (694501)
03-25-2013 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 8:20 AM


Re: Censorship? What Censorship?
Science debates are typically conducted in the science literature. Someone writes a paper and another writes a response. The original author writes a reply and the critic writes a rejoinder. But this type of debate within the scientific literature is not happening because the Darwinian priests are afraid of a public scientific debate.

Or because the creationists can't come up with any argument which isn't too puerile to publish. And given the stuff that creationists come up with in venues where they can publish what they like (e.g. the Internet) this is certainly the case.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15922
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 75 of 143 (694503)
03-25-2013 8:55 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by AdminNosy
03-25-2013 8:44 AM


Re: Clarification
However, others point out that this isn't the scientific concept of "predictive power". It is instead that the theory produces logical consequences which actually describe what is seen. General relativity is also an example of this as the orbital behavior of Mercury is a consequence of the theory.

No, gravitational lensing. The precession of Mercury had already been observed.

One could then discuss whether a "prediction" in the second sense counts as a "prediction". I think some argue that it is in the context of a scientific theory.

I agree that "prediction" was a poor choice of words, but it's the choice of word that's been made, that is the term of art and what it means.

Which ever side one comes down on I think we can agree that emotionally it is somehow more impressive if the logical consequence is derived before the observation.

That depends on one's emotions and what one finds impressive, neither of which are relevant to the goodness of a theory.


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