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Author Topic:   Testing Theories of Origins
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15962
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 76 of 143 (694504)
03-25-2013 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 8:12 AM


Re: Censorship? What Censorship?
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.

Whereas the ancient Greeks just lounged about eating olives. That's why the Renaissance was such a great leap backwards in western thought.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9998
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 77 of 143 (694505)
03-25-2013 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by AdminNosy
03-25-2013 8:44 AM


Re: Clarification
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.

If this is the example given, the example is wrong. The precession of Mercury's orbit was well known before Einstein was born (1879), and had been measured fairly accurately by 1860.

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.

Emotionally yes, but designtheorist claims far more than that.


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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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15962
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 78 of 143 (694506)
03-25-2013 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by PaulK
03-25-2013 3:29 AM


Re: 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.

Parsimony is a useful concept, but one has to be careful applying it. The question one needs to ask is whether the same predictions can be made by a proper subset of the things one thinks is true.


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Percy
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Posts: 16035
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


(2)
Message 79 of 143 (694507)
03-25-2013 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 8:20 AM


Re: Censorship? What Censorship?
designtheorist1 writes:

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.

There are no "Darwinian priests." The editors of journals and conferences are responsible for keeping the focus on science. People like Caroline Crocker, who you mentioned earlier, would be unable to contribute because they would be unable to provide any scientific support for their ideas. It isn't enough to have opinions - one must have scientific support for one's opinions.

For example, Crocker's statement that "No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory" as a criticism of evolution is not only a misrepresentation (because evolution not only doesn't think this should happen but absolutely thinks it should not) but is also horribly confused and simpleminded. This view of what is wrong with evolution would never make it into a scientific journal or conference simply because it not only has no scientific support whatsoever but even worse shows the claimant to be at best horribly confused and at worst terribly ignorant.

--Percy


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1392 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 80 of 143 (694508)
03-25-2013 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by AdminNosy
03-25-2013 8:44 AM


Re: Clarification
I don't think we are quite ready for that yet. We have spent most of our time discussing the minor tests. I did not think we would have any real disagreement on the major tests, but it appears we do.

I will try to develop a more complete explanation of the two major tests and how they are to be applied. For now, it is important to realize that explanatory power is about explaining the data we currently have and predictive success is about making predictions about the data we will be discovering. Einstein's theory was successful because it made predictions that were later confirmed by observation. If a prediction is not related to the future, then it is not a prediction.

Ross published a series of predictions in his 2009 book. He claims to have made a number of predictions before that also and he claims his predictions did well. I have not had time to evaluate those claims as yet.


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Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15962
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 81 of 143 (694509)
03-25-2013 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 7:52 AM


Re: The Major Tests
Did you happen to watch the Ben Stein documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed?"

You know that "documentary" is full of lies, right?

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.

Since I haven't seen the clip, I don't know what you're misrepresenting.


This message is a reply to:
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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4753
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 82 of 143 (694510)
03-25-2013 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 9:05 AM


Different Definitions
quote:
If a prediction is not related to the future, then it is not a prediction.

I think this is an important point which is not generally agreed upon in this context.

For those who disagree it would perhaps be a good idea for them to practice their explanatory talents in making their point clear.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1392 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 83 of 143 (694511)
03-25-2013 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by PaulK
03-25-2013 3:29 AM


Re: Parsimony
I agree that fewer assumptions are better than more. Can you think of any examples were this was used as a test in evaluating models or theories?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by PaulK, posted 03-25-2013 3:29 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15962
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.6


(1)
Message 84 of 143 (694512)
03-25-2013 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 9:05 AM


Re: Clarification
I will try to develop a more complete explanation of the two major tests and how they are to be applied. For now, it is important to realize that explanatory power is about explaining the data we currently have and predictive success is about making predictions about the data we will be discovering. Einstein's theory was successful because it made predictions that were later confirmed by observation. If a prediction is not related to the future, then it is not a prediction.

Well, if you wish to change the vocabulary of the scientific method, then I would say that "prediction", in your sense, is also not necessarily a good test of a theory, and at best is only a subset of the ways in which a theory can be justified.

I instead propose the following comprehensive test: the comparison of the logical consequences of a theory to the data presently available to us.

I would also wonder why it is necessary for you to alter and/or obfuscate the scientific method, but I think that will become clear when you start actually discussing Ross's stuff. Really, if you can't play the game by the same rules as everyone else, this suggests that the cards in your hand aren't that good.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 16035
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 85 of 143 (694513)
03-25-2013 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 8:50 AM


Re: The Major Tests
designtheorist writes:

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.

What are you saying about Dawkins here? That he rejects endosymbiosis, whose discovery he calls a great achievement, or lateral gene transfer? That he doesn't accept "Darwinism in the light of genomics", even though he wrote The Selfish Gene.

I'm a fan not of Dawkins (whose non-scientific views I detest) but of accuracy. Whatever it is you're trying to say, since Dawkins is a scientist who follows the evidence where it leads I very much doubt that he is in denial about anything supported by evidence. He understands that it is current evidence that theory explains and future evidence that it predicts, and I'm sure none of the five irrelevant tests you're pushing enter into his scientific thinking.

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1392 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 86 of 143 (694514)
03-25-2013 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by Dr Adequate
03-25-2013 9:07 AM


Re: The Major Tests
I saw the Ventner/Dawkins exchange on a youtube clip of the ASU Origins Symposium. I forget the year but think it was 2010. The other panel members included Paul Davies, a guy from NASA who agreed with Dawkins, and a couple of Nobel laureates whose names escape me and Lawrence Krauss who hosted the event. I have looked for the clip so I could give you a link but without success.

The Koonin paper can be found here. Ventner has not published on the topic but is obviously aware of the same data as Koonin.


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designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1392 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 87 of 143 (694515)
03-25-2013 9:26 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Percy
03-25-2013 9:22 AM


Re: The Major Tests
I'm saying that Darwin does not accept the recent rejection of Darwin's LUCA. Koonin published on this. Ventner is obviously aware of the same genomic data and has reached the same conclusions as Koonin.
This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 13228
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 88 of 143 (694516)
03-25-2013 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 9:14 AM


Re: Parsimony
Actually it's necessary because you can always add assumptions to any theory to save it from falsification (the Duhem-Quine thesis) - for instance the idea that phlogiston had negative mass, or the addition of epicycles to planetary orbits to keep geocentrism (the latter was a highly successful model of planetary motion).
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 13228
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 89 of 143 (694517)
03-25-2013 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by AdminNosy
03-25-2013 9:10 AM


Re: Different Definitions
The important point about prediction is that the ANSWER is not known at the time that the prediction is made. Ross would agree with that, I'm sure.
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Percy
Member
Posts: 16035
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 90 of 143 (694520)
03-25-2013 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by AdminNosy
03-25-2013 9:10 AM


Re: Different Definitions
AdminNosy writes:

quote:
If a prediction is not related to the future, then it is not a prediction.

I think this is an important point which is not generally agreed upon in this context.

Maybe we need to get some things I let go by earlier squared away. I think someone already mentioned that the precession of Mercury was already well known before Einstein developed his general theory of relativity. Einstein used it to confirm to himself that his theory was correct before he published. Mercury's precession was therefore not something the general theory of relativity successfully predicted, but rather something already known that it explained.

The bending of light by gravity *was* a prediction, a successful one as it turns out. The fact that the prediction and the successful outcome now lie in the past is a non-factor, and I don't understand why it keeps coming up as an issue of confusion. (Someone earlier alluded to the fact that perhaps the Eddington confirmation should be eyed skeptically and that true confirmation only came later, but that's a separate issue.)

At the time it is made, a prediction has to be about the future. I don't see how context could change this.

--Percy


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