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Author Topic:   Testing Theories of Origins
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1395 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 106 of 143 (694565)
03-25-2013 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Percy
03-25-2013 3:55 PM


Re: Clarification
Percy,
Thank you for that succinct summation. I agree. I think perhaps now we are ready to discuss the evidence. But I will need a little time to formulate this... perhaps a few days.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Percy, posted 03-25-2013 3:55 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Percy, posted 03-25-2013 8:32 PM designtheorist has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 16037
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 107 of 143 (694570)
03-25-2013 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 4:31 PM


Re: Clarification
designtheorist writes:

I think perhaps now we are ready to discuss the evidence. But I will need a little time to formulate this... perhaps a few days.

I sense no consensus on the main topic, so I don't know why you think you're ready to move on.

And you made a number of questionable claims. I addressed two of them myself, and now you're just going to leave them hanging? And given that you've responded to less than half the messages there must be others in the thread feeling the same way.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 4:31 PM designtheorist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 9:27 PM Percy has responded

    
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1395 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 108 of 143 (694572)
03-25-2013 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Percy
03-25-2013 8:32 PM


Re: Clarification
Several people have asked that we close this debate and move on to debating the evidence. I wasn't ready to do that before, but I think I'm ready now.

Reaching consensus was never my goal and probably not possible. I was hoping to debate the issues mainly to help me get clarity by having others challenge my thinking. I also wanted to get this debate on the record, so to speak, so visitors might be able to understand the issues better.

If there are outstanding issues that any member feels I have neglected, please let me know and I will attempt to address your question. In the meantime, I am going to think through debating the evidence.

Thanks to everyone who has participated.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Percy, posted 03-25-2013 8:32 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by NoNukes, posted 03-25-2013 9:38 PM designtheorist has responded
 Message 118 by Percy, posted 03-26-2013 8:01 AM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9998
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 109 of 143 (694573)
03-25-2013 9:38 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 9:27 PM


Re: Clarification
If there are outstanding issues that any member feels I have neglected, please let me know and I will attempt to address your question. In the meantime, I am going to think through debating the evidence.

You can of course end this discussion at any time. But the consensus here seems to be at best that the five minor tests are completely without merit, and at worst intended to give unestablished theories an extra boost. You have in fact rejected at least one proposed test (acceptance by the scientist) on the sole basis that it did not provide this boost.

Expect to spend substantial time defending your tests as well as the evidence. As long as your new thread allows this I don't care whether you end this thread now or continue the discussion.


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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 9:27 PM designtheorist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 10:49 PM NoNukes has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9998
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 110 of 143 (694575)
03-25-2013 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Drosophilla
03-25-2013 3:42 PM


Re: Clarification
Meanwhile on planet Earth and the Scientific Method the word 'prediction' has a completely different meaning. It means, given a data set and a particular hypothesis you can predict the outcome - not in the future but here NOW. This is what is meant by 'prediction'.

There can be a little more to things than that. For example, once Einstein had expressed general relativity in mathematical form, the resulting equations allowed making predictions in realms not even considered when Einstein was working on the theory. For example, from solutions of Einstein's equations came models of charged and uncharged Black holes, and models of the universe from manipulations of the mathematics. This is true predictive power that is unmatched in non mathematical formulations of theories.

Of course, math is not physics. So such predictions require verification by observation and experiment. But general relativity has been verified time and again. We might make similar comments regarding quantum theory.


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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Drosophilla, posted 03-25-2013 3:42 PM Drosophilla has acknowledged this reply

    
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1395 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 111 of 143 (694580)
03-25-2013 10:49 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by NoNukes
03-25-2013 9:38 PM


Re: Clarification
You can of course end this discussion at any time. But the consensus here seems to be at best that the five minor tests are completely without merit, and at worst intended to give unestablished theories an extra boost. You have in fact rejected at least one proposed test (acceptance by the scientist) on the sole basis that it did not provide this boost.

I rejected the proposed test "acceptance by scientists" as circular reasoning that gives the status quo an unfair advantage. I do not know of any established scientist that would propose such a test. If you can find a citation of an established scientist saying that is a good test, I would be happy to read their reasoning but I don't think you will find one.

Another proposed test was parsimony defined as the fewest assumptions. I agree that fewer assumptions is a good thing, but am not sure how this test would be applied. I am certainly willing to look at the arguments put forward on it.

The two major tests are explanatory power and predictive success. BTW, predictive success is different from predictive power. As I understand it, predictive power means the ability of a theory or model to generate relevant predictions. Predictive success means the predictions turn out to be correct, a much tougher test.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by NoNukes, posted 03-25-2013 9:38 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by NoNukes, posted 03-25-2013 11:26 PM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 259 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 112 of 143 (694581)
03-25-2013 11:08 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 8:50 AM


Re: The Major Tests
Hi, DT.

designtheorist writes:

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."

In the post I was responding to, you stated clearly that you thought the censorship and stultification tests had "confirmatory power." But, this new statement sounds like you've toned it down to "indicatory power": that is, it indicates that there might be an issue, but the test itself can't determine that.

Is this correct?

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.

How do you determine when a field has stultified? Do you consider a field stultified anytime it has achieved a measure of consensus on a certain idea?

designtheorist writes:

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.

Simplification and diminished explanatory power may not be the idea of integration, but they can sometimes result from integration. So, it isn't obvious that integration is a positive indicator, and that lack of integration is a negative indicator.


-Blue Jay, Ph.D.*

*Yeah, it's real

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 8:50 AM designtheorist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 11:50 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9998
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 113 of 143 (694582)
03-25-2013 11:26 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 10:49 PM


Re: Clarification
I rejected the proposed test "acceptance by scientists" as circular reasoning that gives the status quo an unfair advantage

I do not know of any established scientist that would propose such a test.

I submit that you cannot name any scientist who would reject such a test. But in the interest of providing what you ask, I point to DI's continuing efforts to maintain a long list of scientists who reject evolution. Why do so if such a list is not a meaningful indication that evolution should be rejected.

I would suggest that your personal pplication of the 'censorship' test gives bogus clap-trap an unfair advantage even if the dismissal is completely valid. Because nonsense is bound to be rejected by everyone. Yet you yourself make no effort whatsoever to distinguish between rejection of failed propositions or unfair discrimination.

It should be noted that creationism predates evolution and big bang cosmology. Yet efforts to block these propositions by religion are completely dismissed by you and Ross. In fact your comments have made it clear that you disfavor more than one test that points to the status quo.

I suppose at bottom, I simply don't trust you after the last debates we participated in. I'm not seeing anything in this thread that causes me to think this discussion will be any more fruitful. The topic is interesting, but this thread is full of unaddressed concerns and summary dismissals on your part.


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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 10:49 PM designtheorist has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by Percy, posted 03-26-2013 7:44 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1395 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 114 of 143 (694584)
03-25-2013 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Blue Jay
03-25-2013 11:08 PM


Re: The Major Tests
Hi Blue Jay,

In the post I was responding to, you stated clearly that you thought the censorship and stultification tests had "confirmatory power." But, this new statement sounds like you've toned it down to "indicatory power": that is, it indicates that there might be an issue, but the test itself can't determine that.

I used the term "confirmatory power" to indicate that it is not a major test. "Indicatory power" is an interesting term. I don't disapprove of it, but I see it as the reverse side of confirmatory power. If no weakness is sensed, that is confirming. If weakness is sensed, then that's an indication to look closer. I would not automatically reject a model just because I sense weakness in it.

How do you determine when a field has stultified? Do you consider a field stultified anytime it has achieved a measure of consensus on a certain idea?

I don't think a measure of consensus is necessarily stultification. Stultification is evident when there is fear of repercussions for questioning the consensus. Science is about being skeptical and questioning the status quo. If scientists do not feel free to do that, it is a very unhealthy situation. You cannot have free and open enquiry in that type of environment.

Simplification and diminished explanatory power may not be the idea of integration, but they can sometimes result from integration. So, it isn't obvious that integration is a positive indicator, and that lack of integration is a negative indicator.

If it isn't obvious, then I did not explain it well. I believe I pointed to YEC as an example of a lack of integration and said that was a weakness. YEC used to think their only problem was in geology and that problem was minor. But they were not considering other disciplines like astronomy and cosmology which also indicate the universe is very old. Integration simply means the model is considering data from all the relevant scientific disciplines. More data means more complexity, not less.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Blue Jay, posted 03-25-2013 11:08 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by PaulK, posted 03-26-2013 2:29 AM designtheorist has not yet responded
 Message 117 by Percy, posted 03-26-2013 7:51 AM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13231
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


(1)
Message 115 of 143 (694589)
03-26-2013 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 11:50 PM


Re: The Major Tests
Well let's hear your defence of the censorship test.

As I see it, it has two main problems:

1) We can determine if a position is weak by directly examining it and the evidence. The censorship test can't add anything to that. So long as the idea and evidence are public the test isn't helpful.

2) As actually applied it seems to mean "opponents of a view that Hugh Ross doesn't like aren't given special privileges". Since this is both absurd and unfair I propose that the entire point of the test is to claim an undeserved advantage for one side - and that, according to you - is what the censorship test is really about. So if you were being fair you would have to admit that the "test" really shows that Ross's position is weak.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 11:50 PM designtheorist has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 16037
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


(2)
Message 116 of 143 (694600)
03-26-2013 7:44 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by NoNukes
03-25-2013 11:26 PM


Re: Clarification
NoNukes writes:

I rejected the proposed test "acceptance by scientists" as circular reasoning that gives the status quo an unfair advantage

I do not know of any established scientist that would propose such a test.

I submit that you cannot name any scientist who would reject such a test.

I'd like to add a small amount of elaboration that might help DesignTheorist understand your position. A theory is likely true not because it is accepted by scientists. Rather, it is accepted by scientists, who attempt to objectively apply scientific criteria, because it is likely true. A theory that is widely accepted by scientists should not be lightly dismissed. It should be given very serious consideration in recognition of the great deal of research and thought that went into its formulation and its subsequent analysis and acceptance, including revisions and enhancements.

This recognition of the substantial scientific support behind any theory is what is missing from most creationist thought. Many seem to believe that Darwin and his friends were just sitting around a table discussing how to oppose Christian thought on origins when Darwin piped up, "I've got an idea," and then and there around that table they just made everything up. Many creationists haven't an inkling of the amount of evidence and thought behind evolution, or any of the other scientific disciplines that they oppose, from geology to cosmology to global warming.

The topic is interesting, but this thread is full of unaddressed concerns and summary dismissals on your part.

I haven't debated DesignTheorist before like you have (at least not that I recall), but the alarm bells are going off for me, too.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by NoNukes, posted 03-25-2013 11:26 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 16037
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 117 of 143 (694601)
03-26-2013 7:51 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 11:50 PM


Re: The Major Tests
designtheorist writes:

Stultification is evident when there is fear of repercussions for questioning the consensus. Science is about being skeptical and questioning the status quo. If scientists do not feel free to do that, it is a very unhealthy situation. You cannot have free and open enquiry in that type of environment.

Beyond the sheer irrelevancy to the validity of theory, wouldn't allowing consideration of such criteria give free rein to people such as yourself willing to level unsubstantiated or baseless accusations?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 11:50 PM designtheorist has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 16037
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 118 of 143 (694602)
03-26-2013 8:01 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by designtheorist
03-25-2013 9:27 PM


Re: Clarification
designtheorist writes:

If there are outstanding issues that any member feels I have neglected...

It might be a shorter list to only consider issues you haven't dropped.

For me you can start by responding about Caroline Crocker and Dawkins.

To find messages you haven't responded to just click on the "designtheorist Posts Only" link. Messages you haven't responded to have "designtheorist has not yet responded" next to them. There are 29 messages you haven't responded to, out of a total of only 117 messages in the entire thread, which is really incredible. One quarter of all the posts to this thread are responses to you that you have ignored. Even providing a generous allowance since you're one against many, that's a stunning achievement.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by designtheorist, posted 03-25-2013 9:27 PM designtheorist has not yet responded

    
designtheorist
Member (Idle past 1395 days)
Posts: 390
From: Irvine, CA, United States
Joined: 09-15-2011


Message 119 of 143 (694608)
03-26-2013 9:01 AM


Attempt at a Summation
i know there are several people who want this thread to end so we can get to the evidence. There are also some who feel I have not responded to all the issues. I've done my best given the time allowed in my schedule. I never expected to achieve a consensus here, but hope to discuss the ideas and have my own thinking challenged. That has been accomplished and so I will attempt a summation. This sums up my own views only. You are free to write your own summation if you wish.

As a precursor to debating a relatively recently proposed model of origins from Dr. Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe, we have debated the proposed tests for evaluating a model of origins of the universe and life.

Dr. Ross discusses four models: naturalism (evolution), theistic evolution, young-earth creationism and the RTB model of creation (Ross's model). He does not discuss Intelligent Design as a model because ID will never become specific enough to qualify as a model.

The Major Tests
Explanatory Power - the best model is the one with the greatest explanatory power, the ability to explain all the data relevant to origins in all the different scientific disciplines.

Predictive Success - the best model is the one with the greatest predictive success. Predictive success different from predictive power. Predictive power is the ability of a model to produce predictions. Predictive success is seeing those predictions confirmed within the next five years.

Ross provides several tests to evaluate the quality and relevance of predictions.

1. "Predictions must be detailed, distinctive and comprehensive to be of any use in evaluating a particular model."
2. “Designing predictions to show a difference with respect to competing models permits comparisons. Predictions unique to one model and contrary to all other models hold the greatest promise for furthering understanding of specific creation/evolution issues.
3. “Finally, a set of predictions must be comprehensive enough to address all (or nearly all) the major relevant issues. While no model can hope to explain everything (human knowledge will always remain finite), a good creation/evolution model needs to provide explanations for already observed relevant phenomena. As such, the model should produce predictions about what researchers will discover as they continue to study the broad array of creation/evolution disciplines.”

The Minor Tests
Dr. Ross has proposed a series of five minor tests. Four of these have been used against young-earth creationism in the past. Destiny Implications appears to be new. As a general assessment, if they are to be used to evaluate one model, then is it fair to use them against all models. No special pleading allowed.

Censorship - If one model is attempting to censor another model, this is an indication of weakness in the censoring model. It indicates its proponents are unwilling to compete in the open market place of ideas which is the scientific journals. (This test has nothing to do with public schools) If there is no censorship, this is a sign of strength.

Stultification - If scientists are punished or feel threatened for taking a stance on origins or even questioning some of the evidence, then stultification is present and this is a sign of weakness. In the past, this has been used in the case of Galileo among others. Recent examples include Carolyn Crocker and Thomas Nagel, who are considered heretics against Darwinism. If there is no stultification, that is a strength that has confirmatory power. If it is present, that is a weakness that needs investigation.

Integration - It is a sign of strength for a model to incorporate data from all of the relevant scientific disciplines. While I like this concept, and stated that it was my favorite among the minor tests, I now think it fits within the major test of Explanatory Power. I do not see a need for this as a separate test.

Research Passion - Increased research passion is sign of strength for any model. While I believe research passion is a positive thing, I'm not convinced this is a great test. It seems to unfairly advantage any theory that happens to be new.

Destiny Implications - This test asks how well does the model explain and satisfy the human drive to seek and achieve an ultimate hope, purpose and destiny? While I agree that purpose and destiny are important longings of the human heart, I am not sure this is a fair test. One reason is that it has not been used against young-earth creationists in the past and could not be. Ross knows this is a strength for his model, but I do not think he needs it. I am willing to abandon this test for the purposes of our future debates together.

Other Proposed Tests
Acceptance by scientists - This test claims that acceptance by other scientists is a good way to evaluate a model. I disagree with this test. Perhaps this is acceptable for non-scientists, but we are looking for methods scientists can use. If scientists use themselves as a reference point, it is circular reasoning and would heavily favor the status quo. This is not a good test.

Parsimony - This states the strongest model is the one with the fewest assumptions. I've not heard of this model before, but agree that fewer assumptions is a good thing. I'm interested to see how this test may be applied to the models of origins. I'm open to this test.

Thanks to everyone for participating. You are now invited to join the debate in the "Is it Science?" forum titled "Can science say anything about a creator God?"


Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by AdminNosy, posted 03-26-2013 10:04 AM designtheorist has not yet responded
 Message 121 by subbie, posted 03-26-2013 10:10 AM designtheorist has not yet responded
 Message 122 by Blue Jay, posted 03-26-2013 12:33 PM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4753
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 120 of 143 (694617)
03-26-2013 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by designtheorist
03-26-2013 9:01 AM


Attempt Indeed
As has been noted you have demonstrably not responded to various issues presented. That would involve using your own words to show you understand the issue and then giving a direct response.

If this is the quality of discussion you think is fine then you're going to find it harder to get me to promote your proposed topics in the future. Others may have a different opinion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by designtheorist, posted 03-26-2013 9:01 AM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
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