It is entirely a battle of plausibilities and the most convincing supposedly win. But in reality all the accepted plausibilities are on the side of the Science establishment, and the science side will think they've made the best case no matter what, and discount any explanation YECs come up with.
YEC's have never come up with explanations that fit the totality of the evidence. They take individual pieces of evidence and try to give an alternative explanation -- ignoring the fact that the explanation is not in keeping with other evidence; and ignoring the fact that their alternative explanation is not in keeping with other of their alternative explanations.
I think that's a fair characterization and criticizm of YECs in general.
I would be tentative to say ALL YECs take that approach. There's a lot of work to be done when reformulating a large number of basic hypotheses in numerous sciences. There could be the Brad McFall: YEC version out there; someone who is working independently (I think Brad is) and who hasn't finished his/her work yet.
She is prpeared to reject mainstream geological explanations because she finds them ridiculous. But when one of her explanations is - justifiably - rejected on the same grounds she cries foul.
She clals criticism of her claism and tactics abuse - but when she abuses others she calls it legitimate, true criticism (even if it's blatantly false).
If it ISN'T a double standard it is because Faith is fundamentally dishonest about the standards she is using. Which would be even worse.
And Faith doesn't JUST reject alternative explanations out of hand - in recent discussion she's ruled out even CONSIDERING alternative explanations under the pretext that it's "begging the question".
IRH's offer was good. That's why Faith is working on turning it into a sham debate where the Flood must be assumed to be true. She's jsut using the typical fundamentalist tactic of falsely accusing opponents of doing what SHE's doing.
There's no room for YECs here at EvC and I see none developing on this thread. This is what needs to be made explicit and faced directly. No debate is possible because Science demands that YECs surrender our fundamental beliefs at the door. Really, this NEEDS to be made VERY explicit.
Like I mentioned to you before, you're at a disadvantage because of this requirement of the scientific method. You gotta use other methods, and that's to your disadvantage.
I think what the board needs to decide is, can it make room for honest empirical investigation which is NOT science, and which, because of that, follows a path towards workable theories that do not resemble the path science takes and, frankly speaking, are more likely to produce easily falsifiable hypotheses that are not robust (i.e. that can't be modified easily in the face of conflicting evidence). That's not a shot at your beliefs, that's a statement about the methodology you have to use.
If ultimately we say such a methodology is unacceptable, then I agree with you--I think it needs to be clear in the forum guidelines that the only allowable empirical method of investigation is the scientific method.
Honestly, I get a mixed message from the board on whether or not this is allowed. On the one hand, there's the "Theological Creation and ID" board. On the other hand, there's the thread that led to truecreation's exit stage left, where Admin opens by saying he considers this methodology to be nonsense discussion (I can understand why), and that he's not interested in allowing such discussion.
I look at this thread as an opportunity to discuss methodology and to represent the opportunity of people to either accept YEC empirical methodology as discussable on this board, or to reject it.
I don't see any reason to deny it. It's a creation vs. evolution board. It doesn't belong in science forums. It' doesn't REALLY belong in Faith and Belief boards. Maybe we need "YEC Emprical" forums, where this methodology is the standard, and people must follow the rules of this methodology:
1. No questioning the premises based on Faith (that's for the Faith and Belief boards) 2. All faith-based hypotheses must be stated up front (no pulling a "well, God could have done XXX" random, unsupported-by-the-bible assertion to "work through" a problematic empirical observation). Allowing such assertions would completely undermine the "empirical" part of the enterprise. 3. No dodging evidence 4. Showing alternative hypotheses is not an argument. Extract the data / observations from the hypotheses, and show those.
I don't see why this would be such a problem. It's structured debate. Those who don't like it can just stay out of it.
Faith, do you think these are fair terms for YECs to operate under?
"Assuming that the global flood as written in Genesis actually happened, how do we explain the physical evidence?". No doubt people would still miss the point and say it isn't science, but that's just forums for you.
The problems arise when:
1) YECers try to change the definition of science so that it can include all philosophies (or more particularly theirs)...this is a silly idea.
2) YECers say that the scientists who have accrued all this evidence are interpreting wrong since they are doing it in accordance scientific manner and which contradicts their philosophy.
3) YECers say that scientists are liars, athiests, heathens and are hiding the truth to indoctrinate our youth (hey that rhymes).
I was following you until the last part. I see the criticisms as valid (not sure if they're true, I haven't involved myself in following the debates much, they get so messy). But I didn't understand here:
IRH's offer was good. That's why Faith is working on turning it into a sham debate where the Flood must be assumed to be true.
Why does this turn it into a sham debate? As long as people address the hypotheses she puts forward in explaining the evidence, I see it as a reasonable debate. She either can find a way to support "the flood happened" AND IRH's evidence, or she can't. Judgement of this is done by the ability or inability to find evidence that conflicts with her supporting hypotheses.
If the debate proceeded in that manner, would it still be a "sham debate"?
By the way, I really appreciate the tone of your responses. I find them to be informative and constructive / instructive.
The literalist tried it with his "how did the flood happen" discussion but as per normal (for YECs not him in particular) when faced with an ever-mounting list of reasons why large aspects of his theory was impossible, we were answered with "well let's just assume that element is true somehow and move onto the next bit".
he only way the conflict about our premise could conceivably be resolved is if we are permitted to argue from it freely to show that we have good alternative explanations to evolutionist explanations of biology and OE explanations of geology.
So, in other words, you propose a "middle ground" by way of proposing possible explanations that could match the Biblical account. The debates would center on proving those specific scenarios right or wrong, without applying to proving the Bible itself wrong.
In other words, given a murder that represents, say the FLood story, you could propose that Col. Mustard did it in the library with the lead pipe, and that scenario could be debated. Even if Col. Mustard is exopnerated, the murder itself (thou the non-literalists could believe it a suicide) would go undebated, functioning as an assumpton.
I would be agreeable to that, so long as debates that debunk the Bible's literal truth are still allowed for those of us who are willing to participate. Interesting discussions happen there, after all. But I could understand and participate in a debate where the Bible is assumed to be true, and the details of how are debated scientifically, as a sort of "YEC-friendly" section, or if the assumtion of literalism is stated in the OP.
I wouldn't want such a thing to happen in a school, but it sounds okay to me for certain debates here.
Every time a fundy breaks the laws of thermodynamics, Schroedinger probably kills his cat.
Well, that's to their disadvantage... but I don't think that invalidates the approach. Sometimes, that's how developing hypotheses and working incrementally happens. You avoid the hardest problems and you start from wherever you can.
In cognitive science, that happens ALL the time. For example, people are constantly dodging consciousness; very few people study it directly (at what level of processing does consciousness come from the brain?), and basically NOBODY confronts the "hard problem" (i.e. is it necessary that consciousness come from physicality? What are the conditions that are present which causes it to be necessary?)
Another example is how we dodge all complex behavior, and we work on totally ecologically invalid laboratory tasks. When studying language, we study behavior on individual phonemes. When investigating where language processing happens in the brain, most paradigms use SINGLE WORD paradigms. At the best, single sentence. Is language just words? No... just we're totally incapable to tackle the hard problems, so we do what we can.
It sucks. But ultimately, we can only tackle what we can manage to tackle bit by bit. It means we run a big risk of putting tons of time into this work, and we either don't find a way to get over the wall we avoided, and we're screwed, or we find out that we totally took the wrong path and we're out in a small boat in the middle of the Pacific ocean. We're just HOPING that this path will lead us to higher ground and able to hop over the wall.
As I understand it, Faith's proposal is that the Flood will be taken as a given. Only explanations consistent with the Flood will be allowed, and the best of those will be taken as the most reasonable explanation - even if there are better explanations which contradict the Flood.
Certainly, Faith has explicitly ruled out the idea that the Flood should be considered anything other than an established fact. So what exactly is there to debate ?
I agree. But I would say that debating both in one thread is too much.
I would propose the debates on the bible go into the Accuracy and Inerrancy forum, and debates to try and resolve things we extracted under specific interpretations of the bible to go in a different forum. Otherwise I don't see that either debate could make any progress.
Thus, the two debates could happen simultaneously. Anyway, they're actually fairly independent; you can falisfy one and still have reason to proceed with the other. If Faith finds a way to resolve all scientific observation with the Flood hypothesis, that doesn't make the Flood hypothesis unquestionably true. And if a literal interpretation of the Bible's story of the flood is shown to be contradictory within the Bible, that doesn't mean the Flood actually didn't happen. It just means the YEC's underlying reasons for believing in it were shown to be unfounded.
It's a subtle distinction, probably too subtle for my imprecise words. Just, I think your idea is good, but that the debates are best served as separate but "interested" in each other.
A gets us to B gets us to C gets us to D gets us to E gets us to F.
F being Rain (let's skip the rest). It rains therefore the flood is true THE END - it DOES invalidate the approach because there is no hope or even attempt of A,B,C,D either being explored or resolved (And with the flood A= The laws of physics being totally wrong as we understand).
quote:In cognitive science, that happens ALL the time. For example, people are constantly dodging consciousness; very few people study it directly (at what level of processing does consciousness come from the brain?), and basically NOBODY confronts the "hard problem" (i.e. is it necessary that consciousness come from physicality? What are the conditions that are present which causes it to be necessary?)
This is a wrong-headed example - for this to be an analogue, the calcuation of say..how much water it takes to cover the mountains would have to be beyond us and would continue to be so for the near future. We are not talking complex stuff - we are talking about throwing out everything we know about physics at the most basic level. We are not talking about small fine detail we are talking about throwing out whole disciples to make the conversation work. It's just nonsense to expect people who work and study the sciences to proceed on that basic - it's totally unrealistic.
We might as well just post strings of nonsense!
This message has been edited by CK, 12-Sep-2005 01:18 PM
I think we agree completely. The debates of this nature should be kept to seperate threads, and the presumption of Biblical literalism should be stated in the OP. If it's not stated, Bible debunking is fair game, and literalists who participate should expect to have their assumptions of faith questioned. If it is stated, then non-literalists need to understand that the debate is only concerning a specific "how" scenario, not debunking the Bible itself.
Admins - does this sound like a good idea? Is there some way such a middle ground could be implimented, either by some posting rules or a new debate section?
Every time a fundy breaks the laws of thermodynamics, Schroedinger probably kills his cat.