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Author Topic:   Does staunch Creationist criticism assist scienific study?
Dierotao
Junior Member (Idle past 4206 days)
Posts: 22
Joined: 04-03-2006


Message 1 of 13 (301219)
04-05-2006 3:43 PM


I've noticed many Evolutionists complain that Creationists will not accept many scientific conclusions unless they are 'forced' to by insurmountable evidence.

I find this curious, as it would seem such strong criticism would always help refine scientific theories. Would it be better if everyone accepted a theory (scientific or otherwise) once a certain point of evidence has been gathered, and it would never be questioned again? Why is the required level of evidence determined by Evolutionists better than the required level of evidence determined by Creationists? Does it matter if the motivation for setting that level is often religious?

Perhaps some criticism is unscientific, and the Evolutionist tires of hearing such arguments. But surely it could not be said all Creationist arguments are unscientific. So then, why doesn't the Evolutionist welcome this criticism, that he may further advance his theory and be certain he has indeed found the truth. For if his theory is true, the eventual accumulation of evidence will reveal this truth to most of his opponents anyway. And if the theory is shown to be false under this criticism, then both Creationist and Evolutionist have gained new knowledge.


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Adminnemooseus
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Message 2 of 13 (301235)
04-05-2006 4:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 3:43 PM


About to promote this topic
You have 4 new topics as of that last day or so. That's OK, but I strongly suggest you hold off on any more for a while.

Adminnemooseus


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Adminnemooseus
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Message 3 of 13 (301239)
04-05-2006 4:05 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Minnemooseus
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Message 4 of 13 (301242)
04-05-2006 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 3:43 PM


Creationist critiques of scientific theory are feeble approx. of real critiques
I find this curious, as it would seem such strong criticism would always help refine scientific theories.

In the process of their development, various scientific theories are subject to rigorious review by those scientists of the relevant field. This "strong criticism" will go far beyond the, dare I say, lame and ill informed efforts of the creationist ilk.

Moose

{Edit - tweeked subtitle}

This message has been edited by minnemooseus, 04-05-2006 04:15 PM


Professor, geology, Whatsamatta U
Evolution - Changes in the environment, caused by the interactions of the components of the environment.

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jar
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From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 5 of 13 (301253)
04-05-2006 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 3:43 PM


But it is not strong criticism.
I've noticed many Evolutionists complain that Creationists will not accept many scientific conclusions unless they are 'forced' to by insurmountable evidence.

actually, in most cases even when presented with overwhelming evidence, most Biblical Creationists simply wilfully ignore that evidence.

I find this curious, as it would seem such strong criticism would always help refine scientific theories.

That might be true if there was ever a valid criticism presented or some other theory that better explained the evidence seen. But so fa, TTBOMK that has never happened.

But surely it could not be said all Creationist arguments are unscientific.

Why? They begin with a conclusion. That one simply fact means that any contribution they might attempt to make is flawed.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Dierotao
Junior Member (Idle past 4206 days)
Posts: 22
Joined: 04-03-2006


Message 6 of 13 (301279)
04-05-2006 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
04-05-2006 4:30 PM


Re: jar
"Why? They begin with a conclusion. That one simply fact means that any contribution they might attempt to make is flawed."

I'm not sure that this logically follows through. If I make a scientific proposition, but hold an underlying philosophical presupposition, does that necessarily mean my scientific proposition is flawed? What if the scientific proposition is unchanged by the philosophical presupposition?

Example: If I argue that radiometric data is seriously flawed due to specific evidence I have collected, does it matter whether my motivation to research possible flaws in that original data is due to a religious belief that the earth is not as old a radiometric data implies, or a scientific belief that radiometric data is possibly flawed?


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Percy
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Posts: 18377
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 7 of 13 (301280)
04-05-2006 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 3:43 PM


If creationism acted only as a watchdog on scientific research then their participation would be much more welcome, but they instead focus most of their effort on the dissemination of scientific misinformation in an effort to convince laypeople that creationism is a legitimate scientific alternative to evolution.

That being said, I think Creationists serve a somewhat positive role in a narrow niche by making popular representations of evolution more accurate. For example, they helped correct the mispresentations contained for a while in biology textbooks about Haeckel's drawings and Kettlewell's moths. But their efforts along these lines are primarily detrimental to science, since their true goal is to replace treatments of evolution in public schools with their own religious views.

Creationists have virtually no voice in scientific circles. They do not contribute to mainstream scientific conferences or journals. Scientists only engage creationists outside scientific settings, and then only to counter general misinformation, for instance, in a debate or a layman level book.

--Percy


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jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 8 of 13 (301285)
04-05-2006 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 5:04 PM


Re: jar
But you skipped the first part of my post.

The statement

"Why? They begin with a conclusion. That one simply fact means that any contribution they might attempt to make is flawed."

relates to why Biblical Creationism will never be scientific. Until the Biblical Creationist is willing to place the stories from the Bible under the same standards as the TOE, it will never be more than an embarassment to Christianity.

Example: If I argue that radiometric data is seriously flawed due to specific evidence I have collected, does it matter whether my motivation to research possible flaws in that original data is due to a religious belief that the earth is not as old a radiometric data implies, or a scientific belief that radiometric data is possibly flawed?

Again, that goes back to the first part of my message and why Biblical Creationism has never been a challenge to science. So far not one Biblical Creationist has been able to advance even a single challenge that has withstood examination.

The second part is even more important. Things like dating do NOT depend on one method, even so broad a method as radiometric evidence. Rather there are a whole bunch of independantr correlated obervations that support the old age of the universe.

Even if some Biblical Creationist might be able to challenge radiometric dating, that would not invalidate the age of the earth and the universe. Nor would it add support for either the YEC position or Biblical Creationism. Those two positions have been overwhelmingly falsified, and unless someone comes up with some whole new body of evidence, they should be relegated to the history dustbin along with flat earth and lightning being the arrows of the gods.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Dierotao
Junior Member (Idle past 4206 days)
Posts: 22
Joined: 04-03-2006


Message 9 of 13 (301319)
04-05-2006 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
04-05-2006 5:23 PM


Re: jar
Perhaps I misunderstood the definition of this term "Biblical Creationist". Does it mean someone who specifically argues for Creation using only reasoning from the Bible? Or does it merely mean a Creationist who's base belief in Creationism is because of Biblical interpretation, but who argues against Evolution by scientic means? I assumed the later. I also didn't mean to imply anything by using the radiometric example (such as it being of supreme importance in determining the age of the earth). It was just the first thing that popped into my head for an example.
And thanks for your replies to this and my other posts.
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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1079 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 10 of 13 (301323)
04-05-2006 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 5:04 PM


Observer bias, etc.
Example: If I argue that radiometric data is seriously flawed due to specific evidence I have collected, does it matter whether my motivation to research possible flaws in that original data is due to a religious belief that the earth is not as old a radiometric data implies, or a scientific belief that radiometric data is possibly flawed?

In one sense, you are correct. If a philosphical belief led you to be skeptical of radiometric dating, and you said to yourself, "I'm going to collect and analyze all the available evidence so that I can see for myself," and did exactly that, who could complain?

But what actually happens is hinted at by your phrasing: "If I argue that radiometric data is seriously flawed due to specific evidence I have collected..."

Creationists begin every specific critique wearing the lenses of their conclusions, selecting a framework of half-truths and out-of-context "facts" to get them where they want to go. They cannot bring to the table of rigorous science even the pretense that they have been open to going where the evidence leads because they have already denounced that path, and, indeed, the path of science itself. They are not prepared ever to declare that the observable world conflicts with their understanding of God--and then admit that their understanding must be flawed.

Look at it this way. I have been offered an arbitrator in a dispute who is pledged to rely on sworn testimony and physical evidence. As we head into the meeting, I hear him observe to a colleague that he cannot believe my representations, no matter what the sworn witnesses or evidence may say--Zeus and the corpus of Greek myth will tell him what is true. How much confidence should I have in the arbitrator?


Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth? Death.
Who owns all of space? Death.

Who is stronger than hope? Death.
Who is stronger than the will? Death.
Stronger than love? Death.
Stronger than life? Death.

But who is stronger than Death?
Me, evidently.

Pass, Crow.

Ted Hughes, from "Examination at the Womb-Door"

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jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 11 of 13 (301325)
04-05-2006 7:03 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 6:48 PM


Re: jar
Or does it merely mean a Creationist who's base belief in Creationism is because of Biblical interpretation, but who argues against Evolution by scientic means?

Arguing against Evolution does nothing to support YEC or Biblical creationism. They daid. Past. Gone. Of no importance or even interest.

Now, like any scientific theory, the TOE is open to challenge at all times. If someone can present a better explanation for the evidence out there, then the TOE will be changed or modified as needed.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Discreet Label
Member (Idle past 3175 days)
Posts: 272
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 12 of 13 (301416)
04-06-2006 1:05 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Percy
04-05-2006 5:07 PM


In this particular respect I do agree wholeheardedly with your assesment. Creationists have a very narrow positive role in that they in some ways cause scientists to reexamine the popular perspective on various items and work to correct them.

And in particular i think its particuarly interesting, because in some ways it flattens the elitism that is generally associated with science. And the really cool thing is that some inquiring minds, like myself, may get caught up in the science and want to find out more for themselves.


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DominionSeraph
Member (Idle past 2865 days)
Posts: 365
From: on High
Joined: 01-26-2005


Message 13 of 13 (301417)
04-06-2006 1:06 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dierotao
04-05-2006 3:43 PM


Dierotao writes:

I find this curious, as it would seem such strong criticism would always help refine scientific theories.

If I dismiss General Relativity because Gene Roddenberry (aka God) clearly said that the Enterprise-D could do warp 9.6, is that of any help?


This message is a reply to:
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