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Author Topic:   What is science? (ROB and STRAGGLER only)
Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 40 of 106 (459747)
03-09-2008 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Rob
03-09-2008 3:27 PM


Fresh Start
Does this mean that you are willing to continue?

If so - Would you be able to comment on (and rewrite if necessary) my summary below to let me know if I have now understood at least the gist of your thinking (albeit in my own words)?

As I understand it Rob's argument can be summed up thus -

1) Science (should) = Evidence form perception (in it's widest definition) + The application of logic

2) Evidence should include ALL forms of perception including those that do NOT pertain to the material world alone (i.e. empirical evidence is “only one of the entities in a natural science equation”)

3) The current view of science as applying logic to perception of the MATERIAL world ALONE is unjustified in that other forms of perception are equally theoretically/logically/philosophically as valid

Any definition of science that cannot describe how a scientific conclusion is reliably verified or refuted in practical terms is pointless (I hope you agree with that at least). As such I would like to further understand your thinking by the consideration of some examples of the practical application of “science” as you argue it to be.

It seems to me that the following passage contains the crux of your argument in terms of actually applying your definition of science in practice -

The term empirical is a corruptive and deceptive label that conjures images of material certainty. This is not the case! The empirical world is only one of the entities in a natural science equation, and it must be tested against our ideas in order to provide a tested result. In other words, we must look at the evidence through the lens of logical coherence.

How in practice would you reliably apply this method of comparison with regard to a conclusion based on non-empirical evidence?

KEY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
*****Can you give an example of such a conclusion? What evidence was available? What elements were compared? What was the method by which you assessed the validity of the conclusion? What evidence would refute the conclusion? What further evidence should be sought in order to further validate the conclusion? (scientific conclusions should always be tentative and open to the possibility of a superior theory after all!!)*****

If the example you chose was the existence of God then can the same method of comparison be used to conclude other (less contentious) aspects of nature? Or is your definition of science solely aimed at enabling the verification of God?
Can you give a further example that is not related to God? (including all the same components the last example required)

In terms of "reliability of conclusion" how does knowledge gained in the way you describe compare to the independently repeatable verification of specific physically measurable quantities predicted by the logically necessary outcomes of hypotheses? (i.e. a form of verification considered highly reliable by conventional science). More reliable, less reliable or equally reliable?

Apologies if this seems like a lot of questions and a lot of work on your part but I do think it is necessary to fully ensure that I understand what you are saying before I start leading myself down all sorts of dark alleys again.
I have always found that the best method of increasing my own understanding of my own ideas is to try and explain them to others. Whether I manage to contribute anything meaningful to this debate or not such an exercise should at least improve your own grasp of your own thinking.

Stay Happy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 3:27 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 6:35 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 42 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 7:25 PM Straggler has not yet responded
 Message 43 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 7:41 PM Straggler has not yet responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 44 of 106 (459784)
03-09-2008 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Rob
03-09-2008 6:35 PM


Re: Fresh Start
I feel that you are trying to encompass you entire argument into every single post!!!! Your last post covered the need for omnipotence, methodological naturalism as a faith position, contradiction, coherence, science and religious equivalence, the nature of empirical evidence etc. etc. etc.

Please, please, please……slow down.

I am not (yet) disclaiming the validity of your reasoning at all. I am just establishing what your position is. In detail.

I think establishing HOW scientific conclusions are derived and verified or refuted according to your view of science is the essence of understanding your argument. As such I need to understand – in detail- how you have applied your thinking to specific cases. In other words – “How have you applied the scientific method as you define it to draw scientific conclusions?”

Rob

The term empirical is a corruptive and deceptive label that conjures images of material certainty. This is not the case! The empirical world is only one of the entities in a natural science equation, and it must be tested against our ideas in order to provide a tested result. In other words, we must look at the evidence through the lens of logical coherence.

Straggler

How in practice would you reliably apply this method of comparison with regard to a conclusion based on non-empirical evidence?How in practice would you reliably apply this method of comparison with regard to a conclusion based on non-empirical evidence?

Rob

Who ever said that we don't need empirical evidence?

OK let me rephrase the question

How in practice would you reliably apply this method of comparison with regard to a conclusion based on evidence that includes non-empirical evidence?

In other words when you say -

The empirical world is only one of the entities in a natural science equation

I am asking for a practical example of a conclusion formed on evidence that includes one or more of these “other entities” along with explicit statements as to what these “other entities” are.

Once you have explicitly stated the specific conclusion and the evidence (non-empirical + empirical if also relevant) that this is based upon you then also need to state how this evidence was used to make that conclusion by answering the following questions

*****What elements were compared? What was the method by which you assessed the validity of the conclusion? What evidence would refute the conclusion? What further evidence should be sought in order to further validate the conclusion?*****

The devil is in the detail ;)

EXAMPLE
If I were asked to give a specific example of an –

independently repeatable verification of specific physically measurable quantities predicted by the logically necessary outcomes of hypotheses?

I would cite the Big Bang as the specific conclusion. The evidence as the detection and measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. I would then describe how both the existence and a specific value of this radiation was logically derived from theory alone. Then I would describe the subsequent detection and measurement of this theoretically predicted phenomenon. I would explain why prediction is a valid and reliable form of verification. I would explain why independent confirmation of the result was required as well as citing examples of independent corroboration of the detection and measurement in question. Finally we could discuss ways in which the theory could still be refuted or better verified with additional experimental data.

There are many other examples of this type in the field of physics.

Lets examine one or two examples of your thinking applied in detail and see where we get to. Lets not (either of us) try to defend or promote our whole position in every single post.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 6:35 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 8:25 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 46 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 9:28 PM Straggler has not yet responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 47 of 106 (459835)
03-10-2008 6:19 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Rob
03-09-2008 8:25 PM


Re: Fresh Start
It now feels a bit like you are doing the thread based equivalent of grabbing me by the lapels and yelling "Don't you see!! Don't you see!! Why don't you see?!!"

You have presented your argument. I am going to explore it piece by piece in terms of practical examples. Simply restating your argument in summarised form or asking me questions regarding my position as you assume it to be will not aid this process.

I am beginning to see a fundamental flaw in your argument. I am confident that this will be revealed through questioning

The 'other entity' is logic Straggler, that's what you are missing. It's not as though I am trying to cohere evidence with something that does not exist.

OK. Understood. The penny has dropped. Finally.
Empirical evidence + logic = scientific knowledge with no philosophical omissions . This is your argument in a nutshell. I do now get it. The use of terms such as “other entities” has confused the issue up until this point.

By your definition of science there are conclusions possible that are not available to conventional science. Is this statement correct? (just yes or no – no need to explain why at this point if the answer is yes)

Intelligent design attributed to a non-material source (e.g. God) is one of these conclusions Is this statement correct? (just yes or no – no need to explain why if he answer is yes)

As a conclusion that is available to your definition of science but unavailable to methodological naturalism ID attributed to a non-material source is a good example with which to analyse your definition of science in order to see where the main differences lie between the two Do you agree with this? (just yes or no – no need to explain the differences at this point if the answer is yes)

I asked earlier -

KEY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
*****Can you give an example of such a conclusion? What evidence was available? What elements were compared? What was the method by which you assessed the validity of the conclusion? What evidence would refute the conclusion? What further evidence should be sought in order to further validate the conclusion? (scientific conclusions should always be tentative and open to the possibility of a superior theory after all!!)*****

Taking ID attributed to a non-material source as our example scientific conclusion could you complete/amend the following

Conclusion = Life intelligently designed by a non-material designer
Evidence = Empirical evidence in the form of the appearance of design in nature. Specifically biological systems (e.g. formation of cells)
Elements compared to draw conclusion =
Method of testing validity of conclusion =
Evidence that would refute conclusion =
Further evidence that would further validate conclusion =

One final question. By your redefinition of science are any other conclusions available that are not available to methodological naturalism? Or is ID the only one? No need for mass detail just a one sentance example will suffice. This is a side question to the main considerations above.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Rob, posted 03-09-2008 8:25 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Rob, posted 03-10-2008 10:01 AM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 49 of 106 (459874)
03-10-2008 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Rob
03-10-2008 10:01 AM


Re: Straggler looking for contradiction...
Thankyou. Your thinking is much clearer to me now.

Do you think that finding a contradiction in my methodology will prove that my thesis or arguments are unscientific?

No. Any actual contradiction would just show it to be internally inconsistent.
Your definition of science is intrinsically flawed for much more practical reasons.

Consider the following (including posts to come) as a sort of pseudo Socratic discourse in which I will try and show what these reasons are by asking you questions which you just need to answer consistently in line with your thinking.

1) Question - Is the aim of science to render the most reliable conclusions regarding the natural world? (no need to go into how it might do this)

2) Question - Any definition of science must describe how reliable scientific conclusions are made. It must do this standing on it's own too feet and not just in relation to a rival definition of science. Do you agree?

3) Question - Based on any single given set of empirical evidence can there be more than one logically valid scientific theory? Can valid rival scientific theories producing opposing conclusions regarding the workings of nature exist according to your definition of science?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : Formatting and some minor rewording


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Rob, posted 03-10-2008 10:01 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 12:06 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 51 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 12:33 AM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 52 of 106 (459930)
03-11-2008 4:30 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Rob
03-11-2008 12:06 AM


Re: Straggler looking for contradiction...
Was there an actual contradiction given by me in the last reply?

Not that I can see.

As far as I know, my answers were both internally consistent, and consistent with the external empirical evidence.

I agree.

Can you explain what was unscientific (contradictory) about my answers to your last series of questions?

Nothing was contradictory to my knowledge. The reasons for your whole methodology and definition of science being intrinisically and fundamentally flawed have nothing to do with internal contradictions.

Also, can you tell me the difference in mass between a CD Rom disk that is empty vs. a CD Rom disk that is filled to capacity with digital information?

One contains information and the other does not is, I suspect, the answer you are looking for. Nor is it one I fundamentally disagree with. However this has nothing to do with why your reasoning is flawed.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 12:06 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 5:11 AM Straggler has not yet responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 53 of 106 (459932)
03-11-2008 4:36 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Rob
03-11-2008 12:33 AM


Re: Straggler looking for contradiction...
How do you define the term nature?

Again you are barking up completely the wrong tree. I very much doubt that the definition of nature is going to be the difference between us.

I will assume that your answer to the more general question -

"Is the aim of science to render the most reliable conclusions"

Is "yes".

If you try and second guess my arguments at every turn this discourse will take forever. As such I will write up a final and conclusive refutation and post it here for your comment as soon as I have time. Watch this space.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 12:33 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 5:24 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 56 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 9:29 AM Straggler has not yet responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 57 of 106 (459945)
03-11-2008 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Rob
03-11-2008 5:24 AM


Re: Straggler looking for contradiction...
Dude there is no need to get antagonistic here. I will write the refutation to your argument today if at all possible. I want it to be clear and to cover everything that needs to be covered. That will take time and at the moment I have a job and a two year old son who wants to bash my computer keyboard and play with my phone to contend with.
I have no problem with you personally I just think that your argument is wrong. Let's not get silly about it.

It has nothing to do with defining nature but -

When I say nature, I am referring to the external material or empirical world of matter and energy. So I would go with definition 6: the external world in its entirety

If that makes you happy I will go along with that definition. The definition of nature in this context has little bearing on my refutation.

Let's stop presuming things here and leading the witness.

If as you say, there only exists the 'empirical world' (and it must be a coherent science), and there are no 'non-material entities' that are knowable scientifically; then, how can 'internal consistency' be irrelevant to science (as you're even now formulating an argument to show), since by your definition, it is the empirical world?

Who is doing the presuming?

My argument has nothing to do with internal consistency. This is but a side issue that I do not consider particularly important in this context. A mathematical proof that proves that 1+1=1 is just plain wrong. It is not 'unscientfic. Your definition of science is however is 'unscientific'. In terms of achieving reliable conclusions it fails. It has nothing to do with consistency.

If you want to second guess my argument you can start by thinking about how other philosophies of science have considered seemingly equally valid competing theories based on identical evidence and what the implications of this are for what we CAN and CANNOT know(this has less to do with what is material and what is not and is more about our lack of omniscience).

Think about it and I am sure you will see the flaw in your own argument.
Otherwise I will lay my cards on the table in full as soon as I can.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 5:24 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 10:00 AM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 59 of 106 (459967)
03-11-2008 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Rob
03-11-2008 10:00 AM


Refutation (At Last)
Rob I suggest you take your time and read this in it's entirety before commenting. For both our sakes. Don't get too caught up with the initial part of the refutation (this is the least of your problems;)) Also do bear in mind that I am attacking your argument and not you :)

ROB’S ARGUMENT
Rob’s argument can be summed up thus –

(empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(reliable scientific conclusions)

Therefore as long as conclusions are based on sound logic and the evidence available they are valid regardless of the nature of the conclusions drawn. All logically valid conclusions are permitted whether they result in directly testable material conclusions or not.
Science is redefined such that it may include non-material empirically un-testable conclusions .
As such Intelligent Design, due to either a material source or a supernatural entity (e.g. God) is a perfectly valid scientific conclusion.
Based on this the argument is then made that 'Methodological Naturalism' with it's requirement for conclusions to be material and directly testable by empirical means, is a philosophical position only and as such should NOT be considered scientific.

STRAGGLER'S POSITION
As I shall demonstrate the above argument is deeply flawed. The attempted redefinition of science results in intrinsically unreliable conclusions to which the only logical practical answer is methodological naturalism, or conventional science as we know it.
Methodological naturalism, as I shall show, is not a philosophical position but a result of practical limitations on the methods available to us to draw the most reliable conclusions possible through the investigation of the natural world.

LAW OF CONTRADICTION – THE PROBLEM BEGINS
Rob’s definition of science has an initial but not fatal problem.
Is it possible for two theories based on the same evidence and with the correct application of logic to come to alternative and opposing conclusions?

(empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(reliable scientific conclusions)

If the above methodology is applied to produce conclusion A and conclusion B from the same set of empirical evidence (where A and B are mutually exclusive ) what happens?
According to Rob’s definition of science both conclusions are valid and to be considered reliable if the logic applied is valid in each case.
However either A or B must be wrong by the law of contradiction which Rob holds so dearly
We cannot therefore say that both A and B are reliable conclusions.
Thus if two mutually exclusive but logically valid conclusions are both considered reliable by Rob’s definition of science the definition itself is invalid by virtue of breaking the law of contradiction.
(If at this point you are claiming incomplete evidence as get out clause please do read on!!)
If the law of contradiction is to remain intact Rob’s definition of science can only ever allow ONE reliable conclusion from any given set of empirical evidence.
Rob’s definition of science does not ALLOW rival theories to logically exist.
Yet the history of science is littered with examples of rival theories drawing different valid logical conclusions from the same empirical evidence. How so?
The logical inability of Rob's definition of science to deal with this fact could be considered a severe blow. No philosophy or definition of science that disallows logically competing valid rival theories can be considered complete. However this is just the very tip of the iceberg in terms of the flaws in Rob's argument.

ROB IS RIGHT!!! - THE SPECIAL CASE
Rob’s definition of science is actually perfectly valid in one particular and very special instance.
Where we have ALL of the possible evidence the definition works superbly.
(This is the reason that Rob is getting confused. His theory is totally internally consistent but only applies in one very special case)
If we rewrite the definition thus –

(Complete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(wholly reliable scientific conclusion)

Then the issue of rival theories becomes moot.
With the complete set of all the empirical evidence and the correct application of logic only one conclusion is indeed possible.
The law of contradiction remains unbroken and we know that we have reached the most reliable conclusion it is possible to reach (the truth?).
In the case of ALWAYS having ALL of the available evidence the application of logic alone would be a perfectly acceptable and logically valid method of drawing reliable scientific conclusions.
In this idealised scenario Rob's definition of science stands firm.

OMNISCIENCE REQUIRED - THE PROBLEMS GET WORSE
However is it possible to EVER have ALL the required evidence?
More importantly for science - Is it ever possible for us to KNOW that we have ALL the required evidence?
Unless we claim omniscience (which alas is not permitted and which would make any scientific investigation utterly pointless anyway) the answer to the second question at least must be NO!
There is always the possibility that new evidence will surface and that our theories and conclusions will be refuted. Thus our 'equation' necessarily becomes

(incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(unreliable conclusions)

Given that we cannot ever know if we have all the required evidence and given that our aim is to to make reliable scientific conclusions any method that we apply to draw conclusions MUST assume that the evidence available is insufficient.
The combination of incomplete evidence and logic necessarily leads us to unreliable conclusions and is thus no basis on which to draw any conclusions at all. Simply asserting that more evidence is required is just not recognsing the nature of the problem. We can never know how much evidence will be required to make our conclusions reliable.
No matter how valid our logic we must always assume the appliance of logic alone to incomplete evidence is insufficient to to meet our stated aim of drawing reliable conclusions

Thus Rob's definition of science irretrievably falls apart at the seams to all practical intents and purposes.

REAL SCIENCE - THE WAY FORWARDS
So if our evidence must be considered incomplete and our resulting logical conclusions must be considered unreliable where does that leave us?
Despair not. There is an answer. The answer is the scientific method.
Not only does the scientific method tackle the fact that our evidence must be necessarily considered incomplete, it embraces this fact.
Consider the following alternative form of the equation we have been considering up until now

(incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(hypothesis)

A hypothesis is NOT a conclusion as such. It is something which needs to be tested against that which it purports to describe in order to be validated or refuted. That is the key difference.
I could at this point cite dictionary definitions of the term 'hypothesis'. I could refer to great reams of literature written by far better men than I regarding the scientific method and it's application.
On the basis that we are all familiar with the basic concepts I will not bother.
With regard to the application of the scientific method to nature specifically (I.e. natural science) a couple of comments are however necessary in the context of this debate.

1) As applied to nature a hypothesis based approach can, in my view, be encapsulated thus - "Any fool can make a theory fit the facts BUT only those closest to the truth can hope to find that the facts fit the theory". In other words constructing theories that comply with existing evidence is easy to do and highly open to interpretation. However theories that reveal new aspects of nature which are then confirmed have passed the most difficult test it is possible to apply to any theory. The workings of nature will not obey our theories no matter how much we may wish it!! Hence prediction as the gold standard of evaluation in terms assessing theories and hypotheses.

2) A hypothesis based approach is necessarily tentative. Hypotheses are refuted or verified but never proven. By building our hypotheses on the foundations of evidence revealed by previously tested and verified hypotheses we can build up a body of knowledge of which we can have a high degree of certainty. With enough evidence, enough verification and enough corroboration from other interrelated scientific disciplines employing the same exacting tests against other aspects of nature we can even reach the point where we consider our theories to be factual descriptions of the world to all practical intents and purposes. Despite this we must always recognise that the evidence on which all of this is based must be assumed to be incomplete and thus our theories to be tentative to some degree at least.

A hypothesis based approach is the practical means by which we can make the MOST reliable conclusions whilst recognising that the evidence available to us must always be considered incomplete and open to poor intepretation.
If the stated aim of science is to draw the most reliable conclusions regarding the natural world then the scientific method is what it is because it is the best means we have of ensuring that this aim is achieved.

THE RETURN OF METHODOLOGICAL NATURALISM
If we apply our current 'equation' -

(incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(hypothesis)

to the natural world what outcomes are possible?

As previously stated a hypothesis is not a conclusion in itself. A hypothesis needs to be tested against that which it purports to describe.
A natural science hypothesis regarding the workings of the natural world must thus necessarily be tested empirically against nature itself.
In this context conclusions or hypotheses which relate to supernatural or immaterial beings, phenomenon or concepts are simply un-testable. Untestable hypotheses are no better than the conclusions available via Rob's method of "scientific" analysis refuted earlier. They are simply inherently unreliable. Such conclusions cannot meet the criteria by which science measures the reliability of a theory.

"Supernatural" conclusions cannot be empirically tested. Without such tests available supernatural conclusions cannot ever meet the requirement of science that they be rendered reliable. Therefore supernatural conclusions are unscientific and have no place in science.

CONCLUSION
Rob's definition of science has been shown to lead to inherently unreliable conclusions. The use of hypotheses as an alternative method of establishing reliable theories has been demonstrated to be superior. If the stated aim of science is to draw the most reliable conclusions possible given the evident practical limitations of knowledge then there is frankly no contest between the two positions.

So is 'Methodological Naturalism' a philosophical position? That was the accusation made by Rob in his thesis.
Of course it is not. It is a practical limitation on which theories we are able to test and which we are not.
Any suggestion that it is otherwise displays a deep misunderstanding regarding what science is and what it sets out to achieve..
Methodological naturalism is the logical result of the recognition that our knowledge is inherently limited combined with the aim of deriving the most reliable conclusions humanly possible with regard to the workings of the natural world.

Rob's thesis has been shown to be both logically invalid and inadequate in any practical sense. His methodologies have been found wanting, his arguments dissected and his conclusions utterly and totally refuted. Methodological naturalism lives on :)

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : Loads of typos and some reformatting + the odd change of wording.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Rob, posted 03-11-2008 10:00 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Rob, posted 03-12-2008 9:12 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 61 of 106 (460172)
03-13-2008 4:59 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Rob
03-12-2008 9:12 PM


Re: Refutation (At Last)
Hi Rob
I have reread your edited thesis. The clarity of argument is much improved. Your modified thesis however still totally ignores the nature of evidence and the nature of knowledge. According to you -

Evidence just is

Until you recognise the limitations of knowledge with regard to evidence your concentration on the logical aspects of scientific conclusions alone will always result in a definition that wil be intrinsically, inherently and fundamentally flawed.

All evidence is inherently imperfect.
Untested conclusions based on imperfect evidence are fundamentally unreliable and inferior to conclusions that have been tested.
Science will only accept conclusions that have been, or can be, rendered reliable.

It really really really is as simple as it sounds.

You have not accurately portrayed my position.

Then feel free to correct me. I will modify my refutation accordingly. The key deficiencies in your argument will remain the same. Of that I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever.
Try to prove me wrong. Try to demonstrate that my argument in favour of methodological naturalism as a recognition of the practical limits of evidence and knowledge are flawed. That is why we are both participants here at EvC and taking part in this debate is it not?

I know that this argument (in the wider sense - not just in terms of this trivial thread) is very close to your heart. I am genuinely sorry if I have burst your bubble somewhat. It is an unfortunate truth of nature that the facts are not always as we would wish them to be.
In the introduction to your thesis you totally give the game away. By deciding on a predetermined conclusion (i.e. that ID should be considered validly scientific) and then deriving a theory and evidence to support this conclusion you are practising the very anithesis of scientific enquiry. A practise all too common to proponents of ID I am afraid to say. Your desire to reach a predetermined conclusion combined with your unwillingness to actually consider how your definition might work in practise (I suppose at least this was consistent with your 'logic alone' philosophy) has been your downfall and remains the indefensible position of the "Intelligent Design Is Science" lobby in general.

Sometimes it is more noble to admit when you are wrong than to continue to fight the fight no matter how passionately you believe in the cause.

If you are unwilling to continue this thread (I personally would prefer that you did continue in terms of clarifying your position despite the fact that I cannot see where your actual argument can possibly go from here) it is my intention to rewrite my refutation as a more general attack on ID as science and start a new thread. Alternatively we could open up this one to the masses (it is your thesis and your thread so that is your call)

Stay Happy

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Rob, posted 03-12-2008 9:12 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Rob, posted 03-13-2008 8:41 AM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 63 of 106 (460202)
03-13-2008 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Rob
03-13-2008 8:41 AM


Re: Refutation (At Last)
Where in the world did you get the impression that I do not advocate testing conclusions?

There is a difference between testing a theory and ensuring that it is internally consistent. You derive your conclusion by applying logic to empirical evidence. You then test your conclusion by determining whether or not it is logically consistent with the empirical evidence. This is circular, pointless and to all practical intents and purposes will result in multiple logically valid and internally consistent but utterly contradictory statements (except in the very special case of mathematical certainty where only one answer is logically possible as there is by definition no reliance on empirical evidence). We are using the term "test" in very different contexts here.

1) If all evidence is inherently imperfect (due to lack of our omnipotence I agree), then what is the meaning of your second statement?
2)How do we test conclusions based on incomplete evidence?
The answer is logical coherence as I said in the argumentation. Science is the law of contradiction.

Science cannot be the law of contradiction in isolation because the law of contradiction as applied to incomplete evidence will lead to logical inconsistecies which themselves break the law of contradiction. Consider that which I have previously discussed.

Is it possible for two theories based on the same evidence and with the correct application of logic to come to alternative and opposing conclusions?
(empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(reliable scientific conclusions)
If the above methodology is applied to produce conclusion A and conclusion B from the same set of empirical evidence (where A and B are mutually exclusive ) what happens?
According to Rob’s definition of science both conclusions are valid and to be considered reliable if the logic applied is valid in each case.
However either A or B must be wrong by the law of contradiction which Rob holds so dearly
We cannot therefore say that both A and B are reliable conclusions.
Thus if two mutually exclusive but logically valid conclusions are both considered reliable by Rob’s definition of science the definition itself is invalid by virtue of breaking the law of contradiction.
If the law of contradiction is to remain intact Rob’s definition of science can only ever allow ONE reliable conclusion from any given set of empirical evidence incomplete or otherwise.

If applied to incomplete evidence (which in all practical respects all evidence must be) then the law of contradiction is broken whenever more than one logically valid theory is possible.
How do you deal with this problem? What practical relevant empirical evidence based example do you give of your definition in action?

Consider this illustration:
If we have an algebraic equation to solve, the evidence is imperfect (incomplete).
We have some variables in the equation.
But if logic is valid, then we consider the matter tested. We do not reject the conclusion because there is an unknown. We fill in the unknown based upon the logical pattern. 1+y=5.
If logic is valid the answer is 4. If logic is not valid, then we cannot know the answer.
The equation has been tested and rendered reliable.

So how do you go about demonstrating the core basis for your argument in terms of coherence? With an example of mathematical certainty. With an example where there can only ever be one possible answer and where the law of contradiction thus remains intact. Of course. How else could you demonstrate a definition that applies only where certainty applies? This is the metaphorical equivelent of having ALL of the evidence ALL of the time. You are claiming omniscience.

Proofs and certanty are abstract mathematical principles. In the real world, the world of science, we must deal with uncertanties. Logic, no matter how valid, if applied to uncertanties can only ever result in uncertainties some of which are going to be contradictory. We must embrace this fact and decide how best to proceed. A hypothesis based approach where the "conclusions" drawn are tested for reliablity against that which they purport to describe is the only way forwards. Reliability not proof is the best that we can ever hope to achieve.

Your flawed methodology allows neither reliable conclusions to be drawn nor proofs to be derived in anything other than the idealised circumstances of omniscience or mathematical certainty.
See next post for the 'taste test challenge' ;)

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Rob, posted 03-13-2008 8:41 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Rob, posted 03-13-2008 7:40 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 64 of 106 (460207)
03-13-2008 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Rob
03-13-2008 8:41 AM


Prove IT (Pun Intended)
At the very beginning of this discussion I repeatedly asked you for a detailed practical example of your described method in action. You have yet to do this in anything but summarised form.

Your definition of science is fundamentally unable to be applied in practise to produce any reliable conclusions at all. Scientific investigation is impossible and scientific conclusions are unobtainable using your methods. Irrespective of whether they relate to the material world or any other that you might claim exists.
For your benefit I am now going to describe the scientific method in action. In detail.
I will then challenge you to show your definition of science in action. In detail.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
My computer won't power up. I press the 'On' button and absolutely nothing happens. I press it again. Zip, nada, nothing. My computer is but a lifeless lump of metal and plastic. I can hear the fridge humming so I know that there isn't a power cut going on. It occurs to me that I should check that the PC is actually plugged in at the wall socket. I heave the desk out of the way and take a look. It is plugged in. Damn. It is now looking likely that I will need some potentially expensive repairs to my computer but I won't give up just yet. I decide to make sure that the power cable itself is not the problem. I have a spare so I swap over the cables and try again. Still no signs of life. I start to prepare myself for the lengthy and expensive process of taking the PC to get repaired but decide to try one last thing. I unplug the computer from the wall socket and plug it into a different wall socket. Hey presto the PC revs up into life!! The beautiful sound of spinning hard disks is music to my ears. It appears that despite it being against all the odds the problem lies with the wall socket rather than the computer. I decide to double check this by plugging in a stereo to the potentially faulty wall socket and do indeed find that the radio is as lifeless as I would expect. I call an electrician.

SCIENTIFIC METHOD - FORMAL ANALYSIS
Evidence: PC appears to have no power
Hypothesis 1: Power cut
Test: Audio check that another electrical appliance is still working
Result: Fridge is powered on
Verdict: Hypothesis 1 refuted. New hypothesis required.
Hypothesis 2: PC not plugged into power source
Test: Visual check
Result: Computer is plugged into power source
Verdict: Hypothesis 2 refuted. New hypothesis required.
Hypothesis 3: The power cable is faulty
Test: Replace power cable
Result: PC remains lifeless
Verdict: Hypothesis 3 refuted. New hypothesis required.
Hypothesis 4: Power socket is faulty
Test: Try different power socket
Result: PC powers up
Verdict: Hypothesis 4 verified
Prediction derived as a logical consequence of hypothesis 4: No electrical appliance plugged into the original wall socket should receive any power
Test: Plug stereo into the faulty wall socket
Result: Stereo fails to receive any power
Verdict Hypothesis 4 has been verified to the point where it can be reliably described as a tentative conclusion
Tentative conclusion: The wall socket is faulty and an electrician is needed.

Obviously I did not consciously think through my computer problem in this formal "hypothesised" manner. The point is that we ALL use the scientific method ALL of the time without even thinking about it. Because in the absence of ALL of the evidence it is the only method of narrowing down the possibilities and reaching reliable (albeit tentative) conclusions.

THE CHALLENGE
Your mission should you choose to accept it.......
I dare you to try and show how you would use your definition of scientific investigation to solve the simple real life example above.
I predict one of three outcomes:
1) You won't be able to do this at all and will claim it unnecessary
2) You will attempt to start from the 'known' conclusion and work your way backwards to a suitable explanation in an exquisite example of the very antithesis of scientific investigation.
3) Your attempted demonstration will be riddled with obvious assumptions, inconsistencies and leaps of logic.

THE RULES
There should be no usage of vague terms like "Test = Law of Contradiction".
Where the law of contradiction applies explicitly state which entities are consistent or inconsistent at each point in the process.
We need to understand exactly how you would reach the conclusion specified and on what basis you would reject other possible logical causes of the perceived problem.

Good luck

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : Added formal challenge!!

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Rob, posted 03-13-2008 8:41 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Rob, posted 03-13-2008 7:44 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 72 of 106 (460356)
03-14-2008 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Rob
03-13-2008 7:44 PM


Re: Straggler proves it!
The other checks in your process of deduction failed to provide the answer.

Indeed that is the nature of hypotheses. The law of contradiction is applied so as to compare ones informed guesses with the realities of the empirical world.
The question is - What possible process of detailed deduction and rejection could possibly be applied using your method of 'logical coherence' to reach the required conclusion?
This is a question which you have notably been unable to answer.

Your complete inability to apply your method to a detailed practical example is now plain and obvious for all to see.
The key allegation made against your definition of science is that it is inherently incapable of deriving reliable conclusions based on physical evidence alone. You have been unable to refute the theoretical basis on which this allegation has been made detailed in Message 59. You have also failed to refute this allegation by means of any practical example of your methodology in action despite specifically being challenged to do so Message 64
The only questions remaining in terms of this debate are why in practise your method is so deficient and why you are so incapable of seeing these deficiencies as the fatal flaw that is so obvious to the rest of us.

Despite your attempt to dress up your theory in the clothes of philosophy, logic and science I think that at root you are suffering from the same common misconception of what science is and how it works as all of the other less thinking, less analytical, less poetic and more easily dismissed disciples of the "Intelligent Design is Science" movement.

You see science as the search for empirical evidence that will support a preconceived or predefined conclusion.
Your whole theory, whole analysis and whole methodology is based entirely on the assumption that you have a preordained conclusion that you wish to render "scientifically" reliable already in place.

  • This is why your methodology is unable to derive a practical conclusion to a simple everyday computer problem.
    Because your methodology does not work if the conclusion is not already in place

  • This is why, when analysed logically, your theory cannot coherently allow rival theories to logically exist.
    Because your definition is designed to meet a single known or assumed conclusion thus there can be no rival conclusions

  • This is why the only examples of your methodology are those that pertain to mathematical certainty or omniscience
    Because the conclusion in your examples is not a variable but an assumed definite

  • This is why you conclude that logical coherence and not empirical testing of conclusions is the means by which a theory should be deemed valid or otherwise.
    Because if the (incomplete) evidence and assumed conclusion are already in place then the only part of the equation missing is the logical analysis

    When you say "Science IS the law of contradiction" this is what you mean isn't it? You are simply stating the age old IDist argument that unless a theory can be disproven by the empirical evidence available that it should be considered a valid scientific interpretation of evidence.
    You have confused the issue with some colourful language, some confusing terminology and the addition of some additional circular logic (by suggesting that the empirical evidence suggests design and that an intelligent designer is consistent with the empirical evidence and thus validated as a conclusion)
    But fundamentally that is all your position amounts to.

    In your desire to redefine science such that Intelligent Design be considered scientific you have managed to successfully demonstrate exactly why it is not scientific. Your logical analysis of an indefensible position has led you to advocate a version of science that is a method of confirming desired results but which in itself is incapable of deriving reliable conclusions from the starting point of limited physical evidence alone.
    In seeking to legitimise the ID position you have exquisitely demonstrated it for what it is. Namely a dubious and desire driven subjective hypothesis which remains untested, untestable and demonstrably logically unreliable by the exacting standards of any truly scientific measure.

    Congratulations Straggler!

    Thankyou ;)

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 66 by Rob, posted 03-13-2008 7:44 PM Rob has not yet responded

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 86 days)
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 74 of 106 (460366)
    03-14-2008 2:03 PM
    Reply to: Message 65 by Rob
    03-13-2008 7:40 PM


    Re: more strawmen...
    Once again Straggler, you misinterpret my position and then go to battle against a strawman.

    There is no straw man. Only an inability on your part to recognise the logical implications of your own flawed position.

    I do not test my conclusion as you said. I test the assumption.

    A sudden change of terminology on your part? Does your methodology no longer make conclusions? Only assumptions? Are they "reliable assumptions"?

    Like I said in the argument, if the natural world is logically consistent (coherent), then our assumptions (theories) must be logically coherent, if they are going to match the coherent pattern of the evidence.

    Then in a logically consistent world you should be able to describe how your theory of 'logical coherence' can be applied to solve a simple computer problem. I have demonstrated why logically you will be unable to do this. You have thus far failed to refute this argument either in theory or practise. Exactly as I predicted.

    The same test we use to test empirical evidence must also be applied to our assumptions. And that test is the law of contradiction.

    An assumption that is to be tested? Isn't that called a hypothesis?

    What part of that do you not understand?

    The part that I do not understand is the part where I demonstrate that logically your methodology will fail to be applicable in the absence of a predefined conclusion, omniscience or mathematical certainty and then when you fail to apply your method (in the absence of a predefined conclusion, omniscience or mathematical certainty) you claim it as either irrelevant or some sort of moral victory. This I do not understand.

    Can I help you?

    Yes you can. You can either describe in detail how your methodology can be applied in order to derive a simple but unobvious conclusion (as per the challenge in Message 64) or you can acknowledge that your methodology is inherently incapable of deriving reliable conclusions.

    As I told you before, you can use any scientific example you like.

    Yes I can. The problem it appears is that you cannot.

    The rest of your post is irrelevant, because it does not follow from a mistaken premise.

    This is purely and evidently a debating tactic at best.

    QUESTIONS
    1) Can your methodology be applied where the conclusion (or assumption as you now redefine it to be) is completely unknown and quite possibly unlikely (e.g. the computer problem in Message 64)? If so please give a detailed example of the procees of deduction and elimination.
    2) Can two rival theories both logically valid and based on the same empirical evidence co-exist according to your definition of science? If so can you explain how this renders reliable conclusions whilst adhering to the law of contradiction?
    3) Are you a scientist without even knowing it? If your car would not start what would you do? Apply the law of logical coherence and magically find the answer? Or make a best guess, empirically test it and then repeat the process until you found the cause of the problem? Do you believe enough in your own theory to actually use it yourself in practise? Honestly?

    Whether you are willing or able to accept my arguments or not it should be obvious to you that unless you can derive conclusions using your methodology that are at least as reliable as those rendered by the conventional scientific method then your definition of science is fatally flawed and doomed to failure.

    You cannot derive initially unknown conclusions using your method. Please.... Just stop and think about it.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 65 by Rob, posted 03-13-2008 7:40 PM Rob has not yet responded

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 86 days)
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 75 of 106 (460507)
    03-15-2008 7:39 PM
    Reply to: Message 60 by Rob
    03-12-2008 9:12 PM


    Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
    Unless Rob ends his self imposed exile in time to avoid a permanent suspension this could well be the last post in this thread. As such I think that it is time that I tackled the whole “coherence” issue head on. Putting myself into the 'mind of Rob' has been a strange and bewildering experience. The nature of this post reflects that.

    Rob whatever our differences I hope you do choose to come back to EvC. I think it is more interesting with you here.

    CURRENT POSITION
    In Message 59 I demonstrated that in the absence of omniscience any method of investigation that relies simply on the application of logic to existing incomplete empirical evidence will produce inherently unreliable conclusions. A hypothesis based approach, where comparison with the empirical truths of nature was the ultimate test of a theory, was advocated as the alternative that would provide the best method of obtaining the most reliable conclusions possible.
    In messages 64-74 the predicted practical inadequacies of Rob’s position were laid bare thus confirming the theoretical difficulties with his position first hinted at in Message 59
    In Message 72 I discussed how a methodology riddled with all the evident practical and theoretical problems faced by Rob’s theory might be arrived at if one were to make the mistake of assuming that science was merely a means of substantiating preconceived conclusions and positions rather than a quest for reliable theories and (as yet unknown) conclusions.

    Despite his theory of logical coherence being demonstrably subject to all of the faults exactly as described by my analysis Rob has repeatedly insisted that I am attacking a “straw man”.
    To be fair whilst I maintain that all my arguments to date fully refute Rob’s thesis the issue of coherence and why Rob thinks this makes his theory so different and ground breakingly original have not been explicitly addressed.
    In my defence I suggest that despite his almost messianic zeal (or maybe because of it) Rob has thus far been unable to express his “big idea” in anything but generalised and deeply ambiguous terms that verge on the unintelligible and (dare I say it) incoherent at times.

    AIM
    The aim of this post is to lay to rest once and for all Rob’s bizarre notion of validating theories by means of a process of ‘logical coherence’. By examining the very position Rob’s redefinition of science was setup to promote (Intelligent Design) I will expose this sham of a theory to be based on the circular reasoning and inadequate logic that it has become so clear lays at the foundations of Rob’s argument.

    ROB’S EXAMPLE
    In message 68 Message 68 Rob stated a slightly modified version of how his theory could be applied to the theory of Intelligent Design. Despite being woefully lacking in detail with regard to the deductive processes actually involved this example should be sufficient evidence with which to debunk his arguments. Consider the following –

    Theory = Life intelligently designed (designer unknown)
    Evidence = Empirical evidence in the form of the appearance of design in nature; specifically the quaternary digital code of DNA.

    Elements compared to draw conclusion = Digital information designed by intelligent human agents.

    Method of testing validity of conclusion = Law of contradiction.

    Evidence that would refute conclusion = Discovery of any natural process that can produce digital information on a material medium.

    Further prediction that would validate conclusion = The discovery of other uses for DNA such as gene expression timing, that are currently thought to be junk strands of DNA under the current convention. http://www.detectingdesign.com/pseudogenes.html

    So in what way does this example differ from the position summarised and refuted in Message 59? Rob wholeheartedly accepted the refutation. He just claimed it was not his argument that had been refuted. So if we can show the position above to be no different to the refuted argument Rob’s thesis will have been utterly dismantled even by his own admission.
    Consider the original equation reached by mutual consent (yes myself and Rob have managed to agree on something)

    (incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(unreliable conclusions)

    After this point conventional science and Rob science diverge considerably. Whilst conventional science embraces the fact of incomplete evidence and necessarily unreliable conclusions by taking a hypothesis based approach where results are validated by comparison with the empirical realities of nature itself Rob claims that this unnecessary and in fact logically flawed. Instead Rob proposes a test for logical coherence as a superior and more consistent alternative. Rob's position can be summed up thus -

    (incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)+(test for coherence)=(reliable conclusion)

    Before we consider the specific case of ID any further lets examine this new and confusing term (test for coherence) in more detail.

    WHAT IS A TEST FOR LOGICAL COHERENCE IN THIS CONTEXT?
    Well that is a very good question and one that lies at the heart of Rob’s problems. In our equation –

    (incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)+(test for coherence)=(reliable conclusion)

    What exactly is the generalised form of the (test for coherence)? What is tested? What two elements are compared in order to apply the law of contradiction in order to validate a conclusion?
    One of the elements is the conclusion directly derived from the evidence. The other is………….What exactly? It is this element that is so ambiguous in Rob’s theory. What exactly are you comparing the conclusion to in order to validate it? In the specific example of ID you compare the conclusion to “Digital information designed by intelligent human agents” but that is very very very specific to the case under consideration. If you look through his posts you will see that Rob never actually gives a generalised form for that which comparisons are to be made except ambiguous and meaningless use of terms such as “logic” or “coherence”. From this we can conclude

    1) The element with which the conclusion is to be compared is highly specific to the case under consideration
    2) In order for it to be compared with this highly case specific element the conclusion that is being aimed for must be itself be predetermined (see Message 72 for an analysis of this)

    Rob has been unable to make clear any generalised form of what it is he is comparing his conclusions to. This is why many of his posts are so damned confusing. I don’t think a generalised term is actually possible. It is basically whatever element can be compared to Rob’s preordained conclusion in order to give a favourable result.

    INTELLIGENT DESIGN – CASE STUDY
    Lets consider the following -

    Evidence = Empirical evidence in the form of the appearance of design in nature; specifically the quaternary digital code of DNA
    Elements compared to draw conclusion = Digital information designed by intelligent human agents
    Theory = Life intelligently designed (designer unknown)

    What do we mean when we say that there is the appearance of design? How do we recognise the appearance of design?
    The only way we can identify the appearance of design is by comparing the element under consideration to that which we know to be designed. Thus when we say something has the appearance of design what we mean is “if I compare this to something which I know to be designed it has many of the same attributes”. What is our experience of known intelligent design? Human designed objects obviously. Bearing this in mind we can rewrite the above to get –

    Modified
    Evidence = Empirical evidence in the form of the design in nature reflecting experience of known human design
    Elements compared to draw conclusion = That which is designed by intelligent human agents
    Theory = Life intelligently designed (designer unknown)

    It should now be obvious that the reasoning here is circular – i.e. Nature seems to have attributes that I recognise as design due to my experience of human designed objects. I logically conclude that nature also has an intelligent designer. I confirm this conclusion by virtue of comparing human design and the design in nature.
    By analysing what we mean by appearance of design and explicitly stating how it is we come to recognise the appearance of design the circular logic Rob has applied to the specific example of Intelligent Design becomes obvious. Thus our equation becomes -

    (incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)+(circular logic)=(“reliable” conclusion)

    By virtue of the fact that circular logic is inherently pointless we can remove this term to get

    (incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(“reliable” conclusion)

    But we have already met this form of the equation in Message 59 and we already know that in the event of incomplete evidence the equation must be written

    (incomplete empirical evidence)+(valid logic)=(unreliable conclusion)

    CONCLUSION
    From this point on Rob has already accepted the refutation as valid. The only part he was unaware of was that his use of appearance of design would lead to circular logic that negated his already dubious test for logical coherency as having any relevance at all.
    Conventional science would replace the term unreliable conclusion with hypothesis. Thus Intelligent Design would become nothing more than the untested, untestable and therefore unscientfic hypothesis that we already know it to be.
    As a result of this debate Rob has recently rejigged his terminology such that he is now replacing the term “conclusion” with “assumption”. I can think of no more accurate nor damning description of ID than that which we get if we follow Rob’s fine example -

    INTELLIGENT DESIGN = UNRELIABLE ASSUMPTION ;)

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 60 by Rob, posted 03-12-2008 9:12 PM Rob has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 76 by Admin, posted 03-15-2008 8:55 PM Straggler has responded
     Message 78 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 11:03 AM Straggler has responded
     Message 79 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 12:48 PM Straggler has not yet responded
     Message 80 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 1:07 PM Straggler has responded

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 86 days)
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 77 of 106 (460530)
    03-16-2008 7:29 AM
    Reply to: Message 76 by Admin
    03-15-2008 8:55 PM


    Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
    I will assume that I am allowed to reply if not explicitly requested not to?

    One interpretation of your most recent rebuttal is that it showed Rob's conclusions about intelligent design wrong, but not necessarily Rob's proposed definition of science.

    Fair comment. In the absence of a generalised form of what specific elements are compared for contradiction in a non case specific 'test for coherence' this is true.
    It is my conclusion that a generalised form is just not possible and that as a result a generalised argument is unavailable. What Rob chooses to compare his predetermined conclusion to, totally depends on both the case in question and whether or not he wants to prove or disprove the theory under consideration. It is totally, completely and utterly arbitary. Therefore it is almost impossible to argue against the core idea of his thesis in generalised terms and almost impossible to understand when he tries to talk about it in generalised terms. I should have made this clearer but it is a difficult point to get across in an already (overly) long post.

    If Rob does supply us with an example things should become much clearer.

    It is in everyone's best interest to have the best method possible for figuring out the nature of the universe. We should all be on the same side.

    On that I think we can all agree.

    If Rob decides to reengage the discussion I think that he should be permitted the opportunity to provide an illustration of how he would apply his definition of science, but using an example where the conclusions are obvious to everyone.

    That is definitely what is required here.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : Clarity


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 76 by Admin, posted 03-15-2008 8:55 PM Admin has not yet responded

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