you are redefining creationist as one who rejects the scientific method in favor of scripture "divine" revelation as the highest form of knowledge?
But of course, this is not the definition of creationist. It goes more along the lines of someone who believes that God created the universe. (... 6000 years ago for YEC, which is what I am referring to when using simply creationist)
Given the correcte definition, I find it safe to say that someone can be a true scientist and be a creationist.
Someone who believes that the earth is 6000 years old rejects the scientific method.
This is the point of my post, above. Creationists love to trot out their tame "scientists" to show that "true scientists" can be creationists also.
But a scientist who accepts "divine" revelation and scripture as the highest forms of knowledge, and the scientific method as secondary to those, is not doing science in spite of any scientific training or credentials! The method determines what one is doing, not the credentials.
That is where the young earth creationists and the flood geologists (and others) fail as scientists--they reject the scientific method.
In reality, these folks often publish a lot of scientific papers in their particular fields, but they use the scientific method when they do so.
Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
WK was the one demanding that they publish creaitonist research in order to be viewed as ''true scientist who know what they are talking about''. I find this a bit odd, since I find that simply publishing about your area of research should be sufficient to make you a 'true scientist who know what they are talking about'' ...
So what are these public debates you are saying scientists should be engaging creationist scientists in about then? Since obviously they aren't going to be about scientific evidence supportive of creationism or intelligent design?
Einstein once said in a conversation with Schrodinger that ''it is the theory which determines what one can observe''.
Meaning that, in theory, it is the facts who determine the theory. But in fact, it is the theory which determines the facts.
This may sound like blasphemy, but think about it and I hope you will see that it is in fact the reality of things. If I'm a scientist, I don't just collect data and theorize on it afterwards. No, I start with a theory that I want to prove, and then set out to experiment to prove it. Why does a scientist do 'this' experiment instead of 'that' one ? Because he thinks that 'this' one is the one that will confirm his theory. Of course, sometimes, the experiment shows a contradictory result and you are forced to change your theory. But most of the time, you are only going to adapt your theory as to incorporate the new data. Only when the new data is imposible to fit with your theory do you abandon the idea completely. this is, in essence, what Einstein was talking about. 'The theory determines what one can observe'
Is this not what the early paleontologists did when evolutionnary theory came out ? Even when it was far from an established theory, paleontologist reinterpreted the fossils they had in terms of evolution, and every fossil discovery afterwards was fit in the evolutionnary framework. Heck, some of them even traveled solely to find the 'missing link'. The fact of evolution was not discerned from the fossils, it is rather the fossils who were fitted in the grand idea of evolution.
And I find absolutely no problem with that, because this is how science works in reality. There is always a bias, what you think is true will always bias the experiments you make and how your interpret the results. Philosophers of science explained this very well, and scientists up to Einstein's days had a great understanding of the philosophy behind science, and how it works. Unfortunately, this 'culture of science/philosophy' has been somewhat lost currently, probably because of how the education sytem is built.
I'm saying sites like these exist because the debate doesn't take place on the front stage. And so obviously, I would see them debate what we sometimes discuss around here, every time a good question comes up.
Now maybe I misexpressed myself. I'm not saying to take the scientists out of the labs and into debate circles. I'm talking about the Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers, those who listened to Gould's advice to not discuss the creation issue on the front stage, and so creationism would eventually die out lack of credibility. I think we can safely say that after 20 years, Gould was wrong, and the place left by the public debate was taken by the internet forums. I'm thinking about them, if, as many here claimed, creationism is easy as shizzle to knock to the ground and laugh, why don't they do it in the open ? Wouldn't this be everyone's dream to see a debate, organised by a neutral third party, where Dawkins has the chance to give the creation movement the knockout blows ?
And they would be just as wrong to believe this as to believe in special creation, would they not?
To believe that something is true in spite of the evidence to the contrary is not the mark of a scientist, surely?
This, of course, is a subjective opinion. I think special creation is true, does that make every proponents of evolution 'untrue' scientists in my world ? Of course not, being a scientist isn't about investigating a true or false idea.
Of course, if he promotes a false idea, that he knows its false, I would consider him at the very least a bad scientist.
In a later post to this the term 'true scientist' is used. For myself I wouldn't consider people with engineering, medical, psychology, engineering, food science, anthropology, philosophy, linguistics, anesthesiology, etcetera, to be 'true scientists' simply by having a degree. You can do quite well in many of these fields without understanding science well. Many people in the science related fields might be better described as technicians rather than scientists.
I bet you dollars to donuts it wouldn't be hard to get a longer list of 'science professionals' who believe in alien visitation, ghosts, psychic abilities, or alternative medicine.
if, as many here claimed, creationism is easy as shizzle to knock to the ground and laugh, why don't they do it in the open ? Wouldn't this be everyone's dream to see a debate, organised by a neutral third party, where Dawkins has the chance to give the creation movement the knockout blows ?
Because "debating" a really very stupid idea indeed gives that idea a veneer of credibility which it simply doesn't deserve. The reality is that there is no debate to be had, because all the evidence points one way.
We might as well debate whether or not Rome is in Italy.
The problem with creationist debates is that it's the creationists' game and they cheat at it. It started at the beginning of the "creation science" movement, which formed shortly after the US Supreme Court decision on Epperson vs Arkansas (1968) which led to the anti-evolution movement's over-40-year-old "monkey laws" being struck down as unconstitutional. Since laws barring the teaching of evolution on religious grounds were no longer allowed, the anti-evolution movement created "creation science", a lie and deception that their objections to evolution were "purely scientific."
Part of their strategy was creating the debate circuit. During the 1970's, they travelled across the country, recruiting local "evolutionists" to "debate" against. Many of their opponents agreed and went into those events thinking that it would be an actual debate. Instead, the creationists would make a mountain of false statements and claims that their opponents had never heard before, being unfamiliar with "creation science", and provide their opponents with virtually no time to effectively counter those false claims. Thus, the creationists wandered through the countryside chewing up and spitting out opponents everywhere they went. I'm sure that on occasion they encountered an opponent who was able to get the better of them, but since it was only the creationists who were reporting on these debates to any kind of national audience, the creationists always without fail reported creationist successes and even reported their failures as successes.
For example (I'm having to quote all this from memory for now, since it's late and I won't have much time to dig through my references until Friday (I work all day, plus on Wednesday I help at a West Coast Swing venue and then Thursday evening it's Country Two-Step followed by salsa)), circa 1981, Tampa Bay, FL, was considering a "balanced treatment" curriculum. There were two debates, one with Dr. Henry Morris and the other with Dr. Duane Gish, and I believe that opposing them both times was Dr. Ken Miller, a self-described creationist (since as a practicing Catholic he believes in God the Creator) and one of the fiercest opponents of the lie and deception that is "creation science" -- still is. At most, the creationist press described the outcome of the debates as Miller being "one of the ablest opponents" they had faced, but still they had "significantly strengthening the creationist position in Tampa Bay". As in, the local school boards after the debates shelved their plans for any kind of creationist curriculum. In case your English didn't catch that, that means that the school board abandoned all its previous plans to teach any creationism. Which means that the creationist cause totally lost in Tampa Bay, even though the creationist press claimed victory. In other words, creationists lie through their teeth.
Now, a lot of scientists and college/university professors had answered the call to debate creationists and got burned by it. And they started writing to and talking with each other. And reading up on the creationist literature. And discussing their experiences and their reading with each other. And at the grass-roots level, they organized state-level "Committees of Correspondence" (CC; a name derived from the Committees of Correspondence who had operated within the colonies leading up to and during the American Revolution) and shared their findings and counter-arguments with each other. That led to a national gathering-point of all this information, which became the "National Center for Science Education" (NCSE), headed by Dr. Eugenie Scott. What all this information-sharing resulted in was that, around 1980, the tide started turning. As creationists with their highly-polished presentations would make their exact-same presentations at these debate events, their opponents would produce the same rebuttals to which the creationists had no response. All across the country, those rebuttals would follow those creationists. And the creationists would complain that their opponents were sharing information, even though that was what the creationists had been doing all along.
Ken Miller's debates against the two mightiest "creation science" debators, and the subsequent defeat of creationism, in Tampa Bay, FL, was one of the culminations of the CC's efforts. This shows that when the evidence is actually considered, creationism has absolutely no chance at all.
Now, here's the problem with creationist debates per se. The opponent is restricted to being truthful and scientifically correct, whereas the creationist can make whatever wild-ass claim he wants to make. It doesn't matter to the creationist how incredibly false his claims are, just so long as he deems that it sounds convincing. In contrast, the creationist's opponent has to remain truthfulness, which in a creationist debate is a distinct disadvantage.
There is a term that's used by opponents: "The Gish Gallop". Obviously, it's named after its inventor and best-known practitioner, Dr. Duane Gish of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), who in my personal opinion is visually one of the best candidates for "ape man" that I have ever seen. Here is basically how it works. The debate is structured so that each participant has so many minutes to make their initial presentations and then so many minutes (usually 20 to 40 minutes) to present their refutations to their opponent's presentation. OK, I hope that your math is up-to-snuff here. The creationist starts making multiple claims very rapidly -- this is the Gish Gallop -- which are totally false and utterly misleading. Let's say that it takes 10 seconds to make one of these false claims. If you allocate a minute to this gallop, then we're talking about six such false claims. OK, let's assume that the opponent actually knows about those false claims and knows exactly each and every one of those six false claims are false. Furthermore, let us assume that it takes 30 minutes to refute each false claim. Well, guess what! With only 20 minutes to refute all false creationist claims, their opponent hasn't even been given enough time to refute a single one of those false claims, let alone six
IOW, public debates is purely a creationist game and their cheating guarantees that they will always "win".
Instead, shouldn't the truth win?
Here's a venue that works towards the truth coming out. Instead of a staged event, have a written debate. One in which each opponent has all the time they need and are required to give each and every reference that they are using, so that their opponent is able to to then go to that reference to check it out. And both parties are then able to thoroughly discuss each reference that each opponent uses.
Guess what? When such a written venue is suggested, most "evolutionists" will immediately come on board, but all creationists will refuse to participate (OK, some "IDists" will agree, but I don't know of any biblical creationists who will agree to such a venue). There is a local activist creationist in Orange County, Calif (the "real OC"), Bill Morgan, who repeatedly tried to get me into a public debate, yet when he promised "any venue, anywhere" and I interpreted that as allowing for a written, on-line debate, he absolutely refused to follow through with his promise. Before an audience, the creationists can play their deceptive games, but in a written debate where everybody has to actually present their evidence, then creationists pull out so quickly that we would have to take relativistic effects into account (IOW, they couldn't pull out anywhere near fast enough).
OK, slevesque, if we only use the creationists' debate game, then that does absolutely nothing towards the truth.
If we use the "evolutionists'" game, which wants to seek the truth of the matter, then creationists want absolutely nothing to do with any of it.