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Author Topic:   The opponent of Creationism is Naturalism not Evolution
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


(2)
Message 9 of 30 (875664)
05-02-2020 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Richard L. Wang
05-01-2020 4:46 PM


Welcome. Your first post suggests that we may finally have a creationist here who is capable of constructive discussion. I certainly hope so.

If you do not feel warmly welcomed, please understand that multitudes of dishonest creationists, mostly young earth creationists (YECs), have thoroughly poisoned the well for you. Sorry about that, but them's the facts of life that we have to pay a price for the malfeasance of others.

First, I need to ask a few questions so that we know that we are talking about the same things. Sorry, poisoned well again. So many creationists spread lies and seek to deceive by redefining and misrepresenting terms and ideas. I hope you understand.

BTW, for formatting this forum accepts most HTML tags as well as dBCodes tags. When you reply, in the left column you will see "HTML On" and "dBCodes On" with a help link next to each one. Click on those help links for information about using those tags.

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I’m the newest member of this forum, and this is my first post. I’m a retired scientist, creationist and Christian.

I apologize for having to ask you this, but the well water has been poisoned by YECs. You see, a YEC who emailed me claimed to be a scientist and was very adamant about it. I asked him what field and after some bluster he finally replied that he had taken a science class once, so that made him a scientist. Because of that and similar BS from other YECs, I have to ask the question.

What kind of scientist were you? Which field? It may be useful to know where your expertise lies.

 
The label of "creationist" doesn't really explain much, since there are many possible definitions arising in part the existence of a broad spectrum of creationism. See the NCSE article, The Creation/Evolution Continuum, which begins:

quote:
Many — if not most — Americans think of the creation and evolution controversy as a dichotomy with "creationists" on one side, and "evolutionists" on the other. This assumption all too often leads to the unfortunate conclusion that because creationists are believers in God, that evolutionists must be atheists. The true situation is much more complicated: creationism comes in many forms, and not all of them reject evolution.

For example, biologist Dr. Kenneth R. Miller has self-identified as a creationist since, as a practicing Catholic, he believes in a Creator God. He has also been for decades one of the leading and most effective opponents of "creation science".

While a PhD candidate in Physical Geology at a conservative Christian college, an evangelical Christian and creationist wrote essays and hosted a Christianity/religion discussion site (web ring) in which he was highly critical of YEC-style creationism. The beginning and conclusion of one of his essays:

quote:
I am an evangelical Christian and a creationist. I am also a Ph.D. candidate in geology, believe that the earth is approximately 4,600,000,000 years old, and have taught evolution in historical geology courses. Does this sound contradictory to you? Well, read on...

. . .

Keeping all of the above in mind, I think it's time for Christians to reclaim the word creationists from the Biblical literalists. To be a creationist means to believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all life therein. This is the historic, orthodox Christian position and implies nothing about the age of the earth or the mechanisms (or lack thereof) of biological evolution. Let's speak of Biblical creation or young-earth creation when distinguishing the beliefs of those who accept a literal reading of Genesis.

In regard to the Biblical-creation/evolution controversy, I think it's probably best for Christians not to become dogmatic one way or another, to accept that devout Christians can hold differing viewpoints on the issue, to be willing to examine the evidence with an open mind, and to remain humble in the knowledge that only God knows the whole Truth. I think we'll all be surprised when we one day stand face-to-face with our Creator!


However and unfortunately, most uses of "creationist" applies to the dishonest anti-evolution factions, most of which are YECs and IDists (of the dishonest faction, which includes too many of the ID movement's leaders). That is the variety that most of us encounter, especially here, which again poisons the well for other creationists. But since that is the variety that we encounter with such sickening regularity, that is the variety that we mean when we use the term, "creationist". Be advised of that fact when you read our posts here.

So then what kind of creationist are you? You can see that that "creationist" is too broad a term and that it does require explanation and discussion.

If my understanding is correct, the name of “EvC Forum” or “Evolution versus Creation Forum” contains an assumption: evolution essentially belongs to Atheistic view, so a Creationist must reject evolution. This is not true.

I agree fully that such an assumption is not true. However, that assumption is not being made by this forum. Rather, that is the fundamental assumption of creationists (ie, the anti-evolution movement which consists mainly of YECs and the dishonest ID proponents (which includes many of the leading proponents of "intelligent design", but also the YECs who have donned ID garb in order to hide their fundamentalist religious agenda)).

For our part, we keep trying to explain to the creationists what evolution has nothing to do with atheism, but they never listen. You can always tell a creationist, you just cannot tell him anything.

Whether evolution is true or not is one thing; how to explain evolution is another matter: there can be an Atheistic explanation and a Theistic explanation.

Here we disagree. How to explain evolution is a scientific matter -- unless you are engaging in typical YEC creationist deception by redefining and misrepresenting evolution to be something that it clearly is not. Please demonstrate that that is not your intent.

When we speak of evolution, we are talking about biological evolution, which is a scientific idea. Whether or not it is true must be done scientifically and explaining it must be done scientifically. There are no "Atheistic or Theistic explanations" about it, only scientific explanations. Do you also insist that gravity must have "Atheistic or Theistic explanations" as well? Why not? So why single evolution out for special treatment?

You got some 'splainin' to do. Specifically whether you are applying some special non-scientific definition to evolution (just as the YECs do) and why you would think that it would need "Atheistic or Theistic explanations" that are not required of any other scientific idea (assuming that you are not making such a requirement of gravity, kinematics, dynamic, etc).

Therefore, evolution can be explained from a Theistic point of view, so evolution is NOT the opponent of Creationism.

Rather, evolution is a scientific idea which works through natural processes. My own definition of evolution is that it is the natural consequences of populations of living things doing what living things do (ie, interact with their environments, survive, reproduce, rinse and repeat). Nothing special or mysterious about it.

Creation is a religious idea that there was something supernatural that brought things into existence. Those things would necessarily include natural processes. Exactly how creation through supernatural means happened or even would happen is not known and very likely will never be known. For that matter, supernatural creation does not eliminate the involvement of natural processes.

That last is very important, because too many creationists seem to assume that if something happened through natural processes then that would disprove God, as if God is only able to operate by supernatural means and cannot use natural processes.

Evolution does not conflict with Creation. They don't really have much of anything to do with each other.

However, Creationism can conflict with evolution along with many other aspects of reality. Creationism would do so by artificially creating that conflict, such as through misrepresention and by making flagrantly false claims about the real world.

What is the opponent of Creationism? Naturalism. According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online, in philosophy, naturalism is the "idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world." Therefore, Naturalism believes that all natural phenomena, including the origin and evolution of life, have or will have scientific explanation based on the natural laws, while God does not exist.

OK, now we get to the crux of the matter. Along with a basic point of confusion in "intelligent design" (ID).

What you are describing is "philosophical naturalism". Indeed, that is exactly what your definition tells us: "in philosophy, naturalism is ... ". But that does not mean that other forms of naturalism follow that same definition. Such as the methodological naturalism used in science and which the IDists also attack indiscriminately.

I don't know how broad your background is, whether you just concentrated on one specific field or would study a wide range of subjects. As you study different subjects, you find that each one has a special vocabulary, what laymen deride as "jargon". You also find that most of these special vocabularies use many of the same words, but each with a special definition peculiar to that subject/discipline. A example would be the use of "work" in physics as opposed to common speech -- in common speech, if you lift a weight and then put it down again you've done work, whereas in physics you would have done zero work. One of creationists' more common deceptive techniques is called "semantic shifting" wherein they take a quote by a scientist using his field's specialized vocabulary and then reinterpreting it according to common speech, thus misquoting that scientist without having to change a single word.

ID opposes philosophical naturalism (albeit without that modifier), but it conflates different kinds of naturalism together leading it to attack them all. That is wrong and wrong-headed. And that wrong-headedness has led to the Wedge Strategy that would require the inclusion of the supernatural into science which, if actually done, would basically kill science. We had a topic addressing that over a decade ago, So Just How is ID's Supernatural-based Science Supposed to Work? (SUM. MESSAGES ONLY); you might find it of interest.

Questions about the supernatural have no place in science, because they are of absolutely no use in science. Because we cannot work with the supernatural nor take it into account. The supernatural is outside human means of detection, observation, examination, etc. If you formulate a hypothesis which includes supernatural factors, how would you ever be able to test for those factors and what their effects are? You cannot. How would you ever be able to construct an experiment that uses supernatural conditions? You cannot. The supernatural is beyond the ability of science to work with it.

Therefore, science uses methodological naturalism. In a scientific question (basically, the "how does this work?" questions), the only factors and the only explanations that you can use must be naturalistic ones. Not because you want to deny the existence of God, but rather because naturalistic explanations and factors are the only ones you can work with in science. It is a practical consideration, not a philosophical one.

And for some reason, IDists cannot understand that. You can always tell an IDist, you just cannot tell him anything.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Richard L. Wang, posted 05-01-2020 4:46 PM Richard L. Wang has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 23 of 30 (875743)
05-05-2020 1:39 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Richard L. Wang
05-03-2020 4:36 PM


Re: Science reveals the creation of God
Sad to say, you are off to a very bad start. You are proceeding from some seriously false premises which end up destroying your position.

From basic formal logic, all logical arguments start from a set of premises to proceeds to reason out conclusions based on those premises. The validity of a logical argument depends on the structure of the argument. The truth of a logical argument depends on applying true premises to a valid argument.. The only way to arrive at true conclusions is to apply true premises to a valid argument. In all other cases, you are unable to determine the truth of the conclusions; doesn't prove the conclusions false, but you cannot trust them to be true and they are very likely to be false.


  Valid Argument Invalid Argument
True Premises Conclusions are True Unable to determine truth
False Premises Unable to determine truth Unable to determine truth

You are proceeding from false premises, which compromises your entire position and your conclusions.

 
To begin with, in the OP (ie, "OPening message", Message 1) you create a false dichotomy (AKA "false dilemma"; ie, falsely reducing an argument to "either-or" (eg, the "Two Model Approach" central to "creation science") in which explanations must be either "Atheistic" or "Theistic". That is a fallacy (ie, use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning in the construction of an argument) which renders your argument invalid. There is a third option which you completely ignore: Non-theistic. The opposite of "Theistic" is not "Atheistic", but rather could be either "Atheistic" or "Non-Theistic".
And that third option of "Non-theistic" will be the choice in the vast majority of cases, including in all aspects of science. And engineering. And banking. And construction. And almost every aspect of life.

I am a retired software engineer. When I write code and explain that code, is my explanation Atheistic or Theistic? Neither, my explanation is non-theistic. Questions about the gods have absolutely nothing to do with my code! And the same applies to explaining how a car engine works, how a TV works (and used to work), how gravity works, etc.

Your ignoring of non-theistic explanations is causing you to falsely apply your false dichotomy of Theism vs. Atheism to science, which practices Non-theistic approaches, not Atheistic, methodological naturalism, not philosophical naturalism. You end up proceeding from false premises and an invalid argument, which invalidates your position in so many ways. This is also refered to as "shooting yourself in the foot."

In philosophy, Godless Atheists can think that Theism is wrong, not reality, or even anti-science, but it is Theism vs. Atheism, not Theism vs. reality or science. Similarly, in science, it is Creationism vs. Naturalism, not Creationism vs. reality or science. (Please don’t use Evil to describe Creationists; maybe I understand English too formally, for me, the meaning of the word evil very negative.)

"In philosophy, ... " "In philosophy, ... " Why are you ignoring your own words? "In philosophy, ... "

In science, it's about creationists of both YEC and ID stripes (such as yourself, we now see) trying to inject the supernatural where it clearly does not belong. It's not a matter of Atheistic vs. Theistic explanations, but rather the absolute need in science for Non-theistic explanations. The very existence of which you are ignoring.

 
And, sorry, but the anti-evolution movement Creationists are evil. Yes, the meaning of that word is very negative, but it does describe creationists.
They practice lies and deception as standing operation procedure in promoting their sectarian religious agenda. They attack and seek to destroy science education using whatever thoroughly dishonest means they can. And they seek to lie to and deceive everybody they can.

One form of creationist deception is for a creationist to enter a forum pretending to be a very reasonable person who just wants to compare both sides of the "issue" (which is manufactured purely by creationists and by creationists alone). Even when we take them at face value, they can never maintain their pretense for long and they will finally reveal themselves to be nothing other than typical evil young-earth creationists trying to deceive us.

Is that what you are doing here? Though I would take you for a deceptive IDist than a YEC (pretty much the only difference between those two is the question of biblical literalism; their goals of destroying science are the same).

The description of naturalism - given by the Oxford English Dictionary Online that naturalism is the "idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world." - is in philosophy.

"In philosophy, ... " "In philosophy, ... " Why are you ignoring your own words? "In philosophy, ... "

Why did I repeat that? Because you keep ignoring it. Because you ignored it the first time, the second time, the third time, etc.

In fact, this is a scientific statement, so I take it as the description of naturalism in science as well.

Not in the least! That is a completely and utterly false statement! And since it has been explained to you more than once, you should know that it is a completely and utterly false statement. Yet you keep making it. Are you lying to us now? Because that's how it's starting to feel.

The methodological naturalism that science uses and depends on is very different from the philosophical naturalism that you keep talking about. While philosophical naturalism can indeed be considered atheistic, the methodological naturalism of science is absolutely not atheistic, but rather it is non-theistic.

Please stop mischaracterizing science as being atheist instead of non-theistic. Or at the very least address the question and present a valid argument supporting your position that science is atheistic instead of non-theistic.

As I pointed out, the opponent of Creationism is Naturalism rather than Evolution. Therefore, Creationists need not challenge evolution. In my opinion, one can challenge evolution by raising this or that issue, but it is impossible to refute evolution. However, Creationism can refute Naturalism.

Just what the hell are you talking about? In all discussions, it is most imperative to define the terms and to agree on those definitions. Otherwise, reasonable discussion is rendered virtually impossible, plus it opens the door for one side to engage in deception. It is common creationist practice to redefine and misrepresent terms and ideas and to practice deception, all part of what makes them so evil.

We know that you define "Naturalism" as being "philosophical naturalism" and that you extend that definition to meanings of "naturalism" where it clearly does not apply, such as to the non-theistic "methodological naturalism" of science. Therefore, we already know that you are misdefining that term.

What do you mean by "Creationism"? It appears that you understand that there are many different kinds of creationism, but you have yet to inform us of what kind you are referring to by that term, "Creationism". Hiding what they mean by the terms that they use is a standard form of creationist deception.

And what do you mean by "Evolution"? Creationists redefine and misrepresent that term more than any other and they refuse to tell any outsider what they mean by it. When we use that term, we are talking about the science of biological evolution. What are you talking about?

Contrary to most people’s view, science is on the side of Creationism not Naturalism.

Wrong, so very wrong.

Science does not take sides in the issue of Creation (a supernaturalistic concept which science cannot make any statements about) versus "philosophical naturalism" (which makes a philosophical statement about the existence of the supernatural, which science cannot make any statements about).

Yet again (in the hope that you will eventually realize it) science uses "methodological naturalism" which is (are you ready? Wait for it ... wait for it ... ) non-theistic.

Science reveals the creation of God.

That is a theological/philosophical statement as well as a statement of personal belief.

It is not a scientific statement. Science does not make such statements. Being non-theistic, science does not get involved in theological statements nor in statements of faith.

I’m going to propose a series of topics. The answer for each topic is YES or NO. If YES, I won the debate on that topic; if NO, I lost, and I would state I was wrong.

OK, the red flags (ie, warning signals) have just gone up.

First, meaningful discussion is not a matter of winning or losing.

Second, questions that require either a yes or no answer and does not allow for qualifications are prime fodder for the practice of deception. The classic question that illustrates that point is the question, "Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no!" If you answer "no", then you are admitting to beating your wife and continuing that practice. If you answer "yes", then you are admitting that you have beaten your wife. You are not allowed to answer to the effect that you have never beaten your wife.

The stench of deception is becoming noticable.

Edited by dwise1, : duplicate paragraph removed ("I am a retired software engineer...")


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Richard L. Wang, posted 05-03-2020 4:36 PM Richard L. Wang has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 24 of 30 (875744)
05-05-2020 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Richard L. Wang
05-04-2020 4:51 PM


Tangle – Sorry. We should go ahead. I like to discuss scientific issues, not philosophical concepts. In tomorrow’s post, I write that “I like to simplify things, so I’m going not to talk about methodological naturalism, I don’t like to have many philosophical concepts involved.”

Then it is your intent to practice deception.

Typical dishonest creationist! Didn't take you long to show your stripes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Richard L. Wang, posted 05-04-2020 4:51 PM Richard L. Wang has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Richard L. Wang, posted 05-05-2020 12:49 PM dwise1 has replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 29 of 30 (875778)
05-05-2020 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Richard L. Wang
05-05-2020 12:49 PM


Re: Please keep discussion civil
In the message that you "replied" to (Message 24), I pointed out that you had just expressed your intention to use lies and practice deception. So now you are doubling down (gambling terminology: you have made a bet, it looks like a losing bet, but you wager the same amount on that original bet -- in social/political terms, it means that you are holding a losing position, but you continue to play it).

Unfortunately, although I ask to stop using very negative words, you even use more very negative words, and in some cases, you put these very negative worlds directly on me without any evidence. What you have done violates the Rules of this Forum: 4. Points should be supported with evidence …; and 10. ... Please keep discussion civil. Argue the position, not the person.

Your first post left me hopeful that we could finally have civil and constructive discussion with a reasonable creationist. But then your subsequent posts dashed our hopes as you indicated that you intend to lie to us and to practice deception. Your explicit refusal to even begin to consider ideas which are vitally relevant to any discussion of science (eg, methodological naturalism, non-theistic explanations) is further evidence of your intentions of practicing deception.

I very much want to have a civil discussion, but your implicit intentions to lie and to deceive will keep that from happening. The word you brought up, "evil", does indeed apply to those who lie and deceive in order to further their agenda, so then, yes, creationists are evil. You have indicated your intention to do evil. Please, turn away from that evil. Please!

And what you are proposing is not discussion, but rather debate. Why push for a debate at the expense of preventing discussion? In a debate, all you care about is winning in the Trumpian sense (ie, that the other side must lose). Because winning is so important, you will do everything and anything you can to win, including using any lie and any deception.

You ask me to argue the position, not the person. Well, that is exactly what I have been doing. I've been addressing your position and its serious problems, problems that would sabotage a discussion. Instead of addressing the issues I raise, you explicitly ignore them and express your intention to lie and deceive. Like a typical evil creationist.

In my first reply to you (Message 9), I brought up the fact that there is a very broad range of meanings for "creationist" which one particular small segment having usurped that title from all the rest. That small segment, which we can justifiably label as "evil", includes the young-earth creationists (YEC) and the "intelligent design" (ID) leadership (and much of their followers) who freely employ lies and deception in order to impose their ill-conceived religious agenda on the rest of society.

Part of the ID deception is to misrepresent science as using atheistic philosophical naturalism, instead of the non-theistic methodological naturalism that science actually uses. Sound familar? Isn't that the lie and deception that you have expressed the intention of employing here?

When we see evil, we will call it out as being evil. If you do not want to see that word used, then do no evil! If you persist in doing evil, then objecting to us calling it out is nothing but one of the worst forms of hypocrisy.

You call yourself creationist and you seemed to like that I pointed out how broadly defined that term is. But you have never revealed what kind of creationist you are. Indeed, you seem to have avoided that, which is typical of the evil sub-set of creationists. So then, just what kind of creationist are you?

Assuming that you will engage in typical evil creationist evasion, I will present what kind of creationist I think you are, based on the evidence.

You appear to be an ID creationist. Though immediately that bifurcates into two different camps (with some possible overlap):

  1. "ID Classic". The founders of this movement stressed that they opposed evolution for "philosophical reasons." One of the founders was lawyer Phillip Johnson. In an essay I once found by him, he stated that his reason for opposing evolution was because "it leaves God with nothing to do." That is almost as mind-boggling ignorant as his "Darwin On Trial" premise that science must be conducted using courtroom rules of evidence, whereas in reality science operates more like a police investigation (ie, following clues, forming hypotheses which help guide the search for new clues, testing and eliminating or keeping hypotheses based on the evidence gathered). Johnson's stated position is a statement of "God of the Gaps", the idea that God is hiding in the gaps in human knowledge (which makes their God impotent and fearful of the advance of knowledge). Many ID arguments, especially their probability and "irreducible complexity" ones, boil down to "Gee, we don't understand how that could work, therefore God." That is pure "God of the Gaps" which is one of the worst theologies out there. BTW, a corollary of "God of the Gaps" is the belief that if we find a naturalistic explanation for anything, then that counts as evidence against God (which is blazingly stupid and also false), but YECs especially and IDiots in part cleave to it.

    A vital part of ID Classic is their hatred for philosophical naturalism. Their Wedge Strategy (see also the document itself from the Discovery Institute) reveals their plan to insert God into the practice of science. To that end, they completely ignore the existence of methodological naturalism which is what science actually uses, instead choosing to lie about science and insist that it uses philosophical naturalism. Does that sound familiar?

  2. Ravening YEC wolves in ID clothing. In the 1970's, the YECs created "creation science" as a deliberate deception to circumvent the US court system and deceive public opinion in reaction to Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) finding the 1920's "monkey laws" and any purely religious reasons for barring the teaching of evolution to be unconstitutional. Eventually, one of the creationist "balanced treatment" state laws (LA) had perculated itself up to the US Supreme Court and in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) the entire US court system finally realized officially that "creation science" was nothing but a religious sham.

    In the popular vernacular, up to that point the creationists had been playing the game of "Hide the Bible", but now they had to play a new game: "Hide the Creationism". That phase of their game of deception was to adopt ID. Now they hide behind ID false claims and arguments. Claims of a young earth are extremely vulnerable, so they avoid those as much as possible in order to hide behind false ID probability claims.

The indications that I see are that you are that classic ID creationist who wants to lie about what science is and how it works. You want to insert your stupid god ideas into where it does not belong.

And you are willing to tell any lie and practice any deception you can in the pursuit of your idiotic theological ideas.

Why?

The debate I’m going to put forward focuses on Atheism vs. Theism in science, especially in biology, or Naturalism vs. Creationism, where Naturalism represents believing in Naturalism rather than using it as a method, or usually called as philosophical naturalism.

That is a complete and utter LIE!

Why are you so motivated to lie like that, unless you are an evil creationist? You have revealed yourself to us and we see you for what you actually are! And we are calling you out for what you have proven yourself to actually be.

"Atheism vs. Theism" has absolutely nothing to do with science, ("especially in biology"), you lying creationist! And as long as you insist on such lying, I will persist in calling you out for what you are actually doing.

Does that sound fair? It should, because it is entirely fair.

There is not just one single form of naturalism (despite your blatant and deliberate lies). The only one that I know of that ever considers the question of the existence of any gods is philosophical naturalism (which you refer to endlessly and exclusively). As far as I can tell, none of the other forms of naturalism (which you refuse to acknowledge in any way) ever address that question about the gods. I could be wrong, so do please correct me if you even can. And without lying to us.

Yet again, science is non-theistic, using methodological naturalism. It absolutely has nothing to do with any atheism-versus-theism discussions.

Stop lying about science!

Edited by Admin, : Fix message link.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Richard L. Wang, posted 05-05-2020 12:49 PM Richard L. Wang has not replied

  
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