The question is the DN’s theoretical foundation or premise: what is the reason for DNists to believe that only natural laws operate in biological processes?
I don't think it's a premise. I think it's a tentatively held conclusion.
It's not like a bunch of people woke up and said "Hey... let's assume the Supernatural doesn't exist and totally ignore anything that would indicate it's presence!" That's not how science works.
Science works like this: "Hey, let's investigate! Look... we've investigated for hundreds of years, and have learned a vast amount about biological processes that we didn't know before. In all this learning - while looking for anything at all - no one has ever found any evidence that suggests that the supernatural exists or (if it does) that it has any influence on this world in any way at all. This is enough tentative evidence to allow us to stop considering the supernatural as a possible explanation for anything. Of course, the second any verifiable evidence of the supernatural exists - we will change our minds and promote further investigation."
That's a "tentative conclusion" held within DN. That's not an axiomatic premise of DN.
In any given situation, they act in practically the same manner. However, in the way you're attempting to frame the discussion - they have drastically different implications.
Nothing about the Scientific Method excludes the supernatural. It's just that the supernatural hasn't provided any way to be reliably detected (by anything at all... let alone the Scientific Method.) Likely because the supernatural doesn't exist.
But, again, that's a tentatively held conclusion based on the evidence. That is not an axiomatically assumed premise.
Why this assertion - life consists of matter only - is the DN’s premise?
Again - it's not an assertion. It's a tentatively held conclusion based upon the evidence available.
As soon as information comes along that contradicts it - Science will re-evaluate it's tentatively held conclusion into something else that explains all the available evidence.
That's what Science does - investigate reality and make tentatively held conclusions based on the available information.
The premise of a theoretical system is the most important part of the theoretical system...
This statement is correct.
Your problem is in identifying the difference between a premise and a tentatively held conclusion. The only premise in Science is that "we are able to learn things about reality by investigation, testing and evidence."
If you have a problem with that premise, then you should be rephrasing your questions. If you actually have a problem with one of Science's tentatively held conclusions, then again, you should be rephrasing your questions.
Aim for clarity and honesty - you'll learn more, faster.
Obviously, the first point - life consists only of matter – is the premise or theoretical foundation of Darwinian-Naturalism.
It's not a premise. It's a tentatively held conclusion.
Its correctness determines the correctness of Darwinian-Naturalism.
This is true. And if further information shows it's incorrect, Science will move along to "Super-Duper-Naturalism" that then explains all the available information. Except, of course, Science is better at thinking up names than I am...
The question is that is it correct?
This is also true. Of course, this is also true for every Science fact that exists. True for Gravity. True for Conservation of Momentum. True for Chemical Reactions. True for Stellar Formation.
Science is always questioning if any/all of it's "facts" are correct or not.
This is the strength of Science, not a weakness. If a previously-understood-as-true "fact" turns out to be incorrect: Science discovers this very quickly, identifies the issue, and the updates into a new "fact" that incorporates all the available information.
Are you sure you understand Science at all? These are the basic fundamentals of Science taught in high-school (although I do admit - most high-schoolers don't understand these concepts and think that Science creates "facts" - a naive, immature understanding of what Science is.)
Re: Re – 28/40(Stile) & 24(JonF)&36(Tangle)&39(AZPaul3)
Richard L. Wang writes:
You call “life consists only of matter” “a tentatively held conclusion.”
That's right, I do.
JonF calls it “a strong conclusion.”
Sure - why not? Strong conclusions are still tentatively held. Just like Gravity.
Tangle calls it “The concept of naturalism in science is a conclusion not a premise.”
Okay - sounds like more agreement.
AZPaul3 calls it “*a* premise based on observation.”
A conclusion based on observation can be used as a premise for another idea. Why not? Something can easily be both a tentatively held conclusion and a premise. It doesn't remove the fact that if additional information/observations come along - the conclusion (and premise) will be changed. ...which is still diametrically opposed to your idea of an axiomatic premise "just because."
This is the most important conclusion of DN. In addition, you can emphasize that this is a conclusion based on evidence.
For me, I call it premise and I question its correctness. We will discuss the issue soon, which is the core in our discussion.
You seem to imply it's an axiomatic premise - which is very wrong and contextually opposite to how it should be understood. Why promote confusion? Are you afraid of honesty?
Questioning it's correctness is good, though. But Science already beat you to this - all conclusions, premises, data... everything in Science is always constantly questioned on it's correctness. It's the strength of Science.
At present, the most important thing is that we all recognize that “life consists only of matter” directly leads to “only natural laws operate in biological processes.”
I don't see how that holds. And Science certainly doesn't make such a "link."
Science may conclude that only natural laws operate in biological process and that life consists of only matter... ...but these would be tentatively held conclusions based on observation... not based on any "logical connection." ...and the moment any observations surface that contradict these conclusions; Science will update it's position - as it always does.
But to me... it seems like the word "information" is being abused all over the place. Trying to define the term in one context, and then use it in another is only confusing, not any sort of "gotcha" moment.
If one can't be clear without relying on their preferred terms - then maybe they don't really understand what they're discussing in the first place.
The concepts seem so intuitive yet they become so ephemeral when you try to define them. The hard physics says one thing but each person has their own intuition that can be difficult to overcome.
Even physicists themselves still have disagreements on the definition. There is a small faction of which push the concept that information, in the form of mathematics, is the true underlying reality of the universe and that matter/energy/time are emergent properties of the math.
My confuzzled attempt:
Let's take colour blindness as an example.
We'll start with basic grass (like on a normal lawn in the suburbs.) -The colour of the grass is what it is (whatever that is...) -Most will see this as green -Some with colour blindness might say it's blue -both use their eyes as created to their human body by nature -what if the "most people seeing it as green" is also incorrect? -what part of this is the "information"?
My points: -it doesn't matter if most see it as green -it doesn't matter if some see it as blue -it doesn't matter what we call information -the grass still is whatever colour it is... regardless of whether we recognize it correctly (either as a whole or in parts.)
If the grass's "colour" can be converted to an objective measurement: Say "530nm" (the measureable wavelength of "green" light.) Then... this can be observed and measured by all. This is what the grass is, under the conditions of the measurement Some might call 530nm green, others may call 530nm blue... but everyone agrees that the measurement is 530nm.
If we take multiple measurements across vast amounts of time, and the grass is always 530nm... this lends confidence to the following assumptions: The grass "was 530nm" before we measured it The grass "will remain 530nm" after we measure it The grass "was always" 530nm and we only identified it at some point and became aware of it
-whatever part of that you want to call "information" doesn't really matter -the grass is what it is -our measurement of the grass is what it is -our perception of the grass (individually or in groups) is what it is -our perceptions and measurements always include certain assumptions and it's wise for us to not confuse such assumptions with the grass "being whatever it is."
Not sure if this is applicable to math/information/reality-of-the-universe-as-studied-by-physicists (they're so quirky!)... but it should be applicable to GDR/Tangle's conversation, I think.
I think that maybe you are saying is that what we arguing depends on our understanding of the term "information" and also that the argument is philosophical and not scientific.
I'm not sure if I'm saying anything other than what I said
...but this seems close enough for me to agree with - sure.
In my case I contend that information exists without the perception of sentient life.
If you're talking about the grass being "whatever colour it is" - then I agree. If you're talking about the grass being "530nm" - then I disagree (a human created what a "nm" is...) If you're talking about the grass being "green" - then I disagree (a majority collection of humans agreed on what we identify "green" is...) -which means that what you are talking about certainly depends on your definition of "information" -as that word can have various valid meanings to various people ("530nm" and "green" certainly are "information" - just not the kind you seem to be talking about here,) and this discussion is getting into specific details, I would suggest avoiding the word "information" and just explain the context you intend to be using instead
I would even say that it exists outside of our perceived universe. I would like to point out that if I am right it does NOT support any particular religious belief, nor does it preclude atheistic belief.
That I agree with, yes.
On the other hand, what it does do though is go against strict materialism. It does mean that there is something beyond the material world.
I don't understand this at all.
Why does grass being-what-it-is go against strict materialism? (not that I believe in strict materialism... but the question remains...) Isn't grass a material that fits directly within strict materialism? Why can't grass exist without sentient life perceiving it? If grass can exist without sentient life perceiving it - how does this lend credence to the idea that God might exist, or something that isn't strictly materialist? Don't you end up with the same issue as before: God may exist without anyone believing in Him, or He may not exist at all?
In some ways it is the same discussion about what is an idea. You can scan the brain of someone taking a walk, as they decide whether to turn right or left. You can observe the physical effects on the brain but you can't tell whether the walker decided right or left until they you actually see them turn.
I know enough about brain scans and decision making to not like this example. I also don't know enough about brain scans and decision making to explain why I don't like it.
...but if I can take a guess at what you're attempting to explain regardless of the example of it that I don't like... then I agree. With something. I guess