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Author Topic:   The lack of empirical evidence for the theory of evolution, according to Faith.
Lammy
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 3607
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 1 of 138 (196836)
04-05-2005 3:27 AM


In another thread, Faith made an off-topic comment, which I thought was a pretty cheap shot at her opponents without having to explain herself.

Faith writes:

And what's ironic about this is that the ToE is not based on empirical evidence.

Because it wasn't exactly what we were talking about, noone could expect her to present her case even if she wanted to. This thread is intended for Faith, and her fellow creationists, to present the case that the theory of evolution is not based on empirical evidence.

{Hey admin, it would probably be best to put this thread under "Is it science?" section. However, any place is fine with me.}

This message has been edited by Admin, 04-12-2005 09:37 AM


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by commike37, posted 04-05-2005 11:31 PM Lammy has responded
 Message 30 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 5:56 PM Lammy has not yet responded

    
AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 138 (196985)
04-05-2005 4:01 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
commike37
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 138 (197125)
04-05-2005 11:31 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Lammy
04-05-2005 3:27 AM


In another thread, Faith made an off-topic comment, which I thought was a pretty cheap shot at her opponents without having to explain herself.

To me, it almost sound like you're using part of the post to return this "cheap shot" with one of your own.

But moving on to the topic, I don't think you could argue that any piece of empirical evidence supports evolution or any theory. Evolution is simply an interpretation of empiricical evidence, and ID is another. Pure empiricical evidence is inherently neutral by itself. What matters is interpretation, and intrepretation was a key component of Darwin's theory of evolution.

quote:

Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1291#faq4a
Furthermore, much of the research on intelligent design involves interpreting previous findings from the fields of biology, cosmology, physics, geology, and chemistry, and seeing how it fits under an intelligent design hypothesis. The reader should be reminded that when Darwin published Origin of Species back in 1859, Darwin himself had done very little research directly related to evolutionary biology. Rather, he reinterpreted the knowledge of biologists at that time under a different paradigm--the paradigm of evolution.

Now this quote later goes on to show us how ID scientists are reinterpretting existing empirical evidence under the ID paradigm, but the idea here is moreso that scientific theories are paradigms to interpret empirical evidence, rather than actual scientific facts. There was a time where the paradigm of Newtoninan mechanics was assumed to be ultimate explanation for the motion of all objects (which seemed reasonable at the time), but the discovery of the quantum world forced a new paradigm to emerge to explain this world (and to date there has not been a good paradigm which unites the two worlds). The idea here is that even solid theories like Newtonian mechanics can have discrepencies and problems, and that paradigms are not as scientifically sound as actual empirical evidence.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Lammy, posted 04-05-2005 3:27 AM Lammy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by crashfrog, posted 04-05-2005 11:47 PM commike37 has responded
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 138 (197127)
04-05-2005 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by commike37
04-05-2005 11:31 PM


But moving on to the topic, I don't think you could argue that any piece of empirical evidence supports evolution or any theory.

Theoretically, given any evidence, you could devise an infinite number of competing theories to explain it.

But the scientific method is a process for determining which of those theories is "best"; and when a given collection of evidence has only one "best" explanation, that evidence supports that theory, and no other, scientifically speaking.

Now this quote later goes on to show us how ID scientists are reinterpretting existing empirical evidence under the ID paradigm

And because they're using a theory that is worse, according to that scientific process I referred to, what they're doing isn't science.


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Replies to this message:
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Lammy
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 3607
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 5 of 138 (197130)
04-05-2005 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by commike37
04-05-2005 11:31 PM


commike writes:

To me, it almost sound like you're using part of the post to return this "cheap shot" with one of your own.


Please, do explain.
This message is a reply to:
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commike37
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 138 (197132)
04-06-2005 12:04 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Lammy
04-05-2005 11:55 PM


The comment about her making a cheap shot didn't really contribute much. Allow me to provide you with an alternative wording which gets the same point across in a much friendlier way:

In another thread, Faith made this comment.

faith writes:


And what's ironic about this is that the ToE is not based on empirical evidence.


Because it wasn't exactly what we were talking about, I've created this thread for Faith, and others, to present the case that the theory of evolution is not based on empirical evidence.

This message is a reply to:
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Lammy
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 3607
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 7 of 138 (197136)
04-06-2005 12:12 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by commike37
04-06-2005 12:04 AM


Ok, last post from me about this, I swear. Although I understand why you think my comment was a cheap shot, I assure you that it came from pure frustration rather than malice.

Faith, and many others (mainly creationists) tend to make cheap shot comments as they go along and when someone asks them to support they either disappear for a few days or say "it's off-topic..."

Take the homosexuality and the bible issue, for example. We regularly see comments like "the bible condemns homosexuality..." and the likes from people. However, whenever I bump up a thread specifically for them to explain why they think the bible condemns homosexuality, we almost always get zero replies. When we do get some replies, they are mostly from either crackpots or immature teenagers who think they can outsmart a college professor.

The comments about evolution is the same thing. Faith is notorious for making cheap comments about things she disagrees with in posts not related to those topics. It is not because I disagree with her comments but because she really needs to start putting her comments in the appropriate threads. Otherwise, I could make a claim about god being a total nutcase in a science forum and refuse to back up that claim because it is a theology comment. Get my drift?

Ok, sorry for the interruption. We now return to our regular broadcast.


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commike37
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 138 (197139)
04-06-2005 12:21 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
04-05-2005 11:47 PM


Before I go into specifics, let me say that your post presents a very narrow view which seems to make a good case for censorship and limiting free academic thought.

Theoretically, given any evidence, you could devise an infinite number of competing theories to explain it.

But the scientific method is a process for determining which of those theories is "best"; and when a given collection of evidence has only one "best" explanation, that evidence supports that theory, and no other, scientifically speaking.


How could it be possible to make progress in science then? We once believed in a geocentric solar system, and before evolution was invented, another theory predated evolution that was superior to evolution until evolution gained more recognition. How could these old theories (especially the geocentric solar system) become outdated under your view? How could the heliocentric view, which was at one time inferior, overtake the geliocentric view if it was considered unscientific? It has to make an impossible quantum leap from unscientific (because it's inferior) to scientifically superior. Especially critical is how Origin of Species could be considered unscientific because it was at one time part of an inferior theory.

And because they're using a theory that is worse, according to that scientific process I referred to, what they're doing isn't science.

You're running an inherent contradiction here. If a theory is a worse form of science, then that means the scientific method has been used with less success to support this theory. However, the premise is that the scientific method was used, so even if the science may not have been as good, it's still science. You can't equate bad science with being unscientific.

Also, no scientific theory is perfect. Newtonian mechanics can't explain the quantum world, and vice-versa. Likewise, there may be holes in evolution that ID can explain, and holes in ID that evolution can explain. Until you can find a scientific theory which has no holes, alternative theories must be considered, and empirical evidence needs to be reexamined.

This message has been edited by commike37, 04-05-2005 11:22 PM


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 138 (197145)
04-06-2005 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by commike37
04-06-2005 12:21 AM


Before I go into specifics, let me say that your post presents a very narrow view which seems to make a good case for censorship

Hey, talk about wrong stuff all you like. Just don't expect anyone to take it seriously.

How could it be possible to make progress in science then?

The evidence changes over time. Thanks to new technologies and techniques we make observations that we couldn't make before; the evidence expands and the "best" theory required to explain it changes.

How could these old theories (especially the geocentric solar system) become outdated under your view?

By new observations.

However, the premise is that the scientific method was used, so even if the science may not have been as good, it's still science.

How does that make any sense? That's like saying "I used the truth to refute a lie; therefore the lie became true."

You can't equate bad science with being unscientific.

Can't equate them? They're the same thing. Not being valid science and not being science are the same condition. Just because I use the scientific tmethod to distingush good theory from bad doesn't make the bad theory any less worse.

Until you can find a scientific theory which has no holes, alternative theories must be considered, and empirical evidence needs to be reexamined.

It only needs to be reexamined when new evidence comes to light. Until then, what's the point? Unless you have a new, superior interpretation that no one has thought of before, which you don't, there's no need to revisit conclusions until the scope of the evidence you used to make them changes.


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commike37
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 138 (197153)
04-06-2005 2:03 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by crashfrog
04-06-2005 12:50 AM


1. You're still missing the point of a quantum leap that is required to change theories. If we continues under the viewpoint that theory A is the best and all others are unscientific, we create a lock-in effect. Whenever new evidence comes to light, naturally we will tend to consider it through the dominant paradigm.
[qs]http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1163
Essentially, Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions[/i] explains, scientists operate under a “paradigm,” which is an overarching theory that provides a framework for interpreting data, performing experiments, and doing further research. Paradigms are typically unquestioned, and reign over thinking in science much like the established law reigns over a system of courts. [/qs]
Since all other theories are unscientific, people will much rather adapt new evidence to the current paradigm rather than consider a new one. For example, the QWERTY keyboard isn't the most efficient one, but it's so ingrained into our society that it is locked in even though it's not the more efficient keyboard. This lock-in effect happens in science as well.
Switching paradigms doesn’t simply require these scientists to change their thinking, but to recommit the entire structure of the scientific community, and to call into question the life work of many researchers. This “retooling” is very costly, and also goes against a lifetime of thinking by many researchers. Needless to say, Kuhn finds that before new ideas take hold that challenge the old, but dominant paradigm, they are often met with great skepticism and opposition from members of the scientific community.

Therefore, if you consider all other theories unscientific, this will naturally give them a greater barrier to overcome, and the "lock-in" effect will substantially hinder scientific progress. This "lock-in" create de facto censorship and limitation of free academic thought. As a result, we need to be more open to other scientific paradigms to better promote progress in science. The key to this is differentiating between empirical evidence and paradigms which explain the evidence, and treating them separately.

2. There's still a distinction between "bad" science and being unscientific. You're running an eithor/or logical fallacy here, saying that either it has be the best theory or its unscientific. The whole idea that "there may be holes in evolution that ID can explain, and holes in ID that evolution can explain" is that certain theories can have specific advantages to them. Just because one theory has more holes doesn't mean that the entire theory as a whole should be discredited. Also, paradigms for explaining the world with empirical evidence are not as factual as the empirical evidence itself, so it certainly is legitimate to reexamine paradigms even without new evidence.


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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15034
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 11 of 138 (197159)
04-06-2005 2:44 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by commike37
04-05-2005 11:31 PM


If you really reject the idea that empirical evidence can support a theory you are rejecting science. So that claim can be laid to rest.

As for the IDEAcentre FAQ it leads this section by claiming a significant amount of published work supporting ID:


I witnessed numerous researchers who presented papers on protein specificity, and using Dembski's explanatory filter, found thatmany biological systems bear exceedingly high levels of complex and specified information,implying they are the result of design. All of these presenters presented their own lab research which they personally conducted.

However the fact is that even if these results were presented at an ID conference how many have been published to the wider world ? More than 2 years later, how many can you even name, let alone where the work has been published ? If this research even exists, it has not been published in scientific journals or even - excepting Dembski's failed attempt at the flagellum - in ID sources. So how can it count against a claim that ID has not produced original research published in scientific journals ?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 138 (197160)
04-06-2005 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by commike37
04-06-2005 2:03 AM


You're still missing the point of a quantum leap that is required to change theories. If we continues under the viewpoint that theory A is the best and all others are unscientific, we create a lock-in effect. Whenever new evidence comes to light, naturally we will tend to consider it through the dominant paradigm.

Usually, yes. And it generally takes a lot of new evidence for us to shift that paradigm. It took decades between the discovery of Mercury's unexplainable orbit and the replacement of Newtonian mechanics that followed

But obviously it happened. So paradigms aren't bulletproof. Your way is too chaotic, you'd have paradigms overturning every time you opened the latest issue of Nature. It'd be impossible to accomplish scientific research, in any meaningful way, under those conditions.

Since all other theories are unscientific, people will much rather adapt new evidence to the current paradigm rather than consider a new one.

Yes. This is a known situation in science. It's been working great for years. So?

Therefore, if you consider all other theories unscientific, this will naturally give them a greater barrier to overcome, and the "lock-in" effect will substantially hinder scientific progress.

Never has, in centuries of scientific progress.

There's still a distinction between "bad" science and being unscientific.

If there is, I don't see it.

You're running an eithor/or logical fallacy here, saying that either it has be the best theory or its unscientific.

No, I'm following the scientific methodology, which, among other things, prefers the best theory to inferior ones. If you prefer the inferior theory to the better one, then you're no longer following the scientific methodology, and therefore, you're no longer doing science.

Also, paradigms for explaining the world with empirical evidence are not as factual as the empirical evidence itself, so it certainly is legitimate to reexamine paradigms even without new evidence.

Sure, once or twice. What could possibly be the purpose of doing it over and over and over again, every time some crank on the internet tells you to?


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3983 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 13 of 138 (197192)
04-06-2005 4:51 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by commike37
04-06-2005 2:03 AM


Hi ho, is this going to be another drive by, or are you going to stick around and respond? You have some responses waiting for you in other threads.

In any case, here is my response to you here...

If we continues under the viewpoint that theory A is the best and all others are unscientific, we create a lock-in effect. Whenever new evidence comes to light, naturally we will tend to consider it through the dominant paradigm.

It is not that all others are unscientific simply because theory A happens to be our current best model. How others use evidence for their construction will determine if alternative theories are "scientific" in the context of modern science. That's how people work on alternative theories. However, holding on to an alternative theory and talking about a theory which is NOT the best theory as if it must be viewed as equal or better, despite it not even coming close is unscientific.

Thus there are two criteria that determine the "scientific soundness" of an alternate theory and the actions of those promoting it:

1) Following scientific methodology in constructing and researching the theory
2) Explanation of theory to others, including how that explanation advances understanding of scientific methodology.

ID fails on both counts. Even if wholly valid in methodology for research (which it isn't as Dembski himself asks for a return to "old" scientific methodology) it is still without question an incomplete theory. Thus it would be wholly unscientific to claim it is a working theory.

Yet they not only do this, but are using it to spearhead political efforts to block the teaching of the lead scientific theory. They cry "teach the controversy" without actually addressing the biggest one there is: ID is not a complete theory and so is not an alternative, much less a viable alternative to evolution. Even if there were as many flaws with Evo as IDists claim, Evo is still the best current model we have for the evidence.

Can you admit this?

As it stands there is somewhat of a "lock-in" effect within science. As evidence is viewed the best model is often the one data is initially viewed through. However, and this is what breaks out the "lock-in" effect, as data defies being viewed through that paradigm, or another paradigm explains the data better, the initial better model, can changed.

The beauty of this is that science has changed models all the time. This is an interesting aspect of ID theorists. At the same time they claim that ID is another revolutionary paradigm like happened in the past, they claim that science is too rigid and will prevent their theory from coming forward. That is a contradictory position which betrays the actual intent of ID theorists. It is not that they are concerned that it be accepted by science, it is that they want it recognized as a "revolutionary paradigm" capable of overthrowing evolution right now.

Dembski's writings are so egocentric on this point, it borders on the megalomaniacal.

The whole idea that "there may be holes in evolution that ID can explain, and holes in ID that evolution can explain" is that certain theories can have specific advantages to them. Just because one theory has more holes doesn't mean that the entire theory as a whole should be discredited.

1) ID both accepts portions of the ToE and other times rejects the entirety of it. This deends on the writer. How does this fit with an idea that evo and ID can work somehow hand in hand? It appears ID has yet to make up its mind whether it is to fill gaps evolutionary theory has, or replace it entirely.

2) Trying to argue a similarity between Newton-Einstein and ToE-ID is almost patently absurd. The former deals with different environments and showing how one is simply a set of another larger model. The latter is covering the exact same material and offers completely different conclusions.

3) The theory with more holes is not necessarily discredited as a possibility, but it is discredited as an equal alternative as best scientific model. Right? This is the crux of the problem scientists have with ID. Current ID theorists have jumped from a logical possibility to an equal alternative everyone must be made aware of, and issues within the evolutionary model exploited as "problems" pointing to its demise rather than fields of ongoing research which might produce excellent results.

it certainly is legitimate to reexamine paradigms even without new evidence.

Absolutely. What is not legitimate is to be creating lines of books and videos stating it is a legitimate theory somehow on par with the current best model science has, as well as pushing it into home-school curricula en masse, as well as public schools by legal fiat.

You know the difference between Newton-Einstein and ToE-ID? Einstein didn't get his views forced on school systems by contacting his religious-aligned congressmen to draft legislation, nor convincing nonscience majors running school boards that they need to get more of it in the classroom.

Big difference. ID is not moving in a very scientific manner.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
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paisano
Member (Idle past 4586 days)
Posts: 459
From: USA
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 14 of 138 (197230)
04-06-2005 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Silent H
04-06-2005 4:51 AM


There was a time where the paradigm of Newtoninan mechanics was assumed to be ultimate explanation for the motion of all objects (which seemed reasonable at the time), but the discovery of the quantum world forced a new paradigm to emerge to explain this world (and to date there has not been a good paradigm which unites the two worlds).

Oh, this is just totally wrong. If you'd studied physics at the graduate level, the first semester classical mechanics course is largely devoted to the Hamilton-Jacobi formulation of classical mechanics, and how Hamiltonian operators connect to classical and quantum mechanics.

Sorry, meant to reply to the original poster of the above remark...Post 3 I think.

This message has been edited by paisano, 04-06-2005 10:05 AM

This message has been edited by paisano, 04-06-2005 10:07 AM


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6617
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 15 of 138 (197238)
04-06-2005 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by paisano
04-06-2005 11:04 AM


Actually, I have studied physics at the graduate level, and I see no inaccuracies in this particular statement by the writer of post 3.

Edited to correct the attibution of paisano's quote. I will admit, though, that the writer of post 3 doesn't seem to quite understand Kuhn's paradigm theory.

This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 04-06-2005 10:39 AM


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