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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils and quote mining
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1375 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 11 of 210 (524124)
09-14-2009 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by RAZD
09-12-2009 11:53 AM


Re: not just fundamentalists though ...
Good post, except, the rote learning must not have worked very well on you...

(in 1776 Columbus sailed the ocean blue...)

If he did, he was definitely in no shape to actually be the captain. And he wouldn't have discovered anything, though he may have been able to be the courier of a little, well-known document...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by RAZD, posted 09-12-2009 11:53 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 09-15-2009 11:12 PM Perdition has not yet responded

    
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1375 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 134 of 210 (525700)
09-24-2009 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by Arphy
09-24-2009 4:07 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
When we see things like fossils in the ground one could come up with a nearly infinite number of reasons as to how they got there

One of the tenets of science is parsimony. You may have heard it called Occam's Razor. This means, if you have two competing explanations for a phenomenon, more often than not, the answer is the one that presupposes fewer agents with little supporting evidence.

For example, it is technically a possibility that fossils are the result of aliens placing them in the ground, but if we accept that as the probable answer, we are left trying to explain these aliens, and since we have no evidence for them, we're kind of up a creek.

The most parsimonious answer is that it's a natural process, and that the patterns we see are real and are an indicator of what really happened. Until this answer is disproven, we have no reason to suppose other agents and beings, since they are not necessary. If this answer does get shown to be wrong, then the next parsimonious answer would be the answer that presuppopses more agents than the one we were using, but less than others...or the one with an agent for which we have evidence.


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1375 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 148 of 210 (526011)
09-25-2009 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Arphy
09-25-2009 4:31 AM


Not necessarily.

Since a natural explanation neither requires nor assumes any extraneous entity or agent, then by definition, it is the most parsimonious. If you assume gods or aliens or time travellers, you then have to define those entities, find evidence of them, explain from where they came and how. Considering a complete lack of evidence in them, it seems premature, at best, to accept a proposition as true that requires their presence.

Can this lead to an incorrect idea being held as true? Sure, and in fact it has. However, more often than not, it leads to the correct answer. So, for me (or most "evolutionsists") to change our minds and accept a theory that requires some agent or entity for it to work, we will ask for evidence that this entity or agent exists, or at least some evidence that our current non-entity requiring theory can't be right. We've been asking for 150 years collectively, and myself for at least 20, and I have not been shown any.

If you guys think that this does not apply to evolution, that it is somehow exempt from any presuppositions then this just becomes undebateable.

You're right, evolution rests of presuppositions and axioms. These presuppositions are:

1) What we see in the world is, in fact, an accurate reflection of reality.

2) Logic is a valid method for deriving conclusions.

3) The scientific method is a valid method for deriving conclusions where pure logic does not work. (The scientific method itself rests largely on premise 2, but that's sort of beside the point.)

4) Occam's Razor is a valid method for determining which, of competing explanations, is most worthy of looking into. (Again, this rests largely on 2, but there it is.)

If you have a problem with any of these presuppositions, please feel free to debate them...though a new thread may be called for.

If you believe that there is a premise I missed that evolution requires, please feel free to add it. Again, it may cause debate, so a new thread may be required.


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1375 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 152 of 210 (527736)
10-02-2009 1:39 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by Arphy
10-02-2009 6:50 AM


If you take the attitude that natural explanations are the most parsimonious, and are constantly hoping for that elusive naturalistic explanation for abiogenesis, then i don't think this is exactly a good example of occam's razor.

A naturalistic explanation is, by definition, the most parsimonious. It assumes the least number of external agents, namely zero. What you can quibble about is whether the most parsimonious answer is a sufficient answer. Most scientists, and most of your opponents here, have come to the conclusion that, while we are not aware of the full explanation yet, what we're finding is that it is probably sufficient. We're also applying inductive reasoning, which we know to be not quite logical, however, we do it every day with amazing success. Everytime we've had a question for which one group wanted to apply a supernatural answer, we've found a natural one. Based on that track record, it seems reasonable to keep riding the champion until the upstart actually beats it in one race. Is it possible we'll find a question where the supernatural is the only answer? Sure, but it's irrational to assume that point is here until we've exhausted all other avenues.

Well that's just great. You do realise from where these presuppositions historically come from? That's right, from scientists who had a biblical worldview.

Yep, I agree here, too. But, those scientists followed these axioms and developed naturalistic explanations for things once attributed to the gods. WHat that shows is the power of these axioms to override biases and presuppositions. Why would we turn our back on a method with such a great track record?

So yes there are some presuppositions that you have left out. Unfortunatly, you don't seem to want to talk about those.

I'm more than willing to talk about them, as I said in my post, bring them here if you can think of any and we'll debate them or add them to the list. Again, what I have on the list so far:

Perdition writes:


1) What we see in the world is, in fact, an accurate reflection of reality.

2) Logic is a valid method for deriving conclusions.

3) The scientific method is a valid method for deriving conclusions where pure logic does not work. (The scientific method itself rests largely on premise 2, but that's sort of beside the point.)

4) Occam's Razor is a valid method for determining which, of competing explanations, is most worthy of looking into. (Again, this rests largely on 2, but there it is.)


This message is a reply to:
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