I agree that the question at the head of the thread betrays either a startling ignorance of the evolutionary explanation or is a failed attempt to mock it, so you are probably right to suggest that answering it in greater detail than has already been done will be of little advantage. Your suggestion that YECs are presuppositionalists interests me however. I suspect they are. And that they are not alone. Are you saying that scientists in the disciplines of physics, chemistry, geology and cosmology have found some epistemic foundation which involves no presuppositions? I don’t say that the philosophy of a scientist invalidates her research, but I doubt the intimation that scientific research is carried out in an unproved-assumption-free environment, or that scientists are able to keep their presuppositions from affecting all the conclusions that are reached. And no, I am not a YEC; I just think the philosophy of science is often overlooked, and scientists are not always willing to own their own presuppositions. And no, I am not a YEC.
Here is a non-sequiter that I’ll toss up for grabs – since humans share much more genetic code with chimps than with dogs, how come dogs are so much better at reading and responding to our facial expression, our moods, and even our gestures?
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add a blank line between paragraphs.
. . . and by non-sequiter I really meant non sequitur
dwise1, I think I saw the science show you describe - I found it quite amazing, and it helped to validate some of my experiences of apparent understanding between me and some dogs I've had.
Don't know the point of these musings, exactly, but if domestication is the answer for dogs, what happened to cats!? Haven't they been domesticated as long or almost as long as dogs? (Or is this a cat-person sort of blog???)
Are you distinguishing between actual presuppositions that have no basis in evidence and apparent presuppositions which are actually the conclusions reached by a couple centuries or more of observation and experimentation that form the fundamental bases of those sciences?
I was using the term as in “to suppose beforehand.” I see the distinction you are making, though I am not sure that one of them is actual and the other apparent. As long as the suppositions were prior to the main argument, I would think they would all be actual presuppositions. But that’s getting a little picky and likely pointless.
What I was suggesting is that essentially none of our knowledge can be proved without some recourse to circularity, including our observations of the world around us. I believe there is a fly on the window screen in front of me working his front legs in what seems like a taunt, but my evidence for that is based on the same sensory experience that I reported in the first place. I think all I can say in this case without presupposing that my perception is correct is some nonsense about being appeared to flyly. Even so, I think I know there was a fly there a minute ago because my eyesight has been demonstrated to correspond to reality in most conditions like the present ones. But I cannot prove it.
In the case of the scientific disciplines, it appears to me that the methods used have a pretty respectable degree of validity, but no claim to final certainty or enshrinement in the Temple of Truth for several reasons. One, as I’ve been prattling on about, the evidence for the reliability of the scientific method comes from where? The scientific method. Two, the nature of our knowledge gained by experimentation is always contingent. Advances often come at the expense of the previous paradigm (and often over the determined resistance of the old guardians who have so much invested in it). Also, there is often epistemic encroachment from the researcher into research – and how could it be otherwise? Were we talking about presuppositions?
There, not nearly as interesting as Garrison Keillor, but I did finally manage to make my story come back around to the beginning.