It's a matter of honest seeing, as I said But that isn't going to happen is it?
Tell them specifically what it is that you want them to see, Faith.
Percy and Faith are both correct, they're just using 2 different contexts for the word "honestly."
If anyone saw things the way Percy "honestly" sees things, they will be forced to agree with Percy. If anyone saw things the way Faith "honestly" sees things, they will be forced to agree with Faith.
Both of these statements are true, using their intended context of the word "honestly."
The issue is that the two contexts are extremely different.
Percy's context of the word "honestly:" Very similar (if not exactly the same) as the colloquial usage. Percy is talking about looking at reality, and seeing where the information (evidence) leads us using the lens of as-objective-as-possible-based-on-the-information-available. Any and all information that can be understood to match reality must be accounted for. Any and all information that cannot currently be verified against reality may be ignored or labeled as "to be explained later" by future information.
Faith's context of the word "honestly:" Based on the Bible, as interpreted by Faith and the scholars she respects. Faith is talking about looking at reality, and seeing where the information (evidence) leads us using the lens of as-subjectively-interpreting-it-to-match-with-the-never-wrong-Bible-as-subjectively-interpreted-by-Faith. Any and all information that can be understood to match the Bible (as interpreted by Faith and the scholars she respects) must be accounted for. Any and all information that cannot currently be verified against the Bible (as interpreted by Faith and the scholars she respects) may be ignored or labeled as "to be explained later" by future information.
If you use those two different contexts of the word "honestly" for the respective participants, then both sides of the ping-pong match most certainly are being honest and correct, and anyone who looks at the same information "honestly" (using the same context as the respective participant) will be forced to come to the same conclusion.
It is up to the reader (or, perhaps, another thread) to choose which context of "honesty" they personally feel more aligned with.
Percy's context (in this statement, not as a person in general) revolves around the "honest interpretation of reality." Faith's context revolves around the "honest interpretation of the Bible."
Remember that, and read their statements again using those two distinct contexts and you'll see that they are both being absolutely truthful and honest in their respective contexts. The idea that they both think everyone should see things their way is the issue. If everyone should see thing one way... and there are 2 (or more) differing ideas... then there will be a "right way" and a "wrong way" perceived by each participant.
Personally, for this context, I completely agree with Percy. But it's not difficult to understand Faith.
For the record, let's define precisely what evidence is and is not. Can everyone list their interpretation of the definition?
1. A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment: The broken window was evidence that a burglary had taken place. Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis
Much of our disagreement concerning evolution vs creationism focuses on what evidence is and is not. As for my own definition of evidence? In a Forum such as this, much of my perception of evidence relies on the character of the one posting, coupled with the argument that they lay out. If the argument makes sense, I will consider that to be subjective evidence.
Personally, I don't think such a thing as "subjective evidence" exists.
That is, I don't agree with Buzsaw's definition. Not that I think it's wrong, just that I think it's incomplete. I think it necessarily requires a mention that the "thing or things" that are helpful can also be objectively verified against reality.
Without that... you could say that a dream I had was evidence my friends were going to get married. To me, that's simply not true. Dreams are not evidence of things since they're wrong about reality a lot more than they're right. Therefore, when they're right, I would call it a "coincidence" more than "evidence."
This isn't to say that I ignore the things you call "subjective evidence." I still certainly take them into account. I simply call them "things that could be right, or could be wrong." "Evidence," to me, is never something that could be right or could be wrong... it's factual and reliable.
And I certainly do "form conclusions and judgments" on things that could be right or could be wrong all the time. We have to on a daily basis to get through the hours efficiently. I simply do not confuse the two things.
There are some things I form conclusions on based on things that could be right or could be wrong. These things I hold extremely tentatively and am easily persuaded to change my mind faced with some "more factual" information.
There are other things I form conclusions on based on actual evidence. These things I hold much less tentatively and will only be persuaded to change my mind if I can understood how "more factual" information explains my previous situations as-well-as current situation that are not-explainable by my previous conclusions/evidence.
Don't let that fool you into thinking there are only 2 types of conclusions I make either. Those are the ends of a spectrum, really. There are many, many different conclusions I make based on a variety of "evidence" and "things that could be right or could be wrong." The level of tentatively I hold on each of those decisions depends on how much "evidence" they're based on vs. how much "could be right, could be wrong" stuffs.
And, of course, I can be wrong about things I think are "evidence" vs. "things I think could be wrong..." which adds even more confusion
But, just having the integrity to go over previously-held-ideas with all the information now available will get you through all the confusion without the need to worry even the slightest.
If you do, actually, form conclusions in this manner... it really does make for a very stress-free life. At least, it does for me
I'm sorry, but this kind of dismissal is not honest if done knowingly.
I completely agree.
There is certainly some sort of notion about "honest discussion" that involves understanding the possibility of contextual differences and making an effort in order to "get on the same page" so that proper points of contention can be discussed.
Faith certainly seems to actively try to shy away and hide from these differences in order to pretend they don't exist (for whatever reason, likely only known to her if known at all) as opposed to trying to get to the bottom of things together. This is shown by her inability to follow through with any step-by-step examples I've tried to go through with her. She abandoned my examples showing how strata layers form in one thread, and abandoned my examples showing how genetic variation can increase in another thread.
Honest discussion should hold "mutual understanding" as a high priority (perhaps the highest?) Where Faith's discussions don't seem to move in this direction. Faith seems to hold "unquestioningly agreeing with Faith" to be one of her high priorities.
The rest of this post is just me rambling about the psychologist's dream that is Faith
Every discussion she ever has, though, can be completely understood if you hold the Bible-as-interpreted-by-Faith to be your lens-of-reality for where even "honesty" comes from. That is, the word "honesty" doesn't even have an agreed-upon definition by the participants.
Faith's idea of "honest discussion" would not include mutual understanding and the possibility of different ideas. Her idea of "honest discussion" means something more along the lines of "if this discussion doesn't agree with how I interpret the Bible, then it's not honest at all." That's the problem with focusing all parts of your life on Jesus, or the Bible or any single thing really (not even necessarily religion). You lose the ability to communicate with anything outside you're own tiny, fragmented box. Because your language doesn't even contain the same definitions.
We all have words that describe the ideas of "religion" or "non-religion" or "that religion" or "this religion." Faith does not. She (effectively) has two ideas: "My religion" and "wrong."
That lens focuses everything. She can't understand the concept of "objectivity" because it falls into the "wrong" category not foundational in her Bible.
The way you and I cannot understand the concept of "ghosts" because it falls into the "unknown" category of reality.
We can talk about ghosts. We can draw one and you'll understand that "it's a ghost." But, because they're not real... we both understand that "ghost" has no definitive definition. That sort of "non-defined-idea" is understood by both of us.
This is how Faith is with words like "objectivity" and (the colloquial usage of the word) "honesty."
She can talk about the concepts, and say "I understand them perfectly!" But as ghosts are un-definable to us, these concepts are equally un-definable for Faith as she "knows" they don't exist according to her religion.
The difference is that Faith (and the few others in her religion) are the only ones that think this way. They can talk to each other just fine because they all have the same "non-defined-idea" about the same things.
However you and I have very different "non-defined-ideas" than Faith does.
This makes discussion between the two entirely difficult. Words like "objective" or "honest" or "true" simply do not have the same meaning to us as they do to Faith. Not in the sense that they mean something different... but more in the sense that to us they "are defined" but to Faith they are a "non-defined-idea." This is what leads them to meaning something different... but on an even more fundamental level.
In order to actually talk about something, we would have to specify everything to the minute detail... every time. Something that becomes extremely verbose (such as my posts ) and most people simply don't read them, including Faith
Instead of saying "if you honestly look at the fossil record.." you would have to say: "If you look at the fossil record under the idea that things were placed by natural mechanisms..." you will run into the real answer to Faith's issues. She doesn't think the fossil record was placed by "natural mechanisms" she thinks it was placed by a God-inspired-world-wide-Flood which may use some "natural mechanisms" to place things that can be verified by her interpretation of the Bible... but it may also use "supernatural mechanisms" or perhaps "natural mechanisms we do not yet understand" to place things that cannot be verified by her interpretation of the Bible.
I think that represents a severe misunderstanding of Faith's claims.
Perhaps, Faith is really the only one who knows such a thing.
Faith does not insist that some supernatural mechanism happened to produce the order in the fossil record - indeed, such a claim would be ad hoc and still be insufficient to turn the fossil record into evidence of the Flood.
I agree. That's why I put in the part about 'or perhaps "natural mechanisms we do not yet understand" to place things that cannot be verified by her interpretation of the Bible.' which she's talked about many times.
Perhaps I should have put more (all?) emphasis on the last part and less (none?) on the first part about supernatural mechanisms.
The point, however, was to show how she defines things "honestly" or "objectively" based on how they fit according-to-her-interpretation-with-her-Bible as opposed to "against reality."
Which, really, is the only severe misunderstanding going on around here...
So really all we have is Faith making obvious excuses - which an honest assessment would see as hopelessly implausible - to reject a very strong piece of evidence against her views.
I completely agree. I just used different words and a longer, much more round-about explanation of the situation.
Except that isn't really any better. There is no reason to think that any natural sorting mechanism should arrange for all trilobites, from the largest to the smallest, should end up before the Triassic, or to think that the huge variety of (non-avian) dinosaurs should be only found in Triassic to Cretaceous - emphasised by the fact that the Great marine reptiles such as icthyosaurs appear within that period, yet none of the marine mammals do.
You're absolutely right.
Faith's ideas are not reasonable, or logical nor do they align with what we know of reality in any way.
However, she does defend them by making sure they align with her interpretation of her Bible. And she does defend any notion of "but that doesn't happen in reality!" by saying the natural explanation for how it aligns perfectly with her Bible simply isn't known yet.
...which is all I was saying.
If you said that is how Faith effectively defined them I would agree.
Good. Because that's the only thing I'm saying in these paragraphs you've been replying to
Perhaps my question is this: Is there more than one definition of evidence, and is it possible that reality is not what it seems?
Absolutely there's more than one definition of evidence. That is, in the sense that there's more than one definition for every word.
Jar's point stands though. It doesn't matter how many definitions exist for evidence.
The idea is to have a word to describe objective, verifiable (against reality) information that can be relied upon to make tentative conclusions. Things that have been tested. Things that work for you, me and everyone or anyone.
The word originally intended for this sort of idea, and used by scientists everywhere, is "evidence."
However, colloquial usage of the word in everyday contexts has sort of shifted it slightly more to the realm of "anything that supports an intended goal."
That is, Joe Blow might say that gum on his shoe is evidence that he's having a bad day. Where a scientist would say that gum on his shoe is evidence that he stepped in gum earlier.
Regardless of the bastardized everyday usage of the word, though... when we're talking about something like the possibility of the flood, and you're trying to understand the reality behind something... the word evidence really should only be used in the scientific sense.
If not, it only adds confusion, and now we need another word to mean "objective, verifiable (against reality) information that can be relied upon to make tentative conclusions."
The word 'evidence' itself (like most words) is merely a placeholder short-form for a specific idea.
It's the idea that's important. It's just much more efficient to say the word "evidence" then writing all that out every time. Alternative definitions for the word 'evidence' are irrelevant. There is no "alternative idea" that replaces "objective, verifiable (against reality) information that can be relied upon to make tentative conclusions" which is the best way we have currently been able to come up with to understand reality as best we can.
Any prolonged contention about the definition of "evidence" is really a discussion about the method in which we use to understand reality as best we can. If you think "science" is second place to... anything... in this sense, then the computer you're using to read this says hi.