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Author Topic:   The Methods of Historical Science to demystify the process for the public:
jar
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From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 1 of 26 (834182)
05-31-2018 8:10 PM


Perhaps a topic on what the methods of Historical Science really are:

The Past is the Key to the present.

The Present is the Key to the past.

The Past and the Present are the Keys to the future

Three very simple, very easy to understand concepts that were developed initially during the Scottish Enlightenment but perhaps their very simplicity and clarity conceals the power and importance inherent.

If we look at an old object and compare that to many new objects we will find greater similarities between the old object and those new objects produced by a particular combination of known physical processes, procedures, mechanisms, methods or models. It then is reasonable to tentatively assume the older object was created by those specific physical processes, procedures, mechanisms, methods or models. As we examine more and more old objects and find the same patterns repeating our confidence that we made a correct conclusion grows.

From those observations it is the reasonable to assume that for any particular combination of known physical processes, procedures, mechanisms, methods or models we should see the same sort of object or artifact produced in the future. Once again, as the number of such observations grow the confidence in the outcome increases.

Far from being some attempt to mystify the subject or confuse the public, the methods of Historical Science are created and designed to demystify both the past and future.


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Message 2 of 26 (834184)
05-31-2018 8:34 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the The Methods of Historical Science to demystify the process for the public: thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 3 of 26 (834203)
06-01-2018 6:49 AM


Superposition
Another method used by Historical Science, particularly in geology, paleontology & archeology, that is designed to demystify the process is Superposition. It simply says that if there is a series of layers of some substance the bottom layers were put down before the top layers unless there are clear signs that the order was later changed.

This does not say that the material of an upper layer must be younger than a lower layer, just that the layer itself will be younger. That has to be true if you stop to think about it. Erosion and weathering combined with gravity and air or water transportation will remove really old material from high spots and carry it down to put on top of what may well be much younger material.

As we dig a hole we are moving back in time, usually only very short periods of time but often tens of thousands of years.


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 4 of 26 (834241)
06-01-2018 5:03 PM


Inclusion.
Often we find samples of rocks that have bits and pieces of other rocks of different types inside them. The pieces parts that are included in the larger sample must have existed before the larger sample was created.

An observation sometimes made is the the pieces parts are sometimes the remnants of once living things so the once living things existed before the larger object was created.


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 5 of 26 (834276)
06-02-2018 8:46 AM


Intrusion
Kinda sorta like Inclusion but totally different.

An Intrusion is a new object that is found in an older object; the intrusion must be newer than the original object. Examples would include lava or magma burning through an object. The intrusion will usually have a different composition than the original object and will often also change the properties of the older material in immediate contact with the intruding material.


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 6 of 26 (834296)
06-02-2018 5:12 PM


observed processes tell us more than hypothetical ones.
One advantage to real processes that can be observed over hypothetical processes is that by observing many different examples certain characteristics become clear. Swift violent floods leave a unique signature where in the recent past or the distant past and conclusions drawn based on the past observations have been born out in more recent events. The signature left by longer duration less violent floods is again clear and repeatable but quite different than the violent sudden floods.

Different rocks wear and weather and erode differently and those differences can be documented and used as reference markers to date past events. There is always the possibility that the basic laws of the universe got changed on a whim but in some way that is not evident to any of the folk looking for such signs and so far we have not found any examples happening recently.

Hypothetical processes like the Biblical Flood have the advantage of being able to do the impossible and do the impossible really often. Even the Bible stories themselves can't get what they do record straight and leave out all the really hard to miss stuff like volcanoes and mountains rising and continents splitting and oceans opening.

But one of the biggest problems with the Hypothetical Biblical Flood is that not of the nations that were in existence before the flood even noticed it or changed their cultures and traditions and new replacement cultures from Central Casting were written into the script.

You would think that Egypt and Mesopotamia that both experienced regular pretty catastrophic floods would have recorded The BIG One. Well, the Mesopotamians may have since they did write a somewhat similar flood story long before the Biblical ones were created. But Egypt never noticed and suffered almost no damage from the Big One.

Yet folk love a good yarn and seem to be able to make up a history to fit every fantasy and that's it's strength.

Hypothetical processes do not have to leave evidence.

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 7 of 26 (834302)
06-02-2018 8:30 PM


hypothotical processes are usefull in making predictions.
Hypothetical processes are one of the essentials if science is to continue to advance. Way back in 2007 in a topic that asked How can Biologists believe in the ToE? I posted an example of a hypothetical.

quote:
I found it interesting that you brought up the Periodic Table, because it is a classic example of how science does work and why the Scientific Method (TOE) is far more likely to be right than ID or Biblical Creationism.

The important thing about Mendeleev's Table was that it had gaps and reordered many of the placements of elements in earlier attempts at creating a table. He took another series of steps based on the reasoning behind his arrangement and predicted two things; that when the elements he reordered were examined with greater precision the then accepted atomic weights for those elements would be found to be wrong; and that elements would be found to fill in his blanks and even what the properties of each of those elements would be.

I cannot overstate the importance of those actions. He presented a model that explained what was already known, and was also useful for making predictions about what would be learned in the future. In addition, as more was learned we found that the new elements discovered were exactly as he predicted and that the atomic weights of those he rearranged were as he predicted.

His model explained what was seen as well as what would be discovered. It went even further and provided the basis for us to create NEW elements, ones not found on earth, with a high degree of confidence of what their properties would be even before we created them.

The Periodic Table is a great example of why the TOE is valuable and ID and Biblical Creationism are worthless.

The value of the TOE has been in helping us understand what is seen, but in also providing the basis for future discoveries. What we have learned from the TOE has let us make predictions, and so far those predictions have been born out by each new discovery.

ID and Biblical Creationism have no predictive potential. There is nothing there to form our basis. A good example is in ID. When based on the evidence seen in living things it is pointed out that the I in ID should stand for Inept or Incompetent or Inelegant or Inscrutable or Ignorant we are told that we cannot know the Intent of the Designer. Well sorry, if we cannot know the Intent of the Designer then we cannot predict what the Designer will do. If that is the case then the ID concept is worthless.

The same argument is applicable to Biblical Creationism. The two (actually they are really just one) schools of thought are simply worthless.


About 200 years ago science presented the hypotheses that the Flood caused all the geology we see in existence or at least part of it. Like Mendelev they produced a series of results that would have to be true to support the idea of a world-wide major flood.

Since it was a sort term event lasting only about one year it should leave a very clear relatively thin band that had every critter that lived all jumbled up together. Since it was a water driven event the layer had to be either marine or inland riverine/reparian in nature.

Unfortunately what they found didn't support any of the hypotheticals and so rightly, the hypothesis that there had been a Biblical Flood was abandoned.


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 8 of 26 (834428)
06-05-2018 8:37 PM


Looking at recent history.
To see how modern surface become layers buried under ground we can look at modern history.

Visit any archeological dig and you will see folk carefully document depths and soils and objects found because as they go deeper that are looking at older and older surfaces; surfaces that got buried under newer top layers.

But how do they know that they were the surface in the past? By what they find, campfires and floors and walls and clothing and pottery and all the things folk use every day. Fortunately many of the objects can be positively dated as being made and used during a specific period.

Also, since 4-5000 years ago was really recent, we are still dealing with just dirt. And looking at all the archeological sites going back at least 4-5000 years there is no sign of a world-wide flood.

Edited by jar, : pittiful grammer


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 9 of 26 (834448)
06-06-2018 11:50 AM


going back to the present is the key to the past:
If the Stone Age is from before the Biblical Flood; why are all the Stone Age settlements found within a few meters of the current surface? Any layers put down by the Biblical Flood must be found above the Stone Age settlements.

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candle2
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Message 10 of 26 (848667)
02-12-2019 8:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
05-31-2018 8:10 PM


The thing with historical science is that it is extremely subjective. I don't doubt for one second that you know this

Evolutionists view the evidence through a materialistic mindset, and their interpretation of historical facts are determined by their mindset. You know this, and I know this.

Everyone has access to the same historical facts. No one can deny that there are fossils of organisms not known to be living today. We also know that there are many layers of strata. Neither side has a monopoly on this knowledge.

The major difference between creationists and evolutionists is their paradigm of the world and history.

Fossils don't come with tags on them stating when they lived and died; nor the various levels of strata come with a label explaining when it was laid down.

To determine the answers to these questions we observe what is "going on" today. In other words, we employ operational/observable science.

What we observe is that "kind produce kind." Both historical and observable science support this fact.

When we look at the fossils we soon realize that they do indeed support both creation and a global flood.

After a global flood we would expect to see fossils of fish and bottom dwellers in the lower strata. Above this we would expect to see amphibians. Next would come reptiles, including dinosaurs. Mammals, humans, and birds would be in the upper layers. However, because of the turbulence and them not being buried, we should find very, very few of these.

And, this is exactly what we do observe.

The strata in the Grand Canyon looks exactly like levels that were laid down by a global flood (look at the aftermath of Mt St. Helen's).

When the flood waters began to run off after the upheavel of mountain ranges, the runoff would have carved the GC in days.

If the various levels of strata had been laid down on millions of years, why do we not see any (none) erosion within the layers?

Also, we have petrified trees (some upside down) extending through numerous levels of strata. Again, read of Mt St. Helen's.

These trees were deposited during a global flood. No one in their right mind believes that these trees remained standing, exposed to the elements, and without decay, for hundreds of millions of years.

We observe dino fossils with significant amounts of Carbon 14 in them, which limits their age to under 75,000 years.

We have dino fossils with soft, squishy, and pliable tissue inside. And veins that are still elastic.

We have the recorded words of dozens of reputable men who have seen live dinosaurs.

We have pottery with engravings, embossments, and drawings of dinosaurs on them. They are also recorded on rocks and cave walls.
Evolutionists have historical science to support their worldview.

Creationists have historical science; observable science; and, written records Including the Holy Bible) to support their convictions.

Creationists have the upper hand here, and it's not even close.


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Tanypteryx
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Posts: 1987
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 11 of 26 (848668)
02-12-2019 9:34 PM


Wow, a good old fashioned Gish Gallop. No evidence, just a bunch of PRATTs.

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


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Theodoric
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(1)
Message 12 of 26 (848669)
02-12-2019 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Tanypteryx
02-12-2019 9:34 PM


Lots of galloping on a few threads lately. Decided I wont respond to the gallopers.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


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PaulK
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Message 13 of 26 (848670)
02-13-2019 12:39 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by candle2
02-12-2019 8:05 PM


quote:

The thing with historical science is that it is extremely subjective. I don't doubt for one second that you know this

As I am sure you know it is far less subjective than young-earther’s would have us believe.

quote:

Evolutionists view the evidence through a materialistic mindset, and their interpretation of historical facts are determined by their mindset. You know this, and I know this.

More accurately scientists - and historians - employ methodological naturalism to understand the evidence. While many of them are, in fact religious. Creationists on the other hand feel free to invent miracles in order to ignore where the evidence points.

quote:

Everyone has access to the same historical facts. No one can deny that there are fossils of organisms not known to be living today. We also know that there are many layers of strata. Neither side has a monopoly on this knowledge.

Everyone knows that the fossil record contains organisms anatomically intermediate between taxonomic groups. Yet Creationists are known to quite frequently deny this.

quote:

The major difference between creationists and evolutionists is their paradigm of the world and history.

Incorrect. The major difference is in epistemology. For Creationists the truth is determined by authorities. Evolutionists agree with the scientific approach that puts the empirical evidence first. As the motto of the Royal Society says “Nullius In Verba”.

quote:

Fossils don't come with tags on them stating when they lived and died; nor the various levels of strata come with a label explaining when it was laid down.

To determine the answers to these questions we observe what is "going on" today. In other words, we employ operational/observable science.


And this evidence does let us determine answers to these questions.

quote:

What we observe is that "kind produce kind." Both historical and observable science support this fact.

We observe that the offspring are similar to their parents - which is consistent with evolution. We do not observe any evidence of absolute boundaries between “kinds”. Indeed, the evidence points against it.

quote:

When we look at the fossils we soon realize that they do indeed support both creation and a global flood.

And this is where the Creationist epistemology runs into trouble. Because what Creationist authorities tell you is not always true. The fossil evidence is NOT consistent with a global flood. And that has been known since the 19th Century.

quote:

After a global flood we would expect to see fossils of fish and bottom dwellers in the lower strata. Above this we would expect to see amphibians. Next would come reptiles, including dinosaurs. Mammals, humans, and birds would be in the upper layers. However, because of the turbulence and them not being buried, we should find very, very few of these.

And, this is exactly what we do observe.


That is false both in that the order is not expected and that the order is not observed. Most obviously, the order listed is for earliest appearances - fish continue to appear throughout the record.

The supposed expectation is also odd. Why would we expect to find amphibians before other creatures living in the same environment ? Why would we expect to find only fish at the bottom ? Surely the land life would drown first ? Why would all the tremendous range of dinosaurs be found in only three eras and why would we see distinct differences in the fauna found in the three ? The questions just go on and on, and the Flood offers no viable explanation at all.

quote:

The strata in the Grand Canyon looks exactly like levels that were laid down by a global flood (look at the aftermath of Mt St. Helen's).

Provided you ignore differences in scale and material - both highly relevant.

quote:

When the flood waters began to run off after the upheavel of mountain ranges, the runoff would have carved the GC in days.

Nonsense. The canyon meanders and meanders are not a result of rapid carving.

quote:

If the various levels of strata had been laid down on millions of years, why do we not see any (none) erosion within the layers?

You don’t see it because your authorities tell you it isn’t there. But it is. There is evidence of massive erosion between layers. Look up angular unconformities sometime.

quote:

Also, we have petrified trees (some upside down) extending through numerous levels of strata. Again, read of Mt St. Helen's.

These trees were deposited during a global flood. No one in their right mind believes that these trees remained standing, exposed to the elements, and without decay, for hundreds of millions of years.


I suggest you look up the explanations offered by geologists.

quote:

We observe dino fossils with significant amounts of Carbon 14 in them, which limits their age to under 75,000 years

With tiny amounts consistent with contamination.

quote:

We have dino fossils with soft, squishy, and pliable tissue inside. And veins that are still elastic.

But still altered, and still incredibly old by all the other evidence.

quote:

We have the recorded words of dozens of reputable men who have seen live dinosaurs.

Only if you count birds.

quote:

We have pottery with engravings, embossments, and drawings of dinosaurs on them. They are also recorded on rocks and cave walls.

Excepting some modern examples, all of these require questionable interpretation.

quote:

Creationists have historical science; observable science; and, written records Including the Holy Bible) to support their convictions.

Creationists have falsehood and myth.

quote:

Creationists have the upper hand here, and it's not even close.

Creationists are deceived by their false idols. Which is why they don’t have the upper hand - or even get close.


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Phat
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Posts: 12159
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
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Message 14 of 26 (848671)
02-13-2019 1:13 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by candle2
02-12-2019 8:05 PM


Evidence
candle2, I notice that you replied to our member, jar. He is not active here recently, but he did provide a great argument against a global flood.
jar writes:

In both myths lots of critters get killed, in the myth found in Genesis 6 it seems to be talking about land animals and birds while the myth found in Genesis 7 goes even further and wipes out all living things.

If we play mix and match and take the best scenario from each of the myths we might be able to claim that only the birds and land animals were wiped out based on the passage from the Genesis 6 story and that we have the larger saved population found in Genesis 7.

Based on that mix and match game set we have a situation where all land animals and birds found today will be descended from a population that consisted of at most fourteen critters (seven pairs of clean animals and birds) and at worst case four critters (two pair of unclean animals).

Now that is what I would call a real bottleneck.

We know we can see bottlenecks in the genetic record; a great example is the one in Cheetahs but we even see them in the human genome and most other species.

BUT...

If the flood actually happened we would see a bottleneck in EVERY species of animal living on the land and EVERY bird and EVERY one of the bottlenecks show up in the SAME historical time period.

Talk about a big RED flag.

That bottleneck signature would be something every geneticist in the world would see. It would be like a neon sign, Broadway at midnight on New Years Eve. It would be something even a blind geneticist could see.

So it seems to me to be a very simple test that will support or refute the Flood.

If that genetic marker is there in EVERY species living on land or bird of the air, then there is support for the flood. It does not prove the flood happened but it would be very strong support.

If on the other hand, that genetic marker is NOT there, then the Flood is refuted.

That genetic marker is NOT there.

The Biblical Flood has been refuted.

You have to admit that its a solid argument.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


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PaulK
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Posts: 14749
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Message 15 of 26 (848673)
02-13-2019 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by candle2
02-12-2019 8:05 PM


Order of the fossil record
This subject has been discussed extensively. One thread here is The Great Creationist Fossil Failure

Objectively the fossil record was not produced by a global flood, even before the geological evidence is considered.


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