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Author Topic:   The Scientific Method For Beginners
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1518 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 57 of 138 (521101)
08-25-2009 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Arphy
08-25-2009 9:27 PM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
Hi again Arphy,
The problem here is that we view the process differently. We do not say that there are limits to evolutionary change but that this change is degenerative rather then producing more and more complex organisms and systems.
Curiously, reality is completely unaffected by what you think and say, and it continues to evolve and proceed according the the natural laws of the universe.
Interestingly, if you view things differently, does that mean that you accept lies about the evidence as a valid argument, or do you test the validity of an argument by how completely it explains all the evidence? Do you believe the evidence lies?
Message 53
What???, I think you have misunderstood the position of creationists and IDers. In fact creationists do accept mutations just not the notion of information increasing beneficial mutations, there is a difference between the two.
Fascinatingly, what creationists accept or don't accept also has no effect on reality. Reality is not a democracy or a Chinese menu (one from column A and two from column B) where you can pick and choose what you accept as true.
Message 45
This is a pretty standard definition of evolution on this forum (and in a sense I agree that the word can have that meaning), however this forum is not called: change in biological populations over time due to mutation and natural selection vs Creation. If this were the case then nobody would be on here, as a change in biological populations over time due to mutation and natural selection is a vital part of creation theory. The two are not opposed.
True enough. I have said for some time that creationists do not really have an issue with evolution - the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation - rather what they have an issue with is the issue of speciation and the formation of family trees of descent from common ancestors, and the theoretical extension of this to a universal ancient common ancestor ... or to some specific number of original forms.
Old universe and old earth ...
Which is what the evidence shows. Again, we can talk about different interpretations of evidence, true ones and false ones ... if you want to pursue this topic see Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1. Intriguingly, the evidence of an old earth is more pervasive and self-confirming and accessible to the common person, than the evidence of an oblate spheroid earth and a heliocentric solar system.
... where life originated as a simple single celled organism which through various processes proceeded to give us the diversity of life that we have today ...
Yes, it was Darwin's insight that the process of evolution - the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation - AND the process of speciation - the division of a parent population into reproductively isolated daughter populations - were sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it: from history, pre-history, archeology, paleontology, and from the genetic record; confirmed by geology and astronomy where such comparisons are possible.
... VS Comparitively young earth, Creation by God of various kinds of organisms which diversified to the diversity of life we have today, most fossils laid down by a catastrophic world wide flood.
Which, sadly, fails to explain all the evidence, and which is incoherent at making any kind of predictions for what we keep finding based on predictions based on evolution.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Arphy, posted 08-25-2009 9:27 PM Arphy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Coyote, posted 08-25-2009 10:28 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 61 by Arphy, posted 08-26-2009 7:11 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1518 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 78 of 138 (521294)
08-26-2009 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Arphy
08-26-2009 7:11 AM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
Hi Arphy, we are treading close to the topic/off-topic line, but perhaps this can be discussed as an example of scientific method as used by creationists.
hmm... as you can guess i disagree with this statement. An example is the prediction made by Russell Humphreys a creationist using a creation model, He predicted the strength of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune. These were then proven correct by Voyager II, unlike any of the secular predictions.
Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field
quote:
I have presented these equations, because this last one is actually quite important, in light of Humphreys' chosen method for testing his theory on the magnetic field of the earth. Humphreys uses a Barnes-type exponential fit to the dipole data for the earth, and derives a characteristic decay time (T) of 2049 +/- 79 years. Setting k = 0.25 he derives an Mc for the earth of 1.41 1024 J/T. He then plugs this value of Mc, the Biblical value of t and the current value of M into the equation above, and computes a value of T = 2075 years, concluding "This value agrees with the measured value in (7) to better than two percent, well within the experimental error" [20, page 143]. However, because k is a free parameter in the equation for Mc, so is Mc a free parameter in the equation above for T. This means that Humphreys could not compute a value of T from his theory that was not very close to his 'measured' value, since he can always find a suitable arbitrary value for Mc.
It is for this reason that I am not impressed by Humphreys' confidence in his theory's ability to predict the magnetic dipole moments for Uranus and Neptune, before the Voyager spacecraft observed them. Humphreys' predictions for Uranus [20, page 146] and Neptune [20, page 147] both state that the dipole strength should be "on the order of 1024 J/T". He connects these predictions to his theory by selecting a value for k = 0.25 in both cases, computing a dipole strength at creation, and then estimating a characteristic decay time assuming a core conductivity similar to the terrestrial planets. This brings on the estimate of 1024 J/T, but remember that the dipole at creation is an entirely free parameter. A peek at Humphreys' table II [20, page 147] shows that the dipole for Jupiter is 1.6 1027, for Saturn 4.3 1025, and for Earth 7.9 1022. From these values alone, with reference to no theory at all, one can immediately see that the dipole values for Uranus and Neptune must be larger that Earth's 1022 and smaller than Saturn's 1025, so that anything in the 1023 to 1024 range is an obvious guess anyway. All Humphreys has to do is come up with a dipole at creation that is about the same as Saturn's is now, and the result is going to be very nearly right. We now know the dipole values for Uranus [3.7 1024 J/T] and Neptune [2.1 1024 J/T], which do indeed agree with Humphreys' order of magnitude predictions. But to hail this as a confirmation of his theory is not very rewarding. Indeed, it is my position that Humphreys' theory cannot be confirmed, since it predicts at once every possible observed field, and is therefore useless for predicting anything.
I'll let others pursue this rabbithole with a new thread, but for now I note that this is far from explaining the evidence at this point.
Rather it looks like the calculations were fudged to arrive at values consistent for the Earth and Saturn, and then those fudged values were used to predict values for Uranus and Neptune, giving results accurate enough to be in the ball park. I don't call that success, I call it good fudging from known empirical information.
Engineers fit curves to known data all the time in order to "predict" other values for design, but such curve-fitting is not an explanation of why the curve exists in the data.
Yip, true (although depends on how you define evolve, but you know my position on that already).
Curiously, the only way to define "evolve" is the way it is used in biological evolution or you are talking about something else and pretending to debate in good faith. It's called the fallacy of equivocation. If you want to see how it is defined within the science you can look at:
An introduction to evolution - Understanding Evolution
Evolution and Natural Selection
and
The Process of Speciation
These universities teach evolutionary biology, so you can be sure the definitions are ones used in the science. Both are good reading for basic information on evolution as it is studied today.
Absolutly True. Same goes for any other person on earth whether creationist, evolutionist, or ...ist.
...
No evidence doesn't lie. Yes to testing the validity of an argument by how completly it explains all the evidence.
Agreed, so then, rather than rely on any opinions on the matter, we should look for conclusions and hypothesis that are logically deducted directly from the known evidence, and use those to predict new findings that will validate or invalidate the hypothesis. Curiously, this is how the scientific method works: it doesn't matter what concept you start with, what matters is that you can test concepts against evidence and discard concepts that are invalidated by evidence - no matter what the concept is.
quote:
if you want to pursue this topic see Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1.
Thanks, I'll go have a look.
See you there. Note that the issue is not dates per se but the correlations between them from all the different sources.
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : and Saturn

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Arphy, posted 08-26-2009 7:11 AM Arphy has not replied

  
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