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Author Topic:   What is science? (ROB and STRAGGLER only)
Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 65 of 106 (460266)
03-13-2008 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Straggler
03-13-2008 11:42 AM


more strawmen...
Straggler:
There is a difference between testing a theory and ensuring that it is internally consistent. You derive your conclusion by applying logic to empirical evidence. You then test your conclusion by determining whether or not it is logically consistent with the empirical evidence. This is circular,

Once again Straggler, you misinterpret my position and then go to battle against a strawman.

I do not test my conclusion as you said. I test the assumption.

Like I said in the argument, if the natural world is logically consistent (coherent), then our assumptions (theories) must be logically coherent, if they are going to match the coherent pattern of the evidence.

The same test we use to test empirical evidence must also be applied to our assuptions. And that test is the law of contradiction.

What part of that do you not understand? Can I help you?

The rest of your post is irrelevant, because it does not follow from a mistaken premise.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Straggler, posted 03-13-2008 11:42 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Straggler, posted 03-14-2008 2:03 PM Rob has not yet responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 66 of 106 (460267)
03-13-2008 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Straggler
03-13-2008 12:00 PM


Straggler proves it!
My thesis, is that the methodology of science is to test for contradiction, or coherence. That means you need at least two entities to compare so as to find a match. So let's look at the process you used to ultimately find the match.

Straggler:

I decide to double check this by plugging in a stereo to the potentially faulty wall socket and do indeed find that the radio is as lifeless as I would expect. I call an electrician.

Double check? Why can't you just use the evidence to tell you? Ah.... because a test requires at least two entities to confirm or deny each other. The other checks in your process of deduction failed to provide the answer.

Congratulations Straggler!

As I told you before, you can use any scientific example you like. It's a test for contradiction or coherence.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Straggler, posted 03-13-2008 12:00 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Admin, posted 03-13-2008 8:25 PM Rob has responded
 Message 72 by Straggler, posted 03-14-2008 12:05 PM Rob has not yet responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 68 of 106 (460277)
03-13-2008 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Admin
03-13-2008 8:25 PM


Re: Straggler proves it!
I already played this game in message 48 Percy.

quote:
Theory = Life intelligently designed (designer unknown)

Evidence = Empirical evidence in the form of the appearance of design in nature; specifically the quaternary digital code of DNA.

Elements compared to draw conclusion = Digital information designed by intellignet human agents.

Method of testing validity of conclusion = Law of contradiction.

Evidence that would refute conclusion = Discovery of any natural process that can produce digital information on a material medium.

Further prediction that would validate conclusion = The discovery of other uses for DNA such as gene expression timing, that are currently thought to be junk strands of DNA under the current convention. http://www.detectingdesign.com/pseudogenes.html


For the record, I did change the intial term from 'conclusion' to 'theory' as compared to message 48. I also added the words 'designed by intelligent human agents' to the supporting evidence.

I thought Straggler was doing fine Percy. He proved my thesis to be correct.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Admin, posted 03-13-2008 8:25 PM Admin has responded

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 Message 69 by Admin, posted 03-13-2008 9:04 PM Rob has responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 70 of 106 (460289)
03-13-2008 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Admin
03-13-2008 9:04 PM


Re: Straggler proves it!
I said I thought Straggler was doing fine. I've never said that I am doing fine.

If you want to get in on this discussion then do so. Otherwise don't just say that something is unintelligible... show why it is unintelligible.

All you have to do is show a contradiction. It's a simple procedure. Your accusation is a logical fallacy. An appeal to ignorance. And that is not an argument, but a judgment.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 78 of 106 (460536)
03-16-2008 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Straggler
03-15-2008 7:39 PM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
Straggler:
CURRENT POSITION
In Message 59 I demonstrated that in the absence of omniscience any method of investigation that relies simply on the application of logic to existing incomplete empirical evidence will produce inherently unreliable conclusions.

For the love of reason Straggler, we all rely solely upon the application of logic for the scientific method. Furthermore, when it comes to origins (be it biological or cosmological), all of us are working with incomplete evidence.

So what you have just said in essence, is that any science will produce unreliable conclusions when it comes to historical sciences. Certainly your not suggesting that a little illogical interpretation of the incomplete evidence is valid. No, you not so foolish… we rely simply on logic to make what evidence is present, coherent and intelligible.

You may be confusing observational science (where we have all the evidence) with the historical sciences (which we do not).

We’re dealing with theory here Straggler. And we’re specifically trying to find out which theory (in terms of origin) is the most logical (coherent) with the available evidence.
That is the context of my thesis as clearly stated in the abstract. So let me state it in another way; we’re not dealing with empirical facts, other than basing our theories on those incomplete empirical facts already known.

Straggler:

A hypothesis based approach, where comparison with the empirical truths of nature was the ultimate test of a theory, was advocated as the alternative that would provide the best method of obtaining the most reliable conclusions possible.

Empirical truths? Truth is not empirical Straggler, it is coherent. Truth is essentially the quality of our propositions.

Truth 3 a: the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality. ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/truth )

Truth is a statement that conforms to what actually is empirically. Rocks do not speak. We must speak for them in the language that appears to accurately reflect the cosmos; the language of mathematics and logical inference.

I said it even more clearly in my argumentation; that if the empirical material world is coherent, then our theories (philosophies) regarding it must also be coherent in order to be in accord; in order to match, the logical and coherent pattern in nature.

logic 1 a (1): a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration : the science of the formal principles of reasoning. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/logic )

And the most formal of all principles of reasoning is the law of contradiction. That’s what logic is. And all other modes of premise, conclusion, and the like, must obey this law. Without it, we do not have mathematics to postulate laws of physics and the like which you glibly assert as empirical truth.

Reason, logic, and coherence are synonymous…

Logic is coherence Straggler. You said that (incomplete evidence) + (valid logic) + (coherence) = (unreliable conclusion).

All logic is valid by definition. Logic and coherence are the same thing. If our reasoning is not valid, then it is illogical and incoherent.

This is the proper way to state my thesis (Available evidence) + (logical i.e. scientific methodology) = (the most scientific conclusion). I am not suggesting that such a result is absolutely solid or empirical fact. We’re dealing in the realm of scientific theory not fact. We’re trying to derive the most logical and coherent conclusion from available evidence (‘empirical truths’ as you call them).

And how are empirical truths arrived at if not by the application of logic in the past? Evidence isn’t true apart from observation, testing, repeatability and the like. If it were, we would have no need for science, or the scientific method.

Upon testing the evidence with the law of contradiction (logic) we find such things as logical and mathematical patterns (laws of physics) that are coherent and indisputable in nature. We might say that nature reflects and confirms our reasoning (which is a curious thing in itself really)That’s what makes an empirical fact a fact.

And I agree that that is the best method, and it is all that I am advocating. The only thing I have done is established what science already is… And I find it amusing that you are arguing against the very thing you are trying to defend. :laugh: You’re completely tied in knots. As one poster told me privately, you’re manifesting demons. I don't know about that, but I can almost imagine you foaming at the mouth. We all got a few snakes inside...

You accuse me of zeal? If you want to see zeal, take a gander at Richard Dawkins. Zeal is not something reserved only for theists!

Straggler:

In Message 72 I discussed how a methodology riddled with all the evident practical and theoretical problems faced by Rob’s theory might be arrived at if one were to make the mistake of assuming that science was merely a means of substantiating preconceived conclusions and positions rather than a quest for reliable theories and (as yet unknown) conclusions.

First of all, my only theory is that logic is valid. That is my assumption, and it is also my conclusion. Logic is circular and systematic by its very nature, and that is why rationalism is not good enough. We must systematize logic with the objective empirical world. Then it is valid.

That is exactly the case I make in the argumentation. But you have had it backwards from the beginning. It isn’t design that I assume before I begin, it is materialism that you conclude before you begin.

Again, the only thing I assume from beginning to end is logical coherence.

What I said (and what all of you confess) is that methodological naturalism assumes a preconceived conclusion (that all scientific explanations must be material) before the process even begins.

So as Percy is waiting for, let's put my process to an example. And let's test my theory of ID against yours.

It works like this with regard to origins: Material explanations and causes for many problems exist. Therefore all explanations and causes for all problems are material.

That is called inductive reasoning. The conclusion does not follow from the premise.

It may be valid, but it must be weighed and made to cohere with empirical evidence, which cannot be done apart from omnipotence. So it is neither internally coherent or objective (as deductive reasoning would be), and is not empirically testable or repeatable by observation or experiment.

Now here is the rub:

There is no material explanation for the origin of DNA or matter.[/b] It is simply asserted that such an explanation must exist by ecclesiastical proclamation made by those with a materialistic philosophy. That is an anti-theistic philosophy that has no scientific merit by way of empirical evidence or logical authority.[/b]

How can I say that anything must exist without evidence? Isn’t that what you accuse theists of doing?

On the other hand, there is empirical evidence for intelligent causation, namely the organizational and creative capacity of intelligent human beings.

Matter cannot produce information. Matter obeys information. Matter is simply the material medium by which intelligence produce patterns that are written.

For example, SETI researchers who are supported by a large body of ‘scientists’, listen for such patterns, in order to prove the existence of intelligence elsewhere. So you guys support the principle if only it could be used to find life other than God.

The addition of information causes no difference in mass to the material medium. A CD that is full of 70MB of information is no different in terms of mass than one that is empty. The only difference is the pattern that intelligence inscribes in the medium. Without intelligence, there is no information.

There are lots of material emissions coming from space, but they contain no intelligent information as far as we can tell thus far. There is no demonstrable natural process by which information is produced. And that’s why SETI Researchers know that such a pattern would signify intelligence.

It isn’t the matter or energy in the emissions that contains the information, but the pattern of the medium that contains the signal.

Imagine two newspapers… both with equal numbers of letters and atomic weight. One has intelligible sentences, and the other has the same letters distributed randomly across the pages. It’s the logical order of the letters that contains intelligible information, not the material medium itself. It isn’t the ink and paper that is information, but the pattern put there intelligently.

When it comes to DNA were dealing with the most sophisticated and efficient organized and logical code in the known universe. Random and repetitive forces of nature cannot produce a Dick and Jane book, let alone quaternary digital codes.

At least not that we know of… But if you could find some evidence to the contrary, then you be scientific.

So when it comes to origins we have a choice between two theories. One provides no explanation for the origin of biological information. The other offers a logical and coherent conclusion sustained by actual empirical evidence.

Which one has the logical and scientific evidence on its side?

Which of the two based upon your own admission of what science is, is the most scientific?

Which one?

Now Straggler, if you don’t think we should rely upon logic in light of insufficient evidence, then you must be advocating illogical interpretation of what evidence we do have, so as to believe in something that there is no evidence for whatsoever.

I never said that two valid theories can be equally true btw. You were tearing down a straw man. Obviously they cannot, because the law of contradiction prohibits it. There is simply no such thing as two valid theories, because there validity is determined by testing.

When looking at two theories, the one that is the most coherent must be exalted to remain scientific. That is the inference to the best explanation. It doesn’t mean that it is true absolutely… it only means that it has the most explanatory power in terms of science, which is the combination of logic and evidence.

Use your God given mind.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Straggler, posted 03-15-2008 7:39 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Straggler, posted 03-16-2008 1:39 PM Rob has responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 79 of 106 (460541)
03-16-2008 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Straggler
03-15-2008 7:39 PM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
From the argumentation for the thesis:

quote:
Methodological naturalism is neither logical (philosophically), nor scientific (empirically) when exalted to the status of an absolute. The only absolute in science is logic and coherence. Logical coherence (non-contradiction) must be assumed to be reality (i.e.God) in the triune sense extrapolated to us by the apostle John. But before we analyze John’s witness, let’s bear in mind that the Greeks had several ‘terms’ for the English term ‘Word’. The one that John used is ‘logos’ which assumes ‘reason’ as part of its meaning. The term Logos is also the etymological root of the English term ‘logic’.[1]

John 1:1 In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men…14 The ogos became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So science is indeed a triune and monotheistic affair. Paul Davies understands the history of scientific thought very well. Even so, it appears that the connection is far more implicit than he, or many of us bargained for. Logic has always been so, long before we discovered its power and recognized its whole nature. Logic is our only authority. Without its coherent order, all things would become unintelligible philosophically, and fall to pieces materially.

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (cohere).

Non-contradiction is the law of laws and reflects the logical and intelligible character of the living triune God. The coherent quality of His work is the intelligibility behind the physical laws, and the power and certitude of our moral laws (love thy neighbor as thy self). Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

What I want to know is how did 16th and 17th century philosophers (who were ironically called empiricists) fool us for so long into framing every question in a form such as ‘what is life?’, ‘what is reality?’, what is energy?’

Speaking of energy, let us remember that energy is defined by physicists as 'the capacity to do work'. I think it is worth noting the abstract quality of the definition. ‘Scientists’ can tell us what energy does, and they can mathematically measure and quantify it in that way, but they cannot tell us what energy is. And the reason they fail is by assuming energy to be ‘a what’, and not ‘a who’.

John 5:17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."

It appears that Jesus claimed to have a lot of capacity. I mean really now, just who does He think He is? Is He claiming to be God?

John 10:17 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

Was it a lack of intellectual capacity on our part that made us prone to asking questions that assumed reality to be a ‘what’ that is completely at our disposal, or was our dilemma really only an intellectual/moral discontinuity? One need not look far for the answer. It has been on our shelves for at least two thousand years.

Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

Ultimately the question has always been, ‘who is reality’. That’s what the empirical evidence shows; the part of the historical and empirical evidence that reminds us of man’s hunger for spirituality. Can we as scientists, dismiss such evidence as irrelevant? I thought evidence was more persuasive than theory…

‘Who’ is this holy, logical and coherent Spirit of truth that we are necessarily dependant upon and implicitly commanded to worship and seek as our only light and savior? Since this holy spirit of coherence is the only intelligible self evident truth, and our only way to finding God (reality), then if logic could speak, what would He say? Since logic is the way the truth and the life, wouldn’t ‘the logos’ Himself affirm such a thing?

John 14:6 "…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 8:12 "…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."


( http://rob-lock.livejournal.com/ )

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Straggler, posted 03-15-2008 7:39 PM Straggler has not yet responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 80 of 106 (460543)
03-16-2008 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Straggler
03-15-2008 7:39 PM


The two entities in an equation...
Logic is systematic by definition. It is a system. That's why any scientific equation must have at least two entities that cohere to have a legitimate result.

The testimony of two witnesses is a Judeo-christian tradition. Otherwise the prosecutor would become God. Thou shall not bear false witness.

The Bible affirms and upholds the strictest scientific principles.

Science and coherence is triune by it's very nature. Evidence + theory = coherent conclusion. It may not always be fully concluded, but we are not omniscient.

Anyway, that is the historical roots of science. http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=627

And we see it here so beautifully illustrated.

John 8:12-20
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 13 The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid." 14 Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."

And of course in this context, Jesus is not only 'the logos incarnate', but referring to the prophecies about Him in the Old Testament.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Straggler, posted 03-15-2008 7:39 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Straggler, posted 03-16-2008 4:18 PM Rob has responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 83 of 106 (460557)
03-16-2008 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Straggler
03-16-2008 1:39 PM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
Straggler:
If your car would not start would you solve the problem by means of a test for logical coherence or would you progress by means of empirical testing and the conventional scientific method? When it comes to your own theory are you a practitioner or a hypocrite?

Is it really that difficult for you?

If my car would not start, I would do exactly what the scientific method is at it's very heart...

I would systematically, and logically deduce what the problem is, and then confirm to make sure that my analysis is coherent.

But logical deductions cannot be made without the law of contradiction. If it's not this problem, then perhaps it is that.

So we move from assumiing and applying the methodology of logical coherence, to the hypothesis, to the testing, to the confirmation or contradiction, upon contradiction to further testing, unto conclusion, and varification, so as to arrive at a coherent conclusion.

That is the scientific method as I have been telling you all along. My only point, is to remind you that it is inseperable from, and useless without, the founding faith that we maintain in the systemic validity of logic.

Science is triune. That is the simplicity of the scientific method.

You're making it much too complicated in an attempt to avoid this unpleasant reality...

Remember Friar Occum and his razor "lex parsimoniae"... 'Do not multiply entities without necessity'.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Straggler, posted 03-16-2008 1:39 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Straggler, posted 03-16-2008 4:31 PM Rob has responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 85 of 106 (460559)
03-16-2008 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Admin
03-16-2008 2:30 PM


Admin:
No Bible quoting. This is a science thread.

The triune God is science Percy. The Hindu Vedas may not be science, but the logos is by definition.

I am that I am.

Banish and threaten his messengers, and you condemn yourself.

I don't need to be here. But you need me to be...

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


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 Message 82 by Admin, posted 03-16-2008 2:30 PM Admin has responded

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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 86 of 106 (460560)
03-16-2008 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Straggler
03-16-2008 4:18 PM


Re: Drug Trials and Other Absurdities
No straggler, I am authenticating empirical observation and evidence. And you are again confuting observational sciences with the historical sciences.

Do you have any empirical evidence as to a material or natural cause that produces information?

Because I have some empirical evidence for intelligence producing it. So the question is really whether it is needed for you to believe in a materialistic explanation?

Your the one with blind faith. Jesus opens the eyes of the blind.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 88 of 106 (460562)
03-16-2008 4:31 PM


John 8:38-45
38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father." 39 "Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the things your own father does." "We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself." 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 89 of 106 (460563)
03-16-2008 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Straggler
03-16-2008 4:31 PM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
Straggler:
You just cannot show how your method would be applied to a simple cause and effect problem can you?

My method is the cause and effect problem. How many times do I have to tell you? I did it last time remember? Right here: www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=8&t=166&m=88#83 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=8&t=166&m=88#83">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=8&t=166&m=88#83

To have cause and effect, you use logical coherence to solve the problem. Logical coherence is the scientific method.

Why can't you understand that? Can you not hear the truth when it is spoken?

Logical coherence + evidence = scientific conclusion

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Straggler, posted 03-16-2008 4:31 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 90 of 106 (460565)
03-16-2008 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Straggler
03-16-2008 4:31 PM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
The only place logical coherence rests in peace, is in your incoherent posts Straggler.

You've been straggling the whole thread, so come out of your tomb Lazarus and live.

In all honesty, it's a hard thing to grasp. But once you do, you will praise God, not me.

I don't want any praise. I thoroughly expect to be metaphorically crucified and thrown into prison for speaking so boldly to the temple authorites.

As you have judged, so shall you be judged.


This message is a reply to:
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 92 of 106 (460569)
03-16-2008 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Straggler
03-16-2008 4:52 PM


Re: Drug Trials and Other Absurdities
Straggler:
So am I to take it that empirical testing is a perfectly acceptable means of validating theories except in some very specific cases?

No.. no... no... It always is!

But in the historical sciences (i.e. theory of origins), we were not there to directly observe and we don't have all the evidence. But we have some. And we have to work with what we have.

Straggler:

Could it be that your method of logical coherence is only to be used in cases where predetermined conclusions of your subjective choosing need to be given the same scientific credence that established theories validated by conventional science already enjoy?

No... no... no... You're the one without any evidence in this case not me.

So who is the one presupposing the outcome of material explanation despite the absense of any evidence?

Staggler, they lied to us... the philosphers lied to us.

I have had to make this adjustment too. And it was hard. But that is why it is so important to me.

Youmust decide for yourself.

I have to go now...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Straggler, posted 03-16-2008 4:52 PM Straggler has not yet responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4785 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 96 of 106 (461222)
03-23-2008 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Straggler
03-16-2008 9:13 PM


One question for Straggler...
I have had a whole week to think about this Straggler. It’s a long post… so be patient.

Straggler:

Rob - It appears that your theory of 'Logical Coherence' is little more than a pointless and futile attempt at rebranding Methodological Naturalism after all. Oh well.

That's right Straggler!

Nice to see your finally getting it!

What you said is almost exactly what I said in the abstract…

quote:
...a clear alternative definition of science that incorporates the legitimate aspects of the current convention, as well as consistently incorporating new evidence within a design paradigm. If that is to be accomplished, we must re-examine science so as to uncover what science actually is.

Did you see it? ‘The legitimate aspects of the current convention’ (i.e. empirical evidence).

So do you see? The only thing I did with my article is to declare what science already is!

I have never suggested that empirical evidence is not important or necessary to natural science. Rather, my point was always that empirical evidence is meaningless when observed, tested, etc, unless it is done so logically (i.e. in a manner that is consistent and coherent).

Systemic and scientific methodology does not exist… except when married to the solid philosophical principles of logical reasoning. I stated it this way in the thesis:

quote:
...With the law of contradiction we begin, build, and test our theories regarding our empirical impressions of the natural world.

The point is, that natural science… is the law of contradiction applied to the empirical world.

Science is neither rationalism, nor pure empiricism. It is the combination of the two, and therefore, the philosophical coherence of our theories is central to the discipline.

The science of philosophy came first… but obviously, natural science is about empirical evidence as well.

And that is what the historical 'inference to the best explanation' is all about. It is deferring to the scientific foundation of logic when interpreting empirical evidence.

In applying all of this in terms of Intelligent Design theory… my entire argument is based upon the fact (as Susan Kruglinski documents so well) that the scientific community currently and historically has thrown coherence under the empirical bus and demanded empirical evidence for any supposed designer.

And the problem with this demand is that there is no empirical evidence for a material or natural explanation for the digital information in DNA. We do however have empirical evidence of human beings creating information similar to (though less complex) than DNA. Only a design inference offers a coherent explanation with empirical evidential power for the appearance of information that is complex, non-repeating, and specified.

In another discussion elsewhere, I brought up the fact that materialism as an absolute is problematic because as with all inductive propositions, the conclusion does not follow from the premise. One gentleman reminded me that though this is true, a stone will fall a thousand times if dropped. He went on to say that it is still possible that it will not, but that he will put his money on the stone falling again.

I conceded his point… But I reminded him to apply his scientific principle consistently because if a thousand times information is found to have a causation that is not material but intelligent, then when confronted with DNA, we must also put our money on intelligence.

We would never compose a thesis on the properties of tannins, pulp, glue, granite, etc. and postulate as yet unknown properties in the laws of physics or materials themselves to explain the origin of a newspaper or cave drawing.

Information is not natural in material terms. It is supernatural as opposed to unnatural; it something ‘in addition’ to the material medium. That doesn’t make it mystical, but actually quite base. On at least one occasion, C.S. Lewis referred to the non-material dimension as the ‘sub-nature’. Perhaps this makes it easier to comprehend with the simplicity of the scientific method’s origin in the law of contradiction, and the elemental nature of it in all things organized logically.

Information is not material itself, just as gravity is not an orbiting body.

So in that sense information is ‘supernatural’ and is always logical whereas material nature produces random and repetitive patterns. Rocks just are; I think, therefore I am.

We are told ’(by scientists)’ that finding this ‘type’ of information coming from space, would constitute valid scientific proof of intelligence elsewhere in the cosmos. I notice that all of you avoid this point and conveniently ignore it…

The only purpose for so patiently (am I not patiently?) conveying this distinction between materialism and methodological naturalism, is to remind us that we must use the available evidence to remain scientific. And the theory which most coherently explains that evidence, must be (by definition) the most scientific.

It may not be true… but it is the most scientific because it is the most coherent logically.

Now Straggler… you sir have posited the necessity of empirical evidence so emphatically, that there is no retracting it now. As it turns out, you see all of this quite well as the next post of yours will show. Your own words will serve nicely as a test between the scientific qualities of our beliefs as it pertains to ID vs. TOE.

In this message: www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=766&m=239#239 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=766&m=239#239">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=766&m=239#239 you said the following, in response to the theory of alien life / panspermia as per Francis Crick And Leslie Orgel:

Straggler:

An interesting if mildly bonkers hypothesis that is, in principle at least, verifiable by material conventional scientific methodologies.

Ok fine, I would like to see why you think that this hypothesis is (at least in principle) scientific, and why ID is not.

But before I ask you the question I have for you, I want to put all of this into the proper context by first quoting the respectable Richard Dawkins:

quote:
” When astronauts voyage to distant planets and look for life, they can expect to find creatures too strange and unearthly for us to imagine. But is there anything that must be true of all life, wherever it is found, and whatever the basis of its chemistry? If forms of life exist whose chemistry is based on silicon rather than carbon, or ammonia rather than water… If a form of life is found that is not based on chemistry at all but on electronic reverberating circuits, will there still be any general principle that is true of all life? Obviously I do not know… ”
( Richard Dawkins / The Selfish Gene p191-192 )

Now, listen carefully Straggler… because before we proceed… and to be fair to professor Dawkins; he makes it quite clear in the book that he believes (even though he doesn’t know) that all life evolved… including our own. That is the one universal absolute in his mind concerning this subject.

But… we are dealing here with the difficulty of the ‘type of information’ in the biological systems on our planet.

I am going to provide you with tremendous leniency Straggler.

I am going to assume for the sake of argument… an alien species that came into being by some as yet unknown process, and that they authored life as we know it.

But again to be fair… this is not exactly the hypothesis of Orgel and Crick. Their hypothesis (from what I understand), is that life evolved in many places like our own planet.

In either case we are talking about the existence of life that is alien to this world.

You may answer my question in either of these contexts.

Just one question…

1) What exactly would constitute, in principle, verification of such a hypothesis, by material conventional scientific methodologies?

I would hope you answer that question separately from any other reply to this post, because I want to include here now something else. And that is that
this is not a complicated or mystical matter. It is very simple. I think that you are missing the point because you are making the matter far more complex than it is…

I have decided to insert into this debate, an email exchange that I had with James Randi on this subject as it very closely mirrors where you are struggling as well. I sent him a copy of the article, and to my surprise… he responded!

If you are not familiar with Mr. Randi, here is a video of he and Richard Dawkins together: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9125258733294714593

The problem (if it is a really a ‘problem’ and not simple obfuscation) that you are wrestling with appears to be the same strategy common to the brights like Dawkins, Randi, Hitchens, et al.

By ‘strategy’, I do not mean to accuse anyone of conscious misrepresentation, but misrepresentation nonetheless.

If you’ll notice, he is so motivated to avoid the logical implications of my position, that he completely disregards any actual point that I have made, and instead, knocks down straw-men.

Put plainly, Mr. Randi misrepresents my position in order to attack it; not to mention that he is factually mistaken as to the meaning of words.

I realize that I am debating you Straggler and not Mr.Randi (though it would be nice if everyone here used their real names). I simply believe his comments might help you formulate your own questions better.

The exchange began this way:

quote:
To: rob.lockett@sbcglobal.net
Subject:
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 11:04:57 -0400 James Randi wrote:
I disagree with your definition that “science is knowledge.”

quote:
From: robert lockett [mailto:rob.lockett@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:38 PM
To: James Randi
Subject: Re:
Well... that keeps it simple! Do you care to explain why?

-------------------------------

JRandi: How do you define “knowledge”? Is it certain, unchangeable, immutable, always correct ….?

-------------------------------
Rob: It is all of those things.... only if it is logical. And by definition, that which is logical is systemic... and verifies one entity by [combining] the authority of another into a composite whole.

There must always be two witnesses (entities) for anything to be established as scientific. It may still be [incomplete], but all 'authoritative knowledge' or scientifically derived knowledge that is true [i.e. verified as fact]… has this quality so far as I know.

And that is interestingly… a historically Biblical view: http://bible.crosswalk.com/OnlineStudyBible/bible.cgi?new=1&word=two+witnesses§ion=0&version=niv&language=en

It is both knowledge and science. Not to mention the fact that the term 'science' means 'knowledge' in the original Greek.

[correction / Latin]

quote:
Main Entry: sci•ence
Pronunciation: \ˈsī-ən(t)s\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin scientia, from scient-, sciens having knowledge, from present participle of scire to know

1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science )


Science is knowledge. 'Conscious' in the original Greek means, 'with knowledge'.
[correction / Latin again]

Is that not right?

-------------------------------
JRandi: For a very long period, the Earth was flat… That was known by everyone – knowledge… There have been many “facts” – again, knowledge – that turned out to be wrong…

-------------------------------
Rob: You make an excellent point sir, although that is clearly not the kind of knowledge that I am advocating.

Such knowledge as you mention was what appeared to be obvious from one perspective. I am talking about the third perspective (knowledge) gained by the coherence of at least two others.

By definition... I am talking about knowledge that is scientific; knowledge that is verified by comparing other perspectives and incorporating them into a composite whole. Even better, is the application of perspective made to cohere with empirical evidence. Internal philosophical coherence is one thing. But when combined with empirical evidence we have a legitimate natural science.

Surely you know the difference between facts like the earth being flat, and facts such a empirical facts, or legitimate philosophical reasoning.

Mr. Randi, we come from totally different perspectives. I am a recent Christian convert who is 37 years old, a truck driver in No. California, a father of three, and I am honored to even be responded to by a man with your credentials and history. Nonetheless, you and I can surely agree upon this single point; 'that logic is the only possible valid knowledge'. And that is what science is... It had better be! And this philosophical principle is then applied to the empirical world.

Is that not correct?

As I understand it, it is the very heart of any scientific methodology, and the very authority that makes any of our declarations meaningful.

Certainly many 'facts' have been wrong throughout history, but that does not mean we can legitimately say that 'all facts' are wrong or untrustworthy, since that would 'itself' be a declaration of fact.

We are not omniscient, so we must be careful to avoid the persecutions of ideas and questions that so pervade the hallowed institutions of the past (and present).

Just because we are not omniscient, does not mean that we do not possess legitimate knowledge. And said knowledge is scientific.

What we must do to remain logically objective, is turn our rightful skepticism upon ourselves to make sure that we have not become the persecutors of the next legitimate discovery because of hidden bias and subjectivity of our own.

I am biased only to logic. And logic is by definition objective. So my bias is objective.

I don't suppose I have to bore you with an introductory lesson in logic (or history), so what is it exactly you would like to discuss?

The point of my article was to remind us all of the 'triune nature' of logic and science. There is no other legitimate or objective knowledge. The only thing beside it, is ecclesiastical proclamation, which neither you, nor I will accept. You fear the declarations of the church, and I the declarations of Dawkins.

Logic will tell which is false...

Logic Himself speaks with authority, and beside Him there is no other.

And that is a very revealing thing to see and understand clearly for the first time.

-------------------------------
JRandi: You have a religious perspective, which means that you are not using logic, but your need for a god. No, logic is not knowledge.

I have no time to pursue such matters with you; they would require basic discussions of philosophy and reason, and that is not possible by this means. Also, your religious stance is in the way of any and all reason, since that’s an emotional perspective…
I regret…

----------------------------------
Rob: I did not say that logic is knowledge. I said that knowledge is logical.

There is a difference as you know.

Are you positing that knowledge is not logical? Certainly not...

Mr. Randi, 'all perspectives' are philosophical and theistic (religious). Yours just happens to be a-theistic.

I made that point plainly in my article:

Scientific Reasoning vs. Religious Reasoning?

The conflict between science and religion is not over the existence of God because the terms God and reality are synonymous. Both are absolute, ultimate, and sovereign. The question is really one of God’s (or reality's) characteristics. Is reality a living being or merely an impersonal material force? Whatever or whoever reality is; reality is God by definition. It is what it is or I am who I am. The only difference between the philosophies of atheism and theism is the nature of God. All reasoning is philosophical. Whether we use inductive or deductive reasoning (and we rely almost exclusively on deduction) contradiction and coherence are what we seek in order to verify or refute premises and conclusions.

Definition of God / 1capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality [1]

It matters not whether our philosophy is monotheistic, pantheistic, polytheistic, atheistic, etc. The deist philosophizes that Theo (God) has left the building. All philosophy is theistic. Even the agnostic is in the same boat, since his philosophy purposely excludes deciding the question of Theo. To put it plainly, without theism, there is no such thing as an agnostic. The absolute character of reality (irrespective of its/his other qualities) does not give us the option of excluding ourselves from philosophizing about Theo.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god

Now please Mr. Randi... if you wish to explain why I am mistaken, feel free. But I cannot argue with bare assertions such as those you’ve sent full of logical fallacies.

Your work uncovering fraud is wonderful, but do you run so quickly from a 'real challenge'. Personally, I didn't need you to tell me that psychic healing is a con...

Certainly you can do better...

If anyone wants to scientifically test my claim to have spoken with Mr. Randi, the proof is available by email request; only notice that in doing so, you are asking for the testimony of another witness (to verify my claim) so as to make certain that it is truly scientific.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Straggler, posted 03-16-2008 9:13 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Straggler, posted 03-27-2008 6:56 AM Rob has not yet responded

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