Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 57 (9173 total)
1 online now:
Newest Member: Neptune7
Post Volume: Total: 917,585 Year: 4,842/9,624 Month: 190/427 Week: 0/103 Day: 0/8 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   the tip of the iceberg
driewerf
Junior Member
Posts: 29
Joined: 08-14-2010


(1)
Message 1 of 7 (912773)
09-25-2023 2:02 PM


The Theory of Evolution is but the tip of the iceberg.
We all know the metaphor of the ice berg. We only see a tiny part emerging from the water, the vast bulk of it is hidden under the water. Creationists deny, ridicule and attack the theory of evolution. But actually, the ToE is but the tip of the ice berg. Belowis there a whole attack on science proper. Nearly all the sciences are under attack by creationists.
  1. The ToE is not that important.
    One can live a fulfilling life, be a functional citizen without any knowledge of it. The ToE is the big unifying paradigm of biology and other life sciences like biochemistry. So any active scientist in one of those fields should have an thorough understanding of it, but for the average Joe it doesn’t matter. So there is no need to ram it through people’s throat. Not more (actually less) than a good understanding of hygiene, the Holocaust or the dangers of tobacco.
    That of course is for the individual. As a society we need a certain percentage of the population to be scientific literate – preferably s much as possible – but we can tolerate some lunatics, some madness, some mavericks. But on the personal level; one can perfectly believe whatever lunacy one wants.
  2. So what is the fuss all about?
    Anyone reading YEC-material will soon realize that any aspect of any scientific statement that gives credentials to the ToE or that somehow invalidates the YEC position will be immediately seen as antagonistic. If we take the ToE proper out of the picture, there is still the age of the Earth, the age of the Universe, the history and archaeology that are in direct contradiction of the Flood, there is the world demography that shows a continuity in contradiction with the Flood myth and so on. So the creationists adopted a new word, or at least gave it a new meaning: evolutionism.
    “Evolutionism” is simply everything that either contradict Young Earth Creationism or somehow supports the creationist’s strawman version of evolution. Let us take one example: radiometric dating. Since radiometric dating measures ages older than the canonical 600 years it is (for YEC-ists) wrong and hence is part of this nebulous “evolutionism”. Over the years I have seen arguments against
    • Astronomy and it’s multiple subdisciplines: like the age of the Universe, the Big Bang theory, the starlight distance problem, star formation, etc;
    • The Theory or relativity, that states the constancy of c, and hence the star light problem
    • Planetary sciences, like the age of the rings of Saturn, the receding movement of the Moon,
    • Demography: the repopulation of the Earth after the Flood is absolutely incompatible with the known populations of ancient civilizations
    • Nuclear physics, that somehow ignores the fact that radioactive processes speed up in Flood conditions
    • Glaciology, that thinks that collects ice layers of hundreds of thousands of years.
    • Plate tectonics: that doesn’t know that the entire Himalaya mountain range formed in the Flood.
    • Paleoclimatology, that keeps saying that there were multiple Ice Ages, lasting tens of thousands of years each. While YEC’s pretend that the Flood caused one single Ice Age, that lasted what? – a year?
    And so on. These aren’t isolated instances. These aren’t innocent positions. In the end all the sciences are labelled as invalid and “evolutionism”. Despite the rhetoric that creationist love science, one by one all sciences are labelled as “evolutionism” and atheistic, anti-Christian and wrong. The part of the ice berg below the water becomes visible. All sciences are wrong, according to the YEC’s, and not in some minor minutiae, but at the very foundational core of what they teach.
  3. The ice berg grows
    In science data is the end all tell all. The observed evidence is the ultimate arbiter. Not the authority of the scientist, not the number of letters in front or behind a PhD’s name, only the empirical evidence. This goes against the YEC’s attitude of argumentation based on authority, with of course the bible and god as ultimate authority. The mass of the ice berg becomes suddenly a lot bigger. What is at stake is not the ToE anymore, not the different sciences but the very scientific method itself and hence the possibility of research. Hence the possibility to progress and to tackle humanity’s needs. While the self-correcting attitude of science is celebrated as a strength of science by scientists, creationists will ridicule it, by calling it guesses or “fad of the week” (Kent Hovind about the Big Bang Theory). Of course admitting a mistake, correct an error is completely strange to creationists. Authoritarians don’t do that. They blame the underling.
    Worse, according to the paper The Postmodern Sin of Intelligent Design Creationism creationists deliberately portray science - all the sciences -as just a story of the elites and the scientific “truths” are just the outcome of a powerplay. Again, the very nature of science is at stake.
Please discuss.

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 13081
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 2 of 7 (912775)
09-30-2023 10:08 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the the tip of the iceberg thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 13081
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 3 of 7 (912836)
10-03-2023 11:56 AM


Responses anyone?
This thread proposal was overlooked for a few days and wasn't promoted until it was brought to my attention. Did anyone want to post a response?

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by dwise1, posted 10-03-2023 12:13 PM Admin has seen this message but not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5969
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(2)
Message 4 of 7 (912837)
10-03-2023 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Admin
10-03-2023 11:56 AM


Re: Responses anyone?
I plan to post a response describing creationists' "Two Model Approach", which not only gets into its being a false dichotomy, but also how it's the foundational basis of virtually all creationist arguments, etc.
Unfortunately, much of my free time at the moment is tied up with candle2's characteristic bullshittery.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Admin, posted 10-03-2023 11:56 AM Admin has seen this message but not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5969
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(1)
Message 5 of 7 (913460)
11-01-2023 10:29 PM


For candle2: How to Evaluate Creationist Claims
For candle2's edification (maybe miracles can happen), here is a page written by an evangelical Christian. While working on his PhD Physical Geology a couple decades ago, he ran a science & religion discussion ring, but since then his attention has turned to his career and family life so he declined my offer to repost some of his pages. I will therefore honor his wishes and leave his name out of the following (is the original text with lots of converting from HTML to dBCodes):
quote:
How to Evaluate Young-Earth Creationist Literature
These are my personal opinions as a geologist and a Christian. As a Christian in the sciences, I have read many articles and books written by young-earth creationists (those Christians who believe in a divinely-created Earth in six 24-hour days some 6,000 years ago) and have been deeply disturbed by what I perceive to be extremely poor-quality (and sometimes outright deceptive) arguments presented by fellow Christians. Creationist material, while sometimes masquerading as science, often fails to meet even the most basic requirements of scientific literature. The following are some questions to keep in mind when evaluating books or articles written by young-earth creationists...
  • Who wrote it and what are their credentials?
    I have a pamphlet called Creation or Evolution? written by a fellow named Winkie Pratney. The tract is published by Last Days Ministries in Lindale, Texas and Pratney is described as a well-known evangelist, author, festival and conference speaker. No scientific credentials are given even though Pratney considers most of modern biology, geology, and astronomy to be in error. One wonders why anyone should believe his claims since he presents no evidence of having studied science. To put it another way, who is a better judge of the validity of modern science, the people who hold Ph.D. degrees in the relevant fields or a "well-known evangelist" who presents no evidence of even understanding the basics of what he criticizes? Some young-earth creationists have also been known to flaunt questionable credentials.
  • Where are you reading it?
    Are you reading a paper in a scientific journal, an article in a popular magazine, a book, or a pamphlet? It makes a difference. Papers in scientific journals are peer-reviewed before publication by other scientists in an attempt to weed out bad science (some journals have very stringent publication guidelines and often reject papers showing evidence of poor research). There are, however, no such guidelines for the many books and pamphlets criticizing evolution. If you want to learn about what scientists are saying about evolution, even if you don't believe in it, you have to read the scientific literature. It's not enough to only read a few popular books from the Institute for Creation Research or the Creation Research Society.
  • Are statements backed up by references?
    Consider the following statement from the Institute for Creation Research's Impact series entitled "No. 137 - Ten Misconceptions About the Geologic Column" by Steven A. Austin (1984):
    Hundreds of locations are known where the order of the systems identified by geologists does not match the order of the geologic column. Strata systems are believed in some places to be inverted, repeated, or
    inserted where they do not belong. Overturning, overthrust faulting, or landsliding are frequently maintained as disrupting the order. In some locations such structural changes can be supported by physical evidence, while elsewhere physical evidence for the disruption may be lacking and special pleading may be required using fossils or radiometric dating.
    Austin made several sweeping statements here but there are no references given and there is no further elaboration. This makes it very difficult to investigate the claims in order to assess their validity. If Austin, who has a Ph.D. in geology, wishes to be taken seriously, he should identify at least some of the "Hundreds of locations" and his statements should be supported by references to the scientific literature. Scientists tend to be skeptical of unsupported claims.
  • How old are the references?
    Science changes. Creationists have been known to list references which are now useless because they've become outdated due to more recent experiments, discoveries, or improvements in technology. For example, Henry Morris in his book Scientific Creationism (1974) wrote:
    It is known that there is essentially a constant rate of cosmic dust particles entering the earth's atmosphere from space and then gradually settling to the earth's surface. The best measurements of this influx have been made by Hans Pettersson who obtained the figure of 14 million tons per year. This amounts to 14 x 10^19 pounds in 5 billion years. If we assume the density of compacted dust is, say, 140 pounds per cubic foot, this corresponds to a volume of 10^18 cubic feet. Since the earth has a surface area of approximately 5.5 x 10^15 square feet this seems to mean that there should have accumulated during the 5-billion-year age of the earth, a layer of meteoric dust approximately 182 feet thick all over the world!
    If true, this certainly seems damaging to the idea of an old earth. Let's examine it more closely. The reference Morris is referring to is a Scientific American article published in 1959 by Hans Pettersson entitled "Cosmic spherules and meteoric dust." Pettersson measured dust particles in the atmosphere on top of some mountains in Hawaii in order to estimate their rate of influx from outer space. The problem, which Pettersson was well aware of, was that such measurements have high error bars because of terrestrial contamination. Later measurements, made from orbiting satellites, found that the rate of influx was actually orders of magnitude less than that estimated by Pettersson. Morris apparently ignored this more recent data (it was available to him in 1974 if he only looked) in favor of older, out-of-date information.
  • Are references given to the primary literature?
    The book The Truth: God or Evolution by Marshall and Sandra Hall (1974) includes references in their bibliography to articles in Reader's Digest, Time, Saturday Review, Life, Columbia Encyclopedia, Miami Herald, Scientific American, and U.S. News & World Report. These are all fine publications but they're not the type of publications one cites to defend a scientific argument.
  • Would it be worthwhile to check the references?
    If claims are made which sound suprising or unusual, they should be investigated. Examine the following quotation from Evolution, The Fossils Say No by Duane T. Gish (1978):
    What do we find in rocks older than the Cambrian? Not a single, indisputable, multicellular fossil has ever been found in Precambrian rocks! Certainly it can be said without fear of contradiction that the evolutionary ancestors of the Cambrian fauna, if they ever existed, have never been found.
    Is this true? It would seem that paleontologists would have a lot of explaining to do if multicellular life suddenly and spontaneously arose at the beginning of the Cambrian Period. Consider the following two papers published ten years earlier than Gish's book:
    • Anderson, M. M. & Misra, S. B. 1968. Fossils found in the Pre-Cambrian Conception Group of South-eastern Newfoundland. Nature 220,681-681.
    • Glaessner, M. F. & Ward, M. 1966. The late Precambrian fossils from Ediacara, South Australia. Paleontology 9, 599-628.
    Anderson and Misra's paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature, discusses the discovery of metazoan fossils in the late Precambrian rocks of Newfoundland. Glaessner and Ward's paper, published in a leading journal of paleontology, discusses late Precambrian invertebrate fossils (several phyla) from the famous Ediacara locality in Australia (the fossils from which are featured in virtually all paleontology textbooks).
    These are only two of many examples from well-known scientific journals that Gish should have consulted in performing research for the book. His statement is completely false and reflects either outright dishonesty or extremely sloppy research. It's certainly not good science.
Summary
In science, skepticism is a virtue. If the claims of young-earth creationists are true, virtually all of modern science is grossly in error. If you want to overturn all of science, you had better have extremely compelling evidence. I have found, in my own personal experience, that when many creationist claims are critically examined they completely fall apart.

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Percy, posted 11-02-2023 9:25 AM dwise1 has not replied
 Message 7 by driewerf, posted 12-07-2023 7:30 AM dwise1 has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22607
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 6 of 7 (913463)
11-02-2023 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
11-01-2023 10:29 PM


Re: For candle2: How to Evaluate Creationist Claims
dwise1 writes:
...lots of converting from HTML to dBCodes
<div style="color: lightgreen">Most HTML is accepted in messages.</div> becomes:
Most HTML is accepted in messages.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by dwise1, posted 11-01-2023 10:29 PM dwise1 has not replied

  
driewerf
Junior Member
Posts: 29
Joined: 08-14-2010


Message 7 of 7 (913819)
12-07-2023 7:30 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
11-01-2023 10:29 PM


Re: For candle2: How to Evaluate Creationist Claims
quote:
I have a pamphlet called Creation or Evolution? written by a fellow named Winkie Pratney. The tract is published by Last Days Ministries in Lindale, Texas and Pratney is described as a well-known evangelist, author, festival and conference speaker. No scientific credentials are given even though Pratney considers most of modern biology, geology, and astronomy to be in error.
Some other aspects to be taken into account: how broad a field does the creationists pretends to be an expert.
While real scientists study one science - heck even a small part of an entire science, creationists don't hesitate to portray themselves as experts in everything. A real scientists start with studying - let us say biology. But specializes in let us say molecular biology. Which is subdivided into protein chemistry, molecular genetics, biochemistry, cytology and so on.
Kent Hovind - as a real life example - pretends to be able to correct biologists, nuclerar physicists (nuclear synthesis doesn't happen!), geologists, astronomers, palaeontologists, archaeologists and so on. All at once! The broader a creationist goes, the more red flags need to go up.
This is an application of one of the points made in the OP: the downgrading of sciences. We have in real life accumulated a massive amount of knowledge. To creat the illusion that one man can master all the sciences, even to the level of out-knowledging all experts in all fields, is creating the illusion that the different sciences haven't bee resaerching a lot. That it is all easy.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by dwise1, posted 11-01-2023 10:29 PM dwise1 has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024