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Author Topic:   Conclusion vs Presupposition
jar
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Message 1 of 94 (443522)
12-25-2007 2:59 PM


One allegation often made by ID supporters and Biblical Creationists is that what the evidence shows us is a matter of world view and that Evolutionists interpret things based on some presupposition of great age, and old earth.
I would like to discuss that and see if it can be defended, or if as most Evolution supporters claim, their position is an inescapable conclusion instead.
I would like to point to several recent examples as support of my position.
In the thread on Lake Varves we were discussing the Green River formation. In Message 44 I pointed out the following:
They can only settle on the bottom. That is what is so clear about this example. We have over 4,000,000 instances of a finer material being laid down followed by a slightly coarser layer then another finer layer, another coarser layer.
To get that fine a silt to settle out the water must be near still, followed by the more active flow to provide the slightly coarser layer, followed another quiescent period.
This is not sand but silt and we can deal with how to make silt after someone explains Thread How to make sand., but for now, you need to present the model that explains over 4 million layers of finer silt then coarser silt, lighter silt then darker silt.
So lets look at your 4 million catastrophic events. If it happened over the 6000 year period you have mentioned that is over 666 events a year, about two a day, every day right up through yesterday. Likely someone might have noticed.
In that case it also eliminates a flood during those 6000 years.
If it happened during the flood year it is about 11,000 repeating cycles a day or something over 450 such events every hour, more than seven every minute.
Now remember this is such fine silt that it will stay suspended unless the water is standing still for a considerable period of time.
So once again, what is your model for the 4 million plus alternating layers of finer and coarser, lighter and darker material?
In the Green River formation we find over 4 million (actually a recent oil shale drill core shows up to 20 million) layers that consist of darker and lighter, finer and coarser, repeated layers of silt.
Starting with just the fact that the layers exist, what possible information can be gained?
When we look around at the world we can find similar examples being created in lakes today. During spring and summer there are algae blooms that stain the silt a darker color followed by a winter period when the algae die off and a lighter color silt is deposited. We also see seasonal variations based on run off where periods of faster flow keep the finest silt suspended allowing only the coarser material to be deposited.
So the question is, simply based on the existing alternating layers found in the Green River deposits, what conclusions can be drawn?
Well we do see regular annual layers being created today, so there is an explanation for what is seen. However, if that is true then the conclusion, not presupposition, is that the Green River formation must equal a period of over 4 million years.
But that is a conclusion based on the data. It does not begin with the assumption of great age, rather the evidence leads to the conclusion of great age.
Let's consider a second recent example, the How to make sand..
In the thread we looked at the various ways that sand could be made. The conventional view is that first a mountain is made, then it is weathered, then the weathered material is transported and reduced until you get sand which is then deposited at some lower elevation. Again, we can see this happening today. We know that the conventional model is possible since we can observe it happening.
BUT...
it takes time to raise up a mountain, time to weather it, time to transport and reduce the material and then deposit it as sand. That is not a presupposition, it is a conclusion based on the evidence.
We also find, as shown in the Exploring the Grand Canyon, from the bottom up. that we can find examples of bedded schist (metamorphic sandstone) consisting of alternating layers of finer and coarser particles and located at the very lowest exposed layers of the Grand Canyon. Again, the conclusion is that sand was carried to the spot and deposited, in a series of events with faster and slower flow. The material was later buried to complete the process of changing from sandstone to schist.
Since this is the very lowest exposed layer, the Vishnu Schist, and there are many, many more layers with different composition above it, the conclusion is that it happened a long time ago. It happened long enough ago for mountains to be created, weathered, reduced, transported, deposited, buried and changed.
Again, age is not a presupposition but rather a conclusion.
The question is, where are the alleged presuppositions?

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Message 2 of 94 (443538)
12-25-2007 3:38 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
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Message 3 of 94 (443545)
12-25-2007 3:57 PM


Thread moved here from the Dates and Dating forum.

  
Phat
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Message 4 of 94 (443657)
12-26-2007 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
12-25-2007 2:59 PM


Evidence versus Presuppositions
Jar writes:
The question is, where are the alleged presuppositions?
Well, another question may be this:
Why do we have presuppositions at all?

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 Message 5 by RAZD, posted 12-26-2007 12:23 PM Phat has replied

  
RAZD
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Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 5 of 94 (443688)
12-26-2007 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
12-26-2007 10:15 AM


basic assumptions needed
Why do we have presuppositions at all?
To communicate. All language is presupposition that others will understand you and want to communicate.
I think you need to start with basics, the presuppositions for a naturalistic understanding of the natural world:
(1) that there is an objective reality
(2) that evidence tells the truth about that objective reality
(3) that we can understand objective reality by understanding the evidence
Then the question comes down to whether these ideas are useful in everyday life.
We apply the common assumption (1) of objective reality every time we drive to work or play, and are reminded of it every time we bump our shins on something in the dark.
We apply (2) and (3) every time we use a scientific conclusion, whether it involves medicine or the functioning of automobiles, airplanes, etcetera.
Put together these three assumptions tell us that when our understanding is at odds with the evidence, when new evidence contradicts theory for instance, that it is our understanding that is in error, not the objective reality, and our understanding must make an adjustment (ie - it's a reality check).
Put together these three assumptions tell us that if the evidence shows that the earth is old, then it is old, while if the evidence shows that the earth is young that there would be no contradictory evidence showing anything being older than the real age of the earth.
Likewise, if someone assumes that evidence - the green river varves for example - are produced by a method that does not produce such evidence (graded layers) today, and are NOT produced by a method that does produce such evidence (graded layers) today, then someone is assuming that our understanding is incomplete ... or that the evidence lies ... or that objective reality doesn't exist.
If we assume that objective reality doesn't exist, then we are left with one or more subjective realities, and no conclusions are valid. The earth could be flat and gravity could be caused by invisible pink unicorns. All knowledge is irrelevant and anything you think you believe could be fantasy.
If we assume that evidence lies then again no conclusions are valid. The earth could be flat and gravity could be caused by invisible pink unicorns. All knowledge is irrelevant and anything you think you believe could be fantasy.
If we assume that our understanding is incomplete, yet there is no evidence that shows that our understanding is false, then the only conclusion we can come to is that our understanding is still sound, but that the results are tentative.
That is science.
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : moved phrase for clarity.

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Phat, posted 12-26-2007 10:15 AM Phat has replied

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jar
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Posts: 34120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 6 of 94 (443931)
12-27-2007 3:37 PM


Bump to see if any of the folk that make such claims will speak up
Just a bump to see where all the folk always making such claims ran to?
It seems funny how in thread after thread the ID and Biblical Creation folk fail to support their assertions.
Could it be because their positions are unsupportable?

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Beretta
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Posts: 422
From: South Africa
Joined: 10-29-2007


Message 7 of 94 (444368)
12-29-2007 4:08 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by RAZD
12-26-2007 12:23 PM


Re: basic assumptions needed
This all sounds rather like the Specimen ridge example in Yellowstone national park. The classic interpretation of the eroded hillside exposing layers of petrified trees was that the layers of trees represented 32 subsequent forests and 100 000 years of earth history. This 'interpretation' was presented as fact in geology textbooks. Young earth Christians had no better explanation for many years.
In 1980, Mt St Helens erupted knocking down thousands of acres of trees. Over 1 million of these trees ended up floating on Spirit Lake. They became waterlogged and many sank in an upright position to the bottom of the lake.
If the trees were buried in a subsequent volcanic event, the area would have the appearance of many forests which had grown on top of each other over thousands of years. Yet this sedimentay deposit was formed rapidly by a single flood-like event.
Returning to Specimen Ridge,it is interesting to note that the buried trees do not have the extensive roots that would be expected from trees which had grown in place. Instead they have abruptly ending root bundles indicating uprooting from somewhere else.
So here we have an example of historical interpretation being incorrect but no suitable answer for creationists for many years.
Anything from the past has to be interpreted as it only exists in the present -you can't smell or taste or see age in rocks and historical formations - you have to interpret. Creationists may have a bias in interpretation but so do evolutionists who are quick to grab onto the interpretation that suits the rest of their big picture.
I read an article recently about how mudstone was believed to be formed slowly in still waters but how studies are showing that this is not correct. If that belief is behind all mudstone formation interpretations, lots of slow accumulation interpretations must now change.
How about 1st and 2nd stage supernova remnants. Based on historical observations over the last 2000 years, millions of supernovas should have occurred. Since only around 200 second stage remnants have been found, this would indicate that our universe is far younger than the age required for evolution to have occurred. So lets face it, that won't suit evolutionists even though it should be evidence falsifying the concept of extreme age of the universe.
When these things happen, we of the creationist persuasion expect to find an enormous story conjured up to explain away the obvious implications of the evidence since we know that evolutionary presuppositions will dominate interpretation and the simplest solution will be unacceptable.
if the evidence shows that the earth is young that there would be no contradictory evidence showing anything being older than the real age of the earth.
Or visa versa but don't count on it making a difference.

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Rrhain
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Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 8 of 94 (444385)
12-29-2007 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Beretta
12-29-2007 4:08 AM


Re: basic assumptions needed
Beretta writes:
quote:
Yet this sedimentay deposit was formed rapidly by a single flood-like event.
But it looks nothing like typical sedimentary deposits. That's how you can tell that it was from a single flood event, not from long processes of multiple flood and dry periods.
Not to mention the fact that the rocks of Mt. St. Helens are volcanic ash and nothing like the mineral deposits of other areas. It is easily eroded.
Yellowstone National Park (U.S.) Fossil Forests
Like the modern environments around Mt. St. Helens, there is potential to bury stumps in-place *and* to transport them upright in a variety of sedimentary environments (although burial in-place is far more common). Distinguishing the two (or even recognizing the presence of both) is not difficult. To simply say, "tree stumps can be transported, so all occurrences can be dismissed", is incorrect. The vast majority of occurrences can not be explained by transport.
Is there a particular reason why you're misquoting the state of the science?
quote:
How about 1st and 2nd stage supernova remnants.
What about them? There is no deviation from astronomical theory.
Supernovae, Supernova Remnants and Young Earth Creationism FAQ
YECs claim that not as many SNRs are observed as would be expected in an old universe. Davies uses a value of one million years for the lower end of the typical visible lifetime of a SNR and assumes that all SNRs last this long. He gets this figure from Ilovaisky & Lequeux (1972b). However, on reading the original paper it is noticeable that this value is actually for the theoretical lifetime of the remnant, not the observable lifetime of the remnant. Why is there a difference? Quite simply, SNRs are actually hard to detect.
Is there a particular reason why you're misquoting the state of the science?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

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Phat
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Posts: 18418
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 9 of 94 (444389)
12-29-2007 7:54 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by RAZD
12-26-2007 12:23 PM


Re: basic assumptions needed
RAZD writes:
I think you need to start with basics, the presuppositions for a naturalistic understanding of the natural world:
(1) that there is an objective reality
(2) that evidence tells the truth about that objective reality
(3) that we can understand objective reality by understanding the evidence
Then the question comes down to whether these ideas are useful in everyday life.
I saw Jars challenge to respond, and even though I don't necessitate the world view of Biblical Creationism I had to go ask Mr. Google what all the controversy was about! I typed in the term, "Christianity versus Naturalism" only because the debate between folk such as Jar and myself usually boils down into the philosophical arguments of
  • Blind Faith versus Logic, Reason, and Reality
    or
  • Source versus Content
    I was amazed to see that on the first website I read, naturalism was being equated with atheism.
    This site sums up the probable positions and/or world views that differentiate Biblical Christians from Science by definition.
    This site defines naturalism in some detail, and defines the parameters quite succinctly in this statement:
    quote:
    The idea behind this principle is that natural causes can be investigated directly through scientific method, whereas supernatural causes cannot, and hence presuming that an event has a supernatural cause for methodological purposes halts further investigation.
    To further attempt to understand this topic, I googled "objective reality" and found this definition:
    We are using the term objective reality in contrast to subjective reality, which is reality seen through our inner mental filters that are shaped by our past conditioning. Objective reality is how things really are.
    It really helps me to understand philosophical concepts by understanding the terms which they use.
    jar writes:
    One allegation often made by ID supporters and Biblical Creationists is that what the evidence shows us is a matter of world view and that Evolutionists interpret things based on some presupposition of great age, and old earth.
    I would like to discuss that and see if it can be defended, or if as most Evolution supporters claim, their position is an inescapable conclusion instead.
    I have nothing to discuss. You guys have made your point.

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    jar
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    Message 10 of 94 (444698)
    12-30-2007 12:47 PM


    Still waiting for someone to show up
    How are the conventional models the result of Pre-suppositions?

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    imageinvisible
    Member (Idle past 6024 days)
    Posts: 132
    From: Arlington, Texas, US
    Joined: 12-03-2007


    Message 11 of 94 (444982)
    12-31-2007 5:38 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by jar
    12-30-2007 12:47 PM


    Re: Still waiting for someone to show up
    Simple. Evolutionism starts with the presupposition, the idea, that everything in the universe can be explained naturaly, and/or has a natural cause. Ergo, this presuposition states that there is or can be no supernatural intervention. From this starting presupposition a postulate concerning the origin of the universe was derived based on that supposition, i.e. the Big Bing, a postulate which requires billions of years to be feasable. from this same supposition a postulate concerning the origin of life was derived, i.e. the postulate of evolution, which reqiures billions of years to be feasable. These two postulates then became the foundation for studying the universe, and any postulate that follows after them must adhere to their conclusion that the universe and everything in it reqiures billions of years, because any other conclusion would negate the starting presupposition.
    The founding presupposition of evolutionism asserts that there is no God, without being able to prove that there isn't a God.
    Creationism starts with the presupposition that the universe had to be created suppernaturaly, by God. We have several postulates as to how God created the universe, (one of these is contained in the Bible) and life, (also in the Bible). When we observe the universe we use these postulates as our foundation for any conclusions that we come to, and that no evidence will refute our primary presupposition, because any other conclusion would negate our starting presupposition.
    The founding presupposition of creationism asserts that there is a God, without being able to prove that there is a God.
    The question concerning the cause of the universe can only have one answer. Either a) it occured naturaly, or b) it was created suppernaturaly. The same goes for the question concerning the origin of life. Either a) it occured naturaly, or b) it was created suppernaturaly. One starting point must be wrong, and the other must be right. How we view the big picture determines which answer we chose. We then chose one of these starting points (a or b) and then test the evidence to try and prove that starting point. We then use the observations from those tests to further support our belief in the starting point. How we observe the evidence around us determines which one we chose; however, which one we chose determines how we observe the evidence around us. Mmmm...circular reasoning at it's finest, dig in and eat up.

    This message is a reply to:
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    jar
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    Posts: 34120
    From: Texas!!
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    Message 12 of 94 (444985)
    12-31-2007 5:45 PM
    Reply to: Message 11 by imageinvisible
    12-31-2007 5:38 PM


    Re: Still waiting for someone to show up
    Ergo, this presuposition states that there is or can be no supernatural intervention.
    False. You will not get very far simply posting things that are false. I am a Christian who fully accepts Evolution therefore your assertion is proven false.
    Please look at the examples posted and show where there are presuppositions.
    The founding presupposition of evolutionism asserts that there is no God, without being able to prove that there isn't a God.
    False. You will not get very far simply posting things that are false. I am a Christian who fully accepts Evolution therefore your assertion is proven false.
    Again, please look at the examples posted and show where there are presuppositions.

    Immigration has been a problem Since 1607!

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 11 by imageinvisible, posted 12-31-2007 5:38 PM imageinvisible has replied

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    Rahvin
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    Message 13 of 94 (444988)
    12-31-2007 5:50 PM
    Reply to: Message 11 by imageinvisible
    12-31-2007 5:38 PM


    Re: Still waiting for someone to show up
    The founding presupposition of evolutionism asserts that there is no God, without being able to prove that there isn't a God.
    But proving a negative is a logical impossibility. You dont say, for example, that we must start with the presupposition that there is an invisible, intangible pink unicorn perched on your shoulder. Given that there is no evidence of such an entity, it is assumed to not exist.
    Until evidence is uncovered that necessitates the supernatural, it is logical to conclude that the supernatural does not exist. This is not a presupposition - naturalistic explanations have been found for things like the change in species over generations, the orbits of the planets, weather patterns, etc.
    There is evidence of the natural.
    There is not evidence of the supernatural.

    Every time a fundy breaks the laws of thermodynamics, Schroedinger probably kills his cat.

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    imageinvisible
    Member (Idle past 6024 days)
    Posts: 132
    From: Arlington, Texas, US
    Joined: 12-03-2007


    Message 14 of 94 (445013)
    12-31-2007 8:42 PM
    Reply to: Message 12 by jar
    12-31-2007 5:45 PM


    Re: Still waiting for someone to show up
    You are alot of things Jar but you are not a christian. The doctrine you follow is not Christ's but I will not argue that with you on this thread. False...Hmm.
    We Make the Rules Now? | Answers in Genesis
    A Designer Is UnscientificEven If All the Evidence Supports One! | Answers in Genesis
    Darwinism Believed Because of Anti-God Bias | Answers in Genesis
    Darwinists’ tactics | Answers in Genesis
    Evolution Incompatible with Christianity | Answers in Genesis
    Evolution = Atheism | Answers in Genesis
    Amazing Admission | Answers in Genesis
    The Atheists Know . . . Why Christianity Has to Fight Evolution | Answers in Genesis
    Mysterious Evolution | Answers in Genesis
    Quotable Quotes: Lejeune and Hoyle | Answers in Genesis
    Twisted Thinking | Answers in Genesis
    Chemical Evolution: Based on (Blind) Faith Not Fact | Answers in Genesis
    Davis Young: Why He Abandoned the Day-Age Theory | Answers in Genesis
    No Real Theory of Evolution | Answers in Genesis
    Spurgeon on Evolution | Answers in Genesis
    Science ... a reality check | Answers in Genesis
    Science and Bias | Answers in Genesis
    Quotable Quote: Spontaneous Generation and Perpetual Motion | Answers in Genesis
    Missing Link | Answers in Genesis
    Mass Murderer (Dahmer) on Evolution v. Morality | Answers in Genesis
    Darwin Versus Compassion | Answers in Genesis
    Quotable Quote: H.G. Wells, Evolution and the Gospel | Answers in Genesis
    Hitler and Evolution | Answers in Genesis
    Hutton’s a priori commitment to materialism | Answers in Genesis
    Fossil Evidence for Evolution . . . Expert Says FORGET IT | Answers in Genesis
    Big Bang Cosmology | Answers in Genesis
    Leading Anti-Creationist Philosopher Admits that Evolution Is a R | Answers in Genesis
    Aldous Huxley Admits Motive for Anti-Theistic Bias | Answers in Genesis
    Ape-Man Olympics | Answers in Genesis
    Archaeologist Speaks Out | Answers in Genesis
    Who Said It: Contradictory Knowledge | Answers in Genesis
    Oxford Hebrew scholar, Professor James Barr, on the meaning of Ge | Answers in Genesis
    Darwinism, Morality and the Tiger | Answers in Genesis
    Death in the Garden | Answers in Genesis
    Just a few quotes that refute your claim that I am makeinga false claim when I say that evolution excludes a God; and concerning the amount of supposition that goes into the CvE ideologies.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by jar, posted 12-31-2007 5:45 PM jar has replied

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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 34120
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 3.1


    Message 15 of 94 (445014)
    12-31-2007 8:52 PM
    Reply to: Message 14 by imageinvisible
    12-31-2007 8:42 PM


    Re: Still waiting for someone to show up
    As I said, I am a Christian and I accept evolution and God.
    You are refuted.
    The Clergy Project Letter is currently signed by over 11,000 US Christian Clergy who accept Evolution.
    You lose big time.
    Now, as I asked before, where are the presuppositions in the examples included in Message 1?

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