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Author Topic:   Can't ID be tested AT ALL?
TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 221 of 304 (373640)
01-02-2007 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tusko
09-13-2005 10:07 AM


What's interesting to me is the modern mythology about "the scientific method". The myth goes something like this: There is this superior method of discovering truth called 'the scientific method'. It has been been proved to be so superior that all scientific truth should be given special status. So even if science produces results that are directly contradictory to the first science, philosophy, we give the scientific conclusions priority. So here we are, fretting over whether ID is testable or not. Of course, evolution isn't testable either, but that doesn't seem to worry people so much. But as an engineer I wonder, what is so magical about testing? Anyone who has had to deal with a product recall knows that testing offers no guarantee of correctness. Engineers learn early on that there is no such thing as zero defects, only statistical correctness. Testing can reduce but not eliminate defects (i.e. mistakes). Different types of study require different methodologies, and there are different degrees of certainty for different fields. If anybody is absolutely certain about anything it's because they have forgotten, or never realized, the long string of assumptions they had to make to reach their conclusions.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Tusko, posted 09-13-2005 10:07 AM Tusko has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 222 by Tusko, posted 01-02-2007 9:11 AM TheMystic has replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 223 of 304 (373653)
01-02-2007 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by Tusko
01-02-2007 9:11 AM


Well, let me ask you a question - is this post being generated by a human, or a computer program, or something else? You know the answer, and the method you use to arrive at that conclusion is pretty irrelevant. In fact, you would judge the method by the known conclusion. If, for instance, you had a spam filter to eliminate the increase-your-manhood ads you would consider it to have failed if it scrapped this post. So in the same way, No, I do not consider what is currently called science to be the best way to explain the world around us because it has arrived at some obviously false conclusions. Something is terribly wrong with the method. Why should we believe our senses, for instance? If science arrives at a conclusion that our minds are only electro-chemical devices that respond to our senses in ways that tend to promote the continuation of our species, then we have pretty much ruled out 'believe'ing our senses at all. We only respond to them. If evolution is correct we are like the person who has had a stroke and thinks he's making perfect sense but only grunts are coming out.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by Tusko, posted 01-02-2007 9:11 AM Tusko has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 224 by Percy, posted 01-02-2007 10:52 AM TheMystic has replied
 Message 226 by Tusko, posted 01-02-2007 11:41 AM TheMystic has replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 225 of 304 (373680)
01-02-2007 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 224 by Percy
01-02-2007 10:52 AM


Many people are fooled by programs like Eliza into thinking they are conversing with a real person.
But you know you are talking to a real person. I presume you would not have bothered to answer Eliza. And you at least knew that even if this is Eliza, some extremely clever person(s) was behind the program. See, this is part of what bothers me about the anti-ID'ers - why work so hard to deny the obvious? Why such a prejudice against such an obvious option as creation? The only answers I get are variations on "I don't want to be told, I want to figure it out for myself".
any reasonable person would question a view of modern science that held it as anything less than spectacularly successful.
I make a distinction between science and technology. We certainly live in an age of extraordinary technology but I think it a logical fallacy to say 1) Scientists/engineers really make cool stuff. 2) Scientists believe in evolution (well, some don't, but they're not real scientists) 3) ergo, evolution is true. I actually think the modern man is sinking back into mysticism. One of the modern sacraments is the 'scientific method', whatever the heck that is. (You want to have some fun, make somebody define 'scientific method' in a way that includes the study of evolution)
There's no other way to learn anything other than through our senses.
I don't agree with this, actually. Perhaps we cannot function without our senses, but that does not mean they define knowledge. Necessary but not sufficient, perhaps, but I'm not totally convinced they are even absolutely necessary to all knowledge. Even the evolutionist realizes we come into life with some built-in firmware. What he may not have thought about is how much he must rely on that firmware to even begin any sort of discovery. It is pure unexamined assumption to think our physical senses are the only things involved in that process.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 224 by Percy, posted 01-02-2007 10:52 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 228 by Percy, posted 01-02-2007 12:37 PM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 227 of 304 (373687)
01-02-2007 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 226 by Tusko
01-02-2007 11:41 AM


I'm almost certain that TheMystic is a human... I'm interested to see how you think this supports your point.
I'm probably being too Socratic here... I'm trying to say, who cares whether a theory is testable or not. What matters is whether it's correct or not. If some sort of test yields some valuable data, by all means go for it, otherwise don't waste your time. You see, I think I detect a lot of folks who have come to believe in science. They subscribe to the urban myth that there is something called 'the scientific method' that somehow always converges on the truth. That is mysticism. If you flip a penny and get heads 100 times in a row, the chances of getting tails next flip are... 50%. Yesterday's scientific successes have absolutely zero predictive power for tomorrow's success. Sorry about that, but every fact has to stand on its own two feet. I'm just trying to get you to be more interested in truth than being right - There's a much bigger world out there than you might have thought.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 226 by Tusko, posted 01-02-2007 11:41 AM Tusko has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 229 by LinearAq, posted 01-02-2007 1:16 PM TheMystic has replied
 Message 232 by Tusko, posted 01-02-2007 4:32 PM TheMystic has replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 230 of 304 (373720)
01-02-2007 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 229 by LinearAq
01-02-2007 1:16 PM


Re: Making small steps back to topic
Excuse me? By what method do you determine which theory is correct if not by testing?
Well, perhaps we do need to define 'testing'. I was presuming this thread to be using the term as in the high school fairy tale about the 'scientific method' where you take someone else's experiment notes and try to reproduce them in your own lab. Well, certain things can't be reproduced in the lab, such as the origin of species. In fact, most people, scientific or otherwise, decide the accuracy of a theory by how well it fits with the data they have available (including value judgements about the one telling us the theory). If you're missing some data, sure, you try and go get it, but there again you probably go look it up on Google, not do an experiment. The human mind is a massively parallel pattern matching device and we are able to try a peg in all the holes stored in our memory in a very short period of time. When we find one that fits, that's what we go with. If you want to call that testing that's fine with me, but in that case ID can be tested quite nicely - it certainly fits all the observable evidence. If you really examine it, this is probably as logical a means of arriving at "the correct answer" as the Scientific Method. Either way we have to assume the validity of the human thought process.
I don't, by the way, have a problem with the scientific method, per se. It's a great discipline in theory, I just don't think anybody actually practices it, and probably nothing practical could get done if we did try to follow it. Outside of a few issues like religion and politics and evolution we are a very practical species, and if it works, that's good enough.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 229 by LinearAq, posted 01-02-2007 1:16 PM LinearAq has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 231 by Percy, posted 01-02-2007 4:26 PM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 233 of 304 (373802)
01-02-2007 7:21 PM
Reply to: Message 232 by Tusko
01-02-2007 4:32 PM


Yeah, I think I'm going a little off track attacking the scientific method. That's not really my intent. I think what I'm trying to say is that each question should be approached individually and a suitable methodology found for that question. So for ID, I think the basic methodology has to be to see if the evidence corresponds with the idea of an ID. I think you have to be very broad in considering the evidence, such as asking, "Has the ID deliberately revealed [him]self in any way?" It's a religious question of course, but you can't just rule it out because it doesn't fit some definition of science. To summarize I'd say something like this: 1) Life seems very ordered and works extremely well. It survives without apparent intervention, it reproduces itself, it adapts. 2) Life seems very ordered - that is, I perceive it as such. 3) I seem to be something more than just an animal or a machine. I am aware, and aware that I am aware. That is, my intelligence does not seem to be the product of natural causes, suggesting that there is a supernatural dimension of some sort. 4) I have the concept of an ID (a variant of #2, really). This is just one element of my built-in firmware, which would likely be designed to comprehend an ID if such existed.
I'm just shooting from the hip here, not trying to prove anything. I'd be glad to drill down on any of these things if it interests you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 232 by Tusko, posted 01-02-2007 4:32 PM Tusko has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 234 by crashfrog, posted 01-02-2007 7:53 PM TheMystic has replied
 Message 235 by Quetzal, posted 01-02-2007 8:59 PM TheMystic has replied
 Message 285 by Tusko, posted 01-04-2007 5:33 AM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 236 of 304 (373943)
01-03-2007 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 235 by Quetzal
01-02-2007 8:59 PM


4) I have the concept of an ID (a variant of #2, really).
Well, I have the concept of spending a wild weekend in the mountains with Daryl Hannah. Doesn’t mean it’s either true or even particularly likely/realistic.
Let's start here since that's the most interesting point. What it does show is that you have a sex drive. You don't dream of spending a weekend with Frederick Hazzalschneider, because there is no such person.
Re: all that other stuff about tree distributions or whatever; ok, I'm impressed with your knowledge, but it seems like a perfect example of "baffle 'em with bullshit". You see, every layman can tell that life, including our own bodies, are extraordinary pieces of work. I as a layman in biology have great suspicion about someone who claims to be an expert but doesn't recognize that simple point.
The problem, I think, is that you *want* to find this disorder in order to fit your need to bolster the theory of evolution. This is part of why evolution is so destructive - it makes people try to find problems with a system that should instead be studied with awe. What I think you are probably missing is the way God uses, shall we say, chaos theory in his work. For instance, if you take a look at a zip file on your hard drive it will look like garbage, but of course it is not. God seems to code the bare minimum of information into DNA.
It's interesting in fact, it occurs to me, that you should consider life 'messy'. Have you ever pondered how remarkable it is that a product of this messiness should consider it messy? To what is this messy organism comparing life?
One final point - about being conscious: You either accept the reality you find there or not. If you want to reject that in order to prove you are no different than an animal, in my opinion you have committed spiritual suicide and that line of thinking can just go no further.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Quetzal, posted 01-02-2007 8:59 PM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 238 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 9:20 AM TheMystic has replied
 Message 245 by Percy, posted 01-03-2007 11:45 AM TheMystic has replied
 Message 269 by Quetzal, posted 01-03-2007 6:36 PM TheMystic has replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 237 of 304 (373944)
01-03-2007 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 234 by crashfrog
01-02-2007 7:53 PM


I don't follow your reasoning, here. From what evidence do you conclude that your intelligence is not the product of natural causes?
A proper scholarly explaination, though in very understandable language, can be found in C.S. Lewis' book 'Miracles'. In short, the idea is that if thought is entirely a physical phenomenon and physical phenomena are basically deterministic then objective thought is really an illusion. We only respond to stimuli. The great paradox of evolution is that if it occurred we could never know it. If our mental instrument is calibrated to give accurate results it must have somehow been calibrated externally.
I have the concept of an ID
Sure, you heard about it from somebody. What does that prove?
Where did they hear about it from? It's more than that. It is at the very least an interesting phenomenon that the vast majority of humans throughout history have had some concept of gods. Where did such a concept come from if it is entirely bogus, and why does it have such sticking power? You will no doubt be tempted to say that man invented God in order to fulfill some need, but the interesting thing is, as forums like this demonstrate, people don't generally like God or the gods.
It's a line of reasoning that may seem strange at first, but in the context of testing ID it makes perfect sense. The first evidence any of us have is our own consciousness. We must ask ourselves, how did I come to be what I am? Do I seem to be a product of random happenstance or done 'on purpose'? How you answer that question is the great divide in philosophy.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by crashfrog, posted 01-02-2007 7:53 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 239 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 9:23 AM TheMystic has replied
 Message 246 by crashfrog, posted 01-03-2007 11:53 AM TheMystic has replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 240 of 304 (373957)
01-03-2007 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 238 by nator
01-03-2007 9:20 AM


They also have a lot of cobbled together, suboptimal design flaws.
In every design there are tradeoffs. You also assume a design goal for the human species, such as every offspring surviving. But I think I could sum it all up by saying, if you think you could do better then show me your design. I'll pay shipping and handling both ways, feed it while it's here too.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 9:20 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 1:15 PM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 241 of 304 (373958)
01-03-2007 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by nator
01-03-2007 9:23 AM


But what does any of this have to do with the change in allele frequencies in populations over time?
The subject of this thread is "Can't ID be tested AT ALL?" But yes, I'm also impressed that you know about allele frequencies. I'll look that up when I get some time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 9:23 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 244 by TheMystic, posted 01-03-2007 11:43 AM TheMystic has not replied
 Message 252 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 1:17 PM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 242 of 304 (373974)
01-03-2007 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 238 by nator
01-03-2007 9:20 AM


If you agree that Quetzal knows what he's talking about regarding field Biology, since he's a field Biologist, then what he was explaining to you about species distribution in the forest wasn't "bullshit".
Well, maybe I owe Quetzal a less flippant response. I was only doubting the relevance of his info. So let me say that I think there is a difference between regularity and order. Take a CRT display for a PC, for instance. If you take a magnifying glass and look at the screen you see red, green, and blue dots in nice orderly patterns. But if you magnify even further you will find phosphor coated on the glass basically randomly. It's not done in regular patterns because a CRT must support different resolutions - the dot pattern is produced by the electron gun. So I would argue that the randomness of the phosphor does not make the CRT disorderly. It the aggregate macroscopic functionality that determines orderliness, at least as I'm using it in the ID context. So the jungle, whoops I mean rainforest, is orderly in the macroscopic sense that it helps regulate weather and produce medicines and so on. The fact that God did this with, dare I say, an almost irreducible complexity (I'm just kidding, ok), is to me a sign of genius. How many brain cells do we have? And how many genes? Two microscopic cells can carry enough information to produce a human being, whose brain complexity is just one of the fabulous stories in that body? I'm sorry, I'm going to get insulting again, but anyone who cannot see from the outset that the DNA is extremely unlikely to have any flaws of design (not accumulated defects) is a fool. So the evolutionist has to posit flaw after flaw only to find out he just didn't understand why things were they way they are. Do not mistake economy of expression for disorder.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 9:20 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 254 by nator, posted 01-03-2007 1:26 PM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 243 of 304 (373980)
01-03-2007 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 235 by Quetzal
01-02-2007 8:59 PM


Well, I flat out apologize my first response. I realized how much thought you had put into your response and realized I was being rude. It is very enlightening, what you wrote about species distribution. So, I get in these anonymous environments and forget my manners.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Quetzal, posted 01-02-2007 8:59 PM Quetzal has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 244 of 304 (373981)
01-03-2007 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 241 by TheMystic
01-03-2007 10:05 AM


ditto my message #243 to Quetzal. We can all agree that we are human and we should make our interactions as pleasant as possible. Ok, Mom, you can quit squeezing my neck now.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 241 by TheMystic, posted 01-03-2007 10:05 AM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 247 of 304 (373990)
01-03-2007 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by Percy
01-03-2007 11:45 AM


Simple courtesy, not to mention the Forum Guidelines, require that you explain why it is bullshit.
First, see my message #243. Second, the way I have heard the expression used, it means if you can't respond directly to a boss or customer, if you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, you throw a lot of irrelevant information at them to distract them. It doesn't mean the information is wrong.
Second, if you want me off the forum, I'll go. I don't know who is running this thing but I don't want to be an unwelcome visitor. You will note that people respond to me, which generally means they want to talk. So if science is a consensus activity and you want to reach consensus, by all means, get rid of me. I thought science was about being correct.
The problem with your test is that it lacks objective measures.
So do you grade your significant other on how well he/she loves you? Do you measure the radius of a square? Appropriate measures for the question is part of my point, and you can't force today's problems into yesterday's solutions. But if you don't like my proposed test(s), why not propose better ones? Sounds to me like you want to take a poll and I'm screwing up the numbers for you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by Percy, posted 01-03-2007 11:45 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 253 by Percy, posted 01-03-2007 1:20 PM TheMystic has not replied

TheMystic
Inactive Member


Message 248 of 304 (373997)
01-03-2007 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by crashfrog
01-03-2007 11:53 AM


In fact, I know from experience that nothing scholarly can be found in any work by C.S. Lewis;
Ok, one of the great minds of the 20th century, maybe any century, but you... I don't know what to say, I'm speechless.
I guess I've been invited to leave (see #245) and we're obviously from two different planets. You can have the last word, I'll read it and get back to my pleasant little fantasy world.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by crashfrog, posted 01-03-2007 11:53 AM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 249 by Percy, posted 01-03-2007 12:59 PM TheMystic has not replied
 Message 250 by aiguy, posted 01-03-2007 1:09 PM TheMystic has not replied
 Message 256 by crashfrog, posted 01-03-2007 2:20 PM TheMystic has not replied

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