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Author Topic:   THE EVOLUTIONISTS' GUIDE TO PROPER CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOUR
Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 66 of 120 (30851)
01-31-2003 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Satcomm
01-31-2003 11:45 AM


Satcomm writes:
Also, I understand that we need to be careful about which definition of ToE we use, since there are many.
Someone else also said this in another thread, or maybe it was you, I don't remember. Anyway, I think it's been explained that there is only one definition of the ToE: descent with modification through natural selection.
Different people here will use different words to describe the ToE (the above words happen to be Darwin's), but they are all describing the same theory.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Satcomm, posted 01-31-2003 11:45 AM Satcomm has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Philip, posted 02-02-2003 1:48 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 69 of 120 (31038)
02-02-2003 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Philip
02-02-2003 1:48 AM


Phillip writes:
Great definition (and scientific) until generalized beyond empirical cause-effect relationships. Problems arise with utterly falacious usage of the ToE when applying micro-evolution to mega-ToE's ... i.e., on stellar and biological levels ...
I'd just be guessing what this means. If you want to be clearer or more specific I'd be glad to respond.
In the meantime, I think you may be going beyond the scope of what I was saying. Satcomm said there are many definitions of the ToE, and I was only pointing out that no matter what words are used to describe the ToE, there is only one ToE.
At this point I think we'd all agree our scientific definition ostensibly begs metaphysical assistance to explain: the gaps, missing links/chains, first cause(s), entropic effects barriers, kinds, immensities, harmonies, symetries, proportions, and other empirical excellencies we observe.
As Shraf has already observed, this is the God of the Gaps fallacy. The fallacy is obvious if you reflect a bit on the history of science. You can pick any point in the development of scientific knowledge, point to knowledge gaps that existed at that time, and declaim, "Here be God!"
A good example of the God of the Gaps fallacy is the motion of the planets around the sun. At one time science had no explanation for this, and it was believed the planets were propelled by the wind from the beating of angel's wings. Today we know that the planets are merely following the laws of physics.
Given the large number of phenomena once attributed to God that now have natural scientific explanations, what gives you any confidence that those things you attribute to God today won't be explained by science tomorrow?
YECs take an interesting approach to this problem. They take phenomena that science explained yesterday and attribute them to God anyway.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Philip, posted 02-02-2003 1:48 AM Philip has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Philip, posted 02-02-2003 10:12 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 73 of 120 (31124)
02-03-2003 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Jet
02-03-2003 3:18 AM


Jet writes:
As to your wind analogy, if you were discussing weather patterns, then you may have better ground to stand on. However, wind is not a prerequisite for the operation of an aerodynamically designed vehicle.
Schraf was using an analogy to explain why requiring evolution to explain abiogenesis makes no sense, saying:
schraf writes:
Do you likewise criticize the study of aerodynamics because it does not explain where wind comes from?
Perhaps her point becomes more clear if you replace the word "wind" with "air". A similar analogy would be to ask, "Do you likewise criticize chemistry because it does not explain where elements came from?"
Evolution is a theory of how species change over time into new species. It is not a theory of where the first species came from.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Jet, posted 02-03-2003 3:18 AM Jet has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by nator, posted 02-03-2003 11:21 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 105 by Jet, posted 02-06-2003 11:24 PM Percy has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 77 of 120 (31139)
02-03-2003 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Philip
02-02-2003 10:12 PM


Phillip writes:
...We've been on this topic before (many times), trying to distinguish micro from macro/mega evolution which Evo's unconvincingly slew together as one.
Make your case, then, for how it is unconvincing. You can walk from New York to San Francisco one little step at a time. You can wear down a mountain to a plain a grain of sand at a time. Small changes gradually accumulate into large changes. Why do you think this isn't true for evolution?
From my meager bias and logic: Existential empiricism (the viewpoint I percieve you are coming from (correct me if I'm wrong)) utterly fails to explain the aforementioned "gaps", gaps of which science itself admits are existent ... hence the black box we study.
You're just restating your initial premise, and my reply is the same. Given the large number of phenomena once attributed to God that now have natural scientific explanations, what gives you any confidence that those things you attribute to God today won't be explained by science tomorrow?
1) The atheist (i.e., you and Schraf)...
I'm a theist.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Philip, posted 02-02-2003 10:12 PM Philip has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Satcomm, posted 02-03-2003 4:23 PM Percy has replied
 Message 79 by Philip, posted 02-03-2003 7:54 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 81 of 120 (31230)
02-04-2003 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by Satcomm
02-03-2003 4:23 PM


Satcomm writes:
And we're going off topic. Sorry.
Hmmmm, good point! Perhaps we could consider the current diversion as an example for Jet of how it is possible to disagree yet still be civil.
Where we run into gray area is when science tries to explain something that hasn't been directly observed.
I think you'll find that this definition places you on a slippery slope because of the ambiguous definnition of "directly". If an experimenter who takes a reading off a gauge wears eyeglasses, is that directly or indirectly? Directly, right? Few would assert that use of eyeglasses makes an observation indirect.
But what about the gauge itself. Let's say the gauge is attached directly to the pipe whose pressure it measures. Is that directly? Even though we're using a gauge to detect the pressure rather than our own senses? Most people would probably believe this is directly. What if the gauge is part of an instrument panel with wires connected to a sensor in a pipe out in the industrial plant? Is that direct or indirect? What if it's radio telemetry to a satellite - direct or indirect?
And what of things that are impossible to directly observe, such as electrons and quarks, or the interiors of the earth and sun? Is science to be cut off from studying them because they are not directly observable?
The key requirement for science is not direct observation, but evidence. And the key requirement for gathering evidence is establishing a chain of causation from the event itself to the human observable expression of that event.
A simple example of this is the filming of a bullet hitting a lightbulb. It happens too fast for the human eye to perceive, but high speed photography can stop the bullet and provide a record of events that we could never directly observe.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Satcomm, posted 02-03-2003 4:23 PM Satcomm has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Satcomm, posted 02-04-2003 10:25 AM Percy has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 82 of 120 (31232)
02-04-2003 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Philip
02-03-2003 7:54 PM


Phillip writes:
Most of the gaps to me are black holes that science will never explain in a ToE manner.
Perhaps you could provide an example of one of the gaps you have in mind.
--As to your stating you are a theist (which I already remember you implied about 6 months ago when you stated you attended an evangelical group, I believe) your response is not a theistic confidence, at least in the biblical sense.
Whose interpretation of the Bible? I'm certainly aligned with some very large Christian denominations in not making a literal interpretation of the Bible, such as the Methodists and the Catholics, and they're theistic religions.
The gaps you and I discussed are entropic-like contradictions, gaps of profound improbability, etc., real problems for the mega-ToE and YEC alike.
You listed a bunch of things in an earlier post, a couple of which you include here, but we didn't discuss it, and to be honest, I don't know what they are. You'll have to be more specific.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Philip, posted 02-03-2003 7:54 PM Philip has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by John, posted 02-04-2003 9:34 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 96 by Philip, posted 02-05-2003 11:06 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 95 of 120 (31312)
02-04-2003 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Satcomm
02-04-2003 11:49 AM


Satcomm writes:
Percy brought up a lot of good points, which only seemed to support what I was saying.
Actually, the points were brought up to illustrate why attempting to draw a line between direct and indirect observation is the wrong approach. As you noted in an earlier post, where you draw that line is inherently ambiguous, and that's why the approach you suggest would not be very effective in a process which works through consensus.
It is not direct vs. indirect that is key, but whether there is an established chain of causation from the event itself to the human observable expression of that event. I gave the example a bullet passing through a light bulb, an unobservable event, and here's another example. The mass and charge of the electron were determined without any direct observation of electrons. The charge was determined by the Milliken oil drop experiment, and once the charge was known the mass was determined by measuring the deflection of the electron in a magnetic field as recorded on a photographic plate.
All these things are not directly observable, but you probably accept them. That is why your direct vs. indirect criteria isn't workable.
--Percy
[Fix typo. --Percy]
[This message has been edited by Percipient, 02-04-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Satcomm, posted 02-04-2003 11:49 AM Satcomm has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 112 of 120 (31789)
02-09-2003 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Philip
02-05-2003 11:06 PM


Philip writes:
I don't expect you to really debate any of these, just let you know gaps of scientific credulity exist as a problem for a mega-ToE model as based on your micro-ToE model (as you defined a couple days back).
Okay, it's up to you. I thought focusing on a single "gap" might make clear the fallacy under which you're operating. Since you don't want to choose one, I will. How about the one about the theoretical constants of our universe being just right for life? Change any one of them by the scantest amount and life couldn't exist.
How is this an argument against evolution? It isn't even biology, it's physics. And it applies equally to all sciences. Change any of these constants and physics and chemistry would no longer work, and our universe as we know couldn't even exist.
So why don't we focus on something closer to the Creation/Evolution discussion? It really isn't possible to argue against your general assertion of "the gaps invalidate the mega-ToE model". Pick a gap related to evolution so we can understand what you're getting at.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Philip, posted 02-05-2003 11:06 PM Philip has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Philip, posted 02-10-2003 1:35 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22687
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 116 of 120 (31849)
02-10-2003 8:23 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by Philip
02-10-2003 1:35 AM


Philip writes:
Oh all right, I'll focus on just one, since you make it seem that perhaps by ONE all the others stand or fall...
Actually I've been getting the feeling that we have different conceptions of what constitutes a "gap", and I was hoping for clarification by way of example.
Philip writes:
Why might you and everyone have to have biology in the equation of stellar evolution?
I don't, so it sounds like we agree. I was just offering one item from the list you provided in Message 22 in the Exactly 'HOW' intelligent must a Designer be ? thread.
Philip writes:
On the biological end for example, it would be unscientific and unethical for me to tell my patient(s) he/she has a cavus (arched) foot due to an evolutionary advantage of running with higher arches in primate forefathers. Now a mega-ToE of this sort contains many stinky scientific gaps.
As I suspected, we're talking about different types of gaps. The type of gap you mention here is without significance relative to the validity of evolutionary theory. It's a scientific/historical issue whose answer is a function of availability of evidence, of which there is very little.
Questioning evolutionary theory because we're unable to piece together the evolutionary history of the arch of the foot would be like questioning the laws of physics because we can't figure out the origin of a newly discovered comet. Both of these questions are unanswerable due to lack of information about very specific situations, and not to any theoretical lack.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by Philip, posted 02-10-2003 1:35 AM Philip has not replied

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