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Monday, July 02, 2007

Worldviews and Science

I hereby promise to go over comment threads and catch them up this coming weekend. This weekend and the coming holiday week are very busy for me!

~~~~~~~

But let me reiterate something very foundational. True science, good science, real science, whatever your label.....Science considers all possibilities as the set of answers to investigate for the questions that it considers. There is no reason to exclude the supernatural and, in fact, it is bad science to do so! Yet it is common among scientists today to do exactly that. Is it for scientific reasons? No, because scientists are willing to consider that events have happened by mere chance, events that statistically should never occur. They are willing to believe that thousands, millions, even billions of years ago at a time that cannot be observed and a place where they cannot go that the impossible just happened! The impossible may be the appearance of the entire cosmos out of nothing or it might be the appearance of life from non-life and they are willing to give chance the credit. Yet they then say that God cannot be considered even though a Creator God fits the evidences much better and is much more logical.

Let's listen to what such scientists have to say:

"The cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever will be." - Carl Sagan.

I ask you, how can he possibly assert this? He cannot know that this is true at all. Such a statement is made by faith, not by observation. Carl Sagan cannot go back in time, or travel beyond the limits of our sight, or move ahead in time and therefore he cannot back up this statement, no, not one part of it. Carl Sagan is speaking, therefore, out of his, er, worldview.

I have posted various statements by anti-God scientists before and I don't wish to get into the whys of what they believe, simply the what. How about this statement?

"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." - Professor Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997

Did you catch that (in bold)? Lewontin is stating that science itself doesn't demand naturalistic materialism, it is a choice made by the scientist due to his worldview! He then states that , no matter what, materialistic causes must be found even if they are counter-intuitive! This is science???? That a better solution, a more sensible solution, will be abandoned if it is associated with the supernatural! Notice what Lewontin said in the very next paragraph: "The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen"

It is a shame that such as Lewontin would be aghast at the report of a miracle, but that has nothing to do with what is true or untrue. I get a kick out of commenters who try to "lecture" me about science, when they are in every case an adherent to the same worldview as Lewontin, determined to keep God out of the picture even if God is the only rational explanation!

I give you the cosmos: Cosmologists admit that they cannot begin to explain coherently where matter came from and their best explanations change from decade to decade. They cannot account for the "fine-tuning" of the Universe or the Solar System and our planet. On the other hand, believers in the Creator God can point to a Book that identifies God as the Creator. Yes, a supernatural entity beyond our complete understanding made everything. Naturalistic materialists don't like to hear that, but it is a better explanation for things than anything they have come up with. It helps explain why everything and every creature appears to have been designed, for instance.

Oh, yes, and God also claims in the Bible to have created all life. Isn't it odd that all creatures appear to be designed? Isn't it odd that the planet teems with life and yet we never see life arise from non-life? Isn't it odd?

Richard Dawkins thought so, as stated in his book, The Blind Watchmaker,
"Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning."

The illusion of design and planning! Suppose Dawkins had come home to find a note pinned to his front door, a note pinned with a thumbtack and with a message, "Call your brother asap!" written thereon. He would not see who left it, could not go back in time to observe it, so wouldn't he decide that it simply appeared by chance there somehow? Hmmmm? No, he wouldn't! He'd believe someone had written it and posted it upon his door and that it might be a good idea to pay attention to the message! Design and planning is all around us and we have learned to distinguish between the random falling of a leaf in the autumn and someone throwing a snowball at our heads in the winter.

In fact, observation tells us that life had been planned and designed. We have evidence in the Bible that it was a supernatural God who did the planning and the designing.

I think of a quote by Jesus Christ in the Bible that he made about the legalistic teachers of the day, but applies nicely here: 'He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?"' Luke 6:39.


You who refuse to consider the supernatural in your view of the world
have your point of view, just as I have mine. But please don't bother to try to tell me that yours is more scientific, for it is obvious that it is, indeed, far less scientific. You naturalistic materialists exclude all supernatural solutions for reasons of faith, for it is what you wish to believe and choose to believe no matter what the evidence. You blind your eyes to evidences that you prefer not to see.

32 comments:

Jody said...

There is no reason to exclude the supernatural and, in fact, it is bad science to do so!

Umm, science has been excluding the supernatural since Thales of Miletos founded the discipline circa 600 BCE.

Do you just make stuff up as the mood strikes, or is your silliness more practiced than that?

Taxandrian said...

Radar, my good man, why do you keep posting new topics, while abandoning your old ones where there's still a discussion going on and people are waiting for your answer on questions they have (repeatedly) asked.

In thispost you stated:

My figures show that up to 11% of the prison population is Christian, many of whom were converted after being jailed.

Both creeper and I have repeatedly requested a link from you to the data which shows these figures. As of yet we haven't had a reply. What is the problem, radar? It's just a simple link. You're not telling me you're breaking the ninth commandment I hope?

Also, when you've answered this question, it might be wise to also answer all the other open questions which creeper has summarized here

You know, people just might start to think that you are running away from the debate. Or, even worse, that you are making claims you cannot back up.

Hope to get the requested link to your source soon, so I won't have to post this again in any other new topic you start.

Anonymous said...

taxandrian,

"Radar, my good man, why do you keep posting new topics"

Science that excludes the supernatural not being sound science is not a "new" topic for Radar - he's tried it out previously, couldn't defend it, couldn't answer basic questions, abandoned it...

... and here it is again.

-- creeper

Mazement said...

Did you get the Lewontin quote from the "Answers in Genesis" website?

His original article isn't on-line, but there's a slightly longer extract at EvoWiki

The next lines are: "The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen."

I think his point is that science studies "regularities of nature". If we can't predict or understand miracles, then we can't do meaningful research about them.

So there are two risks: We can make a "false positive" error, and assume that something ordinary had a miraculous cause. If that happens we'll be cheating ourselves out of the opportunity to understand the event and to make use of that information in the future.

Or we can make a "false negative" error, and assume that a miracle had an ordinary cause. If that happens, we'll waste time looking for a materialistic explanation that doesn't exist.

If our goal is to maximize the amount of scientific knowledge, then we absolutely want to avoid false positives. We can tolerate any number of false negatives, as long as we don't get so focussed on an unsolvable problem that we lose track of the solvable ones.

(I'm assuming that "supernatural" means "not observable in the natural world". If I could somehow trap a vampire in a laboratory and demonstrate that he got burned by holy water, then vampires and holy water would no longer be considered supernatural and scientists could do more research about them.)

Lava said...

Science considers all possibilities as the set of answers to investigate for the questions that it considers.

Alright. Let us consider the the supernatural.

OK....so...I'm trying to think of a method to test for the supernatural, but I'm having problems. How do we include the supernatural in science, Radar? How do we go about testing our hypothesis? (another question that has gone unanswered...I believe by creeper)

So if we do include the supernatural, anytime a scientist comes to an problem he can't solve will the answer become "god did it"? Won't every question in science have answers now...the real answer and then you'd have to include "or god did it"?

And this has to be my favorite part of your post: But please don't bother to try to tell me that yours is more scientific, for it is obvious that it is, indeed, far less scientific. Could your argument turn any more child-like? This is the whole "I know you are but what am I" argument that worked when we were around the age of 4.

ExPreacherman said...

Radar,

Thanks always for your accurate, cogent analysis of science and the Word of God.

I keep several of your posts for reference.

Also I have tagged you for a Meme on my Blog. Check it out.. Sorry bout that. ;-)

ExP(Jack)

Anonymous said...

Just to respond to this at a little more length:

Radar, as I pointed out above, you’ve posted this opinion before (that “true science” doesn’t exclude the supernatural), and you were unable to defend it then – again, one of many questions you consistently avoid.

Here is a quick recap off the top of my head of the main points to which you could not reply at that time:

1. Can you name any scientific discovery or advancement that made use of a supernatural explanation? You listed scientists (largely pre-dating Darwin’s postulation of the theory of evolution) who were creationists and who believed in God in some way. Presumably they are not part of some conspiracy, and presumably circumstances (such as alleged funding biases) didn’t force them to pursue an atheist conspiracy agenda. Not a single one of them found the supernatural useful in their work. They believed in God and perhaps were trying to figure out how God did this or that, but none of them found the supernatural useful in their work in the slightest. Feel free to name exceptions if you can think of any.

2. If this supposed “true science” is allegedly better in some way, then what is stopping creation scientists from pursuing this path right now and blowing the other scientists away with amazing new discoveries? So far “bad science” is working exceedingly well, and what you term “true science, good science, real science” is not practiced even by believing Christians; it has never resulted in any scientific advance, ever. Perhaps you should consider the possibility that your argument is a non-starter.


Mazement also makes a very good, logical argument re. the uselessness of including the supernatural in science (false positives vs. false negatives).

”No, because scientists are willing to consider that events have happened by mere chance, events that statistically should never occur.”

Obviously, scientists are not willing to consider events that statistically should never occur; they simply disagree that such events are statistically impossible. That’s quite a difference, Radar.

”They are willing to believe that thousands, millions, even billions of years ago at a time that cannot be observed and a place where they cannot go that the impossible just happened!”

Everybody believes that things that cannot be observed (because we don’t have a time machine) happened a long time ago. That’s hardly an unreasonable thing to suppose – actually, if you didn’t believe this, you’d be quite insane. Even you believe this, it’s just that your perception of “a long time ago” differs (and, as has been previously pointed out, is madly inconsistent given your desire to agree with certain global warming talking points).

As for “the impossible just happened” – obviously the scientists don’t agree with your characterization of those events as “impossible”. That is your supposition which, like so many of your points, you’re not capable of backing up.

”The impossible may be the appearance of the entire cosmos out of nothing or it might be the appearance of life from non-life and they are willing to give chance the credit.”

If you’re referring to the Big Bang theory, for the umpteenth time, it doesn’t state that the universe came from nothing.

The appearance of life from non-life is under investigation and is further along than you give it credit for. Giving chance the credit is actually giving natural processes the credit, which is how scientific advances can be made. Giving God the credit and not wanting to explore the natural processes in question would simply mean ending the investigation, in which case we wouldn’t have benefited from all the scientific advances around us.

”Yet they then say that God cannot be considered even though a Creator God fits the evidences much better and is much more logical.”

If a Creator God fit the evidence even a little bit better, or even at all, or were even logical in any way, then it wouldn’t be necessary to bend scientific laws and coming up with elaborate untested unfounded speculation to make such a scenario fit the evidence. God creating rays of light before the object casting the ray even exists in the first place, that kind of weirdness. That’s not “better fitting the evidence”, that’s desperately trying to make your story fit the evidence, and of course it’s anything but logical.

"The cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever will be." - Carl Sagan.

“I ask you, how can he possibly assert this?”


I thought he was merely defining the term. I didn’t find anything objectionable here.

”they are in every case an adherent to the same worldview as Lewontin, determined to keep God out of the picture even if God is the only rational explanation!”

God isn't kept out of the picture of science, God simply doesn't enter into it because no scientific evidence demonstrates a supernatural involvement.

As scohen previously pointed out, if the scientific evidence did indicate, say, that the YEC scenario was true, we'd have no problem accepting that. As someone who believes in YEC, doesn't it make you wonder why the evidence doesn't just neatly fit into your beliefs? Instead of being able to point at facts indicating that all stars are within about 6,000 light years of us, you have to speculate that God created light in mid-travel, or that natural laws are flexible (all of which is untestable speculation founded on nothing more than your desire to be right).

”On the other hand, believers in the Creator God can point to a Book that identifies God as the Creator. Yes, a supernatural entity beyond our complete understanding made everything. Naturalistic materialists don't like to hear that, but it is a better explanation for things than anything they have come up with.”

That “explanation” (“a supernatural entity beyond our complete understanding made everything”) doesn’t really get us anywhere in terms of figuring out how it happened, does it? Let’s say God did it. Science is concerned with the “how”. How did God do it? Any ideas? Well, we’d have to look at the world around us, see if we can gather information that allows us to deduce something about the way the world around us works, what it may have been like in the past. That’s what scientists have been doing for centuries, quite a few of them, as you pointed out, believers in God etc. And what they’ve come up with has been at the expense of a YEC scenario and unearthing more and more evidence supporting an old Earth and the theory of evolution. None of which means that God doesn’t exist. If you want to believe in God, it merely indicates that this is how God did it.

Can you perhaps think of other ways in which we can explore “how God did it”? Or would you be content to let this “explanation” rest as the final word: “a supernatural entity beyond our complete understanding made everything”?

”It helps explain why everything and every creature appears to have been designed, for instance.”

“Appears to have been designed” is an assertion that you’d need to back up with something. You can use it as the basis for the formulation of a hypothesis, for example, and then you could propose falsifiable statements. You can just as easily say that every creature appears to have evolved. Though in that case, you actually can follow that up with falsifiable statements and testable hypotheses, which you then actually can confirm.

The statement “every creature appears to have been designed” offers none of that.

”Design and planning is all around us and we have learned to distinguish between the random falling of a leaf in the autumn and someone throwing a snowball at our heads in the winter.”

Oh really? And how have we learned to distinguish between the results of chance and design? How can we test whether something was designed or not? Is it simply a gut instinct kind of thing, or an argument from incredulity perhaps?

It seems to me that this whining about how science should include the supernatural is simply a plea that all this scientific exploration should stop already and we should just say that “God did it”. (Even though science in no way contradicts the existence of God; it just contradicts some people hanging on to the literal truth of some parts of the Bible.)

"In fact, observation tells us that life had been planned and designed."

Could you specify which observations tell you that and how they have been tested with falsifiable hypotheses?

"We have evidence in the Bible that it was a supernatural God who did the planning and the designing."

Radar, the Bible, especially early parts of Genesis, is not "evidence". You may think of it as a starting point for speculating about an explanation, but to accept Genesis as literal truth is not based on anything other than perhaps a fallacy of composition. It certainly has nothing to do with "good science".

”But please don't bother to try to tell me that yours is more scientific, for it is obvious that it is, indeed, far less scientific.”

Of course the methods of mainstream science are more scientific than what you’re proposing, as they proceed from observable data and follow scientific methods, whereas you’re proposing including questionable elements as “evidence”, seem to feel that falsifiable statements can be dispensed with and want to proceed from a conclusion (not the data) so that you can then bend the laws of time and space rather than consider the very real possibility that the early parts of the Bible do not represent a literal truth, but instead can be read at a very different level that is far more consistent with the world we see around us.

If you want to call a mixture of unfounded allegations, fallacies, untestable hypotheses etc. that is incapable of making discoveries "true science, good science, real science", hey, knock yourself out - but so far you've been repeatedly incapable of backing this up.

And until you can respond to even the most basic questions about your claim, it's a complete non-starter.

-- creeper

cranky old fart said...

Bueller? Bueller?................

radar said...

"Umm, science has been excluding the supernatural since Thales of Miletos founded the discipline circa 600 BCE. "

That statement is ridiculous. Give us some proof that:

1) T of M "invented" science

and that

2) He holds a patent on it that tells others what we can and cannot consider science.

radar said...

"My figures show that up to 11% of the prison population is Christian, many of whom were converted after being jailed."

I gave you the polling company that I used, Barna. I studied the Barna figures to come up with that result.

radar said...

"Science that excludes the supernatural not being sound science is not a "new" topic for Radar - he's tried it out previously, couldn't defend it, couldn't answer basic questions, abandoned it...

... and here it is again."

Completely wrong. I never abandoned it, I considered the point to be proven but, in review, am asserting it again. You are afraid to allow creationism to be science because creationism fits the evidence better and is more logical. Trying to exclude the supernatural from science is the equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and making noises so you don't have to hear something that is unpleasant to you.

radar said...

"The next lines are: "The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.""

Boy, you really didn't even read the post, because that quote was included in my post. Duh.

"I think his point is that science studies "regularities of nature". If we can't predict or understand miracles, then we can't do meaningful research about them."

In operational science, neither God nor Chance as means of bringing about life or creation of the universe are even considered. You are going over points of operational science. But both evolution and creation are origins science.

radar said...

"Can you name any scientific discovery or advancement that made use of a supernatural explanation?"

Can you name any scientific discovery or advancement that made use of a 'just kind of happened by chance' explanation?

"If this supposed “true science” is allegedly better in some way, then what is stopping creation scientists from pursuing this path right now and blowing the other scientists away with amazing new discoveries?"

Operational science versus origins science again. You are trying to play the violin with a mouthpiece.

Creeper, the rest of your post is evolutionist propaganda and in no way addresses the available evidence nor does it present a better model. Maybe we haven't seen God create anything, but we sure haven't seen evolution produce a new kind of animal or observed life coming from non-life. My model depends on something that has not and cannot be observed and so does yours. Until we invent a wayback machine that takes us back to see the begining of the Universe or the first created life, neither you nor I can claim scientific authority, we can only speculate based on the evidence and how we interpret it.

"Alright. Let us consider the the supernatural.

OK....so...I'm trying to think of a method to test for the supernatural, but I'm having problems. How do we include the supernatural in science, Radar? How do we go about testing our hypothesis? (another question that has gone unanswered...I believe by creeper)

So if we do include the supernatural, anytime a scientist comes to an problem he can't solve will the answer become "god did it"? Won't every question in science have answers now...the real answer and then you'd have to include "or god did it"?"

So, you think that "It just happened somehow" is a better answer than "God did it." How is "it just happened" distinguishable from magic, or a miracle?

Jody said...

That statement is ridiculous. Give us some proof that:

1) T of M "invented" science

and that

2) He holds a patent on it that tells others what we can and cannot consider science.


According to Aristotle the founder of the Ionic physical philosophy, and therefore the founder of Greek philosophy, was Thales of Miletos. According to Diogenes Laertios, Thales was born in the first year of the thirty- fifth Olympiad (640 B.C.), and his death occurred in the fifty-eighth Olympiad (548-545 B.C.). He attained note as a scientific thinker and was regarded as the founder of Greek philosophy because he discarded mythical explanations of things, and asserted that a physical element, water, was the first principle of all things. There are various stories of his travels, and in connection with accounts of his travels in Egypt he is credited with introducing into Greece the knowledge of geometry. Tradition also claims that he was a statesman, and as a practical thinker he is classed as one of the seven wise men.

-- Thales Fragments and Commentary
Arthur Fairbanks, ed. and trans.
The First Philosophers of Greece
(London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1898), 1-6.


As definers of science go, I'm going to side with Aristotle on this one, Radar. You are a legend in your own mind, but nowhere else.

Anonymous said...

"Can you name any scientific discovery or advancement that made use of a 'just kind of happened by chance' explanation?"

Mainstream science deals with natural processes and excludes any supernatural guiding intelligence, since no observational evidence leads to it. You use the term "chance" to refer to this absence of a guiding intelligence. Scientific discoveries that exclude that supernatural guiding intelligence (i.e. which in your terms are based on "chance"): all of them. Including all the ones made by the Christians etc. you listed in a previous post.

"Operational science versus origins science again. You are trying to play the violin with a mouthpiece."

Okay, so you want to claim

(1) that origins science lies outside the realm of the scientific method and the only valid way to explore it is by using a time machine, which sadly we do not have available,

(2) that both creation science and the theory of evolution are origins sciences, and

(3) that they are therefore based purely on speculation, and we are therefore free to make anything up according to our worldview.

That is a very limp and transparent attempt to try to withdraw from the discussion.

As was made clear to you in previous posts, it is indeed possible to apply the scientific method to an exploration of our planet's past, and mainstream science makes abundant use of it. There is no such artificial distinction between "operational science" and "origins science", except for in creation science apologist circles. Mainstream scientists (including Christians) apply the scientific method consistently, posit falsifiable hypotheses and testable statements even with respect to the theory of evolution, and make consistent progress as their tests are confirmed (and, incidentally, falsify the claims of YEC over and over again in the process). Creation science fails to even get out of the starting gate in terms of supporting or examining its own claims, which is why its (otherwise most likely moral and upstanding) adherents are so often left having to argue dishonestly.

"neither you nor I can claim scientific authority, we can only speculate based on the evidence and how we interpret it"

Wrong. Mainstream science can indeed claim scientific authority on this, as can anyone who uses observable evidence and the scientific method, including testable hypotheses (creation scientists are welcome to try). We can not just "only speculate"; we can also form falsifiable hypotheses, test them, and gain scientific knowledge. It's not something creation science is very good at as it is so at odds with observable facts.

"So, you think that "It just happened somehow" is a better answer than "God did it.""

When you mockingly say "It just happened somehow", what you're actually referring to is "It happened by natural processes". So far, good explanations have been found with great consistency.

I certainly don't think that such an explanation is a better answer than "God did it", as I have explained more than once. I think you are positing a false dichotomy here, as well as possibly committing a category error. What I have said to you over and over again is that you have no way of knowing that God didn't do what you think he did using what currently looks to us like natural processes, i.e. since God created all of nature, aren't natural processes also God's work to a believer? Why do you find natural processes so offensive and contrary to God?

" How is "it just happened" distinguishable from magic, or a miracle?"

"It just happened" (i.e. "It happened by natural processes") is distinguishable from magic or a miracle in that natural processes can be observed and subjected to testable hypotheses. Magic and miracles can't.

"I never abandoned it, I considered the point to be proven but, in review, am asserting it again."

At the time you did run away from two key questions, and you continue to do so even now. When key questions challenging your point go unanswered, I'm puzzled how you can consider the point to be "proven"? Talk about "putting your hands over your ears and making noises".

Here are those questions again, in case you missed them the previous times:

1. Can you name any scientific discovery or advancement that made use of a supernatural explanation?

2. If this supposed “true science” is allegedly better in some way, then what is stopping creation scientists from pursuing this path right now and blowing the other scientists away with amazing new discoveries?

(You're now trying to evade this second point by claiming that it only refers to "origins science", which you've defined as somehow being complete speculation anyway. So you think that by defining it as complete speculation, it doesn't matter whether one includes the supernatural anyway, as it's all wishy washy. Problem is, origins science (under which I'm not even sure the theory of evolution should be included anyway) is also subject to the scientific method.)

At least you're conceding that the supernatural has no place in "operational science".

"You are afraid to allow creationism to be science because creationism fits the evidence better and is more logical. "

I'm not afraid to allow creationism to be science at all. It can try to be science all it wants, but unfortunately for you, so far it is such a devastating failure that it has now sunk to the low of having to try to renegotiate the playing field so that unsupportable speculation can be included, as this is all that creation science has to offer. Instead of scientific evidence supporting it, as one would expect if Genesis were literally true, you find yourself having to make tortured explanations based on nothing, coming up with elaborate conspiracy theories (which, given the number of non-YEC Christian scientists, make no sense whatsoever) and even redefine science to wedge in your foregone conclusions.

Creationism not only doesn't fit the evidence better, it doesn't fit it at all. If it did, you would be able to reply to this comment with testable statements that confirm YEC and show how they were confirmed instead of having to make stuff up that is based on nothing.

"But both evolution and creation are origins science."

This artificial and weak distinction aside: the theory of evolution can make testable predictions; it has done so many times, and they have been confirmed over and over again.

Can you name any testable predictions made by YEC creation science and show how they have been confirmed?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"I gave you the polling company that I used, Barna. I studied the Barna figures to come up with that result."

Do you have a link available, Radar? Can we take this as a no?

And how did you "come up with the result"? Does this mean it wasn't plain from the figures? Did you have to "tweak" them, perhaps?

I've googled around for Barna group, prison population etc. for a bit, but so far nothing that supports your point, instead stuff like this:

"According to Barna "We rarely find substantial differences" between the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians."

So... you don't have a link? Can we conclude that you made this up, and that 75% – not 11% – of the prison population is Christian?

-- creeper

cranky old fart said...

"So, you think that "It just happened somehow" is a better answer than "God did it." How is "it just happened" distinguishable from magic, or a miracle?"

Even if science were to posit a theory like "it just happened", it would be better because it would be amenable to change as data warranted.

"Goddidit" can NEVER change, no matter the mountains of evidence that may accumulate.

Taxandrian said...

I gave you the polling company that I used, Barna. I studied the Barna figures to come up with that result.

Actually, right here, this is the first time you mentioned Barna, you know that well enough.
Anyway, what kind of an answer is this? You STILL haven't provided the figures. If you make a claim, you should at least be able to provide the exact figures that support your claim. Anyone can 'study' figures and come up with a result.
So, for the fourth time: could you please either give a link to the figures, or admit you simply made the percentage up. And please don't make me ask this three times again. We're all adults, OK?

scohen said...

"Can you name any scientific discovery or advancement that made use of a 'just kind of happened by chance' explanation?"

When I read that, it really struck me the grasp you have over current evolutionary theory, and how much I have yet to learn. I stand corrected, you do know far more than I.

""Goddidit" can NEVER change, no matter the mountains of evidence that may accumulate."

Cranky, I find it continually fascinating that some people look at creationism's unchanging nature and see that as a positive good, and look at science's constant change and shake their heads in disgust. A stopped watch might be right twice a day, but I'd rather have a notion of the truth at all times, even though I might have to recalibrate every so often.

cranky old fart said...

And now, after radar's brief non-answers, we are off to more massive cut 'n pastes, avoiding actual conversation and interchange.

Kind of reminds one of creation sciences' avoidance of peer review for their many incredible "breakthroughs".

Jody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jody said...

It's kind of like George Bush and his pursuit of Iraq, ever on-ward with not but a middling non-remark of explanation.

About as effective too

radar said...

Jody, you are missing the point. T of M may have been an early scientist, as was Aristotle, but their point of view doesn't trump those who come after. You know as well as I that most of the founders of various scientific disciplines believed in God and a Creation. Why aren't you presenting Newton as proof that the supernatural must be considered instead? He came long after and did far more for the advance of science.

radar said...

Anonymous and I keep doing a "you are, no, you are" back and forth. Here is one example:

"When you mockingly say "It just happened somehow", what you're actually referring to is "It happened by natural processes". So far, good explanations have been found with great consistency."

Oh? You have a good explanation for matter coming from non-matter and life from non-life? We'd all like to hear it!

radar said...

" Taxandrian said...

I gave you the polling company that I used, Barna. I studied the Barna figures to come up with that result.

Actually, right here, this is the first time you mentioned Barna, you know that well enough.
Anyway, what kind of an answer is this? You STILL haven't provided the figures. If you make a claim, you should at least be able to provide the exact figures that support your claim. Anyone can 'study' figures and come up with a result.
So, for the fourth time: could you please either give a link to the figures, or admit you simply made the percentage up. And please don't make me ask this three times again. We're all adults, OK? "

Good grief, what is your problem? I went to Barna and went through some of their figures to come up with a rough estimate and you can do the same. I didn't make notes and copy exactly each step of the process. This is an opinion blog, after all, and my OPINION after looking through some of the surveys is that 11% is fundamentally correct. You can have your own opinon that differs if you like.

radar said...

" Jody said...

It's kind of like George Bush and his pursuit of Iraq, ever on-ward with not but a middling non-remark of explanation.

About as effective too "

Why am I not surprised, that a dogmatically naturalistic atheistic evolutionist would also be a lefty cut-and-runner? Let's quit fighting them in Iraq and wait for them to bring the fight right here on our shores, great idea!

radar said...

"So... you don't have a link? Can we conclude that you made this up, and that 75% – not 11% – of the prison population is Christian?"

If you are happy with the basis of that study, which also yields a result of a country in which 90% of us are "Christian" then go right ahead.

But I know better. Checking a form as either protestant or catholic or jewish or muslim or other, it seems most people take a protestant or catholic choice even if they never pray or read the Bible or go to church or have any relationship with God at all. Does it make them a Christian? In my view a Christian is a believer in Christ who tries to emulate Him.

radar said...

"Okay, so you want to claim

(1) that origins science lies outside the realm of the scientific method and the only valid way to explore it is by using a time machine, which sadly we do not have available,

(2) that both creation science and the theory of evolution are origins sciences, and

(3) that they are therefore based purely on speculation, and we are therefore free to make anything up according to our worldview.

That is a very limp and transparent attempt to try to withdraw from the discussion."

No, I want to claim that one's presuppositions largley determine one's conclusions in the field of origins science. I want to claim that the evidence must be interpreted because it cannot be directly tested. I want to claim that one must use logic and evidence to come to a conclusion, not just take a wild guess. So I disagree with your inaccurate restating of my claims.

radar said...

"There is no such artificial distinction between "operational science" and "origins science", except for in creation science apologist circles."

How do you know this? I demonstrated the differences between the two quite clearly.

radar said...

I started to answer your commments step-by-step, creeper, but now I see they are the same old same old. Now you want to claim that everything doesn't appear to be designed, when I have even posted quotes by evolutionists who admit to the same thing?

I have posted thousands of words detailing scientific study by creationists in which they are making hypotheses and testing them, including the last post I made. You are completely wrong in that regard. I just posted an article showing creationists positing and testing and publishing results.

Creeper, the ridiculous "just-so" stories evolutionist come up with for how the eye came to be, or concerning photosynthesis and etc are far less believable than the Flood narrative or Genesis chaper one.

Anonymous said...

"I started to answer your commments step-by-step, creeper, but now I see they are the same old same old."

The fact that you are unable to answer the following questions or respond to the following responses to your comments is duly noted:

1. Can you name any scientific discovery or advancement that made use of a supernatural explanation?

2. If this supposed “true science” is allegedly better in some way, then what is stopping creation scientists from pursuing this path right now and blowing the other scientists away with amazing new discoveries?

3. Mazement's very salient point regarding false positives/false negatives and how they impact the advancement of scientific understanding.

4. Scientists obviously don't "believe" in statistic impossibilities; they disagree with the presumptions on which the statistics you would like to cite are based.

5. Scientists don't think the Universe came from nothing.

6. Why do the facts not back up YEC to the extent that YECs are reduced to questioning the motivations of scientists (implicitly and without any evidence accusing thousands of scientists of fraud) and even trying to redefine basic scientific approaches?

7. How can you back up your interpretation that everything "appears to be designed"? All we can observe is that some things appear to have functions. Big difference.

8. Let’s say God did it. Science is concerned with the “how”. How did God do it? Any ideas?

9. Can you name any testable predictions made by YEC creation science and show how they have been confirmed?

10. Still no supporting data for your "11% Christians in jail" claim. Can we consider this plain fiction (i.e. a lie) at this time, or do you have anything at all to back this up?


"I have posted thousands of words detailing scientific study by creationists in which they are making hypotheses and testing them, including the last post I made. You are completely wrong in that regard. I just posted an article showing creationists positing and testing and publishing results."

I'll respond to those in that post that you mention.

Creeper, the ridiculous "just-so" stories evolutionist come up with for how the eye came to be, or concerning photosynthesis and etc are far less believable than the Flood narrative or Genesis chaper one.

In what way do you consider these alleged "just-so" stories ridiculous? Unlike the Flood narrative or Genesis chapter one they are not contradicted by scientific evidence.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"There is no such artificial distinction between "operational science" and "origins science", except for in creation science apologist circles."

How do you know this? I demonstrated the differences between the two quite clearly."


No, you didn't. Flimsy as the whole construct is, its primary claim is that there is a difference in that "operational science" is subject to testable claims and "origins science" is not.

By those criteria, the theory of evolution is operational science while creation science is not. Surely not what you intended, eh?

You've been remarkably mum (and even obtuse) about the fact that the theory of evolution is subject to testable hypotheses while creation science fails to present any. I'm not surprised, but perhaps you find it embarrassing. Is that the problem?

-- creeper