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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Odious Darwinist Scientism. Why does it exist and how much does Intelligent Design help?

Intelligent Design and the Discovery Institute are a movement and a people who are helping Creationist scientists break down the Berlin Wall of Ignorance that Darwinism has erected, so rather than simply concentrate on differences between ID and Creation perhaps the piece below will help many of you understand naturalism and how it has birthed Scientism.   There is a great divide between the empirical scientific method developed by Francis Bacon and the supposition-based systems used by the ruling scientific establishment.

For the Christian, science is a key to understanding how God made everything and what can be done to use that knowledge to make life better for people.   We take the Bible as historically accurate and therefore as evidence.   We apply that evidence to the evidence seen in the rocks and in organisms and in human history and we see that it all fits pretty neatly.   There are very few sore thumbs sticking out of the Creationist worldview.   The rocks are pretty much what we would expect as a result of a year long worldwide flood catastrophe and organisms are no surprise, either.   Organisms are biological machines designed to self-replicate with additional information for contingencies and redundancies and copying errors and mutations to conserve the kind and keep it going.  People live in biological machines but have the additional amazing sentinent creative consciousness of self and the abstract, the eternal spirit of man who is therefore, like God, a three part creature.   We are body, soul and spirit.   Animals do not have this spirit.  Therefore dogs do not sit around and discuss ethics, they cannot conceive of the concept of ethics, their instinctive ways of dealing with situations are built in.   I certainly know that animals can be taught and can be quite smart.  But they do not have the blessing/curse of eternal self-awareness and inherent conscience.  This is what I believe.

Scientism is one of the curses of modern mankind.  The artificial imposition of naturalism on the field of scientific inquiry is injurious to research and an insult to the intelligence of all men.   Believe as you will but do not impose your belief system on science!   To do so is to be as odious as Lysenko, as tiresome as Eugenie Scott the professional censor, as foolish as Richard Dawkins the bumbling Darwinist philosopher...Scientism is a giant speed bump on the superhighway of ideas, no, it is a toll gate on the superhighway of ideas seeking to stop some ideas from passing by.  By what right do you naturalistic humanists impose your religion upon everyone else?   You are exactly what the Founding Fathers of the USA sought to avoid and hoped to squash by founding a government which would be the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Yet arrogant and impious Darwinist censors abound, requiring that propaganda be taught no matter what the evidence and seeking out those who disagree to censor and ban them from the world of science.    We have a cowed scientific community and a brainwashed news media and in fact an entire generation, no, there have now been generations who have been fed fairy tales in place of science.

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle walk into a bar. Bartender asked what he could do for them. Socrates asked whether he would do it for them or for himself? Aristotle reasoned that his beer ought to be free and demanded free beer. Plato ordered a beer and drank it while the bouncer tossed the other two out.

Socrates had a habit of asking difficult and annoying questions.   He was eventually told to leave on his feet or feet-first.   Plato made a record of the Dialogues of Socrates and wrote much material on his own, too, as well as passing on the torch to Aristotle.  Much of what we attribute to the Greeks philosophically we owe to Socrates and Plato his student.  Plato through his dialogues with Socrates did touch on the transcendent and there is a sense of his sensing an "ideal" or what I would call a divine or a supernatural aspect to existence. 

Aristotle questioned and reasoned and poked and prodded into almost every area of learning.   To some extent we give him credit for the scientific method of investigation, but his weakness was his methodology.  He would decide what he thought was true, then set about to investigate in order to prove that his thesis was correct.   Aristotle, like Socrates, asked one too many question and made one too many statements that were not favorable to the ruling paradigm and he, too, was asked to leave life a bit early.    Now the ruling paradigm doesn't kill you, they just kill your career, so I suppose we have made a bit of progress there.


Too often, we refer to "the Greeks" and their mindset and in doing so miss the point that they were in fact of varied mindset and ideas.   Greeks during their heyday certainly valued rational thought and discussion but they also valued fame and power and pleasure and quite often put morality at or near the bottom of the priority list.  We could attribute hedonism to the Greeks just as easily as we could any virtue.  "The Greeks" valued reason and found ways to investigate every facet of human behavior, amplify it and attribute it to one or more imaginary "gods", many of whom were simply ancestors converted into semi-deities by men who only half believed in them.  They were the primary playwrights and authors of the Western world in their time.   

Many philosophers have considered the supernatural world invisible to man to be a greater reality.   Some are left grasping at the edges of understanding the Creator God.   The difficulty of comprehending a supernatural world for the natural man was of great interest to Plato, and Socrates compared those who were satisfied with a materialistic view of the world as blind men living in a cave of evil and ignorance.  They were men without muses, without a sense of a greater dimension to life.  A pity that Paul the Apostle walked among the Greeks some 400 years too late for Socrates and Plato to hear the Gospel, which both men were discussing to some extent without a good knowledge of Hebrew scripture.


Aristotle decidedly came down on the side of Axiomatic study of the world, a view in which one proposed a hypothesis and held onto it doggedly until it was proven correct.  His determination that the Universe was Geocentric ruled science until the findings of Galileo and Copernicus were finally accepted by the scientific community and the Church (Catholic Church).   It was he that proposed the four elements of matter plus the aether of the Universe and it was he who was to some extent the father of individual scientific disciplines.  Virtually everything Aristotle believed we now know to be wrong, but much of his findings were the beginning of further research and understanding.   Aristotle provided the Western world a foundation for scientific discovery and considering the ability he had to investigate the world his findings were brilliant.   Aristotle proposed a worldview that was groundbreaking in its fullness, even if faulty.  


I do not deny that Socrates and Plato and Aristotle were not brilliant minds, men of action and vision, nor do I deny their rightful place in history in areas of philosophy and math and science.   I would say, however, that it is time that the world move on and allow them their historical "props" while moving science on to the foundational methodology of Bacon instead.  ID folks, as far as they go, tend to agree with Creationists on this point.  Yes, another article for your enjoyment:




The problem with naturalism, the problem with empiricism

A review of Science’s Blind Spot: The Unseen Religion of Scientific Naturalism by Cornelius Hunter

Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 2007
Science’s blind spot

For all of history, the fundamental issue in the creation-evolution conflict has been philosophical presuppositions, not empirical evidence or ‘brute facts’. Creationists have been pointing this out for many years, with varying degrees of effectiveness. To their credit, the modern Intelligent Design movement has recognized this same point, and for almost twenty years now, has explicitly made philosophical argumentation central in the debate over Darwinism. Phillip Johnson played an important role in bringing the philosophy of naturalism out into the open and onto the dissecting table with his best-selling Darwin on Trial, the book usually credited with launching the modern ID movement.1 Distinctions between ‘methodological naturalism’ and ‘metaphysical naturalism’ became key points of debate.2 Biophysicist Cornelius Hunter has added to this understanding by authoring several books focused on the history of Darwinism and design.3 His latest work, Science’s Blind Spot, turns the tables completely on naturalism, this time in the realm of history, arguing that Darwinism is religious and ID is empirical. This thesis is not new in the ID literature, but Hunter’s way of saying it is.

Bacon vs Descartes

Hunter begins with a trip back in history. He doesn’t simply start with Darwin in the 19th century. He goes back almost three hundred years further by profiling two leading philosophers of science in the early days of the scientific revolution: Francis Bacon and René Descartes. The differences and similarities in approach between these two philosophical giants is a microcosm of the rest of the book.

Painting by Frans Hals, Wikipedia.org
René Descartes
René Descartes was an opponent of blind adherence to ancient Greek axioms in science. But often, Descartes merely replaced the axioms of Aristotle with axioms of his own. Descartes appears as a symbol of philosophical dogmatism in Science’s Blind Spot

Francis Bacon stood for empiricism. His philosophical opponents were the Aristotelians who force-fit science into their ‘preconceived notions of how nature works’ (p. 15). In contrast, as Hunter explains, Bacon wanted science to begin with a ‘clean slate’ (p. 15). General axioms would be ‘the end, not the beginning of the scientific process’ (p. 15). Science should be empiricism unrestrained, and it should be limited to subjects suitable for empirical research. As a result, religion was not to precondition scientific results, but at the same time, religion would not need to fear science, for the scope of science would be limited to empirical objects.

René Descartes stood for rationalism. Descartes, like Bacon, rebelled against stifling Aristotelianism and was an eager advocate for an empirical approach to nature. But Descartes’ empiricism turned out very different from Bacon’s empiricism. Bacon would collect voluminous data before venturing any hypothesis; Descartes would assert hypotheses before collecting data. Descartes and his followers emphasized the creation of hypotheses to explain phenomena, which must themselves be in terms of natural processes (naturalistic). The important difference between Descartes and Bacon was that in the Cartesian system, hypotheses came first. Several hypotheses could then be compared against nature to see which one might be the more probable explanation. But this still meant that the hypotheses were going to be read back into nature, rather than looking to nature to develop hypotheses. At its worst, Descartes effectively replaced the axioms of Aristotle with axioms of his own.

Theological naturalism

Descartes did recognize that his hypotheses might not be true, but he hoped that they might be useful.4 What he did not seem to realize was the extent to which his presuppositions might be unconsciously limiting the types of hypotheses that would be proposed, so that scientists never would arrive at the real truth. And this is exactly what happened, Hunter suggests, for in the years to come, many scientists and philosophers absolutized Descartes’ most fundamental axiom—that only natural explanations can be legitimate hypotheses. This proposition became entrenched, not by scientific progress, but by rationalistic reasoning—specifically, theological rationalistic reasoning.

The path to theological naturalism was charted over the course of several centuries. First came the ‘greater God’ argument. Hunter starts with Thomas Burnet, who wrote in 1685 that it was theologically preferable for God to create a cosmic ‘clock’ that runs on its own, rather than have a universe requiring any divine interventions. Hume’s (thoroughly discredited5 ) argument against miracles a century later only strengthened the force of Burnet’s logic. This argument—that divine efficiency equals a ‘greater God’—was frequently repeated over the years, and remains today a basic tenet of theistic evolution.6
 
Second, deists tended to emphasize nature as the superior (if not the only) revelation of God in the world. So, as the young Immanuel Kant argued, natural laws must obey God ‘in and of themselves’, mechanistically. The alternative, Kant thought, would be the absurd situation of natural laws disobeying God unless coerced. This, in turn, would downgrade the efficacy of natural revelation. However, the biblical view of natural laws is that they are descriptions of God upholding His creation in an orderly way, rather than prescriptions.

Third, many theological writers suggested that nature must be mechanistic in order to save God from the problem of evil in the world. Hume argued that if God was directly involved in the world, then He would be responsible for evil. So, to save God, naturalism must be true.

Hunter emphasizes that the common thread for each of these lines of thought is that ostensibly scientific naturalism was adopted for theological reasons. Hunter recognizes that the shift to naturalism as the basic philosophy of science was not entirely bereft of empirical discourse. But even when the arguments are framed in terms of science, Hunter finds theological axioms as the driving force.

For instance, Bernoulli and Kant interpreted the empirical, observed order in the solar system as evidence of naturalism. How did they arrive at this conclusion? By injecting the theological premise that if God had directly acted, He would have acted without restraints on His creativity. So the fact that planets move on the ecliptic was considered evidence that God did not put them there (p. 57). If God had no restraints on His creativity, then it was assumed he would have placed planets going in every direction. In another example, Burnet observed the ‘lack of a pattern in the moon’s craters and earth’s coastlines and concluded that [an] unguided mechanism was responsible’ (p. 58). Again, a theological premise was necessary for the conclusion: Burnet assumed God would make things in an orderly manner. Ironically, the conclusion that God did not act was proven to different people from the exact opposite situation.

The modern rationalists

Up to this point, Hunter has provided a very valuable historical refutation to the notion that naturalism was itself a scientific discovery. It was, instead, a rationalist construct, based usually on (pseudo-)theological grounds, imposed on science. It is not hard to anticipate where Hunter is going with this. Sure enough, Darwin followed the same procedure as so many who had gone before. Naturalistic explanations were sought, and very often the evidence for the naturalistic explanation was that God would not have done it that way. ‘Darwin could not actually explain how the wing or leg of a bat could have arisen, but he knew how they could not have arisen’ (p. 72).

This argument—that divine efficiency equals a ‘greater God’—was frequently repeated over the years, and remains today a basic tenet of theistic evolution.

From this history Hunter brings us to the present controversy over naturalism. He starts with astronomy, briefly reviewing problems and anomalies in the currently popular ‘Nebular Hypothesis’ for the origin of the solar system. Then he proceeds to a more detailed examination of naturalism in biology, manifested in Darwinism. Hunter’s focus is demonstrating that Darwinism has a host of empirical problems. And yet, because Darwinism is rationalistic, it refuses to acknowledge any of them.

For instance, homology has been touted as a key evidence for evolution, from Darwin to the present. Yet in light of modern genetics, the argument is collapsing, for many homologous structures do not share the same genetic pathways in development. Hence, they could not have been derived from a common ancestor (pp. 81–82). Convergent evolution is a similar anomaly from the opposite direction. Where evolutionists are confident that particular animals did not share a common ancestry for most of their development, it remains puzzling why so many biological features are recurrent (pp. 84–86).

Hunter notes that the position of the modern Darwinists is just like so many other proponents of rationalistic theories of the past. The theory is as much a fact as the observations, ‘so problems are interpreted as unanswered questions,’ without ever questioning the rationalistic ‘universal criteria’ (p. 136). The Darwinist rationalists focus on the many observations that fit neatly within the theory, but ignore the anomalies. But, in Hunter’s words,
‘science cannot be replaced by statistics. Indeed, often it seems that the exceptions, the anomalies, are what stimulate interesting and important scientific discovery. … The rare failure is more interesting than the common success. Rather than use statistics to rationalize unexplained observations, science needs to focus in on such observations’ (p. 96).

Modern empiricists

So, what might a science look like that does not take rationalism for granted? In his final chapter, Hunter suggests that it would be a ‘moderate empiricism,’ in the tradition of Francis Bacon. It would be suspicious of a priori assumptions, cautious in putting forward theories until sufficient empirical data (experiments and observations) are collected, and never overly devoted to a particular theory (pp. 137–140). Hunter emphasizes that this is a more uncertain path to take: ‘The empirical approach is much less certain about the form … [and] truthfulness of the result. Problems are complicated, and humanity is not always up to solving them completely’ (p. 137). The advantage is that because moderate empiricism is severed from preconceived notions, it can discover more about the real world. ‘The empirical approach is not as tidy as the rational approach. But it also does not constrain itself to preconceived notions. It is more amenable to new and unexpected results’ (p. 137). ‘It makes no sense to constrain the methodology of an investigation into the unknown’ (p. 139).

Intelligent Design represents moderate empiricism today, Hunter says. It rules out nothing a priori, and is dedicated to considering all the evidence. The Darwinists are bothered by this, Hunter says, because they cannot understand an approach which is so radically different from their own, an approach without a firm rationalistic structure. But this is precisely ID’s strength. ‘Unfortunately’, Hunter writes, ‘there is a common misunderstanding that intelligent design is opposed to all naturalistic explanations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Intelligent design is opposed, however, to simple-minded, dogmatic blinders when we are dealing with complex problems’ (p. 147).

Hunter’s book is a valuable corrective to the all-too-common belief that Darwinism, with its concomitant naturalism, is a scientific discovery. Hunter’s historical survey of rationalistic theories puts Darwinism in proper perspective. More interesting, perhaps, is Hunter’s endorsement of Bacon and ‘moderate empiricism’. How a Christian might understand this position is worth considering at some length.

Presuppositions and axioms: are Christians rationalists?

‘Moderate empiricism’ is a philosophically and theologically ‘loaded’ issue. A Christian should not embrace Hunter’s position carelessly. It follows, to some extent, Bacon’s naïve idea that religion should not precondition results, and that science could not speak to religion. This is a position that has been thoroughly discredited by history: either a theologically-informed science will operate, or an anti-theological science develops.7 This in itself should be a warning signal.

Painting from Wikipedia.org
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, the champion of empiricism, emerges as the hero of the Intelligent Design book, Science’s Blind Spot

In considering Hunter’s ‘moderate empiricism’, some hard questions need to be faced. Is it possible to put aside all preconceptions? If so, does that mean that, for the sake of science, the Christian must treat God and Scripture as only one possibility among many, giving up his conviction in the reality of God and veracity of Scripture when dealing with scientific issues? If the answer is yes, is this morally acceptable? In short, the Christian is committed to belief in the existence of a Creator God and the veracity of his revelation in Scripture. But this appears to place the Christian on the side of rationalism, prejudging the issues before empirical investigation. To become empirical seems to require the Christian to exchange his principles for uncertainty.

In response, we will take for granted the position of orthodox Christianity that the Christian does have a duty to acknowledge God in every sphere of life, and should not partition his thought life between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’. But this does not turn us into ‘rationalists’.

In evaluating ‘moderate empiricism’, we should recognize that it is impossible to actually abandon all presuppositions in favour of completely open possibility—impossible to do that and still live with the results, that is. For instance, suppose one gave up the presupposition of regularity in the universe. There would then be no reason to suppose that the experiment you did yesterday would turn out the same today, or that the sun would rise again. All prediction would be destroyed. The fact of the matter is that a host of presuppositions is required to even carry on a rational conversation: presuppositions about the nature of logic, about the existence of other minds, and about the regularity of nature, to name a few. Hunter could never advocate an abandonment of all presuppositions.

So how do we distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate constructs ‘imposed’ on science? This subject needs to be handled carefully, for both empiricist and rationalist positions are problematic. In walking a fine line between extremes, a very helpful distinction could be made between rationalistic ‘axioms’, and ‘presuppositions’ necessary for all reasoning, including science itself.

An ‘axiom’ is the term Hunter uses for the rationalistic propositions or premises assumed a priori to be true and then used as the filter for determining the truthfulness of other investigations. But in contrast, we can call the Christian’s pre-theoretical commitment to the existence of a Triune Creator God and to Scripture a ‘presupposition’.

The fact of the matter is that a host of presuppositions is required to even carry on a rational conversation: presuppositions about the nature of logic, about the existence of other minds, and about the regularity of nature, to name a few.

The crucial difference is that presuppositions are always non-optional. All reasoning either presupposes the existence or non-existence of God, and on this all-important point there can be no neutral ground. Every act of reasoning is therefore taking sides based upon either recognition or non-recognition of God. There is no option to ‘do away’ with presuppositions. Christian presuppositions, then, cannot be eliminated in response to the empiricist’s call for neutrality, for on these fundamental issues, there is no neutrality.

It should also be added that the Christian’s choice of presuppositions are not fideistic or arbitrary. They are supported by a powerful argument that upon Christian presuppositions alone is reasoning possible; a presupposition of the God of Scripture is necessary for any meaning at all. Without the existence of the God of Scripture, there would be no reason to suppose that logic actually works, that the laws we observe in the universe are consistent, and that our minds correspond to reality. This means that every act of scientific inquiry rests on suppositions that are religious, and the functionality of science is only explicable from a biblical Christian worldview.

We thus have good reason to hold to the authority of Scripture even when doing our science—indeed, especially when doing science. As philosopher Alvin Plantinga pointed out, if we know Scripture to be true, then it only makes sense to apply this knowledge to every sphere, creating a Christian worldview-conscious science.8 This is very different from the rationalist imposition of naturalism on science, for in our case, we argue that our presuppositions are necessarily true if science itself is true. If we indeed have a presupposition that must necessarily be as true as the science itself, it would be foolish to maintain an ‘I don’t know’ agnosticism on the issue.

Science to the glory of God?

A presuppositional analysis can prevent Christians from making an unwise choice between rationalism and empiricism. But a new question can be raised at this point. What is the actual position of ID on this issue? Hunter’s comments about ID are not particularly analytical, and often could be read just as easily as either describing ID as it as, or prescribing what ID ought to be. Either way, the book’s last sentences are thought provoking: ‘Intelligent design is not about proving religion. It is about analyzing the workings of nature without religious constraint’ (p. 147).

Every act of scientific inquiry rests on suppositions that are religious, and the functionality of science is only explicable from a biblical Christian worldview.

Many Christians have welcomed the ID movement as the latest and greatest weapon against unbelief. It has been generally understood that ID maintains wide appeal by disclaiming any adherence to a particular belief. Yet here, Hunter has expressly disclaimed not just adherence to particular sectarian beliefs. He has placed the abandonment of all restraints on inquiry at the heart of ID. Christians should consider this well, for Christians at this point face a crossroads in our relationship to ID.

On the one hand, we can opt to support ID’s ideal of a completely free inquiry, with God/Intelligence as one option among many, equally respectable, options. On the other hand, Christians can work to develop a presuppositionally biblical approach to science, an approach that conducts scientific inquiry on the foundations of a biblical epistemology. For the Christian, I think that the choice is clear: we are charged to do all things to the glory of God. With this being the case, we can appreciate the work that ID has done to dethrone naturalism, but as Christians, we should not do our science with the goal merely of making ‘the supernatural’ or ‘intelligence’ (and maybe ‘God’) an ‘option’.

Good history, not enough philosophy

Creationists should, and generally do, appreciate ID for the good it has done, even if we wish it did not stop where it has. That position applies very well to Science’s Blind Spot. This book is a very helpful contribution to the literature on naturalism, and does a fine job placing the naturalist dogma in historical perspective as dogma. It is an easy and enjoyable read, even if its large-scale structure could have used a bit of tightening up to avoid some internal repetition. Its fault lies in its overly generalized treatment of axioms, failing to distinguish, appreciate and adequately deal with the more foundational issue of presuppositions. Like the rest of ID, Science’s Blind Spot is a very useful resource, but is, at the same time, a resource that should be used with caution.

Further reading

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

"By what right do you naturalistic humanists impose your religion upon everyone else? "

Just because your own religion isn't imposed on science doesn't mean anybody else's is.

Scientific naturalism is simply the absence of religions in the scientific field. That's why science can actually make progress instead of being bogged down by having the likes of you (waving your Bible as supposed "evidence") bickering with a Muslim, a Hindu and a Buddhist over your respective faiths.

Exactly what progress do you think would be made if you creationists had your way?

Anonymous said...

"There are very few sore thumbs sticking out of the Creationist worldview."

Which no doubt is why you have satisfying answers to all the questions that keep being posed of you. Jon Woolf had a good list recently, and there were some others.

They're not just sore thumbs, they completely falsify YEC.

radar said...

Oh, Woolf hasn't come up with anything of great interest lately and certainly things like LIPS are more damaging to the Darwinist side than mine anyway.

Naturalism is a worldview. Naturalism is your religion! You really are like a blind man in a cave.

radar said...

"Exactly what progress do you think would be made if you creationists had your way?"

We would be farther along. You see, Bacon set forth the standard scientific method which Maxwell and Kelvin and Newton and Von Braun and Pasteur used as a guideline for studying existence. The basis for scientific query depends upon a repeatable and logical set of laws upon which the Universe is built, which requires a logical mind to build it.

If there had been no creationist scientists we would be in an Aristotlean Axiomatic Universe where blind stabs and guesses at things might well be accepted.

A God-created logical Universe is the basis for scientific study. A random Universe would have random systems doing random things which would probably not be either logical or repeatable. You Darwinists are putting an ugly coat of paint on the house God-fearing scientists built.

Jon Woolf said...

"things like LIPS are more damaging to the Darwinist side than mine anyway."

[snork]

Then why do you run away from the topic every time I bring it up?

radar said...

Woolf, if only we could be on stage and debate...

LIPS, as I have stated previously, are another example of catastrophism and are injurious to the Darwinist cause. Why should I have to defend a catastrophic formation when in my opinion the rock layers are all explicable by catastrophism? During the Noahic Flood the rapid subduction of tectonic plates and expulsion of rock and mineral and water from beneath the surface of the planet allowed for unusual flows of molten rock as well as multiple kinds of layering.

Jon Woolf said...

You still don't understand (or more likely refuse to admit) the problem posed to YEC by Large Igneous Provinces. The problem isn't simply that they exist. The problem is that we can find entire layers of sedimentary rock, including fossils of plants and animals, in between the layers of lava flows. How did an entire land ecosystem build itself on bare basalt rock in the few hours that your YEC view allows between the lava flows?

Anonymous said...

"Woolf, if only we could be on stage and debate..."

How about you pretend you're on stage and debating Jon Woolf? Would that mean you'd have to respond to his questions? And acknowledge his answers to your questions?

Face it, Radar, you're doing exactly what you accuse Dawkins and others of doing - running away from the debate.

Re. LIPS, Jon Woolf is completely correct. LIPS clearly indicate that a process took place that couldn't possibly have happened in a short time - a year, or even ten years, or even a hundred years or a thousand.

How could LIPS have been formed in a single catastrophic event that lasted no more than a year? How, Radar?

Anonymous said...

"Exactly what progress do you think would be made if you creationists had your way?"

"We would be farther along."

We would, would we? How would scientists' methods be different? What progress do you think would be made that isn't currently being made?

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but creationist scientists today are stunningly ineffective in operational science, while those employing methodological naturalism in their work make good progress.

If there are any advantages to "science the creationist way", there certainly is no evidence of that.

"The basis for scientific query depends upon a repeatable and logical set of laws upon which the Universe is built, which requires a logical mind to build it."

What matters to scientific inquiry is that nature is consistent. This is something we can figure out simply by observing nature. The conjecture that it was built by a logical divine mind is irrelevant to the fact that we can observe consistency itself.

It's not as if the consistency of nature suddenly falls into place the moment we conclude that "God did it". The consistency of nature is already there.

Anonymous said...

"If there had been no creationist scientists we would be in an Aristotlean Axiomatic Universe where blind stabs and guesses at things might well be accepted."

Yet Francis Bacon originated the method used by scientists today and which removed religion from the arena of science. What difference does a scientist's religion make in empricism? None.

I'm happy for you that you want to claim Bacon as a "creationist scientist", but he certainly didn't push some kind of creationist "brand" of science. On the contrary, he originated the exact same science that has you so exasperated today, because it doesn't confirm your notions and because it doesn't include the Bible as evidence.

"A God-created logical Universe is the basis for scientific study. A random Universe would have random systems doing random things which would probably not be either logical or repeatable."

Logical fallacy alert: false dichotomy. You're pretending that the only options are a God-created universe or a random universe. We know that nature/the universe acts in consistent ways. We don't know why that is or even if there is a reason for it that our minds can comprehend. The God hypothesis is just that, an untestable hypothesis. It has no more validity than any other.

"You Darwinists are putting an ugly coat of paint on the house God-fearing scientists built."

It's empiricism, today and in the days of Francis Bacon. Nothing ugly about it. And too bad if empirical facts don't get you to your pre-ordained results.

Anonymous said...

So radar stops in briefly to share some serious ignorance with us and then he's off to the races again. Retreat! Retreat! Run Away!

Above, Radar drops this doozy,

"certainly things like LIPS are more damaging to the Darwinist side than mine anyway"

Um, what?!?!? And all this says - very loudly, I might add - is that Radar STILL can't (or, more dishonestly, won't) understand the problems LIPs pose for his worldview.

Per Jon above, it is the evidence of organic matter in between lava flows that is your problem Radar. Organic matter that would ALONE take longer to arise than you have allotted for the entire history of the earth.

Good grief Radar, have you no shame?

- Canucklehead.

radar said...

Jon, this bacteria has not rebuilt its DNA string. It is simply able for a short time, anyway, to eat arsenic which is similar to phosphorus. That ability has nothing at all to do with the DNA within the bacteria. Re-read and study this...perhaps you have been confused or lied to, but the basic structure of DNA itself is not what has changed. In fact, they do not even know exactly what allowed the bacteria to survive on arsenic alone but, hey, people can survive on tree bark for awhile if they have to do it.

Jon Woolf said...

So tell us, Radar, why is the article in Science magazine about this bacterium titled "What Poison? Bacterium Uses Arsenic to Build DNA and Other Molecules"? And why does the article abstract refer specifically to "macromolecules that normally contain phosphate, most notably nucleic acids and proteins."? (Here's a clue: D-N-A stands for "deoxyribonucleic acid")

Jon Woolf said...

Update to the above: Based on latest reports, the Science paper in question seems to be rather badly flawed. No doubt Radar will soon be yelling and shrieking about how this supports his position that scientists are all liars except when they say something that supports creationism. However, readers should also note that the criticisms are coming from scientists, and that they're raising valid procedural and analytical questions about the paper and the work in question. Creationists with their spittle-flecked rants about 'phony evolution-science' have contributed nothing of value to the debate.