Translating the revolutionary consciousness of voiceless animals is no more silly than doing the same for human beings.
So even though I managed to pull myself out of that background and into and through Columbia for a PhD, then onto a job at an elite college, I was highly uncomfortable moving from the world of weed to the world of tweed. I hated being "Professor." I cursed in class. I talked about sex. I used politically incorrect terms. My students said they had never heard the things I was teaching them in class. They called me "Bad Thad."..."
If naturalists were pet birds...
Was a post I made in 2007. Here is an excerpt:"You name Newton, Kelvin and others, but all of them adhered to methodological naturalism in their scientific explorations. Their individual worldviews may have been Christian or whatever, but when they got down to their work as scientists, they adhered to strict naturalism/materialism - no mention of the supernatural in their discoveries.
You are 100%, totally and remarkably WRONG!!!!! You are so wrong it is rather humorous. Newton slung references to God around like pro athletes sling cusswords. But let us examine said method to which you refer. It was designed by a believer, Francis Bacon, and it makes no mention whatever of natural or supernatural at all. None. In fact, Bacon saw that the inductive method of Aristotle was incorrect because it began with a presupposition/axiom and proceeded from there. This is the very folly of so many of today's naturalistic materialists, that they have reverted to Aristotle by beginning with the axiom that only natural causes and explanations may be accepted.
Bacon suggested a better way, commonly known as the Scientific Method, and allow me to quote from the Physics Department of the University of California:
"The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:
1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a coherent set of propositions which explain a class of phenomena. A theory is then a framework within which observations are explained and predictions are made.
(Eventually a theory that is tested over and over with the same results is proclaimed to be a Law - radar)
The great advantage of the scientific method is that it is unprejudiced: one does not have to believe a given researcher, one can redo the experiment and determine whether his/her results are true or false. The conclusions will hold irrespective of the state of mind, or the religious persuasion, or the state of consciousness of the investigator and/or the subject of the investigation. Faith, defined as belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence, does not determine whether a scientific theory is adopted or discarded."" January 18th, 2007.
Now, Northern Arizona University philosopher Peter Kosso has blown the cover on the claim that evolution is "both theory and fact." He does so in a short piece published by Springer Briefs in Philosophy, "A Summary of the Scientific Method" (Springer, 2011). In the paper, he challenges the typical definition of "theory" used by the Darwin lobby.
When attacking opponents, Darwin lobbyists typically define "theory" as "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, and tested hypotheses" (National Academy of Sciences, 1999) or "a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence" (National Academy of Sciences, 2008). Using such definitions, saying the "theory of evolution" now necessarily implies an idea that is "well-substantiated" and "supported by a vast body of evidence." Darwin lobbyists then scold those who say that "evolution is just a theory" as misunderstanding the definition of the term "theory" and also mock them for unwittingly implying that evolution is well-supported. But is that what "theory" really means?
Kosso observes that in practice, the term "theory" says little about the degree of certainty that characterizes an idea. As he notes "neither 'theoretical' nor 'law' is about being true or false, or about being well-tested or speculative."
How does Kosso define theory? He writes that "all theories describe objects or events that are not directly observable. This is the core concept of theory. A theory describes aspects of nature that are beyond (or beneath) what we can observe, aspects that can be used to explain what we observe." He continues:
Germs, atoms, caloric, curved spacetime, and elemental strings are all, to one degree or another, unobservable. That's what makes them theoretical. But that doesn't make them unreal.Kosso goes on to explain that saying something is a "theory" doesn't necessarily imply it is a "fact," or even that it is well-supported by the evidence:
A theory is true if it describes unobservable things that really exist and describes them accurately. Otherwise it is false. This shows the mistake in contrasting "theory" and "fact." A fact is an actual state of affairs in nature, and a theory, or any statement for that matter, is true if it matches fact. Some theories are true (atomic theory), some are false (caloric theory), and the scientific method is what directs us in deciding which are which.Thus, Kosso has blown the cover on the Darwin lobby's attempt to redefine theory to necessarily imply a concept which has strong evidential backing and is "well-tested" or "supported by a vast body of evidence."
Kosso continues, stating: "To say of some idea, That's a theory not a fact, is a confusion of categories, a comparison of apples and oranges." While I agree with Kosso on this, it would stand to reason that it is also a confusion of categories to say "That's a theory and a fact." Thus, Kosso's argument also could cut against Darwin proponents who say "Evolution is both theory and fact."
Amending My Recommendations For Expressing Skepticism of Neo-Darwinian Evolution
I've long opposed using such a rhetorical line of "evolution is just a theory, not a fact" to oppose evolution because it gets you caught up in a semantic debate over the proper definition of fact and theory, and communicates very little about the most important component of this debate -- the scientific evidence. ... What follows is a slightly longer description of what one might say to communicate doubts about neo-Darwinism while avoiding semantic mistakes and communicating more than mere soundbyte arguments:
When evolution is defined as mere change over time within species, no one disputes that such evolution is a fact. But neo-Darwinian evolution -- the great claim that unguided natural selection acting upon random mutations is the driving force that produced the complexity of life -- has many scientific problems because such random and unguided processes do not build new complex biological features. According to the technical definitions of "theory," "fact," and "hypothesis," such neo-Darwinian evolution is neither theory nor fact. It's just a hypothesis."
When evolution is defined as mere change over time within species, no one disputes that such evolution is a fact. But neo-Darwinian evolution -- the great claim that unguided natural selection acting upon random mutations is the driving force that produced the complexity of life -- has many scientific problems because such random and unguided processes do not build new complex biological features. Neo-Darwinian evolution is a theory that has been falsified by the evidence.And that's a fact.