A lot of scientific soul-searching today on FR.
Am I A Metaphysical Bigot?
International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology ^ | February 15, 2005 | Clifford Sosis
Posted on 07/16/2007 12:59:52 PM PDT by dan1123
Did you join soley to debate evolution vs creation ?
Melodramatic bull---. There is no theological premise in any scientific paper being published today. You have to be a romantic old scientist suffering severe dementia to believe otherwise.
What a joke!
Science is highly efficient at explaining how things work, it is a trmendous edifice of the use of Reason to look at the Universe as it is.
It can not in principle explain why The Universe is there in the first place, or what, if any, is it’s purpose. Science gives prose to our understanding of the Universe, but no Poetry, no meaning.
The fundamental question that must be asked by any person who studies the Sciences is simple, Is the Universe all their is, or is there a superset to the Universe, something greater from which the Universe proceeds?
This is a difficult question, in that, by definition, the Universe is defined as that set of points that one can interact with, in principle, by bouncing a particle against it, whether a photon or other particle. From this viewpoint, the Universe is a hugh physics engine.
That which we can not, IN PRINCIPLE, interact with in such a way is by definition not in our Universe, and Science cannot make any statements about it.
Such is the pervue of Metaphysics, the attempt to understand why the Universe is here, or even if the question itself is meaningless. Each metaphysic establishes with it a set of symbols by which the person then “Sees” the Universe.
The Seculat Huminists who are commented on make the Metaphysical statement that the Universe is all there is and has no intrinsic “Meaning”. This is the underlying assumption. What I would clearly state is that one must Always questions their assumptions and never forget that their assumptions underpin all subsequent statements.
Darwin's Black Box:
The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution
by Michael J. Behe
Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference
The Battle of Beginnings:
Why Neither Side Is Winning
the Creation-Evolution Debate
by Delvin Lee "Del" Ratzsch
Science and Its Limits:
The Natural Sciences in Christian Perspective
Amen. I saw the same show. I thought, "Yet another dogmatist posing as a scientist."
You've fallen for the very belief that such people have always tried to promote: The scientist as noble, clear-eyed, dispassionate revealer of truth.
The truth is that the intellectual tool of science is designed only to make sure that one's measurements be as accurate as one's technology permits, that one's measurements use the appropriate tool for the quantity to be measured, and that one's conclusions follow logically from one's premises.
If one works very diligently, then one may be able to separate what one hopes or believes is out there from what actually is out there. That is, one may be able to systematically eliminate one's misconceptions about what is out there in the world by the practice of science and, as a result, be able to exercise control over it and then use it for one's ends. This is the power of science.
The choice of both premises and ends, though, lies outside the field of science because science is limited to reasoning and experimentation based on measurable quantities. The biggest error of the past three centuries has been the assumption that since everything that can be measured exists, nothing exists if it cannot be measured. The belief is that since measurement is but the extension of our senses by technical means, there is nothing that exists apart from that which is open, at least in principle, to our senses; ie, "seeing is believing" or, ostrich-like, "If I can't see it, it doesn't exist." Accordingly, personality, thought, love, and free will are just smiley faces we put on biochemical processes that are irrevocably part of a chain of cause and effect that we only think we control.
The funny thing is that there are some people who feel comforted in believing this who at the same time ridicule people who believe Jesus rose from the dead because of the testimony of others who witnessed it. They claim that their witness cannot be trusted because1. something like that cannot happen,The answer to the above is, of course,
2. it cannot happen since they've never observed it,* and
3. if it doesn't happen more than once and they haven't witnessed it themselves, then anyone else claiming to have done so must either be insane or a liar. And then they abuse the word "science" by claiming 1-3 to be scientific.1. that the most they can say is that, given the usual nature of things, it doesn't happen, not that it cannot happen if given sufficient cause, and that if it did happen, that would be, in and of itself, evidence that the cause was outside the usual nature of things. Stating categorically that there can be no sufficient cause "because biology teaches us..." is just naked arrogance trying to use science as a fig leaf;The retort to 3, because they cannot argue with the first two, would be that 'history' or 'one's life' are not truly 'things,' but simply labels slapped arbitrarily somewhere along the chain of natural events that exist on their own without rhyme or reason and that sticking on these labels is just an attempt by weak people who lack the bravery to see things the way they really are to provide a feeling of meaning where is none--yeah, sort of like the people who use the label of "science" to claim to have the only true way of separating fact from fiction as well as the only means by which to define 'fact' and 'fiction' ?
2. that plenty of things happen that one has never witnessed or had any idea that they could happen,
3. that there are plenty of things that happen only once--the history of one's life, for instance, beginning with one's conception--that are nonetheless real.
* or observed by anyone they trust, meaning 'by anyone who believes what they believe', meaning 'if you've claimed to have witnessed this, you're no longer someone I can trust,' meaning, 'only that which I believe is true or can possibly be true,' meaning, 'I, and those like me, are the sole arbiters of truth,' meaning, 'if you don't fit in with the program, then you're an enemy,' meaning, 'if you don't accept the tenets of _____, then you're the enemy of truth and since we accept the tenets of _____ and we are human, then you are also the enemy of mankind." And how is this any different from any other form of tribalism?
I always wondered what the Italian was for "Bill the Cat." I guess I know, now.