Skip to comments.Intelligent Design case decided - Dover, Pennsylvania, School Board loses [Fox News Alert]
Posted on 12/20/2005 7:54:38 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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"The more you get to wave this silly notion that ID is somehow scientifically respectable because of an unlikely thought experiment whose details you refuse to specify, the more propaganda points you get with the scientifically illiterate."
There you go again, jumping to conclusions without all the facts. My objective has been two fold. First I have replied to an ongoing contention against ID, namely that it makes no falsifiable predictions. I have made a falsifiable prediction. Like it or not, it is falsifiable, regardless of how you wish to interpret it.
I also am contributing to a fictional work in which the antagonist uses ID to placate conservative voters and get illicit money from religiously motivated book publishers. I'm sure you'll like it. Perhaps you may discover some of your ideas expressed by the ID opponents. (Sorry, ideas are not protected by copyright law. No royalties will follow. But thanks for your contributions.)
I have found the discussion interesting even if the writing never makes it to market.
There you go again, jumping to conclusions without all the facts.
huh. Just like natural sciences operate. It's the conclusion I'd rather jump to, all else being equal, much as a mother or a zealous watchdog jumps to the conclusion that a sudden move in the direction of their youngsters by a disreputable looking stranger is probably hostile.
My objective has been two fold. First I have replied to an ongoing contention against ID, namely that it makes no falsifiable predictions. I have made a falsifiable prediction. Like it or not, it is falsifiable, regardless of how you wish to interpret it.
Yea, yea, it's potentially falsifiable, to some slight degree, just as it's potentially science, to some slight degee. Much like crystal pyramid healing is a science, to some slight degree. That and two nickles will buy you a dime.
It is no more a man-made distinction than the distinction between gold and lead. Some things are living, and some are not. Sorry that this presents difficulty to your world view, but it is how things are. Most people, whether scientists or not, are able to distinguish the two.
Than it should be but a matter of a moment's research for you to tell me the exactly detailed nature of that distinction, such as to provide me with the working parameters to perform your much-touted, but unperformed experiment.
You are operating out of a layman's understanding of the evidence available, and not very consistently at that, since you just previously were arguing that you so-called experiment would be to create life in the lab, "from scratch". You don't understand the issues involved well enough to be arguing this point. Spend some time looking at Woese's research, it's not obscure tucked away in some dusty academic corner--it's a big deal in recent biological science.
Yes there is. We can observe things directly in the present. A great deal of natural history is extrapolated. In the here and now, we can repeat an experiment multiple times using the same controls. In the ancient past, you can only find comparable data.
All of science is "extrapolated", and we can dig up bones, and point out telescopes where we haven't before, multiple times. The phrase "comparable data" means nothing at all, as far as I can tell.
You can make educated guesses about the past, but present data is more reliable in general. I think some of your argument confuses between the reliability of data with the reliability of the medium which preserves or disseminates the data.
This is another helping of the same balderdash. Present data is NOT "more reliable". Old data can't be fudged by researchers with an ax to grind, or drunk grad students, or diddled consistently by mis-calibrated instruments, or run over and over until the fingerprints of the results we like causes us to wake up and push the "collect" button. Old data hasn't automatically the taint of pre-conceived notions telling us how to set the instruments next, and what material to feed into the hopper next. New data collection is a very manipulable commodity. You unconscious can sculpt the data as it's laid down. Old data was laid down without conscious, or even unconscious intent. You have the shoe precisely on the wrong foot. If you are a tobacco company, you can decide what data will come into existence. If you are a dinosaur biologist, your data was written down well before anyone had an active iron in the fire about what data would be written down.
No, it just means I do not feel like wasting time debating their definitions.
Well, that's patently obvious nonsense.
They mean what consensus says they mean. That is not arbitrary.
Of course it is. The scientific consensus holds that species exist. That does not prevent most scientists from knowing that speciation is just an arbitrary boundary created by humans. The fact that lions and tigers are separate species doesn't prevent them from crossbreeding, and producing viable offspring. The same holds for "life". It's just an arbitrary discrete distinction made my humans for their convenience to discribe a smooth, continuous process, it's not a palpable law of nature.
"We just learn we want to look, if possible, further in time and space than we at first thought for life's origins."
If a super natural intervention occurred some time in history which accomplished something which no natural process could do, would your approach be the same? Keep looking, because there must be a natural explanation?
In the event you discover how to demonstrate how something happened that eliminated the possibility of a natural explanation (which is, of course, serious nonsense). Science would leave it up to theologists and philosophers to wrangle over it, just as it has with things it hasn't been able to explain up until now. Science doesn't have hernias over it's lack of omnipotence; it just pulls up stakes and gets to work on some other problem it can solve--unlike some schools of thought I could mention.
You have said that the super natural might exist, but how would you recognize it if it did?
Not my business. I have no idea. Supernatural phenomenon are not the competent business of science, by definition. Science is about explaining stuff you can detect, with proximate physical causes you can verify with tangible experiments.
I agree that my test would prove nothing about the super natural, but it does not have a predisposed conclusion either. You seem to require that science assume that their is no super natural, all the while asserting that there could be.
This isn't rocket science, if you concentrate, you can get it. Science just doesn't give a rat's ass whether there is a supernatural or not.
Just like the law of gravity explains all the ways possible it might not work? Oh, but it doesn't do that, does it?
Your analogy is extremely unsound--so much so as to strike at the heart of your miscomprehension. The law of gravity is not being offered up as a comprensive attempt to falsify some other theory. It is a theory, derived from induction over a limited set of data, just as are all natural science theories. The reason your experiment's results are laughable, is that you have undertaken to demonstrate, however much you wiggle on the hook, that NO OTHER EXPLANATION CAN EXIST to explain your experiment's failure, for your experiment to mean what you want it to mean. The more partial view--that your test would be "just an indication" or just a slight weight on the falsification scale, makes it 1) permanently unaffordable, and 2) just plain wrong, since we have some positive evidence that said failure could be more sensibly chalked up to lack of labs with infinite time and resources, and we always first look at obvious explanations before wracking ourselves up over far-fetched explanations.
To the contrary, someone must falsify my assertion by showing at least one other possible way life can come into existence without intelligent guidance.
Done and done. See Woese.
"The contention that life takes too long to happen, for it to happen in a lab, is, of course, the most natural and obvious, and least hair-brained, of the many contentions that might be falsified by your test"
Then you should welcome my test as a way to show your assertion is falsifiable.
It will show nothing, it will mean nothing. It is test of spontaneous abiogenesis, which is creationist comic book science, not real science.
But then again, maybe you would like your assertion to be falsifiable without actually being tested.
It is tested in the same manner as assertions about the behavior or morphology of dinosaurs are tested. By digging up new evidence that will either confirm or repudiate the thesis in question.
Because, realistically, it will be falsified at some point.
Of course it will not. Any more than the evidence for dinosaurs will be suddenly ripped asunder.
I'd be more inclined to guess that what this shows, is the likelihood of bypassing a need for creating life from scratch--if we can improve the species we have, for utilitarian purposes, what's the commercial, or scientific point of recreating the base case? Who'll want to fund it?