Monday, July 14, 2008

Disagreeing with the experts

Lui said:

I said that you IMPLY that you’re more well informed than the world’s leading experts, given that you so casually dismiss almost everything they say.

  1. Lui apparently thinks he can read my mind, that he could know that I "casually" dismiss what certain experts say. He doesn't stop to ask whether it took me a while to figure out what to do with their testimony. He doesn't inquire whether it was a struggle, whether it took me the years that it did take me, whether I encountered or thought of convincing counter-arguments that forced me to disbelieve their positions. Which is exactly what happened. I didn't start out as a Young-Earther, I was a hard agnostic/soft atheist who believed in evolution. Then I was a Christian who was only moderately informed in theology. Then I was fairly well-informed and an OEC/theistic evolutionist. Then I was wholly uncertain. I've only been YEC for about 2 1/2 years.

  2. Lui himself is guilty of precisely the same thing. Leading experts such as Alvin Plantinga, Cornelius Van Til, John Calvin, Alister McGrath, Thomas Aquinas, etc, all believe(d) in the God of the Bible. They are/were experts in their field - theology and the question of God's existence and identity. They are/were also much, much more intelligent men than Lui is. Yet here Lui "casually" dismisses them as wrong. My educated guess is that Lui believes he has encountered and made his own counter-arguments that are sufficient to overthrow these men's conclusion. Yet he calls ME out for disagreeing with experts.

  3. Experts are fallible humans also - do we all follow Bobby Fischer in his bizarre and near-psychotic anti-Semitism b/c he has a really high IQ and could kick all our butts in chess simultaneously?

  4. This "...constitutes an argument from authority, which according to Aristotle is the weakest kind of argument."
    (We now remove tongue from cheek.)

  5. Is this really a question of being well-informed for me? Have I corrected these men in their understanding of the machinations of evolution? Not at all. Rather, I have discerned in their positions biases and more fundamental errors (ie, errors in their presuppositions) that have caused them to misinterpret the data that they have viewed. In the case of the question of evolution, they have set out, as I have said before, to take the equivalent of a 1,000,000-year-old auto accident, to disregard completely the testimony of the 100% trustworthy eyewitness who actually made the whole thing happen, and to send a forensics (CSI) team to the scene to dig around and find scattered pieces of car and glass, 1,000,000-year-old grooves and scratches, and not reconstruct but rather construct what happened in opposition to what the witness says he made happen.

19 comments:

Paul C said...

In the case of the question of evolution, they have set out, as I have said before, to take the equivalent of a 1,000,000-year-old auto accident, to disregard completely the testimony of the 100% trustworthy eyewitness who actually made the whole thing happen, and to send a forensics (CSI) team to the scene to dig around and find scattered pieces of car and glass, 1,000,000-year-old grooves and scratches, and not reconstruct but rather construct what happened in opposition to what the witness says he made happen.

And worryingly the CSI reconstruction appears to reflect what we actually see today, as opposed to the eyewitness report, which not only doesn't match the evidence but also appears to be along similar lines to previous "eyewitness reports" which subsequently proved to be entirely false. And now the eyewitness himself has disappeared - last seen over 2000 years ago! Join us for the second part of this exciting two-part story, tonight at 9 Eastern on CSI: Genesis.

Rhology said...

...said the CSI team, whose testimony is for obvious reasons suspect.

Paul C said...

And what might those "obvious reasons" be? Because they don't appear to be very obvious to many people.

NAL said...

Rho:
... testimony of the 100% trustworthy eyewitness who actually made the whole thing happen ...

Would you call this a presupposition?

Dr Funkenstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Funkenstein said...

interesting topic, I decided to write a post on it here

Edward said...

Hi Rhology,

Am I to assume then that you believe the earth has only been around for 6000 years. Is that really a defensible position?

For instance, and I am no expert on the OT, I assure you, but when I read Genesis...well...no, I guess it does say six days to create the earth, doesn't it?

Let me rephrase: what do you say about the dinasours?

Rhology said...

Hi Edward,

Yes, I believe it has been around ~6-10K yrs. I believe it is very likely that much of it was created so that it would appear old when analysed by certain modern, limited instrumentation, knowledge, and methodology. But God is the one who made it all, He was there, and He told us how He did it and generally when.
Jesus Christ thought it happened that way.
Paul that it went that way.

Yeah, it does say it took 6 days. :-)

Dinosaurs - I honestly don't know. Perhaps all of them lived in the earth during the time of the Garden of Eden and were killed in the flood. Perhaps some are still alive. Perhaps some were displaced by God miraculously. Perhaps even God put some of their bones in the ground and those dinos never even lived at all.

The Bible doesn't tell us much about dinos, so I don't know much and can only speculate. Perhaps others are better equipped to speculate than I.

Rhology said...

oops...

Paul *thought* it went that way.

Dr Funkenstein said...

when analysed by certain modern, limited instrumentation, knowledge, and methodology.

could you give us an outline of exactly where the flaws in these methods are - since on both the AA blog and previous discussions on here you demonstrated quite clearly that you didn't actually know how radiometric dating worked (never mind all the others like electron spin resonance dating, dendrochronology etc etc)? You could also apply your argument to any branch of science, so why do you accept anything doctors say when you go for treatment, or expect your lights to come on when you flip the switch?

I'd also add that Occam's razor isn't favourable to the omphalos hypothesis, since it adds more entities to explain on top of the more straightforward explanation of actual age, as well as making God potentially deceptive (which was one of the reasons it was not met with open arms by the clergy when Gosse first proposed it), as well as making 'Last Thursdayism' as plausible as YEC. Another problem it suffers from is that it is somewhat confusing - Adam did not need a navel as he was created rather than born - so why would radioactive run down, tree rings etc need to give the appearance of age in trees, rocks etc, why not just create them so they actually appear 6000 years old no matter what method of calculation is used?

we have this discussion a lot - as far as I'm aware, youve never pointed out the demarcation point where direct/indirect observations start and stop, as well as outright avoiding explaining why you accept forensics such as murder investigations to be valid, but not anything that other branches of science you dont agree with practice.

Dr Funkenstein said...

addition:

omphalos also doesn't account for why there are fossils that fall in between eg apes and and man - there would be no need for these to exist in the omphalos world.

Rhology said...

could you give us an outline of exactly where the flaws in these methods are

I'll probably have to demur on that one.
My position is self-consistent, rational, and logical. Old earth is incompatible with it.
By contrast, your position (atheism) is self-refuting and irrational. To go beyond such questions and look at minutiæ such as what you propose here is uninteresting to me, which is why I have never really looked into it. I don't know everything. Sorry to disappoint.


you didn't actually know how radiometric dating worked

I'm not sure what you're referring to, though it's true I'm not intimately familiar with the process.
OTOH, I asked some very pertinent questions here that were never answered.

You could also apply your argument to any branch of science, so why do you accept anything doctors say when you go for treatment, or expect your lights to come on when you flip the switch?

God's self-revelation gives me no reason to doubt such things.
Besides, such things are repeatable and observable. It's way different by even your own standards.


I'd also add that Occam's razor isn't favourable to the omphalos hypothesis,

To posit One Big Cause over trillions of tiny ones, improbably working together to produce what we see now?


as well as making 'Last Thursdayism' as plausible as YEC.

Last Thursdayism is a double-edged sword, so I have no responsibility to be held to it if you're not willing to be.
Besides, that the God of the BIble is and speaks is a necessary presupposition, and LT-ism is incompat with it.


Adam did not need a navel as he was created rather than born

Either way, so what?


why would radioactive run down, tree rings etc need to give the appearance of age in trees, rocks etc, why not just create them so they actually appear 6000 years old no matter what method of calculation is used?

B/c God takes pleasure in deluding certain people who hate Him by their own "wisdom" and "knowledge".
I'd be interested to see you provide some evidence that deception is objectively immoral. Been waiting a while, actually.

there would be no need for these to exist

There's no "need" for ANYTHING to exist. It is there b/c it pleased God to put it there.
Do you have some sort of argument that putting them there was
1) wrong
2) stupid
3) something else
besides your naked assertion?

Peace,
Rhology

barrett said...

B/c God takes pleasure in deluding certain people who hate Him by their own "wisdom" and "knowledge".

Are you being serious when you say this?

Edward said...

Hey Rhology,

You said:

Jesus Christ thought it happened that way.

Edward: Why do you say that. I can't think of anywhere in the Gospels where Jesus mentions the creation. He mentions the flood, of course.

Dinosaurs - I honestly don't know. Perhaps all of them lived in the earth during the time of the Garden of Eden and were killed in the flood.

Edward: Good point.

Dr Funkenstein said...

To posit One Big Cause over trillions of tiny ones, improbably working together to produce what we see now?

Occam's razor doesn't work that way - it's about unnecessary multiplication of entities not the number per se. You can have as many causes as you want, the point is not to add more on top that don't add anything to the explanation. And how have you worked out these probabilities to determine it's all so improbable? After all a being outside time and space that can supersede any natural law at will, while simply willing things into existence as well as being omnipotent and omnipresent strikes me as somewhat more improbable than simple natural causes.

B/c God takes pleasure in deluding certain people who hate Him by their own "wisdom" and "knowledge".

Ah, so it's better that we be puppets on a string who don't think for ourselves but instead blindly believe no matter what? In which case why give us faculties of reasoning etc etc when there's no real point to them? Also, how do you know that person he is choosing to fool is us and not you?

I'd be interested to see you provide some evidence that deception is objectively immoral. Been waiting a while, actually.

This harks back to the evil God thread - how do you differentiate whether nature is the trick, or the bible is the trick? Your whole belief system is on very shaky ground by invoking the 'God can be deceptive' angle.

There's no "need" for ANYTHING to exist.

Would that include God?

Besides, that the God of the BIble is and speaks is a necessary presupposition

No it isn't. The whole premise is no better than 'we just know', as expounded by one of the foremost apologists John Frame. There's no way you'd grant any of us the same leeway with any of our first principles.

Rhology said...

Edward,

Jesus referred to Adam and Eve as real people and referred to the flood as a real event and Noah and his family as real people. And He held the OT in the highest regard - called it "God speaking", etc.

I guess the only thing to do is plead that it's most probable that Christ thought it happened that way, though He never said "The world was created in 6 days" per se.

Rhology said...

barrett,


2Th 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
2Th 2:11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
2Th 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.


Yes, very serious.

NAL said...

Augustine:
It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are.

Written in 408 AD!

Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by these who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

His words ring as true today as they did 1600 years ago. Anybody recognize themselves in his words?

Rhology said...

NAL,

So whether words "ring" true is your basis for knowing whether it's true?
Somehow Augustine's more common words "God lives" ring less true, eh?

Of course, on Christianity, people are fallible. We'd just have to check my exegesis against his. Seems that, if this correctly represents Aug's view, my view holds the Scr in higher esteem.