Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Self-fulfillment

Just for the sake of argument, let's say that all the data that evolutionists have claimed as evidence for their hypothesis actually does fit the hypothesis.

Paul C said:

worryingly the CSI reconstruction appears to reflect what we actually see today

Given that said CSI team has refused to listen to what the infallible eyewitness and performer of the creation incident has said about it and used its limited instrumentation, limited knowledge, limited wisdom, and limited methodology (not to mention disregarding its total lack of ability to observe what happened) to construct an alternative hypothesis, that you would find exactly what you were looking for (ie, anything other than evidence for a divine creation) wouldn't be surprising.

15 comments:

Edward said...

Hey Rhology,

I take it then that you are a Bible literalist. What about things in the bible that are spoken about symbolically or allegorically?

I mean what is the big problem with the earth being 5 billion years old? Where does it ever say in the Bible that it's not?

Dr Funkenstein said...

the problem for your view is that at the very least natural selection, drift, mutations, genetic variation, heredity, reproduction and speciation are all observed in the here and now. Supernatural creation isn't. Even if we took the study of biology no further than the last 150 years, that's several points in favour of evolutionary science and none in favour of creationism.

Paul C said...

You missed out the second part of the quote, so let me reproduce it in full here:

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.

That's the crux of your problem, Rhology - not that the reconstruction matches the evidence, but that the "infallible" eyewitness account doesn't.

Paul C said...

Also, you said that the testimony of the CSI team "is for obvious reasons suspect", yet you haven't actually provided a single reason to show why it is suspect. (On the other hand, you haven't given a single reason to show why the eyewitness is infallible either, so maybe we're asking too much.)

Rhology said...

I have more faith in the readership of this blog than Paul C does, in that I believe that many or even most have a longer attention span than 2 posts ago, as the case for this infallible witness has been made over and over again over the course of time. Let the reader judge whether even one of Paul C's major points has EVER stuck.

Paul C said...

You don't have any faith in your readership; you continually harangue them for being stupid and not Christian enough.

Your case for the "infallible" witness goes as follows.

1. God is infallible.
2. We know this because God tells us that he's infallible.
3. Repeat until the wheels fall off the cart.

"Let the reader judge..." - I love it.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Given that said CSI team has refused to listen to what the infallible eyewitness and performer of the creation incident has said about it

This may as well read 'they didn't come up with the conclusion I want to hear, so they must be wrong'. Science has actually given God many opportunities to show up - for example in studies on intercessory prayer. God decided not to (http://www.mayoclinic.org/
news2001-rst/921.html), so until that changes, the rest of us aren't interested (the bible says repeatedly that if we ask in prayer we shall receive, eg Mt 21:22). The other reason is that if you propose Goddidit as the hypothesis, it's about as useful as a chocolate fireguard - what should we expect to find if our hypothesis is correct? Absolutely anything. It really doesn't matter what the observations are, so the hypothesis crashes and burns before it's even turned the ignition on it's so useless


and used its limited instrumentation, limited knowledge, limited wisdom, and limited methodology (not to mention disregarding its total lack of ability to observe what happened)

until you explicitly say 'the police should stop doing murder investigations because they are not directly observable and rely on limited methodologies' noone has any reason to take this objection seriously.

to construct an alternative hypothesis, that you would find exactly what you were looking for (ie, anything other than evidence for a divine creation) wouldn't be surprising.

This is really just the first part again - 'they didn't tell me what I want to hear, so they must be wrong'. You've already admitted that you have no in depth knowledge of things like geochronological techniques, so why would any scientist in that field care about this opinion? Besides, they did propose an alternative - the early geologists (who were all Christian Creationists) actually expected to find evidence for a 6000 year old Earth. They actively went looking for it fully expecting to find it - so you can hardly say it didn't get a fair crack of the whip. If it actually explained the data, companies like Shell and Exxon would be using YEC geology. There's a reason they don't.

Rhology said...

Edward said:

I take it then that you are a Bible literalist.

Actually, the term "Bible literalist" is nearly meaningless.
Here's a primer on the proper way to interpret the Bible.


I mean what is the big problem with the earth being 5 billion years old? Where does it ever say in the Bible that it's not?

The Bible never says "the earth is not 5 billion years old", true. :-D
What it DOES tell us is how the earth was created and in general when. Maybe those genealogies have some holes, but you don't add a billion years thru a few missed descendants.
The Apostle Paul thought Adam was a real guy.
Peter thought the Flood really happened and that Noah really existed.
Jesus thought Adam was a real guy.
Jesus thought the Flood really happened and that Noah really existed.

Or... we could trust in the ever-changing "scientific" community when they give us highly assumptive conceptions on what they think the age of the earth is, when they can do no observation of the same. And then we can act all embarrassed when they change their position in <100 years just like they have in the past.


Dr Funkenstein said:
natural selection, drift, mutations, genetic variation, heredity, reproduction and speciation are all observed in the here and now.

We've discussed all that before, so I invite anyone to take a look at how well you've backed up those assertions.
And no one here is arguing that nat sel, drift, mutations, genetic variation, heredity, and reproduction don't occur in the here and now. It's the unobserved and unjustifiable extrapolation out to common ancestry that's the problem and which you can't substantiate.


Supernatural creation isn't.

You know, aren't you and your buds big on "what we would expect to see if ___ were true"?
If YEC is true, we wouldn't expect to see any other similar acts of creation. Hypothesis, corroborated so far!



Science has actually given God many opportunities to show up - for example in studies on intercessory prayer.

As if a Christian would expect God to perform like a little circus monkey. He's the Almighty Creator of the universe, not an amœba, you know.


the bible says repeatedly that if we ask in prayer we shall receive, eg Mt 21:22).

Mat 21:18 Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry.
Mat 21:19 Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He *said to it, "No longer shall there ever be {any} fruit from you." And at once the fig tree withered.
Mat 21:20 Seeing {this,} the disciples were amazed and asked, "How did the fig tree wither {all} at once?"
Mat 21:21 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen.
Mat 21:22 "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

This is quite clumsy, not to mention embarrassing, on Dr Funk's part.
Dr Funk, either offer an exegesis of the passage or concede the point and that you were silly to have made it without apparently even bothering to read a little context.



what should we expect to find if our hypothesis is correct? Absolutely anything.

Well, not ANYthing. What the Bible describes. This isn't that hard.


it really doesn't matter what the observations are,

It might if naturalism weren't self-refuting in its tenets. Why bother even examining evidence to find out whether a self-refuting hypothesis is correct?


until you explicitly say 'the police should stop doing murder investigations because they are not directly observable and rely on limited methodologies' noone has any reason to take this objection seriously.

As if your restatement has any logical connection to my point here.


You've already admitted that you have no in depth knowledge of things like geochronological techniques, so why would any scientist in that field care about this opinion?

B/c I'm not critiquing his techniques but his presupps.


If it actually explained the data, companies like Shell and Exxon would be using YEC geology. There's a reason they don't.

There's a reason why Pragmatism is not an acceptable standard for finding truth, but Dr Funk here illustrates how pride in one's scientific prowess can blind one to the problems in one's worldview.
Perhaps Dr Funk believes it's OK for me to murder him and his family, as long as it works for me.
Perhaps Dr Funk believes that something can work (and thus be true) one moment and then not work the next moment (and thus be untrue).




Paul C said:
2. We know this because God tells us that he's infallible.

You left out a few parts.
One of which is "and because of the impossibility of the contrary, which Rhology has spent years fleshing out".


"Let the reader judge..." - I love it.

I wouldn't if I were you, but to each his own.

Paul C said...

One of which is "and because of the impossibility of the contrary, which Rhology has spent years fleshing out".

And yet, here we all are.

Except for your God, of course.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Or... we could trust in the ... just like they have in the past.

I like the use of "scientists" in inverted commas - that's always a popular apologist way of proving you know more than they do even if you have no scientific training at all.

Anyway, if you've read a bit of the history of dating methods ('Rocks, Bones and Stars' by Chris Turney is a good overview if not), you may notice a pattern that emerged as more experimental evidence was gained - the dates went from 10s of 1000s of years, to hundreds of 1000s eventually to millions, such as the estimates of Lord Kelvin - the same Lord Kelvin that stated this must be the age unless some other source of energy were found. Of course, then radioactivity was discovered, thus proving his point and bumping the lower age limit up to the billions of years mark. As Prof Ian Plimer has pointed out, if creationists want to make their case on this front, their best bet is to show the fundamental constant c can vary wildly since this is the cornerstone physics and thus dating methods are built on. Not surprisingly they haven't managed this (well, not without lying through their teeth at least).

I'm also curious to know why creationists are so keen to point out the order in the universe that God has provided for us, yet whenever they need something in that ordered universe to go wild (such as the speed of light) to fit their beliefs then it's a case of 'if I can imagine it, it must have happened'

We've discussed all that ...which you can't substantiate.

Indeed we have, and I usually back up my claims with references, but since on threads like this where it got to the point that I was producing actual tax returns to prove my point with no apparent effect (I think anyone who read that thread could easily see that you were being willfully intellectually dishonest), I'm not about to bust my chops digging out references for everything I write. For someone semi-reasonable, I'd be happy to. You also seem to have no problem with extrapolations when it comes to the bible (eg harmonising Gen 1 and 2), but as you work to a double standard, the rest of us aren't allowed them it seems.

As a good example of a reasonable evolutionary extrapolation for common ancestry:

God could have made humans with 100 chromosomes and primates with 24, rather than 23 and 24, respectively. He could have made it so human chromosome 2 was nothing like Chimp, Orangutan or Gorilla chromosome 2. He could have made it so there were no telomeric repeat sequences in the middle of human chromosome 2. In fact, he could have made our genetic material totally different from that of chimps. You know, so there'd be no doubt we're not related to primates by common ancestry...

If YEC is true, we wouldn't expect to see any other similar acts of creation. Hypothesis, corroborated so far!

You seemed happy enough to allow for an extra one in Gen 2. You also have an obsession with 'make it happen in front of me', yet you clearly admit haven't observed special creation, so why should we believe it is possible, since we cant observe people writing the bible or the creation itself?

As if a Christian would expect God ... you know.

There's another tempting conclusion one could draw from the result, and I think we all know what it is.

This is ... a little context.

I read the whole thing - what in there doesn't back up the idea that prayers will be answered if one has faith in Jesus?

Well, not ANYthing. What the Bible describes. This isn't that hard.

I got that much - but the bible describes next to nothing about the natural world. It doesn't even make it clear the author knows about much more than a few groups of animals, and states there was a big flood.

I guess one hypothesis you have is common design. Except this collapses pretty easily, because it's basically saying shared essential features (eg DNA) are a result of common design. But this doesn't explain why ubiquitous genes have different sequences in different organisms. Why aren't things like this also the same if similarity of essentials is the mark of common design?

It might if naturalism ... hypothesis is correct?

You seem to be conflating Meth. Nat. with Phil. Nat, but if you have a supernatural methodology, let's hear it.

As if your restatement has any logical connection to my point here.

But it does - you complain constantly about unobservables (I'm not sure if you're aware that DNA is only indirectly observable either, since you seem to have no problem with that), but every time I ask you to be consistent about this you just pretend the question doesn't matter or ignore it.

B/c I'm not critiquing his techniques but his presupps.

Not all geochronologists are atheists/non-Christians though, and I'll happily just bring up the John Frame comments any time I need to show how flimsy PAs suppositions are.

There's a reason why Pragmatism ... the next moment (and thus be untrue).

Pragmatism is not a guarantee of absolute truth, correct - but then you validate your need for Old Earth geology every time you go to a gas station or turn your lights on so you can't really have it both ways. You're also conflating meanings of 'works' - there's a difference between works as in 'as a result of the fact it reflects objective reality' than there is to works as in 'hey, I like that' or 'this is functional as it has not broken yet'. Why on Earth would scientists go out of their way to accommodate something like YEC flood geology when it is utterly useless and corresponds with nothing they observe in the real world? And a demand for an acceptable standard for truth is also rich coming from someone who's entire worldview is based on the two step proof of God

1) Assume God exists
2) Therefore God exists

Anyway, I will be away on vacation for the nest 2 weeks, so I'll unfortunately have to draw my participation to a close on this one.

Rhology said...

I like the use of "scientists" in inverted commas

I'm expressing my contempt for their willfully jacked-up presuppositions, calling "science" that which they cannot test, observe, nor repeat.

that's always a popular apologist way of proving you know more than they do

Consider that your correction. Please be so kind as to take my stated motives into account.


if creationists want to make their case on this front

Perhaps so, but I don't make my case thereon.

whenever they need something in that ordered universe to go wild (such as the speed of light) to fit their beliefs then it's a case of 'if I can imagine it, it must have happened'

I might surprise you here - I can see why it would frustrate you.
It's a case of operating on your own system, of taking what you say and dealing with your position from your own presuppositions. Answering you on your own grounds. I don't really believe that light travels in curly Qs in some other galaxy where we can't see that light, but it's a useful example to point out that you know far less and assume far more than you claim to. It's more (at least for me) about pointing out inconsistencies on your part than making my own case.

it got to the point that I was producing actual tax returns to prove my point

Haha, yes, I also encourage anyone to read that thread and make their own call.

I'm not about to bust my chops digging out references for everything I write

Not asking for "references". I'm asking for arguments for the things I ask for arguments for. In this case, I'm asking you to substantiate these assumptions you make or at least just to concede that you take them entirely on faith.

You also seem to have no problem with extrapolations when it comes to the bible (eg harmonising Gen 1 and 2), but as you work to a double standard, the rest of us aren't allowed them it seems.


1) What is your argument for my "extrapolation"? What did I extrapolate?
2) Perhaps you are not familiar with the nuts and bolts of how to interpret the Bible (or any text). See here for general info and then see it applied here.
3) Then go ahead and actually provide an argument that justifies the extrapolation that YOU perform. Even if I DO hold you to a different standard, why not go ahead and justify the use of terms like "overwhelming evidence" and bury me?



You seemed happy enough to allow for an extra one in Gen 2.

Extra act of creation? I admit it was one possibility, but far different from the ex nihilo creation from before.

so why should we believe it is possible, since we cant observe people writing the bible or the creation itself?

B/c I'm not bound to your presuppositions. When I demand repeatable, observable data, I'm answering you on your own grounds.
On Christianity, God is the source of all truth. When He speaks, He's right and it's true, period.

what in there doesn't back up the idea that prayers will be answered if one has faith in Jesus?

There are many answers to that, but let's just start here: Prove that everyone involved in the study had faith in Jesus.

It doesn't even make it clear the author knows about much more than a few groups of animals

Leviticus alone names more than a "few" kinds of animals.

But this doesn't explain why ubiquitous genes have different sequences in different organisms.

Um, b/c God made them that way.

but if you have a supernatural methodology, let's hear it.

I've gone over that before.
Summary - recognise where naturalism doesn't explain Event X and then leave room for the supernatural when the evidence leads you there. An example is the Resurrection of Jesus, or the Creation.

You seem to be conflating Meth. Nat. with Phil. Nat,

That is possible, and when I do, I hope you'll correct me. I admit I can get a little sloppy on that point.

(I'm not sure if you're aware that DNA is only indirectly observable either, since you seem to have no problem with that

I never said I didn't have a problem with that. You should, though. Either abandon your "observable is Gospel!" position or redefine science or admit your assumptions. We've gone over this too.

I'll happily just bring up the John Frame comments any time I need to show how flimsy PAs suppositions are.

Well, you can let the reader imagine what you might say and judge, or you can offer an argument and let them judge.

then you validate your need for Old Earth geology every time you go to a gas station or turn your lights on so you can't really have it both ways.

I don't grant that. Make your argument.

Why on Earth would scientists go out of their way to accommodate something like YEC flood geology when it is utterly useless and corresponds with nothing they observe in the real world?

B/c all their arguments (that I've so far seen) for old earth are failures, maybe?

1) Assume God exists
2) Therefore God exists


You don't understand at all.
This might help. God is NECESSARY for any intelligibility.
Perhaps you could consider over your vacation your base presupposition and write about it on your blog. How do you know that you know anything? What do you take on faith?

Safe travels.

Peace,
Rhology

Dr Funkenstein said...

I've gone over that before.
Summary - recognise where naturalism doesn't explain Event X and then leave room for the supernatural when the evidence leads you there. An example is the Resurrection of Jesus, or the Creation.


I know - but how do you square this methodology with instances where unknowns were attributed to the supernatural (eg Newton proposing that planets were pushed around by angels), which then eventually gets explained by natural causes, as the instance in question was by Laplace. In fact, there's a long and self-defeating history of taking the approach you've suggested...

Wouldn't this 'methodology' make every as yet untested hypothesis a supernatural phenomenon? What happens when someone does eventually test it - was the supernatural never at work? Were we wrong to have considered it supernatural in the first place? Was the supernatural in operation then suddenly stopped the moment we worked out the natural explanation?

Dr Funkenstein said...

God is NECESSARY for any intelligibility.

Addendum:

could you prove that

a) we need a God at all for this
b) that it must be TGOTB
c) rule out all alternative explanations, including intelligibility simply being a brute fact of the universe?

Seeing as it just seems to beg the question.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Addition to the addition :-D

Your point about the 9/11 martyrs would work except that many of Jesus' witnesses were in a position to KNOW FOR SURE that Jesus DIDN'T rise. If it's a con or a lie, they won't submit to torture to death rather than recant.

Your point on the link here is self-defeating, since you have on many occasions said Islam is false because it is internally inconsistent. Since all the 9/11 guys would have been aware of this having read the Qu'ran (a fairly safe bet that at least one of them had), then you have an example of people dying for a cause they knew was false. So either Islam is not inconsistent, or people do die for causes they know to be false - which is it?

Rhology said...

how do you square this methodology with instances where unknowns were attributed to the supernatural (eg Newton proposing that planets were pushed around by angels), which then eventually gets explained by natural causes, as the instance in question was by Laplace.

Um, Newton et al were wrong?
I am not hastening to claim supernatural cause for anythg outside what the Bible tells me is supernatural. Anythg beyond that is speculation, and leaves one open to this criticism.
Also, everything is ultimately directed, directly or providentially, by God. Sometimes He "snaps His fingers", as in the case of the Resurrection of Jesus; more often He works through natural means.


could you prove that

Propose your own grounds for accounting for intelligibility, logic, and reason and we'll talk.
The evidentialist grounds have recently been pwned around here, but maybe you don't hold to that.


Islam is false because it is internally inconsistent.

Correct, much like atheism.


people do die for causes they know to be false - which is it?

Wow, you're really reaching.
The 9/11 terrorists were also drinking beer in a strip club a few days before they murdered 1000s of people.
What is your evidence that they were in a position to KNOW that Islam was false?
What is your evidence that this approaches the potential degree of certainty that the disciples of Christ would have had?
1) They saw the man die.
2) they saw where He was buried.
3) Dozens, hundreds of them then claimed that He had risen and that they themselves had seen, touched, and talked to Him. they would have known for sure that they had not seen Him if they had not seen Him.
The degree of certainty would be far different than that of reading the Qur'an.
Besides, obviously someone who would fly a plane into a friggin building b/c the people inside it are not of your religion is highly self-deceived.