Friday, September 03, 2010

I would fully expect a worldview that is true to account for all data

Apparently the Jolly Nihilist doesn't, though.  I reproduce here an excerpt of that combox:



It is not really an “assumption” that, when a star is one million light years from Earth, it takes one million years for the light to reach Earth; that is basic science.

How precisely did you test that assertion scientifically? 
Oh, that's right - you ASSUMED the light beams didn't originally stretch all the way to Earth originally.  That's called an ASSUMPTION.  I'm sorry you need a refresher on what science covers, but it's not science until you apply the scientific method to it and observe repeated results.  If you can give me an experiment that's repeatable by which you could test this whole thing, let me know, but don't call it "science", let alone "basic science", until you do.



with respect to radioactive dating, even on the assumption of non-uniformitarianism,  the bare fact remains that, now, with current rates of decay, when radioisotopes occur together, enabling the dates to be cross-checked, the ages invariably agree,

For the 4th time or so, all that tells you is that these tests agree.  Then come the assumptions to interp what that means and apply to the age of the Earth. 
What on your naturalistic framework makes you think that there's a telos to these decay rates, that they're meant and intended to tell you their age?  You don't have one and your worldview doesn't support it.  But since you're wedded to finding confirmation for your assumption, that's how you present it.



beggaring all belief and all statistical likelihood, the decay rates have all changed in such a way

1) How is belief relevant?  Plenty of ppl believe that God created the world.  More than believe evolution, BTW.
2) How precisely did you calculate the likelihood?  What kind of probability measurement? 



They are frantic inasmuch as, even though the bible provides no genuine astronomic knowledge of which to speak,

It tells us God created the world in an instant and approximately how long ago it was.  It's not hard to go from there. I have no education in astronomy, and I figured it out.
It's not as if scientific conclusions are against my position, let's be clear.  ASSUMPTIONS OF SCIENTISTS are against it, but so what? 


It is true that, with enough tortured harmonization, your position can probably account for every bit of data we have found

"Tortured" is an opinion, and it is quickly becoming clear you're not an unbiased arbiter thereof.
And I'd fully expect a worldview that is true to acct for all data.  Wouldn't you?



If the bible can be harmonized to ANYthing, it essentially predicts NOthing.

Or the Bible is true.
Maybe you prefer a worldview that DOESN'T acct for all the data.  If that's the case, stay where you are - you're in the right place. 



Why, in principle, would it have been impossible for both dating methods never to have given us a date older than 6000 years?

It wouldn't be.  But I deal in facts and logic, not dreams.

51 comments:

NAL said...

Rho:

... you ASSUMED the light beams didn't originally stretch all the way to Earth originally.

Not quite. He did not assume that the light beams did originally stretch all the way to Earth. That's called NOT ASSUMING.

If you want science to consider YEC theories, then provide a reason that can be discerned not to be imaginary.

The Jolly Nihilist said...

PART ONE

How precisely did you test that assertion scientifically?
Oh, that's right - you ASSUMED the light beams didn't originally stretch all the way to Earth originally. That's called an ASSUMPTION. I'm sorry you need a refresher on what science covers, but it's not science until you apply the scientific method to it and observe repeated results. If you can give me an experiment that's repeatable by which you could test this whole thing, let me know, but don't call it "science", let alone "basic science", until you do.


I am beginning to think that Zilch might have been right in saying, when dealing with somebody who presupposes biblical truth and, indeed, inerrancy, it is a fruitless exercise to lay out the ironclad scientific case for an old Earth because it will fall upon willfully deaf ears. Nevertheless, to break this down yet further, I would initially suggest you visit this webpage to learn how we know what we know about stellar distances. The speed of light is exactly 299,792,458 meters per second, which I hope you agree to without dispute. A light-year is equal to slightly under 10 trillion kilometers, or six trillion miles. It is not basic science to assert that, to travel from point A to point B, light movement will conform to the speed of light? There is nothing in astronomy or physics, as we understand them, that would “stretch the light beams” all the way to Earth (of all cosmic places!) instantaneously, which means your hypothesis is dependent upon an evidence-devoid, intervening god who, in addition to being untestable, represents an unparsimonious extravagance in explaining a phenomenon that, really, is quite straightforward.


For the 4th time or so, all that tells you is that these tests agree. Then come the assumptions to interp what that means and apply to the age of the Earth.
What on your naturalistic framework makes you think that there's a telos to these decay rates, that they're meant and intended to tell you their age? You don't have one and your worldview doesn't support it. But since you're wedded to finding confirmation for your assumption, that's how you present it.


I have no clue what you mean when you say the decay rates might be “meant and intended” to tell us the age of samples, inasmuch as that clearly seems to imply purposefulness, which, despite the inarguable utility of radioactive dating in discerning ages, is inappropriate. Whatever the practical limitations of radioactive dating might be--and I acknowledge that limits do indeed exist, such as uncertainty about the original sample's composition and potential losses of material during the time span of decay--in theory, it makes perfect sense, when one knows a half-life value, to compare the ratio of parent and daughter to find out when a hunk of igneous rock was formed. If you wish to learn more about this, including how certain underlying assumptions are tested, and will keep an open mind, I would suggest visiting this quite comprehensive webpage.

The Jolly Nihilist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bossmanham said...

If he's trying to claim that the universe is such and such old by using the time it takes for light to travel to earth, he most certainly is assuming that the light started from the star.

The Jolly Nihilist said...

PART ONE

How precisely did you test that assertion scientifically?
Oh, that's right - you ASSUMED the light beams didn't originally stretch all the way to Earth originally. That's called an ASSUMPTION. I'm sorry you need a refresher on what science covers, but it's not science until you apply the scientific method to it and observe repeated results. If you can give me an experiment that's repeatable by which you could test this whole thing, let me know, but don't call it "science", let alone "basic science", until you do.


I am beginning to think that Zilch might have been right in saying, when dealing with somebody who presupposes biblical truth and, indeed, inerrancy, it is a fruitless exercise to lay out the ironclad scientific case for an old Earth because it will fall upon willfully deaf ears. Nevertheless, to break this down yet further, I would initially suggest you visit this webpage to learn how we know what we know about stellar distances. The speed of light is exactly 299,792,458 meters per second, which I hope you agree to without dispute. A light-year is equal to slightly under 10 trillion kilometers, or six trillion miles. It is not basic science to assert that, to travel from point A to point B, light movement will conform to the speed of light? There is nothing in astronomy or physics, as we understand them, that would “stretch the light beams” all the way to Earth (of all cosmic places!) instantaneously, which means your hypothesis is dependent upon an evidence-devoid, intervening god who, in addition to being untestable, represents an unparsimonious extravagance in explaining a phenomenon that, really, is quite straightforward.


For the 4th time or so, all that tells you is that these tests agree. Then come the assumptions to interp what that means and apply to the age of the Earth.
What on your naturalistic framework makes you think that there's a telos to these decay rates, that they're meant and intended to tell you their age? You don't have one and your worldview doesn't support it. But since you're wedded to finding confirmation for your assumption, that's how you present it.


I have no clue what you mean when you say the decay rates might be “meant and intended” to tell us the age of samples, inasmuch as that clearly seems to imply purposefulness, which, despite the inarguable utility of radioactive dating in discerning ages, is inappropriate. Whatever the practical limitations of radioactive dating might be--and I acknowledge that limits do indeed exist, such as uncertainty about the original sample's composition and potential losses of material during the time span of decay--in theory, it makes perfect sense, when one knows a half-life value, to compare the ratio of parent and daughter to find out when a hunk of igneous rock was formed. If you wish to learn more about this, including how certain underlying assumptions are tested, and will keep an open mind, I would suggest visiting this quite comprehensive webpage.

The Jolly Nihilist said...

I have been trying to post a multi-part comment, but the comment function seems not to be working properly.

I will post my response on my own blog, instead.

It should be up in 15 or 20 minutes.

Don't know what the problem is with the comment function.

Darth said...

Rhoblogy - your stone-faced delusion and ignorance is absolutely bewildering.

bossmanham said...

Hit and run comment by Darth. Useless.

NAL said...

Rho:

What on your naturalistic framework makes you think that there's a telos to these decay rates, that they're meant and intended to tell you their age?

Because they're like clocks. Whenever you find a rate, you've got a clock.

bossmanham said...

What's your evidence that the rate doesn't change?

NAL said...

BMH:

What's your evidence that the rate doesn't change?

The measurement of the rate is a random variable, I expect it to change.

bossmanham said...

If the rate can change, then.....you can't use this argument to determine the age of the universe, since the speed of light could have changed. The current speed could be slower that it was and therefore cannot be used in this way.

NAL said...

BMH:

If the rate can change, then.....you can't use this argument to determine the age of the universe, ...

You can use the estimate of the rate to estimate the age of the earth.

David said...

Bossmanham,

If I recall correctly, you're an old earther. Why do you think that the Earth is old?

Rhology said...

"Estimating" it and assuming that it's close to what it really was is just that - assuming.

Keep talking, you guys. You're just proving my point.

David said...

So what is your point, Rho? Everyone makes assumptions? This is news?

Rhology said...

Yes, that's exactly right. So stop saying "We have mountains of evidence on our side and you don't". We've seen clearly that this statement is totally false. If only you'd be intellectually honest enough to admit it, we could move on to asking ourselves which assumptions are correct.

I'd start by asking you how you know that anything besides you exists, such as other minds, evidence, the outside world, and information.
And how bags of molecules in motion can reasonably hope to be intelligible.

When you can't answer those questions with anything other than "Well, I assume it" and arguments from unsavory consequences, I'll urge you to repent and believe in the One Who can explain what you experience.

David said...

"Yes, that's exactly right. So stop saying "We have mountains of evidence on our side and you don't". We've seen clearly that this statement is totally false. If only you'd be intellectually honest enough to admit it, we could move on to asking ourselves which assumptions are correct."

Totally false? What evidence do you have that your Iron Age myth is fact? Do you want to play Last Thursday, again?

I think that you're really just playing games with words, although you're finally getting somewhere suggest that we need to test and assess the validity and quality of the various assumptions. As far as intellectual honesty goes, I'm not sure when I ever denied that we make assumptions, so let's go a little easy on the accusations about "intellectual honesty", eh?

"When you can't answer those questions with anything other than "Well, I assume it".."

Well, that's the only way in which you can answer the question, too. All of your answers are really just assumptions.

Rhology said...

No recognition of the much bigger problem that your position has with Last Thursdayism.

No answer to my questions. Still waiting.

David said...

"No recognition of the much bigger problem that your position has with Last Thursdayism."

Huh? Pending an explanation, what evidence do you have that your Iron Age myth is fact? How does your evidence compare with my evidence that the Earth is old?

"No answer to my questions. Still waiting."

Can you answer your own questions?

David said...

Read your link with respect to Last (Fill in Day of the Week)ism. I don't get it. What's your point? Of course I don't know if Last ()ism is true or false. So what?

My point is that we can all play this game when it comes to alleged past events, so where does that leave us? You can use this strategy to dismiss the evidence that the Earth is old. So what? I can use this same strategy to dismiss the evidence from the Bible. So now what? My point is that it's pointless mutual assured destruction.

David said...

Hey BMH,

Still wondering why you think that the Earth is old. You're not afraid to challenge Rho on this point, are you?

NAL said...

Rho:

And how bags of molecules in motion can reasonably hope to be intelligible.

Because they can communicate and transfer information. For example, the storage and retrieval of memories. Even rats can store and retrieve memories. Under your worldview, rats were made in the image of God.

Rhology said...

Rats are? Where's that written?

Anonymous said...

Rats are? Where's that written?

Is something only true if it's written?

Rhology said...

Anonymous,

NAL needs to show that "rats are created in the image of God" is part of my worldview. I asked him to show me how he knows that. Finding it written in, say, the Bible would be a good place to start, since my position is based on the BIble.

NAL said...

Rho:

You're made in the image of God on Christianity; our thoughts are not simply neuron firings like they are on atheism.

So, on Christianity, it take being made in the image of God to convert simple neuron firings into thoughts.

The rat's thoughts are not simply neurons firing. Either rats are made in the image of God or being made in the image of God is not required to have thoughts.

Rhology said...

Or rats don't have thoughts.

David said...

Or rats don't have thoughts.

I think that you need to spend more time watching rats. Or dogs. Or chimps.

They think.

NAL said...

I've seen some damned smart squirrels (rats with bushy tails). After getting flung off my Yankee Flipper bird feeder, he learned not to step on the ring again.

Rhology said...

How do you know they think? How did you observe their thoughts?
Thoughts aren't material. You can't measure them or weigh them. You can't prove a definite correlation between an area of the brain lighting up at a certain time and certain circumstances and a "thought".

You THINK they think. I think God exists. I guess God must exist!

NAL said...

Rho:

I think God exists.

How do I know you think? How do I observe your thoughts? Thoughts are non-material.

Rhology said...

That's a great question. Since you're a materialist, why not answer it?
I'm not; I accept the existence of immaterial things.

David said...

"I accept the existence of immaterial things."

Good, then you accept that non-human animals think.

Rhology said...

?

David said...

You saide that "thoughts aren't material, you can't measure them or weigh them". So, there's no reason to think that animals can't think, right? You have no evidence that they can't. If you don't think that they can think, well, that's just your opinion. It's my opinion that they can think, and my opinion is as good as your opinion.

Rhology said...

What makes you think your opinion is as good as mine? How do you judge ANYthing as "better" or "worse" than anything else? Your opinion again? Based on no standard?

If you have no way to judge better/worse, that's, again, a demonstration of the absurdity of your position.

My position, OTOH, CAN judge and can let you know that animals ONLY are made in the image of God, b/c God informed us of it.

NAL said...

Humans.

David said...

My position, OTOH, CAN judge and can let you know that animals ONLY are made in the image of God, b/c God informed us of it."

ANIMALS only? Ok, I can agree with that. Certainly my dog seems to have more of God in him than most of the people I meet. (Yeah, I know, you just made a typo. Or was it a Freudian slip?)

Unfortunately, saying that "God informed you" is just your opinion, isn't it? And, yes, my opinion is as good as yours. You're assuming that God informed us that about who or what was created in the image of God. But you have no evidence. This is just an assumption and not an argument.

Keep in mind that you started this post-modern relativist argument way back when you were trying to ignore the evidence for an old earth. I've noticed a tendency for YECers to go post-mod in recent years as a way to avoid facing the overwhelming evidence against YEC. Unfortunately, they don't really think through the consequences.

If your're going to assert that we can't know anything about what the natural world was like 6000 years old, then I'm going to assert that we can't know anything about the natural world even one second ago. That takes care of the Bible, because the only way you can argue that it reflects historical events is if you make uniformatarian assumptions about the past. So, in the end, nothing you said can be proven, it's all assumption and opinion, and my opinion is as good as yours.

You wanted to go post-modern. Ok, but you can't then proceed to carve out an exemption or exception for your particular beliefs.

Rhology said...

Doh!

Yikes, did I really say that? Sorry, I did not mean to say "animals ONLY are made in the image of God".
I meant to say "humans ONLY". My apologies for wasting your time with that one.

You did say some other things, though:
Unfortunately, saying that "God informed you" is just your opinion, isn't it?

No, it's a fundamental axiom of the only worldview that is rational. I know this b/c all other worldviews are irrational and thus impossible.


And, yes, my opinion is as good as yours.

How could you possibly know that? You can't. It's just your uninformed opinion, in support of which you can offer neither argument nor evidence.



this post-modern relativist argument

You're apparently in a bit over your head if you think that's what I'm doing. This is a clueless comment.



If your're going to assert that we can't know anything about what the natural world was like 6000 years old

I'm the only one who's consistently applying your own standard - evidence - to the question. And you don't have any evidence, b/c you can't observe it.
Pay attention. Sheesh.

David said...

“No, it's a fundamental axiom of the only worldview that is rational. I know this b/c all other worldviews are irrational and thus impossible.”

No, it’s still just your opinion. More assertions, more assumptions, no evidence, no argument. See, I can play this game, too. Rational? You’ve got to be kidding. Besides, why can’t the irrational be possible?

“How could you possibly know that? You can't. It's just your uninformed opinion, in support of which you can offer neither argument nor evidence.”

And where have you offered any arguments or evidence? This is getting boring.

“You're apparently in a bit over your head if you think that's what I'm doing. This is a clueless comment.”

Really? What you call it when someone repeats over and over again that there is no evidence, no way to know anything, and everything is just an assumption? All I see from you is post-mod relativism. Either my opinion is as good as yours or all opinions are equally bad, take your pick.

Well, you go post-mod at least up to the point where you decide to carve out an exception or an exemption for your personal assumptions without evidence. At this point, you want to assume that you have some absolute truth as if all of your "no arguments, no evidence" tap dance doesn't apply to you, too. But it does apply to you, too. If I don’t have any evidence, then neither to you.


“And you don't have any evidence, b/c you can't observe it.”

And you can’t observe what happened one second ago, because it’s in the past and you don’t have a time machine. If you’re going to be consistent and, um, rational, then you have to conclude that if you can’t know anything at all about what happened 6000 years ago, then you can’t know anything about what happened one second ago. To know anything about the past without a time machine, you have to use uniformitarian assumptions, whether we’re talking about 6000 years ago or one second ago. So, make up your mind. Can we make uniformitarian assumptions or not?

Look, I understand how this game is played. You just declare your opinion to be truth, and then reject all other views because they are different from yours, and so they must be wrong because your opinion is truth. Everyone is out is step except my Johnny. But what if you're wrong? How would you know?

Rhology said...

Only two things worth responding to:

And you can’t observe what happened one second ago, because it’s in the past and you don’t have a time machine.

Exactly. Which is why I rely on God to reveal how reality is.


But what if you're wrong? How would you know?

If I'm wrong about this, then everything that I think reality is is in fact absurd, and thus it doesn't matter b/c nothing matters. And this is where your position leads you, too - you're just throwing tu quoques at me, but you're not showing anyone why we should consider your own position. Your position is bankrupt, and strawmaning (either intentionally or unintentionally) my position doesn't earn you any bank.

David said...

"Which is why I rely on God to reveal how reality is."

Sigh. Don't you understand that you don't know if God has revealed anything to you, let alone, told you that the Earth is specifically 6000 years old and was specifically covered in a global flood?

"If I'm wrong about this, then everything that I think reality is is in fact absurd, and thus it doesn't matter b/c nothing matters."

Not necessarily. It just means that your particular version of God is inaccurate. Could be plenty of other versions of God that would give your life meaning.

In any event, this strikes me as an argumentum ad consequentiam. You've dismissed any and all evidence supporting my position because you don't like what it implies. If it happens that the universe is absurd and that nothing matters, then so be it. The universe isn't here to make you happy. Maybe we're alone in the universe and it's up to us to find our meaning and maybe not. Who knows?

Rhology said...

You've dismissed any and all evidence supporting my position because you don't like what it implies.

Not at all. I'm telling you that if it is all absurd, then it's all absurd. You clearly don't believe that, though - why keep talking to me? And why try to convince others not to believe in Jesus? Whether or not I like it is irrelevant, and if all is absurd, then committing logical fallacies is pointless and absurd as well, but so is NOT committing logical fallacies. Broaden your mind, man. Embrace the absurdity in its full glory. You're not there yet.


Maybe we're alone in the universe and it's up to us to find our meaning and maybe not.

Making up one's own meaning is absurd.
If there's no meaning out there, and you make it up in your own head, that's called "fantasyland". Which is also absurd. Of course, NOT having fantasies is also absurd.

David said...

I believe that we are using and/or interpreting the word "absurd" in different ways.

In any event, there's nothing new here. No evidence, no arguments for a young earth. No reason to think that the world worked in a radically different way, say, 100,000 years ago. Of if you're going to claim that uniformatarianism only works for the last 6000 years, then no reason to think that we weren't created a second ago. No reason why either deism or theism demands a young earth. No reason why anyone should think that the Bible speaks accurately when it talks of 6000 year old earths and global flood.

Just Rho with his head in the sand claiming to have really, truly true truth.

Looks like we're done.

Rhology said...

And no reason to think that the world worked in the same way, say, 100,000 years ago.

Just David with his head in the sand claiming to have really, truly true truth with really evidential evidence.

Looks like we're done.

David said...

As long as we're done, you have time to check out the love notes that have been left for you at the Jolly Nihilist. Have fun.

David said...

A final thought.

"And no reason to think that the world worked in the same way, say, 100,000 years ago."

I see that in the end, you went with the conclusion that there no reason to think that we weren't created a second ago. So, it's Last Thursdayism for Rho. Good enough.

bossmanham said...

David, I think God created the universe with a sense of uniformity because He has a consistent character and I think He wants us to be able to discover things about the universe since it is His handiwork. I don't think He would place deceptive evidence in the creation. We must interpret this evidence correctly, however.

David said...

"I don't think He would place deceptive evidence in the creation. We must interpret this evidence correctly, however."

So, may I ask what your interpretation would be?

Paul C said...

"I don't think He would place deceptive evidence in the creation."

But that belief is based on evidence derived from that creation - either the natural order or words in a book. If the intention was to deceive, then that evidence would also be deceptive, and you would have no way of knowing.