Did Unique Dinosaurs Turned Into Birds?

Haplocheirus is labeled as a transitional fossil but why? Well according to science daily, “it shows an early evolutionary step in how the bizarre hands of later alvarezsaurs evolved from earlier predatory dinosaurs.” A typical metaphysical statement not a science one, then the BBC had it’s take on it, declaring it solving the mystery between dinosaur and bird evolution!

This is hype and misleading  journalism in a desperate attempt to convince the public at large to conceptualize dinosaurs turning into birds. The original paper says little about evolution, in fact Richard Stone and “feathered-dinosaur” hunter Xing Xu say the fossil does not solve anything but rather confuses the alleged dinosaur-to-bird transition.

Xu suggests that the fossil demonstrated the basal Maniraptorans which were not secondarily flightless birds and then he uses metaphysical reasoning claiming it convergently evolved!

“Haplocheirus is the largest alvarezsauroid known from complete material (see SOM), and its basal phylogenetic position suggests a pattern of miniaturization for the Alvarezsauroidea, relatively rare in dinosaurs but convergently evolved in Paraves.”

“Derived alvarezsauroids have a simplified, homogeneous dentition convergent with that of some extant insectivorous mammals, but Haplocheirus has recurved, serrated teeth and caniniforms that suggest carnivory was the primitive condition for the clade.”

“The presence in Haplocheirus of only slightly reduced second and third manual digits and curved unguals with flexor tubercles on these digits implies that the hand was fully functional and Haplocheirus retained some grasping ability, unlike the presumably limited function of the greatly reduced lateral manual elements of Mononykus and Shuvuuia.”

The mediolaterally narrow McIII (metacarpal three) and the greatly shortened and slender McIV suggest that the extensive digital reduction and fusion seen in derived alvarezsauroids was already under way by the earliest Late Jurassic, proceeded from lateral to medial on the manus and, surprisingly, initially involved reduction in length of only McIV.”

There is no mention of a dinosaur evolving into a bird here as the media like science daily and the BBC have claimed. What they did find was a unique dinosaur with fully functioning arms and grasping claws. Convergent evolution is just being used to fix the data into the framework in which they believe it to be rather than allowing the evidence to lead them!

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33 thoughts on “Did Unique Dinosaurs Turned Into Birds?

  1. This post illustrates several points about science. And about biblical literalism.

    (1) The popular press hypes any new discovery to the point of risibility. Well, that’s why it’s “popular.” Loud beating of the drums, promises of exciting events, sells magazines. Note how Michael’s source admits that the primary literature is considerably more restrained.

    Meanwhile, creationism proclaims any detail that might possibly be consistent with its unshakable faith as “proving” special creation. The pot calls th4e kettle black.

    (2) Science progresses by formulating hypotheses and exposing them to criticism through reviewed publication to peers. An investigator finds puzzling data, frames an explanation, submits it to his colleages—others who are expert in the same field. A debate ensues; the new hypothesis is is tested by fire. Sometimes it survives. Sometimes it is modified by argument or further research. Sometimes it is cast out with the nonproductive olive tree of the parable. In any case, new understanding ensues, new work is launched, science progresses.

    Meanwhile, creationism progresses not at all. No research, no hypotheses as to how creation might have taken place—and certainly no criticism of its tenets. Not even any new arguments in the past generation. (“Biological information” is at bottom only a rehash of the failed entropy challenge of the 1970s.)

    (3) Even if Haplocheirus turns out to be not in the direct line to birds, this does not destroy the mountains of other evidence that links birds to theropods. We know that Archeopteryx is not a direct precursor—probably more like a great uncle than a grandfather of birds. Even more broadly, the ultimate nesting place of this single species has no impact whatsoever on whether evolution in general occurred, or whether it occurs today within our gaze.

    Meanwhile, creationists ignore or deny the firm evidence that controverts their faith. Biogeography. Radiometric dating. Transitional fossils. Reconstruction of ancient proteins. Nothing is ever enough—by definition. Because creationism is based upon blind faith, not upon evidence.

    ————————————

    Which leads to the deeper question: Michael, why do you need to deny science? Is your faith so weak that it can be devastated if it turns out that evolution from a common ancestor is the method God chose? If God chose 13.7 billion years to form our present Universe, rather than 6.1 thousand?

    ———————

    Biblical literalism has two theological implications that I find unacceptable.

    (a) God deceives us by presenting evidence of an ancient world, so that you must suss out tiny scraps of data and make unfounded assumptions even to find anything that is consistent with your theory, much less inconsistent with scientific results.

    {b) You limit the power of God to your particular interpretation of a sacred text. Or, equivalently, you raise your understanding to the level of God’s. Either one of these equates God to human dimensions.

  2. Another interesting post. And another very telling Evolutionist comment from Upson Downes indicating the usual Evolutionistic misrepresentation and derision.

    (1) Biblical Creationism does not proclaim ‘any detail that might possibly be consistent with its unshakable faith as “proving” special creation’; to assert it does so is to drastically misrepresent Biblical Creationism.

    (2) Here Downes apparently effortlessly presents the usual straw man argument of ‘science vs. creationism’; with science being all integrity in the search for truth and creationism, of course, being nothing and nowhere.

    But this is all bluff and fluff. Biblical Creationism is a scientific position and many Biblical Creationists are fully qualified, experienced and successful scientists.

    So if Downes wishes to so describe science, then his description applies just as much to them as to his Evolutionists.

    But of course, Downes cannot accept that Biblical Creationist scientists are real scientists, because he decrees that anyone who is not Naturalistic in approach cannot be rational. Thus he is trapped in his irrational and unprincipled prejudice.

    But further, Downes’ portrait of Evolutionism (which is what he means when he says ‘science’ here) progressing by the trial by fire of to the ardent discipline and intellectual integrity in the pursuit of disinterested truth is another Evolutionist fable.

    The reality is that the history of Evolutionism is littered with partisan intellectual sloppy indulgence, misrepresentation of data, self-serving convenient collusion, and rank bullying for fear of intellectual scrutiny.

    It can be argued, and has been, that any progress made by science has been made in spite of the imposition of the Evolutionist fable and not because of it.

    And further, contrary to Downes’ misrepresentative (surprise, surprise) assertion, Biblical Creationist has and is in fact progressing. Biblical Creationists have undertaken research, presented hypotheses about various things and developed peer reviewed literature (because Naturalistic literature not only censors Biblical Creationist work but often demonizes it too).

    As for research and hypotheses as to how creation might have taken place, I would make two points.

    Firstly, Biblical Creationism, just like Naturalism, is a scientific framework which addresses every field of science. And the work of Biblical Creationists is varied and detailed and not solely concerned to ‘prove creation happened’. Downes’ comments misrepresent Biblical Creationism. But there is indeed work on various points of the act of creation.

    And it is worth pointing out that the Biblical Creationist framework offers far more rational ideas than does Naturalism, which relies upon fudge and fantasy all garbed up in scientific jargon for its absurd and irrational fables. And Biblical Creationism does not need to resort to the distortion of data employed in support of Naturalistic dogma. Which is wonderfully refreshing.

    For Downes to assert Biblical Creationism has not advanced any new arguments in the recent generation is a prime example of the Evolutionist head-in-the-sand approach to life.

    (3) A wonderful example of the Naturalistic maxim ‘We speculate = we know’. Assumption presented as fact. Same old, same old.

    And surprise, yet another fable – the fallacy of the vast body of evidence supporting Evolution. The reality is that in any given area of research Evolutionism is actually contradicted by the evidence. But still Evolutionists cannot muster the intellectual honesty to question their dogmatically held fundamental belief in their Naturalistic fable. Thus they are doomed to a vicious cycle of intellectual ineptitude and slander of dissidents.

    But Biblical Creationism does not deny science, as Downes asserts. It embraces it. Biblical Creationists love science, and we love rational thought, reason and logic.

    It is Evolutionists who shy away from empirical evidence and rely instead upon bullying, slander and fudge and bluster to bolster their standing, hating any dissent from their Naturalistic philosophy and the fable of Darwinism.

    And at all costs, they must remain ignorant of any view which questions these.

    The idea of ‘Biblical literalism’ is a convenient fantasy, a straw man description.. The Holy Bible does not present everything within it as literal history. The thing is to know how to interpret various passages.

    Concerning (a) – God does not deceive with evidence of an ancient world. But anyone who rejects the word of God will stumble in the dark. An understanding of Biblical teaching sheds light on the world around us. And, logically, all the scientific data can be seen to sit perfectly comfortably in the Biblical Creationist framework by the light of day.

    Concerning (b) – unlike Naturalism, which rests solely on the assumption that Nature is all, and propounds the relative speculative shadows of the interpretative powers of man in support, Biblical Creationism rests solely upon the teaching of the word of God, and propounds conforming one ideas to the plumb line of absolute truth, for the word of God is not open to any private interpretation, it is absolute truth.

    The Biblical teaching does not limit the power of God, it recognises it. And acknowledging the Biblical teaching, far from equating God to human dimensions, recognises the transcendence of God.

    It is Evolutionists who like to rely on man in order to correct God.

    Downes is evidently as ignorant of the Biblical teaching as he is of the scientific position of Biblical Creationism and, indeed, of the scientific and logical arguments against Evolutionism. Altogether, then, Downes appears to be your typical Evolutionist. The real question is how Michael puts up listening to their nonsense.

  3. Dom: “And another very telling Evolutionist comment from Upson Downes indicating the usual Evolutionistic misrepresentation and derision.”

    Derision is admitted, but not misrepresentation. Please give a specific example of a misrepresentation of biblical-literalist creationism. (Pease remember that I was speaking specifically of this type of creationism.)

    We’re not arguing about “truth” here. Biblical creationism might be true. The indictment instead is that it is not a scientific process

    Dom: “As for research and hypotheses as to how creation might have taken place, I would make two points…”

    Neither of those point, however, states anything at all as to “how creation might have taken place,” as advertised, but only avers that it is some kind of unknown framework. Please be specific.

    A scientific theory is a model derived from evidence that goes beyond the evidence, and can be tested by searching for new data, either to confirm or falsify it. For example, Neil Shubin froze his patootie off at Ellesmere Island for 3 years because he predicted he’d find a fish/tetrapod transitional fossil there. And he did. Common ancestry of apes and humans predicted that two ape chromosomes had fused—they looked, they found. (A totally unexpected result, by the way. No one had any idea that chromosome #2 had a double centromere and an internal telomere.) Humans have color vision, chimps do not. An opsin mutation was predicted and recently found that produced this effect.

    Creationism differs in having no model or mechanism proposing how special creation took place. In fact, creationism abjures such theories. If you disagree, please name a hypothesis derived from biblical creation that makes an a priori prediction of one previously unknown result among a number of possibilities, and has been tested and confirmed.[1]

    The goal of science is understanding, but the ultimate aim is the control of physical phenomena. We wish to bend them to our will in order to produce useful results. I have already given a number of recent examples where evolution has done this: evolution of the 4-chambered heart yielded a cure for neonatal heart defects; evolution of taste buds led to new compounds for enhancing flavors, evolution of multicellular organisms initiated a new approach to fighting bacterial infection—that may even avoid drug resistance.

    So, to balance the scales, please describe one practical application that resulted from applying creationist principles in biology.[2]

    Dom: “The idea of ‘Biblical literalism’ is a convenient fantasy, a straw man description.. The Holy Bible does not present everything within it as literal history. The thing is to know how to interpret various passages.”

    Perhaps. But that is the subject I was talking about. The problem indeed is to know how to interpret various passages. There are many differing views. Why should I accept yours?[3] Why should you accept mine?

    Science differs in that Buddhist scientists and Hindu scientists, Chinese scientists and Russian scientists, all accept the same evidence, regardless of their personal beliefs and differing cultures. When they do not “interpret various passages” the same way, the appeal is to further experimentation, rather than to the sword.[4]

    So, science frames mechanisms that lead to deeper levels of understanding, whereas creationism always ends up at “God did it.” Science offers practical applications, creationism does not. The appellate court of science is more evidence; biblical interpretation of how the world works has no objective referent..

    It is instructive that you dismiss all the evidence for evolution with a mere wave of the hand, as Michael Behe did at the Dover trial. So how would you explain the reconstruction of a functional protein by tracing its evolution from broken pieces in hundreds of different species? (God did it.) How would you explain the double centromere of chromosome 2? (God did it.) How would you explain the sequence of dozens of fossils dated over 20My showing the progression of a samll land mammal into a fully aquatic dweller. One of the fossils showed the transition of birth from head first (land dwellers) to tail first (necessary for underwater birth). These are, of course, only a few examples that you choose to ignore.

    The problem with all God-of-the gaps arguments is that the gaps tend to shrink. If your belief is that God can only do what man cannot understand, then you do indeed have a need for denial.

    =============
    [1] I can even suggest a couple. (a) If a species was specially created, then the place where it was created would have the lowest genetic diversity of that species, and diversity would increase as the population moved away from that location. So you can find these locations for, say, wheat or rice or dogs, and draw maps of the variations in other areas, (Even biblical creationists accept some evolutionary change. So you can find these locations for, say, wheat or rice or dogs, and draw maps of the diversity in other areas. (b) Creationists would no doubt expect that each species was created in a geographic range that suited it best. So you can introduce species into other ranges and determine whether they thrive less well when moved.

    [2] Because of an earlier post, I read Andrew Snelling’s ARJ article on a creationist explanation for locating oil deposits. The conclusion was that we find oil where we find it because God put it there. Please describe how that helps anyone find a new oil field?

    [3] Here’s an interesting little book on “The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science” (Conrad Hyers; 1984) The author was head of the Religion Dept at a college where I served on the Board in the ’80s.

    [4] Do scientists ever lie? Yes, I pointed out several instances in a comment for a previous post. The point is that the scientific process—peer-review, publication, replication of results—exposes it. Creationism lacks this safeguard. “Publications” are aimed only at laymen, not at peers. The goal is to dazzle, not to inform—and certainly not to provoke criticism—have you ever seen any?. Andres Snelling’s article on radiohalos deliberately omitted all journal references critical of his conclusion; see Olorin comment dated on January 13, 2010 at 10:38 pm, in Michael’s December 31 post “2009 Represented An Outstanding Year For Creationism.”

  4. Dom, you do understand what I’m looking fo in the above comment? Specific examples, not vacuous generalities. Particular hard evidence, not mere hand-waving.

  5. Upson,
    Rather than Upson Downes, perhaps you should call yourself Rownden Round.
    Presumption, logical fallacy, misrepresentation. You merely prove my point for me, but you have no idea you’re doing it, do you? Can’t even see what’s right under your nose, can you?

    Never mind, eh? As long you can misrepresent what you don’t want to understand, and throw around your Evolutionist assumption, and make huge leaps of presumption in any given examples you’re comfortable and satified in your own mind

    You’ll never relinquish your Evolutionist assumption; it is too dear to you. And it is sad to see again and again how it distorts your ability to think straight. But you do realise that imposing an Evolutionary framework over data does not mean Evolutionism was crucial to a discovery, right? And just throwing around the usual assumption to support the assumption doesn’t actually win you any arguments except in your own bubble.

    If you want answers to your questions read the literature. Do your own work, lazy bones. You do know where to start, right?

    Upson, you do realise what I’m saying, right? All you have to do is open your mouth and you prove me right – presumption, logical fallacy and misrepresentation.

  6. “Dom, you do understand what I’m looking for in the above comment? Specific examples, not vacuous generalities. Particular hard evidence, not mere hand-waving.”

    Will repeating it do any good? Probably not. Discussions with creationists have been compared to playing chess with a pigeon. It knocks over the pieces, craps on the board, and flaps noisily back to its flock squawking victory.

    If you disagree, read your last comment again.

    (I do read the literature, by the way. Do you? How about a quick credibility quiz. What picture was on the cover of last week’s issue of Science? I thought not. Let’s try the creationist literature—Answers Research Journal. What author of an ARJ paper recently appeared on this blog? I thought not.)

    Must go. Three humpback whales are cavorting just a few hundred yards offshore from my lanai. They make much more interesting company.

    == Beck N. Forth

  7. “Upson, you do realise what I’m saying, right? All you have to do is open your mouth and you prove me right – presumption, logical fallacy and misrepresentation.”

    Will repeating it do any good? Probably not. Trying to get an Evolutionist to see what’s right in front of them is like trying to persuade a whale to ride a bicycle backwards up a glacier whilst reading The Dummy’s Guide to Astrophysics.

    I repeat, if you want to answers, read the literature. I say this because you are so evidently completely disinterested in answers to your questions; and I’m not going to play your game of dancing round your pseudo-intellectual conceit and logical fallacies to gratify your already desperately over fed sense of self-evident superiority.

    The answers are there. The mere fact you can spout such misinformed, misleading propaganda as you have done above shows exactly where you’re at. You are not interested.

    And your ‘credibility quiz’ is laughable. A couple of questions about a cover and who wrote some blog comments? That’s how you establish credibility? It’s puerile.

    Sounds to me like you have no idea how begin researching Biblical Creationist literature. Because, of course, you are completely disinterested. Which would explain why you display such dire ignorance about it. That ignorance combined with your snide arrogance and your tendency to logical fallacy makes for some dreadfully tedious reading in your comments.

  8. You’re missing it again, Michael!

    Science Daily today (3 Feb) reports that the hoary 80-year-old “primordial soup” theory of origin of life has been overturned, yea verily crushed stomped and flattened by the **Hydrothermal Vent** theory.

    The textbooks are wrong, the halls of academe are in a tizzy, evilutionists ar tearing their (remaining) hair–because of a “pioneering” paper in BioEssays. Deluded scientists have been falsified yet again.

    Go ahead, Michael. Go for the science-by-press-release angle. You know I’ll be waiting. (Hint: I read about this theory in Scientific American last year. Haldane didn’t invent the primordial soup theory. Chemical gradient OOLproposals are not new. And other interesting errors from Science Daily, if you might care to drag this article out as a “new discovery about creationism.”

    Bon appetit

  9. Dom: “And your ‘credibility quiz’ is laughable. A couple of questions about a cover and who wrote some blog comments? That’s how you establish credibility? It’s puerile.”

    So you don’t even know what the scientific literature looks like, and haven’t read the minuscule creationist literature either.[1] That’s a starting point, isn’t it? For basic credibility.

    Dom: “The answers are there.”

    Yes, they are. But you seem not to have the slightest idea what they are or where to find them. All you can do is spout invective and ignorance. Discussion with the willfully ignorant is pointless. See “pigeon” above.

    ==========
    [1] If you doubt my knowledge of the creationist literature, you might wish to check ot my two-part refutation of Andrew Snelling’s ARJ paper on radiohalos earlier in this blog. (“2009 Represented as an Outstanding Year for Creationism,” 12/31/09, Olorin comments dated 1/11/10 and 1/13/10.)

    Your turn, Dom. Choose a paper from Science and critique it from a creationist perspective. But remember—specifics, not the usual vague generalities.

  10. No, Upson, I do know what the literature looks like, but telling you what is on the cover of the magazine you picked is ridiculously meaningless. I haven’t read the magazine or even seen it, but it took me about 5 seconds to locate it online. So what does that prove? Nothing whatsoever.

    And trying to pass off blog comments as ‘the minuscule creationist literature’ is a ridiculous attempt to try to hide the silliness of your other point in your quiz about what blog comments I might or might not have read.

    There is no hiding the fact that these questions in your ‘credibility quiz’ are simply, as I said, puerile.

    And now you are waffling insensibly because I direct you to Biblical Creationist literature telling you that there you’ll find answers to your questions about things like Biblical Creationist research, hypotheses etc.

    It’s not so much that I doubt your knowledge of creationist literature, Upson, but rather that the incorrect, misrepresentative and misleading comments that you yourself make indicate you know very little if anything about it and are completely disinterested in it. Your own comments show that. Unless you are deliberately making known false statements about it.

    As for your suggestion I choose a paper from Science and critique it from a creationist perspective, regardless of whether or not I have done so, can do so, will do so, I repeat that I am not interested in playing to your over inflated and self-satisfied impression of yourself just so you can re-iterate ad infinitum that your assumption proves your assumption. If you wish to investigate the Biblical Creationist literature, do so.

    The Biblical Creationist literature is full of detailed refutations of Naturalistic and Evolutionist scientific interpretations. Had you any interest in the substance of those refutations, you would read them.

    Meanwhile, my initial point stands that your comments merely show the usual Evolutionistic misrepresentation and derision.

  11. Interesting that Olorin should decry what he calls ‘science-by-press-release’, when most people believe in the fables of Naturalistic philosophy precisely because of the perisitent efforts of the enormous Naturalistic propaganda machine that is the majority of the media.

    Interesting too, that he seems at pains to smooth over by appearing to laugh off the suggestion that Evolutionists are repeatedly having to fundamentally re-think key points of thier speculative fables because they are repeatedly shown to be wrong about those points.

    But of course, the Naturalistic tenet that ‘Naturalistic spculation necessarily equals fact’ ensures that Evolution remains a scientific fact. A fact, I tell you! A fact!

    Yes, they know what happened. Why, the evidence shows it clearly! They just don’t know what actually happened yet. But they can speculate and that’s sufficient to call it all factual, because of course they are humble Rationalists.

  12. Naturalistic chemical-bonding theory grows weaker by the month.

    Just last year, scientists discovered a new entirely unexpected phase of water. Water! What’s not to know about the most pedestrian form of matter that one can imagine? The entire theory of water is in turmoil. A huge, unexpected gap has opened in the theory.

    Femtosecond laser pulses probe the genesis of chemical compounds. And stumble upon phenomena that controvert what scientists have “always known” about bond formation. Some of the most basic theories must be revised, and a few have been overturned entirely.

    Materials have been made that have a negative index of refraction. Impossible, say hidebound theoreticians. Not allowed; physicochemical laws forbid it.

    Organic compounds form in space from elementary gases and carbon. Yet long-standing chemical laws prohibit such reactions at the concentrations found in the interplanetary environment. Scientists are at an utter loss for any naturalistic explanation.

    Yes, indeed. Conventional chemistry is in crisis. Widening gaps. Revised theories. Lack of explanations. But the Hand of God appears out of the wreckage of smug naturalism. The inference to the best explanation is inescapable. Creationist Chemistry offers all the answers—in fact, offers one simple, all-encompassing theory that never needs revision and is 100% certified gap-free. One single answer explains all facts from the simplest to the most complex: God did it.

  13. Olorin seems to readily confuse foundational assumption with scientific enquiry.

    To assert ‘God did it’, whilst being factually accurate, is not to deny the validity of investigation into what God did.

    Just as for Naturalists to assert ‘Everything occurred naturally’, whilst being an intellectual absurdity, does not mean they deny the validity of investigation into what occurred.

    Is Olorin’s confusion indicative of the Naturalistic method generally. Is Captain America a patriot?

  14. Dom: “To assert ‘God did it’, whilst being factually accurate, is not to deny the validity of investigation into what God did.”

    No, but it is to deny the reality of it. Name an actual testable theory as to how God created something, then describe how that theory was tested experimentally, and its confirmation by evidence that was unknown before the test was undertaken.

    Scientists demand specifics. We leave smoke and mirrors to the creationists.

  15. Whoa! Upson Downes even provided two sample creationist hypotheses, in footnote #1 of of the comment on January 31, 2010 at 10:49 pm. Here’s another quickie: Plants or animals having different chromosome numbers form different kinds (baraminim) and thus will be unable to interbreed. Or feel free to pick your own. If you truly know the creationist literature, it should be a walk in te park.

    But be specific. Real science is risky.

  16. “No, but it is to deny the reality of it.”

    By which I think Olorin means that to assert ‘God did it’ is to deny the reality of investigation into what God did. Which is obviously nonsensical; most especially as he appears to accept that the assertion is not to deny the validity of said investigation.

    “Name an actual testable theory as to how God created something… tested experimentally… confirmation by evidence…” etc

    Here Olorin merely confirms my observation that he confuses foundational assumption with scientific enquiry. Whilst he obviously struggles with making the distinction, and whilst I am prepared to try to help him to some degree, there is a limit to how many times I will continue to repeat the same point to him.

    Recognition that ‘God did it’ is a foundational assumption; as is the tenet of Naturalistic philosophy that ‘Everything occurred naturally.’

    Foundational assumptions are not what science undertakes to study; they form the framework for interpretation of the results of scientific enquiry.

    It is not even about establishing scientific theory. That is a separate distinction. The framework provides the context for theories to be put forward.

    So, the philosophy of Naturalism asserts that ‘Nature is all’; that is the foundational assumption of the philosophy of Naturalism; and within that framework, only Naturalistic theories will be countenanced.

    For the Biblical Creationist the foundational assumption is that God is responsible for all creation; and then within that framework specific theories are advanced which recognises Nature cannot supply every answer.

    In both instances, the scientific enquiry concerns itself with investigating the validity of the various theories put forward, not with validating the foundational assumption.

    The fundamental distinction between assumption and data is basic to understanding scientific enquiry. The fact that Evolutionists commonly confuse the two not only demonstrates how shaky a grasp of scientific arguments Evolutionists have, but also consequently why they are usually so difficult to engage in sensible debate with about scientific issues. This, as you mention smoke and mirrors, is but one example of how it is indeed Evolutionists who usually employ smoke and mirrors in their argumentation.

    Biblical Creationists, then, do not attempt to prove God created. And no matter how many times this straw man is foisted up on its pedestal, this is the reality. It is akin to asking Naturalists to prove Nature is all.

    They are valid questions, but they concern issues separate to scientific enquiry; they concern issues of foundational assumption. We could go there, but it is a separate subject. And I’m not sure you really want to, most Evolutionists don’t. Also I’m not sure either of us would have the time for doing so except in a very basic manner; which I would be prepared to do, but I’m not prepared to go round and round having to repeat the same things ad infinitum.

    So, as I’m wary about whether you really wish to take the discussion there, or even whether you acknowledge the distinctions involved, perhaps you might start by recognising the absurdity of your question about naming ‘an actual testable theory as to how God created something.’

    For example, can you name an actual testable theory as to how ‘Nature is all’, then describe how that theory was tested experimentally, and its confirmation by evidence that was unknown before the test was undertaken?

    The answer is no, you cannot; because the assumption is not within the realm of scientific enquiry, it is a philosophic assumption.

    So, if you really feel you wish to consider assumptions, and if you are willing to leave behind the silly nonsensical questions, then I will explain how I know God created everything.

    But only if you show willing by first explaining how you know Nature is all.

    Concerning your other post, if you wish to investigate Biblical Creationist theories about what genetics can tell us about biological relationships, go read the literature. The fact you cannot even distinguish between assumption, theory and data does not make for inviting prospects for debating specific scientific theories with you. But if you really do want to know, then the literature is there for you to read up on.

    Meanwhile, if you wish to continue this discussion, let us see if we can clear up your confusion about foundational assumption and scientific enquiry.

    The question, then, is – How do you know Nature is all?

  17. “Meanwhile, if you wish to continue this discussion, let us see if we can clear up your confusion about foundational assumption and scientific enquiry.

    The question, then, is – How do you know Nature is all?”

    I have never argued that nature is all. Materialism is the philosophical view that “Nature is all.” Science employs instead “methodological naturalism,” a concept that creationists find difficult to grasp. It means that, in order to investigate “natural” phenomena, science limits itself to “natural” causes. Philosophy may admit supernatural causes. Theology immerses in supernatural causation. Natural causation is a limitation that science imposes upon itself as an ambit of its applicability. If you are trying to argue me out of materialism, you’re wasting a lot of good electrons.

    Why does science exclude the supernatural? By definition, science studies phenomena that are repeatable and predictable. An experiment would prove nothing if it could not be repeated and produce the same result under the same conditions. If an investigator mixes ingredients A and B but fails to obtain the previous compound C, he does not write it off as a divine intervention; he searches for a condition that differs between the two experiments.

    Scientific theories by definition go beyond the data used to frame them. Their purpose is to explain the data in a way that allows predictions of further, as yet unknown, data points. When future observations match a prediction, we say that the theory is extended by that amount. If future observations are off in the weeds, the theory needs revision or perhaps even replacement. But theories would be worthless if supernatural action could inject arbitrary changes without notice. So if a prediction fails, the investigator does not blame divine intervention; he looks for defects in the theory.

    Although science is often seen as aiming at understanding, the ultimate goal is the application of natural forces for human benefit. This is why repeatability and predictability are necessary. Automobiles would be feckless if they did not respond predictably and repeatably to our steering and speed inputs. So we do not design cars based upon supernatural guidance.[0]

    God is excluded from science for practical rather than ontological reasons. The supernatural is inherently unknowable, while science studies that which can be known. Pace Richard Dawkins; naturalism is a limitation on the ambit of science, not a claim of universality.[1]

    I employ the foundational assumptions of science within science because they seem to have produced beneficial results for the specific goals of science. I know when they are appropriate and when they are not. Dom, like most creationists, insists upon shoehorning his theological assumptions—such as agency and purpose—into science, where they have no suzerainty.[2]

    Keep your religious beliefs. But keep them out of science.

    =============

    [0] Even though some people drive as if we did.

    [1] A few years ago, the Pew Foundation funded experiments to test the efficacy of intercessory prayer. The overall results were statistically random. Did God not hear the prayers, or did He choose not to answers some of them? You see the problem. I can only hope.

    [2] This is apparent in the kinds of questions that they ask: If humans descend from apes, why are there still apes? What is the purpose of the human appendix? Is Tiktaalik a fish or a tetrapod? If a male animal mutates into a different species, how can he find a female of the new species to mate with? If you do not see these as nonsensical questions, then you have no mental grasp of evolution.

    Same for proposed actions: Let’s restore salmon stocks by raising them in captivity for a few generations, then release them to the wild. Let’s dose cows with antibiotics to keep them healthy. Let’s spend a billion dollars to find the cure for aging. Let’s increase the productivity of plantations by cloning bananas rather than breeding them. If you don’t know why these are dumb ideas, then you have no understanding of evolution.

  18. You say – ‘I have never argued that nature is all.’

    But you evidently rule out anything but Naturalistic scientific theories. And it was you who confused foundational assumption with scientific enquiry, resulting in the ridiculous question you asked.

    Your confusion, Olorin, not mine. Your comments, albeit through your confusion, introduced issues pertaining to foundational assumptions. In order to try to help you clarify your thinking I have been prepared to discuss foundational assumptions. To which end I asked you to explain how you know ‘Nature is all.’

    The most significant thing I note about your reply is that you have not answered that question. You have waffled not a little, and employed a number of the usual Evolutionist smokescreens, thrown up various misrepresentations, and stumbled into further confusions, but, for whatever reason, you have not answered the question.

    Why you have not done so, I do not know. It could be you wish to evade the question; it could be you do not understand the question. But nothing you have said obscured the fact that, as Evolutionists tend to do, you seem to have wilted in approaching the subject of foundational assumptions.

    Let me cut through some of your misleading waffle.

    You say – ‘Materialism is the philosophical view that “Nature is all”.’

    But that is incorrect; Materialism is the philosophical view that only the physical, or material, is real; that ‘Matter is all’.

    Naturalism asserts that only Nature is real; that ‘Nature is all’.

    The concept of Methodological Naturalism is understood perfectly well by Biblical Creationists. Methodological Naturalism is the application to scientific theory of the idea that ‘Nature is all’; it is not that ‘science’ limits itself to natural causes, it is rather the case that ‘Naturalists’ limit science to a search for natural causes.

    You confuse foundational assumption and scientific enquiry again. Habitual.

    Naturalism is a philosophical idea. Methodological Naturalism is the methodological application of that philosophical idea: Nature alone will yield the answers; for Nature is all.

    Natural causation, then is a limitation that Naturalists impose upon science so as to restrict the ambit of possible theoretical postulations to the naturalistic.

    But why do you dogmatically limit your possible conclusions to natural theories? How do you know Nature is all?

    As for your comment about trying to argue you out of Materialism, let me first point out that I was not attempting to do that, and I can assure if I were, I would cut to the chase; I was picking up on your tendency to confuse foundational assumption and scientific enquiry, and seeing if you really wished to consider foundational assumptions.

    Secondly, if you are indeed a Materialist, they you subscribe to an intellectual absurdity. I feel sorry for you.

    Again your confusion is evident when you ask –‘Why does science exclude the supernatural?’

    Because science does not exclude the supernatural, as you put it; the philosophy of Naturalism excludes the supernatural. Science is empirical investigation, the data may be interpreted in different ways. But it is not the case that Biblical Creationist scientists ‘write off’ results as divine intervention. That is a ridiculous suggestion and grossly misrepresentative. Are you really so utterly ignorant of Biblical Creationism, or do you deliberately misrepresent it to try to bolster your position?

    Your idea that data is used to frame scientific theories is also incorrect. It is theory that frames data. I read recently of a conversation reported by German physicist Werner Heisenberg between himself and Albert Einstein in which Einstein asserted, “It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”

    Theory is employed to interpret data. That why Evolutionists arrange data to appear to fit a Naturalistic worldview, because Evolutionism is a theory grounded in Naturalism.

    You display a marked failure to grasp the relationships between foundational assumptions, theories and the data of scientific enquiry.

    And then you go on to present yet more misrepresentation of Biblical Creationism when you suggest it advocates that ‘supernatural action could inject arbitrary changes without notice.’ That’s nonsense. Is this really the sort drivel pulsing round your brain?

    Biblical Creationism does not posit arbitrary divine intervention; it posits physical laws governing the normal functions of the physical realm. Divine intervention is not arbitrary, and Biblical Creationism studies the normal functions of the physical world just like Naturalism does. Repeatability and predictability are essential factors in science, whether interpretations are Naturalistic of Biblical Creationist, and Biblical Creationists employ scientific method.

    “So we do not design cars based upon supernatural guidance”, you say.

    You really are off in la-la land., aren’t you Olorin. Biblical Creationist scientists employ scientific method. This is why there are many successful Biblical Creationist scientists.

    And I would point out that God is not excluded from science. You may think he is, but that’s because it is Naturalistic tenet that God is excluded from Naturalism.

    But many scientists recognise God whilst also carrying out perfectly valid scientific enquiry.

    And you are wrong to assert ‘the supernatural is inherently unknowable’; that’s just you throwing around your Naturalistic predisposition again. God has revealed himself to countless thousands throughout history. It is illogical to assume that just because you don’t know something, therefore it cannot be known. Rather setting yourself up as the measure of all knowledge, isn’t it?

    Naturalism is undeniably a claim to comprehend universality, thus you can make limp statements like ‘the supernatural is inherently unknowable.’

    Waffle and smoke and mirrors might satisfy you. They are tedious to some.

    You say – ‘I employ the foundational assumptions of science within science.’

    But science has no foundational assumptions, it is empirical observation. What you mean is that you apply the foundational assumption of Naturalism to science. The results of science are the results of science; Biblical Creationists undertake scientific research too.

    How about you keep your philosophy out of science? Instead of demanding Nature alone be referred to for answers, perhaps you could consider why such a view results in the foggy fudge of the fables of Naturalism like the Big Bang, abiogenesis and common ancestry. None of which ideas have any basis in science; indeed such ideas are contradicted by scientific observation, but that’s never stopped Naturalists spinning a good yarn has it?

    Agency and purpose, by the way, are facts of life. You ignore the facts of reality all you wish, it suits you somehow.

    But please spare me any more of your nonsense.

    Will you or will you not answer the question – How do you know Nature is all?

    If not, then please do not waffle; instead just say “I decline to answer.”

    If you mean to resort to the smoke and mirrors of ‘The supernatural is inherently unknowable’, then please delver deeper, because that assertion only leads to the question, “How do you know the supernatural is inherently unknowable” which comprises exactly the same practical implications for you.

    So, answer it either way you wish, we’ll get to the same point if we pursue this conversation in a constructive logical manner. Which, going by the fluff you’ve been coming out with, seems overly optimistic on my part. But let me try once more.

    How do you know Nature is all? Or, How do you know the supernatural is inherently unknowable?

    Please either answer or concede you don’t like having to try to explain your foundational assumption.

  19. Dom: “For the Biblical Creationist the foundational assumption is that God is responsible for all creation; and then within that framework specific theories are advanced which recognises Nature cannot supply every answer.”

    Yes, yes. I’ve been asking to see one of those theories for several days now. And received nothing. I even suggested a couple of possibilities—about genetic diversity, biogeography, identification of “kinds,” etc.—that a creationist might propose from his foundational assumptions.

    Remember, a theory must propose a model of how a phenomenon is produced, it must be testable, and it must make specific predictions as to yet unknown facts that can be observed.

    Dom: “Biblical Creationist scientists employ scientific method. This is why there are many successful Biblical Creationist scientists.”

    Yes, yes. Please name one who has published to his peers in the relevant scientific community and successfully defended a theory based upon creationist principles.[0]

    Remember that “consistent with” is not enough. Current ignorance of a detailed pathway is not enough. The paper must adduce positive evidence that differentiates between a creationist outcome and a different expected naturalistic outcome.

    You have come up with nothing. And you can’t answer a single puerile question to establish your knowledge of scientific research,[1] you can’t answer a single basic question to establish any familiarity with basic evolution, you can’t use basic philosophical terms correctly.[2]

    You’re long suits seem to be generalized bombast and willful ignorance, with a void in specifics. This may qualify you to stand for Parliament, but not to tell scientists how to pursue research.

    The time has come to put up or shut up. Examples. Answers. Specifics.

    ==============

    [0] If you cite Axe & Snoke 2004, bear in mind that the authors themselves agreed later that their sample size was a billion times too small to support their conclusion. The paper was retracted.

    [1] Just for grins, here are a couple more puerile ways to see whether you might have any idea how to analyze experimental data. (a) A clinical study shows the lowest cancer rates in the least populous counties. Where would you expect to see the highest rates? (b) An experiment to test theory A produces result 0.55, +/-0.05. A result of less than 0.50 would falsify the theory. What other number do you need to know to calculate the probability that theory A has been falsified? (c) A sample of bacteria is divided into 8 groups to test their differential drug resistance. Although the average resistance of every group has increased, the average over all groups has decreased. Explain how this happens.

    [2] For example, you equate “methodological naturalism,” an epistemological view, with “(philosophical) naturalism”/”materialism,” which are ontological positions. Two entirely different types of things—like apples and colors.

    I do not personally subscribe to materialism or philosophical naturalism, so your attempts to argue me out of them are so much bloviation. I apply methodological naturalism only to science, where it has been accepted for several centuries. To the extent that you can show hard positive evidence of specific instances where it might be inappropriate, you are certainly welcome to have a go. A Nobel Prize surely awaits anyone who succeeds.

  20. Olorin, you sure like laying down the law, don’t you though?

    “Yes, yes,” you say, “I’ve been asking to see one of those theories for several days now.”

    I must do this, I must do that. Snap your fingers, Olorin, and everyone must jump? What a wonderful world you live in, Olorin. And how very grand you are!

    But I have already said that if you want to investigate Biblical Creationist theories, then you should go read the literature. I think that’s reasonable and straightforward.

    Please don’t keep don’t keep going round and round, demanding this, demanding that, going on and on about scientific method as if no-one but you understands it, particularly as it is actually you who seems very shaky on basic points concerning the distinctions between foundational assumption, theory and scientific enquiry.

    I inform you, although being as you know so much about it all you really ought to know already but seem completely unaware, that “Biblical Creationist scientists employ scientific method. This is why there are many successful Biblical Creationist scientists.”

    “Yes, yes,” you reply, “Please name one who has published to his peers in the relevant scientific community and successfully defended a theory based upon creationist principles.”

    But you fail to recognise the pertinent fact that Biblical Creationist scientists conduct and defend their work on scientific principles. That’s why they are successful scientists. If you want to find out whom some are, there are places you can find out. But you surely know that. You seem to know so much about Biblical Creationists scientists.

    And if you wish to investigate Biblical Creationist work that adduces “positive evidence that differentiates between a creationist outcome and a different expected naturalistic outcome” Then why don’t you read the literature. Why need I keep repeating that to you? I’m not sure if you have the greater trouble reading or thinking, but it is tiresome.

    Why should I answer puerile or any other questions to establish my knowledge of scientific research? Who are you? The Chairman of the Board of Certification for Who May Speak About Science and Who May Not? And you think I can’t look through some literature and come up with a few questions for you? O Olorin, you’re so braaaaainy!

    And indeed, just to clarify the fact, I have not been asked ‘a single basic question to establish any familiarity with basic evolution.’ You’re making it up, indulging in a little re-writing of history, as Evolutionists often do in the middle of discussion.

    But even if I had been, it is not a given that you understand Evolutionary theory, so why should I have answered anyway? Just to indulge your penchant for repeating your Darwinist assumption ad infinitum?

    I thought you might wish to clarify your thinking on the issue of the distinction between foundational assumption and scientific enquiry. But you seem to dislike that; so I guess that’s that then.

    You say I cannot use basic philosophical terms correctly, but just because I don’t play your smoke and mirrors games with fancy sounding nuanced distinctions with no applicable difference in the real world does not mean I do not understand what you are waffling on about.

    In practical terms, you want to apply to science an interpretative framework which demands only Nature be referenced for answers.

    I have not attempted to argue you out of either Materialism or Naturalism. I have asked you to explain how you know the fundamental assumption of Naturalism is true. And you have struggled with very idea of providing such an explanation. Yet I thought yours was supposed to be the rational position.

    Saying you only apply methodological naturalism to science is but one more of your meaningless waffly distinctions; it is meaningless because we are indeed talking about science, and I know you approach science from a Naturalistic approach. That approach to science is what I was trying to ask you about. Saying you ONLY apply it to science does not alter the fact that that is your approach.

    You say you do not subscribe to philosophical naturalism, yet you apply it to the interpretation of scientific data. So you do subscribe to it. Methodological naturalism is the methodological application of the philosophical assumption of Naturalism. You subscribe to it; you just tell yourself you don’t. You are very confused. Basically you cannot see beyond the fog of pseudo-intellectual philosophical waffle.

    You say your philosophical approach to science has been accepted for several centuries, but so has the Biblical Creationist approach. Not accepted by Naturalists of course, I understand that, but by practicing scientists nonetheless. So your approach has been rejected for centuries too.

    I’m not sure what you’re waffling on about when you mention ‘hard positive evidence of specific instances’, but if you’re again asking for examples of Biblical Creationist scientific interpretations of data, then go read the literature if you’re interested.

    But this discussion was about foundational assumptions. You don’t want to talk about it. Okay.

    How do you know nature is all? Or, How do you know the supernatural is inherently unknowable? Or, How do you know Nature will supply all the answers?

    The question can be phrased variously. It remains the same question.

    You just seem to have been pleased to avoid offering an explanation for why you hold your assumption. I thought this might turn out to be the case.

  21. Peer-reviewed papers with positive experimental evidence for evolution: 1,750 (2007; per year)

    Peer-reviewed papers with positive experimental evidence for special creation: 0 (total; Dom)

    Active biological researchers employing naturalistic foundational assumptions in their research: 484,000 (2007; worldwide)

    Active biological researchers employing creationist foundational assumptions in their research: 0 (Dom; worldwide)

    US court cases holding that creationism is not scientific: 9 (through 2009)

    US court cases holding that creationism is scientific: 0 (through 2009)

    FAIL

  22. Olorin, why are you waffling on?

    Nothing you say in your last post adds anything to your previous posts. You’re obviously not interested in offering any explanation for your Naturalistic assumption. So okay. I understand. It’s difficult for you.

    But coming up with more waffle doesn’t hide your difficulty. You realise that, right?

    And despite the fact that at least 1 or 2 of your figures are wrong, you do realise that the ‘My Gang Is Bigger Than Your Gang’ boast does not equate to your gang, to maintain the metaphor, being right don’t you? I mean, you can argue that all year; it means nothing when it comes to discussing points of principle. It still doesn’t mean your Naturalistic assumption is correct. You realise that, right?

    And yes, I realise US courts have been having problems getting to grips with the issues because of a basic point of confusion thrown up by Naturalistic philosophy. It is a pity, but perhaps one day the US courts will be able to gain some greater measure of intellectual freedom in this matter.

    But your figures re. the US court cases also do not make Naturalism true, and nor do they explain how you know Naturalism is true.

    Far from these things you throw up actually making any constructive progress in the discussion, it is indeed you yourself who has failed. You have failed to explain how you know your foundational assumption is true.

    Keep changing the subject, throw up more red herrings, smokescreens and straw men as you will, Olorin; it remains true that you confuse foundational assumption and scientific enquiry, and that you appear reluctant to explain how you know your Naturalistic assumption is true.

    I understand your reluctance, but please don’t feel you have to keep digging yourself deeper in your hole just for my sake.

  23. Creationists relish sneering at errors in the standard classification of plants and animals, caused by recent genetic analyses.

    The standard classification was developed by Carolus Linnaeus. These creationists seem not to know that Linnaeus fashioned this system as a catalog of the biblical “created kinds.”

    Therefore, sneering at errors in the classification is to sneer at failures in work carried out in accordance with creationist foundational assumptions.

    0/0/0

  24. Will there be a Waffling event in the 2012 Olympics? Will there be any point any Nation wasting resources to enter anyone else if Olorin is entered?

  25. Dom: “Will there be a Waffling event in the 2012 Olympics?”

    If you were not ignorant of literature as well as science, you would know that the sport of Olorin is swordplay with Orcs.

  26. Dom: “And despite the fact that at least 1 or 2 of your figures are wrong, you do realise that the ‘My Gang Is Bigger Than Your Gang’ boast does not equate to your gang,… being right, don’t you?”

    The significant numbers are not 1,750 or 484,000 or 9. They are 0 and 0 and 0. You have offered 0 creationist theories, 0 creationist scientists, 0 practical applications from creationism. There is infinitely more conceptual distance between 0 unicorns and 1 unicorn than between 1 unicorn and 484,000 unicorns grazing in a mallorn grove.

    Dom: “It still doesn’t mean your Naturalistic assumption is correct. “

    Dom refuses to understand that I do not claim methodological naturalism to be “correct” either in some absolute sense, nor for any subject other than science. Peano’s axioms are not correct or incorrect. We assume them because they provide useful results in the subject of mathematics.

    Dom: “ You’re obviously not interested in offering any explanation for your Naturalistic assumption”

    Six full paragraphs in the comment dated February 5, 2010 at 8:31 pm explain what methodological naturalism is, and why modern science has increasingly adopted it. You’re not interested in listening. Shall we try some more?

    Aristotle imbued rocks with a mystical essence to explain why they fell to earth. 17thyC scientists still believed that objects embodied within themselves the forces that propel them. Newton’s insight was to banish these disembodied beings in favor of F=ma. Natural forces resulting from physical quantities. But Newton still believed that the instabilities of planetary orbits from his gravitational theory required periodic correction by divine intervention. A century later, LaPlace came up with perturbation theory, removing yet another spiritual Band-Aid from science. Later, the magic incantations of alchemists to elemental spirits were replaced with naturalistic chemical bonding theory. Spontaneous creation of life from dead meat followed into the garbage heap. Lightning was the Wrath of God personified until Franklin showed it to be the same natural force of Volta and Galvani.[0] Vitalism proposed that mere mortals could not synthesize God-created organic compounds. Until urea was synthesized from bare elements in the 1820s. It is commonly considered that Lamarck and Darwin drove the last spikes by offering naturalistic mechanisms for the evolution of life.[1]

    In my opinion, the process is not yet complete—although succor appears on the horizon. Modern science has gravitated toward microreductionism. Yet economic behavior and “mind,” for example, seem resistant to explanation in terms of component individuals and neurons. The recent theory of complex systems, however, offers a new paradigm to enfold the holism of systems without losing sight of their separate components.[2] CS Theory shows how collections of individuals can organize themselves without any external guidance to produce emergent properties that are not only not derivable from the laws of their parts, but in many cases are unpredictable from them. And that “downward causation” from the system to its parts can influence the parts in a physical manner.[3] More justification for methodological naturalism in science.

    The intrusion of any kind of ideology into science has proven disastrous in the past. Medieval Islamic science not only maintained Greek knowledge, but contributed significant theoretical and observational additions. In the 11thC, however, the mullahs decided that the falsafiyehs’ methods contradicted the Qu’ran.[4] If someone told you today that Baghdad was once the scientific capital of the world, you would laugh.

    In the 1930s, Hitler’s minions persecuted “Jewish science,” relativity and quantum mechanics, hounding physics professors into exile in England and America. Where many of them collaborated to give the Allies the atomic bomb that Hitler’s second-rate classical physicists could not produce. In the 1920s, T. D. Lysenko gained Stalin’s ear with the Lamarckian theory that similar crops should always be planted together. Since they were all of the same “class,” they would aid each other to increase yields.[5] Stalin continued with this theory because it comported with the tenets of Communism. Russia had been the breadbasket of Europe, even after forced collectivization. By the 1960s, galloping famines finally forced the leadership to forsake this ideological fantasy and adopt Darwinian principles.

    Today, creationist biology attempts to force its way into the classroom politically, since it has met with no scientific success. Meanwhile, it is not enough that the US exports manufacturing jobs to the Far East—major drug companies are quietly moving their research facilities to China, Korea, Singapore, and India. Oriental students, unhindered by ideological constraints, evince a higher level of knowledge and more willingness to learn. Several years ago, a prominent Indian researcher remarked, “You [the US] can’t expect India to supply scientists to you forever.”

    Dom, your ignorance of the content, history, and the practice of science has been experimentally confirmed. You have not attempted to justify the “foundational assumptions” of creationism in science on evidentiary, philosophical, or practical grounds. Science rejects not only your particular faith,[6] but any form of absolute truth. And has prospered in doing so.

    The original question was why science does not admit the “foundational assumptions” of creationism. I’ve answered this question at some length. You have defended their inclusion only with vague generalizations, with no specific justifications whatsoever.

    The only part of Dom’s position that I still do not understand it why he considers his faith so tremulous that he must subvert science to prop it up. My personal opinion is that science will eventually explain religion.[7] My faith will not only survive such an eventuality, but will welcome it.

    ===========================

    [0] Franklin offered lightning rods to all the churches in Philadelphia. Two refused. Two years later, one of them was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. (“Benjamin Franklin: An American Life,” Isaacson (2004))

    [1] “The Making of Modern Science,” Bowler & Morus (2006); “The Construction of Modern Science,” Westerfield (1972). “Discovering the Natural Laws,” Rothman (Dover reprint, 1989) delves into the philosophy of physical laws—showing, for example, why F=ma is not a tautology.

    [2] Sunny Auyang’s book, “Foundational Theories of Complex Systems in Economics, Evolutionary Biology, and Statistical Physics,” ties together a number of otherwise disparate subjects into the same mathematical purview. Because it is an early work (1998), the book spends more time on philosophical underpinnings (thus “Foundations”) than on details of the theory itself.

    [3] Auyang acknowledges that some may see this as a mystical effect. However, this occurs only “if the system’s causal power is attributed to independent sources such as vitality or psychic energy that are detached from the forces among the constituents and stand above them…. Whatever causal efficacy the system has is endogenously derived from the self-organization of the constituents.” Sorry; CS theory still repels supernatural causation.

    [4] “A History of God,” Karen Anderson (1994).

    [5] Whereas Darwinian evolution predicts that a single crop competes within itself for the same resources, so that different crops should be planted together

    [6] Most Christian theologians reject it as well. From the early Church fathers—Augustine, Origen, Eusebius—down to modern times. Pope Benedict XVI, for example. (The “biggest gang” may not win in science, but it does in theology—it usually has the most firepower. Scientist do not settle quantum-gravity disputes by invading each others’ campuses, carrying off their cyclotrons, and raping their postdocs.)

    [7] See, e.g., “Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong,” Marc Hauser (2006).

  27. Regarding my ‘offering 0 creationist theories, 0 creationist scientists, 0 practical applications from creationism’, I point out, yet again, that I made no indication I intended to do so.

    I have consistently referred you to the Biblical Creationist literature if you are interested in Biblical Creationist theories or practical applications. And if you want to find out about Biblical Creationist scientists why not go to the places where some are listed? Because you actually entirely disinterested?

    You seem to have a failsafe in your brain which prevents you from neglecting to throw around red herrings and smokescreens and straw men. The question I put to you, in order to try to address your confusion of foundational assumption and scientific enquiry, was ‘How do you know Nature is all?’

    Nowhere in ‘your six full paragraphs’ did you attempt to explain how you know your assumption is correct.

    Your peculiar and indulgent potted history of science is laughable. Most especially your assertion that ‘It is commonly considered that Lamarck and Darwin drove the last spikes by offering naturalistic mechanisms for the evolution of life.’

    This is a juicy joke indeed. Larmackism is actually commonly realised to be completely wrong. And Darwin never provided any mechanism for the evolution of life, and neither has any been provided by Evolutionists since; and even Darwin’s assertion that natural selection filtered Evolutionary processes is more and more recognised even by Evolutionists to be a wholly inadequate assertion.

    Your assert that ‘The recent theory of complex systems, however, offers a new paradigm to enfold the holism of systems without losing sight of their separate components’ but this is philosophical speculation, and as such without basis in common sense, logic or observable data (just like Darwin’s idea of common ancestry), and as such, of course it can justify Naturalism, that’s exactly what it is intended to do, it is an unfounded idea proposed to bolster Naturalism (again just like Darwin’s idea); but it is philosophy, not science.

    It is impossible to interpret scientific data without some kind of ideology. To suggest otherwise is pretentious twaddle. Naturalism, the belief Nature is all, is an ideology; and one which is erroneous and a hindrance to science.

    Your assertion that my ‘ignorance of the content, history, and the practice of science has been experimentally confirmed’ is but more of your presumptuous, pretentious, pomposity. You just come out with such utter drivel, Olorin.

    And you are venturing toward being plain unprincipled and dishonest when you say I ‘have not attempted to justify the “foundational assumptions” of creationism in science’. Or perhaps you are merely suffering from an inability to digest what you read. I expressly said I would explain how I know God created everything if you would first explain how you know Nature is all.

    I asked you to go first because I considered it highly unlikely you would really want to discuss foundational assumptions. And I have been seen to be correct in thinking that would be the case.

    Not only have you not explained how you know Nature is all, you maintain your confusion of foundational assumption and scientific enquiry which first prompted me to ask. For you assert ‘Science rejects not only your particular faith’; but the truth is that science has not rejected Christianity, Christianity forms a coherent, rational worldview for a valid interpretative approach to science, called Biblical Creationism. It is the philosophy of Naturalism which rejects Christianity, not science.

    [Concerning your footnote about this, the ‘biggest gang’ argument does not win anywhere when it comes to identifying the truth. That fact you can assert otherwise just shows how openly malleable by the sway of consensus your mind is. You ought to try some real independent, critical, rational analysis sometime.

    And actually, the Biblical teaching has been held to throughout history by some; no matter what theology may pronounce. And it is pointless referring to Roman Catholicism to make a point about the Christian position.]

    And although Naturalists love to play word games about ‘truth’, the reality is that they do indeed make pronouncements about what can be held to be true or not; such as, for just one example, ‘The supernatural is inherently unknowable.’

    Science has prospered from the application and refinement of scientific method, not the by the application of Naturalism. Naturalism has hindered science and continues to do so.

    The original question, Olorin, was NOT ‘why science does not admit the “foundational assumptions” of creationism’. That is but more of your attempting to re-write the history of the discussion. You are either entirely intellectually incompetent or entirely unprincipled. The original question was ‘How do you know Nature is all?’ You have ignored the question and chosen to devise your own question to answer instead, offering not a little confusion and waffle in so doing. I surmise you avoid the question because you have no rational answer to offer; because at root Naturalism is indeed irrational.

    You assert that I ‘have defended their [the foundational assumptions of creationism] inclusion only with vague generalizations, with no specific justifications whatsoever’
    but I have made no attempt to defend the foundational assumptions of Biblical Creationism; that is just something else you’re making up, as you do. I have said I would explain how I know the foundational assumption of Biblical Creationism is true if you would first explain how you know the foundational assumption of Naturalism is true.

    You have not explained how you know Nature is all, and so the discussion has not progressed beyond you avoiding the question and my trying to remind you what the question was.

    The idea I have ‘defended their [the foundational assumptions of creationism] inclusion only with vague generalizations, with no specific justifications’ is a fantasy in your mind. Olorin, you seem just to make up whatever sounds good at the time in order to sound impressive.

    You say – ‘The only part of Dom’s position that I still do not understand it why he considers his faith so tremulous that he must subvert science to prop it up’ but let’s be frank, Olorin, you understand absolutely nothing whatsoever about my position, which is why you grossly misrepresent it. But my faith in God’s word enables me to withstand both the pretentious philosophical ramblings of Naturalism and the derisive bullying of Evolutionists. Which doesn’t make me part of ‘the biggest gang’, but does mean I can avoid having my critical faculties crushed. Thanks be to God.

    And your saying you believe ‘science will eventually explain religion’ is perfectly indicative of the fact you employ Naturalistic philosophy, even though you like to assert you do not. Such a view is indeed entirely Naturalistic in its reduction of ‘religion’ to the realm of scientific enquiry.

    You say your ‘faith will not only survive such an eventuality, but will welcome it’ but I suggest your faith in Naturalism will only ever lead to confusion and frustration. You would be better off to place your faith in God.

    Then indeed, you would gain amongst many other things a logical framework with which to approach interpretation of the data of scientific enquiry. As it is, you are drowning in the quagmire of philosophy.

    As you seem unable or unwilling to explain how you know Nature is all, (and no matter how much you avoid the question, that is what the discussion was about), then perhaps we may draw a close to this attempt at a discussion. I’ll just put it down to one more failed attempt to engage an Evolutionist in a logical discussion. Evolutionists seem to be afraid of logic. Go figure.

  28. Dom, you are arguing with yourself, not with what I have said.

    Dom at Truly Free Thought): “I wish to make clear I am not a scientist;…”

    Don ‘t worry. You have made it abundantly clear.

    ——————————————————-

    Still 0 and 0 and 0, and still not counting.

  29. Olorin, I’m not arguing with myself at all. That’s just more of your nonsense.

    I have tried to engage you in a logical discussion, you have shown yourself unwilling or unable to explain how you know your foundational ssumption is true and in your enthusiasm to avoid the question have swerved all round the houses with whatever waffle and smokescreens you felt worth trying.

    But the fact remains you have not explained how you know Nature is all.

    The fact I am not a scientist does not mean I cannot take an interest in science; it does not mean I do not understand science; it does not mean I should not discuss scientific issues; and it does not mean I should not address the presumptions and pretensions of Naturalistic philosophy.

    What is concerning is the fact that you seem to think you’re a scientist. If you are a scientist, you’re a perfect example how science got into its present mess through the application of the philosophy of Naturalism.

    Your ‘0 and 0 and 0, and still not counting’ merely highlights your refusal to engage with the subject at hand, as well as your ignorance of the Biblical Creationism you so keenly misrepresent.

    The question was – How do you know Nature is all?

    As you’re an Evolutionist, I expected that you would shy away from answering the question, and true to form you have indeed provided another example of Evolutionist evasiveness.

  30. Dom: “The question was – How do you know Nature is all?”

    Olorin: “I have never argued that nature is all. Materialism is the philosophical view that “Nature is all.” Science employs instead “methodological naturalism,” a concept that creationists find difficult to grasp….”

    Dom: “you have shown yourself unwilling or unable to explain how you know your foundational assumption is true”

    OLorin: “I employ the foundational assumptions of science within science because they seem to have produced beneficial results for the specific goals of science.”

    Dom seems to have a failure of basic reading comprehension. You may continue to argue with yourself if you please. Michael is quite tolerant.

    0/0/0

  31. Dom –
    “How do you know Nature is all?”

    Olorin –
    “I have never argued that nature is all. Materialism is the philosophical view that “Nature is all.” Science employs instead “methodological naturalism,”

    Dom –
    “Materialism is the philosophical view that only the physical, or material, is real; that ‘Matter is all’. Naturalism asserts that only Nature is real; that ‘Nature is all’.

    “You say you do not subscribe to philosophical naturalism, yet you apply it to the interpretation of scientific data. So you do subscribe to it. Methodological naturalism is the methodological application of the philosophical assumption of Naturalism. You subscribe to it; you just tell yourself you don’t.”

    [& later – “And your saying you believe ‘science will eventually explain religion’ is perfectly indicative of the fact you employ Naturalistic philosophy, even though you like to assert you do not. Such a view is indeed entirely Naturalistic in its reduction of ‘religion’ to the realm of scientific enquiry.”]

    “Naturalism is a philosophical idea. Methodological Naturalism is the methodological application of that philosophical idea.”

    “How do you know nature is all? Or, How do you know the supernatural is inherently unknowable? Or, How do you know Nature will supply all the answers?… The question can be phrased variously. It remains the same question.”

    “You have shown yourself unwilling or unable to explain how you know your foundational assumption is true”

    Olorin –
    “I employ the foundational assumptions of science within science because they seem to have produced beneficial results for the specific goals of science.”

    Dom –
    “You apply the foundational assumption of Naturalism to science. The results of science are the results of science; Biblical Creationists undertake scientific research too.

    “Science has prospered from the application and refinement of scientific method, not the by the application of Naturalism. Naturalism has hindered science and continues to do so.”

    “The question was – How do you know Nature is all?… As you’re an Evolutionist, I expected that you would shy away from answering the question, and true to form you have indeed provided another example of Evolutionist evasiveness.”

    No matter how hard you try to distract from or avoid them, Olorin, the plain facts remain:

    1. You consistently confuse foundational assumption and scientific enquiry.

    2. You apply to science the foundational assumption of the philosophy of Naturalism.

    3.You are unwilling or unable to explain how you know your foundational assumption is true.

    As I say, with your being an Evolutionist, I fully expected your reluctance to try to explain how you know your foundational assumption is true. There is no rational basis for Naturalism, and I suggest that’s why Evolutionists prefer not to go there.

  32. Like the priests of Ba’al, Dom devoutly believes that repeating the same thing an infinite number of times will make it true.

    Perhaps this is similar to his belief that multiplying 0 unicorns by 0 unicorns enough times yields 484,000 unicorns.

    Ke akua me ke aloha.

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