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The Theory Of Devolution


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The idea of "de-evolution" is a common idea among creationists, the idea is that god made everything perfect and the different species of animals we see today are the result of corruption of the perfect god created genome. they use this idea to explain away things like fossils and human evolution...

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A Proposal For A New Theory Called Devolution   I propose a new theory called Devolution which re-interprets scriptural accounts of the fall of man.   Premise: We're Devolving Not Evolving.     When t

Actually, what I am asserting does have a basis in reality, so there. :P   I have done enough research on this to know that I'm not barking up the wrong tree on this. :D   Obviously, you don't kno

So much hostility in this room... maybe it is time we all grab a beer, sit back, and cool down for a few minutes. :D   First, I would have to agree with the moon-man in that creationism is not provab

I take your point about my use of the word Devolution. I used it because it seemed to suggest the opposite of what evolution is about. I've suggested an alternative. What do you think? Got any suggestions yourself?

 

What do I mean by biologically perfect? Simply this: that an organism's genome has reached a state of perfection that enables the organism's cells to replicate without any loss of information whatsoever. Our cells today lose information when they replicate. This is why our body ages, why are skin becomes non-elastic, why blood thins, why bones become brittle, why we become susceptible to diseases in old age that do not affect us when we're young.

 

Biologically perfect organism would be immune to disease, but they would not be immune to death caused by extreme trauma to the body. Thanks for helping me see that.

 

An organism immune to death would only be a biological dead-end if it could not reproduce. My theory acknowledges the fact that Adam and Eve could reproduce. Therefore, if the environment changed it would still be possible for the genome to mutate in the offspring, while still maintaining a state of biological perfection.

 

Another idea that has occurred to me is that perhaps this genetic engineer, if he has the power to create a perfect organsim, may have the power to create a perfect environment. A bit like a gardener can create a perfect environment within a greenhouse in order for tomatoes to grow.

 

Thanks for your input on this. It's been most helpful.

 

 

Anybody got any other ideas, or comments, or criticisms? Your input would be appreciated.

you keep referring to Adam and Eve- which in the line of hominidae are you referring to? Put some science here to your theory and let's see how you can support it

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Actually, what I am asserting does have a basis in reality, so there. :P

 

I have done enough research on this to know that I'm not barking up the wrong tree on this. :D

 

Obviously, you don't know what I know. And if you keep that attitude up, you'll probably never know. :o

 

One last thing to consider: you have absolutely no idea who I really am.

 

I could be a specialist consultant to The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University for all you know. :rolleyes:

 

If you've got nothing constructive to say, please stay out of my thread.

Which reality? your perceived or what is infact real? Clarify.

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A Proposal For A New Theory Called Devolution

 

I propose a new theory called Devolution which re-interprets scriptural accounts of the fall of man.

 

Premise: We're Devolving Not Evolving.

 

 

When the Creator (let`s call him C) - some kind of crazy extra-terrestrial super-science geek, maybe - genetically engineered Adam and Eve as part of some science project called The Eden Terraforming Project, they were biologically perfect. In terms of today`s scientific understanding, they both posessed an uncorrupted genome which made them immune to death and disease. If this genome had remained intact, all of Adam and Eve`s offspring would have inherited this perfect genome.

 

However, this perfect genome became corrupted by the actions of C`s opposer (let`s call him Anti-C - the villain in our story). This corruption of the genome deprived Adam and Eve of their immunity to death and disease. Worse than that the genome now was unable to replicate itself properly. As the familly of man developed, each subsequent generation inherited an increasingly more corrupted version of the human genome. Life-spans grew shorter, immunity to disease declined, and because the corruption was affecting the function of brain and body tissue, mental illnesses began to appear along with various forms of cancer.

 

Unfortunately, when Anti-C did whatever it was he did to corrupt the genome, he did exactly the same thing to the perfect genomes of all other biological beings. Hence, re-interpreting the scriptures: when the serpent "tempted" Eve, her "sin" caused her to "fall" and she took all of Creation along with her. This is why the naked body was found to be "good" in the sight of God, and explains why Adam and Even hid themselves from God's sight and asked God for clothes when they realised their bodies were no longer the perfect form C had given them.

 

As can be seen from the above explanation, humans and all other biological species are not currently evolving - they`re actually devolving.

 

Has anyone got any comments, suggestions, whatever?

 

I never liked your start,why bother with myths?

 

Why dont you start with the claim that once life was "biologically perfect",

and then explain what you mean by the term.

 

Then tell the story how life deviated/devolved from there...

Such a story could be interesting, (yawns...)

 

But I suspect your only interest is to resurrect the bible.

Please show me wrong.

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I do understand the terms I'm using, I really do. I think it's you who does not understand these terms. Which is why you think my nonsense is pseudo-science.

The onus is very much upon you to explain your ideas so that they are understood. Beyond this you need to provide evidence and tight reasoning to support those ideas. Ideas without evidence and tight reasoning are indeed pseudo-science.

 

Would you prefer the term de-gene-ration?

since you have now taken the trouble to explain what you mean by devolution I would be willing to accept the term for discussion purposes. I do prefer degeneration, since I was always a sucker for paronomasia.

 

I have to say, did Darwin get the same reaction I'm getting from you when he presented his Theory Of Evolution to the Christian world in which he lived? I bet someone there told him he was spouting unsupported and unverifiable fantasies, and told him to take his fiction elsewhere.

That is an unfortunate comparison, since it makes you seem very poorly informed. Darwin spent decades of research and observation before publishing a very detailed, carefully argued thesis on evolution. No reasonable person could claim he was making unsupported or unverifiable claims. So far your claims are unsupported and apparently unverifiable. You have the opporunity to address these deficiencies whenever you wish: provide the evidence and the logical thread that demonstrate and develop your idea. You have the perfect forum for this here. Don't waste it by making embarassing comparisons of your idea with Darwin's.

 

 

Has my idea upset you perhaps because it gives some weight to Intelligent Design?

Your idea currently gives no weight to intelligent design because thus far you have failed to provide any evidence. Please note I am not stating such evidence does not exist. I am asking you, indeed urging you, to offer it up for consideration. You have the floor. What you nake of it is in your hands.

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Well Judge, I will call you out on your theory of devolution, just in case you failed to read post #18. You are misrepresenting this from the very start, devolution is not a new theory, it is a tired and well debunked old idea that creationists came up with to try and misrepresent the science of evolution. So right from the start I see dishonesty but I am wiling to look at any evidence you have but simply repeating your self and saying others cannot or do not understand you is in it's self either dishonest or a ploy to intimidate.

 

You will not find me easy to intimidate by such methods nor any one else here either. Creationism is a lie, to believe creationism you have to either be ignorant or dishonest, the lie of creationism is well known and cannot stand with out being propped up by lies. Your basic premise that God created life forms in their present form is false and is trivially falsified. Your assertion they were created perfect fails because it is based on a false assumption, the assumption they were created by a god in their present form is no longer just wrong to assert it is asserting a lie...

 

So lets see something new... actual evidence for creation.. then we can go on to debate a perfect creation that is degenerating due to some outside influence...

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So much hostility in this room... maybe it is time we all grab a beer, sit back, and cool down for a few minutes. :D

 

First, I would have to agree with the moon-man in that creationism is not provable, in addition, I must assert that neither is any other theory of "the beginning." I once had a history professor tell her class that nothing she would teach us was necessarily true. She told us that historians find artifacts, and documents, and other pieces of evidence, and then string them together into the most likely story. This is exactly how science works; we find evidence, and build a good story around it (or sometimes the other way around, but whatever) since we can never truly account for every possible variable.

 

Second, and building off the first, you do need evidence before you present your story. Without evidence, you could turn your story into a fun sci-fy book or television series, but as far as real science goes it is useless. I do believe in creationism (kinda...), so I am interested in what you have to say, but you have given me a cliff hanger by not giving me anything to work with here and make an informed decision and/or criticism.

 

Always remember, science is not about proving any one thing, but disproving everything else.

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Always remember, science is not about proving any one thing, but disproving everything else.

 

I must disagree with your above description of what science is/isn't. Science is NOT about "disproving everything else," and contrary to your point, science definitely IS about proving things. Your confusion may come from how science is described for laypersons.

 

This, to me, is the scientific method -- of how we learn things and what we do to ensure our knowledge is complete and correct:

 

Science is an algorithmic approach to determining a truth about a specific System, for example how a specific System operates. This occurs through (1) careful observation & data-gathering, (2) consistent hypothesizing (forming a new hypothesis that's consistent with past facts/hypotheses), (3) predicting future behavior (based on that hypothesis), (4) experimentation (to test if all behaviors predicted by the hypothesis occurs)... and repeating these steps ad infinatum (or until scientists [i.e., those educated in the history of past iterations of data/theories] all agree this present theory has been "proven").

 

The premise is that each iteration of this 4-part cycle gets us closer to the truth about understanding that System. We can never truly say we have enough evidence that we absolutely know that system - that we have enough data to predict everything about the system. Even for a very simple system, we can never say we know it fully -- because even for simple systems there is so much to know about them that it's almost impossible for us to certainly know it fully. Scientists are conservative, and rarely say they "know" a system -- even when a layperson would consider it as fully known.. An example is the notion that the "earth is flat" -- a scientist will still not say we are certain of it, but instead would say we know with a high probability that the earth is not flat. Even with our own photographs from space showing a sperical earth, and the exact orbit of the earth around the sun, and the moon's orbit around the earth, and a multitude of physical measurements and phenomena that we accurately predict/understand, this still does not give 100% certainty. Though our certainty is very close to 100%, it is not at 100%. That is the dilemma of science -- and for scientists. We don't accept 99% certainty, or even 99.99% certainty for our knowledge. We use statistical methods and demand that our knowledge meet a high threshold for sigma and confidence level. We need to be sure, since our future theories will be based on what we consider to be CERTAIN. So, if we're partially wrong with even a single theory, it might cause a large disruption or maybe a catastrophic breakdown in future theories that rely on our partially wrong theory. For this reason, scientists will not take something as "good enough" -- they and their peers demand nearly absolute certainty to accept a theory as a "fact" (as a natural/universal law). Scientists try to remove or minimize uncertainty.

 

This uncertainty is what confuses most laypeople about science (and what it can/can't do). Another source of confusion is that a scientific theory can be disproven easily but cannot be proven easily. This does not mean science cannot prove anything. It also does not mean science can only disprove -- as you seem to have misunderstood.

 

Let me use a simple story-scenario to show what science is (and isn't)...

 

Let's say we want to understand {the system of} rock "underneathness". Explained another way, we want to KNOW (completely) everything that can (and can't) be under a rock, and what it means for something to "BE UNDERNEATH" a rock. We start by going outside and looking under a few rocks... we observe the world. We collect data about what we found.

 

Our data consists of how many rocks we looked under, what we found under each rock, what types of rocks we looked under (their sizes, mass, colors, mineral composition, etc), where each rock was, what happened to the rock after we looked (did it crumble, roll over, not move, etc.), et-cetera. After we're tired, we might come in and try to make sense of all of our data. We will make a HYPOTHESIS about what we found beneath rocks - and our hypothesis will let us predict what we will find if we go out again and look under other rocks (or even the same rocks).

 

So from our data we should form a hypothesis -- we notice the pattern that all of our rocks had either soil underneath them, or biomass that can turn into soil (e.g., grass, leaves, insects, small minerals -- all of which form soil).

 

Using our new hypothesis (aka theory), we predict that when we look under more rocks, we should find the same as what we saw earlier, along with new rocks having tree bark pieces under them, peat moss, dead insects, dead animals, seeds, small plant shoots, etc. So to verify our hypothesis, we head outside again and do a new "experiment" from which we collect more observations/data..

 

The next time outside, we find rocks that have most of what we predicted -- but we found no rock with a dead animal under it (remember, our theory had predicted this). Also, we did find rocks with new things under them: some rocks had asphalt, other rocks/stones, snow, water, metal, seashells, and sand under them.

 

So we know our original theory was not complete (this does not mean our original theory was wrong, just that it was not fully correct). So we modify our theory to account for the new data. We modify and arrive at a new theory that rocks can have underneath them: "anything that can be on the ground except for dead animals". With this new theory, we tell our friends around the world, and they all try to "test" our theory and IMPROVE it (refine it, so it more closely matches what is truly found underneath rocks near them around the world). Our friends come back and give is data (from their experiments).

 

They tell us they found no rock with a dead or living animal underneath it. This' does not mean rocks cannot have dead or living animals under them -- just that none were found (YET).

 

Here we see one of the limitations of theories -- theories are only as good as the data used to form them. If our data has errors in it, or if it's not comprehensive (if we looked only on one island of the world), or the data was collected/recorded in a way that obscured important info (e.g., we used only whole numbers/integers to record measurements), then our theory would be flawed and perhaps incomplete.

 

If we continue refining our theory with more and more data, we might eventually find that ANYTHING can be underneath a rock, even air. And we might believe our theory is finally complete (all-encompassing relative to rocks).

 

But if we then ran into a cosmologist or an astronaut, they would describe new situations (experiments) we haven't considered. They would say to also look at rocks in space, not just ones on earth. They might tell us to look at rocks the size of Jupiter or at asteroids.

 

This new wrinkle in our "system" (of the existence of non-earthbound rocks) requires us to change our theory in major ways. For one, what does it mean for something to be "underneath" when in space? Which direction do we look "under"?

 

Even if we refine our theory to include these new rock-issues, the cosmologist friend might ask about rocks at/crossing the event horizon of a black hole. Or she may ask about rocks that are not in the solid phase but instead molten rocks (lava) or ones in a plasma state (on/in the sun).

 

By now, this example should show you that science is a great way to condense a great deal of information about a system, into a compact theory about that system. This is also why science uses the language of mathematics and logic, because these languages are also compact and robust. They have been able to record and describe anything we've observed in the world (though at times we've had to expand our mathematical language itself, as a complement to new scientific discoveries).

 

Science can explain and codify (conceptualize) any problem, no matter how complex or pervasive. However the limitations are not in it but rather in the people who practice science. If a person is sloppy with their data, or vague in proscribing a new theory, or makes a theory that contradicts other more established (more proven, solid) theories, that person will get garbage results that don't tell them anything. The old adage, "Garbage in, Garbage out" applies fully to science. So exactness, clear logical thought and communication, and knowing past scientific theories are all important to understanding what science tells us about the systems we examine. And to explain the world around us and the role of a creator in it.

 

If we had infinite knowledge about a system, with zero errors in our knowledge of it, science will give us complete & correct results. In the real world, we can't have infinite knowledge or zero errors, but in many cases we can come close -- by using logic and mathematical generalizations (e.g. axioms). And today, educated scientists the world over are quite good at using these tools and language. Their minds are so very sharply honed to understand some of the most complex things mankind has ever imagined.

 

So if someone cannot discern the difference between the statements "science is about disproving everything" versus "science can easily disprove things" -- that person may not be able to follow the scientific method. It's folly for someone like this (JudgeDAR & noexpert), who hardly understands science, to claim they know about evolution and how it is false or impossible. I hope people like JudgeDAR & noexpert continue to learn about science, so they can advance our human knowledge. I'm not holding up all scientists to an exalted level -- there are some scientists who have gotten to the post-doctoral level but don't really understand much -- while yes, some/few exceptional scientists do deserve being exalted above most in the human race.

 

With creationists who show an interest in science, I get the impression some are interested only to "find the weaknesses" of science and exploit them against scientists to perhaps prove their belief is correct. Some consider this a war (a child-like approach to learning). So, if this is your penchant, be aware that as game theory shows very clearly, in war there can be no winners. The act of entering a war (independent of whether your opponent is weak or strong) results in a weakening of your stability and position before you enter the war. You always exit a war weaker than when you entered it, even if you defeated your opponent. A simpler explanation for laypeople is, war always requires energy and money, which you never get back. So if you want to "fight" scientists in a battle to show creationism or ID is correct, you've lost the war before you enter the battle.

 

I've found most creationists and proponents if ID cannot communicate scientifically (just like most true scientists cannot communicate in religious scripture). One requires exactness, the other vagueness/generalization. So if creationists want to convince the scientific world of the merits of their theories, they must learn to be detailed, exacting, and clear in their communications. Saying that a person's/animal's genetic database is "perfect" (no matter which context/category you put it in) is very vague and actually unintelligible to a cellular biologist or a genetic evolutionist.

 

According to science, "perfect" things or perfect systems cannot exist -- the closest concept to "perfection" would be of "fitness" (or, more broadly, entropy). So saying Adam-Eve were perfect because their genes didn't have diseases and didn't allow diseases -- is an impossibility according to science. This does not mean scientists can't understand this -- they can. But they also understand that such a gene would need the ability to fight and defend itself from enormous types of attacks -- requiring enormous energy and complexity. Could a perfect gene withstand sitting at the "edge" (event-horizon) of a black hole? If not, it's not perfect. Could such a gene survive at the center or a star or black hole? The answer is no. Similarly, saying a gene is perfect for the earth is also an I'll-informed statement -- since, could it exist and survive in a primordial environment of acidic rain? Could it survive the ravages of a high-altitude (mountaintop) existence where it will be bombarded by cosmic rays and UV radiation -- both of which damage DNA? Again, the answer is no.

 

So do you mean the gene is perfect but only for earth in the 50th century BCE at sea-level inside a protective environment for a finite time-period in the absence of damaging forces and with respect to non-physical trauma? Well, that hardly sounds like something perfect. Even to a non-scientist. And if that's your position (that god made such a gene-pool for Adam-eve, then she (God) kind-of messed up!! Why did she give her robotic toys (Adam-Eve) such weak genes, ones that can only withstand a "slap" but can't withstand a "punch"? Is that really the work of an invincible all-powerful god or is it instead the work of a powerful force ("being" or "laws") that is iteratively trying to improve their robot-toys?

 

Another requirement for creationists to convince the world that their ideas (theories, not beliefs) have scientific basis is to give up the notion of self-centeredness. As we learned from Ptolemy and Copernicus, we are not at the center of the solar system, we are not at the center of the galaxy (our sun/star is in a back-alley corner of our Milky-Way galaxy), our galaxy is a moderate-sided galaxy among millions like it, nothing special about it. And likely there are thousands, perhaps millions of planets similar to earth. And likely, some (more than one) of those earth-similar planets will have (in the future) or had (in it's past) or has (now) life somewhat similar to our carbon/organic-based DNA, or maybe somewhat different silicon-based life, or even very different lifeforms (types few of us can even imagine, such as higher-energy self-replicating structures).

 

We can only understand these extra-terrestrial (outside-earth) parts of our world if we're willing to accept that we're not the most intelligent (as individuals, or as a species, or as a planet), that we're not significant (we MIGHT be more powerful than others IN SOME AREAS and less powerful in other areas, or we might be weaker in every sense than another life form somewhere in the universe). Even the notion that we're only just another animal ("evolved from monkeys") should not be distasteful to us. Being open-minded to such thoughts and being able to accept them is important for the future of mankind. The ultimate concern of most everyone is their future (which means "salvation" to a theologist).

 

So I'll switch to talking about this -- not the salvation of a single man (which is pretty petty and selfish) but the salvation & eternal future of mankind.

 

The future of mankind rests eminently on what we do in our near-future (our next 200 years). That's a VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME on the human scale, and almost inconsequential in cosmological time. So, in our near-future, the progress of mankind is not dependent on our physical makeup (how strong we are, how "perfect" (your term) our genes are), not even on how "smart" we are. It depends on how flexible our social bonds (inter-relationships) are - how unified we are as a race, and how smart our "collective brain" is (i.e., the minimum thinking abilities of the weakest/"dumbest" human, and the DIFFERENCE between our race's median and mean/average human intelligence). If you look at an ant colony or a beehive, each insect is not very strong by itself (compared to an elephant or lion), but their cooperative and strongly goal-oriented communications and actions make them immensely powerful. An ant or bee colony can scare or threaten huge animals in a way a single insect could never do. In the same way, cooperative goal-oriented behaviors in humans is still a rarity -- currently we can function efficiently and selflessly for only short periods of time (months) and in organizations of at most a hundred or so people. Any more, and we start to form clusters of power/dominance/envy/conflict -- we see this in every organization having hundreds/thousands of people. Most people today cannot (still) behave for "the greater good" without thinking of "what's in it for me". An example is the notion of "personal salvation". It's a very selfish drive in the religious community -- that has and will continue to limit human progress.

 

This will be a serious issue in our near future (our inability to raise the intelligence of the "weakest/lowest" amongst us, and our inability to function as a selfless cohesive group) -- as we begin to make self-aware self-nourishing and self-sufficient robots who can match (probably surpass) our strengths. We will make robots that will be physically stronger than us, smarter than us, and can self-coordinate their group behavior to out-compete us. I'm not saying robots will take over humans (though it will be possible in 100+ years). We will prevent this as long as we can, because most of us are still selfish (and ego-centric), and so our laws are designed around "human superiority". But we will not be able to stop this next "level"/type of evolution among people -- our drive to make ourselves superior by augmenting our abilities & bodies with machines. We will definitely make robots then cyborgs that are better than the best human -- and this day is only 200 years away (according to me). Problem is, our society and greedy/selfish nature will prevent us from surviving (staying on a proliferating evolutionary branch). For our race to survive in this near-future, we as people and societies must change in major ways.

 

What happens if a robot race we've created wants "human rights"? What happens if they get tired of us "claiming" we're more capable than them (just so we can justify our need to rule/control them) when in reality they will be superior to us in every way (and we AND THEY will know this). I'm sure they will consider this akin to slavery -- and slaveowners know their existence is in trouble when their slaves get too powerful. Will we as humans concede to our robots that they are superior to us and so should have more rights than us? I doubt it - given the current crock of people in our societies. I could see some religious fanatics telling robots that we're superior to them because we have a "soul" whereas robots don't - why would that matter (to them)? Or claiming we're made "in the image of god" will also be nonsense.

 

So if you're stuck on evolution because you can't accept that we're apelike or that we have "animal blood" in us -- just because you believe we are superior.... well creationists are in for a big downfall very soon. You all need to stop thinking that god considers us special or chosen, any more than other beings.

 

Soon we will be able to create pseudo-lifeforms (e.g. a chimera) or an entirely mutant creature like a thousand pound cow without a head or legs, which we can farm for our meat production -- to meet the needs of our ever-increasing human population and food appetites. And what if we create a robotic cyborg animal or human (partly robot, partly animal or human). What if we make "slave-animals" -- like a very dumb and obedient yet super-strong human to be our slave? These pose issues that many non-scientists cannot comprehend (I'm sure many of you reading this believe we will make laws to prevent this -- but in the name of efficiency and competition, such laws won't stay for long).

 

So get ready, baby. Our grandchildren's grandchildren will be facing these issues, including colonizing on other planets and in space. God is almost dead and there's nothing we can do about it (it's a part of how the universe operates -- weak animals/people (and their thoughts/beliefs) get taken over by "stronger" (more fit/adaptable) beings and ideas -- the writing is on the proverbial wall. Sorry to say, you gotta adapt/change/learn or you will die-out. That's what evolution is.

 

(Sorry for the long rant! My first post here, and this discussion got my juices flowing) :-D

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I don't actually understand what your example proved. You spoke of gathering information, forming a hypothesis, refining your hypothesis (by disproving parts of it), and moving to add validity to it. A scientific theory becomes a law when after many trials, it has withstood the tests and has not been disproven. I reiterate, when a theory has failed to be disproven over time, it then becomes a law.

 

What I do understand is the anamosity and lack of tolerance for creationism in the scientific community. In my experience many of the creationists are close minded and indeed lack an overall understanding of science. I do, however, resent my understanding of science being questioned simply for the behavior of others who hold a similar position.

 

A very basic defintion of science (and one which I believe gets right down to the core of things) is such: science is what scientists do. As a scientist, I am able to experience the abilities of science. Science is based off concrete details and precise measurements. As entities like a soul or god cannot be measured, they are left outside of the realm of science. What I am saying is that from within the boundaries of science, nothing can be said directly about any god. This is where many creationists and scientists alike go wrong.

 

Before you venture to criticize others positions, I ask that you first seek to understand as fully as you can what they have to say. As an advocate for good science you can understand this as a reasonable request I am sure.

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I must disagree with your above description of what science is/isn't. Science is NOT about "disproving everything else," and contrary to your point, science definitely IS about proving things. Your confusion may come from how science is described for laypersons.

 

So get ready, baby. Our grandchildren's grandchildren will be facing these issues, including colonizing on other planets and in space. God is almost dead and there's nothing we can do about it (it's a part of how the universe operates -- weak animals/people (and their thoughts/beliefs) get taken over by "stronger" (more fit/adaptable) beings and ideas -- the writing is on the proverbial wall. Sorry to say, you gotta adapt/change/learn or you will die-out. That's what evolution is.

 

(Sorry for the long rant! My first post here, and this discussion got my juices flowing) :-D

 

Deep and serious "rantings" indeed!

 

My attention span is limited, but I

 

think I Hereby Welcome a Popperian!

 

Hmmm... Where will you post your second post?

 

And where did I put my thinking cap?

 

Can say neither Bah! nor Booh! without it...

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Science is NOT about "disproving everything else," and contrary to your point, science definitely IS about proving things.
Er, actually, the former is closer than the latter, to the modern epistemological take which you yourself included in your long rant. Maybe it's because this discussion got your juices flowing that you didn't quite get your logic straight.
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A thought (!) enters my mind... :o

This guy clarifyes his position well, do I?

(Thumbs through a worn copy of Bourbaki Selections.)

 

1 I want to be True.

2 I want to be Funny.

3 I want to be Minimal.

 

Failing again?

Check out this Derivation:

 

(1) Sentence 1 isnt true.

(2) Sentence 1 = "Sentence 1 isnt true.".

(3) Sentence 1 is true.

 

Is it Correct?

Yours Respectfully:

sigurdV

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Science is NOT about "disproving everything else," and contrary to your point, science definitely IS about proving things... We can never truly say we have enough evidence that we absolutely know that system - that we have enough data to predict everything about the system. Even for a very simple system, we can never say we know it fully -- because even for simple systems there is so much to know about them that it's almost impossible for us to certainly know it fully. Scientists are conservative, and rarely say they "know" a system -- even when a layperson would consider it as fully known.. An example is the notion that the "earth is flat" -- a scientist will still not say we are certain of it, but instead would say we know with a high probability that the earth is not flat.

 

The above quoted section of your post is inaccurate, I did not read further into your rant. Please take some time to look over the differences between deductive and inductive reasoning in wikipedia, because you have it backwards. We can not use science to "prove" because we cannot ever be sure that we have access to all pertinent information. However, what we can do is ask questions in a particular way so that we can use what observations we do have to evaluate our answers to those questions. It is our goal in science to disprove falsifiable statements. "The Earth is flat" is a falsifiable statement, one that is trivially easy to disprove. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that there is any question that the Earth may be flat. The wikipedia article on the problem of induction is a good overview. Perhaps you just chose a poor example, however, it is incorrect to say that science is a tool by which we prove explanations. Instead, it is a tool by which we disprove incorrect explanations.

 

A scientific theory becomes a law when after many trials, it has withstood the tests and has not been disproven. I reiterate, when a theory has failed to be disproven over time, it then becomes a law.

 

This statement too is completely false. A scientific theory is the pinnacle of explanation in science, precisely because we cannot prove an explanation to be correct. After a hypothesis has been tested repeatedly and refined to such a degree that its utility as an explanation of observations is practically beyond question given current knowledge, the hypothesis is elevated to theory status. A scientific theory cannot ever become a scientific law, because the two are entirely different things. A law is simply an aggregate statement of observations; there is no attempt to explain those observations.

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I don't actually understand what your example proved.

My post was not trying to prove anything. It started with an example of the scientific method, which needed to be explained since your post misrepresented it. I gave an example of where the confusion (in your original quote) comes from.

 

A scientific theory becomes a law when after many trials, it has withstood the tests and has not been disproven. I reiterate, when a theory has failed to be disproven over time, it then becomes a law.

This is a subjective statement. Your description (of how a theory becomes a law) allows for much variation. Your description allows one theory to achieve "law-hood" after surviving let's say 50 challenges, while a less noble theory would require perhaps 92 challenges. And who ultimately decides when a theory has attained this pinnacle moniker? You say "after many trials" -- what does that mean? Is there a little known group that decides, ergo the Scientific Tribunal for Elevating Non-disproven Theories Into Law (STENTIL :grouphug: ) - how often do they meet? Maybe they're secretive to prevent hopeful theorists from unduly influencing them. I could see this occurring -- theorists are a proud manipulative lot, indeed. :daydreaming:

 

The reality is simpler -- in science, we don't have "laws" as you refer to it. In language, we use the term "law" for a statement of fact, doctrine, or rule that's absolute (universally applicable), immutable, and universally accepted. This means, once a law is defined and accepted, it can't be rescinded or revised -- it must (& is expected to) stay true forever without modification. I believe this might be impossible to reach in science (I say "might be" instead of "is" because I'm still thinking on this).

 

The fact that named laws exist in science today (e.g. Newton's Laws of Motion, The Laws of Thermodynamics, etc.) does not in itself prove that we can discover scientific laws (of fact). Such named laws are a man-made contrivance for our own convenience and hubris. After years of study, Newton felt he was fully knowledgeable about how motion works, to the extent he could not imagine any motion that his laws did not explain -- and so his hubris was to name a "law" he considered to be absolute. Today we know his "laws of motion" are not the full story, and are generalizations of the Theory of Relativity. Notice how, even though relativity is the more complete explanation of all motion, Einstein & his compatriots called it only a "theory" (though this theory is regarded as a "law" by most today - even when we know it might be incomplete). This isn't semantics. I believe when we create a theory, it's impossible to be certain that our theory is all-encompassing (captures all nuances). We don't know what we don't know. As we've seen throughout the history of science, most (all?) theories eventually get "refined" because of new data/observations/insights we later find. In normal discourse, we agree to use the term "law" because it's convenient. But please remember that when used, this term does not connote a complete and proven final truth/theory. It's assumed the reader knows these "laws" can be changed in the face of new evidence. Calling them a "law" is thus misleading/confusing. Many scientists use the term "accepted theory" to describe a widely accepted theory. Your statement would be correct IFF you replace "law" with "accepted theory". The term "law" (scientific) came into fashion especially during the "Age of Enlightenment" (but was used earlier too). During that time, people had an exuberance about our ability to know everything. People thought that one day, soon, we will know everything there is to know about the world -- because we (scientists & society) had honed our analytical skills much more than before. So it became easy to claim they were discovering "Laws" that explained major parts of the world. [side note: I must clarify this is not the same as the zeal for Unification (of multiple theories)]

 

Probably the only correct use of "law" in science is the phrase "the laws of physics" or "scientific laws" -- because these are meant to include "rules" that are still undiscovered. The term "laws of physics" refers to what we know (our present accepted theories) and also what we don't know yet. The more correct and contemporary version is the phrase "the theory of everything".

 

As far as your belief we can prove scientific theories, this seems related to your ideas of laws. "Proof" (or the state of "being proven") is an idealization. It's difficult to reach, some would say impossible. But it's still the domain, and ultimate goal, of science. While scientists strive for complete proof, we rarely achieve it. In most cases we accept a premise as being "proven" or not, based on the preponderance of evidence (data, logic rules, assumptions) known about that premise. A layperson may accept it as proven/true with very little evidence, while someone with more imagination might not. The concept of "proven" depends just as much on the "accepter" (the person), who, after having seen "sufficient" evidence, DECIDES (but only for themselves) that the sum of evidence is sufficient to prove to them the premise is factual/true. Another person might say there are scenarios within that premise that haven't yet been understood, thus it's not yet proven (to them). The concept of "proven" is personal, and so limited by our personal abilities (to comprehend, trust, and imagine). Likewise there's a plural concept of "proven", which depends on a plurality (simple majority? 2/3rd?) of all "educated" scientists accepting it as proven -- this is less tenable, and less important. (one of the weaknesses of people and pseudo-scientists is that when they're unable to understand a new theory, many accept it just because many others have -- not because they fully understand and have inculcated it -- it's convenient to "go with the flow" of consensus).

 

Whether a theory is proven or not, is entirely up to you. It's based on whether you understand the subject better than "me" (the prover), or less than me, or maybe you didn't see parts of my presented evidence. Acceptance of a proof (the ability to understand & accept it) is in the "eye of the beholder" -- it depends on our human capability and frailty.

 

 

What I do understand is the anamosity and lack of tolerance for creationism in the scientific community. In my experience many of the creationists are close minded and indeed lack an overall understanding of science. I do, however, resent my understanding of science being questioned simply for the behavior of others who hold a similar position.

My opinion of your ideas was not based on how other creationists act or think. It was based on you describing yourself as a "creationist (kinda)", and your incorrect (to me) characterization of what science is. You seem to be supporting (rather than questioning) a god-based creationist ideology. That puts your ideas squarely among creationists, ergo my including you with JudgeDAR.

 

After reading this most recent of your posts, I see you're more open-minded than JDAR. Maybe you're not a creationist at all, but just influenced by "god-fearin' folk" around you -- can't really be sure. I actually didn't intend for much of what I wrote to apply to you (mostly to JudgeDAR) However, I don't agree with your characterizations of the scientific method -- I think you're wrong here (but I will certainly revise my opinion as you elaborate your position).

 

 

A very basic defintion of science (and one which I believe gets right down to the core of things) is such: science is what scientists do. As a scientist, I am able to experience the abilities of science.

Disagree. This definition doesn't help, it's not very useful. So would you also define "life" as that which living things do?

 

 

Science is based off concrete details and precise measurements. As entities like a soul or god cannot be measured, they are left outside of the realm of science. What I am saying is that from within the boundaries of science, nothing can be said directly about any god. This is where many creationists and scientists alike go wrong.

Your belief is that god is outside (undetectable by) science, and so therefore science cannot elucidate on or even encompass god. This is false (again, from my perspective). As I said earlier, "Science can explain and codify (conceptualize) any problem, no matter how complex or pervasive." I should have said "any system" instead of "problem" -- I'm not saying god is a problem or that science can only explain problems. Also, science is more than just "details and ... measurements." Science uses imagination (thought experiments), uncertainty (probability), and even magic (cosmological constants :banghead: ). For example, there are several thought experiments that can "disprove" the existence of a god or god-concept. However, their acceptance depends on the ability of people to understand them (as I explained here above).

 

 

Before you venture to criticize others positions, I ask that you first seek to understand as fully as you can what they have to say

i do seek to understand what others have to say. I've spent years thinking, discussing, and elucidating the positions of "others" -- and of mine. I've talked with many, of many persuasions -- the deeply religious/devout, the confused/curious, the fence-sitters, even atheists (God forbid!). Have had many deep challenging (and fun) exchanges of pathos and philosophy. I've begun to see in others, patterns of thought/belief, and patterns of understanding (even, sometimes, a lack thereof). While yes, it's unfair to judge others, it's not wrong to do so. I've found there are indeed those who are clueless (they go round and round, contradicting themselves, or some who are just plain-ol' contrarians) -- and I BELIEVE it's ok to tell them so, if they persist in claiming their thoughts are comparable to more profunditious panderings. Some thoughts are better than others.

 

Everyone has a voice, but the wise man chooses to sometimes stay quiet. (guess that puteth me into the unwise?)

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