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Evolution Debate

William Paley and the watchmaker

What would it take for me to convince you that I'm a philosopher and not a fundie? Let's pretend that your theory Peru_Serv = Fundie is a scientific theory. As such, surely it must be falsifiable. What would it take for you to abandon this theory?  (Jun 22, 2012 | post #66)

Evolution Debate

We have two eyes! Why?

God did it with magic is three things: 1. It's not something anyone has ever claimed. 2. It's not falsifiable and therefore not a subject for scientific inquiry. 3. It's not a useful theory because it makes no predictions.  (Jun 22, 2012 | post #577)

Evolution Debate

We have two eyes! Why?

The three laws of thermodynamics are scientific. Any of those could be (theoretically at least) disproved at any time. Simply find a way to create energy from nothing and you disprove the first law. Find heat flowing spontaneously from cold areas to hot areas and you disprove law 2. Or simply find something colder than absolute zero and you disprove law 3. You see? Falsifiable = Good. Unfalsifiable = Bad.  (Jun 22, 2012 | post #576)

Evolution Debate

Empiricism Doesn't Work

Every medicine on the shelf you say? A simple look at the history of aspirin will show you that things are not as simple as you say they are. From http://inventors.a bout.com/library/i nventors/blaspirin .htm we see that aspirin (far from being invented by scientists) is a compound that naturally occurs in willow bark and was used by Hippocrates around 400 B.C.E. Now regardless whether you think science was invented by Galileo when he started using math in astronomy or whether you think it was by Sir Isaac Newton when he invented calculus or whether you date it to the 1830s when the word "scientist " was coined then surely you cannot say that some guy who lived more than 2400 years ago was a scientist. Nature 1. Science 0. Now it is true that there are other medications I could find at a pharmacy that are manufactured using science. Ibuprofen or naproxen for pain or amoxicillin for antibiotics. While this might make you feel fuzzy inside, tart cherries are just as effective as these medications and involve less side effects (see http://www.ncbi.nl m.nih.gov/pubmed/1 1695879 ). Nature 2. Science 0. Or if you're looking for anti-inflammatory effects, look no further than resveratrol (see http://www.ncbi.nl m.nih.gov/pubmed/1 8814970 ). Double-blind medical studies show it is as effective as prescription anti-inflammatorie s. Nature 3. Science 0. Devil's claw has been demonstrated to be as effective as conventional medicine for the relief of lower back pain and with fewer side effects (see http://www.ncbi.nl m.nih.gov/pubmed/1 5150687 ). Nature 4. Science 0. Also carvacrol (found in oil of oregano) is just as effective against bacteria as prescription antibiotics and organisms don't develop antibiotic resistance (see http://www.ncbi.nl m.nih.gov/pubmed/1 9552781 ). Nature 5. Science 0. Shall we continue?  (Jun 22, 2012 | post #218)

Evolution Debate

We have two eyes! Why?

Natural selection is a tautology. Tautologies are not falsifiable. That's why they're not scientific.  (Jun 21, 2012 | post #571)

Evolution Debate

Empiricism Doesn't Work

All I can do, therefore, is to reiterate my request that you demonstrate some sort of CAUSAL relationship between science and whatever it is that you claim that science has produced. For example, although I can state that you will find it impossible to locate even one computer that came into being without the help of a circumcized man, said CORRELATION between circumcision and computers does not necessarily prove that Judaism is responsible for the computer as we know it. This is me, reminding you once again that A) Correlation is not causation and B) the father of the computer wasn't a scientist.  (Jun 21, 2012 | post #214)

Evolution Debate

William Paley and the watchmaker

It was a simple question, but obviously even a simple question like that is too difficult to answer. You see, I wouldn't have minded had the person in question said something like, "According to the best research we have available, we think..." but instead we see blanket pronouncements being made that oxygen was formed once microbes developed photosynthesis and that this resulted in red iron bands in rocks. While this might be a nice theory and hell it may even be TRUE in order for it to be knowledge it must be a justified true belief (see http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Theory_ of_justification ). I was merely hoping to hear the empirical findings that warranted said belief considering that the best I was able to do was http://www.wired.c om/wiredscience/20 09/05/ribonucleoti des/ in which we find that two of the four nucleotides that make up RNA were successfully created under conditions that are classified as "plausible " and it is indicated that these conditions are what one "might imagine took place" (which seems to me to be a far cry from the "we know" statement contained in the post).  (Jun 21, 2012 | post #61)

Evolution Debate

William Paley and the watchmaker

Do you really? How do you know that?  (Jun 20, 2012 | post #11)

Evolution Debate

We have two eyes! Why?

http://www.abc.net .au/stateline/nt/c ontent/2006/s22022 62.htm Wallabys are not bears. Is it my imagination or did you just completely fail to respond to most of the arguments made in my last post? Shall I take that to mean that you have no good answers?  (Jun 20, 2012 | post #569)

Evolution Debate

Empiricism Doesn't Work

Despite scouring your profanity-laced post for logical arguments, I found none. Accordingly it is hard to respond. The only thing I can kind of see is the implied assumption that science has produced some sort of product. Unfortunately for you, science is a conglomeration of theories (past and present) none of which are known to be true and most of which are known to be false. Accordingly I find it difficult to see how you can claim that science has produced anything.  (Jun 20, 2012 | post #211)

Evolution Debate

Empiricism Doesn't Work

After scouring your post for logical arguments, I found none. Accordingly I cannot reply.  (Jun 20, 2012 | post #210)

Evolution Debate

We have two eyes! Why?

It seems like your list of observations has changed. I don't remember them being this way. Observation #1 refuted by Panda Bear in capitivity fertility rates plus human fertility rates in Spain. Observation #2 refuted by Polar Bear population explosion. Additionally I can't help but note that none of the above explains natural selection at all. Merely noting that not all animals will survive does not mean that inferior animals don't end up surviving due to nothing more than dumb luck. You also don't seem to understand the word "tautology. " Simply saying that some animals will survive and breed while others will not may seem like a simple, common sense observation to you that no one can doubt. Similarly the observation "Either the sun will come out tomorrow or it won't" is obviously true. Just how USEFUL this observation is remains to be seen. Generally scientific observations are only classified as useful if they are FALSIFIABLE. The theory that God created the world exactly as we see it may indeed be true. Scientifically, however, it's not a USEFUL theory because it makes no predictions. "Exactly as we see it" doesn't help us to predict the world tomorrow. By way of comparison the law of gravity can be used to predict where the planet Mars will be not only tomorrow but thousands of years in the future. As such we can test this prediction against the real world to see if the prediction comes true. Natural selection as it is normally formulated in forums of this kind is similarly an uninteresting theory. Survival of the fittest where the fittest is defined as those who survive may strike you as a wonderful idea to browbeat Christians with. Nevertheless it makes no testable predictions. Accordingly it is not falsifiable. While it is true that it can be used after the fact to explain why something happened, all this really proves is that the theory fits all data sets that can be applied to it. Every good scientific theory is a prohibition. It forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids the better it is. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.  (Jun 19, 2012 | post #567)

Evolution Debate

We have two eyes! Why?

No, my reading-comprehens ion challenged friend, I am not and have never claimed that the law of gravity doesn't make predictions. On the contrary there are specific formulae that can be used to determine how an object should behave in a gravitational field. If an object fails to behave as specified in the formulae (Pioneer anomoly anyone?) then we can conclude that the proposed law does not confirm to the real world. The same cannot be said for natural selection. There is no mathematically formula that will tell you how a specified species will behave. It merely postulates that the "fittest " will win out with no specific guide as to how to determine the fittest (except after the fact). As such natural selection is, at best, a tautology. Now before you go ranting more, my vocabulary-challen ged friend, I shall hasten to point out that TAUTOLOGY does not mean FALSE. This clear difference between the law of gravity (falsifiable) and natural selection (not falsifiable) is the root of my complaint. Natural selection is not a useful theory whereas the law of gravity (while demonstrably wrong) is still close enough for government work.  (Jun 19, 2012 | post #563)

Evolution Debate

Empiricism Doesn't Work

I disagree that just having a "trusted associate" make the measurements is good enough. You should empirically verify that the person does make accurate measurements of astronomical phenomina.  (Jun 19, 2012 | post #207)

Evolution Debate

Empiricism Doesn't Work

Yes, you really DO need to go into all the details. Alternatively you can just agree (as I thought we had already done) that it's not necessary that everything can be verified empirically rather the important thing is merely that the calculation in question is FALSFIABLE in the sense that someone could suddenly discover that the size of an astronomical unit is actually different from what had previously been calculated (assumed, whatever). This, of course, was Popper's solution and is the solution I have touted since day one in this forum.  (Jun 19, 2012 | post #206)