----- Original Message -----
From: "Howard J. Van Till" <email@example.com>
To: "Moorad Alexanian" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "Dick Fischer"
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2001 5:43 PM
Subject: Re: Evolution Statement
> >From: Moorad Alexanian <email@example.com>
> > Science is more than explanations. The overriding priority in science is
> > prediction.
> Predictive accuracy is only one of several epistemic values that function
> scientific theory evaluation. The rest of the list includes: relevance of
> theory to observation or measurement; internal consistency of a theory;
> consistency of a theory with other relevant theories; explanatory scope of
> theory; unifying power of a theory; fertility of a theory (its power to
> suggest further observation and theorizing); + several aesthetic values.
> pick any ONE of these epistemic values as "the overriding priority in
> science" is a remarkably unscientific approach.
The overridding pritoruiy in science is indeed prediction. One can not make
correct predictions without a theory being relevenat to observtions and
messurments. Inconsistent theories will give rise to worng predictions. The
notiuon of unifications is primary for any theory---more data under one
theoritical umbrella. Throeis that make strong predictions are fertile
theories and useually beutiful as well.
> Want a prediction? One prediction of the the theory of evolution might be
> that, since there are so many authentic contingencies in the historical
> development of life forms, one cannot expect to predict the future course
> evolution on a large or long-term scale.
Then do experiments to test the validity of your claims. But do not rest on
what nature has already done since that is history not science.
> > The present model of the solar system allowed us to put a man on
> > the moon. Such feat is based on the predictions that our theory makes.
> > physics we used to call something phenomenology when we would cook-up
> > explanations for experimental data for which there was no real theory.
> Physics (my own territory) is NOT the model or ideal for all of the
> sciences. Physics has chosen the luxury of limiting itself, for the most
> part, to extremely simple systems -- systems whose behavior lends itself
> the kind of prediction that you take to be the symbol or goal of all
> science. Chemistry is daring enough to tackle systems as complex as
> molecules. Biology, daring and ambitious in the extreme, dares to deal
> living organisms -- systems not generally amenable to the simplistic
> predictions of orbital mechanics.
There is a division of labor in human knowledge and you cannot hold that
against physics! In fact, physicists are more honest than the evolutionists
who go beyond their scientific attempts and develop a theology out of their
> > I think the theory of evolution is, at best, phenomenology and does not
> > the credentials to be called a full-fledged scientific theory.
> That tells me something about what (and perhaps how) you think, but I
> think it tells me anything about the theory of evolution.
> Howard J. Van Till
There is nothing wrong with picking a subject matter and doing the best work
in it with the aid of human reasoning. But let us not confuse hypothesis
made with facts.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Dec 07 2001 - 10:03:12 EST