Re: Evolution Statement

From: Michael Roberts (topper@robertschirk.u-net.com)
Date: Sat Dec 08 2001 - 12:16:49 EST

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: Evolution Statement"

    Am I reading Moorad correctly? It is so totally WRONG. The prototype of
    historical science is geology and goes back over 300 years.

    He wrote "One makes assumptions
    > and views the existing data to confirm the assumptions. "

    Who does? This is simply not how geologists or so-called evolutionists work.
    I t is not easy to unravel so serious a blunder.

    If one sees how a geolgist works or traces out the progress over 300 years
    one will see how they use observations to make predictions (or retrodictions
    as I call them in contra distinction to Keith Miller - who is say ing the
    same as me). Then further observations are made whether to confirm or deny
    thsoe predictions. The Pakistani whale is a good example.

    A historical example is the elucidation of the Lower palaeozoic in the 1830s
    by Sedgwick and Murchison. By 1831 the geological column had been worked out
    down to the Old Red Sandstone soon to be called the Devonian. Both S and M
    predicted that if you worked down the column through the Old Red you would
    get to lower and older strata and hopefully this was to be conformable.
    Murchison went to S Wales and near Ludlow the local vicar T Lewis showed him
    a cross section where Old Red passed down into older rocks (to be called
    Silurian). Their prediction held good. Ironcially S went within 2 miles
    where Old Red lay conformably on these older rocks but never saw them. He
    then went round N Wales with a lad called Darwin and looked for Old Red so
    he could go down the column into the older stuff. He was unlucky as there
    was no OLd REd, so his task wasnt easy. (See Jim Secords "Controversy in
    Victorian Geollgy" for details. )

    evolutionary theory assumes
    > something and cannot conclude unambiguously that the assumption is a fact.

    This is simply not true. Evolution is based on a cumulative argument from
    all the evidence and is ultimately abductive - an argument from the best
    fit. It is easily refutable whether by finding human footprints in the
    Mesozoic - hence Paluxy, dinosaurs in the Cambrian etc. further if Galapagos
    finchs and peppered moths did not vary the way they do then evolution is a
    non-starter.
    It was in 1838 that Darwin first argued for evolution in his private
    notebooks. He did so by arguing from the succession of life which the
    (creationist) geologists had worked out from the fossil record. He argued
    that the general view of progressive creation should be replaced by holding
    one or a few initial creations and then a gradual change over time.
    Essentially he saw thsi as a better fit than prog creationsim. So it was not
    assumption as Moorad claims.

    Of course the usual allegations about assumptions in geology and evolution
    makes good pulpit material to indoctrinate the pew fodder and convince them
    that six day creationism is the only true christian answer.

    For Howard - Special creation is meaningless - either God creates or he does
    not . Whatever He creates is special, so why waste a word? I suspect it has
    some roots in the early 19 Century

    Michael Roberts
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <alexanian@uncwil.edu>
    To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>; "Keith B Miller" <kbmill@ksu.edu>
    Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2001 3:31 PM
    Subject: RE: Evolution Statement

    > The prototype of historical science is forensic science. One makes
    assumptions
    > and views the existing data to confirm the assumptions. But one ought not
    > confuse the assumptions with the conclusions----evolutionary theory
    assumes
    > something and cannot conclude unambiguously that the assumption is a fact.
    The
    > predictions are backward in time, whereas in an experimental science like
    > physics, the predictions are mostly forward in time. Moorad
    >
    >
    > >===== Original Message From kbmill@ksu.edu (Keith B Miller) =====
    > >I have stated this several times in previous posts -- historical science
    IS
    > >predictive. Hypotheses are continually being tested by comparing
    > >expectations of the hypotheses with future observations. It doesn't
    matter
    > >that the events being reconstructed are in the past, only that the
    specific
    > >observation or data was unknown to the investigator previous to the
    > >prediction. This is done all the time. In my own research I am
    > >continually testing my expectation against new observations. If they
    prove
    > >out, my confidence in my hypothesis increases, if they don't that
    > >confidence is weakened. If expectation are frequently not met, the
    > >hypothesis is abandoned. That is the way all scientific theorizing
    works.
    > >
    > >The recent discovery of the walking whales from Pakistan are a great
    > >example within the field of paleontology.
    > >
    > >Keith
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >Keith B. Miller
    > >Department of Geology
    > >Kansas State University
    > >Manhattan, KS 66506
    > >kbmill@ksu.edu
    > >http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~kbmill/
    >
    >
    >



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