From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Mar 14 2003 - 09:49:23 EST
Re your precept #4:
> 4. If a theory survives long enough, it is referred to as "fact." Of course,
> this may be just word definitions. I like to equate "fact" with "truth," at
> least verisimilitudinous truth. Maybe I can do that.
In the context of discussions about scientific theory evaluation, words like
"hypothesis," "theory," "law," "fact" and "truth" are used in a bewildering
variety of ways. Scientists of all sorts could help by being more sensitive
to this sea of ambiguity and by being more candid about matters of
uncertainty, tentativeness, levels of confidence, incomplete knowledge, and
Now to your question re ID:
> So far, as I understand, ID has not come up with anything terribly useful --
> that is, science today is pretty much where it would have been had ID never
> been invented. What must the ID folks show to convince the world of science
> they are to be taken seriously?
Here's one suggestion: To "convince the world of science that they are to be
taken seriously" ID science must demonstrate that it produces theories that
come out substantially better on theory evaluation criteria like: 1.
Observational relevance; 2. Predictive accuracy; 3. Coherence; 4.
Explanatory scope; 5. Unifying power; and 6. Fertility; without needing to
make a strong appeal to aesthetic qualities like Worldview Comportance.
Howard Van Till
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