Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Fri Sep 09 2005 - 14:41:36 EDT

The concepts & methods used in any discipline must be adapted to the nature
of the phenomena to be studied: We don't study gravity by putting balls
through mazes or attempt to understand the psychology of rats by putting
them on inclined planes. & this is also true of theoretical concepts &
methods. I like physics in part because it is mathematical but that in no
way justifies a claim that only phenomena that can be described & predicted
with the kind of precision obtained by QED is a "science."

The same considerations apply, /mutatis mutandis/, to theology - a point
emphasized over & over & Thomas Torrance. I.e., the concepts & methods we
use to understand God & God''s relations with the world must be in accord
with what God has revealed of Godself. This is why natural theologies that
purport to be independent of revelation are misconceived.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alexanian, Moorad" <alexanian@uncw.edu>
To: "Michael Roberts" <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 1:49 PM
Subject: RE: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published Research
Findings Are False

> There is marked difference between geology and biology, the former deals
> with inanimate matter whereas the latter also includes living organisms.
> I consider the subject matter of science to be the physical aspect of
> the universe. So does the member of Congress Rep. Rush Holt in his
> article, "Intelligent Design: It's Not Even Wrong"
> <http://houseoflabor.tpmcafe.com/author/rushholt> . Therefore, it is
> up to biologists to show that it is possible for science to describe
> life, human rationality and consciousness by means of purely physical
> terms, no mean task.
>
> Moorad
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of Michael Roberts
> Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 1:18 PM
> To: chris.barden@gmail.com; George Murphy
> Cc: asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published
> Research Findings Are False
>
> An excellent comment Chris, there are too many who think that geology
> and
> biology are less scientific than physics and chemistry. This is fuelled
> by
> the origins science and operational science.
>
> I n geology it is totally precise to say one rock is older than another
> especially when you can give no further details (yes I have been in that
>
> situation mapping in Precambrian). In fact a devotion with maths and
> giving
> things to n decimal places can be inaccurate, if we cannot measure with
> precision. I noted this as mathematical ideas were applied to structural
>
> geology in the 60s. The maths was detailed but they overlooked the
> geological features which were actually visible. I remember one such guy
> who
> argued that the strike of some Precambrian strata was 350degrees. He did
> not
> like it when I told him that it was 15 degrees and that this curved to
> 340
> deg as was clear when you flew overhead, looked at aerial photos or just
>
> measured dip and strike like a geologist in the 1820s.
>
> I have found that both YEC and ID suffer from this prejudice against
> geology
> and biology.
>
> Another major issue and this is why my friend described ID as devilish
> is
> that they fuel culture wars on and worse thrive on misrepresenting
> "evolution" as do Johnson and Wells, and create mayhem with their
> efforts on
> education trying to "teach the controversy" etc. Another factor is the
> lack
> of concern for the environment and an unwillingness to see the issues,
> which
> is not surprising if one cant accept the vast age of the earth. If ID
> was
> purely an attempt to understand science I wouldn't be bothered,
> especially
> those who are trying to find a plausible mechanism for an OE view
> without
> evolution. It is their politicking which makes me see something more
> sinister and dear Wells with Icons made be turn against ID
>
> Michael
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chris Barden" <chris.barden@gmail.com>
> To: "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com>
> Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 3:52 PM
> Subject: Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published
> Research
> Findings Are False
>
>
>>I think it's also worth noting is that the "scientific wing" of ID is
>> largely made up of physical scientists. There is a general prejudice
>> in the physics and chemistry community, at least among younger
>> scientists, that if biologists really wanted to "do science" they
>> would have been one of us. I know that when I toyed with ID, I
>> fancied most biologists to be willing to accept much less than
>> "scientific proof" when they came up with their notions. I believe my
>> comment at the time was something to the effect of "we can show our
>> answers are right to five decimal places, how come they can't be that
>> precise?" Couple this to the cursory background in evolution given to
>> most chemists and physicists (myself included), and you have a cadre
>> of ID proponents who are especially stubborn, because they believe
>> their workaday way of doing science is superior and couldn't possibly
>> be infused with anti-scientific philosophy.
>>
>> Chris
>>
>> On 9/9/05, George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> wrote:
>>> I agree with what's been said here so far &, in particular, think
> it's
>>> important to realize that the ID movement is part of a larger culture
>
>>> wars
>>> agenda. But there are other factors involved in the assault on good
>>> science. Some of this started in the 60s as part of the romanticism
>>> associated with the counter-culture, & the notion of some
> post-modernists
>>> that the scientific approach to understanding the physical world
> isn't
>>> any
>>> more valid that any other way also plays into it.
>>>
>>> Shalom
>>> George
>>> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Robert Schneider" <rjschn39@bellsouth.net>
>>> To: "Don Nield" <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz>; "Michael Roberts"
>>> <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
>>> Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
>>> Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 10:51 PM
>>> Subject: Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published
>>> Research
>>> Findings Are False
>>>
>>>
>>> >I agree, Don, that evangelistic atheists like Dawkins & Co. shoulder
>
>>> >some
>>> >responsibility for contributing to the distrust of science. They
> speak
>>> >to
>>> >a largely educated audience, and Dawkins often does so in the kind
> of
>>> >inflated rhetoric that makes for good copy to a press that thrives
> on
>>> >conflict. But at the same time they add more ammunition to the
> stores
>>> >of
>>> >the professional advocates of YEC and ID who use their words to make
> a
>>> >case
>>> >against mainstream science by not making the distinction between
> science
>>> >and scientism that you and I understand.
>>>
>>>
>>
>
>
Received on Fri Sep 9 14:43:40 2005

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