Re: What goes around comes around

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Sat Oct 08 2005 - 03:05:51 EDT

Michael Roberts wrote:

>> Preston:
>> I thought it was obvious that we were discussing truth claims of
>> evolution,
>> not operational science.
>>> Cornelius,
> Cornelius
> What on earth is operational science? It has no meaning in any proper
> scientific discourse as it is just some rhetorical device invented by
> certain American Christians who wish to discredit science.and make out
> that historical science is in some sense not proper science.
> The whole mythology of operation and origins science needs to be
> rejected as it is philosophical and scientific nonsense.
> This probably explains why those with scientific understanding on this
> list do not buy into your ideas
> Michael
Maybe this helps? I agree that these myths serve little to further a
fruitful conversation but they help understand Hunter's position,
however untenable. Using the term 'truth claims' further muddles how
science is being performed. Cornelius seems to believe that
discrepancies in data are somehow just being ignored or 'explained away'
in a haphazardous manner. Somehow Cornelius sees these minor issues as
'significant problems' for evolutionary theory. It's the glass is 1%
empty kind of approach...

The media and many scientists consistently fail to differentiate
'*operational*' science from '*origins*' science. /Clarity in this area
is crucial to understanding the creation/evolution issue./

Operational science deals with the way the present world works, and
generally concerns things that we can observe and repeatedly test. For
example, we can consistently get the same undisputed temperature for the
boiling point of water since we can observe and repeat the test conditions.

Origins science, however, deals with how we apply observations made in
the present to non-observable events in the past.

Echoing this approach, Meyer separates science into two kinds:
"historical" and "operational" ("empirical"). Operational science is the
familiar everyday science exploring the processes and mechanisms of how
the universe works, and miracles are not expected to be discovered. Both
theists and nonbelievers would conduct operational science in the same
fashion. Historical science, on the other hand, deals with nonrepeating
events such as speciation events in the fossil record, the explosion of
the Pinatubo volcano, the appearance of a supernova and so forth. Of
course historical sciences can be studied scientifically: there may have
been only one observed eruption of Pinatubo, but there certainly can be
a science of volcanic eruption that can be used to /explain/ Pinatubo.
Similarly, only once in history did a population give rise to genus
/Equus/, but we can still derive theories from this and similar events
to explain macroevolution.
Received on Sat Oct 8 03:07:13 2005

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