Re: Bill Buckingham testifies in Dover...

From: janice matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed Nov 02 2005 - 12:06:55 EST

At 11:18 AM 11/2/2005, Pim van Meurs wrote:
>janice matchett wrote:
>
>>At 08:58 AM 11/2/2005, Ted Davis wrote:
>>
>>>/"When the whole argument is about whether or not the a priori
>>>restriction against intelligence is appropriate, then it isn't an answer
>>>just to say that intelligence isn't the answer--but that's the answer a
>>>lot of scientists will give. ..."/
>>
>>
>>### Exactly.
>>
>>"God *couldn't have* done it" is a premise fit for an extremist.
>>
>>Yet that same extremist will make fun of the one who says, "God *must
>>have* done it".
>
>God couldn't have done it is as "extreme" as God must have done it.
>Neither one, scientifically speaking has any relevance. However, there
>are some real problems here. First of all, there are no a priori
>restrictions against intelligence. But 'God did it' is no scientific
>answer since there is no way to constrain what God can or cannot do. It's
>scientifically vacuous. Just like intelligent design as presently
>formulated in an eliminative format.

### Better get some better PR people to put the face on "science",
then. The people who are most vocal out there running around on your
bahalf right now are either atheists or other confused mentalities who
reject the law of noncontradiction. Here is merely one of your most vocal
PR agents in all his glory:

Richard Lewontin PhD Zoology Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at
Harvard University

"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of
its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant
promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific
community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior
commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and
institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation
of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a
priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation
and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how
counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover,
that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the
door. ...

Given the immense extent, inherent complexity, and counterintuitive nature
of scientific knowledge, it is impossible for anyone, including
non-specialist scientists, to retrace the intellectual paths that lead to
scientific conclusions about nature. In the end we must trust the experts
and they, in turn, exploit their authority as experts and their rhetorical
skills to secure our attention and our belief in things that we do not
really understand. "Billions and Billions of Demons"

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection in particular is
hopelessly metaphysical, according to the rules of etiquette laid down in
the Logic of Scientific Inquiry and widely believed in by practicing
scientists who bother to think about the problem. The first rule for any
scientific hypothesis ought to be that it is at least possible to conceive
of an observation that would contradict the theory. For what good is a
theory that is guaranteed by its internal logical structure to agree with
all conceivable observations, irrespective of the real structure of the
world? If scientists are going to use logically unbeatable theories about
the world, they might as well give up natural science and take up religion.
Yet is that not exactly the situation with regard to Darwinism? The theory
of evolution by natural selection states that changes in the inherited
characters of species occur, giving rise to differentiation in space and
time, because different genetical types leave different numbers of
offspring in different environments... Such a theory can never be
falsified, for it asserts that some environmental difference created the
conditions for natural selection of a new character. It is existentially
quantified so that the failure to find the environmental factor proves
nothing, except that one has not looked hard enough. Can one really imagine
observations about nature that would disprove natural selection as a cause
of the difference in bill size? The theory of natural selection is then
revealed as metaphysical rather than scientific. Natural selection explains
nothing because it explains everything. "Testing the Theory of Natural
Selection" Nature March 24, 1972 p.181

At the same time, science, like other productive activities, like the
state, the family, sport, is a social institution completely integrated
into and influenced by the structure of all our other social
institutions. The problems that science deals with, the ideas that it uses
in investigating those problems, even the so-called scientific results that
come out of scientific investigation, are all deeply influenced by
predispositions that derive from the society in which we live. Scientists
do not begin life as scientists after all, but as social beings immersed in
a family, a state, a productive structure, and they view nature through a
lens that has been molded by their social experience. Biology as
Ideology (1992) p.3

~ Janice
Received on Wed Nov 2 12:08:25 2005

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