[pimvanmeurs@yahoo.com: Re: ..... testing .... please ignore

From: Joel Cannon <jcannon@jcannon.washjeff.edu>
Date: Sun Nov 27 2005 - 20:29:29 EST

Testing to see if I can post. My posts have disappeared.

----- Forwarded message from Pim van Meurs <pimvanmeurs@yahoo.com> -----

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> Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 10:58:28 -0800
> From: Pim van Meurs <pimvanmeurs@yahoo.com>
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> X-ASG-Orig-Subj: Re: The scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design
> Subject: Re: The scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design
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> Todd Pedlar wrote:
> >Pim van Meurs wrote:
> >
> >>Cornelius Hunter wrote:
> >>
> >>>Fortunately people like Isaac Newton and John Ray didn't agree with
> >>>you. Rationalism failed in theology and in teh experimental
> >>>sciences, but it has continued in the historical sciences. Behe
> >>>injected the Big Bang into the testimony for good reason. The lawyer
> >>>didn't get it (or didn't want to get it), but the BB is an example
> >>>where empiricism has broken through in the historical sciences,
> >>>despite stiff resistance. It violated the axioms held by many
> >>>cosmologists, but the evidence was too strong. I guess the lawyer
> >>>should have just said it is vacuous.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>Again you are conflating various arguments. BB succeeded because it
> >>presented another testable, positive explanation of the data. ID does
> >>nothing of the kind, it merely relies on negative evidence to
> >>conclcude that our ignorance is evidence of something called
> >>'design'. It was exactly the empirical evidence which led the BB to
> >>become an accepted theory.
> >>So again, BB was not scientifically vacuous as it was a real
> >>hypothesis, not the null hypothesis.
> >
> >
> >Not sure that I want to get into this at this point, but here goes.
> >I'm not a proponent of intelligent design, nor an opponent, although
> >I am sympathetic to the perspective those in the ID camp have on the
> >viability of the science done. As has been noted, the difference lies
> >not so much in what ID will do (ID folks are found among geneticists,
> >physicists and organic & biochemists), as in what ultimately grounds
> >them with respect to what science can claim. What I do want to see is
> >fair treatment of those who are in the ID camp, which I'm not sure
> >always happens.
> >A question here to start, Pim.
> >
> >In what sense is the BB testable? I assume what you mean is that BB
> >puts forth a picture that should give rise to certain effects - and
> >that those are testable in that those effects can be searched for in
> >the data. It's hard to go beyond this, however, and say that BB is
> >'proven' - only that it is the most consistent theory that explains
> >the data we see today, and should win the day in any discussion about
> >cosmology because of that empirical strength.
> We agree, science never deals in 'proven' anyway other than
> 'dis'-proven. You are right the BB is the most consistent theory and
> actually made predictions that were later found to be true.
> >As for ID and the claims that all it is is the "null hypothesis".
> >It's not as though science has never done what ID does before - that
> >is, taken a look at the prevailing theory that attempts to explain the
> >data observed, and claim that the theory fails on that count. Isn't
> >it fairer to claim that ID is simply saying to macroevolutionists
> >that the evidence is lacking for the claims made about origins? Isn't
> >that the crux of the matter? ID folks generally seem to me to be
> >happy to accept adaptation/microevolution and the claims made and
> >applications of genetics and biochemistry. What is rejected is the
> >tying together of evolutionary pathways back to the dawn of time.
> If ID were willing to admit that it is merely a null hypothesis then I
> would have no problem with that. But ID is meant to replace
> methodological naturalism or at least extend it.
> > Perhaps in part what they see is a lack of predictive power for THAT
> >part of biological theory - a perspective with which I am thoroughly
> >sympathetic. What predictions (testable or otherwise) are made based
> >on the theories of macroevolutionary development?
> Common descent. A coherent explanation as George puts it of the
> available data. Recent research is showing new insights into
> macro-evolutionary development which help understand how evolution may
> have happened.
> I have no problems with ID 'keeping science honest' as Del Ratsch stated
> it once but if that is all ID has to contribute then it is
> scientifically minimal if not vacuous. The problem with ID being
> insistent that natural selection has to fail somewhere is that it
> desperately looks for data to support its position, often at the cost of
> good science. Whether it be the Cambrian explosion or numerical
> modeling of binding sites, it reduces itself mostly to a strawman argument.

----- End forwarded message -----

Joel W. Cannon                   |   (724)223-6146         
Physics Department               |   jcannon@washjeff.edu 
Washington and Jefferson College |      
Washington, PA 15301             |      
Received on Sun Nov 27 20:30:38 2005

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