Re: [asa] YEC--What can we offer them?

From: PvM <>
Date: Sat Jun 30 2007 - 00:58:31 EDT

On 6/29/07, Gregory Arago <> wrote:

> "The current evidence for evolutionary theory is so
> strong that it is not reasonable to suppose that it
> will ever be overthrown completely." - Don
> This is absurd! So strong? Which 'evolutionary theory'
> are you talking about? Mere biology? Mere physical
> science? Pim van Meres says there is 'only one'
> evolutionary theory. But such a view is obviously
> false as any survey of philosophy of science
> literature will tell. If you read Kuhn, Popper,
> Lakatos and Feyerabend you would recognize the error
> in a defense of universal evolutionism. But it seems

This is where philosophers may be confused about scientific theory.
Sure, there may be some variations on the same theme, such as the
relative importance of the neutral version selective forms of
evolutionary change, but there is only 'one theory' of evolution in
the sense that it all comes down to variation and fixation.

I am not sure if I ever stated that there is one theory of evolution,
what I do know is that Intelligent Design is not a scientific
alternative. Funny though that it seem to be the IDers who have
created a duality here. If something cannot be explained by
(Darwinian) theory it must have been designed.

> those who privilege natural scientific perspectives of
> evolution often do not allow non-natural scientific
> perspectives of evolution their legitimate place in
> the discussion.

Remind me again, what are these non-natural scientific perspectives of
evolution again? I have yet to hear any convincing argument that we
should give any credibility to these hypothetical, at best, ideas.

> Paradigms pass on - this is a so-called 'law' of
> provisionality in science. If you aren't willing to
> acknowledge it, then the damage is not to science
> (which DOES move on) but to your own lack of personal
> flexibility to the facts. When the time comes
> evolutionary theory CANNOT defy historical precedent.
> It is unfortunate when theistic evolutionists tie
> their theology too tightly with their science to allow
> for changing their views when the best explanation for
> the facts goes against them. That time both has come
> and is coming.

Again these claims seem to be somewhat vague. Without more than some
vague assertions, it is hard to take serious these claims, as are
claims of non-natural science... There is no problem for us Christians
to accept the state of scientific knowledge, even if the knowledge is
incomplete or even subject to change. However, evolutionary theory
seems to be doing quite fine, and recent findings show us a exquisite
insight into how evolution has been so successful. Regulatory genes,
RNAi, are all exciting new areas. Imagine a set of fixed foundations
(hox genes) and other genes, combine this with gene duplication as
well as regulatory DNA and suddenly a new world opens. We know have
some exquisite data on how humans have evolved and show regional
variations quite in line with evolutionary perspectives.

> "Sorry, but must I must gently inform Gregory that
> the MN/PN distinction is not a fig leaf" - Don
> Fig leaf it really is, Don, gently or not! These are
> not even my original words! Methdological naturalism
> is a pseudo-philosophy swallowed by natural scientists
> for convenient regurgitation. Btw, on what grounds

On the contrary methodological naturalism is a highly successful
approach of doing science and noone so far has come close to provide a
better alternative.

> does 'engineering science' deal with these things?
> Doesn't it deal with only 'natural' or 'physical'
> things? Isn't there definitionally no space for
> non-natural or non-physical things in engineering,

Remind us again, what are these non-natural or non-physical things
again? Inquisitive minds want to know what you envision to fall into
these categories?

> except perhaps for ergonomics which involve living,
> breathing, feeling persons (and perhaps other
> animals)?
> I can tell you plainly that I don't deal with only
> 'natural' or 'physical' things in my academic work. So
> how I am supposedly limited to either philosophical or
> methodological naturalism? What a giant fig leaf!! Why
> wear that uniform?

Because it fits so nicely?

> Respectfully critical of reality,

Even the non-natural 'reality', whatever that may be? Your answer to
Meyer's excellent questions only avoids the issue with further
puzzling semantics. So the non-natural is what exactly, if not the
supernatural, and if it is not the supernatural then it seems that MN
can quite well deal with it? Any specific examples or should we be
kept guessing as to the nature of these mysterious concepts?

> G. Arago

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Received on Sat Jun 30 00:58:55 2007

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