Re: Fw: [asa] Expelled and ID

From: George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Fri Apr 25 2008 - 11:01:08 EDT

Hi Dave,
  [Dave: I've said repeatedly that it isn't "science," and that I think the demarcation argument is a waste of time. ]

  I think demarcation is critical to the future of science. I agree that it isn't science, but it is difficult to draw that conclusion the fuzzier the demarcation is allowed to become. Wheher or not ID is or isn't science are agruments that are not "meaningless".

  [Dave: "Jesus is Lord" is a truth claim -- really, the ultimate truth claim. It isn't scientific at all. Is it excluded from what we call knowledge because it "make no predictions or retrodictions, is not concise, is not coherent, offers no testable explanation for a natural phenomena?" (To be more precise, I think "Jesus is Lord" makes certain kinds of predictions, though not scientific ones, and I think it is concise and coherent within the framework of Christian belief, though it is arguably logically incoherent because it implies the antinomy of the incarnation).]
  This is an excellent point, because science can not trump subjective claims of truth. Science can, however, have serious impact upon any subjective claims that have objective exposure. "The Earth is God's footstool" can not be tested, but "The round Earth is God's footstool" allows science to at least make a statement about this geometric description based on observations and objective tests. If the Earth is round, then the entire subjective claim is supported by science, if not, the entire subjective claim becomes weaker, or worse, silly. Once religious claims look silly due to their objective exposure, then they have failed to heed St. Augustine's warning and will suffer for it.

  George C.
    On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 5:41 PM, George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

      Dave,

      Please let me know what "truth" claim you fell ID offers. If the specifics of the claim can not be measured or observed, make no predictions or retrodictions, is not concise, is not coherent, offers no testable explanation for a natural phenomena, then how is it science? If it does not have web feet, quack, and avoids the water, why should we be required to call it a duck? Again, this is definitional. I have yet to see reasons that allow ID to meet the scientific defnition, espcially for that of a theory.

      I will allow that it is consise, since it says an intelligence did it. That is one feather in its favor, but will it fly?

      GeorgeA

        George said: If it can not be tested objectively, then how will we ever know? What tests does ID allow?

        I respond: Why is "objective testing" the only criterion for evaluating a truth claim? This is the problem -- we say "science is not the only arbiter of truth," but we don't really often believe that, do we?

        On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 3:20 PM, George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

          Hi Dave,

          [Sorry for the delay, I'm having some tech. problems, along with free time problems.]

          [Dave: The criterion of methodological naturalism, for example, is not an "objective" one. It represents, rather, a human judgment about the pragmatic bounds of the human enterprise our culture labels "science." It may or may not be a reasonable demarcation line for its own purposes, but it isn't an "objective" line.]

          The scientific method requires objectivity as its foundation. This does not mean that no "fingerprints" are allowed on the data, but the data must be objective enough to be transferable and validated with little or no subjective interference. The more subjectivity is allowed, the greater the inaccuracies are the claims.

          Subjectivity, however, can be a part of science in other important ways. Indeed, scientific "facts" and "laws" are subjective in the sense that they reach this status due to a scientific consensus where scientists have removed all reasonable doubt to their claims. A consensus is a subjective claim as it represents people's opinions. Facts and laws work within the subjective idea that they are considered by a consensus of being beyond a reasonable doubt. A legal law is similar, but it is prescriptive -- it says what is to be done or not done -- and a scientific law is descriptive.

          Subjectivity must be limited, nevertheless. If the strength of objectivity is removed from science, then it will set it back to the 16th century and beyond. Philosophy, religion, and other subjective frameworks with teleological approaches will decide the difference between a good theory and a bad. There will be no great need to have a theory offer accurate and very detailed predictions or retrodictions. Using a subjectively-based theory, we can blame the FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) -- or whatever is the fashionable consensus of the day -- for variations observed in the predictions.

          [Dave: Which means arguments over whether ID is "science" ultimately are meaningless. Who cares, except for the culture warriors who want to fight about public school curricula?]

          Whether ID is science or not is the argument. I would hope most scientists and science teachers do care. Considering the outcry against ID, perhaps most care.

          [Dave: The interesting question is whether anything ID says is "true."]

          If it can not be tested objectively, then how will we ever know? What tests does ID allow?

          GeorgeA

          On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 4:54 PM, George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

          Hi Dave,

          Natural re-arrangements of pre-existing material, versus non-natural re-arrangements. And their detractors are looking for the exactly that same criteria too. Except for one group: those who are driven by an ideology that says by definition there cannot be anything but natural phenomena because nothing else exists. The latter is a form of materialism.

          Science can not claim "nothing else exists", and doesn't. Science is a realm to itself, one that is based on objectivity. Science provides the specific pieces that allow more subjective model makers to design models that best represent reality as it is currently observable. These models (ie theories) must meet certain requirements to be legitimate scientific theories, including predicability and, usually, retrodictability.

          ID does not meet the definition of science. No scientific tests need to be conducted. Indeed, what scientific tests could be utilized? ID is a subjective idea, not objective.

          [But they dont do this based on science. If something by definition cannot be tested (cannot be evaluated by science) then how can someone use science to draw a conclusion? It is impossible, and thus it is illogical to claim that science was used to reach a viewpoint.]

          Science can determine if something is testable or not. This is a definitional test, not an experimental test. ID fails the definitional test.

          They rule out any possible explanation that is not "natural".

          And this, which is itself a both conclusion and a belief, was tested how? In the absence of testing it sounds like fideism or dogma. Neither of which is supposed to be a characteristic of science. Is it an "ultimate" sort of belief, affecting "ultimate questions"?

          Nope. By defnition, science excludes itself from purely supernatural determinations. Science can impact theology only when one of its subjective claim contains objective elements. For instance: Does the Earth have four corners?; Could a stone of certain mass be slingshotted and kill a giant?; Is the Earth the center of the universe?, etc.

          GeorgeA

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: David Opderbeck
            To: George Cooper
            Cc: asa@calvin.edu
            Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 4:07 PM
            Subject: Re: Fw: [asa] Expelled and ID

            George C. said: Science is a realm to itself, one that is based on objectivity.

            I respond: This is surely overstated. The criterion of methodological naturalism, for example, is not an "objective" one. It represents, rather, a human judgment about the pragmatic bounds of the human enterprise our culture labels "science." It may or may not be a reasonable demarcation line for its own purposes, but it isn't an "objective" line. Which means arguments over whether ID is "science" ultimately are meaningless. Who cares, except for the culture warriors who want to fight about public school curricula? The interesting question is whether anything ID says is "true."

            On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 4:54 PM, George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

              Hi Dave,
                Natural re-arrangements of pre-existing material, versus non-natural re-arrangements. And their detractors are looking for the exactly that same criteria too. Except for one group: those who are driven by an ideology that says by definition there cannot be anything but natural phenomena because nothing else exists. The latter is a form of materialism.

              Science can not claim "nothing else exists", and doesn't. Science is a realm to itself, one that is based on objectivity. Science provides the specific pieces that allow more subjective model makers to design models that best represent reality as it is currently observable. These models (ie theories) must meet certain requirements to be legitimate scientific theories, including predicability and, usually, retrodictability.

              ID does not meet the definition of science. No scientific tests need to be conducted. Indeed, what scientific tests could be utilized? ID is a subjective idea, not objective.

                [But they dont do this based on science. If something by definition cannot be tested (cannot be evaluated by science) then how can someone use science to draw a conclusion? It is impossible, and thus it is illogical to claim that science was used to reach a viewpoint.]

              Science can determine if something is testable or not. This is a definitional test, not an experimental test. ID fails the definitional test.

                  They rule out any possible explanation that is not "natural".
                  And this, which is itself a both conclusion and a belief, was tested how? In the absence of testing it sounds like fideism or dogma. Neither of which is supposed to be a characteristic of science. Is it an "ultimate" sort of belief, affecting "ultimate questions"?

                Nope. By defnition, science excludes itself from purely supernatural determinations. Science can impact theology only when one of its subjective claim contains objective elements. For instance: Does the Earth have four corners?; Could a stone of certain mass be slingshotted and kill a giant?; Is the Earth the center of the universe?, etc.

                GeorgeA

                On the other hand, since science is allegedly "tentative", if (the ruling out ) is a "tentative belief" (and thus subject to change as new information becomes available) then that might be different. In a legal sense.
                 

                  Sounds like they have already made up their minds.
                Maybe.

                Cheers,
                Dave (ASA member)
                 

                  Don (ASA member)
                  ________________________________________
                  From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of David Clounch [david.clounch@gmail.com]
                  Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 9:15 PM
                  To: asa@calvin.edu

                  Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

                  skrogh,

>"Since there is no lab test that can be used to tell what is designed or what isn't"

                  I think I actually agree with you somewhat here. I've been saying for years that first we must be able to measure design. Then and only then should we worry about what the implications might be if we obtained a result from the measurement.

                  But if someone is going to claim that something is all natural (ie, due to all natural processes) shouldn't one first be able to measure the difference between a natural phenomenon and a non-natural phenomenon? If science cannot measure this then how can science reach a conclusion that everything is natural?

                  The answer is, science hasn't concluded.

                  But there are design detectors. These exist between the ears of humans. Now, if one is going to tell people that "science says they are wrong", shouldn't one be able to at least have science objectively measure what is designed and what isn't? If your premise is correct, then those making this claim that "science says they are wrong", (or perhaps even that believers in design are being irrational) have a serious credibility problem with the public.

                  On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 8:44 PM, skrogh. <panterragroup@mindspring.com<mailto:panterragroup@mindspring.com>> wrote:
                  Thanks for the input, but that is not what we are really talking about with my modicum of sarcasm. I am talking about Design in the ID movement in trying to compete with legit sciences, not as in that 70's song "Master Designer." Since there is no lab test that can be used to tell what is designed or what isn't or nothing that can falsify it. Similar to trying to falsify Omphalism. Hope that clears it up.

                  =========================================
                  -----Original Message-----

                  From: David Opderbeck [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com<mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com>]
                  Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 8:34 PM

                  To: panterragroup@mindspring.com<mailto:panterragroup@mindspring.com>
                  Cc: D. F. Siemens, Jr.; asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
                  Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

                  Whatever you think if ID, "bad design" is a poor response if you believe in a creator God at all. However God created, this is we He did, "bad" designs and all. Unless you profess a God who isn't in control over whatever procesess He used to create.

                  On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 3:21 PM, skrogh. <panterragroup@mindspring.com<mailto:panterragroup@mindspring.com>> wrote:

                  Bad designs haven't seemed to gotten through the ID design detector.
                  =========================================
                  -----Original Message-----

                  From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu<mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu<mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu>]On Behalf Of D. F. Siemens, Jr.
                  Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 10:35 PM

                  To: panterragroup@mindspring.com<mailto:panterragroup@mindspring.com>
                  Cc: asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
                  Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

                  I think there is one which does so in principle. It's opposite would justify ID. If we have sequenced the genomes of all the species, or at least all the species in one kingdom, and figured out exactly how all the various parts work, if we discover some genes/control sequences/whatever else comes up that cannot be derived from others earlier in the evolutionary development, we presumably have evidence that they were introduced by the deity or some superior power. This is sure evidence for ID. However, the current indication is that we have sequences in genomes that simply preserve stuff from the past, which is clear evidence against ID. Things are too sloppy to be designed, unless the designer intends to mislead us.

                  Generally, given the state of human knowledge, proof and falsification are claims too strong to be supported.
                  Dave (ASA)

                  On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 17:46:02 -0500 "skrogh." <panterragroup@mindspring.com<mailto:panterragroup@mindspring.com>> writes:
                  Also, can one conceive of a potential observation that would falsify ID?
                  -----Original Message-----

                  From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu<mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu<mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu>]On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
                  Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 5:39 PM

                  To: asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
                  Subject: RE: [asa] Expelled and ID

                  ID is saying it is "science" so it can be more serious. To make it science, you have to bear on scientific things, such as math (statistics) and biology. So they are appealing to the hard sciences to bring it into the scientific realm.

                  However, they have no scientific hypothesis. "God made it" is not a hypothesis, since it can't be tested. By definition, the scientific method requires a hypothesis that can be tested. You also can't test evolution per "origin of life," but there are other parts of evolution which are testable… ID has nothing testable. They think by disproving known naturalistic methods, God is then the default answer—but it isn't.

                  ________________________________

                  From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu<mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu<mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu>] On Behalf Of Mountainwoman

                  Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:10 PM

                  To: asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>

                  Subject: [asa] Expelled and ID

                  Having just seen Ben Stein's "Expelled," one thought that occurred to me is the following:

                  Is Intelligent Design a modern incarnation of the classic teleological argument for the existence of God and therefore belongs in the philosophy and/or theology departments of universities rather than in the science departments?

                  Paul Bruggink (ASA Member)

                  Clarington, PA

                  --
                  David W. Opderbeck
                  Associate Professor of Law
                  Seton Hall University Law School
                  Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

                  To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
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        --
        David W. Opderbeck
        Associate Professor of Law
        Seton Hall University Law School
        Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

    --
    David W. Opderbeck
    Associate Professor of Law
    Seton Hall University Law School
    Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Apr 25 11:02:42 2008

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