Re: [asa] Yes -- the YECs are still winning

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Mon Mar 30 2009 - 10:44:15 EDT

>>> wjp <> 3/30/2009 10:03 AM >>> writes:

I have no idea what someone means by the "appearance of age."
All our knowledge of what is called the natural world is
completely founded upon appearances.

The only way to make sense of this is presume that such a person
can distinguish "appearances" from non-appearances. And what would that
be? "Objective" reality? Does anyone truly believe that they have
grasped "objective" reality?

I can only interpret such views as paradigmatic evidence of a
naive realism. All appearances must be interpreted to make
any sense to us at all. It is not the appearances that might
"lie" but man that lies, as he has from the beginning.


Ted disagrees with Bill, and the heart of our disagreement IMO has to do
with "naive realism" vs what many call "critical realism." Realism
maintains the actual, real existence of a world external to ourselves, a
world that can in fact impinge on our mental world with "facts" that alter
our perceptions of reality. A critical realism also recognizes the human
component in the creation of our picture of reality, but without denying the
reality of that reality outside ourselves. It's "both/and," not
"either/or." Yes, I do believe that we can grasp "objective reality," such
as the objective reality that other minds are reading what I have just
written. Much of what we "know" about the natural world is, IMO, similar in
character to what we know about ordinary experience.

As for "appearance of age," such a term implies that we actually can make
reasonable distinctions between genuine and false reality. If such a
distinction has no actual merit, then we might as well give up judging
people as mentally incompetent when they seriously insist that they are
Napoleon Bonaparte, or that there are German soldiers under their bed (as a
relative of mine used to tell me, in all fear and seriousness).


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Received on Mon Mar 30 10:44:58 2009

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