Re: Why: Why?

Dario Giraldo (
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 16:37:51 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 13 Apr 1998, Tom Pearson wrote:

> snip...
> post cited above is related to an assortment of logical errors that I have
> seen not only in Dario's comments, but in a fair amount of the discussions
> snip...

> First, in dealing with scientific matters -- indeed, in dealing with
> anything we encounter in this life -- we are not dealing with certainties at
> all.

Excuse me Tom, but for someone calling my comments ilogical to go and make
such an assertion as your prior statement makes me wonder. Lets see, we
have natural laws and what makes then laws is their unchanging nature.
Let's take gravity. It is very certain that if I climb to the Space
Needle and take a step beyond the terrace into the air I will fall to the

> Certainties are normally reckoned to be derived from proofs. But
> science doesn't traffic in proofs. It deals with evidence, and the
> subsequent reasoning that seeks to integrate and account for the evidence.
What is the difference between proof and evidence ?

> But this produces no proof of anything. For instance, if you are driving
> down the street, and a child runs out in front of your car, can you be
> *certain* you will strike and injure the child? Of course not. You have no
> proof of anything here.
If my car is a 4500 lbs vehicle, I'm traveling at 90mph, the child is
less than 60 feet from the car and the brakes in the car are rated to have
a stopping distance of 140 feet from 60mph to 0, you can be certain that
the child will be injured. And this event can be reproduced in the lab
one thosand times with the same results.

> Why, then, do you attempt to stop the car, or avoid the child?
> Because you have good grounds for concluding that the evidence before
> you indicates the appropriate response.
Or because hope is the last thing you lose. As humans with some degree of
conscience will always try to prevent injury to other one specially if is
a child. But this isn't always the case as hit and run accidents do
happen every day.

> Again, if you have a severe
> toothache, can you be certain that going to the dentist will not make the
> problem worse? If you can't prove that, wny bother going? In short, if we
> waitied until we were always in possession of a priori certainty before we
> rendered a judgment, we would know nothing, and act on everything
> indiscriminately.
But there are things that we know for sure and certain of them such as the
sunrise in the morning. Or since the 15th approaches, taxes will be paid
by those who are under the w-2 system.

> Science does not proceed that way, and neither does life.
> Asking for science to become "exact," in the sense of providing
> "certainties," is a red herring, and does not deserve to be taken seriously.
Really? When I climb on an airplane, have science been exact in the
development of this device? Or we are never certain that this plane will
fly? As someone who made a living in the aerospace industry and was a
test flight technician I never doubted that my plane will fly. My concern
was with other technicians work not the results of the scientific research
which yielded the aircraft. That much was for certain.

> Second, it is simply not the case that, because evolution is a
> flawed and inconclusive theory, that in itself validates the YEC/global
> flood position.
Nobody, at least me, is claiming that the flaws in evolution theory
validates (as you or many others wnat) the YEC/Global position. My
statements is answering to Lloyds assertion, and I believe yours, that the
YEC claims are false while his/your(?) position is true.

> This is an ignoratio elenchi, or argument from ignorance.
> Usually, it goes like this: if you can't prove your point, that is
> sufficient to prove mine. It's not clear to me if Dario is arguing this,
> but I've seen a good many others who have so argued. But of course, a
> failure to adequately demonstrate one position doesn't at all lend credence
> to any other possible position. They could all be wrong.

I was wondering how long before someone in someway began calling those who
don't hold their 'scientific' viewpoint ignorant or with ignorant logic.
That isn' the case here. I'm saying is: What makes you so sure the YEC
is false if your point isn't provable ?

The position I hold regarding Genesis is and always has been that nobody
knows for sure. And since science can show one way or the other, it can
only speculate, then nobody knows. Period. The six day period in Genesis
is very different if one looks at creation from the point where the
universe began or from the earth. A day in Jupiter isn't the same as a
day in Earth. Time is relative. A year in Saturn is longer than a year
in Earth. So if I were to seat from the other side of creation, one day
in my backyard could be a billion years on Earth.

But nobody knows for sure.

> This second fallacy seems to rest on a third, I think. I
> frequently encounter the notion that, on the matter of origins, there is
> Theory A, and there is Theory Z. One must be right, and the other must be
> wrong.
This is true if A claims to be the ultimate truth. If that is the case
then there isn't room for Z, unless Z agrees with A.

> Finally, on "a matter of faith." This makes everything humanly
> knowable "a matter of faith," as Descartes showed. But it sounds as though
> Dario is proposing "faith" as the appropriate response to a lack of
> certainty. If so, this is a time-honored philosophical position, and its
> name is "skepticism." I cannot be certain if there are unicorns in my
> office right now, but I have "faith" that there are such unicorns here.
Well isn't this the position of many proponents of evolution theory? We
don't have the proof yet, but we will find it.

And many folks do go around believing in unicorns and extra terrestials.
Having not seen one, yet, but wait and we'll see. To this extent Carl
Sagan managed to get millions to setup his radio and listen to waves
coming for ets in other galaxies.

Something can be known and some are unknown. I don't make a point of
living my life wondering the unknown but I'm a skeptic when people set
themselves up as ultimate source and all knowing without any specific
answers and all is solved by throwing a few million years in the equation.

> I > cannot be certain that the clothes I am wearing are the same ones I
put on > this morning, but I have "faith" that they are. I cannot be
certain that > the sun will set in the west this evening, but I have
"faith" that it will.
Tom you began to sound silly here. So I'm stopping.

Best Regards,

Dario Giraldo