Re: information creation and promissory materialism

Chris Cogan (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 15:12:28 -0700

> >Stephen E. Jones wrote:
> >>>CL:
> >>>>But given my belief in evolution through RM&NS, I must theorize
> >>>>that macroevolution occurred here, through mechanisms we
> >>>>haven't yet figured out.
> >
> >Stephen E. Jones wrote:
> >>>But this is not so good a point! This is just "promissory materialism":
> >
> >Cliff:
> >>The other side of the coin is the small-minded vanity of saying,
> >>'I don't understand it, therefore it is not understandable; if I can't
> >>explain it, it must be supernatural.'
> >
> >Bertvan:
> >How about an overblown ego which insists "If it exists, there is a
> >naturalisitic explanation which I can understand."? Why can't science
> >a truly credible explanation before criticizing other people's
> how on this Planet Earth would a scientist come up with a credible
> explanation for anything if they did not have the gumption to assume there
> is an explanation and we (or somebody) is smart enough to understand it?
> you DON'T assume such things you will never bother to investigate. Perhaps
> that's your point.

Or, at least, his *desire*.

How about an overblown ego who claims to *know* that things are designed
because they *look* designed to *him*, as if *his* personal subjective
feelings about such things was to be taken as the absolute bedrock of human
knowledge of Nature?

And how about the people in the tenth century who said, "How about the
overblown egos of those who hope to understand fire or lightning or disease
or heat or why things fall when you hold them out and let go of them, or
computers or television or movies or why microwave ovens work?"?

> > Both sides could be accused of following a God of the gaps. As
> >explanations are found, theists must revise their religion (not a bad
> >system), and as naturalistic explanations reveal more complexity and
> >unexplained phenomina, science must revise it's theories. (The same
> >system some theists use.) Only an agnostic suspects neither side will
> >any final, ultimate truth.
> I"m not sure science is hunting for "final, ultimate truth." I think
> a religious persuit. And I want a couple of examples were theists modified
> their views because a new explanation was found. (Wait! I can think of
> The Catholic church apologized for that Gallileo thing 400 years after it
> happened. Of course, I'm not sure they explicitly stated that they'd
> changed their minds about the geocentered universe.)

But, it only took them 400 years to get around to the apology. What more
could you want?