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bob b
March 14th, 2006, 01:42 PM
'Scientific dissent from Darwinism'
By Pete Chadwell / Bend Bulletin guest columnist
Published: March 13. 2006 6:00AM PST

As we watch the ongoing debate between intelligent design and Darwinism, we are learning why over 500 doctoral scientists have signed The Discovery Institute's "Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" statement. Slowly but surely, scientists are beginning to face the inadequacy of a long-held philosophy of science upon which Darwinism was founded.

Stephen Hawking once told a story about a scientist who was giving a public lecture on astronomy. As the scientist described what we know about the structure of the solar system, a woman at the back of the room spoke up and said, "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist asked the woman what the tortoise was standing on, and the woman's reply was, "It's turtles all the way down!"

Of course, we all know that from a scientific standpoint, the idea that Earth is perched atop a stack of large turtles is laughable for two rather obvious reasons. First, we've seen the Earth from space and indeed it is a sphere, and oddly enough, we can't see any turtles. Secondly, we recognize that this myth fails to explain where the turtles came from. We chuckle internally at the idea that someone could believe something so silly. The circular reasoning is so obvious that we wonder how any sane person could overlook it.

And yet many sane people (scientists, in fact) have accepted a contemporary version of the same myth; a philosophy of science called "methodological naturalism," which demands that if we are to discover an explanation for a given natural phenomenon, we must only consider those explanations that invoke natural processes. (It's worth noting that any natural process qualifies as a natural phenomenon.) In most disciplines of science, methodological naturalism works quite well. If, for example, you're curious about how a bird's wing permits flight, you can discover the answer within the confines of methodological naturalism quite effectively but notice you are still forced to accept the laws of physics, themselves a natural phenomenon, as a "given."

Methodological naturalism makes two gigantic assumptions before any evidence is examined. The first assumption is that there is no existence beyond what is natural or "material." The naturalist believes there is no supernatural realm. Or, to the extent that they believe there is, they believe that for the sake of science, we should pretend there is not. (Nevermind that pretense makes a lousy foundation for scientific pursuits.) The second assumption is that we know precisely how large the envelope of nature is and that we can know when we've escaped that envelope. Although we have no empirical knowledge of either, the naturalist must interpret every piece of evidence in the light of these presuppositions. From the naturalist's viewpoint, it appears that assumptions carry more scientific weight than actual evidence.

In Hawking's story, the woman who challenged the presenter believed that beneath each turtle is yet another turtle. Similarly, the naturalist believes that beneath every natural phenomenon there exists yet another natural phenomenon. If explanation by reference to an endless stack of large turtles is silly, then an explanation by reference to an endless stack of natural phenomena would be equally so. The naturalist's answer for the origin of life, therefore, is some natural phenomenon. (Which one is not particularly relevant.) When you ask them how that natural phenomenon came to be, their response boils down to: "It's natural phenomena all the way down!"

By adhering strictly to methodological naturalism, origin-of-life scientists have sentenced themselves to an infinitely long search for an answer that's not there. It's as though they've embarked on a sort of cosmic snipe hunt. Today, these brilliant scientists can be seen running around in the dark with their gunny sacks, making strange noises and banging sticks against tree trunks like some giddy scout troop on a camping trip, blissfully unaware that their snipe hunt is nothing but a cruel hoax. A growing number of scientists, however, are getting tired of hunting for snipes. These scientists would actually like to find an answer to the question of origins, and signing The Discovery Institute's "Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" statement is a step in that direction.

Pete Chadwell, of Bend, is a commercial artist.

SUTG
March 14th, 2006, 01:56 PM
Here's an idea, bob. Search the Internet for "evolution" and cut-and-paste each anti-evolution article you can find into a new thread.

Granite
March 14th, 2006, 01:59 PM
:rotfl:

Knight
March 14th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Here's an idea, bob. Search the Internet for "evolution" and cut-and-paste each anti-evolution article you can find into a new thread.Here's an idea SUTG. Obfuscate, ignore and generally mock every evolution related post that Bob B makes. :)

Granite
March 14th, 2006, 02:05 PM
The burden of proof is on creationists, not on every single segment of science that creationism answers with soft balls.

Gotta run, free coffee just showed up.

Jukia
March 14th, 2006, 02:05 PM
Here's an idea SUTG. Obfuscate, ignore and generally mock every evolution related post that Bob B makes. :)

No clearly we should all take the words of a commercial artist to put an end to any dispute between ID and evolution. Get real.

SUTG
March 14th, 2006, 02:08 PM
Here's an idea SUTG. Obfuscate, ignore and generally mock every evolution related post that Bob B makes. :)

:chuckle:

Well, you would think that instead of starting 75 threads about why evolution is false, bob would take the time to learn the basics of what the theory is all about. With all of his Googling and link-posting you would think he would have stumbled upon an Introduction to the Theory of Evolution he could read. (a non-mathematical approach, of course)

SUTG
March 14th, 2006, 02:10 PM
The burden of proof is on creationists, not on every single segment of science that creationism answers with soft balls.

I'd say the burden of proof is on either side, once they make the claim that they have an explanation. This includes both Evolutionists and Creationists.

Knight
March 14th, 2006, 02:13 PM
...every single segment of science answers with soft balls.Please keep your personal problems to yourself.

Granite
March 14th, 2006, 02:21 PM
Please keep your personal problems to yourself.

:yawn:

Gee, Simon, expected a lot better outta you.

Knight
March 14th, 2006, 02:22 PM
:yawn:

Gee, Simon, expected a lot better outta you.Wow! Really? Better than that????

I will take that as a compliment. :)

bob b
March 14th, 2006, 02:24 PM
In case anyone wants to know where I learned what evolution is all about my prime sources were, The Theory of Evolution by John Maynard Smith and What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr.

I have both of these fine books in my personal library as well as hundreds of others written by evolutionists that are not nearly so fine.

Granite
March 14th, 2006, 02:25 PM
Wow! Really? Better than that????

I will take that as a compliment. :)

:chuckle:

Having seen you slice and dice with the best of them "soft balls"=hilarity ensues was just lowbrow for ya, man.

Johnny
March 14th, 2006, 02:41 PM
In case anyone wants to know where I learned what evolution is all about my prime sources were, The Theory of Evolution by John Maynard Smith and What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr.And which one of those fine sources includes the statement, "According to the theory of evolution, at some time in the distant past there was no life in the universe -- just elements and chemical compounds." (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26481)? All these resources and you still can't figure out the difference between evolution and abiogenesis.

In the spirit of bob's postings, I may just start copy ingand paste every single evolutionary resource I can find on the internet.

fool
March 14th, 2006, 02:50 PM
Can someone show me the substanitive difference between "turtles all the way down" and "Yaweh did it" ?

Granite
March 14th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Well, folks, at least Knight knows how to return a favor.

Thanks, man, for acting just as cynical as you used to.

bob b
March 14th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Can someone show me the substanitive difference between "turtles all the way down" and "Yaweh did it" ?

That was the point fool.

Naturalism all the way back is the same thing!! ;)

fool
March 14th, 2006, 05:48 PM
That was the point fool.

Naturalism all the way back is the same thing!! ;)
I beg to differ Bob.
Naturalism has plenty of unknowns, as in don't know, whereas the mystics would like to claim everything unknown for their particular diety. If proof of Yaweh becomes available then he'll stop being supernatural and become natural. I guess at that point you'll be left with nothing but saying where He came from is supernatural, and the naturalists will keep applying science to the question. Then when the naturalists discover where He came from what are you gonna do Bob? The naturalists will of course continue to examine the question, and the next one and the next one and the next one...................................
The naturalists asks the question "turtles all the way down to what?"
The Theist says "the turtle is invisable and the fact that the Earth is here is proof of Him"