Tristen

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About Tristen

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  1. Nice one. I was more thinking a statement rather than a question - but same effect.
  2. I think you should write a new post re-declaring the unequivocal superiority of your position over mine - just in case someone missed it the first three or four times.
  3. “Well "right" doesn't = Victory nor does "wrong" = Defeat. Now do they?” When, in the middle of a debate, you suddenly just decide that your argument is sufficient to warrant dismissal of the opposing position, then yes, such a claim to be “right” does equate to a claim of “victory”. “You haven’t provide support for your claim that I “Don’t” “know what the mere fundamentals of "Science" are”. Really?? Ahhh, Tristen: "I do not define theory (scientific or otherwise) as a “validated hypothesis”." How bout that?”” The definition of theory is one of the points of the debate. You are equating my daring to disagree with you about this definition, with me being generally ignorant of the fundamentals of science. Even if your preferred definition is justified, it doesn’t logically follow that my comprehension of science across the board is lacking. “Post the Syllogism for the justification for the definition of: "Banana"...?” As was the flaw in your hammer analogy, no one is debating the definition of “Banana”. No one that I’m aware of is trying to say that “Banana” means something different in some alternate, formal context; or that those who disagree with a certain definition are ignorant beyond that disagreement. “you are arguing the position that we should adjust the meaning of these words (which already have meanings) for the scientific context. Yes and I showed you WHY, SUPPORTED by Numerous Citations” But you didn’t show “WHY”. That’s my issue. You simply provided a couple of quotes from some sources that agree with you – then expected me to give up reason in deference to your provided quotes. Critical reasoning makes no provision for just accepting ideas upon provision of references – even good references. That merely encourages appeals to authority and expertise; and discourages thinking for oneself. “I argue that these words have long had meanings that distinguish different logical entities – and there is no reason to change them, save equivocation. Yes Equivocation, what you're attempting to do.” Nice tu qoque – which, as intended, deflects from the point I made. “Define Scientific Hypothesis...?” Firstly, “Scientific Hypothesis” is not a compound word. It is a two-word phrase with a noun and an adjective. So the noun in this phrase is hypothesis, which means a proposed causal relationship. The adjective is “Scientific”, referring to the logical framework of attributing confidence to claims on the basis of observation (i.e. critical reasoning); a.k.a. the scientific method. So a “Scientific Hypothesis” is an hypothesis formulated in the context of the scientific method. “My position is a "Scientific Theory" is not an Abject Speculation (Colloquial 'theory')” So the term “Colloquial” defines a departure from the proper literary use. I do not subscribe to the “Colloquial” definition either, but to the English language concept of theory. “And who gets to decide that magic line when an hypothesis is well enough established that it turns into a theory? Scientists, "Real Ones". Personally, I would say 3 Repeated Experiments (Confirmed) should do the trick.” Ooooh!, “Real Ones”!!! So where in the scientific process does it define when someone becomes a “Real” “Scientist”? Do citizen scientists qualify, or does one need an undergraduate degree, or an honours, masters or PhD? Maybe it’s not until you get published in a reputable journal? Do lab and field technicians qualify? I’m personally doing research into bacterial genomics and transcriptomics; Am I a “Real””Scientist”? Surely you understand that this is not only an explicit appeal to authority, but also a true Scotsman fallacy. It is subjective on so many levels (not to mention it simply doesn’t happen that way in the real world). But by all means change your definition of theory to ‘an hypothesis which has survived the scrutiny of “3 Repeated Experiments”'. Are technical replicates sufficient, or do they need to be biological? And do you have any quotes for that? “More recently, many have tried to redefine these terms to mean what you take them to mean. Really?? Like these... "A *Scientific Theory* summarizes a *hypothesis* or group of hypotheses that have been supported with *REPEATED TESTING*." http://chemistry.about.com/od/ chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm "A *Scientific Theory* consists of one or more *hypotheses* that have been supported with *REPEATED TESTING*." http://www.fromquarkstoquasars .com/hypothesis-theory-or-law/ "A *Scientific Theory* represents an *hypothesis*, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been *CONFIRMED* through *REPEATED EXPERIMENTAL TESTS*." http://teacher.nsrl.rochester. edu/phy_labs/appendixe/appendi xe.html” OMG – you rolled your eyes. That must mean something profound. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong after all. But yes, these are examples of the redefinition of theory I dare to contest. I haven’t disputed the definition of hypothesis, and so the rest of the provided quotes are irrelevant – except I think there was an earlier quote you provided which claimed hypotheses addressed the “why” of the proposal. But I can’t see any issue with the definitions provided here. “No, it shows that THEY are "Scientifically" Ignorant. My word sir” No – I completely get it. If anyone presumes to question your preferred definition of “Scientific Theory”, it has implications for their comprehension and competence across the entire scientific spectrum. “I require a logical justification for a change of definition. Too funny. As mentioned previously, Logic has nothing to do with it.” I think that is telling. [Note the intentional use of Innuendo (fallacy) to point you back to your own claim regarding the irrelevance of logic] And I’m glad you found it, not just “funny”, but “Too funny” – as that must mean something important. “So CITING References in SUPPORT of Claims doesn't cut it? Goodness sir, you've come undone.” No it doesn’t cut it – and never has. The point of citing references is not to solidify your claims as truth, but to make provision for a deeper analysis of those claims. We are debating the definition of one word/phrase. Simply providing examples of those who agree with you doesn’t add to the logical weight of your position – other than as a form of consensus fallacy. “So "Scientific Definitions/Principles" are based on whatever you think, eh?” No – you’re right. I should completely give up thinking for myself and rest my entire trust on whatever sources of information people throw my way. Cause that’s how “Scientific Definitions” are determined. “This is tantamount to a Neurosurgical Candidate during an interview with the Head of Neurosurgery, suddenly exclaiming: "A Cerebellum is a small organ where bile is stored and concentrated before it is released into the small intestine". Then when the Head of Neurosurgery snatches you up by the scruff of your neck and throws you out of the office and laughs at you, you then head down to Resource Management and File a Harassment Charge or just lose interest in the interview.” Oh good – another ridiculous analogy for us to ponder. Or would my consideration of this analogy also be foolish? So in your fantasy scenario, you are, no doubt, the “Head of Neurosurgery”, and I am the lowly “Candidate”. Since you see yourself as superior going into the debate, it is little wonder that you perceive yourself you have the right to control the debate – declaring your position to be unequivocal/unassailable at a moments notice. You further see condescension as a legitimate right of your superiority; likewise abuse and ridicule (a.k.a. having the right to “snatch [me] up by the scruff of your neck and throws you out of the office and laughs at you”). And my loss of interest you interpret as me being unjustifiably oversensitive. After all, it was my disagreement with your clearly correct position which gave you every right to put me in my place - by whatever means you find appropriate. Except, in reality, I was not offended by your behaviour. I engage in these discussions with the primary goal for myself to learn something; i.e. to get a better handle on an alternate position, and/or to sharpen or reassess my own position. I am prepared to tolerate some degree of fallacy from non-Christians because their eternal welfare is a priority (and because often, no one has every pointed out that they are engaging in fallacious reasoning). But with a Christian, once the conversation starts to slide down the path of condescension, insult and ridicule, I consider the opportunity for me to learn has past. Recently, you have accused me in various ways of ignorance and foolishness. I am not particularly inclined to defend these accusations. I already have an accuser, and, more importantly, I already have a Justifier. And so I tend to disengage when the conversation starts down the personal path.
  4. Hi Enoch You said “There is no Victory or Defeat; you either know what the mere fundamentals of "Science" are, or... you don't. You clearly and demonstrably, "Don't"” Which is tantamount to arguing “I’m right, you’re wrong, just deal with it” - Which is not a rational solution to any discussion. You haven’t provide support for your claim that I “Don’t” “know what the mere fundamentals of "Science" are”. You have just autonomously decided to claim my ignorance as the result of me daring to question your provided definitions, and that , in your eyes, must mean I’m clueless about science altogether. I’d point out the obvious fallacy but you’d try and find a way to rationalise it. “This isn't "Subjective". 'Words...they mean things'” The meanings of words should reflect consistency of logic and use. The meanings you are attributing to these words are not broadly consistent with use, and I argue are not supported by logic – remembering that you are arguing the position that we should adjust the meaning of these words (which already have meanings) for the scientific context. I argue that these words have long had meanings that distinguish different logical entities – and there is no reason to change them, save equivocation. A well-tested hypothesis is merely a well-tested hypothesis. The position you are defending proposes that the meaning of one changing to mean a better tested version of the other – which means the original distinction between them is lost. And who gets to decide that magic line when an hypothesis is well enough established that it turns into a theory? The subjective nature of this standard is clearly skewed towards equivocation. “I've given you the Definition of a Scientific Theory (which is Apodictic) then juxtaposed it with the Colloquial 'theory' and SUPPORTED BOTH (w/ Citation)” The definitions of theory and hypothesis have been debated by scientists for hundreds of years. More recently, many have tried to redefine these terms to mean what you take them to mean. I was under the impression that this was a response to creationists pointing out the theoretical nature of evolution, in the face of ridiculous claims about evolution being “fact”. So now they can look down their collective noses and say, “But that just shows creationists are scientifically ignorant – unaware that theory means something different in science. In science, theory means thoroughly validated etc. etc.” – i.e. the same strategy you are trying on me. I require a logical justification for a change of definition. Merely citing those who agree with you doesn’t cut it. And yes, I do reserve the right to think for myself, regardless of how many websites you find to agree with you. “Arguing the tenets of an analogy, in lieu of the ACTUAL argument... is the acme of foolishness” I think it’s obvious I was being light-hearted in this comment. But since you are in a condescending mood, you missed it, preferring to revert to insult. Nevertheless, my use of your analogy was apt. If you don’t like people throwing silly analogies back in your face, don’t use silly, patronising analogies to justify your position. Anyways, since you’ve decided down that old path of ridicule, condescension and insult, I have unsurprisingly lost interest in this conversation.
  5. Hi Enoch, I appreciate the sentiment. Not sure we've reached a point in our discussion where you can assume some kind of victory. But I do get that when it comes to disagreements over definitions, there is only so far the discussion can travel before it starts to get repetitive. I would, in conclusion, suggest that with regards to the definition of "hammer", that whilst there are many different kinds of hammers, the carpentry definition of "hammer" is no different to the general definition of "hammer". But a well tested hammer does not turn into a screwdriver - just saying.
  6. Hey Enoch, So you asked me to readdress my claim of “subsequent claims that theories and hypotheses are not “scientific” are entirely irrelevant to our discussion” So then, whilst I find it debatable, for the sake of this argument, I am happy to proceed with your definition of something only being “scientific” if it conforms to the Scientific Method. But if that is the case, then “scientific” is beyond the scope of our discussion – since we are dealing with past claims which cannot be investigated through the Scientific Method. Therefore, when I say someone theorized this or hypothesised that, I cannot claiming a “scientific” theory or hypothesis. Therefore you pointing out that it’s not “scientific” is largely irrelevant. I am correct in applying the general definitions of theory and hypothesis. With regards to definitions, it is my opinion that definitions are obligated to be justified in logic, not just by the listing agreeing references. Theories and hypotheses address different aspects of logic – i.e. they are different logical entities. If they were the same, we would only need one word (and use an adjective to define the level of scrutiny it had been subjected to). But to simply decide that in a “scientific” context, one changes into another after some undefined level of validation doesn’t make sense. Theories are theories and hypotheses are hypotheses – and remain so whether validated, not validated or debunked. One is not a better version of the other – they mean completely different things. And stating otherwise is meaningless in the absence of logical justification – no matter how many quotes you find to agree with your definition. “that's why you'd fail 5th Grade General Science” More meaningless ridicule. If they are teaching improper definitions, I should be glad to fail. With regards to your definition of “Supernatural”. Super means above or beyond, and so supernatural refers to reality beyond the natural. However you are defining supernatural to mean anything which does not extantly exist in nature – i.e anything which is not natural. That is not how entities are defined. We define entities by what they are, not by what they are not. Atheists commonly use this strategy to define their belief as a non-belief – for the purpose of not having to give an account of their position (i.e. as an allegedly non-position). Supernatural claims are claims about reality beyond nature. Conceptualizations and abstractions bare no necessary relationship to reality. In most cases they are intentional deflections from reality for the purpose of analogy. So I recognise a distinction, in logic and use, between supernatural and conception. “You're confusing "The Medium" (Nature) with "The Information"” I’m not “confusing” anything. The information exists, there in the DNA, as much as words in a book. That the meaning of the information is independent of the medium doesn’t negate its existence in/upon the medium. “Information only exists as a Consequent of Intelligent Agency... My Entire Point.” I believe that to be true. But I can’t state to a certainty (without faith) that there is no possible scenario in which an information system could formulate through a particular convergence of random events. Such absolute, universal confidence is beyond my capacity to justify ; given that I only have finite access to reality.
  7. Hey Enoch, “It deserved every word. And Ridicule is a type of Ad Hom Fallacy, i.e., it's substituted in place of arguing the point of your claim. But I argued your point in detail, which renders your appeal here "Baseless"... a Fallacy.” The fallacy of ridicule is not diminished by ancillary rational argument – no matter how much you think a comment deserves it. The ridicule itself remains a departure from rational discussion, regardless of the context. “SUPPORT your claim that Abiogenesis is 'Technically' a Hypothesis” Abiogenesis meets the definition of hypothesis because it hypothesises that life on earth arose from abiotic conditions. If someone hypothesises something, they have formed/stated an hypothesis. Abiogenesis therefore qualifies as an hypothesis. “Huh??This is what you said....: Tristen: "Abiogenesis hypothesises that life on earth arose through a convergence of naturalistic events. It is a poorly supported hypothesis, but it does technically qualify as an hypothesis." So your appeal is Non-Sequitur Fallacy” Actually, what I first said was “What do you mean?” – indicating to any fair-mind person that I didn’t fully understand what you were asking. So accusing me of fallacy here is unnecessarily persnickety. “It wasn't a Similar Question, you didn't ask me to post the Formal Scientific Hypothesis; so how on Earth can it be similar?” I would never ask you to post a “Formal Scientific” anything because I know that there is no great bastion of “Formal Scientific” holdings – and so such a question has no significance - which your response to my question articulated nicely [i.e. “Laws aren't based on "Acceptance" (Nothing in "Science" is”]. I asked you the origin of your proposed law, so I could get a better handle on its prevalence and acceptance, not to challenge you (i.e. not the way you use such questions). “"YOU" made the claim that it was "Scientific"...” No I didn’t. I claimed it to be an hypothesis. You read “scientific” into that word. I don’t see the definitions as different regardless. But if we are operating on the premise that “scientific” only applies to the Scientific Method, then we are not having a “scientific” discussion – and so it belies logical consistency to request a “scientific” version of my points. So given the above premise, I am more than happy to concede that hypotheses and theories concerning past events aren’t “scientific” (though I personally find the distinction meaningless). “Huh?? "The independent variable is the core of the experiment and …” Yes, as I stated, identification of these variables is meaningless for a claim about the past. But if we could perform experiments in the past, the variables would be as I described. But we can’t, so what are you gonna do? Requests for these variables therefore add nothing to our discussion. “Well I wanted to make sure we're not Equivocating because the Colloquial Definitions of these terms are Light Years different than the "Scientific" Context..” I’m not equivocating because I only recognise single definitions of these terms. “Theory -- : abstract thought : speculation . a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory” This is one of the more nonsensical definitions of theory I have come across to-date. Theory doesn’t mean any of these things in any legitimate context. A theory can be speculative, but it does not mean “speculation”. Likewise a theory can stem from “abstract thought”, but theory does not mean “abstract thought”. “"Scientific Hypothesis - a special kind of *PREDICTION* that forecasts how the *INDEPENDENT VARIABLE* will affect the Dependent variable."” I actually don’t have much of a problem with this definition; as applied to operational science. Hypotheses more generally just propose causal relationships. “"A *model * is used for situations when it is known that the hypothesis has a *LIMITATION ON IT'S VALIDITY*." ” I think your understanding of the use of models in science is limited. Though I agree that models of the past have particular logical limitations. “Impossible is NOT an Exaggeration” Unless you are omniscient God, and know every possible outcome of every possible permutation of circumstance throughout the expanse of the physical universe, then “impossible” is an exaggeration – every time – regardless of whether or not I can produce a refuting reference. “it is ABSOLUTE that Inanimate Matter cannot create Information because the sine qua non of Information is Sentience and Intelligence” You haven’t justified the “absolute” nature of this premise.
  8. Hi again Enoch, “Abiogenesis NEVER was and NEVER will be a Scientific Hypothesis!” I have addressed in another discussion your propensity to conjoin “Scientific” to terms in an attempt to undermine their legitimacy – so I won’t dwell unduly on that here – at least until you’ve had the opportunity to respond. [ https://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/206492-a-question-about-science/?do=findComment&comment=2567020 ] “And to be quite frank and forgive me, but... R-Ya-Kiddin Me ?? 'Technically' it's a feebly contrived (and executed) fairytale.” I’m not sure what you think this kind of comment adds to the conversation. I know you know enough about fallacy to know that ridicule is a fallacy. “Please SUPPORT your Claim...” What do you mean? The definition I provided is self-evident. But abiogenesis not my claim, so I am not obligated to justify it. “Post the Formal Scientific Hypothesis...?” So I asked you a similar question in another conversation regarding your claim of a Law – and your response was, “I'm the Origin. Laws aren't based on "Acceptance" (Nothing in "Science" is)...it's based on Empirical Evidence”. So you are aware, at least on some level, that there is no “formal” hypothesis-reporting mechanism in the scientific method. But since we are dealing with a past claim (that life arose from inorganic conditions) which cannot be validated by strict adherence to the scientific method, BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS, this is not a scientific discussion. So requesting a “Scientific” hypothesis is inconsistent. “Identify the Independent and Dependent Variables for us...?” The independent variables are undirected nature and sentient design. The dependent variable is life. But since we cannot perform experiments in the past, identification these is meaningless. “do "actual" Scientific Hypotheses exist in perpetuity or await more 'data'...?” I’m not sure how you think the subjective caveats “actual” and “scientific” change the definition of hypothesis. A normal, everyday hypothesis does not need any subsequent, supporting data to exist (apart from the initial observations upon which it is formulated). Though without subsequent supporting data, it remains untested speculation. “1. 'Models' are Pseudo-Science.” According to your standards, models of the past aren’t any kind of science. But modelling is the only way we can investigate the past – since we don’t have direct access to observations of the past. It is not as logically robust as the strict scientific method, but the scientific method can’t be applied to such investigations. “2. How bout the Argument of: Where'd you get "Functional" DNA, RNA, or Protein (30 mer) Naturally/Spontaneously from their respective building blocks outside living cells/organisms ?? (Answer: It's Physically/Chemically Impossible) … How Did Stupid Atoms Write Their Own Software....?” These are strong arguments for intelligent design. “Impossible” is an exaggeration – i.e. absolutist terminology expressing confidence beyond what can be justified by the finite limitations of the human experience. “It's beyond me why most of this is even entertained much less discussed” The world is desperate to justify rejection of God and His gospel.
  9. Hi Enoch, So I’m trying to understand what you think is the significance of labeling things “scientific” or not. We have discussed the “science” label in previous conversations. I understand where you are coming from; that when investigating historical claims, we have to depart from the strict scientific method. I am therefore, for the sake of consistency and not getting distracted, happy to assume your position that historical investigations are not “scientific”. But then subsequent claims that theories and hypotheses are not “scientific” are entirely irrelevant to our discussion. I didn’t claim that anyone scientifically theorised or scientifically hypothesised anything. I do not subscribe to the populist idea that these terms mean something different in a scientific context. Labeling them “scientific” only speaks to the context of these terms, not their fundamental definitions – i.e. assuming your definition of “scientific”, whether or not they are used within the scientific method. So to me, the strategy comes across as Special Pleading, or maybe a form of True Scotsman (i.e. it may be a theory, but it’s not a “scientific theory”). I do not define theory (scientific or otherwise) as a “validated hypothesis”. I consider that definition to be logically (and unnecessarily) redundant. Hypotheses speak to the ‘what’; as in what do we expect to observe as the result of these experimental conditions? Raw hypotheses are speculative and predictive. When investigating historical claims, the logic of hypotheses changes slightly to ‘what did happen’, as opposed to ‘what will happen’. Theories speak to the ‘why’ and ‘how’; i.e. the underlying mechanisms we think will produce the hypothesised results. The only difference between the general and scientific use of theory is that within a scientific context, the theoretical is juxtaposed against empirical, rather than the practical. “1. "Science" doesn't use anything, it's merely a Method: The Scientific Method. 2. Show the Mathematics Step in the Scientific Method...?” The “Scientific Method” merely provides a logical framework for investigation. Mathematics is used to interpret experimental results – most often to statistically distinguish between treatments (including control treatments). “You left out my definitions for Nature, Natural, and Supernatural. By definition, Information is Supernatural” I don’t have much of an issue with your definition of nature – though I find it somewhat restrictive. I would add to your definition ‘anything resulting from that matter and energy’. And so I would lean towards defining abstract conceptions as natural as well. I disagree with your definition of “supernatural” - as essentially ‘everything that is not natural’. Supernatural defines reality beyond the natural; i.e. superseding natural boundaries/limitations. Furthermore, I find it logically specious to define something by what it is not. “Information is Supernatural...along with: time, thoughts, math, logic” And by that logic, the “Concept” of “Natural Selection” also qualifies as supernatural. “Information doesn't exist in Nature, it's only created by Intelligent Agents” Information does “exist in nature”. Information carried by DNA is the very fact we are discussing. The origin of that information is the potential point of contention – not its existence. “I'm the Origin. Laws aren't based on "Acceptance" (Nothing in "Science" is)...it's based on Empirical Evidence” The only reason you would invoke this “Law” (that information stems exclusively from sentient intelligence) is as evidence of our Designer God to someone questioning His existence. You claim it to be “Law” based on the ubiquitous, yet finite observation that all information-generation has its origins in intelligent design. But someone approaching the issue from a secular perspective may interpret DNA itself as an exception to that rule (because they, by faith, presuppose a purely naturalistic reality). So my “sophisticated” argument is designed to bring a consensus of terms to the discussion. If the premise is not accepted, then the argument built on that premise will hold little weight of influence. To justify your claim of “Law”, you have to first separate biotic nature, from abiotic nature, from observed sentient design. “Post the Alternative Hypothesis and VALIDATE by Experiment...? Which will then Falsify/Reject the NULL Hypothesis... This is "SCIENCE"!!!” So the point of contention is the origin of information in living systems; either by undirected nature or intelligent design. Both claims are claims about the past. By your definition, we are not having a scientific discussion at all; so neither claim is “scientific”. But since no historic claim can be validated through the scientific method, are we then forbidden from investigating or discussing these issues at all? “Well you have a BIG Problem cause that's the sine qua non of the Null Hypothesis. And yes, it is ABSOLUTE that Inanimate Matter cannot create Information because the sine qua non of Information is Sentience and Intelligence” Your response here indicates that you see me as arguing for the opposing position. I’m not. I am simply arguing that our language reflect the finite limitations of our reality. Otherwise we are exaggerating. Only our omniscient God can know things absolutely. We can claim with complete legitimacy that information has only ever been observed to arise from “Sentience and Intelligence”, and therefore we conclude that the information in nature is also a consequence of “Sentience and Intelligence”, but your above framing is an exaggeration – not taking into account the limitations of our finite experience. “in "Science"...we deal with what we "Do Know" not fairytale speculations concerning what we opine that we "Don't Know"” But “what we "Do Know"”, i.e. ‘can know’, is logically limited by our finite perspective. Thinking about what “we "Don't Know"” is what drives scientific investigation. But either way, this is not a “scientific” discussion according to your own rules. “what do you mean exactly by, "The Universe"” I mean the physical, or natural, reality created by God. That is, including earth and all of the cosmos. “It's a Begging The Question (Fallacy): Where'd you get Genes, Naturally/Spontaneously?” I’m not sure why taking someone through permutations, and applying that conceptionally to genetic information is Begging the Question. Investigating the most likely explanation for the origin of the genes is the whole point of the exercise. Information exists in permutations. Demonstrating that, even in an ideal context, the odds are incomprehensibly, massively against the random generation of even the simplest information, would, in my opinion, be a convincing argument against the random generation of biological information – especially considering the complexity and size of biological information. “I see where you're going but you're attempting to disprove Humpty Dumpty's Wall, when Humpty Dumpty never existed” But if I’m going to discuss “Humpty Dumpty's Wall” with people who believe in “Humpty Dumpty”, then I can’t just assume my own premise. I have to justify it to them without exaggeration – if I want them to take me seriously.
  10. Hey Enoch, “The 'Theory of evolution' does not and has never existed” My argument was to discourage the unthoughtful use of the term “evolution”. However, there is a defined General Theory of Evolution – which is essentially Common Ancestry. In the absence of knowledge regarding discreet genes, Darwin theorised that Natural Selection determined which ‘natural changes’ persist in a population. Current ‘evolutionists’ theorise that additional, novel genes arise through mutations. I think this idea runs counter to observation, but I don’t think I can discount them as qualifying for the term “theory”. I’m not exactly sure why I’d want to pursue that path of argument – i.e. what is the intended goal/outcome/purpose of this statement? “Mathematics isn't "Science"” Science uses mathematics to quantify confidence. “you continue to Equivocate Blind "Faith" with Biblical "Faith"” Not sure what you mean here. I do not consider Christian faith to be “Blind” in any respect. “it logically follows, that the "Supernatural" is Immaterial... completely lacking Matter/Energy, Right ?? ... Norbert Wiener Professor Mathematics MIT... “Information is information, neither *MATTER* nor *ENERGY*.”” I think the existence of information in nature is a fact representing very strong evidence of a Rational Creator. I haven’t thought about information as supernatural before. I’ll continue to think about it, but for now, I would place information in the category of abstract, rather than supernatural – like mathematics. “Scientific Law: Information/"CODE"/Software is ONLY ever ever ever CAUSED by Intelligent Agency, Without Exception!” With regards to the “Scientific Law” pertaining to the origin of information, I’m don't know the origin of this “Law”, or how broadly it is accepted as “scientific Law”. In trying to be objective, it seems to me that acceptance of this “Law” is dependent upon one’s own faith paradigm. For example, if I was a secularist/atheist/materialist etc., I might point to DNA as evidence that information can arise naturally. I think more sophisticated arguments need to be developed. I would, for example, start by defining three treatments for comparison; 1) life, 2) abiotic nature and 3) known design (i.e. incorporating the existence of information and its source, but also complexity, function, symmetry, order etc. – factors that differentiate design from abiotic nature). I would then compare the life treatment to the others. I would hypothesise that in every relevant aspect, life would more closely line up alongside design rather than abiotic nature. I would further suggest that life excels design in all these factors – i.e. that natural 'design' excels known design in every aspect. E.g. the efficiency of information storage, error correction, redundancy and meta data incorporated into the genetic code is the envy of every IT engineer. Much of scientific advancement is dedicated to mimicking the efficiency of ‘function and design’ found in living systems. And we haven’t even addressed the capacity for living things to reproduce. “Natural Phenomena Causation CAN NOT create Algorithmic Cybernetic” When we make absolutist statements, we imply that we have knowledge of every possible scenario throughout the universe and through all of time. Such statements therefore excel what can be justified by human experience. We can legitimately point to observations, and the fact that no information has ever been observed to arise spontaneously apart from the intrinsic involvement of a designer. Therefore, the stronger argument supports interpreting the existence of information in living systems as evidence of design. I would further be inclined to take someone through the mathematical concept of permutations, and then take them through the odds of, not just the random existence of a 3 billion base human genome, but the collective permutation of every gene that has ever been described. The numbers would be stupendous, bigger than most calculators could handle. That would demonstrate, without exaggeration, the utter incredulity of just accepting the secular story – no matter how many billions of years they throw at their model. But claiming it to be “impossible” is a bridge of logic too far.
  11. Hi Argosy, You said “their view is worthy of mockery because abiogenesis is widely accepted yet is not even at hypothesis stage” Ridicule or “mockery” is an irrational tool of those who can’t formulate rational arguments. It belays fair consideration of the opposing argument – probably why it’s such a popular strategy among secularists. Ridicule doesn’t contribute anything of logical substance to a debate. In my experience, ridiculing an opposing position tends to alienate people from the conversation – which makes it incompatible with my goal of revealing Christ to those who don’t know Him. We who are secure in our faith don’t need to resort to such strategies. Abiogenesis hypothesises that life on earth arose through a convergence of naturalistic events. It is a poorly supported hypothesis, but it does technically qualify as an hypothesis. “Panspermia” is another poorly supported hypothesis. Both of these rely primarily on speculation and just-so storytelling. Facts supporting both are very ‘thin on the ground’. “At least creationism has an hypothesis that is not disproven” Since “disproven” is absolutist, “not disproven” represents the weakest of standards. There are many strong arguments supporting the Biblical model of reality; including your example regarding the direction of observed genetic changes. All observed natural changes to genes (including beneficial changes) have resulted from a loss or destruction of genetic information. That is consistent with God creating a “very good” world, but with subsequent corruption infiltrating the genome as a consequence of human sin. “on the balance of logic, we do not have the upper hand merely on a faith basis” That was not my claim. In terms of parsimony, I consider the facts to be far more consistent with the Biblical model of reality, than with the secular model. However the nature of the inquiry (i.e. historical) means that faith is logically required by both sides to attribute confidence to past claims. Christians generally understand this. I find secularists to be often offended by this, even though it is a requirement of logic (and secularists like to consider themselves to be the exclusive bastions of logic and reason). And so I agree that “empirically creation is at a huge advantage”. I would be cautious about interpreting the so-called ‘Cambrian explosion’ as an indication of creation. It is better characterised as a weakness of Common Ancestry (preferring slow change over long ages), rather than a strength of creationism. I understand the instinct to interpret ‘sudden appearance’ as evidence of a creation event, but the standard creationist position is that the fossil record is an artifact of the Biblical flood.
  12. Hi Argosy, You said “it's [presumably evolution] as logical as saying a unicorn flew past earth and life formed from a flea that fell off him. Disprove that! haha” That’s why I propose that “disprove” is inappropriately absolutist for the OPs claim. Likewise “impossible”. - Though your unicorn scenario is rationally inconsistent with itself – i.e. life existed in the flea and unicorn before it formed from the flea. Even as a Biblical creationist, I think Common Ancestry can be weakly supported by facts and logic. I consider the facts and logic to be far more consistent with Biblical creation. But that, of itself, doesn’t render Common Ancestry irrational. What I do find irrational in this debate, is the propensity of secularists to overstate mathematical confidence in Common Ancestry, as though it is the only valid perspective. That degree of confidence cannot be justified or sustained, by either fact or logic. We Christians recognise that a degree of faith is required to uphold our preferred position. The secular community is generally less self-aware that their position also requires at-least as much faith. I didn’t mention “abiogenesis”. Abiogenesis is also inherently weak (as far as arguments go); being utterly bereft of observational support. However Biogenesis is a natural law – based in ubiquitous observation. That life has only ever been observed to form from life is a strong argument for an initial Life-Giver whose existence is not founded in, or bound by, the natural universe. That is eminently consistent with Biblical creation.
  13. Hi JM, So before I start, I want to point out that I am a Biblical, young-earth creationist. But I don’t think you have justified the conclusions in your argument. Firstly, when you use absolutist terminology like “disprove”, you are claiming an absolute truth – which is beyond the scope of human experience. You are claiming to have demonstrated your position beyond all possible doubt – utterly beyond question. We are finite creatures. Only God has access to ultimate truth – and we agree with Him by faith. I consider life’s complexity to be one of the strongest arguments for an intelligent Designer, but the existence of complexity in life doesn’t “disprove” anything. An intelligent designer could, for example, have directed an evolutionary process. I don’t believe that’s how it happened, but the point is that the existence of complexity in life doesn’t logically undermine the possibility of “evolution”. But then, what do you mean by “evolution”? I, as a creationist, have no real issue with Natural Selection, or speciation, or mutations or most of the other things commonly labelled “evolution”. None of these are necessarily inconsistent with the Genesis account of history. However, Common Ancestry and its required long ages do contradict the Bible. The word “evolution” is too easily equivocated for my liking. I prefer people to use more precise language when dealing with this issue – to avoid such unnecessary equivocation. You said “in order for any life to exist it must be able to reproduce”, yet many individuals live without reproducing, or are incapable of reproducing. So the capacity to reproduce cannot be essential to the definition of life. The observed fact that all life is derived from life (the natural law of biogenesis) is a very strong argument that life doesn’t arise naturally from inorganic conditions. But we cannot say its “impossible” without access to all the knowledge in all of reality (i.e. omniscience). Your assertion here is not supported. We can point to the mathematical incredulities involved in the formulation of information, translating the right amino acids in the right order, folded in the right conformation to make a beneficially functional protein – then multiply those odds by every different kind of functional protein in all life, which happens to be on a planet just the right distance from its star to provide for water in its liquid phase, on a planet full of water, with a magnetic field to protect DNA from degradation by solar radiation, in a pocket of the solar system protected from cosmic rays. Or you can point to the most complex human machine, then point out the stupendously more complex biological systems – making it more likely that a space shuttle, for example, would form naturally, than the simplest of living cells. But we can’t logically claim something to be “impossible” without claiming to know everything. Perhaps, ‘not possible given our current knowledge’. If we are going to be “rational”, we have to acknowledge the logical limits of our perspective.
  14. Hi Butterfly, When applied legitimately, science is supposed to be objective; as in, it doesn’t “support” any position. It simply applies mathematical confidence to claims based on natural observations. It doesn’t speak to ultimate truth – and that is by logical design. Legitimate science encourages its adherents to be skeptical of every claim, no matter how well supported (a process called critical reasoning). Since science necessarily involves humans, there are several subjective aspects of the scientific process; namely presupposition and interpretation. As Christians, we presuppose by faith, the Biblical model of reality. Therefore we prefer interpretations of the facts/observations which are consistent with that model. Likewise, those who presuppose by faith a secular (a.k.a. atheistic/materialistic/naturalistic) model of reality will prefer interpretations of the very same facts, but which are consistent with their preferred model of reality. There is no logical provision in either Christianity or science for ‘ignoring’ anything. It is a simple matter that humans have personal biases and agendas – which lead us to prefer the story that best suits our existing assumptions. That doesn’t mean we can’t consider alternative positions. But science itself is not designed to ‘take sides’. Unfortunately, there are people across the spectrum of belief who misuse the concept of science to imply that it exclusively supports their side of the argument, often claiming that it somehow renders the other side to be impossible. In reality, such absolute claims are beyond the scope of scientific inquiry. The strict scientific method can only legitimately attribute confidence to current natural phenomena. So it is debatable as to whether claims about the past or supernatural can be legitimately called “scientific” at all. Logically speaking, we cannot go back in time to perform experiments or make observations in the past. Neither can we make natural observations of the supernatural. A logical departure from the scientific method is required to attribute any confidence to such claims. In my experience, Christians are more inclined than secularists to recognise the role of faith in such investigations. Attributing “scientific” confidence to such claims commits the logical fallacy called Affirming the Consequent. The scientific process itself relies on faith; e.g. faith that observation itself (the fundamental currency of science) can be trusted. Consider that our perception of reality could well be being manipulated by some super alien race, like in The Matrix movie, or we could be hallucinating – so trust in observation is a faith position. Science also relies on faith in a rationally ordered universe, such that the laws of space and time are stable and consistent throughout the universe – which means we can expect consistent results from experimentation. Otherwise experiments would be meaningless. Regarding “evolution” – the term is used equivocally. I am a young-earth, Biblical creationist. I have no issue with many of the concepts that are labelled “evolution”; i.e. Natural Selection, speciation, genetic mutations etc. None of these concepts are logically inconsistent with what the Bible teaches. However I contest Common Ancestry and its required time frames. The phrase “evidence of evolution” can be referring to evidence of Natural Selection – which is meaningless to this debate. The problem is that many listening may hear “evidence of Common Ancestry”. So I encourage use of more specific language to avoid equivocation. So “evolution is a lie” is too broad a statement. Furthermore, I think we can be secure enough in our faith not to attribute nefarious motivations to the opposing position. I don’t think advocates of Common Ancestry are intentionally trying to deceive us – or even that their position is irrational. It is my personal opinion that Biblical creationists have a far stronger argument (based on the facts and logic) – so we don’t need to be emotively reactive to the secular position. Sincere people will hear our position, and those who have permitted themselves to become blinded by secular bias will not. God is still on His throne.
  15. I got 36 out of 40 - though like you suggested, there were many false dichotomies were I was not comfortable with the wording of either option. Oddly - I don't have a category. Too high for a conservative, too low for a fundamentalist. I consider myself a fundamentalist in the sense that I adhere to the fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith (i.e. the Divine Authority of the Bible, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the Eternal Deity of Christ, the Vicarious Sacrifice of Christ, the Bodily Resurrection of Christ etc.). Regarding "religious fundamentalism as harmful to society and as a form of mental disturbance" is unjustified ideological bias. It's a matter of people's non-Christian faith presupposition informing their position against Christianity - which is nothing new. It is most evident in the scientific community, so extending this trend to the social science disciplines is to be expected. It further consistent with the Biblical model of reality - predicting that the world will become increasingly anti-Christian. According to the Bible, the world is "under the sway of the wicked one" (1 Jn 5:19) and perceives Christianity as "aroma of death leading to death" (2 Cor 2:15-16). The world hates Jesus because His existence testifies to its moral corruption (Jn 7:7). The world hates Christians because we are Jesus' representatives on earth (Jn 15:18-23). Peter also warned that Christians would be reproached for the name of Christ (1 Pet 4:12-16) Also, it was pretty obvious to any Bible student which option would put you in which category. They could have just asked me if I believed the Bible is God's word and therefore its claims should be accepted as truth in their own context (including supernatural claims - which are rationally consistent with the premise of a supernatural Creator God).