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About Tristen

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  1. Tristen

    Suspicion Against Scientists?

    “This is a gross exaggeration and you know it” Saying “We are the experts. Do what we say because we know what is best for your child” is the direct implication of appealing to expertise rather than rational argument. Obviously, they know well enough not to word it that way – but that's exactly what it means - and that is exactly why people are cautious not to trust those who make such arguments. “ And you think that scientists have not been doing this for years? But sure, stick with your complaint against the use of logical fallacies...” You're not being consistent. I only take issue with the use of logic fallacies. I have no issue with those who support their conclusions with rational arguments. I didn't claim anything about how often scientists do or don't provide arguments. I have absolutely no problem with those who have “been doing this for years”. I only claim that logic fallacies are logically fallacious – for reasons of logic. People seeking information from science deserve arguments and evidence, not fallacy.
  2. Tristen

    Suspicion Against Scientists?

    Appeals to consensus and/or logic are fallacious as a point of simple logic. The whole reason to criticise them is because they logically fail as arguments. It has nothing to do with trust or “Distrust of scientific consensus” - but recognition of the fact that consensus is meaningless in terms of rational support for a position. Regarding vaccines, the scientists should be saying; “Based on these studies, here are the risks associated with your child catching the disease, and based on the research, here are the risks associated with giving your child the vaccine”. It's not 'rocket-surgery'. Given the simple facts, the contrast between these options is clear to sensible parents. And that way, we give parents the information they need to make the best decisions for their own children. The job of science here is to provide that information. But if all we have is scientists saying, “We are the experts. Do what we say because we know what is best for your child”. Firstly, that is not their job, and secondly, it is little wonder that many parents seek answers elsewhere. If the “Quacks” can get their information to the “general populace”, why can't the scientists? So the true danger in this situation lies in scientists appealing to their own sense of self-importance, rather than providing the information parents need to make informed decisions. If there is a danger here, it is in the appeals to consensus/authority.
  3. Tristen

    Suspicion Against Scientists?

    Hi One, Fallacious appeals to consensus is the main reason for the distrust over “climate science and vaccines”. The people who should be representing science are demanding our uncritical trust; berating and denigrating anyone opposing as “science deniers” etc. - when what they should be doing is unemotionally presenting the scientific case. When someone says, “trust us, we are the experts”, all sensible people know to push for more information. Holding back information is suspicious behaviour. Even now, on both of these issues, there are people suggesting that only one side of the debate be heard - so as not to give legitimacy to the other. Rational people know that that is not how debates work. Imagine a court system where only the prosecutors were permitted to make their case. People know intrinsically that is unfair. If their case is so unequivocally strong, then what the “scientific community” should be doing is presenting those ideas in a fair contest. But as it stands, those looking for information are largely encountering two positions; 1) the “trust us, we are scientist” argument, or 2) the anti-climate change/vaccine arguments. That gives the false impression that only the 'anti' position has a case. It's the appeal to fallacy instead of argument that puts the mainstream position on the back foot from the get-go. They loose the argument early by appealing to consensus and expertise, then have to try and claw their way back after the opposing position has had the free opportunity establish confirmation bias in a large portion of the population. No matter what the context, appeals to consensus and/or authority are fallacious. So when the experts go there, people think they are being snowed – and look for information elsewhere. That's where the danger lies.
  4. Tristen

    Suspicion Against Scientists?

    Hey Thomas, The phrase “manipulate data” is very vague. Scientists absolutely manipulate data – that is their job. But you mean manipulate data in a way that misrepresents it. That happens as well. But that's because scientists are people who face a variety of vocational pressures. For example, most modern scientists are in a constant fight for funding. Among those who provide the majority of research funding, there is a known bias towards researchers who have a lot of recently published papers. And so there is a temptation for researchers to fabricate and/or exaggerate their results. Scientists are just people like the rest of us. In most cases, most scientists do the right thing, but others succumb to the temptation to push dodgy papers to bolster their CV. You were right to suggest the issue is about “their daily bread”. I totally agree with you that if someone makes a claim, they should “back up” their claim. That is true for any claim. But the common trust people have for science is, ironically, unscientific. The idea that we should simply trust experts because they are experts is the opposite to critical thinking. To do so is a technical logic fallacy. Scientists are not supposed to be trusted – not because there is anything wrong with them, but because the scientific method make no provision for such trust. Scientists are expected to support their conclusions with evidence and arguments. So I think I find myself opposing both sides. Of course, making an accusation without rational support is, if nothing else, fallacious. But presupposed trust based on expertise is equally erroneous.
  5. Tristen

    A Loving God vs Pain & Suffering

    According to the Biblical premise, God created the universe perfect (including humans). Death and suffering were never part of God's plan. Humans rebelled against God, and thus allowed corruption to enter the universe (including evil, death and suffering). Humans continue to rebel against God and thus continue to allow corruption to increase in the universe. Without human sin, we would not have to deal with evil; no form of corruption would have any place in our universe. Human suffering is therefore the fault of humans, not God. There are two ways for God to deal with human corruption and eradicate suffering; 1 God could remove our free-will, and therefore our capacity to sin (the source of corruption). This would reduce humanity to puppets, or robots following our programming. Our existence would be pointless. 2 God could immediately apply His perfect justice to the universe. The problem with this solution is that perfect justice doesn't 'grade on the curve'. Everyone who is not a Christian would be immediately held accountable for their sins and suffer eternal banishment from the presence of God (Who is the source of all virtue; goodness, love, peace, rest, comfort, joy, hope etc.). God promises one day to restore the universe to it's original, corruption-free state (i.e. the latter of the above strategies); Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. For now He is waiting patiently so that as many people as possible can have the opportunity to receive His offer of salvation. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
  6. Tristen

    The wives of Adam's sons.

    Genesis 5:4 After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters.
  7. Strictly speaking, the Scientific Method cannot be applied to generate confidence about what happened in the distant past. All conclusions about the past suffer the same logical weaknesses (namely, that we cannot make direct observations of the past, nor set up experiments with experimental controls in the past). So no argument about a past claim can logically compel (or obligate) a person to a particular conclusion. So "compelling" is a subjective standard. People tend to be compelled by arguments that reinforce their existing belief structures. So I prefer to think in terms of rational vs irrational arguments. If the facts (adding the "scientific" qualifier is redundant) can be logically reconciled to a claim, then the claim is rational. My claim is that all of the available facts can be logically reconciled with the Biblical young-earth creationist model of reality. As someone who considers the Bible to be God's Word, I find that personally very "compelling" (especially given the multiple human authors, cultures, copies and time-frames over which the Bible was compiled). Even if someone disagrees with me about how "compelling" the argument is, my argument qualifies as rational. Proponents of the secular models commonly claim that only their models are rational - and that young-earth creationists must therefore be anti-science, or ignore facts, or lack understanding, or in some other way be intellectually compromised. So I see my role as demonstrating the rational integrity of the young-earth model; usually by demonstrating a young-earth interpretation of the facts provided by proponents of secular models (in an attempt to justify their claim of exclusive validity). My goal is to demonstrate my claim; that there is no objective reason (from either logic or science) for a Christian to distrust the young-earth interpretation of Genesis. I don't see much point in presenting some random fact, along with its creationist interpretation. I already know there is a secular interpretation of the same fact. In most cases, the fact was originally reported in a secular journal (along with its secular interpretation). I am aware that no matter what argument I provide for a young-earth, as a past claim, no argument can ever obligate a change of mind in the audience. But by challenging confidence in secular models, I can potentially open eyes to the fact that the young-earth creationist position is, by any rationally objective measure, equally valid to the secular position. In that, I hope to convince Christians that they can trust the Bible for what it says, and non-believers that they can consider the reliability of scripture without any fear of intellectual compromise.
  8. Hi One, When speaking to Christians, the strongest argument I have for young-earth creationism is that it is the most straight-forward teaching of scripture. As someone who came to Christianity from a secular upbringing, I was/am unable to reconcile the Genesis account of history with what my secular education taught me about history - at least, not in a way that my conscience could tolerate. In order to conflate the secular model of history with Genesis, I would either have to; a) Find a natural communication gap in Genesis and squeeze billions of years of history into the narrative that doesn't exist, or b) Dismiss large portions of scriptural detail in order to adopt some broad impression of 'what God really means'. In both instances, I feel as though I am making myself an authority over scripture; making it say what I think it should say, rather than seeking the Author's intent. I consider that to be a very dangerous approach to Biblical interpretation. Upon examining the logic behind the secular claims I found, to my surprise, no objective reason to distrust the most straight forward reading of Genesis. The secular conclusions are all reached by assuming the absence of God's involvement in the progress of history (philosophical naturalism). But as a Christian, I am not obligated to that faith premise. I found (and have continued to find) that all of the available facts can be interpreted to be consistent with the young-earth interpretation of Genesis. I also find that it is very difficult to maintain a consistent Christian world-view when Genesis is conformed to the secular narratives. E.g. - In referencing Genesis, the rest of scripture (including both Jesus' words and lineage) interprets Genesis as history. But if Genesis doesn't mean what it seems to say, that would suggest that the authors of scripture were all unaware of the correct meaning of Genesis (which, by extension, cast doubt on the reliability of scripture in general). - Genesis provides the answer for how a corrupt world can stem from a good God (namely, with the corruption introduced by human sin; the misuse of our freewill). Whereas the secular account has corruption existing well before humans existed. In the secular account, life progressed through the amoral system of 'Survival of the Fittest'; whereby the strong dominate and survive at the expense of the weak (which is explicitly contrary to Godly morality). - On a matter of justice, humans are held to account for the corruption due our sin - which would be unjust if the corruption was inherited from a condition prior to our existence. Romans 5 tells us; "12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous." So Genesis also provides the rational foundation for the doctrine of salvation through Christ (the effect of one [historical] man's righteousness juxtaposed against the impact of one [historical] man's sin). - For those who dismiss the creation account as symbolic, I'm not sure where Genesis stops being symbolic and starts being history (and how such a change of interpretative approach is justified). So ultimately, since there is no rational obligation to distrust Genesis as history, we can, without any intellectual compromise, choose to believe the straight forward reading of Genesis - all-the-while maintaining a readily consistent, Biblical world-view. Alternatively, we can unnecessarily try to work secular ideas into Genesis - utilising an inherently dangerous hermeneutical approach, and requiring a largely convoluted world-view.
  9. And I would have no problem with you addressing those arguments as you find them. Then you don't have to be presumptuous at all.
  10. “You think this is a rare argument, but I have read it literally dozens of times in various contexts” And you should, of course, correct the error where you find it – but you didn't find that argument here. The problem with your “preemptive” approach is that it is highly presumptuous; and therefore disrespectful. I know that was not your intent, but you are presuming to know and refute our arguments before we have had a chance to present them. You claim you don't want to see us “mocked”, “attacked” or “slandered” for using this poor argument, but we didn't bring this argument to the conversation. You are the one who brought attention to the silly argument, then presumptuously attributed it to us.
  11. I don't think it's "pointless". Communication is a two-way process. The point of my engagement in this thread is that I don't think you've considered how you might be coming across to those you are talking to. I'm not trying to mess with your mojo. I'm not sure why you'd assume that CMI addressing an issue on this web-page means it has to be "common". The appearance of arguments on this particular CMI page means that they are not representative of the informed creationist position. So my expectation is that the arguments on this page would tend to be obscure, rather than common. There is, for example, a "Moon-Dust" argument on this page - that was presented to me over two decades ago when I first became aware of creationism - but which I haven't come across (apart from this web-page) since that time. There are many arguments on this page that I have never heard from creationists - and would be completely unaware of the existence of such arguments if I hadn't read them on this page. The point of this CMI web-page is to correct error. Whether or not the error is common is irrelevant. I provided another possible motive in a previous post; that is, to correct misrepresentations of creationism by antagonists (i.e. to show explicitly that we don't actually believe what is falsely being claimed by some of our detractors).
  12. You are playing off the whole 'we are all “brothers and sisters”' angle, but in context, you are an old-earth creationist telling young-earth creationists that they should stop using an argument that makes them look silly to outsiders. I'm simply trying to explain that, from our YEC perspective, that is you denigrating our position - a perception amplified by the fact that we don't actually use the argument you are attributing to us. Whether that was your intent is beside the point. In the opening post of this thread you adopted the position of presuming to correct these ignorant "hicks" (@Abdicate's word) of their error. So what we have is someone from an antagonistic viewpoint misrepresenting young-earth creationists as commonly holding to a position that we don't actually believe, then telling us to stop using that argument because it makes us look silly. Surely you can understand why we might find your approach objectionable. But either way, I agree that young-earth creationists should not use the argument; “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” - as does every other moderately informed young-earth creationist.
  13. “You are being overly sensitive.” I’m not being sensitive at all. That's you projecting. I'm just pointing out the fallacious nature of what you are doing in this thread. “The argument is often made, or CMI would not feel the need to address it.” How “often” is the argument made? There are several young-earth creationists participating on this forum who haven’t yet made this supposedly “common” argument you attribute to YEC. I can only ever remember hearing the argument from anti-creationists seeking an opportunity to mock YEC. Obviously, someone has made the argument in the past, and maybe some still do – so it is legitimate for CMI to address it. Another possibility is that CMI addressed this issue to answer a common mischaracterisation by their detractors – i.e. to show that we don’t believe what they often claim we believe. “Have you informed CMI of their disingenuous, strawman fallacy present in the link you provided?” You are failing to consider context. The CMI page is young-earth creationists educating young-earth creationists about which arguments should be avoided and why (i.e. in the event that we come across them through research or engagement with others). It is not a forum responding to a specific question, but a page providing a broad base of information to whoever visits. So on a page entitled "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use ", it is appropriate that they address every misrepresentation of YEC they can think of – regardless of how commonly it occurs in the public sphere. Here on Worthy, you have engaged in arguments against young-earth creationism. Given that context, YEC is the opposing position to your position. Therefore, you pulling a silly argument out of obscurity, labelling it as common to our position, then telling us how silly it makes us look – is a mischaracterisation. You are portraying an opposing position in a negative light – and in a manner that is not representative (at least not representative on this forum). By contrast, CMI is providing information to those sympathetic with their own position – in the off chance that someone has come to an incorrect understanding. CMI are providing information to their own client base. You are providing a Strawman misrepresentation of an opposing position.
  14. “I've not heard this particular argument here, but I have heard worse arguments 😛 There are multiple posters here that believe in a flat earth, for example. It would be silly to pretend that just because I haven't read this argument presented, that no one here could possibly find that argument persuasive.” But ultimately, you are criticising an argument that no one here has presented to you. You are telling us that we shouldn’t use an argument that we already don’t use – because you think that argument makes us look silly to outsiders (even though we don’t actually use that argument). Implying that we look silly because of an argument we don’t actually use is a classic Strawman strategy. “Your opinion on how I should address arguments is noted. However, I will continue to post as I see fit.” Obviously, you can do as you “see fit”. But I didn’t just state my opinion, I provided an argument as to why your strategy is fallacious. You have taken an example of the silliest arguments from an opposing position (which no one here has actually provided), labelled the silly argument as “very common”, and then suggested we stop using that argument (which we are not using) because it’s making the rest of you look bad. If someone actually provided that argument, I would join you in attempting to inform their position. But without such legitimate provocation, raising this issue is a not-so-subtle dig at those who disagree with you. It is a Strawman fallacy. “I think you are missing the point of why I've started addressing these arguments. Those that accept a YEC viewpoint are my brothers and sisters in Christ (with exceptions for those of different faiths) and when poor arguments are made against evolution, it paints ALL Christians in a bad light. For the sake of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I think it is important that Christians avoid arguments that are easy targets for derision. You have the impression that I am speaking against the YEC viewpoint, but I assure you that is not my intent with these threads. My intention is to help individuals that do accept the YEC viewpoint do so in a way that exhibits a maturity of thought and consideration. Tristen, you and many others represent the YEC viewpoint well, but you are outnumbered by those that do not.” I understand your perceived intention, but ultimately, in this context, you are employing a Strawman strategy to claim that an opposing position (YEC) is making Christians look bad.
  15. Hi One, How many times have you heard this argument from young-earth creationists on this forum? With respect, I think you should address arguments as you encounter them. It seems disingenuous that you would find the silliest arguments of an opposing position, label them "common" (as though they are typical), then discourage their use. You are essentially presenting a polite Strawman argument. All philosophies have uninformed people making silly arguments that incorrectly reflect the informed position. All reasonable people have had the experience of wishing someone wasn't on our side - because of the ridiculous, easily refuted arguments they have presented on behalf of our position. Objective people understand that silly arguments from an opposing position are not necessarily representative of everyone holding that position. I would rather young-earth creationists not use silly, uninformed arguments. But anyone believing such arguments to be typical of the opposing position are not objectively participating in the conversation. That's their problem, not mine. Creation Ministries International has a web page devoted to "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use" (https://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use). Informed creationists would be familiar with most of these (being that they have informed themselves about their own position), but others are happy to settle for anecdotal or 'grape-vine' arguments - perhaps focussing their study efforts elsewhere (hopefully). The relevant section of the CMI webpage reads; "“If we evolved from apes, why are there still apes today?” In response to this statement, some evolutionists point out that they don’t believe that we descended from apes, but that apes and humans share a common ancestor. However, the evolutionary paleontologist G.G. Simpson had no time for this “pussyfooting”, as he called it. He said, “In fact, that earlier ancestor would certainly be called an ape or monkey in popular speech by anyone who saw it. Since the terms ape and monkey are defined by popular usage, man’s ancestors were apes or monkeys (or successively both). It is pusillanimous if not dishonest for an informed investigator to say otherwise.” However, the main point against this statement is that many evolutionists believe that a small group of creatures split off from the main group and became reproductively isolated from the main large population, and that most change happened in the small group which can lead to allopatric speciation (a geographically isolated population forming a new species). So there’s nothing in evolutionary theory that requires the main group to become extinct. It’s important to note that allopatric speciation is not the sole property of evolutionists—creationists believe that most human variation occurred after small groups became isolated (but not speciated) at Babel, while Adam and Eve probably had mid-brown skin color. The quoted erroneous statement is analogous to saying ‘If all people groups came from Adam and Eve, then why are mid-brown people still alive today?’ "