Thursday, August 28, 2014

Historical and Interpretive Science Garbled at EvC as usual

UPDATE. A gaggle of EvCers has "answered" this. Wow, speaking of galloping misconceptions. Full-blown Wonderland. All I did was try to correct some strange ways they were misconstruing what I'd said, straightforward enough stuff they could just have conceded, I would have thought, but off they go with another whole raft of accusations. I didn't get to any of the meatier issues in this post, and the earlier post wasn't finished anyway, but that doesn't stop them from accusing me of avoiding them.

I'm SO glad I'm not posting there any more and I think since they are answering me at a distance the best policy would be just to let this blog cool off for a while before I post here again, since the whole point of leaving was to stop the abuse. Unbelievable.

Amazing, unbelievable, funny-sad. They're even accusing me of not having the guts to continue posting over there, after I posted there this last time for well over two years. Of course they continue misrepresenting my position (Taq does a bang-up job of that), but trying to answer all that again would just prolong the nonsense that is the reason I left._

Original Post.

So over at EvC they are supposedly answering my post below, which tempts me to go there and try to straighten out their usual strange misconceptions. But I know from experience that will only multiply the misconceptions and get us deep into Alice's rabbit hole in short order.

Some idea that I'm saying you can't do science inductively? But I'm not. That conclusions arrived at inductively can be dismissed out of hand? But I'm saying no such thing. I'm going by what everyone agrees with about inductive reasoning, including Wikipedia from which I quoted, that it can't lead to certainty but is good for hypothesis formation. Of course you do science inductively when that's all that's possible, which is the case with sciences that are trying to reconstruct the prehistoric, or as I like to refer to it, unwitnessed, past. The point is only that it can't lead to the more solid conclusions you get with the hard sciences, which have the benefit of multiple witnesses, and you end up with interpretations that can't be tested, leaving the conclusion far more open to alternative probabilities and plausibilities than ever happens with the testable sciences.

Also some idea I'm saying inductive reasoning isn't a part of all sciences? Where did I say that? We're talking about testing major theory here, or at least I am. For the Theory of Evolution you have a web of interpretations, for the Old Earth, including radiometric dating, you also have a web of interpretations, a network of Plausibilities.* If that's all you've got that's all you've got. I'm not saying it's not science, I'm saying that it's so far from conclusive that it's open to question at every point.

Also some idea that I exempt creationist attempts to understand the past, argue that creationists can test the past but old earthers can't? But I don't. That I think there's more certainty in the Flood explanation for the phenomena that Old Earthers explain in terms of long ages is true, of course, but not because our methods are different. In fact I thought I'd said it quite frequently over there that when it comes to trying to explain the unwitnessed past we're all in the same boat: it's a contest of plausibilities. I think theirs are ridiculous, and the Flood nicely explains what they need complicated Rube-Goldberg style risings and fallings of land and sea to explain, but it isn't because there's anything intrinsically more reliable about the methods available to creationists. It's just that since it's all a web of interpretations of the evidence and nothing can be definitively proved, my argument is that the creationist interpretations are more plausible.


*Web of interpretations, network of plausibilities

The whole point of this line of argument is to make the case that these theories about the past which are often treated as if they were established Fact, simply aren't and should never be spoken of in such definite terms, which only serves to mystify and deceive the public.

Me, I laugh when I read the typical presentation of information about some natural phenomenon, when such and such a creature evolved for instance, or encounter one of those helpful signs at some natural wonder that tells me in such certain terms that it was formed such and such millions of years ago. But people who don't have a clue about this debate just swallow it whole.

They don't know that the Theory of Evolution is nothing but a heap of speculations treated as Fact, about what the fossils mean particularly, but also based on the unwarranted assumption that the variation we see within Species can continue indefinitely from Species to Species. (Over and over they fail to take into account that you lose genetic potentials or information with every selection event, which is OBVIOUS, PEOPLE!) And the Old Earth rests on such things as an interpretation of how angular unconformities form -- it can only be interpretation or speculation, plausible perhaps but far far from certain, because nobody has ever seen one form -- and leads to bizarre ideas about what life forms lived on this planet in some supposed era in the distant past, from its supposed animal and plant life to its supposed climate, all concocted/interpreted from a slab of rock and the dead things contained in it. Even that the absence of some fossils that had been present in the previous layer of rock means that there was a great extinction event between those eras, when really, folks, if all those slabs of rock are nothing but the sedimentary layering brought about by the Flood, all they are doing is making up a Fairy Tale. The Emperor's New Clothes. But boy do they defend it as if it WERE actually proved.

Later: Feel I must add that there are specific isolated issues that can be proven, such as, for instance, that you can tell from a given cross section that all the strata were laid down before tectonic or other disturbance occurred.

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