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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 2, general discussion of Dembski's site< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,15:24   

Quote (Jkrebs @ Aug. 02 2008,14:23)
Quidam says,

A mathematical analysis is simply a model.  While models are extremely useful, it is important to remember that they are not the real thing and that if there is a discrepancy between the model and reality, it's unlikely that reality is wrong.

I like this way of saying this, and this is a key flaw of the creationists.  They think that if they have some math - any math - then they must be right, because math is truth!  The idea that maybe their math doesn't apply to the real world doesn't seem to occur to them.

This is so true. I remember once spending days vainly trying to point out to one guy (Jerry Don Bauer, I think his name was) that while there were no mathematical errors in his model of the evolution of a flagellum (which, predictably, "proved" that it couldn't happen), it was not in any way applicable to the real world, due to a host of inappropriate assumptions. His only response was to smugly point out that I couldn't find any errors in his math, therefore he was correct...

Edited to add: Actually, this mode of thinking (whilst antithetical to most sciency types) is probably very easy to maintain for many people. Its the sort of mindset that routinely rationalises away evidence that contradicts one interpretation of the Bible - pick a philosophy, then hold onto it in the face of all else. Its a lot more certain and easier than messy old reality. No doubt when you do it your whole life it becomes pretty natural.

  14997 replies since July 17 2008,19:00 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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