Joined: Sep. 2006
|Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 06 2010,15:12)|
|To add insult the injury, these bloggers, after failing to provide their own definitions, refuse to accept the perfectly reasonable and clearly written definitions of their adversaries on the grounds that the ID formulations prematurely smuggle in the preferred conclusion. This is beyond ridiculous. A definition cannot smuggle in a conclusion because a definition is not an argument; it is linguistic description of a concept.|
Stephen, for Chrissakes, we've been THROUGH this vis your definition of "natural":
|Diffaxial: I don’t share your fondness for arriving at conclusions that are inserted into your reasoning “by definition” at the outset – more philosophy by dictionary. The above simply reduces to “by definition…intelligence cannot be natural.”|
StephenB: It should be obvious that if ID defines “natural” as law and chance, and if it defines agency as something else, then agency cannot be natural under that definition. The very first step in establishing any kind of rational discussion is to define one’s terms precisely. This may be the first time in history that one group of thinkers [ID scientists ] explained exactly they mean by their terms only to have another group of non-thinkers [Darwinists] tell him that they may not do that.
Diffaxial: From the above we extract (momentarily), “ID defines ‘natural’ as law and chance. ID defines agency as something else. Therefore agency cannot be natural.” This reduces tautologically to, “ID defines agency as non-natural”.... Do you really want to say that this is only a definition, and not a claim?
StephenB: It is a definition with respect to a hypothesis, which POSITS that the cause will be non-natural. The whole purpose of the design inference is to reason FROM that which is observed [the natural] TO its cause [intelligence]. By definition that cause would be something different that nature because nature, Darwin style, creates only the illusion of design AFTER the fact, whereas ID posits the reality of design BEFORE the fact.
Diffaxial: IOW, “agency is non-natural” is a claim, something posited or hypothesized by ID. Hence your definitions are not merely definitions but POSITS with considerable content, and to take issue with them is not to object to an attempt to attain terminological precision, but rather to the asserted content of these claims. (BTW, they fall far short of being “operational” definitions, as no operations are anywhere described).
StephenB: It is a precise definition that is both comprehensible and testable.
Diffaxial: Only claims are testable.
Your argument that your “definition” is “testable” makes my point: it is more than a definition. It is a claim. Supporting a claim (”intelligence cannot be natural”) by reciting a definition that includes within it the same claim (”by definition, intelligence cannot be natural”), accomplishes nothing; all you’ve done is repeat your claim.
Diffaxial's last pins down the problem with Stephen's use of his definitions. Supporting a claim (”intelligence cannot be natural”) by reciting a definition that includes within it the same claim (”by definition, intelligence cannot be natural”), accomplishes nothing; all you’ve done is repeat your claim.
Posit: "a statement that is made on the assumption that it will prove to be true."
My emphases above.
Tasty. Linky, please.
"You can establish any “rule” you like if you start with the rule and then interpret the evidence accordingly." - George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984)