RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

    
  Topic: Waterloo In Dover, Take 2< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4465
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2005,06:43   

Quote

Comment #50920

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on October 4, 2005 01:03 PM (e) (s)

Edward J. Larson, author of several books on the history of evolution and creationism, will be on NPR’s Fresh Air program today. He will probably discuss the trial in a historical context.


Quote

Comment #50921

Posted by caerbannog on October 4, 2005 01:38 PM (e) (s)


I’m having trouble reconciling this and similar statements with what I think Kuhn said about the structure of scientific revolutions, and also knowing that the hypothesis that peptic ulcers could be treated with antibiotics was initially rejected out of hand by a broad consensus of scientists.

Maybe someone can help, I’m probably missing a qualitative distinction….

Did Marshall and Warren react to initial scientific skepticism by avoiding further interactions with the scientific community in favor of pitching their ideas to local churches and school-boards?

Once you’ve answered that question, the qualitative distinction you are looking for will jump right out at you.


Quote

Comment #50926

Posted by ben on October 4, 2005 02:34 PM (e) (s)

New hypotheses should initially be looked at somewhat dismissively. Anyone can formulate a hypothesis (for instance, that the diversity of life could only have been created by intelligent means), and plenty of people do. But scientific revolutions aren’t about hypotheses, they’re about theories. You only have a theory when you have not just hypothesizing that something might be true, but have also demonstrated that your idea explains the vast majority of the available evidence and suggests further research programs which hold the potential to extend or falsify the theory.

To your example, when it was suggested that antibiotics would cure ulcers, the constructive response from scientists wasn’t, “great, thanks for solving that problem”; it was “prove it.”


Quote

Comment #50927

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 4, 2005 02:41 PM (e) (s)

   Gerard Harbison wrote:

   The Discovery Institute claims today that 85 ‘scientists’ have signed an amicus brief in the Dover trial in support of the contention “that protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge.” Looks like the usual suspects (Skell, Carlson).

   http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.ph……

   Maybe time to get an amicus brief from 500 scientists called Steve?

Huh? That is pretty odd in several ways.

No one is challenging the freedom to pursue scientific evidence, just pointing out that ID creationists have failed to pursue, or failed to catch such evidence. The current debate is over science education in the public high schools.

Finding evidence to support an argument from ignorance is difficult indeed.

Any scientist who wishes to pursue such evidence can undoubtedly find adequate funding from the Discovery Institute and other such apologetics foundations.

The link you provided lists only two paragraphs of the brief, not the whole thing. There is no link to the entire text.

The link you provided does not list all 85 names nor provide a link to a list. The claim is made that signees are “professional scientists”, although this cannot be independently verified without the list. The only 3 names of scientists listed are Phil Skell, Lyle H. Jensen and Dr. Russell W. Carlson.

“All Amici agree that courts should decline to rule on the scientific validity of theories which are the subject of vigorous scientific debate.” - Irrelevant to the current situation.


Quote

Comment #50929

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 4, 2005 02:51 PM (e) (s)

   Ken Willis wrote:

   Ed Brayton favorably quotes Bruce Gordon on when a new scientific theory is entitled to respectful debate:

   “….the theory has been prematurely drawn into discussions of public science education where it has no business making an appearance without broad recognition from the scientific community that it is making a worthwhile contribution to our understanding of the natural world.”

   I’m having trouble reconciling this and similar statements with what I think Kuhn said about the structure of scientific revolutions, and also knowing that the hypothesis that peptic ulcers could be treated with antibiotics was initially rejected out of hand by a broad consensus of scientists.

   Maybe someone can help, I’m probably missing a qualitative distinction. If I were the judge in Kittsmiller I would want to understand this better.

If you were the judge in the case, you would probably do a better job spelling Kitzmiller.

To help clear up your other trouble I have highlighted a phrase for you. Of course I don’t know “what you think Kuhn said”. Maybe you think he said that scientific revolutions happen in the science classes of public schools.


Quote

Comment #50932

Posted by Mike on October 4, 2005 03:16 PM (e) (s)

“A group of scientists has filed a brief asking the court not to rule on the question of what is and is not legitimate science because they fear it will violate academic freedom and inhibit future research. This is the standard line coming from the Discovery Institute and Ed Brayton debunks it here.”

In the discussion at the Ed Brayton link they mention this was filed amicus. Has this been, in any way, challenged yet? And do the plaintiffs intend to challenge it? It’s fine for Brayton to give an argument debunking this idea on his blog, but it may be seen as credible with the court if it is not explicitly challenged in that venue. And that could be very bad because, due to the nature of the IDers wedge strategy, ID’s scientific status (op lack thereof) is very much the matter at issue here, both philosophically and legally. Would we really want them to prevail because the court believes it cannot rule on the scientific status of ID? Imagine what could happen on a huge array of issues (from *any* theory taught in science classes to public safety, consumer fraud, etc) if they succeed in establishing a precedent that a court is never allowed to rule based on what is legitimate or is not considered legitimate science. Science and scientific expertise, of any and every stripe, would be rendered totally useless legally as a means of judging the truth or probability of factual claims relevant to any issue. This brief is simply a silly argument.


Quote

Comment #50933

Posted by Mike on October 4, 2005 03:16 PM (e) (s)

“A group of scientists has filed a brief asking the court not to rule on the question of what is and is not legitimate science because they fear it will violate academic freedom and inhibit future research. This is the standard line coming from the Discovery Institute and Ed Brayton debunks it here.”

In the discussion at the Ed Brayton link they mention this was filed amicus. Has this been, in any way, challenged yet? And do the plaintiffs intend to challenge it? It’s fine for Brayton to give an argument debunking this idea on his blog, but it may be seen as credible with the court if it is not explicitly challenged in that venue. And that could be very bad because, due to the nature of the IDers wedge strategy, ID’s scientific status (op lack thereof) is very much the matter at issue here, both philosophically and legally. Would we really want them to prevail because the court believes it cannot rule on the scientific status of ID? Imagine what could happen on a huge array of issues (from *any* theory taught in science classes to public safety, consumer fraud, etc) if they succeed in establishing a precedent that a court is never allowed to rule based on what is legitimate or is not considered legitimate science. Science and scientific expertise, of any and every stripe, would be rendered totally useless legally as a means of judging the truth or probability of factual claims relevant to any issue. This brief is simply a silly argument.


Quote

Comment #50936

Posted by Mike on October 4, 2005 03:22 PM (e) (s)

Sorry about the double post above. I’m not used to posting here and I hit “Post” twice because it seemed to be taking too long.


Quote

Comment #50946

Posted by Ken Willis on October 4, 2005 05:15 PM (e) (s)

   Bayesian Buffoon wrote:

   If you were the judge in the case, you would probably do a better job spelling Kitzmiller.

You should be grateful. I gave you a chance to show what an ####### you are.

   caerbannog wrote:

   Did Marshall and Warren react to initial scientific skepticism by avoiding further interactions with the scientific community in favor of pitching their ideas to local churches and school-boards?

   Once you’ve answered that question, the qualitative distinction you are looking for will jump right out at you.

The question goes to the lack of consensus among scientists and what evidentiary value that has, not whether the proponent of a new theory should keep trying to make his case.

   ban wrote:

   To your example, when it was suggested that antibiotics would cure ulcers, the constructive response from scientists wasn’t, “great, thanks for solving that problem”; it was “prove it.”

The response was more like “you’re nuts.”

Well, thanks but my question is still not answered.


Quote

Comment #50950

Posted by darwinfinch on October 4, 2005 05:48 PM (e) (s)

I’m not even a scientist, Ken, but I’ll answer your question right after you answer a few of mine. You clearly know everything about everything, or at least have an opinion (which undoubtedly as the same low value of that which such pedestrian opinions as yours are scatologically, but in your case quite literally, compared.) Ahem…

— If God exists, and is male, how big and of what substance is his “willy” and what does he do with it?

— If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?

and, of course,

— When did you stop beating your wife?

I offer these challenges in the same spirit (being willfully uninterested in any answers you can make) which you have offered yours, although with considerably more forthrightness and intelligence snort!> than a mean little idiot puffed-up poseur like yourself could ever manifest.
I thank you.


Quote

Comment #50956

Posted by ben on October 4, 2005 06:46 PM (e) (s)

A consensus of scientists responded to the hypothesis “ulcers are caused by bacteria” by saying “that’s nuts,” and were proven wrong.

Therefore, we should teach, as science, in science class, anything scientists think is nuts? Or—let me guess—we should teach just the one pet idea (ID, which doesn’t come close to being a theory) that you would like to see taught as science?

Let’s open the door to more scientific revolutions by screwing around with the definition of science until it doesn’t work anymore.


Quote

Comment #50957

Posted by ben on October 4, 2005 06:50 PM (e) (s)

Also, you didn’t ask a question.


Quote

Comment #50964

Posted by Logicman on October 4, 2005 09:19 PM (e) (s)

This is a very funny article concerning the Dover trial:

http://ydr.com/story/doverbiology/87427/


Quote

Comment #50965

Posted by vhutchison on October 4, 2005 09:50 PM (e) (s)

Isn’t it very unlikely that the judge would at this time entertain an amicus brief?

There is an online petition at

http://shovelbums.org

that has 10,765 signatures of scientists against ID with a description of how the list will be checked and used - mainly for media purposes.


Quote

Comment #50968

Posted by Ken Willis on October 4, 2005 10:12 PM (e) (s)

Hmmmm…….Guess there are no adults here at the moment. But Ben, I did ask a question. I was sincere about it at the time, but that was because I thought there were actually some here who could answer it.

It seems to me that a consensus or a lack of consensus may not be relevant evidence of anything. To be relevant a fact must make another fact more likely. I am asking whether a lack of consensus of scientists is relevant evidence that a new theory is good science, bad science, or science at all. It appears to me that since the consensus of scientists is often dead wrong, it just doesn’t mean anything, and therefore should not be admissible evidence in court.

But Ben, I am not asking you or the bayesian buffoon or any of the other nimrods that seem to lurking here at the moment. I pose the question only in the slight chance that a real scientist with a somewhat social personality happens to drop in and feel like giving an honest answer.

I have no idea what the judge in Kitzmiller [buffoon, please check my spelling] will do but won’t you all feel foolish if there is a ruling to that effect in this case? Actually, I guess that time has already passed since there has already been testimony that IDC is not generally accepted in the scientific community. But, pardon me I know this is over your heads, but Daubert replaced the former Frye test under which expert testimony had to first be shown to be based upon theories that were “generally accepted” in the scientific community.

The “general acceptance” standard of Frye was viewed by many as unduly restrictive, because it sometimes operated to bar testimony based on intellectually credible but somewhat novel scientific approaches. In Daubert, the Supreme Court held that the Frye test had been superseded by the adoption, in 1973, of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. That rule does not even mention “general acceptance,” but simply provides: “If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.”

So courts now recognize that general acceptance is not required to admit expert testimony. Daubert will let in testimony that might have been excluded under Frye. So isn’t that saying that general acceptance, i.e., the consensus of scientists is not relevant to the qualification of an expert or to whether his opinion is admissible? Yes, and by the same logic, a lack of consensus of scientists should not be relevant to prove that a new theory or a novel scientific approach is or is not science.

I don’t think ID is science and I don’t want it taught in schools, but so what? I ask a serious question; I welcome correction if I am wrong; I know that I may be. But all I found here was a bunch of snot-nosed jerks with a computer.

What does Scientific American think this is such a great website? Have they ever been here?


Quote

Comment #50970

Posted by roger Tang on October 4, 2005 10:37 PM (e) (s)

Guess there are no adults here at the moment.

That applies to yourself even more so.

By the way, your converse does not necessarily hold true; saying that general acceptance is not necessary does not mean that it is not relevant.


Quote

Comment #50972

Posted by roger Tang on October 4, 2005 10:40 PM (e) (s)

Also, the statement “a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise” certainly would have to refer to some sort of acceptance of expertise, which does, in fact, refer an accumulated body of knowledge in order to determine that is IS expert…which leads back to some sort of general acceptance of expertise.


Quote

Comment #50991

Posted by Edin Najetovic on October 5, 2005 05:34 AM (e) (s)

To Ken Willis: You waved off the answer of one of the earliest replies to your question as if that was totally irrelevant. In fact, it is not and I do not see what you achieve in just dismissing it as you did.

The big difference between ID and the discovery of the bacteria that cause ulcers really boils down to this: ID is not attempting to make an empirically founded basis to their theories instead choosing to try to get their ideas taught in science class. This would be skipping a few steps and trying to get recognition for something as ‘science’ that has not yet showed itself to be scientifically testable, a most deplorable state of affairs for a supposedly scientific theory.

On the other hand, the researchers who recently had their breakthrough did actual research and not rhetorics. They got their ideas into testable theories and when they weres still laughed off they tested them (on) themselves. They persevered in the face of great opposition and succeeded in the end by the virtue of only their research. None of their actions involved first trying to get their untested ideas into science books or the like.

Of course, this only shows what the difference in aims of the two parties are: Marshall and Warren were trying to come up with explanations for a phenomenon they thought was not explained satisfactorily for no other purpose than the knowledge itself. On the other hand, the ID theorists are working for no other purpose than getting their territories into the classroom (the exact motive I leave unadressed but should be pretty obvious), the method is not deemed relevant as should be self-evident by the nature of the ‘theory’ of ID as it is today.

This is still not a refutation of ‘what Kuhn said’ (you were vague on this as someone else pointed out, what specifically did you mean?) that both are paradigm shifts. Still, despite all this ID is not an attack on the scientific paradigm. ID would be a paradigm shift in that it is not science and a very different approach to explaining the world by other means than science. The problem is, it tries very hard to be science for strategic purposes (which I just established are more important to them than knowledge driven ones). In that, it loses all its value. It tries to be something it can never be by the inherent nature of its theory. If it abandons the label ‘science’ and then tries to be taught in school (not as science but something vague and meaningless like “explanations of the world”) it could be an attack on the paradigm of science as a whole. How valuable ID would then be as opposed to similar school subjects like religion or philosophy is debatable but not relevant to this particular point.

ID does not try to do this however and falls short internally and can therefore not be seen as a valid attack on anything, let alone evolution. This is not to say that it did not make interesting points in the beginning -IC was an interesting concept for the 3 seconds that it lasted- but it is totally irrelevant as a theory as has been showed many times.

I feel also that I must apologise for the rather juvenile attacks on you by some other members of this discussion. They easily see red nowadays because they are simply tired, I assume, due to incessant claims of ID people. They easily see red these days ;)


Quote

Comment #50995

Posted by Edin Najetovic on October 5, 2005 05:48 AM (e) (s)

Also, legal courts are irrelevant to science. They are very relevant where educational policy is concerned but science should not be concerned with the going ons in court.

In fact, the reason why science is empirically based is that a consensus based on the senses can be adhered by all because everyone can see hear or otherwise detect the evidence as opposed to making bold claims that you have no other way to test than to believe, no valid consensus could ever arise from such claims (examples: ID, Religion etc.). So in essence, science is a way of building a consensus over the workings of the world. That this consensus has applications is something scientists usually don’t really care too much about, but have to research anyway to get their commissions ;) Never forget that ‘knowledge’ that science hopes to build up is based on general agreement on a framework of theories. It is true that this agreement is founded on natural arguments which are the same to every one, but it is still agreement.


Quote

Comment #51021

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 5, 2005 09:08 AM (e) (s)

   Ken Willis wrote:

   You should be grateful. I gave you a chance to show what an ####### you are.

I bow to your superiority in this regard.

   Hmmmm…….Guess there are no adults here at the moment….
   What does Scientific American think this is such a great website? Have they ever been here?

Apparently they checked it out before you put in an appearance.


Quote

Comment #51029

Posted by whatever on October 5, 2005 09:52 AM (e) (s)

From the MSNBC article
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9492208/

“‘This case is about free inquiry in education, not about a religious agenda,’ said Patrick Gillen of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., in his opening statement. The center, which lobbies for what it sees as the religious freedom of Christians, is defending the school district.”

Since when does free inquiry rule out discussion about the origin of life, which the Dover statement explicitly rules out? Why is discussion about the origin of life blocked in Dover schools, if not for religious sensitivity?


--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
  11 replies since Oct. 10 2005,06:41 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

    


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]