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  Topic: Evolution of the horse; a problem for Darwinism?, For Daniel Smith to present his argument< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2007,12:29   

Quote
I have not yet decided what I think really happened in the "history of life" on this planet, but I am convinced of one thing: whatever happened was by design.

What has convinced you of this?

The key difference between science and apologetics is that scientific inquiry begins with the data and moves toward the best explanation, while apologetics begins with an "unshakeable" conclusion and finds data to support it. Cherished notions, "common sense," assumptions and "what everybody knows" are all up for examination in science. It's a human activity, so bias and error naturally occur. But because it is a widely distributed activity and its practitioners insist on transparency of method, its explanations converge, ultimately, toward the best available.

Science, therefore, seeks consilience. Whatever explanation is proposed for a set of observations must not only be the best fit for those data, it must also fit within the framework of all the other observations and conclusions drawn in the field. The data used to support preferred conclusions in apologetics are often "cherry-picked," that is, they only support the foregone answer if we ignore other, contrary, observations in the field.

Finally, when all is said and done, a scientist is allowed to return the answer "we still don't know." Intellectual honesty sometimes compels it, though it is usually deeply unsatisfying to admit ignorance when one has worked hard to explain. There are always unsolved problems, and if there weren't, there would be no need for science.

Given all of this, I will echo Glen: If you won't adopt the scientific attitude toward these questions but are instead going to stick to your pre-formed conclusion and labor to keep it "evidence proof," then I don't think there will be much of a meaningful exchange here.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
  1733 replies since Sep. 18 2007,15:27 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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