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Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4491
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 21 2011,19:58   

Over at Martin Cothran's blog, he's going on again about Judge Jones and claimed contradictions concerning falsifiability.

After asking whether Martin was using falsifiability as Popper defined it, he basically punted, saying that what Judge Jones said had to be related to Popper by inference.

This was my response to that:

Quote

Martin, earlier you wrote:

"""
Jones argues that Intelligent Design does not meet this criterion because it is not falsifiable. He then turns right around and argues that it is false. If it's not false, then it is falsifiable, and if it is not falsifiable, then it cannot be false. But he just goes on hoping that no one will notice the blatant contradiction in his argument.
"""

If you are going to ding Jones for relying on Popper, something even you stipulate has to be inferred, then the statement above is simply wrong. A claim that is a "restricted existential statement" can be demonstrated to be false, even though modus tollens won't figure in how that is done. In other words, a claim can fail to be classed as falsifiable vis Popper, but still be demonstrably false.

On the other hand, it looks to me to be equivocation if you are using the "general" connotation of simply being testable in some way. Jones refers to particular claims made by IDC advocates as being shown to be false, but your forceful statement quoted above relies upon there being no such distinction between "intelligent design" as such and instances of claims made in furtherance of "intelligent design".

Is there a particular reason that you've chosen to infer things about Judge Jones' decision that put it in a maximally unfavorable light, when you do acknowledge that the inference thus made is not secure?


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

    
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