Joined: Sep. 2007
|Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 19 2008,18:41)|
|Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 19 2008,20:20)|
I'm going to do my level best to understand your objections. You say...
|One does not "falsify" claims regarding the contingent future successes and failures of science. One sees what happens.|
You are saying that a prediction of future events is not subject to the rigors of today's science - correct? I can see that. So let's just say that I concede the point that my claim is not a scientifically falsifiable prediction and it is only a prediction contingent on the future successes and failures of science - a "wait and see what happens" prediction. What then? I'm still making the prediction - whether it's technically "testable" or not. We both agree that I can be proven wrong at any time. I'm actually fine with that. My prediction doesn't have to be "scientific" to be right. If someone had made the non-scientific claim that no one could successfully plot the planetary orbits based on geocentric science, he would have been correct whether his prediction was "scientifically falsifiable" or not.
I really appreciate this post, Daniel.
What then? We need to retrace our steps a bit. This all began with my assertion that biological origins cannot be investigated scientifically from the stance of supernatural agency because any observation can be reconciled with that hypothesis. Hence, while your God theory of origins may be true, it cannot come under the purview of empirical science.
Your assertion that your claim that biology will never solve a problem of origins (because all complex systems originate with God) is "falsifiable" (by the discovery of a natural explanation for such origins) was intended to establish that your theory is, in fact, science or scientific due to this putative "falsifiability."
But now you concede that this isn't so, on a "technicality." That technicality, I would add, being that it doesn't conform to the basic epistemological requirements of well-formed questions that can drive empirical science.
And you are right: your claim has a perfectly legitimate non-scientific status. I may claim that the Cubs will never win the world series. While not a scientific claim, it certainly is a meaningful claim that may prove to be false. It may also be true, but we may have to wait until the end of history (or at least until the end of baseball - same thing, in my view) be before we can be certain of that. Your claim has the same status. It may be true, it may be false. It is not a scientific claim, nor is it of any assistance in conducting science.
That is all I've been saying.
|You say that my claim... |
|is neither a scientific claim nor falsifiable by any describable procedure, method, observation, calculation, inference, or conceptual tool in the toolbox of the natural sciences.|
It may not be a "scientific" claim, and it may not be "falsifiable", but the empirical research that is necessary to prove my claim false is being done right now. In fact, that's pretty much the goal of evolutionary science - to articulate how things evolved. So the "procedure, method, observation, calculation, inference, or conceptual tool" used to invalidate my prediction are the very things being used by science right now. Science is actively working to find a solution. Thousands of dollars are being spent, hundreds of scientists are working on the problem, countless papers are being written, it would seem the odds are stacked against my prediction.
My question for you now Bill is: Now that you have succeeded in dismissing my claim on a technicality, will you have the courage to deal with it directly? Or will you be content to ignore it because it's "not scientific"?
I'm happy to deal with it directly: I believe you are already utterly wrong vis your broad claims about origins generally. And I hope you are eventually shown to be wrong vis OOL. I don't necessarily expect that eventuality in my lifetime, however.
|I've already addressed that objection Bill. The detailed account doesn't have to satisfy ME. It has to settle the question for the experts in the field. All of these sources don't, once and for all, settle the question "How did A evolve from B?". They may fill in bits and pieces, but just as often they also falsify previous hypotheses and send scientists "back to the drawing board". They can find as many pieces of the puzzle as they want, I'm predicting they'll never solve it. I'm also predicting that present hypothetical solutions will not pan out but will fall by the wayside based on new evidence. This will leave science in a perpetual state of not knowing how anything actually evolved from point A to point B. You will always, though, be able to point to new discoveries that seem to validate the current theory and add to "the answer" - though the "answer" will never actually arrive.|
I believe you here badly mischaracterize and, apparently, do not understand the current state of biological and evolutionary science. We'll leave it there.
|Maybe chanting would help?|
"Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard, Evotard..."
What, are you like, thirteen?
Sorry about that... I got carried away
Apology accepted. And this from the guy who invented the term "notpology."
As you correctly pointed out (and I stubbornly resisted), my original claim was untestable because it hinged on contingent future events. I can't help but thinking that the reason my original assertion was unscientific and untestable was because of the way I worded it. I said "I propose that the ultimate origins of life on this planet will forever be impossible to fully explain" The "forever... impossible" part is where I goofed. I want to bounce another idea off you - since you have become my foil.
What if I proposed a more watered down version?
"Life is organized in such a way as to preclude a natural origin for any integral system contained therein."
I believe that this may be a scientific claim - since it does not hinge on future events. Also, it is not God, or a supernatural mechanism, that precludes a natural origin - it is the organization itself. So the expectation is that all of life's systems will be organized beyond the capabilities of natural mechanisms and that any attempt to piece together a natural pathway will meet with roadblocks that render such a pathway impassible.
So the way to test this is to attempt to piece together a natural pathway. Any such attempt will put my claim to the test.
I know that this may seem a vain attempt to put lipstick on a pig, and that such a claim does not offer much to science - since it offers no alternative mechanism - but I'd just like to get your input as to the "scientific-ness" of it.
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." Orville Wright
"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." Richard Dawkins