Cornelius Hunter writes:
What is evolution? The origin of species by: natural selection, random causes, common descent, gradualism, etc. Right?
Wrong. Too often that is what is taught, but it is false. That’s according to evolutionists themselves. A typical example? See, “The study of evolution is fracturing — and that may be a good thing,” by Lund University biologist Erik Svensson, writing at The Conversation.
Evolutionists themselves can forfeit natural selection, random causes, common descent, etc. How do I know? Because it is in the literature.
So, what is evolution? In other words, what is core to the theory — and not forfeitable? It’s naturalism. Period. That is the only thing required of evolutionary theory. And naturalism is a religious requirement, not a scientific one.
Aside from naturalism, practically anything is fair game: Uncanny convergence, rapid divergence, lineage-specific biology, evolution of evolution, directed mutations, saltationism, unlikely simultaneous mutations, just-so stories, multiverses … the list goes on.
But this is where it gets interesting. Because if you have two theories, you don’t have one theory. In other words, you have a multitude of contradictory theories. And you have heated debates because nothing seems to fit the data. In science, that is not a good sign. But it is exactly what evolutionists have had — for over a century now.
There is no such thing as a settled theory of evolution. On that point, textbook orthodoxy is simply false.Evolution News
105 Replies to “At Evolution News: There Is No Settled “Theory of Evolution””
There is no validated theory of Evolution!!!!
This is a great time for ID to make the distinction between genetics and Evolution. The only thing scientists can say about that is they’re right.
Everybody agrees on genetics. Evolution is all over the lot. ID can take the stance that maybe a valid theory will arise. But it’s obvious it’s not here now.
Aside: ID could even adopt the Galapagos finch as their mascot since it is a symbol of lack of Evolution.
Let’s go Finches
Heh. It’s fun to ask a Darwinist how long it takes for Darwin’s finches to “evolve” between thick beaks and thin ones. The answer? A single generation. This is entirely due to stored epigenetic code that controls gene expression.
It’s also interesting to try to imagine how epigenetic code could have “evolved.”
Another problem is that the mechanism of random mutation (followed by natural selection, of course) is the weakest and least likely source of genetic variation known so far. The other, more effective mechanisms currently known are transposition, horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, symbiogenesis, and genome duplication.
From the same article…
… or engineering analogies.
Seversky at 3,
Living things contain clearly engineered systems.
Thanks for the info on finches’ beaks… i wasn’t aware of the fact, that their beak size can change in only 1 generation. I looked up the paper, they called it ‘instAnt evolution’. Of course, reserchers surprised again ….
Just another example how Darwinists misrepresented the reality ….
Obviously, species are designed to adjust some of their features anytime they want to …. It is funny to see, that their beaks changed the very same moment scientists were looking at them ….
For the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, Stanford held a week long conference of invited speakers on evolutionary biology.
Two of the invited speakers were Peter and Rosemary Grant. They destroyed Darwinian Evolution during their talk while all there applauded and oohed and aahed as they spoke. They said that it took 32 million years to get a new finch species. They then repeated it near the end.
None of the attendees realized that natural Evolution by Darwinian methods just dissolved before their eyes.
The beak changes were due to epigenetics.
Let’s Go Finches.
Thanks for the link. I especially enjoyed this quote:
Whoa, yet another surprise! And what about the itty-bitty, teensy-weensy steps over millions of years? Lamarck must be laughing in his grave.
from the quote,
these guys just keep misrepresenting the reality over and over again.
So the competition did it, and not the built-in “adjust-beak-size”-feature, right ?
PS: According to Jerry, Epigenetic did it …. yes, but first you have to explain, why the beak size can change in the first place … what triggers that instant change – the look at a bigger seed ? Are there any sensors in finches’ beaks, e.g. the seed is hard to crack -> increase the beak size ?
Querius, Jerry …
i went to Youtube and i looked up a Peter and Rosemary Grant’s presentation on Darwin’s finches.
I haven’t watch it yet, but i will later today.
From the video description:
in this case, now we can say, that Darwinism is a fake news … because Darwinists need those millions of years, otherwise, Darwinism does not make any sense …
another quote from the video description:
How is this Darwinian ? You get the right beak-size-change mutation every time you need it ?
It just confirms what i wrote above … there must be some (designed) sensor(s) in finches’ beaks that triggers the instant beak size change/adjustment (over and over again and whenever it is needed).
Here is the video presentation
Cornelius Hunter has another article up at ENV:
Here’s a more complete version of the Grants presentation. It’s much longer. The above video looks like a different presentation at some other event.
Start at hour ten minutes in and then listen for genetic incompatibility a few minutes later. In other words all the so called species of finches can mate and have healthy offspring.
The definition of species is fluid depending on whatever’s needed to look good at the moment.
Let’s Go Finches
Moreover, aside from the scientific evidence itself directly contradicting the ‘religion of naturalism’ at every turn, assuming Atheistic Naturalism, i.e. ‘methodological naturalism’, as a starting philosophical presupposition in science, actually drives science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure instead of providing a useful heuristic for science in illuminating a deeper, and truer, understanding of reality,
Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly, and falsely, believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.
It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.
Moreover, far from science being dependent on naturalistic presuppositions, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.
As Robert C. Koons noted,
“Lamarck must be laughing in his grave.”
Poor old Stephen J Gould, too.
What exactly is “textbook orthodoxy?” If you actually read the article by Erik Svensson, you get a much different picture than suggested by the OP. Instead of being on the precipice of disaster per the OP, Svensson sees evolution as a thriving debate among biologists with much work left to do from many specialties in biology. As best as I can tell, ID isn’t in danger of being seated at the table in the foreseeable future. And to borrow a quote from Svensson, that’s a good thing…………..
Martin_r @9 and Jerry @11,
Thanks for the links. I’ve queued up the longer, more-complete one.
Thanks for the link to the Cornelius Hunter article.
Yes, the progression from “here’s how evolution could have progressed” to “this proves that evolution musta taken this path” by cherry picking and misinterpreting data to produce a body of orthodoxy, resulting in a science fantasy embraced by anyone who wants to become or remain employed in academia.
ChuckDarwin just endorsed ID.
Has this debate produced anything? Remember the objective is finding naturalized Evolution. Not necessarily supporting a failed hypothesis such as Darwinian Evolution. Will both be failures.
Sounds of Silence. ChuckDarwin confirms.
Chuck, remember your assignment. You’re supposed to mock ID not endorse it.
Thank you anyway Chuck!!!
Let’s Go Finches
Indeed. What’s funny is how many of the Darwinian explanations are presented with a Lamarckian perspective, and evolution is even somewhat personified.
Jerry @ 16,
Gosh, imagine that! And to think that Darwinian evolution was once elevated to the level of “Fact”! The science was supposedly settled.
But now there’s debate? Much work left to do? I’m shocked, shocked! LOL
Darwinism is science fantasy that’s finally collapsing under its own weight of speculation, wishful thinking, and complete baloney.
Artist: This is a painting of a cow eating grass.
Observer: Where’s the grass?
Artist: The cow has eaten it.
Observer: Where’s the cow?
Artist: After eating the grass, the cow has left to find more grass.
Visa commercial of artist. Posted a few times before.
Artist’s canvas is evolutionary biology evidence for natural Evolution.
Remember, Evolution did it’s “heavy lifting” millions and millions of years ago, so we’re sorry we can’t provide evidence from back then, and we’re sorry we can’t say Creature A evolved from Creature B, because there was never a Creature A or Creature B and still isn’t, and it’s not our fault that Natural Selection doesn’t select anything, and that anything that ever is obviously designed couldn’t possibly be designed because we remove design a priori from anything and everything that could be discussed.
Andrew at 20,
And there you have it: claims without evidence.
“Hey! We found this fossil in a rock!”
Yeah, so? When did it change from Creature A to Creature B?
“When did it change from Creature A to Creature B?”
Millions and Trillions of Billions of years ago… unless, you ask us about Creature A or B, then there’s no such thing as either one. Tails we win, Heads we win, and Tails evolving into Heads we win, and vice versa.
Andrew at 22,
You mean the teenie, weenie, unobserved gradual changes gives you Creature B?
“You mean the teenie, weenie, unobserved gradual changes gives you Creature B?”
Yes. The Precursors. Can you imagine how many of them there were? Evolution must be true.
Andrew at 24,
🙂 🙂 🙂
New post up from Dr. Hunter,,
Ba77 at 26,
A very important finding. I’m glad the epi in epigenetics has been explained. I read the technical literature, and while I understand the scientific terms need to be precise, for average readers it needs to be broken down into plain English to speed comprehension. When science becomes more accessible, and easier to understand, for the layman, it improves retention.
As a creationist, I got a question for our nice Athesit Friends.
I sincerely empathize with how you must feel nowadays, with materialism tanking in the face of the Creationist assendancy caused by 1) Fine Tuning, 2) Orgin of Life, and as pointed out here, the implosion of Evolution. My question is this: Which of these 3 issues has you most depondent?
Myself, when I try to put myself in your shoes, I figure its Origin of Life. For about 160 years theyve been trying to show that life can start without Divine intervention. Matersts have had the Top Gurus, and Nobel Pprize winners, with boatloads of funding, for generations, and nothing nothing to show for it. So all you got today is denial, smokescreens, censorhip, and lame check in the mail BS.
Fellas, did I figure right?
Tammie Lee Haynes: I sincerely empathize with how you must feel nowadays, with materialism tanking in the face of the Creationist assendancy caused by 1) Fine Tuning, 2) Orgin of Life, and as pointed out here, the implosion of Evolution. My question is this: Which of these 3 issues has you most depondent?
Creationist eh? Don’t tell Kairosfocus. I’m guessing the third thing (unnumbered) is the implosion of evolution. I also assume you meant despondent.
None of those three things have me despondent. Unguided evolution is certainly not imploding; you have that opinion because of the sources you spend time with all of which want that to be true. No one knows if it is even possible to ‘fine tune’ the constants of the universe! It’s pretty clear, in fact, that the process of evolution has fine tuned life on Earth to match the conditions on Earth.
The origin of life is certainly a complicated issue but, as work on the issue has only been going on for a relatively short period of time and because we are gaining new analytic methods I can’t imagine throwing in the towel now. Of course, all we will ever be able to do is to provide a plausible path since it’s unlikely we will ever be able to ‘see’ what actually happened billions of years ago.
So, I’d say you got it wrong.
Exactly so. One wouldn’t know it from what Hunter, but Svensson is just discussing the fact that there’s a lively debate between the gene-centric and organism-centric ways of thinking about evolution.
Personally, I agree with Denis Walsh in his Organisms, Agency, and Evolution that organism-centrism is not only the correct view but also a return to what Darwin originally accomplished. To use Lewin and Lewontin’s terms from their “The Organism as Subject and as Object of Evolution“, evolution needs to treat organisms not only as objects of evolutionary processes but also as subjects whose purposive, intentional behavior causes evolution. (Put otherwise, natural selection is not a cause of anything; it is an effect of what tends to happen to populations as a result of what organisms tend to do.)
This debate is a threat to evolution in pretty much the same way that the lively debate between different interpretations of quantum mechanics is a threat to quantum mechanics: which is to say, none at all.
Les chiens aboient. La caravane passe.
JVL: “Unguided evolution is certainly not imploding”,,,
So no ‘real’ scientist who holds to the false doctrine of ‘methodological naturalism’ doubts unguided Darwinian evolution?, i.e. does not doubt that random mutations and natural selection, all by their lonesome, can account for life and all the diversity therein?
So who are all these ‘naturalistic’ scientists who are daring to doubt that unguided Darwinian processes are capable of explaining life and all the diversity therein?,, chopped liver???
so suddenly it is a complicated issue ….
Because i heard so many times from people like Nick Lane, Jack Szostak, Lee Cronin, that life can emerge easily …
As to this claim from atheists, “This debate is a threat to evolution in pretty much the same way that the lively debate between different interpretations of quantum mechanics is a threat to quantum mechanics: which is to say, none at all.”
So, according to this line of ‘reasoning’ from atheists linking Darwinism to quantum mechanics, there is something of an idealist, and/or ‘instrumentalist’, interpretation that is allowed within evolution theory that directly challenges their atheistic/naturalistic worldview?
Contrary to what the atheists here on UD tried to imply by linking Darwinism to quantum theory, ‘some’ interpretations of quantum mechanics directly challenge their atheistic/materialistic/naturalistic worldview. Yet, as Dr. Hunter pointed out in the OP of this very thread, such doubting of ‘atheistic naturalism’ is simply not allowed within evolutionary thinking. i.e. You can doubt anything within evolution theory save for doubting atheistic naturalism itself!
Moreover, far from quantum theory supporting Darwinian atheism, advances in quantum biology have given us evidence for a transcendent component to our being, i.e. a ‘soul’, that is not reducible to the materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution.
you are completely wrong … just look at this ‘humble’ guy, he will explain to you:
Lee Croonin, origin-of-life researcher, TED talk (2011):
????? in just a few hours ?????
JVL, do you copy ? :)))))) it is not a complex issue at all :)))))) NOT AT ALL :))))) IT IS EASY … ONLY A FEW HOURS …
Lee Cronin perfectly illustrates insanity of Darwinists …. They perfectly understand what they are dealing with, but they can’t resist making this absurdly absurd claims …. of course, one reason might be to receive more grand money or to trick their sponsors or brainwash people like Seversky, JVL, Chuck, Alan Fox …. or i don’t know why they enjoy to look stupid ….
“(we’ll have life in) just a few hours, once we’ve set up the right chemistry.”
– Lee Cronin
Yeah, they’ll be selling ‘life in a lab’ toy kits to kids by Christmas. 🙂
Something tells me that Lee Cronin and Charles Darwin are, and were,, (because of their personal preference for atheistic naturalism), living in a chemical fantasy-land of their own making.
i wouldn’t blame Darwin saying something like that … he was just very naive guy … he didn’t have all the 21st-century knowledge, so I can understand his naivety. But these clowns like Croonin, Szostak and Co. know very well what they are dealing with, and in spite of it, they keep misleading lay public that to create life is “trivial….easy…. in a few hours” ….
And yet, these clowns, e.g. Szostak, spent so far 30 years in OOL-research, and the result of is effort is , that he got NOTHING. But he still keep saying, that to create life in lab is very trivial … it is like in some mental hospital …. here is a recent interview with Szostak (2021)
PS: i can’t stand these people … these people aren’t normal …
i have noticed Dr. Hunter’s latest article over at EN.
i like that too:
so beautiful (and true).
Darwinism is a hoax. It always was, but today it is too obvious ….
Bornagain77: So no ‘real’ scientist who holds to the false doctrine of ‘methodological naturalism’ doubts unguided Darwinian evolution?, i.e. does not doubt that random mutations and natural selection, all by their lonesome, can account for life and all the diversity therein?
Actually, if you bothered to keep up with the times, you should know that NO ONE says it’s just down to random mutations and natural selection anymore.
And, by the way, what percentage of working biologists doubt unguided evolutionary theory? Do you know?
The field is not imploding. You can cherry pick bits of speeches where working scientists say: we need to do more work here, or this bit isn’t clear yet. But it doesn’t mean the whole field is imploding. That’s just your fantasy.
Martin_r: you are completely wrong … just look at this ‘humble’ guy, he will explain to you: Lee Croonin, origin-of-life researcher, TED talk (2011)
Well, it should be obvious that Dr Croonin got it wrong. So? People get things wrong all the time. The real work goes on independent of what some cheerleaders and detractors say. Any fool can check that out if they really want to.
JVL, “That’s just your fantasy.”
Well, coming from someone who holds to a worldview that says he is a ‘neuronal illusion’, I consider that ‘fantasy’ remark to be a compliment. 🙂
Tell me JVL, why in blue blazes should I give two spits what a Darwinian ‘illusion’ has to say about reality?
Philosophical proof that “I” exist,
if Dr Croonin (origin-of-life researcher) got it wrong, then what lay people like you, Seversky, Chuck, Alan Fox and other lay public ….
Would you agree, that lay people are being systematically mislead by Darwinian OoL-researchers ?
It is not only Croonin…. i posted a link to recent J. Szostak’s interview from 2021
“People get things wrong all the time.”
Translated: People on Our Side don’t have to be right about any particular item. We’re right even if we’re wrong. If they at some point regurgitate “Unguided Evolution” they are invincible.
The “unguided evolution” types will continue the fight. Even though recent research shows that molecular machines are at work in living tings. That living things are designed. Once the public is clear about this, atheistic materialism will disappear, along with its supporters here, as if it never existed. However, the big problem will become keeping this out of schools. When kids find out someone, not some random “it,” made them, their worldview will change. That is the real reason the evolution supporters are here, to stop this from happening if they can. They can’t and they know it.
Haha! Exactly. Except that the blank canvas represents the “understandable gap in the fossil record over millions and millions of years,” also with the teeny-tiny increments of shades of white, which MUSTA been black to start out with . . .
Science fantasy or “How to make fantasy appear to be scientific despite being repeatedly falsified.”
Dr. Hunter nails it once again. How does switching genes on and off evolve in tiny steps? Similar questions for alternation of generations and metamorphosis.
When you identify as a “creationist” I assume mean that you profess some form of Christianity and take Genesis as a factual, literal description of the origin of the cosmos and life–a young earth creationist.
What makes me despondent (although I think “despondent” is overly dramatic) are efforts by creationists and many intelligent design advocates, to pollute the public-school science curricula with sectarian ideology–in this case, Christian origin myths–by using litigation and legislation to force this ideology into the public schools. You are absolutely free to teach and preach whatever you want in parochial schools or at home. Just steer clear of public education.
I want to be clear on a couple points so that my position is crystalline. First, I have never identified as “atheist” despite the indiscriminate name-calling found on this site. I find atheists just as dogmatic and anti-intellectual as religionists. I am an agnostic by default. Having said that, I am committed to the notion that scientists will progress independent of the myriad “isms” foisted on them by idealogues to ultimately explain nature’s secrets by wholly physical description. Whether it takes 160 years or 160 decades is beside the point. As history has shown us time and again, I believe that ad hoc religious explanations will pale and appear childish when the real answers are found. In the meantime, I choose to embrace the vagaries of existence rather than pushing them away and trembling obsessively over my “eternal” fate…….
Chuck, Chuck this is a no no.
You are supposed to want the kids knowledge to be polluted with nonsense. It is working now so don’t try to stop it by telling them it may take 1600 years to get some truth. They may begin to doubt the propaganda and we cannot have that.
You are right though, we cannot afford evidence and logic to get into the schools.
Q, remember Crick’s religious mantra, no matter what you see in biology, no matter how intricately designed it appears to be, you must repeat to yourself, ad nauseam, “it evolved, it evolved, it evolved,,, it evolved,,,” and keep repeating it, until you, like some shaman, float serenely above the reality of it all, 🙂
CD at 47,
After reading so-called “reviews” of an Intelligent Design book, the main theme and concern was keeping this out of schools. That is also the main concern here.
“… I believe that ad hoc religious explanations will pale and appear childish when the real answers are found. In the meantime, I choose to embrace the vagaries of existence rather than pushing them away and trembling obsessively over my “eternal” fate……”
“In the mid-19th century, Karl Marx wrote that religion is “the opiate of the masses” – disconnecting disadvantaged people from the here and now, and dulling their engagement in progressive politics..”
“Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”
“Christoph Cardinal Schönborn is archbishop of Vienna and general editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
So, the Marxists/Communists here must have their way, all evidence to the contrary. Like Richard Dawkins, they want you to forget about judgment by God and enjoy your life.
Politics is the opiate of the self-proclaimed ‘give us what we want’ “””””progressives””””””.
I tend to agree, except that factors outside of DNA influencing DNA is becoming more obvious, pointing to engineering as a result. I think my opinion is supported by more recent discoveries of significant gen 0, gen 1, and longer-term adaptations.
While the effect is on populations, the mechanism is on an individual scale. That’s why fixing an advantageous trait (I’m thinking of insects on windy islands losing their ability to fly) is surprisingly difficult. As a side note, I don’t know of any instances of de novo traits, although at least one disabled trait could be artificially restored through cross breeding (i.e. not spontaneous):
I don’t know how familiar you are with the debates among theoretical physicists, but the speculations and rationalizations regarding the observed phenomena are fundamental and heated. For example, some prominent theoretical physicists believe that we’re living in an ancestor simulation as one interpretation of experimental evidence (measured to a precision of up to 10 parts per billion).
On the other hand, microevolution of traits (minus any de novo traits) is observed and not disputed, except for the specific means of the genetic changes. However, the extrapolated macroevolution of “coacervates” (haha) into koalas through microevolution has not been observed, merely hypothesized, and I believe falsified numerous times in individual cases.
Unfortunately, I think it’s a tendency among us all. True science requires the self-discipline to navigate through our prejudices based on experimental evidence and logic. What’s wrong is not to recognize or admit to the difference. The best scientists I’ve met were curious, open, and humble. The worst were opinionated and doctrinaire.
But just as Kurt Gödel was able to prove in mathematics/logic that no single system could lead to all truth, the same limitation exists for the scientific method. In other words, there are valid truths unreachable by the scientific method. And that’s okay.
Loved the quote from Crick! It also reminds be of a quote from H.L. Mencken, journalist, satirist, and atheist wit (yes, wit, not twit) when he said,
This is how my quantitative analysis prof paraphrased the quote from the original, which I later located in in The Divine Afflatus (1917) if you want to look it up.
I remind myself of this on many occasions, and often not frequently enough. (smile)
You are probably not going to find more diametrically opposed, hard-core idealogues than Marx and Schönborn. Out there on the fringe. Having said that, the point of your post escapes me……..
CD at 54,
I’ll break it down for you: You’ve got nothing, as in nothing.
No Biology textbook evolution.
An existing and growing body of evidence for Design in living things. Something anyone can investigate for themselves.
You can call the Cardinal any name you want but he, and the Catholic Church, are on solid footing.
“Unfortunately, I think it’s a tendency among us all.”
True. And when the answer to a Big Question hangs in the balance, fear/belief/pride just amplifies… and thus belligerent trolls are spawned.
spoken like a true papist…….
CD at 57,
Watch it buddy, I got contacts with the Spanish Inquisition…
Better watch out, CD, or you could be facing … The Comfy Chair!!
Seversky at 59,
I’m callin’ in the Spanish Inquisition. No need for the Comfy Chair.
From the Wikipedia article about the quotation:
I’m no Marxist but, in this case, I think he had a point.
Of the signatories to that “third way”, I know something of the work by Noble, Jablonka, and Newman. They certainly don’t think that the Modern Synthesis is sufficient to explain evolution, but they also don’t think that evolution was “guided” in the sense that theistic evolutionists and some design theorists do. Noble and Newman have both done fascinating work on an organism-centered approach to evolution, and Jablonka has co-authored an incredible book (Evolution in Four Dimensions on the many different kinds of information transmission beyond genetics in the strict sense.
Marx thought that the priests and pastors of his time used the idea of eternal reward in exchange for earthly suffering in order to prevent people from rebelling against those who exploited and dominated them.
I sometimes wonder if Marx would have been more charitable towards religion if he had had more experience with people of faith who side with the powerless and vulnerable. It’s easy to see Marx’s point when we consider someone like Pat Robertson, but much harder to agree with Marx when we consider someone like Desmond Tutu or Martin Luther King, Jr.
I think that this obscures a very important difference. Gödel proved that any formal language that could express the Peano axioms for arithmetic cannot be complete: it must contain true propositions that cannot be proved using the axioms of that language.
There is nothing comparable in science: we have not shown (and I don’t think could show) that scientific methods necessarily entail that some truths are beyond the scope of scientific methods.
Whether or not there are truths that cannot be verified by scientific means is, of course, an interesting and important question. I don’t mean to suggest otherwise. But I don’t think that one could establish as a scientific fact that there are such truths, which is what would be the analogue in science of what Gödel did for arithmetic.
Seversky at 61,
And what point is that? The grimness of grim reality? In the 1950s, Bishop Fulton Sheen hosted a TV program called Life is Worth Living. I think he had a point.
So, are you asserting that Gödel’s theorems are restricted to Peano Arithmetic? If so, you might want to review section 1.2.2 of the following article:
“Scientific facts” seem to be limited to a subset of measured data. Pretty much all else that we think we know consists of logical or speculative interpretations to varying degrees of likelihood. In quantum mechanics, the illustrious Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder often complains about the surfeit of speculation amid the dearth of data.
In contrast, “truths” presumably transcend mere data and usually include unstated assumptions and context, and are subject to debate. Let me suggest that pretty much everything we generally hold in highest esteem is accessible only poorly, if at all, to science.
PMI “Of the signatories to that “third way”, I know something of the work by Noble, Jablonka, and Newman. They certainly don’t think that the Modern Synthesis is sufficient to explain evolution, but they also don’t think that evolution was “guided” in the sense that theistic evolutionists and some design theorists do.”
You do realize that just confirms the thesis of the OP do you not? i.e. Everything within Darwinian theory is forfeitable save for atheistic naturalism itself.
In other words, evolution, for all practical purposes, can’t be falsified by experimental evidence and is, therefore, not even to be considered a scientific theory.
Of related note:
Off topic, but I can’t resist a reply.
Consider the contrast between the attitudes and perspectives toward Christianity of Karl Marx and Frederick Douglass.
In his 1845 book, Life of an American Slave, Frederick Douglass wrote
And here’s a poem written by Karl Marx:
Would you agree that Karl Marx’s antipathy toward Christianity was more personal than social?
Unguided evolution persists because the marketing campaign for it persists. Including on this site. Kids going to school expect to be told the truth about every subject. That means they want to trust their teachers who, in turn, want to trust the contributors to the textbooks they use. But, in order to control what the masses think, those who prefer them to think a certain way can and will distort the truth and even teach falsehood. For example:
Evolution – nothing made you. The common story being the assumption that given a planet, any planet, once the conditions necessary for life exist, life will appear. This is fiction. There is no factual evidence for this.
Intelligent Design – Someone made you. As more and more information is published about the actual inner workings of living things, it is apparent that blind, unguided evolution had neither the time or “desire” to go in any particular direction.
Anyone else getting a privacy error when clicking on this link?
Nope, not me. I’ve got Malwarebytes operational, which has saved me several times, but no issues with the Stanford website.
No Q, no issues here.
Monte Python–I like it. There used to be a commentor on this site that kept referring to me as the Black Knight from the Holy Grail. I don’t recall who it was, but it was amusing in any event……
Thank you for that suggestion — it does appear that the incompleteness theorems have a wider scope than just the Peano axioms.
I think there’s something to this, but I would phrase it differently, and that difference might matter — or it could just be a semantic quibble.
I quite agree that there all scientific facts are facts of measurement: of rates, duration, distance, energies, etc. So there are no scientific facts about whatever it is that we do not know how to measure. And I agree that much of what matters to us most, in our efforts to live virtuous and satisfactory lives in harmony with others, involves very little that can be objectively measured in that way.
That’s sheer nonsense. Once you realize that Svensson is only referring to the lively debate between gene-centric and organism-centric approaches to evolutionary theory (that’s what all of his links point to, if one actually read them!), it becomes abundantly clear that Hunter is utterly mistaken.
I would not compare one of Douglass’s more mature, wise, and reflective statements with a bit of Marx’s youthful exuberance. I wrote lots of bad poetry when I was 19 years old, too. (Though Douglass was only 27 when he wrote his autobiography!)
Anything else I were to say about Marx would take us even further off-course from our main topic of conversation.
In my limited experience as a college teacher, I would say that students just care about doing well on standardized tests, because everyone tells them that that’s all that matters. They don’t believe what they recite on the tests, and more often than not they don’t even retain it. A few years ago I had a reasonably bright student who knew nothing about the American Revolution. She admitted that she was exposed to the subject in school, took a test on it, did well on the test, and retained absolutely nothing.
“Sheer nonsense”? Really???
Since you are, in effect, saying that atheistic evolution is easily falsifiable, perhaps you can point me to the exact falsification criteria that could potentially falsify one, or both, of the “gene-centric (or the) organism-centric approaches to evolutionary theory”? i.e. Falsify one or both in one fell swoop so as to establish one, or both, of them as being scientific instead of being “metaphysical research programs’?
From my years of debating Darwinian atheists here on UD, it has been my experience thus far that there simply is no empirical evidence that they will ever accept as an empirical falsification of their theory. i.e. thus “Everything within Darwinian theory is forfeitable save for atheistic naturalism itself”,,, that is, as far as I can tell, very much a valid claim.
For instance, here are a few falsifications of Darwinian theory that I have compiled from my years of debating Darwinian atheists. Falsifications that Darwinian atheists simply ignore as if they do not matter to the scientific validity of their, ahem, “theory”,
This is not a good paraphrase of what I was saying. I was saying rather this: Hunter claims that evolutionary theorists are willing to give up anything as long as “atheistic naturalism” remains a doctrinal commitment. And that is sheer nonsense. The debate between gene-centered and organism-centered approaches to evolutionary theory has nothing at all to do with atheism. It’s just apples and oranges. Hunter is utterly confused.
As for Popper and falsificationism: it’s been fairly well dissected amongst philosophers of science that Popper’s philosophy of science is a mistake. There are a few problems with it.
Firstly, Popper comes up with falsification because he sees no solution the problem of induction. And in one sense, he’s right: the problem of induction in the simplest form cannot be solved. But Popper should have read more Peirce. If he had, he would have realized that we need to understand abduction, deduction, and induction as all playing distinct but important roles in reasoning.
(Aside: since Popper thought that induction is a hopeless endeavor, it is a bit odd to see you championing both Popper and Bacon. They are on opposite sides of the question!)
Second, Popper’s conjecture-and-refutation model doesn’t work. For one thing, it doesn’t allow for the seemingly plausible idea that some conjectures are more reasonable than others. For another, it doesn’t allow for the possibility that any conjecture can survive falsification if you add more ad hoc corollaries to the initial conjecture.
Example: If hypothesis H deductively entails observation O1, and we don’t observe O1, just add a corollary H2 to the initial hypothesis. (This is what happened with medieval astronomy and the various epicycles!) Eventually that all became far too cumbersome to use and we know what happened next. But Popper doesn’t allow us to say that what the medieval astronomers were doing was unreasonable or not good science.
So, Popper is not my favorite philosopher of science. I prefer Peirce, and also like Lakatos’s distinction between progressive and regressive research programs.
Nonsense. Truth is a property of sentences: a sentence is true if it corresponds to reality. Sentence are concrete particulars that get their sense from their inferential relationships with each other. Hence truth-as-correspondence is a relation between two systems of concrete particulars: the inferential network of sentences on the one hand, and the causal network of events and processes in the world.
Again, nonsense. The idea that evolutionary theory presupposes teleology (and hence cannot explain it) is a minority view, but it’s gaining ground. (See “Teleology and Its Constitutive Role in Biology</a?") More importantly, teleology is no threat to naturalism. See Organisms, Agency, and Evolution by Walsh, “The Organism as Subject and Object of Evolution” by Levins and Lewontin, or “What Makes Biological Organisation Teleological?“
So PMI, since you have, basically, entirely rejected Popper falsification criteria, (and since you have also failed to give me any falsification criteria by which Darwinism, and/or atheism, can be falsified by empirical observation (and have thus, in principle, rejected the entire scientific method itself), you are, in effect, saying that there is no empirical evidence that can falsify evolution?
Well, golly geee whiz, thanks for agreeing with my overall point that Darwinism simply is not falsifiable by experimental evidence. 🙂
As to epicycles being added to protect a theory from empirical falsification (Lakatos), you do also realize that describes Darwinian atheism to a tee do you not?
You do also realize that Lakatos himself, one of your quote-unquote “favorite philosopher(s) of science”, stated that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” do you not?
So PMI, even Lakatos himself, one of your favorite philosophers of science, was apparently disenchanted with the endless, evidence free, ‘just-so story’ telling of Darwinists.
Moreover, the main reason that Darwinian evolution does not have a scientific ‘hard core’, i.e. the reason that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” (Lakatos), is simply because Darwinian evolution has no mathematical model to test against. As Dr. Robert Marks states “Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. ,,, there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
And the primary reason why nobody has ever been able to build a realistic mathematical model of Darwinian evolution for us to test against is simply because there is no ‘law’ for mathematicians and physicists to ever build a realistic mathematical model upon:
As Ernst Mayr himself conceded, “In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.”
In the following article, Roger Highfield makes much the same observation that Ernst Mayr did and states, ,,, “Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.”
Professor Murray Eden of MIT, in a paper entitled “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory” stated that “the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
Despite Darwinists constantly speaking as if their theory is on par with, say, general relativity and quantum electrodynamics,,,
,,, Despite Darwinists constantly speaking as if their theory is on par with, say, general relativity and quantum electrodynamics, there simply is no physical and/or natural ‘law’ within the known universe that we can possibly measure in laboratory, (and thus provide a foundation for Darwinists to ever build a realistic mathematical model upon),,,
As Brian Miller recently noted, “To fully comprehend the critique, one simply needs to imagine attempting to craft an evolutionary barometer that measures the selection pressure driving one organism to transform into something different (e.g., fish into an amphibian). The fact that no such instrument could be constructed highlights the fictitious nature of such mystical forces”
Moreover, the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, a law with great mathematical explanatory power in science directly, or almost directly, contradicts the primary Darwinian claim that greater and greater levels of functional complexity can easily be had and/or ‘naturally selected’ for over long periods of time. Indeed, entropy’s main claim is that, over long periods of time, everything in the universe will eventually decay into simpler and simpler states until what is termed thermodynamic equilibrium is finally reached.
This, (despite their angry denial to the contrary), is NOT a minor problem for Darwinists. As Eddington himself explained, “if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it to collapse in deepest humiliation.”
And whereas Darwinian evolution has no known ‘law’ to appeal to so as to build a realistic mathematical model, and to establish itself as a proper, testable, ‘hard’ science, Intelligent Design does not suffer from such an embarrassing disconnect from physical reality. In other words, Intelligent Design can appeal directly to ‘the laws of conservation of information’ (Dembski, Marks, etc..) in order to establish itself as a proper, testable, and rigorous ‘hard’ science.
In fact, there is a 10 million dollar prize being offered for the first person who can empirically falsify the theory of Intelligent Design,
The shallow ‘hand waving’ style of PMI’s apologetics for Darwinism goes on when he claims, “Truth is a property of sentences”.,,,
But alas PMI, it is ALWAYS an immaterial mind that judges whether a ‘abstract’ sentence written on a piece of paper may correspond to reality or not, i.e. whether it is true or not. Thus, in reality, the ability to discern what is ‘truth’ is to be considered, first and foremost, a property of an immaterial mind that reads a ‘abstract’ sentence and decides whether that sentence is true or not, and not the property of the ‘abstract’ sentences themselves that are written on paper. (i.e. Moreover, why should mathematical ‘scribbles’ written on a piece of paper in front of me have the audacity to correspond to some truth that is on the other side of the universe? (i.e. the ‘miracle’ of the applicability of mathematics to the universe, Wigner)
BA77 @ 76 & 77 – brilliant. Its amazing to see the detailed references and citations you have at your fingertips.
The idea “Truth is a property of sentences” is absurd and irrational.
You can’t have sentences without truth.
Truth is not a property – it is foundational.
Truth is the means of recognizing “what is”. Something exists. Sentences are a by-product of that.
Anyway, great response.
Yes Silver Asiatic it is, besides being absurd, the height of irony that an evolutionist, of all people, would try to claim that, “Truth is a property of sentences”. For crying out loud, the entire debate between ID and evolution boils down to the fact that unguided Darwinian processes can’t account for the origin of information, i.e. can’t even account for the origin of a simple sentence.
In fact, this short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, (i.e. functional information), and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. William Dembski
Of further note:
As Stephen Meyer has repeatedly noted, every time we find meaningful information, and trace that information to its source, we invariably come to an intelligent mind, an ‘author’, who created that information, not to some unguided material process,,, (or to infinite monkeys banging away on infinite typewriters 🙂 )
Verses and quote
That’s because Lakatos was skeptical that there was any demarcation criterion for ever being able to determine whether a theory counted as “scientific” or not. Nothing to do with Darwinism per se. If you want to argue that evolutionary theory is a degenerating research program, then make your own argument, but to the best of my knowledge, Lakatos did not think that evolutionary theory was an example of a degenerating research program.
So what? Lots of sciences don’t have laws. What are the laws of psychology, or sociology? Heck, I’m suspicious of laws even in physics — have you read Cartwright’s How the Laws of Physics Lie. She argues that laws are just simplifying descriptions of causal regularities. I don’t know enough philosophy of physics to evaluate it, but it doesn’t seem bonkers to me.
More to the point, laws do not explain anything. You need a model of the causal regularities that explains why the laws hold, to the extent that they do. The Boyle-Charles law tells you how to predict the pressure of a gas if you know the volume and temperature, but it doesn’t tell you why those variables are precisely correlated. To do that, you need the kinetic theory of gases. Likewise, the inverse-square law tells you how to calculate the gravitational attraction between two masses, but it doesn’t tell you why that happens — to do that, you need a theory of how mass distorts the geometry of space-time.
So the absence of laws in biology doesn’t bother me — what we need, and what we have, is a causal model of what tends to happen to populations of organisms over time as environmental conditions change.
Immaterial minds have nothing to do with it. I mean, you can insist on it all you want, but insisting on it doesn’t make it true.
I defer to Aquinas: veritas est adaequatio intellect et res. Truth is the correspondence of intellect and reality. To grasp that something exists involves the intellect’s awareness of that existence.
So here’s the question — and it by no means a simple one! — do we think in language? Or do we think in some other medium which we then translate into language when we express our thoughts?
If we always think in language, then our true thoughts are true sentences — even if only said to oneself.
Or consider an example of a nonlinguistic animal. My cats can recognize the sound of the door being opened, or the food can being opened. But would it make sense to say “my cat believed that I wasn’t home, and then realized that I was, and then realized that it had had a false belief?” I’m not sure that cats can have beliefs — let alone false ones — in the absence of a language that allows them to represent themselves as standing or as failing to stand in relation to the world. So while they can have knowledge, it’s not a “justified true belief” kind of knowledge.
PMI, trying to blow smoke for his preferred, ahem, ‘theory’, once again flails about and states, “That’s because Lakatos was skeptical that there was any demarcation criterion for ever being able to determine whether a theory counted as “scientific” or not.”
It is interesting to note that many ‘academic atheists’, and particularly Darwinists, (as PMI is doing now), will often scoff at Popper’s criteria of falsification (since Darwin’s theory has been experimentally falsified time and time again, see post 73), yet Richard Feynman himself, primary founder of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), thought that falsifiability was the ‘key to science’. i.e. “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.”
Shoot, even Einstein himself also held falsification in great esteem
Moreover, if any theories have ever survived repeated attempts at empirical falsification, and came out the other end with flying colors, Feynman’s theory of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) and Einstein’s theories of relativity are those theories.
So tell me PMI, who should I listen to when it comes to the successful practice of modern science? Einstein and Feynman who have actually brought forth two of our most precisely tested theories ever in the history of science?, Or to some ‘armchair academic philosophers’ who are only theorizing about what it might take to make a good scientific theory?
For me, the answer is not even close. For you, well, that is another matter entirely.
Moreover, in regards to having a coherent overarching philosophy/worldview for ‘doing science’ in the first place, atheistic naturalism, i.e. ‘methodological naturalism’, is simply a non-starter as a coherent overarching philosophy/worldview in which to base the practice of modern science.,,, In fact, all of science is dependent on essential Theistic, even Judeo-Christian, presuppositions, not on ‘naturalistic’ presuppositions.
Moreover, casting aside those Judeo-Christian presuppositions, and assuming ‘methodological naturalism’ to be true as the supposed ‘ground rule’ for doing science, as atheists insist we do, (R. Lewontin, etc..), instead of providing a fruitful heuristic for doing science, actually drives science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure,
Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly, and falsely, believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.
It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.
There was a bunch more incoherent nonsense that PMI rambled on about trying to protect his evolutionary worldview, but alas, I only have so much time in the day to deal with such stubborn insanity from evolutionists.
That’s easy. I generally think in concepts and images that I later have to articulate. Here’s a simple example from a conversation with a mathematician.
“Do four non-colinear, non-coplanar points always define a unique sphere?”
I quickly answered “yes,” based on my imagining three non-colinear points (defining a plane), and a single point off that plane. I imagined the three points forming a unique circle on which rested a soap bubble with a point located on the soap bubble. By moving the point in space, I “saw” the soap bubble changing size regardless of where the point went off the plane. I did this immediately and wordlessly. Can you do this, too?
I believe that musicians, artists, athletes, and chess masters also practice their arts wordlessly.
I agree with Silver Asiatic @78 when he states
Philosophically, I’d quote the Wisdom of Lao Tzu that “A dao that may be spoken is not the enduring Dao.”
Along the lines of Bornagain77, Yeshua of Nazareth was quoted as saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He was also described as the incarnation of the Logos (word, message, reason, plan, concept) that was with God and was God from the beginning, which is very deep.
What we typically consider “truth” is by nature a multidimensional abstraction dependent on definition and context.
“Is the sky blue?”
– No, it ranges from black gray to multiple shades of blue to white.
– No, it’s always black on the moon.
– No, it depends on where the observer is located.
– No, it depends on what day in history.
– No, it depends on the color of my sunglasses.
– No, it usually varies depending on where one is looking (horizon, mottled with clouds, etc.)
– It depends on the whether the measured wavelength of the light on a spectrometer is between 450 and 495 nm.
And so on.
Can you imagine blue without thinking of the word, “blue”?
Being good at doing something is different from being good at understanding what it is that you are doing. A point that was first made, I believe, by Plato.
Feynman is famous for having quipped, “philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds”. This overlooks the possibility that ornithology could indeed be quite useful to birds, if they could understand it.
As a matter of historical fact, sure, the scientific revolution in the West was shaped by Christianized Greco-Roman metaphysics. (Amos Funkenstein’s Theology and the Scientific Imagination is very insightful text about this process.) But does it follow that therefore science could not have developed independent of those background assumptions? It seems plausible that something like modern science would have developed in China, even if it never had contact with Western scholars.
In any event, it doesn’t seem at all plausible to me that the intelligibility of a social practice necessarily depends on the cultural background assumptions at the time that social practice was developed. That’s like saying that since capitalism took shape in Protestant societies (as per Max Weber’s thesis), that no Protestant society could ever adopt capitalism. Clearly that’s daft.
This appears to rely on the assumption that a naturalistic philosophy of science is impossible. In fact, a naturalistic philosophy of science was worked out in great detail almost a hundred years ago, by a philosopher named John Dewey.
All of those criticisms are spurious. They rely on outrageously bad misreadings of what the philosophers and scientists are saying. Sorry, but you’ve been duped. I’d explain how and why each of these claims is false, but since you’d dismiss anything else I say as “incoherent nonsense,” I’d rather not waste my energy.
I can imagine the color blue without mentally adding the linguistic tag, “and that’s blue” — but would I see it as blue if I didn’t also the concept of blue? And would I have the concept of blue if I didn’t know how to use the word “blue” (in English), “blau” (in German), etc? If I were a native speaker of Russian and had learned two different words for blue, would that affect my mental imagery?
I guess I’m just baffled by the sheer dismissal at the idea that truth is a property of sentences. When someone asserts “we’re out of milk” and in fact we’re not out of milk, haven’t they said something false? Isn’t it the sentence “we’re out of milk” that’s false, if in fact we’re not out of milk?
It seems odd to me how someone would say that it is “absurd and irrational” to say that the sentence “we’re out of milk” is false, if it’s the case that we’re not out of milk, and that if we were indeed out of milk, then the sentence “we’re out of milk” would be true. This just seems like mere common sense to me, a far cry from “absurd and irrational”.
Among many other false claims, PMI made this false claim, “Truth is a property of sentences”.
Querius replied, “What we typically consider “truth” is by nature a multidimensional abstraction dependent on definition and context.”
And I would add that subjective conscious experience of a ‘truth’ ALWAYS precedes articulation in words, and/or the writing of sentences, of that truth.
Querius used the example of the color blue to illustrate the fact that the ‘truth of blue’ cannot be reduced to mere words, and/or sentences, that describe blue.,, Specifically Querius asked, “Can you imagine blue without thinking of the word, “blue”.
That question leads directly into ‘hard problem of consciousness’. (i.e. qualia)
Specifically, as Frank Jackson made clear in his philosophical argument ‘Mary’s Room’, no amount of scientific and physical examination on Mary’s part, (i.e. no amount of articulation of words on Mary’s part), will ever reveal to Mary exactly what the inner subjective conscious experience, i.e. qualia, of the color blue actually is until Mary actually experiences what the color blue is for herself. (i.e. Mary will never know the ‘truth of blue’ from words alone, but only from experiencing the color blue first hand.)
Clearly, there is something about the color blue, i.e. the ‘truth of blue’, the ‘qualia’ of blue, that simply refuses to ever be reduced to mere words, no matter how many words we may use to describe the color blue to someone else.
In short, the ‘truth of blue’ must be based, first and foremost, in consciousness, in ‘qualia’, and therefore PMI’s claim that “Truth is a property of sentences” is a false claim. “Truth” must be, first and foremost, a property of an immaterial mind, i.e. of ‘qualia’.
Although Darwinian materialists will often claim that consciousness is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Harris, Pinker, Dennett, etc.. etc..), Immaterial mind and/or consciousness, must be primary in any definition of reality we put forth. i.e. In any ‘truth’ that we may wish to articulate in words about reality. As Eugene Wigner explained, “The principal argument (against materialism) is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied.”
And as J.P. Moreland explained, “It is because we, (as souls), have a faculty of (immaterial) mind that we are capable of having concepts, thoughts, beliefs,,, things like that.”,,,
So thus again, ‘truth’ must be, first and foremost, a property of consciousness, i.e. of the immaterial mind, and cannot be a primary ‘property of sentences’ as PMI tried to claim. “Truth” can be represented, and/or spoken, in sentences, but “Truth” can never be completely reduced to sentences. There is something about our ability to perceive, and appreciate, the ‘truth’ of something that forever escapes being completely articulated in words.
I didn’t give just a dismissal of that idea, but rather I explained very briefly that truth is at the foundation of reality. Truth is an indicator of “what is”. Truth indicates what is real. So, truth is aligned with being.
To say that truth is a property of sentences is to say that truth follows after the existence of sentences. A sentence exists, like “we’re out of milk” and a component (property) of that sentence would be (in that view) that it is true or false. In this view, somehow, truth as a concept would exist only if we have sentences.
But we have to take our understanding to a higher level. A sentence cannot exist without the concept of truth. One does not need language to recognize that something exists. We make many immediate choices all day long without using any language. The light is green, we can go. We just see the truth of that while driving. Is that a pothole or just a patch of black on the road? – we see (not speak or verbally think) the truth and move accordingly. Children who cannot form sentences recognize the truth of things against what is false.
So, the reason it is absurd to think that truth follows upon the existence of sentences is that we need the concept of truth in order to even know what a sentence is. Truth is the concept by which we distinguish sentences from non-sentences – it cannot be a property of that which it defines. The truth must exist before any sentences exist.
The first truth is that something exists. Then we are aware of truth by the statement “error exists”.
These are transcendent values. They are not products of material entities.
Truth is the foundation of reason – it’s at the basis of our rational mind.
It starts with the Law of Identity. “Something exists. That is real.” From that first statement we know (without the use of any sentences) “all else is not that thing”.
“We are out of milk”. We know that because the refrigerator is empty. In one glance, we can see there is no milk there. We can see other things “we have eggs, we have salad dressing …”
We need not create sentences to understand the truth of what we see in the fridge. We see and understand.
Yes, that’s right. But the sentence follows after the reality that we observed. We saw the truth and then put it into a sentence. The truth is not a property of the sentence. We knew the truth before we had any sentence at all. From that, we already knew that the idea (even without stating it by a sentence) that we could drink some milk would be false.
First of all, the use of common sense in this case is a good example of the rational intuition we have built into us (thus we are evidence of Design) – so yes, you’re right. What you said is clear. We observe the reality. There’s no milk. That’s the truth. Then, anything that would deny that reality would be false. But putting these concepts into sentences would be a secondary condition. We already knew the truth before we needed the sentence.
BA77 and Querius explained it well.
Yes – the truth exists first. It cannot be the property of sentences. The truth is one of the “universals” – an immaterial concept.
Material things are always specified and individualized. They are particular things. This coffee cup. This electron. This dolphin. This solar system. But universals are not limited to particular things. Like “a triangle”. It’s any three sided geometric shape.
We can see it with great works of art. The painting shows the love between mother and child. We know it is “true to life” but we cannot explain it by words.
That’s where we get our spiritual intuition also.
“truth is a property of sentences”
No truth for young kids? PM1, I submit you aren’t as smart as you think you are.
It seems to be that there is confusion here between two different usages of “truth”.
The first refers to what we assume to be an objective reality that exists beyond our subjective awareness and is not dependent on our perception of it for its continued existence. The nature of that reality is what we call truth.
The second usage refers to the verbal theories, hypotheses, accounts, narratives, etc, we construct to describe and explain what we perceive of that reality. Truth here refers to the extent to which those claims are observed to correspond to what they purport to describe and/or explain. In this context truth can clearly be a property of sentences.
1: I would refer to propositions that may be expressed in sentences or other similar representations, ponder say a hurricane warning flag.
2: I suggest, that we can have accurate perceptions and non verbal thoughts or even feelings and dispositions but such can be generally reduced to description languages at least in key part . . . say someone encounters God and experiences his glorious holiness, purity, redemptive love and radiant power.
3: So, bearing that in mind [BA77 et al, kindly note],discussion on propositions is, though not all of what truth is, WLOG.
4: I would simply state, per Ari Metaphysics 1011b, truth expressed in propositions says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not. A proposition, strictly being what is asserted to exist or be the case or be a relevant state of affairs.
5: Embracing possible worlds as substantially sufficiently complete descriptions of how this world or another is or may be or might have been etc, truth would be accurate description of such states as would obtain were the circumstances actualised.
6: Our world is full of cause effect bonds but causality relates to the contingent, necessary beings are the case but as framework to any world being possible are acausal, eternal, etc.
SA, it is reality that is antecedent to truth, which describes or indicates it accurately. KF
Sev, reality is antecedent to our contingent existence and is not an assumption. As propositions are eternal [when duly fleshed out] true propositions are also antecedent to our existence. Truth is not an assumption. KF
PS, on objective truth in general, for convenient reference and record, I call attention to:
My 2 Cents: I think Truth is the thing that’s fundamental and any description of it is just the attempted description of it.
Yes, reality is antecedent and truth is an affirmation of reality, or what exists. That’s the foundation. Sentences or descriptors come afterwards. Truth cannot be a property of sentences.
Truth = Reality = Being = The Good (what is false is a defect, what is true tends towards perfection and goodness)
This is inbuilt in human nature and in the universe. It can’t be a product of material entities. It’s the necessary starting point for all human reason. It’s not created by human minds, but human minds depend upon it. So, there is something more than materialism at work, and truth is evidence of design.
Andrew – that’s the way I see it also. You can’t start with the description. You have to start with the recognition of the reality and that is what we call the truth. There are four things on the table. Not five, not zero. We know that truth before the sentences. Those things could be apples or coffee cups or something else, but the description doesn’t change the reality.
Welcome back from what I had perceived as you taking a break.
The conversation began in response to the idea that truth has its origin in an immaterial mind (it is not a particular thing originating with various material entities)
In that context, to say that truth is a property of sentences is to say that truth is a property of descriptions, narratives, arguments, dictionaries, crossword puzzles, lie-detectors, game shows. court cases … the list goes on, and that misses the point that was proposed about the origin or source of truth.
Yes, I took a break. I had to work on in-person relationships and get off-line for a while.
I’m very glad you’re still here!
On the other hand, can we say that a lie is the property of sentences? If so, that makes PM1’s claim not only wrong, but maybe malicious.
Me and my circle were watching a podcast discussion the other day concerning the question is lying always evil, but that’s a digression.
Yes so sentences would be both true and false. So that is irrational nonsense.
A lie is not always evil. But it’s always less perfect than the truth. But a lie can be more beneficial than the truth because some people’s minds would not be able to understand the truth (like little children) and a lie can be best for them at a certain time. But that’s because their mind is undeveloped or troubled by something – so a lie can be better in that case. But the truth is always more perfect in itself for what it is, and a lie is a defect and doesn’t have permanent value.
Bingo!, In post 75 PMI directly denied that truth is a property of the immaterial mind and claimed that “Truth is a property of sentences”.,,,
PMI, in his claim that ‘truth is a property of sentences’, is claiming that truth does not find its primary basis in an immaterial mind but that truth finds its primary basis in sentences.
To repeat, PMI’s claim that ‘truth is a property of sentences’ is absurd. For instance, as Asauber observed, sentences can be either true or false.
Thus, since sentences can either be true or false, then truth can’t possibly find its ultimate basis in sentences, and/or be a basic ‘property’ of sentences.
As I pointed out at post 77 to PMI
To which PMI doubled down on his claim that truth does not find its ultimate basis in an immaterial mind, and stated,
So to further illustrate that truth cannot possibly find its ultimate basis in sentences, and/or be a ‘property’ of sentences, but must ALWAYS find its ultimate basis in an immaterial mind, I will now reference Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.
Godel proved that mathematical statements, i.e. ‘mathematical sentences’, are ‘incomplete’. Which is to say that the ‘whole truth’ of any mathematical statement, any ‘mathematical sentence’, is not contained within the mathematical statement/sentence itself.
As the following article states, “(Godel’s incompleteness) showed that no matter how we formulate the axiomatic-deductive machinery, there will always exist true statements about numbers which this machinery cannot prove. This means that the ‘whole’ truth about numbers will forever remain outside the grasp of logical reasoning”,,,
And since a sentence can be either true or false, (and since that, in and of itself, refutes PMI’s claim), it is also very interesting to note exactly how Godel achieved his incompleteness proof that “the ‘whole’ truth about numbers will forever remain outside the grasp of logical reasoning”.
Godel derived his incompleteness proof via a variation of the liar paradox, (which is a sentence that, if true, is false, and that if false, is true.)
Thus Godel derived his proof for mathematical incompleteness precisely from a (logical) sentence that inherently lacked the ability to have the ‘truth’ based within itself.
All of which , obviously, completely destroys PMI’s claim that ‘truth is a property of sentences’, and not a property of immaterial minds.
Of supplemental and related note: the Christian founders of modern science held that any ‘mathematical statements’ that might describe this universe were “God’s thoughts”.
And although modern day theoretical physicists are seemingly loathe to ever allow a ‘Divine foot in the door’, it is interesting to note that the belief that any mathematical truths that might describe this universe are “God’s thoughts” has not yet completely died out for modern theoretical physicists.
In fact, Eugene Wigner, (who’s insights into quantum mechanics continue to drive breakthroughs in quantum mechanics; per A. Zeilinger), and Albert Einstein, who needs no introduction, are both on record as to regarding it as a miracle that math should even be applicable to the universe. Moreover, Wigner questioned Darwinism in the process of calling it a miracle, and Einstein even went so far as to chastise ‘professional atheists’ in his process of calling it a miracle.
Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, and when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company,
,,, then that very reasonable concession on our part to rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.
Are you familiar at all with the “grue” paradox in logic?
What if the claim is that the sky is not blue, but actually grue?
Out of curiosity, were you able to visualize the solution to the question of whether a unique sphere is determined by all sets of non-coplanar points without resorting to language?
A truth can consist of dynamic relationships as well as static ones. Are there truths beyond the reach of a logical system (Gödel) or even language (as in sentences)?
Let me remind you that a fundamental assumption in science is that people can even understand all scientific truths. It’s not a given.
Thank you, Bornagain77, Silver Asiatic, and Kairosfocus for your great observations!
I agree and let me add that ALL knowledge consists of abstractions. This is not trivial.
It also explains why engineers, physicists, and other experts in a conversation will often engage in something like this:
A: (Makes a truth statement about some aspect of their domain of expertise.)
B: Replies with “Well, actually the way it works is . . . ” (makes a truth statement that drills down one level of detail).
C: Replies to B with, “Yes, that’s true to a point, but you also need to consider . . . (makes a truth statement that drills down yet another level of detail).
In post 83, PMI does a lot of hand-waving, furiously trying to protect his worldview of Atheistic Naturalism from any criticism.
Specifically, in post 81, I showed that since both Feynman and Einstein held falsification to be a foundational ‘key to science’, and since PMI, in his attempt to distance Darwinian evolution from the criteria of empirical falsification, was championing Lakatos and other philosophers of science who shunned Popper’s criteria of falsification, , in post 81 I asked PMI,,,,
To which PMI responded,
Leaving aside the little fact that talking about doing something, and actually doing something are not even in the same ballpark as far as reality itself is concerned, what is interesting in all this is that Lakatos himself based much of his ‘philosophy’ for shunning the importance of empirical falsification on the Copernican revolution. In fact, Lakatos specifically stated that, “I thought that the Copernican revolution might in particular serve as an important test case between some contemporary philosophies of science.”
Lakatos was not alone in using the Copernican revolution as a model for developing a philosophy of science above and beyond Popper’s falsification criteria. Thomas Kuhn, of ‘paradigm shift’ fame, was also heavily influenced by the Copernican revolution,,,
In short, the Copernican revolution removed the earth from the center of the solar system, (and supposedly from the center of the universe), and replaced it with the sun being at the center of the solar system. This removal of earth from centrality in the universe, as the Kuhn reference made clear, had dramatic negative consequences for “Western man’s concept of his relation to the universe and to God.”
Yet, (surprisingly), advances in science have now empirically falsified the Copernican revolution and have restored man, the earth, and the solar system itself, to centrality in the universe. Thus Lakatos’s, (and Kuhn’s) critique of Popper’s falsification criteria collapses in on itself since empirical falsification itself undermined the Copernican revolution model that they had based their scientific philosophies on to try to supersede Popper.
In post 81 I further noted that “all of science is dependent on essential Theistic, even Judeo-Christian, presuppositions, not on ‘naturalistic’ presuppositions.”
To which PMI responds,
That is a standard reply from atheists. And yet the fact remains that science never did developed in China, or in any other ancient cultures. It was only when Christianity gained prominence in Medieval Christian Europe that science finally found fertile ground to sprout, grow, and flourish.
In post 81 I further noted that,
To which PMI responds,
Naturalism is simply a non-starter as to providing the necessary presuppositions for doing science.
As Paul Davies noted, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
To further undermine PMI’s claim that naturalism and science are amendable, I simply note that there is a stunning lack of atheists behind the founding of any major branch of modern science
In post 81 I further noted to PMI,,,
To which PMI furiously waves his hands and responds thusly,
I guess it takes a lot of energy to wave your hands trying to defend such incoherent nonsense, but anyways, here is a defense of each claim that I made,
The challenge is knowing just how far we can take logic and where we admit to faith. No, I don’t think faith is a giant leap (Kierkegaard), nor do I believe that leaps of logic (Spinoza) are sufficient apart of experiment, experience, or revelation.
FWIW, I prefer the word, TRUST, over the word, FAITH.
To me, “faith” evokes my imaginations of monks in processions, chants echoing off stone walls, candles in the darkness, incense, and beautiful glowing stained-glass windows.
To me, “trust” is simply when I come to the end of my own resources, and fully rely on the kind purposes, and assurances of my loving creator, YHVH God, and His plan through His son, Yeshua (Jesus), with the encouragement and comforting of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).
What else do I have when my resources, body, and mind inevitably begin to fail?