Re, Seversky: “a lot of this reads like complaining because science isn’t coming up with observations and theories that you like . . . “
Sometimes, an issue comes to a head, and there is then need to deal with it. The headline inadvertently shows that we are at such a juncture and the post yesterday on time to take the lead is therefore timely. For, the underlying problem at work on ID is that there is an often implicit but sometimes quite explicit ideologically loaded redefinition of science at work.
Accordingly, I think it appropriate to headline my response to Seversky, including the onward accusation of religious bias:
KF, 28 (in reply to 21): >>Strawman soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the issues:
a lot of this reads like complaining because science isn’t coming up with observations and theories that you like or, more specifically, that are consonant with your religious presuppositions.
What part of:
Science seeks to accurately observe, describe, explain, predict and enable us to act effectively in our world. So truth-seeking is critical to science. Therefore we have to respect findings of related disciplines that support that work. Therefore, we must anchor on empirical observations and recognise that theories are inferences to the best current explanation and are inherently provisional. They remain [live] theories so long as it is credible that they may be substantially true and no further. They are inherently provisional; subject to empirical testing and the requirement of well-tested empirical reliability.
This holds for experimental sciences. It holds doubly for observational sciences and doubly again for scientific investigations of origins, where that deep past cannot itself be observed; we see traces and try to reconstruct and date past circumstances back to origins. All of this successively degrades strength of epistemic stance of relevant theories.
All of this, the a priori materialist activists and their enablers will not acknowledge and have repeatedly tried to turn into accusations of stealth Creationism, “religion” inserting itself into the temple of science and the like.
— is so hard to understand?
Or, do I need to point to the exchanges in Kansas c 2001 – 2007:
2001 radical re-Definition imposed by evolutionary materialism activists: “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations of the world around us.”
2005 correction to that tendentious re-Definition: “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation, that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.”
2007 re-imposition after a dirty agit-prop operation and threats from NSTA and NAS to hold the children of the state hostage: “Science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.”
Of course, “natural explanations” is patently a code for naturalistic explanations. Imposing an ideological a priori as Lewontin indicated, is grand question-begging, indoctrination and disregard for duty to seek, present and stand by truth. The accurate description of reality.
Further, this was backed up by outright abuse of influence to hold families, children and their education hostage. Here is an excerpt from the NAS-NSTA letter that makes a very ugly downright threat that the complicit, enabling media did not expose:
. . . the members of the Kansas State Board of Education who produced Draft 2-d of the KSES have deleted text defining science as a search for natural explanations of observable phenomena, blurring the line between scientific and other ways of understanding. Emphasizing controversy in the theory of evolution — when in fact all modern theories of science are continually tested and verified — and distorting the definition of science are inconsistent with our Standards and a disservice to the students of Kansas. Regretfully, many of the statements made in the KSES related to the nature of science and evolution also violate the document’s mission and vision. Kansas students will not be well-prepared for the rigors of higher education or the demands of an increasingly complex and technologically-driven world if their science education is based on these standards. Instead, they will put the students of Kansas at a competitive disadvantage as they take their place in the world.
Utter moral and intellectual bankruptcy expressed in outright nihilistic, will to power might and manipulation make ‘truth,’ ‘right,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘history,’ ‘education’ and more.
This was and remains utterly indefensible.
Just by contrast, let me clip some high quality college-level dictionaries from the period before this radical redefinition was imposed by domineering and disregard for truth:
science: a branch of knowledge conducted on objective principles involving the systematized observation of and experiment with phenomena, esp. concerned with the material and functions of the physical universe. [Concise Oxford, 1990]
scientific method: principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge [”the body of truth, information and principles acquired by mankind”] involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. [Webster’s 7th Collegiate, 1965]
The first battle for leadership in science is to restore sanity to the basic understanding of what science is and does.
Something is DEMONSTRABLY rotten in the state of science and science education and it must first be faced if we are to get anywhere sensible.
Going further, with an historically-, epistemologically- and inductive logic limitations- sound understanding of science in hand, we can then look at experimental vs observational vs origins sciences, facts of observation vs theoretical explanations, degrees of warrant and responsible balance on claims such as “science is the only begetter of truth.”
Next, we can then squarely face the nigh on 70 year old finding that there is ALPHABETIC, CODED TEXT in the heart of the cell. Associated with, transcribing, editing, translation machinery and regulatory networks. Sophisticated digital information and communication systems at molecular scale and obviously tracing to origin of the living cell. Where the first cells credibly had 100 – 1,000 kbits of information in such codes, just to code the proteins and RNA they used.
It is not too difficult to show that 100 kbits implies a configuration space of ~ 9.99 *10^30,102 possibilities, per n bits implies 2^n possibilities. The search challenge for such with an observed cosmos of ~ 10^80 atoms with ~ 10^-14 chemical level interactions per second [fast for organic chem] on a time span ~ 10^17 s since the singularity is hopelessly too small a scope of generously possible search to space. It is not credible that any blind chance and mechanical necessity process arrived at such functionally specific complex organisation and associated information [FSCO/I] on the gamut of available search resources.
The only empirically well warranted causal explanation for such FSCO/I — and yes I am applying Newton’s vera causa principle — is intelligently directed configuration. On trillions of known cases.
Design sits at the table for explaining the FSCO/I in life as of right, from OOL up.
The imposed a priori evolutionary materialism lockout is bankrupt and dead.
Next, scroll up and glance at Barnes’ chart on just two of the many finely tuned factors: strong nuke force and fine structure constant. Holding nuclei together but with room for nucleosynthesis and electromagnetic [thus also weak] interactions. Notice the window of possibilities? And where our observed cosmos is?
Now, on the contingent option, fine tuning is blatant.
On the oh there is a covering superlaw option, we have simply exported the fine tuning up one level, as in where did such a locking law come from.
Where, you can see the multiverse appeal dilemma: keep your lab coat and recognise that appeal to multiverse is weak as scientific speculation [when we lack observation and perhaps observability . . . ] or go to multiverse and recognise you left the lab coat on the peg by the door and have to deal with worldview level comparative difficulties.
On either prong, we face John Leslie’s challenge:
“One striking thing about the fine tuning is that a force strength or a particle mass often appears to require accurate tuning for several reasons at once. Look at electromagnetism. Electromagnetism seems to require tuning for there to be any clear-cut distinction between matter and radiation; for stars to burn neither too fast nor too slowly for life’s requirements; for protons to be stable; for complex chemistry to be possible; for chemical changes not to be extremely sluggish; and for carbon synthesis inside stars (carbon being quite probably crucial to life). Universes all obeying the same fundamental laws could still differ in the strengths of their physical forces, as was explained earlier, and random variations in electromagnetism from universe to universe might then ensure that it took on any particular strength sooner or later. Yet how could they possibly account for the fact that the same one strength satisfied many potentially conflicting requirements, each of them a requirement for impressively accurate tuning?” [Our Place in the Cosmos, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1998 (courtesy Wayback Machine).]
“. . . the need for such explanations does not depend on any estimate of how many universes would be observer-permitting, out of the entire field of possible universes. Claiming that our universe is ‘fine tuned for observers’, we base our claim on how life’s evolution would apparently have been rendered utterly impossible by comparatively minor alterations in physical force strengths, elementary particle masses and so forth. There is no need for us to ask whether very great alterations in these affairs would have rendered it fully possible once more, let alone whether physical worlds conforming to very different laws could have been observer-permitting without being in any way fine tuned. Here it can be useful to think of a fly on a wall, surrounded by an empty region. A bullet hits the fly Two explanations suggest themselves. Perhaps many bullets are hitting the wall or perhaps a marksman fired the bullet. There is no need to ask whether distant areas of the wall, or other quite different walls, are covered with flies so that more or less any bullet striking there would have hit one. The important point is that the local area contains just the one fly.”
Cosmological fine tuning is here to stay, and it puts design squarely on the table as candidate to beat. For origin of our observed cosmos. The only actually scientifically observed one.>>
My onward invitation was: “Now, lead, follow or kindly stand aside.”
That’s where we now are. END