In Illusion of Knowledge I and II we discussed epistemological categories.Ã‚Â In particular, we analyzed what it means to Ã¢â‚¬Å“knowÃ¢â‚¬Â and whether there is a difference that makes a difference between scientific conclusions supported by Ã¢â‚¬Å“directÃ¢â‚¬Â observations and scientific conclusions based upon inference.Ã‚Â We also discussed how certain we have to be about a conclusion before we can say that we Ã¢â‚¬Å“knowÃ¢â‚¬Â it is true.Ã‚Â We used the Standard Model of cosmology (expanding universe, Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy) as the launching point for our discussion.
I have always been careful to say that it is not my purpose to disparage the Standard Model.Ã‚Â This is an exercise in epistemology (about which I have something to say), not cosmology (about which I must defer to others).Ã‚Â
Some may ask, why does BarryÃ‚Â keep coming back to these questions about the nature of knowledge on a blog devoted to discussing ID?Ã‚Â The answerÃ‚Â is these questions recur throughout all scientific inquiry, and it is important to know the difference between what we Ã¢â‚¬Å“knowÃ¢â‚¬Â and what we Ã¢â‚¬Å“think we knowÃ¢â‚¬Â based upon inferences.Ã‚Â In my opinion, much of the Neo-Darwinian edifice is constructed upon a foundation of inferences (inferences compelled by metaphysical, not scientific, commitments) masquerading as undisputed facts.Ã‚Â To assess NDE critically, we must be able to distinguish between facts and inferences.
Many commenters claimed that even though the Standard Model is based upon inferences and key elements of it (e.g., dark matter and dark energy) have not actually been directly observed, we nevertheless know that it is true as certainly as we can know anything is true.Ã‚Â
My question is, will these commenters still say that after reading New look at microwave background may cast doubts on big bang theory?