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L&FP43: Big-S Science, Official Consensus and the pessimistic induction

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It is highly relevant and timely to now ponder “Big-S Science and appeals to official consensus i/l/o the logic of the pessimistic induction and what warrant entails,” with “degrees of warrant, open mindedness and tolerance/diversity.”

It is probably best to start with the pessimistic induction, here, via SEP:

If one considers the history of scientific theories in any given discipline, what one typically finds is a regular turnover of older theories in favor of newer ones, as scientific knowledge develops. From the point of view of the present, most past theories must be considered false; indeed, this will be true from the point of view of most times. Therefore, by enumerative induction (that is, generalizing from these cases), surely theories at any given time will ultimately be replaced and regarded as false from some future perspective. Thus, current theories are also false . . . [Scientific Realism, SEP]

While I don’t buy the “surely,” we need to soberly ponder what a scientific theory is and what degree of warrant attaches to such. In commenting on the Cells thread, I noted:

Theories are constructed explanatory narratives that may be tested and supported or falsified by observations [subject to Lakatos’ issues on auxiliary theories etc] but are not themselves facts of observation, they simply are not in the same category. Yes, the span of tested empirical reliability of a theory may well be a further fact of observation, but that is not the theory itself and is subject to the next observation. Besides, as one who worked with engineering models, e.g. of electronic circuits, I know that many models are deliberately false simplifications that can be highly reliable for similar gamuts of testing. A theory, one suspects, may be definable as a potentially true model of the world or of a relevant aspect. Though, the pessimistic induction haunts all such suggestions.

Now, while there is often a suggestion that there is material continuity between past, once successful theories and their current successors — call this the germ of truth thesis — in fact there may be a lot more replacement than is recognised or acknowledged . . . call that the myth of progress rebuttal. Further, the underlying issue lies in the logic of abductive reasoning underlying scientific theorising:

Notice, the implication direction, from theory to current observations [O = {o1,o2, . . . on}] and predicted facts of observation [P = {p1, p2, . . . pm, . . . }]:

T => O AND P

While O is at a given point a closed set, P is open to the future. Lakatos’ adjustment, of course is that T is also composite, involving a protected core and a belt of auxiliary hypotheses so that often the auxiliaries can be treated as sacrificial, protective armour belts that soak up the damage. So, it is hard to directly empirically refute a core theory. Objecting colleagues to Galileo could readily argue that the imperfections of his telescopes rendered his claims suspect. Reportedly, some refused to look through same.

The underlying issue, however, is a logical one, T => O + P, O+P so T, strictly speaking affirms the consequent. Even, ignoring the open-endedness of P. What instead we are doing is arguing by way of reliable empirical support for T as best current explanation. Across time, Candidates will change and the best current explanation may be a refinement or a replacement.

That is, empirical warrant in science is provisional, defeat-able. We hope, that there is a possibility of truth, but cannot show it to certainty. Where, empirical reliability is an observable and we can be confident of that, on an assumption of stability.

Science, in short, is never settled and progresses by the breaking of former consensus. The tendency of officialdom to appeal to settled Big-S Science and/or consensus as gold standard of knowledge, though understandable sometimes, is misdirected.

Again, it is time for fresh thinking. END

26 Replies to “L&FP43: Big-S Science, Official Consensus and the pessimistic induction

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP43: Big-S Science, Official Consensus and the pessimistic induction

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    There should be a Kf glossary somewhere that explains all his cryptic shortcuts. Two here are EMT and BOAT snd then there is I/l/o.

    BOAT – body of accepted theories.
    EMT – best explanatory/model theory
    I/l/o – in lieu of ?
    L&FP – Logic and First Principles.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, actually built into the figure. BTW, I/L/O is in light of. KF

  4. 4
    Sandy says:

    New generations don’t care about logic. Only care about feeelings.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, that is a very good reason why we need to look at these topics. KF

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    If one considers the history of scientific theories in any given discipline, what one typically finds is a regular turnover of older theories in favor of newer ones, as scientific knowledge develops. From the point of view of the present, most past theories must be considered false; indeed, this will be true from the point of view of most times. Therefore, by enumerative induction (that is, generalizing from these cases), surely theories at any given time will ultimately be replaced and regarded as false from some future perspective. Thus, current theories are also false . . . [Scientific Realism, SEP]

    Newtonian physics is used to plot the courses of spaceships and space probes travelling around our Solar System. It is easier to work with than relativity theory. If it enables us to send a space vehicle to rendezvous with a planet where it will be several years in the future, can we say it is true or false? Does it matter?

    Truth and falsehood are the province of philosophy. Science is more pragmatic. It knows even the best theories are provisional and incomplete but it works with what it has until something better comes along. What else can it do?

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Seversky @6,
    Yes, exactly. Thus, there are no “false” scientific theories, only stronger and weaker ones that are either more useful or less useful. Additionally, mathematical models are chosen for conformance to observation and are discarded when more precise mathematical models are required.

    -Q

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, models, as OP states, are deliberately simplified, thus false but empirically useful frameworks . . . I used electronics models but could have argued economics or financial ones or even Newtonian dynamics . . . though, that would have required a fight over older theories as limiting cases retaining a germ of truth. In this case, what is meant by space, time, mass etc has been deeply transformed so that arguably we have replaced not refined. Einstein led a revolution. Likewise on the quantum side. The point is, empirical accuracy so far is not a decisive sign of truth for explanations, models or theories. That you — and we for that matter — have had to concede that antirealists like Laudan have a point is significant. The notion that the top tier theories are somehow incrementally converging on the truth of reality, a key premise of Scientism, is dead. Scientism is an ideological, worldview level claim that science monopolises knowledge of reality. All of this then comes back with huge force when we address the unobservable past of origins and signs of design through the like causes like vera causa principle. More broadly, scientists, officials and publicists need to be far more willing to acknowledge the limitations of fact claims, knowledge claims and truth claims that are claimed to represent settled scientific consensus. KF

    PS: IIRC, relativity is used in GPS work due to required precision.

  9. 9
    BobRyan says:

    Sev @ 6

    There is a vast difference between the laws that govern the universe and theories to explain what is witnessed. Based on what was witnessed with the technology available at that time, it was a reasonable theory that everything revolved around the Earth. It took technological advancements and greater understanding to disprove what was witnessed by something more reasonable. The consensus at the time held the Earth was the center of the universe and did not come to the conclusion without a lot of fighting to keep what they believed.

    Every hypothesis and theory that comes along is based only on what is known, which is why any hypothesis or theory can be disproven in time. What is known today has nothing to do with what will be known decades or centuries from now. Evolution remains the only hypothesis that is called theory without ever having been witnessed or replicated. It failed to meet even the most basic of scientific standards of Darwin’s day, and have learned a considerable amount since that time.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    See the impact of weak form knowledge: warranted, credibly true [so, reliable but revis-able and defeat-able] belief?

  11. 11
    EugeneS says:

    Bob,

    I agree. The only comment on yours that I have is that actually motion is relative. Consequently, heliocentricity is not a refutation of geocentricity. It is just a more suitable model in a number of cases whereas geocentricity serves as well or even better in other scenarios.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr Selensky, quite so; planetariums generally use geocentric models (with a lot of inner works!). However on the dynamics, the barycentre of a planet-sun system will typically be in the sun. KF

    PS: A heliocentric case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sndz6ZMA-Zc&t=51s

  13. 13
    Belfast says:

    @Sev@6
    “ Newtonian physics is used to plot the courses of spaceships and space probes travelling around our Solar System. It is easier to work with than relativity theory.”
    How is it easier to work with?

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Belfast, it is far simpler mathematically and is known to accurately model dynamics in the relevant scale, speed and mass ranges involved. Indeed, unless there is good reason to go to quantum or relativistic analysis, classical analysis is going to be default. KF

  15. 15
    Bob O'H says:

    Belfast @ 13 –
    You can think of relativity as Newtonian mechanics plus lots of maths that corrects it for relativity. These extra terms are tiny unless speeds are near the speed of light or very large masses are involved. For space ships and probes the accuracy needed is much less than the effects of these extra terms. So there is less to calculate. Plus, the mathematics behind Newtonian mechanics is much easier to work with (the equations are easier to solve, essentially).

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the heliocentric vs. the geocentric model.

    First off, contrary to popular belief, and as shocking as it may be for some people to learn, the heliocentric model was never actually scientifically proven to be correct over and above the geocentric model. As Philip Ball explained, “It is often claimed that, by the 16th century, this Ptolemaic model of the universe had become so laden with these epicycles that it was on the point of falling apart.,,, (Yet) Copernicus didn’t do away with epicycles.,,, he said he could explain the motions of the heavens with “just” 34 epicycles. Many later commentators took this to mean that the geocentric model must have needed many more than 34, but there’s no actual evidence for that.”

    The Tyranny of Simple Explanations – Philip Ball – AUG 11, 2016
    Excerpt: Take the debate between the ancient geocentric view of the universe—in which the sun and planets move around a central Earth—and Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentric theory, with the Sun at the center and the Earth and other planets moving around it.,,,
    It is often claimed that, by the 16th century, this Ptolemaic model of the universe had become so laden with these epicycles that it was on the point of falling apart. Then along came the Polish astronomer with his heliocentric universe, and no more epicycles were needed. The two theories explained the same astronomical observations, but Copernicus’s was simpler, and so Occam’s razor tells us to prefer it.
    This is wrong for many reasons. First, Copernicus didn’t do away with epicycles.,,,
    In an introductory tract called the Commentariolus, published around 1514, he said he could explain the motions of the heavens with “just” 34 epicycles. Many later commentators took this to mean that the geocentric model must have needed many more than 34, but there’s no actual evidence for that. And the historian of astronomy Owen Gingerich has dismissed the common assumption that the Ptolemaic model was so epicycle-heavy that it was close to collapse. He argues that a relatively simple design was probably still in use in Copernicus’s time.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/sci.....or/495332/

    Despite the fact that the vast majority of people believe that the heliocentric model is unquestionably correct, the truth is that, as has been mentioned in this thread, and as Stephen Hawking himself stated, “our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.,,, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”

    “So which is real, the Ptolemaic or Copernican system? Although it is not uncommon for people to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of our normal view versus that of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe, for our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.
    Despite its role in philosophical debates over the nature of our universe, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”
    – Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design – pages 39 – 2010

    And the heliocentric model, though it is not proven to be correct over and above the geocentric model,. has been the source of great mischief from Atheistic Naturalists.

    Atheistic Naturalists have generalized the heliocentric model into the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity”.

    Copernican principle
    Excerpt: In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, is an alternative name of the mediocrity principle,,, stating that humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.[1]
    Named for Copernican heliocentrism, it is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus’s argument of a moving Earth.[2] In some sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle.
    – per wikipedia

    “Carl Sagan coined the term ‘principle of mediocrity’ to refer to the idea that scientists should assume that nothing is special about humanity’s situation”
    Joseph Packer – Alien Life and Human Purpose: A Rhetorical Examination through History – Pg. 187

    Mediocrity principle
    Excerpt: The (Mediocrity) principle has been taken to suggest that there is nothing very unusual about the evolution of the Solar System, Earth’s history, the evolution of biological complexity, human evolution, or any one nation. It is a heuristic in the vein of the Copernican principle, and is sometimes used as a philosophical statement about the place of humanity. The idea is to assume mediocrity, rather than starting with the assumption that a phenomenon is special, privileged, exceptional, or even superior.[2][3]
    – per wikipedia

    And the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity” is one of the two main arguments that are used by atheists to try to argue that humanity has no inherent dignity, worth, or meaning to their existence. (The false narrative of human evolution is the other main argument that Atheists try to use to argue that humanity has no inherent dignity, worth, or meaning to their existence.)

    Perhaps no where are the nihilistic implications for humanity, that are inherent in the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity”, better summed up than with this following quote by Stephen Hawking, “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”
    – Stephen Hawking – 1995 TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken,

    So there you go, according to atheists, and via the Copernican principle, your life has no more significance than ‘chemical scum.’ Which is, needless to say, a far cry from the dignity inherent in being made in the image of God.

    Fortunately for us. both quantum mechanics and general relativity, (our two most powerful theories in science), have, in no uncertain terms, overturned the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity”,

    April 2021 – the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity has now been overturned by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, our two most powerful theories in science: (as well as being overturned by other, fairly powerful, lines of scientific evidence)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/asked-of-steve-meyer-if-humans-are-so-important-to-god-why-did-they-take-so-long-to-develop/#comment-727599

    Seversky has often argued that the meaning and purposes that he ‘invents’ for his own life are just as good as any meaning and purposes that God may have for his life. But that simply is to be in denial of what his own Atheistic worldview actually entails. As Hawking himself made abundantly clear, Seversky’s atheistic worldview actually entails that he is, in fact, no better than ‘chemical scum.’

    If Seversky actually believes that being ‘chemical scum’ is just as good as what God has in store for his life, might I suggest that he needs to seriously recalibrate his ability to judge ‘meaning’ for his life?

    If fact, besides rendering man as being no better than chemical scum, Seversky’s atheistic worldview also robs humanity of any objectively real beauty, or any objectively real love. (In other words, in Seversky’s atheistic materialism it is held that beauty and love do not objectively exist but that they are also merely illusory.)

    In regards to beauty, Charles Darwin himself stated that, “They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”

    “The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists, against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”
    (Charles Darwin – 1859, p. 199)

    From the horse’s mouth, if beauty is objectively real then it is ‘fatal’ to his theory.

    In regards to love, under atheistic materialism it is held that any love that we may have for other people does not objectively exists but is also merely an illusion of the ‘chemical reactions’ in our brain.

    As Jennifer Fulwiler explained in her conversion from Atheism to Christianity following the birth of her first child, “the only way her atheist mind could explain the love that she had for him was to assume it was the result of nothing more than chemical reactions in her brain. However she says:
    “And I looked down at him, and I realized that’s not true.”

    What caused Jennifer Fulwiler to question her atheism to begin with? It was the birth of her first child. She says that when she looked at her child, the only way her atheist mind could explain the love that she had for him was to assume it was the result of nothing more than chemical reactions in her brain. However, in following, she says:
    “And I looked down at him, and I realized that’s not true.”
    – Jennifer Fulwiler: Scientific Atheism to Christ – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMbUvlOcXNA

    Thus Seversky may delude himself into believing that he can invent his own meanings and purposes for his own life, and that he does not need God in order to have a meaningful life, but the truth of the situation is that, besides his atheistic worldview rendering his life as no more meaningful than that of ‘chemical scum’, his atheistic worldview also robs Seversky of any real beauty and love for his life.

    A life without any real beauty or love in it? What a sad worldview Seversky. Why do you even bother getting out of bed in the morning?

    Excuse me Seversky, but any worldview that robs humanity of any real meaning, beauty, or love is a completely putrid, worm infested, philosophical worldview that belongs squarely at the bottom of a garbage bin.

    How you can possibly delude yourself into thinking your atheistic worldview is superior to Christianity I have no idea. It is as if you had unrestricted access to an unimaginably beautiful estate but instead chose to live in a garbage dump.,,, Constantly lying to yourself,, telling yourself how much better living in the garbage dump is compared to living on that beautiful estate.

    Moreover Seversky, don’t try to lie to me and tell me that the science supports your putrid, and nihilistic, worldview. As I mentioned previously in this post, our most powerful theories in science have now, in no uncertain terms, overturned the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity.

    Verse:

    1 Corinthians 2:9
    However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, this also might interest you

    Atheism Was An “Error”: English Professor & Atheist Mark Bauerlein Converts to Christianity – March 8, 2019
    Excerpt: But no matter how profound Freud and Nietzsche could be in their writings they couldn’t save Bauerlein from approaching despair,
    “EVERY NIGHT IN BED I FORESAW MY PENDING NONEXISTENCE AND TREMBLED.”
    I shut my eyes and the walls closed in. That I was destined to join the nothingness that I spied in the bush was an intolerable prospect, an unthinkable thought. My mind was stuck on eternal death,” “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it, this can’t be happening.”
    But unlike what some atheists would claim, namely how rejecting belief in God and religion is both liberating and desirable, “The discovery didn’t free me, it crushed me. The universe was open, but my life was closed. Others might take the disappearance of God as liberating, a chance to forge their own future, but not me. Whatever plan I might commence, whatever identity I might pursue, it shrank to pointlessness beside the yardstick of boundless nothingness.
    I understood my atheism as an achievement, but it didn’t inspire any further achievements. My only creative impetus was to dramatize my own condition, my only critical one to despiritualize everyone else’s.,,,
    Bauerlein is brave to admit and share with others that he regretted his many years as an atheist “for three decades afterward I felt it to be binding truth, but at fifty-three years of age, I now see it as error, an unfortunate one whose cost to me was an anti-spiritual, depleted existence through the prime of my life.
    https://reasonsforjesus.com/atheism-was-an-error-english-professor-atheist-mark-bauerlein-converts-to-christianity/

  18. 18

    Science is just facts, theories are also just facts. And facts are just copies. If science tries to be more than just facts, it’s lost. And you can have exhaustive facts, and then science is finished.

    The most pure science is the science of what is possible. Because the actual universe is chosen, so it is arbitrary. I put the cup on the left, now science says the cup is on the left. I put the cup on the right, now science says the cup is on the right.

    The more pure science is about that the cup can be either left or right, and not that the cup just happens to be on the left. So to find the patterns in what is possible, that is pure science. And then there is the history of decisions that were made, which is just secondary science.

  19. 19
    Seversky says:

    BobRyan/9

    Every hypothesis and theory that comes along is based only on what is known, which is why any hypothesis or theory can be disproven in time.

    Quite right. We should always keep in mind our own limitations.

    Every hypothesis and theory that comes along is based only on what is known, which is why any hypothesis or theory can be disproven in time.

    I would rather say that whatever we will know in the future will have been built on – or built in reaction to – what we know now. We cannot take those steps forward without those that went before.

    Evolution remains the only hypothesis that is called theory without ever having been witnessed or replicated. It failed to meet even the most basic of scientific standards of Darwin’s day, and have learned a considerable amount since that time.

    I think you will find most evolutionary biologists would disagree. The theory has moved on a lot since Darwin’s day – which makes the ID/creationist obsession with “Darwinism” something of a strawman. The combined evidences from biology, geology, paleontology, anthropology, genetics, etc., make it the most plausible explanation we have so far. But we also accept that it’s still far from complete, still a work-in-progress.

  20. 20
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/16

    Atheistic Naturalists have generalized the heliocentric model into the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity”

    Not all astronomers and cosmologists were – or are – atheistic naturalists.

    Yes, the heliocentric model displaced the Earth as the center of our Solar System and further observations indicated that there was no reason to think we are the center of our galaxy let alone this Universe – the center of our viewpoint universe, yes – but not the whole cosmos.

    And the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity” is one of the two main arguments that are used by atheists to try to argue that humanity has no inherent dignity, worth, or meaning to their existence.

    No, the position of this small, rocky planet in this unimaginably vast 13.8bn year-old Universe has no obvious bearing on the dignity, worth or meaning of a species of ape that emerged there a couple of million years ago.

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”

    “Chemical scum” was perhaps a little unkind but I would say he was essentially correct.

    Which is, needless to say, a far cry from the dignity inherent in being made in the image of God.

    There is no inherent dignity. Like beauty, value and meaning, it exists in the eye of the beholder. And I have yet to see a coherent explanation of what it means to say we are made in the image of God.

    Fortunately for us. both quantum mechanics and general relativity, (our two most powerful theories in science), have, in no uncertain terms, overturned the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity”,

    Neither of those theories have anything to do with human dignity, worth and meaning.

    Seversky has often argued that the meaning and purposes that he ‘invents’ for his own life are just as good as any meaning and purposes that God may have for his life.

    How did your God come by His purpose and meaning?

    As Hawking himself made abundantly clear, Seversky’s atheistic worldview actually entails that he is, in fact, no better than ‘chemical scum.’

    Define “better” in this context.

    If Seversky actually believes that being ‘chemical scum’ is just as good as what God has in store for his life, might I suggest that he needs to seriously recalibrate his ability to judge ‘meaning’ for his life?

    If what God has in store for us is anything like what happened to the Midianites, Canaanites, Amalekites, the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah or almost the entire population of the Earth in the Great Flood then I’d rather not have any part of it, thank you very much.

    If fact, besides rendering man as being no better than chemical scum, Seversky’s atheistic worldview also robs humanity of any objectively real beauty, or any objectively real love. (In other words, in Seversky’s atheistic materialism it is held that beauty and love do not objectively exist but that they are also merely illusory.)

    No, in my view, love and beauty are subjective experiences rather than properties of objective reality.

    From the horse’s mouth, if beauty is objectively real then it is ‘fatal’ to his theory.

    But since beauty is not objectively real, it’s not a problem, is it?

    In regards to love, under atheistic materialism it is held that any love that we may have for other people does not objectively exists but is also merely an illusion of the ‘chemical reactions’ in our brain.

    Love is a subjective experience but that doesn’t mean it’s an illusion. It’s hard to see how it can exist outside the brain as it disappears when those “chemical reactions” stop.

    A life without any real beauty or love in it? What a sad worldview Seversky. Why do you even bother getting out of bed in the morning?

    As far as I can tell, I experience love and beauty the same as the next person, Christian or otherwise. Are you saying that only Christians can truly experience them?

    Excuse me Seversky, but any worldview that robs humanity of any real meaning, beauty, or love is a completely putrid, worm infested, philosophical worldview that belongs squarely at the bottom of a garbage bin.

    Don’t try to sugar-coat it, tell us what you really think.

  21. 21
    paige says:

    Sev

    And I have yet to see a coherent explanation of what it means to say we are made in the image of God.

    I think it more likely that God was made in our image. Or, at least, in the idealized image of ourselves.

  22. 22
    Seversky says:

    Paige/21

    I think it more likely that God was made in our image. Or, at least, in the idealized image of ourselves.

    I think you may be right.

  23. 23
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/17

    Seversky, this also might interest you

    Atheism Was An “Error”: English Professor & Atheist Mark Bauerlein Converts to Christianity – March 8, 2019

    It sounds like he began as a believer but became atheist when he found his prayers were not being answered then turned back to his faith when he found the prospect of personal oblivion when he died to be completely intolerable.

    Of course, if there is no God, his turning back to his faith will not alter that. However, it will make him feel better for the rest of his life and I think that’s true for a lot of Christians. They can’t bear the thought of the alternative and their faith makes life seem good, even when it’s not. It’s what Marx meant when he made his remark about “the opium of the people”.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, via the “Copernican Principle” and/or the “Principle of Mediocrity”, holds that we have no right to believe that the humanity, the earth and the solar system are central in the universe. Yet, as I already pointed out, and as far as the science itself is concerned, Seversky is shown to be wrong in his assumption:

    April 2021 – the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity has now been overturned by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, our two most powerful theories in science: (as well as being overturned by other, fairly powerful, lines of scientific evidence)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/asked-of-steve-meyer-if-humans-are-so-important-to-god-why-did-they-take-so-long-to-develop/#comment-727599

    Then Seversky contradicts himself. He holds that Copernican principle has no bearing on the inherent dignity of humanity. Yet in the very same sentence where he claims that he also refers to humanity as a “species of ape”, and then he goes on to, basically, agree with Hawking’s opinion that we are ‘chemical scum.’

    No bearing on the dignity of man Seversky?

    Seversky should learn about logic, and specifically learn about the law of non-contradiction. But then again, if atheists would be logical in their reasoning then they would not be atheists in the first place.

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    Seversky then states that he wants no part of a God who holds man accountable.

    If what God has in store for us is anything like what happened to the Midianites, Canaanites, Amalekites, the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah or almost the entire population of the Earth in the Great Flood then I’d rather not have any part of it, thank you very much.

    Seversky basically believes that man should be able to do as much evil as he wants without ever being held accountable. Yet any God who did not ‘eventually’ hold man accountable for his evil deeds would be no God at all. Indeed, if justice did not exist in some real and meaningful sense, where what is evil is punished and what is good is defended, we would live in a world of utter chaos. A world of pitiless indifference where only the strong have a right to survive and the weak are plundered, abused, and perish at the hands of the strong. Which just so happens to be exactly the ‘anti-morality’ that is inherent in Seversky’s very own Darwinian worldview. Something tells me that Seversky would not actually want to live in the world that his Darwinian worldview actually entails, a world where there was no true justice and evil is allowed to triumph with no consequences.

    Seversky then wants to have his cake and eat it to.

    Love is a subjective experience but that doesn’t mean it’s an illusion. It’s hard to see how it can exist outside the brain as it disappears when those “chemical reactions” stop.

    You can’t have it both ways Seversky. Love is either objectively real or it is not. If love ‘disappears when those “chemical reactions” stop’ then that necessarily means that love is merely an illusion.

    Yet love does not disappear when those “chemical reactions” stop’.

    In fact, a central feature in Judeo-Christian near-death experience testimonies in the overwhelming amount of ‘love’ that is experienced in the presence of God:

    “The only human emotion I could feel was pure, unrelenting, unconditional love. Take the unconditional love a mother has for a child and amplify it a thousand fold, then multiply exponentially. The result of your equation would be as a grain of sand is to all the beaches in the world. So, too, is the comparison between the love we experience on earth to what I felt during my experience. This love is so strong, that words like “love” make the description seem obscene. It was the most powerful and compelling feeling. But, it was so much more. I felt the presence of angels. I felt the presence of joyous souls, and they described to me a hundred lifetimes worth of knowledge about our divinity. Simultaneous to the deliverance of this knowledge, I knew I was in the presence of God. I never wanted to leave, never.”
    – Judeo-Christian Near Death Experience Testimony?

    “I know, that whomever is reading this, you are deeply loved. Your life is deeply important to God. God is greater than anything you could ever even fathom — too great for me to even experience. I just felt the presence of God and His love. You, my dear person reading this, are important. Your life is critical. The love you have inside you is beautiful and brilliant and it is needed on this Earth. You can change this world with your love, which is entirely particular to you only. You have your own song.”
    – NDEs & The Purpose Of Life
    https://the-formula.org/ndes-the-purpose-of-life/

    I’ll take it as being self-evidently true that since love is objectively real and does not disappear when those ‘chemical reactions’ stop, then beauty is also objectively real and also does not disappear when those ‘chemical reactions’ stop.

    And finally, Christians have far more evidence validating the reality of near-death experiences than Seversky has evidence validating his Darwinian worldview.

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    I.e. We have far more observational evidence for the reality of souls than we do for the Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can generate functional information. Moreover, the transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain the origin of, directly supports the transcendent nature, as well as the physical reality, of the soul.

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige and Seversky, kindly explain to me how you could take this thread from its focus on a key issue on logic of science, to theological-philosophical talk-points on whether God made us in his image or we have imagined that there is a God so invented a pseudo-god in ours. That speaks volumes to a want of seriousness. Kindly, return to focus. KF

    PS: As a corrective note, we are not self-explanatory beings, and it is quite clear on history of civilisation that God is a serious candidate necessary being and root of reality. Your clever atheistical quips evade the issue that a serious candidate necessary being either is impossible of being or is actual. Where, as worlds such as ours are not self-explanatory [they are contingent], and as temporal-causal, thermodynamically driven succession of finite duration stages [years, for convenience] cannot actually complete a traverse of the transfinite in steps, we face the need for a beginning. Worlds from utter non-being is a non-starter as utter non-being has no causal capability. Circular, retro-temporal cause is the same in another guise. We therefore need a reality root that is a necessary, causally adequate, world framework being able to account for a world with rational, responsible [so, morally governed], significantly free creatures, us. Given the massive effort put out, that you evade and try to belittle — don’t try to duck it, the subtext is plain — rather than refute implicitly reminds us that the atheistical project to deem God impossible of being collapsed 50 years ago. So, it seems the shoe is on the other foot.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, pardon but Copernican Principle is a bit afield and at best would be an example of a thesis strongly subject to the pessimistic induction. The point is, science has no epistemic capability to transcend limits of inductive logic, and all the more so as we address the unobservable past of origins. Scientific models and explanatory constructs at best have tested empirical reliability across a gamut, they are subject to replacement. And smuggled in philosophical theses such as the CP, are even more suspect. The actual evidence is, with thousands of exo planets now on the table, is that we are living on a rare, privileged planet that is strongly fine tuned for long term life. And, for scientific discovery. KF

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