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Is “I don’t have a final answer” key to science?

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In “The Importance of Not Being Certain: Understanding why the science is never settled,” Charlie Martin writes

There’s this thing “science” that people talk about a lot. Climate science, political science, social science, and not to leave out my own field, computer science. And, of course, areas of study that don’t need to have “science” in their names, like chemistry and physics. But what is this thing “science”? I’ve been thinking a lot and reading a lot about it, and no, I don’t have a final answer… and then it occurred to me that “I don’t have a final answer” is really the key to understanding “science.”

I think the perfect example is in mechanics. In scientific terms, “mechanics” is the study of objects in motion. Sir Isaac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”) published in 1687, and for the next 200 years, everything in mechanics was based on Newton, with his Three Laws of Motion and the Law of Universal Gravitation – and with (arguably) the first version of calculus. It was seen as probably the one absolute of science; the absolute consensus among physicists was that Newton was correct.

And then along came Einstein.

Readers? Is “I don’t have a final answer” really the key to understanding “science”?

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Seversky You want to compare modern evolutionary theory to relativity. Perhaps then you can answer Berlinski's question. Barry Arrington
As well, as to the somewhat minor extent Darwinian reasoning has influenced medical diagnostics, it has led to much ‘medical malpractice’ in the past:
Evolution's "vestigial organ" argument debunked Excerpt: "The appendix, like the once 'vestigial' tonsils and adenoids, is a lymphoid organ (part of the body's immune system) which makes antibodies against infections in the digestive system. Believing it to be a useless evolutionary 'left over,' many surgeons once removed even the healthy appendix whenever they were in the abdominal cavity. Today, removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances would be considered medical malpractice" (David Menton, Ph.D., "The Human Tail, and Other Tales of Evolution," St. Louis MetroVoice , January 1994, Vol. 4, No. 1). "Doctors once thought tonsils were simply useless evolutionary leftovers and took them out thinking that it could do no harm. Today there is considerable evidence that there are more troubles in the upper respiratory tract after tonsil removal than before, and doctors generally agree that simple enlargement of tonsils is hardly an indication for surgery" (J.D. Ratcliff, Your Body and How it Works, 1975, p. 137). The tailbone, properly known as the coccyx, is another supposed example of a vestigial structure that has been found to have a valuable function—especially regarding the ability to sit comfortably. Many people who have had this bone removed have great difficulty sitting. http://www.ucg.org/science/god-science-and-bible-evolutions-vestigial-organ-argument-debunked/
Moreover, Darwinian reasoning, to the extent it has influenced social policy, has had a tremendous negative impact on society at large (i.e. eugenics, abortion, the Nazi Holocaust):
The Cultural Impact of Darwinian Evolution - John West, PhD - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFh4whzh_NU How Darwin's Theory Changed the World - Rejection of Judeo-Christian values Excerpt: Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide. “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75). Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.). http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn85/darwin-theory-changed-world.htm The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War 1 - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n900e80R30 From Darwin To Hitler - Richard Weikart - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A Historian Paul Johnson is Darwin's Latest Biographer -- and a Pretty Devastating One - David Klinghoffer - October 14, 2012 Excerpt: "Both Himmler, head of the SS and Goebbels, the propaganda chief," were students of Darwin, ,,, Hitler apparently carried the theory of natural selection "to its logical conclusion." "Leading Communists," moreover, "from Lenin to Trotsky to Stalin and Mao Tse-tung" considered evolution "essential to the self-respect of Communists. ... Darwin provided stiffening to the scaffold of laws and dialectic they erected around their seizure of power." Even Stalin,, "had Darwin's 'struggle' and 'survival of the fittest' in mind" when murdering entire ethnic groups, as did Pol Pot,,, ,,the "emotional stew" Darwin built up in Origin played a major part in the development of the 20th century's genocides.,,, No one who is remotely thoughtful blames Charles Darwin "for millions of deaths." But to say, as Johnson does, that Darwin's theory contributed to the growth of a view of the world that in turn had horrendously tragic consequences -- well, that's obviously true, it did. We have documented this extensively here at ENV, as have historians including our contributor Richard Weikart (Hitler's Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein). There is, or should be, nothing controversial about this (fact of history). http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/historian_paul_065281.html
Science, and society, simply owe nothing to Darwinian evolution except the extreme regret that Darwinism was ever accepted as a 'scientific' theory by society at large instead of the dangerous pseudo-scientific atheistic philosophy that it truly is!
Anti-Science Irony Excerpt: In response to a letter from Asa Gray, professor of biology at Harvard University, Darwin declared: “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.” When questioned further by Gray, Darwin confirmed Gray’s suspicions: “What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work is grievously hypothetical, and large parts are by no means worthy of being called induction.” Darwin had turned against the use of scientific principles in developing his theory of evolution. http://www.darwinthenandnow.com/2011/10/anti-science-irony/
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Propaganda does not change the fact that Darwinism is worse than useless:
Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations – Michael Egnor – neurosurgeon – June 2011 Excerpt: 4) Evolutionary explanations by themselves are worthless to medicine. All medical treatments are based on detailed proximate explanations. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/darwinian_medicine_and_proxima047701.html Limited role of Darwinism in medicine - May 2, 2014 Excerpt: In eight well-written and thoroughly researched chapters, Ferngren takes the reader from ancient times to the Greco-Roman period, early Christianity, into the Middle Ages and the Islamic world, to the early modern period, and on into the 19th and 20th centuries. The roots of Western medicine, we learn, can be found in the transformative effects of Judeo-Christian traditions. But the story told here is also about the eclipse of those traditions. While it is not a book on or about Darwinism, Ferngren states accurately that “Darwin’s theory did not make a significant contribution to clinical medicine.” https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/evolutionary-psychology/limited-role-of-darwinism-in-medicine/ What Does Evolution Have to Do With Immunology? Not Much - April 2011 http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2011-04-06T11_39_03-07_00 podcast - "The Intelligent Design of the Immune System" http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2015-02-06T16_11_04-08_00 On this episode of ID the Future, Dr. Donald L. Ewert continues to explain why the vertebrate adaptive immune system does not use "random" or "chance" processes like Darwinian evolution to generate antibody diversity. Instead, he argues that the immune system is intelligently designed. Listen in as Dr. Ewert shares one of the most interesting stories in science, the generation of antibody diversity.
Even breakthroughs in antibiotics owe nothing to the Darwinian narrative
"Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming's discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin's theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.,,, In the peer-reviewed literature, the word "evolution" often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for "evolution" some other word – "Buddhism," "Aztec cosmology," or even "creationism." I found that the substitution never touched the paper's core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology." Philip S. Skell - (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. http://www.discovery.org/a/2816 Evolution (Not) Crucial in Antibiotics Breakthrough: How Science is Actually Done - Cornelius Hunter - Sept. 2012 http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/09/evolution-not-crucial-in-antibiotics.html
Nor is the late Dr. Skell alone in his analysis that Darwinism is a superfluous ‘narrative gloss’ that is added on only after breakthroughs are made:
“In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.” Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005 “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.” A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000). Science Owes Nothing To Darwinian Evolution – Jonathan Wells – (4:32 minute mark) video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfWb8BaXoRc
Even staunch atheist Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, agrees that Darwinism does not guide biological research, (apparently not even his own research in discovering the structure of DNA),
“Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. It is all too easy to make mistaken inferences unless the process involved is already very well understood.” Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit (1988)
Moreover, besides failing to provide useful guidance to science, neo-Darwinism has a long history of making inaccurate predictions, such as vestigial organs and junk DNA. Inaccurate predictions that have constantly led true scientific inquiry astray
Darwin's (failed) Predictions - Cornelius G. Hunter - 2015 This paper evaluates 23 fundamental (false) predictions of evolutionary theory from a wide range of different categories. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the nature of scientific predictions, and typical concerns evolutionists raise against investigating predictions of evolution. The paper next presents the individual predictions in seven categories: early evolution, evolutionary causes, molecular evolution, common descent, evolutionary phylogenies, evolutionary pathways, and behavior. Finally the conclusion summarizes these various predictions, their implications for evolution’s capacity to explain phenomena, and how they bear on evolutionist’s claims about their theory. *Introduction Why investigate evolution’s false predictions? Responses to common objections *Early evolution predictions The DNA code is not unique The cell’s fundamental molecules are universal *Evolutionary causes predictions Mutations are not adaptive Embryology and common descent Competition is greatest between neighbors *Molecular evolution predictions Protein evolution Histone proteins cannot tolerate much change The molecular clock keeps evolutionary time *Common descent predictions The pentadactyl pattern and common descent Serological tests reveal evolutionary relationships Biology is not lineage specific Similar species share similar genes MicroRNA *Evolutionary phylogenies predictions Genomic features are not sporadically distributed Gene and host phylogenies are congruent Gene phylogenies are congruent The species should form an evolutionary tree *Evolutionary pathways predictions Complex structures evolved from simpler structures Structures do not evolve before there is a need for them Functionally unconstrained DNA is not conserved Nature does not make leaps *Behavior Altruism Cell death *Conclusions What false predictions tell us about evolution https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home Why investigate evolution’s false predictions? Excerpt: The predictions examined in this paper were selected according to several criteria. They cover a wide spectrum of evolutionary theory and are fundamental to the theory, reflecting major tenets of evolutionary thought. They were widely held by the consensus rather than reflecting one viewpoint of several competing viewpoints. Each prediction was a natural and fundamental expectation of the theory of evolution, and constituted mainstream evolutionary science. Furthermore, the selected predictions are not vague but rather are specific and can be objectively evaluated. They have been tested and evaluated and the outcome is not controversial or in question. And finally the predictions have implications for evolution’s (in)capacity to explain phenomena, as discussed in the conclusions. https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/why-investigate-evolution-s-false-predictions
bornagain77: Darwinism is worse than useless Sironi et al., Evolutionary insights into host–pathogen interactions from mammalian sequence data, Nature 2015: "Recent examples show how evolution-guided approaches can provide new insights into host–pathogen interactions, ultimately clarifying the basis of host range and explaining the emergence of different diseases." Also, http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/medicine_01 Zachriel
Darwinism is worse than useless bornagain77
logically_speaking: If something is wrong – it’s wrong. All models are wrong, but some are useful. — George E. P. Box Zachriel
A telling metaphysical insight, Denyse! Mapou will be eating his heart out. You're slipping, Mapou. Get a grip, man. Axel
Newtonian mechanics was superseded by quantum mechanics in terms of the depth to which it penetrated the nature of matter, but it never supplanted it, nor ever will, since the Newtonian paradigm relates to the particular, day-to-day physic at the level of human vision. Evolution has currently supplanted* the manifest truth of intelligent design by 'a vastly superior Spirit,' as I believe Einstein couched his definition of God, for the recognition of which science is actually wholly redundant to anyone with an IQ in double figures. Yet irony of ironies Evolution has never, nor could ever supersede ID, as it was acknowledged as a fantasy by Darwin, himself, albeit, indirectly, and science has remorselessly exposed it as such. 'Oh my! How resourceful Evolution is! It always surprises us; always has something 'up its sleeve' to take our breath away (literally, if we let go of it, and we lose our jobs). * in the sense of 'usurped'. Axel
As to what we can be certain about in reality and what we can be uncertain about in reality, it is interesting to note that there is a very strong tradition in philosophy that holds that the most concrete thing that a person can know about reality is the fact that they have a mind and are indeed conscious. Rene Descartes is perhaps most famous for this Theistic 'argument from doubt' for the reality of mind:
"Descartes remarks that he can continue to doubt whether he has a body; after all, he only believes he has a body as a result of his perceptual experiences, and so the demon could be deceiving him about this. But he cannot doubt that he has a mind, i.e. that he thinks. So he knows he exists even though he doesn’t know whether or not he has a body." http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/philosophy/downloads/a2/unit4/descartes/DescartesDualism.pdf
David Chalmers, following in Descartes footsteps, is also semi-famous for getting the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness across to lay people in a very easy to understand manner:
David Chalmers on (the hard problem of) Consciousness - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo Philosophical Zombies - cartoon http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11
And indeed it seemed, at first reading, even Darwin himself expressed a 'horrid doubt' that the convictions of a person's mind could be firmly grounded within materialism:
"But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" Charles Darwin
But it turns out that Charles Darwin’s infamous ‘horrid doubt’, contrary to popular opinion, was actually being used in a hyper-selective fashion. In other words, Darwin used his 'horrid doubt' only when considering evidence for God and never judiciously used his 'horrid doubt' when questioning his own theory. Nancy Pearcey goes over the overtly biased nature in which Charles Darwin employed his 'horrid doubt' here:
Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015 Excerpt: Darwin’s Selective Skepticism People are sometimes under the impression that Darwin himself recognized the problem. They typically cite Darwin’s famous “horrid doubt” passage where he questions whether the human mind can be trustworthy if it is a product of evolution: “With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.” But, of course, Darwin’s theory itself was a “conviction of man’s mind.” So why should it be “at all trustworthy”? Surprisingly, however, Darwin never confronted this internal contradiction in this theory. Why not? Because he expressed his “horrid doubt” selectively — only when considering the case for a Creator. From time to time, Darwin admitted that he still found the idea of God persuasive. He once confessed his “inward conviction … that the Universe is not the result of chance.” It was in the next sentence that he expressed his “horrid doubt.” So the “conviction” he mistrusted was his lingering conviction that the universe is not the result of chance. In another passage Darwin admitted, “I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man.” Again, however, he immediately veered off into skepticism: “But then arises the doubt — can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?” That is, can it be trusted when it draws “grand conclusions” about a First Cause? Perhaps the concept of God is merely an instinct programmed into us by natural selection, Darwin added, like a monkey’s “instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.” In short, it was on occasions when Darwin’s mind led him to a theistic conclusion that he dismissed the mind as untrustworthy. He failed to recognize that, to be logically consistent, he needed to apply the same skepticism to his own theory. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar094171.html
And indeed, as C.S. Lewis, Thomas Nagel, Alvin Plantinga and others have shown, materialism is self refuting when it tries to account for mind:
Self-refutation and the New Atheists: The Case of Jerry Coyne - Michael Egnor - September 12, 2013 Excerpt: Their (the New Atheists) ideology is a morass of bizarre self-refuting claim. They assert that science is the only way to truth, yet take no note that scientism itself isn't a scientific assertion. They assert a "skeptical" view that thoughts are only constructed artifacts of our neurological processing and have no sure contact with truth, ignoring the obvious inference that their skeptical assertion is thereby reduced to a constructed artifact with no sure contact with truth. They assert that Christianity has brought much immorality to the world, yet they deny the existence of objective morality. They assert that intelligent design is not testable, and (yet claim the counter proposition, that life is not designed, is testable). And they assert that we are determined entirely by our natural history and physical law and thereby have no free will, yet they assert this freely, claiming truth and personal exemption from determinism. Here is a case in point.,,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/09/self-refutation076541.html
Of semi-related interest as to what can be reasonably doubted (i.e. materialism), and what can be held with certainty, (i.e. mind, God), 'quantum uncertainty' undermined the materialist's deterministic view of reality:
Why Quantum Physics (Uncertainty) Ends the Free Will Debate - Michio Kaku - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLR5vNKiSw
What is interesting about 'quantum uncertainty' is that quantum uncertainty comes out very naturally if reality is information theoretic in its basis
Quantum physics just got less complicated - Dec. 19, 2014 Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,, "The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,",,, http://phys.org/news/2014-12-quantum-physics-complicated.html
Thus, ironically, the 'uncertainty' which undermined the determinism of materialists actually turns around and provides 'certainty' for the Christian Theists. Provides the 'certainty' that reality is 'information theoretic' in it foundational basis:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
As Ms. O’Leary (i.e. UD News) has wisely noted previously, if information underlies the universe then meaning must also underlie the universe:
“But information is fundamentally relational” & “If information underlies the universe, then meaning underlies the universe. Pass it on.” UD News
Kurt Godel, comments on 'meaning' in the following quote:
"What I call the theological worldview is the idea that the world and everything in it has meaning and reason, and in particular a good and indubitable meaning. It follows immediately that our worldly existence, since it has in itself at most a very dubious meaning, can only be means to the end of another existence. The idea that everything in the world has a meaning [reason] is an exact analogue of the principle that everything has a cause, on which rests all of science." Kurt Gödel - Hao Wang’s biography "Reflections on Kurt Gödel", MIT Press, 1987 http://kevincarmody.com/math/goedel.html
If a "final answer" includes an answer to the question of first origin—and I hold it must—, then indeed science—under methodological naturalism—is unable to provide a "final answer" by definition. Such a conclusion is consistent with Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem (see post #2). Any theory about X cannot be complete if it cannot explain the origin of X—or resorts to an infinite regress of origins. Rosenberg's complaining notwithstanding:
The multiverse theory seems to provide an opportunity seized upon by wishful thinkers, theologians, and their fellow travelers among the physicists and philosophers. First they ask, “If our universe is just one of many in a multiverse, where did the multiverse come from? And where did the multiverse’s cause come from, and where did its cause come from?” And so on, ad infinitum. Once they have convinced themselves and others that this series of questions has no stopping point in physics, they play what they imagine is a trump card, a question whose only answer they think has to be the God hypothesis. It is certainly true that if physics has to move back farther and farther in the regress from universe to multiverse to something that gave rise to the multiverse, to something even more basic than that, it will never reach any point labeled “last stop, all off” (or rather “starting point” for all destinations). By the same token, if it has to move down to smaller and more fundamental components of reality than even fermions or bosons, it won’t ever know whether it has reached the “basement level” of reality. At this point, the theologians and mystery-mongering physicists play their trump card. It doesn’t matter whether there are infinite regresses in these two lines of inquiry or finite ones. Either way, they insist, physics can’t answer the question, Why is there anything at all? or as the question is famously put, Why is there something rather than nothing? [A.Rosenberg, TAGTR, ch.2]
"find a better alternative to evolution". This kind of things pops up quite alot, but why do we need to come up with any alternative at all to any WRONG theory. If something is wrong - it's wrong. Maybe if we just concerned ourselves with what's right, rather than wasting time and money on replacing wrong theories with more wrong theories. logically_speaking
Mung, it is an insult to Newton's theory to compare modern evolutionary theory with it. Shoot, it is an insult to tea leaf reading to compare modern evolutionary theory with it. :) bornagain77
Seversky, your argument makes no sense. All we have to do is sit back and observe as modern evolutionary theory comes crashing down. All that remains to be seen is what will replace it. Mung
And then along came Einstein.
That's right And, just like most of the critics of evolution, Einstein wasn't a scientist, he was a lawyer or an engineer or a computer programmer or a brain surgeon or a philosopher/photographer or any of the other disciplines that I'm sure Timaeus feels are eminently qualified to comment on such matters. Oh no, wait, Einstein a was theoretical physicist, wasn't he? Okay, well, anyway, he wrote blog comments, newspaper and magazine articles, books and even movies excoriating Newtonism as a pseudo-religion that was only kept alive by a conspiracy of scientists desperate to preserve their fat paychecks. That's how he brought it down. Didn't he? Well, actually, no, it looks like he came up with a new theory based on a whole new way of looking at things. One that could be tested. And it was. And it worked. Just like Newton's theory worked. Only better. Relativity theory supplanted Newtonian mechanics because scientists became increasingly aware of the latter's shortcomings. It was good, it was a tremendous intellectual achievement, but it wasn't perfect. They needed something better and a number of them began working towards it. Einstein happened to get there first. That's all. When an ID proponent actually takes up science to find a better alternative to evolution, rather than just being in the game to undermine it, then they might be in with a shout of an actual scientific breakthrough. Until then, you haven't a hope. Seversky
Why should anyone ever accept "I don't have a final answer" as an answer? Is the natural world really that unpredictable? Mung
Is “I don’t have a final answer” really the key to understanding “science”?
I'm not a scientist, just a layperson, but I think that's a good way to put it. In some cases, we might actually have the "final answer", but it's impossible to be certain of that. daveS
The "I don't have the final answer" quote reminds me of this following quote from the great mathematician David Hilbert:
"We must know. We will know." David Hilbert {Speech in Königsberg in 1930, now on his tomb in Göttingen]
The funny thing about that statement from Hilbert is that the day before he had made that statement, 'coincidentally', Godel had just revealed his Incompleteness theorem to two eminent colleagues. The story of that incident is told at 3:50 minute mark of the following video:
Kurt Gödel - Incompleteness Theorem – video https://vimeo.com/92387853
Here are a few more notes about 'incompleteness' and its implications:
THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010 Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians Godel and Physics - John D. Barrow Excerpt (page 5-6): "Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons...fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time." Stanley Jaki - Cosmos and Creator - 1980, pg. 49 http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf
Even Hawking himself at one time admitted, and apparently subsequently forgot, that there cannot be a 'complete' mathematical theory of everything,
The nature and significance of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems - Princeton - 2006 Excerpt: ,,Stephen Hawking and Freeman Dyson, among others, have come to the conclusion that Gödel’s theorem implies that there can’t be a (mathematical) Theory of Everything.,, http://math.stanford.edu/~feferman/papers/Godel-IAS.pdf Taking God Out of the Equation - Biblical Worldview - by Ron Tagliapietra - January 1, 2012 Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties. 1. Validity ... all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning. 2. Consistency ... no conclusions contradict any other conclusions. 3. Completeness ... all statements made in the system are either true or false. The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem. Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation. Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n1/equation# The God of the Mathematicians - Goldman Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” - Kurt Gödel - (Gödel is considered one of the greatest logicians who ever existed) http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians
Verse and Music:
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Sarah McLachlan - Answer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8B1ai25lUo
Is “I don’t have a final answer” really the key to understanding “science”? No. If we want to understand science we need to look at who (or what) does science. And in many cases it's not that "I don't have a final answer" that is the key to science but rather that "I have an answer that's good enough." Mung

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