Thursday, March 03, 2005

Out of respect for Ross

AJM says that Hugh Ross is not a theistic evolutionist. From what I've heard and read, I suspected AJM would take issue with that label. Here's the evolution/creation debate portion of Ross' website.

You decide:
http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics.

This dude's a sharp cookie. I'll look more closely at his work before I take issue.

Regarding AJM's comment that most Creationists are those who believe that "'days' is best interpreted as epochs of undetermined length that can be approximated by accepted scientific methods," I'm left wondering why I hear so much Creationist rhetoric on TV, in the papers, and on the radio: 1) about the world being much younger than scientists tell us it is; and 2) about how radioisotope dating and other "accepted scientific methods"--and these are well accepted in science--are faulty measuring tools.

That leads me to this question: I wonder whether the vast majority of Creationists know: 1) what "scientific methods" are at play in the creation/evolution debate; 2) whether those methods are or are not accepted by the people who are in a position to evaulate them (scientists who use them and those otherwise technically well versed in the methods enough to thoughtfully criticize them); and 3) how those methods that are at play actually work.

Beyond that, I question how many Creationists care about the scientific method at all. I know AJM does. But he is a highly educated, whip-smart guy whose logical and analytical tools are razor sharp. He understands the importance of science. I am not at all convinced that most Creationists do. Frankly, I don't think many evolutionists do, either.

Enough for now.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Catfish said...

(For accipiter and do justly).

I thought I would pitch in some data and ether in this discussion of yours about speciation with my limited science background.

I should start by saying that: no I won’t refer you guys to bull’s eye examples of how “goats became cats” or “dragon flies became dragons”.
My example won’t be “beyond reasonable doubt” and thus probably creationists will go “ahaaa see there is no “intra species evolution” but only species that are already close!!”
But the data I will bring in will be based somewhat on “preponderance of the evidence” and will point at a probable explanation (which is basically merely a theory) for the workings of evolution.

Yes I too still wish to see in front of my eyes as of March 3, 2005, a fish skip out of the water and start meowwwing. That would be very appropriate.

Here, the example will be more humble such as different cichlid fish species in the African rift lakes. It is an example for Adaptive radiation (which is defined “as the evolution of ecological and phenotypic diversity within a rapidly multiplying lineage”).
I know how creationist approach is not even impressed with the Galapagos finches but check this one out. But still I think it might be a good example how species diversified.

The Species concept (which you can always argue) I am referring here is Biological Species Concept (BSC):
Premise is simple, if two animals are humping yet they are not having fertile off-springs, they are most probably two different species. More elegantly;
"Species are groups of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups." (Ernest Mayr, 1942).

First, a good start up intro for the cichlids fish, check out;
http://www.thecichlidgallery.com/article_speciation.htm

Second one of the main paper if you need more solid stuff….
Origin of the Superflock of Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa
Erik Verheyen, Walter Salzburger, Jos Snoeks, and Axel Meyer
Science 11 April 2003; 300: 325-329; published online 20 March 2003. I can email on request..

Third, some more info and pix
http://malawicichlids.com/index.htm

During your readings here or in any scientific evidence when you come across such a sentence:“The first major branching of the cichlids in Lake Malawi occurred some 700 000 years ago, based on mtDNA sequence divergence” or a very popular one “according to C14 data…” it helps to have a vague idea what these are and their works. Because then we would be speaking different languages.( I sit down and read the Bible…so..)

The evidences for evolution are based on “data” and techniques such as DNA sequencing or C14 dating, etc. If we start questioning if the whole world of radio carbondating does work or not, well then we get into “assumptions we work on”, it is almost impossible to get out. If the radiator of the car is working and the transmission of the car is working and many parts are working and if it has some fuel in it, I am going to assume that the car is running. And if you really look at DNA and C14 techniques, you will actually see they are pretty intelligent and working patterns. And if somebody is interested in their inadequacy that will sure be the scientist (or better be) who are willing do reshape ideas and theories (or they should).

My personal experience: even though I used DNA sequencing to isolate soil microorganism, I don’t know much (none really) about fish DNA. And I used C14 technique to date soil charcoal I extracted in a Costa Rican rainforest for a land use history research regarding fire and dated the charcoal. No I have not used the AMS (machine that actually does the dating) myself nor built it. But I studied how it works and I looked at its data including what kind of errors it includes.

Anyhow, if you look at the articles about cichlids, they are “work in progress” and the whole story goes” the data suggest this and that; these are the problems, contradictions”. Thank you very much, scientists are already trying to look at all the missing links, contradictions and continuously revising all the ideas. They (good ones) are proud of showing their “possibility of making mistakes” as well. We even have a tool for that called statistics (it is useful usually other than Administrations use it to tell lies! For god’s sake, during the election debates did anybody get if “we were losing or creating jobs in US”, ohh, statistics the double edged sword!).

In science we always look for probability, we say there is 0.05, or 0.01 chance of being wrong for a particular question that is posed (within a particular data set). You are already saying how much confidence you have in your dataset. I say that is cool.

I am ready to dump all of the above in a blink of an eye, if a better explanation comes along. But I have to say” as of today the data suggest...” I am probably a flake! But I will stick to my conviction of “searching” and ” “being open to the hints of nature”. And god knows I don’t lose any credit in his eye for doing this (right God?).

I always ask, is it even possible to argue when our premises are so different. Sure!
I think I know where the differences between these two approaches come from; from the two different descriptors of logical reasoning.
It is two different ways of thinking ; One is posteriori inductive reasoning “ascribe properties or relations to types based on limited observations of particular tokens; or to formulate laws based on limited observations of recurring phenomenal patterns.”, “reasoning in which the conclusion of an argument is very likely to be true, but not certain, given the premises” (from wikipedia).

Whereas a priori deductive reasoning. “reasoning is the process of reaching a conclusion that is guaranteed to follow, if the evidence provided is true and the reasoning used to reach the conclusion is correct. The conclusion also must be based only on the evidence previously provided; it cannot contain new information about the subject matter. Both types of reasoning are routinely employed. One difference between them is that in deductive reasoning, the evidence provided must be a set about which everything is known before the conclusion can be drawn. Since it is difficult to know everything before drawing a conclusion, deductive reasoning has limited use in the real world. This is where inductive reasoning steps in. Given a set of evidence, however incomplete the knowledge is, the conclusion is likely to follow, but one gives up the guarantee that the conclusion follows. However it does provide the ability to learn new things that are not obvious from the evidence” (from wikipedia).

Yes, I believe it is possible to argue, kind of a ying-yang way, following each other and using each other’s resources. I believe both of these world views work well together.
Thenceforward, I am a fan of sticking to your convictions and faith and also paying attention to the evidence. The data come and go, updated, refuted, deleted but only for renewal of understanding.
“When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite. “ William Blake (1757 - 1827)

Best regards,
Rumblings of a little aborigine girl in the Australian outback not yet exposed to JC, but she who will eventually find the way…

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Catfish said...

(For accipiter and do justly).

I thought I would pitch in some data and ether in this discussion of yours about speciation with my limited science background.

I should start by saying that: no I won’t refer you guys to bull’s eye examples of how “goats became cats” or “dragon flies became dragons”.
My example won’t be “beyond reasonable doubt” and thus probably creationists will go “ahaaa see there is no “intra species evolution” but only species that are already close!!”
But the data I will bring in will be based somewhat on “preponderance of the evidence” and will point at a probable explanation (which is basically merely a theory) for the workings of evolution.

Yes I too still wish to see in front of my eyes as of March 3, 2005, a fish skip out of the water and start meowwwing. That would be very appropriate.

Here, the example will be more humble such as different cichlid fish species in the African rift lakes. It is an example for Adaptive radiation (which is defined “as the evolution of ecological and phenotypic diversity within a rapidly multiplying lineage”).
I know how creationist approach is not even impressed with the Galapagos finches but check this one out. But still I think it might be a good example how species diversified.

The Species concept (which you can always argue) I am referring here is Biological Species Concept (BSC):
Premise is simple, if two animals are humping yet they are not having fertile off-springs, they are most probably two different species. More elegantly;
"Species are groups of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups." (Ernest Mayr, 1942).

First, a good start up intro for the cichlids fish, check out;
http://www.thecichlidgallery.com/article_speciation.htm

Second one of the main paper if you need more solid stuff….
Origin of the Superflock of Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa
Erik Verheyen, Walter Salzburger, Jos Snoeks, and Axel Meyer
Science 11 April 2003; 300: 325-329; published online 20 March 2003. I can email on request..

Third, some more info and pix
http://malawicichlids.com/index.htm

During your readings here or in any scientific evidence when you come across such a sentence:“The first major branching of the cichlids in Lake Malawi occurred some 700 000 years ago, based on mtDNA sequence divergence” or a very popular one “according to C14 data…” it helps to have a vague idea what these are and their works. Because then we would be speaking different languages.( I sit down and read the Bible…so..)

The evidences for evolution are based on “data” and techniques such as DNA sequencing or C14 dating, etc. If we start questioning if the whole world of radio carbondating does work or not, well then we get into “assumptions we work on”, it is almost impossible to get out. If the radiator of the car is working and the transmission of the car is working and many parts are working and if it has some fuel in it, I am going to assume that the car is running. And if you really look at DNA and C14 techniques, you will actually see they are pretty intelligent and working patterns. And if somebody is interested in their inadequacy that will sure be the scientist (or better be) who are willing do reshape ideas and theories (or they should).

My personal experience: even though I used DNA sequencing to isolate soil microorganism, I don’t know much (none really) about fish DNA. And I used C14 technique to date soil charcoal I extracted in a Costa Rican rainforest for a land use history research regarding fire and dated the charcoal. No I have not used the AMS (machine that actually does the dating) myself nor built it. But I studied how it works and I looked at its data including what kind of errors it includes.

Anyhow, if you look at the articles about cichlids, they are “work in progress” and the whole story goes” the data suggest this and that; these are the problems, contradictions”. Thank you very much, scientists are already trying to look at all the missing links, contradictions and continuously revising all the ideas. They (good ones) are proud of showing their “possibility of making mistakes” as well. We even have a tool for that called statistics (it is useful usually other than Administrations use it to tell lies! For god’s sake, during the election debates did anybody get if “we were losing or creating jobs in US”, ohh, statistics the double edged sword!).

In science we always look for probability, we say there is 0.05, or 0.01 chance of being wrong for a particular question that is posed (within a particular data set). You are already saying how much confidence you have in your dataset. I say that is cool.

I am ready to dump all of the above in a blink of an eye, if a better explanation comes along. But I have to say” as of today the data suggest...” I am probably a flake! But I will stick to my conviction of “searching” and ” “being open to the hints of nature”. And god knows I don’t lose any credit in his eye for doing this (right God?).

I always ask, is it even possible to argue when our premises are so different. Sure!
I think I know where the differences between these two approaches come from; from the two different descriptors of logical reasoning.
It is two different ways of thinking ; One is posteriori inductive reasoning “ascribe properties or relations to types based on limited observations of particular tokens; or to formulate laws based on limited observations of recurring phenomenal patterns.”, “reasoning in which the conclusion of an argument is very likely to be true, but not certain, given the premises” (from wikipedia).

Whereas a priori deductive reasoning. “reasoning is the process of reaching a conclusion that is guaranteed to follow, if the evidence provided is true and the reasoning used to reach the conclusion is correct. The conclusion also must be based only on the evidence previously provided; it cannot contain new information about the subject matter. Both types of reasoning are routinely employed. One difference between them is that in deductive reasoning, the evidence provided must be a set about which everything is known before the conclusion can be drawn. Since it is difficult to know everything before drawing a conclusion, deductive reasoning has limited use in the real world. This is where inductive reasoning steps in. Given a set of evidence, however incomplete the knowledge is, the conclusion is likely to follow, but one gives up the guarantee that the conclusion follows. However it does provide the ability to learn new things that are not obvious from the evidence” (from wikipedia).

Yes, I believe it is possible to argue, kind of a ying-yang way, following each other and using each other’s resources. I believe both of these world views work well together.
Thenceforward, I am a fan of sticking to your convictions and faith and also paying attention to the evidence. The data come and go, updated, refuted, deleted but only for renewal of understanding.
“When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite. “ William Blake (1757 - 1827)

Best regards,
Rumblings of a little aborigine girl in the Australian outback not yet exposed to JC, but she who will eventually find the way…

3:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home