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Re: [skeptical] My response to Sidney

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  • Fred
    I thought I d respond to this too, ... A good scientist does not claim to have all the answers. Rather, a good scientist is *seeking* all the correct answers
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2002
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      I thought I'd respond to this too,

      Sidney Hagen wrote:

      >If you shatter the illusion that evolutionary
      >scientists have all the answers, a layman could see
      >that they are trying to reconstruct a thousand piece
      >jigsaw puzzle with two pieces, one of the smudged.
      >
      A good scientist does not claim to have "all the answers." Rather, a
      good scientist is *seeking* all the correct answers by application of
      the Scientific Method. Science is the process by which we discover the
      answers -- a painstaking, slow approach. However, once we do have the
      answers, we can feel a bit more confident that they reflect reality.

      Religionists, on the other hand, TEND to be impatient and want all the
      answers yesterday. So, rather than taking the slow, painstaking
      approach, they TEND to indulge in fantasy and leap on quick "answers"
      that usually cannot stand the muster of scrutiny.

      Not true of all Religionists, of course, but it is prevalent.

      >The other 998 1/2 pieces are sheer conjecture and
      >faith.
      >
      Totally incorrect. A basis of scientific understand is constructed based
      on the observations, with attempts to infer the "missing pieces" as you
      call it, via logic and reason. But even hard reasoning is not enough --
      they only produce hypotheses which then must be tested.

      > This is passed off as irrefutable science.
      >
      This sounds like pure hyperbole. This is not how Science operates. Every
      theory that is put forward is subject to rigorous peer review. It is
      beaten to death as much as possible, and if it emerges still standing,
      then it is accepted -- until something comes along to test it.

      There is no such thing as "irrefutable science." The very process of
      Science depends critically on refutability -- or falsifiability. If it
      is not falsiable, it is not Science.

      >Would Occam's razor also dictate that the rest of the
      >puzzle pieces may not exist because the theory is
      >wrong.
      >
      What theory is wrong? And on what grounds do you make that claim?

      >Do you see a pattern of bad logic in this statement.
      >Cremo and Thompson have theories outside of the
      >mainstream of science. Cremo and Thompson are not
      >invited to speak and write in their circle of peers
      >because their theories are outside the mainstream.
      >
      Or, perhaps it's because their theories don't stand up to peer review. I
      am not familiar with the work of Cremo and Thompson in particular, but
      usually I see this type of complaint on bad science.

      >Cremo and Thompson credentials are suspect because
      >they do not speak and write in their circle of peers.
      >Is this science trying to understand the truth?
      >
      Are their theories falsifiable? What tests have been conducted in an
      attempt to falsify them?

      >Pardon my being skeptical
      >
      Skepticism is a "show me" attitude -- what you are expressing here is
      not skepticism, but cynicism. Quite a different thing.

      --
      - Fred Mitchell, http://fred.mitchellware.com

      Cogito ergo sum.
      The rest is just a body.
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