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Discussion in 'Spirituality & Religion' started by Dyvel, Dec 21, 2010.
We will keep looking. No need to visceraly accept magic as the answer.
the real answer is simple.
We don't know now and we're pretty sure we will never know.
just because scientists might be able to produce conditions that would allow for DNA to form doesn't mean that the method they developed was how it happened in the first place.
and calling supernatural phenomena "magic" is puerile.
you have no way to know whether supernatural phenomena are part of what we know as reality or whether they are not. it's a preconceived notion on your part and you know it.
Its right there in the definition of magic.
the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
"do you believe in magic?"
synonyms: sorcery, witchcraft, wizardry, necromancy, enchantment, the supernatural, occultism, the occult, black magic, the black arts, voodoo, hoodoo, mojo, shamanism;More
Besides, if you show me a magician Ill show you an illusionist.
the problem with your textbook definition to illuminate a point such as the one you are trying to make resides in the whole sense of the definition.
from what you consider to be a scientific perspective, one that only allows for naturalistic phenomena, anything supernatural might be described as "magical", however, the lack of understanding of the real force(s) behind Creation explains how the idea of "magic" creeps in.
it is far more likely that what we have come to refer to as "supernatural" is in actuality part of the true nature of things. to extend the point further, God created Nature, as we apprehend it, and everything that was, is, and will be is part of those categories of phenomena. you think of them as "magic" in the sense of "illusory" or "fake", when the greater likelihood is that they are merely "mysterious" in the sense of something not now understood but revealed later in understandable terms.
the word translated "mystery" from Biblical Greek to English refers to something "occult", meaning "hidden" but not unknowable.
what is ironic, i think, is that you expect that science will eventually explain what is now "hidden", whereas i believe that the explanation is already clear.
That's true, but not for the reason you seem to think.
When talking about science, if by "knowledge" you mean "certainty", then you're absolutely right, because as far as theories and models are concerned, nothing is ever known for certain in science. Science does not provide certainty; science provides levels or degrees of confidence.
Will science ever give us with certainty the answers to such questions? No, because that isn't what science does. Will science give us answers that, for a variety of reasons, seem to us (well, those of us who value a scientific world view) worthy of serious consideration, or even sufficient confidence as to become a commonly-held paradigm? I can't see any reason why that can't happen.
(EDIT: a bit of carelessness on my part. There is one circumstance in which science *can* provide certainty: when the concrete predictions of a theory or model are shown to be false.)
oh to be so enlightened like Stilton.
you're very careful not to indict my level of understanding of the basics...
i fully grasp that science is an accumulation of knowledge that leads to the development of predictions, hypotheses, theories, and sometimes laws that explain or expand our understanding of natural phenomena.
where some "science" fails is that it incorporates what appear on the surface to be reasonable presuppositions that undergird the subsequent conclusions.
i am not seeking certainty. what would be better received is the concession that while particular presuppositions appear to be reasonable, they do not merit the confidence that allows the conclusions to be expressed with such finality.
worthy of serious consideration is one thing.
but assuming that abiogenesis explains the presence of life on this planet, with a complete lack of supporting evidence, surpasses the sniff test on the way to "commonly-held paradigm".
I'm not sure which definition of "accumulation" you're using here -- the one that refers to a process, or the plural noun (i.e. "while walking the dog earlier tonight there was an accumulation of Pokemon Go players in the corner park"). Science is the approach -- the formulation of hypotheses, their testing, their rejection or refinement or support, their further testing, etc. The "knowledge" itself is not science; it's something that comes about as a result of science. I apologize if you already know this; but I never assume that people do, because it's my experience that most people do not.
Without your being more concrete, I'm not entirely sure I follow you. It's certainly the case that scientific theories or models exist which are based on assumptions which have neither a basis in prior observation or experiment nor an a priori derivation from other theories/models with substantial support. But that's the point of subsequent observation or experiment: if I make such assumptions, and based on them derive predictions of what I should see in some observation or experiment, and then I don't see those predictions borne out, then my assumptions were wrong, full stop.
If, OTOH, those predictions *are* observed, that doesn't mean my assumptions have been proven true, because nothing is ever proven true in science. I simply have a bit more confidence in them.
None of this describes any kind of "failure" of science.
Without very specific examples, it's impossible to respond. A presupposition is as reasonable as subsequent observation or experiment suggests.
I'm not sure what you mean by "assuming that abiogenesis explains the presence of life". If you refer to the assumption that abiogenesis could explain the presence of life -- that is, the assumption that life could possibly arise from nonliving matter -- then I don't understand the complaint. Making that assumption is required in order to test whether the assumption is valid. If one can show that a non-supernatural cause for life must necessarily have certain consequences that contradict observation or experiment, that would indicate that a non-supernatural cause for life cannot possibly occur. But in the absence of such a showing, it's perfectly reasonable to suggest that abiogenesis is a possibility, and then formulate more concrete models/theories and test them.
that particular assumption is a hypothetical construct. you can put on your lab coat (viz Urey-Miller) and start brewing up stuff, but in the case of U-M, nothing to advance the validity of the hypothesis was achieved, yet i hear with some regularity that U-M tended to suggest that abiogenesis was a reasonable presupposition because the experiment yielded a result that didn't categorically eliminate abiogenesis as a possible explanation of Life.
if U-M's experiment is presented in a science textbook as anything other than part of the historical narrative of the inconclusive search for an explanation of Life, it's misrepresented. the same is true of Haeckel's drawings, but in a different context.
why do you think that reasonably perceptive Christians view those kinds of "scientific" information as disingenuous and thus cast an umbra of duplicity over that area of scientific discipline.
i'm not saying that abiogenesis is not a possibility. please understand that.
what i am saying is the unwarranted assumption that abiogenesis is a biological fact is tantamount to a ruse.
and your suggestion that we can start with an unwarranted assumption and then perform tests and create concrete models is, frankly, odd.
it's as if scientists were saying, "How else could Life have originated?" the categorical dismissal of a possible etiology is unreasonable, even if the prospective cause seems unlikely.
in other words, your saying that operating under the assumption that God created Life is the work of fools and anti-science quacks is a categorization based on the rejection of supernatural phenomena. you can say without any challenge, "I find it difficult to believe that such phenomena occur", as far as I am concerned. but to say "There is no such thing as supernatural phenomena" would be akin to my saying "there is no such thing as abiogenesis.
we don't know either way.
I have no idea -- I don't know enough about the Urey-Miller experiment to have an informed opinion, or to judge whether I agree or disagree with anything you've written above.
The assertion that *anything* in science is a fact, right down to models of gravity such as Newtonian gravity or General Relativity, is ill-considered: science does not establish propositions as facts. It does collect evidence in support of a proposition, or falsify that proposition. I have no idea at all what the evidentiary status of any particular model of abiogenesis may be, so I can't speak to the level of support any of them may have. It is my understanding, however, that abiogenesis has not been falsified, which you seem to agree with just above.
It's not only not odd, it's necessary.
Let me give you an example from my domain. For a long time, the most popular -- which is to say, most heavily studied -- model of the formation of structure in the early Universe was the inflationary Omega_matter = 1 cold dark matter model. This model assumed that the geometry of the universe was flat, that the reason it was flat was because the energy density of the universe from matter was the right amount to make that be so, that the vast majority of that matter was dark matter (which interacts gravitationally, but only weakly or not at all via the other three fundamental forces we think we know about), and that in the local reference frame of the expansion of the universe, the dark matter on average had little energy associated with it apart from the energy one might associate with its mass itself (in special relativity, its rest energy). It also assumed that the density inhomogeneities that grew into the galaxies, clusters of galaxies, filamentary structures, etc. that we see in the Universe today were tiny in the early Universe, and had a particular distribution/frequency in mass and length scales that falls out of models of inflation and calculations of things that should happen in such a universe afterward. There were a number of scientific prejudices which caused people to be interested in this model (the biggest: it was the simplest model that wasn't easily ruled out, and people like to start with simple things), but very little in the way observation or experiment that pushed one towards it.
So to test it, many scientists (including myself) assumed that it was correct, used that assumption to derive predictions about the Universe that should therefore be observed if that assumption were correct, published them, and waited for astronomers and particle physicsts to come back and say if those predictions were right/wrong. They came back and said . . .wrong. There are properties of the Universe that can't be reconciled with Omega_matter=1 CDM. Which, in turn, invalidated the assumption.
No. It's simply saying that a theory/model isn't scientifically interesting unless it's testable, which in turn means one needs to be able to arrive at testable consequences of the theory/model, which one arrives at by starting with the working assumption that the theory or model is true and seeing what the observable consequences of that would be.
let me start by saying that i've always found you to be the most reasonable, broadminded and thoughtful person (with whom i tend to disagree on almost everything but music ) who frequents this forum. i had not known about your deep background until now, and, not surprisingly, i'm not conversant with the physics that you're discussing. i can follow some of it, but a lot is "whoosh" stuff.
OTOH, how's your French?
anyway...the idea of "not scientifically interesting" is a particularly captivating one from a couple of aspects. first, it would rule out anything where there wouldn't be any money to fund research, which is probably driven by consensus. and second, it means that a specific world-view would also be a factor in how receptive scientists holding that specific world view would be to certain types of what would be thought of as "unconventional" ideas.
intuitively, i already sensed that, but you confirmed my hunch.
One thing I always liked about Mormon theology is the teaching that God and natural law must be in harmony.
Je parle un petit peu de Francais. Je habitais en Paris pour deux mois, et j'ai fait beaucoup des voyages a France pour ma travaille; mais il y a beaucoup de temps depuis ca, et j'ai oublie beaucoup de grammaire et la plus grande partie de ma vocabulaire.
There are bits of truth in what you're saying; but before touching on that, I need to address that you seem to be reading a bit into my use of that phrase.
The expression "not scientifically interesting" was not meant to indicate something about scientists' opinions of what is/isn't interesting, but rather was meant to indicate something about what science is by definition. As we discussed, science is in the business of falsifying propositions, or of gathering evidence that supports them, but not in the business of proving propositions true. That being the case, propositions which cannot possibly be falsified -- where there's no experimental or observational result one can conceive of that would rule out the proposition if it occurred -- are of limited or no scientific interest. This is not a statement about the proposition -- it's a statement about what science's scope is. It doesn't mean the proposition isn't very very interesting in other ways, and it doesn't mean the proposition is necessarily considered true *or* false -- it just means that it's not something that science can speak to. The details of Agincourt are not mathematics; "I Want You Back" is not economics; and the proposition that an omnipotent supreme being exists is not within the domain of science. It may be 100% true; but it's not scientifically interesting because it's not a falsifiable hypothesis. That's what's meant by that expression.
That said, while that's what I meant by that expression, you are obviously correct that funding limits research, and that there's an element of consensus in funding. This element is often significantly overstated, though. In much of scientific research, actually, one of the biggest problems is the opposite: that research intended to attempt to reproduce other researchers' work doesn't get funded, or doesn't even get proposed. The problem is that folks who decide whether or not you're going to get tenure, or whether you're going to get promoted, or whether your temporary position is going to be a full hire, want to see that you've done ground-breaking stuff. Confirming or contradicting someone else's ground-breaking stuff by repeating their work and examining it carefully isn't enough. So that kind of work doesn't get proposed remotely as often as it should; and when it does, it often struggles with funding because funding sources want to be able to say (to the folks they get the money from, be it Congress, or a VP in charge of R&D, or whoever) that their money has gone to ground-breaking stuff. From my observations, this is a *far* worse problem than cultural consensuses (sp? consensi?) of scientists. In the biomedical field, it contributes to the phenomenon we've all experienced where repeatedly, one hears in the news of a study about a drug or a foodstuff and its effects on people that seems to contradict a story you read about three months earlier; and that one then gets contradicted itself six months later.
Furthermore, so long as consensus doesn't make research into something that runs counter to expectations *impossible*, a certain amount of resistance is IMO healthy and good. Consensus usually doesn't happen out of nowhere: it generally occurs because a significant body of evidence has developed which supports a proposition. If someone wishes to advance the hypothesis that, despite all that supporting evidence, the prevailing consensus is wrong, it's reasonable that they have to work harder to sell their hypothesis than they would if that evidence didn't exist. It dovetails with the philosophy held in science that the more extraordinary the claim, the harder one has to work to support it.
All of which is not meant to suggest that groupthink etc. do not exist in science -- it is a *human* endeavor, after all -- but merely that it's easy to overstate its effects (and many people do).
Or as the guys from Queen put it,
"Hey hey hey hey, it was the DNA
Hey hey hey hey, that made me this way"
On another topic, I noticed several advertisements for the new Noah's Ark experience (or whatever) during ESPN's MLS broadcast. So we're in the demographic for the Ark apparently.
To be expected in a league that loves to be sponsored by questionable businesses that sometimes rely on suspending belief and customer gullibility like Herbalife or Advocare, etc
I've been quite happy that it hasn't popped up on any of my NASCAR shows
Did Noah bring 2 attackers, 2 midfielders, 2 defenders and to goalkeepers so he could start a new football team?
They have never been able to get the strikers to breed in captivity. Well, not in America anyway.
Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm?
Dom Dwyer and Sydney Leroux?
i quail at the thought...
Garrett is 4, the twins are 9.
wait and see?
he's 25 and plays in the MLS.
she's not talented enough to be taken seriously.
Oh come on Ismitje, don't get us started on magic underpants and gold tablets.
That's nice. Meanwhile, Diego Maradona's daughter was breeding with Kun Aguero.
What does this have to do with the problem Americans have had breeding strikers in captivity?
and that's the problem with my team. god called to Liverpool to come forth, but damn. They keep missing out on the CL by coming fifth and sixth.