Wednesday, February 5, 2014

... on Abiogenesis and Attitudes to Science

Video commented on:
seaneire : † Brilliant Christian caller destroys Atheist experience show EPIC.
6:18 or slightly before "theories are the highest point of science"

The highest point of explanatory power, yes, the highest point of certainty no.

The observed facts are the highest point of natural certainty (only divine revelation trumps that, if you agree there is such a thing, otherwise nothing would), but they are not the highest point of explanatory power.

[Observations prove theories by conferring some of the certainty they have themselves to the theories by way of a logical process known as proof. Theories explain observations by conferring some of the simplicity and clarity to the mind that they have themselves onto the observations to be explained by way of another logical process known as "explanation". Whatever confers something to some other thing must have that something by itself before doing so. These logical processes are at inverse ratios, and if there is such a thing as "circular proof" where A proves B and B proves A, or "circular explanation" where A explains B and B explains A, there is no vicious circle, only that normal inversity of opposite logical processes where A explains B and B proves A.]

Abiogenesis "natural material has been shown to be able to - by purely natural mechanism - give rise to the building blocks of life" ...

With the little question of how "the building blocks of life" assemble into actual life, selfproducing and so on ... sth which has not been shown in any laboratory.

Also, "millions of years" is not resolving that issue, since the conditions used in those labs also quickly enough break down the abovementioned "building blocks of life" (Credits to Creationist Edgar Andrews are due here!)

He is no expert, "why don't you call a science show?"

On a science show they are not experts in philosophy, "why don't you call Atheist Experience?"

On Atheist Experience back again "oh, I called the science show and ..." (click ... Atheist Experience would hang up as likely in that situation).

[In fact they did when he said he had been talking to scientists and implied he was not content with their answer.]

"Why aren't you talking to scientists about this?"

Wow ...........................!

Maybe they like their carreers too much to answer?

IV (an aside related to III)
Like some people say things should get peer reviewed before publishing.

Now, if a thing due to pre-publication peer review is not published, that is the end of peer review. If a thing does get published, that is not the end of post-publication peer review. Unless that if stifled by pre-pblication peer review, of course.

CMI wrote a few good things about peer review, but Chesterton said it even earlier: it's a superstition. I recall one essay title, The Superstition of Peer Review. Unless that was a chapter title of a larger monography, that is.*
The text on the video, calling the man angry while he is just eager (at least overtly) does not impress me very much, but maybe others.

What impresses me with the certainty that the man is dishonest is that he says "which is why this call is over".

He is so illogical in saying the fact that scientists are busy investigating a claim means it is not settled yet. As if only scientists were competent to do so and common sense out of court. As if people using their common sense could not reasonably conclude, even when scientists refuse to stop their investigation, that they are wasting their time completely, especially when they are.

Of course they are more welcome to waste their time over simple chemicals refusing to unite into living cells than over people whose lives they destroy by subjecting them to investigation, but even in the merely chemical case, common man can get a grip on whether they are wasting their time - and with abiogenesis Christians have that grip very clearly. As is the case with thir attempts to explain conscience as "arising from matter". Or language as arising from animal communications of wish, command, emotion and social ranking enhancements.

Or language arising via either φ (bilabial f/ph) as first phoneme, invented when making that sound while blowing on a fire to light it, or otherwise the twenty odd "phonemes" with very general meanings so you had to use extremely compound words to get anything meaningful said ... a man believing that is not quite aware of the implications.

* Here is an answer I got so far:

Sorry, I don't recognise this title as an essay or chapter heading.


Dr Martin Ward STRL Principal Lecturer & Reader in Software Engineering

G.K.Chesterton web site

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