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Featured Why the Theory of Evolution is True. Part 1: What is Science?

Discussion in 'Evolution Vs. Creationism' started by Heyo, Aug 18, 2020.

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  1. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    This is planned to be a series of posts that is trying to explain the Theory of Evolution (ToE) in a way that it is understandable by creationists, old earth (OEC) and young earth (YEC) alike.

    It is inspired by multiple exchanges with @Deeje. I will focus on her understanding but I didn't want to make this a one-on-one debate. Questions from all creationists are welcome (though I may not answer them if I don't think them to be necessary for understanding, already answered or off topic). Corrections by more science savvy people than me are especially encouraged as I don't want this to rest on fallacies.

    In my time as a tutor for maths I've recognized that the apparent failure to understand a specific concept often is not with the topic itself but a past misunderstanding of a more basic concept. The same goes for creationists who think that Evolution doesn't make sense. Most of the time they don't have a problem understanding evolution but they have problems with taxonomy or science in general or sometimes even rational thinking. (And then there are those who's paycheck depends on them not understanding, but I'll leave them out for brevity.)

    The didactic of this approach is meant for adults who are familiar with structured reasoning. That's why I start with the basics of science and built up to the ToE. A plan for future parts include the scientific method, taxonomy (Linné), The Origin of Species (Darwin), Palaeontology (maybe with an excursion into geology), Genetics and up to the modern synthesis and extended evolutionary synthesis.

    Long intro, short lecture:

    What is Science?

    1. Science is the systematic enterprise to gain knowledge about the natural world (universe). 2. This is done by creating models with explanatory and predictive power which can be and are tested by their predictions.

    To do what science is out to do, it has to make some assumptions that can't be derived (though they can be falsified through testing or logic). The three axioms of science are:
    3. The universe is real.
    4. The universe is orderly.
    5. The universe is knowable.

    There are different formulations of these axioms which are equivalent.
    It is here where the first disputes can arise. Many religious creationists can't agree on these axioms. For some Hindu and Buddhist the world is but an illusion so they disagree with the first axiom. For some Christian and Muslim traditions knowledge must be revealed and can't be gained by science. They don't agree with the third axiom.
    The most controversial of all is the second. It can be reformulated as "There is no magic."

    When you don't agree with these axioms or don't understand their implications, you have a problem with science, not a problem with the ToE.

    @Deeje: Do we agree on this definition of science?
    Do you have questions?
     
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  2. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    One comment, you are a brave man
     
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  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    @Heyo it sounds like you've done your homework.
     
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  4. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Exciting OP, @Heyo! Thanks for the thread!

    I too often take an axiomic view of the sciences. I like the three you offer us, and I am fine with how you have formulated them -- although I am certain that some of us RFers would nitpick one or more of the three. I would only like to emphasize your point that there are many alternative formulations of the axioms of science.

    Something that I think cannot be over-emphasized is another one of your points -- the key importance to the sciences of being able to test predictions derived from its models and hypotheses. When that is not properly understood and appreciated, one can end up with all sorts of things labeled "science" that it is highly dubious to label as such.

    Good work!
     
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  5. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Are you insinuating that all OECs don't believe in/accept ToE? *pulls out machine gun* Men, ATTAAAACCCKKKK!!!! :D:D:D
     
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  6. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I guess some do already accept the ToE and some may even understand it but they most likely are more Deist than what I'd call creationists.
     
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  7. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    *raises eyebrow* Well, I'll have to wait and read the rest of your posts to see why you think religious believers in ToE are Deists.
     
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  8. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Deluded, was my thought. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Now i know why i selsom agree with science.....
     
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  10. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    In before someone inevitably demands that @Heyo define what he means by 'real' in his first axiom of science...

    One can restate his first axiom as "The universe exists independent of our minds."
     
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  11. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    How can that be known?
     
  12. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    *puts on the idiot skeptic hat* Prove it! :p
     
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  13. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Aw, beat me to it...
     
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  14. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Correct, but not only that. It exists independent of any mind. I.e. the Simulation Hypothesis (where the universe exists "in the mind" of a computer) is also not scientific.
     
  15. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    As a Christian I agree with this definition.

    I have never heard of that position for Christians. Either a false assumption or in need of a better explanation (not being combative)

    Don't understand how "orderly" jumped to magic. Unless you are talking about that which science doesn't address... the spiritual which, iMV, is also orderly, real and knowable. (below)

    Thus science doesn't deal with the spiritual world but simply doesn't address it
     
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  16. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I just made it known as I responded to @Sunstone.
     
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  17. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Prove an axiom? Do I look like God, these days? Wait... It's that new designer shirt I got from Milamode's, isn't it? I got to hand it to you, yes, it does make me look divine! Thank you for the compliment, bro. :D
     
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  18. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Smarty pants. Extinguish all humans, so all human minds. Then, independent of mind, tell me how it can be claimed that the universe exists.
     
  19. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    did it exist before you were born?
     
  20. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Wait...are you saying that RF admins aren't part of the collective divine consciousness?
     
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