Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Posts from Friends
Of course the most rapid speciation seen today is probably when biologists get together to discuss taxonomy. ;)
On a more serious note, George Cooper had the following to say on the philosophical aspects of using Creationary assumptions when doing science:
Should creationists, who believe the Bible, be faulted for behaving in an unscientific way? Thomas Kuhn argues that all of scientific endeavor is guided by beliefs.
"There is no such thing as research in the absence of any paradigm." (Kuhn, p. 79)
"No experiment can be conceived without some sort of theory." (Kuhn, p. 87)
"Each group uses its own paradigm to argue in that paradigm's defense....The status of the circular argument is only that of persuasion. It cannot be made logically or probabilistically compelling for those who refuse to step into the circle." (Kuhn, p. 94)
"Without commitment to a paradigm there could be no normal science." (Kuhn, p. 100)
"The proponents of competing paradigms are always at least slightly at cross-purposes. Neither side will grant all the non-empirical assumptions that the other needs in order to make his case." (Kuhn, p. 148)
If Kuhn is right, then even evolutionists have "non-empirical assumptions."
Lindberg and Numbers, in the introduction to their book, wrote: "When human beings are involved, so are human agendas and interests." (Lindberg and Numbers, 2003, p. 5)
The creationist Ken Hamm had a humorous way of saying it: "We are all biased. The only question is which bias is the better bias to be biased with?
The creationist E. Andrews is in agreement with Kuhn when he writes, "Many of the so-called facts of evolution arise from carefully selected evidence and depend upon preconceived interpretations of the observations." (Andrews, p. 2)
The biased filmstrip "Science Under Attack: Evolution vs Creation," states, "In the end, the choice between creationism and evolution is based on the individual's personal philosophy and on what seems more reasonable." So far, so good. But then the filmstrip veers into false propaganda. "Is it more reasonable to start with the assumption that creation is a fact? Or to start from the assumption that we know nothing, and then see what we can find out?" (AVNA) As we have seen from Thomas Kuhn, no scientist ever starts his research from nothing.
Eisely stated that Darwin made his round-the-world trip on the Beagle looking for evidence to support his theory of evolution. Darwin was not open-minded. Darwin himself wrote that, "All observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!" He also wrote, "Let theory guide your observations, but till your reputation is well established be sparing in publishing theory. It makes persons doubt your observations." He also admitted, "The force of impressions generally depends on preconceived ideas." (last quote from p. 141, Eiseley, 1961)
Eugene Dubois was a convinced Darwinist, and he devoted his life to the search for fossil evidence to support his belief. Pat Shipman wrote a book about this with the title: The Man Who Found the Missing Link: Eugene Dubois and His Lifelong Quest to Prove Darwin Right. (Simon & Schuster, NY, 2001) Ironically by the end of his life, Dubois concluded that Darwin was wrong regarding gradual evolution and survival of the fittest.
If scientists * like Dubois - can believe in evolution and then go out in search of evidence to support evolution, then why can't creationists unabashedly declare their faith in creation and then look for evidence to support creation?
In their introduction to one of Darwin's books, John Tyler Bonner and Robert M. May wrote that Darwin's book The Descent of Man left "no role for the Deity to play." (Darwin, p. xi) They also reported a "disparity between what Darwin actually did, and what he said he did." (Darwin, p. xii) More specifically, "It was an essential part of this 'method' that he worked at all times within the framework of a point of view which gave meaning and coherence to seemingly unrelated facts." (Darwin, DM, p. xiii)
Even Albert Einstein acknowledged, "It is the theory which decides what we can observe."
William James wrote, "Science would be far less advanced than she is if the passionate desires of individuals to get their own faiths confirmed had been kept out of the game."
Regarding the late Stephen Jay Gould, defender of Darwinism, John Caiazza wrote, "Gould assesses the legitimacy of social biology according to an ideological standard." (Caiazza, pp. 575-588) Gould was both an atheist and a Marxist.
(note that he forgot to mention which books he was quoting out of, but one can probably guess)
I think some of the more recent work in the philosophy of science validates Cooper's ideas even further, but you get the gist.