Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scientists are baffled!

My friend and brother, Missionary to Honduras Mike Pettengill, sent me a series of articles with a single theme: Scientists Baffled! I've added a few of my own. Here you go:
  1. Voyager 2 is now sending back signals in an unknown data format. What is it saying to us? Scientists are baffled!
  2. The fakir is not a fakir! An Indian religious-type guy went 10 days without eating, drinking, or eliminating, in a tightly-controlled environment. How did he do it? Scientists are baffled!
  3. How did the statues on Easter Island get moved around? Nobody knowsScientists are baffled! (Money-quotation: " like many other archaeologists, he was so swayed by his cast iron belief that the roads were for transportation – he completely ignored them.”)
  4. A grey whale off the coast of Israel, when they are only known to roam the Pacific Ocean? How did that happen? Nobody knows! Scientists are baffled! (Money-quotation: "The best guess from Scheinin is global warming played a role.")
  5. A rooster named Gianni used to wake up his owners with his crowing. Then a fox killed all the hens. Then Gianni started laying eggs. Huh? Yep. He'd become a hen. How'd that happen Nobody knows! Scientists are baffled!
  6. The planet Jupiter has all these stripes, right? These bands? Yeah, well now it suddenly has one less! Huh? How'd that happen? Nobody knows. Scientists are baffled! (Oh, and btw: it wasn't a professional scientist who noticed it. It was an amateur astronomer.)
Golly, there's so much scientists don't know, don't understand!


Well, except evolution, of course. Stung by years of folks pointing out that evolution is a theory incapable of demonstration or falsification, they have officially elevated it to a Fact. Not just a Fact, but a Fact without which absolutely no science of any sort can be done. So there! They're sure about thatAnd that the Bible's wrong about... well, about whatever. And that God is irrelevant to the most important areas of thought. About those things, they're dead-sure.


For instance: brand-new study "finds" (not guesses, speculates, or hypothesizes) that all life came from a single-celled organism. Well, not only that... but creationism is an "absolutely horrible hypothesis." And creationists are weenies who won't respond when given a chance. So... so there! Will you religious people please go back into hiding and cede us the floor?


Same time I saw that article, I saw another listing six more things scientists can't explain. (Not linking, because that site contains too many offensive images and invitations.)


All very interesting, isn't it? When they're off-guard, you see a constant flow of stories about scientists being "baffled," or divided, or revising their long-held certain and sure theories.

But here's the thing. Without admitting it, many scientists commit to a religious philosophy called Materialism, which assumes God out of existence. So assuming, they lose the claim to speak with authority on anything.

Was that a leap? Not at all. Scientists cannot claim to be omniscient. They cannot claim access to an authority in complete command of all facts without exception. They just hypothesize, guess, speculate, from atom to atom.

Therefore they cannot (with credibility) make a unified theory of anything. How do they know that one of these "baffling" phenomena does not contain a fact that will undo everything they think? They don't. How do they know that such a fact does not exist in the thousands of acres of Earth not yet explored, let alone in the universe? They don't.

But you say, they proceed empirically, by experimentation. Correct — experiments resting on mountains of unproven and unprovable assumptions. The whole notion of "experimentation" assumes a continuity to the universe that they have no right to assume, on their premises. Do a test, and X occurs. What have you proven? That X occurred once. Repeat the test 300 times, and X occurs each time. What have you proven? That X occurred 300 times. Nothing more, nothing less.

Further, you don't really know what caused X to occur. The whole notion of causation is itself an assumption, unproven and unprovable.

So next time you read, "Scientists baffled," just think to yourself, "More than you know, buddy. A whole lot more."

The Christian's stance is identical, and different. Natively, he does not possess one grain, one atom more information. He's not a tick smarter nor brighter.

However, the Biblically-faithful Christian (A) admits the fact at the outset, (B) has recourse to a Source who actually is in command not only of all conceivable facts, ever, but also of the significance of all conceivable facts, ever. That is because He created them. And (C) He has taken the initiative to reveal everything we need to know to have a relationship with Him.

And that is the Christian's stance.


30:1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son's name?
Surely you know!
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
(Proverbs 30:1-6)

UPDATE: M'man Frank tag-teams, which is always a good thing in my book.

58 comments:

Fred Butler said...

A dear saint sent this to me today about a scientist confirming (without doubt, mind you) common ancestory. Sounds iron proof. I mean, they have gene samples and all. Then mid way through the article comes this quote:

Still, rumblings among some evolutionary biologists have recently emerged questioning whether the evolutionary relationships among living organisms are best described by a single "family tree" or rather by multiple, interconnected trees -- a "web of life."

Why all this division if there is iron proof confirmation? The author does realize a "web of life" is much different that a "tree of life" and thus nullifies the confirmation of common descent? Right? Right?

Bueller? Bueller?

BTW
comment verification word (I kid you not) retard

Stefan said...

And then the experiment that hypothesizes that all life descended from a single-celled organism is just an exercise in statistical probabilities, based on a whole host of assumptions: in fact, the experimentor assumed right off the bat that life forms descended from different ancestors couldn't possibly have the same 23 universal proteins in common.

His tests and conclusions were based entirely on the statistical probability that mutations would lead to each of three families of life forms (itself a hypothetical grouping) ending up with the same 23 proteins.

But if there is a Creator, would it not be at least plausible that within the diversity of life He created, that He would equip them all with the same fundamental building blocks?

(I used to be a staunch evolutionist, too.)

Warren Lotter said...

I saw a bumper sticker that read, "We have the fossils, we win!". It was then that I wished I had a bumper sticker that read, "Yea, 1% of 1% of current estimates, sounds like da winna!"

Word verification - hypelut

Al said...

note to self: do not send my children to learn at the feet of the baffled.

al sends

Fred Butler said...

Stefan writes,
(I used to be a staunch evolutionist, too.)

A person who really, really, really, understands evolution would never just stop believing in
evolution. I mean, it's like thinking you can stop believing in gravity.

Your problem, Stefan, is that you probably didn't really understand evolution rightly. You need to read up on it from the best writers and be properly educated on how it works and then you will see how wrong you were for giving up on the truth of reality and believing in fairy gods.

DJP said...

Yeah, it's like Roman Catholicism.

If you don't believe it, it's because you don't understand it.

Except it's not a religion. It's not, it's not, it's not!

Merrilee Stevenson said...

I'm sure you all have better ways to spend your day than to watch a NOVA program. BUT, today IS the 30th anniversary of the Mt. Saint Helens eruption, and this particular program is full of examples of the scientists and biologists becoming amazed and baffled by...creation!

If only they would be amazed and humbled by..their Creator, and how God, in His infinite wisdom designed it all!

But it's a good excuse to watch:

http://watch.opb.org/video/1485211138/chapter/2/

MSC said...

Steve Austin's work at Mount Saint Helen's is quite fascinating and powerful.

DJP said...

The Bionic Man, or the wrestler?

/c:

Becky, slave of Christ said...

This is outstanding, Dan, but those baffling facts are...baffling me, and I am not even a scientist. Now I will be wondering why the message has changed from V'ger II and how much weight that guy lost and and how a rooster changed to a hen and why a whale would decide to take a world tour and if Jupiter had too much for dinner and that is why he took off his belt and how those guys on Easter Island moved those statues...I could use that knowledge to help me move my refrigerator when I want to clean behind it.

I love the quote from Proverbs 30 (how on earth did you come up with a quote from Proverbs at this point in your life? Baffling.)and I will probably use it soon, so don't be surprised if you see it quoted somewhere else.

Two verses come to mind concerning the bafflification of the scientific community.

"Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law" (Deuteronomy 29:29).

David said...

Whoever is in charge of the story of your origins is in charge of your life.

It's a shame I didn't figure that out sooner.

Mesa Mike said...

V'Ger is seeking its creator. Time to send in Cmdr. Decker to deal with this menace.

Brad Williams said...

You know what really cracks me up? The word "scientist." What does that mean, anyway? Where do you go to get your "scientist" degree? Do you get a lab coat and goggles upon graduation?

In point of fact, theology is the queen of sciences, which evolutionary propenants so ironically demonstrate. Which means, in point of fact, I am a scientist, minus the lab-coat.

Actually, I wish I had a lab coat, I'd wear it in the office. When people said, "What are you doing?" I'd cackle and say, "Science!" They'd say, "I thought you were working on the 1 John Study Guide." And I'd say, "Precisely!"

Ok, Tuesdays make me silly.

Stefan said...

Fred:

That is too eerily like what someone might actually say. You were so deadpan, I had to double-check who was posting it.

Becky:

"...if Jupiter had too much for dinner and that is why he took off his belt..."

Love it!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Merrilee, you beat me to it!

Today is the 30th anniversary of St. Helen's eruption. We took the boys to see the mountain almost three years ago and they're still fascinated by it. We spent some time with Lloyd Anderson at the Seven Wonders Museum. Wonderfully fascinating!

But the evolutionary scientists refuse to see what is staring them right in the face.

David said...

Every time I see a "Church of Jesus Christ, Scientist" I think of Him in a lab coat and horn-rim glasses like those early-70's filmstrips we saw in science class.

That was when you could store the information contained in the Encyclopedia Britannica in a computer the size of a small room.

DJP said...

Now David, I must correct you. We must get our cult-names right.

It is "Church of Christ, Scientist." It's a big deal, because of the slice that the New Age cults make between Jesus (a man) and Christ (the principle of Divine Sonship within all).

Ahem. As you were.

Stefan said...

Brad:

Well, seeing as I have a B.Sc. in computer science, that makes me by definition and according to all objective societal standards a scientist.

The problem is in the fallacious first principle that most scientists unquestioningly assume: that there simply cannot be a supernatural cause for anything.

And yet even the simplest things that are accepted by scientists (and are provably valid through observation and testing) are utterly mysterious, and defy all our attempts to understand them in strictly material terms.

For example, what exactly is gravity? We can express it in an equation, and by using that equation, we were able to fly men to the moon and launch Voyager into outer space. And yet, for all of the speculation about parallel universes and dark matter and strings and yada yada yada, no one knows the actual mechanism by which gravity works.

Stefan said...

Or the Big Bang.

If the universe originated in a Big Bang, what was there before the Big Bang? Where did all the matter that the universe was formed out of come from? What caused the Big Bang to happen?

Was there another, earlier universe that collapsed in on itself? If so, why? And how did it originate?

And so on and so on, ad infinitum—unless you start with Something (Someone) external to the whole process, an unmoved Mover. But like the Pharisees 2000 years ago, He shall not be named by scientists.

Any other attempted explanation—no matter how harebrained, flaky, or far out—is acceptable, but that there could be any divine cause at all (let alone the triune God of the Bible!) considered implausible.

But I'm doing a disservice by not mentioning that there are scientists (who do scientific reasearch for a living) who are born again Christians—or at the very least theists...and the assumption that nothing is valid unless it can be explained in material terms only dates back to the 18th century...and it seems has only been a cornerstone of modern science since the 19th-century rejection of the inerrancy of Scripture.

Sir Aaron said...

Brad,

I think it would be awesome if you wore a lab coat. I'm still laughing about it.

jmb said...

I'm baffled by some of the writing in these articles. "It's" instead of "its." "Lay" instead of "lie." And this gem: "He is in great shape which, unfortunately, most eaters and drinkers of humanity cannot make the same claim." The author identifies himself as a "school counselor and mental health counselor."

Mesa Mike said...

PUBLIC school, obviously...

David said...

I'm not familiar with all of the cases presented, but with respect to Easter Island and the band on Jupitar, there's no mystery. Baffled. You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.


"You know what really cracks me up? The word "scientist." What does that mean, anyway? Where do you go to get your "scientist" degree? Do you get a lab coat and goggles upon graduation?

In point of fact, theology is the queen of sciences, which evolutionary propenants so ironically demonstrate. Which means, in point of fact, I am a scientist, minus the lab-coat."

This is one of the more idiotic statments of the many idiotic statements posted here.

Tell me, what was the effect of theology on human life expectancy in the thousands of years preceeding the development of scientific medicine? By contrast, how has life expectancy changed since the 19th century? You shold spend some time in a 19th century graveyard. You don't know what the word "scientist" means? It means that we don't bury our children at anywhere near the rate we once did. Instead of insulting those who save live, try thanking all those folks in lab coats and goggles.

DJP said...

No-profile David,

I use it because most of the articles use it.

To the rest, I don't think you read very thoughtfully. Or you'd not criticize scalpels for making such poor axes.

David said...

"I use it because most of the articles use it."

Does it matter if the articles use it? If there's actually no great mystery, then the articles are making a mistake. "Baffled" really suggest that these things are great mysteries with no good possible explanations. I don't think that this word applies in these cases.

In any event, I fail to see how any of these cases lends support the claim that if scientists do science the way science is done, "they lose the claim to speak with authority on anything". Would you like to go back to the 19th century? And do you think that God turned a rooster into a hen?

Oh, and with respect to the comment...

"The author does realize a "web of life" is much different that a "tree of life" and thus nullifies the confirmation of common descent?" ...

I think that Fred needs to look up genetic exchange in bacteria.

DJP said...

Obviously the article troubles you, but you're having problems expressing why. Is it your position that nothing baffles science, that there are no undiscovered facts nor unexplained phenomena? Apart from your registration of emotional discomfort, I'm having trouble seeing your point.

Fred Butler said...

David writes,
I think that Fred needs to look up genetic exchange in bacteria.

Why? You think that is proof that bacteria to people evolution is true? Bacteria have been genetic exchanging for a long time now over many generations. How is pure Darwinianism vindicated exactly?

David said...

DJP,

I have two problems.

One is related to way in which the word "baffle" is defined and the way in which it is used as lead in to other matters that are really seperate issues from things like roosters turning into hens. What does "bafflement" in the matter of Easter Island have to do with "materialism", etc. It seems like a weak connection to me. But maybe it's just a matter of semantics. Since "baffle" is open to different interpretation and creates different impression in different minds, I can let this problem pass.

My other problem is not so easily solved. It's a product of other statements such as those I've cited. Simply put, they seem to be wildy anti-science in nature, and in many cases, just wrong. So we go from rings on Jupiter to things like "You know what really cracks me up? The word "scientist." What does that mean, anyway?" and "They lose the claim to speak with authority on anything".

What? I don't get it. How is this related to chickens and do you really think that if we do science the way we do science today, then we lose the claim to speak with authority on anything?


Fred,

I don't think that you get what I was referring to.

Folks use the metaphor of a tree whan talking about the evolution of plants and animals, because after a certain point in time during the process of speciation, there's little or no genetic exchange between the related species with a common ancestor. This is similar to two tree branches going their separate ways after branching. Species share a common ancestor, but speciation creates barriers to genetic exchange, and so the species are genetically or reproductively isolated. This is similar to tree branches which share a common trunk, but which also have permanently separated tips. (One qualifier: Viruses may carry a few genes between related, separate plant and animal species).

With bacteria, it's quite different, because long after a new bacterial species has been established, that species can pick up genes from completely unrelated species. Unrelated species may not be genetically isolated from each other. So, if you follow the history of a given gene and/or genetic exchanage, it looks more like a genetic "web" than a branching genetic "tree".

So, whether evolution is best described using the tree or the web metaphors depends in whether on not you're talking about single-celled or multi-celled life.

DJP said...

Then David, since you don't dispute anything I say beyond that you don't like my saying it, these appear to be personal problems, right? So I'm not sure how to help you. I mean, you have to be willing to change, first, and I can't do that for you.

Christopher said...

I have always wanted to ask an Evolutionist this question: Why are you starting off in the middle of the story?

Before talking to me about HOW something evolved, I want to hear how it got there TO evolve in the first place. Then, of course, they will say Big Bang. Then my question will be, "What banged?"

Here is the problem: Evolutionary "Scientists" shoot themselves in the foot time after time. If there was a particle out there that randomly exploded, after sitting for trillions of eons perfectly fine, you have give a rational explanation for WHY it exploded...or else it becomes FAITH.

Oh, what man will do to "prove" that there is no GOD to which we are accountable.

Christopher said...

Dang it! That is why I should read all the comments THEN respond. Stefan beat me to what I was trying to say...AND said it much better.

Brad Williams said...

It's a good thing I came back and visited today, David, or I wouldn't have known how idiotic I was being!

I can answer a few of your statements here:

Tell me, what was the effect of theology on human life expectancy in the thousands of years preceeding the development of scientific medicine?

Well, since Abraham is still alive David, I'd say good theology can grant eternal life. Can a godless evolution hold out that hope for us? I'm not going to mention how good theology led to the formation of hospitals and other cares for the sick, or even why we bury our dead instead of eating them. Because, frankly, unless you have a good theology, you could eat your dead babies instead of burying them.

BTW, I was not insulting folks wearing lab coats. I am thankful for them. My point was that the reason we have the scientific method, lab coats, and even a concern for the sanctity of life is precisely because theology is the Queen of Sciences. So instead of getting mad at theologians, maybe you ought to be thankful that the God, in whose image you are made, gave us an innate dignity that makes life worth saving, and that He gave us reason by which we may learn more about His universe.

Gov98 said...

Here's one thing that lately has been getting me.

Either there is a metaphysical soul or there's not.

If there is not and all there is materialistic process...then why argue about creation vs. evolution. It's a waste of time, I am a programmed materialistic brain that is the result of cause and effect so much so that I am programmed to believe in creation by the process of evolution making the whole thing a waste of time to discuss and you by arguing with me are denying your own belief in evolution, because if you REALLY believed it, you wouldn't bother.

OR

There is a metaphysical soul (and God breathed the breath of life into man and he became a living soul), some part of me that will never show up on the MRI, in which case, my mind can change because there is a part of me that stands in judgment of mind mind. In which case argument makes sense, but then the "scientist" has to admit that there is an existence of an unseen soul and once you step there, how can you really deny God. (STINK!)

DJP said...

Dang that's a good answer, Brad. Seriously. Thanks for dignifying my humble little blog with it.

Fred Butler said...

David,
In the first paragraph of the article, the writer explicitly states that absolute proof had been identified linking all genetic life to one, common ancestor. Was he wrong? Not until down in the middle of the article do we see any hint of dissent among evolutionists who favor the web model you note. The writer clearly gives the impression two working models of life are in play here: the, classic tree model, for which this researcher claims to have found iron clad proof, and a web model with multiple starting points favored by other, dissenting evolutionists.

So with that in mind, what exactly is wrong with my criticism of over exaggerated claims of certainty?

NoLongerBlind said...

I also have a question for the guys in the white coats, aka scienceguys:

The whole evolutionary process purportedly happens according to the "survival of the fittest" doctrine, right?

If that's the case, why is there this seemingly innate desire to try to save people and animals when they are sick or dying?

Oh, wait, I already know your answer - it's an evolved mindset that sprang up in we humans, once we simply separated ourselves - by random mutation/chance - from our still-primitive behaving animal relatives.

Am I close?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Good post.

However, I always read these sorts of posts and left wondering about the theistic evolutionists. You know, the professing Christians who affirm the historic Christian faith and who also affirm that God used evolution. Christians like Waltke, Enns, Francis Collins, and others.

I wonder if they read article's like DJP's and if they do, why doesn't it cause them to doubt in evolution?

DJP said...

I have a guess.

What's yours?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

My tentative guesses as to why Theistic Evolutionists will still staunchly hold to evolution in the face of counter-evidence against evolution and/or in the face of arguments severely weakening their assumptions are that...

(A) They want to be liked and accepted by liberal secularists. Which they think will enable them to be a more credible witness to evangelize these liberal secularists.

(B) Related to (A), they don't want the stigma of being labelled a "Fundamentalist" or a "Literalist" or a "Creationist" if they hold to Intelligent Design or Creationism. The worst of all things is to be a YEC. For them, that's YUCK.

(C) Theistic evolutionists have been made aware that there are folks who grew up in "fundamentalist" homes, churches, and colleges. These folks when they learned about evolution, then doubted what they learned, doubted the Bible, doubted God, and eventually apostasized.

So the theistic evolutionists step into this situation and say to the distraught fundamentalist former YEC'er, "Hey, no need to apostasize. You can still remain a Christian by simply embracing evolution. Look at me. And look at all these brilliant scientists and brilliant theologian professor-scholars who are theistic evolutionists. You don't have to be a backwards fundamentalist who's checked your brains at the door with YEC. Join us!"

And so the theistic evolutionist can say that they do two good things: They are carrying the Great Commission with the secular liberals by their embrace of theistic evolution. Secondly, they're helping to stem the tide of apostasy by shell-shocked YEC fundamentalists.

Anyways, I'm just guessing as to the motives and mindset of theistic evolutionists. I could easily be wrong.

Does anyone else have any guesses?

David said...

Holy Moley, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep up with all of these comments, but I’ll give it a shot.

DJP,

I don’t think that you understand. It’s not a “personal problem”. I’m questioning the claim that scientists “lose the claim to speak with authority on anything” when they do science the way that science is done today. I don’t believe that this is an accurate statement.

I also fail to understand what chickens and Jupiter have to do with the broader attack on how science is done today. Are you suggesting that the explanation for the chicken sex change is “non-material”? If not, what’s the connection between the “baffling” chickens and materialism? Your opening gambit appears to be a non-sequitar.

Again, my complaints are not just a “personal problem”.

Christopher,

You’re confusing cosmology with evolution. I’m not an astronomer. You’ll have to ask the astronomers about the Big Bang, however, I will note that there are Christian astronomers who accept the idea of a Big Bang. Do you think that these Christian astronomers are trying to prove that there is no God?

Brad,

“Well, since Abraham is still alive David, I'd say good theology can grant eternal life. Can a godless evolution hold out that hope for us?”

You have no evidence that Abraham is still alive, and in any event, if he is, it’s not because of “theology”. If Abraham is still alive, it’s not because of the study of God, it’s because of God. The study of God has had no effect on Abraham’s alleged eternal life.

Evolution simply addresses questions about living things; it’s not supposed to “hold out hope”. That’s not it’s function.

“I'm not going to mention how good theology led to the formation of hospitals and other cares for the sick, or even why we bury our dead instead of eating them."

One doesn’t need a belief in your particular version of God in order to build a hospital. But you’d better have some knowledge of science-based medicine if you want to significantly change the odds of saving anyone. Again, examine the data on life expectancy. Theology has been around for thousands of years. Life expectancy only began to significantly increase with a scientific approach to medicine. The data are very clear.

“BTW, I was not insulting folks wearing lab coats. I am thankful for them.“

Really? Look at your words again. Could have fooled me.

(You know what really cracks me up? The word "scientist." What does that mean, anyway? Where do you go to get your "scientist" degree? Do you get a lab coat and goggles upon graduation?)

"My point was that the reason we have the scientific method, lab coats…is precisely because theology is the Queen of Sciences."

Well, there’s an unsupported assertion for ya.

Fred,

Please show me where the word “absolute” appears in the first paragraph.

“Tree models” and “web models” generally address multicelled life and unicellular life, respectively. Both can be valid in their proper contexts.

NLB,

The whole evolutionary process purportedly happens according to the "survival of the fittest" doctrine, right? If that's the case, why is there this seemingly innate desire to try to save people and animals when they are sick or dying?”

Look up “evolution of reciprocal altruism”. It’s not unique to humans

TUD,

“I wonder if they read article's like DJP's and if they do, why doesn't it cause them to doubt in evolution? “

Maybe it’s because they’re better informed than DJP

Stefan said...

Wow, for a guess, that's a pretty plausible, thorough, and evenhanded analysis, TUAD.

Bill Honsberger said...

After being in the secular University swamp for seemingly most of my adult life (sad, bitter, bitter..)I will tell you what I think is going on- peer pressure is enormous. Forget peer pressure for teenagers - it is much worse on adults. I saw this when I was a cop and at the University level it is SO SO important that you be seen as capable intellectually as the next person. No one wants to be seen as the gomer pyle in the room. So what often passes for discourse is the variations of evolutionary possibilities eg. gradulism (Dawkins) vs punctuated equilibriainism (Gould) - and thats if you are lucky enough to have a teacher reveal the internal bickering among the faithful!
Never are the basic premises questioned and I mean never. When Phil Johnson came to CU Boulder when I was there as a grad student the anger and rancor that came flying at him was unbelievable. I saw one of the professors sitting next to me shaking with rage - it really was an educational moment.
Simple version on the Christian habit at that level - I won't call you heretic if you don't call me stupid.
Blessing
Bill

Halcyon said...

David:

You haven't responded in a while, but I'll just assume that you'll hear this anyway.

Nobody here (however harsh their rhetoric) is anti-science. What we are is anti-scientism, i.e., the belief that scientific analysis and inquiry is the embodiment of and only means to acquire objective truth. I think that DJP gave a pretty good example in his post of why blind faith in science is idiotic (viz., the paragraph where he says that "experiments [are] resting on mountains of unproven and unprovable assumptions").

Science has done plenty of great things; that does NOT, however, necessarily give it a monopoly on truth, as if there are no other ways to acquire it. I think that that is DJP's main point.

BTW, "baffled" does not have "multiple interpretations". It means what it means in any context: to be perplexed, confused, and at a loss for an explanation/answer. I think any honest scientist would accept that they often find more questions than answers. Is it really hard for you to admit that science has not and cannot acquire all of the answers to the universe?

Rachael Starke said...

Suddenly, I'm thinking about pastoral robes in whole new way. They're just theologians' lab coats! :)

And Brad, that comment was awesome. I promise to use it liberally with our techno-geeky, science is God friends. Not that it'll help unless the God of science breaks through their enslaved synapses, but how cool would it be if that's the argument that got God's work started?

DJP said...

David, I hear that you don't want to call your position a personal problem. But at present, you've done nothing to interact with the substance of the post on which you're purportedly commenting. (Saying "I disagree" isn't really a substantive reaction.)

In fact, I'm increasingly getting the impression that you haven't read the article very carefully, nor given it any thought. Had you done so, you'd be interacting with it, rather than repeating your misapprehensions of it.

As a rule, I don't coddle commenters who want to criticize posts without reading them. You're sound more like a dogmatician, defending the sacred trust, than a participant.

David said...

You also talk about "experiments resting on mountains of unproven and unprovable assumptions", but you provide no examples. What's the point about the "repeat X 300 times" nonsense? Of course we don't know what's going to happen on the 301rd try, but after 300 tries, I think that we can be forgiven if we're pretty confident when we say it will be X. Not absolutely certain, just really, really certain. If I use penicillin to save a life on 300 occasions, I don’t know that it will work on the 301st occasion, but if you’re the 301st patient, do you want me to not give you the drug, because I haven’t “proven” that it will work on the 301st try?


Finally, in general, you seem really bothered by the word "fact". Steve Gould wrote a nice essay on the idea of evolution as both fact and theory, and I highly recommend it. Maybe it will cure your hypersensitivity to the use of the word “fact” in the context of scientific ideas.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html

David said...

The substance of the post.

Among other things, the list of "baffling" phenomena seems irrelevant. Of course there are things that are not well understood, including things in the history of life on Earth. That’s why we do research, that’s why we keep doing science. So what’s your point? Unless you're offering a supernatural, non-material explanation for these "mysteries", I don't see what is has to do with the rest of the post.

Among other things, the post is about the inability of science to "speak with authority about anything", yes? But clearly there is much that we now understand, thanks to scientific research. So, I think that it's a bit of stretch to say that there is nothing that science can speak about "with authority". Again, consider the difference that medical science has made in our lives. Seems like science has earned the right to speak with at least a little authority.


The post states that "evolution is a theory incapable of demonstration or falsification, they have officially elevated it to a fact". Then you link to an article that shows you exactly, precisely how one can test the theory of evolution. As it turns out, the research supported evolution, but it could easily have been otherwise as evolution is subject to disproof in countless ways. If you doubt this, just consider how many thousands of websites claim to have “disproved evolution”. You can not simultaneously claim that evolution can not be falsified and also claim that it’s been falsified. I'm sorry if you're bothered that the research in question confirmed the theory, but the point is, the research itself is doing what you claim can't be done, namely, showing how the theory can be falsified.

The article also explains that the research in question was able to test the YEC hypothesis. It found that the data contradicted the hypothesis. This makes you personally unhappy, but you need to explain why the data described in the paper support YEC. The research does not absolutely, positively prove for all time that evolution is true, but then again, the article does NOT make this claim. It does, however, show that YEC is almost certainly false, and if you disagree, you need to explain why after reading the actual Theobald paper (and not just a news summary of the paper).


You make the following statement:

"How do they know that one of these "baffling" phenomena does not contain a fact that will undo everything they think? They don't. How do they know that such a fact does not exist in the thousands of acres of Earth not yet explored, let alone in the universe? They don't."

Well, of course they don't. This may be the mother of all strawman arguments. No one is arguing that this isn't true. No one is arguing that science produces absolute, unchallengeable truth. This is precisely why theology is NOT science. EVERYONE doing science knows that the next experiment may lead to the demise of a given theory. Everyone knows there may be a fact that undoes everything we think. Experiments are specifically designed to try to find these facts, they’re designed to DISPROVE theories. All theories are always vulnerable to disproof. This is what falsifiability is all about and it's absolutely central to how science is done today.

So, what's the point of your statement?

Brad Williams said...

David,

Okay. I submit that I have no evidence that you would consider trustworthy that Abraham is alive. If you do not believe the Scriptures, and Jesus, then why believe me anyway? Of course, you also do not have any proof that he isn't alive, as you well know.

However, this is just a silly statement:

If Abraham is still alive, it’s not because of the study of God, it’s because of God. The study of God has had no effect on Abraham’s alleged eternal life.

I will simply say, in a silly rebuttal, that if patients are living longer today, it has nothing to do with the study of medicine, it's because of medicine. The study of medicine has no effect on the patient's life. Silly, ain't it?

As for my making fun of "scientists", my point was to make fun of people who said "scientists" are baffled. As in, who are they talking to? Bird scientists? Rocket scientists? "Scientist" is a pretty blanket term.

As for this:

One doesn’t need a belief in your particular version of God in order to build a hospital.

It sure doesn't hurt, does it? Who started them, and who has the largest disaster relief organizations in the United States? 1. Red Cross 2. Southern Baptist Convention 3. Salvation Army. Do you chalk that up to coincidence or theology, David?

Well, there’s an unsupported assertion for ya.

Only if you are unwilling to follow the evidence. That should be an easy thing to do for a scientist. Start with Roger Bacon, see where that leads you.

Rupert said...

If we are asking what was there before the big bang, could we not also ask the same question in regard to god?
I've observed, and sometimes engaged, in a number of discussions similar to this one. The same disparaging questions are asked of evolution but empirical evidence of an alternative is never given.
The universe is an amazing place, full of mystery, contradictions and continuous change.
Theories are put forward, some are proven, some are dis-proven. Others are replaced once more is known and understood.
From my observation, any confirmed, semi-confirmed or 'most probable' theories, discoveries, evidence or proof so far available, supports evolutionary science. Nothing has yet been evidential of a creator.
Yes, there are gaps, yes some theories are shown to be nothing short of stupid, and some discoveries lead to more questions than answers. But still, anytime an actual answer comes along, it is science, not a creator or deity which supplies that answer.

David said...

I will simply say, in a silly rebuttal, that if patients are living longer today, it has nothing to do with the study of medicine, it's because of medicine.

Yup, this is a silly rebuttal.

Medicine is a product of the study of medicine. Is God the product of the study of God?

The study of God has had no impact on life expectancy. The study of medicine has.

Fred Butler said...

David writes,
Please show me where the word “absolute” appears in the first paragraph.

"The results of the study confirm that Darwin had it right all along."

Am I wrong, or is that language "absolute" in its proclamation?

David said...

You asked me "to interact with the substance of the post". I did so, but you won't post that interaction. Well, that's your right, but you should at least have the decency to linform those looking for replies from me that I've been banned. That way, they don't waste their time looking for an answer.

greglong said...

Forgive me if you already linked to this, but...

SCIENTISTS ARE BAFFLED!

In a mathematically perfect universe, we would be less than dead; we would never have existed. According to the basic precepts of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics, equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been created in the Big Bang and then immediately annihilated each other in a blaze of lethal energy, leaving a big fat goose egg with which to make stars, galaxies and us. And yet we exist, and physicists (among others) would dearly like to know why.

Here.

DJP said...

Rupert - If we are asking what was there before the big bang, could we not also ask the same question in regard to god?

I can't help you about "god," as I don't know anything about it, or even what you mean by it.

As to God, however, I suppose we could ask the question, but it would be a stupid question. (There are such things as stupid questions; that would be one of them.) It would be like asking the temperature of up, or the length of white. It's a category-mistake.

"Before" questions apply to created things. God is the Creator. There is no "before" to Him. He is in a category of one, the uncaused cause.

As to the rest, it is revelatory of you that you walk around in creation, are yourself created, make us of and say nice things about creation - then say there is no evidence. Well, yes, I suppose that if one says "I demand proof," then defines "proof" in such a way as to make proof impossible, well then there will be no proof.

God's existence is not in question. Reject that necessary premise, and it is you who finds his existence uncertain, a point developed a bit more fully here. I hope you find it helpful.

DJP said...

TUAD - I think that's a good guess. Mine would be similar. Only God reads hearts, but it is difficult not to suspect substantial issues with unmortified approbation-lust.

DJP said...

No-profile David, to try to help you, in reverse order.

First, please remember what you have paid me to use the services of my blog. That would be zero. Your complaint is uncomely. I have a family, a fulltime job, two active blogs, two books in the works, and a life. I moderate the comments pretty swiftly as it is. Find where I've promised to do so to your liking, and I shall apologize.

Second, I think you mistake the purpose of the blog. The title might have been a clue. You bring a great many misunderstandings, areas of ignorance, and downright goofy ideas. We've tried to help you. At the point where it turns out that you're not looking for help, but looking to preach a dyspel of... well, I'm not sure what positive message you think you're offering. But at that point, you've departed from the blog's intent, which is not to be yet another YouTube-like theophobic ignorance-dump for cut and paste cliched disruptions.

You are correct when you say "I ... fail to understand." Yes, you do. Most didn't, but you still do. As long as there is one undiscovered fact and one unexplained phenomenon, materialistic scientists forfeit the right to speak with authority about anything.

You've talked a lot, you've made it clear you don't like that fact, you're emotionally uncomfortable with it. But you have no refutation, and you have nothing to offer in its place.

Christians do.

Science's successes are gained by robbery. Materialists deny the fundamental nature of creation, but deal with it as if it is created, and sustained in an orderly way by a rational mind. They proceed as if there is meaning and purpose to discover. True concepts, but stolen ones.

Further, every materialist lives on mountains of unproven assumptions. It's a bit jarring to me that this seems to come as news to you, but it's pretty much ABC. Try the link I offered Rupert, above. Perhaps that will help you.

So yes, experimentation on materialist assumptions is meaningless. It is only significant because those assumptions are wrong, and the materialist draws conclusions by intellectual robbery, without even the decency of saying "Thanks" - like the child who steals money from his parents and then spits in their faces.

Your response to Brad similarly reveals that you haven't the simplest grasp of... well, again,look at the title of the blog at which you decided to ask for help. Brad not only has evidence that Abraham is still alive, he has irrefutable evidence. Further, Abraham is alive today precisely because of knowledge ("study") of God. This is the Gospel; you seem unfamiliar with it as well. Perhaps this will help.

The rest of your response to Brad is nonsense he's already anticipated and answered; indicates you're not listening to him.

So David, here's the road forward. We're getting into looping, and I don't permit that.

If you came for help, we've tried. We're still willing to help.

If you've come not for help but to preach long-refuted religious dogmas such as atheism, materialism, or what-have-you, this is not your forum. You'll have to content yourself with the intellectual swamps of YouTube, Digg, or the like.

So don't expect to see more of the same line you've begun to peddle posted. This isn't your pulpit.

DJP said...

To make sure I'm not being too subtle nor coy:

More comments that amount to wordy versions of "Is not!" or "Is so!" just won't appear; nor will "I'm so offended that a blog called Biblical Christianity ends up being about Biblical Christianity and not my religion (i.e. atheism, materialism, Darwinism, etc.)."

Clear enough, I hope?

Rita Martinez said...

my goodness, apparently i haven't been visiting for this past week cause I don't remember seeing any of these posts...anyhow...the thing about Jupiter's rings its a cyclic thing, it's not the first time that has happened: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/20may_loststripe/