Why be skeptical about Swamidass’ ‘Peaceful Science’ pitch?

This thread is meant to be a resource for people to express their hopefully sincere & proper skepticism about Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass’ so-called ‘Peaceful Science’ project on an on-going basis as issues & challenges arise. The purpose for starting this thread now is the announcement of a grant to Peaceful Science (PS) by the mutual fund wealth-based John Templeton Foundation. http://peacefulscience.org/new-voice/

I will express some of my skepticism about PS in a few words: Joshua is strangely aiming by ‘inviting all positions as equal’ to relativise the names ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve,’ while at the same time trying himself to become a ‘genealogist’. The woman in the pair he apparently has some kind of a gender bias against, since he hasn’t laid out why he sometimes omits her & only sometimes brings Eve into the conversation. I predicted here a few months ago that Joshua would eventually change his almost exclusively ‘Genealogical Adam’ talk to finally start being more inclusive with ‘Genealogical Adam & Eve.’ Joshua hasn’t taken the hint by adapting his language & thinking yet, though he has been known to change his mind about things in the past.

Once others realise the relativistic, ‘diversity-driven’ goal of his enterprise, even while he speaks about that goal only indirectly, he will hit his ceiling much like BioLogos has in its mission to convert evangelicals to ‘evolution-accepting,’ kinda like Joshua but different. BioLogos stands as the USAmerican-made role model for Joshua to go his own way, not long after he actively alienated himself from Deborah Haarsma & BioLogos leadership publicly. Example 1 of borrowed modelling: PS uses the same software as BioLogos. (TSZ is behind & should likewise adopt Discourse asap.)

While the explicit intention of making an attempt to bring people of different ‘faiths’ into a dialogue about ‘human origins’ for the improvement of relations between people drawn along what Joshua labels as ‘secularist vs. confessionalist’ lines may sound good on the surface for valuable social & cultural purposes, unfortunately, at the end of the day it’s a USAmerican production of the creationist & IDist flavour that could not have arisen elsewhere the way Swamidass has been promoting himself & selling it. Because of this I don’t think Joshua can actually ‘act peacefully’ in his own community due to his sometimes loud, brash attitude, which I have witnessed now on several occasions in arrogant dismissals & self-justification of wrongs at the cost of relationships with others who he seems to consider as ‘below’ him or simply ‘non-scientist’ & therefore less suited for the broader science, philosophy & theology conversation. Ann Gauger has already expressed how uncomfortable she feels in the way she has been treated at PS, despite Joshua’s efforts at pleasantries. This is largely due to Joshua’s hierarchical structure of participants through which he finds himself compelled to defend one of his largest boosters & fanboys, an atheist friend of FFRF who has made over 3,600 posts at PS, as well as a self-described ‘frantic’ unitarian universalist with 2800 posts.

As for the TSZ & PS relationship, it has been growing & I am delighted to see more and more atheists & agnostics (i.e. ‘skeptics’) from this site visiting there, which is surely more inspiring & enlightening than here. TSZ moderator Neil Rickert a.k.a. “Agnostic Mathematician” has posted over 730 times there in the past 4+ months. Former TSZ moderator Alan Fox “Secular European” has posted almost 160 times. Once volunteer moderator Vincent J. Torley “Catholic Philosopher” has posted 174 times. New TSZ moderator Mung “Theistic-ID Evolution” has posted almost 1,000 times already at PS in just 3 months. John Harshman “Secular Avian Phylogenist” ( I have no idea why he uses the term ‘secular’ there other than following Joshua’s main dichotomy of secular vs. confessional) has created more than 1,200 posts there. This is a record transfer of attention from TSZ to PS, just as I had hoped! There is really no need to turn back to UD or continue to give it attention when PS is available now & growing. http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/peaceful-science-has-eclipsed-uncommon-descent-how-will-that-impact-tszs-reason-to-be/

Nevertheless, the absence of balance is obvious. Joshua has only a few times comes to TSZ to share or explore his views in a more challenging environment than in his own ‘safe space.’ Perhaps he is daunted that he might have to actually face ideological scrutiny, which so far he has proven himself unable to handle carefully, properly or sufficiently, either when he started going public only with his ‘science vs. religion’ views over at BioLogos or now at his own site.

It appears that there’s enough of a taste of PS & Swamidass’ view of managed ‘peace-seeking’ already from people here. So, what do you think? Why are you skeptical about Swamidass’ ‘Peaceful Science’? Or, on the other side, what do you believe in about this ‘new voice’ on ‘human origins’ (which sounds mostly palaeological, rather than contemporary anthropological, sociological or psychological) now funded to expand its platform?

344 Replies to “Why be skeptical about Swamidass’ ‘Peaceful Science’ pitch?”

  1. Neil Rickert
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    Gregory: as plausibly ‘consistent with science’?

    I have not yet seen any serious inconsistency with science.

    Of course, I think it is all nuts anyway — Adam & Eve should be seen as allegorical. But that’s just personal opinion, not an argument.

  2. Gregory Gregory
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    petrushka: The postulated genealogical Adam has little in common with the Biblical Adam.

    That’s incorrect. Joshua Swamidass’ position, along with Jon Garvey, his retired doctor sidekick, who Swamidass cites as inspiring his work, along with David Opderbeck who seems to have largely disengaged from the conversation, starts as evangelicals always do, not with science, but with scripture. Swamidass leaves out Kenneth Kemp for some strange reason, perhaps due to his church’s (LCMS) vilification of the Vatican & Roman Catholic Church. You can see his main claim here: “genealogical science has been overlooked”. It’s a ‘science’ of genealogy that Joshua Swamidass is pushing in a neo-creationist way. http://peacefulscience.org/genealogical-science/

    The ‘genealogical Adam’ is indeed the Biblical Adam. They are one & the same, just as YECists have been arguing for decades; nothing different there. It is instead the ‘genetical Adam’ that has nothing in common with the Biblical Adam.

    What we are witnessing is Sanjay Joshua Swamidass now happily cutting genetical Adam loose from theology as he seems to feel this is what his local protestant Missouri church needs most. That’s the difference that makes a difference & which lands Joshua right back squarely & backwardly among the non-mainstream protestant evangelicals that he was apparently trying to escape from. Joshua is every bit as much a ‘creationist’ as his YECist friends & family are. As is Jon Garvey who now actively colludes with Swamidass & indirectly with the IDM through sheltering their most notorious ghostwriter at his blog “The Hump of the Camel.” Nothing to be skeptical about here, right? ; )

  3. Mung Mung
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    Joe Felsenstein: When ID advocates present arguments that are intended to show that ordinary evolutionary forces can’t explain This or can’t explain That, these can be scientific arguments. But when they are asked to present their own explanations for these phenomena, they don’t have any scientific explanation.

    So my view is that the negative arguments of ID advocates are possibly scientific, but the positive evidence for ID is not scientific. So when people say that ID isn’t science, they may be right or may be wrong, depending on whether they are talking about the positive arguments of ID or the negative ones.

    This is generally a good post but still a bit confused. Probably because Joe doesn’t want to admit that there can be positive scientific evidence for ID.

    There is a difference between “positive evidence for ID” and ” their own explanations for these phenomena.”

    As far as the latter I’m actually going to agree with Joe and that’s because to a large extent your average ID supporter only has as an explanation a non-scientific explanation.

    But there is a difference between evidence and explanation.

    It is my humble opinion that for ID to be accepted as science it needs not just scientific evidence but also scientific explanation. And it is the latter of the two which is lacking.

  4. Mung Mung
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    Neil Rickert: I have not yet seen any serious inconsistency with science.

    I have. The de novo creation of a pair of humans would not be consistent with science. Joshua thinks it would be consistent with science.

    Of course, if that’s the case, then the de novo creation of every species is also consistent with science. Yet Joshua is an evolutionist. Except when it comes to Adam and Eve. And he sees no inconsistency in that.

  5. Mung Mung
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    Gregory: Joshua is every bit as much a ‘creationist’ as his YECist friends & family are.

    Agree.

  6. phoodoo
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    Mung: It is my humble opinion that for ID to be accepted as science it needs not just scientific evidence but also scientific explanation. And it is the latter of the two which is lacking.

    If the theory is that supernatural forces shape the trajectory of life, how can one provide scientific evidence, unless one can see or exist within the supernatural?

    If all the stars one night, aligned to spell out “I am God”, in the sky for the whole world to see, in 32 languages, what would qualify as scientific evidence that God created that?

  7. J-Mac
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    J-Mac: Has anybody ever even considered the possible influence of the Nephilim on genealogical Adam and Eve? They are still Christians, are they not?

    That did come out right. lol
    What I meant to say is since Swamidass and his gang consider themselves Christians, have they ever seriously considered the genetic influence of the Nephilim? I didn’t mean to suggest that the Nephilim were Christians… unless being a Christian = believing in Christ… If that’s the case, then the Nephilim could have been considered Christians the same way Swamidass and Gregory do…

  8. Gregory Gregory
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    Mung: Agree.

    Ok, nice. Why then do you think Joshua so vociferously denies it?

    Here’s the challenge to ‘evidence’ for ‘genealogical Adam’, similar to the challenge for ‘evidence’ of the instantiation of (properly capitalised for what it means) Intelligent Design using ‘strictly scientific’ means. https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/testing-the-genealogical-adam-hypothesis/3346

    If you believe the DI & IDM cannot do more than just ‘infer Design’ (again, it must be capitalised to distinguish it from ‘real design theory’ & thus reduce confusion), that they cannot & will not ever ’empirically identify’ (unless perhaps you’re talking about something like sainthood, but not in ‘biology first’ – Dembski’s insistence) Intelligent Design, then just like Mike Gene did, it is your duty to turn your back on the DI’s CSC, led by Stephen C. Meyer & John G. West, & join a better way. What’s stopping you, Mung?

    I stand with Joshua & obviously go much more deeply into the philosophy and sociology of the IDM than he does, in rejecting IDism. Don’t let either of us hold you back from finally moving past the IDM. I know other organisations that would gladly welcome your support who are not damaging society with their apparently incorrigible ‘culture warring’ mentalities.

  9. petrushka
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    When I say genealogical, I mean evidence supplied by genes.

    Genealogies supplied by marriage records are often inconsistent with biological lineage. The biblical genealogies are fiction.

  10. Gregory Gregory
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    ‘Biological lineage’ means ‘genetic’, no? ‘Evidence supplied by genes’ would appear a rather loose & misleading definition for ‘genealogical.’ Genetic analysis is only one tool involved in genealogy.

    “The biblical genealogies are fiction.” = “Hi, my name is ‘petrushka’ & I’m an atheist.” Nothing more than that. Please stop confusing genetics & genealogy.

  11. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
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    Gregory: ‘Evidence supplied by genes’ would appear a rather loose & misleading definition for ‘genealogical.’

    With all due respect (or lack of respect) to the information about who begat whom, I believe that it is only male ancestors who it records. Autosomal genes are affected by the pedigrees that have both males and females, mitochondrial genotypes by the pedigrees of female ancestors only.

  12. newton
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    phoodoo: If all the stars one night, aligned to spell out “I am God”, in the sky for the whole world to see, in 32 languages, what would qualify as scientific evidence that God created that?

    He wouldn’t need to align the stars , the average visible star is a thousand light years away, light takes a thousand years to get to us. He would actually need to align the photons already in transit to spell His message.

  13. Gregory Gregory
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    Joe Felsenstein,

    “I believe that it is only male ancestors who it records.”

    Sorry, could you clarify please. Who/what is the ‘it’ that ‘records’? Genealogy as a field, genealogists, etc.?

    It’s funny too because one of the few times he posted here, Swamidass denied that he was trying to speak as a ‘genealogical scientist’ (or ‘scientific genealogist’) or even knowing what it means. “I am not a ‘scientific genealogist’ nor do I know that is.” Yet here he is currently pushing “genealogical science” & a “Science of Adam” along with retired MD Jon Garvey as a kind of novel ‘reform’.

  14. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
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    Gregory: Sorry, could you clarify please. Who/what is the ‘it’ that ‘records’? Genealogy as a field, genealogists, etc.?

    Genealogical information in the Old Testament. You know, the “begats”.

    Is there some other repository of genealogical information about Adam and Eve?

  15. Gregory Gregory
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    Joe Felsenstein: Genealogical information in the Old Testament.You know, the “begats”.

    Is there some other repository of genealogical information about Adam and Eve?

    Yes, Joe, the blessed begats. = P

    I find your question entirely valid & suggest you go to PS & ask it to Joshua. There’s a ‘strictly scientific’ bug going around largely non-mainstream evangelical protestants in the USA that you might be able to diagnose for Joshua related to his ‘Science of Adam’ &/or ‘genealogical Adam’. It’s not entirely unrelated to the ‘none carnival’ (carnival of religious or spiritual ‘nones’) that’s been going on there helped in part by strong negative reaction against YECism & IDism in US religious institutions & most hyper-individualised non-mainstreamers simply digging in their antlers.

    Nice that, even if you don’t quite believe in her, Joe, you remember Eve too, mother of those begats. It not just ‘academic’ or ‘scientific’ in any case.

  16. phoodoo
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    newton: He wouldn’t need to align the stars , the average visible star is a thousand light years away, light takes a thousand years to get to us. He would actually need to align the photons already in transit to spell His message.

    How would we know if it was the stars he aligned, 1000 years ago, or if he just realigned the light, just before it reached us?

    Either way, what would constitute evidence, that would satisfy people that we are taking about scientific evidence and not just a fairy tale?

  17. timothya timothya
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    phoodoo: How would we know if it was the stars he aligned, 1000 years ago, or if he just realigned the light, just before it reached us?

    Either way, what would constitute evidence, that would satisfy people that we are taking about scientific evidence and not just a fairy tale?

    Because starlight radiates equally in alĺ directions, an alignment of stars that is appropriate to spell out the message in Earth’s direction might read very differently in some other part of the galaxy. “Fly at once, all is known!”, for instance.

    In any case, we already have multitudes of examples of human societies constructing fairy tales to account for arbitrary arrangements of stars – they are called constellations.

  18. phoodoo
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    timothya: Because starlight radiates equally in alĺ directions, an alignment of stars that is appropriate to spell out the message in Earth’s direction might read very differently in some other part of the galaxy. “Fly at once, all is known!”, for instance.

    In any case, we already have multitudes of examples of human societies constructing fairy tales to account for arbitrary arrangements of stars – they are called constellations.

    Oh my heavens, you are saying we would know the difference, because of what we are used to starlight doing…

    But more to the point, so you are saying that there is NO scenario that could be evidence of God then, is that it? Because it would always just be another fairy tale, right?

    Nothing is evidence.

  19. timothya timothya
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    phoodoo: Oh my heavens, you are saying we would know the difference, because of what we are used to starlight doing…

    But more to the point, so you are saying that there is NO scenario that could be evidence of God then, is that it?Because it would always just be another fairy tale, right?

    Nothing is evidence.

    Take a look at the Sagittarian Star Field. By golly, I can see at least three places where the star patterns spell out “METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL”.

    Zodiacal constellation arrangements have so far provided no evidence of starry influences on humans, so why should your example be any more plausible?

  20. phoodoo
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    timothya: Take a look at the Sagittarian Star Field. By golly, I can see at least three places where the star patterns spell out “METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL”.

    Zodiacal constellation arrangements have so far provided no evidence of starry influences on humans, so why should your example be any more plausible?

    It seems you are only confirming my assertion that no matter how much evidence EVER existed, there will be plenty who insist, its just your imagination.

    So since we know the default position of the materialist is, no evidence could ever be valid, how can anyone ever take their complaint of a lack of evidence seriously?

  21. timothya timothya
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    phoodoo: It seems you are only confirming my assertion that no matter how much evidence EVER existed, there will be plenty who insist, its just your imagination.

    So since we know the default position of the materialist is, no evidence could ever be valid, how can anyone ever take their complaint of a lack of evidence seriously?

    What-if speculations have their place, I suppose, but they become wearisome very quickly. When you come up with an actual example of stellar sign-making, then we can have a sensible conversation about how to process the evidence.

    I have provided two counter-factual examples (constellationary mythologies and astrology) that demonstrate the willingness of humans to see things that do not actually exist, but you have hand-waved them away.

  22. newton
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    phoodoo: How would we know if it was the stars he aligned, 1000 years ago, or if he just realigned the light, just before it reached us?

    The message, it would be written as the language was 1000 years ago.Language changes.

    With photons much simpler. Could even add something more interesting , a more current message. “I am God”, is a little cliche.

    Maybe “ Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?“ that both religious overtones with the subtext that God is the kind of a guy with you could have a beer with and watch the game.

    Either way, what would constitute evidence, that would satisfy people that we are taking about scientific evidence and not just a fairy tale?

    Yep that option has always open, but it seems God values faith over certainty. There are way more beneficial to humanity then messing with the sky and screwing up navigation A cure for cancer tomorrow perhaps. A Porsche in my driveway would convince me.

  23. newton
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    timothya: Because starlight radiates equally in alĺ directions, an alignment of stars that is appropriate to spell out the message in Earth’s direction might read very differently in some other part of the galaxy. “Fly at once, all is known!”, for instance.

    Since Earth is the center of the Universe, who cares about other Non- Christians Aliens.?

    In any case, we already have multitudes of examples of human societies constructing fairy tales to account for arbitrary arrangements of stars – they are called constellations.

    I think it was to make it more interesting sitting around the fire. Find a pattern and make up a story about it. It is useful in remembering the patterns. The sky must have been spectacularly dark.

  24. newton
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    phoodoo:

    But more to the point, so you are saying that there is NO scenario that could be evidence of God then, is that it?Because it would always just be another fairy tale, right?

    I thought he was just saying it just was not a very good example.

  25. phoodoo
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    newton: I thought he was just saying it just was not a very good example.

    Then you both aren’t getting it. The whole point is who does it have to be a good example to, to be considered evidence? Timothy is already basically expressing that no evidence would be good enough to him. So since everyone might have a different standard of what constitutes evidence, and since you materialists are saying no evidence of a supernatural being is good enough unless you get a free Porsche, then you are essentially selecting the possibility of evidence. I contend that there is already evidence, but you have no standard at all for evidence, so it can never be filled.

    It’s as if one were to say, the only evidence for the big bang that I would call evidence is if it produced a free Porsche for me. I reject any other kind. If Timothy finds it wearisome to imagine what would be evidence, that is hardly the fault of the non materialist.

  26. Mung Mung
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    phoodoo: If the theory is that supernatural forces shape the trajectory of life, how can one provide scientific evidence, unless one can see or exist within the supernatural?

    If the theory appeals to supernatural forces then it is not scientific.

    phoodoo: If all the stars one night, aligned to spell out “I am God”, in the sky for the whole world to see, in 32 languages, what would qualify as scientific evidence that God created that?

    That would be evidence. Now we need an explanation.

  27. Mung Mung
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    Gregory: Ok, nice. Why then do you think Joshua so vociferously denies it?

    Anything I write would be pure speculation.

    What’s stopping you, Mung … Don’t let either of us hold you back from finally moving past the IDM.

    Please do not assume that I am entrenched.

    …similar to the challenge for ‘evidence’ of the instantiation of (properly capitalised for what it means) Intelligent Design using ‘strictly scientific’ means.

    Yes, how these designs are instantiated is of great interest to me. If the only means of instantiation is through “special creation” then I have to admit that I can see little difference between ID and Creationism.

  28. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    phoodoo: Then you both aren’t getting it.

    Me, neither. I don’t see why I need to consider whether some… well, what, some hypothetical phenomenon presented itself that might persuade me to take up some religion or other. Nobody can really say how they would react on some novel, highly unusual, life-changing situation. Take a real example, say, when faced with your own and others’ imminent death at the hands of an armed madman. Do you run, save yourself, try to save others? Till faced with such things, I’m dubious that anyone can be confident how they would react.

    The whole point is who does it have to be a good example to,to be considered evidence?Timothy is already basically expressing that no evidence would be good enough to him.

    He can speak for himself but I read him as saying something similar to me, what-if hypotheticals are all very well but until this Road-to-Damascus moment happens, who can say?

    So since everyone might have a different standard of what constitutes evidence,and since you materialists are saying no evidence of a supernatural being is good enough unless you get a free Porsche,then you are essentially selecting the possibility of evidence.

    I definitely wouldn’t be persuaded by a free Porsche. A most impractical vehicle.

    I contend that there is already evidence, but you have no standard at all for evidence,so it can never be filled.

    What’s the problem? If you are happy in your own skin, isn’t that good enough? Why the need to claim people who don’t share your conviction are being perverse? And if you assert there is evidence, present it, why don’t you?

    It’s as if one were to say,the only evidence for the big bang that I would call evidence is if it produced a free Porsche for me.I reject any other kind. If Timothy finds it wearisome to imagine what would be evidence,that is hardly the fault of the non materialist.

    Nonsense. If you are arguing about the strength of evidence without presenting any, you can hardly blame people for shrugging shoulders.

  29. timothya timothya
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    phoodoo: Then you both aren’t getting it.The whole point is who does it have to be a good example to,to be considered evidence?Timothy is already basically expressing that no evidence would be good enough to him. So since everyone might have a different standard of what constitutes evidence,and since you materialists are saying no evidence of a supernatural being is good enough unless you get a free Porsche,then you are essentially selecting the possibility of evidence. I contend that there is already evidence,but you have no standard at all for evidence,so it can never be filled.

    The standard is not a “who”, it is a “what”. It matters not one whit who does the evaluation, evidence in science is judged against what we already know.

    In this case, we already have the evidence from the ESA’s Gaia observatory, which has mapped the positions, velocities and distances of more than 1.7 billion stars in our galaxy. Every scientist involved in that project, also any lay people looking at the Gaia results, uses the same standard of what constitutes evidence. So far, we all seem to agree that no cosmic advertising has been detected.

    Gaia is planned to run for another five years, and will re-image all the stars seventy times. So if some of those stars suddenly reorganise themselves to spell out a message, I think the astronomers involved will get very excited indeed.

    I know that I would, though I might doubt my sanity as a first response before ascribing the event to divine influence. I would probably have the same reaction if the message read “Eat at Joe’s”. What I would certainly not do is reject the evidence.

  30. Gregory Gregory
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    Mung,

    Yes, how these designs are instantiated is of great interest to me. If the only means of instantiation is through “special creation” then I have to admit that I can see little difference between ID and Creationism.”

    In this sense, IDism is a form of neo-creationism. Both creationism & IDism are drenched in ideology (yet they completely deny this) that most other people simply don’t accept, not matter the force upon which they would infer to their preferred semantics. Re: the DI’s & IDM’s intentional blurring of human-made designs vs. non-human made designs, I find it disgusting that people among them don’t write the leaders to stop it. We non-IDists see the misnomer clear as day. Yet IDists in Seattle have got an institution to take care of & a culture war to fuel with their religious-political monies, so they don’t listen outside of their ideological flock.

    Re: entrenched.’ So ‘in pocket’ to the DI, meaning still donating to them & having bought a whole bunch of their ‘educational’ materials vs. entrenched. Ok, please forgive if I’m misunderstanding the economics involved. What would “finally moving past the IDM” possibly look like to you if not ceasing support & book buying, etc.? I’ve hinted that you need an alternative first, but you didn’t bite.

  31. petrushka
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    Alan Fox: I definitely wouldn’t be persuaded by a free Porsche. A most impractical vehicle.

    Would you consider a Subaru?

  32. petrushka
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    I might be persuaded by a star message if it’s in Cosmic Sans.

  33. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    petrushka: Would you consider a Subaru?

    I’d rather have an eight series BMW. Then comes the guilt of conspicuous consumption! 🙁

  34. Mung Mung
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    petrushka: Would you consider a Subaru?

    I had a Subaru Brat years ago and loved it.

  35. Mung Mung
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    One commenter at PS is now making it clear that the site is about getting people to accept special creation. I suggested they rename the site to Peaceful Creationism.

  36. timothya timothya
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    petrushka:
    I might be persuaded by a star message if it’s in Cosmic Sans.

    That would incontrovertibly presage the heat death of the universe.

  37. Nonlin.org
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    Gregory: “Local contagions of anti-intellectualism threaten to become epidemic.” – Merton

    I see you are a true fan of ‘dumb and dumber’. I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not really a documentary about your two favorite bozos, Dawkins and Harris. Luckily, you still have Santa Mouse.

    Joe Felsenstein: When ID advocates present arguments that are intended to show that ordinary evolutionary forces can’t explain This or can’t explain That, these can be scientific arguments. But when they are asked to present their own explanations for these phenomena, they don’t have any scientific explanation.

    You pretend to not have seen this: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/intelligent-design-detection/ ?

    Are you saying that presenting pseudo-explanations to anything is how science is done? Is there any room for “we don’t know” in your “science”?

  38. Nonlin.org
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    Mung: It is my humble opinion that for ID to be accepted as science it needs not just scientific evidence but also scientific explanation. And it is the latter of the two which is lacking.

    What is “scientific evidence”? And what is “scientific explanation”? Are you not making an idol out of “science”? Are you rejecting the original and best meaning: ‘science’ = ‘knowledge’?

  39. phoodoo
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    timothya: The standard is not a “who”, it is a “what”. It matters not one whit who does the evaluation, evidence in science is judged against what we already know.

    This is a pretty meaningless statement. Its not saying anything.

    The claim, made by Mung btw, was that ID was not a scientific claim, because there is no scientific evidence for it. So I am saying that that is not true, unless you don’t count observation as scientific observation.

    So you must either agree that observation is scientific evidence, or you can choose to disagree that observation is scientific evidence, in which case, most of science has no scientific evidence.

    Its your choice, does science exist or not? For some it does.

  40. phoodoo
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    Nonlin.org: What is “scientific evidence”? And what is “scientific explanation”? Are you not making an idol out of “science”? Are you rejecting the original and best meaning: ‘science’ = ‘knowledge’?

    Yes, this is just what I am saying.

  41. Gregory Gregory
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    Mung:
    One commenter at PS is now making it clear that the site is about getting people to accept special creation. I suggested they rename the site to Peaceful Creationism.

    Which commenter is that? Joshua is always going to have YECists hanging around him given that non-mainstream evangelical protestantism is his home base. Converting his YECist friends to accept evolution(ism) via the intermediary step of accepting a ‘genealogical Adam’ (afterthought Eve) is Joshua’s main mission, which is what he believes can now be done ‘peacefully’ in the USA. We’ll see. He’s stuck it to BioLogos better than the entire DI has done in just the last year or so! The DI’s attack on ‘theistic evolution’ is idiotic in the end, but that’s what IDism has become, tribalist nonsense.

  42. timothya timothya
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: This is a pretty meaningless statement.Its not saying anything.

    You omitted to explain why you think so. Without that, your response is devoid of content.

    The claim, made by Mung btw, was that ID was not a scientific claim, because there is no scientific evidence for it.So I am saying that that is not true, unless you don’t count observation as scientific observation.

    No, he/she did not say that. Here is the relevant quote:

    It is my humble opinion that for ID to be accepted as science it needs not just scientific evidence but also scientific explanation. And it is the latter of the two which is lacking.

    Note the “not just” part. Mung may believe that scientific evidence for ID exists or not, but your version of the words is a straight misrepresentation. You shouldn’t do that when it is easily checked.

    So you must either agree that observation is scientific evidence, or you can choose to disagree that observation is scientific evidence, in which case, most of science has no scientific evidence.

    Its your choice, does science exist or not?For some it does.

    This is one of the biggest false dichotomies you have so far produced. If someone claims to observe a starry message (“I’m Zeus, get used to it”), then we don’t simply take the fact-claim at face value and move it into the category of scientific evidence.

    Your false dichotomy is to declare that there are only two possibilities: observations are scientific evidence or scientific evidence does not exist. But clearly there are at least two additional categories: the observation is fraudulent bunkum, or the observation is a product of the observer’s delusions. It is only after we dispose of observations falling into the last two categories that an observation can be dealt with scientifically.

    Only after passing these preliminary tests does the fact-claim enter the field of scientific evidence where we can ask the interesting questions of whether the new evidence fits with our current explanation (confirmatory evidence is useful but unexciting), or does it contradict the explanation (great! new ideas required).

  43. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: Which commenter is that?

    Joshua’s right hand man, George. LoL.

    https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/brian-miller-co-option-and-irreducible-complexity/3626/153

    …and following.

  44. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Nonlin.org: Are you not making an idol out of “science”?

    No.

    Are you rejecting the original and best meaning: ‘science’ = ‘knowledge’?

    Yes.

    science – the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

  45. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: The claim, made by Mung btw, was that ID was not a scientific claim, because there is no scientific evidence for it.

    I never said that.

    I am looking for the scientific explanations for how the designs, detected by the scientific/empirical methods of ID, were instantiated. Absent those explanations, I don’t think ID will advance or prosper as a scientific endeavor.

    I think that’s a very reasonable position to take. It doedsn’t deny ID or that there can be scientific evidence for ID.

  46. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    timothya: If someone claims to observe a starry message (“I’m Zeus, get used to it”), then we don’t simply take the fact-claim at face value and move it into the category of scientific evidence.

    Not someone, everyone.

    Is observation evidence, its that simple. Sometimes all we have is observation.

    To add the caveat that we also need an explanation is meaningless. We observe, and then we make assumptions based on those observations. That’s science. If the demand for supernatural explanations is that we must know something about the designer, or that without knowing the supernatural causes, we must ALWAYS just assume it is not, that puts a burden of proof that would nullify a whole lot of other science.

    There are observations that would rise to the level of scientific evidence that would even satisfy you (and Newton). The stars have to spell exactly what you want, they have to do it exactly with the method you want, it has to be seen by the number of people you want, it has to have the right fonts, and the right phrasing, etc…

    Or else there isn’t a level that would ever satisfy you. You could always just fall back on it being mass hallucinations until the end of time. But your level of proof, doesn’t mean its THE level of proof. It doesn’t make it less science, because its not obvious enough for you.

  47. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: You could always just fall back on it being mass hallucinations until the end of time.

    That would be a good name for a skeptical site.

  48. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I never said that.

    I am looking for the scientific explanations for how the designs, detected by the scientific/empirical methods of ID, were instantiated. Absent those explanations, I don’t think ID will advance or prosper as a scientific endeavor.

    I think that’s a very reasonable position to take. It doedsn’t deny ID or that there can be scientific evidence for ID.

    Well, I have a slightly different take on that, obviously. As far as I am concerned, Darwinism only exists as the last holdout against a supernatural explanation.

    Neo-Darwinism exists only with the explicit understanding that the root cause of all of life is just random mutations. Once you lose the whole random at its core concept, you have to replace the random with something. So the Darwinist try to play this awkward dance, where they deny randomness, sometimes, but also insist on randomness other times, because they also know they are caught. If its not random then what?

    They try for this “nature has a third way” get out of their quandary option, and then say “Well, THAT, now that is science, because its not saying its God, its saying its nature, so you see, thats ok.” They can do this with quantum mechanics, or the nature of light, or what have you, and they get to say, “Well, its just the way it is, we can’t explain everything in terms of why.”

    It seems to me, if its Ok for the materialists to just say its so, why is that option taken away from the non-materialist?

    If its not random, then there is a cause. And getting to say, well the cause is natural is just silly. So every day that Darwinism drifts further away from their “random” core (which they are clearly doing) they drift closer to cause. And cause means a designer. They are just closing the door on accepting that, by demanding an explanation, an explanation that they they don’t demand of themselves.

    Let’s say one day we find out that random mutations play no part whatsoever in developing life. That instead its all kinds of mechanisms working in coordination that make life possible. Do we then just get to say, “Ok, well, its that, its mechanisms, why they do that, we don’t know! We don’t care, its mechanisms!” The why part we get to leave blank, like we do with so many other theories. I call bullshit on that.

  49. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    And Mung I would add, that although I don’t read Peaceful Science, I clicked on your link and saw that Joshua was saying something along the lines of “Darwinism is not the only mechanism available to evolution…”

    Well, if Darwinism is not the only mechanisms available, then why do I need Darwinism? To explain that some bacteria survive if you soak them in citrates? That’s not really the question in life most people want to know about.

    If there is another mechanism, and it ain’t Darwinism, then its_______. If all we are filling the blank in with is more mechanisms without a cause, then I want a blank to fill in with the cause.

  50. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    I think it’s a mistake to try and give you an answer, but here it goes:

    phoodoo:
    Well, I have a slightly different take on that, obviously. As far as I am concerned, Darwinism only exists as the last holdout against a supernatural explanation.

    This is funny. I don’t even see the possibility for a supernatural explanation. The very concept makes little to no sense, so, stealing your words, as far as I am concerned, “supernatural explanations” is a synonym to “fantasies trying to pass for explanations.”

    phoodoo:
    Neo-Darwinism exists only with the explicit understanding that the root cause of all of life is just random mutations.

    The root cause of all life? Woa! All this time I thought that neo-Darwinism was some synthesis about Darwin’s proposed ideas with Mendelian genetics, etc. into a more comprehensive view of evolution. Never that it was about The Root Cause of all life. I have the book on the modern synthesis, I read it, and I did not find it to be hundreds of pages filled with “it’s nothing but random mutations.”

    This makes me wonder if you care about whether you have formed a justified opinion, or if you just try very hard to reject evolution, and abiogenesis perhaps, by cartooning them. But why would you put those cartoons in a forum where they’re bound to be read by people who can see them for what they are. What’s the point of making such obviously wrong statements here phoodoo? Just to show that you cannot learn?

    phoodoo:
    Once you lose the whole random at its core concept, you have to replace the random with something. So the Darwinist try to play this awkward dance, where they deny randomness, sometimes, but also insist on randomness other times, because they also know they are caught. If its not random then what?

    It’s several things phoodoo. You would not find any awkwardness if you wanted to understand what’s explained to you. There’s some random phenomena, but there’s also selection. Inadequate mutants will be less likely to survive than better-adapted and neutral mutants. This is fucking obvious. Then, for example, in DNA the pairing of A with T is not random, it’s chemical compatibility. Same for G with C. DNA base complementarity is not random, yet it’s not perfect either, they sometimes pair differently.

    Hydrogen bonds are not random, they depend on the electronegativity of the atoms of certain elements, which is not random either, but a property of such atoms. There’s energy flow, which, because of the second law of thermodynamics, flows mostly into a single direction, which makes work, thus life, possible. There’s plenty of non-random phenomena, which, combined with some randomness make this richness of life possible, and evolution an inevitable consequence of life.

    phoodoo:
    It seems to me, if its Ok for the materialists to just say its so, why is that option taken away from the non-materialist?

    Well, here I’d pause and ask, well phoodoo, what makes you a non-materialist? How did you come to the realization that there’s such thing as the non-material? I ask because I’m not a physicalist (rather than a materialist) foundationally, but as a consequence of there being no evidence of anything else. We’re again at that point we were with “supernatural,” whereby “non-materialist” seems to stand for “fantasy-prone.”

    phoodoo:
    If its not random, then there is a cause. And getting to say, well the cause is natural is just silly.

    Why? Why would it be silly? Do you think that electronegativity is unnatural? Hydrogen bonds? Gravitation? Crystallization? All the reactions that chemists and organic chemists learn about? All those processes that physicists study?

    phoodoo:
    So every day that Darwinism drifts further away from their “random” core (which they are clearly doing) they drift closer to cause.

    Oh how terrible! Horrifying! All this time I thought that Darwin had made such a spectacular work precisely because he identified a whole process, a “cause,” for life to diverge! Yet, here I have wise phoodoo who has put me back to reality! It should be pure randomness and never depart from it because nature must be pure randomness! Come on phoodoo, do you really think that?

    phoodoo:
    And cause means a designer.

    No it doesn’t. Cause means that something is behind something else. That’s all that “cause” means.

    phoodoo:
    They are just closing the door on accepting that, by demanding an explanation, an explanation that they they don’t demand of themselves.

    Really? Another surprise, since it’s precisely the explanatory power of evolution that got me out of the creationist propaganda.

    phoodoo:
    Let’s say one day we find out that random mutations play no part whatsoever in developing life. That instead its all kinds of mechanisms working in coordination that make life possible.

    It is indeed all kinds of mechanisms working in coordination phoodoo. Random mutations provide seeds for life’s variety, but life works because of all kinds of mechanisms, or phenomena, in coordination.

    phoodoo:
    Do we then just get to say, “Ok, well, its that, its mechanisms, why they do that, we don’t know! We don’t care, its mechanisms!” The why part we get to leave blank, like we do with so many other theories.I call bullshit on that.

    But we do know quite a bit about it phoodoo, and we care about understanding why things work the way they work. How they work the way they work. We just have to admit that at some point it will be brute facts. That at some point we’ll hit a wall. That’s just the way it is. There’s nothing anybody can do about it.

    Now, if that’s your criticism, then what’s God to you if not a brute fact? Something you have no explanation for? The place where you hit a wall? Why would a fantasy be an admissible brute fact, but nothing about nature would?

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