This response on Stacy Transancos' ongoing geocentrism thread has again gotten caught up in moderation (apparently due to its length).
I post it here.
"many commenters came to a tenuous conclusion that pronouncing “settled science” or imagining that God doesn’t “care” about the topic is virtuous in some way. Maybe it is, but in all sincerity, I can’t grasp how.
>> There is no settled science, nor can there ever be. Since this statement shocks many of us raised in a time when science, on the basis of its profound accomplishments, has (implicitly or explicitly) assumed the status once reserved for theology; that is, as the highest and most reliable form of knowledge, it is relevant to consider the view of Karl Popper on this:
"....the Baconian/Newtonian insistence on the primacy of ‘pure’ observation, as the initial step in the formation of theories, is completely misguided: all observation is selective and theory-laden—there are no pure or theory-free observations.......
"It is easy, (Popper) argues, to obtain evidence in favour of virtually any theory, and he consequently holds that such ‘corroboration’, as he terms it, should count scientifically only if it is the positive result of a genuinely ‘risky’ prediction, which might conceivably have been false. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event."
(N.B. Such as, for example, a refutation of Darwinism by the carbon dating of soft-tissue- containing dinosaur bones to relatively modern ages:
"Every genuine test of a scientific theory, then, is logically an attempt to refute or to falsify it, and one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory."
(N.B. Such as, for example, a refutation of Relativity by the genuine, subsequently-confirmed observation of superluminal neutrinos.)
"In a critical sense, Popper's theory of demarcation is based upon his perception of the logical asymmetry which holds between verification and falsification: it is logically impossible to conclusively verify a universal proposition by reference to experience (as Hume saw clearly), but a single counter-instance conclusively falsifies the corresponding universal law. In a word, an exception, far from ‘proving’ a rule, conclusively refutes it."
above excerpts from:
We happen to live at one of those extraordinary moments in history where crucial metaphysical interpretations of observational science (Darwinian evolution, the Copernican Principle)- the modern "pillars" of our worldview; the certainties which serve this age as substitutes for the certainties of Faith which served its predecessor- are collapsing at the same time.
What is remarkable, is that the observations responsible for calling these Darwinian and Copernican metaphysical world views into the greatest scientific doubt, happen to be remarkably compatible with precisely those earlier certainties of the Faith.
This is the whole point I am trying to make here, and at my blog.
Jeff: "It seems to me humility is realizing we might not get consensus on this in our lifetimes."
>> Certainly not without a return to a correct metaphysical worldview, by which to overcome the present, false, Copernican Principle worldview.
The door is opening to just such a time of correction, I think.
But as a very wise man recently told me:
"No civilization likes having its orthodoxy questioned".