Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mary's Bones IV: When Science Jumps The Fence

It is asserted that evolution is a scientific theory, in which case it could never be "proved", merely adopted as the best scientific (testable, experimentally falsifiable) explanation for observed phenomena.

Scientific theories have no requirement (no possibility) whatever to be metaphysically true, since they all must be falsifiable in order to be scientific.

Metaphysics cannot be falsifiable. Metaphysics can only be true, or false.

Any metaphysics without God is an appalling absurdity, which is where the difficulty lies.

If science "jumps the fence" and begins to assert its various hypotheses as metaphysical certainties, we notice that the resultant metaphysics will certainly be absurd and false.

"Something from nothing" is very big just now in cosmology as well as quantum physics, as in the "eternally inflating multiverse" proceeding from the "energy of empty space that isn't zero" (the nothing turns out to contain something= contradiction=metaphysical falsification).

Materialist, naturalist metaphysics are always absurd.

They have to be. No metaphysics can be true which denies the fundamental ground of being itself: God.

For example, quantum physics makes absurdly accurate measurements based on a scientific hypothesis, stated here by David Bohm:

"the world is assumed to be constituted of a set of separately existent, indivisible and unchangeable 'elementary particles', which are the fundamental 'building blocks' of the entire universe...."

This is fine, let science hypothesize its world of particles. I like cell phones. I like computers.

They work.


But Bohm continues:

"...there seems to be an unshakable faith among physicists that either such particles, or some other kind yet to be discovered, will eventually make possible a complete and coherent explanation of everything".

Now we have metaphysics, not science. The key words above are "faith", and "complete and coherent explanation of everything".

There will never be a complete and coherent explanation of everything based on fundamental particles as the ground of being.

This is because such an idea is a metaphysical absurdity.

Metaphysics without God is an absurdity, always and everywhere.

So, what about evolution?

Once we see evolution ceasing to allow itself to be experimentally falsifiable- exactly as we do in fact see in the case of refusing to C14 date Mary's Bones- we know that it has ceased to be a scientific theory (if it ever was- I still can't tell for sure on that point yet) and has begun to proceed as a metaphysical research program.

As metaphysics, evolution is an absurdity.

So it is crucial to establish whether evolution claims for itself the status of science; that is, just the best collection of notions which can usefully yield predictions, always subject to experimental falsification- or whether it is metaphysics; that is, a claim about being as being.

I think the  thread linked here shows very strong evidence that evolution is now a metaphysical, not a scientific, research program.

It should be assessed on those grounds.

The assessment will not be kind, because the metaphysics will be absurd.

But that will be addressed in Mary's Bones Part V.

UPDATE 2/12: I have sifted through all of the counter-arguments to H1 and am presented with one that is strong. Read it here

UPDATE 2/12: I have answered the above argument here. I consider the refutation to be conclusive.

NOTE: "H1" in the linked post refers to my "Hypothesis #1":

H1: The Darwinian theory is a metaphysical, not a scientific, research program


  1. I wondered what you'd been doing. Goodness, I read through some of that and I don't know how you do it. Even if those not-very-nice strange trolly-looking icon commenters don't seem to get it, well, plenty of readers do. You make your points so clearly. They blah, blah, blah, nuh-uh, nuh-uh, a few high fives and uh-huhs, and then they ask you the same questions over and over again. Haha.

    And you answer. And answer. And answer.

    You are a real teacher.

  2. It's been a really interesting experience, I can tell you :-)

    I have learned a great deal.

    I hope to summarize it into a final examination of the visit soon.

    I think it presents us with a valid hypothesis that raises a whole lot of questions.

    If the Darwinian theory is now the subject of a metaphysical, as opposed to scientific, research program, then it is highly predictable that no evidence of any kind could ever, even in theory, ever falsify it.

    Any evidence with the potential to falsify it would simply be researched along lines that would support the theory, and never along lines which wouldn't.

    It is highly predictable that any such research program will yield "overwhelmingly consilient" results.


  3. It's ego too. No one would dare admit anything contrary to Darwinian evolution because they wouldn't get funding and popularity, or they'd get scorned. It's not about a search for truth. It's about, "Hey dig me!" The metaphysical guiding principle is not even Darwinism so much as, in all areas of science, all about the self and not about knowledge. The fall of man.

    Just a thought, I've noticed it for a long time. Some people may disagree but when I read science journals these days, I wonder, "Now what was the point of that?" or "I wonder is anyone could ever reproduce those results? Probably not." It's all just, publish or perish. Publish what will sell.

  4. I can understand, and even live with, a certain (even significant} amount of such shenanigans as you suggest above, Tracy.

    Science is a human endeavor and pride and greed are certainly present in it.

    But science has achieved its miracles, and its status among the populace at large, because of its most powerful, constitutive methodological commitment:


    One can discover scientific principles actually operative in the determination of actual phenomena even if one denies God.

    But one can never discover metaphysical truth if one denies God.

    The thread has degenerated into an ugly insight into the unfalisifiability of evolution.

    If the theory is challenged on empirical grounds, the theory will be redefined so as to remove the basis for the challenge.

    If the theory is challenged on metaphysical grounds, "scientific evidence" will be advanced in its defense.

    But since the theory refuses to proceed in a scientific manner when presented with Mary's Bones- a true, Red Dot anomaly- we can see that it is actually metaphysical, not scientific, in nature- at least at this point.

    No real test of then theory will be permitted.

    Any challenge to the theory will result in a claim that the theory doesn't really mean what it means, or that the test doesn't really test the theory, or that even if it does there is so much other evidence.........


    What a drastic mistake has been made in deciding to engage this powerful new metaphysics as if it were science.......

    What we see instead is a new worldview- a profoundly atheist, savagely anti-Catholic metaphysics- which has arisen with the meek acquiescence of the Church.

    It is now turning on us.

    Where are the bishops who will confront this new metaphysics?

    Negotiating conscience exemptions with its political representatives in Washington DC?

  5. Metaphysics cannot be falsifiable. Metaphysics can only be true, or false.

    St Thomas Aquinas sure thought false metaphysics, like Averroism and Atheism, were falsifiable as well as false. And the atheist metaphysics of a universe existing ab æterno was falsified through hydrogen-helium ratio not being all helium but so far more hydrogen than helium (Dom Stanley Jaki, cited in Unwanted Priest, Fr Bryan Houghton).

    Did you get that other view from Kant?

    Either way, you might enjoy these few essays of mine.

  6. I should have said "experimentally falsifiable".

    It does not seem to me that the steady-state universe theory is in any way falsified by the hydrogen-helium ratio. All that is necessary is for the steady- state theorist to propose (as they do) the ongoing creation of new matter, which they propose to be occurring all the time, in the ejection of quasars from galaxy cores (Arp, Burbridge).

  7. I should add, of course, that the steady-state theory is falsified on metaphysical grounds:

    No infinitely existing universe could have begun to exist, therefore cannot exhibit motion, since it cannot have had a First Cause to set it into motion in the first place.

    But it is certainly not falsifiable on scientific grounds.

    Aquinas points to the difference between infinity "per se" and infinity "per accidens".

    Granted this distinction, the steady-state universe is unfalsifiable on scientific grounds.

    But it is falsifiable (has been falsified above) on metaphysical grounds.