Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apologies for Long Hiatus

I have been pulled away by professional responsibilities which have (big surprise) turned out to be rather more involved than originally anticipated.

Please look for updates on several very interesting fronts starting tomorrow.

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

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mary's Bones Part III: Is Evolution Science or Metaphysics?

I would like to begin to present here the ongoing results of a truly.........interesting sojourn at the TalkRational site.

Fair warning: If one clicks some of the links I will be providing in the course of this series of posts, and scans up and down the thread from them, one will likely encounter instances of blasphemy so utterly vile as to present a problem for me here.

Do I risk leading someone to a site where such incredible evil is not only permitted, but encouraged?

I conclude that only those spiritually prepared to enter the lion's den should enter it.

Otherwise, just stay here and I will present relevant posts with direct links sufficient to fairly characterize the arguments (minus the blasphemies).

Believe me, if I had the choice, I would stay here.

But since I am already in the lion's den, let me tell you that the lions have a big, big problem on their hands.

The problem consists in the existence of Cretaceous dinosaur bones presenting the extreme anomaly of soft tissues (now there are dozens and dozens of similar finds reported by separate teams of researchers working in widely divergent areas of the world).

First off: I learned a very important point concerning the C14 dating of the TRex bones related in Mary's Bones, Pt II.

In the update inserted at the top of that post, you will see the first substantive benefit I received from entering the lion's den.

The "relatively modern" ages reported in the abstract of the referenced paper by Kaye, et el (2008), are actually reported in the paper itself as far too modern; that is, the results obtained would be consistent with our TRex having croaked on a timescale:

"139.01%±0.65 of modern (1950) of 14C activity"

approximately consistent with last Tuesday.

Now that doesn't work for anybody, whether strict Darwinian, theistic evolutionist, or young earth creationist.

The date is clearly most plausibly associated with modern contamination of the sample.

But here, again, the plot thickens.

In this post, which is representative of dozens and dozens of others, an objector insists that C14 dating is never appropriate for Cretaceous specimens, since we already know that all Cretaceous fossils are at least 65 million years old, and C14 dating only returns valid dates on samples less than approximately 60,000 (carbon) years old.

My reply situates the real issue here:

Oh, this is rich.

The logical fallacy is "circulus in probando", or circular argumentation.

We have a bone.

We want to know if it is less than 60,000 carbon years old.

In order to do the experiment which will objectively answer the question, we must......

First determine whether the bone is less than 60,000 years old.

Sir, has it yet occurred to you yet that if you are receiving public funds of any kind to do "science", that you ought in conscience return them?

Now here is the basis of the problem for the lions.

The entire science of paleontology was developed precisely because it was assumed that ancient bones- like dinosaur bones, which are assumed to be at least scores of millions of years old- could never contain soft tissue, blood cells, and collagen- such organic substances would degrade much, much more quickly than that.

But the scientific method involves, always, the principle of falsifiability.

If one is pursuing a scientific program of research, then no matter how many times a given assumption has proven to be justified, even one well-established, confirmed, and carefully verified contrary observation is sufficient to call the assumption into question at the very least, and even to falsify it.

The existence of counter-predicted soft tissue in 80,000,000 year old dinosaur bones, therefore, calls the assumption of an 80,000,000 year age into question- at least if we are dealing with a scientific theory!

This principle of falsifiability is often associated with the great philosopher of science Karl Popper, who puts it this way:

"The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game."
  • Ch. 2 "On the Problem of a Theory of Scientific Method", Section XI: Methodological Rules as Conventions

The very best formulation of this principle, in my opinion, comes from Albert Einstein himself:

"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."


Is the Darwinian theory actually pursuing the anomaly on the basis of the scientific method?

UPDATE 2/13: The following link has been updated to reflect the progression of the discussion:

I argue it is not.

I argue that the Darwinian theory is instead a metaphysical research program.

The discussion is ongoing, and will be updated soon.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Harrisburg Affair: Link to Fr. Harrison's Essay

I apologize for the hiatus in new posts lately, I am engaged in a really amazing series of exchanges at the TalkRational site, which will be the subject of a future post when concluded.

Today I received a comment from Kurt, over on "Harrisburg Affair Pt 2: The Timeline" and I reproduce it here, along with my response, and a further update received directly from Dr. Sungenis.

First, Kurt's comment:

I found a pretty good response to Father Harrisons defense of Robert Sungenis at this site,

I think that they were very respectful and made a lot of good points. And I see that you didn't provide a link to Fathers article. It seems to be off-line. Are you sure he still stands behind it?

My reply:

Kurt: I find a useful correlation between your post and the kind of "argumentation" advanced in your link.

Insinuation is the order of the day:

"I see that you didn't provide a link to Fathers article. It seems to be off-line."

Now, Kurt, let me ask you. If the article were to be on-line, would this have anything at all to do with whether it were true?

If it were to have been online and then taken off-line, would this have anything at all to do with whether it were false?

Of course not.

The only utility such an observation would have, would be to afford the opportunity to advance an insinuation, designed to implant into the mind of the reader that, maybe, just maybe, the author didn't, or doesn't, or might, or might not, really mean what he said?

The logical fallacy is clear, but then some folks aren't very logical.

You are one of them.

We know this from your next statement:

"Are you sure he still stands behind it?"

Kurt. On what possible basis would you advance such a ridiculous question?

Do you have any evidence that he does not stand behind it?


That's because there isn't any.

But if you don't have evidence, perhaps you can employ insinuation to suggest that perhaps, just maybe, a logical connection exists between internet availability and truth content.

Now let us situate this discussion on the basis of logic, and not insinuation.

Fr. Harrison's words are posted above.

You wish to suggest he no longer stands behind them.

Post your evidence.

I will save you the time.

There isn't any.

That is because, of course, he still stands behind them.

Thank you for providing us yet another insight into the techniques of character assassination which have been developed so elaborately on the Get Sungenis blog.

If you wish to take a shower after reading the Get Sungenis blog, and then return here and post whatever "good points" you insinuate but do not bother to demonstrate exist in its content, I will be happy to examine them.

UPDATE 2/9: I contacted Dr. Sungenis, who told me the essay, which was on his website way back in 2008, was removed as a matter of course, since the issue had been fully aired and, as far as he was concerned, fully addressed.

He has now put it back up, and anyone interested in reading it (highly recommended!) can do so: