The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An Answer for Sandwalk Regarding Philip Johnson

Over at Prof. Larry Moran's blog, he puts it to his readers to evaluate this "argument" from creationist Philip Johnson and comment on whether or not it is valid:
Creationists are disqualified from making a positive case, because science by definition is based on naturalism. The rules of science also disqualify any purely negative argumentation designed to dilute the persuasiveness of the theory of evolution. Creationism is thus out of court—and out of the classroom—before any consideration of evidence. Put yourself in the place of a creationist who has been silenced by that logic, and you may feel like a criminal defendant who has just been told that the law does not recognize so absurd a concept as "innocence."
Firstly, Creationists are not at all disqualified from making a positive case, there just isn't one. Every creationist I've ever talked to (and I've spoken to my fair share) have one "argument" that boils down to this: "X is really really complicated and hard to understand, therefore God did it...so stop looking around more...and stop asking questions unless you want to go to Hell. Would you like to go to Hell? It's pretty hot", and then they usually go into Pascal's Wager. It's sad.

The scientific method does indeed disqualify purely negative arguments because, tah dah, they don't explain or predict anything. They are, then, by definition, useless as scientific tools. See, "God did it", is a conversation and investigation stopper. There's no point in trying to learn more once you utter that phrase. Why tamper with the creation of the Master of the Universe (apologies to He-Man). The scientific theory of evolution through natural selection makes testable predictions (retrodictions, actually) about the (idealized) future and about the past, many of which have been performed and verified, not to mention uncovering a ton of those dastardly transitional fossils.

Creationism is not out of the court/classroom before consideration of evidence; it is out of court and classroom because of the evidence (or lack thereof). If any creationist/IDiot could bring out ANY evidence, it would be a grand day for them. The best any of them can do is sit around and complain about how gosh-darned complicated some bodily system are and how, gee willikers, some Designer just HAD to be involved! Nevermind all that Stupid Design:And finally, the last sentence is ridiculous. It is nothing like a criminal defendant being told that the law doesn't recognize "innocence", it is much more like a criminal defendant being told that the law does not recognize so absurd a concept as a green fairy that committed the armed robbery s/he is accused of perpetrating. See the difference? "Innocence" is a real state, that of not being fouled or of being pure. Green fairies with handguns would have to be shown to be real to start with (much like, oh, I don't know...supernatural daddy-figures in the sky) before even being considered as appropriate to enter into court/classroom discussion.

I would think this would be fairly straight-forward, but apparently not.

1 Barbaric Yawps:

At 16/11/07 5:12 am, Anonymous Troika21 said...

Actually scientists will recognise purely negative arguements - if they are valid, they just don't like them because your not putting anything in the previous arguements place.

Still don't make Creationism vaild tho'.

 

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