Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Four Horsemen Fall Flat



In this video, at 34:55 Sam Harris asks what the difference is between someone who assumes something is true because scientists say so and someone who assumes something is true because religious leaders say so; an excellent question. At 37:40 Richard Dawkins answers that we know science is reliable because it makes predictions that then come true. That sounds very reasonable.

Based upon that logic, evolution is false and Judaism is true.

Judaism predicts that if the Jews abandon the Torah they will be horribly punished. This has come true.

Darwin predicted that the “savage races” would soon become extinct while the European race would flourish. This has been proven false.

[Some claim that Darwin said that man originated in Africa and this has been proven true. This is another example of an evolutionist deception. Actually, Darwin merely said, “it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere. But it is useless to speculate on this subject; for two or three anthropomorphous apes, one the Dryopithecus (17. Dr. C. Forsyth Major, 'Sur les Singes fossiles trouves en Italie:' 'Soc. Ital. des Sc. Nat.' tom. xv. 1872.) of Lartet, nearly as large as a man, and closely allied to Hylobates, existed in Europe during the Miocene age; and since so remote a period the earth has certainly undergone many great revolutions, and there has been ample time for migration on the largest scale.”]

32 comments:

natschuster said...

People have argued that since modern medicine works as intended most of the time, that proves that modern science is true. If that's the case, then if the Torah works as intended, as a guide for living a good life, then it follows that the Torah is true.

Cameron said...

JP: Richard Dawkins answers that we know science is reliable because it makes predictions that then come true. That sounds very reasonable.

Based upon that logic, evolution is false and Judaism is true.

CH: Actually, it will be the reverse as we shall see shortly. Judaism is false, and evolution is true.

JP: Judaism predicts that if the Jews abandon the Torah they will be horribly punished. This has come true.

CH: A bit selective in what we think the Torah is claiming aren't we?

The simple fact is that even Orthodox Jews face the punishment of death, along with the punishments of cancer, etc. before hand. If following the Torah made it's followers immune from disease, or immortal, you'd have something. But it doesn't. And you don't.

JP: Darwin predicted that the “savage races” would soon become extinct while the European race would flourish. This has been proven false.

CH: Except that what Darwin said about the 'savage races' isn't in any way equivalent to the theory of evolution - what it is is a pathetic attempt on your part to confuse the issue.

JP: Some claim that Darwin said that man originated in Africa and this has been proven true. This is another example of an evolutionist deception. Actually, Darwin merely said, “it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere...."

CH: So he was equivocal in his suggestion - that hardly qualifies as a criticism - especially when it turns out he was correct! What Darwin's theory of descent with modification really predicted (and where it's explanatory power lies) was later verified by the discovery of DNA, etc.

That is that the creatures we see today evolved from other different forms in the past, and that they did so as a result of selective pressures from the environment and via sexual selection.

All of which is verified ad nauseum by modern science.

As for the Torah, well, if you prefer to go to a Rabbi to have your medical checkup you be my guest.

natschuster said...

I guess when science makes predictions that don't come true then science loses it's authority. Lord Kelvin predicted that there would be no more discoveries, that all was already discovered. That turned out to be wrong. Not too long ago, scientists were predicting that the world was entering another ice age. It seems that they were wrong again. About 20 years ago, computer scientists were predicting that parallel processing would be greatly increasing computer power. What ever happened to that prediction?

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Nat, which scientists made predicts about another ice age?

Jacob, if you're so much smarter than these guys, why aren't ranking up the awards, honors, and kudos they are?

Hell, you can barely keep the attention of sycophants like Nat, trolls like myself, and people like Cameron, who I think is a troll, but cannot prove it.

DrJ said...

"Based upon that logic, evolution is false and Judaism is true."

JP, I am surprised that a talmudic scholar like you would fall for this flaw in logic, unless you are intentionally being dishonest.

Science is the METHOD and PROCESS. It does not claim that any and every scientific theory ever propogated is true. Quite the opposite--many theories propogated over history turned out to false PRECISELY BECAUSE the scientific method allows testing to determine TRUTH.

In contrast, (not speaking the moral realm but factual) the Torah makes a whole collection of claims and predictions, ALL of WHICH must be true if it is of divine origin. Even just ONE MISTAKE discredits divine origin. So for every example that you give of a torah "prediction" coming true you could bring dozen others that didn't.

I have a theory myself. You are a closet atheist, and what you write on this blog supports that.

jewish philosopher said...

"Jacob, if you're so much smarter than these guys, why aren't ranking up the awards, honors, and kudos they are?"

Because I have other more interesting things to do with my life.

As far as I can tell, and correct me if I am wrong, Professor Dawkins seems to be saying that we should not rely on the authority of religious leaders because they do not make accurate predictions however we should rely on the authority of scientific leaders because they do make accurate predictions. My response is “Huh?”

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Jacob, if you're impy that you are Chandra, again, if you are so smart, why are you raking in the awards, honors, and kudos they like Chandra?"

I mean, if you refuted evolution, like you claim, then why isn't Stockholm calling?

jewish philosopher said...

No I am not like Chandra. I am perhaps a little wiser, I think is the better word, and I am not wasting my time doing something which will not make me happy just like it didn't make him happy.

Under what category would I win a Nobel Prize for debunking evolution? Peace, perhaps?

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, you are correct that if the Torah would contain one indisputable factual error, that would demonstrate that God didn’t write the Torah. Where is that error?

In regards to science you seem to be saying that if science is proven to be false, that validates science. And of course if science is proven true, this validates science. Do I detect a little bias in favor of metaphysical naturalism?

Lost Soul said...

>>The simple fact is that even Orthodox Jews face the punishment of death, along with the punishments of cancer, etc.

You misunderstood. When the Torah promises horrible punishment for leaving Torah it is speaking on a national level, not to individuals. This has been true in history. The two Temple destructions and exiles were national holocausts and were caused by the nation not following Torah properly. The Inquisition(the Spanish one which was the worst) came to Spanish Jewry which was largely assimilated and intermarried. The Holocaust began in Germany which was the origin of the Reform movement which taught that Torah was not Divine and moved away from Torah observance. I don't mean that as a personal knock, if anyone was insulted. That was not my intent. Reform Judaism, which is not the same religion as Torah Judaism because the beliefs are almost completely different. Today their platforms have moved closer to Torah Judaism but very few of the followers are even familiar with the ever changing beliefs in the many Reform platforms. But I digress. Torah observance was greatly reduced and almost lost from the nation of Israel due to the teachings of the Reform movement, which began in Germany and we all know Germany's contribution to anti-semitism and genocide. Russia also was a large center of "Enlightenment" which moved away from Torah and in which the Jewish population was decimated by its communist leaders.

Lost Soul said...

>>Nat, which scientists made predicts about another ice age?

Anyone who was alive during the 1970s remembers the predictions of a coming Ice Age and global cooling.

LS

Lost Soul said...

>>In regards to science you seem to be saying that if science is proven to be false, that validates science.

That's not at all what he said. He said that a scientific experiment that proves its hypothesis is false is STILL part of the scientific process.

BTW, I've learned in top yeshivos and believe that the universe is about 15 billion years old and that life evolved on Earth from amino acids in the ocean and one celled species - i.e. evolution. There needn't be a contradiction, unless one side has an agenda.

natschuster said...

Every textbook said that inbetween glacial periods is an intergalcial period of 12,000 to 20,000 years. The current intergalcial, the holocene, is about 11,000 years old. This means that we are to enter a glacial period soon.

jewish philosopher said...

Lost Soul: "He said that a scientific experiment that proves its hypothesis is false is STILL part of the scientific process."

Actually DrJ said "many theories propogated over history turned out to false", which to my mind does not strengthen Professor Dawkin's comment that we should accept everything scientists say as authoritative, but DrJ believes somehow that it does.

I think this is simply an example of blind faith in metaphysical naturalism. It's a little like Christians who will argue that the fact that the New Testament is so stupid is itself proof that it must be true - after all who would fabricate something so dumb. Well, you can't argue with that.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

"Anyone who was alive during the 1970s remembers the predictions of a coming Ice Age and global cooling."

As someone has study the scientific historiography of global warming, I've found that were many more articles predicting global warming than some sort of global cooling.

As a reader of Nat's posts, I've also notice that he's prone to buying into long-discredit or marginal beliefs within any historiography provided they agree with his presuppositions.

As for Jacob, people have won the Nobel Prize for debunking elements of evolutionary theory.

As for "I am not wasting my time doing something which will not make me happy just like it didn't make him happy." Come up with something better. You hear this line of thinking coming from less able children all the time.

DrJ said...

"In regards to science you seem to be saying that if science is proven to be false, that validates science. And of course if science is proven true, this validates science"

Again, when you say "science" you are confusing between the scientific method, as a way of discovering truth, and a particular scientific theory, of which there are many. A THEORY may be proven true or false by the scientific METHOD.

The scientific METHOD has proven itself as the best way (although not perfect) for discovering factual truth. It is self-correcting.

On the other hand, the "Torah" method of discovering factual truth has been proven unreliable, as evidenced by the hundreds of internal inconsistencies, and contradictions to observed reality. At the same time there is no mechanism of "correcting" the Torah method when an error is found (unless you are Reform).

Of course, the Oral Law is a releif valve which allows us to reinterpret things when they don't seem right, which is what the Rabbis did in the Talmud.

natschuster said...

Unmolested Altar Boy:

I know that the predictions of global cooling are wrong. My point was that if science is true because it makes correct predictions, then what about all the incorrect predictions? Then it follows that science is not true.

natschuster said...

Just about every biology textbook published in the last century includes Haeckel's falsified embryonic drawings to demonstrate the repudiated theory of recapitulation. This means that three generations of biologists have been knowingly perpetrating a fraud on the public. This would seem to undercut their authority somewhat.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, strictly speaking the scientific method can only be applied to things which are happening now repeatably. It has no relevance to the study of the origin of species, the origin of Judaism or history in general.

To say that a rabbi is unscientific while an evolutionary biologist is scientific is not true.

jewish philosopher said...

"people have won the Nobel Prize for debunking elements of evolutionary theory"

What Nobel has had any connection with Darwinian evolution?

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Jacob, try the Nobel for Physiology or Medicine. If you had studied evolution as deeply as you claimed you'd know that. You'd also that Barbara McClintock won that award in 1983 for her work on evolution.

But, you've already proven that you're an immoral fibber, so it's not surprising that you stretched the truth regarding your self study of evolution.

jewish philosopher said...

McClintock won the Nobel for
discovering mobile genetic elements in maize
, not evolution. Although some people speculate that these genetic elements play a role in evolution. So what; we can speculate that asteroids hitting the earth play a role in evolution.

Ha! Liar, liar pants on fire!

natschuster said...

I found this interesting quote from Stephen Jay Gould about Haeckel's drawings and recapitulation theory.

"We do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistance of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks."

Natural History; March 2000

I still see the drawings in every recently published textbook in my building.

DrJ said...

"DrJ, strictly speaking the scientific method can only be applied to things which are happening now repeatably. It has no relevance to the study of the origin of species, the origin of Judaism or history in general."

Wrong. Archeology and some other sciences use inductive reasoning, which is part of the scientific process. Granted, induction is weaker than deductive reasoning, and requires more caution in interpretation. Also, the inductively derived theory can be disproven by new facts which don't fit the rule, so over time it either holds water or not. It can also be used to make predictions, such as the doppler color shift of the expanding universe. If we were to find an example that contradicts the theory, it would have to be modified or thrown out.

On the other hand, the religionist's faith based thinking is not based on reasoning or observation but rather unquestioning acceptance.

jewish philosopher said...

From wikipedia "A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses."

How is archeology tested? What experiments do archaeologists do? Speculating about the past is not a "scientific method".

"On the other hand, the religionist's faith based thinking is not based on reasoning or observation but rather unquestioning acceptance."

Allow me to correct that:
On the other hand, the materialist's faith based thinking is not based on reasoning or observation but rather unquestioning acceptance.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Jacob, it's called observation science. Shockingly enough wikipedia is not the end all of correct knowledge.

As for McClintock, if you actually bothered to read the press release where the Nobel committee discussed their reasons for awarding her the prize, the implications of her work on evolutionary theory is part of it.

Anyway, did you ever apologize to Austin Cline for stealing his picture? If the RIAA has taught America anything, it is that copyright infringement is theft. :)

jewish philosopher said...

How about Merriam Webster online dictionary: scientific method principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

The press release mentions evolution in passing and this was clearly not the reason for honoring McClintock.

Cameron said...

natschuster: I still see the drawings (Haeckel's) in every recently published textbook in my building.

CH: If this is actually true (about the texts in your building), this is not the fault of evolutionary theory, but rather;

- whatever second rate institution you work for that uses out of date text books

- whatever second rate state you live in that recommends these as legit textbooks

- you for deliberately misconstruing the context the drawings appear in the textbook.

I did a quick search and it turns out that PZ Myers recommends Campbell's 'Biology' - which has photographs instead of drawings and says the following;

"Closely related organisms go through similar stages in their embryonic development", and illustrates that with a photograph of an avian and mammalian embryo. This statement is correct, and the figure backs up the point. He ends the section by explicitly correcting Haeckel's ideas, saying that "The theory of recapitulation is an overstatement. Although vertebrates share many features of embryonic development, it is not as though a mammal first goes through a 'fish stage', then an 'amphibian stage', and so on. Ontogeny can provide clues to phylogeny, but it is important to remember that all stages of development may become modified over the course of evolution."

The original text of Myers on the subject (which is actually an old rant about Well's dishonesty on the subject of Haeckel) can be found here; http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/wells_and_haeckels_embryos/

So far from being a conspiracy of atheists to distort evolutionary theory by using bad evidence, atheist evolutionists (and atheist evolutionists don't get more atheist or evolutionist than Myers) would actually prefer not to do so and recommend using texts which don't contain the errors!

Take this as an example of both how science is error correcting, and of how ludicrous it is to suggest that scientists would willingly perpetuate a falsehood over the truth.

I suspect we can also take it as evidence of the quality of institution that would employ natschuster in a teaching capacity.

JP: DrJ, strictly speaking the scientific method can only be applied to things which are happening now repeatably. It has no relevance to the study of the origin of species, the origin of Judaism or history in general.

CH: Pure nonsense. The only way to study anything reliably is via the scientific method. Consider further that we have evidence of speciation in the lab and in the wild and we have evidence for how speciation occurs at a genetic level. As much as you might wish it to be otherwise, the facts are that science has proved evolutionary to be true.

As for your collection of stories and fables you call the Torah and the Bible, what 'truth' that lies within could be metaphorical, literary, or even metaphysical - but it isn't scientific.

It does not have the truth of being scientific if it cannot be validated or found consistent with outside evidence.

Stories about burning bushes and talking snakes, etc. are just that, stories, and cannot be taken as fact.

JP: To say that a rabbi is unscientific while an evolutionary biologist is scientific is not true.

CH: Of course it's true. Rabbi's don't practice science in any way shape or form. When Rabbi's disagree about their faith they just splinter off into some new fashion or faction as cults typically do whenever a doctrinal disagreement arises.

Biologists though are forced to put their competing theories and explanations to an evidenciary test - and not just by the faithful, but by those who vehemently disagree!

JP: The press release mentions evolution in passing and this was clearly not the reason for honoring McClintock.

CH: From the Nobel Prize Organization web site's article on McClintock;

"The initial discovery of mobile genetic elements by Barbara McClintock is of great medical and biological significance. It has also resulted in new perspectives on how genes are formed and how they change during evolution."

Original text found here; http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1983/press.html

Seems pretty clear to me Jacob, but then those Nobel people are all just part of the atheist/secular conspiracy against 13th century Lithuanian Orthodox Jewish philosophy, right?

DrJ said...

JP:"How about Merriam Webster online dictionary: scientific method principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses."

Doesn't archeology and anthropology do just that? Where in the definition does it exclude acquiring knowledge about the past (as you say "speculating")? Statistics is a key tool of the scientific method, and involves probability, interpolation and extrapolation. Extrapolation over space and time. There is no 100% certainty in experiments, but sometimes it approaches it. For example, when testing a new drug we only deal with probabilities of its effects, not 100% certainty. So we go where the money is, and it seems to work pretty well.

The tools used in archeology and anthropology have proven reliable by experiment. Still, a particular archeological theory may be proven false as more data becomes available. (NOT because the method is bad)

If you are a programmer, I have a hard time believing you don't know this.

jewish philosopher said...

I think that one can and should draw a clear distinction between the exact, experimental sciences which are physics, chemistry and biology and the other so called “sciences” such as archeology, paleontology, psychology, sociology, economics, etc. The experimental sciences, based on the scientific method, have hugely enhanced our lives and never conflict with Judaism. The other so called “sciences” have done little good, much harm and sometimes do conflict with Judaism. They should correctly not be considered “science” at all, but rather fields of academic study, like history, literature and philosophy.

For example, the archeologist who says “Well, you trust physics because it has created computers and jet planes; so trust archeologists. We are scientists too.” I think is making a false analogy.

Cameron said...

JP: To say that a rabbi is unscientific while an evolutionary biologist is scientific is not true.

CH: But then just a few posts later he says;

JP: I think that one can and should draw a clear distinction between the exact, experimental sciences which are physics, chemistry and biology and the other so called “sciences” such as archeology, paleontology, psychology, sociology, economics, etc. The experimental sciences, based on the scientific method, have hugely enhanced our lives and never conflict with Judaism.

CH: Let confusion reign! On one hand you say you don't believe in evolution - despite the fact it is now considered a basic tenet of modern biology, and yet on the other hand you declare biology to be one of the hard experimental sciences, and further that it doesn't conflict with Judaism!

How you can you hold all of these contradictory notions at the same time!?!

You are the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

natschuster said...

Cameron:

The textbooks are written by entire teams of PhD's in biology.
The drawing are either Heackels falsifies drawings, or close copies. Texts discuss recapitulation theory, and mention the drawings as evidence.

When was Campbell's book published? A century's worth of books written by biologist have the drawings. Myers appears to be a lone voice. So the majority of biologists who write books still perpetrate a fraud on the public.