Comment on The Credibility of Faith by Professor Kent.
And more from Sean
Fortunately the weight of empirical evidence is far more consistent with the 6-day hypothesis than it is with the hundreds of millions of years hypothesis (in my own opinion at least). If you really do think otherwise, you must have empirical evidence to support the credibility of the Bibleâ€™s claims that is at least as compelling, and then some, compared to the evidence that you consider to be in clear opposition to the Bibleâ€™s claims. Otherwise, you really are relying on a blind leap of faith beyond what the weight of available evidence can support. You are making, and have made in this forum, the very same argument that my LDS friends have presented to me â€“ that the Holy Spirit gives privileged information to some people (like you and my LDS friends) that He hasnâ€™t given to everyone who honestly wants to know the right answers to such questions (to include me).
I feel sorry for all the poor souls of this planet who, up to now, had no access to www.detectingdesign.com so that they could make more than a blind leap of faith. I’m in the same boat as the millions of souls who watched the wicked cruelty of nature at play (thanks to sin), knew of no scientific evidence for 6 days 6000 years ago, but still believed nevertheless. I’m in the same boat as those described in Romans 1:20, who likewise observed the wicked cruelty of nature at play (thanks to sin), had conflicting evidence for a benevolent God, had no evidence whatsover of Jesus Christ, yet were “without excuse” and apparently “believed.” Maybe we’ll dock at the same destination as your boat, and maybe we won’t. But I don’t feel compelled to jump ship.
Professor Kent Also Commented
The Credibility of Faith
So the conclusion to all of this appears to be that, for SDAs, science and evidence trump faith. I completely disagree, but so be it.
The Credibility of Faith
Bob Ryan wrote
Predictably â€“ every time evidence for either I.D or Young-life is brought up â€“ Kent circles back to the straw man that we should IGNORE such evidence UNTIL it is showing us a 7 DAY event and also showing that it happened exactly 6000 years ago.
Bob himself has pointed out hundreds of times that SDAs believe in 6 days 6000 years ago. I have pointed out that this is a Biblically-based belief, sustained by faith, and is not based on scientific evidence. We wouldn’t be having this discussion if the view of 6 days 6000 years didn’t originat from the Bible because one certainly could not derive it from science alone. Evidence for I.D. and Young-life, which I have never stated should be ignored (another Bob Ryan fabrication), do not provide the basis for or validate 6 days 6000 years ago.
I’m not responding to the remainder of Bob’s psychodrivel.
Just donâ€™t call your belief or faith anything other than blind faith â€“ i.e., faith that isnâ€™t based on the weight of empirical evidence.
Okay, whatever. I’ll live by faith, you can live by empirical evidence. I’m definitely finished with this go-nowhere conversation.
I think I’ll take a blindfolded stroll in Westminster Abbey next week and see whose tomb I end up at. Mabye it will be that of King Henry VIII, or Rudyard Kipling, or Laurence Olivier, or Alfred Lord Tennyson, or Isaac Newton…or maybe even Charles Darwin! I’ll bet I can sense in my gut whose grave it is before I take off the blindfold. I think I’ll also bring some spaghetti with me in case I end up at Darwin’s tomb. I could then enjoy slaying the flying monster for lunch while in Darwin’s company to remind me how blind my faith really is. Yeah…poetic justice.
Recent Comments by Professor Kent
Sean Pitman: Science isn’t about “cold hard facts.” Science is about interpreting the “facts” as best as one can given limited background experiences and information. Such interpretations can be wrong and when shown to be wrong, the honest will in fact change to follow where the “weight of evidence” seems to be leading.
Much of science is based on highly technical data that few other than those who generate it can understand. For most questions, science yields data insufficient to support a single interpretation. And much of science leads to contradictory interpretations. Honest individuals will admit that they have a limited understanding of the science, and base their opinions on an extremely limited subset of information which they happen to find compelling whether or not the overall body of science backs it up.
Sean Pitman: The process of detecting artefacts as true artefacts is a real science based on prior experience, experimentation, and testing with the potential of future falsification. Oh, and I do happen to own a bona fide polished granite cube.
Not from Mars. Finding the cube on Mars is the basis of your cubical caricature of science, not some artefact under your roof.
Professor Kent: If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.
The question is not if one will catch a fish, but if one will recognize a fish as a fish if one ever did catch a fish. That’s the scientific question here. And, yet again, the clear answer to this question is – Yes.
I think I’m going to spend the afternoon with my favorite scientist–my 8-year-old nephew. We’re going to go fishing at Lake Elsinore. He wants to know if we might catch a shark there. Brilliant scientist, that lad. He already grasps the importance of potentially falsifiable empirical evidence. I’m doubtful we’ll catch a fish, but I think he’ll recognize a fish if we do catch one.
While fishing, we’ll be scanning the skies to catch a glimpse of archaeopteryx flying by. He believes they might exist, and why not? Like the SETI scientist, he’s doing science to find the elusive evidence.
He scratched himself with a fish hook the other day and asked whether he was going to bleed. A few moments later, some blood emerged from the scratched. Talk about potentilly falsifiable data derived from a brilliant experiment. I’m telling you, the kid’s a brilliant scientist.
What’s really cool about science is that he doesn’t have to publish his observations (or lack thereof) to be doing very meaningful science. He doesn’t even need formal training or a brilliant mind. Did I mention he’s the only autistic scientist I’ve ever met?
As most everyone here knows, I have a poor understanding of science. But I’m pretty sure this nephew of mine will never lecture me or Pauluc on what constitutes science. He’s the most humble, polite, and soft-spoken scientist I’ve ever met.
Sean Pitman: I don’t think you understand the science or rational arguments behind the detection of an artefact as a true artefact. In fact, I don’t think you understand the basis of science in general.
I’m amused by this response. I don’t think you understand the limits of a philosophical argument based on a hypothetical situation, which is all that your convoluted cube story comprises, and nothing more. Whether the artefact is an artefact is immaterial to an argument that is philosophical and does not even consider an actual, bona fide artefact.
Sean Pitman: You argue that such conclusions aren’t “scientific”. If true, you’ve just removed forensic science, anthropology, history in general, and even SETI science from the realm of true fields of scientific study and investigation.
Forensic science, anthropology, and history in general all assume that humans exist and are responsible for the phenomenon examined. Authorities in these disciplines can devise hypotheses to explain the phenomenon they observe and can test them.
SETI assumes there might be non-human life elsewhere in the universe and is nothing more than an expensive fishing expedition. If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.
The search for a granite cube on Mars is nothing more than an exercise in hypotheticals. Call it science if you insist; I don’t see how it is different than a child waiting breathlessly all night beside the fireplace hoping to find Santa coming down the chimney.
I guess the number of science colleagues I acknowledge needs to grow exponentially. I apologize to those I have failed to recognize before as scientists.
Sean Pitman: The observation alone, of the granite cube on an alien planet, informs us that the creator of the cube was intelligent on at least the human level of intelligence – that’s it. You are correct that this observation, alone, would not inform us as to the identity or anything else about the creator beyond the fact that the creator of this particular granite cube was intelligent and deliberate in the creation of the cube.
Your frank admission concedes that the creator of the cube could itself be an evolved being, and therefore you’re back to square one. Thus, your hypothetical argument offers no support for either evolutionism or creationism, and cannot distinguish between them.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
I have taken much abuse by pointing out the simple fact that SDAs have specific interpretations of origins that originate from scripture and cannot be supported by science (if science is “potentially falsifiable empirical evidence”). The beliefs include:
o fiat creation by voice command from a supernatural being
o all major life forms created in a 6-day period
o original creation of major life forms approximately 6,000 years ago
None of these can be falsified by experimental evidence, and therefore are accepted on faith.
Sean Pitman’s responses to this are predictably all over the place. They include:
“[This] is a request for absolute demonstration. That’s not what science does.” [totally agreed; science can’t examine these beliefs]
“The Biblical account of origins can in fact be supported by strong empirical evidence.” [not any of these three major interpretations of Genesis 1]
“Does real science require leaps of faith? Absolutely!”
I think it’s fair to say from Pitman’s perspective that faith derived from science is laudable, whereas faith derived from scripture–God’s word–is useless.
Don’t fret, Dr. Pitman. I won’t lure you into further pointless discussion. While I am greatly amused by all of this nonsense and deliberation (hardly angry, as you often suggest) for a small handful of largely disinterested readers, I am finished. I won’t be responding to any further remarks or questions.