May 3, 2014

Who is Chuck Easttom?

I have had no idea, but I saw this, and liked what he states:
Now, is it possible that he is wrong? Of course. Does that make the creationist position tenable, or worse, as likely as the position of science? Bear in mind that while science has explained how life evolved once it came to be, it has not yet explained the mechanism by which life originated.

Not in the slightest. For a couple of reasons.
  1. Science may not have explained something, but creationism has yet to explain anything. The lack of an explanation from science does not make all other positions viable. They need to justify their claims by providing evidence. Unless of course the positions were logical negations of each other, and they disproved their opponent's.
  2. Possibility does not equal probability. While it is true that a probability of 0 means something is impossible, and a probability of 1 means something cannot be impossible, hence certain, something merely being possible does not assign it a probability of anything other than > 0. That is, if it is possible in the first place. 
Remarkably, our media (and politicians) continue to engage in this fallacious reasoning perpetrating myths, or even reviving myths that were once considered dispelled. It starts with the false choice presented in 1 and is consummated with the false equivalence in 2.

So how can one provide credence to the scientist's position while disregarding the creationist's? By observation and the use of the scientific method. 

Isn't that simply having faith in the scientists, unless you observe and apply the scientific method yourself? Yes, and with good reason. Science has earned our trust, with repeated demonstrations, and have shown that they self-correct. Trusting past performances does not guarantee future results, but we have a non-zero probability (and in the case of science far closer to 1 than it is to 0) to consider. In the case of the creationist, we have nothing to fall back or verify independently.

I'd be glad to consider an alternative to the scientific method just as soon as it can be shown (not merely claimed) that it works.

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