I know, I know - 'Creation Science' is an oxymoron; or is it?  I feel like I've been left out of the loop a bit because I just discovered that there really is such a thing as 'creation science'.  I expect a lot of flack for even suggesting such a thing but I should point out that emotional reactions to any suggestion of validity to 'creation science' are really on par with the dogmatic rebuttals of theists.


Like all scientists, creation scientists start out with an hypothesis and then go out and test it.  I guess the only difference is that they don't really have hypothesis 'b' (or c,d,e,f...) waiting in the wings like reality scientists.  Where reality science can drop an hypothesis and move on, creation science needs to get more rigorous, to say the least.


It seems that creation scientists use classical mutlidimensional scaling to group fossils into baramins - a creationist version of evolutionary taxonomy.  The multidimensional scaling identifies gaps in the fossil record that leave the remaining fossils in 'groups' they call baramins, which they say were created in exactly that form by a god.  Interestingly, this is the most technical definition of a 'god of the gaps' I've ever encountered.


So, the topic to discuss here is; 'IF' creation scientists could actually prove their baramin hypothesis AND reality scientists couldn't falsify it, would you be prepared to accept/admit that macro-evolution did NOT actually occur?

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Ok, so based on that article, how has Senter 'forgotten' all the science he knows to 'falsify it' purely on the basis of Christian 'axioma and assumptions'?  Has he not revealed the truth that the 'god of the gaps' is being extrapolated out of the picture?


He's been honest with his case, and it is revealing that evolution is the inevitable conclusion.  I think three people on this thread have stated they would accept the results if they came back differently and reality-scientists couldn't prove them false.  That is pretty dogmatic for a group of 'freethinkers'.


Everytime I read a creationist article/blog/argument I get this tight feeling in my spine as I automatically set myself up to reject whatever it is I'm reading.  As soon as I feel that I pro-actively quell it so I can objectively read the piece for what it is.  It's becoming apparent to me that many other Atheists feel that tight sensation and very few pro-actively overcome it.


If the exact same information had been presented regarding the statistical elimination of gaps in the fossil record by a reality-scientist, people here would have been all over it and glad that creationism was taking a serious blow.  In this case, even though the results are in 'our' favour, the entire study is rejected based on the beliefs held by the researcher and the hypothesis he originally set out to test (prove, but failed).


So if a reality scientist had tried to close the gaps statistically and found it couldn't be done, that in fact large clumps appeared in the mutidimensional scaling, suggesting we might want to look closer at our DNA analysis - would it still be science because he/she wasn't a Christian?

It is normal to not act if you do not have any prior knowledge if you encounter new material. It is normal and healthy to resist new information that conflicts with that prior knowledge. It only gets unhealthy when that new information, that new knowledge is better and is corroborated by multiple independent lines of evidence in a superior way to the old evidence. Stubbornly rejecting it even then when the gap keeps growing and growing is when you become dogmatic.

This is what I understand to be free thinking, not pretending to be a tabula rasa jumping from one plausibility to the next.

Or in other words I think your spine is wrong this time. But you are right to acknowledge that we are fallible like that. I know I've been wrong many times, sometimes painfully so, which I tend to forget less easy.

In this case the science was flawed. That is to say in the grander scheme of things. For someone with a proper understanding of Evolution to just suddenly assume loose end "baramins" and consider it seriously is just too much too ask. I for one simply know better than that, I can't just evict it from my background knowledge of the subject when I read that stuff.

Many people will have that. (I'm skeptical of that CMDS stuff to be suitable for this anyway, but that isn't the point. The point is that creationists apparently think it is.)

Well, for me, the point is that their mathematical analysis of fossil features is about to extrapolate a universal common ancestor - in other words this information shouldn't be conflicting with any of your prior knowledge unless you are a creationist.


They've postulated their model of 'baramins' and set out to test the hypothesis using sound, if not rudimentary, measurements run through a very intensive statistical analysis.  The results show far fewer 'baramins' than they need for their model, and more intensive investigation only limits that number further; most likely to one, as 'we' would expect.


It's the most exhaustive proof that a god of the gaps does not hold up to continuous scientific investigation - but all anyone here seems to be able to see is the word 'creationist'.

There are dogmatic atheists out there and it paints a bad light on the rest like myself, who just considers himself a "rational thinker". I grew up in a school that taught creation science. And from this article it appears it's the famous "god of the gaps false dicotomy" in that if macro evolution was proven somehow false then their particuler world view would be proven correct. I would relish in new scientific findings myself, but I wouldn't jump on the theist banwagen either, especially the major world religeons.

Exactly.  Even if they disprove 'macro-evolution' all they accomplish is the removal of one piece of evidence that proves their holy book is poppycock; one down, 4095 to go.  The interesting thing to me is that their study is proving that a god of the gaps disappears the more you look, and even though this is against their world view they are still publishing the results.


I realize creationists are cement-heads when it comes to their dogma but I've been becoming increasingly disturbed by signs of very dogmatic thinking amongst many Atheists.

well said and agreed.

First I'll give an example of Atheist dogma - the article states that creationists using scientific methods may actually be proving macro-evolution, a universal common ancestor, and not one person here even acknowledged that result or the integrity it is taking for Phil Senter to keep reporting those results.  It also seems the PhD that Kurt Wise holds from Harvard in Geology is quite easily ignored - although it would likely be very highly touted if he weren't a creationist.


As for scientific dogma, the very same thing is happening with Hueyatlaco.  The results aren't nearly as clear cut as Virginia Steen-McIntyre would have the world believe, but they are incredibly intriguing - yet the only 'debunking' I can find on the dig site itself is based on personal attacks of her beliefs.  Therein lies the possibility that Hueyatlaco may indicate that part of the migration to Australia split off in southern China and diverted to North America pre-Clovis, only to die off; if that is true, it would at least be prudent to keep an eye out for anomalous dating of any human remains along that trail but people seem far more interested in ignoring the find altogether and calling Steen-McIntyre a heretic.

What a lucid response! Hope you made a copy for yourself. I'd love to steal it, but I promise not to.

the anti_supernaturalist

Did you even read the article?  Didn't I already ask you if you had even read the article?  Let's just focus on your statement: "Creationist [sic] do not submit their work to scientific peer review."  Does the Journal of Evolutionary Biology count?  Because the article clearly states that he has submitted his work there.  The article also indicates that creationists have their own syndicated publications for peer review that are criticized for failing to offer much criticism of submissions.  Even so, it seems to me that a point blank declaration that creationists don't submit their work for scientific peer review is rather prejudiced and unwarranted, especially if you actually read the article.

Xian claims about modern biology trade on logical sleaze

• The matters you raise are important.

They get completely neglected in teaching science -- and xians take advantage of that. Nietzsche held that “the practice of Christianity is nihilism.” To examine only the most blatant case directed against modern biology -- there’s no better example of nihilistic non-rationality than xian foolishness about "evolution".

• making clear what is unclear (or disambiguation)

Xians never raise scientific objections to Modern Evolutionary Theory -- that fruitful union of evolution and molecular genetics (1953-today). In general xian techniques are broadly speaking philosophical, belonging to logic. Speaking narrowly, xians deliberately misuse concepts to lie.

They play language games with three concepts -- these are denoted by the words 'theory', 'hypothesis', and ‘scientific methods’. (Note the plural, methods.) Each has many dictionary meanings -- so many that it is very easy to slide from one meaning to another under cover of one label. To do so maliciously indulges in a logical fallacy -- the fallacy of ambiguity.

• Once seen, their trick can’t be forgotten

Examine a xian favorite -- the word (label) ‘theory’. ‘Theory’ is at least five centuries older than xianity. Over time, it has taken on many different, even contradictory meanings. Beginning with ancient Greek, θεορια is still here to plague us. According to Merriam-Webster web site, here are the many acceptable definitions of 'theory':

1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
2: abstract thought : speculation
3: the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <music theory>
4 a : a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn> b : an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances —often used in the phrase in theory <in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all>
5: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <the wave theory of light>
6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption : conjecture c : a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations>

One word with divergent meanings! Among its striking synonyms: 'assumption', 'speculation', 'conjecture', 'hypothesis' and 'scientifically acceptable…body of principles'!  Most of the meanings of 'theory' are employed to diminish or demolish a viewpoint. The meaning of 'theory' as a 'scientifically acceptable…body of principles' stands alone among diminutives and negations.


• 'Theory' is a priceless treasure trove of ambiguity for xian abusers of logic.

In particular, compare definition 2 and 6b with 5, which I have shortened and strengthened to be pointed and in line with its use in physical and biological science. Definitions 2 and 6b are inconsistent with 5!

2: abstract thought : speculation
6b : an unproved assumption : conjecture
5: scientifically acceptable…body of principles…explain[ing] phenomena [of nature]

Xian opponents of Modern Evolutionary Theory crudely slide from 5 to 6b without a shred of honesty. It's a simple, obvious fallacy and one that works.

• It’s a more wonderful life to know than to believe

If you haven’t had an opportunity yet to read Wonderful Life by Steve Gould, you’ll find he addresses all of your concerns directly, honestly, and as clearly as anyone could want.

Gould’s books of essays, based on his long-running essays in Natural History magazine 1970-2000, would also repay your interests. Do try some -- there must be lots of library and used copies. Availability and price will not be problems.


the anti_supernaturalist

Ok, seriously, this single thread has become my strongest proof of Atheist dogmatism.  Not everyone was this vile, but to suggest that I need to do more reading because I found it interesting that creation science was used to prove evolution is the most bigoted view I've seen expressed here yet.  Even if Phil Senter WAS a creationist that doesn't make ME a creationist, theist, or an illiterate.


Why don't you tell us how your views of his peer reviewed study have changed now that you know he isn't a theist or creationist, and that he is, in fact, a main stream scientist proving that creationist hypotheses don't even stand up to creationist methodology?

Ok, I need to reply to everyone on this thread at once.  Phil Senter is NOT a creationist - someone was just kind enough to point that out to me.  He USES creation science techniques to test creationist hypothesis and reveal that they fail.  Turns out the joke is on everyone who responded, but I would suggest it is especially on those who automatically discounted his work based on the premise that he was a creationist.  The world make a little more sense to me now.


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