Is all TRUTH scientifically knowable?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Scott J, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    This question is primarily directed at those who are apologists for evolution.

    Can all "truth" be determined by scientific means?
     
  2. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think we could say that THEORETICALLY anything occurring in the natural world could be described scientifically. This is difficult to apply to past events since they really cannot be empirically determined with certainty. This makes description, and therefore knowing, less than certain.
     
  3. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,503
    Likes Received:
    40
    In a word--NO!
     
  4. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    No it cannot. It is limited to certain aspects of life.

    Science cannot give us answers to things such moral or religious questions.

    It can offer explanations about htings that it can study, however. But I would assert that this falls under a different meaning of truth than what you are after. At the very least, "truth" can mean different things. YOu may need to define what you mean by "Truth."

    Can it tell us the distance to the sun or the angle of the bonds in water? Can it tell us what DNA is made of or what the acceleration of gravity is in a vacuum at a given location? Yes.

    Can it tell us about sin? Or about evil? Or good? No. Do we hold to certain ideas that we consider "Truth" in these areas? Yes.

    (OK, I fell like I need to go watch a Don Rumsfield press conference after asking and answering my own questions. Maybe I did?)
     
  5. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    No. Truth is truth. You either ate an apple or you didn't. I am either 6'1.5" or I am not.
    truth ( P ) Pronunciation Key (trth)
    n. pl. truths (trthz, trths)
    1-Conformity to fact or actuality.
    2-A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
    3-Sincerity; integrity.
    4-Fidelity to an original or standard.

    5-Reality; actuality.
    6-often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.
     
  6. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is all truth within those "aspects of life" scientifically knowable? Is there an obvious dichotomy between scientific and non-scientific "truth"? If so, how is it to be determined.
     
  7. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    That really doesn't answer the question though. Descriptions and explanations are fine but the question is whether "all truth is scientifically knowable".
    I argue this point with great frequency. Saying something could happen always relies on assumptions about trends and beginning points.
    So can we understand your answer as "no"?
     
  8. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    I think perhaps you should define truth better. Obviously subjective qualities are beyond "scientific knowing".

    But perhaps I'm reading too much into your question.

    As it pertains to the earth age debate:

    God created the earth. Some say it evolved, some say it was created de novo recently. Both cannot be right! This was a physical occurrence so it is within the realm of describability. Since we have no way to know for sure we can not "know it" scientifically - although if someone had observed it he/she argubaly could "know it". I do not think that a "supernatural" occurrence is beyond being described.

    But my one word answer would be, "no."
     
  9. Bro. Ed

    Bro. Ed
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    I myself believe the answer is no, and here is why!
    I know that there is a heaven and a hell because God Said so. I know I am saved because I have accepted Christ Jesus as my personal savior. Having said this there is no way science can prove it, but I know it is real because of the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost living in my life.
     
  10. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't believe there is such a thing as "subjective" truth. Subjective deals with perception, not reality. Truth whether material or non-material is wholly a matter of reality.

    Maybe. Or maybe too little.

    Correct. Now that makes "truth" the critical issue.

    Evolutionists argue that only the assumption of naturalism can yield the "truth" about origins. I would like to target the heart of that contention.

    If all truth is not scientifically knowable as seems to be the concensus so far then there is a problem for the theistic evolutionists. If you agree that all things are not scientifically knowable then it follows that the rule of science used to declare creationism unscientific (it is not falsifiable) is itself, not falsifiable... and therefore not scientific but specifically philosophical, assumed without objective merit, and ultimately faith based.


    I agree. I believe that supernatural occurrences were described in Genesis chapters 1-11.
     
  11. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    I kinda thought you were going in that direction!

    If you agree that all things are not scientifically knowable then it follows that the rule of science used to declare creationism unscientific (it is not falsifiable) is itself, not falsifiable... and therefore not scientific but specifically philosophical, assumed without objective merit, and ultimately faith based.

    I think that the question of evolution vs creation could be scientifically answered IF it more empiric evidence were available - that is to say that the answer is, by its nature, knowable.

    Thus in our present situation we are asking questions that do have concrete answers. And application of the scientific method here CAN have results, but ultimately will not be able to give an answer with certainty since we will never have the objective proof needed to be 100% sure.

    So in the big picture, science will give us some good clues but never the absolute answer.

    In my mind that does NOT render fruitless the scientific pursuit of the question.

    So I disagree with your last statement.
     
  12. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    :D What more empirical evidence could you require beyond the eyewitness testimony of someone who cannot lie and cannot be deceived or mistaken?

    My argument wasn't against science. It was against the philosophical position that creationism is "unscientific" since God cannot be falsified. If the premise of science cannot be falsified then they are applying a double standard... and I believe that is exactly what is going on.
     
  13. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    My argument wasn't against science. It was against the philosophical position that creationism is "unscientific" since God cannot be falsified. If the premise of science cannot be falsified then they are applying a double standard... and I believe that is exactly what is going on.

    I agree that there certainly is a preestablished academic double standard - no question there.

    I wouldn't label creationism as "unscientific". I would say that creationism as a stance does not have much scientific support. That doesn't mean that the obverse is true, namely that evolution has complete scientific support.

    It seems plain that science points more toward evolution than to creation - not that we should accept "science" as completely authoritative.
     
  14. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    You are probably not.
    Maybe you are 6 ft. 1.49987643207 inches or any other combination of numbers taken after the thousandth or even the hundreth place which you haven't accurately recorded (and probably never will).
    Science rarely determines absolute truth. Science continues to change all the time. Accuracy in measurements is just one example. Even the accuracy of the length of our day and year has presumably changed as a result of the recent Tsunami. That puts a twist into the evolutionist's law of uniforimitarianism.
    DHK
     
  15. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    "That puts a twist into the evolutionist's law of uniforimitarianism."

    (1) Law? Principle, maybe. Law, no.

    (2) Geology is not evolution. They are separate branches of science.

    (3) Just how is this a problem for geology?

    Now if we were 175 years ago and I was Charles Lyell, you might have a point. He based his geology on the uniformity of law, the uniformity of process, the uniformity of rate and the uniformity of state.

    Now modern geology is a bit different. The first two are not so different. There is no reason to believe that physical laws were different in the past. So that is a good assumption. The second assumption is also a pretty good one in that when we see the results of processes today, that when you see the same results in the past it is a reasonable expectation that they had a similar cause. Modern geology does recognize some differences even here.

    Now the last two are not really used anywhere near as much. Lyell went overboard in thinking that all processes always run at the same pace. We now know that this is not true. Even though the same processes are at work and even though they leave the same evidence at different points in time, we know know that the rate of change can be highly variable and can include catastrophic events.

    Even less useful is Lyells assumption that the earth has always been more or less in the same state. This is just not true.

    Modern geology then rests on something different than Lyell style uniformitarianism. It recognizes both gradual processes and catastrophic processes. These may include things such as landslides, volcanoes, floods, earthquakes, glaciers and river erosion. It also recognizes that these things may occur on small or large scales and at different rates. But, events of today can be extrapolated to other such events and these events all take place under an umbrella of unchaging physical laws.

    So, just how are changes from the tsunami a problem for modern geology?
     
  16. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    So, if one comes to the realization that catastrophic events have an effect on the rates of deterioration, then it is quite evident that would throw off all of your dating methods that date back thousands if not even millions of years. Your reliability factor is way off. Any catastrophic event can change the outcome of the date. In an extended period of time one is liable to encounter many catastrophic events. The one that is most often mentioned by the creationists, of course, is a world-wide flood. That in itself would account for many of the changes in the earth, in the earth's appearance, in the apparent age of the earth, etc. As long as there are catastrophies, ones that are great enough to change the length of the day, uniformitarianism just goes right out the window. You can't even account for time, when time changes, can you?
    DHK
     
  17. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are more events out there than merely destructive events. There are events that build things. Such as the building of ice layers in Greenland and Antarctica, the building of rings within trees as they grow, the building of silt layers in the bottom of lakes, the laying down of sedimentary layers of earth.

    And radioactive date determination is not affected by any of the catastrophes that have impacted earth.

    If time changed, by what would you measure the change of time?
     
  18. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    That's my point exactly. This tsunami was caused by an earthquake in the ocean that measured 9.0 But how many others have there been throughout the centuries that have gone undetected, or other natural disasters that have had the same relative results?
    This earthquake literally shook the earth, so the scientists say. It caused a slight change on the tilt of the earth and its rotation. I can't remember the article. I will have to look it up.
    The fact is, now we have technology that can measure these things. Previous to this time we did not. That is where your law of uniformitarianism deteriorates. We know the time of our day has changed slightly this time because of our technology. What I am asking is how many other times have similar disasters occured where technology has been absent to detect such changes?
    DHK
     
  19. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    "So, if one comes to the realization that catastrophic events have an effect on the rates of deterioration, then it is quite evident that would throw off all of your dating methods that date back thousands if not even millions of years. Your reliability factor is way off."

    Nope. These vents do not affect radiometric dating. If you wish to continue to assert that they could, then please provide a mechanism.

    "That is where your law of uniformitarianism deteriorates. "

    Now if we were 175 years ago and I was Charles Lyell, you might have a point. He based his geology on the uniformity of law, the uniformity of process, the uniformity of rate and the uniformity of state.

    Now modern geology is a bit different. The first two are not so different. There is no reason to believe that physical laws were different in the past. So that is a good assumption. The second assumption is also a pretty good one in that when we see the results of processes today, that when you see the same results in the past it is a reasonable expectation that they had a similar cause. Modern geology does recognize some differences even here.

    Now the last two are not really used anywhere near as much. Lyell went overboard in thinking that all processes always run at the same pace. We now know that this is not true. Even though the same processes are at work and even though they leave the same evidence at different points in time, we know know that the rate of change can be highly variable and can include catastrophic events.

    Even less useful is Lyells assumption that the earth has always been more or less in the same state. This is just not true.

    Modern geology then rests on something different than Lyell style uniformitarianism. It recognizes both gradual processes and catastrophic processes. These may include things such as landslides, volcanoes, floods, earthquakes, glaciers and river erosion. It also recognizes that these things may occur on small or large scales and at different rates. But, events of today can be extrapolated to other such events and these events all take place under an umbrella of unchaging physical laws.

    Modern geology does not operate under the assumptions that you are asserting. If you wish to say that they do, then please provide some proof of this assertion. Maybe a recent textbook. Just do not assert that what Lyell thought nearly 200 years ago is what modern geologists think.
     
  20. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    "But how many others have there been throughout the centuries that have gone undetected, or other natural disasters that have had the same relative results?"

    and

    "What I am asking is how many other times have similar disasters occured where technology has been absent to detect such changes?"

    These changes leave evidence.

    This is not the first tsumani we have witnessed. This is not the first earthquake or even the first really strong earthquake.
     

Share This Page

Loading...