Saturday, October 07, 2006

'Splain It to Me, Pleez, 'Cause I's Stoopid
And Speek Slow Usin' Small Werds

The blogger/commenter Jesusisjustalrightwithme has made several assertions that I would like to see corroborated in further detail. Many of his statements are made with such confidence that they must be simple to substantiate. Since I am an Evangelical Christian without a college degree or Mensa credentials, he plainly sees the need:

"The General Social Survey says we are statistically smarter by the way. The GSS says fundamentalists have 1.9 fewer years of education. They also score markedly lower on the GSS's IQ test."1

Often in our discussions we clash over the primacy of evolutionary theory in the modern-modern scientific paradigm. I place macro-evolution and intelligent design firmly in the camp of faith more than in any solidly based scientific genre.

JIJAWM cogently explains science and the scientific method:

"Scientific method uses observations and reasoning to propose tentative explanations for natural phenomena, termed hypotheses. Scientists make predictions from these hypotheses. An important aspect of a hypothesis is that it must be falsifiable, in other words, it must be conceivable to prove the hypothesis to be false. If a proposition is not falsifiable, then it is not a hypothesis, and instead an opinion or statement not based upon the scientific method. These hypothesies are tested by various experiments. These experiments should be reproducible."

"Once a hypothesis is repeatedly verified through experiment, it is considered to be a theory and new predictions are based upon it. Any erroneous predictions, internal inconsistencies or unexplained phenomena, initiate the generation of correction to hypotheses, which are themselves tested, and so on. Any hypothesis which is cogent enough to make predictions can be tested in this way." 2

No problems there, even for a mental midget like me.

To continue:

"It is important to understand the terms "hypothesis," "theory," "law," model," and also "fact." It is important to understand that a theory is not something less than a fact. All of these terms refer to different and important things." 3

Please explain what is meant by "...a theory is not something less than a fact."


"NOBODY THINKS EVOLUTION IS A FACT. That’s not what a fact is. Evolution is a theory. But a theory is not something less than a fact. It has nothing to do with belief. It has everything to do with reasonable conjecture based on observed evidence." 4

I wish you would delineate some of the observed evidence and reasonable conjecture that places macro-evolution at the level of theory and not that of faith. It should be easy since the hypothesis has had lengthy time and study to place it firmly there. 'Micro-evolution' is not at issue here. The species of Peppered Moths contains a genetic pool for both light and dark colors. A Chihuahua and a Great Dane are both dogs whose genes could be combined to get another 'breed' of dog.

Here's another statement from our discussions that requires verification:

"The truth is that the general rule in this world is that the more secular a society is, the stronger the economy and the longer the average lifespan, and the higher the average level of happiness. The more religios a society? You know the answer to that. Perhaps in some ways, the US is an exception to that rule, but for how long? 5

Discuss. I'll be out in left field looking for the spot from which any solid reasoning may be gleaned. Do you have a secret map showing an 'X' to mark the spot?

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