When Science stagnates; maggots in the pool of progress.

 

We have allowed a disease to fester in our Scientific culture. There are many different examples, but the most well known that I can draw on is the Natural Selection vs. Intelligent Design debate. Wait, wait, hear me out, I would love to hear someone more intelligent than I on this subject, and you will have your chance to add comments, but please, give me the respect of humanity and hear me out.

To understand my inquisitive argument, you must first understand my possibly flawed understanding of science and the scientific process in general. If you know of flaws to this understanding, let me know.

First of all, I would expect the current theories and ideals of science to be tested against the laws, processes, and accepted truths of science. I also expect the current accepted beliefs of science to be testable in the first place, and if there is a theory that is not testable, I expect scientists in general to decry the junk science for what it is. This though, brings up a question; does science ever prove anything correct, or does it just seek to disprove theories? What then does a theory which cannot be proved wrong by the logic structure alone mean? If a logical circle, for example, were theorized to be scientific fact, what would the scientific community do with it? Personally, I think they would accept it with open arms and hail the author as a scientific genius, lack of proof and all. Why do I believe this? They already have.

As I begin, let us not forget, as I fear mainstream science has, that the roots of modern science spring from philosophy and logic. This is why the logical circle has defeated modern scientists; they have forgotten and neglected their education in philosophy and reasoning.

So we come to it. Natural Selection cannot be tested; it is a logical trap. Whether Charles Darwin knew it was untestable when he posited the idea or not, it does not matter. But ever since he published this idea, it has never been tested and all the opposing ideas since Natural Selections publication have been logically ‘tested’ against Evolution, not Natural Selection. Interestingly enough, Erasmus Darwin, Charles’ grandfather, was one of the forerunners and proclaimed Evolution. Charles Darwin did not discover Evolution. Evolution was already gaining wide acceptance in Charles’ day and is not what is at the heart of this current debate.

The factual support for the theory of evolution is impressive… the evidence against it is usually discounted, until one new discovery or another is found which ties the theory back together, or forces us to revamp the entire evolutionary tree. Yes, this has happened countless times, but it does not mean that evolution is bunk; it does mean that we don’t know everything yet. If you are surprised, relax and realize that even though mankind still isn’t the see-all, end-all of knowledge, you will be alright.

Over two hundred years later, enter Intelligent Design. ‘ID’ is, in one form of definition or another, the same mechanism that ‘powered’ evolution before Natural Selection, ‘NS’, came along, (the time when Evolution was gaining wide acceptance between Erasmus Darwin and his contemporaries, and Charles Darwin and the advent of ‘NS’). For my purposes, we will define Intelligent Design as the most rudimentary definition possible; that ‘something’ with intelligence ‘guided’, (or planned- depending on the amount of intelligence you grant this individual/group), the evolution of species through controlling the environmental pressures or by actually manipulating the genetic structure.

If you have followed this argument so far, you might have already made the logical leap of understanding that the only difference between NS and ID is that the proponents of ID believe there is ‘God’ behind the environmental pressures that so perfectly guided us to this point, while the proponents of NS believe that the environmental pressures simply were, and that ‘God’ had nothing to do with it. This, though others may dispute, is the base definition of each, when laid bare. Take the fluff away, this is where it starts and ends.

But neither is science. That is my argument. Neither one is provable, disprovable, or even testable. In fact, I don’t believe either has ever been properly tested. It is impossible to do so.

To test the theory of Natural Selection, one must control, view, and record all stimuli working in the test… but wait, isn’t that the definition of ID? If you ascribe to quantum physics, and believe that an experiment on NS would only require you to simply watch, it gets even better, because the simple act of observation forces a certain probability to be. Again, you have only proved ID.

By the same token, you cannot test ID without becoming ridiculously entwined in your own control scheme; for as a true test of NS would mean endless, currently unknown variables and require you to never see the results, a true test of ID would require you to remove all chance of failure, (are you ‘intelligent’ enough?), therefore there is no variable that would allow NS to break ID, thus invalidating any results for each. (Let’s not even touch the questions of time, or if quantum physics and probabilities are testable.)

So how did these circles get into science in the first place? Who let them in? Well, this is the problem. While NS, and ID, (and quantum physics with probabilities), all adequately explain what we currently are able to observe, without the ability to test them they leave us nowhere to go; writing on a brick wall, not a springboard.

The only function that NS performs that ID does not is atheism. While I believe that anyone should be able to believe what they want, and that people want to have an answer to at least one of the great questions of life, I don’t believe that an endorsement of a fundamentally flawed explanation should be allowed to survive or be accepted in modern science.

We can’t afford to ignore this problem. Though this is not the only logical trap in science, it is one of the most frustrating. If we (as a society) ignored all the things we could not explain, or attribute to God, with a blanket statement of ‘for what we know now, it doesn’t need to exist, therefore it doesn’t’, we would not have discovered the atom or radio waves or ac vs. dc electricity or plastics or DNA or whatever.

Am I the only one that is disappointed that we have not answered many of the questions of the origins and evolutions of life, and that the accepted and defended theory which is taught to everyone, seems to be a logical trap – and we have not tested this theory, or refined it, in over two hundred years? Every other facet of science has progressed infinitely in comparison during this time, because they were allowed to be questioned.

But who can question NS and not be banned from ‘Science’ and branded an apologetic religious nut?

4 Responses to “When Science stagnates; maggots in the pool of progress.”

  1. Daniel Says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article When Science stagnates; the maggots in the pool of progress., but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  2. Nikkdawg Says:

    The idea that science cannot effectively prove anything only disprove them does point out a beautiful flaw in the logic of those foolish enough to claim absolute knowledge of thing like natural selection.

    Perhaps by even responding I am falling into one of your expertly crafted traps, but where you start to lose me is when you make the jump from it can’t be tested to 100% satisfaction to it can’t be tested at all. It’s tested all the time, and in virtually every case, natural selection fits. You can claim that not every aspect can be controlled, and that, according to quantum physics, simply observing an experiment will leave some taint on the results. And you would be, at least, partially correct. But remember that those same laws of physics are equally disprovable and subject to the same scrutiny. Following this logic we unavoidably end up discovering that just about everything we think we know is just a bunch of made up assumptions that happen to be right an inordinately high percentage of the time.

    I, for one, am willing to make the leap and accept most of these things as true, until I have reason to believe otherwise. In fact, it’s that leap that has allowed us to venture into space, build skyscrapers, and grow fat off the land… …honestly, who wants to give that up? The difference between NS and ID is not that intelligent design is impossible, just impossible to test… …at all. Or, at least, that “god” seems an unwilling, yet necessary, participant in these tests. For some reason people pit them together as if one disproved the other but again nothing about NS discredits the idea of intelligent design, at the very most just the methods. Imagine if bacteria in a laboratory petri dish were capable of intelligent thought, would they conclude they got there as a result of ID or NS? In their case both would be correct. As science stumbles its way into these ‘assumptions that happen to be right an inordinately high percentage of the time’ we may gain some insight into what intelligent design actually means

  3. admin Says:

    Nikkdawg,
    Perhaps I didn’t explain myself well enough… let me try again.
    My point isn’t that Natural Selection, in and of itself, is junk. The point is that the problem with science, (in general), is that they no longer give the same scruitiny to theories that they used to. Gallileo challenged thought, and we learned. Newton challenged though, and we learned. Anyone questions ‘natural selection’ and they are booted and boo’ed out of scientific circles. If, as you say of my use of quantum mechanics against testing Natural Selection that “…those same laws of physics are equally disprovable and subject to the same scrutiny” is true, then you cannot dispute the argument.

    Science may assume many things that happen to be right in the end, but they only learn that they are right, or wrong, when they are challenged. Science is not allowing this challenge to occur… and thus they will either stagnate or kowtow to the reality that their own arguments against the challenging thought also damn the defended theory.

    A good scientist has no room for darlings, and must have progress in truth as his first priority, not an ideal, a tradition to uphold, or funding to vindicate. If this is not so, then the raw results will be tailored to match the agenda, and not the reverse.

  4. Nikkdawg Says:

    Mr. Man,

    The comments I made earlier were directed more towards your ideas that “Neither [NS nor ID]… is provable, disprovable, or even testable…it is impossible to do so.” And that scientists seem to accept this as an undeniable truth even though it cannot be proven. I assume, as has always been the case with you, that a bit of debate is, in fact, welcome. But perhaps I misread you, in which case I will gladly shut it’!

    If I understand you correctly, the main idea was that “science, (in general) … no longer give[s] the same scrutiny to theories that they used to.” And that evolution is an idea held by scientific community to be irrefutable. …As for the first part, I must say that I have found quite the opposite to be true, now more than ever scientists are challenging old ideas. For example, somewhere between middle school and college they rearranged the entire kingdoms of life and made it a subset of another group. Changes like this are happening all the time. As for evolution being the favorite “darling” of science, you yourself said that evolution has been “revamped” countless time as new evidence has come to light. If anything, that suggests that the scientific community is open to change if there is evidence to support it. While I agree that it is foolish for a scientist to accept an improvable theory as an absolute truth, using the theories backed by the most evidence to further science is in fact good science.

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