Friday, May 31, 2002

Unsupportable claims?

Godless Capitalist and untold others are jumping on Eugene Volokh's acknowledgement that "Nor can one argue that intelligent design is unproven, but evolution is proven.".

Among the complaints is that, as opposed to ID, the theory of evolution has "predictive value". What's more, GC put evolution in the same class as the theory of gravity in terms of predictive value.

OK, let's take GC back to Mesozoic times. We'll give him perfect knowledge of the genomes and distribution of all organisms alive at that time and all technology available today except the historic records (for obvious reasons). We'll warn him about all the earthquakes, Ice Ages, tectonic plate motions, volcanoes, meteorite strikes, or any other large-scale external phenomena from then until today. His challenge is to derive the distribution and genomes of the species of today.

How would you go about that even in principle? And if you can't do it, then where is the predictive value that we're told is "on par with gravity"? Based on what you could have known then, but with today's technology available, would you even have predicted the passing of the dinosaurs?

Now suppose you had made some predictions based on our current knowledge of gravitation. Would you have done better?

One more thing. GC says
Redo history from the Big Bang with a video camera? Impossible - so why is this even asked? It's not asked for ANY other theory.
That's because it's not needed to prove any other theory - that's the load you picked up when you ruled out creationism. You say there was a Big Bang but you can't show us one?

I'm agnostic - I don't claim to know if either of the groups discussed above has the right answers. But for all this talk of science, why don't the atheists ever come out and admit that they can't prove that there is/are no god(s)?

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