epistemology, science, kinds of knowledge, methodology

Creationism vs. modern science

What is a real explanation? We are so used to dumbed-down “explanations” we hardly know what a real explanation is anymore. A real explanation describes all the causes of something. These were divided by Aristotle into four kinds of causes: the material, efficient, formal, and final causes. The early scientific movement of Galileo, Bacon, etc. […]

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Understanding creationists

It’s rare to find an attempt to understand creationists.  But here’s one, in an excerpt from “The Intellectual Civil War within Evangelicalism: An Interview with Molly Worthen” by Tiffany Stanley, December 3, 2013: I think it’s a mistake to understand creationists as “anti-science,” at least if we want to understand how they see themselves. The reality

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The theological issue

I agree with those theological critics who say that the age of the earth or universe is not by itself a major issue for theology.  It’s only when the age of the earth or universe are wedded to other ideas that major issues arise.  Two minor issues can make a major issue. Before the rist

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The dialectic of extremes and means

The dialectic of extremes and means is a method of reasoning whereby one begins with extremes and reasons to means or vice versa.  If one begins with means, these are considered as unanalyzed entities, attributes, propositions, etc.  The goal is to work out the implications of them as principles or to analyze them into their

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Alternate arithmetic

A model is a realization of a mathematical formalism.  So ordinary arithmetic is a model of ordinary algebra.  That is, the algebra of the integers, the rational numbers, and the real numbers is realized by the arithmetic of the integers, the rational numbers, and the real numbers, respectively.  Are there other models of ordinary algebra? 

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Evidence of Absence

Evidence of Absence: Completeness of Evidential Datasets Elliott Sober presents a likelihood argument about the motto “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” (Sober 2009).  He states the Law of Likelihood this way: The Law of Likelihood. Evidence E favors hypothesis H1 over hypothesis H2 precisely when Pr(E│H1) > Pr(E│H2). And the degree to

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Appearance and reality

There’s a common idea that science shows appearances are often wrong.  It is said science shows that earth is not flat, the sun doesn’t go around the earth, and that life is not designed, all despite appearances to the contrary.  I think this is a mistaken view of what science has done. Surveyors work with

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What is design?

“Design” is one of those terms many people use but few define. Two aspects of design are: (1) to plan and (2) to make. An evolutionist might say that “nature made man” but would never say “nature planned man.” The theistic evolutionist might say “God planned man” but avoids saying “God made man” except in some

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Different sciences

It’s easy to forget that “nature” means the essence or form of something.  Over the centuries this morphed into nature as a “natural world” as if only some things have a nature, which is mistaken.  Every thing or being has a nature, including God.  A natural science is the study of things/beings with a common nature

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