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?  …

Alternate arithmetic Read More »

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 …

Evidence of Absence Read More »

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 …

Appearance and reality Read More »

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 …

What is design? Read More »

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 …

Different sciences Read More »

Progress

Emil Brunner in Christianity and Civilization (1948) wrote: “the popular belief that the idea of evolution and progress was first worked out within natural science, and thence affected the conception of history, is false. The reverse is true: the idea has been transplanted from an evolutionary conception of history into natural science. Lamarck and Darwin are not …

Progress Read More »

Scientific history

The discipline of history investigates what actually happened in the past as far as that is known from records or other evidence.  Scientific history is what could have happened in the past without being inconsistent with the data or laws of science.  Note the difference: scientific history is about possibilities; real history is about actualities. Scientific history …

Scientific history Read More »

Time and biological diversity

Based on the standard biological taxonomy here is a logarithmic model of the relationship between the time it takes life to reach the diversity that is observed today and possible positions on the lowest rank of the initial taxa of life, which I shall call prototypes. Prototypes of the species rank would take tens of years to arrive …

Time and biological diversity Read More »

Undetermination and dependence

The underdetermination of scientific theory is well-known in the philosophy of science.  It comes down to the fact that if theory A implies fact B and fact B is observed that does not logically confirm theory A.  Without multiple controlled experiments to isolate causation (which can only be done some cases), there is no logical confirmation of …

Undetermination and dependence Read More »