The current issue of ICR's Acts and Facts included an article by Dr. Jason Lisle titled Evolutionary Math? While I agree with his intent showing that mathematics doesn't and can't follow the so-called rules of biologic evolution, his argument suggests that mathematical "truths" are absolute and eternal, and cannot be co-opted by mere human thought and reasoning. This idea that a divine truth can even be recognized outside of Scripture is very troubling. Many math teachers even go so far to say that math is the "language of God". Really?

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I disagree because I don't think evolution and the big bang can be rationally supported by what we know. There is an attempt at justification made by proponents of those models, but I think it fails.

Alexander Martin said:

By this standard, evolution and the big bang are objective knowledge. If you disagree, please explain why.

Justin Mooney said:

Induction is included in properly basic knowledge as well. I put the "etc." in there because I usually forget a few. Induction can be added to the list.

The theoretical systems you mention are attempts to explain other things that we know by properly basic knowledge and knoweldge derived from properly basic knowledge. These theories can be known if they are sufficiently justified on the basis of other knowledge that we have. Induction and sensory experience allow me to justify belief in gravity, for example.

Forensic science is also a means of obtaining knowledge. It is a field in which a certain type of knowledge is sought by a certain method. Any knowledge gained in that area is ultimately built off of the foundations of properly basic knowledge, and other pieces of knowledge that we have derived from that foundation.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n1/equation

The above article says exactly what I was trying to say, and I recommend that those who are interested would read it.
And here is another interesting article:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/fractals

That's just it. We can never ultimately know what we think we know. All we have is phenomena, like the alien abductions. There is no objective reality, or nomena, that we can compare our phenomena to. We can not step outside our perspective to compare our phenomena to a corresponding reality because our ways of knowing the world are dependent on our own subjectivity.

 

The closest we can come is by checking to see if other people are experiencing the same subjective phenomena we are. I'm not sure that shared subjective phenomena justifies objective reality though. There was a time when society lived in a small universe where Earth was the center. This was shared phenomena. Our storytelling about the world created this shared phenomena. The question is, can we separate the storytelling from reality? Does agreement on storytelling about the world create objective reality or just shared interpretation of phenomena?

 

I dobn't believe you've adequately set the demarkation between societies storytelling and objective reality. Society tells a story of atomic theory and how all material is composed of atoms and subatomic particles. Can we know that this is objective reality or just storytelling about the world? If our story on atomic theory changes does this make the old atomic theory not objective reality? Where is your demarkation?

 

 
Justin Mooney said:

First, keep in mind that one of the conditions of knowledge is that what a person knows is in fact true. So if there are no real alien abductions, then no one can know that they have been abducted, they can only believe that they have.

But that aside, my view does lead to the possibility that someone could be rationally warranted in believing that they were abducted by aliens. Since an experience of such an abduction would make belief in it properly basic, then they would be rationally warranted in believing that they had been abducted, unless they had a sufficient defeater for that belief. On my epistemological proposal, the person should believe their experience as a default, in the absence of defeaters, but that is not to say that properly basic beliefs can't be defeated. In the case of an alien abduction, a person may have strong reasons for believing that aliens don't exist, or that they can't come to earth, or they may have circumstantial evidence that their experience was in some way illusory. These sorts of things might lead one to rationally conclude that they were not abducted by aliens. On the other hand, these defeaters may not be strong enough to overwhelm the experience, or they may not be present at all, in which case the person is rationally justified in believing that they were abducted by aliens.

Now if a person holds a belief in a rationally justified way, that means that they are rational to both believe and claim that it is true, and to therefore believe that they know it to be true. This will be the case even if, in fact, their belief is false, and they don't ultimately know what they think they know.

But where we differ is that what you are calling the phenemona are for me access points to reality as it actually is. They tell us (thought not infallibly) about reality as it actually is. What I have described in response to your alien question is not just tossing around different phenomena, it is analyzing them as pieces of evidence of what the actual world is like.

You keep going back to the point that all we have is phenemena not noumena, but if I have correctly understood what you are saying, then that just brings us back to the particularism debate. For the particularist, the phenomena correspond (generally) to the noumena. That is basically what it means to say that those properly basic beliefs I listed are properly basic.

Take the big bang. We observe redshift which implies the uiniverse is expanding. We use inductive inference to determine this so you seem to suggest we can therefore know objectively that the universe is expanding. We infer that in the past the universe was smaller until a point where it was a singularity. Mathematics supports this. We can infer that mathematics can be used to verify the big bang theory because we use mathematics effectively in the present. Using atomic theory we can account for the heavier elements by a process of fusion inside large stars. You claim that you think the justification for this theory fails but there is much observational science to support this, actually much more than the justification for a material universe in the first place. Suppose science is able to fill in all the gaps to satisfy your requirements for justification. Does the big bang then become objective reality for you? Is it really just a matter of sufficient observational justification? The geocentric model of the universe had a great deal of observational justification. The heliocentric model of our solar system now has a gread deal of observational justification. Can we conclude a heliocentric system is objective reality? Could we have concluded, under your standard of knowledge, that the geocentric universe was objective reality when that was the story people told each other?

Can we weigh the amount of observational justification the heliocentric system has and compare it to the amount of observational justification the big bang has and determine how much further the big bang would have to go before it became justified to call objective reality?


 
Justin Mooney said:

I disagree because I don't think evolution and the big bang can be rationally supported by what we know. There is an attempt at justification made by proponents of those models, but I think it fails.
 

The scientific evidence is not the only relevant consideration. Biblical and theological, as well as simply logical and philosophical considerations are also relevant. But if all of this evidence ended up weighing in favor of the big bang, then that would seem to be the rational thing to believe. Would it not?

Alexander Martin said:

Take the big bang. We observe redshift which implies the uiniverse is expanding. We use inductive inference to determine this so you seem to suggest we can therefore know objectively that the universe is expanding. We infer that in the past the universe was smaller until a point where it was a singularity. Mathematics supports this. We can infer that mathematics can be used to verify the big bang theory because we use mathematics effectively in the present. Using atomic theory we can account for the heavier elements by a process of fusion inside large stars. You claim that you think the justification for this theory fails but there is much observational science to support this, actually much more than the justification for a material universe in the first place. Suppose science is able to fill in all the gaps to satisfy your requirements for justification. Does the big bang then become objective reality for you? Is it really just a matter of sufficient observational justification? The geocentric model of the universe had a great deal of observational justification. The heliocentric model of our solar system now has a gread deal of observational justification. Can we conclude a heliocentric system is objective reality? Could we have concluded, under your standard of knowledge, that the geocentric universe was objective reality when that was the story people told each other?
 
Justin Mooney said:

I disagree because I don't think evolution and the big bang can be rationally supported by what we know. There is an attempt at justification made by proponents of those models, but I think it fails.

Alexander Martin said:

By this standard, evolution and the big bang are objective knowledge. If you disagree, please explain why.

Justin Mooney said:

Induction is included in properly basic knowledge as well. I put the "etc." in there because I usually forget a few. Induction can be added to the list.

The theoretical systems you mention are attempts to explain other things that we know by properly basic knowledge and knoweldge derived from properly basic knowledge. These theories can be known if they are sufficiently justified on the basis of other knowledge that we have. Induction and sensory experience allow me to justify belief in gravity, for example.

Forensic science is also a means of obtaining knowledge. It is a field in which a certain type of knowledge is sought by a certain method. Any knowledge gained in that area is ultimately built off of the foundations of properly basic knowledge, and other pieces of knowledge that we have derived from that foundation.

Have either of you read The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Dr. Jason Lisle?

Alexander Martin said:

That's just it. We can never ultimately know what we think we know. All we have is phenomena, like the alien abductions. There is no objective reality, or nomena, that we can compare our phenomena to. We can not step outside our perspective to compare our phenomena to a corresponding reality because our ways of knowing the world are dependent on our own subjectivity.

 

The closest we can come is by checking to see if other people are experiencing the same subjective phenomena we are. I'm not sure that shared subjective phenomena justifies objective reality though. There was a time when society lived in a small universe where Earth was the center. This was shared phenomena. Our storytelling about the world created this shared phenomena. The question is, can we separate the storytelling from reality? Does agreement on storytelling about the world create objective reality or just shared interpretation of phenomena?

 

I dobn't believe you've adequately set the demarkation between societies storytelling and objective reality. Society tells a story of atomic theory and how all material is composed of atoms and subatomic particles. Can we know that this is objective reality or just storytelling about the world? If our story on atomic theory changes does this make the old atomic theory not objective reality? Where is your demarkation?

 

 
Justin Mooney said:

First, keep in mind that one of the conditions of knowledge is that what a person knows is in fact true. So if there are no real alien abductions, then no one can know that they have been abducted, they can only believe that they have.

But that aside, my view does lead to the possibility that someone could be rationally warranted in believing that they were abducted by aliens. Since an experience of such an abduction would make belief in it properly basic, then they would be rationally warranted in believing that they had been abducted, unless they had a sufficient defeater for that belief. On my epistemological proposal, the person should believe their experience as a default, in the absence of defeaters, but that is not to say that properly basic beliefs can't be defeated. In the case of an alien abduction, a person may have strong reasons for believing that aliens don't exist, or that they can't come to earth, or they may have circumstantial evidence that their experience was in some way illusory. These sorts of things might lead one to rationally conclude that they were not abducted by aliens. On the other hand, these defeaters may not be strong enough to overwhelm the experience, or they may not be present at all, in which case the person is rationally justified in believing that they were abducted by aliens.

Now if a person holds a belief in a rationally justified way, that means that they are rational to both believe and claim that it is true, and to therefore believe that they know it to be true. This will be the case even if, in fact, their belief is false, and they don't ultimately know what they think they know.

The closest we can come is by checking to see if other people are experiencing the same subjective phenomena we are. I'm not sure that shared subjective phenomena justifies objective reality though. There was a time when society lived in a small universe where Earth was the center. This was shared phenomena. Our storytelling about the world created this shared phenomena. The question is, can we separate the storytelling from reality? Does agreement on storytelling about the world create objective reality or just shared interpretation of phenomena?

 

I dobn't believe you've adequately set the demarkation between societies storytelling and objective reality. Society tells a story of atomic theory and how all material is composed of atoms and subatomic particles. Can we know that this is objective reality or just storytelling about the world? If our story on atomic theory changes does this make the old atomic theory not objective reality? Where is your demarkation?

 

Speaking of atomic theory, there was also a time when societies phenomena indicated there were only four elements: earth, fire, water, and air. Was this objective reality at one time or societal storytelling. Again, I am trying to determine where your demarkation is.

Yes, I have.

Caleb Lewis said:

Have either of you read The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Dr. Jason Lisle?

Alexander Martin said:

The point of this discussion is to determine whether we can have objectively true knowledge outside of the Bible and what that demarkation would be. I don't believe that if all the evidence ended up weighing in favor of the big bang that it would then be objective reality because I believe all evidence, ALL evidence, is interpreted subjectively and not objectively. I don't believe in facts but interpretations. Perhaps this is where our basic beliefs differ. So you are saying that if all necessary explanatory requirements of the big bang were met by observational science then it would indeed correspond to reality and would then be objective reality? lol I just want to hear you say it one more time. :-P
 
Justin Mooney said:

The scientific evidence is not the only relevant consideration. Biblical and theological, as well as simply logical and philosophical considerations are also relevant. But if all of this evidence ended up weighing in favor of the big bang, then that would seem to be the rational thing to believe. Would it not?
 

As a follow up question to the last question:

 

If after all the required observations were made to justify the big bang, the paradigm changed again and another theory of cosmic development was adopted that was radically different from the big bang but equally explained the evidence and met all of its explanatory requirements by observational science, would this new theory then represent objective reality? Or are you saying that this would not be possible since if one theory fully was explained by observations that there could never be another theory to replace it because the prior theory was objective reality?

I haven't but I understand that it relies somewhat on the format of presuppositional appologetice... which is actually my approach as well.
 
Caleb Lewis said:

Have either of you read The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Dr. Jason Lisle?
 

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