To say that any of my statements comes close to "intelligent design" is both a false accusation of my ideas, and an intellectual cop out on your behalf. My statements are my statements, and are not derivatives of any dogma. If you are unable to add value by way of showing me wrong in what I HAVE said, then the least you could do is avoid attributing to it something I have NOT said. Let me assure you that any fact or any compelling argumentation against one or more of my statements is WELCOME by me, as a person who seeks correction, and who views learning as being BOTH a process of being given access to further ADDED VALUE to reconsider by AND as a cybernetic process, whereby discourse enables corrections in directions of the learner's thinking. (I do not share the popular view that learning means memorizing only the facts and arguments provided by others, and then defending those facts and arguments against any new information or reasoning -- an infirmity found even among many who have graduated from some universities whose professors, surely, surely, know better.
So, your cheap shot attempt to "explain away" a statement of mine (to wit, my statement number 5)on basis that YOU DISCERN some dogmatic intent on my part, indicates actually that you, yourself, may be entertaining a dogmatic bias in your own thinking.
With perhaps a fuller appreciation for advanced issues of scientific certainty, in context of unfalsifiables, and with perhaps a far more advanced appreciation of the limits of epistemic and ontological access of the human experience than you indicate awareness of, I balk at the suggestion I would treat as a certainty any side of any question for which there is not, to my knowledge, any empirical grounds for knowledge certain to resolve which alternative belief in its regard, is certain to the absolute exclusion of the other.
From where I sit, philosophically, it is appalling to me to observe how many inside science academia and in research,AS WELL AS how many of various meta-physical dogmatic persuasions -- fail to discern the difference between knowledge certain, on the one hand, and convenient, but uncertain, assumption, on the other.
Dogmatism, in my view, is the insistence that ANY uncertain thing is certain and true (or that it certainly is NOT true) where neither or none of the alternatives is by humans, as yet, empirically established with certainty.
Simply because something does not suit one's own intuition, or the intuition of one's fellows in stance, does not a certainty provide. What is "true" about nature, or untrue about nature, is neither determined by popular vote of many, nor even by popular vote of an elite esoteric community who perceive themselves to have a license to "know" things they have no actual means of knowing.
Much in scientific assumptions is convenient to assume, and useful in being applied in a constant struggle to upgrade and to update tentative syntheses. Much in scientific assumptions is NOT falsifiable and, therefore, is NOT known for a certainty to be "true" or valid or knowable. And, if everything taught in academia were subjected to the rule it must be proved for a certainty, then it would not appear in any textbook. Take, for example, Newton's First Law. Where was the confirming experiment performed? It had to have been performed where no outside force was present... not even the force of gravity from a star thirteen billion light years distant. Newton (whom I much respect, even as I much respect Charles Darwin) argued out of one side of his mouth the standard that nothing can be known but that it can be empirically confirmed, yet argued out of the other side of his mouth that his "laws" are "self-evident. In all due respect, let us be CONSISTENT. Let us not take that which is supported by non-exhaustive, non-empirically testable, circumstantial evidence and -- because it is useful to us, and serves as a pragmatic working hypothesis, and make and EXCEPTION for it, and call that EXCEPTION by the name of "self-evident." Or, if we wish to press the case for self-evidence, then let us not use the "empirical standard" to exempt ANYTHING CLAIMED BY ANYONE, to whom it is "self-evident." To recognize and acknowledge this conflict of standards, as being something one can, by virtue of being educated (inculcated with the double standard) apply it when we wish to assert one thing, and deny its application when we wish to argue against another.
This point is not offered to question the wonderful tool of having WORKING HYPOTHESES,nor to TREAT any useful working hypothesis or methodology as "in error." It is merely offered in evidence that there is SUBJECTIVITY, alone, that allows a double standard for including one thing and excluding another. But, UNLIKE EITHER the "intelligent design" dogmatist or the bio-science dogmatists, it is my contention that what is established as empirical CERTAINTY, should be labeled accordingly, and what is NOT empirical certainty should not be stamped with the same stamp when, and if, it suits any individual or group of dogmatic thinkers who may happen to have some clout in so doing.
Even consensuses are tentative in science. That is historical fact. One day "dark matter" was not embraced as existent, and following a vote, it was "science." So, indeed, I would not support an argument that, because something is or is not currently in fashion with the bulk of the scientific community, therefore, it is anti-science, any supporter of it a maverick, and it is admissible for use in textbooks, whereas, one day earlier it was anti-science.
But do I subscribe to the formal school of thinking called "intelligent design?" Most emphatically, NO! Why not? Because its formal assertions strike me as radical, logically inconsistent and its arguments for its case strike me as poorly informed and eclectic. That is, it would seem to argue in favor of including its own empirically unfalsifiables in formal education, but not, also, the disparate unfalsifiables of other religions. They would, it seems, open a Pandoras box to pry their way into education and then quickly shut it before a crowd of other opinions join the fray. Again, let us be CONSISTENT. But, then, do I share at least a few of the stances in belief with the "intelligent design" school of thinking? Yes. I do; and, as I have pointed out elsewhere, SO, TOO, DO A NUMBER OF scientist acquaintances of mine, both inside and outside family. Like me, these, several, many of them PhDs, are offended by atheistic professors who avow their own unfalsifiable belief stances in classrooms, even as they insist that "intelligent deisign" thinkers do not. So, the great question for me, waxes into, "Why do not those of various opinions on what should and should not be included in science in academia, seek to agree upon CONSISTENT criteria -- in recognition that the issue of what is and is not falsifiable does not seem to suit anyone. The issues CANNOT be logically nor reasonably based upon what is empirically ascertainable and what is not, lest much that is of value in science would not pass that standard.
(Anyone who doubts this cannot have studied or understood the most rudimentary arguments in formal epistemology, and surely could not be familiar with the vast bulk of the discourse called "The Science Wars" that took place between self-styled scientific realists and postmodernist critics during the 1990s. (Oddly, many in the sciences are grossly unaware of how many claims made, even to this very day, among members of the scientific community, did not, and do not now, stand up to scrutiny, and are HIGHLY reliant upon philosophical assumptions that are neither logically consistent nor empirically verifiable.
Today, many who fancy themselves to be capable of making a case for what should and should not be included in education, as science, and as meta-science, repeat mindless questions, and cite ridiculous aphorisms, on each and both sides of the issues. Radical argues with radical; dogmatist, with dogmatist. And I disavow the ignorant banter of each and both, and long for an open-minded discourse that shows no sign yet of approaching.
Let that which is called science apply the same standards to ITS OWN convenient and internally preferred myths as are applied to any OTHER myths. (And no claim is made by me that, just because something is a myth it is concomitantly, categorically untrue. It merely is UNFALSIFIABLE, unproved, and undisproved for a certainty.
Let me be on the front lines of those who argue that science could not move forward on any other basis than objectivity, nor objectivity on any other basis that self-honest admission of what we have established as CERTAIN, on the one hand, and what we strongly "believe" to be good and practical myth as TENTATIVE. That is the ax I would grind, and the only ax. Let none have license to go unchallenged in positing what he chooses to believe without absolute proof, as obvious or as "self-evident," and what he does NOT choose to believe without absolute proof, as absurd until proven.
And, any who would claim to be at once both "scientifically literate," and empirically grounded in all his "beliefs" about nature, and does not recognize how thin, if even existent, be the ice he stands on, under what definition of literacy falls such a lack of familiarity with the very ideal of science (by which ideal, it is open to new information and to change of stance, and, by that virtue alone distinguishable from DOGMATISM.
To adopt one view that suits one's self, and refuse to acknowledge or even consider another as worthy of being studied, without even allowing that there is a contradiction in that, is not only dogmatism, it is self-based (or group concensus-based) bigotry.
It is my contention, here and in all other places, that dogma is never science, and science is never dogma. Science is open, or it is not science, but dogma. (And lest anyone cite the so-called term "The Central Dogma of Bio-science," as an exception, let him verify it, that Frick, himself, allowed that his choice of words for it was unfortunate.
If I challenge one field of science, on grounds it proffers myth as reason that is superior to that of admitting, "We do not know," when indeed we do not... then I do not hesitate to challenge another field, if it make a similar claim. Neither do i believe all evidence that shall ever be on the table is yet on the table.
Neither do I "believe" every currently preferred majority stance of ANY unfalsifiable assertion or consensus of ANY field of scientific endeavor. For example, it is my personal stance (variously referred to by some as a tentative "belief" or working hypothesis) that there are multiple emergent dynamics in physics, and not just the two emergent scale-level ones most physicists acknowledge presently: the classical-scale dynamic and the quantum scale dynamic. I have no proof, and thence no certainty that other dynamics occur at larger and smaller scales of "existence." But I perceive and believe and have taken the TENTATIVE stance that they do. (This view departs from the currently popular multiverse view, but it is more intuitive to me, and in no way damages my life nor anybody elses, and I am TENTATIVELY satisfied that it does not contradict ANY empirical evidence, and does not defy any rule of logic.
(All logic, by definition, leads back to whatever assumptions (postulates) one begins with, by way of operations assigned to the task, and CANNOT falsify those assumptions, nor certify them. Hence, until and unless an assumption is found certainly false, it remains an ALTERNATIVE possibility. And it would be a shame for any scientist, or philosopher of science, to be ignorant of the limits of logic, much less the non-exhaustion up to present date, at least, of all there is to be known, tried, or discovered about nature, or the potentiality for anything to exist outside nature.
Science is hamstrung by any self-deception or self-persuasion that the scientist knows anything he does not know to be certain is certain, or that anything he does not know to be impossible is impossible.
So, while some stances are USEFUL and may have held up under all (science history indicates most, rather than all... vis a vis the compelling argumentations of Thomas Cuhn and others, science rules assumptions in on basis of incomplete evidence -- never all the evidence -- and were we to have "all" the evidence to be found in nature, we could never have CERTAINTY we had it all... a deep, deep paradox, is it not?
Stance becomes dogmatism at precisely the point at which it is asserted as the only possibility, barring any other, where no empirical falsification (as yet) exists to rule it completely in, or completely out.
An example of something I, that comes from no dogma, and which I cannot certify and recognize and acknowledge I cannot certify -- but CHOOSE to believe, is that matter and energy are granular (that the universe is not seamless) but that each particle of mass or energy is of quantum uniqueness, and that time passes in discrete increments, not unlike the ticking of a clock, with each quantum of change in time allowing at some level of resolution no further travel of any particle to any farther increment than the adjacent quantum unit away (essentially a quantum time unit) with each such time unit increment providing a new configuration of all the particles, such that none has moved more than one increment, by the special distance, relative to each unique frame of space-time, by a single Planck unit length (unless that, too, be divisible. (This is too brief a space to put it in. My apologies for the resulting garble.)
But do I perceive that, because this physical view is intuitive to me, even if a thousand physicists were to gather into a consortium and vote in favor of it, that any OTHER view would thereby be rendered unlikely, or unrealistic, or unreasonable, or naive, or just not worth being considered... Not I.
Who would be WRONG in such a variant view, by my standards, would be one who would "explain away" any view but his own, whether I share that view, or whether I do not share that view. The dogmatist is he who will not allow credence or consideration of any conclusion UN-RULE-IN AND UN-RULED OUT, but his own, and of those who buy in with him on his own.
If you, pgegen, would wish to offer additional value to my statement number 5, you would do well to address what it SAYS, and not what you, in your own dogmatic bias, perceive it to border upon saying. That I would welcome.
Being one who seeks additional facts, more compelling argumentations, and thus opportunities to self-correct -- and who perceives THAT to be what learning is all about, let me assure you that you are welcome to upgrade or update my thinking. On the other hand, if the best you have to offer me is an attempt to "explain away" what I said on basis that it strikes you as bordering upon one of your own dogmatic biases, then you add no value no opportunity for ANYONE to progress in learning anything.
A mind fully open to learning -- rather than defending dogmatism -- is a mind open to at least the possibility that one's unfalsifiable opinions, no matter how widely shared with others who hold themselves out to have superior vision about such things, knows one iota more about nature than he ACTUALLY knows about it. Were nature capable of caring what you think, or what I think, or what anyone else THINKS, I doubt it change itself to conform to that; so it is my best guess that our science, as the study of it, can at best attempt to do the conforming -- the adamant egos insistence notwithstanding. Let us take care that we recognize our best scientific potential, therefore, to continue to conform our thinking to it, or simply wallow in dogmatically conserved ignorance.
(And, by the way, all certainty, borne of experience, is borne of experience that is local, and perceptions that are subjective. So, the claim of certainty by another, on basis of what experimental or observational findings may have resulted is, locally heresay, until and unless we have done that experiment or observation FIRST HAND. And many of us -- including, I dare say, you, have NOT conducted first hand every experiment or observation you presently BELIEVE to have revealed what you have been told about "science." (Have YOU personally replicated Michelson and Morley's experiment in resolving whether light requires an aether through which to perpetuate? They did not factor in "dark matter," or any other more recent possible media (some of which have not been precisely corroborated but which fit nicely, in the interim as fudge factors.) Do you dare to question to current wisdom that the proxy evidence that something MUST exist, lest our formulas are wrong,as
being compelling. And do you, turn right around and deny that some individuals utilize the VERY SAME ARGUMENTS in support of a believe in a "great banger?" Let us have CONSISTENCY!
And though one inspect a trillion swans, and find not one black one, that does not rule out the possibility that at least one black one exists. So, you must repeat each experiment and observation, and get the same result, an infinite number of times, and have gotten, each time, the same result, or you do not have CERTAINTY. Additionally, science (as so often is said) without INTERPRETATION is nothing more than a accumulation of facts... and interpretation is local and subjective.
But, if you wish to make an effort to persuade me or any reader that a statement of mine is flawed, or is not worthy of being considered, you will not persuade us by attempting to sweep it under the table of something that conflicts with a dogmatic bias of your own. I "believe" you can do better than that.
Prove me wrong, if you can, by contesting what I have said, as I said it, on its merits, and you will do me a favor, as I seek correction. If you do a good job of THAT, I shall gladly embrace your added value, and alter my stance on what you refute.