Nothing — 27 October 2016
Facebook Dialog

As most of you know, most of the things that get posted on your Facebook page are from friends. But sometimes things also get posted from friends of friends. Today’s dialog originated in that fashion. It was a video of Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence giving a speech in which he expressed his belief in creation, and that naturalistic evolution is not a scientific fact, but only a theory. This video was posted on a website called “A Science Enthusiast” at: https://www.facebook.com/aScienceEnthusiast/videos/1390574757637632. The person who originally posted it on Facebook did so with this comment: This ridiculous man aspires to be the Vice-President. This is just one of his silly beliefs.

Since it showed up on my page, I made a comment supporting Pence and was rather quickly attacked. As a result, I took the opportunity to not only defend myself, but to use my response as a way to share how a Christian worldview is not the craziness that most Naturalists believe. In fact, the naturalistic view itself is a faith position and cannot be supported by science.

One housekeeping comment: The comments below are organized by threads. One person would make a comment and others would respond specifically to that comment. At the same time, other people were making other comments that comprised a different thread that often went in entirely different directions. The separate threads are separated in this article. But sometimes, in the process of this, people also posted responses related to one thread into a different one. Because of that, sometimes a Facebook discussion can become a little disjointed. Don’t let that confuse you. While focusing on the discussion in a particular thread, you sometimes have to keep the entire conversation in mind. Since I entered the discussion after it was already started, I was not even a part of some of the threads. However, I have included the entire conversation to give the greatest context possible.


Original Comment About the Video
Here’s what scientific theory actually means, Mike: livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definitio… #VPDebate

BL
Creationism is, at best, just a theory. One with no scientific evidence. Are we to believe that a creator obliterated evidence of creation while preserving evidence of evolution just to fool our inquiring minds?

CR
I guess so, He works in mysterious ways. LOL

ES
Creationism is religious dogma. People who advocate it are deluded at best, and otherwise liars.

BL
ES It is also a theory promoted as an answer to the question of how things came to be. It is as unscientific as one can get, but many theories have been, but because they were not religious dogma, they we accepted as debunked. Theories can include rank speculation.

ES
There is theory with a small ‘t’ and Theory with a capital ‘T’.

In everyday parlance, theory can mean any explanation for a phenomenon that one might conjure up or believe, with or without evidence to support the theory.

In science, a Theory requires copious amounts of supporting evidence, and a logical structure which is not self contradictory. Creationism does not meet any of the criteria which has been established by the scientific community that would qualify it as a Theory.

Creationists and much of the news media have either IGNORED the distinction between the word theory that’s used in everyday parlance and the more rigorously defined sense of the word that scientists use, Or they have Deliberately Confused the two meanings of the word in their tracts in order to weaken and delegitimize the institution of science.

They are doing the same thing in their efforts to sow confusion about global warming.

BL
ES I just watched a class in The Great Courses in which the professor distinguished between hypothesis and theory, a hypothesis having no evidence to support it, as opposed to a theory, which has some evidentiary basis to support it. I think your analysis and his are far better than my more facile “dictionary definition”. Thank you for your additional comments.


BES
People that say Evolution isn’t real blame the evidence on the Devil just trying to make everyone turn away from God or some other variation of that crazy comment

Freddy Davis
The fact that Darwinistic evolution has no scientific basis has nothing to do with what Christians believe. It is simply an acknowledgment of the science. There is no known biological process to show it is even possible. Micro evolution and macro evolution are not the same thing. For Darwinistic evolution to be true, macro evolution must be demonstrable in a lab. It simply has not been.

CR
Evolution is one of the most robust theories in all of science. It is useless to argue if a basic knowledge of science is missing. Parroting evolution deniers makes no difference. Evolutionary theory is not based upon nor does it require macro evolution. Quite the opposite, micro or gradual change is propounded and proven.

BL
You might want to research how dog breeding has led to a multitude of varieties of canines that never existed in the wild. Dogs are an extreme example of evolution of a species, albeit with helping human hands. You cannot expect a process that takes millions of years in the normal course of events to be demonstrated in a laboratory. The laboratory is the natural world and the fossil, gene and other evidence are the demonstration.

Freddy Davis
BL I thought I was pretty clear. Your example is one of micro evolution, not macro. And the rest of your explanation is based on a philosophical presupposition that has not, and cannot, be demonstrated (by any means) to be true. You have to believe it by faith because there is no hard science to demonstrate it is even possible. The fossil and gene evidence is nothing more than data. The data must then be interpreted through some interpretive filter. In your case, you are filtering it through naturalistic presuppositions. Begin with a different set of presuppositions and you come up with an entirely different conclusion. If you want to prove your point based on your presuppositions, you are going to have to show some kind of empirical evidence that what you are proposing is even possible. There is no science to demonstrate that.

Freddy Davis
CR Robust? What do you mean evolutionary theory is not based upon or require macro evolution. If you are only speaking of natural selection (micro evolution), then we have no disagreement. However, most advocates of Darwinism actually believe that evolution occurs beyond that. If that is what you believe, then you are indeed including macro evolution, and there is no empirical science to back it up. I’m not sure, at this point, what “basic knowledge of science” you are speaking of.

CR
Arguing this subject is useless. True believers in fringe ideas and fragile to no evidence will get us nowhere. Read some good science books and then we can talk. Try Stephen J. Gould or Michael Shermer for starters.

Freddy Davis
Why it is useless? I thought science appreciated robust debate. Looks like you are just trying to shut me down without having to defend your position. Fringe ideas? I asked you to show me the science and all you have done is point me to books that begin with a philosophical presupposition that cannot be demonstrated to be true. Perhaps you are the one who needs to do some reading.

CR
Books have been a good source of knowledge, in my experience, much better than round table philosophical discussion, Of course science thrives on robust debate, but more than supposition has to be at the table. I tried to point you to a source that may be able to explain it clearer than I.

BL
Freddy Davis Nothing you have said is clear, except that you substitute conjecture for evidence and rational analysis. Robust scientific debate isn’t debating pure unsupported speculation as a rational alternative to scientific evidence and rational inferences from the evidence.

Freddy Davis
CR Books are, indeed, a good source of knowledge IF they are accurate. I am all for giving you the benefit of the doubt if you can show me a book where actual science can demonstrate naturalistic evolution to be true. The fact is, there isn’t one because that science doesn’t exist. You bemoan philosophical discussion, yet everything you have said about evolution is just that – a theory that depends on unsupported (and unsupportable) naturalistic presuppositions. If you want to prove naturalistic evolution to be true, prove the presuppositions and you win. Otherwise, nothing you say on this topic meets the standards you have put up for me.

Freddy Davis
BL I am interested to know what scientific evidence you have to support naturalistic evolution. The rational inferences you are proposing must be based on some foundation, and if the foundation is wrong, the inferences cannot be right. Since you are proposing Naturalism as your presuppositional basis, prove the presuppositions and you win. Otherwise, it is you who is spouting pure unsupported speculation. I’ll wait.

CR
Freddie, science does not make a definitive judgement. All scientific enquiry is conditional upon further evidence. If new evidence emerges and is sound, then science will reject the old for the new. This is true with the theory of evolution. For over 100 years, evidence has been gathered and the theory modified as more is revealed. To date, the preponderance of evidence has strengthened and verified the theory. Think about it, gravity is a theory. There is no definitive proof otherwise. But it would be perverse to deny that it exists and has certain effects. It is a robust theory. So far all evidence gathered by the various scientific disciplines; Geology, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, and others all point to the validity of evolution.

BL
Freddy Davis Go take a course on evolution at a reputable university (e.g., no Liberty University or Bob Jones University or Wheaton College, or their ilk). I don’t have the time to teach you myself and doubt your dedication to advanced learning.

CR
Where faith is strong, education is difficult.

BL
Here is a beginning primer however.

http://www.dummies.com/…/what-evidence-supports-the…/

What Evidence Supports the Theory of Evolution? – dummies
DUMMIES.COM

CR
Freddy does not accept the idea that science is science.

Freddy Davis
CR There is no place where faith does not exist. Education and faith interact quite nicely, actually.


RG
Books also once said that the earth was flat but science evolves.

CR
That’s the great strength of science. Always looking for better evidence and deeper understanding. Science is not static. It is not afraid of admitting error and moving on. Evolutionary research just solidifies the strength of the theory to the point that it is perverse to deny it.

RG
Well said!

BRL
And that the climate is changing – but they are only scientists, what do THEY know!

Freddy Davis
The climate has always changed. What there is no evidence of is that the climate change has anything to do with human activity. And, your implication that all scientists agree about it is simply not true. In fact, the one thing that has the most influence on earth’s climate is sun spot activity. Guess what, the entirety of “evidence” of global climate change is based on computer models, and the models do not even figure in sun spot activity. This is not as scientific a thing as you imagine.

BRL
OH! Well, okay then!!

Freddy Davis
Indeed!

RG
BRL, consider the source. : )

BRL
In case he didn’t catch it, it was sarcasm.

CR
Freddy, I will try to be brief. The evidence for climate change has a good historic indicator. i.e. the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. From ice cores, we can determine how much was there in the past and correlate it with periods of warm or cold world climate. In the past, warm periods occurred when CO2 reached 300 ppm. We have just blown past that threshold and most of the CO2 in the atmosphere is from fossil fuels. e.g. man made. I will show you a graph to that effect.

CR
http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Climate change evidence: How do we know?
CLIMATE.NASA.GOV

CR
Freddie, what theory do you ascribe to? Creationism by chance?

Freddy Davis
I’m sorry CR, but simply throwing out data is useless. Data must be interpreted and your interpretation is based on a set of presuppositions that simply does not stand up to scrutiny. In the history of the earth, there have been ice ages and very hot times – even before fossil fuels were as prominent as they are now. I find it so interesting how certain scientists who have an interest in getting grant money pick up a trend and promote it as something it is not. When I was in high school, we were on the verge of the next ice age. But then it warmed up again. A few years ago, we were on the verge of global warming, but it cooled down. So it had to be changed again – this time to “climate change” so they could get it right no matter what happened. As I mentioned before, the predictions about climate change are done with computer models which do not even factor in the most important thing that affects global temperatures. Data can prove anything depending on your presuppositions. True convincing evidence that man has created global climate change is simply not there. It is a theory which has no solid foundation.

Freddy Davis
If you want to exchange articles and videos we can do that. I would be much more interested in actual scientific proof. http://www.globalclimatescam.com/…/top-ten-reasons…/

Top Ten Reasons Climate Change is a Hoax | Global Climate Scam
GLOBALCLIMATESCAM.COM

CR
What do you call data? The data I provided a clear correlation with warmer periods in the past. How is that not real? Is it because you don’t agree for some reason? To arrive at scientific truth, we must have data and evidence, not guesses or conspiracy theories. Facts have no agenda, they just sit there being facts.

CR
Freddy Davis Every single “reason” in this article is plain and simple BS. I won’t go into all of it, but polar bears are in desperate trouble, sea ice in Antarctica is thinning, sea levels are rising as a matter of fact (ask the Maldive Islands). The other so-called reasons are equally inane. Last year was the warmest on record as a matter of FACT, not a guess. They do keep records, you know. To infer that scientists worldwide have somehow conspired to make Al Gore rich is just stupid. http://www.accuweather.com/…/2015-shatters…/54892807

BRL
CR, as was commented earlier – consider the source.

CR
I think you are right, BRL. When facts are treated as philosophy, you can’t win. It is like Isaac Asimov said, “Your ignorance is not as good as my knowledge.”

Freddy Davis
CR Actually, the data you provided is not as clear as you think. The truth is, scientists who study Polar Bears do not know how many there are. But even if they did, there is no proof that an increase or decrease in number is related to climate change. Antarctica is growing, not decreasing (there are areas where ice is thinning but more is being produced than is being lost). And we could go on. But, let’s really get down to cases. Frankly, I don’t have a dog in this hunt. If science can show global warming to be true, so be it. Here is the problem, the global warming debate is, at its core, not a science debate but a political one. That is why so much heat is being generated (excuse the pun). First, certain “climate scientists” and politicians have an interest in it being true. For some it is greed and others it is political power. Al Gore has a financial interest in carbon credits. The professor at East Anglia University was after government grants. They all manipulated data to get an outcome they wanted. Second, the “facts” are not conclusive. Even the article you put up about CO2 hedges its bets. This is a topic that is being fiercely debated in scientific circles and there is not definitive data to show global warming to be true. Third, the methodology for determining whether or not it is true is a mess. The most powerful effect on earth’s climate is the sun, and it is not even factored in the climate models used to predict climate change. Beyond that, as in the article you posted, assumptions are made about effects that are simply not demonstrated to actually correlate. So yes, I am very skeptical, and will be until the pro global side gets its act together. They have bad motives, bad facts, and bad methodology. A person would have to be crazy not to be skeptical.

CR

What is Evolution (Simple Explanation)
YOUTUBE.COM
Like · Reply · 20 hrs
Freddy Davis
Freddy Davis https://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=3

Friends of Science | The Myths and Facts of Global Warming
FRIENDSOFSCIENCE.ORG

CR
Check out just who the “Friends of Science” are. They are a Canadian advocacy group supported by the petroleum industry. You reckon those folks would want to take responsibility for contributing to global warming? Their stated purpose is to dispute man-made pollution.


CR
Freddie, what is your theory of the origin of species?

Freddy Davis
It’s “Freddy” actually. As for my theory of the origin of species, you shouldn’t have to ask. I certainly believe God exists and that he created man – though I would hardly call it a theory. Theories are a tool of scientific study. When dealing with the topic of the origin of the species we are not dealing with science. Origins, whether of energy/matter, life, “the species,” or consciousness cannot be determined using science.

CR
Sorry about the name error. I was beginning to suspect that you are a creationist. It is a shame that a good mind like yours can be suborned to what is much, much less than a theory. To make scientific declarations based solely on something as ephemeral as faith is not subject to rational discussion. There is no science that supports that view…not one.

Freddy Davis
CR What a condescending remark. Do you not realize that the naturalistic worldview presuppositions you are basing your entire argument upon are purely based on faith? How do you know that the natural universe is all that exists? What actual scientific evidence do you have that life could have emerged out of non-life (which is a necessary event if naturalistic evolution is to exist). The truth is, there is no science to back it up. You have to assume that the natural universe is all that exists, which is a religious point of view. How do you know? You can’t! You can only assume (have faith) it is true. Prove your presuppositions and you have a case. Otherwise not.

Freddy Davis
One other point. So many Naturalists have this weird assumption that people who believe in God do not believe in science. We do – and wholeheartedly. It is just that science only applies to the part of reality that consists of the natural universe. The two do not necessarily cancel each other out. Show me the actual science and I will believe what you say. But the theory of naturalistic evolution is not based on actual science. Its foundation is a philosophical presupposition that cannot be demonstrated to be true.

CR
Now the very existence of the universe is getting into deep weeds. We live in the universe we can perceive, so let’s stick to that premise. Proof is elusive. All we can do is examine what is before us and make the most logical conclusions as to what it is. We can look at evidence and make inferences, but any conclusion is provisional, subject to modification or outright rejection when better evidence is presented. Religion is a construct of mankind for a variety of reasons that we don’t need to go into here.

CR
Freddy Davis Actual science is abundant. As I said, all the natural sciences converge to point very strongly to the truth of evolution. I know of no science that indicates that the universe is 6000 years old, or that there is an actual entity that is the creator, More close to us, there is scant to very questionable evidence of the existence of a person called Jesus and absolutely no record of his teachings except those written 50-80 years after his supposed death. The miracles cited in the Bible certainly have no basis in science.

Freddy Davis
Why have you made the assumption that I believe the age of the universe is 6000 years old? That is a theory some hold, but the biblical text does not require it. As for science that proves the creator exists, are you serious? If God actually does exist, as I believe he does, he exists outside of the laws of nature (you know, as the creator of nature). Your requirement that the supernatural realm be governed by the laws of science is simply absurd. But the larger problem is, now you have put a requirement on me and my beliefs that you are not willing to put on yourself. My belief in the existence of God does not live or die on scientific verification. However, your belief that the natural universe is all that exists does. So, when are we going to see some scientific evidence to back up your beliefs? I know, we won’t – because they are beliefs based purely on your faith that reality exists that way.

CR
I give up. Do you expect me to roll out all the thousands of books and studies that support my view? The existence of a natural universe is certainly less dependent on faith than any religion. It seems absurd to me that something created the universe while being outside of the universe. That is a contradiction in terms and a logical absurdity. If a creator is necessary, it begs the question: What created the creator”?

Freddy Davis
You really don’t understand, do you? No one has denied the existence of a natural universe, nor the fact that it operates based on natural laws. What is in dispute is your assertion that naturalistic evolution is based on science. Micro evolution has a scientific basis. Macro evolution is pure religion. There is no science to back it up.

The reason the existence of God seems absurd to you is that you are using a reality filter that does not permit that. My question, again, is how do you know God does not exist? God’s existence is not based on your understanding.

And how is it a logical absurdity for God to create a universe that previously didn’t exist from (his place) outside that universe. If it didn’t even exist until he created it, where else could he be? The logical absurdity would be for him to exist inside of something that did not exist before he created it. You asked who created the creator. I ask, who created the material universe? Your whole stream here is illogical.

Listen, I have probably studied this more than you ever will. You rolling out thousands of books may support your view, but there are none that demonstrate, using science, that your view is actually true.

CR
I may dispute your claim that you have studied this more than I. I have actually read the books that promote both sides. The difference is that I studied with an open mind and tried to reach logical conclusions. If the universe is defined as the totality of all that exists, it certainly is not illogical to assert that therefore nothing can exist outside the universe. If it exists, it is by definition in the universe, which did not exist until the creator created. That makes no sense.

Freddy Davis
So, are you making a distinction between the natural universe and the realm outside of that where God exists? You logic on this seems totally illogical at this point.

All logic is based on the presuppositions of that logic. Use different presuppositions and the logic necessarily changes.

CR
??? You have a strange interpretation of logic, asserting that it is basically illogical.??? BYW, of those 4,000 religions, their scientists almost unanimously adhere to the Darwinian model of evolution. I have nothing against religion, I understand why it exists and its history. It does rankle me when religion intrudes on the cold hard facts of science. Believe what you will, but don’t try to explain facts by asserting non-facts.


LD
Evolution is no longer a theory. It’s a proven scientific fact. End of discussion. To think otherwise means one is against reasoning and science and more disposed to believing in fables and myths and ancient stories.

CR
LD, to be pedantic, evolution is not a fact, just an extremely robust theory. Sorry, but as you know, that is how science works,; all theories are subject to change and even refute. But there is no sign that the theory of evolution is close to refutation, it just gets stronger as more evidence is gathered.

LD
CR word play. I think evolution is here to stay whatever the logic defying Creationists or the Intelligent Design folks want to believe and rant about.

CR
I agree. I just want to be very accurate when I argue with Creationists.

Freddy Davis
First, you are right that naturalistic evolution is not a fact. And the theory can only be considered robust if the presuppositions that support it are true. Prove the presuppositions and you have a case. Otherwise you have nothing.

CR
I hate to belabor the point, but proof is elusive. All we can do is look at the evidence and make the most rational conclusions. Hence, we consider that the theory of gravity is pretty true because as we test the premise thousands and millions of times, the prediction of what will happen is confirmed. It is not proof. same thing with any theory. The theory of evolution can be instantly shattered if we find the skeleton of a man clutched in the jaws of a skeleton of a dinosaur.

Freddy Davis
Your problem is that you are evaluating the evidence through a filter that you cannot justify. I think we would both agree on the existence of data. It is the interpretation of the data that we disagree upon. I don’t need to shatter the theory of evolution. You need to demonstrate that it is biologically possible.

CR
That has been demonstrated many times over in a variety of ways. The indications of the existence of evolution are very, very numerous as I said about the evidence of all the natural sciences. I think we have a fundamental misunderstanding of what constitutes proof. I have the conclusions of countless experiments by countless scientists over the course of over a hundred years that converge on one inescapable conclusion…evolution happened.

CR
Science has no filter. It is cold and impersonal. Facts just sit there being facts and won’t change no matter how much you wish they would.

Freddy Davis
You can’t be serious, right? You are right that facts are facts. However, facts must be interpreted, and the filter (philosophical presuppositions) that are used to interpret them determine what you believe is a reasonable or unreasonable interpretation. Your filter is Naturalism. So prove that filter is true. Otherwise, you are still spouting nothing but a religious point of view. I want to see the science.

LD
I would rather believe a scientist using the scientific method to evaluate and to prove or to disprove or to reevaluate a hypothesis than to believe someone choosing to believe something to the contrary written in an ancient text by nomads.

Freddy Davis
Your characterization of the biblical text is fallacious. I believe a scientist using the scientific method, as well. The only problem is, the scientific method is not being followed in trying to justify evolution based on a naturalistic worldview. It is purely based on faith.

CR
Freddy, you obviously have not studied science nor have you looked at scientific theory. My naturalistic worldview is the result of a lifetime of thought and study. I was raised in the church and just could not accept the idea of magic thinking and strange behavior of the deity. You continue to assert that science is just a philosophy.

Freddy Davis
So, you can’t accept that thought that there may be an actual God, but you can accept a philosophy that asserts the natural universe is all that exists without ANY evidence that is true? Again, I dispute that science is just a philosophy. You are conflating science with Naturalism and it is simply not the case. Science is the activity of systematically studying the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Naturalism is a belief system that assumes that the natural world is all that exists. Two very different things. Christians believe in science. What you are proposing is outside of science.

CR
No, what you are proposing is outside science. It is also outside the natural world. I see no future in continuing to convince you that science is not dependent merely on the interpretation of facts. When thousands of people come up with the same answer to a question, it is not the result of philosophical interpretation. It is the result of logic.

Freddy Davis
And what you are proposing is also outside of science. Naturalism is not science. It is a philosophy. Science is science. You continue to conflate the two and it is simply not true.

LD
Freddy Davis I disagree. The Bible and other such religious texts supposedly written and/or influenced by a deity or deities is what is really fallacious. Such sacred texts are little more than ancient man written fables, parables, morality tales, sermons, and behavioral guidelines. Nothing more nothing less. I don’t put much faith or belief in them. Question everything.

Freddy Davis
Oh, and your proof of that is where? Your characterization of the biblical text is simply in error. You have obviously never done any serious study in this area.

LD
Freddy Davis I’m not going to argue with you. Neither one of us is likely to change our position so what’s the point. Have a good day sir.

BL
Well, we know that the bible inspired Mohammed and the Qur’an’s jurisprudence. I guess it must be true.


PHD
I think his testicles are merely theoretical as well. If he had any, why would he have agreed to parrot Trump’s nonsense?

Freddy Davis
I have no idea what Trump nonsense you are talking about. In fact, I don’t think Trump has even come up. It seems that your own political biases have short circuited your brain.

CR
Sometimes we all post on the wrong thread. I think that is what happened to PHD.

PHD
Freddy Davis pence is Trump’s running mate, defending his positions. Whatever his views on evolution, he lacks the moral fiber to call out Trump’s nonsensical lies. Hence, his theoretical testicles. Perhaps before insulting me, you might try to take the leap.

Freddy Davis
Or, before you continue your insults, perhaps you would like to prove that the natural universe is all that exists. You are basing your assertions on a set of naturalistic beliefs that are no less a matter of faith than my belief in God. Perhaps you should think this through a little before you continue.

CR
PHD, I appreciate your input, but perhaps we are straying from the main argument.

PHD
I have made no assertions concerning creationism versus evolution, only voicing the opinion that Pence has forfeited his honesty and his moral courage in his embrace of Trump. You guys go have a ball with the whole God versus Nature thing. I am not weighing in on that here.

Freddy Davis
So, what is your basis for saying Pence has forfeited his honesty and moral courage? You have just asserted that you know his motives and that you are the judge over them. Where did you get that power?

CR
Freddy, PHD has left the thread to us. And I appreciate it.

PHD
Freddy Davis Jesus, lighten up! It is an opinion, totally my own, and based on his embrace of what I consider an undemocratic, bullying, blustering mountebank. If you like the guy, fine. I don’t. “Power” has nothing to do with it.

CR
Science does not have a philosophical filter. It has no filter. Science says “let us look at the evidence before us and try to reach a conclusion that can be supported by facts. If it cannot be supported by facts, we are mistaken and must seek more evidence to reach a rational conclusion.”

CR
I would like for you to consider this: There are approximately 4,000 different religions in the world. Each on has its own creation myth. On what basis does anyone draw the conclusion that his particular myth is the correct one?

Freddy Davis
PHD I understand it is an opinion. But it is an opinion that assigns motive in a way that you are not able to do. I never said I liked him, but I will say that Hillary is worse in every way than he is.

PHD
CR I assume that question was for Freddy.

PHD
Freddy Davis actually, I can assign motive any way I like. It is called the right to have an opinion, something you say you understand, but don’t really seem to. As to Hillary Clinton, what does she have to do with it? Her name is neither Trump nor Pence. Gentlemen, please return to your discussion of the various creation alternatives. And good day.

Freddy Davis
CR You are right. Science does not have a filter. It is a methodology. But you are not basing your argument on the scientific method. You are basing it on naturalistic philosophy. You begin with the belief that the natural universe is all that exists and all of your conclusions are based on that belief. And you reject any conclusion that does not agree with that philosophy. That is not science. Now, prove the presupposition and you win. But until you do, your interpretation is based purely on faith.

Freddy Davis
PHD Yes, PHD, you can assign motive any way you like. It is a meaningless opinion since you do not know his real motives, but you do have that right.

CR
Freddy, I start with no preconceptions because I did not have a basis for conclusions. I looked at the evidence and followed the logical path to my conclusions.

Freddy Davis
You do have preconceptions. You reject any ideas which are not based on naturalistic presuppositions. You look at the evidence and follow only the path that seem logical to you based on Naturalism. That is philosophy, not science.

CR
OH, and I thought you were doing so well. I guess you view all of creation and every idea and every theory as a matter of philosophy. There is no reality, just philosophy. Pretty novel idea, but one held by some people who think outside the box. Multiverse, illusion, alien video game.

Freddy Davis
Absolutely not. You have totally ignored most of what I have said – or simply not understood it. I have said that facts are real, but they must be interpreted. And the interpretation is always based on some interpretive philosophy. Tell me, how do you know that the natural universe is all that exists?

CR
I don’t know that it exists. I am pretty sure that I perceive it to exist, based on my observations and experience. Thus, I reach the provisional conclusion that it exists and will base my actions on that assumption. BTW, I went to FSU and fondly remember my Religion professor, Dr. John Carey. He advised that religion be approached from a critical position.

Freddy Davis
If you cannot be sure it exists, on what basis are you disputing what I am saying? You don’t know but I am wrong? Seriously?

I am not sure what you mean by approaching religion from a critical position. You don’t seem to be approaching Naturalism from that point of view.

CR
I learned to approach any idea from a critical position. I try to apply logic and common sense to any idea or action. I am human so I have some emotional input, but I believe my process is sound.

Freddy Davis
Yet you don’t approach Naturalism from a critical point of view. You accept it completely and do not even consider that it is possible that you could be wrong.

CR
I always accept the possibility that I may be wrong, I never said I didn’t. I do believe that my position represents the most reasonable one given the evidence. We may be just avatars in some computer game or the universe was created by a flying spaghetti monster. The evidence does not support those propositions, just as the evidence does support the validity of evolution and the existence of a naturalistic world subject to forces and influences that can be understood in a natural way.

Freddy Davis
Your position is only reasonable if the natural universe is all that exists. That position requires the ability to verify it based on naturalistic presuppositions. Yet you can’t do that. You have to resort to saying “I believe it because it seems most reasonable.” Most reasonable based on what standard? Certainly not a naturalistic standard. You can’t provide any science to verify that belief. So what is it based upon? You say it is most reasonable given the evidence. Yet you only accept naturalistic evidence. God has revealed himself and your rejection of that evidence means that you are not considering all of the evidence, only your select little bit. Your religious faith is showing very strongly.

CR
I will finish by saying that i see no evidence of supernatural forces at work in the world as I observe it. To ascribe that to be a religious point of view is polemic. To say that a lack of religion is a religion is to misunderstand the definition of religion.

Freddy Davis
Yours is a misstatement. The very definition of “supernatural” is “beyond the natural.” Thus the evidence of the existence of God is also beyond that. As long as you refuse to even consider evidence that lies outside your faith, you will never see it. You continue to demand that the beliefs of my faith be subject to the beliefs of yours. It simply doesn’t work that way. And you do not have a lack of religion. Your belief that the natural universe is all that exists is a positive statement of your faith. You believe it yet have no naturalistic evidence that it is true. It is faith (a religious point of view). You can deny it all you want, but it is a fact. Like I said before, all you have to do to prove me wrong is show me the science that demonstrates that the natural universe is all that exists. But you can’t. Worldview beliefs are based on faith, and the presuppositions of your faith literally contradict your pronouncements. Naturalism simply is not true.

CR
I will never be able to show you proof that you will accept. Unless you study several of the relevant sciences with an open mind, you will never change your mind. You believe in the supernatural with the same or more fervor than I believe in the natural. That is the nature of religion. You can define religion to suit your argument, so be it. The proof of my position lies in a deep understanding of space, geologic deep time and hard evidence from a variety of sciences. Yours lies in a belief in magic and the myth of desert nomads.

Freddy Davis
Of course you can’t show proof – at least not scientific proof because that doesn’t exist to prove Naturalism. Why do you think I have not studied this topic? I have told you over and over how you can change my mind. Use YOUR presuppositions to prove YOUR worldview. Do that and I am convinced. You see, the problem is not my closed mind, but yours. I have not redefined religion as you have said. You have conflated science and Naturalism. You don’t seem to know how to draw the line between science and philosophy. There is no proof for Naturalism in space, geologic deep time or any other science. Naturalism is not science. My belief does not lie in magic and myth. It lies in an objectively real personal relationship with God who has revealed himself. And you can know him too, if you will. Of course, it will require that you recognize the existence of and shortcomings of your own faith – something you don’t seem to be able to grasp at this point.

CR
OK, God has personally revealed Himself to you and you have a personal relationship. If that is not metaphysical and unprovable, I don’t know what is. My proof is not simple and teachable in a few sentences on facebook. You seem to expect that a complicated and seriously broad subject can and should be made clear to someone who is adamantly opposed to the simplest examination of facts. If the same applied to you, you would be unable to provide any proof except that based on the total acceptance of the premise. I admit that all science and all propositions are fallible and subject to change. Will you agree to that condition in regard to your religious beliefs?

CR
Where is your proof that God or any supernatural being exists? You can produce not a scrap outside of your inner feelings.

Freddy Davis
There you go again demanding that my worldview beliefs be provable by yours when you can’t even prove yours using your own. You are asking something that it totally and completely illogical. Naturalism is, itself, metaphysical and unprovable. You have yet to even attempt to prove, using science, that the natural universe is all that exists. Not only is your belief not simple and teachable in a few sentences on Facebook, it wouldn’t be if you had 100 volumes.

Proof of the Christian faith? You want proof? There is actually a great deal of archaeological evidence to back up what the Bible says. Then, there is the historical evidence of the resurrection of Christ. He really did rise from the dead. And the final personal confirmation is that I have entered into a personal relationship with God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. And it is not something based on “feelings” as you have suggested. Human beings are not mere physical creatures. We are spiritual beings and our personal spirit can interact with God. The fact that you do not acknowledge that to be true does not mean it is not true. It only means you are not willing to look at any evidence that does not fit your naturalistic worldview presuppositions (and you won’t even give proof for those).

CR
I am through with you. You are pedantic in the extreme. 100 volumes would prove my view very well if you took the time to study them. I don’t doubt your belief that there is archaeological evidence to support your belief, and I accept that you are able to ascribe your emotional involvement to being proof of existence. All that is your right. I just don’t happen to believe it since I reached the age of reason when I was about 20. Your devotion to your beliefs…repeat beliefs…is impressive. Have a good day. this was interesting at times but frustrating at the end.

PHD
Gentlemen, I believe we are coming to the “agree to differ” portion of the program. I would not weigh in, but this whole torturous process is on a response to something I posted, so my phone is pinging every few minutes as you guys go back and forth. No minds are going to be changed here and no offense, but I feel a bit like a captive audience. You have presented your views fairly and intelligently, but jeez, enough already!

CR
I agree and my last comment signed off. Thanks for your indulgence. I did not realize until just now that it was your thread. I got too involved. Have a good one.

PHD
It’s fine. Kind of enjoyed it, but it ran its course. Good evening, then.

Freddy Davis
PHD, I also appreciate your indulgence. You have been a good sport. I do, though, feel that I ought to at least say goodbye to CR. CR, I would also never infringe your right to your own beliefs, even though you are not able to give evidence of any kind that they are true. I’m am most sorry that you found it frustrating at the end, but I certainly do understand how that could be so as your devotion to reason was not able to account for the lack of evidence for Naturalism. Anytime you would like to rejoin the debate, feel free to come on over to my FB page. And if you ever have an urge to study up a little more on worldview principles, feel free to check out my website. There are tons of articles and other resources there about worldview. PHD, again thanks. It has been interesting.

Concluding Thoughts
In this conversation, we see once again the power of a person’s worldview beliefs. In spite of all my explanation and questioning, these folks never did get to the place where they were able to understand the limitations of their own worldview beliefs. Even to the end, they were judging my beliefs based on their own, and were totally uncritical of the shortcomings inherent in their own beliefs. They simply were not able to comprehend the fact that their beliefs are based on faith presuppositions.

Once again, we see the great need for Christians, in our current pluralistic society, to understand the concept of worldview. If all a person knows is their own worldview beliefs, they are trapped in a box. This box keeps them from understanding their own beliefs, much less the beliefs of other people. It puts them in a position where they are constantly judging other peoples beliefs based on their own, and this without even realizing they are doing it.

I want to encourage you to, at the very least, put forth the effort to understand worldview concepts. It will provide you with the knowledge you need to more deeply understand your own faith, as well as give you tools to share your faith with those who do not know Christ.

© 2016 Freddy Davis

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