• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Was stumped by a Creationist.

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. Put simply, he believes in it and I don't. He criticized the way I was comparing Creationism to Evolution in that I was pointing out that there is a considerable amount of verifiable evidence supporting Evolution, while there is basically none supporting Creationism. His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

He then brought up many criticisms of Evolution which were hard to respond to. I was having difficulty criticizing Creationism to the same extent because he didn't offer any evidence to support it other than vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotal stories about things like this one guy that prayed, his illness went away, and the doctors can't currently explain it. How do you critique vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotes?

My response was that while I can't really argue with what he says, Creationism is not falsifiable and he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.
 

Jetboogieman

Somewhere in Babylon
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
32,059
Reaction score
35,934
Location
Somewhere in Babylon...
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Evolution is fact.

Creationism is fantasy.

It’s that simple.
 

Grand Mal

bas air son Eachin
DP Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
39,365
Reaction score
21,121
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Liberal
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. Put simply, he believes in it and I don't. He criticized the way I was comparing Creationism to Evolution in that I was pointing out that there is a considerable amount of verifiable evidence supporting Evolution, while there is basically none supporting Creationism. His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

He then brought up many criticisms of Evolution which were hard to respond to. I was having difficulty criticizing Creationism to the same extent because he didn't offer any evidence to support it other than vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotal stories about things like this one guy that prayed, his illness went away, and the doctors can't currently explain it. How do you critique vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotes?

My response was that while I can't really argue with what he says, Creationism is not falsifiable and he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.

Every society has it's creation myth, a story they made that explains what they see but can't explain otherwise. Some of the stories are kind of attractive.
Science has a creation myth too- the Big Bang theory. There's no evidence to support it but it does explain why the universe is expanding.
 

Geoist

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
20,457
Reaction score
11,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
Evolution is fact.

Creationism is fantasy.

It’s that simple.

It really is that simple. Creationists come to a conclusion (whatever they think the Bible says) and try to find the 'evidence' to back up that conclusion. Any scientist who approaches science in this manner should be stripped of their title/job. A real scientist always allows the evidence to lead the way.
 

Geoist

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
20,457
Reaction score
11,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. Put simply, he believes in it and I don't. He criticized the way I was comparing Creationism to Evolution in that I was pointing out that there is a considerable amount of verifiable evidence supporting Evolution, while there is basically none supporting Creationism. His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

He then brought up many criticisms of Evolution which were hard to respond to. I was having difficulty criticizing Creationism to the same extent because he didn't offer any evidence to support it other than vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotal stories about things like this one guy that prayed, his illness went away, and the doctors can't currently explain it. How do you critique vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotes?

My response was that while I can't really argue with what he says, Creationism is not falsifiable and he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.

Ask him if he believes scientists should draw conclusions before analyzing evidence. That is exactly what creationists do.
 

pinqy

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,562
Reaction score
2,717
Location
Northern Virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. Put simply, he believes in it and I don't. He criticized the way I was comparing Creationism to Evolution in that I was pointing out that there is a considerable amount of verifiable evidence supporting Evolution, while there is basically none supporting Creationism. His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

He then brought up many criticisms of Evolution which were hard to respond to. I was having difficulty criticizing Creationism to the same extent because he didn't offer any evidence to support it other than vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotal stories about things like this one guy that prayed, his illness went away, and the doctors can't currently explain it. How do you critique vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotes?

My response was that while I can't really argue with what he says, Creationism is not falsifiable and he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.
Things that would prove Evolution wrong:
Pigs with wings, cats with feathers, amphibious chickens etc. The new appearance in one species of a feature found in a different lineage

Two creatures with identical DNA but different genetic traits.

One animal giving birth to a new or different species.

Fossil rabbits in the pre-Cambrian. Examples of fossils having features before they could possibly have developed.


Oh and your friend is completely misunderstanding Popper and falsifiability. It certainly does not mean a theory doesn’t have to have positive evidence. A theory must have positive evidence that support it, it must explain the evidence better than any other theory, and there must be a way to show that it is wrong if it is.

Creation has zero explanatory power at all.
 

pinqy

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,562
Reaction score
2,717
Location
Northern Virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Every society has it's creation myth, a story they made that explains what they see but can't explain otherwise. Some of the stories are kind of attractive.
Science has a creation myth too- the Big Bang theory. There's no evidence to support it but it does explain why the universe is expanding.


The difference is that physicists will happily abandon the Big Bang theory if a better explanation is shown
 

Jetboogieman

Somewhere in Babylon
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
32,059
Reaction score
35,934
Location
Somewhere in Babylon...
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
It really is that simple. Creationists come to a conclusion (whatever they think the Bible says) and try to find the 'evidence' to back up that conclusion. Any scientist who approaches science in this manner should be stripped of their title/job. A real scientist always allows the evidence to lead the way.

This is we really need to know about the evolution/creation debate.

102195d1391623474-bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-evolution-vs-creationism-2-4-14-t7zz0r2.jpg
 

Kal'Stang

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
42,744
Reaction score
22,569
Location
Bonners Ferry ID USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. Put simply, he believes in it and I don't. He criticized the way I was comparing Creationism to Evolution in that I was pointing out that there is a considerable amount of verifiable evidence supporting Evolution, while there is basically none supporting Creationism. His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

He then brought up many criticisms of Evolution which were hard to respond to. I was having difficulty criticizing Creationism to the same extent because he didn't offer any evidence to support it other than vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotal stories about things like this one guy that prayed, his illness went away, and the doctors can't currently explain it. How do you critique vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotes?

My response was that while I can't really argue with what he says, Creationism is not falsifiable and he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.

Personally I've never felt the need to discuss evolution vs creationism or visa versa. One does not discount/disprove the other.
 

Geoist

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
20,457
Reaction score
11,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left

Jetboogieman

Somewhere in Babylon
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
32,059
Reaction score
35,934
Location
Somewhere in Babylon...
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Personally I've never felt the need to discuss evolution vs creationism or visa versa. One does not discount/disprove the other.

Evolution absolutely disproves young earth creationism though, without a shadow of a doubt.
 

Geoist

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
20,457
Reaction score
11,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
Young earth creationism yes. But young earth creationism was not mentioned in the OP.

Depends on what one means by creationism. If that means a god created all life in one day then creationists have quite the task to explain why there are no zebra fossils in the same stratum as the allosaurus.
 

<alt>doxygen

"I want MY WALL!"
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Messages
8,932
Reaction score
4,191
Location
Floriduh
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. Put simply, he believes in it and I don't. He criticized the way I was comparing Creationism to Evolution in that I was pointing out that there is a considerable amount of verifiable evidence supporting Evolution, while there is basically none supporting Creationism. His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

He then brought up many criticisms of Evolution which were hard to respond to. I was having difficulty criticizing Creationism to the same extent because he didn't offer any evidence to support it other than vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotal stories about things like this one guy that prayed, his illness went away, and the doctors can't currently explain it. How do you critique vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotes?

My response was that while I can't really argue with what he says, Creationism is not falsifiable and he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.

There are some threads in the Beliefs and Skepticism forums where the theists use the line of argument that was used on you. To most folks, the direction pointed to by most of the accepted evidence is assumed correct for the time being. Support for the 7 day creation story is completely lacking.
 

DarkWizard12

Trans-Fascist
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
2,374
Location
Tyler TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
evolution is scientifically falsifiable

Abiogenesis isn't.
 

ataraxia

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Messages
26,751
Reaction score
9,911
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
evolution is scientifically falsifiable

Abiogenesis isn't.

Yes. Abiogenesis is a hypothesis still. Like many other things science doesn’t have answers to, the mechanisms are not considered established science yet. But this should not be a God of the gaps argument, where any gap in our knowledge is seized on to prove that “God musta done it”.
 

Mr Person

A Little Bitter
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
49,288
Reaction score
33,172
Location
Massachusetts
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Depends on what one means by creationism. If that means a god created all life in one day then creationists have quite the task to explain why there are no zebra fossils in the same stratum as the allosaurus.

The nasty hobbits trickses us!
 

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
The question I have is that if scientists no longer value verifiable evidence and it is only about how little contradictory evidence there is, doesn't that amount to both sides trying to shift the burden of proof and favor theories that are harder to test? If I propose a theory, shouldn't there be some burden of proof on my part to provide some verifiable evidence to support my own theory?

I have a theory and I have no verifiable evidence to support and you have to prove its not true? How is that not shifting the burden of proof?

This is how I see Creationism and it seems all Creationists do is try to keep Evolution on the defensive.
 

pinqy

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,562
Reaction score
2,717
Location
Northern Virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
evolution is scientifically falsifiable

Abiogenesis isn't.
Sure it is. If it could be shown that organic molecules did not exist except in living organisms, if it could be shown that none of the proposed building blocs could occur naturally, then it would be proven wrong.

Also it depends on which theory of abiogenesis we’re talking about.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. ... His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

...

... he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.
Note:
For this particular discussion, it's essential to not use "theory" in the layman's sense of the word. In the lay world, a theory is essentially a guess of some sort about "some thing," that thing may be, quite literally, anything. In science -- natural and social -- a theory is an explanation of how something(s) behaves and interacts with other things. In science a theory results from aggregating the findings and sound inferences borne of "oohlas" of hypothesis that were tested and shown to to be true, as well as false. (What one posits is so, tests to see if it is so, and finds that it isn't so is just as useful as that which one finds to be so for the information obtained from both types of testing outcomes guides what can be credibly/accurately said, in the formulation of a theory, to be or be not the behavior of the thing the theory explains.)

It is equally important to mind how science happens. To wit, a theory carries with it a host of implications, aka postulates. Once a theory has been put forth, researchers soundly deduce (it's critical that deduced postulates be soundly developed) from them postulate after postulate, and set about testing whether they too hold true, or don't. Depending on the nature and extent to which any given postulate is found to be true or not true, the theory may or may not be modified, as appropriate to the finding about any give postulate. If the postulate tested is essential to the theory's likelihood of being accurate, finding it to be true bolsters the theory's "legitimacy." In contrast, if the same postulate is found false (or preponderantly so), the theory may have to be scrapped altogether. Obviously, less critical postulates that are found false may only call for a modification of the theory rather than disposal of it.​

Red:
Assuming the description you provided of what falsifiability is accurate reflects what your friend said, your friend doesn't understand what falsifiability is.
  • Conjectures and Refutations
    • As goes falsifiability, Popper articulates what to most is, one'd hope, obvious to begin with: that a hypothesis (a positive statement about some aspect of existentiality, aka a proposition) must be testable such that it can be evaluated to be true or evaluated to be false. If a proposition cannot be tested thus, it's not falsifiable.
      • Falsifiability's germanity applies at statement level, and at the "whole theory" level. For instance E=mc[SUP]2[/SUP] is a statement; however it's a conclusion statement rather than a hypothesis statement. (IIRC, m=E/c[SUP]2[/SUP] "fell out" of Einstein's analysis rather than being a statement/hypothesis he set out to test from the get-go. What he was doing was trying to refine/develop/bolster his theory of special relativity.) The theories of special relatively and general relativity are, well, theories. To apply falsifiability at the theory level, one derives/deduces a postulate from the theory and then tests it.
    • The significance of the quality of falsifiability is that it establishes the minimum nature a claim must have in order for that claim to be evaluated scientifically. As such, falsifiability distinguishes assertions, inquiries and propositions that fall within the realm of science from those that don't.
    • See also: Unfalsifiability
  • "Falsifiable" and "verifiable" don't at all mean the same things, at least not in the context here under discussion. (Well, actually, they don't ever or to anyone other than to folks who don't understand science and how it happens.) You'll find an excellent disambiguation of the two terms here: Good science is verifiable.

Blue:
The following is what you need to respond:
 

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
It really is that simple. Creationists come to a conclusion (whatever they think the Bible says) and try to find the 'evidence' to back up that conclusion. Any scientist who approaches science in this manner should be stripped of their title/job. A real scientist always allows the evidence to lead the way.

In my opinion, saying that Evolutionists start with a conclusion and look for evidence to back it up would be giving them way too much credit. They start with a hypothesis and simply treat it like a conclusion. At best they simply defend it. Their main arguments seem to be nitpicking at Evolution while they themselves provide no concrete evidence of their own theory, forever trying to keep the proponents of Evolution on the defensive. In my opinion, it is not right to take that stance unless they first acknowledge that their belief in Creationism is purely religious and further acknowledge that they have no evidence for it. Then, they can attack Evolution.
 

Skeptic Bob

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
16,626
Reaction score
19,488
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
I was discussing Creationism with a friend. Put simply, he believes in it and I don't. He criticized the way I was comparing Creationism to Evolution in that I was pointing out that there is a considerable amount of verifiable evidence supporting Evolution, while there is basically none supporting Creationism. His point is that since Karl Popper re-defined how science is practiced, this is irrelevant. Scientists have stopped relying on verifiable evidence to support their theories and have switched over to assessing their theories instead on the basis of how little evidence there is against them, assuming that the theory is theoretically falsifiable to begin with. In other words, the lack of verifiable evidence in support of Creationism is now irrelevant, as is the amount of verifiable evidence in support of Evolution.

He then brought up many criticisms of Evolution which were hard to respond to. I was having difficulty criticizing Creationism to the same extent because he didn't offer any evidence to support it other than vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotal stories about things like this one guy that prayed, his illness went away, and the doctors can't currently explain it. How do you critique vague, hypothetical beliefs and anecdotes?

My response was that while I can't really argue with what he says, Creationism is not falsifiable and he responded that Evolution is not either. I didn't know how to respond to that.

Evolution is falsifiable. Keep in mind Darwin came up with it before DNA and much of what we know about the fossil record. Had evolution not been true both DNA and the fossil record could have proven it. Instead, both supported the predictions made by evolutionary theory (or hypothesis back then).
 

DarkWizard12

Trans-Fascist
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
2,374
Location
Tyler TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
Yes. Abiogenesis is a hypothesis still. Like many other things science doesn’t have answers to, the mechanisms are not considered established science yet. But this should not be a God of the gaps argument, where any gap in our knowledge is seized on to prove that “God musta done it”.

You confuse me. I'm correcting the record. This is not a....god of the gaps, or even an argument in favor of creationism. In fact, If I would to argue for creationism, I would just combine Creationism and Evolution. Evolution has no bearing on our origins. Evolution is not abiogensis. There are many people who believe in evolution, but also believe in the conspiracies of aliens and area 51, leading some to think Aliens created us, whos origins are in the garden of eden story. Mind you, it's the most ridiculous of the three, but it's just as much of a hypothesis as any other.
 
Top Bottom