Scrutinizing Our Own Hypotheses

It is a subtle, by precise. I know ID really well, and why it struggles. And I know you. I do not think I contradicted myself.

That is the part that is not how science works.

That is true but irrelevant. We are all free to disagree with scientists.

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Let’s not drag out a side point unnecessarily, Joshua. Here is what you originally wrote:

Unless you now retract this, you and I are in agreement on the general principle of where the onus lies in scientific hypothesizing.

So if you disagree with me, it must be over my application of that principle, i.e., over one or more of my examples.

So either you think the guy who claims that you can fly by flapping your arms has no onus on him to give a credible account, or you think that origin-of-life theorists who are very confident that life did not need any planning or guidance to arise have no onus on them to give a credible account.

Which is it?

James Tour believes that so far, the origin-of-life theorists have not provided a credible account, so he withholds assent to their conclusions. I’m with him. I think that withholding assent (not declaring their conclusions false, just withholding assent) is exactly what a scientifically minded person would do at this point of progress of origin-of-life research.


That is a selective quote. Look what I wrote:

In context, I have been explaining that if I propose a hypothesis the onus is on me to falsify it. That is how science works. We are supposed to argue against our own positions, to the point our critics think we have done their job for them.

The design hypothesis has not been subjected to such self scrutiny.


And also to present confirming evidence for them, where it exists.


@eddie a distinction here is that with the GAE I did attempt to falsify it to the satisfaction of scientists. ID does not have this track record with their own hypothesis, nor does @Faizal_Ali. I would be really impressed of IDists tried to falsify theor theory, but I have yet to see this.


This last one is out of order. Missed it in the split.

You are not following logic here. If you believe that the statement “It is impossible that life could have originated by unguided chemical processes” cannot be supported, then the claim "Life could have arisen by unguided chemical combinations” is true.

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And the guy who cleans the toilets at my work thinks the origin of life models currently being investigated are very plausible. His opinion means just as much as Tour’s. Moreso, actually, since he is not motivated by a religious agenda.

You have it exactly backwards.

The people who doubt that the guy cannot fly by flapping his arms because this would violate natural laws are in the same position of those who doubt the claim that life was magically created by some invisible being who violates natural laws.

Any number of things could have happened. Lungs could have evolved from swimbladders, as Darwin suggested. They didn’t, though (it was swimbladders which evolved from lungs).

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Certain ID claims have also been tested. I don’t think you have differentiation here.

That is silly. Tour might be wrong but his opinion certainly matters more.


Why? You have no idea how well-read our toilet-cleaner is on the latest origin of life research. Also, he has never declared to the world on the internet that he does no understand evolutionary biology, which is important for understanding OOL research.

Unless you mean that Tour’s uniformed opinion “matters more” because it gets more publicity. In which case, I would agree.

Yes. So it is perfectly reasonable to say that “Life could have arisen thru unguided chemical reactions.” Actually, I would think that would be understating the situation, and say that just because we do not know the precise steps in the chemical process by which life arose, it remains the only plausible scientific explanation, just as we do not need to know the precise steps in the evolution of lungs to state with confidence that they arose from swim bladders.

If you consider it an explanation as there is no mechanism offered.

The mechanism is chemistry.

If you thought that was true, you would have listed them instead of using the deliberately vague “certain ID claims,” Bill.

Also, we’re talking about actual ID hypotheses, not the straw-man evolutionary hypotheses that are the subject of the pathetically tiny amount of empirical work done by the ID movement.


Too generic also an incomplete explanation.

That’s secondary by miles.