Why Todd Wood Matters


(Blogging Graduate Student) #3
  1. Because Wood is one of the few creationists with genuine biological training and experience, he’s in a position to know what is the case.

  2. Because Wood has absolutely no reason to lie or manipulate the truth here. As a member of the opposition his bias runs in the exact opposite direction, so when he says something like this it holds more weight.

  3. Because Wood himself has a track record for honesty and clarity of thought. He’s fairly well known among professional creationist and theistic evolution circles for this.


#4

I did. He still thinks evolution may be wrong even in a scientific sense, but he acknowledges that there is tons of evolution that supports it and scientists are justified in tentatively accepting the theory. If memory serves, Dr. Kurt Wise holds the same position that Todd Wood does.


#5

For the same reason that Flat Earthers can be credible when they say that water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen but not be credible when they say the Earth is flat.

No scientific theory is in crisis because it contradicts someone’s religious beliefs.

Such statements from non-scientists are not credible. If you think evolution is false then get a degree, work as a post-doc, start your own lab, start a research project, and then publish your work. That’s how scientific theories are toppled.


(Robert Byers) #6

1, Woods is a yEC creationist. You agree he is a genuine thinker on biology origins. great.
2,What holds weight should be accuracy. bias/integrity is common in all. That doesn’t give him more credibility on this points of his.
3, A repeat of the second.
He is always quoted and not the heaps of other scholarly honest YEC who insist evolutionism is not a legitimate scientific biological theory, but instead a untested hypothesis.
Its not well founded and doesn’t predict or generally make sense.
Naw!


(Blogging Graduate Student) #7

He, like Kurt Wise, basically admits that he’s not a YEC for biological reasons, he’s a YEC for religious reasons. A YEC worldview is what he gets from reading the bible, so he accepts that as literal truth. He recognises that evolution, a contradictory version of history, is far better supported by scientific evidence, but believes that this balance will eventually change. He’s welcome to believe that for religious reasons, but don’t try to imply that he’s a YEC because he’s a “genuine thinker” on “biology origins”.

That’s not a response to my point. My point is that if anything, saying what he said hurts his position, so why would he do it if he didn’t believe it?

Not quite. The third point noted that it’s not just that he has no reason to lie, it’s that it’s not in his character to lie. If a liar has no reason to lie about a proposition, he might still do it just because it’s in his nature as a liar, so it’s a seperate point to clarify that Wood’s nature isn’t to lie/contort facts even in lieu of a motive.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #8

You missed the key thing @Robert_Byers

The answer is here:

Anyone who makes claims against their own position deserves to be trusted. They are demonstrating an ability o be honest with data, even when it is not convenient. That is why you should trust him, and why many of us do too.

I disagree with Woods that the Bible requires YEC, and whether YEC is viable, but at least we are talking the same language. He does not believe God requires falsehood or polemics. Is approach is recognizably scientific. If he were to present evidence he’d found against common descent, for example, I’d take notice and want to carefully understand his point. He is trusted because he is willing to recognize the real strengths in another person’s position.

The problem @Robert_Byers is that you have been trusting the wrong people, many of whom have not been upfront and honest with you about the data. Todd Woods matters because he is worthy of your trust.

Likewise, you should look for scientists that are willingly giving ground, correcting overstatements in the scientific camp. The people who go against their own camp in risky moves of integrity are the ones we all should trust.


(Robert Byers) #9

I only know Woods from when his quote is brought up.
i presume he is YEC. I presume he sees YEC is fine with scxience and opposition to evolution is fine with science.
IF YOUR SAYING he says his YEC position is not based on science but the bible then THATS NEWS TO ME. i don’t know that. that changes things.
Its possible you misunderstand him.
he means he thinks evolutionism has 'evidence ’ going for it but it still fails on scientific evidence.
NOT that it hAS THE EVIDENCE but is wrong ONLY because of the bible.
anyways it doesn’t matter.


(Kenneth Turner) #10

Wood was Wise’s protege and replacement at CORE at Bryan College, before CORE was defunded in 2012. I’ve worked and written with both Wood and Wise. Wood and I remain friends to this day despite our differences on creation (we even were fellow church members for 3 years). You won’t find a more intellectually honest YEC or decent human being.


(Kenneth Turner) #11

then you haven’t done the most basic Google research. Wood’s reasoning for YEC is on record.


(John Harshman) #12

Todd Wood is the most intellectually honest of all the YECs, but I’m afraid he’s still doing only cargo cult science. His basic assumptions in doing “baraminology” are unexamined and have no philosophical basis, i.e. no reason to suppose that if “kinds” exist, his methods will be able to determine what taxa are or are not separate “kinds”. He also has a tendency to wearing blinkers: if a hypothesis fits some sort of data, he’s uninterested in questioning whether it fails to fit a different sort of data and therefore is not parsimonious.

I’ve had no direct conversations with him, though he did comment (in his blog) on a post I made at TSZ, and I’ve read a fair number of his publications.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #13

And we should respect this.

Cargo cult is a strong statement. He has not yet, as far as I know, put forward a baraminology model that has been validated by the evidence. This means he is being honest about the fact that he hasn’t been able to get his hypothesis to work with the data.

That is true. Still it is a hypothesis worth testing. It does not appear possible to identify from evidence where separations in kinds exist. In fact, it appears that humans are the same “kind” of apes, if “kinds” actually are a real concept.

This can be legitimate in the short term.

There is data that “falsifies” a lot of physics theories, but we do not give up on them, because they still have explanatory value if we restrict them to a particular domain. For this reason, we usually scope studies to try and build a model of a certain part of the data, and in the future try to extend these models to more data. As long as we are honest about where things stands in relation to other theories that can explain much more, this is not illegitimate.

Wood’s position is that evolution explains a lot more than any YEC model, but that is because YECs have not been building models and trying to pull it all together. He wants to do that work, give it a real try, and he knows he has to start small and expand from there.

Of course, I do not think this is going to ultimately explain anything remotely approaching what evolutionary theory has done. However, there is no harm in letting him try, and acknowledging when he solves small parts of problem, even if ultimately it is not possible to solve many things.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #14

If all YECs were like Woods and Wise, YEC would not nearly be the problem it currently is. Certainly, some people are going to leave YEC when they see the evidence for an old earth. Some will not. I’d rather give them a better option than AIG and Ken Ham. This is how Concordia wrote about it (@CPArand):

https://concordiatheology.org/2018/02/a-travel-guide-to-the-evangelical-creation-debates-what-is-young-earth-creationism/

Many of us in the Lutheran Church Missouri–Synod (LCMS) are likely to be more familiar with those who refer to themselves as Young Earth Creationists (YEC) than we are with Old Earth Creationists (OEC) or Evolutionary Creationists (EC). This may be due to the influence of the older Creation Research Society (in whose formation a number of LCMS scientists played a significant role) and the relatively recent but significant influence of Answers in Genesis . But beyond these well-known groups, there are some lesser known voices who need to be taken seriously as well, as their approaches may align better with Lutheran theology (e.g., Todd Woods below).

Then including him alongside AIG in a list of YEC organizations:

Having recently run across Woods’ work, I find his blogs to be very thoughtful (e.g., see his review of Is Genesis History? , a movie in which he speaks about false dichotomies. He also seems to caution against grounding faith in human reason and human answers. For example, he writes:

We need a renewed appreciation of faith in the face of uncertainty. Faith isn’t having all the answers . Faith is neither rational nor irrational. Faith is a certainty born of experience with the risen Lord Jesus. We don’t have to be afraid of not having answers. That pressure comes from the world and personal pride. Jesus isn’t impressed with our “answers” anyway. Jesus is looking for faith. Once that sinks in, once we really understand that, I think we can start to relax. And that’s when the fun begins. [Emphasis added]

He follows up with:

So, for me, that really sets Core Academy apart. Other organizations want you to buy into their answers so that you can have faith. We want to inspire faith so that you can relax and start looking for answers and maybe even discover some unknown wonder of God’s creation.


(John Harshman) #15

I stand by my statements and reject your objections, but after stating my opinions I’m not sure I’m comfortable with an extended attack on a third, absent party. Perhaps reframed as a general discussion of whether baraminology is cargo cult science without special reference to one person? We could discuss the symptoms and I could present examples, if you would like. It happens that my distant exchange with Wood does present one of those symptoms. Others are in his baraminology textbook. Not many have such a paper/electron trail. But I have nothing against him personally.


Is Baraminology Valid Science?
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

Very good idea, though let’s back off the term “cargo cult” which is unnecessarily inflammatory whether or not its true. I will start a thread on whether bariminology is “valid.”

I respect this.


Is Baraminology Valid Science?
(John Harshman) #17

The term “cargo cult” may be inflammatory, but it’s an exact analogy to a particular sort of professed science, not limited to creationism. It means aping the surface trappings of science without doing the actual process, and probably for the purpose of gaining prestige and authority. People in white lab coats and probably wearing glasses mixing pouring colored liquids from beakers into test tubes, while Jacob’s ladders zap in the background. I’ve never seen a baraminologist do that, quite, but the analogy is apt. Whether baraminology is valid is another question; cargo cult science isn’t valid, but the universe of invalid science is much larger.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #18

I know exactly what you mean, but this is not intrinsic to a bariminology hypothesis. It is possible one could scientifically test this hypothesis and (likely) falsify it. The fact that many who have discussed bariminology have not done so does not make the hypothesis itself intrinsically cargo cult.

To Woods credit, the paper I’ve read on this from him seems to admit falsifying barminology. He comes out stating up front that humans and chimpanzees looks they are the same kind if you look at their DNA. He admits he doesn’t have a way around it but hopes to find one.

That is not what a cargo culter would do, right?


(John Harshman) #19

Of course one might, as one of the surface features of science is the idea that it should be falsifiable. One needs to go beyond the declaration into actual testing. When you look, there is no real justification given for ignoring the DNA results, and the morphological results (which place some hominids in the “ape” kind and others in the “human” kind) are based on a method with no published attempt at justification. That is, no argument is given for why any particular result would be expected if there were different kinds but not if there were a single kind. To my knowledge, there has been no attempted justification for any baraminological method.

One minor point interests me: the baraminological clustering method “ANOPA” (once again, a method with no attempted justification) seems a conscious attempt to imitate the features of an ordination method (e.g. principal components analysis) and the name of a statistical method (ANOVA). That’s a fine equivalent of the white coat and glasses, to my mind.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #20

What the heck is ANOPA? I have not heard of that one before, and I like to know the mathematics behind these dialogues. There is usually interesting things. Perhaps math serves a rhetorical purpose, and most people do not engage with the details, so its a great place for inconsistencies to be hidden.

For both myself and @vjtorley taking a mathematical view of evolution is what brought us to understand its strength: The Mathematical View of Origins.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #21

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Robert Byers’ Goals Here


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #22

Why?

Pseudo science is a more accurate term for it.

Why is it worth testing?

It is a waste of time and effort by real practicing scientists to even look at this dribble.