I like this post – so it sort of encapsulates science for me – so I’m giving it pride of place for a bit.
I was going to stop, but then Star you added that last post with with a question in it with an implicit answer that seems to me to create a false image.
Star said “Can we state with any certainty that he believes it so strongly that he considers much of the evidence to the contrary nonsense?”
To which I say “No”.
Someone who is a true scientist will follow the evidence wherever it leads.
Many who claim to be scientists are simply dogmatists in scientists clothing, so the question has a “Yes” answer for many in the professional ranks of scientists, but for those who are true to the journey of science the answer is always “No”.
If I found a single piece of evidence that disproved evolution, then that would be it – disproved. But I have never seen any such thing. Of the many thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of pieces of evidence I have examined – not a single one disproved it.
Evolution is such a simple thing, that in another sense it is impossible to disprove evolution. It may be possible to disprove the assertion that “life on earth is purely a result of evolution by natural selection”, and I have my doubts that even that assertion is even potentially falsifiable. One would have to tie it down even further – to an assertion that “life on earth is purely a result of evolution by natural selection occurring only on earth” (that is that it was not subject to any influences by organisms that had evolved other than on earth).
All it would require is some alien to bring us their ship’s logs showing how and when they tinkered with evolution here. It would still leave open their own evolution – so it would not say anything about the process of evolution per se – just it’s path on this particular planet.
I have personally observed evolution in action so many times, that it has the same sort of reality for me as rain falling from the sky. It is a process one can see in action almost anywhere one looks, if one only looks.
On top of that, I can add that my intuition loves it. The beauty, the simplicity, the majestic sweep of the vista, it is like standing on a mountain top on a clear day, and seeing a hundred miles in all directions (something we can still do in New Zealand, though it rarely happens in most other parts of the world due to pollution).
It is like the similar vista that is available from understanding how storing and retrieving information as interference patterns, as distinct from serial images, produces intuitions and abstractions as a side effect, and how this single simple function “holographically” connects us to everything in existence, and via that to much of infinite possibility. It explains the mystic experience, yet is not itself the mystic experience (and I have experienced the mystic experience) – it is just that unlike most other mystics – I understand the general principles of what happened to me.
As a child I was raised a Christian by my mother, and taught by my father to question everything for myself. By the time I got to my confirmation, my integrity would not allow me to say the words they needed me to say – there were too many obvious inconsistencies. Similarly at Boy Scouts, I did every badge I could, but was stopped from doing them all because I had to do a “Duty to God” badge in order to progress, and as I could not honestly say the words required to, I did not.
Much more recently I was invited to join a Masonic Lodge, and the Grand Master put it beautifully “the very thing that would make you a great asset – your integrity – is what prevents you from joining” – they have a requirement for a belief in a greater spirit (God by whatever name), and I have not a single piece of evidence for the existence of such a thing – not one! Many assertions, but no evidence.
Every assertion of evidence that I have investigated has had another, much simpler explanation.
The intuitive experience, the mystic experience, is very much a part of science; what science also requires of us, is that we follow up those experiences with tests for falsification, and find the connections to weave the new information into the web of the existent. If that requires a paradigm shift, then that is what it requires.
In a world of infinite possibility there exists an infinite number of new paradigms.
I’ve been laughing all morning!!!
Ailsa’s been playing Mozart and has just switched to Satie – one of my favourite pieces Gymnopedie.
Beautiful morning – Thank you all – so much.