jeudi 11 mai 2017

Answering Armstrong on Vast Majority of Experts Argument and Flood Geology

Dave Armstrong, Creationist*, says Creationists must not be divisive · Answering Armstrong on Vast Majority of Experts Argument and Flood Geology · I am Not Generally Against Armstrong

I just saw this from Armstrong:*

I am not deciding truth based on majority vote. And if you have read my papers on evolution, you would (or should) certainly know that. The two following propositions are distinct:

1. Truth is determined by a head count.

2. If the vast majority of experts and scholars in a given field believe something to be false, chances are that it is. It may still be true, but that is exceedingly unlikely.

Part of my reasoning for rejecting flood geology is #2, but it is not #1 at all, because that is clearly a falsehood.

Armstrong, is it so sure your #2 which you reason from is very distinct from #1 which you call clearly a falsehood?

The vast majority of experts in astrology believe it is false to say our characters are totally independent of our horoscopes (even if they consider the dependence as being only a common one on a temporal coincidence between otherwise unrelated periods).

So, should you now therefore try to study my character from the known fact I am born in astrological zodiac sign of Virgo and with Pisces in the Ascendant? If you were to say, that has nothing to do with my character, at all, you are disagreeing with the vast majority of experts in the field of astrology!

If only because most who reject astrology don't bother to become experts in it (I try to catch on to some expertise in everything, including things I don't believe in, but that is being a geek, not being a very typical person in my relation to astrology).

But you can argue, of course, you are taking your cues from people who have very legitimate expertise about for instance how the Earth looks now, stone- and soilwise?

While most people who now study the stars are on the contrary not astrologers.

Well, at least that used to be generally assumed in the 1970's, not sure if it is still true. And in the Middle Ages, it was not true. Expert astronomers, who could tell you exactly how many days after Venus had passed the Sun it would do so again, typically would also consider that Sun and Venus had influence on - not directly our immortal souls, perhaps, but at least material things on Earth, including our bodies.

They would perhaps cautiously agree your horoscope can't tell whether you go to Heaven or Hell in the end, but they would insist it shows something of what kind of damned sinner or what kind of great saint you are normally tending to. Soldiers in both categories belong to Mars ... lovers in both categories (conjugal, extra-conjugal, celestial love like St Thérèse) to Venus, and so on.

And in their day, they were the majority of all astronomers, whose expertise in certain data, like periods of movements in celestial bodies, was a clearly good and scientifically legitimate one - and still is, except when they were overrelying on Ptolemy who, just as Copernicus, was less accurate than Tycho Brahe, Kepler and Riccioli.

So, perhaps you are instead of your pretended #2 "If the vast majority of experts and scholars in a given field believe something to be false, chances are that it is. It may still be true, but that is exceedingly unlikely."

... really saying #2 b "If the vast majority of experts and scholars in a given field in a given moment believe something to be false, chances are in that moment that it is. It may still be true, in that moment, but that is exceedingly unlikely." Is that the deal?

Well, that would mean truth is changing, wouldn't it?

The vast majority of Geologists in Steno's day (like Steno himself), as back in the days of St Albert OP (the teacher of St Thomas Aquinas) were believers in Flood Geology, so Flood Geology was true then.

The vast majority of Geologists in our own day (unlike Tas Walker who agrees with Steno, as does Emil Silvestru), are dissers of Flood Geology, now, so now Flood Geology is not true any more.

And if the vast majority of Geologists in a future will be Flood Geologists, well, then Flood Geology will be true again, of course.

Or, you could, a bit more simply, say that a Medieval Astronomer was roughly right about movements of celestial bodies, but grossly wrong about how horoscopes interact with your character.

But, in that case, I can equally make a distinction, as do Tas Walker and Emil Silvestru, between what Geologists right now have in legitimate expertise on how things regularly look now, and what they are projecting back into "whenever the rocks were formed".

I noticed that you did not yourself try to argue the Geological point about Grand Canyon which was in a caption under a picture of it. I suppose then that these words are not really yours, but those of someone you trusted, as being in majority of Geological expertise:

"Was the Grand Canyon formed from one deposit after Noah’s Flood?"

I can frankly tell you, this is a strawman argument against Flood Geology. Tas and Emil, both of whom** are Geologists, will tell you that from the Geological Point of View, the Flood Layers are Se. Ve. Ral. Deposits.

However, they will tell you all of them were still soft right after the Flood, which is why the Canyon could form.

I wonder whether your #2 is very able to remain standing in a situation where it is really #2 c:

"2. If the vast majority of experts and scholars in a given field believe something to be false, and regularly strawman it, with a cultural avoidance of seriously discussing it, chances are that it is. It may still be true, those few who discuss it seriously and find no fault with it may be right, but that is exceedingly unlikely."

And I wonder how your view of expertise would have looked in face of race biologists and eugenicists in the thirties ...

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Sts Philip and James, Apostles***

PS 1. Was sent him, here is his response [Armstrong's]:

It was polite, but I'm not interested in arguing it. Out of courtesy, I'll link to your piece on my Facebook cross-post.

How nice he does that, at least!/HGL

PS 2. Regiomontanus is a case in point. His tables for eclipses saved Columbus in a stitch. See this link:

The Eclipse That Saved Columbus
By Ivars Peterson 11:12am, October 4, 2006, Science News

And he designed the House System for Astrology which became one of the most commonly used. See:

Regiomantanus on Wickipeejuh

which in turn footnotes to:

Lewis, James R. (1 March 2003). The Astrology Book: The Encyclopedia of Heavenly Influences. Visible Ink Press. p. 574.

Real expertise in astronomy & superstition of astrology (at least I presume so), though not mortally sinful, I hope, in the very same person, a top Medieval astronomer./HGL

* Here is his post, by the way:

Old Earth, Flood Geology, Local Flood, & Uniformitarianism
May 10, 2017 by Dave Armstrong

** Here are their profiles on CMI, btw:

Emil Silvestru I and ES II

Tas Walker I and TW II

*** Natalis beatorum Philippi et Jacobi Apostolorum. Ex his Philippus, cum omnem fere Scythiam ad Christi fidem convertisset, tandem apud Hierapolim, Asiae civitatem, cruci affixus et lapidibus obrutus, glorioso fine quievit; Jacobus vero, qui et frater Domini legitur et primus Hierosolymorum Episcopus, e pinna Templi praecipitatus, confractis inde cruribus, ac fullonis fuste in cerebro percussus, interiit, ibique, non longe a Templo sepultus est.

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