Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

(debate) Scientific Experiment is Flawed

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Mr EL: An objective and unbendable truth that is NOT based on human knowledge. And this truth has to come from an external source. Using this argument, which I would defend at great lengths, Dawkins and everyone else, including my own opinions would be easily destroyed. That brings us to objective truth… it must be a source that does not claim to be of itself. See the religions around, and at the end, two main religion claims that the authoritative source is not human, but conveyed through humans; (you guessed it) Christian and Islam.

However, notice that here it boils down to the use of scientific methods to assertain objectivity of truth. In scientific research, multiple sources of evidences showing the same fact would gain higher credence over others. Quran (recitations) is from Muhammad alone, as it was said to have been revealed to him over a period of 23 years. We learnt that from the books and you can read more into it from other sites that are credible. Whereas, the bible is made up of so many different authors ranging from fishermen, to learned doctorates and kings, princes and others. All saying the same thing; Jesus Christ. In all the books.

Now if that does not pique my interest in truth and objectivity, nothing else will. And really hope that you would not just leave it the evidences (like Dawkins does) by sweeping it under the Science vs. Blind Faith category. Because it is not. We just don’t subscribe to the science as Dawkins see it. Experiments are subject to limitations and assumptions (basic things we learnt in secondary education). Which of course creates a limited Hawthorne Effect even the most physical sciences (like microscopes crushing cells while under observation affecting the quality of cells observed, etc. *got this from Crichton’s Lost World*). Not only that, the interpretation is done by individuals with the loudest and best interpretation taken as the finalised version (correct version). If these are not assumptions, I don’t know what else is. Which is why journals are highly prized research mechanisms; to weed out week arguments.

So, yes, I have a big problem with Dawkins and evolution and all. Yes, I do understand what evolution prescribes… I’ve been studying it for sometime, and I agree about systematic changes and probabilities… but remember, probabilities are at the end random events that may happen. Even a 1% probability may turn up as an event in the rare occasions. I believe in micro-evolution. But I definitely would disagree against the gigantic scale which is put forth by the atheists like Dawkins.

My Answer: I do not agree with your view on the scientific experiment methods pertaining evolution because I believe scientific theory is more than that. I think it will be hard to articulate this point out on evolution context, so i will give an example on astronomy context instead.

Isaac Newton was the first person to explain gravity, both on the earth and space. He attempted to explain on how gravity works in space in his work Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation. 200 years later, when Einstein studied the theory along with other astronomy studies, he realized Newton’s theory did not explain certain questions in space. One of them is the non-constant orbit movement of planet Mercury around the Sun. And that’s when Einstein realized perhaps the space is not flat as what assumed by Newton but rather the space is curved. Hence, Einstein introduced General Theory of Relativity to better explain about the space (that all matters – space, time, light, gravity, inertial masses, etc. are relative to each other).

Therefore, what we can learn about science from the scenario above was:

1. Although Newton made wrong assumptions when introducing the law of universal gravitation by assuming that the space is flat, credits should still be given to him for attempting to explain gravity on space. He needed to make assumptions for a simple reason – he was the ‘pioneer’ in the gravitation research and nobody before him done it before. Due to the limited existing scientific knowledge, resources and technology at that time, he has no choice but to make assumptions in order to proceed with his theory. And that’s what all scientist-thinkers do to create a breakthrough in discoveries. They need to keep exploring possibilities by making assumptions. Hence, if this assumption is wrong, then they will move on and create another assumption. As what a famous quote said, “If you are not making any mistakes, you are not trying hard enough.” Even Michael Porter himself based on certain assumptions in coming out with the 5 Forces of Analysis. Few years after that, he refined the theory again to fit in better with the existing environment. Whether it is business theory, scientific theory, engineering theory, or even cooking theory, every theory has its own assumptions. But I never believe these assumptions are as wild or as random as rolling a dice. They are all built through meticulous research and observations.

2. Scientific discovery is built on each other. Newton’s theory has laid a very strong foundation for Einstein’s theory of relativity and this is what science is all about. Science build on each and other and it is progressive.

In his book the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin has noted that his theory of evolution is ‘provisional’ (that the idea is the best truth at the present moment). He urged scientist not to take his idea as the truth but rather as a foundation for future scientific research works. He also said should there be better theory to explain lives in planet, then throw away the theory of evolution. I think he should be well respected for saying those words, but why was he being hated so much by certain quarters is beyond me. Extreme religious sentiment or over-exaggeration/boasting by evolutionist (atheist)? I think it is the ignorance from both sides.

At the end of the day, I’m not really interested in the creation vs evolution discussion because I feel it’s a never ending spiral of argument. Besides that, I never view people who practice religion is someone who has blind faith. To me, regardless whether God do really exist or not, religion will always have its goods and merits. And to me, that’s what Dawkins lacked off in his arguments, he discredited the positive side of religion.


Written by elan85

November 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Posted in General Science

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