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July 29, 2015 / itsnobody

Scientific Consensus IS an Appeal to Authority

An effort has been made by anti-science fans/atheists to value up authority and incredulity and de-value scientific evidence, empirical observations, and valid reasoning.

In order to do this modern day scientists are trying to re-define the definition of science so that all that matters is authority and incredulity, rather than actual scientific evidence, empirical observations, and valid reasoning.

The scientific consensus (what scientists believe) is an appeal to authority unless the consensus view is directly accompanied by scientific evidence, empirical observations, and valid reasoning.

In other words what authority figures say or believe isn’t equivalent to scientific evidence that something is true.

The scientific consensus is an appeal to authority + argument ad populum in one.

The way that you determine whether or not a hypothesis is true or false in science is by empirically testing the hypothesis, not by looking at what authority figures say or believe.

Examples of when the Scientific Consensus is an Appeal to Authority:
– Authority figures reject an experiment that contradicts previously accepted notions even though the experiment has been replicated and has stood up to criticism and scrutiny
– 79% of evolutionary biologists believe in free-will, therefore free-will exists
– 87% of scientists believe evolution is due to undirected processes, therefore evolution occurred through undirected processes
– Authority figures accept the String Theory as “science” even though it matches the definition of pseudoscience
– The majority of physicists accept the Copenhagen-Interpretation as true, therefore it must be true (there’s no empirical evidence distinguishing which interpretation of the double-slit experiment is true)
– Many physicists believe in multiple universes, therefore they must exist (there’s no empirical evidence supporting multiple universes)
– There is no consensus on “X” subject even though there’s lots of scientific evidence telling us whether or not it’s true or false

The scientific consensus is often used by evolutionists as great evidence, this is because evolutionists know how extremely weak and fragile the evidence on evolution is so they always change the subject away from evidence and towards authority and incredulity.

Evolutionists know how weak of a theory evolution is so they are trying to stop people from questioning, criticizing, or scrutinizing evolution like they would with any other scientific theory. If a statement really is true will stand up to any amount of criticism so what are evolutionists so afraid of?

If we go strictly by evidence only evolution is the weakest theory in modern science, weaker than General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, chemistry, the evidence telling us there’s no free-will, time-measurement, gravity, etc….but the media has come out to protect evolution like a religious belief rather than treating it the same as any other scientific theory.

Professors who criticize evolution are often heavily attacked by the atheist-controlled media, but professors who believe in free-will, doubt the evidence on General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, gravity, or any other theory in science are very rarely ever attacked by the atheist-controlled media. It really shows you how well-protected evolution is.

Almost all of the “evidence” in evolution is imaginations and speculations (the very very weakest forms of evidence), it’s not even a real scientific theory, it’s a real science fiction story.

The attitude in the atheist-controlled media is that you’re allowed to be unscientific if you’re not criticizing evolution, but not allowed to be scientific if you are criticizing evolution.

I’ve read lots of unscientific junk in peer-reviewed journals, it really shows you how authority and incredulity matters more than actual scientific evidence and empiricism.

The scientific evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent is literally a million times more concrete than the evidence supporting evolution, no amount of evolutionary biologists believing otherwise changes this.

Since 79% of evolutionary biologists believe in free-will we know with 100% certainty that they don’t care about evidence or value evidence or understand science, the reason why they believe in evolution has nothing to do with evidence. Biologists in general don’t understand anything about science and are unintelligent.

Even worse free-will believers usually use non-determinism as evidence of free-will but non-determinism falsifies evolution, ROFL!!!

Authority figures saying something or believing something will never be equivalent to scientific evidence.

Science will never be determined by polls, what authority figures believe, etc….but always by empirical observations, scientific evidence, and valid reasoning.

So in conclusion what authority figures say or believe by itself isn’t equivalent to scientific evidence!

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7 Comments

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  1. Brian Dunning / Oct 12 2016 6:44 pm

    Debating with a Young Earth Creationist is actually really easy, because they only have a few standard arguments, and haven’t come up with any new cogent ones for some time. These standard arguments have been published time and time again, and a practiced Young Earth Creationist can handily draw them like a six-gun at the drop of a hat. All of their arguments are silly in their wrongness and easily debunked, and if you’re prepared in advance, it’s easy to beat down any Young Earther with a quick verbal body slam. You’re not going to change their mind, since Young Earthers do not base their opinions upon rational study of the evidence; but you might help clear things up for an innocent bystander who overhears.

    So here are the standard arguments for a young Earth, and the standard rebuttals from the scientific consensus, starting with my favorite:

    Evolution is just a theory, not a fact. This is an easily digestible sound bite intended to show that evolution is just an unproven hypothesis, like any other, and thus should not be taught in schools as if it were fact. Actually, evolution is both a theory and a fact. A fact is something we observe in the world, and a theory is our best explanation for it. Stephen Jay Gould famously addressed this argument by pointing out that the fact of gravity is that things fall, and our theory of gravity began with Isaac Newton and was later replaced by Einstein’s improved theory. The current state of our theory to explain gravity does not affect the fact that things fall. Similarly, Darwin’s original theory of evolution was highly incomplete and had plenty of errors. Today’s theory is still incomplete but it’s a thousand times better than it was in Darwin’s day. But the state of our explanation does not affect the observed fact that species evolve over time.

    The next argument you’re likely to encounter states that Evolution is controversial; scientists disagree on its validity. Young Earth Creationists have latched onto the fact that evolutionary biologists still have competing theories to explain numerous minor aspects of evolution. Throwing out evolution for this reason would be like dismissing the use of tires on cars because there are competing tread designs. Despite the claim of widespread controversy, no significant number of scientists doubt either the fact of evolution or the validity of the theory as a whole. Young Earthers often publish lists of scientists whom they say reject evolution. These lists are probably true. In the United States, the majority of the general public are creationists of one flavor or another. But the scientific community has a very different opinion: Most surveys of scientists find that 95 to 98 percent accept evolution just as they do other aspects of the natural world.

    Young Earth Creationists also argue that Evolution is not falsifiable, therefore it’s not science. One of the fundamentals of any science is that it’s falsifiable. If a test can be derived that, if it were to fail, falsified a proposition, then that proposition meets a basic test of being a science. Something that cannot be tested and falsified, like the existence of gods, is therefore not a science. Young Earthers accept this to the point that they use it as an argument against evolution’s status as a science.

    In fact, evolution could be very easily falsified. Evolutionary biologist JBS Haldane famously said that a fossilized rabbit from the Precambrian era would do it. Another way to falsify evolution would be to test any of the innumerable predictions it makes, and see if the observation doesn’t match what was predicted. Young Earthers are invited to go through all the predictions made in the evolutionary literature, and if they can genuinely find that not a single one is testable, then they’re right.

    The next argument to be prepared for is that Evolution is itself a religion. This argument has become increasingly popular in recent years as creationists have tried to bolster their own position by decorating it with scientific-sounding words like intelligent design. And as they try to convince us that their own position is science based, they correspondingly mock evolution by calling it a religion of those who worship Darwin as a prophet and accept its tenets on faith since there is no evidence supporting evolution. Clearly this is an argument that could only be persuasive to people who know little or nothing about the concept of evolution or Darwin’s role in its development. This argument is easily dismissed. A religion is the worship of a supernatural divine superbeing, and there is nothing anywhere in the theory of evolution that makes reference to such a being, and not a single living human considers himself a member of any “evolution church.”

    Young Earth Creationists also like to argue that Evolution cannot be observed. Part of what you need to do to validate a theory is to test it and observe the results. Although there are evolutionary phenomena that can be directly observed like dog breeding and lab experiments with fruit flies, most of what evolution explains has happened over millions of years and so, quite obviously, nobody was around to observe most of it. This is true, but it misstates what observation consists of. There’s a lot of observation in science where we have to use evidence of an event: certain chemical reactions, subatomic particle physics, theoretical physics; all of these disciplines involve experimentation and observation where the actual events can’t be witnessed. The theory of evolution was originally developed to explain the evidence that was observed from the fossil record. So in this respect, every significant aspect of evolution has been exhaustively observed and documented, many times over.

    One of the most tiresome creationist arguments against evolution tries to claim that There is an absence of transitional fossils. If the ancestor of the modern horse Miohippus evolved from its predecessor Mesohippus, then surely there must be examples of transitional fossils that would show characteristics of both, or perhaps an intermediate stage. I use the horse example because the fossil record of horses is exceptionally well represented with many finds. If evolution is true, shouldn’t there be examples of transitional stages between Miohippus and Mesohippus? The creationists say that there are not. Well, there are, and in abundance. You can tell people that there aren’t, but you’re either intentionally lying or intentionally refusing to inform yourself on a subject you’re claiming to be authoritative on. Kathleen Hunt of the University of Washington writes:

    A typical Miohippus was distinctly larger than a typical Mesohippus, with a slightly longer skull. The facial fossa was deeper and more expanded. In addition, the ankle joint had changed subtly. Miohippus also began to show a variable extra crest on its upper cheek teeth. In later horse species, this crest became a characteristic feature of the teeth. This is an excellent example of how new traits originate as variations in the ancestral population.

    The layperson need look no deeper than Wikipedia to find a long list of transitional fossils. But be aware that many species known only from the fossil record may be known by only one skeleton, often incomplete. The older fossil records are simply too sparse to expect any form of completeness, especially if you’re looking for complete transitions. It’s not going to happen. However, the theory of punctuated equilibrium predicts that in many cases there will be no transitional fossils, so in a lot of these cases, creationists are pointing to the absence of fossils that evolutionary theory predicts probably never existed.

    Here’s another Young Earth argument, and when I first heard it I said “What the heck are they talking about??” It’s that Evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics states that there is no reverse entropy in any isolated system. The available energy in a closed system will stay the same or decrease over time, and the overall entropy of such a system can only increase or stay the same. This is an immutable physical law, and it’s true. Young Earth Creationists argue that this means a complex system, like a living organism, cannot form on its own, as that would be a decrease of entropy. Order from disorder, they argue, is physically impossible without divine intervention. This argument is easy to make if you oversimplify the law to the point of ignoring its principal qualification: that it only applies to a closed, isolated system. If you attempt to apply it to any system, such as a plant, animal, or deck of cards, you’ve just proven that photosynthesis, growth, and unshuffling are impossible too. Organisms are open systems (as was the proverbial primordial goo), since they exchange material and energy with their surroundings, and so the second law of thermodynamics is not relevant to them. Innumerable natural and artificial processes produce order from disorder in open systems using external energy and material.

    In a related vein, Young Earthers also argue that Evolution cannot create complex structures with irreducible complexity. This argument was made famous by Michael Behe, an evangelical biochemist, who coined the term irreducible complexity. Take a complex structure like an eyeball, and remove any part of it to simulate evolution in reverse, and it will no longer function. Thus, an eyeball cannot have evolved through natural selection, as a non-functioning structure would not be a genetic advantage. It seems like it makes sense at face value, but it’s based on a tremendously faulty concept. Evolution in reverse is not accurately simulated by taking a cleaver and hacking an eyeball in half. The animal kingdom is full of examples of simpler eye structures, all of which are functional, all of which are irreducibly complex, and all of which are susceptible to further refinement through evolution. For a dramatic visual example of how irreducible complexity can and does evolve through gradual refinement, and yet remain irreducibly complex, take a look at Lee Graham’s applet the Irreducible Complexity Evolver at https://www.stellaralchemy.com/ice/.

    Another effort to fight science using logic states that It’s too improbable for complex life forms to develop by chance. This is the old “747 in a junkyard” argument. How likely is it that a tornado would go through a junkyard, and by chance, happen to assemble a perfect 747? The same argument was made centuries ago by William Paley, except he referred to the exquisite design of a pocketwatch, and pointed out that such a thing is so complex and delicate that it had to have been designed from the top down by a creator. This argument is simply reflective of ignorance of the extraordinary power of evolution’s bottom-up design mechanism. Once you have an understanding of multigenerational mutation and natural selection, and also understand how structures with irreducible complexity evolve, there’s nothing unlikely or implausible about evolution at all. In fact, genetic algorithms (the computer software version of evolution), are starting to take over the world of invention with innovative new engineering advances that top-down designers like human beings might have never come up with. Bottom-up design is not only probable, it’s inevitable and nearly always produces better designs than any intelligent creator could have.

    You should also be prepared to hear that Evolution cannot create new information. Based on a misinterpretation of information theory, this argument states that the new information required to create a new species cannot suddenly spawn into existence spontaneously; new information can only come from an outside source, namely, an intelligent creator. This particular argument doesn’t go very far, since any genetic mutation or duplication can only be described as new information. Not all of that information is good. Most of it’s useless, called genetic drift, but once in a blue moon you get a piece that’s beneficial to the organism. New genetic information is observed in evolutionary processes every day.

    For a final blow from the logic department, be ready for the argument that Evolution does not explain some aspects of life or culture. This is an argument which is really just a logical fallacy: that since evolution does not explain everything, it is therefore entirely false. Evolutionary biologists are the first ones to stand up and say that there are still plenty of aspects of life we’re still learning about. That doesn’t make the things we’ve already learned wrong. It’s also increasingly common for Young Earthers to point to things that have nothing to do with the origin of life and speciation, like the Big Bang and the age of the earth, and argue that since the theory of evolution does not explain those things as well, it is therefore false. This is an even greater logical fallacy. Theories explain only those observed phenomena they are designed to explain. They are not intended to have anything to do with stuff they have nothing to do with.

    Those are the standard arguments. One thing I can’t easily prepare you for are the non-standard arguments you might get from a creationist who doesn’t know his business very well. For example, when evangelical actor Kirk Cameron and Christian author Ray Comfort were given a platform by ABC television in April 2007 to express their beliefs to the creators of the Blasphemy Challenge, they didn’t even know the standard arguments and just started throwing random stuff out left and right in a way that’s much harder to debate intelligently. Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy had a similar experience when debating moon hoax believer Joe Rogan, and he summed it up quite aptly by pointing out that it’s easy to know the science better than a believer does, but a believer can easily know the pseudoscience way better than you. Stick with what you know, and don’t allow an unpracticed creationist who’s all over the place to steer you off the track.

  2. Jonathan / Aug 28 2016 6:25 pm

    ” modern day scientists are trying to re-define the definition of science ”

    Citation needed.

    “unless the consensus view is directly accompanied by scientific evidence, empirical observations, and valid reasoning.”

    It is.

    “In other words what authority figures say or believe isn’t equivalent to scientific evidence that something is true.”

    These authority figures have published works in their relevant fields demonstrating the evidence for evolution. That is science.

    “The way that you determine whether or not a hypothesis is true or false in science is by empirically testing the hypothesis”

    They have been very well tested, and make it through peer-review. They support evolution.

    “The scientific consensus is often used by evolutionists as great evidence,”

    Nope, it’s used as evidence to suggest to anti-science fools that there is very little disagreement within the scientific community as to reality of evolution which is demonstrated through their peer-reviewed scientific studies.

    “this is because evolutionists know how extremely weak and fragile the evidence on evolution is”

    Lol, no.

    “Evolutionists know how weak of a theory evolution is so they are trying to stop people from questioning, criticizing, or scrutinizing evolution”

    Lol, no. Scrutiny and skepticism is not done on a blog or at the “Discovery” institute. It’s done properly through a paper and submitted for peer-review. If it’s bullshit, it will be rejected.

    ” strictly by evidence only evolution is the weakest theory in modern science”

    Citation needed.

    “Professors who criticize evolution are often heavily attacked by the atheist-controlled media”

    Atheist-controlled media. LMFAO. And nope, they aren’t.

    “it’s not even a real scientific theory, it’s a real science fiction story.”

    Citation needed.

    “I’ve read lots of unscientific junk in peer-reviewed journals”

    Citation needed.

    “Science will never be determined by polls, what authority figures believe, etc….but always by empirical observations, scientific evidence, and valid reasoning.”

    You’re right. The polls only show how much of the scientific community agrees with evolution. If you want the evidence for evolution you have to read the peer-reviewed work. There is no peer-reviewed work debunking evolution. Only demonstrates how weak and futile the anti-science group are.

  3. pixelguy10 / Jul 30 2015 10:45 pm

    Also, whenever I come on to this site, a browser extension called “WOT” that tells me if a website is trustable gives me a warning do to this website having strong opinions and harsh claims such as “Atheists just can’t do anything” and “Atheists ruin everything they touch.”

  4. pixelguy10 / Jul 30 2015 10:35 pm

    By atheists, I hope you mean the rebellious teens and goths who act like shit for no reason, not evolutionists who have changed the world like Stephen Hawking or Marie Curie.

    • itsnobody / Aug 5 2015 8:09 am

      lol…Marie Curie’s contributions are unrelated to evolution (and actually contradict evolution) and Hawking’s contributions are small, insignificant, and also unrelated to evolution.

      Evolution has almost zero real-world applications.

      In almost every condition it’s much better to pre-assume that evolution is false and that species work like machines and need specific mechanisms to survive.
      Pre-assuming that evolution is true as opposed to physics would be harmful in almost every condition.

      Physics predicts extinction, not evolution.

      Evolution isn’t even a real scientific theory, it’s just a real science fiction story.
      Everything in every field of science tells us that evolution is so extremely unlikely to be true, yet since the media has protected evolution from criticism like a religious belief it’s portrayed as it must be true.

      The only theory in science that I know of where you pre-assume that assumptions that contradict physics that haven’t been experimentally verified as accurate must be true then work backwards figuring out how it happened is evolution!

      You’re not allowed to do that with other scientific theories, only with evolution.

      • pixelguy10 / Oct 12 2015 3:02 pm

        Something unrelated to the topic, why not view ALL RACISTS as subhumans?

      • pixelguy10 / Oct 12 2015 3:12 pm

        Take someone’s face from the ’40s and compare it to a relative of their’s today. Different, huh?

        Then compare the person from the ’40s face to a relative of theirs from the 1700s. Also different.

        There’s a 91 year old woman with horns in Europe. (That’s not average evolution, that’s a genetic mutation, though.)

        Human related fossils that we’ve found are only up to 100,000 years old. Wonder why, hmm…

        Try backing yourself up for once. You never give an example. And I’ve been taking your criticism for a year now, but it’s been useless since you never care to back yourself up and just say shit like “all atheist countries are racist” and “atheists are the lowest form of intelligence on Earth” yet you never even bother to fucking prove it.

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