The Truth

Greetings to All CSG Friends!

You were all in my mind during the 1997 conference. I was not too far away
perceptually or physically. I was in Denver doing some Executive Seminars on
quality. I had hoped to get a trip paid for by the client and then join you at
the conference but, as it turned out, he picked the same week as CSG.

I still lurk and enjoy the truth about PCT. I am very happy for Ed and Tom with
their heartfelt progress on RTP. I miss everyone and was especially anxious to
get an update from Kent on PCT in sociology.

Bill's recent repose on the lack of acceptance of PCT by the S-R life science
community brought the following quote to mind:

"Its easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe
a fact that no one has heard before."
Grit

I guess all we can do is keep speaking and hope others will hear. My attempts
to get others to listen have also been disappointing. It seems that unless
people can see the superior results of knowing how behavior really works rather
than how it appears to work, they are not interested. That is where the work of
RTP may trigger an avalanche in rethinking.

I find it interesting that several on CSG do not think PCT is the mechanism of
evolution. That's a no brainer for me since I do not believe I evolved from
lower life forms. I am convinced that PCT applies to me and that evolution does
not.

Interestingly, the well accepted theory of evolution is increasingly seen as
falacious even in the scientific community. Perhaps, as that theory dies out,
the truth about PCT will be revealed and arise. :sunglasses:

Regards,

Ken Kitzke

[From Rick Marken (970815.0830 PCT)]

Kenneth J. Kitzke (970814) --

I find it interesting that several on CSG do not think PCT is
the mechanism of evolution. That's a no brainer for me since
I do not believe I evolved from lower life forms. I am convinced
that PCT applies to me and that evolution does not.

Bad news, Ken. Evolution happened for sure. The question is
_how_. The Darwinian model says passively; the PCT model
says purposefully. But, still, it happened without miracles.

Best

Rick

ยทยทยท

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[From Bill Powers (970817.0847 MDT)]

Ken Kitzke (970817.0730 EDT) --

I wonder if you really want to get into this argument about evolution. In
my experience, the reason most people deny evolution as a fact is some
religious belief about creation. Are you prepared to subject your beliefs
to scientific scrutiny? I don't think there are many people here who would
want to destroy anyone's religious beliefs just to win an argument -- I
know I don't. So if you want to start a discussion on those grounds, you
probably will be met with silence. At least that would be my
recommendation. I will offer a few general comments, and let it go.

There are two aspects of evolution, as Rick Marken has pointed out before.
There is the _observation_ of an apparent progression of life-forms which,
according to our best ways of dating past events, extend over many hundreds
of millions of years. This does not fall into the realms of theory; it is
simply a collection of facts that needs explaining. And then there are
_theories_ of evolution, which attempt to explain why there is such a
succession of forms. Natural selection is one of those theories; I have
offered another based on intentional control by the organisms of basic
variables essential to accurate reproduction of forms. Other theories have
been offered, including the theory that God placed these fossil (and other)
records where we found them as a test of our faith. Arguments can be
offered in favor of each of these theories, and against each of them.

When a scientist (an ideal scientist, that is) explores a theory, he or she
is prepared to accept the outcome whichever way it goes. But when science
comes up against faith this is no longer true on both sides, because faith
does not admit of any outcome except the one that has been decided upon
from the start. When defending a faith, one looks only for evidence that
supports it. When exploring a scientific theory one may offer tentative
explanations, but then one looks at all the evidence, giving perhaps more
weight to evidence against the theory than evidence that appears to support
it.

The more explicit and exact the claims of a scientific theory, the less
contrary evidence is required to upset it. But with faith, it is just the
opposite; mountains of contrary evidence can be offset by a single bit of
apparently supportive evidence, or by none at all. The reason is simply
that in science, there are rules of reasoning that operate -- again,
ideally -- independently of what the scientist wishes, hopes, or believes
to be true. But in faith, the only rule is that the faith shall be
maintained: what one _wants_ to be true is made true.

What this means is that those arguing from the scientific side are working
under different rules from those arguing from faith. In a way, the
scientist works under a handicap, because the scientist must always keep in
mind that his position may prove to be false, while the person arguing from
faith never considers this possibility, and indeed can't consider it
without immediately losing the argument. If a Biblical fundamentalist ever
seriously considered the possibility that what is in the Bible may not
actually be the word of God, the battle would be lost, because the only
evidence that it _is_ the word of God is what is written in it.

I have no objection to teaching Creation Science in science courses. The
only stricture I would place on such teaching is that it teach the
principles of science first, and of specific theories only secondarily. I
would like to see young people learning how to ask question of nature in a
way that is as free from bias as possible. I would like to see them
learning how to test their ideas through observation and experiment,
learning how to explore both the evidence for and the evidence against any
idea. I would like to know they are learning how to avoid logical errors
and to detect specious arguments however well they are disguised. I would
like them to learn how much more joyful it is to discover the truth about
something than to prove that they were right all along.

If young people were taught about science this way, I would have no qualms
about letting them consider Darwinian theory, Lamarkianism, or creation
theories whether Christian, Navajo, or Hindu. I would be happy to let them
consider PCT along with behaviorism, cognitive science, personality theory,
or Freudian theory, without any hints as to which one I wish they would
accept.
Scientific thinking is an attitude toward knowledge, not any specific
knowledge. It's the best aproach so far invented for finding out how nature
really is, as opposed to how we hope or fear it is.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Gregory (970903.1045 EDT)]

Bill Powers (970817.0847 MDT)

Other theories have
been offered, including the theory that God placed these fossil (and other)
records where we found them as a test of our faith.

You are making the assumption that God does not want us to
believe the fossil record. It is possible to reason that when
God created the universe She had to create it with _some_
"apparent" age. Otherwise the "horizon" would only be only six
thousand light years away and we could not appreciate the full
wonders of her creation. She choose an apparent age
of from 10 to 15 billion years. Apparently God was consistent in
this creation, because all the evidence points to the same age.
I suspect She would be very upset if we ignored the work She so
carefully did -- that would show a true lack of faith.

Scientific thinking is an attitude toward knowledge, not any specific
knowledge. It's the best approach so far invented for finding out how nature
really is, as opposed to how we hope or fear it is.

Could I put in a vote for E-prime, the version of English that
omits the verb form "to be"? I think E-prime is fully in accord
with the scientific attitude that you and I agree is so
important for students to learn.

Bruce

[From Bill Powers (970903.1109 MDT)]

Bruce Gregory (970903.1045 EDT)--

You are making the assumption that God does not want us to
believe the fossil record. It is possible to reason that when
God created the universe She had to create it with _some_
"apparent" age. Otherwise the "horizon" would only be only six
thousand light years away and we could not appreciate the full
wonders of her creation.

Hmm. Yes. However, which is more likely? That some miraculous event
occurred that violates every physical principle, or that we are ignorant
about some aspects of the physical world? The latter, it seems to me, is
the most modest approach to things like miracles, ESP, origins, and UFOs.
Did God intend for us to assume that everything we can't explain must be a
miracle? In other words, "If _I_ can't explain it, nobody can." The sin of
pride!

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Gregory (970903.1510 EST)]

Bill Powers (970903.1109 MDT)]

Bruce Gregory (970903.1045 EDT)--

>You are making the assumption that God does not want us to
>believe the fossil record. It is possible to reason that when
>God created the universe She had to create it with _some_
>"apparent" age. Otherwise the "horizon" would only be only six
>thousand light years away and we could not appreciate the full
>wonders of her creation.

Hmm. Yes. However, which is more likely? That some miraculous event
occurred that violates every physical principle, or that we are ignorant
about some aspects of the physical world?

I'm not sure what you mean. The Big Bang? Or the Creation?
Both seem to qualify as "violating every physical principle".
Where did these physical principles come from? hmmm...

The latter, it seems to me, is
the most modest approach to things like miracles, ESP, origins, and UFOs.
Did God intend for us to assume that everything we can't explain must be a
miracle? In other words, "If _I_ can't explain it, nobody can." The sin of
pride!

No sign of that on _this_ network :wink:

Bruce

p.s. I just realized that I am trying to change Rick's style. If
even his mother failed, what chance do I have? Sigh...