Inference in Everyday Life

Posted by Paul Rothberg on September 09, 1998 at 19:16:39:

I have noticed that many of the creationist posts reveal a lack of familiarity with the role of scientific inference. This is understandable because if you do not understand the data it is hard to understand a logical inference based on it. This, I believe, accounts for a great deal of the gap between scientific and lay understandings of scientific issues.

To someone not familiar with an area it looks like scientists are making huge leaps rather than logical inferences.  I have seen this repeatedly on CARM. I do not mean to be demeaning (here) to the creationists by saying this. Expertise does not come from having taken high school biology 20 years ago or reading the newpaper or reading a whole bunch of web pages. It comes from immersion in the subject for years. It means having that eye opening experience over and over again. It comes from making mistakes and correcting them.

Now I get to the point.  We use "inference" in everyday life. I would like, as an exercise in logic, for both creationists and scientists to give examples of how we use inference in our everyday lives.  I will give one example. I think that Meyer has had ancestors reaching back many generations.  I cannot prove it, but I can infer it on the basis that most people have parents who are themselves people with parents.

First Response

Posted by MEYER on September 09, 1998 at 19:44:44:

I think that Meyer has had ancestors reaching back many generations.

Yep, and from the same family too. Down here cousins are kissin.

I infer that you where hatched. I saw an egg hatch once, and a life form came from the egg, so you must have hatched from an egg.

Response to MEYER

Posted by Pat on September 09, 1998 at 20:26:55:

Actually, we did all come from eggs.

Response to Pat

Posted by MEYER on September 09, 1998 at 21:59:00:

Yep, I saw life hatch out of an egg, laid in a nest. Although I did not see what put it in the nest, or how the nest got there, I infer the nest evolved from random wind, blowing the straw in a random unorganized way until it became organized just right for an egg.

So, Pat says, humans in fact come from egg, so I infer that Pat observed an egg hatching too. I see what y'all mean about inference. I infer the nest is a random event, and natural selection assured the egg would fit in it. Yup, by inference common ancestry has to be true.

Response to MEYER

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 07:27:44:

In fact, each of us is the product of a fertilized egg. I thought you knew. Mammals just don't use a shell. We have evolved a somewhat different pattern than an external egg. So do some reptiles.

Response to Pat

Posted by MEYER on September 10, 1998 at 08:25:41:

But you are wrong about us not using a hard shell. I saw an egg hatch and life was there. I infer that life comes from eggs. Inference remember?

Response to MEYER

Posted by Stephen Charchuk on September 10, 1998 at 09:43:48:

But have you observed it in humans. Remember you just can't stop at one step, you have to carry it on further and do more research. You have to test this inference.

It is apparent that you still don't know the difference between science and religion.

Response to Stephen Charchuk

Posted by MEYER on September 10, 1998 at 12:30:16:

But have you observed it in humans.

No! You got the point!

You infer that the fossil record shows common ancestry, but you haven't observed it. It is the same thing as observing a hatching egg and assuming all life hatches. And that is the RELIGION of evolution.

Response to MEYER

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 18:27:24:

No need to infer the fossil record. That's right out front for everyone to see. No human ever saw a live therapsid. But we don't have to. There's no way to explain such creatures without evolution.

Religion is about faith. Evolution is about the evidence, as you pointed out.

Response to MEYER

Posted by Stephen Charchuk on September 10, 1998 at 22:42:22:

You infer that the fossil record shows common> ancestry, but you haven't observed it. It is the same thing as observing a hatching egg and assuming all life hatches. And that is the RELIGION of evolution.

But we have observed it in the fossils of pre-humans and humans. And humans do come from eggs, eggs without shells, they are called ovum.
Only a person with a very limited outlook would stop at your inference without next going to see if other forms of life do in fact "hatch" from eggs. You don't seem to understand the process involved here. It is one of many separate steps.

One can also infer that the Earth is flat by look at the area around, but if they travel to space in a rocket they will see that the Earth is indeed a globe.

Response to Stephen Charchuk

Posted by MEYER on September 10, 1998 at 22:47:19:

And if you could go back in time, you would see the real evidence of the fossil record. That way you wouldn't have to guess at it.

Response to Pat

Posted by egg man on September 10, 1998 at 16:45:47:

"The eggs of land dwelling animals are quite complicated. The nucleus of the her eggs must be packaged in it’s own private pool of liquid. The precious yolk where the new life develops is surrounded by the white, which sustains the the developing infant. The yolk is attached to the shell with a shock absorbing suspension of elastic threads, while the shell that contains it all is a masterpiece of engineering. It has to be exactly the right strength: hard enough to stay in one peice when the bird lays it then sits upon it , but soft enough to let the chick peck its way out when the time comes. It has to be waterproof, and yet porous to air so that the chick can breathe."

(Ref. Creation and Evolution p.48 by Alan Hayward)

Evolutionists have no idea how the birds egg could have evolved.

Response to egg man

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 18:23:24:

There's no mystery at all. I've included a link on the amniotes.

On the amniotes and eggs. http://ag.arizona.edu/ENTO/tree/eukaryotes/animals/chordata/amniota.html

Response to Pat

Posted by egg man on September 10, 1998 at 22:34:03:

from your link you sent us to,

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Some components of the amniotic egg have been variously modified within Amniota. Placental mammals, for example, have suppressed the egg shell and yolk sac, and elaborated the amniotic membranes to enable nutrients and wastes to pass directly between mother and embryo.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Why do the evolutionists always skip over the details and just mention the outline of what they think happened?

What evolutionary process allowed the suppression of the egg shell and yolk sac? All they did was say it happened. Big deal.

Where is the proof that this statement is true?

Response to egg man

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 23:14:08:

Actually, that's all that had to happen to form the mammalian egg from the reptillian. Not much of a change, it's true, but sufficient for mammals.

Egger:

What evolutionary process allowed the suppression of the egg shell and yolk sak?

Pat:

Natural selection. Turns out that some reptiles have also stopped laying eggs. None are as advanced as the mammalian egg, but they do show a nice progression. You know, I suppose that some mammals also lay eggs. Live birth and laying eggs are not exclusively mammalian or reptillian characters.

Egger:

All they did was say it happened. Big deal.

Pat:

And they did show how it happened, after all. From where the membranes came, and how the tissues changed. We still have a trace of the reptillian yolk sac, of course, but it's vestigal.

Egger:

Where is the proof that this statement is true?

Pat:

Science doesn't deal in proof. Just evidence. And it's all one way. There's no creation theory that could possibly account for these facts.


Second Response

Posted by Mockingbird1 on September 09, 1998 at 22:03:24:

PK: Inferences may be drawn from various sources, such as consensus or from direct examination of the evidence. Consensus may suggest that species evolve from other species while the evidence may suggest otherwise. One is a strongerer inference than the other; but do you know which inference is stronger: from consensus or from the evidence?


Response to Mockingbird1

Posted by Paul Rothberg on September 09, 1998 at 23:14:11:

I have never heard of inference by consensus.   Inference is simply a logical extrapolation of the evidence.   For example, the electron. This is simply an inference that is the logical conclusion of a series of experiments.  Evolution is just such an inference.


Response to Paul Rothberg

Posted by Jim on September 10, 1998 at 16:23:03:

I can agree that evolutionists are inferring a conclusion from their perception of the evidence. However if you study this board you will see that the evolutionists refer to it as fact, and as Richard Dawkins, of Oxford, in his book The Blind Watchmaker asserted:"somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane(or[evil])".

This seems to be the prevailing view of evolutionists. It avoids direct confrontation of the evidence, declares the opposition uneducated, and finds solace in name calling.

Response to Jim

Posted by Paul Rothberg on September 10, 1998 at 17:55:15:

I have yet to see an informed evidence based argument against evolution.

 

 

 

 
 
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