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#1 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 05:18 AM

On one of my favorite shows, CSI (I like the original and CSI New York the best), detectives sift through evidence to catch criminals.

Now, I realize these are only fictional shows. However, every week they showcase actual scientific methods that real detectives use in the real world every day to catch bad guys.

None of these detectives is usually actually present at the scene of the murders, rapes, burglaries, etc., yet using evidence they are able to piece together a pretty accurate picture of what happened.

My question is, would you consider forensice science to be "real" science?

#2 Arch

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 05:25 AM

On one of my favorite shows, CSI (I like the original and CSI New York the best), detectives sift through evidence to catch criminals.

Now, I realize these are only fictional shows.  However, every week they showcase actual scientific methods that real detectives use in the real world every day to catch bad guys.

None of these detectives is usually actually present at the scene of the murders, rapes, burglaries, etc., yet using evidence they are able to piece together a pretty accurate picture of what happened.

My question is, would you consider forensice science to be "real" science?

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Certainly doesn't bother me. But I don't think the question was directed at me either :huh:

Regards,

Arch.

#3 CTD

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 05:33 AM

Real forensic scientists don't say "Such and such happened." They say "the evidence is (or is not) consistent with such and such". Anybody know why?

Not to derail the topic. I see from the title it's primarily about a popular TV show.

#4 Adam Nagy

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:31 AM

I think Christians have more trust in forensic and/or historical sciences than unbelievers. I've noticed that many liberal leaning people are opposed to the death penalty for murders. When asked to justify this position, they always proclaim how often people are accused falsely. This is the position that was just disclosed to me recently but it wasn't the first and it won't be the last. Why is this? How much trust does an anti-death penalty person have in forensic science when this position is held, at least in part, for the reason I stated?

(I know liberal, atheist and evolutionist are not synonymous titles. I wouldn't claim they are, but there is at least a noticeable degree of correlation between these positions.)

Can I return the question? How much trust does an unbeliever have in forensic and/or historical sciences when the best explanation is disregarded as improbable because some minor piece of evidence is perceived in an unfavorable direction when interpreted in a certain way?

BTW, great OP :huh:

#5 jason78

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:27 PM

I think Christians have more trust in forensic and/or historical sciences than unbelievers. I've noticed that many liberal leaning people are opposed to the death penalty for murders. When asked to justify this position, they always proclaim how often people are accused falsely. This is the position that was just disclosed to me recently but it wasn't the first and it won't be the last. Why is this? How much trust does an anti-death penalty person have in forensic science when this position is held, at least in part, for the reason I stated?

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Whether or not someone agrees with the death penalty has got nothing to do with the quality of evidence presented. That people can be falsely found guilty and then executed is just one of many objections to the death penalty.

#6 Adam Nagy

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:49 PM

Whether or not someone agrees with the death penalty has got nothing to do with the quality of evidence presented.  That people can be falsely found guilty and then executed is just one of many objections to the death penalty.

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...and that's exactly what I focused on because of the thread. Problem? :)

Also, this thread made me reflect on the opening illustration used in Lee Strobel's 'The Case for Christ'. As an investigative journalist his success was completely contingent upon successfully interpreting forensic data. His perspective is quite valuable and this illustration gives some insight as to how evidence can be skewed if an expected outcome is desired rather than just the truth sought:

I thought about scanning the introduction in but since I can't find it online, I'll simply paraphrase the opening of the book. Basically, Lee was studying an open and shut case where a cop was wounded with a .22 caliber weapon during a domestic dispute. The perpetrator's .22 caliber pistol was found discarded in some bushes with a round fired, a history of being in trouble with the law and he plead guilty making the whole thing rather uneventful... until some additional information came in regarding the nature of the case. It seemed that there was more to the story than met the eye. Some news came forward that turned the case upside down. The cop had been showing off an illegal pen gun, that's even illegal for police officers. The case changed when Lee realized that the cop framed the defendant because the pen gun had gone off in his shirt pocket during the struggle. When the case was looked at more closely it was discovered that the powder burns on the shirt were consistent with a shot fired from within the pocket. Also, the trajectory of the shot on the officer was also consistent with a steep entry wound that would be expected from a shot from a pen gun in the pocket. Well, what about the guilty plea. Well, the defendant was convinced to take a deal through the certainty of a guilty verdict so he plead guilty to receive a reduced sentence.

If you want to see Lee's treatment of this case, I would recommend 'The Case For Christ' it is an excellent read. It fits great with the nature of this discussion.

#7 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:50 PM

Certainly doesn't bother me. But I don't think the question was directed at me either :)

Regards,

Arch.

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Hi Arch, I've been reading and enjoying a lot of your posts lately. You are welcome to chime in at any time.

Judy

#8 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:53 PM

Real forensic scientists don't say "Such and such happened." They say "the evidence is (or is not) consistent with such and such". Anybody know why?

Not to derail the topic. I see from the title it's primarily about a popular TV show.

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That's true, CTD. They don't ever claim to say "I am 100% certain that Mr. X is responsible for this crime." That would only be possible if they were there, after all.

However, based on the evidence, there is often enough certainty in not only their mind, but also the minds of 12 jury members, that Mr. X did indeed perpetrate the crime. On the strength of this kind of evidence, people are often jailed for life. So even though we may not be 100% certain, because we weren't there, we can be comfortable enough in our certainty. Would you agree with that?

#9 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:57 PM

I think Christians have more trust in forensic and/or historical sciences than unbelievers. I've noticed that many liberal leaning people are opposed to the death penalty for murders. When asked to justify this position, they always proclaim how often people are accused falsely. This is the position that was just disclosed to me recently but it wasn't the first and it won't be the last. Why is this? How much trust does an anti-death penalty person have in forensic science when this position is held, at least in part, for the reason I stated?


This could just be because liberals have bleeding hearts. :)


Can I return the question? How much trust does an unbeliever have in forensic and/or historical sciences when the best explanation is disregarded as improbable because some minor piece of evidence is perceived in an unfavorable direction when interpreted in a certain way?


This is a little fuzzy for me. Can you just go ahead and give an example of this "best explanation" to which you are referring? What "minor pieces of evidence" have colored the unbelievers perception of the evidence, in your opinion?

#10 Adam Nagy

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 02:02 PM

This is a little fuzzy for me.  Can you just go ahead and give an example of this "best explanation" to which you are referring?  What "minor pieces of evidence" have colored the unbelievers perception of the evidence, in your opinion?

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I think I can satisfy this request. The gnostic gospels are a good case-in-point. Without critical analysis, these are often viewed as disregarded based on unfavorable content only and not because they lack the historical rigor that the other gospels have.

#11 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 03:04 PM

I think Christians have more trust in forensic and/or historical sciences than unbelievers. I've noticed that many liberal leaning people are opposed to the death penalty for murders. When asked to justify this position, they always proclaim how often people are accused falsely. This is the position that was just disclosed to me recently but it wasn't the first and it won't be the last. Why is this? How much trust does an anti-death penalty person have in forensic science when this position is held, at least in part, for the reason I stated?

(I know liberal, atheist and evolutionist are not synonymous titles. I wouldn't claim they are, but there is at least a noticeable degree of correlation between these positions.)

Can I return the question? How much trust does an unbeliever have in forensic and/or historical sciences when the best explanation is disregarded as improbable because some minor piece of evidence is perceived in an unfavorable direction when interpreted in a certain way?

BTW, great OP :lol:

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Let's get back to my OP (which is pretty great if I do say so myself :) ).

To me, the study of evolution is like CSI on a massive scale.

Scientist in many fields have gathered evidence, and come up with the best explanation they could, for now. This is a conclusion based upon scientific evidence, much like forensic scientists come to conclusions based upon forensic evidence.

#12 Adam Nagy

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 05:30 PM

Let's get back to my OP (which is pretty great if I do say so myself :lol: ).

To me, the study of evolution is like CSI on a massive scale.

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I think this is an admirable way to set your mind when looking at opinions and evidence. Let's treat it like a crime scene. Now that investigation should include; facts, eye-witness data, opinions, possible motivation of eye-witnesses to skew information and last but certainly not least the inference or interpretation of the data.

Scientist in many fields have gathered evidence, and come up with the best explanation they could, for now.  This is a conclusion based upon scientific evidence, much like forensic scientists come to conclusions based upon forensic evidence.

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I totally agree, but the thing that sways many and a growing group to reevaluate, what is currently the most popular view, is the evidence. If a fresh perspective doesn't hurt and the fresh perspective is one that correlates with a historical view that is written about in a history book called the Bible then what is the motivation to keep this account from consideration or acceptance?

I don't think the evidence is a burden for a Biblical Christian but I see evolutionists trying as hard as they can to juggle the evidence and hide evidence under the rug if possible to avoid having to account for their own inconsistencies. Usually, an argument from popularity is a favorable tactic or an appeal to authority should work and then the ad homs are the last resort. None of which are evidence but a plea to demonstrate that evolution is the most accepted view. I wouldn't agree with the purported solidarity that is advertised by evolutionists but for the sake of argument we'll just accept that evolution has a fairly strong following because it does.

I've been contemplating the God of the Gaps argument and I noticed that both sides reason in similar ways. Sure part of the argument is for the positive evidence of what you yourself believe but part of the evidence is the negative evidence when the other side is committing irrational wishful thinking. Now even I'm gun shy to say something is impossible because the God of the gaps argument is so well established in the minds of evolution faithfuls that it comes out almost instantaneously when the charge is made that evolution is impossible for whatever reason... fill in the blank. Yet, evolutionists do the same thing like saying the worldwide flood is impossible or any supernatural explanation is a cop-out, miracles are just an ignorant way of answering unknowns. You know the drill and I don't want to focus on that.

Now I know that it's not a truly pure dilemma to say it's either evolution or creation but these are the top contenders in the minds of men today. So disproving one lays the ground work to demonstrate the positive evidence for the other. It's kind of like narrowing your search down to two possible murder perpetrators. In such a case when you say either suspect one or suspect two is the murderer the statement is made on an educated evaluation of the evidence not because nobody else was capable of committing a murder.

Okay, with that said. How does my case for creation look for positive evaluation if I can demonstrate that evolution is impossible with the philosophical naturalists own worldview? Pretty good right? It certainly helps set the stage. Remember we're thinking like forensic scientists. We have two suspects that we've narrowed the case down to. Biblical creation or Evolution.

Now in a murder trial is it reasonable for the suspects to demand that before a case can be brought against them, the court must interview every other person in the town of the incident because all people with in a certain radius had just as much access to commit the murder? Is this a reasonable request? The suspects demand is based on a true premise that any other person within a certain vicinity had the physical means by which to commit the same murder. You and I both know that this is unreasonable and only works to distract from the case rather than following the evidence where it leads.

Last and I'm just trying to set the stage here. I'm going to shift gears a little tiny bit. Let's say I'm the lawyer for the accused and I have all the evidence right there. Of course an admirable goal is to find who actually committed the murder but does this have to be accomplished to demonstrate the innocence of my client? Can I show beyond a reasonable doubt that my client is innocent by demonstrating that the case against them is flawed and counter to the evidence without ever even producing the actual murderer? Basically, can I reasonably demonstrate that evolution is false before or even without attempting to produce an alternative?

That should be enough for now.

#13 Ron

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 05:59 PM

On one of my favorite shows, CSI (I like the original and CSI New York the best), detectives sift through evidence to catch criminals.

Now, I realize these are only fictional shows.  However, every week they showcase actual scientific methods that real detectives use in the real world every day to catch bad guys.

None of these detectives is usually actually present at the scene of the murders, rapes, burglaries, etc., yet using evidence they are able to piece together a pretty accurate picture of what happened.

My question is, would you consider forensice science to be "real" science?

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Forensic science is absolutely real science. But, then again, they usually don’t attempt to align the evidence to fit their preconceived notions either. Although, I’m sure some may have done so.

And, they (hopefully) don’t attempt to go millions of years beyond the evidence, to fabricate a story to fit their needs either.

#14 Ron

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:01 PM

To me, the study of evolution is like CSI on a massive scale.

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Well of course it is Judy. But wishing it were so, doesn't make it so.

#15 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:04 PM

Forensic science is absolutely real science. But, then again, they usually don’t attempt to align the evidence to fit their preconceived notions either. Although, I’m sure some may have done so.

And, they (hopefully) don’t attempt to go millions of years beyond the evidence, to fabricate  a story to fit their needs either.

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It's interesting how you put it, Ron.

Looking at your side from this side, it seems like you just described Christians when you said "attempt to align the evidence to fit their preconceived notions."

Real science does not start with any preconceived notions.

However, Christianity does. It starts with the Bible. It fits the evidence to the Bible. Any evidence that seems to support creationism is embraced. Any that doesn't, is ignored or spun to make it seem to fit.

If my spouse was discovered dead in my home, I would not like a forensic scientist to come to my home if they already had a preconceived notion that I was the one who killed my spouse, would you? This sort of thing happens all the time though. That's not good forensics, neither is it good science.

#16 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:06 PM

Well of course it is Judy. But wishing it were so, doesn't make it so.

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Evolutionary theory is based on masses of evidence.

Please show how this is false, or wishful thinking. Thanks

#17 jason777

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:13 PM

Let's get back to my OP (which is pretty great if I do say so myself :o ).

To me, the study of evolution is like CSI on a massive scale.

Scientist in many fields have gathered evidence, and come up with the best explanation they could, for now.  This is a conclusion based upon scientific evidence, much like forensic scientists come to conclusions based upon forensic evidence.

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Sure Judy,

Nautiloids buried on top of trilobites is evidence of evolution. :lol: It's more like a corrupt defense lawyer trying to convince the jury that although,the evidence is clearly in favor of the plantiff were right anyway.

BTW,welcome back. :o

#18 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:24 PM

Sure Judy,

Nautiloids buried on top of trilobites is evidence of evolution. :lol: It's more like a corrupt defense lawyer trying to convince the jury that although,the evidence is clearly in favor of the plantiff were right anyway.

BTW,welcome back. :o

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I know, it's simply crazy, this massive conspiracy that has the entire mainstream world of science in its grips! :o

(Thanks for the welcome back.)

#19 Adam Nagy

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:06 PM

Evolutionary theory is based on masses of evidence.

Please show how this is false, or wishful thinking.  Thanks

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Would you agree that we all have the same evidence?

#20 JudyV

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:11 PM

Would you agree that we all have the same evidence?

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In theory, yes.

I guess I started this thread because one of your (I don't mean just you personally, I mean all devout Creationists) favorite things to say to people like me who think evolution is a good fit for the evidence, is that we base our theory on "faith."

Would you say that a forensic scientist bases his theory of who-done-it on faith?




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