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Provincial Science

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  • Provincial Science

    I recently heard a YEC(?) use the term "provincial science", apparently to dismiss out-of-hand any evidence or methodology that conflict with his/her Genesis origins interpretation.

    Question: Has anyone here ever heard the term "Provincial Science"? And, if so, could you please explain what it means?

    Here's a dictionary definition:

    Originally posted by Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
    NOUN... 1: The superior of a "province" of a Roman Catholic religious order; 2: one living in or coming from a province; 3 a: a person of local or restricted interests or outlook, b: a person lacking urban polish or refinement;
    ADJ... 1: of, or related to, coming from a province; 2 a: limited in outlook, narrow, b: lacking the polish of urban society; 3: of or relating to a decorative style (as in furniture) marked by simplicity, informality, and relative plainness
    It seems that "Adj. 2a" might be applicable to "Biblical Scientific Creation" as I've understood it over the years, but I have no clue how that definition could be turned around and applied to the whole body of knowledge pejoratively referred to as the "historical" sciences, such as astronomy and geology where Deep Time smacks one in the ol' kisser.

    K54

  • #2
    Beats me.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

    Comment


    • #3
      The term is 'temporal provincialism,' once used primarily by JP Holding to disparage atheists who judged people according to a moral standard realistically unattainable in the age in question. It does ring a bit strange, though, given that most successful scientists and engineers seem to have benefited in their field from a healthy does of that same provincialism.

      To be quite fair, there was a bit of the 'provincialist' in Darwin himself, and his contemporaries:

      The sociology behind British predominance in evolution is that the affluent and the intellectual did not huddle in the cities (at least not year-round), but instead spread out across the countryside and took an interest in wildlife, farming, and scientific breeding.
      But they did, at least, practice what they preached:

      A reader points out that the child actor Skand Keynes who plays Edmund in "Narnia" is the great-great-great grandson of Charles Darwin. The "Keynes" in his name comes from the same distinguished family as his great-great uncle John Maynard Keynes, although the economist himself was not the reproductive type.

      The English Liberal intellectual families sure intermarried a lot. For example, novelist Aldous and biologist Julian Huxley were not only the grandson's of Darwin's bulldog TH Huxley, but the great nephews of poet Matthew Arnold. Their lesser known half-brother Andrew, was a 1963 Nobel Laureate in physiology. (He married a Wedgwood, just like Darwin and Darwin's father did.)

      Also, I also just opened up the golf magazine I get for free and it includes an article entitled "Darwin's Gift." In golf magazines, "Darwin" doesn't refer to Charles Darwin, but to his grandson, the minor genius Bernard Darwin, who remains considered the greatest of all writers on golf. (Bernard's prose style bears comparison to P.G. Wodehouse's.) Little Bernard was raised at his grandfather's house in Down and the charming tyke was the delight of Charles' old age.

      It's easy to see where Darwin's half-cousin Francis Galton (they were both grandsons of the polymath Erasmus Darwin) got his theory of "hereditary genius."

      A reader adds:

      I see that composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, no less, is also in the Darwin-Wedgwood-Keynes family tree:

      Ralph Vaughan Williams's maternal grandmother, Caroline Sarah Darwin, was Charles Darwin's older sister, and his maternal grandfather, Josiah Wedgwood III, was the older brother of Darwin's wife Emma. [Charles Darwin married his first cousin.]
      Provincial in breeding, at least. Nevertheless, most of the great ninteenth century scientific discoveries came from them. "Urbane" should be more often a term of derision among proper scientists, as even in America, it's small towners who beat MIT when it came to the space race:

      Originally posted by Tom Wolfe
      It was engineers from the supposedly backward and narrow-minded boondocks who had provided not only the genius but also the passion and the daring that won the space race and carried out John F. Kennedy’s exhortation, back in 1961. to put a man on the moon “before this decade is out.” The passion and the daring of these engineers was as remarkable as their talent. Time after time they had to shake off the meddling hands of timid souls from back east. The contribution of MIT to Project Mercury was minus one. The minus one was Jerome Wiesner of the MIT electronic research lab who was brought in by Kennedy as a special adviser to straighten out the space program when it seemed to be faltering early in 1961. Wiesner kept flinching when he saw what NASA’s boondockers were preparing to do. He tried to persuade to forfeit the manned space race to the Soviets and concentrate instead on unmanned scientific missions. The boondockers of Project Mercury, starting with the project’s director, Bob Gilruth, an aeronautical engineer from Nashwauk, Minnesota, dodged Wiesner for months, like moonshiners evading a roadblock, until they got astronaut Alan Shepard launched on the first Mercury mission. Who had time to waste on players as behind the times as Jerome Wiesner and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…out here on technology’s leading edge?

      Just why was it that small-town boys from the Middle West dominated the engineering frontiers? Noyce concluded it was because in a small town you became a technician, a tinker, an engineer, and an and inventor, by necessity.
      And not, as it happens, a howler monkey, an urbanite, or a social climber.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Epoetker View Post
        The term is 'temporal provincialism,' once used primarily by JP Holding to disparage atheists who judged people according to a moral standard realistically unattainable in the age in question. It does ring a bit strange, though, given that most successful scientists and engineers seem to have benefited in their field from a healthy does of that same provincialism.

        To be quite fair, there was a bit of the 'provincialist' in Darwin himself, and his contemporaries:



        But they did, at least, practice what they preached:



        Provincial in breeding, at least. Nevertheless, most of the great ninteenth century scientific discoveries came from them. "Urbane" should be more often a term of derision among proper scientists, as even in America, it's small towners who beat MIT when it came to the space race:



        And not, as it happens, a howler monkey, an urbanite, or a social climber.
        Very interesting social analysis of the inquisitive nature of scientists and genetic bottleneck of some. But what of "Provincial Science"? What IS it? Why would a YEC use this nomenclature as a dismissive pejorative for any science that conflicts with hisher views?

        K54

        P.S. Ratio per novatum - A new logical fallacy perhaps?
        Last edited by klaus54; 04-15-2014, 08:47 AM. Reason: Added P.S.

        Comment


        • #5
          I consider a term used to parse science 'provincially' for the convenience of those that believe it should be applied differently or selectively to justify 'scientific creationism' based on 'Biblical Creationism. This concept would allow science to apply to other fields of knowledge, particularly applied to the 'Applied Sciences,' such as engineering. There seems to be a concept of a mechanistic Newtonian view of how science should be applied. This view tends to reject modern scientific methods such as radiometric dating., and the view that the interpretation of past history and events beyond historical written records cannot be truly falsified by scientific methods.

          This view has evolved in part, because of the interpretation of the Bible describing 'Nature' as chaotic, disordered, and to some extent 'evil' tainted by 'original sin.' In this view, it is the responsibility of humans to put 'Nature' in order, and in harmony with God's purpose as the Bible teaches.
          Last edited by shunyadragon; 04-16-2014, 06:43 PM.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
            I consider a term used to parse science 'provincially' for the convenience of those that believe it should be applied differently or selectively to justify 'scientific creationism' based on 'Biblical Creationism. This concept would allow science to apply to other fields of knowledge, particularly applied to the 'Applied Sciences,' such as engineering. There seems to be a concept of a mechanistic Newtonian view of how science should be applied. This view tends to reject modern scientific methods such as radiometric dating., and the view that the interpretation of past history and events beyond historical written records cannot be truly falsified by scientific methods.

            This view has evolved in part, because of the interpretation of the Bible describing 'Nature' as chaotic, disordered, and to some extent 'evil' tainted by 'original sin.' In this view, it is the responsibility of humans to put 'Nature' in order, and in harmony with God's purpose as the Bible teaches.
            Basically this sounds very similar to the ginned-up distinction between operational and historical sciences. The last paragraph, if accurate, implies that there's no such thing as "science" due the unpredictability of nature. An essential postulate of modern natural science is that nature has regularities or "laws" that allow it to be studied. Accepting that only in circumstances where science appears to concord with a Bible interpretation makes a convenient way to dismiss exceedingly wee-supported concepts such as Deep Time.

            A theological problem with that view is it makes it impossible to determine when a true miracle has occurred. Miracle only makes sense if there are regularities or laws that cannot be violated "naturally." I wonder if an "historical" science-dismisser has ever considered that?

            K54

            Comment


            • #7
              Why would a YEC use this nomenclature as a dismissive pejorative for any science that conflicts with hisher views?
              The same reason they harp on calling Darwin racist, because that's exactly the pejorative that's most likely to rankle scientists and put them on the defensive, and because a great number of scientists and science fetishists are eager to burnish their anti-racist and anti-'small town hick' cred.

              Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
              Basically this sounds very similar to the ginned-up distinction between operational and historical sciences. The last paragraph, if accurate, implies that there's no such thing as "science" due the unpredictability of nature. An essential postulate of modern natural science is that nature has regularities or "laws" that allow it to be studied. Accepting that only in circumstances where science appears to concord with a Bible interpretation makes a convenient way to dismiss exceedingly wee-supported concepts such as Deep Time.
              Anything you capitalize can double as a religious declaration, and should be avoided if you are in fact trying to reason from a purely scientific perspective.

              A theological problem with that view is it makes it impossible to determine when a true miracle has occurred. Miracle only makes sense if there are regularities or laws that cannot be violated "naturally." I wonder if an "historical" science-dismisser has ever considered that?
              The Young-Earth Creationist movement was a semi-coherent religious/historical response by a small group of imaginative theorists to an incoherent worldly philosophy, and has spawned far fewer evils and insanities than the offensive atheist and other secular groups who used evolutionary philosophy as a club for destroying laws, institutions, and social trust. The amount of speculative space that scientists carve out in both theoretical physics and origin-of-life research is great enough for an impartial observer to suspect that they're giving themselves wiggle room if they do find something that does indeed, seem miraculous (which they will never, ever, predict in advance.

              It is far better to ask more pointed questions about operational and historical sciences of the day, such as: "Why the hell are they failing so badly?" The answer is usually: "They never had any real interest in the natural world and how it works to begin with, they imbibed a popular collegiate religion-substitute from secular propagandists that tends to produce no real drive toward personal or professional integrity as the highest goal, and no one's calling them on any of their BS."
              e
              They are in fact worse than provincialists, for the imbibing of the secular spirit destroys what individuality they used to have before entering the funding-and-grant-seeking machine, and all that's left is a burrowing insectoid parasite whose only saving grace is that he could have been much better than this.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Epoetker View Post
                The same reason they harp on calling Darwin racist, because that's exactly the pejorative that's most likely to rankle scientists and put them on the defensive, and because a great number of scientists and science fetishists are eager to burnish their anti-racist and anti-'small town hick' cred.
                A battle of meaningless rhetoric is unproductive.




                Anything you capitalize can double as a religious declaration, and should be avoided if you are in fact trying to reason from a purely scientific perspective.
                Baloney. It's for emphasis. Your statement is one of the top 100 stupidest things I've ever heard. And I'm not (note the emphasis) trying to argue from a purely scientific perspective but from the very philosophical axioms which have allowed scientific method to be amazingly productive. Take a geology course then come back and say that "historical science" is not science.




                The Young-Earth Creationist movement was a semi-coherent religious/historical response by a small group of imaginative theorists to an incoherent worldly philosophy, and has spawned far fewer evils and insanities than the offensive atheist and other secular groups who used evolutionary philosophy as a club for destroying laws, institutions, and social trust. The amount of speculative space that scientists carve out in both theoretical physics and origin-of-life research is great enough for an impartial observer to suspect that they're giving themselves wiggle room if they do find something that does indeed, seem miraculous (which they will never, ever, predict in advance.

                It is far better to ask more pointed questions about operational and historical sciences of the day, such as: "Why the hell are they failing so badly?" The answer is usually: "They never had any real interest in the natural world and how it works to begin with, they imbibed a popular collegiate religion-substitute from secular propagandists that tends to produce no real drive toward personal or professional integrity as the highest goal, and no one's calling them on any of their BS."
                e
                They are in fact worse than provincialists, for the imbibing of the secular spirit destroys what individuality they used to have before entering the funding-and-grant-seeking machine, and all that's left is a burrowing insectoid parasite whose only saving grace is that he could have been much better than this.
                Abusus non tollit usum is a logical fallacy. Google it. Arguing that evolution is incorrect because of its putative misuse is also in the top 10 stupidest tactics that YECs and other anti-evolutionists use.

                It's the anti-evolutionists who are "provincial" for just the kind of narrow-minded thinking espoused in your URL.

                Evolution is not a "religion" nor "secular" any more than meteorology is. Your argumentation is purely and simply ridiculous. Who cares how some apply it? Is nuclear physics wrong since it can be used to build a weapon to wipe out an entire city?

                And evolutionary theory can be thought of as having a positive philosophical view for humanity in that it shows the both the unity and diversity of life. And it supports strongly the notion of humans coming from "the dust of the Earth".

                If you want to muddle evolutionary theory (BTW, how well do you understand it? -- I'd wager not so much) with idealist philosophy any discussion the includes you will be unproductive at best.

                BTW, if you are looking for a notion of "perfection", that's an illusive concept that's neither scientific nor Biblical - at least in the Genesis creation stories.

                K54
                Last edited by klaus54; 04-20-2014, 11:35 AM. Reason: Had the wrong fallacy!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wonder if they meant "provisional" rather than "provincial." Because the former is correct -- all scientific truth is indeed regarded as being provisional in that they are always subject to modification in light of new evidence. This is why a scientist generally refrains from saying that they have "proved" something since strictly speaking we can't prove anything in science.

                  Mathematicians can prove things but not scientists. For instance while nobody disputes the scientific notion that our moon is by many orders of magnitude smaller than the sun, it cannot be proven in the same way that the Pythagorean theorem can be proven.

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Epoetker View Post
                    The same reason they harp on calling Darwin racist, because that's exactly the pejorative that's most likely to rankle scientists and put them on the defensive, and because a great number of scientists and science fetishists are eager to burnish their anti-racist and anti-'small town hick' cred.



                    Anything you capitalize can double as a religious declaration, and should be avoided if you are in fact trying to reason from a purely scientific perspective.



                    The Young-Earth Creationist movement was a semi-coherent religious/historical response by a small group of imaginative theorists to an incoherent worldly philosophy, and has spawned far fewer evils and insanities than the offensive atheist and other secular groups who used evolutionary philosophy as a club for destroying laws, institutions, and social trust. The amount of speculative space that scientists carve out in both theoretical physics and origin-of-life research is great enough for an impartial observer to suspect that they're giving themselves wiggle room if they do find something that does indeed, seem miraculous (which they will never, ever, predict in advance.

                    It is far better to ask more pointed questions about operational and historical sciences of the day, such as: "Why the hell are they failing so badly?" The answer is usually: "They never had any real interest in the natural world and how it works to begin with, they imbibed a popular collegiate religion-substitute from secular propagandists that tends to produce no real drive toward personal or professional integrity as the highest goal, and no one's calling them on any of their BS."
                    e
                    They are in fact worse than provincialists, for the imbibing of the secular spirit destroys what individuality they used to have before entering the funding-and-grant-seeking machine, and all that's left is a burrowing insectoid parasite whose only saving grace is that he could have been much better than this.
                    Name calling, and attacking rhetoric does not address the issues. The Science of Evolution is sound and accurate right down to foundation of ALL sciences, 95%+ support Evolution without reservations or conditions. It is the blue smoke and mirrors of religious agendas that are dishonest and unethical concerning science.

                    The important issue is science over time is self correcting because of redundant research over many years on all aspects of evolution and the related fields of genetics, paleontology, and other fields in many universities all over the world. Science itself has found the fraud and bad research over the years, and not philosophers and theologians.
                    Last edited by shunyadragon; 04-24-2014, 06:11 PM.
                    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                    go with the flow the river knows . . .

                    Frank

                    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      I wonder if they meant "provisional" rather than "provincial." Because the former is correct -- all scientific truth is indeed regarded as being provisional in that they are always subject to modification in light of new evidence. This is why a scientist generally refrains from saying that they have "proved" something since strictly speaking we can't prove anything in science.

                      Mathematicians can prove things but not scientists. For instance while nobody disputes the scientific notion that our moon is by many orders of magnitude smaller than the sun, it cannot be proven in the same way that the Pythagorean theorem can be proven.
                      Exactly. Mathematics uses deductive reasoning. (General --> specific), scientific method uses (mostly) induction (Specific --> general), but also is somewhat deductive in that hypotheses (are supposed to) make testable predictions. But hypotheses are SUPPORTED by facts and predictions and never PROVEN. In fact mathematicians use the adjective PROVED for a theorem, not PROVEN. It's a interesting distinction of vocabulary.

                      "Proof" in scientific method can be used equivalently with "evidence".

                      K54

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