Monday, April 21, 2008

Conversation with atheist continued

The following statements occurred in an exchange I had with an atheist in a comment thread on a post about the recently released movie, “EXPELLED, No Intelligence Allowed.” I will show his statements in bold red followed by my answers. His comments were in response to a comment of mine so I will give background where necessary. Also, the only supreme being that I recognize or will defend is the triune Christian God of the Old and New Testaments.

Also, we don’t know that matter/energy came into existence from nothing; they may have always existed in some form.

Since something coming from nothing apart from any outside cause is nonsense, this is the only possibility. Something must have the power of self-existence and being in and of itself. Either matter/energy has had an eternal self-existence or some form of intelligent being is eternally self-existent.

About ten or so years ago scientists concluded that the expanding universe will continue to expand and will in time burn out much like a candle. This expanding and dying universe points to a beginning. If the matter/energy of the universe were eternal then this end would have already happened. This also point to a beginning. Scientists refer to this beginning as the big bang. Therefore, the matter/energy of the universe had a beginning. Since it is nonsense to assert that matter/energy came from nothing without a cause, which leaves the possibility of the universe beginning without an uncaused cause (supreme being) about as close to impossible as you can get.

Your assertion that a lack of belief in the existence of something for which there is no evidence is equivalent to the belief in something for which there is no evidence is absurd.

While the Christian religion requires faith, it is not without evidence. You may discount all the evidence without considering the claims, but it is there and many believe it nonetheless. The following is a list of some of the evidence that certainly enhances faith:

1) Historical record of the nation of Israel from Old Testament writings spanning over a thousand years.

2) Archeological verification of Old Testament history.

3) Many Old Testament prophecies of Jesus Christ that were fulfilled by the historical Jesus.

4) New Testament gospels and epistles written by eyewitnesses of the miracles and resurrection of Jesus.

5) The resurrection of Jesus with over 500 witnesses who saw him after the event.

6) The New Testament gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts that were written by Dr. Luke who asserts that he made careful investigation with eyewitnesses of things he wrote about.

7) The fact that the 11 Apostles that were frightened to death shortly after the execution of Jesus suddenly became emboldened and started the Church in spite of persecution and ultimately execution for all but one them. Perhaps one or two people would be so deluded as to be persecuted and die for a lie, but it seems they have a strong case for their writings.

8) Saul of Tarsus. His change from persecutor of Christians to leading spokesman due to his Road to Damascus experience is compelling.

9) Time measured in BC and AD referring to the life of Jesus

Therefore, your assertion is incorrect when you state there is no evidence. There is plenty of evidence

The point of the movie is to make money by mischaracterizing scientists, spinning recent events in academia, and trotting out long-refuted absurdities that make select movie-goers feel good about their philosophical commitments………… To that, I say that if these clowns were genuinely concerned about truth, they could have spent the time and energy to educate themselves about matters in which they are profoundly ignorant, instead of making a movie that supported their naive and uniformed beliefs.

Slander and personal attacks are a characteristic of debating tactics from the left. Although I don’t know for sure, I would guess that you are liberal in your politics and world-view. If so you are resorting to one of their favorite tactics rather than stick to the issues.

Despite immense evidence for evolution and none for any gods, people stubbornly cling to their unsupported belief systems, and accuse others of close-mindedness or stifling debate or even oppression.

The debate here is not about the evidence for evolution, but is about the possibility that intelligent design may be at work in the origin of the species. Since a non-intelligent design evolution cannot even offer a theory on how life began from non-life, I would think the possibility of intelligent design being the cause would at least be worthy of investigation. Instead, the Darwinists will not even allow this to be investigated. As I pointed out earlier, the evidence for the Christian God of the Bible is considerable, yet you and the Darwinists say there is none whatsoever. From a scientific standpoint this is not about clinging to a belief system. It is about allowing scientists to consider and attempt to prove I.D. without being fired and black-balled. Firing proponents of I.D. has been a matter of public record for many years and to deny this is rather disingenuous. The current PC policy on I.D. is no debate allowed and you know it. A close similarity can be seen in the man made global warming hysteria debate where Al Gore and many others have arrogantly declared, “The debate is over.” Do you really expect objective discerning people not to notice this kind of manipulation, coercion, and propaganda?

On the subject of man made global warming you said….. Evidence determines the consensus; not the other way around. What motivation do scientists have for suppressing or ignoring evidence?

It should work that way, but in the global warming debate I have seen and can prove that data manipulation and propaganda from the news media has been used to drive public opinion and consensus. Time Magazine’s latest cover has a green simulation of the flag raising of Iwo Jima of soldiers pushing up a tree. Time also had a cover with eggs frying on pavement. Of course 30 years ago during a cooling period they were warning of the coming ice age. Glacier calving in Glacier Bay National Park was used by CNN as evidence of global warming the very week I visited that Park and read in their brochure where the glaciers had receded 50 or so miles from the late 1700’s to around 1870. Check out on their website. The world started coming out of a little ice age about 200-300 years ago. The earth has been in a warming trend since then. Prior to the little ice age people were farming in Iceland, but they were forced to leave during this cooling period. Factors such as the Sun burning hotter in last ten or so years (check it out with google) has also had an effect. There are also mini cooling and warming cycles. You say that science has really improved since they were warning of cooling in the seventies. Really, how can you be so sure with so many scientists saying that our CO2 contributions are insignificant.

Surely you can see some motivation for suppressing, ignoring and spinning evidence when huge amounts of money for grants are at stake and it is well documented that those who do question the consensus lose grant money and come under much criticism and political pressure.

Example:
CNSNews.com) - The political climate isn't good for scientists with dissenting views on global warming, leaving some researchers to fear that honest research could be blackballed in favor of promoting a "consensus" view. A dispute erupted this week in Oregon, where Gov. Ted Kulongoski is considering firing the state's climatologist George Taylor, who has said human activity isn't the chief cause of global climate change.

I even heard global warming activists blame the unseasonably cold weather of April 07 on global warming.

I could go on with more examples and evidence, but you get idea.

In closing the movie "EXPELLED" is not about promoting I.D. as it is about showing the intimidation and tactics used to shut down any attempt to investigate I.D. If evolution were a ten story building it would have no foundation and no first floor. It would be held up by cranes and cables. You would think that the owner of such a building would be eager to build a foundation and a first floor.


Sweet Jazzy Cat

13 comments:

J Myers said...

Jazzy Cat,

Greetings! As I just posted over at Friendly Atheist, I certainly wasn't expecting my comment there to inspire a blog post anywhere; I suppose I am flattered. I was hoping to offer a response tonight, but after a quick read of your post, I can tell I'll have more to write than I can manage if I am to get to bed at a responsible hour. As I have what is likely to be a 15-hour workday tomorrow (no rest for the wicked, you know), I'll stop back here on Wednesday to offer my rejoinder. In the meantime, should you have the chance, perhaps you can explore some of the resources I mentioned in my previous comments. All the best,

J Myers

jaludtke said...

Jazzy Cat,

It is intriguing that you believe in almost the exactly opposite conspiracies than I do. For instance, where I see the petroleum industry and its political lackeys funding scientific research that puts doubt on the reality of anthropogenic global warming, you see scientists and the news media forming an alliance to try to make everyone believe in AGW.

Because we believe in contrasting conspiracies, I find it difficult to expect that we can actually find things to agree on. But let's see what happens...

Point 1

Scientists have every right to research all scientific ideas on the topics of climate change, the origin of life, the origin of the universe, and the origin of individual species. Scientists disagree, vociferously, on ideas, but that's because one of the main things to do as a scientist is to critically analyze the work of your peers.

ID is not a scientific idea on the origin of life; indeed, it is anti-scientific because it states that the answer to a question happened outside of the bounds of science, and that science might as well just not even try to research the origin of life.

Point 2

Slander and personal attacks are a characteristic of debating tactics from the left.

By stating that slander and personal attacks are characteristically done by people on the left, you are slandering and personally attacking people on the left. It's ok, I forgive you.

I am a leftist. I'm not going to apologize for that, and a lot of my political opinions would probably drive you crazy. And yours mine. Whatever, I have no interest in that debate, nor in two other debates (the existence of a god, the truth of a christ) that you touch on in your post.

Point 3

However, I think we can agree on one thing:

That cats are adorable.

And that the only way to discuss their origins, in a scientific context, is by researching their DNA and morphology, and using this naturalistic data to come to naturalistic conclusions.

Namely: that cats evolved from an earlier carnivoran mammal; that they share a recent common ancestor with non-domesticated cats; that they share a not-so-recent common ancestor with dogs; that both cats and dogs share an even-more-not-so-recent common ancestor with us.

ID and science don't disagree on the above, both think that cats and humans are parts of a large evolutionary tree. Where they disagree is on whether or not an intelligent agent is necessary for the existence of any life, cat or human. ID says an intelligence is necessary. Science says that it can't answer that question.

Point 4

You stated: Since a non-intelligent design evolution cannot even offer a theory on how life began from non-life

I'm not a scholar on theories of abiogenesis, so I'm not going to say which is my favourite or which seems to be the most likely. But to state that there are no theories on how life began from non-life requires ignoring all the research that is very quickly summarized on that page.

So there are theories on how life came about through naturalistic means. That none of them is the scientific consensus is not at all surprising, since the origin of life on this planet is an event that we can not directly observe.

Point 5 (my last for now)

You state Firing proponents of I.D. has been a matter of public record for many years and to deny this is rather disingenuous.

I am denying it, and in so doing, I am not being disingenuous. This PDF has a list of people who are scientifically dissenting from Darwinism. This list is public-domain. How many of these scientists have been fired because of their support of ID? If science is interesting in purging itself of ID proponents, it could just fire everyone on that list.

Scientists get fired, same as everyone else, and yes, sometimes, scientists do get fired because, for lack of a better reason, 'everyone at the company thought they were annoying'. But ID proponents seem to not suffer from this anymore than non-ID scientists.

Your mentioning of the AGW scientific debate is entirely relevant here as a counter-point. Scientists who are in the consensus and scientists who are not both publish papers in major scientific journals, discussing the flaws in the other side and trying to build support for their position.

ID scientists rarely publish on the topic of ID. They give speeches, they write books, they go on tv. But when it comes to writing scientific papers, they don't have much to say.

Maybe because...they don't have any science?

jazzycat said...

jaludtke,
Thanks for your comment. Yes, Jazzy and cats are adorable and beautiful.

I do not think I.D. would have happened outside of the bounds of science. I.D. would be the source of scientific laws. Is it slander when you offer proof with examples? It certainly can happen from all quarters, but my observation is that slander, intolerance, and personal attacks are more pronounced and more of a tactic from the left. However, your comment was classy and very respectful. I will respect your not wanting to debate the existence of a higher being (God), but it is rather important to the discussion of I.D.

You said….
ID and science don't disagree on the above, both think that cats and humans are parts of a large evolutionary tree. Where they disagree is on whether or not an intelligent agent is necessary for the existence of any life, cat or human. ID says an intelligence is necessary. Science says that it can't answer that question.

O.K. I must admit that I am a bit puzzled. If science is permitted to offer all of these theories on abiogenesis, then it seems that one heck of a good theory would be I.D, which would also offer a solution for the origin of matter. Without a doubt something has to be eternally self-existent. Which is more logical an intelligent being or inert matter?

jaludtke said...

jazzycat,

Of course my comment is going to be respectful, this isn't my house, so I have no right to mess things up in here.

You state that the existence of a Creator is rather important to the discussion of ID. I agree; ID would not be an idea if the idea of a Creator was non-existent. If this was a planet full of atheists, there would be no ID discussion.

This simple fact is enough for me to automatically categorize ID outside of science. It is a philosophical position. It is a theological concept. It could very well be the actual answer to things, but it can not be science until the Creator decides to go to a conference and present his/her/its notes on what he/she/it did.

I think that people of faith and people without it can (and do) both use science to explore the world around them, using naturalistic and materialistic tools and ideas.

To craft an analogy, scientists are like cartographers, who are trying to fill in the unexplored regions on maps. And ID? ID is akin to putting hic sunt dracones on the map because it's easier than exploring.

You also state then it seems that one heck of a good theory would be I.D, which would also offer a solution for the origin of matter

In this sentence, I can easily replace the word I.D. with God, and it'd mean basically the same thing. Is God something that all people can agree on? Obviously not, so, how can God/I.D. be a good theory?

All of us, regardless of any aspect of our culture or identity, can look at gravitational law and see that it is useful in explaining a part of reality. All of us can look at Darwin's initial theory of natural selection and critique it or compliment it to our heart's content. All of us can look at atmospheric temperature data and atmospheric CO2 level data and come to conclusions on whether they are worth worrying about or not. These abilities to be objective and falsifiable identify them as being scientific.

ID lacks those abilities.

As an atheist, ID insults me because it is an attempt to answer a question that might be answerable in science with a mystical being. To me, it'd be like allowing historians to say that the Trojan War occurred because a Golden Apple caused discord amongst the gods. Sure, it might have, but why jump to supernatural explanations unless all natural ideas have been critically and thoroughly refuted?

(note: as an atheist, I'll probably say that natural ideas can not be critically and thoroughly refuted. Particularly since science has only been around for a few hundred years. So your opinions on this issue might be slightly different)

jazzycat said...

Since we been using the hyped global warming hysteria as another example of how science facts are manipulated for agenda based purposes, the following was in the news today about how the Al Gore propaganda movie used false information to manipulate those who saw the movie. I believe he won a Noble prize for this phony baloney.

By Noel Sheppard | April 22, 2008 - 09:53 ET

It goes without saying that climate realists around the world believe Nobel Laureate Al Gore used false information throughout his schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" in order to generate global warming hysteria.

On Friday, it was revealed by ABC News that one of the famous shots of supposed Antarctic ice shelves in the film was actually a computer-generated image from the 2004 science fiction blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow."


It is really sad to see so many people believe the propaganda on this issue.

jazzycat said...

jaludtke,
I do appreciate your comments and tone. Are you sure you are a liberal? :)

you said.....
In this sentence, I can easily replace the word I.D. with God, and it'd mean basically the same thing. Is God something that all people can agree on? Obviously not, so, how can God/I.D. be a good theory?

I may be misunderstanding your point, but I didn't think everyone had to agree on a theory for it to be a valid theory. Not everyone agrees with all the theories on the origin of life that you linked to.

BTW, if God is real, it doesn't matter whether people agree with his truth or not. His truth will be final and any misconceptions even among religious people will not matter or change his ultimate plan.

I think the origin of matter and the origin of life from non-life are difficult problems for scientists to solve apart from a self-existent eternal intelligent being.

jaludtke said...

jazzycat,

I clicked over to the Noel Sheppard piece and watched the 20/20 clip. Basically AIT used a computer-generated clip from TDAT to illustrate the size of ice caps. That's ...that's it.

I wasn't manipulated by AIT because I already thought the science behind the AGW hypothesis is strong enough, on its own, without Al Gore telling me about it. Heck, I'm fairly certain I'm a liberal because I think science education should be improved in this country so that we don't need former vice presidents to give us powerpoint talks about current scientific issues.

You said I may be misunderstanding your point, but I didn't think everyone had to agree on a theory for it to be a valid theory.

Which means that I probably stated my point badly. Science, being math's younger brother, is supposed to be looking for forms of (and this is a really crummy way of saying it, but whatever) objective facts pointing the way towards a potentially objective truth. Other forms of human pursuit (art, philosophy, law, religion) can't do that: not every person can look at the Mona Lisa and think it's an important work of art.

Not everyone has to agree on a theory for it to be a valid theory, but a theory has to be something that everyone could agree on.

You end with I think the origin of matter and the origin of life from non-life are difficult problems for scientists to solve apart from a self-existent eternal intelligent being.

I think that they are difficult problems, mostly because we very literally can not be there and watch them. Where we differ is that I don't think anyone was there watching. Can science disprove either of our opinions?

jazzycat said...

jaludtke,
I wasn't manipulated by AIT or the propaganda put out by most of media who are trying to sell their magazines and papers. I know that Al Gore is a lying hypocrit and cannot be trusted on anything. This is not exaggerated slander since I am really understating my opinion of him. It is not helpful in convincing me when I see Al Gore and CNN lying about the data on this issue, since I hold them both in contempt.

As to the scientific data. It is mixed as the following was in the news today:

Sunspot activity has not resumed up after hitting an 11-year low in March last year, raising fears that — far from warming — the globe is about to return to an Ice Age, says an Australian-American scientist.

Physicist Phil Chapman, the first native-born Australian to become an astronaut with NASA [he became an American citizen to join up, though he never went into space], said pictures from the U.S. Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) showed no spots on the sun.

He said the world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7 degrees Centigrade.

"This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record, and it puts us back to where we were in 1930," Chapman wrote in The Australian Wednesday. "If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over."

jazzycat said...

jaludtke,
Can science disprove either of our opinions?

In this post, my first response following the first red quote pretty much disproves self-existent matter with science and leaves the naturalast with no where to go.

jaludtke said...

jazzycat,

Even though I'm a Gore voter I'm not going to defend him. Since, well, he shared a Nobel Peace Prize win, so it's highly likely history will remember him as a good person, regardless of whether you think he is or not. If that pains you, think of how I feel about Henry Kissinger having also received the same prize.

The story from Australia is interesting because the original author, at first, urges caution at trying to interpret long-term climate trends from one year of weather data:

It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.

But then he throws away all such caution to discuss the possibility that, unless sunspots don't increase, we might go into a multi-decadal little ice age, right now:

We cannot really know, but my guess is that the odds are at least 50-50 that we will see significant cooling rather than warming in coming decades.

In his opinion, the same probability can be gleaned from ~60 years of increasing temperatures and 3 months of sunspot data.

I fail to see what the difference is between his tone and that of AGW hyper-advocates who think global warming is going to ruin everything. Actually, AGW proponent, even the hyper-proponents, usually aren't trying to make predictions about what the world is going to be like in decades or centuries based on 3 months of data. So in this case, the astronaut actually seems more zealous.

Also, when you say AGW 'propaganda' is being pushed by "most of media who are trying to sell their magazines and papers", does this sort of story, which could be interpreted as anti-AGW propaganda, ...well, does it not also sell magazines and papers? You prove that there is a population of Americans who want to read anti-AGW stories, this is one, it's not the only one. Many people around the world are making money off anti-AGW stories. Am I supposed to think that that is a conspiracy?

Finally, and on an entirely different topic, you say: In this post, my first response following the first red quote pretty much disproves self-existent matter with science and leaves the naturalist with no where to go.

I'm reading your first response ...it says the Big Bang occurred. It says that time/space had a beginning. Ok, science agrees with you there.

You then state that it is nonsense to say that the universe was causeless and that the universe needs a metaphysical uncaused cause to start it up. Science can't weigh in on either of those topics because:

1) science can only study events that occur in space and time.
2) space and time start with the Big Bang

I'm in no way Steve Hawking, I'm not even close, I don't study cosmology at all. But I don't think I am misinterpreting science when I say that it can not say what caused the universe, if anything caused the universe at all. The Big Bang and event horizons are where science (on an astronomical scale) has to turn in the towel and admit that it can't answer all possible questions.

You are apparently interpreting science differently if you think it disproves self-existent matter. If science left naturalists with nowhere to go, you'd think more of us would have a dislike of science, right?

jazzycat said...

jaludtke,
I have never used the word conspiracy and I do not think AGW is an organized effort to manipulate. I think the propaganda and manipulation is a result of like-minded people (liberals) in the media gravitating toward shared world-view tendencies and reinforcing each others opinions. EXAMPLE: I saw a question be asked of a live focus group the other night where the moderator asked for a show of hands for people who had a certain conclusion. The people paused, turned their heads to look at the person next to them, and then 90% of them very tentatively raised their hands. Call it herd mentality, getting on the bandwagon, or whatever, but I think that is part of what is driving the “consensus” in the AGW debate. Scientists are also not immune from wanting to be with the "consensus."

You said….
You then state that it is nonsense to say that the universe was causeless and that the universe needs a metaphysical uncaused cause to start it up.

Not exactly! I said it is nonsense to claim that matter/energy came from nothing without an outside cause. Further, it seem logical that something has to be eternally self-existent. Considering the universe had a birth and is going to have an end apart from a supreme being, it seems that matter is not eternally self-existent or it would have been in pure state of being rather than in it’s ever changing state of becoming. Therefore, it must be something other than matter/energy, and yes a metaphysical eternal self-existent uncaused cause seems a likely answer. Granted that is hard to fathom, but I submit that it is not as hard to fathom as the universe happening without a metaphysical cause. You may call that unscientific and speculation, but we know matter/energy exists and that this existence must have an explanation.

I realize you do not want to discuss the evidence for the God of the Bible, but I certainly think it also points to exactly who this metaphysical cause may be.

BTW, your points on the Australian physicist were very good. This does not mean that I in any way believe that AGW is significant or in any way a crisis. I just wanted to compliment you on a good rebuttal.

jaludtke said...

jazzycat,

Sorry, I used the word conspiracy in here first and forgot that I was the one who brought it in here.

While I know that scientists are not immune from wanting to be part of the consensus, I think, in science, that situation is more akin to a discussion of paradigms. The majority of physicists use Newtonian physics not because its popular or because their buddies in a lab are using it; they use it because it's what works the best. It might not be the best possible solution, but it is the best solution known.

The paradigm of AGW is scientifically robust. Climate science has changed a lot since the 1970s 'global cooling' scare. Back then they had less than 15 years of satellite-provided data. They couldn't dig ice cores as deep as they can now. There was no Deep Sea Drilling Project / Ocean Drilling Program that allowed us to look at paleoclimates. They were unsure at the time how much solar radiation, soot and dust (from industrial and natural sources) and CO2 (from industrial and natural sources) affected climate, interacted with each other, how much the planet absorbed different forms of pollution, etc.

30 years later climate science have collected much more data, been able to analyze, have faster computers to model things, etc. They have much better ideas in 2008 than in 1975, and most scientists think that AGW is the best explanation for current climate trends. Is it the explanation? No, of course not, more climate research could never hurt nobody.

But assuming that this paradigm is in any way correct, the main thing that humans can do to alleviate the problem is also something that just plain makes sense: reducing fossil fuel usage. Conservation of this has always made sense to me, because fossil fuels are:

a) limited and finite
b) expensive in requiring constant monetary investment in order to find, procure, and convert from, say, crude oil into petrol
c) sometimes sitting under countries whose core values disagree with those of this country

I seriously believe that alleviating some of the worst possible scenarios of AGW does not challenge democracy or capitalism. It might make companies like ExxonMobil have to adapt to a new market. It was always my understanding that capitalism is somewhat like natural selection: companies that can't survive changes in the market go extinct.

Anyway, I went on this long rant about climate change because I think AGW is a solid scientifically supportable theory that the conservative half of the political spectrum chooses to disagree with. It doesn't help our country to make scientific understanding into a partisan issue.

On our other topic, you said You may call that unscientific and speculation, but we know matter/energy exists and that this existence must have an explanation.

I realize that the universe's existence does demand an explanation, even if it's something that our brains can't fathom. Where I ...would like to find a common ground with you? is in recognizing that these explanations are unscientific and speculation.

jazzycat said...

jaludtke,
I have no problem with conservation with sanity. Unfortunately sanity left town with the doomsday promoters several years ago. From the Gore propaganda movie (many false statements) to Ted Turner's recent stupid comment, drastic predictions are being used to call for even more drastic solutions. The poorest in the world will suffer the greatest with some of these fanatical solutions.

While I agree scientific understanding should not be a partisan (political) issue, political solutions are most definitely a political issue and yet we are being told that political solutions are not political when it comes to this particular problem. Statements that have been made by U.N. officials to the effect that countries must give up some of their sovereignty to confront this problem seems very political and scary to me. America is already passing all kinds of laws because of politicians accepting the doomsday forecasts. This is a very political issue. If it went no further than Hollywood activists suggesting I only use one sheet of toilet paper per visit to the bathroom, then I could chuckle and not worry. However, when laws are passed mandating all kinds of folly, then my chuckling turns to fear. There is also political incentive involved by the left who absolutely love more and more government involvement in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You may have a chance to change my view on some points, but calling the global warming debate a non-political issue is not one of them.

ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE: Since I accept the historical proof and writings of the Christian religion and you don’t, and I believe both of the possibilities for the origin of matter are extremely unlikely apart from a supreme being, I doubt we can find the ultimate common ground. Things like a big bang, expanding universe, and the unbelievable size of the universe are areas we can agree on. You seem to be asserting that where no scientific proof is involved, there is no speculation permitted. But is it not fair to say that some scientific advances were first nothing but mere speculation in someone’s mind?