Re: The poisoned tree, was Re: Argument From Authority

From: Louis Newstrom (
Date: Fri Aug 17 2001 - 20:03:39 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael M. Butler" <>
> ...I take it, then. that "right, for the wrong reasons" doesn't
> exist in your way of thinking? Fruit of the poisoned tree, and all that?
> In other words, if a hardcore creationist claims that Newtonian mechanics
is due
> to the peculiar psychology of angels pushing planets around, is he
incapable of
> producing correct calculations using G*M1*M2/r^2 ?

Yes he will make the correct decision IF he uses that correct equation.

On the other hand, because he IS doing it for the "wrong reason" he might
decide NOT to use the correct equation. He might decide that the Angels are
going to punish America for Bush's stem-cell decision, and hurl the planets
into a collision course.

That's the big problem with "right for the wrong reason". It may parallel
"right for the right reason", but it won't forever. The fact that it is for
a different reason from the "right" reason means that somewhere, under some
circumstances, the "right for the wrong reason" theory will give different
answers than the "right for the right reason" theory.

"Right for the wrong reason" is like a random number generator. It's
sometimes right; it's sometimes wrong. Why even bother checking the
answers? You have to have an independent source for the answer. The random
number generator is superfluous.

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