Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Review of Answers In Genesis' review of Eugenie Scotts talk on science and faith part 2

Now they begin to discuss how faith affects scientific research, it is true that science owes a significant part of its ideological foundations to a Christian theistic worldview but does this mean that we should force a certain interpretations of the bible on the scientific community? The fact is that while the young earth interpretation was once an adequate interpretation because it did not contradict what science knew at the time evidence of an old earth, evolution, and a very old universe have been uncovered which contradicts it and a better interpretation of the bible is needed.

Anyways the creationist author goes on to state the following paragraph;
What I’ve tried to make clear so far is that one’s belief about God does make a
difference in how one understands science and what one thinks about the origin
of life. Specifically, while creationists do value inferential explanation, we
However, notice that even when we find data that points to design, such as irreducible complexity, Darwinism is not considered falsified or challenged. In fact, we argue that nothing evolutionists find would be considered enough to falsify evolution, because Darwinism isn’t just another falsifiable hypothesis that’s made its way to the core; rather, it is a presupposed, foundational paradigm that is used to interpret the actual facts.value the authority of an infallible, direct observer over inferential
explanations that start out by arbitrarily decreeing that a designer is “less
probable” (ruling out supernatural explanations).

To this, I agree your religious beliefs do have an affect on how you look at science and scientific discoveries. However not to the extent that creationists would suppose, while your religious beliefs or lack thereof give you different philosophical perspectives on different discoveries and the nature of science, it does not and should not cause you to rewrite science and force-fit it into your religious views which is exactly what creationists are doing. While I agree that arbitrarily assuming there is not designer is fallacious, I don't think we should then attribute the origin of everything to direct creation of the deity without good solid evidence, otherwise it is not science.

After describing Eugenie Scotts illustration of core, frontier, and frings ideas of science the creationist author responds;
However, notice that even when we find data that points to design, such as
irreducible complexity, Darwinism is not considered falsified or challenged. In
fact, we argue that nothing evolutionists find would be considered enough to
falsify evolution, because Darwinism isn’t just another falsifiable hypothesis
that’s made its way to the core; rather, it is a presupposed, foundational
paradigm that is used to interpret the actual facts.

That is just the problem, Irreducible Complexity is not evidence of design so by simple logic evolution has not been challenged by IC therefore it has not been falsified, and even if IC did challenge a completely naturalistic outlook on natural history it would not disprove evolution. This doesn't prove that Design has been rejected for philosophical reasons by the scientific community it simply proves the obvious fact that IC has failed to disprove it, evolution is easy to disprove also; just find evidence of human fossils in the Triassic period and evolution is dead. Now it should also be pointed out that in a sense the creationists are right; facts have to be interpreted but there is only one correct interpretation and young earth creationism is not it.

Now onto whether or not evolution (or darwinism as they call it) is a paradigm;
One might suggest that, even if Darwinism is a paradigm rather than a simple
hypothesis, the evidence would still help scientists choose between competing
paradigms (as though they were competing explanatory hypotheses). But facts
don’t speak for themselves; they must be interpreted through a paradigm.
Interpreting facts to prove a paradigm is thus ultimately an exercise in
circular logic. Furthermore, since the only paradigms that challenge Darwinism
are design-based, there is effectively only one paradigm to chose from for those
like Scott who reject that science can discover intentional design.

Although this is true it does not help creationists since evolution is not a paradigm but a testable hypothesis which has passed the test of time. Now on Methodological Naturalism (which is what creationists really mean when they say "Darwinism"), Methodological Naturalism was developed many Christian philosophers (among them being Francis Bacon) who understood that uniformity was the key foundation of science. The supernatural was not to be denied or denigrated but when it came to the natural world the supernatural would be left out since they were dealing with the way God usually upheld his creation (natural forces) rather then the way God upheld his creation only in very special moments (supernatural forces) so the supernatural is left out of the equation when it comes to science. This is wise because capricious supernatural explanations will not give us a better understanding of the natural world. Now it is true that some people will not accept supernatural explanations of any kind (even theists such as Kenneth Miller), if the evidence points toward a deliberate supernatural act (actual evidence not just a God-of-the-gaps argument) I will accept it. I have no philosophical reason to reject design, however the current Intelligent Design movement is disappointingly lacking in evidence for their theory, and that is in a nutshell the reason I am a Christian who believes in Evolution. As a result I am not convinced that anyone, Christians in particular should be so eager to support Intelligent Design for its potential apologetic uses.

In the end it is up the reader to decide which one is true, evolution is a testable hypothesis which has been proven, and if you believe I am wrong don't just sit there, argue with me and tell me why I am wrong, you might even change my mind who knows.

4 comments:

bobxxxx said...

I am a Christian who believes in Evolution.

I'm an atheist who accepts evolution. I prefer to not use the word "believe" because that word is usually used for ideas that have no evidence, like for example all the ideas of Christianity.

That's good that your pro-science. You accept evolution, hopefully without invoking a god fairy to guide it.

I was just wondering how you can be smart enough to accept modern biology and still call yourself a Christian. The Christian religion is one of the most idiotic inventions in human history. The belief that Jebus was a god is incredibly childish. I think a person would have to be insane to believe the Jebus nonsense.

Created Rationalist said...

Bob, could you at least describe what you think is so idiotic about Christianity? You've given nothing but your own incredulity and you should know that is not a good argument.

Also your perception of Christianity seems to be quite warped, just what do you think Christians believe?

highboy said...

If Bob had a plausible argument he/she would have posted it already. The mockery tells you that attempting to engage in a discussion that will be productive with him/her is a futile effort.

highboy said...

But since Bob is an atheist, Bob can then tell us how he has infinite knowledge enough to claim that there is no being with infinite knowledge like God, and explain how modern biology is even relevant to a discussion about Christianity's relevance. Its interesting to me how atheists claim there is no purpose behind creation merely because they can't find one.