Saturday, March 20, 2010

What’s the best “proof” of Creation?

Today's Answers in Genesis newsletter was so short it was almost like a twitter post. Still, I'd like to examine their position and explain why I don't find it satisfactory. (Also, in case it hasn't been clear, the titles of my blog posts are usually the titles of the claims/questions I'm responding to.)
A: Creationists and evolutionists, Christians and non-Christians, all have the same facts. Think about it: we all have the same earth, the same fossil layers, the same animals and plants, the same stars—the facts are all the same.
Well, I won't disagree here. We all have access to the same facts. Facts are the world's data. Theories are demonstrably clear explanations of all relevant facts and laws, such as Cell Theory, Germ Theory, and... oh yeah, Evolutionary Theory.
The difference is in the way we all interpret the facts. And why do we interpret facts differently? Because we start with different presuppositions; these are things that are assumed to be true without being able to prove them. These then become the basis for other conclusions. All reasoning is based on presuppositions (also called axioms). This becomes especially relevant when dealing with past events.
And the major difference is the enormous leap you take with your presuppositions. The presupposition that science makes is the uniformity of nature - that the world works the same today as it did millions of years ago. There is a lot of evidence that even this supposition is a reasonable one. Science takes the facts and provides testable hypotheses that undergo a lot of scrutiny before becoming accepted by the entire community. You might say that the science we do now is based on the science that we already have, so that might be a presupposition. But it isn't, because the science that we already have wasn't presupposed. It went through the the same rigorous process to become accepted.

The good thing about science is that you can overturn it if you have enough evidence. Don't think the earth is a sphere? Show your evidence. (Somebody did and we now know that the earth is an ellipsoid slightly elongated at the equator. Even after that was established, somebody else came along and refined that even further.) If you have good evidence and a good hypothesis and your data can explain both your proposition and the theories that came before it, then your theory will become the new standard.

This is not the case in religion. Religion is static and unchanging. Believers are unwilling to stray from their favorite interpretations of whatever holy book they subscribe to and aren't willing to ever admit they're wrong. It's impossible to argue with a Creationist when they say things like:
By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. (source)
This means that no matter what or how much evidence you show them, they will never ever admit to being wrong. I can think of one geologist off the top of my head who admits that all the evidence is against him, yet no matter how much he continues to see, he will always be a Young-Earth Creationist. This is not rational, and yet this is what passes for "strong in the faith" today. Believers, just know that when your favorite apologetic website (like AiG) is fervently arguing that Creation has just as much evidence as Evolution, know that they don't seem so sure because of science. They're only sure because they have to be, or they wouldn't have any faith from their point of view. This has been proven time and again when Creationists try to put forth evidence and the scientific community swiftly and easily shoots it down.

Do everyday believers not think it a weak position to be in when everything we know about the world disagrees with their literal interpretation of a book written by men with practically no understanding of the world around them? I honestly want to ask them what evidence it would take for them to change their position, but I think for some I unfortunately already know the answer...

3 Comments:

shreddakj said...

Yeah, those creationists with high level degrees in science really scare me, that they could go through all the necessary steps to deceive their college professors that they understand the same thing that they're just about to turn around and spit in the face of when they start working at Ken Ham's creationist carnival.

Anonymous said...

Micro-evolution is a fact.

Macro-evolution is a myth.
(1) unsupported by the fossil record (lacking the transitional forms)
(2) unable to explain origin of life in the absence of design
(3) unable to explain the development of irreducibly complex systems via the darwinian natural selection methodology.
(4) unable to explain how dead matter becomes living matter.
(5) unable to explain the origin of the mind.

Have a pleasant day. :-)

Guy

Drew said...

1) You don't seem to understand the meaning of "transitional." Everything in the fossil record is transitional because nothing is ever static. What most creationists expect is to see an animal halfway between something that lived a million years ago and one that lives today and that's just not a correct expectation. I'd do some research on transitional fossils before making those kinds of claims. (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#morphological_intermediates)

2) That's abiogenesis, not evolution. And even so, we have a pretty decent idea about how it could have happened. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE)

3) Irreducible complexity has been rejected in all of its proposed forms (the eye, blood clotting, bacterial flagellum, etc) and carries no weight in real science.

4) I'm sorry, what? What does evolution have to do with that? And do you think that a god sprinkles his magic dust on a sperm and egg every time a baby is conceived?

5) Your mind is your brain. Your brain is physical and develops just like any other organ. What's special about it, exactly?

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