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Creation/Evolution, science

Science wouldn’t work in an evolutionary worldview

science_5

The fact that the scientific method works and produces reliable, constant results proves evolution wrong.  If evolution of life on earth is correct, then one who accepts that normally also accepts some other similar unintelligent, unguided unintentional development of our entire universe.  For this article’s purpose we will call those processes chemical and stellar evolution.

If that is true, that everything came into being through some ongoing process of change, then wouldn’t that process still be ongoing today?  In other words – ALL things would still be in a constant state of change.  If that were true, then any measurements we take would inevitably produce different results.  Metaphorically speaking, 2+2 would not always equal 4.  If that were the case, scientific research with the concept of reproducibility of results would not work.  I contend that it is not the case that everything is in some state of ongoing change.  Therefore chemical and stellar evolution apparently just stopped??  That doesn’t make sense either.  So, I maintain that it never happened to start with.

This is an argument about consistency.  Are things constant today to where we can accurately measure and repeat the result?  If so (which it is), then evolutionary processes did not create this world.  This idea of ongoing changes would render science impossible.  The consistency of our laws makes science possible.  Those laws and the consistency of them do not make sense in an evolutionary worldview, it would not work the way it does.

The laws and constancy point to a pre-meditated plan put in place so that we would be able to study the universe.  Science itself, the very thing atheists try to use to make Christianity look bad, is evidence of a designed universe!  Therefore all science is creation science, whether those who are doing it recognize is as such or not.

 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hand” – Psalm 19:1

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

11 thoughts on “Science wouldn’t work in an evolutionary worldview

  1. You raise a very interesting point that had me thinking for quite a while. Physics does that to me. However, I think it ultimately falls down because there is no evidence that every single aspect of reality evolved. There are key exceptions. Granted I study biological evolution, not physics or cosmology, but my understanding of these subjects is that certain aspects of the universe didn’t evolve. Physics hasn’t changed but the objects on which physics operates has. Stephen Hawking, for example, talks about gravity at the big bang. It’s the same force keeping us pinned to the planet today even though the stuff on which it is acting is unrecognisable. Because of this fundamental consistency science is possible, despite the fact of change.

    Of course, science has no claim to absolute certainty and so these ideas are continually being tested. However, every single shred of evidence ever collected indicates that these constants remain constant; so that’s a reasonable stance to take.

    As an interesting aside I’ve often heard the argument that science would be difficult in a universe in which there is a God. As you note, science requires consistency yet this can’t exist if an omnipotent being is influencing the universe. You’d have no way of knowing if the results of an experiment actually captured the nature of reality, or divine intervention and thus can’t figure out how the world actually works. Science would fail.

    The flaw I see in this argument is that God may have promised in the Bible to not intervene (or at least intervene consistently). But just like I’m no physicist, I’m no Biblical scholar. So I’d like to ask whether or not there is record of any such promise in the Bible?

    Posted by Adam Benton | August 8, 2013, 9:08 pm
    • Thank you for your response. This is the kind of comment I crave here. You are very respectful, yet questioning. Very nice post!

      Part of my argument against evolution is the fact that the Bible claims 3 major events that would have altered the laws we use to do science today, and thus interrupt any assumptions of uniformitarianism of history. We would not be able to extrapolate our modern data backwards to get accurate results. Yes, this seems to slap my “constancy” argument I presented here in the face. I recognize that, but the kicker I believe is that God explained these three events to us. If God changed anything significantly like that again, but didn’t inform us – I would label that as deceptive – but his right.

      I do not believe there is any particular scripture that claims that God will not intervene again, but I do not believe we have reason to believe that at this time.

      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2013, 9:19 pm
      • Your post does something rare: advance original ideas. It’s a breath of fresh air in the discussion, the least I can do is encourage it with respect.

        Obviously if there were any significant variation in the fundamental forces and constants this would have profound implications for everything, ever. This is why, as I mentioned before, scientists continue testing whether or not it is – or did – happen every chance they can. Countless experiments have been run measuring the laws of physics throughout time yet none have shown evidence of any significant variation. This justifies the use our knowledge of the present to make inferences about the past.

        Finally, if there is nothing to suggest current divine intervention, what implications would this have for claims of miracles in the present?

        Posted by Adam Benton | August 8, 2013, 11:24 pm
        • You say “there is nothing to suggest divine intervention” in accordance with physical laws breaking/changing – but I think you are biased as to say the written record of history (Bible) is not admissible as evidence. I understand how that is a controversial idea, but that alone does not invalidate it. My only point to non-believers ever has been: the evidence for evolution does not dispel the idea of creationism. You need to prove uniformitarianism of all of history – which you cannot do without observation of all time. I believe the Bible accurately records the early time that we can no longer observe and therefore we have a reliable record of what occurred.

          Posted by Tim | August 9, 2013, 12:12 am
          • It sounds like what you’re asking for is total proof, which is something science cannot provide. We can only gather a finite number of observations, so there will always be an element of uncertainty. The trick is to try and reduce this uncertainty by constantly retesting and refining our ideas. Thus we can be confident about our conclusions, even though they can’t be completely proven.

            It’s worth noting that this problem is not unique to uniformitarianism, but is present throughout all of science. As such everything from drugs to Einstenin’s theory of general relativity is constantly being re-examined at every opportunity. To use this lack of total proof to reject uniformitarianism whilst accepting any other aspect of science is a double standard, and one I’d encourage you to re-evaluate.

            As for the use of the Bible as evidence, I wouldn’t reject it out of hand. Books and written records, from scientific journals to historical documents, are a key source of evidence. The problem is that th Bible isn’t a particularly good source of evidence (at least on matters of cosmology, biology and so forth).

            Posted by Adam Benton | August 9, 2013, 2:00 pm
            • I certainly appreciate all your comments here! I believe the real issue here with uniformitarianism is the idea that we need to become more familiar with hard and soft science. I believe sciences that study historical issues that can no longer be observed or repeated should be considered a soft science, and science that creates computers, vaccines, and puts men on the moon with observable and repeatable evidence = hard science (or real science). I dunno, maybe there are better terms. Historical science vs. operational science.

              Your ending comments on the Bible expose your bias.

              Posted by Tim | August 9, 2013, 2:12 pm
              • I thought your big point about uniformitarianism is that complete proof has yet to be provided, not the notion it is a fundamentally different kind of science. Hopefully this shift in priorities means I’ve been able to assuage some of the concerns regarding the former, which makes me happy. It’s always good to know both sides get something positive out of a discussion.

                As for this new idea that historical science is somehow soft or “not real”, that’s simply untrue. Both your historical and operational science follows the same scientific method. You create a hypothesis and use it to generate a prediction. You then test that prediction against an observation and adapt the hypothesis accordingly. Whether that observation is a fossil or the results of an experiment is moot. Both approaches use the same method and so both are reliable ways of investigating reality.

                The only significant difference between the two is that experiments can be performed whenever we want, thus data can be gathered faster. This just means historical science tends to progress a bit slower, not that it “soft” or non-science.

                And I probably do have biases, that’s why I seek out opposing views. By critically examining my own and others positions hopefully I can figure out if my attempts to figure out the truth are being distorted.

                Posted by Adam Benton | August 9, 2013, 6:43 pm
                • Alright, let’s do the scientific method. You find a rock. You want to know how old it is. You discover an atomic decay rate. You extrapolate that rate backwards in time and develop a starting date/age for that rock. (I realize its more complex than this, but for this example). This is what I would call historical science. The unknown/unobservable element is the assumed deep time. You extraploated to a 0 amount, but why did u assume it started at 0? Couldn’t it have started at some point in the decay process? Could some event come along within the time frame and changed the elements? How do you KNOW it is 4.5 billion years old without observation of that time? That, to me, is soft science.

                  Take Adam on day six of creation. Do you dating/aging techniques on him. Does he age 1 day old or 30-some years old as a fully-created adult male? He may look one age but actually be another age. To me, the same concept applies to dating rocks of the earth. Unless you know the initial conditions, and that nothing interfered, you cannot accurately age-date anything.

                  Here’s my other favorite example: you walk into a room with an hourglass pouring sand in the middle of its cycle. You want to determine how long it has been going for. You measure the rate at which the sand is going through. You extrapolate that back to determine the sand has been falling for 4.5 billion years. BUT you don’t really know if all the sand was on the top when it was originally turned over. You also don’t know if the hourglass was ever interrupted. You have assumed it has never was interrupted and that it was full when started.

                  Too many unverifiable assumptions = soft science.

                  Posted by Tim | August 9, 2013, 7:05 pm
                  • How do we know the clock started at 0? For most methods we know this because of the nature of the materials we’re dealing with. Electron pits are blasted clean by sunlight, resetting the fission track clock. That’s just how electron pits work. Similarly thorium is insoluble, so you can be sure it isn’t naturally present in the water-based materials analysed through Uranium-thorium analysis. One notable exception to this is radiocarbon dating. Rather than naturally being “reset to 0” we can look at the atmospheric radiocarbon levels in the past; rather than making assumptions about what the starting value was.

                    But how do we know the samples were not contaminated? The answer is to take lots of samples, ideally using multiple dating methods. Most sites are dated from dozens of specimens using (if possible) 2 or 3 techniques. If they were contaminated they should all be inconsistent. Experiments where contamination has been induced in samples reveals that the odds of every single specimen being contaminated to the exact same degree is vanishingly small, to the point where tornadoes forming jet planes in junkyards seems likely. Thus if the majority of your samples give consistent ages then it’s a safe bet nothing interfered with them.

                    What if the laws of physics themselves were changing? Wouldn’t that yield consistent results that were also wrong? Nope. Radiometric decay is a result of the constants and fundamental principles we discussed earlier. However, if they changed they would affect the different decay rates disproportionately. In other words, they wouldn’t be consistent even if the laws of physics were in flux. But they are, indicating they are reliable.

                    These assumptions aren’t quite as baseless as they may appear.

                    Posted by Adam Benton | August 9, 2013, 11:27 pm
              • This is a common line in evangelism (past events cannot be tested) but it’s not the case, we can test hypotheses about past events by testing the physical properties involved or making predictions about evidence we do not yet have, such as making predictions with the potential to falsify our theory before a genome is sequenced or a stellar observation is made or two particles are smashed together in a particle collider etc. Are fingerprints and paternity tests “soft” evidence? Forensic evidence is considered more damning than eye witness testimony. If I said x person killed y person but the bloody fingerprints along the bruise patterns in their throat, DNA under their fingernails, blood spatter patterns on their shirt etc, etc said that person B is the killer, would you think I was lying? I hope so.

                Posted by agnophilo | August 13, 2013, 1:09 am
  2. Nothing about evolution has stopped, nor has the changing of the cosmos, the universe is still observably expanding and stars are still observably forming and dying. You are confusing the fundamental properties of the universe being consistent with trivia being the same. Think of it like legos, the properties of the legos stay the same but you can recombine them to form an infinite number of things. 1 + 1 equaling two is not dependent on stars ceasing to form or our DNA being the same as it was yesterday. And yes all life is in a state of flux, your DNA isn’t the same as your parents’ DNA, nor will your brain chemistry be the same tomorrow as it was today.

    I don’t see the problem you see at all.

    Posted by agnophilo | August 13, 2013, 1:04 am

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