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Creation/Evolution, science, Uncategorized

How can all those scientists be wrong?

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Is the photo above a man standing sideways (profile), or is the man standing forwards with half the picture cut off?  Two different people will come to two different conclusions.  Let’s keep that in mind…

 

The vast majority of scientists agree that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, and evolution via natural selection and common ancestry is the means by which humanity came into being.  Obviously, as a young-earth creationist, I do not agree with either of those staples of science.  But what about all the evidence, Tim??  Let me explain my position…

I believe that the scientific method requires that all evidence must be interpreted before a conclusion is drawn.  My issue is not with the evidence itself, it is with the interpretation stage.  I believe that scientists interpret the evidence through a worldview filter.  Their worldview filter includes their personal beliefs about how the world does or does not operate.  For example, if I believe there is no supernatural influence in the world and everything continues on the way and the rate at which it always has, then I am going to interpret something like radiometric decay or geology much differently than someone who believes God has intervened in this world at various points in our early history.

 

Let’s look at a couple examples…

If God really created Adam on the literal sixth day of creation – how old do you think he might look on day 7?  Was he a full grown man?  30… maybe 40?  But the truth is he is only one day old.  He was created fully mature and able to sustain himself.  Now apply that concept to the rest of creation.  If God really created the world in six days fully mature and self-sustaining – how might that affect the apparent age of the earth?  And how might that affect our research if we left out that concept?  Might we come to a much different conclusion?  I think so.  The point is evidence like radiometric dating the age of the earth doesn’t rule out a special creation because things still might appear older than they truly are and yet that would still be in line Biblicaly.

But isn’t that a deceptive God??  I hear this all the time.  No, it’s not.  Perhaps God never intended us to study the age of the earth while ignoring his revelation about how He did it!  Not God’s deception, human ignorance.

As for geology, we have to look at what might have happened had Noah’s flood actually covered and destroyed the whole world as the Bible seems to imply.  Take the layers at the Grand Canyon.  Two schools of thought: either a little bit of water (the Colorado River) over a long period of time (millions of years) OR a lot of water (the flood) over a little period of time.  The same evidence, different conclusions based on different interpretations that are dependent on our worldview assumptions.

But doesn’t science work to weed out the assumptions?  Yes, but it gets harder and harder when science steps outside of direct observation and repeatability.  Of course we can’t observe or repeat creation or the flood or anything from that time period.  We only have left over evidence that requires human interpretation.

But what about multiple lines of evidence all agreeing on the same conclusion??  Isn’t that correlation the nail in the coffin?  No, not if each one of those line of evidence were all interpreted under the same starting worldview assumption of uniformitarianism – the idea that present processes are the way things have always worked.  If Genesis is true and the world was created rapidly, altered following original sin, and destroyed during the flood – uniformitarainism fails, and so does all conclusions that follow from that assumption.

Keep in mind that I am NOT saying that the laws of nature change all the time and thus science is impossible.  I am being specific and citing three main events from Genesis in which things would have worked differently than the way we see them working today.  Science that puts computers on our desks and phones in our pockets are based on modern, observations that are repeatable and verifiable.  Science such as evolution and the age of the earth are much different and require much more debatable assumptions.

The conclusions of an old earth and evolution rely on the worldview assumptions of naturalism and specifically uniformitarianism being absolutly true and unchangeable.  As a Christian, I believe God does and has intervened in our world.  I also believe the Bible is a historical, reliable account of the creation of the world.  And since that is true, it contains information that makes me seriously doubt uniformitarianism.  I replace it with the assumption of catastrophism of history – that several high impace, rapid events occurred shaping our planet’s apparent history very quickly rather than gradually.

Yes, we both use starting assumptions to interpret the evidence.  It’s not evolutionists have more evidence than creationists, it’s that we interpret the same evidence differently based on a different set of starting assumptions.  So, the real question is – whose starting assumptions are more reliable?  The majority of scientists believe their assumptions are correct because the constant rates have never been observed to be different.  That actually is a pretty logical conclusion.  But that doesn’t disqualify the creationist worldview.  We believe we have additional information in the revealed word of God – therefore we see our starting assumptions as more reliable than fallible human intellect because it comes straight from God who was there, observed it, and doesn’t lie.  And thus, the debate rages on!

 

 

 

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

20 thoughts on “How can all those scientists be wrong?

  1. That was a really good way of addressing a rather debatable topic in itself!

    Posted by thepassionatepsychopath | January 29, 2016, 8:13 pm
  2. Very well explained!

    Posted by Lee | January 30, 2016, 12:22 am
  3. The assumption here is that the starting point for science is that the earth is old and always has been, and that scientists who argue for an old earth are only open to interpreting the evidence in one way.

    However, the scientific method doesn’t work that way. Conclusions are borne from evidence, rather than unwelcome evidence being ignored or shoehorned to fit pre-established ideas.

    Theories around the age of the universe and of the earth are borne out of observations and evidence, which leads to experiments and more observations to test those theories. Science doesn’t assume – it continously examines and tests ideas, working off the results of those tests. This is where our understanding of the age of the cosmos comes from, along with the age of the earth and evolution. Since we are dealing with incredible lengths of time, it’s impossible to be 100% certain of everything, just as science does not offer 100% guarantees, but it offers a clear neutral ground and testable observations in many cases.

    If the earth were created a few thousand years ago, but aged so as to appear billions of years old, one must first ask the question of why. Science deals with a principle called Occam’s Razor, whereby extra mechanisms introduced to a theory are removed if they are not necessary. It is impossible to verify, especially if the observations about earth’s age would be the same.

    There is no problem with treating it as a matter of faith. However, introducing this as a scientific idea, when it is by definition impossible to verify or observe, is wrong.

    Posted by darthtimon | February 1, 2016, 12:49 pm
    • The earth was created mature and fully functioning in order to sustain life in only six days of creation. That is the why. Scientists most certainly believe (have faith in / assume) uniformitarianism in order to conclude old ages. I’ve never said it is an illogical assumption, just that it IS an assumption (unprovable). Thus interpretations/conclusions of an old earth do not rule out other interpretations (young earth).

      Posted by Tim | February 2, 2016, 2:25 pm
      • Respectfully, the creation narrative is an article of faith, perfectly valid as such, but it fails observational tests and Occam’s Razor. This is why scientists discount it as a scientific theory.

        Posted by darthtimon | February 2, 2016, 4:01 pm
        • I believe the evolution narrative is an article of faith, and perfectly valid as such. Occam’s Razor should say that since all we observe is life coming from life it is unscientific to posit life coming from non-life. Since observation shows we only see intelligence coming from intelligence, perhaps Occam’s Razor should shift towards creation. Since we only see each kind giving birth to it’s own kind, perhaps Occam’s Razor validates creation more than evolution. Perhaps the majority of scientists are not being intellectually honest about Occam’s Razor.

          Posted by Tim | February 2, 2016, 4:19 pm
          • We are at an impasse, since I believe you are misrepresenting (albeit unintentionally) how evolution works and misinterpreting the evidence.

            The most important thing however, is that it is not possible, via current observations of the age of the universe and the age of the earth, to suggest the age of the cosmos is anything other than billions of years for both. Once again, I would put forward the question of why God would create the universe a few thousand years ago, then make it appear far older. What purpose is there to this act? To what does it achieve?

            Furthermore, whilst it is all well and good to accept the literal word of the Bible as the only truth, the Bible is not the only creation narrative and the believers of every religion will hold steadfast that their beliefs and their INTERPRETATIONS of those beliefs are the only possible correct ones. None of them are measurable or verifiable, except by using their conclusions as the starting point, which is the complete opposite of the scientific approach.

            Posted by darthtimon | February 2, 2016, 9:38 pm
            • There is one part of your comment that is VERY true. Yes, interpretations and beliefs about origins can never be scientific or verifiable. None of us were there. It always comes down to faith. But I think where you are unwilling to admit is that your belief falls into the same category.

              Posted by Tim | February 2, 2016, 10:06 pm
              • There is a difference between what can be studied and evidenced (such as evolution and the age of the universe), and what is taken entirely as faith. It is not faith-based to say the universe is, based on observations, billions of years old. It is entirely faith-based to say it was created by God a few thousand years ago and made to look that way.

                Posted by darthtimon | February 2, 2016, 10:09 pm
                • As soon as you can demonstrate that the constant rates you rely on to come to an old-earth and evolution are truly constant and unchangeable by any supernatural force, then I will come to your side of the debate. Until then, we BOTH operate on faith.

                  Posted by Tim | February 3, 2016, 4:02 pm
  4. I find it interesting that you say “I believe that the scientific method requires that all evidence must be interpreted before a conclusion is drawn”. The remainder of your article works from a pre-determined conclusion that a god made the world and rationalize backwards from there.

    A “created as old” theory has no evidence for it, but was invented only to support a conclusion you already have.

    Geologists have observed countless floods and none of them confuse those effects with the winding path of the hard-stone Grand Canyon. Have you looked at all the evidence?

    Posted by Paul Ens | February 2, 2016, 12:55 am
    • If I treat the historical account in Genesis as the hypothesis, and then look at the evidence in the world – there is nothing that goes against a young-earth interpretation. There are other interpretations, and you may feel they are more accurate, but I believe starting with the word of God – who was there and never lies – is a pretty strong starting point.

      Posted by Tim | February 2, 2016, 2:28 pm
  5. Even if one were to grant you that a deity exists, what evidence do you have that it was always there? That it never lies? A supernatural being who ALWAYS lies would create the same bible that you reference.

    Posted by Paul Ens | February 2, 2016, 5:49 pm
  6. You censor me – but other people are making very similar points and making clear how you are profoundly anti-science.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | February 3, 2016, 8:36 pm
    • Ashley, I can tell when people honestly don’t understand the points I am trying to make and when they are just looking to drag someone through the mud. So yes, I censor comments that do not add to the actual conversation. Comments that allow me to clarify or expand on the topic at hand are welcome. Yours did not do that.

      You say I am anti-science, but science is simply the exploration of knowledge. If my arguments/assumptions are true, then everyone else is “anti-science”. The accusation does nothing to expand this conversation. It is quite literally designed to be a conversation ender. The biggest discoveries in science were made by those who were brave enough to go against the consensus.

      Posted by Tim | February 3, 2016, 9:34 pm

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