More on Why Creation Is Foundational To Science – Not Evolution
It appears that a post entitled Why Creation Is Foundational To Science – Not Evolution has been the object of some spirited discussion at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/25760. This article drew attention recently when ScienceAgainstEvolution.org featured CreationLetter.com as their website of the month.
A commenter who dubs herself gluadys disagrees with me on several points:
“To begin with: the title. Neither creation nor evolution are foundational to science. What is foundational to science is the scientific method which Bree[de]n has already attributed to Christian thought about God and nature.
Creation, as a theological doctrine, plays no part in science. Of course, the created order (i.e. the natural world) is the object of scientific study, but the theology of creation does not enter into that study. Evolution is an important theory about an important part of the created order.
Here gluadys commits the fallacy of bifurcation: the old science versus religion/theology canard, pretending as if there is no such thing as creation science – only creation theology. While it’s true that our origins science is based on our theology, it is equally true that the origin science of evolution is based on an atheistic philosophy (naturalism investigates the world as if God did not exist). Since the interpretations of origins science are determined by its ultimate standard (reason or special revelation; man’s word or God’s Word), we should expect a Christian to interpet the evidence consistent with Biblical revelation. We acknowledge that some Christians are not quite so consistent in this area, but they ought to be.
Moreover, gluadys contradicts herself by stating that “Creation, as a theological doctrine, plays no part in science,” yet admitting that the scientific method is attributed to “Christian thought about God and nature.” Does she propose that Christian thought about God and nature is divorced from the theological doctrine of creation?
Of course, she’s missing the point entirely, as she reveals when she makes the contradictory statement: “Evolution is an important theory about an important part of the created order.” You see, evolution is the all-natural Just-so story of how the heavens and the earth created themselves out of nothing and how all life sprang from a single organism which sprang from random chemical processes; this modern-day all-natural fable is the inevitable result of science which plays by an arbitrary set of rules that refuses to consider supernatural agency [creation]. It is utter nonsense to suggest that God created by a process which was imagined to make Him entirely unnecessary!
And only the Biblical Creationist has a consistently rational basis for the uniformity we find in nature. Dr. Jason Lisle, author of The Ultimate Proof of Creation, has given this line of reasoning quite a bit of thought in a post called Evolution: The Anti-Science:
“The biblical creationist expects there to be order in the universe because God made all things (John 1:3) and has imposed order on the universe. Since the Bible teaches that God upholds all things by His power (Hebrews 1:3), the creationist expects that the universe would function in a logical, orderly, law-like fashion. Furthermore, God is consistent and omnipresent. Thus, the creationist expects that all regions of the universe will obey the same laws, even in regions where the physical conditions are quite different. The entire field of astronomy requires this important biblical principle.
Moreover, God is beyond time (2 Peter 3:8) and has chosen to uphold the universe in a consistent fashion throughout time for our benefit. So, even though conditions in the past may be quite different than those in the present and future, the way God upholds the universe (what we would call the “laws of nature”) will not arbitrarily change.8 God has told us that there are certain things we can count on to be true in the future—the seasons, the diurnal cycle, and so on (Genesis 8:22). Therefore, under a given set of conditions, the consistent Christian has the right to expect a given outcome because he or she relies upon the Lord to uphold the universe in a consistent way.
These Christian principles are absolutely essential to science. When we perform a controlled experiment using the same preset starting conditions, we expect to get the same result every time. The “future reflects the past” in this sense. Scientists are able to make predictions only because there is uniformity as a result of God’s sovereign and consistent power. Scientific experimentation would be pointless without uniformity; we would get a different result every time we performed an identical experiment, destroying the very possibility of scientific knowledge.”
So the Biblical Creationists has a rational basis for trusting in the uniformity of nature and past experience. The evolutionist has no rational basis for the uniformity we find in nature. If the universe is the result of chance, random events, we have no way to know whether the uniformity we have experienced extends to the entire universe or will continue in the future; furthermore, if our brains are the result of chance, chemical processes, we have no way to know whether we can trust our experiences. Thus, Lisle correctly concludes:
“Evolutionists are able to do science only because they are inconsistent. They accept biblical principles such as uniformity, while simultaneously denying the Bible from which those principles are derived. Such inconsistency is common in secular thinking; secular scientists claim that the universe is not designed, but they do science as if the universe is designed and upheld by God in a uniform way.”
And as for theistic evolutionists, well, the inconsistencies we’ve mentioned already are their ultimate downfall:
“A theistic evolutionist does not believe that Genesis is literally true. But if Genesis is not literally true, then there is no reason to believe that Genesis 8:22 is literally true. This verse is where God promises that we can count on a certain degree of uniformity in the future. Without biblical creation, the rational basis for uniformity is lost.
It’s not just any god that is required in order to make sense of uniformity; it is the Christian God as revealed in the Bible. Only a God who is beyond time, consistent, faithful, all powerful, omnipresent, and who has revealed Himself to mankind can guarantee that there will be uniformity throughout space and time. Therefore, only biblical creationists can account for the uniformity in nature.”
Oblivious to the logical inconsistency of her position, gluadys continues:
“Second: the implication that the appendix and the tonsils in humans are not vestigial. I am not promoting the routine removal of these organs. As long as they cause no problems, let them be. But they are still vestigial.”
Seriously? This critic’s information appears to be a bit out-dated. Vestigial arguments presume common ancestry to be true and then propose that so-called vestigial organs are proof of common ancestry. The argument is entirely circular. See Vestigial Arguments: Begging the Question For Darwin for more on this subject.
Third, the appellation “intellectual larceny” applied to the synthesis of different scientific theories. Scientists have every right to get insights about one field from another field of science. After all, there is only one created order, so if various theories are incompatible, at least one must be in error in some way. A good theory does not only explain its own topic well, but is consistent with all scientific theories in all scientific fields.
Gluadys did a nice job of moving the goalposts here. Wells was talking about the fact that evolutionists seem to take credit for things that have nothing to do with microbes-to-man evolution [or co-opted portions of theories that were actually in dispute of evolutionism, in the case of Mendel, who believed in genetic limitations which would have made goo-to-you evolution impossible, or von Baer, whose work in embryology was distorted to appear to support of Darwinism when in fact it stood at odds with his theory.] For example, speciation, mutation and other observable horizontal changes within created kinds of creatures have nothing to do with the larger claim of unobserved vertical [phyletic] fish-to-philosopher evolution. In fact, as I comment in Deflating Dobzhansky’s Grand Assumption, or Why Microevolution Does Not Lead To Macroevolution:
“What we actually OBSERVE is far different from the claims of evolutionists. We see animals change over time, but there are limits to that change.
For example, bacteria may mutate to resist a vaccine but it remains bacteria. A finch or woodpecker might change beak sizes in dry/wet seasons, but they remain finches and woodpeckers respectively. Furthermore, we note that the information [genetic potential] was already there encoded in the animals DNA. No new information was added. All change is horizontal not vertical as would be necessitated by macroevolution’s claims. The deck was simply shuffled. Furthermore, we note that if there is a change in the amount of genetic variability, there is a decidely downward trend. For example, one could theoretically breed a poodle from a wolf [eventually], but you could never breed a wolf from a poodle [the latter of which is afflicted with so many genetic disorders as to make my point further evident]. “
When evolutionists make the unsubstantiated claim that such observable phenomena are evidence for their unobservable claim of microbes-to-man evolution, they are are are guilty of the very “intellectual larceny” Wells accuses them of.
Let’s move on to gluadys’ final objection:
“Finally the implication (never explicitly stated) that “evolutionism” has something to do with the science of evolution. He speaks of “evolutionists” for example, who “object that their theory is more rational than the belief in a Creator God.” No doubt, among the people who agree with the theory of evolution, there are some who fit this description. But calling them “evolutionists” suggests two errors of fact:
–that most people who agree with the theory of evolution as science also take this stand about God, and
–that taking this stand about God is part of the theory of evolution.
Neither of these last statements is true.”
Evolutionists often object when we put that -ism after the word evolution, or [ironically] when we call them evolutionists. The reason for this is obvious. They believe evolution is science and thus the suffix -ism or -ist should be reserved for things they believe are mere ideologies or pseudosciences. Thus, they have no problem refering to creation science as creationistm and those who practice it as creationists; conversely, they have a problem admitting that creation science exists at all, so it’s easy for evolutionists to commit the logical fallacy of bifurcation [as gluadys demonstrated in her 1st objection].
Now, I use the terms interchangeably, because the origins debate isn’t really about evidence or science. We have exactly the same pool of evidence because we live in the same universe, but we have different interpretations of that evidence. Creationists recognize that there are two type of science: operational and origins.
Operational science deals with the present and is subject to the scientific method – It is testable, observable, repeatable and falsifiable. Origins science, also refered to as historical or forensic science, deals with the past and is NOT subject to the scientific method. It is not directly testable. The past cannot be observed or repeated; it’s already happened. Operational science deals with the material world we observe and is temporally limited to present phenomena.
Origins science is something of an educated guess based on a weight of arguments and evidences, the latter of which are not self-interpretive and are generally interpreted according to our presuppositions. Typically, a rescuing device may be employed to avoid falsification. Our presuppositions are derived from whatever we hold our ultimate standard of authority (eg. reason, the Bible, consensus, et cetera). Origins science is therefore not the same as operational science.
Creation science is science that holds the Bible as it’s ultimate standard. Of course, evolutionists like to pretend that they have no presuppositions, but they presuppose naturalism and, conversely, refuse to consider the very possibility of supernatural agency. Theistic evolutionists allow for some sort of nebulous supernatural oversight, but they’re inconsistent, as previously discussed. In fact, while they give lipservice to the Bible as their ultimate standard, in practice they hold naturalism and human reason as their ultimate standard since they claim the Scriptures must be re-interpreted in accordance with the opinions of men who [largely] suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Again, if human reason is the result of chance chemical processes as evolutionists suppose, why should we trust that as our ultimate standard over the revealed Word of a God who never lies, always tells the truth, knows everything and has always been there?
The Origins Argument isn’t about facts or science; it’s about authority. Who gets to make the rules: God or men? Whose word should be our ultimate standard? It’s about authority: The revealed Word of an infallible, infinite God versus the ever-changing word of fallible, finite men who reject Him and who weren’t there.
Our ultimate standard should be the one is non-arbitrary, consistent and rational. Only the Biblical Creationist worldview provides such a basis for the uniformity of nature, without which scientific inquiry would be impossible. Which is why creation is foundational to science – not evolution.