Just the Facts Ma’am

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, May 7, 2015 44 comments

by Steve Risner

“Just the facts, ma’am.”—Joe Friday

Facts. These can be funny things. Very frequently, we may accidentally call our interpretation of the facts the facts. This happens when discussing scientific issues all the time. But “science” wouldn’t be dogmatic about its explanation of the facts, would it? You wouldn’t be called a liar or an idiot because you don’t think someone’s explanation of the facts is right, would you? Would a “scientist” claim his opinion of the facts is as sure as the facts themselves? Do we confuse what a fact is, a dot so to speak, and the interpretation of those facts, the lines in between the dots? The answer is a confident yes. Discussions with evolutionists or Big Bang cosmologists are filled with these types of errors—errors in classification.

What’s a fact? A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable careful observation or measurement by experiments or other means. The obvious question concerning the origin of life or the transition of an ape-like ancestor to a human is, “Who saw it?” Notice this definition, provided by Wikipedia, says verifiability is linked to experience. Has anyone ever, in the history of the world, seen life brought out of inorganic chemistry, or an ape-like creature become more like a human? Not once. Yes, man has tried, with all its brains and intent, to create life out of inorganic chemistry and failed, but nature blindly and ignorantly managed by accident. This is what some call “science.” Who has ever experienced the formation of a universe? Have you? I certainly have not. No one has, in fact. In terms of scientific facts, they must be observable, repeatable, and testable. There are claims that Darwinism accomplishes this, but is that true? How can you test if the famed “Lucy” was a transition from anything to anything else? What experiment would confirm or deny this? We call this empirical evidence. In terms of “Lucy,” here are the facts: fossil remains were found in Ethiopia in 1974ish, we can assume it was from the area but that is not a fact—it’s an assumption, the organism lived and died, and that’s the end of it. Any other information, aside from a few small details I’m sure one could come up with, is all interpretation of the facts. The age, its gender, how it died, if the pieces actually go together (there were many, many other fossils found in the area… and some found 1.5 miles away that were selected from to give us this “transition” to man from ape), what it ate, how it lived, or just about anything else is interpreting the facts. It is not the facts themselves.

Again, from Wikipedia, we find a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation, in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts. Here we see the crux of the issue: discovery of facts vs their explanation or interpretation. It is so vitally critical for us to see the distinction. Wikipedia goes on to say that scientific facts are generally believed to be independent of the observer: no matter who performs a scientific experiment, all observers will agree on the outcome. Hence, the above explanation of the facts is correct—we know this animal lived and died and was found in Ethiopia. No one can dispute these things. But when you give me your opinion beyond that, I can agree or disagree. Hence, we are no longer discussing facts. We are discussing our opinion of those facts.

Evolutionists will cry that Darwinism is testable and repeatable and observable. They’ll say it fits within the model of the scientific method, described by Francis Bacon, a creationist. However, the religion of Darwinism is historical science. It is not observational science. Observational science is science we can observe. We can see it in front of us. Wikipedia tells us that “historical science" is a term used to describe sciences in which data is provided primarily from past events and for which there is usually no direct experimental data, such as cosmology, astronomy, astrophysics, geology, paleontology, and archaeology. Note that evolution isn’t in this list but you can easily see how it should be. Cosmology, where the Big Bang falls, is in the list, which is actually a bit surprising to me, as is geology. But we see that evolution cannot be observable or testable because it’s a past event. I guess we should make sure there is a distinction here between “evolution” meaning a molecules to man progression over billions of years rather than “evolution” meaning a small change in an organism usually due to a degenerative error in replication or adaptive powers of an organism. There is a huge difference, yet many evolutionists will equivocate the two. Research in the realm of origins requires educated guessing—which is a fancy way to say storytelling. That’s true for either side. We have the same facts—the exact same facts—and we tell a story based on those facts. The story should not be confused with the actual facts. It’s like a “connect the dots” puzzle only there are no numbers, or very few, to give you direction. One scientist can connect the dots to create a picture of a chicken while another can use the same dots and draw a station wagon. This is an excellent analogy of the problem. While a creationist will draw the station wagon, the evolutionist is screaming, “You’re not a scientist because you didn’t draw a chicken!” when there is no reason to say that based on the facts.

How about an example from within the faith? Do all evolutionists tell the same story with the facts? No. They don’t. If you read my blog post on Lucy, you’ll find this--- It's said she walked upright like modern humans but had a pretty tiny brain. This is one of the stories evolutionists will tell about the evolution of man—apelike creatures began walking upright and then slowly developed a bigger, more complex brain. Is there any support for such a notion? Not at all. In fact, some will say the exact opposite—that we began developing bigger brains and moved to the ground looking for food and using tools. If the evolutionist is consistent and treats similar situations similarly, each in this case would have to accuse the other of not being scientific. They have the same facts and have different ideas. They both can’t be right.

“But you’re saying that forensics, which puts away criminals all the time, isn’t science,” is something I have heard many times. Forensics is essentially historical science. We get some facts around and use them to try to piece together what occurred most often in reference to a crime. The unfortunate thing with forensics is that television shows like CSI, NCIS, 24, and so many others have made it seem like this is hard core science at its best. Sadly, reality is exceptionally different than these shows portray.

Next week I plan to discuss forensics also known as historical science and relate it to this debate. Stay tuned! I greatly appreciate your time and interest in this topic, regardless of the stance you take in the debate.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

44 comments:

ashleyhr said...

So a literally global flood less than 5,000 years ago is not a fact since nobody alive today witnessed such a thing.

Thomas Johnson said...

A note at the bottom of your post says, "This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration."

Do you allow posts that reflect differing viewpoints?

Steve said...

Ashley, you've misunderstood but I appreciate your comment. You see, someone was alive at the time. Someone saw it. 8 someones in fact. The history of England records them in their lineages. Well, some mention of Noah but more so mentioning of Japheth. "...alive today" is not a necessary condition. Was someone alive to see the massive expansion that allegedly began the universe? Was someone around to see our solar system form? Was someone around at all that witnessed pond scum magically turning into life? Did someone see "Lucy" as she walked around (likely on all fours)? Who witnessed any of this? No one for two reasons: 1) none of it happened except Lucy walking around and 2) there were no intelligent beings, allegedly, at the time any of this stuff happened. Are you getting it?

Steve said...

Thomas, of course. However, as stated on another thread and at the bottom of each blog, respect is a requirement. You may have the most damning material I've ever seen to destroy my notions in my blogs and I will be excited to post them as they will add to my knowledge base. However, if you make any statements with disrespect or with attacks, your comments, no matter how rich with content, will be deleted. I'm sure you understand.

Thomas Johnson said...

Steve - With regard to any eye-witness accounts of floods or other events: As has been demonstrated time and again in courts of law, "eye-witness testimony" cannot be regarded as absolutely true. Eye-witnesses can and do make mistakes, and psychology experiments confirm this. How many "eye-witness" accounts of UFO sightings have been reported? How many of these do you suppose are "the truth?


The probability of an eye-witness account being true, especially when there is no clear record of how the witness' account was recorded and preserved, is not convincingly high, IMHO. On the other hand, a scientific analysis of evidence using a widely accepted method (e.g. by radio-carbon dating, counting tree rings) may have a greater probability of providing true results than any eye-witness account.

ashleyhr said...

Like I said nobody alive TODAY saw such a thing.

I have misunderstood nothing.

When this is the case with natural events/claimed events in the distant past, what counts is the physical evidence as much as any claimed anecdotal experiences in ancient literature.

Charlie said...

Thomas, you bring up an interesting point: the reliable eye-witness. Yes, there are times eye-witnesses can be unreliable, but that does not make the idea faulty. There is a reason forensic teams and CSI teams search for eye-witnesses FIRST when they get to a scene. They aren't always available and yes, sometimes they are not reliable. But if it was such a worthless testimony, why do the courts have witness stands? And why do lawyers make such an effort to try to discredit the reliability of a witness?

But have you ever looked into the means of how a historical account is considered 'more likely valid' since you like to use probabilities? Have you looked into the criteria historians use? Here are two of them. Test of Collusion and Test of Embarrassment.

The Test of Collusion compares accounts of the same events and looks for differences in the accounts that do not reflect outright contradictions. The four Gospels passes this test with flying colors. The Test of Embarrassment states that if an author writes things that would embarrass the author or the integrity of the claims, then chances are very good the account is true. Have you ever read any account of a people where the people are held in such negative light like in the Bible? All Greek legends put the Greeks at the epitome of civilization, they could not do wrong. The Bible shows a people that had a very hard time doing anything right. It passes the test with flying colors. Yes, you can find a group of historians who reject this, just like I can find a group of historians who consider the Bible the best account of history ever written. I'm not interested in source wars. But you want to bring up reliable eye-witnesses. So far, we've got them. It really helps that they were inspired by the ultimate eye-witness: God himself. One who never lies nor misrepresents any facts.

Thomas Johnson said...

Charlie - You wrote, "It really helps that they were inspired by the ultimate eye-witness: God himself. One who never lies nor misrepresents any facts."

This is really what our disagreement boils down to. You chose to believe these things because for whatever reason, you WANT to believe these things. That's really all there is to it.
It's faith. It isn't logic, and it isn't science.

Steve said...

Ashley said "Like I said nobody alive TODAY saw such a thing.

I have misunderstood nothing."

Ironically, you either have misunderstood or you don't really have a point. No one alive TODAY is irrelevant which either means you don't understand the argument or you are just filling in some space in the comment section. Which is it?

Thomas, a very sincere thanks for approaching this with respect and courtesy. It is greatly appreciated by us all. This makes for much better dialogue.
If you are concerned with the eye witness testimony I have a couple things to say about that. 1) eye witness testimony is very important to an investigation because it can point the forensics team in the right direction. Without it, your guess is as good as anyone else's guess on the event. Eye witness testimony tells us what to look for or gives us a possible scenario. The geologic column, for instance, makes no sense in a uniformitarian world. There is no known process happening today that will add to the column. However, and I've referenced this in other blogs, the secularist is moving to the theory that catastrophe is responsible for the geologic column (which honestly is the only way to make sense of it) just like the Bible has said for thousands of years.
2) if the odds of eye witness testimony are so slim and this leads you to doubt it, how much more so the theory of evolution? The odds of a testimony being accurate are significantly higher than just about any part of the theory of evolution that has not been observed--abiogenesis, increased information in the genetic code allowing for new/novel phenotypical expression, transition forms, etc. I would take it, then, that you don't believe in Darwinism because the odds are astronomically low--so low, in fact, that each part of it is impossible. How does this jive with your statements?

Steve said...

Thomas, how do you account for all the erroneous readings we get from radiocarbon dating? How do you account for tree rings when they count each ring as a year rather than each ring for what it is? Same for ice cores? All the "accepted" methods you're referring to are consensus science which is anti-science, in my opinion. Actually, I think it's far more than my opinion. It's the way it is. You can choose to believe as you like, but that doesn't change the truth at all. "Well accepted" is what paves the road to an absence of freedom of thought and expression. Again, it's anti-science, especially when the reaction to someone questioning it is ranting, screaming, hissing, and excommunication. Don't you think?

Thomas Johnson said...

Steve, "You can choose to believe as you like, but that doesn't change the truth at all."

Yes Steve, you can certainly do that. It's what you do best.

Charlie said...

//This is really what our disagreement boils down to. You chose to believe these things because for whatever reason, you WANT to believe these things. That's really all there is to it.
It's faith. It isn't logic, and it isn't science.//

Yes, this is the root of our disagreement. Is the Bible the truth or not. I do not believe it for whatever reason. I believe it because I have tried and tested it, and found it to be true, completely. I have found not one challenge to hold water against it. You, apparently, reject it for whatever reason the 'experts' give you. But you've not tried it. I know you haven't because you don't know it. You've never been close to knowing it.

Is it faith? Yes it is. But not like you think. It's not blind. There is such a thing as blind faith and I see it no better demonstrated than in the Evolutionist. All you've done is read the books. Have you actually examined what they say? Have you checked out their resources? Do you understand the experiments (if any) they reference?

Is it logical? Most certainly. But not if you try to compare a God-centered worldview to a no-God worldview. That is where the logic fails. And it's not on my end.

Is it science? No it is not. And I don't know of any YEC who does claim it to be science. That has been the central theme of all these discussions. It is NOT science. It never has been. And it never will be. And that is also why science is a poor tool to use in such discussions. Science cannot address the supernatural both for confirmation AND for rejection purposes. To attempt to do so is as foolish as proclaiming that weight does not exist because you only accept that which a thermometer can tell you. Creation is a miracle. There is NOTHING scientific that can remotely support how the universe got here. You need something outside science. We know what science is, how we can use it, and when we can't. Do you?

David J. said...

//One scientist can connect the dots to create a picture of a chicken while another can use the same dots and draw a station wagon. This is an excellent analogy of the problem.//

I've used a similar analogy myself.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jor0pae5a4uf7fn/science.png
Both lines fit the points, but one of them is clearly a more elegant fit.

In science, the number of "dots" isn't static.
A good theory will be able to predict where new dots will be found (or not found).

Creationism is compatible with all possible sets of dots, so it isn't useful for making predictions.

David J. said...

Charlie, how do you explain a person changing from one worldview to another? If we can only interpret everything from our worldview, that would seem to preclude us from changing our worldview.

Charlie said...

David, what you just described is Evolution in a nutshell. Evolution is so 'flexible' that even evidence that outright contradicts critical aspects of the theory is used to make it fit. Thomas Khun, whom Thomas here is quite familiar with, pointed out in 1970 that evidence that goes against the 'consensus' will be ignored, silenced, or even 'modified'. What you do not understand is that we are not calling our position science, so you are using a faulty comparison. Our model is not about making 'predictions'. We don't call it science, and rightfully so. Evolution does not predict where dots will turn up. They MOVE the dots to make it fit what they want it to fit. There is not ONE prediction Evolution has made that actually turned out to do what it was supposed to do. Tiktaalik does not do what it is claimed to do. Neither does Lucy or any other claimed transitional species. Yes, scientists say this and that, but look at the facts, not what is being claimed. I have never found an evolutionist that actually does "follow the evidence". Many claim it, but none of them actually do it.

How does one change ones' worldview? This is Romans 12:2 which is what we will get to later this year in our year-long study of Romans. In order to actually grasp what the Bible says, it does take faith. Not blind faith, but authentic trust. It is called a miracle for a reason. It takes the supernatural, recreating work of the Holy Spirit. This is the real power of Christianity and why so many fear it. Because you don't have control over it. That is what our study of Romans is revealing. You are someone's slave. You either bow to the authority of God or you are enslaved to your own selfish desires which we call sin.

You may think you have shaken free of religion, but ultimately all you have done is jumped ship. Not so easy to sail the ocean on your own. You are free of the ship, but so easily tossed about by the waves of false teaching that sound smart but lead to death. Not only are we Bible-believers on the ship, but we have a captain that knows how to get to the places that we could never navigate to on our own. How does one changes one's worldview? Especially in this context? You need the power of God to do it for you. That is what made the uneducated, terrified, cowardly disciples with more problems than a boat load of politicians into fearless men who stood before the authorities with power and were willing to speak the truth no matter how many said otherwise. And that is also what gives us the courage to stand against today's 'experts' and declare "this Book is the truth!" It is not a mere presupposition we make. It is a conviction that goes beyond your comprehension. And you won't understand it until you surrender your life to the Lordship of Christ. Then you will.

Bob Sorensen said...

Scientific "facts" keep getting reversed, and the only unchanging truth is in God's Word (Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35). And yes, creationists do make predictions.

David J. said...

//Thomas, how do you account for all the erroneous readings we get from radiocarbon dating?//

Steve, do you believe the proportion of c14 to c12 in an organic sample is due to naturalistic processes? Perhaps including processes that scientists are not currently aware of?

Could you could point me to a paper or article that better explains the reason we have various proportions of carbon isotopes in organic matter, or other isotopes in inorganic matter?

Charlie said...

//Steve, do you believe the proportion of c14 to c12 in an organic sample is due to naturalistic processes? Perhaps including processes that scientists are not currently aware of?

Could you could point me to a paper or article that better explains the reason we have various proportions of carbon isotopes in organic matter, or other isotopes in inorganic matter?//

I'll point you to A.E Wilder-Smith's "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing About Evolution." In this book, Wilder-Smith addresses how C14 is created via radiation in the atmosphere (something that is common knowledge). Something that is not common knowledge even among scientists today in this context is the effect of the earth's magnetic field on the production of C14 via radiation. Simply put, the stronger the magnetic field, the less C14 will be produced. The magnetic field is getting weaker. Carbon dating is dependent upon the ratio of TODAY's measurements of C14/12. As the method was created 60 years ago, little has been noticed to change, but anything above 1000 years ago is ultimately anyone's guess.

So in reality, because of the faulty assumptions that Willard Libby made (that C14 levels have been stable) the entire system is no good for 1000 years or more. And the only reason it is good for that is because we have objects of already known age that we can calibrate the results to. Anything older, and calibration has to be done with other dating methods, which has their own problems and is ultimately just one big circular reasoning argument.

The problem today is that many scientists take what is in the lab and try to make what they see there match the real world. And reality usually shows otherwise. This is especially important for radiometric dating purposes because no one has actually measured the actual decay rates. And the set-up they use to measure the decay rates do NOT reflect any real world situation. The difference between us is that you guys look at the guys in the white coats in a lab. We look at the real world. Your 'science' is as Nikola Tesla clearly pointed out:

"Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality."

You guys have equations. So does Star Wars, Star Trek, and X-men. We have reality. And we stick with it.

Thomas Johnson said...

Charlie wrote, "Wilder-Smith addresses how C14 is created via radiation in the atmosphere ... the effect of the earth's magnetic field on the production of C14 via radiation... the stronger the magnetic field, the less C14 will be produced."

Why do you bother with any natural-science-based explanations at all? You YECs pretend to use science when it suits you, and use the dodge of supernatural "miracles" whenever natural science doesn't work for you.

Scientists who reject supernatural explanations (i.e. most scientists) use natural laws consistently. This does not of course make natural science perfect. But it does make it far more plausible to the rational mind than your pseudo-science.

I hope you will at least allow this comment to be posted, as your blog claims to "allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration."

Charlie said...

Thomas, I allowed this post simply to expose how dead wrong you are...on everything. Not only does your post NOT show the respect you want from us, but actually illustrates how low one must stoop when one cannot handle sound argumentation. You have not actually brought a 'differing viewpoint'. You have brought mocking and ridicule. We have no obligation according to our 'rules' to post that. And you have been warned many times about it. You have not even demonstrated an alternative position. You have only told us to "go read some science books". We have. We know what they say. We know it enough where we can engage the material and talk about it. Can you? Anyone can cite another paper/book and be utterly clueless about what is in it. I see it every time you try to reference the Bible.


So in the end, let me make this very clear. Until you demonstrate a very clear change of tone, this post of yours is the last that will be seen on these forums. And that is final.

David J. said...

//This is especially important for radiometric dating purposes because no one has actually measured the actual decay rates. And the set-up they use to measure the decay rates do NOT reflect any real world situation.//

You've made the claim several times that there are problems with the measurements of decay rates. Do any of these options describe your view?
1. Accurately measuring decay rates is not possible with our current technology.
2. It is possible to accurately measure decay rates, but scientists are incompetent.
3. It is possible to accurately measure decay rates, but scientists are somehow afraid of accurate measurements, so purposefully use poor techniques.
4. Decay rates are affected significantly enough by external forces that a single number isn't meaningful.


How does the comment moderation here work? I posted a comment a couple days ago on Steve's Lucy post, but it has not shown up. I called out Steve for repeating the incorrect claim that Lucy is an amalgamation of bones found at two different locations about 1.5 miles apart.

Bob Sorensen said...

Interestingly, "natural" science invokes unknowns on a regular basis, but since they have nothing to do with the Creator, those unknown just-so stories are passed along as "science".

ashleyhr said...

Steve

"Has anyone ever, in the history of the world, seen life brought out of inorganic chemistry, or an ape-like creature become more like a human? Not once."

YECs like you are inconsistent. You dogmatically reject historical science regarding Earth's past because no scientist alive today saw it happen. And then insist - despite the lack of scientific evidence for such (a fossil record proves nothing in that regard) - on a literally global flood less than 5,000 years ago (which is both impossible and also was not seen by anyone alive today).

And how can there be a 'conversation' with people who censor criticisms willy nilly?People who do that are bigots.

Nobody in the past ever saw every mountain on Earth covered by floodwaters. Nobody. All they saw was one or more colossal local floods.

Steve said...

Ashley stated, "YECs like you are inconsistent. You dogmatically reject historical science regarding Earth's past because no scientist alive today saw it happen."---no. I'm not inconsistent and no, I don't say this. Please knock down your strawman arguments somewhere else. I seriously don't have time to argue about things I don't say.

Then, "And then insist - despite the lack of scientific evidence for such (a fossil record proves nothing in that regard) - on a literally global flood less than 5,000 years ago (which is both impossible and also was not seen by anyone alive today)."---Your second point is mute because the premise it's based on is false--see my comment above. The fossil record doesn't "prove" anything about anything aside from living things died and were fossilized. But there is ample evidence in the record to support a global flood. I'm really surprised you would even suggest this. We know most fossilized remains are created under water. We know that most fossil finds are massive graveyards of dead organisms. We know that many appear to have been killed in water and rapidly buried. Your "impossible" comment is interesting. You, I assume, believe the world was once covered with water. Most secularists do. But "impossible" coming from someone that believes in abiogenesis and Darwinian evolution is just too ironic for me to not point it out. Then you end with "no one alive today" which means nothing to the argument (the strawman repeats itself).

"And how can there be a 'conversation' with people who censor criticisms willy nilly?People who do that are bigots. "--willy nilly is not censoring comments that are offensive due to name calling and childish antics. I allowed this comment because it was so inept and I felt readers would benefit from seeing how unintellectual the argument against creation is. Although including "bigot" nearly got it tossed out. You have a very skewed idea about the world around you and how to interact with other humans. It's unfortunate and sad.

"Nobody in the past ever saw every mountain on Earth covered by floodwaters. Nobody. All they saw was one or more colossal local floods."---for someone who makes the claim to hold to the evidence and facts, you can't prove a single word of this or even support it. Nice work.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

You won't find the "observational science" vs. "historical science" in any standard science textbook used at universities because all fields of science are based on observations. [Indeed, if an academic discipline is not primarily based upon observations, it is not science at all.] However, a lot of non-scientists have confused the definition of "observations". Many limit it to "first person eye-witnessing by means of seeing something with the eyes. That is not what a scientist means by observations.

Many think that there is something "ultimate" about seeing something with the eyes which makes it the superior standard of observation. That's simple not true in science. We observe by many means, including all of the standard "human senses" people naturally think of and a few that people use every day but don't stop to think about them or know that they have names. But scientists observe by many other means,such as sensors and instruments which use electrical impulses to send and record data on computer media. We observe by a wide variety of means.

Early in my career, I found myself assigned 1/3 time to the Dept of the History & Philosophy of Science. I found it interesting that the undergrads who happened to take such a course had previously had very little background in the "general fundamentals" of science. Even in junior high and high school, the emphasis was on specific familiar disciplines of science: usually biology, chemistry, earth science, physics and not much more. (At most they had a brief first chapter of the book which defined a few general scientific terms and concepts.) Most of my students, even the Honor Consortium students I had in some years, could not correctly define and explain the difference between a scientific theory and a scientific law. (Many had even picked up the mythical belief that "If a scientific theory is completely proven, it graduates to become a law of science." Dreadfully wrong.) Rarely did a student understand how philosophers (most of them Bible-believing Christians, in fact) developed modern science by requiring empiricism in what they called at the time "natural philosophy". They eventually determined that the scientific method was necessary for meaningful scientific study of natural processes. Ken Ham often attributes this methodological naturalism which the Christian pioneers of science (such as Newton, Lavoisier, Priestley et al) brought to scientific investigation to "atheist secular scientists" instead. How ironic that he blames "atheists" and "secular scientists" for one of the most important contributions to western civilization brought by Christian philosopher-scientists! He and many other "creation science" speakers regularly confuse the methodological naturalism of science with the philosophical naturalism of atheism! They badly need to take at least a first semester "Intro to the History & Philosophy of Science" course at a nearby university---or perhaps actually read a real live science textbook. Indeed, that might also give them a fighting chance of "curing" their relatively recent invention of the artificial and fundamentally ridiculous distinction between "observational science" and "historical science". [Real scientists of the academy very rarely use the latter term, and when they do, it usually has a different definition than Ham & most YECs assume.]

ashleyhr said...

"I seriously don't have time to argue about things I don't say."
Please explain what you DO say and HOW I was making a 'strawman argument'.

Your words: "What’s a fact? A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable careful observation or measurement by experiments or other means. The obvious question concerning the origin of life or the transition of an ape-like ancestor to a human is, “Who saw it?”"

Your words: "Observational science is science we can observe. We can see it in front of us."

"The fossil record doesn't "prove" anything about anything aside from living things died and were fossilized. But there is ample evidence in the record to support a global flood." Please explain your second sentence. (And why do Ken Ham and co keep repeating "If there really was a global flood were true you would expect to find millions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth, and what do we actually see in the fossil record? Millions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth!" According to you - and I agree with you - Ham is speaking rubbish.)

"You can't prove a single word of this or even support it. Nice work." You can't prove anybody saw a flood that was global.

Thank you for approving my 'inept' comments. Sometimes.

ashleyhr said...

"Scientific facts are verified by repeatable careful observation or measurement by experiments or other means."

Which observation or measurement is something recorded as having been done by scientists alive today or alive in recent decades and perhaps centuries.

However Noah did not carry out experiments to verify they exact nature of the prolonged flood that Genesis says he and seven others had to shelter from because of the judgement of God. The story is anecdotal (it's not written in the first person as an eye witness account usually would be) and does not count as something that was a rigorous scientific observation (and a detailed interpretation of such). I'm not saying the Bible story gives no details - but a literally 'worldwide' flood apparently thousands of years ago and witnessed by no scientist and not recorded by 'secular' history either has to be a matter of faith rather than hard fact (the subject of your blog).

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

Thomas, how do you account for all the erroneous readings we get from radiocarbon dating? How do you account for tree rings when they count each ring as a year rather than each ring for what it is? Same for ice cores? All the "accepted" methods you're referring to are consensus science which is anti-science, in my opinion.

I would be happy to answer your questions. You appear to be unaware of how scientists have verified the accuracy of such radiometric dating and methodologies dealing with tree ring counts and what you call "consensus science" are well established after many many decades of refinement. The issues mentioned pose no problems from the vast majority of dating situations.

Consilience is how we know these dating methods are reliable. God created a orderly, consistent universe. God is not a liar. The processes he created are not "rigged" to deceive us. They tell a true story of the history of creation--and it harmonizes quite well with another work of God's authorship: the Bible.

We know that carbon-14 radiometric dating is very useful and accurate because we can test it against dendrochronology, ice cores, varves, and even human records! The usual list of excuses--such as cold snaps in the spring growing season, extra ice storms in a given year, and the entire list of wishful thinking fibs that I used to memorize for my debates--can easily be debunked because of the other dating methods give us a means of cross-checking. That is what consilience means. (Some chronic fibbers try to pass it off as "circular reasoning", an insult to the brains of even the most science-illiterate audiences.) Christ-followers in the sciences use these radiometric dating methods because they understand truth where it is found and praise God that he has given us these gifts of answers. Nobody needs to fear the evidence in God's creation. These useful tools from science give us abundant reasons to praise God---even if they frustrate those who cherish the man-made traditions of a 6,000 year old earth.

Yes, I was one of those young earthers. I memorized all of the traditional excuses for how I could pretend that God had, for some strange, mysterious reasons, had filled his creation with deceptive, false evidence and histories which the "good" Christian must ignore. [I certainly didn't want to be a "compromising" Christian who was willing to follow the evidence wherever it led.]

Yes, I was an obedient servant of tradition---especially the traditions of my colleagues: Drs. Gish, Morris, and Whitcomb. Little did I suspect that I was helping to start trends which would grow exponentially to be one of the greatest deceptions and problems among the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, the truth can be censored. But it always survives. The works of God continue to give testimony and do not return to him void.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

It is man-made, cherished traditions about the Bible that so often conflict with the history God tells us in his creation. Plus, men who claim to have "special" insights manage to "find" ideas that aren't in the Bible at all. For example, Ken Ham claims that there was only ONE Ice Age and it occurred at the time of Noah's Flood. Yet, he didn't find this in the Bible, nor did he find it in God's creation itself. He and many like him ignore the abundant evidence God gives us in his creation and substitutes what tickles the ears of followers, just as the Bible warns us of false teachers.

When Ham and others say "It is a matter of different presuppositions", he is quite right in some cases. Ham presumes that the particular TRADITIONAL PRESUPPOSITIONS of particular varieties of American interpretation traditions (such as the "prophecies" of Seventh Day Adventist "prophetess" Ellen White, whose "visions" were interpreted by George McReady Price and "adapted" by one of my colleagues, John Whitcomb Jr., for THE GENESIS FLOOD so that nobody would realize they were SDA traditions) would become a part of American "creation science" tradition. People forget that so many of those ideas were virtually unknown until the 20th century--although many nowadays have been convinced that they have existed since the Apostles.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

I am so familiar with the history and development of that brand of Young Earth Creationism because I was part of the early movement, speaking and debating in favor of "creation science" on campuses and at churches around the country. Praise God that he convicted me of the deception and dishonesty all around me in the growing "creation science" industry that was creating stumbling blocks which in the years since have pushed many away from the Kingdom. We need to return to the Gospel and not introduce wars with science which have nothing to do with the Great Commission. God calls us to be considered "fools for Christ" only for the sake of the "foolishness of the cross", as the Apostle Paul explained so well.

I realize that all of my posts will be censored. That too is a tradition of "creation science" websites. It reminds readers and visitors that, unlike the truths of God, man-made traditions can't withstand the scrutiny and the contrary evidence which other voices could bring to those carefully protected traditions.

Censorship is the last resort of a vulnerable set of claims which cannot withstand the evidence from God's creation and God's scriptures. You can delete them, but they will be posted permanently elsewhere, where they will continue to encourage Christ-followers to seek the truth and not to be deceived by false teachers who are fleecing the Church of millions of dollars annually. But that kind of scamming isn't their greatest affront to God. They have convinced millions and millions of non-Christians that Bible-believing Christians believe that lies about science are justified as an "ends justifies the means" form of propaganda. Many have told me, "I have no interest in the Gospel because it says that I have to ignore my brain and accept pseudo-science nonsense that I know to be false. If God truly exists and he created everything, he wouldn't fill that creation with lies and expect for me to be content with piles of contradictions and illogical fabrications. I used to have undergraduates come see me during my office hours--and ask me if there was anything I could tell them that would stop them from abandoning their faith and their "creation science" church background. They told me, "I just can't remain a Christian if it means that I have to ignore reality, evidence, and what I know to be true in science." Thankfully, some were not too far gone. Unfortunately, some were already so bitter towards their parents, Sunday School teachers, and pastors for lying to them for years, they had decided that the "creation science" lies were tied to the rest of the package. After all, Ken Ham had convinced them that it is "all or none" and if they rejected a young earth, they had to reject the entire Bible. How tragic. They had lost (or at least neglected) the ability to distinguish and separate the gold and precious stones from the wood, hay, and stubble.

Man-made traditions like "creation science" fill and distract the mind with wood, hay, and stubble. As the Bible warns us, building a life on those things will lead to them being burned away. One doesn't have to choose between God's Bible and God's Creation. If your traditions tell you that you must listen to the one but not the other, you are claiming that God's authorship produces reliable evidence in one case but unreliable evidence in the other. No. What God authors and gives to us so freely as a gift can be read with confidence. Yes, both must be interpreted by human minds. Yet, that doesn't mean that both are rendered untrustworthy by that fact. Moreover, we are promised renewed minds.

Steve said...

Since Ashley cannot communicate without hurling insults and seems to be unable to be rational, I have no choice but to not accept any further comments from him. I have 12 comments to work through right now. I don't get to this every 15 min. I get to it every week or possibly twice in a week. If that's not fast enough (and forces you to rant like a child) you are free to leave comments on other blogs. NO ONE will be "censored" because of factual, intelligent, or otherwise respectfully submitted information. The ONLY reason comments will be deleted is simply due to name calling, disrespect, and the like. No one here is interesting in censorship for the sake of being right. That's because we want to seek truth. If you make me investigate something and as a result I must change my position on a topic, that's is actually what I WANT! I want to be moving closer to the truth. Thus far, Ashley has not provided much of anything that has meaning or substance. The only challenge has to been to remain calm while being called a bigot, a liar, a fool and a slew of other immature and unproductive statements. I'll get to the 12 awaiting comments as soon as possible. My job, my family, and other things require my time. We all try to keep up. Perhaps you could show a little Christ like patience and give a little grace. You have been offered a huge heap of it. Thanks.

Steve said...

I have found several posts, primarily by Ashley, that have lots of good info. However, they are also laden heavily with insults and bogus accusations. If you have copies of these posts please remove all forms of the words liar, bigot, or any insults of intelligence.

Also, keep in mind that this is the Worldview Warriors blog site. We have the right to allow or not allow anything we choose.

Steve said...

To the person who seems afraid to state his name: I am sincerely grieved that your integrity was so shallow that, as a "young earth creationist" you felt that, as a result of your lack of understanding concerning the belief in the Bible and science, that you resorted to deception earlier in your life. I cannot speak for any other Bible believer, but for me, personally, in 23 years in this discussion starting with a seminar by Phillip Johnson when I was 15, I have never willingly deceived anyone concerning creation, evolution, the Bible, Christianity, or science in general. I sincerely believe Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, Morris, Johnson, Humphreys, Safarti, and a very long list of others including Charlie, Bill, and Jason all are sincere in their beliefs and have no use for lying.
You see, it's quite simple. I don't want my position on this subject to be correct. I want to be correct. So if I knowingly must resort to deception to "prove" my point, I know for sure my position is wrong. Hence, I will change my position. I honestly don't believe that is true for nearly all evolutionists out there--I don't believe that is true for you or for Ashley (in Ashley's case, he's obviously very angry at God--a God he seems pretty clear about that he believes in but is furious with so his position is a little different) or for most evos I've interacted with. I'm sure some are honest enough and genuine enough to truly be searching for truth. You don't strike me as such. No evo in this comment thread strikes me that way. You ignore obvious truths and hammer away at strawmen. Very frequently the argument against creationism is a strawmen or just purely ignorance. I have yet to find a single person who argues against what I believe while actually getting what I believe correct. And you have to stand on some made up intellectual and academic standard that suggests your knowledge on what science is and is not is lacking. It's also interesting that I have had very little comments on actual statements I've made. Most of the comments are either distortions of my comments or are just off the subject of the blog in general.
If you could please list for me, since it's the only way a Biblical creationist can function, all of the lies I have pushed on people reading these blogs, I would be very grateful. Please list them and cite where you found them. I appreciate it.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

> I am sincerely grieved that your integrity was so shallow that, as a "young earth creationist" you felt that, as a result of your lack of understanding concerning the belief in the Bible and science, that you resorted to deception earlier in your life.
>

Am I to believe that that sanctimonious misrepresentation of what I wrote is simply a result of an honest but failed attempt at reading comprehension?

I did NOT say that I resorted to deception. I said that God convicted me of the deceptions of Duane Gish, Henry Morris, and John Whitcomb Jr. which I was naively repeating, because I assumed that they were telling the truth. They were not. (I will try to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you sincerely misunderstood what I wrote and that you are not simply quote-mining my words. Indeed, it was the dishonest quote-mining of Duane Gish--and the contradictions between what he said during audience Q&A one week and from the podium in the conferences which followed---that first jolted me into checking footnotes and beginning a series of Matthew 18 confrontations. For example, when Dr. Gish's scientific errors were pointed out by audiences, on several occasions he reluctantly conceded that he was wrong and he promised to remove the errors from future editions of his books. He did not. And by the way, my experiences were not at all unique. Even Dr. Hugh Ross tactfully but clearly exposed some of them in broadcast interviews with Dr. Gish just a few years before his death. Dr. Gish's long history of self-contradictions and dishonest promises about correcting errors in future book editions are available through any search engine.)

I was not shocked that fallible humans would get their facts wrong. But I was shaken into the realities of such hypocrisy when I saw actions not proving consistent with words and promises. But just as in Jesus day, cherished traditions are carefully preserved and protected. Censorship is the norm on so many "creation science" websites for that reason. Indeed, I'm amazed how quickly simple questions which expose the flaws in Young Earth Creationism are deleted from AIG-related Facebook pages as well as those of so many of their associates, such as Terry Mortensen and Tas Walker. (Example: Anyone asking why YECs deplore uniformitarian methodologies in science and then proceed to use uniformitarian arguments in the vast majority of their "100 Evidences for a Young Earth" usually get censored and always get dodged.)

I could wish I could say that the "creation science" movement is far more honest today than in the 1960's and 1970's. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

Reading your statement above, I am sincerely grieved and disappointed that you do not hold yourself to the same standard of conduct in your response that you claim explains your censorship of others. Your little "knife-twists" in the above are neither truthful nor a reflection of the kind of responses expected of a mature Christ-follower. You had an opportunity to respond to the EVIDENCE which I summarized in my posts. You chose to go another route.

Why should anyone "please list for me...all of the lies I have pushed on people reading these blogs" when you have already demonstrated that you have no intention of seriously responding to specifics on any of the "creation science" topics I broached?

Those who DO care about engaging in the specifics are welcomed and will not be censored at https://bibleandscienceforum.wordpress.com/

[On rare occasion we at BSF have censored inappropriate vulgarities but we never censor arguments and evidence. (At most, if a post is laced with inappropriate language, we simply ask the commenter to edit and repost.) But you will find that readers of "creation science" forums figured out long ago that excuses about "inappropriate comments required censorship" were an easy way to prevent inconvenient arguments and evidence from reaching the eyes of readers. Of course, this reality also explains why AIG, CRI, and others rarely include clickable links to the articles, arguments, and scientific evidence they deplore and fear because they don't want to risk exposing their followers to the obvious merits of real science and honest evidence.]

[Because of the weeks of delays between my posts here and their eventual appearance--if indeed all have appeared--I am unlikely to ever see a response unless a reader emails me. Indeed, that is what happened in this case. So if some reader here wants me to respond further, you can contact me at Bible.and.Science.Forum at Gmail.com.]

ashleyhr said...

For clarity: I've never been a YEC but I assumed the whole of the Bible to be 'inspired by God' and thus somehow infallible even if not all strictly accurate 'history'.

Steve said...

So you can't list for me the "lies" I have posted in my blogs? But you're certain I've forced them on my readers. Okay. If you're not willing to help me correct my posts, I'm not sure why you're commenting at all.

Ashley thinks someone can unwillingly lie. I think we call that making a mistake or simply disagreeing. What a strange view of people and of communication.

But, Mr. T, I will state it again since you seemed to not care I said it before: in 23 years I haven't lied concerning creationism or evolutionism to my knowledge. I certainly, over the years, have changed my views on things. But I have never intentionally said something I believed was wrong. I don't think Dr. Gish did, either, but I didn't know him personally.
Oddly, you claimed you didn't try to deceive people, but you repeated stuff you believed was false. What's the difference? Creation theory has come a long way since even when I started and there are many who've been involved in this much longer than I. Even in the last 10 years, the facts that support the creation story in the Bible have grown by leaps and bounds. But, again, I don't know about those men as I didn't know them personally. I'm not sure what they're motives are. Mine are to find the truth. I think I have, but I'm open to suggestions.

Steve said...

"We need to return to the Gospel "

To be sure, my focus is always Jesus Christ. The creation of the universe followed shortly by the creation of man and his Fall are paramount to the Gospel. Nearly every major NT doctrine is found in Genesis 1-12. This is why our foundation needs to start in Genesis. If we get Genesis wrong, I'm not even sure what the basis for needing salvation is or if Jesus can be the Second Adam if there was no Adam.
This is exactly what the deal is--OEC but so much more so TE so quickly becomes universalism it's frightening. The number of "Christians" I've encountered who are theistic evolutionists that also believe other faiths have merit and there are multiple ways to God is one of the biggest reasons I feel the need to be in this discussion.

Steve said...

Ashley said, " I've never been a YEC but I assumed the whole of the Bible to be 'inspired by God' and thus somehow infallible even if not all strictly accurate 'history'."

This is a curious statement for me. Can you explain it a little further?

ashleyhr said...

I will answer your question if you stop silently HIDING my preceding attempted comment which read:
"I have ALREADY changed my position re whether Genesis chapters 1-11 are in any way 'infallible history' - thus it is unlikely that I would change it BACK, Steve.
Prof Tertius has ALSO changed his position. Now you accuse him by saying "I'm sure some are honest enough and genuine enough to truly be searching for truth. You don't strike me as such."
YECs typically behave like this. Those who lie about science (deliberately or unwittingly) are the genuine seekers of truth. Or so they tell us.
Also your post contains NO actual examples of the behaviour you allege has take place. Again, that is typical of online YECs."

Charlie said...

//We need to return to the Gospel and not introduce wars with science which have nothing to do with the Great Commission. God calls us to be considered "fools for Christ" only for the sake of the "foolishness of the cross", as the Apostle Paul explained so well.//

This is very interesting in that the only time I've ever heard you mention the Gospel or anything related to the Cross is when you are trying to paint yourself as a Christian. But your words and your actions betray your claims, "Professor Tertius". Paul ALSO explained so well to stay away from worldly thinking. To not conform to the pattern of the world. To not live as the world does. To not yolk yourself to the world. James also said that to be friends with the world is enmity with God. Professor Tertius, you have sided with the world. You think you can put God and the worldly mindset together. It doesn't work, period. You cannot serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other or love one and despise the other. I'm not even talking about YEC here. I'm talking about Bible or the world. You have been very quick to only to go what other people say the Bible says and for a "teacher" on Biblical studies, that is a major red flag. You did not search the Scripture to see if the YEC teachers were wrong, you went to the secularists. You did not treat them as the Bible instructs us to with other believers who are in the wrong. You went the worldly way. There have been times where we disagree with other YEC orgs and speakers and they are stubborn to not change. What do we do? We pray for them. We support them. And love them anyway. You stabbed them in the back and turned to a side with even greater deception than you think we put out. Evolution is a worldly idea. It does not come from God. He did not lie to his people for 3300 years about how he created the world and then reveal it to a group of God-haters. Evolution, like everything else in this world is going to burn. And because you are associated with the world, you will burn with it. God rejects lukewarm people, those who THINK they are following God but show everything except that which you expect out of a Christian. You need to repent of rejecting God and his word and of believing the worldly system. Yes, to believe the Gospel means to be a fool. You think we are fools and liars and "poorly educated". My other cheek feels cool. You mind slapping that one too? Jesus warned of those who will mock his Bride while claiming to do the work of the Lord. As the saying goes, "If the shoe fits...".

As a Berean, one of my first and most important criteria I use to discern a good teacher from a false one is how they handle Scripture. It is their authority or not. People like you and Hugh Ross start with a position and then look for Scripture to back it up (though Ross does a much better job at it than you do). This is akin to building your walls with Scripture, while leaving your foundation on the sands of Evolutionary thinking. Whereas we YEC use Scripture to build our house. We have a solid foundation. Our walls may be faulty, but our foundation is solid. I don't care how nice your house looks, you have built yours on the sand. ANYTHING except the Word of God is sinking sand. And so you know, Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. The Bible is the Word of God made text. When you reject just one part of Scripture (like Genesis or anything else) you reject part of Christ. You want us to get back to the Gospel? Get it right first. So far, you don't.

ashleyhr said...

Steve

I had not researched the evolution/creation debate when I was a church-attending evangelical Christian (at a UK independent church from 1982-95 where US minister R T Kendall proclaimed the Bible to be infallible which I did not then dissent from) but my vague viewpoint was that Genesis was inspired and 'infallible for teaching purposes' if not necessarily strictly infallible historically or scientifically. It never really became an issue for me, and I had neither the resources nor the necessary time nor (probably) sufficient grounding in the sciences to be able to properly research the issue and decide whether I was a YEC, an OEC, a TE or even an E (ID had not been invented!) (From 1995 to 2007 I attended, intermittently and when not in hospital over 2004-05, several Church of England churches where, again, I never - as you might assume would be the case - encountered YEC-ism.)

ashleyhr said...

I suppose there was a time when - because I assumed then that Genesis was somehow totally infallible rather than simply 'inspired' and 'useful for teaching' - that I potentially could have embraced YEC-ism. But it never became as issue (Kendall is YEC but he did not push it). How TE and Genesis mix together poorly was something I had never ended up considering. I made my second comment because you might have said "how could I not have been once a YEC if I once entertained the thought Genesis might all be 'infallible history'?"

When I investigated the evolution/creation debate post-2007 (after stopping attending church and stopping praying following the breakdown I had) I reached the conclusion that YEC apologists are either deliberately preaching pseudo-science or are unwittingly sincerely such whilst believing it to be genuine science. But I had no lingering pro-Christianity allegiance at the time so felt free to consider what ALL sides were saying (which some might prefer not to do or only do in private for the sake of 'Christian unity' and not possibly upsetting people who think the same way as Charlie does ie that Christians are obliged to hold certain positions on origins and on Bible theology).

ashleyhr said...

Sorry - "sincerely repeating such".