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Basic Worldview:
103 Science, the Bible,
and Creation



Origins - Section Two:
Preliminary Application to the Origins Debate


Origins - Section One: Introduction and the Basics
Origins - Section Two: Premature Dismissals
Origins - Section Two: Application of the Basics
Origins - Section Three: Creation
Origins - Section Three: Evolution, Origin of Life
Origins - Section Three: Evolution, Environment for Life 1
Origins - Section Three: Evolution, Environment for Life 2
Origins - Section Three: Evolution, Another Planet
Origins - Section Three: Evolution, Origin of Species
Origins - Section Three: Evolution, Speciation Factors
Origins - Section Three: Evolution, Speciation Rates
Origins - Section Four: Time and Age, Redshift
Origins - Section Four: Philosophical Preference
Origins - Section Four: Cosmological Model 1
Origins - Section Four: Cosmological Model 2
Origins - Section Four: Dating Methods, Perceptions, Basics
Origins - Section Four: Global Flood Evidence
Origins - Section Four: Relative Dating
Origins - Section Four: Dating and Circular Reasoning
Origins - Section Four: The Geologic Column
Origins - Section Four: Radiometric Dating Basics
Origins - Section Four: General Radiometric Problems
Origins - Section Four: Carbon-14 Problems
Origins - Section Four: Remaining Methods and Decay Rates
Origins - Section Four: Radiometric Conclusions, Other Methods
Origins - Section Five: Overall Conclusions, Closing Editorial
Origins - Section Five: List of Evidences Table
Origins Debate Figures and Illustrations


Section One – Introduction: Plotting the Road Ahead


In our previous section, we discussed several general principles. In this section, we will discuss a preliminary application of those principles to the debate about origins, evolution, and creationism.

We have now completed a discussion of our 7 essential elements for clarity and effective examination. During 3 of those segments, we promised to return and make additional, more practical comments later on in the study. One of those occasions was the segment on equity, in which we raised the question of whether or not creationism should be disqualified on the grounds that it results from unscientific processes. In our segment on evidence and interpretation, we talked about how theories originate and promised to discuss the practical applications of that information. And finally, in the segment on presuppositions above, we closed while looking forward to a few illustrative examples to be given in a later section. In this section, we will now finish addressing these remaining issues, at which point we will be ready to move ahead and define each of the competing theories.

 

Premature Dismissal in the Origins Debate:
Is Faith Unscientific? (Part 1)

In the segment on the issue of equity, we discussed the possibility of dismissing an opposing view on the grounds that it employs faulty methodology or at least methodology, which does not meet the qualifications for a particular field or debate. In that same segment, we also stated that such a dismissal is applied unfairly if the disqualifying elements of the opposition’s methods are not first demonstrated. As we noted during that segment, this is similar to convicting a person without a trial. On the other hand, it is quite fair to dismiss a particular point of view from consideration or debate once the disqualifying elements of its methods have been demonstrated by examination. As we noted earlier, the fundamental necessity is that the dismissal must result from an examination of the contested points, not before or without such an examination or presentation. And so we must now, in fact, examine this very question to find out whether or not creationism can be fairly dismissed from the debate and from scientific consideration.

There are perhaps 3 basic grounds that are suggested for dismissing creationism from scientific consideration. And each one of these suggestions for dismissal address whether or not the methodology of creationism is scientific or unfit for science. The first suggested reason for dismissing creationism is on the grounds that it is based upon presupposition, what might be called “blind faith,” rather than being based upon evidence such as observation and experimentation, as science should be. The second suggested reason for dismissing creationism is on the grounds that it is un-falsifiable. And the third suggested reason for dismissing creationism is on the grounds that it does not make predictions, which is a central part of the scientific process. All of these suggestions for dismissal constitute critiques of creationism on methodological grounds. In short, its methodology is not compatible with definitive scientific methodology.

To be clear up front, it must be stated that if creationism does indeed originate from unscientific processes, then it truly should be disqualified from scientific debate and it truly should be considered outside the realm of science. In order to conclude whether or not creationism should be dismissed from scientific consideration on the grounds that it is inherently unscientific by its very nature, we now turn our attention to examining these basic criticisms. 

The first criticism of creationism’s methodology is that creationism is founded and built upon presumption, or “blind faith,” not evidence. On this point as well, we have to be candid. If creationism’s conclusions are assumed on faith, using science only as a crutch after the fact, then it truly is unscientific and should be dismissed from scientific consideration and it should not be called science.

But is this truly the case? Do creationists arrive at the belief in God before, without, or regardless of considering the evidence?

Central to this issue is the question of what is meant by the idea of faith, particularly within the historical Judeo-Christian religion. If we’re going to pull ourselves out of the mire and entrenched positions of this longstanding debate, we need to take the colloquial connotations out of familiar words and concepts, such as faith, and talk frankly, even technically, about what we’re saying. By colloquial, we mean the informal, everyday, or even slang perceptions about what a term means or how a concept works, which really exaggerate or distort the true meaning or process.

There is perhaps no more pertinent example of this than the modern concept of faith, both within the Christian culture and the non-Christian culture of our day. First, it is important to note that faith is simply another word for “belief,” and this is especially true in the Judeo-Christian tradition, from which creationism springs. And more to the point, faith is often thought of as being synonymous with “blind faith” or assumption. You believe because you don’t have evidence. Or, you believe in spite of evidence. And that is what makes it faith, or at least that is the way people often use the term “faith” in common, everyday discourse. This can also be called a “pre-suppositional” approach to faith since it is faith based upon things that are effectively “presupposed to be true.”

Some religions, particularly Platonism and eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, have historically asserted this kind of inner, subjective path to belief apart from external evidence. And as long as “faith” is perceived as synonymous with “blind faith” or “something you hold to be true regardless of evidence,” belief in creationism is disqualified immediately as unscientific because science requires establishing truth based upon evidence and testing. And if this is indeed an accurate definition of Christian faith, then it should in fact be disqualified as unscientific, because science has to do with conclusions that can be reached from observation and evidence, not simply assumed. So, in order to determine if Judeo-Christianity and creationism should be dismissed as unscientific, we have to determine if the kind of belief found in Judeo-Christianity is also this presupposing, inner faith.

As discussed in detail throughout our “Why Christianity?” article series, the world’s religions fall into two distinct categories, with syncretistic religions by definition being a mixture between those two. The two categories are Propositional Mysticism and Evidentiary Monotheism. As further outlined in the study, propositional mystical religions are defined by their core doctrine that truth is subjective and learned through inward enlightenment that is independent of the external realities of the physical, material world. In fact, the disregard for the external, physical, and material are neither incidental nor mere analytical characterizations of these religions. The explicit views of these religions directly degrade and disregard the role of external experience in favor subjective, inner discovery when it comes to perceiving truth.

Evidentiary Monotheistic religions are fundamentally distinct from Propositional Mystical religions on this issue. In contrast to mysticism’s rejection of external evidence in favor of strictly inner discovery, the evidentiary religions insist upon external demonstration for all truth claims and subjective, internal perception is subordinated to what can be objectively known. What is important to note is that Judaism and Christianity originated as evidentiary religions.

However, despite the evidentiary approach inherent to original, historic Judeo-Christianity and creationism, it is a simple fact that many modern Christian sects, perhaps even a very significant portion of them, now center on a pre-suppositional approach to truth. The presence of this pre-suppositional approach in modern Christianity is most recently a product of the influence of Calvinist (or Reformed) sects, which assert that belief is something directly inserted into someone by God and kept their by God’s unilateral action, regardless of evidence. As an integral part of this doctrine, these sects also reject the ability of a man to choose God on his own. And consequently, the prospect of a man deducing God’s existence by observing external, or objective, evidences is rejected explicitly in this prominent, modern view.

These two pre-suppositional teachings do not originate from the original Judeo-Christian traditions. Instead, their presence within the modern Christian tradition at large is the result of Propositional Mysticism influencing later Christian traditions through syncretistic processes. The mystical doctrine, which holds that truth is internal and subjective and denies objective and externally-known truth, comes from Platonism and enters into the hybrid half-Christian, half-platonic Gnosticism, and from those roots into the Roman Catholic views asserted by Ambrose and Augustine in the fourth century. These concepts were maintained and even further articulated over time until asserted in their more recognizable, modern form in the Reformed tradition of John Calvin (from which springs Calvinist theology).

One of the many unfortunate results of this syncretistic in-flow of the mystical, subjective approach to knowledge is that the entire Judeo-Christian tradition is branded as being, by definition, pre-suppositional, when in fact this is only the case for later Christian sects who adopted this particular view of knowledge from non-Judeo-Christian religions. And one consequence of this unfortunate mislabeling of all Judeo-Christianity as inherently pre-suppositional is that this characterization then becomes a basis for charging Judeo-Christianity with unscientific methodology.

So, in order to clear up this common, mischaracterization or misperception of the original Judeo-Christian approach to faith, we have to examine the earliest Judeo-Christian writings to see how the religious texts themselves define the religion. On this point, we might consider Moses and Jesus, the respective founders of these traditions. Moses did not come simply insisting that others accept him as God’s messenger or to simply follow their hearts on the matter. Instead, he gave external signs to the people of Israel and Egypt.

Exodus 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: 17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. 18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God…4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. 2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. 8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it  upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

Likewise, Jesus himself is recorded as providing a multitude of external signs for the very purpose that those signs would demonstrate the veracity of his claims.

John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

And his disciples after him followed this same pattern, providing external signs to demonstrate the truth of their message.

Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

In fact, the Judeo-Christian tradition is so strong in its rejection of merely internal, subjective “truth” that other passages outright condemn “truths” that originate in men’s hearts only.

Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Jeremiah 23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.

Other passages could be cited in this regard, but there is no need to be exhaustive. As can be seen clearly from the passages above, providing external demonstration was a central part of Judeo-Christian tradition at its very start. Clearly, at its origin, Judeo-Christianity did not employ or condone a method for determining truth that centered and relied upon people’s own internal, subjective impressions or perceptions.

In fact, the reliance upon external demonstration in the original, Judeo-Christian tradition can be further broken down into 2 categories of evidence:

1) Firsthand experience
2) Eyewitness testimony

The category of “firsthand experience” can, in turn, be broken down into 2 subcategories.

A) Natural experience
B) Supernatural experience

Natural experiences can include anything from the world around us at large, such as the observation of the characteristics of mountains, the stars, other human beings, etc. to more personal interactions like having someone steal from you or watching someone die. All of these are natural phenomena that we experience throughout our lives.

Furthermore, the types of information that can be learned from these evidences also includes 2 closely-related categories:

1) Theological concepts
2) Moral rules

To further substantiate that the earliest Judeo-Christian tradition relied upon natural experiences of this kind, we consider the words of Paul in Romans 1-2.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith (4102) to faith (4102): as it is written, The just shall live by faith (4102). 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest (5318) in them; for God hath shewed (5319) it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

Here Paul speaks the visible world as providing evidence for theological concepts, such as God’s existence and his ability, “his eternal power and Godhead.”

It should also be noted that the Greek word for “faith” throughout this passage is the Greek word “pistis” (Strong’s No. 4102), which simply means, “conviction of the truth of anything.” It is the noun form of the verb “peitho,” (Strong’s No. 3982), which means “to persuade.” The noun “pisteuo” (Strong’s No. 4100) is also derived from it. “Pisteuo” means “to think to be true, to be persuaded of” and is translated as “believe” 239 times out of its 248 occurrences in the New Testament. So, in the New Testament, faith is simply the English translation of a Greek noun meaning, “belief.”

And what kind of faith or belief does Paul say the just will live by? How does Paul say that the just should be persuaded? In verse 19, Paul speaks of the truths of God being “manifest” and “shown” to men. The Greek word for “manifest” is “phaneros” (Strong’s No. 5318), which means, “apparent, manifest, evident, and plainly recognized or known.” The word for “showed” in the phrase, “God showed it to them,” is the Greek word “phaneroo” (Strong’s No. 5319), which means, “to make manifest or visible” or “to be plainly recognized.”

But how are the truths of God being made visible or plainly recognizable to men? Verse 20 tells us plainly that the truths of God “are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made.” So, according to Paul, the created world itself is the manifest, or evident, demonstration of the truths of God. The just will be persuaded by the evidences available in the created world from the beginning. And it is because the truths of God are evident and evidenced by creation that in verse 20, Paul says the disbelieving are “without excuse.” They are without excuse because the evidence by which they were to be persuaded, which they were to believe, was apparent and manifest all around them in the created world. For Paul, a devout Jewish man who converted to the earliest form of Christianity, faith is not a groundless faith or a faith where you presuppose God’s existence. Faith was a matter of believing that for which there was ample physical evidence, even the entire world itself and all that was in it.

As he continues his discussion that the truths of God are revealed to man first in the natural, created world, Paul goes on to state that sexual morality is revealed by the physical structure of the male and the female body. By doing so, Paul clearly places morality in the category of truths deduced from objective observations, not one’s own subjective opinion.

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

These simply are not the arguments and appeals of a man who believes that truth is learned through subjective perception rather than external evidence. Instead, these are appeals and arguments based upon what is externally, observable.

Furthermore, concerning the central doctrine of resurrection, God himself puts Abraham into an external situation to force Abraham to ponder the experience of death and the deductions that can be made from it.

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting (2049) that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

The Greek word translated as “accounting” here in Hebrews 11 is “logizomai” (Strong’s No. 3049), which means to “to count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate, to reckon up all the reasons.” When God wanted to put Abraham to a test, he commanded Abraham to kill his son Isaac. Faced with the experience of his son’s death, Abraham deliberated and pondered these things and the result was his belief, or faith, that God could raise Isaac from the dead. Even in such matters, what a man believes is depicted as being a result of contemplating the things he experiences, in this case, human death.

In addition to natural experiential evidence, in the original Judeo-Christian tradition there is also supernatural experiential evidence. Supernatural experiences include events that suspend, reverse, or otherwise override the natural norms that we call “the laws of nature.” Darkness throughout the day time and only in particular areas, walking on water, multiplying loaves and fishes, resurrecting the dead, the ability to see the future as well as the past – these are just a few prominent examples of supernatural evidences. The above quotes concerning the miracles of Moses, Jesus, and Jesus’ disciples are examples of this kind of experiential proof. But it is important to note that supernatural experiences are always depicted in scripture as occurring in the external, objective world, never as mere subjective, mental or inner experiences of one individual.

Some men did experience God directly. Moses and even Adam are just a few chief examples. And the description in the text of scripture is that even in these experiences, such men saw proof that the being they were encountering was the Creator. As we saw earlier, in Exodus 4, Moses petitions God for proofs, which God then immediately provides in the form of supernatural events right in front of Moses, including striking Moses’ hand with leprosy and healing it as well as turning Moses’ staff into a serpent and then turning it back.

Likewise, Adam also himself saw proof of the Creator firsthand. Chapter 2 of Genesis provides an expanded, more detailed account of the creation of Adam on Day 6 of the creation week.

Genesis 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1 clearly records that God created the birds on Day 5 and all the land animals on Day 6 before the creation of man. But, in Genesis 2, after He makes Adam, God once again created both the birds and land animals right in front of Adam while standing there in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed…15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it…18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Having seen the creatures all around him, Adam was then shown how these creatures came to be when God himself made some more of those same creatures before Adam’s very eyes. Adam saw proof that there was a Creator and he saw proof that the being interacting with him was that Creator. While it is true that as human beings living today, scientists cannot make an experiment where they observe “in a laboratory” God recreating the original creation of life, there is however a historic record of one man who did observe “in a garden” God recreating the original recreation of life. We cannot recreate the origin of life, but God could and he did in front of man for one man to observe. We have to consider the possibility that we might have this information about the creation of the world because someone was there who did see proofs and who did recount it so that it was passed down to us. And we have to thoughtfully consider the criteria by which we evaluate this prospect.

Here is where we arrive at the role of eyewitness testimony as evidence. And as we can see explicitly in the case of Moses in Exodus 4, God’s intention was that those who did have such supernatural experiential proofs would testify to others about them.

It is important to note the striking one-to-one comparison here between how modern men come to believe in the latest scientific news and how the role that the Judeo-Christian tradition expects eyewitness testimony to play. What percentage of average people or even other scientists actually get to see any particular scientific experiment firsthand or verify its results themselves? Very, very few – a handful at most. The rest of us just read about those experiments in peer reviews, science journals, popular scientific magazines, or textbooks or we hear about them through the modern “oral tradition” that we call the TV or radio news. And yet, although we don’t see the experiments ourselves, we believe the testimony of those who relay them to us, even though they themselves are many times removed from the actual experiment that proved or supported the particular scientific discovery.

While creationists are often criticized as having a system where “truth” is dictated by “authorities” or as simply believing “what the Bible says” or “what our pastor says,” it is impossible to overlook that the exact same parallel is taking place when it comes to evolutionary science or any other information that we hear for that matter. The scientific academia represents “an authority” that dictates the truth to people just as much as religious leaders of the past do. “What our teachers told us” and “what our textbooks said” are just as often the basis for belief in evolution. What we hear as on the news or the moral viewpoints we hear expressed by authority figures or pop icons are accepted in the same manner than many Christians today uncritically swallow whatever they hear from the pulpit, without research or second thought.

Our point here is not that anyone should automatically accept anyone’s credibility, but instead that we understand the criteria that determine the credibility of a person and the credibility of the information they relay. Nor is it our point that we should believe every piece of information that is relayed to us or that we should only believe that which we experience first hand. In truth, we would believe almost nothing if our level of skepticism were that high, and in knowing nothing, our ability to function and make decisions would virtually disappear whenever it required information beyond our direct, personal experience. Moreover, it is simply reality that no one operates on that level of skepticism. We all operate daily on information that we hear from those around us. No one simply throws out all eyewitness testimony or even all secondhand testimony. Instead, we selectively accept some and reject others. The question is whether or not our selection criteria are well-thought-out, rational, and consistent. How do we scrutinize what we hear? By what criteria do we decide what information is reliable and what information is not reliable? Ultimately, it’s a question of how we each determine “who is credible?” And that’s a question that most of us don’t ever stop to think about.

In answering these questions, there are 2 criteria that must be considered.

First, is the person relaying the information in a position to know what they are attesting to? Is one person in a better position than another? Here, firsthand testimony becomes crucial because, of all the people in a position to tell us what actually took place, the people who saw it for themselves are the most qualified. That does not rule out second hand testimony, but it simply identifies the relative value that the actual observer has over anyone who wasn’t an observer.

Second, what potential corroborating or rebuttal evidence is available? Very often, we don’t have access to the unique events that are reported to us but we evaluate their legitimacy based upon common experiences that we have had. It is the combination and interplay between these 2 criteria that allow us to justifiably or unjustifiably discount firsthand testimony because it conflicts with things that we already know or to accept even secondhand testimony because it does fit with what we already know.

And the Judeo-Christian tradition is no different in this regard. Not every person experiences supernatural proofs themselves. This is the function of eyewitness testimony. Those who have had such experiences relay them to others. And those who hear the testimony weigh the report to determine if it is credible or not. And the primary way to verify the report is compare it to what we can and do experience and observe. Here again, Paul’s comments in Romans 1 provide an excellent example. Paul himself claims to have had supernatural experiences in the external world, which others could also observe. The New Testament recounts that at other times, Paul himself worked miracles to demonstrate the veracity of his teachings. But here he is writing a letter, and so the potential to make a supernatural demonstration to his audience is somewhat constrained. So, what does Paul do? He appeals to natural, observable experiences. The natural, observable experiences available to his audience serve as the basis for evaluating Paul’s testimony to them.

Likewise, Paul isn’t standing before us today. Yet his testimony remains. He claims to be an eyewitness to some extraordinary events. And all that we have to evaluate the veracity of his claims are the natural experiences and observations. And this brings us to the conclusion of this segment.

Replete in its most-revered writings and present from its earliest days, the Judeo-Christian tradition asserts that belief should be based upon the following combination of evidences: 1) supernatural experiential evidence, 2) natural experiential evidence, and 3) eyewitness testimony. Not all of us have access to the first, but by careful consideration of the second, we can evaluate the third. And on that note, it is not necessary for every one of us to have supernatural experiences any more than it is necessary for everyone one of us to be present or perform the scientific experiments, news events, or world history that we hear about and believe year after year. We will never be in a position to experience every event ourselves in order to believe it. Instead, we simply need to listen to the report and consider it in comparison to the evidence that is available to us.

The unfortunate misperception of the Judeo-Christian tradition as one of pre-suppositional or blind faith is demonstrably false. This is only the case for later Christian sects who adopted this particular view of knowledge from non-Judeo-Christian religions. In light of the historical facts, however, only the later, more recent Christian sects who’ve adopted mysticism’s view of belief and truth should be disqualified from scientific discourse. Those Christians that hold to the objective, evidence-based view of knowledge and belief found in the earliest Judeo-Christian tradition, employ an inherently scientific methodology and always have from the very beginning. Yet ultimately, the presence of subjective, pre-suppositional belief in some modern Christian sects due to the syncretistic influence of mystical religions does not negate the historical fact that the basis for original Judeo-Christianity and the creationist model is an evidentiary approach that is expressly compatible with the scientific method. So, since the creationist model arises out of an evidentiary approach, it cannot be rejected on the grounds that it is unscientific because it is based upon presupposition.


Premature Dismissal in the Origins Debate:
Is Faith Unscientific? (Part 2)

As we stated in our previous segment, there are 3 basic grounds, which are suggested for dismissing creationism from scientific consideration. Having now covered the first criticism, we will now move on to the second. The second suggested reason for dismissing creationism is on the grounds that it is un-falsifiable. The issue of “falsifiability” is a new topic to this study. So, we will need to take our time to explain and explore it.

Modern science and most modern scientists subscribe to the necessity for any theory to be demonstrated by empirical means. Empiricism involves the acquiring of knowledge or information by means of actual experience and observations.

Empiricism – in philosophy, the attitude that beliefs are to be accepted and acted upon only if they first have been confirmed by actual experience.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

Empiricisma philosophical approach that views experience as the most important source of knowledge. It is the philosophical outlook of most scientists. Empiricists try to answer as many questions as possible by using information gathered by the senses.” – Worldbook Encyclopedia, Contributor: W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D., Former Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University.

The requirement of empiricism is at the heart of the scientific method itself, and rightly so. Furthermore, empiricism is, in turn, connected with “falsifiability,” another closely-related aspect of the scientific method.

“Falsifiability” was first proposed as a criterion for valid science by Sir Karl Raimond Popper. Popper lived from 1902-1994, was born in Austria, and later moved to England due to the rise of the Nazis. Popper’s field of expertise was philosophy of science and during his time teaching the scientific method in London, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, which provides some indication of his prominence and contributions in that field.

Popper, Karl Raimund – Popper, Karl Raimund (1902-1994), was an Austrian-born philosopher whose central concern was analyzing the nature of science…Popper was born in Vienna, Austria, and taught there until 1937, when he left the country because of the rise of the Nazis. He served as professor of logic and scientific method at the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1949 to 1969. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 1965, making him Sir Karl Popper.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Ivan Soll, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Not only was Popper’s “central concern” evaluating “the nature of science,” but within that concern Popper was chiefly focused on distinguishing between science and non-science, between what was and was not scientifically valid. And, according to Popper, the distinction between what is science and what is not science is the criterion of falsifiability.

Popper, Sir Karl Raimund – (1902-1994), Austrian-born British philosopher of science, known for his theory of scientific method and for his criticism of historical determinism...Popper's most significant contribution to the philosophy of science was his characterization of the scientific method. In The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1934; trans. 1959), he criticized the prevailing view that science is fundamentally inductive in nature. Proposing a criterion of testability, or falsifiability, for scientific validity, Popper emphasized the hypothetico-deductive character of science.” – "Popper, Sir Karl Raimund," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Popper, Karl RaimundPopper wanted to mark the boundary between scientific and nonscientific accounts of the physical, psychological, and social world. Nonscientific accounts include those offered by astrology, mythology, and some forms of traditional philosophy and religion. This approach connects Popper with two overlapping philosophical movements, Logical Positivism and Empiricism. Philosophers representing these movements argue that meaningful scientific accounts differ from nonscientific ones in that only the scientific can be tested by experience.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Ivan Soll, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Positivism, Logical Positivism and Logical Empiricism, The earlier Positivism of Viennese heritage, The verifiability criterion of meaning and its offshoots – It was in coming to this juncture in his critique of Positivism that Karl Popper, an Austro-English philosopher of science, in his Logik der Forschung (1935; The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959), insisted that the meaning criterion should be abandoned and replaced by a criterion of demarcation between empirical (scientific) and transempirical (nonscientific, metaphysical) questions and answersa criterion that, according to Popper, is to be testability, or, in his own version, falsifiability; i.e., refutability. Popper was impressed by how easy it is to supposedly verify all sorts of assertions—those of psychoanalytic theories seemed to him to be abhorrent examples. But the decisive feature, as Popper saw it, should be whether it is in principle conceivable that evidence could be cited that would refute (or disconfirm) a given law, hypothesis, or theory.– Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

“Empiricism, Criticism and evaluation, Criticism and evaluationOne important philosopher of science, Karl Popper, has rejected the inductivism that views the growth of empirical knowledge as the result of a mechanical routine of generalization. To him it is falsifiability by experience that makes a statement empirical.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

As the quotes above attest, according to Popper, for a theory to be considered scientific, it had to be possible for that the theory to be disproved by empirical evidence. This did not mean a theory had to be actually disproved, but merely that it would be at least possible for evidence to exist, which could disprove it. If it wasn’t at least theoretically possible that a particular idea could be disproved by empirical evidence, then that idea fell outside the realm of science because such an idea was not grounded or bound by any form of sensory experience or observation. Consequently, how could it be tested? How could it be verified to be actually, objectively true or not?

This is a fair and reasonable criterion, not just for science, but for decision-making in general. And, as covered previously, it must be pointed out that such a criterion does not conflict with the evidentiary approach to truth discovery that underlies the Judeo-Christian tradition.

As we turn out attention back to Popper’s assertions, we can see that in order to be considered scientific, there has to exist at least the theoretical possibility for it to be falsified. As we mentioned above, empiricism is the approach of most scientists today.

Empiricisma philosophical approach that views experience as the most important source of knowledge. It is the philosophical outlook of most scientists.” – Worldbook Encyclopedia, Contributor: W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D., Former Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University.

It is also true the Popper’s criterion of “falsifiability” is the view and methodology of “many working scientists today.”

Science, philosophy of, Historical development, The 20th-century debate: Positivists versus historians – Meanwhile, the qualified Realism of Planck and Hertz was carried further by such men as Norman Campbell, an English physicist known for his sharpening of the distinction between laws and theories, and Karl Popper, an Austro-English philosopher recognized for his theory of falsifiability, both of whose views reflect the explicit methodology of many working scientists today.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

Furthermore, in its article on “Science,” Worldbook Encyclopedia actually incorporates into its definition of science Popper’s distinction between science, as something which can be tested for errors, from non-science, which cannot be tested for errors.

Science – A theory developed by a scientist cannot be accepted as part of scientific knowledge until it has been verified by the studies of other researchers. In fact, for any knowledge to be truly scientific, it must be repeatedly tested experimentally and found to be true. This characteristic of science sets it apart from other branches of knowledge. For example, the humanities, which include religion, philosophy, and the arts, deal with ideas about human nature and the meaning of life. Such ideas cannot be scientifically proved. There is no test that tells whether a philosophical system is "right." No one can determine scientifically what feeling an artist tried to express in a painting. Nor can anyone perform an experiment to check for an error in a poem or a symphony.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Joseph W. Dauben, Ph.D., Professor of History and the History of Science, City University of New York.

Since the criteria of falsifiability has been so popularly incorporated into the scientific method, it is no surprise to find that belief in God is often categorized as “unscientific” on the grounds that God transcends (or exists beyond) the universe and, therefore, is not subject to empirical verification or falsification. Effectively, there is no way to even theoretically disprove the existence of a transcendent God through empirical means. 

In fact, in their article on “Athiesm,” Britannica Encyclopedia provides an atheistic criticism that the existence of God cannot be experimentally and empirically “confirmed or disconfirmed.”

Atheism, Atheism and metaphysical beliefs – In coming to understand what is meant by “God” in such discourses, it must be understood that God, whatever else he is, is a being that could not possibly be seen or be in any way else observed. This, in effect, makes it a mistake to claim that the existence of God can rightly be treated as a hypothesis and makes it a mistake to claim that, by the use of the experimental method or some other determinate empirical method, the existence of God can be confirmed or disconfirmed as can the existence of an empirical realityGod could not be a reality whose presence is even faintly adumbrated in experience, for anything that could even count as the God of Judeo-Christianity must be transcendent to the world. Anything that could actually be encountered or experienced could not be God…But then there is no way, directly or indirectly, that even the probability that there is a God could be empirically established.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

It is worth noting that Britannica is here simply recording the atheistic arguments, not making those arguments. Of course, theists take issue with the atheistic line of reasoning presented in this article by Britannica. But the point is that the language in the quote reflects Britannica’s own description of Popper’s criterion of falsifiability, which also used the wording that, in order to be scientific, it has to at least be possible for a theory to be “disconfirmed” by evidence.

Positivism, Logical Positivism and Logical Empiricism, The earlier Positivism of Viennese heritage, The verifiability criterion of meaning and its offshoots – But the decisive feature, as Popper saw it, should be whether it is in principle conceivable that evidence could be cited that would refute (or disconfirm) a given law, hypothesis, or theory.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

Likewise, in its article on the topic of “God,” Microsoft Encarta also includes similar statements about how empiricism rules out the ability to affirm or deny (confirm or disconfirm) the existence of God, which consequently, would render the idea of God to be “unscientific.”

God, V Grounds for Belief, A Varieties of Disbelief – Arguments against belief in God are as numerous as arguments for it. Atheists absolutely deny the existence of God…Positivists believe that rational inquiry is restricted to questions of empirical fact, so that it is meaningless either to affirm or deny the existence of God (see Positivism).” – "God," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Fundamentally, the substance of this study is to take issue with assessment found in Britannica’s article on “Atheism,” which states that not “even a probability” of God’s existence can be either “directly or indirectly” established “empirically.” One of the purposes of this study is to examine the empirical evidence and establish the extent to which it does, at least indirectly, provide a strong and reasonable probability, if not a necessity, for the existence of God.

At this point we should note that creationists agree that the general idea of God cannot be tested or falsified. For example, in his presentation, “Scientific Evidences for a Young Earth,” creationist Thomas Kindall gives the following assessment.

“Science cannot prove that there is no God. You’d have to have universal knowledge, omniscience, to prove there is no God. Thus, you would have the attributes of God. Thus, you would be God. Thus, if you could prove there was no God, you’d be God. God would, therefore, exist. It would be a self-refuting logical argument…So, they can’t prove God doesn’t exist. It could be. And science can’t pass judgment on whether this is true or not because it’s limited. It can’t test everything and it can’t test the past. Because of this, it could be that there is a God and He is the God of the Bible.” – “Scientific Evidences for a Young Earth,” Thomas Kindall, Seattle Creation Conference 2004, Copyright Northwest Creation Network, nwcreation.net, 1 minute, 10 seconds

Ultimately whether or not the general idea of God is directly falsifiable is not really all that consequential to the debate for 2 reasons. First, even if the general idea of God is deemed to be non-scientific on the grounds that it is not “falsifiable” by empirical means, creationism and evolution are on equal footing because, whether the first cause is claimed to be a supernatural being or an impersonal force or process of some kind, no matter what form they take, first causes cannot be tested, repeated in a lab, or falsified and so must be indirectly demonstrated to be the most reasonable conclusion on the basis of the parts of the theories that can be tested and falsified. This leads directly to the next point.

Second, even if the general idea of God is deemed to be non-scientific on the grounds that it is not “falsifiable” by empirical means, creationism is scientific. Here we need to explain. Perhaps contrary to popular belief, creationism is not simply the idea that a God exists. That is theism. While creationism certainly asserts the existence of God and is therefore a form of theism, creationism is more specific. Creationism doesn’t merely assert that a God exists, but instead creationism is specifically the assertion that God is necessary as a Creator. It is certainly true that if “God” is left simply as some undefined, transcendent being beyond the universe, then truly such a vague concept of God cannot be disproved. But, identifying God as Creator takes the concept of God from merely a transcendent and undetectable being and makes him detectable by means of his interaction through his creative work in the universe.

As indicated in a previous quote from Britannica, the reason for this is the issue of transcendence. In contrast to pantheism, in theism, including Judeo-Christian theism, God is viewed as existing outside the material, created universe. Thus, he is said to transcend it. If this is all that is included in the definition of God, simply that he is outside the universe, then how can God’s existence be tested for or falsified? He exists outside the material world, so we won’t find Him by looking at material things. A definition of God in which God is solely defined as “beyond the universe” leaves no traces of God’s existence in the material universe. But, creationism doesn’t simply leave the definition of God here, nor does the Judeo-Christian tradition in which creationism is found.

From its earliest statements, the Judeo-Christian tradition has defined God as the necessary Creator of the universe. This ties the definition of God directly to the characteristics of the universe. In particular, this definition of God makes the claim that the universe will have characteristics that require foresight in order to exist as they do. While the assertion, “God exists” cannot be falsified because it provides no predictions or claims about evidence for God, what about the much more defined hypothesis “The characteristics of the universe necessitate a cause that has intelligent foresight”? Is that hypothesis equally un-falsifiable? Certainly not.

A definition of God as the necessary and purposeful Creator of the universe is sufficiently well-defined to make predictions and claims that can be compared to the evidence and, therefore, potentially falsified. If the evidence (the observable characteristics in the universe) are explainable in terms of automatic, routine processes that proceed without foresight, then the necessity of an intelligent, foresighted cause will be disproved and falsified. And the converse is also true. If the characteristics of the universe exist in such a way that their formation defies automatic, routine processes that proceed without foresight or defies even the probability for such automatic, routine causes, then the necessity of intelligent foresight will be upheld as a property of the universe’s cause. Consequently, the initial Judeo-Christian presentation of God as the necessary creator of the universe is both falsifiable in principle and potentially provable by the evidence.

So, as might be said for all potential scientific theories, falsifiability is a function of how well defined a theory is. A theory that is so poorly defined that it makes no predictions or claims that can be compared to actual evidence is un-falsifiable. This is the case with the extremely undefined, simple statement that “a God exists.” It is so vaguely asserted that it doesn’t define any particular relationship to the evidence. Therefore, this statement exists apart from evidence. But defining God as the necessary intelligent purposeful creator does make predictions and claims concerning the evidence, placing it well within the realm of falsifiability. And Christians and creationists should not be afraid to admit that objective evidence could disprove the need for God as a Creator. If that is the case, then we should not believe in something for which there is no evidence. Furthermore, a God for whom there is no evidence is not the God of the Bible anyway, since as we have seen from start to finish the Bible clearly presents God as a God whose existence is clearly manifest and evidenced by the created world, objectively visible all around us, just as the Apostle Paul argues in Romans 1. In short, if God is not provable by objective evidence in the created world, then the Biblical depiction of God is wrong anyway since it claims repeatedly that he is. In which case, we are left with the subjective form of God found in mysticism, whose reality is a matter of only internal conviction, not external reality.

Effectively, a theory becomes un-falsifiable when its claims become detached from the evidence. This happens in one of 2 ways. First, when a theory’s primary claims are defined in such a way that they have no relationship to the observable evidence, such as the general idea “a God exists who transcends the universe.” Or second, when the theory itself is accepted despite the fact that its primary claims have been disproved by the evidence. When we consider whether or not creationism is a theory that is detached from the evidence in either of these ways, we find out that it clearly is not.

Regarding the second scenario, in our previous section, we established that the historical Judeo-Christian tradition including its writings is a worldview, which asserts that all beliefs, including belief in God the Creator, must be arrived at on the basis of the evidence not without regard for the evidence. Consequently, creationism (which is a part of the Judeo-Christian worldview) is not a theory which asks to be accepted even when its primary claims have been disproved by the observable evidence. But more to the point, in order for a worldview to be un-falsifiable, it would have to be shown that adherents to that worldview admit that they hold to it no matter what the evidence says. In other words, to prove that creationism is guilty of this kind of un-falsifiability, you’d have to show quotes from creationists affirming that the evidence doesn’t fit with creationism’s central claims but asserting that creationism is true anyway. This would certainly be the case for members of religions that assert a basis in subjective, mystical revelation, or of syncretistic Christianity which has borrowed this pre-suppositional approach from mystical relations. But it cannot be said for historical Judeo-Christianity, which from its beginning is replete with an emphatic insistence on the objective evidence demanding belief in its Creator God. On this point, creationists dispute the suggestion that any evidence has been found, which disproves the central creationist claim that a Creator God is necessary for the universe to exist as we observe it today. Consequently, since historical creationism argues for how the evidence actually supports the central claims of their view, it becomes impossible to regard creationism as un-falsifiable on the grounds that its adherents accept it regardless of what the evidence indicates about it.

Regarding the first scenario, the suggestion that creationism might be un-falsifiable on the grounds that its claim have no relationship to the observable evidence, we have already demonstrated that this is not true since creationism’s defining element is the assertion that the characteristics of the universe demonstrate a need for foresight, and therefore, the need for an intelligent cause. This general claim is testable. But a few examples will further suffice to demonstrate the falsifiability of creationist theory.

By tracing the ancestry records in Genesis 5 and 11, and adding those numbers to later Biblical statements about the duration of major time periods, it is easy to calculate that according to the Bible, the earth is only about six thousand years old. In another example, verses 11-12, 20-22, and 24-25 of Genesis 1 state that all the plants and the animals multiply “after their kind.” New kinds of plants and animals do not emerge from previous kinds. The following 2 quotes attest to the fact that the majority of creationists hold to these notions that the universe was created in six days about six thousand years ago and that each kind of animal reproduces the same kind without evolving into new species.

Creationism, I INTRODUCTION – In the second half of the 20th century, the most visible and politically active creationists maintained that the entire universe was created within the past 6000 to 10,000 yearsII EARLY VIEWS ON CREATION – Despite mounting evidence of the great antiquity of life on earth (see Paleontology), many Christians continued to accept the traditional biblical account of a relatively recent six-day creation in the Garden of Eden, culminating in the appearance of Adam and Eve.” – "Creationism," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Creationism, Creationist beliefs – Strict creationists take the Biblical story of the Creation literally. They believe that God created the universe just thousands of years ago, and that He created all life forms within six 24-hour daysAll creationists believe that each species (type of life form) on earth has remained relatively unchanged since the Creation, and that no species has evolved from any other.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Raymond A. Eve, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Texas, Arlington.

However, the Biblical assertion of the age of the earth is said to be disproved, among other things, by geologic evidences (such as the geologic column and radiometric dating) and astronomical considerations (such as the billions of years it takes starlight to reach the earth). For instance, the quotes below establish the modern evolutionary understanding that light not only takes billions of years to reach the earth, but also that the age of the universe can be calculated in billions of years based upon this factor.

The age of the universe is measured using the following line of reasoning. First, there is a simple, physical phenomenon that the wavelengths of sound or light become longer if the source of the wave and the observer of that wave are moving away from each other. This phenomenon is known as the Doppler Effect and it is occurring with regard to the light from stars. As observed from earth, the light from stars is longer in wavelength, shifted toward the red end of the spectrum. This shift toward the longer, red wavelengths indicates that the star, the source of the light, is moving away from the earth.

Doppler effect – the apparent difference between the frequency at which sound or light waves leave a source and that at which they reach an observer, caused by relative motion of the observer and the wave source…The following is an example of the Doppler effect: as one approaches a blowing horn, the perceived pitch is higher until the horn is reached and then becomes lower as the horn is passed. Similarly, the light from a star, observed from the Earth, shifts toward the red end of the spectrum (lower frequency or longer wavelength) if the Earth and star are receding from each other and toward the violet (higher frequency or shorter wavelength) if they are approaching each other. The Doppler effect is used in studying the motion of stars and to search for double stars and is an integral part of modern theories of the universe. See also red shift.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

As indicated by the quote above and the quote below, this manifestation of the Doppler Effect with regard to the light from stars is known as “red shift.”

“Red shift – displacement of the spectrum of an astronomical object toward longer (red) wavelengths. It is generally attributed to the Doppler effect, a change in wavelength that results when a given source of waves (e.g., light or radio waves) and an observer are in rapid motion with respect to each other.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

Taking note of the red shift in starlight, an astronomer named Edwin Hubble established that the Doppler Effect was occurring in starlight because the stars, the source of the light waves, are moving away from the earth, the place where the waves are observed. Consequently, the fact that the stars are moving away from the earth establishes that the universe is expanding. Moreover, red shift is central to the Big Bang theory, which is based upon the concept that the universe is expanding.

Redshift – In 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the farther a galaxy is from Earth, the larger its redshift and thus the faster it is moving away. Hubble's discovery indicated that the universe is expanding. The expansion of the universe is a key part of the big bang theory, the modern theory of the beginning of the universe. According to this theory, all space expanded from a hot, dense, pointlike concentration called a singularity.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Wendy Freedman, Ph.D., Astronomer, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Furthermore, based upon the measurement of the redshift in the light from distant galaxies, scientists have been able to establish a consistent relationship between the distance of galaxies and their speed of movement. This relationship is known as Hubble’s constant and it is designated by the letter “H.”

Hubble's constant – in cosmology, constant of proportionality in the relation between the velocities of remote galaxies and their distances. It expresses the rate at which the universe is expanding. It is denoted by the symbol H and named in honour of Edwin Hubble, the American astronomer who attempted in 1929 to measure its value.” Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

This constant rate of expansion, which is based upon the phenomenon of red shift, is then used to determine the age of the universe.

Hubble constant – Hubble constant is a measure of the rate of expansion of the universe. Astronomers use this number in estimating the age of the universe.” – World Book 2005 (Deluxe)

The quote below from Britannica Encyclopedia mentions the “reciprocal of Hubble’s constant.” “Reciprocal” simply means “inverse” or “opposite.” It is derived from the verb “reciprocate,” which in this sense means, “to move forward and backward alternately.”

Reciprocal – 1a: inversely related: opposite.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Reciprocate – intransitive senses 1: to make a return for something 2: to move forward and backward alternately.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

So, since Hubble’s constant indicates how much the universe moves apart as time moves forward, the reciprocal of Hubble’s constant indicates how much closer together the parts of the universe were in the past. And if we go far enough back into the past, effectively, all the parts of the universe come together around 10 to 20 billion years ago, depending upon the exact figure that is used for Hubble’s constant.

“Hubble's constant – The reciprocal of Hubble's constant lies between 10 billion and 20 billion years, and this cosmic time scale serves as an approximate measure of the age of the universe.Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition

Consequently, the entire age of the universe is calculated according to the phenomenon of red shift, which itself depends upon the distance of stars and the speed at which their light travels to the earth. We will discuss this means of dating the universe in greater detail later on in our study. For now, our point is merely this. The distance of stars and the speed at which their light travels to the earth are understood to be evidence disproving the Bible’s assertion that the earth and the universe are only about six thousand years old.

Similarly, the Biblical model that kinds only reproduce their own kind is said to be disproved by such empirical evidences as the fossil record and morphology (similar structure shared by distinct organisms), which are asserted as proof of evolution’s central theme that new species evolve from distinct, preceding species. For instance, the quote below includes references to empirical evidence from Paleontology, which contradicts “relatively recent, six-day creation” described in Genesis as well as references to “analogous physical structures across many different species” as empirical evidence that all species descended by evolutionary changes from a single, common ancestor.

Creationism, II EARLY VIEWS ON CREATION – Before English naturalist Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, most people in the West-including the great majority of scientists-accepted creationism in some form, although they rarely used that term to describe their views. Despite mounting evidence of the great antiquity of life on earth (see Paleontology), many Christians continued to accept the traditional biblical account of a relatively recent six-day creation in the Garden of Eden, culminating in the appearance of Adam and Eve. Writing in 1852, American commentator William B. Hayden estimated that one-half of the Christian public remained loyal to the traditional view; the other half had adopted one or the other of two popular reinterpretations of the creation account in the biblical book of Genesis. These reinterpretations permitted Christians to accept the accumulating paleontological evidence without abandoning their faith…III DARWIN AND EVOLUTION – Darwin nevertheless left room for an initial act of creation: "I believe that animals have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number," he wrote at the conclusion of his book. He added that the presence of analogous physical structures across many different species implied "that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed" (see Adaptation). Darwin later expressed regret over this concession to creationism, and for the rest of his life he ruled out any role for God in the origin and development of living things.” "Creationism," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

As we can see, the quote above indicates that the creationist claim about the static reproductive capacity of each kind is said to have been falsified by physical evidence that “all the organic beings…have descended from some one primordial form.” Yet despite the fact that evolutionists regard the creationist claim about kinds to be “falsified” by the evidence, evolutionists also charge that the creationist claim about kinds is “un-falsifiable.” Such a criticism was explicitly advanced by evolutionary biologist and geneticist Dr. William Moore of Wayne State University of Detroit, Michigan in a debate with creationist Dr. Kent Hovind. Concerning the assertions found in the Genesis account, Dr. Moore criticizes the creationist view of Dr. Kent Hovind of lacking “any room” for predictions that could be compared to observation. (Later on in our next segment, we will return to this quote from Dr. Moore concerning the scientific criterion of making predictions.)

There has to be some aspect of your theory that leads to predictions. We have to be able to do these computations that Feynman alludes to. And I just don’t see it in Genesis. There’s no room for computation.” – Dr. William Moore, “The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr. Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video

Additional examples besides the age of the universe and the reproduction of kinds could also be cited. However, there is no need to be exhaustive on this point. These few examples illustrate the trend.

Not only do evolutionists consider the various claims of the Biblical account of creation to be falsifiable, but they consider the very same claims to be, in fact, falsified by known empirical data. Since the evolutionists regard the six day, six thousand year creation model of the Bible to be disproved by empirical evidence, they cannot regard these claims as “un-falsifiable” or “unscientific.” One simply cannot say that a theory’s claim has been empirically proven false while at the same time asserting that the same claim is unscientific because it is “un-falsifiable.” However, the creationist theory simply cannot be classified as un-falsifiable on the grounds that its claims have no testable relationship to the observable evidence because, as we have seen, creationism’s claims most certainly do have a testable and falsifiable relationship to the observable evidence.

Therefore, as stated earlier, the Biblical model of creation, which centers on the necessity for intelligent foresight in the universe’s cause, should be regarded as fit for scientific consideration. It cannot be dismissed as unscientific. The rest of this article will continue to evaluate to what extent the available empirical evidence confirms or disconfirms the Biblical model, and subsequently, to what extent that evidence indirectly confirms the necessity of an intelligent, personal Creator.

But this is not the only relevance that falsifiability has to this study. Falsifiability is an important issue. So, we’re not just going to leave it behind as we move forward. Instead, we will continue to keep an eye on the status of “falsifiability” as we examine the competing origins theories.

Premature Dismissal in the Origins Debate: Is Faith Unscientific? (Part 3)

A vital part of the scientific process is the ability to make predictions. Worldbook’s Encyclopedia article on the “Inductive Method” describes the role of induction and prediction in science.

Inductive methodTo make discoveries, scientists first obtain general theories by using induction. From these general theories, they then deduce new, particular predictions. These predictions are tested by observation and experiment. The test results may be used in a new inductive step to obtain a better general theory.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Morton L. Schagrin, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, State University of New York, Fredonia.

Given the role of predictions in the scientific method, evolutionists critique creationism theory as unscientific on the grounds that it does not involve predictions or even that predictions are not even possible from the Biblical descriptions. Such a criticism was explicitly advanced by evolutionary biologists and geneticist Dr. William Moore of Wayne State University of Detroit, Michigan in a debate with creationist Dr. Kent Hovind. Early on in the debate, Dr. Moore asserted the necessity of being able to make predictions, inferences, and computations from any particular theory. To support this necessity, Dr. Moore quoted Dr. Richard Feynman, 1965 Nobel-prize winner for physics, and explained Feynman’s description of the scientific method.

This is one scientist’s statement as to what scientific method is. He says, ‘In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess…Don’t laugh. It’s really true. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see if this law that we guessed is right, what it should imply. Then we compare those computation results with nature, with say, to experiment or experience. We compare it directly with observation to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t matter how smart you, who made the guess, or what his or her name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.’ This short, whimsical even facetious statement is actually a fairly concise and complete statement for the scientific method, as simple as it is. One of the most interesting phrases in Feynman’s description…” – Dr. William Moore, “The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr. Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video

Later on in the debate, Dr. Moore returns to this statement from Feynman and applies it directly as a criticism of creationism, asserting that the creationist model and approach cannot make predictions, and therefore, are not scientific. Criticizing the creationist premise that organisms were created and reproduce in groups called “kinds,” not necessarily in the narrower groups that modern scientists refer to as “species,” Dr. Moore states the following.

Regardless of how many kinds there were, maybe we could figure that out if we could determine what distinguishes one kind from another in a genetic sense. What is the barrier? When would we know that we’ve crossed from one kind to another?...In order to begin to do that sort of research, which actually I do…but first before I could write a sensible proposal, you’d have to tell me what a kind is so I could begin to figure out what it is that I’m looking for that distinguishes them. There has to be some aspect of your theory that leads to predictions. We have to be able to do these computations that Feynman alludes to. And I just don’t see it in Genesis. There’s no room for computation.” – Dr. William Moore, “The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr. Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video

These charges lead to a central question. Does creationist theory involve predictions, just like all other branches and areas of science? Or, are predictions not possible and not a part of creationist theory, thereby rendering creationism as outside the normal scientific process?

In considering this point, we might start with the very example discussed by Dr. Moore. Consider Dr. Moore’s assertion that the scientific process starts with a guess and “Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see if this law that we guessed is right, what it should imply. Then we compare those computation results with nature, with say, to experiment or experience. We compare it directly with observation to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.”

Let’s take the creationist “guess” or “theorization” that animals only reproduce after their kinds. Specifically, Dr. Moore criticized that the text of the Genesis account itself simply did not allow for predictions, particularly concerning “kinds.”

Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day…20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

The text of the account states concerning the various kinds of plants, the various kinds of water animals, the various kinds of birds, and the various kinds of land organisms that they all bring only forth after their kind. They will only reproduce the same kinds that they are. One kind will never produce something other than its own kind. Cows only produce cows. Spiders only produce spiders. Frogs only produce frogs. Fern trees will only produce fern trees. Cows will never produce non-cows. Spiders will never produce non-spiders. Frogs will never produce non-frogs. And fern trees will never produce non-fern trees. The predictive nature of these statements, even as found in the Genesis text, is readily apparent in the statements themselves. These statements are inherently making assertions about what we will see and what we won’t see from reproduction in the future.

Furthermore, those predictions are just as readily comparable with observation and experimentation. If these assertions from Genesis are true, they have implications for what we should see in the world around us. They imply that each kind of animal will only reproduce its own kind, never another kind. Can we compare these implications to observation and experimentation? Yes, we can observe cows to see if they produce non-cows. We can observe spiders to see if they produce non-spiders. We experiment to see if we can ever get a non-frog to come from a frog. And we can experiment to see if we can use simulated natural processes to get a fern-tree to reproduce something other than a fern tree. Not only that, but we can do very comparable computations. Moreover, the computations are extremely testable and falsifiable because they require 100 percent compliance, not complicated fractions of percentages based upon a number of variables. Kinds should always and only produce their own kind. That kind of computation is certainly comparable and testable with observations in nature and experiments. Just one instance of an organism producing something other than its own kind will falsify this prediction. The entire concept is inherently and simply in line with the scientific method on these points.

The creation theory that organisms only reproduce after their kinds is both predictive and those predictions are able to be compared with both observation and experimentation. It’s virtually impossible to see how Dr. Moore could assert that this wasn’t the case.

But besides the issue of kinds, what about other aspects of the creationist theory? Are they also predictive and comparable to observation? Let’s consider the just a few prominent examples. The flood account in Genesis 7:10-8:14 implies and predicts that predominantly geological features form from catastrophe. During the table of evidence section at the of this article series, we will examine the evidence to see how this prediction compares with the observed evidence, including evidences observed as a result of the Mount St. Helen’s volcanic eruption. For now, the point is that the theory that geologic features form by catastrophe is both predictive and it can be compared and tested against observable evidence.

What about other statements in the Biblical description of the world? Are they predictive and able to be compared with observation? Numerous times the Bible declares that the heavens where the stars reside were stretched out.

Psalms 104:2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.

Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

Isaiah 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.

Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.

Isaiah 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

Isaiah 51:13 And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?

Jeremiah 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

Jeremiah 51:15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.

Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

The writing of these passages date back to before the time of Jesus Christ, which makes them well-over 2,000 years old. Yet, the expansion of the universe was not discovered until after the turn of the 19th century A.D.

Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of the Universe – In 1929 Hubble had measured enough spectra of galaxies to realize that the galaxies' light, except for that of the few nearest galaxies, was shifted toward the red end of the visible spectrum. This shift increased the more distant the galaxies were. Cosmologists soon interpreted these red shifts as Doppler shifts, which showed that the galaxies were moving away from the earth. The Doppler shift, and therefore the speed of the galaxy, was greater for more distant galaxies. Galaxies in different directions at equivalent distances from the earth, however, had equivalent Doppler shifts. This constant relationship between distance and speed led cosmologists to believe that the universe is expanding uniformly.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Red ShiftThe American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, in 1929, linked the red shift observed in spectra of galaxies to the expansion of the universe.” – "Red Shift," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Biblical texts not only predicted this expansion, but the observable evidence confirmed the prediction to be valid.

Now, it is true that at least one component of the creationist model remains beyond direct observation and cannot be tested or repeated through experiment. Specifically, this refers to the creationist component that God created the universe and all that it in it, including all the organisms. While a great majority of the other aspects of creationist theory can be compared to observation of those phenomena in nature or through experimentation, there is no place on earth today where you can observe God creating parts of the universe or organisms. Here, however, the creationist model is on equal footing with the evolutionary model. The evolutionary model is unable to directly observe or experimentally repeat the initial mechanisms and events that began the universe in its model either. The big bang itself is beyond such observation and cannot even be modeled.

Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, A The Big Bang Theory – Current methods of particle physics allow the universe to be traced back to earlier than one second after the big bang explosion initiated the expansion of the universe. Cosmologists believe that they can model the universe back to 1 x [10 to the negative 43 power] seconds after the big bang; before that point, they would need a theory that merges the theory of gravity and the theory of general relativity to explain the behavior of the universe. Scientists do not actually study the big bang itself, but infer its existence from the universe's expansion.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Like the creationist model, only the after affects can be tested. If God created all kinds and they produce after themselves, then we can test the reproductive inference from this statement. Similarly, if the universe did originate from a big bang, then we can create models of how the structures of the universe, such as superclusters, clusters, and galaxies did form and continue to form, even though the original event and its details are unavailable.

Furthermore, even as stated by evolutionary biologist Dr. Moore, the creationist and evolutionist models are on equal footing when it comes to any metaphysical assumptions at the foundation of each model. According to Dr. Moore, uniformitarian geologic principles must be assumed and supposed and cannot be defended, deduced, or proved. In Dr. Moore’s words “We can’t really defend these assumptions…We can’t prove it to be true. We can simply make it a part of our philosophical system and see how successful that system is in leading us to new discoveries.” The exact same can be said concerning the creationist model. Although the idea of actually observing God creating the universe is beyond what is available to us, we can build a model including this suggested concept and see how successful that model or system is in fitting with what we do discover in the world around us. 

In conclusion, when it comes to the criticisms that creationism is unscientific because it is based upon presupposition or blind faith, is un-falsifiable or un-testable, or does not and cannot make predictions, all of these criticisms are shown to be false. Creationism, historically and originally is part of an objective and evidentiary, not pre-suppositional or subjective, approach to truth. The possibility of falsifying creationism’s claims can be seen in the fact that evolutionists consider the biblical model to, in fact, have been falsified on particular points, including creationism’s claims about the age of the universe and the reproductive origin of organisms. And creationism’s claims are inherently predictive and available for testing against the observable and experimental data. This is most clearly seen in creationism’s prediction that organisms will always reproduce their own kind, never a new or different kind. 

In these categories, creationism is on equal footing with evolution as a scientific theory or model. And creationism is also on equal footing with evolution concerning the fact that the original events in both models are not available for scientific observation, including the elements of God creating the universe and the big bang explosion itself. Likewise, although certain key points, like these or like uniformitarianism, cannot be proven, the models and systems that they are built into can be tested and compared to discoveries and observations. Ultimately, it is simply impossible to dismiss creationism as unscientific on any of these grounds.


Related Images



Gene Pool
(Figures 1-6)




Defining the
Boundaries of Kinds



Gaps in the
Fossil Record




Britannica
Geologic Column



Misperceptions of
Dating Methods
(Figures 1-8)




Dating Facts



Dating Procedures
(Figures 1-13)




Isotope Dating Chart



Cosmology
Figure 1



Cosmology
Figure 2 (a-d)



Cosmology
Figure 3 (a-f)