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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Creation versus Evolution - Basics revisited

Here at this blog I post articles by others and essays by, well, me. I began this blog as a commentary blog on religion and science and politics, primarily. It appears that the creation versus evolution question has come to dominate the blog, at least at the present time. It seems like a good time to review some basic points for the benefit of new readers and to remind veteran readers.

1) Point of view, or worldview - I have a specific worldview, the set of assumptions through which I see and interpret the world. Think of a worldview as a set of eyeglasses, perhaps, through which everything you see is filtered. I have one, you have one and everybody has one, including every scientist in the world.

My worldview includes a belief in a Creator God who created the world. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and I consider myself a Christian. I am a conservative politically. I am a sports nut. I love nature and literature and music and science. I enjoy working with teenagers and volunteer my time to do so, as does my wife and one of my adult children.

Some people have difficulty with this concept, believing that their particular worldview is simply The Truth = unassailable fact. Hey, I believe that my worldview is correct but I am able to see that it is my opinion. Sadly, some folks just don't get it...No, a naturalistic atheistic evolutionist worldview is not fact, it is opinion.

2)Operational Science - operational science is the nuts-and-bolts of science. The scientific method is a staple of operational science, in which:

*a problem or question is addressed with a hypothesis
*a test is devised that tests the hypothesis
*if successful, the test is repeated several times and ways to see if the results are consistent
*if still successful, now we have a valid theory
*if the theory withstands further testing and is accepted by the scientific community as consistently true, it becomes a law.

Operational science deals with any question pertaining to matters of the here and now. Organisms and elements that can be accessed can be perused and tested. Systems that are in place and operations that are in existence now can be observed.

For instance, when our garden Hostas began to show signs of being eaten, we were glad that there were already a few theories of sluggology in place. According to previous tests, the likely culprit for our problem was the garden slug and previous tests had shown that, if we put out a pan of beer, the slugs would prefer the beer to the Hosta and crawl in only to drown.

We did find that our test, as expected, fit the theory to a "T". Slugs crawled in and they didn't crawl out. However, we also discovered that baby toads also liked the beer and we did modify the experiment by placing a kind of chicken wire over the pan so that slugs could enter but toads could not.

Our experiment supported that particular theory of sluggology concerning slugs and beer. It did solve the problem of the Hostas. It may be that, with this particular kind of Hosta and beer and slug, it could be determined someday to be a Law of Sluggology.

Yeah, the above was a little bit tongue in cheek. But it illustrates an important point, that the science that helps cure diseases and send people into space and makes engines more efficient is operational science - the science of rubber meeting road.

Operational science is happening in labs all over the globe. The idea of whether evolution may or may not be true or not doesn't enter in to operational science. It is important to emphasize that, in operational science, experimentation can yield results that can serve to more or less "prove" or "disprove" a hypothesis.

3) Historical Science - Historical science, which includes the study of origins, is not quite so neat. You can and will bring presuppositions into a lab to do an experiment in the realm of operational science, but the experiment will yield results that either support or do not support your presuppositions. In the case of historical science, experiments and observations are generally unavailable. One must take evidence found today to apply to yesterday and therefore the presupposition you bring to the problem will determine the conclusion you reach based on the evidence you view. You cannot prove or disprove your point but can only try to apply logic to intuit what must have been.

Sadly, the world doesn't understand this and many people believe that evolution, which is not even a testable theory, is a proven fact. Evolutionists have done a great job of marketing their viewpoint completely apart from the evidences available. But when you look behind the curtain of the Great and Terrible Oz of evolution, you see a little man of supposition where proven fact was believed to reside.

Evolution is not fact, it is not even a theory, it is a supposition. No one has ever proved or demonstrated evolution in action ever, at any time.

Creation is also a supposition. It cannot be tested and it cannot be proven and it has not been observed.

So please understand that in the realm of historical science, particularly in the world of creation science versus evolution science, it is all about the interpretation of evidence, period. One must simply decide for oneself which model fits the evidence best in one's own opinion.

~~~~~~~

The Big Things First - The big questions about who we are and how we got here cannot be answered in terms of proofs. So we can only look at evidences and decide, according to logic and in accordance with our worldviews, what makes sense.

Where did everything come from?

"
Edward Tryon, Nature Magazine, 1973: "I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."

Atheistic Evolution says that everything came from a natural cause. However, no cause is discernible so we need an "uncaused cause." The answer from this camp? The Big Bang. One of the latest versions of this Bang is Guth's Grand Guess, an inflation model of the aforementioned Bang. Guth himself says, "The Universe burst into something from absolutely nothing - zero, nada. And as it got bigger, it became filled with even more stuff that came from absolutely nowhere." April 2002 issue, Discover Magazine.

What follows is all the instances that scientists have observed in which something comes from nothing:
*
*
*
Still there? Yep, no evidence. However, there is the First Law of Thermodynamics:

First Law of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics is often called the Law of Conservation of Energy. This law suggests that energy can be transferred from one system to another in many forms. Also, it can not be created or destroyed. Thus, the total amount of energy available in the Universe is constant. Einstein's famous equation (written below) describes the relationship between energy and matter:

E = mc2

In the equation above, energy (E) is equal to matter (m) times the square of a constant (c). Einstein suggested that energy and matter are interchangeable. His equation also suggests that the quantity of energy and matter in the Universe is fixed.

So, what we see in the Universe today is that nothing is being either created or destroyed. The Big Bang is, so to speak, against the Law because such an event is never observed.

Biblical Creationism - Says that everything was created by God in a six day period of time, including time itself.

Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Creationists believe that an Eternal God created the Universe and everything in it. God is the cause of all existence. I personally see this explanation as far more logical and reasonable than "it just happened, even though it cannot happen."

There are all sorts of ways to look at all the evidences. The various Bang suppositions change on a regular basis. The likelihood is that the explanation you are willing to believe is the one that matches up with your worldview. The atheistic evolutionist would argue that it is illogical to argue that a supernatural being simply created matter from nothing. But then that same person will accept the idea of matter creating itself from nothing instead.

The Bible stands as evidence for God as the Creator of all things. If you accept that the Bible is the Word of God, then you have your answer. Big if, as we all know.

Where did life come from?

The atheistic evolutionist will say that somehow life generated from non-life. However there is another law involved here, the Law of Biogenesis:

Law of biogenesis. The law which states, life arises only from existing life. Formulated after many years of extensive observation and experimentation. The ancient greeks believed that living things could originate from nonliving matter (abiogenesis) and that the goddess Gea could make life arise spontaneously from stones. aristotle disagreed, but still believed that creatures could arise from dissimilar organisms or from soil (an early form of evolution theory). variations of this concept of spontaneous generation still existed as late as the 17th century, but towards the end of the 17th century a series of observations, experiments, and arguments began that eventually discredited such ideas. This advance in scientific understanding was met with much opposition, with personal beliefs and individual predjudices often obscuring the facts. Francesco Redi, an Italian physician, proved as early as 1668 that higher forms of life could not originate spontaneously, but proponents of abiogenesis claimed that this did not apply to microbes and continued to hold that these could arise spontaneously. attempts to disprove the spontaneous generation of life from non-life continued in the early 1800s with observations and experiments by Franz Schulze and Theodor Schwann.

In 1864 louis pasteur finally announced the results of his scientific experiments. In a series of neat experiments, pasteur proved conclusively that only pre-existing microbes could give rise to other microbes (biogenesis). thus dr. louis pasteur finally overcame the longstanding belief in spontaneous generation of life. even so (regardless of the evidence) the belief that life could spontaneously arise from non-life (abiogenesis) was still stubbornly held on to by some, including thomas Huxley ('Darwin's Bulldog').

however, the law of biogenesis is now well established and it is generally accepted by scientists that abiogenesis has no scientific validity. The medical profession and food industry rely totally on the validity of the law of biogenesis for hygiene, sterilisation and food preservation.

“There is no publication in the scientific literature—in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books—that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations.” Michael Behe in Darwin's Black Box.

Abiogenesis is also against the law, as it were. Yet it is the keystone of the atheistic evolutionists' point of view, for if life didn't just happen by chance, there had to be a Creator and certainly an atheist cannot abide the thought of a creator!

One way to get around the fact that abiogenesis has never been observed and seems to be impossible here on earth is panspermia, the idea that life began elsewhere and then was transported here.


By David Warmflash and Benjamin Weiss

"Most scientists have long assumed that life on Earth is a homegrown phenomenon. According to the conventional hypothesis, the earliest living cells emerged as a result of chemical evolution on our planet billions of years ago in a process called abiogenesis. The alternative possibility--that living cells or their precursors arrived from space--strikes many people as science fiction. Developments over the past decade, however, have given new credibility to the idea that Earth's biosphere could have arisen from an extraterrestrial seed...."

Yes, in this way atheistic evolutionists move the problem to somewhere else in unobserved space at some unobserved time. Oddly enough, there have recently been two fields of scientific study established, being astrobiology and exobiology. The cynic in me says that such fields were developed to help NASA receive funding and keep the dollars flowing into the SETI project.

At any rate, here are the instances of extraterrestrial life that have been observed by scientists:
*
*
*
Yes, there are no instances. But how about the number of times that life has been observed to come from non-life here on earth?
*
*
*
Again, there are none.

Creationists believe that God created all life, as recounted in Genesis chapter one. The Bible has an explanation for the source of all life, God.

~~~~~~~

Those who are determined to keep God out of the discussion are doing so based upon their worldview and not because it is good science. Virtually every field of science was established by a Creationist. Sir Isaac Newton would be the most influential founder of physics and Galileo Galilei would be included in the discussion, Sir Francis Bacon was the founder of the scientific method. Here is a chart from
50 Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in God. Notice how most of these 16-21st century fathers of science were believers in a Creator God. IV
Isaac Newton Founder of Classical Physics and Infinitesimal Calculus Anglican (rejected Trinitarianism, i.e., Athanasianism;
believed in the Arianism of the Primitive Church)
Galileo Galilei Founder of Experimental Physics Catholic
Nicolaus Copernicus Founder of Heliocentric Cosmology Catholic (priest)
Johannes Kepler Founder of Physical Astronomy and Modern Optics Lutheran
Francis Bacon Founder of the Scientific Inductive Method Anglican
René Descartes Founder of Analytical Geometry and Modern Philosophy Catholic
Blaise Pascal Founder of Hydrostatics, Hydrodynamics,
and the Theory of Probabilities
Jansenist
Michael Faraday Founder of Electronics and Electro-Magnetics Sandemanian
James Clerk Maxwell Founder of Statistical Thermodynamics Presbyterian; Anglican; Baptist
Lord Kelvin Founder of Thermodynamics and Energetics Anglican
Robert Boyle Founder of Modern Chemistry Anglican
William Harvey Founder of Modern Medicine Anglican (nominal)
John Ray Founder of Modern Biology and Natural History Calvinist (denomination?)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz German Mathematician and Philosopher,
Founder of Infinitesimal Calculus
Lutheran
Charles Darwin Founder of the Theory of Evolution Anglican (nominal); Unitarian
Ernst Haeckel German Biologist,
the Most Influential Evolutionist in Continental Europe
Thomas H. Huxley English Biologist and Evolutionist,
Famous As "Darwin's Bulldog"
Joseph J. Thomson Nobel Laureate in Physics, Discoverer of the Electron,
Founder of Atomic Physics
Anglican
Louis Pasteur Founder of Microbiology and Immunology Catholic


Darwin, Haeckel and Huxley kind of stand out as sore thumbs in this list, eh?


Then there is the father of modern rocket science, Werner Von Braun, who said, "I find it...difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe." from Ann Lamont's 21 Great Scientists Who Believed The Bible.

Dimitrov's online book also contains a list of 20th century Nobel Laureates in the sciences...

Albert Einstein Nobel Laureate in Physics Jewish
Max Planck Nobel Laureate in Physics Protestant
Erwin Schrodinger Nobel Laureate in Physics Catholic
Werner Heisenberg Nobel Laureate in Physics Lutheran
Robert Millikan Nobel Laureate in Physics probably Congregationalist
Charles Hard Townes Nobel Laureate in Physics United Church of Christ (raised Baptist)
Arthur Schawlow Nobel Laureate in Physics Methodist
William D. Phillips Nobel Laureate in Physics Methodist
William H. Bragg Nobel Laureate in Physics Anglican
Guglielmo Marconi Nobel Laureate in Physics Catholic and Anglican
Arthur Compton Nobel Laureate in Physics Presbyterian
Arno Penzias Nobel Laureate in Physics Jewish
Nevill Mott Nobel Laureate in Physics Anglican
Isidor Isaac Rabi Nobel Laureate in Physics Jewish
Abdus Salam Nobel Laureate in Physics Muslim
Antony Hewish Nobel Laureate in Physics Christian (denomination?)
Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. Nobel Laureate in Physics Quaker
Alexis Carrel Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Catholic
John Eccles Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Catholic
Joseph Murray Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Catholic
Ernst Chain Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Jewish
George Wald Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Jewish
Ronald Ross Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Christian (denomination?)
Derek Barton Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Christian (denomination?)
Christian Anfinsen Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Jewish
Walter Kohn Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Jewish
Richard Smalley Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Christian (denomination?)

Now as it happens some scientists who associate themselves with a faith are not classic creationists, such as Einstein. Einstein did believe in God, but was unsure what form God was to be encountered and exactly how much He was involved in things at present.

Do you believe in creation or evolution? I suggest very strongly that it is your worldview that drives your belief. One reason that I post this blog is because I do believe that worldviews can be changed with strong evidences and logic. I am one who came all the way from classic evolutionist to creationist after I decided that I needed to look carefully at the evidence and think for myself.

The evolution versus creation debate begins with origins. Where did the Universe come from? Where did life come from? The atheistic evolutionist can only say that he believes by faith that they somehow just happened.

Next, we'll look at some questions that come immediately after the first two very obvious questions. By the way, if you are an evolutionist and want to argue that the first two points are not even about evolution, sorry, I just don't buy it. You have to have a Universe and you have to have living organisms in order to begin even discussing evolution and if those who believe in evolution want to concede that God created the Universe and then created life, then, frankly, what do we need evolution for anyway? The next logical step is to concede that God made life as we know it today and that evolution is not worth discussion.

15 comments:

Jody said...

And in real science news, researchers this week annouced observational evidence further supporting the magnetic braking theory of solar system formation.

For those keeping score, that's
Science: 1x10^2346789 Creationism: 0.

Taxandrian said...

Well, you already said it yourself: it's YOUR opinion. Just like your statement about interpretation of evidence is just that - an opinion. Nothing wrong with having an opinion. Because, after all, no matter which opinion you have or what your religious beliefs are, it won't change the facts. 2 + 2 will always be 4, no matter at which angle you look at it.

Just one remark: since you wish to talk science, it may be important to get the terminology right first. It may come as a surprise to you, but in the scientific hierarchy a theory ranks highest, even higher than laws. At NO POINT a theory will become a law.
But don't just believe me, watch the scientists explain it themselves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7Ctl9nzEqs

Lava said...

What point are you trying to make when you list scientists and their religion?

There is a logical disconnect in these sentences- "Those who are determined to keep God out of the discussion are doing so based upon their worldview and not because it is good science. Virtually every field of science was established by a Creationist."

Where they strict creationists and believe the bible was literal? Even if they were, does that even matter? Are their fields of study(as you listed) even affected by their belief in creationism, for the most part?

One of the charts you pull up is from "50 Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in God ". Belief in god does not equal belief in creationism. One can easily conceive of a higher being that set forth the events of the big bang.

My final question I would LOVE an answer to: Of that list of scientists who believe(d) in god that you posted, how many of them actually use(d) the supernatural as an explanation or factor in any of the theories or discoveries in the fields listed beside their names?

radar said...

" My final question I would LOVE an answer to: Of that list of scientists who believe(d) in god that you posted, how many of them actually use(d) the supernatural as an explanation or factor in any of the theories or discoveries in the fields listed beside their names?"

That is pretty easy, Lava. In the fields of operational science, God is no factor at all. Just as no-God is no factor at all,

In the fields of historical science, the believer in God begins with the concept that God created and the non-believer begins with no idea where all of this stuff comes from. The starting points are radically different, and thus, different conclusions.

radar said...

"Just one remark: since you wish to talk science, it may be important to get the terminology right first. It may come as a surprise to you, but in the scientific hierarchy a theory ranks highest, even higher than laws. At NO POINT a theory will become a law."

The original scientific method as devised by Sir Francis Bacon is my source. Your assertions may be the view of a group of scientists today but it is not historically correct.

radar said...

"Well, you already said it yourself: it's YOUR opinion. Just like your statement about interpretation of evidence is just that - an opinion. Nothing wrong with having an opinion. Because, after all, no matter which opinion you have or what your religious beliefs are, it won't change the facts. 2 + 2 will always be 4, no matter at which angle you look at it."

2+2=4 is operational science and it can be tested and confirmed. That nothing became everything 13.7 billion years ago cannot be tested or observed.

radar said...

"For those keeping score, that's
Science: 1x10^2346789 Creationism: 0."

Jody, you are so deep in your own worldview you cannot even see it. Science doesn't belong to atheists and evolutionists, sorry. The actual score would be between creation science and atheistic evolutionist science and in my opinion, your side hasn't even made it up to zero yet.

Lava said...

That is pretty easy, Lava. In the fields of operational science, God is no factor at all. Just as no-God is no factor at all,

In the fields of historical science, the believer in God begins with the concept that God created and the non-believer begins with no idea where all of this stuff comes from. The starting points are radically different, and thus, different conclusions.


So is the answer to my original question- "Of that list of scientists who believe(d) in god that you posted, how many of them actually use(d) the supernatural as an explanation or factor in any of the theories or discoveries in the fields listed beside their names?"- ZERO?


Historical science, which includes the study of origins, is not quite so neat.

What else is included in historical science? If historical science is purely the science of the origins of the universe then this statement---- Those who are determined to keep God out of the discussion are doing so based upon their worldview and not because it is good science. Virtually every field of science was established by a Creationist ----makes no sense.

Taxandrian said...

The original scientific method as devised by Sir Francis Bacon is my source. Your assertions may be the view of a group of scientists today but it is not historically correct.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't find any document which says that Francis Bacon's inductive method rates a law higher than a theory, i.e. that a theory becomes a law when tested enough, like you stated.
Could you please provide a link? Thanks in advance.

radar said...

http://www.batesville.k12.in.us/Physics/PhyNet/AboutScience/Inductive.html

For taxandrian.

Lava, what makes no sense? Operational sciences were largely founded by creationists, which means that creationists have no problems with operation science. In fact, whether you believe in creation or evolution doesn't impact operational science.

In origins sciences, worldview is everything. The difference is clear and it is enormous.

Taxandrian said...

@radar:

From the link you posted:

The Scientific Method (Grossly Oversimplified):

- The basis of the scientific method is making OBSERVATIONS - sometimes in the form of EXPERIMENTS.
- When an OBSERVATION is comfirmed by many competent observers, it can become a FACT.
- A scientific HYPOTHESIS must not only link existing observations and facts, but suggest new observations (predictions).
- If a hypothesis that describes how nature works survives many experimental tests (observations), it may become a LAW.
- If a hypothesis that describes how nature works survives many experimental tests (observations), it may become a THEORY.

Nowhere does it say, like you claimed, that a THEORY can become a LAW after having survived many experiments and gained a scientific concensus. In fact, the scientific method described in your link is exactly the same as described by the scientists in the video I linked.
So again, where did you get the information that a scientific THEORY can become a scientific LAW at some point?

Anonymous said...

Can't Radar get nothin' right? Seriously.

radar said...

FB's scientific method: From http://www.spaceandmotion.com/
philosophy-sir-francis-bacon-
biography.htm

"Bacon did not propose an actual philosophy, but rather a method of developing philosophy; he wrote that, whilst philosophy at the time used the deductive syllogism to interpret nature, the philosopher should instead proceed through inductive reasoning from fact to axiom to law."

It is in the Novum Organum that Bacon set out his method. Modern scientists have brought more deductive rather than inductive elements into the common use of the scientific method and now give a theory and a law more or less equal footing. This was not true in Bacon's treatise and certainly not true for earlier scientists. Newton's hypotheses became laws after extensive testing.

I suspect one reason scientist would now prefer settling on a theory rather than a law is that they have seen laws later be disproved or greatly modified with better instrumentation or a general advance of knowledge. But I cannot say for certain why this has come about.

Either way, evolution doesn't meet the definition of either fact or theory, does it? The whole observation and testing phase is missing.

Taxandrian said...

"Bacon did not propose an actual philosophy, but rather a method of developing philosophy; he wrote that, whilst philosophy at the time used the deductive syllogism to interpret nature, the philosopher should instead proceed through inductive reasoning from fact to axiom to law."

This is about philosophy, not science. Radar, why do you keep giving me links which don't prove or even disprove what you said in your opening post: that a theory becomes a law after having withstood further testing and is accepted by the scientific community as consistently true? Since you claim that you base this statement on the scientific method developed by Sir Francis Bacon, for the third time: could you PLEASE give me a link to the document that states this? The right one this time, thank you in advance.

Either way, evolution doesn't meet the definition of either fact or theory, does it?

Why ask me? Surely you don't need my approval for your opinion? If that's your opinion, that's fine with me: your opinion is something personal and shouldn't be influenced by whether I agree with you or not. I don't find your opinion to be disturbing or threatening at all...amusing at most.

Anonymous said...

Radar,

It took me a while to get around to responding to the full content of this post because it is just so shockingly littered with fallacies, mistakes and re-statements of arguments that you couldn’t previously defend that it took me a while to get through it. Even still, there are some parts I don’t have time for right now, but will get into soon.

”It seems like a good time to review some basic points for the benefit of new readers and to remind veteran readers.”

Thank you – it is useful to see you remind us of some arguments you’ve previously abandoned. It is bracing to see so many fallacies and errors compacted into one post, though as always disappointing to see how you pointedly ignore any questions or counter-arguments presented to you in the past.

”1) Point of view, or worldview – [...] Some people have difficulty with this concept, believing that their particular worldview is simply The Truth = unassailable fact. Hey, I believe that my worldview is correct but I am able to see that it is my opinion. Sadly, some folks just don't get it...No, a naturalistic atheistic evolutionist worldview is not fact, it is opinion.”

You’re confusing worldview and working method. One’s worldview is indeed one’s own opinion, and it may or may not be based on any semblance of objective reality.

It is you who, in a scientific context, consistently mistakes your worldview for The Truth and unassailable fact. How many times have we seen creationist papers posted that (1) present some data, (2) note that this conflicts with a literal interpretation of some part of the bible, (3) proceed to question the veracity of the data, the motivations of those who obtained the data or even the very meaning and working methods of science itself? This is exactly what happens when you mistake a worldview for The Truth.

A “naturalistic atheistic evolutionist worldview” is not fact. However, a “naturalistic approach” is what science is based on – it is based on what we can observe in nature, and it excludes the supernatural. This is in an attempt to be as objective as possible, and to have a basis that we can all agree on, on the basis of making conclusions from what can be observed. This does not mean that it is atheistic as such; it simply excludes the subject of divine beings, taking no position on them either way. As for an “evolutionist” worldview, a naturalistic approach to science has yielded the theory of evolution (call it the modern synthesis, if you will), which is confirmed by numerous naturalistic observations and experiments.

One’s working approach to science does not in the slightest mean that one has to become an atheist. Science doesn’t argue against God, it simply leaves God out of the equation.

Lava asked this question: “Of that list of scientists who believe(d) in god that you posted, how many of them actually use(d) the supernatural as an explanation or factor in any of the theories or discoveries in the fields listed beside their names?” This is one of those questions that you have been asked countless times and have never been able to answer. I hope it doesn’t escape your memory the next time you pretend that you stand unfairly accused of not answering questions.

And the answer to that question is zero. If you disagree, please provide examples of those scientists who did use the supernatural as an explanation or factor in any of the theories or discoveries in the fields listed beside their names.

And that in turn means that God is kept out of science, not because of some unfair bias on the part of atheist scientists (after all, Christians etc. also adhere to this principle - successfully), but because good science doesn't include the supernatural, as is consistently confirmed by all the names on your list.

2) Operational Science - "operational science is the nuts-and-bolts of science. The scientific method is a staple of operational science, in which:

*a problem or question is addressed with a hypothesis
*a test is devised that tests the hypothesis
*if successful, the test is repeated several times and ways to see if the results are consistent
*if still successful, now we have a valid theory
*if the theory withstands further testing and is accepted by the scientific community as consistently true, it becomes a law."


Two points about your operational science vs. historical science bit (which I note has made the rounds in creationist circles with the same gaping flaws as your argument) and especially about your erroneous claim that the theory of evolution is not subject to testing or observation:

a. It is correct that, with any historical science, we cannot go back in time and find out 100% exactly what happened exactly when. We are indeed unable to observe directly with our own eyes events that lie in the past – but that does not mean that what you refer to as historical science in this context is not subject to the scientific method in an attempt to get as close to an objective truth as possible.

We cannot perform experiments in the sense of devising an experiment, physically going into a lab and performing the experiment. We can, however, use the scientific method and construct (and test) falsifiable hypotheses as follows:

* a hypothesis is stated
* a test is devised that tests the hypothesis: in this case, not a lab experiment, but a testable prediction – a prediction of what will and will not be found, because the “lab” of the archaeologist is our whole world, and the “experiments” are digs
* if successful, the test is repeated several times and ways to see if the results are consistent
* if still successful, now we have a valid theory

For example, archaeologists in different parts of the world find fossils in different layers, allowing them to construct a rough timeline of what kind of fossils are found in which layers. Using radiometric dating, they can say that one layer in one location is the same age as another layer in another location. These are observations.

This allows them to form a picture of what kind of creatures lived at the same time, as well as before and after each other. From this they can form a hypothesis, say, that a certain creature evolves over time.

From this, they can then construct a testable prediction, for example that if there were creatures that looked like X in one layer and there are creatures that looked like Z in another layer, that it is likely that we would find a transitional species Y in a layer that is dated by independent means to a time between the other two layers. (Note that such a prediction would confirm their hypothesis and falsify YEC, since especially the flood model offers no plausible explanation for the available data.)

Now, instead of heading into a lab and throwing some chemicals into a petridish (though more about that later), the scientists’ “test” is the next dig. They consistently find fossils that match the current understanding of the phylogenetic tree and the overall timeline. As they flesh out this model, there are occasional minor adjustments, but never anything that calls the entire model into question.

The current scientifically accepted timeline was constructed in exactly this way, with many successive “tests” and predictions. (Tiktaalik is a good example of this.) Every time a new dig is started, scientists can predict with great certainty what kinds of fossils in general they will and will not find in each layer. That is not to say they won’t find new information (which is why they’re digging, after all), but it will not be information that fundamentally contradicts the current modern synthesis.

Such predictions, by the way, universally elude creation science. Creation science has not come up with any consistent (and consistently confirmed) theory that explains why fossils are layered in predictable ways and in line with the phylogenetic tree. (Come to think of it, that was yet another question you were running away from a lot last year.)

Tiktaalik, for example, was found when scientists were looking to fill in a part of the phylogenetic tree for which they did not yet have a fossil. They used a combination of dating methods and previous fossil finds of creatures both preceding and succeeding Tiktaalik to predict where such a fossil would be likely to be found – and found it.

Such a (successful) prediction is one of many confirmations of the theory of evolution. Now, according to creation science, such a prediction should be impossible. And yet it was made and confirmed. You draw your own conclusions. If you have a logical explanation, by all means present it; if your only response is that “it’s just a matter of opinion”, then you’re conceding the logical argument.


b. While creation science may be a purely historical (and speculative) science, the theory of evolution also covers genetics, biology etc. so actually there is no shortage of “going into a lab and doing an experiment” work as well. When hypothesizing, for example, that certain taxonomic groups split from each other at some point in the past, this can be observed not just in the fossil record, but also in a comparison of their DNA. (Yet another confirmation of the theory of evolution for which creation science offers no explanation.) See www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/25/AR2005092501177.html”>this article for an example.

Creation science offers no research in this regard (again, because it is incapable of offering testable predictions). It only says that DNA is amazingly complex and must therefore be designed, and that’s where the matter rests.


”It is important to emphasize that, in operational science, experimentation can yield results that can serve to more or less "prove" or "disprove" a hypothesis.”

Again, while hypotheses and theories may be “disproven”, they are never “proven”, merely confirmed. “Proofs” happen in mathematics.


”Sadly, the world doesn't understand this and many people believe that evolution, which is not even a testable theory, is a proven fact.”

Not only is the theory of evolution a testable theory, it is a tested theory. You’ve been arguing on this subject for years – would it kill you to read a mainstream text on the subject so you can argue your case more effectively?


”So please understand that in the realm of historical science, particularly in the world of creation science versus evolution science, it is all about the interpretation of evidence, period. One must simply decide for oneself which model fits the evidence best in one's own opinion.”

... bearing in mind that the theory of evolution makes testable falsifiable predictions (see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ ) that are routinely confirmed, while creation science is incapable of offering such a thing. I guess it’s up to your opinion which of these two you would consider the more sound science.

Or could you name any falsifiable predictions that creation science could offer, Radar?


Re. The Big Bang: for the umpteenth time, Radar, the Big Bang theory does not state that the Universe came from nothing. Please try to inform yourself. Nothing is known about what may have caused it, and no claim is made that it is “uncaused”. You can say that God caused it if that makes you happy. And if you disagree with the Big Bang theory, then how does creation science explain how God created the Universe?

Since your argument re. the 1st Law of Thermodynamics as well as a slew of your subsequent taunts (e.g. “But then that same person will accept the idea of matter creating itself from nothing instead” and “far more logical and reasonable than "it just happened, even though it cannot happen."”) are based on that very misunderstanding on your part (that the Big Bang is about something coming from nothing), all those are invalid as well.

”What follows is all the instances that scientists have observed in which something comes from nothing:
*
*
*
Still there? Yep, no evidence.”


Not only is the basis of this taunt entirely wrong, but of course scientists have never observed God creating something out of nothing either.


Einstein's famous equation (written below) describes the relationship between energy and matter: E = mc2 In the equation above, energy (E) is equal to matter (m) times the square of a constant (c).

Um, that’s not just any old constant, that’s the speed of light. And isn’t it your opinion (however unfounded it may be), that the speed of light is not a constant?


”There are all sorts of ways to look at all the evidences. The various Bang suppositions change on a regular basis.”

What regular basis is that? Every month, every couple of years? This may come as a shock to you, but science makes progress by proposing hypotheses, testing them and changing them or confirming them as more information is acquired.

I’ll get into biogenesis over the next couple of days or this is just going to take too long.


”At any rate, here are the instances of extraterrestrial life that have been observed by scientists:
*
*
*
Yes, there are no instances. “


Still under investigation, as far as I know: fossil bacteria from Mars.


”The Bible has an explanation for the source of all life, God.”

Good. We’re happy for you. That’s an initial supposition. Now form a hypothesis and generate testable predictions. Otherwise it's a matter of apples and oranges when you compare a scientific theory (evolution) with a mythological one (a creation myth). (And before you get all excited about the use of the word "myth" again, this is not the same use as in "it's just a myth".)


”Those who are determined to keep God out of the discussion are doing so based upon their worldview and not because it is good science. Virtually every field of science was established by a Creationist.”

Hardly surprising since most of them were active before Darwin proposed his theory of evolution. We have no way of knowing what their reaction to “Origin of Species” might have been or, better yet, what they would think if presented with the data that has been gathered today.

God and the supernatural continue to be kept out of scientific work even by Christians etc. No scientific progress was ever made using a supernatural explanation.


”One reason that I post this blog is because I do believe that worldviews can be changed with strong evidences and logic.”

Then why not address logical questions on these subjects instead of re-posting arguments that have been previously examined and found wanting? The effect you’re having is the opposite of the one you intend: you make it clear that you have no answers, and when you consistently misrepresent the arguments from the other side, it makes it look like you either (a) don’t understand the argument in the first place or (b) are being dishonest in what you present.


”I am one who came all the way from classic evolutionist to creationist after I decided that I needed to look carefully at the evidence and think for myself.”

Since you so consistently misstate and/or misunderstand central tenets of the theory of evolution, you apparently didn’t have such a good understanding of it in the first place. Like this one:

”The evolution versus creation debate begins with origins.”

No, that’s the abiogenesis versus creation debate.

”Where did the Universe come from?”

Not exactly related to evolution – actually entirely irrelevant to it. You’re perfectly welcome to believe that God created the Universe, but that doesn’t contradict evolution in the slightest. God may even have caused the Big Bang – we don’t know. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the theory of evolution and the scientific evidence supporting it.

”Where did life come from? “

Certainly also an interesting question, but not necessarily in lockstep with evolution either. Again, it’s perfectly reasonable to conclude that God created life and that it then evolved as the scientific evidence indicates.

”The atheistic evolutionist can only say that he believes by faith that they somehow just happened.”

On the contrary, those who aren’t content to let things rest with a simple “God did it” (which is a much larger group than atheists, by the way) don’t just say that it happened “somehow” – there is scientific research to examine how these things happened.

”By the way, if you are an evolutionist and want to argue that the first two points are not even about evolution, sorry, I just don't buy it.”

Then you might as well not discuss anything until the subject of the origin of all matter is settled. This smells to me more like you’re trying to avoid the subject of the theory of evolution.

”You have to have a Universe and you have to have living organisms in order to begin even discussing evolution and if those who believe in evolution want to concede that God created the Universe and then created life, then, frankly, what do we need evolution for anyway?”

Until creation science has any semblance at all of a scientific explanation for how God did these things, then it is entirely plausible that God chose and “designed” the process of evolution in order to create his creation. It’s not a matter of “needing” evolution, it’s that the scientific evidence supports (and consistently confirms) that theory, whether it was put in place by God or not.

”The next logical step is to concede that God made life as we know it today and that evolution is not worth discussion.”

And how did God make that life?

Since "conceding" that God made life as we know it today contradicts scientific evidence, it is not a logical step. A leap of faith, perhaps. The most logical step for someone who believes in God is that he used the process of evolution to create his creation.

-- creeper