Wednesday, February 27, 2008

AIG asks "Are We Anti-Science?"

The website Answers in Genesis asks the question "Are we anti-science?" Peter Galling, of AIG, writes:

Much of the problem stems from the different starting points of biblical creationists and Darwinists. Everyone, scientist or not, must start their quests for knowledge with some unprovable axiom—some a priori belief on which they sort through experience and deduce other truths. This starting point, whatever it is, can only be accepted by faith; eventually, in each belief system, there must be some unprovable, presupposed foundation for reasoning (since an infinite regression is impossible).

Uh, wait just a minute. I was fine until he said that the starting point can only be accepted by faith. I do not have faith in the universe around me. I observe the universe around me. Scientists observe the universe around them and formulate hypotheses and theories explaining how that universe works. Such a position does not require faith in anything. It simply requires the understanding that the processes that go on around us operated in the past the same way they operate now. If they did not operate that way, evidence would have been left to that effect. Lets go on.

On the other hand, examine the origins science of Charles Darwin (and others like him). Darwin made observations, yes; he then borrowed the already-existing idea of natural selection and mixed it with a view he assumed was true (based on his rejection of the Bible): uniformitarianism. Thus, by combining observations, scientific ideas, and anti-God philosophy, Darwin published a speculation on how all of life could have descended from a common ancestor.

Darwin's use of uniformitarianism was not in response to rejecting the Bible (which he did not do). Furthermore, his understanding of deep time as well as uniformitarianism is what led him to establish his idea of natural selection. Additionally, how did uniformitarianism become anti-God? Mr. Galling does not say. To label a theoretical perspective of science anti-God is deeply troubling.

Thus, Answers in Genesis argues that evolutionary ideas are origins science, not operational science; evolution is, itself, a religious worldview, just as creation is part of a religious worldview, which affects how scientists do origins science. It is impossible to escape the presuppositions that give rise to one’s theory on origins. Those who portray evolutionism as solid science (contrasting it with [construed as blind] “faith” in creationism) ignore the fact that scientific data must be interpreted through a worldview.

How did origins science, which is based on predictions about what will be found in the historical record become a religious worldview??? By this definition, much of geology, astrophysics, astronomy, archaeology and palaeontology operates in a religious worldview. In fact, by this definition, crime scene investigation is a religious worldview, because it assumes that the gun used to kill the victim operated the same in the past as it does now.

This article betrays a serious misunderstanding of science. To the question "Are we anti-science," the answer must be "No." You can't be anti-science when you don't understand science in the first place.

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