Today, AIG is giving their followers a lesson titled What Is Science? At the threshold, it must be said that there are some people who simply shouldn’t undertake some projects, and AIG’s explaining science is a good example of such a mismatch. Science is a topic they are absolutely unqualified to discuss; but they plunge in, oblivious to their manifest limitations.
Aside from the amusement value of AIG’s article, we think there is some benefit to be gained from reading it. You’ll become familiar with many of the fallacies and misunderstandings that plague creationists. So if we treat this as a case study in confusion and misinformation, we can slog through this thing with the comforting thought that we’re not completely wasting our time. Okay, let’s get started. The bold font was added by us:
Most people do not realize that many modern scientific ideas were actually developed in Christian Europe by men who assumed that God created an orderly universe.
True, and long before that, lots of brilliant work was done by men like Aristotle and Archimedes who lived in cultures that worshiped the Olympian gods. So what? AIG’s irrelevant introduction continues:
If the universe is a product of random chance or a group of gods that interfere in the universe, there is really no reason to expect order in nature.
Actually, that’s an interesting argument for the compatibility of science and monotheism. The Greeks observed a lot of order in nature; and when things didn’t work out as expected, they could attribute it to a conflict among the gods. Natural order is consistent with (albeit not necessarily dependent upon) some kind of Founding Fathers’ Deism; but AIG’s style of creationism doesn’t improve on pagan polytheism. If the world today fails to meet the creationists’ expectations (e.g., our bodies aren’t very intelligently designed), the blame is assigned to the Fall. Modern science is far more demanding; it doesn’t tolerate supernatural loopholes. Let’s read on:
Many of the founders of the principle scientific fields, such as Bacon, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, were believers in a recently created earth. The idea that science cannot accept a creationist perspective is a denial of scientific history.
Yes, there were early scientists who were young-earth creationists; everyone was back in their time. But that was before James Hutton pioneered the modern science of geology, which preceded Darwin’s theory of evolution. If AIG’s list of earlier scientists had known of Hutton’s and Darwin’s work, they wouldn’t have been young-earth creationists. It’s ridiculous to cite them as authorities in matters about which they knew nothing. We continue:
To help us understand that science has practical limits, it is useful to divide science into two different areas: operational science and historical (origins) science. Operational science deals with testing and verifying ideas in the present and leads to the production of useful products like computers, cars, and satellites. Historical (origins) science involves interpreting evidence from the past and includes the models of evolution and special creation.
Don’t throw up, dear reader. We’re not going to spend any time on that mess. Why? Because we already went through it last year in an earlier post: Creationism and Science. Trust your Curmudgeon — what AIG is saying here completely misrepresents the nature of science.
After skipping over that, we come to this:
The words creation and evolution can be used in many different ways. Evolution will be used in this book [m’god, this thing is part of a book!] to describe the naturalistic process that is alleged to have turned energy into matter, matter into galaxies, and molecules into man over billions of years. As creation is used through out this book, it is intended to describe the supernatural acts of God who created the universe and everything in it in six, approximately 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago. This perspective is often referred to as young-earth creationism. The true history of the universe is revealed to us from God’s eyewitness perspective in the Bible.
Aaaargh!! Here’s more:
Laws of nature are descriptions of the way God normally upholds the universe. But God is not bound by these laws. He is free to act in other ways in order to accomplish an unusual and extraordinary purpose. So, miracles are possible within the Christian worldview. Naturalistic scientists simply dismiss the possibility of the supernatural. They do this not for logical reasons, but because miracles are incompatible with their beliefs.
We interrupt that paragraph to mention one additional point that AIG somehow omitted — scientific disbelief in miracles is primarily because of a total lack of verifiable evidence for such phenomena. Is disbelief for that reason illogical? AIG’s paragraph continues:
But then again, they have no good reason to think that laws of nature should exist in the first place. The Christian can make sense of both science and miracles. The naturalist cannot account for either.
It rarely gets more messed up than that. Let us merely say that we have no problem accepting that there are laws of nature. In science, the word “law” (or the expression “law of nature”) refers to descriptions of observed regularities. It does not refer to either arbitrary decrees of gods or to man-made rules that are inscribed on parchment or chiseled in stone. Such regularities — or scientific laws — are observed because everything that exists has specific characteristics and acts accordingly — e.g., an electron always acts like an electron, and not a neutron. The laws of nature are an inevitable corollary of existence itself — not a capricious afterthought.
Egad — we just realized that we’re barely half-way through this thing at AIG. We hate to disappoint you, dear reader, but we’re not going any further. If you wish to continue your study of the creationist mind, we invite you to click over to AIG where you can carry on without us. Then, if you would, please share your insights with us.
Update: See ICR Says Scientists Don’t Understand Science.
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