AIG Says Creationists Love Science

This is a typical load of nonsense from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. It’s titled Is There Really a War on Science?, written by Avery Foley.

AIG says she has a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which certainly qualifies her to be one of ol’ Hambo’s creation scientists. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Popular science advocates often throw around the phrase “science deniers” and refer to a supposed epidemic of science denial sweeping America and other Western nations. … Is the collective body of knowledge and the methodology we call “science” really teetering on the precipice of extinction or, worse, about to be pushed off?

[…]

Science, in its most basic definition, means “knowledge.” Science is usually defined as knowledge gained by using the scientific method or perhaps knowledge derived from observations made by our five senses. Is there really a “war on science,” a war on knowledge?

The folks at AIG are shocked — shocked! — at the idea of a war on science. Avery says:

Those who cry foul at creationists or those who deny (or are skeptical of) man-made climate change display their own ignorance of the nature of science. There are two kinds of science: observational and historical. … The second kind of science is historical science. This science deals with the past and is not directly testable, observable, or repeatable. Fields like paleontology, paleoanthropology, or paleoclimatology fall into this category. You can’t directly test or observe past organisms or climates. So what you believe about the past determines how you interpret the evidence.

[*Groan*] That artificial bifurcation is a common tactic at AIG, and we’ve discussed it several times — originally in Creationism and Science, and also in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. The best rebuttal is The Lessons of Tiktaalik.

After that tired old clunker, Avery tells us:

Many scientists today start from the assumption of naturalism — the belief that nature is all there is. This is not a scientific statement — it cannot be tested using the scientific method or our five senses. It is a philosophical assumption that underlies the worldview of many scientists.

Scientists are fools! Avery explains why creationism is so much better:

Creationists and others reject this assumption and start with a different set of beliefs about the past. In the case of biblical creationists, the starting point is God and his Word. Therefore, the battle is not over the evidence; it’s over two different interpretations of the exact same evidence because of two different starting points.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, why not believe in supernatural phenomena? Scientists can’t disprove them. She continues:

Many scientists, or even lay people, who reject evolution are very educated about evolution yet chose to reject it on scientific, philosophical, or biblical grounds (or a combination of these rationales).

[…]

Many creationists love science and get excited about new discoveries and innovations. We simply stand opposed to a worldview-based, naturalistic interpretation of historical science.

Skipping a lot, we come to the end:

This whole idea of a “science denial” epidemic is really just a disingenuous way of trying to make those who reject evolution and catastrophic man-made climate change look foolish, backward, and opposed to new ideas and progress. Creationists don’t deny science. We love science! But we seek to study and research to honor God and uphold the authority of his Word. This difference in starting philosophies results in a difference of interpretation.

Well done, Avery! Similarly, your Curmudgeon doesn’t deny creationism. We love creationism! But we seek to study reality, so we have a difference of interpretation.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “AIG Says Creationists Love Science

  1. Forget science, there are over 4,200 different religions in the world and AIG is simply unable to answer the most basic rational question that any thinking human would ask: why their particular take on religion?

  2. Creation “science” is the exact opposite of real science no matter what all the shamans may claim.

  3. It amounts to ‘We like science that gives us iPhones, but reject the same science when they make us sons o’monkeys!’
    I like it…science is good…I don’t like it…science is bad!!!

  4. It isn’t a war confined to science. Their own words reveal that it is a war against human reason, which they oppose to divine knowledge, that is, what their leader tells them. What their leader pretends is in the Bible, or what their leader tells them is “old time religion”. Let anyone find any hint in the Bible of a burst of micro-evolution after the Flood, or of any barrier to macro-evolution, etc.
    Their warfare encompasses use of logical fallacies, such as welcoming contradictions.

  5. Michael Fugate

    It is like saying I love hamburgers, but I don’t eat meat.

  6. Ross Cameron

    I`d always trust a master of arts over a mere scientist.

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    They ‘love’ science, their version of it. They need to hang tightly onto the belief that their version of science is right OR ELSE … lake of fire.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    And, dammit, give me a semi-rational ‘scientific’ solution to the starlight problem. There isn’t one. Nothing within the bible/creationist dogma solves this, no matter how many words they put to try to explain it away. Those stars in the sky are far far far far far away, yet we can see light from them.

  9. When she talks, you can’t even see Ken Ham’s lips move!!!

  10. A very telling essay on creation “science:”

    Creation Science—Methodology
    by Ken Ham on May 1, 1980
    https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/creation-science-methodology/

    snippets:

    The Creation Science Ministry is totally convinced God’s Word (the Bible) is Truth

    And therefore must provide the framework into which all scientific research about origins must fit. Since this is the only absolute structure, it provides in reality the foundation for all true science. …

    The approach

    Even when presenting seminars for the Education Department, the scientific evidence is never taught apart from the Biblical record. It is understood and accepted that our model is from the Scriptures. …

  11. “Nature is all there is”? No. “Nature is all that science can study”. And what do you know, studying and discovering facts about nature explains nature. The facts connect, and from their connections causes can be inferred and tested against further facts.

    If there were anything to this “different assumptions” bafflegab, we would be required, as reasoning beings, to apply Occam’s Razor to the assumptions. One assumption is that the observed facts of nature are themselves sufficient explanation for their effects. That is, we need no further assumption. The other is that an omnipotent intelligence did it all AND that the explanations that arise from the facts themselves are false. Or at least, those that are disliked by the arguer, are false.

    Occam’s Razor is unequivocal. The first is the lesser hypothesis; the lesser hypothesis is preferred.

    Does Occam’s Razor absolutely rule out the rejected hypothesis? No, it does not. It never can. But another philosophical principle lends increasing weight to such a rejection, accumulating over time. That is pragmatism – that is, which assumption produces the better results? Which one works, and has worked, best for the weal of humanity? Do we do better by studying the facts of nature, and explaining them from themselves, or by assuming a God who cannot be tested to explain them?

    Or, as one early philosopher pithily put it: “You will know them by their fruits”.

  12. Hans Weichselbaum

    “[Historical science] deals with the past and is not directly testable, observable, or repeatable. Fields like paleontology, paleoanthropology, or paleoclimatology fall into this category”.
    Why doesn’t she mention geology? The whole science of geology breaks down if you can only call a mountain a volcano if you can see it erupting.

  13. “Creationists and others reject this assumption and start with a different set of beliefs about the past.”
    1. This doesn’t make much sense as it suggests that creationists and others accept this assumption “that nature is all there is” (also a crappy formulation) when doing operational science.
    2. Rejecting this assumption by definition means denying science, because that assumption is part of the scientific method.
    3. And as we all know Avery rejects observational science as well. Avery for instance may love radiometrical results, our expanding Universe and cosmological background radiation (all can be observed in the present), but still denies them all the way.

  14. It’s more than just the best explanation. It’s the only explanation.
    1. The only explanation for the nested hierarchy of the tree of life involves common descent.
    2. The only explanation for the existence of life involves the parameters of the laws of nature being very close to their known values.

    It may be that there are unknown hypotheses which work, or that it’s too deep for mere humans to understand, but if that’s the case, then the argument from design does not have a working premise.

  15. Those who cry foul at creationists or those who deny (or are skeptical of) man-made climate change display their own ignorance of the nature of science. There are two kinds of science: observational and historical. … The second kind of science is historical science. This science deals with the past and is not directly testable, observable, or repeatable. Fields like paleontology, paleoanthropology, or paleoclimatology fall into this category. You can’t directly test or observe past organisms or climates. So what you believe about the past determines how you interpret the evidence.

    You can’t directly test Genesis, either.
    However, all is not lost. It’s possible to look at the evidence in such things as geological layers, including but not limited to fossils–or, at shorter chronological range, tree rings or various indicators of past climate–and draw conclusions, whether about evolution or climate change or any other physical phenomenon. Creationists themselves do this when they try to use geological and/or fossil evidence to prove Noah’s flood was real, or the absence of a dust layer hundreds of feet deep on the moon as proof the earth is very young, so their argument against “historical” science is hypocritical.

  16. Science abandons hypotheses in light of new evidence. Creationists don’t, instead tying themselves in knots of illogic, implicitly acknowledging the scientific truth. Often good fun for us, but downright scary in the political arena.

  17. Note the increasingly common, and potentially catastrophic, coupling of evolution denial to human-caused climate change denial.

    Note also the sheer effrontery of demoting (!) climatology to the status of historical science, when we have, as close as such complex phenomena allow, an actual experiment (CO2 release) with a predicted consequence (Tyndall, Arrhenius) observed to occur (upswing in temperature, as predicted, over and above that predictable on other grounds).

  18. Those who make a distinction between the historical and observational – or a similar one about the ability to experiment – should observe not only the barrier of time, but other barriers –
    The barrier of distance: astronomy. Consider our knowledge of the Moon and the planets and even of the atmosphere before the mid-20th century. Still today beyond the Solar System. How do we even know that there is a center of the Earth?
    The barrier of size too big or too small.
    The barrier of too fast or too small, invisibility, danger.
    Actually, science shows its strength precisely in reference to things which are not easily seen.

  19. A precursor of Fundamentalism was the 19th century Princeton Theology (see Wikipedia article) which tried to be an application of Francis Bacon’s concept of the Scientific Method to theology. This history can explain why Fundamentalists might think that they love true science, while modern science diverges (which it does) from Bacon’s concept.

  20. @Dave Luckett: Wish I could say it that well myself. Beautiful!

    As to AiG’s war against what they call “historical” science, George Santayana had something to say on the subject: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    And as for Ken Ham saying he (or Creation Science Ministry) is totally convinced God’s Word is Truth, we must ask, “What is the observational evidence that you find so convincing? Can you share it with us, so it can be independently verified? Or is it, as we suspect, all in your head?”

  21. This maxim seems appropriate when dealing with creationist outfits like the ICR, AiG, and DI:

    Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste.

    (“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”)

    — Voltaire: Questions sur les miracles (1765)

  22. Michael Fugate

    An interesting take from a former evangelical on why they do the things they do – including opposition to evolution and climate change.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/05/donald-trump-why-do-evangelicals-support-him

  23. I don’t want to get into political (other than creationist) discussion, but I can’t restrain myself when someone says “He doesn’t say what’s Politically Correct”, meaning “He says what is politically correct to me.” After all, what is politically correct in San Francisco differs from what is politically correct in Oklahoma City.

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