* Bob Sorensen on the Logical Fallacies of Darwinists: Real Science Radio host Bob Enyart interviews the Question Evolution Day organizer Bob Sorensen about the logical fallacies that permeate evolutionist arguments. (For a great article on logic, reason, and logical fallacies, see Dr. Jonathan Sarfati's article at creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation and see also Bob Enyart's ideas about some of the logical fallacies of creationists, below.)
* Flashback: Bob and Bob spoke in January about Sorensen's Question Evolution Project that was inspired by CMI's Question Evolution campaign and includes Sorensen's annual Question Evolution Day observed on Darwin's birthday each February 12th and the related Creation Sunday pulpit event celebrated yearly on the Sunday before or on QED.
* Cowboy Bob (Sorensen) Inspired Graphic: "Thanks Bob, we love it!" -Bob
* RSR Flashback: From Creation magazine's interview of Dr. Carl Werner: "Paleontologists have found 432 mammal species in the dinosaur layers; almost as many as the number of dinosaur species. … But where are these fossils? We visited 60 museums but did not see a single complete mammal skeleton from the dinosaur layers displayed at any of these museums. This is amazing."
* Dr. Werner Compliments the RSR Dino Soft Tissue Page: Carl Werner complimented our DinosaurSoftTissue.com urging us to continue pressing the issue. We agree! With God's help, we'll continue to reach thousands of people with the web's most complete catalog of peer-reviewed journal papers confirming the existence of original biological tissue from dinosaurs!
Today’s Resource: Get the fabulous Carl Werner DVD Living Fossils and his great prequel, Evolution: The Grand Experiment! And have you browsed through our Science Department in the KGOV Store? Check out especially Dr. Walt Brown’s life's work in his stunning book, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood!
Creationism & Logical Fallacies: (post-show update): Of course as part of our effort toward maintaining intellectual integrity, we regularly challenge our own positions and those of creationists generally, toward evaluating their veracity. Aside from quirky errors committed by some creationists (like confusing Noah's Ark with creation by implying that God only created one pair of each created kind), we assert that the creation camp has its own logical fallacies. Other than this first example below, on numbers, the logical fallacies we refer to seem to be matters that creationists agree with atheists on.
Eternal Numbers: A 2014 article in Answers magazine claims that God "made numbers", asking, "So did God create math...? He certainly made numbers..." RSR rejects this claim. Through eternity past, our triune God existed in three persons. God is not and never was a unitarian deity as the fictitious god Allah is described. (For more on that, see A Christian Answer to Euthyphro's Dilemma.) Nor was our God only two persons. As with the mystery of the Trinity, eternally, He has been three persons in one Godhead. The article, Is Math Just A Tool?, continued, "When God declared that everything He made was 'very good,' this included... numbers" (Tagliapietra, Answers, Jan. 2014, p. 31). But once you have your 1-2-3s, you have all the numbers. And therefore, you also have their relationships. In the most real and most certain of ways, God is truth, and spirit, and love. Thus God did not create truth, nor spirit, nor love. Neither did He make numbers.
Can Science Prove Anything Absolutely?
Creationists commonly agree with atheists in giving this answer: No, science cannot prove things absolutely. That is often the answer whether the discussion is about a theory, a hypothesis, or even anything at all.
1st: It is said that science cannot “prove” a theory. It can only disprove it. In this sense, a theory is a far-reaching claim about how the physical world functions.
2nd: Then it is said that science cannot “prove” a hypothesis. It can only disprove it. A hypothesis is a much more narrow claim about the nature of a particular element, reaction, force, etc.
3rd: Further it is said that science cannot “prove” anything. We allege that in this vein, creationists have surrendered far too much to atheistic relativists. As a corollary, to this, we hear that science cannot prove anything but it can only disprove things.
Sources: 1. A theory can “never [be] proven correct” on PBS.org; “can never be shown to be correct” at gsu.edu; 2. UCMP at the Berkeley department of paleontology. 3. A popular creationist homeschool textbook says, "Science cannot prove anything. The best science can say is that all known data support a given statement. …there is no way that science can prove anything." Wile & Durnell, Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, 2005, p. 33; Science, "cannot be certain about anything in an absolute sense. ...its method never allows certainty" and then perhaps contradictorily, "science is not the only means of giving us true information..." Greg Koukl, Stand to Reason, 2013; “all scientific knowledge is tentative… nothing is final. There is no such thing as final proven knowledge in science” at psychologytoday.com.
Scientific Absolutes: The claim that science cannot absolutely prove anything is related to the more extreme and easily falsified atheist claim that there is no truth. Yes, we Christians take the Scriptures as our highest authority. But millions of people lived prior to Moses and Job, and it is not as though they had no ability to know truth. (They could even know God, as a number of them did, and God is truth.) There are various ways of obtaining or possessing apodictic, or absolute, knowledge. Consider the common claim, as in this quote from Berkeley, that "a hypothesis cannot ever be proven, only disproven." Has that been proven? To disprove a hypothesis is to prove its negation. (A hypothesis: The reason that even very large array telescopes will never find the center of the universe is because the universe has no center. Falsification: A theoretical falsification is the growing redshift data that increasingly indicates that the universe does have a center. Disproving that hypothesis proves another: The universe has a center.)
Absolutes vs. Omniscience: Knowing some things absolutely does not equate to knowing everything. Could it be that the especially extreme claim that science "cannot prove anything" is really just unintentional hyperbole? Those making such claims seem to confuse something with everything, and therefore confuse our ability to know some things absolutely with our inability to know everything. Some claim that the best that scientific investigation can do is to bring you closer to the truth (i.e., closer to understanding reality). However, if science doesn't know absolutely that:
- light travels faster than sound, nor that
- the solar surface is hotter than the lunar, nor that
- electromagnetic opposites attract,
if it were that much in the dark, then science could not bring anyone "closer" to anything. However, science does know these things absolutely. When some argue that science cannot tell us anything, it seems that what they really mean is that science cannot make us omniscient. If that's what they mean, though, then that is what they should say; for the overstatement we hear only serves to promote the relativism of materialism. Lacking omniscience does not prove the lack of all knowledge. RSR hopes that creationists will realize that they have been unnecessarily agreeing with atheists by making such an extreme claim.
Real Science Radio has other disagreements with creationists on such assumptions, but for now we'll add one last observation, and then let these suffice as our first shot across the bow. :) We see the matter of historical vs. observational science as mostly a manufactured issue. We do not only make careful observations and do repeated experiments in the laboratory. Human beings live that same way. We cook, work, and read while making careful observations and performing inherent repeated experiments. In a dream, every time we read a book the words can change; in the waking world, we know that the words on our printed pages do not rearrange themselves into varying messages. That alone is a form of absolute scientific knowledge. If we didn't know that, we couldn't trust the words we read in a book, whether a dictionary or the Bible. Claiming that science can tell us nothing absolute is tantamount to saying that we can have no trust in our minds, nor our senses, and if this were true, of course we would have no ability to trust any input, whether from the Bible, or, like ourselves and the millions who lived prior to the Scriptures, from any source whatsoever. We assert that the claims of the impossibility of certain scientific knowledge are concessions to the relativism of the materialist.
If you have a couple favorite scientific observations, facts, laws, etc., that you believe are absolute, we invite you to email them to Bob@realscienceradio.com and we'll consider posting them, along with some of our favorites! Thanks!
RSR vs. Creationist Views of Forensic Science [from rsr.org/forensics]
Does the creation.com article CSI and evolution use good argumentation or poor and arbitrary evidence to justify its claim of a qualitative distinction between observational and historical science? At Real Science Radio, we suggest that the creation movement generally, and in particular the article’s publisher, Creation Ministries International, and Answers in Genesis and Ken Ham in his debate with Bill Nye, err in their effort to diminish forensic science of the past as compared to the science of ongoing processes.
Test Our Analysis: Atheists often make a materialist claim that we can only be certain of what our five senses tell us. We assert that many creationists make a similar error when they try to relegate forensics to a second-class science. In so doing, they are backing into the traditional demarcation problem, trying to decide what does and does not qualify as science, perhaps without carefully considering the implications of their claims. We invite you to test this analysis to see whether or not we easily falsify this claim about forensics. In CMI’s article by wonderful creationist Shaun Doyle, note both the distinction between “present” and forensic science, and the use of quotes around the word science:
…between the science of present processes and the ‘science’ of figuring out what happened in the past… there is far less certainty in the science of past events than there is in the science of present processes.
Real Science Radio asserts this claim is overly broad and therefore incorrect. The excerpts below list all the justifications provided by Doyle. Many events in the past (such as sun flares, the distribution of a genetic mutation, volcanic lava flows, etc.) can have far more certain descriptions and explanations than can any number of explanations for phenomena scientists observe in action. Note that CMI’s reasons for diminishing forensics apply equally to "observational" science:
CMI Excerpts: On Forensic Science
[RSR: Yet all of these apply to all of science]
"facts can't speak… for themselves" * "There are also numerous uncertainties in forensic science"
* data or evidence can be "planted" by the unscrupulous * "technicians" can err
* some particular "experimental method... may be suspect" * "Investigators can draw poor conclusions"
* "the gap between circumstantial fact and [scientific] inference is quite large" * "questionable assumptions"
* "famous" erroneous conclusions * other investigative approaches may "reveal unfounded assumptions"
* extraordinary events "would inevitably produce problems for anyone relying solely on" only one kind of inquiry
* forensic science "is a useful, but fallible methodology."
A Fatal Arbitrariness: Creationists are arbitrary in attributing such concerns to forensic science as though they do not apply also to other science. As a result of this arbitrariness, the argument is meaningless because the exact same body of evidence can be used to argue the exact opposite, that that forensic science provides greater certainty than observational science. Anecdotally, forensic science has even corrected eyewitnesses who identify the wrong suspect in a lineup.
None of CMI’s examples demonstrate any uncertainty peculiar to "historical" science as compared to observational science. Further, consider whether or not these very terms are misnomers and therefore unhelpful. Much "forensic" science overlaps with the science of "present processes", and much observational science overlaps with forensic science. more...