Is evolution as scientific as the Earth revolving around the sun?
From Dr Richard Meiss, of Indiana, USA, again. Previously on our Negative Feedback, he committed the informal logical fallacy of arguing from authority (25 June and 6 August 2001), expecting us to take his word for something because he’s a ‘professional biologist’. This time he commits the fallacy of appeal to majority opinion, and refuses to understand the difference between operational science involving repeatable observations in the present and telling stories about the unobservable past (see Naturalism, Origin and Operation Science). His letter is printed first in its entirety. His letter is printed again, with point-by-point responses by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, interspersed as per normal email fashion. Ellipses (…) signal that a mid-sentence comment follows, not an omission.
I found Danny Faulkner’s November the 14th letter (regarding geocentrism and its errors) to be well written and to the point. But it does raise another point of its own; from the point of view of mainstream science, creationists are doing exactly the same thing as the proponents of geocentrism in their arguments against the fact and processes of evolution. May I remind you of what Jesus said in Luke 6:41–43 (KJV): ‘Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.’ While you may not agree with the sentiments that I express, I can assure you that it is the way you are viewed by most practicing scientists.
I found Danny Faulkner’s November the 14th letter …
More like a detailed paper than a letter (Geocentrism and Creation).
… (regarding geocentrism and its errors) to be well written …
We think so too.
… and to the point.
Yes, it was. Pity you’ve missed it, so I’ll have to spell it out:
- There is no evidence that the Bible teaches that the earth is an absolute reference frame, any more than than modern astronomers’ saying ‘sunset’ and ‘sunrise’ suggests that they believe this. Rather, both the Bible and such modern astronomers treat the earth as a reference frame for convenience, which is physically valid. But there is plenty of evidence that the Bible teaches creation in six consecutive ordinary days about 6,000 years ago, no death of nephesh animals before Adam’s sin, and a globe-covering Flood. See Q&A: Genesis.
- There are plenty of repeatable observations consistent with the idea that the Earth moves in elliptical orbits, in the equally valid reference frame of the solar system’s centre of mass. But we still have yet to see a single example of a change that increases the genetic information content of a descendant organism, although such changes should be plentiful if evolution from goo-to-you-via-the-zoo were true.
- Galileo’s theories opposed not the Bible but the Ptolemaic astronomical framework, and his main opposition came from the scientific establishment. The church made the mistake of wedding their theology to this view. This is documented in the articles under Who were Galileo’s real opponents? What should Christians learn from the Roman Catholic church’s reaction? Darwin’s theories were explicitly designed to undermine the idea of a divine designer (see Darwin’s real message: have you missed it?). But like Galileo, his main opposition came from the scientists (see Holy War? Who really opposed Darwin?)!
But it does raise another point of its own; from the point of view of mainstream science, …
By ‘mainstream’ I would mean real science, involving repeatable observations in the present, e.g. physics, chemistry, anatomy, etc. that put men on the moon, cures diseases, etc. Evidently you mean an a priori commitment to a materialistic framework, like this admission by Richard Lewontin that won’t admit design even if all the evidence supports it, as per this quote by Scott Todd.
… creationists are doing exactly the same thing as the proponents of geocentrism in their arguments against the fact and processes of evolution.
What fact and processes?? As shown, evidence has nothing to do with belief in evolution, while materialistic presuppositions have everything to do with it.
May I remind you of what Jesus said in Luke 6:41–43 (KJV): ‘Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.’
You may remind us, but you haven’t proved that we have actually violated His teaching in this case. Au contraire, it rebounds on you, since you have claimed in correspondence to be a Christian in the Reformed Tradition, but you clearly need to practise this teaching yourself. I.e. you are quick to cite this teaching by Christ, but disbelieve, oops sorry, ‘reinterpret’, Christ’s clear teaching that people were created as recorded in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 (Matthew 19:3–6), right from the ‘beginning of creation’ not billions of years later (Mark 10:6), and that Noah’s Flood and Ark really occurred (Luke 17:26–27)—see Jesus and the age of the world. The foundation of the Reformation was the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, which Christ said ‘cannot be broken’ (John 10:35). A professing Christian who in reality prefers the Gospel of Methodological Naturalism according to atheists such as Eugenie Scott, Dawkins, Gould, etc. is clearly in need of taking the beam out of his own eye (apophthalmic autodokectomy perhaps?) himself.
Furthermore, I would argue that CMI does help to remove motes from the eyes of our fellow creationists, by advising them of Arguments we think creationists should NOT use.
While you may not agree with the sentiments that I express, I can assure you that it is the way you are viewed by most practicing scientists.
Then they need to practise harder, so they can tell the difference between the real operational science that they use in their work, and just-so storytelling about the past that provides no help whatever to their work and contributes nothing to human welfare. Indeed it is pretty clear that evolutionary thinking has harmed both science and human society.