Teaching people how to think
—and to not reject good science!
At CMI, our academic staff spends most of their time writing and speaking on scientific and theological issues. And that one does not have to ‘turn off one’s brain’ when going to church, because there is a rich, intellectual foundation to biblical creation. We have also disavowed unproductive conspiracy theories and have encouraged others to do so as well.
Yet, many people have grown skeptical about basic facts of science. This corresponds to a dramatic loss of confidence in most sources of authority, be it an authority in the secular, scientific, religious, political, or media realm. Thus, we have suddenly been besieged by people who have huge questions about things that are easily shown to be true or not. For example, yes, the United States landed multiple astronauts on the moon. On the other hand, no, we are not at the absolute center of the universe, and the earth is not flat.
These types of questions are different from “Did humans evolve from ape-like ancestors?” or “Is the earth billions of years old?” As anyone who has spent time following us knows, we can divide most questions into two camps: operational vs historical science. Modern operational science was pioneered by Christian creationists, and it deals with things that can be directly observed, tested, and repeated. This is different to questions about origins, in which both evolution and creation fall into the realm of historical science.
The overlapping realms
Here is one very powerful method to help you think through things. This Venn diagram illustrates two competing theories, represented by the blue and red circles.
Contrary to the way most people think, competing theories are often not mutually exclusive. In fact, they often predict many of the same things (represented by the area of overlap, zone II, in purple). For example, both creation (blue circle) and evolution (red circle) can handle ‘change over time’ and ‘natural selection’, so neither of these can be used as ‘proof’ of evolution. Anything in zone II is non-discriminating information, or information that cannot be used to make a distinction between the two theories.
Evolutionists have been blurring the lines between the zones for over a century. Often they claim as ‘evidence’ things creationists also generally accept, and then falsely conclude that evolution must therefore be true. Numerous attempts at producing ‘zone III arguments’ have fallen by the wayside (e.g., the many alleged ape-man fossils). They have also been trying to steer the conversation away from specific zone III arguments that argue most strongly against their theory. For example, to now claim that chemical evolution (i.e., the process that supposedly led from simple, inorganic chemicals to living cells) is not really part of evolutionary theory because evolution only deals with living things. This, of course, is ridiculous since the origin of life has always been part of evolutionary theory. They know that this is a huge Achilles’ heel for them.
Discerning the real issues and what real science is!
Most people spend their time arguing about things that fit in the area of overlap. This tug-of-war over basic facts causes the conversation to just go in circles. To get to the heart of something, you have to get to the outer regions, zones I and III.
One can pile up hundreds of facts that support a pet theory, but this does not make that theory true, because we have to discriminate among the facts and sort them into categories. As Einstein is reported to have once said, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” This is the way ‘real’ science works. Can a theory be falsified?
Asking the right questions caused the scientists and theologians who work for CMI worldwide to reject things like the belief that all species have a common ancestor, the spontaneous origin of life, and deep time. And most of us were once evolutionists and so we absolutely tested both theories. Yet, in rejecting evolution and deep time we have not rejected experimental science, nor logical deduction.
We love science!
We love exploring the world that our Creator made. And, because our God is a God of logic and order, it is not a stretch to conclude that the Ultimate Lawgiver would have created a universe that operates according to logic and laws. This is the reason we can embrace science and the Bible at the same time and without contradiction. And therefore, we reject things like conspiracy theories, alt science theories, and deep-time naturalistic evolutionary theory.
Stephen G. wrote: “Though I’d been working as a scientist for 10 years, I really only learnt what science was through Creation Ministries International. Some of the things people call ‘science’ are really outside the realms of science; they’re not observable, testable, repeatable. The areas of conflict are beliefs about the past, not open to experimental testing.”
For more information, search this website for these terms: how to think, conspiracy theory, it’s not science, Achilles’ heels, roots of modern science, geocentrism, and flat earth.