I have reprinted the first comment from a recent blog post titled, My Opponent Hijacked Science! along with my response. I want to say how much I appreciate the courtesy shown, and thoughtful questions asked, by the anonymous person who posted this comment. His comment is separated point by point and bulleted in bold print.
- But seriously, why do Christians accept science in pretty much all of its findings, until it disagrees with the Bible?
Christians do accept scientist’s conclusions when those conclusions are developed using the scientific method, that is, when they are hypotheses that can be observed, tested, and repeated. All rational Christians believe in science.
The disagreements come when scientists begin to draw conclusion about subjects outside the scientific method. For example, studies of the origin of the universe are outside the scientific method. The theories that have been developed by many scientists cannot be observed, tested, or repeated. Therefore, many assumptions have to be made in order to arrive at various conclusions. These conclusions are ultimately man’s opinions. See my blog post Do you believe in science?
- All of a sudden there’s a conspiracy, or scientists are just pursuing their atheist agenda, or they’re bring deceived by the devil.
When looking at the present to draw conclusions about the past, the geological record, for example; all scientists approach the same evidence, each, with his own biases (the point of my blog post). An atheist comes to the evidence with the presumption that God does not exist. A Christian approaches the same evidence with the presumption that God does exist (based on observable evidence). Their presumptions will result in different assumptions, and therefore, lead them to different conclusions. A Christian recognizes that the complex geological record was laid down by a world-wide flood described in Genesis 7. Thousands of feet of sediments clearly deposited by water and later hardened into rock and containing billions of fossils.[i] An atheist, on the other hand, needs millions and millions of years to allow time for the geological record to be laid down one layer at a time.
Sometimes scientists are pursuing an agenda and will manipulate or ignore evidence in order to arrive at their desired conclusion. The scientists recently involved in Climategate, for example, manipulated data to support their claims of a sudden and dangerous increase in the earth’s temperature.[ii]
- Many Christians can accept the fact of evolution, save for the most fundamentalist variety.
Another point of the blog post was defining terms. Everyone believes in evolution, micro-evolution, that is. We have always been able to observe change within kinds or even within species. Everyone recognizes the wide variety of dogs, for example. But macro-evolution has never been observed. Even evolutionary professor Dr. Richard Dawkins, admits that evolution has never been observed while it’s happening.[iii] It’s interesting that the theory of evolution is constantly changing. The idea of molecules to man evolution was made popular by Darwin’s theory of small changes over long periods of time until the theory ran into problems like irreducible complexity. So we moved to neo-Darwinism and mutations until scientist determined that most mutations are bad and that it would take millions of good mutations to produce just one functioning organ. So, Dr. Stephen Jay Gould introduced Punctuated Equilibrium. This idea postulates that the significant evolutionary changes in a species occur all at once. The problem with these ideas or theories is that they would have occurred in the past, are not observable, and are outside the scientific method. If they occurred in the past and cannot be repeated, you need an eye witness and a reliable record of the events. (More on this in a moment) Christians who accept these ideas as fact have substituted man’s ideas in place of God’s Word, the Bible. By the way, even a scientist who is an atheist, if he is intellectually honest, will admit that molecules to man evolution is theory, not fact, even if he believes it to be true.
- The ones that promote creationism typically do not understand biology or evolution but have an opinion about it nonetheless. Maybe some education is required?
What we do know about biology is what we observe. That is, there is no known method or observation whereby the genome gains new information. This is what would be required for evolution (molecules to man) to occur. What we observe is the genome loses information, it doesn’t gain it.
Observational science, Spontaneous Generation (Louis Pasteur), and the First and Second law of Thermodynamics prove evolution of the molecules to man variety is impossible.
In order to understand and participate in this conversation, it is imperative that we distinguish between observational and historical science; fact and theory. When looking at evidence in the present to draw conclusions about the past, we can only deal in hypotheses or theories. Unless we have an eye witness and reliable record to tell us what actually happened in the past. And, as Christians, of course we do. God the creator is our eye witness and our reliable record is His Word, the Bible.
In the beginning, God created…
[i] Ken Ham, The New Answers Book 1, Master Books 2009, Kindle Edition, pp. 349-354
[ii] The Goal Is Power: The Global Warming Conspiracy, http://www.forbes.com/sites/charleskadlec/2011/07/25/the-goal-is-power-the-global-warming-conspiracy/
[iii] Ken Ham, et al, 2009