Friday, January 25, 2008

Two Important Misconceptions in the Origins Debate

Two misconceptions confuse the the origins debate in nearly every argument I read. These too often pollute the arguments made by people on both sides of the issue.

1. Scientific proof is rational.

The truth is that there is no such thing as scientific proof. There are scientific conclusions that involve demonstrable likelihoods using empirical testing and/or observation of evidence analyzed according to a set of philosophical presuppositions. The core of the origins debate is over these philosophical presuppositions. However, debates most often center on the conclusions and fail to address the foundational differences and how they affect the conclusions. In other words, opponents in the debate most often try to convince each other that their presuppositions are true by asserting the veracity of their conclusions. This is backwards.

As it is, a belief in molecules-to-man evolution is founded on naturalistic presuppositions which decidedly deny the influence of anything we have not been able to physically detect and quantify. Intelligent Design generically recognizes that there may be important factors that we cannot yet detect and quantify. Creation science, specifically Young Earth Creationism, specifically identifies an important factor, a Creator, who has made Himself known to us and given us a certain apologetic, not merely for His existence, but for His foundationally substantial influence. As such, it may be recognized that He is not temporally quantifiable although He can be known.

2. Evidence is in favor of one side of the debate or the other, but not both.

Once again, the difference is in the presuppositions, not the evidence. Evidence is evidence. It only lends itself to specific conclusions according to the presuppositions of the scientist analyzing it. Too often I read silly arguments like, “There is at least some evidence for evolution, but none for creation.” This misses the point that the same evidence used by naturalists to support evolutionary conclusions is also used to support the conclusions of creation scientists.

Misconceptions like these frustrate the search for truth.

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