Recently, I ran across a few comments about this image on a site called atheistthinktank.net. I really don’t expect fans on these sites, but I was surprised to see that their basic objections reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the debate.
For example, take this comment by someone who sadly identifies themself as nogodsforme:
“What the eff? I guess that guy doesn’t get that evolution is a result of the same scientific method that brought him his cell phone, car, clean water, flu shot, fridge and effing computer. Without science, he would live like people in the 1300′s.
Evolution is only one part of science–a big part, but still only one part. And people who reject evolution still accept all the goodies that the scientific method gives them. We have to listen to religious stuff all the time, from nearly everyone we know (care to comment on last Thursday, anyone?) and we are the people with the facts on our side.
As I have said quite frequently, if religious explanations worked, we wouldn’t need science.“
Please note: Nearly every objection he makes is addressed within the first twenty slides [sometimes the first ten] af any decent creation presentation. Nor is this the meat of said presentation; I’m talking about the part where we lay the basic groundwork.
The first thing I’d like to address is that he thinks that he has the facts on his side. The origins argument isn’t about facts. We have exactly the same facts: the same rocks, fossils, plants, animals, stars, planet, universe… the same facts. Facts are not self-explanatory. They have to be interpreted. We tend to interpret the facts based on our prior assumptions. For example, an evolutionist will interpret the facts in accordance with his evolutionary worldview, while the Biblical creationist will not fail to interpret the facts in a manner inconsistent with God’s Word, the Bible. The question is: which interpretation accounts for the facts in the most consistent, non-arbitrary way.
Both the evolutionist and the creationist affirm the laws of logic, the uniformity of nature and morality [that we ought to do something; in this case, that we ought to affirm either creation or evolution], but only the creationist can account for these preconditions of intelligibility in a non-arbitrary, consistent manner. If we’re all just chemical reactions, why should we affirm one belief over another? If our universe is the result of chance, evolving processes, why should we expect the universe to operate the same everywhere and at all times? If we and our brains are the product of such processes, how can we trust that our intelligence evolved correctly? Meanwhile, if we’re the product of an omnipresent, omnipotent, all-knowing God who never changes, we can trust our senses and our intelligence, we can say we ought to affirm the Bible’s record because we have the Eyewitness Testimony of the Creator God who was there and never lies, and trust that uniformity we see in nature exists everywhere consistently because it is upheld by that omnipresent Creator God who never changes. The caveat is that while we expect the uniformity we see in nature, as promised by Genesis 8:22, we recognize that His Word reveals that such uniformity had exception in the 6-day Creation Week, the effects of the Fall and the world-covering Noachian Flood [all of which pre-date this divine promise of the uniformity of nature].
So the evolutionary worldview may be a comprehensive account of the facts we observe from a purely naturalistic perspective, but it cannot account for the facts in a non-arbitary, consistent manner.
The other thing he does is basically ask, “How can you reject the same science that put man on the moon?” The problem is that there are two kinds of science: operational science and origins science.
Operational science is observable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable. It utilizes the scientific method. It gives us things like cell phones, automobiles, flu shots, cleaner water, computers, jet planes and all that good stuff. It deals with stuff that occurs in the present.
Creationists have no beef with operational science. We affirm natural selection, speciation, mutation, the germ theory of disease, etc., because we observe these things. We can test these things, repeat our tests or falsify the results. In fact, Bible affirming scientists founded most of the scientific disciplines. The scientifc method works because we live in an orderly universe that follows discernable rules, which we would expect if it were designed by the God of the Bible. In fact, most of the founders of science were trying to “think God’s thoughts after Him.”
Origins science, on the other hand, are beliefs about the past. When you’re dealing with the past, you’re dealing with things that aren’t directly observable, testable, repeatable or falsifiable. You have to put the clues together and, like a good detective, hope that you have all of the pieces to the puzzle and that your witnesses and records are reliable.
Operational science is where creationists and evolutionists disagree. We have already noted that the evolutionist’s interpretation of the past comes at the expense of providing a non-arbitary, consistent basis for the preconditions of intelligibility. Now we must make another simple observation: claims of an all-natural history of the universe are made by men who don’t know everything, make mistakes and weren’t there. The further we go into the past, the less certain we can be about anything, yet they claim that the universe is millions of years old with absolute certainty! The creationist relies on the Word of the God who was there, never makes mistakes and knows everything! We can be certain about this history as revealed in the Bible because we have been given it from the very beginning by a Witness who is Faithful and True.
The last thing he says is that if religious explanations worked, we wouldn’t need science. This betrays just how poorly we teach science in public schools! Science cannot rule out the supernatural; it can only show us how things work when the supernatural is not involved. The problem is that scientists chain the search for knowledge to pure naturalism and then go on acting as if their all-natural speculations are true simply because they are natural. The truth is that science chained to pure naturalism can only give us all-natural explanations which may or may not be true and are certainly false where supernatural agency was involved. [Likewise, they can only give us uniform explanations which may or may not be true but are certainly false where supernatural agency or catastrophism were involved]. Yet if God exists and He has done anything, as the Bible claims, evolutionary scientists are guilty of making up all-natural just-so stories to account for things they should have given God credit for! Unfortunately, since only natural answers are allowed, they have no way of determining whether supernatural agency was actually responsible.
Evolutionists are so wary of allowing a Divine Foot to enter the door that they have even forbidden all attempts to objectively determine whether a phenomenon is the product of nature or intelligent design. They do so arbitarily and inconsistently [as they must], for archaeologists, code breakers and SETI must all be able to distinguish between a natural and intelligent origin to conduct their work.
So we see from this brief exercise that evolutionists fail to make a fundamental distinction between operational and origins science, between facts and interpretation of facts, and the limits of scientific investigation regarding the supernatural [it cannot rule it out; it can only show how things happen in its absence]. We’ve also noted that the evolutionary/naturalistic worldview as a whole is often arbitrary and inconsistent, but this is to be expected. Those who reject the Creator and His account of the history of the universe are simply suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, being willfully ignorant of the truth they have exchanged for a lie. Yet they are without excuse, for the invisible things of creation reveal the Creator and His Word faithfully delivers the truth of history.