Scientific Thinking and Fallacies of Scientific Thinking

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Recently, Randy Presley presented a very helpful paper in the Round Table in Ideology that dealt with scientific thinking. A clear understanding of scientific thinking and the fallacies associated with that is something every Christian needs to know in order to strengthen our own faith and be equipped to help others see God in the world and society. Randy’s paper is a great resource to that end.

The precis can be accessed here, Precis for Scientific Thinking and Fallacies of Scientific Thinking and the full paper can be accessed here, Scientific Thinking and Fallacies in Scientific Thinking.

Is Starlight Travel Time Incompatible With the Biblical Account of Creation? Pt. II

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Astrophysicist Jason Lisle provides another (see Pt. I of this for other proposals) explanation for “the distant starlight problem” in his paper Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem. He states the problem thusly, “light travels a distance of one light year (about 6 trillion miles or 9 trillion kilometers) in one year, it would seem that we should only be able to see objects within a radius of 6,000 light years. Objects beyond that distance should not be visible, since presumably their light has not yet reached us. Yet, paradoxically, we can see galaxies whose distances have been measured to be many billions of light years away.”1

The following mentions a few of his comments, but any evaluation of his theory should be based upon his paper rather than my comments, which are intended for those who do not wish to read the full article.

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  1. All quotes in this article are from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/anisotropic-synchrony-convention accessed 11/19/11. Lisle also wrote a paper in 2001 under the pseudonym Roger Newton []

Is Starlight Travel Time Incompatible With the Biblical Account of Creation? Pt. I

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

How do those like me who believe in a recent creation and that the days of Genesis chapter one are actual solar (24 hour) days (see my article A Day is A Day) reconcile that with the time scientists say is necessary for starlight to travel to earth?

Astrophysicist John Hartnett succinctly states the difficulty thusly, “The problem is simply that in the time available since creation (about 6,000 years) there has not been enough time for light to get to Earth from even the nearest neighbor galaxies (1.5 to 3 million years travel time at constant speed of light let alone the most distant galaxies (billions of years travel time at constant. How then do we see them and how did Adam see them?”1 (more…)

  1.  http://creation.com/a-new-cosmology-solution-to-the-starlight-travel-time-problem accessed 11/19/11 []

Think About IT: Evolution is Short On Information

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The key for Darwinian evolution is the increase in information and the transmission of such. For example, the information needed for slime to produce more slime only needs to be sufficiently slimy, but the information needed to transition to a sophisticate is indeed  astronomic.

“That is, particles-to-people evolution requires changes that increase genetic information (e.g., specifications for manufacturing nerves, muscle, bone, etc.), but all we observe is sorting and, overwhelmingly, loss of information. We are hardpressed to find examples of even ‘micro’ increases in information, although such changes should be frequent if evolution were true. Conversely, we do observe quite ‘macro’ changes that involve no new information, e.g. when a control gene is switched on or off. Interestingly, even high profile evolutionists (e.g. Mayr, Ayala) disagree with the idea that the observed small changes in living things are sufficient to account for the grand scheme of microbes-to-mankind evolution.”1

  1. From http://creation.com/qa#bad_arguments []

Think About IT: The Case of the Missing Rib—SOLVED

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Some skeptics as well as some sincere questioners ask, “If God took a rib from Adam to make Eve, then why don’t men have one less rib than women?”

The answer is simply, he would not pass on a lost rib onto the next generation anymore than he would pass on a missing finger, toe, foot, etc. Further, Adam’s loss would probably not have been permanent since ribs can regrow if the surrounding membrane is intact.

Think About IT: Can a Fish Become an Attorney?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

It is often said that all mutations are bad, but this is not actually true. There are cases of beneficial mutations, but what is needed for evolution to make a fish into an attorney is not merely a beneficial mutation, but rather the creation of new information, and therein is the problem. Even advantageous mutations lose rather than add new information. Consider the following from http://creation.com/qa#bad_arguments:

  1. Evolutionary theory requires some mutations to go ‘uphill’—to add information.
  2. The mutations which we observe are generally neutral (they don’t change the information, or the ‘meaning’ in the code) or else they are informationally downhill—defects which lose/corrupt information.
  3. The rare ‘beneficial’ mutations to which evolutionists cling, all appear to be like this wingless beetle—downhill changes, losses of information which, though they may give a survival advantage, are headed in precisely the wrong direction for evolution.

“All of our real-world experience, especially in the ‘information age,’ would indicate that to rely on accidental copying mistakes to generate real information is the stuff of wishful thinking by ‘true believers,’ not science.”1

  1. http://creation.com/qa#bad_arguments accessed 11/26/11. []

Genetic Engineering

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Recently Doug Gray presented a concise, detailed explanation of Genetic Engineering to the Roundtable in Ethics.  He begins with the scientific research that forms the basis for the current biotechnology, with an explanation of terms and events along the way.  He ends by considering the moral and ethical impact of this genetic altering technology.  This is not a lengthy article, and if you are not familiar with the topic, this would be a good source of information for you.

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Think About IT: The Cruelty of Darwinian Compassion

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Darwin says, “The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts…”1  He further states,“Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.”2  Hard reason says that this sympathy is deleterious, because he said regarding natural selection, “And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.”3  Consequently, we can’t stop it even though reason and the path to perfection demands it, and it thwarts the noble work of “natural selection” which produces, “the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals…”4

He talks about the surgeon knowing that he is “acting for the good”, but in light of the perfect being reached through natural selection, is it fair to ask, what good, good for whom, temporary or ultimate good….He says that to “intentionally…neglect the weak and helpless” can be only with “contingent benefit” and even that brings “overwhelming present evil.”5 What evil?  His conclusion, “We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely, that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this is  more to be hoped for than expected.”6   Note the he says the weak surviving produces “bad effects”, whereas Christianity would say the opposite.  However, he is heartened that these “hereditarily inferiors” are less likely to marry as the fit, thereby giving the secularist some hope, and hopefully they will refrain all the more, but that is just Darwin’s wishful musings.

  1. Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871: reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 111 []
  2. Darwin, Descent, 111. []
  3. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, (Originally published by John Murray, London, in 1859:  reprint with introduction by Michael T. Ghiselin, Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2006), 307 []
  4. Darwin, Origin of Species, 307. []
  5. Darwin, Descent, 111. []
  6. Darwin, Descent, 111 -112. []

Think About IT: Darwin the unbiased, benign observationist

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Darwin is often presented as a simple scientist, with no axe to grind, to wit no preconceived ideas tainting his conclusions, and simply following the facts to wherever they lead.  The following are a few quotes that may call that noble description into question.

 

Darwin said, concerning man’s origin and descent, “The main conclusion…is that man is descended from some less highly organized form.  The grounds upon which this conclusion rests will never be shaken, for the close similarity between man and the lower animals…are facts which cannot be disputed.”1  Now whether one believes that is true or not, they must admit that it cannot be proven; however, Darwin’s diaphanous veil of science cannot hide his faith in naturalism, for surely all can see that his absolute surety that his conclusion will never be overturned is anything but science, which by nature is open-ended.

 

Of man’s creation, Darwin notes,  “He who is not content to look, like a savage, at the phenomena of nature as disconnected, cannot any longer believe that man is the work of a separate act of creation.”2  So all of the intellectuals, the evidence that man was created, is summarily dismissed as “savagery”.  On what does he base this?  Well similarities, the idea of natural selection (NS), and the commitment, which he mentions regularly regarding NS, “if one will accept evolution.”  Of course, if you accept by faith his premises, then some of what he says may follow, but he did not, nor have Darwinists today, proven the premises upon which their naturalistic worldview stands or falls.

 

He states, “…man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped…”3  Man, advanced from “semi-human condition to that of the modern savage….with savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health.”4  Again he says we “will feel no doubt that all the races of man are descended from a single primitive stock.”5

Of course these are ideas that he sought to promulgate in order to prove naturalism.  Darwin’s belief in God, which he briefly mentions as the creator who breathed the first life into…is actually irrelevant.  The reason is that Darwin sought to explain all of life apart from God, other than the absolute beginning, in a way that absolutely excluded God. 

Darwin, as his successors, still confuses philosophical and religious assertions with science, which they disdain unless they are the ones making them.

  1. Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871. Reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 544. []
  2. Darwin, Descent, 546. []
  3. Darwin, Descent, 548. []
  4. Darwin, Descent, 111. []
  5. Darwin, Descent, 148. []

Think About IT: Marriage according to Darwin

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Darwin expresses his dismay and discouragement because, in comparison to how very scrupulous a man is about the pedigree of his livestock, when it comes to his own marriage, “…he rarely, or never, takes any such care.  He is impelled by nearly the same motives as the lower animals, when they are left to their own free choice…”1  Of course, marriage in Jewish and Christian traditions is an exalted spiritual covenant between the two and God.  With regard to how the “inferiors” should approach marriage, he says, “Both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if they are in any marked degree inferior in body or mind; but such hopes are Utopian, and will never be even partially realized until the laws of inheritance are thoroughly known.  Everyone does good service who aids toward this end.  When the principles of breeding and inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.”2 

Not only is physical or mental deficiency reason to not marry, but he also said, “All ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children, for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage.  On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, while the reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society.”3  In absolute contradistinction, the Bible and many other religions, assign no evil to poverty.  Oh well, the Darwinian Decalogue says, Thou shalt not marry if you are physically or mentally weak and/or unable to provide…enough Darwin dollars.

  1. Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871: reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 556. []
  2. Darwin, Descent, 556. []
  3. Darwin, Descent, 556,557. []