Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Science And Creation

In "Science and Creation," Poul Anderson mentions two pieces of evidence that the universe is old:

the laws of radioactive decay;
the cosmic red shift.

I know that there are other pieces of evidence but do not know what they are. More generally, if the scientific creationist claim that Earth is only a few thousand years old were true, then at least five sciences -

archaeology -

- would be false.

Do scientists (arrogantly) claim that they can explain every phenomenon? No. They try to explain every phenomenon. Thus, phenomena divide into:

those for which there is a current explanation, possibly to be revised later;
those that have not been explained yet.

Either this must always be the case or a hypothetical Theory of Everything will:

have a mathematical form;
unify the forces of nature;
explain the most basic laws of physics and chemistry;
describe the most basic properties of the most basic entities, whatever those are.

A creationist argues that mutation and natural selection cannot explain a particular adaptation. Scientists either acknowledge that they cannot explain it yet and keep trying or (this has happened) draw attention to text books containing an explanation of which the creationist was unaware. The creationist argument that we should accept that the adaptation was designed and should therefore stop trying to explain it amounts to the suggestion that we should stop doing science - a contradictory suggestion coming from a "scientific creationist."

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I am IMPATIENT with both evolution deniers and so called "scientific creationists." They both err in interpreting the Scriptures wrongly, in ways they were never meant to be. To paraphrase Cardinal Bellarmine, in a moment of impatience with warring Biblical exegetes: "The Bible is about how to get to heaven, not how heaven was made." And I like how Philippe Rochefort put it in Chapter IV of THE PEOPLE OF THE WIND: "Biological evolution inclines, it does not compel."