LETTERS AND COMMENTS
I just wanted to write you a brief note to tell you how much I have enjoyed the Creation Social Science and Humanities Quarterly. The book review by John Robbins was especially significant and further development of his argument should be forthcoming.
Joshua Christian Ministries
East Bridgewater. MASS
Leave us creationists not knock science that way, eh fellows? In his book review of Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge in the CSSHS Quarterly (Winter 1978), John Robbins, while manhandling some of the "heavy" philosophical considerations involved in the "science vs. religion" contest, has, I believe, been dazzled by Carl Popper, Thomas Kuhn and Einstein, and has lost his commonsense bearings.
Science can and does lead to truth within its limited scope. I would acknowledge that scientific knowledge doesn't go very deep (ask an honest scientist what light. life. electricity magnetism, gravity, and so forth really are, and he will have to admit he doesn't know'.). but I would also insist that empirical physical observations of the real world do convey dependable, true-truth about that world.
Mr. Robbins is assuming that the "autonomous science" he dislikes has discovered "facts" which are contrary to the Bible, and therefore he sees an irreconcilable conflict between "science" and scripture.
I know of no such facts. It is the evolutionists who have promoted the idea of the Bible being "unscientific", and nonscientists who have been bluffed by this false claim usually respond by rejecting or downgrading science, as Mr. Robbins has done.
My goodness, all scientific procedures do not commit the "fallacy of asserting the consequent". Only a very naive or thoughtless person would fail to recognize the ambiguity in the example: "If it is raining. the ground is wet; the ground is wet, therefore it is raining". Simple commonsense would suggest many ways that the ground could be wet without rain.
And Galileo's telescope wasn't lying to him about the surface of those celestial bodies, even if he may have gotten the wrong idea about their motion. Better telescopes, spacecraft television. and finally human eyes on the moon provided progressively more certain evidence that they really are not "faultless crystal balls". as had been believed.
The limit of scientific knowledge is obvious it is what our eyes tell us. Seeing is believing from a scientific viewpoint (and from Thomas' viewpoint. incidentally John 20:26-29). True science is limited to observation of the present, real, natural world. But so what? Where is the conflict with scripture in that? The risk that the natural "eyes" of science can be deceived by faulty scientific methods is no greater than the risk that our supernatural "eyes" of faith can be deceived by faulty methods with scripture.
Now speaking of falsification, I am firmly convinced that physical experiments most definitely can disprove a proposition scientifically that is, as far as the natural world is concerned. Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics furnish us with a timely example of this:
The Second Law is sort of a thermodynamic "law of gravity". It operates just like the law of gravity that we experience in our everyday world, and it has been universally confirmed by observation whenever and wherever it has been tested. It is a dependable statement of how the natural world really operates. It is not a "theory" or a "model", it is a scientific law. It does have complete authority in the observable, natural, present real world of science (it does not make any claims in the supernatural real world, of course).
Briefly this Second Law states that energy, structure and intelligence (in short, every natural thing there is) flow downhill. Now evolution claims to be flowing uphill, all by itself in the present, natural real world. The two statements are plainly contrary and irreconcilable. Both cannot be adequate to physical reality. Up is not down. (The underlying assumptions here, of course, are that words really do have objective meaning, and that there really are absolutes in terms of "up" and "down").
What is actually observed scientifically? Uphill processes are never observed; downhill processes are always observed. Only the Second Law matches observation; evolution denies it. The scientific conclusion is inescapable evolution is scientifically FALSE. It has been disproven, using strictly scientific weapons. It now must appeal to the supernatural, and that makes it a religion.
In summary, recognizing the limited scope of science, that it is confined to observation of the present, real, natural world, it does furnish a legitimate, accurate and dependable route to truth within that scope. It does not provide access to ultimate, absolute truth, nor should it claim to. Only the Bible represents the supreme authoritative revelation of God concerning the true nature of all things.
But science does furnish the means to positively discredit evolution's false claim to be "scientific", and pins it down as a supernatural, religious faith. Until that point is clearly settled, it won't do any good to "thump the Bible" in science's front yard, where the battle for control of education is being fought.
Mr. Robbin's argument is with evolutionary "science", falsely so-called, or with "scientism". It is not with true empirical SCIENCE. The creation / evolution controversy is not going to be won with a "science vs. religion" approach. It will be won with a "science vs. evolution" approach. Let's not throw out the key weapon!
R. 0. Elmendorf
P.S. The monograph HOW TO SCIENTIFICALLY TRAP, TEST AND FALSIFY EVOL UTION covers a number of aspects of this matter. I hope that Robbins' article does not represent the direction that CSSHS is going. Keep up the good work out there.
Good blows cleanly landed, brother Elmendorf. The next issue may contain a return volley from brother Robbins. My remarks are contained in this month's editorial. Join the fray dear ones, but all in all let us endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."