Sunday, November 1, 2015

TWO KINDS OF SCIENCE

Richard Dawkins
Today on CNN, on his "GPS" show, Fareed Zakaria interviewed Richard Dawkins on the subject of the current Republican candidates for president and the fact that none has publicly espoused a belief in the theory of evolution.  Dawkins says that this is "disgraceful", since evolution "is a fact".  Zakaria virtually fawned over Dawkins, who is a vociferous atheist.

When I compare Dawkins with his philosophical nemesis, Stephen Meyer, I experience emotional reactions. I can't put a finger on what distinguishes these two men from each other, but I would gladly go on a two-week vacation with Meyer, and I wish Dawkins would disappear.

Evolutionists like to re-classify Intelligent Design proponents as "creationists" so as to demean their ideas as being religious dogma.  Dawkins is a professor of evolutionary biology at Oxford.  He goes to and fro in the world preaching that evolution is not a theory but a fact of science.  98% of professional scientists agree with Dawkins.

Stephen C. Meyer
In his book Signature in the Cell Stephen Meyer (a philosopher of science) reminds us that there are two types of science. To paraphrase Meyer, here they are:

     1.  Empirical, testable science
     2.  Historical, evidentiary science

The first type involves scientific principles that can be demonstrated through experimentation.  If I start a fire under a pot of water, it will usually cause the water to boil.  You can't argue with this tested outcome because the evidence is incontrovertible.  If I let go of my glass of milk, gravity will pull it to the floor (pretty much every time).

The second type of science is the type practiced by forensic homicide detectives, paleontologists, archaeologists, and cosmologists.  They look at current situations and make inferences based on the the best available historical evidence.  When there is a bloody shoe print on the ground outside a house - matching the size-13 Bruno Magli shoes owned solely by O.J. Simpson, it is reasonable to conclude that O.J. stepped in the blood.  No one saw the murder (or the dinosaur).  No (living) person saw the birth of our galaxy or the arrival of the trilobytes on earth.

Cosmologists observe that there are radio waves pervasively distributed throughout our universe.  Many of them now speculate that the radio waves are a by-product of a "Big Bang". Some disagree.  None of us can go back in time to observe whether our universe was started by an immense momentary explosion or by the act of a benevolent God (or Gods) or by BOTH.  We are confined to examining the currently available data and evidence, and theorizing about what could have caused it to come about.  Dawkins is no exception.

Richard Dawkins insists that there is evidence of evolution so compelling that the only conclusion that sensible, sane people can come to is that we living creatures developed gradually over millions of years through slow microscopic genetic changes.  Problem is - Dawkins and his fellow believers have never produced "scientific" evidence OF EITHER KIND that shows that this is true.  Now, Stephen Meyer and I will be the first to admit that neither has the Intelligent Design community produced any evidence that God designed all the many living creatures slithering about our planet.  So perhaps it is a tie! 

We can't "test" the existence of God, and we can't "test" evolutionary change (especially if it takes as long as Dawkins insists).  All we can do is look at the information, data, material, evidence and conditions that are observable today and come up with the best scientific inference based on the available historical evidence.

If I go outside and notice that my neighbor's driveway is wet, I might conclude that it recently rained.  Yet if my own driveway is not wet, I might posit that he hosed his driveway instead.  If I happen upon a poem, I can conclude nothing but that someone penned it.  Poems don't write themselves.

If I get a microscope and look inside the external membrane of a living cell, I find numerous functioning organelles and departments - sanitation, reproduction, transportation, alimentation, defense, repair, and more.  This vast, microscopic biological universe is so complex that I find it hard to believe that it came about by chance or by gradual, undirected metamorphosis.

Without direction or intervention, EVERYTHING in the universe tends toward chaos, entropy.  Richard Dawkins knows this, but still he goes about preaching that the immeasurable complexities of life on this earth sprang into existence by the collision of organic compounds in the pre-biotic soup and then waxed ever more complex without direction or purpose. 

Scientists recently performed experiments on fruit flies by interfering a little with the early reproductive process.  They found that even slight disturbances in the DNA coding resulted in horrific mutations - legs growing out of heads, and worse.  Dawkins knows that if you tamper with genetic data, the resulting offspring are distorted and sterile.  Successful genetic changes cannot come about EXCEPT through the ADDITION of new DNA code - new information, new script.  New data cannot come about unless it is written.  New computer programs don't arise unless someone codes them.  House plans don't design themselves.  DNA blueprints and epigenetic data don't poof into existence spontaneously, and we have no evidence ANYWHERE that shows how one species of critter suddenly OR GRADUALLY morphed into a different critter.

I am reminded of Korihor and Nehor (look them up!) in the Book of Mormon, and how they went about preaching that people who believed in God were deceived by fantastical myths.  Korihor was eventually forced to admit that the devil had persuaded him to preach lies to the people, and he knew the truth.

I believe that Richard Dawkins is a modern-day Korihor.  There is surely a hidden reason why he goes about so smugly mocking believers in God, and insisting that his ideas about evolution are somehow "science".  When you challenge Darwinian evolutionists, they speak about evolutionary change in terms of, "We think it happened like this", "It may have happened like this", and so on.  Their speculation is bereft of proof and bereft of conviction.  They have to force themselves to believe and parrot it because their careers or guilt depend on it.

I recently read both of Stephen Meyer's books, and for me it is hard not to believe in a loving God after reading them.  Meyer doesn't preach religion, but he proves convincingly that life on this earth could not have come about accidentally and arbitrarily.  If you want a brief glimpse of Meyer's inspiration and brilliance, watch this YOUTUBE video of one of his lectures:

Centre for Intelligent Design Lecture 2011 by Stephen Meyer on 'Signature in the Cell'.

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