Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How would Bob do science?

On Monday, Bob went on a tirade against those portions of the charter of European nations that favor teaching evolution over creation or intelligent design. This triggered yet another of his recurring rants on creationists excluded from publication in peer reviewed science journals.

He demonstrated how badly misinformed he is about science, as it relates to the evolution versus creation debate. Bob stated:
"If you are a scientist and you write a paper saying evolution is false or you write a scientific piece based upon the presupposition that creation is true, you are not going to get it published."
Bob, in this instance, is absolutely correct.

Presupposing creation by God is the end of science. Should a scientist "presuppose creation is true," and base his findings on the presupposition, he has just announced to the world he has incorporated the supernatural in his explanations of nature. Reviewers will reject the non-scientific content of the paper reject it. Every time.

Bob forgets that science is a tool with limitations and boundaries. Science is limited to naturalistic explanations just as a catcher is constrained to fielding pop-up fly balls within boundaries defining the field of play. The catcher will not chase a towering fly into the box seats; nor can a scientist identify some supernatural force as a cause of a phenomenon. Simply put, while the supernatural may exist, science cannot include it in hypotheses, theories or explanations. The supernatural cannot be described in field notes, quantified nor replicated.

Had Bob read the opinion of Judge Jones in the Kitzmiller case, he would understand that intelligent design proponents admitted that intelligent design is not science as defined since Francis Bacon. The intelligent design proponents would require that the boundaries of science be expanded to accommodate the supernatural underpinnings of ID. If that were to happen, astrology could then be deemed a science.


Jeff said...

Excellent post Lumberjack. Bob says he can use science to prove that God exists, evolution is impossible, etc. But how can you possible use the study of the natural universe (science) to prove the supernatural (God)? The two are mutually incompatible!

By the way, here is the link to that Esquire articleyou're referring to. The author sure doesn't pull any punches...

John B said...

Is Bob sure that someone didn't screw up where the decimal point was placed on his IQ test? Could it have been 16.0 instead of 160? or even perhaps 1.60 or even 0.16? And was he referring to an Intelligence Quotient or Idiot Quotient? Getting a 160 score on the latter is beliveable (although one who quess that he would score off the charts!)