quite droll – but who are you trying to kid that scientists NEVER start with their conclusions…? Eg the new Fundamentalist Atheists perhaps???
on a similar note, check out this cartoon from WellingtonGrey.net

all quite jolly, isn’t it?! Funny how so many people think Christians (and other religious types, for that matter) are ignoring evidence… when there are plenty of scientists out there who could be said to be doing precisely the same thing (eg like lumping ALL religions together and suggesting they all lead to violence, or that they ALL ignore scientific findings when there are plenty of Christians who believe in an old earth (like myself, for instance).

 

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. You have to admit that some of the more vocal Christians are like this. However, I agree – scientists are human (and some of them are even Christian). And searching for evidence to support a preconceived belief is human (and there appear to be biological reasons for this).
    However, science has developed methodologies to limit the effect of this approach in building knowledge. Statistical analysis and peer review publication help weed out this approach.
    So you can have scientists expressing beliefs which are quite subjective. But these are not accepted by the publication process so don’t get built in to knowledge. Creationist beliefs (and yes specifically atheist beliefs) are therefore not part of accepted knowledge.
    Nowhere have I seen Christians use such methodology to ensure objectivity in their “knowledge”

  2. Do you think the earth could have been created with an apparent age in the same way as Adam was created as an adult rather than a baby?

  3. Hi Ken
    Thanks for your comments. I do admit that there are some Christians who are like this and they give us a bad name. And having a sound methodology is essential – i think that is why in academic theology in particular, so much work has been focused in recent years in the whole issue of hermeneutics – unfortunately the work of the likes of Thiselton, Vanhoozer amongst others tends only to be read by those in that sort of world.
    One of the difficulties is the overwhelming speed at which the scientific body of knowledge expands and grows – thus forcing ever decreasing circles of specialisation – i guess that’s one of the problems with peer review methods (although i have no idea what alternative there could be). We all need to be aware of our own preconceptions and hangups – which is why critical realism is such an essential approach to all of this stuff…

  4. In answer to your question Emma, my problem with that thought is the main theological implication (as i see it) for the doctrine of God – what purpose could he have in wanting to give it ‘apparent’ age other than to deceive? It certainly doesn’t seem consistent with what we do know about him. This raises other questions i know, but if you can think of good reasons why he might do that, then that would be helpful…

  5. Well, I guess so trees and plants would be mature enough so living creatures could live off their fruit, so that rivers were full of water, and the landscape such that it would offer shelter etc. I suppose the flipside of that theory is that God waited until all those things were in place before creating human beings. Was the evolutionary process ‘perfect’ then for millions of years before the fall? (By the way, these are genuine questions, I’m not coming from a particular standpoint).

  6. sorry for taking so long to reply, Emma
    If we are correct in assuming that the earth is old (ie mind-bogglingly, incredibly old), then one can only assume that the timing of everything was perfect. Does that raise more questions? Of course it does. And i do feel out of my depth here, but when God describes things as ‘good’ in Genesis 1, it is the conclusion of the matter, after the relevant stage of creation has been completed. So could one perhaps then see the perfection of the process only come about once the circumstances are in place for human existence? Everything to that point (despite taking millions of years?) was merely part and parcel of the creation process.
    Ooohhh! We’re getting into hot water here (if not primordial soup)!

  7. “which is why critical realism is such an essential approach to all of this stuff…”
    Why “critical realism” instead of something else?
    I am very suspicious of any attempt to impose an ideology on science.

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