Inconsistency in the Falsification of Evolution/Naturalism
As we noted in the last posts, in the chapter called Science and Superstition, (Hurley), Christianity is consistently placed along side of Tarot card reading, fortune-telling and other practices labeled as superstition. The author spends an inordinate amount of time directed at denigrating Christianity, and he uses most of the arguments labeled as false logic or bad arguments in his own book to do so.
While his obvious goal is to discredit Christianity and theism in general, his main target is the Scriptures arguing that they are no more reliable than a horoscope. He attacks creationist arguments, but only quite selectively, keeping the focus on subjects that are considered silly to most people on the surface, such as the Noachian flood, etc. He not only misrepresents the creationist arguments,(using the strawman fallacy), he makes other mistakes revealing gaps in his understanding of the scientific data. He studiously avoids all the creationists arguments from biology, microbiology, genetics, entropy, and the main arguments from paleontology and geology as well.
We’ll go through Hurley’s arguments raised against the Scriptures, and show that the Noachian Flood story is at least more plausible than the Darwinian and/or Lyell stories, but first let’s look and see if Darwin’s theory of evolution can stand up to Hurley’s own definition of an hypothesis. As we saw in the last post, Hurley insists rightly that to be a workable hypothesis and considered genuinely scientific, an idea must be capable of being proven false. He says;
“In 1919 the philosopher Karl Popper…argued that any genuinely scientific hypothesis must be framed narrowly enough so it forbids certain things from happening. In other words, the hypothesis must be falsifiable.” (Hurley, A Concise introduction to Logic, p.547)
This is humorous, becauses Popper not only said that theories must be capable of fasification, he also said that because of this evolution doesn’t qualify as a theory. Listen to what Karl Popper had to say about the theory of evolution and its qualification for theory status;
“I have come to the conclusion that evolution is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program…This of course is why Darwin has become almost universally accepted.” (Popper, Karl, Unending Quest, Glasgow, Fontana Books, 1976)
According to Popper evolution doesn’t qualify as a theory because it is far too plastic to be falsified. By Hurley’s own definition then, his version of origins science must be put in the same box as religion. According to Hurley any idea that can’t be tested, or proven false, lies in the category of “superstition”. As we have shown, the bible makes many predictions which could have easily been proven false. but have passed the test. How about the atheist theory of evolution?
Hurley goes on to explain that a theory which is overly broad can depend too much on “ad hoc” adjustments. In other words, the theory can continually be restated or changed in order to fit the data. Such a theory is inadequate to be called a theory, which is why many evolutionary scientists have admitted that Karl Popper hit the nail right on the head.
Just one classic example would be punctuated equilibrium, a new way of looking at evolution in order to get around the lack of intermediates in the fossil record. The theory postulates that instead of slow change over time, evolution occured in sudden leaps in the different species, and this change happened so rapidly that no record of it was left in the fossil record.
But Darwin originally insisted that the fossil record should be chock full of evidence for evolution, and his reason for not rejecting evolution in the face of this lack of evidence, was that we just hadn’t dug up enough fossils yet. Darwin knew nothing about entropy, or the other major difficulties in the whole idea of spontaneous generation, or the complexity of all the microbiological machinery in organisms, all which have basically contravened his original “theory”. And in fact, all the evidence which falsifies the naturalistic theory of evolution is good evidentiary support for the theory of a supernatural creation.
I’m just a wood-cutter, who undoubtedly has been hit in the head too many times. But I did get a 4.0 in the logics course (I’m still not sure how) and it appears to me that Hurley’s arguments for the falsification of the Bible and the placing of Christianity in the superstition category are entirely false. And if we follow Hurley’s own arguments, Darwin’s idea goes in the category of superstition, not Christianity.
Have a great day