Dead Horses and Atheist Cowboys: Can everything be explained by science?

Fundamentalist atheists insist upon pitting science against religion as though the two are at odds when really they are not. They insist upon taking the side of science as though they are experts in the field in virtue of their atheism when really they are not. They insist that their dogmatic assumption of scientism – roughly the idea that science is the only or best way to knowledge – is rational when really it is not.

Let’s be clear. Science and religion are not enemies in the least. In fact, science presupposes a Christian worldview. Atheists are not necessarily experts in the field of science. In fact, most of them do not have any more formal scientific education than you do. Scientism is an insufficient means to acquire any number of basic elements of human knowledge. In fact, it is self-refuting.

Christian apologists are really beating a dead horse when they point out the fatal flaws of scientism. But fundamentalist atheists are a stubborn lot. They keep mounting the horse thinking that maybe this time they can ride away.

William Lane Craig is not any more fond of this style of equestrianism than I am.


4 Comments

Cowboy Bob

Many times, atheists and evolutionists have tried to correct my use of science (often calling me a liar) because my interpretation of the facts does not match their interpretation of the facts. Worse, they have used outdated, incorrect and even fraudulent “science” to prove atheism and evolutionism are right.

Tyler Noble

The sciences are empirical. Theistic belief is generally rational ( though not necessarily). More times than not these two are not enemies but operating on different paradigms for evidence based claims.

Yet, it does seem that when one wants to make an empirical knowledge claim, the best game in town is to compete with the sciences. Because the sciences are not ultimate, they are all falsifiable, they can never be truly objective. How exactly is that taking up a Christian worldview again? A falsifiable claim that only remains true as long as the experiment which led to the claim can be repeated supports the claim does not sound like the general Christian dogma. Whether or not it assumes the laws of physics will remain the same is meaningless. If the laws changed, the experiments, the formulas, and the answers would change along with them. Science correlates to the empirical data, it doesn’t define the data.

C.L. Bolt

“The sciences are empirical.”

The “sciences” themselves are not completely empirical. Logic is not empirical, but it is used in the sciences. Ethics are not empirical, but they are used in the sciences. There are other examples. So the sciences are not “empirical” in one sense.

In another sense the sciences are empirical. They pertain to empirical entities.

“Theistic belief is generally rational ( though not necessarily).”

The statement is ambiguous. It might mean that theistic belief is rational as opposed to irrational. Or it could mean that theistic belief is rational as opposed to empirical.

If it means that theistic belief is rational in the first sense, then I would agree. However, I would say that only Christian theistic belief is rational.
If it means that theistic belief is rational in the second sense, then I would disagree. I would say that empirical reality is conducive to belief in God.

“More times than not these two are not enemies but operating on different paradigms for evidence based claims.”

The referent of “these” is not clear. The definition of “paradigms” is not clear.

“Yet, it does seem that when one wants to make an empirical knowledge claim, the best game in town is to compete with the sciences.”

The best game in town is to appeal directly to God’s revelation about the empirical realm. Otherwise the sciences are probably your best bet. But to “compete with the sciences” is not the best game in town.

“Because the sciences are not ultimate, they are all falsifiable, they can never be truly objective.”

Lots of assertions. But I see no reason to accept them. I do see reasons to reject them. The “sciences” are not falsifiable. Falsifiability is a very narrow criterion pertaining to particular features of a hypothetic-deductive model of science. Features like particular conjectures. Not science itself.

There are plenty of examples of falsifiable statements that are also objective statements. “It is raining” is a falsifiable statement. And the statement refers to an objective state of affairs.

“How exactly is that taking up a Christian worldview again?”

To what does “that” refer?

“A falsifiable claim that only remains true as long as the experiment which led to the claim can be repeated supports the claim does not sound like the general Christian dogma.”

A terrible sentence. I will try to break it down. Falsifiable claims within the hypothetico-deductive method are not usually considered “true” or “false,” but “rational” or “irrational.” And a few other things. But not true or false. Certainly not in the usual sense anyway.

Falsifiable claims in the aforementioned scientific method need not result from experiment. Rather, they are proposed and then rigorously tested through experiment.

If there are inconsistencies between the aforementioned scientific method and “Christian dogma” they have not been made plain. And if there are inconsistencies, then it need not affect the truth of Christian dogma. There are a slew of scientific methodologies to pick from.

“Whether or not it assumes the laws of physics will remain the same is meaningless.”

What is the referent of “it”? Whatever “it” is, it apparently is not meaningless, or there would not be an attempt at a response to “it.” If it were meaningless, then it would have no meaning. Ergo, no need for response. But there is a response. To “it.” Just not sure what “it” is.

“If the laws changed, the experiments, the formulas, and the answers would change along with them.”

Assuming that there are such things as “laws.” But why grant that in a non-Christian worldview? In any event, it is rather strange to suggest that virtually all scientific knowledge being overturned is not a problem. Talk about idol worship!

“Science correlates to the empirical data, it doesn’t define the data.”

Unfortunately the statement above is exceedingly vague. The comment needs to be rewritten if it is to receive an informative response. However, I am suspicious as to whether or not the comment even addresses the content of the post.

C.L. Bolt

“The sciences are empirical.”

The “sciences” themselves are not completely empirical. Logic is not empirical, but it is used in the sciences. Ethics are not empirical, but they are used in the sciences. There are other examples. So the sciences are not “empirical” in one sense.

In another sense the sciences are empirical. They pertain to empirical entities.

“Theistic belief is generally rational ( though not necessarily).”

The statement is ambiguous. It might mean that theistic belief is rational as opposed to irrational. Or it could mean that theistic belief is rational as opposed to empirical.

If it means that theistic belief is rational in the first sense, then I would agree. However, I would say that only Christian theistic belief is rational.
If it means that theistic belief is rational in the second sense, then I would disagree. I would say that empirical reality is conducive to belief in God.

“More times than not these two are not enemies but operating on different paradigms for evidence based claims.”

The referent of “these” is not clear. The definition of “paradigms” is not clear.

“Yet, it does seem that when one wants to make an empirical knowledge claim, the best game in town is to compete with the sciences.”

The best game in town is to appeal directly to God’s revelation about the empirical realm. Otherwise the sciences are probably your best bet. But to “compete with the sciences” is not the best game in town.

“Because the sciences are not ultimate, they are all falsifiable, they can never be truly objective.”

Lots of assertions. But I see no reason to accept them. I do see reasons to reject them. The “sciences” are not falsifiable. Falsifiability is a very narrow criterion pertaining to particular features of a hypothetic-deductive model of science. Features like particular conjectures. Not science itself.

There are plenty of examples of falsifiable statements that are also objective statements. “It is raining” is a falsifiable statement. And the statement refers to an objective state of affairs.

“How exactly is that taking up a Christian worldview again?”

To what does “that” refer?

“A falsifiable claim that only remains true as long as the experiment which led to the claim can be repeated supports the claim does not sound like the general Christian dogma.”

A terrible sentence. I will try to break it down. Falsifiable claims within the hypothetico-deductive method are not usually considered “true” or “false,” but “rational” or “irrational.” And a few other things. But not true or false. Certainly not in the usual sense anyway.

Falsifiable claims in the aforementioned scientific method need not result from experiment. Rather, they are proposed and then rigorously tested through experiment.

If there are inconsistencies between the aforementioned scientific method and “Christian dogma” they have not been made plain. And if there are inconsistencies, then it need not affect the truth of Christian dogma. There are a slew of scientific methodologies to pick from.

“Whether or not it assumes the laws of physics will remain the same is meaningless.”

What is the referent of “it”? Whatever “it” is, it apparently is not meaningless, or there would not be an attempt at a response to “it.” If it were meaningless, then it would have no meaning. Ergo, no need for response. But there is a response. To “it.” Just not sure what “it” is.

“If the laws changed, the experiments, the formulas, and the answers would change along with them.”

Assuming that there are such things as “laws.” But why grant that in a non-Christian worldview? In any event, it is rather strange to suggest that virtually all scientific knowledge being overturned is not a problem. Talk about idol worship!

“Science correlates to the empirical data, it doesn’t define the data.”

Unfortunately the statement above is exceedingly vague. The comment needs to be rewritten if it is to receive an informative response. However, I am suspicious as to whether or not the comment even addresses the content of the post.


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