2. A systematic method for understanding facts about the natural
world with reference to natural law.
• “An observation that has been repeatedly conﬁrmed, and for
all practical purposes, is accepted as ‘true’” (National Academy
of Science, 1998)
• “Conﬁrmed to such a degree as it would be perverse to
withhold provisional assent.” (Gould, 1981)
in science is never ﬁnal, and what is accepted as a fact
today may be modiﬁed or even discarded tomorrow.” (NAS,
Methodological: Science can only
study nature using natural laws.
Supernatural entities, while they
may exist, are not allowed as
scientiﬁc explanations of
Philosophical: The supernatural
does not exist.
5. POPULAR HIERARCHY
• “A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the
natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and
tested hypotheses.” (NAS, 1998)
• “Sciencenot only generates facts but seeks to explain them,
and the interlocking and well-supported explanations for
those facts are known as theories.” (T. Ryan Gregory, 2008)
7. Theories are the ultimate goal of science. They explain facts
and are tested by generating hypotheses. These three things
are distinct aspects of science.
• “Atentative statement about the natural world leading to
deductions that can be tested.” (NAS 2008)
• “The rejection of an hypothesis does not automatically imply
the refutation of an entire theory because hypotheses are
usually sufﬁciently focussed to test only one aspect of complex
theories.” (Gregory, 2008)
• A “generalization
about how some aspect of the natural world
behaves under stated circumstances.” (NAS, 1998)
• Descriptive not prescriptive
• SecondLaw of Thermodynamics: the entropy of a closed
system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time,
approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.
10. LAW OF UNIVERSAL
• We have facts that we need to explain.
• We do not observe “gravity,” we observe it’s effects on the
behavior of objects.
• There are laws that describe the behavior of objects under
the inﬂuence of gravity
• We don’t publish “new evidence for gravity”
• There are many explanatory theories of gravitation.
12. GENERAL RELATIVITY
as a consequence of the
warping of space-time
• An incomplete theory - how
does it reconcile with sub-
atomic quantum effects? Why is
gravity relatively weak?
• Does this incompleteness make
gravity “just a theory”?
13. “JUST THEORIES”
• Big Bang Theory • Probability Theory
• Cell Theory • Theory of Plate Tectonics
• Evolutionary Theory • Acoustic Theory
• Germ Theory of Disease • Electromagnetic Theory
• Atomic Theory • Quantum Field Theory
• Kinetic Theory of Gases
14. WHAT MAKES A “GOOD”
15. A GENERAL PATHWAY
• Observe world (collect observations / facts)
• Ask “why” questions
• Make explanatory hypothesis
• Make predictions or retrodictions
• Test predictions or retrodictions by experiment or further
observation - Assume uniform cause and effect (actualism)
• Eventually form a theory
16. IS CREATIONISM SCIENTIFIC?
“Creation [is] the bringing into being of
the basic kinds of plants and animals by
the process of sudden, or ﬁat, creation,
an example of which is described in the
ﬁrst two chapters of Genesis. … We do
not know how God created, what
processes He used, for God used
processes which are not now operating
anywhere in the natural universe.”
Duane T. Gish (1995) Evolution: The Fossils Say No! p. 34 – emphasis in original.
17. IS CREATIONISM SCIENTIFIC?
“Creation cannot be proved
[because] creation is not taking
place now, as far as can be
observed … and is thus
inaccessible to the scientiﬁc
Henry Morris, Scientiﬁc Creationism, p. 5
18. IS CREATIONISM SCIENTIFIC?
“Creation is, of course, unproven and
unprovable and thus cannot be
considered as a fact. It is not subject to
test by the ordinary methods of
observational science – observation
and falsiﬁcation. It thus does not, in a
strict sense, qualify as a scientiﬁc
Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Say No! p. 13
19. IS CREATIONISM SCIENTIFIC?
• “Creation science” is not science, and
• Neither is evolution, so
• Ifone is taught in science class, both
should be taught as both are a matter of
20. Belief: Conﬁdence, faith or trust in the truth or existence of
something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
•A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of
the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a
supernatural agency (or agencies), usually involving devotional
and ritual observances and often having a moral code for the
conduct of human affairs.
• Supernatural: something above or beyond what is explainable
by natural laws.
Literally “Simply A
“If it happens that the
authority of sacred Scripture
is set in opposition to clear
and certain reasoning, the
person who interprets
Scripture does not
understand it correctly.”
24. Christina of Lorraine
25. THE TWO BOOKS
26. Flat Earthers
Young Earth Creationists
Old Earth Creationists of
27. • Young Earth Creationism
Literalism • “Scientific Creationism”
• Progressive Creationism
• Theistic Evolution
Naturalistic • Agnostic or Atheistic Evolution
28. STRICT BIBLICAL LITERALISM
International Flat Earth Society Robert Sungenis (Catholic
(3,500 members) Apologetics International)
Claim support from Isaiah James Hansen: “I sincerely
40:22, Deuteronomy 28:64, believe that evolution and
33:17; Psalms 98:3, 135:7; heliocentricity go together ... To
Jeremiah 25:31and Revelation me it appears as inconsistent for
20:8, among others. people to accept creation and
then to oppose geocentricity.”
29. YOUNG EARTH OR
• Biblical literalism on most issues.
• “Bible-believing Christianity”
• “Special Creation”
• Earth is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old.
• Special creation of “kinds” (“baramin”)
• Historicity of Noachian Flood
• Rejection of many of the conclusions of modern
physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, and geology.
30. OLD EARTH CREATIONISM
• Harmonization of theology • Gap Creationism
and scientiﬁc data that
began in the 1700’s. • Day-Age Creationism
• Acceptance of the age of • Progressive
the Earth but general Creationism
rejection of evolution
31. PROGRESSIVE CREATIONISM
• Majority view among modern OEC’s
• Acceptance of modern chemistry,
physics, geology, and most of biology.
• Sequentialcreation of groups (“kinds”)
by God or Pre-programmed
appearance of organelles, organs or
32. THEISTIC EVOLUTION
• The view of creation taught at the
majority of mainline Protestant seminaries,
and the position of the Catholic Church.
• God creates through the laws of nature
• Acceptance of descent with modiﬁcation
• To what degree does God intervene
Origin of humans? Origin of human mental
33. AGNOSTIC EVOLUTION
Accept the scientiﬁc evidence
that evolution occurred but do
not consider important the
question of whether God is or
was or will be involved.
• Prescriptiveclaim that Belief in
God must be supported by
• Any belief is rational if and only if
there is sufﬁcient evidence to
support it, and rationality is in
direct proportion to the balance
• Claimthat basic beliefs can be
held without objective, rational
• Fideism: religious
belief must be
based on faith alone.
• Faith: Firm
belief in something
for which there is no proof.
38. KURT WISE
“If all the evidence in the
universe turns against
creationism, I would be the
ﬁrst to admit it, but I would
still be a creationist because
that is what the Word of
God seems to indicate.”