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THE NATURE
OF SCIENCE
A systematic method for understanding facts about the natural
world with reference to natural law.
FACT

• “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)

• “Truth
       in science is never final, and what is accepted as a fact
 today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow.” (NAS,
 1998)
NATURALISM

   Methodological: Science can only
   study nature using natural laws.
   Supernatural entities, while they
   may exist, are not allowed as
   scientific explanations of
   phenomena.

   Philosophical: The supernatural
   does not exist.
POPULAR HIERARCHY

            Fact

         Hypothesis

          Theory
THEORY


• “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)
Theories are the ultimate goal of science. They explain facts
and are tested by generating hypotheses. These three things
are distinct aspects of science.




                              Hypothesis

                                   Fact
HYPOTHESIS


• “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)
LAW

• 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.
LAW OF UNIVERSAL
  GRAVITATION
GRAVITY

• 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.
GENERAL RELATIVITY

        • Gravity
                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”?
“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
WHAT MAKES A “GOOD”
      THEORY
                • Fecundity

                • Tentative

                • Testable

                • Falsifiable

                • Naturalistic


 Michael Ruse
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
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.
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
             method.”


             Henry Morris, Scientific Creationism, p. 5
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
          theory.”


          Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Say No! p. 13
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
         belief.
Belief: Confidence, faith or trust in the truth or existence of
something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
RELIGION

•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.
Allegorically
                True

Literally                   “Simply A
  True                       Story”



             Revealed
               Text
AUGUSTINE


“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.”
Christina of Lorraine
THE TWO BOOKS
Flat Earthers

      Geocentrists

Young Earth Creationists
                             Continuum
 Old Earth Creationists          of
                              Positions
Progressive Creationists

 Theistic Evolutionists

Naturalistic Evolutionists
• Young Earth Creationism
Literalism     • “Scientific Creationism”



               • Progressive Creationism
 Old Earth




               • Theistic Evolution
Naturalistic   • Agnostic or Atheistic Evolution
STRICT BIBLICAL LITERALISM

       Flat-Earthism                       Geocentrism

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.”
YOUNG EARTH OR
“SCIENTIFIC” CREATIONISM
         •   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.
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
                                           or Evolutionary
 the Earth but general          Creationism
 rejection of evolution
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
         organisms.
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
         capacity?
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.




T.H. Huxley
• Intelligent Design
Literalism




               • Intelligent Design
 Old Earth




               • Naturalistic “Design”
Naturalistic
• Methodological Theism
             • Philosophical Theism
Literalism




          • Methodological Naturalism
Old Earth
          • Philosophical Theism



             • Methodological Naturalism
Naturalistic
             • Philosophical Naturalism or Theism
EVIDENTIALISM
             • Prescriptiveclaim that Belief in
              God must be supported by
              objective evidence.

             • Any belief is rational if and only if
              there is sufficient evidence to
              support it, and rationality is in
              direct proportion to the balance
              of evidence.


David Hume
NON-EVIDENTIALISM

                    • Claimthat basic beliefs can be
                     held without objective, rational
                     evidence.

                    • Fideism: religious
                                       belief must be
                     based on faith alone.

                    • Faith: Firm
                                belief in something
                     for which there is no proof.

Soren Kierkegaard
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.”
What is Science
What is Science

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What is Science

  • 2.
  • 3. A systematic method for understanding facts about the natural world with reference to natural law.
  • 4. FACT • “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) • “Truth in science is never final, and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow.” (NAS, 1998)
  • 5. NATURALISM Methodological: Science can only study nature using natural laws. Supernatural entities, while they may exist, are not allowed as scientific explanations of phenomena. Philosophical: The supernatural does not exist.
  • 6.
  • 7. POPULAR HIERARCHY Fact Hypothesis Theory
  • 8. THEORY • “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)
  • 9. Theories are the ultimate goal of science. They explain facts and are tested by generating hypotheses. These three things are distinct aspects of science. Hypothesis Fact
  • 10. HYPOTHESIS • “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)
  • 11. LAW • 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.
  • 12. LAW OF UNIVERSAL GRAVITATION
  • 13. GRAVITY • 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.
  • 14. GENERAL RELATIVITY • Gravity 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”?
  • 15. “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
  • 16. WHAT MAKES A “GOOD” THEORY • Fecundity • Tentative • Testable • Falsifiable • Naturalistic Michael Ruse
  • 17.
  • 18. 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
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 26. 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.
  • 27. 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 method.” Henry Morris, Scientific Creationism, p. 5
  • 28. 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 theory.” Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Say No! p. 13
  • 29. 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 belief.
  • 30. Belief: Confidence, faith or trust in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
  • 31. RELIGION •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.
  • 32.
  • 33. Allegorically True Literally “Simply A True Story” Revealed Text
  • 34. AUGUSTINE “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.”
  • 37. Flat Earthers Geocentrists Young Earth Creationists Continuum Old Earth Creationists of Positions Progressive Creationists Theistic Evolutionists Naturalistic Evolutionists
  • 38. • Young Earth Creationism Literalism • “Scientific Creationism” • Progressive Creationism Old Earth • Theistic Evolution Naturalistic • Agnostic or Atheistic Evolution
  • 39. STRICT BIBLICAL LITERALISM Flat-Earthism Geocentrism 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.”
  • 40. YOUNG EARTH OR “SCIENTIFIC” CREATIONISM • 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.
  • 41.
  • 42. 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 or Evolutionary the Earth but general Creationism rejection of evolution
  • 43. 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 organisms.
  • 44. 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 capacity?
  • 45. 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. T.H. Huxley
  • 46. • Intelligent Design Literalism • Intelligent Design Old Earth • Naturalistic “Design” Naturalistic
  • 47. • Methodological Theism • Philosophical Theism Literalism • Methodological Naturalism Old Earth • Philosophical Theism • Methodological Naturalism Naturalistic • Philosophical Naturalism or Theism
  • 48. EVIDENTIALISM • Prescriptiveclaim that Belief in God must be supported by objective evidence. • Any belief is rational if and only if there is sufficient evidence to support it, and rationality is in direct proportion to the balance of evidence. David Hume
  • 49. NON-EVIDENTIALISM • Claimthat basic beliefs can be held without objective, rational evidence. • Fideism: religious belief must be based on faith alone. • Faith: Firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Soren Kierkegaard
  • 50. 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.”