This picture sums up the common public perception of scientists; ever at work in the laboratory, always carefully assessing new ideas, to see what stands the test of proof, but it is a false impression. Most of science, for most of the time, simply does not work this way. The picture might be a fair depiction of certain research science, as well as the work of those training for science degrees, but the 'big hitters' of science will not be found in laboratories. Modern science is largely a myriad of often overly politically-motivated interests which continually jostle for the best position as they work within already-accepted theories. To genuinely 'think outside the box' is to potentially jeopardize a scientist's career.
T he above claim continues to be made (in some shape or form) by evolutionary scientists who reject any concept of Theism (belief in an all-powerful God). They claim that if they cannot test a thing by some laboratory experiment - or, more likely, series of such experiments, even perhaps over many years, then they must reject that thing. The amazing thing is that the unstudied general public have followed this disingenuous "scientific" claim hook, line and sinker. But it is sheer hokum - it is not how modern science works! Moreover all scientists know this but continue to perpetuate this untrue image.
Your average Joe and Joan in the street - especially in Europe, far less so in the United States - think that 'modern science' must be held in the highest respect, that it has already demonstrated that it has the answers, that it has already discredited any belief in God. As a Christian Apologetics writer I am often surprised at how widespread, at least here in Europe, is the belief that evolution is fully vindicated, that it has answered all its critics. For many people Christianity should now restrict itself to 'religion' and to talking about Jesus. The creation? Leave that well alone! Any concept of "divine creation" is now only fit for the recycle bin! Of course, this careless assumption - even if made by thousands - is very far from the truth. Many thousands have had the wool pulled over their eyes.
Some don't seem to understand that modern science moves forwards through theories; it knows that it cannot prove very much, yet its consideration of 'evidence' is often flawed and biased in favour of currently-held theories. What modern evolutionary science is really good at, however, is propaganda. Its propagandists have been active. We have had the late Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), the late Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), and we still have the ever-present Richard Dawkins. There are still others but these have been some of the best known. These people have been - and are - professional atheists, argumentalists and polemicists, but it is argument, ridicule, scorn, bending the rules of good honest and fair argument, which they have 'majored' in - in short, it is pure propaganda which has been the tool of their trade; yet, without question, they are persuasive to many. Lamentably, Joe and Joan Public tend to mistake their over-confidence and hostility towards Theism and Christianity with that of people who have conclusively established their case. But that is just not so. We all need to separate aggressive propaganda from what is truly known and what has been truly established. As the more honest scientists of an earlier age always freely admitted, science is not even capable of looking at, and deciding upon, metaphysical questions - those areas are totally outside of their remit and scope.
Muddying the Waters...
Scientists have become experts at 'muddying the waters' to help confuse the young/unwise/unread/gullible. Very typical is the insistence that natural selection and variation within kinds is "proof" of evolution. Natural Selection, often according to known variations in conditions/surroundings is well-established; this has become known as 'micro-evolution.' It's a lamentable term but we seem to be stuck with it. So a scientist will note how a particular creature has "evolved" according, perhaps, to local climate, or some other factor, and triumphantly proclaim, "That's evolution - that's how we got here!" The claim, is, of course, sheer nonsense. A butterfly may vary, a dog may vary, a bird may vary - but all remain true to their type just as Genesis said would be the case. (things would reproduce only according to their kinds). None of those creatures will ever 'evolve' into anything else, so that is - most assuredly - NOT "how we got here." The irony is that every experiment which a scientist may conduct will confirm for him/her that no jump in kind is possible, so mutations are called into play even though the scientist will also know (or should know) that mutations are 98% deleterious! This is how they then proceed to 'bend' the evidence to fit the theory; their theory breaks the known and established laws of science but 'no matter, we must continue to teach this thing,' is the flawed approach.
Truth is: the theory that we are descended from apes over many millions of years from a beginning in some primeval concoction of slime is called 'macro-evolution' - this cannot be established. It is also very unscientific since scientists are well aware that life can only come from life, so how did life start? They don't know. So micro-evolution is established, but macro-evolution is, frankly, a fanciful fairy tale with no proof and with all the evidence pointing in the wrong direction - for evolutionists, that is. Nevertheless, they continue to attempt to force the evidence to fit the theory, rather than allowing the evidence to speak for itself - amazing!
Typical of the flawed reasoning of much modern evolutionary science is the following quote:
"In this lecture series I make a basic assumption that life emerged by some kind of natural process. I propose that life arose by a sequence of events that are completely consistent with the natural laws of chemistry and physics. In this assumption I am like most other scientists. I believe in a universe that is ordered by these natural laws. Like other scientists, I rely on the power of observations and experiments and theoretical reasoning to understand how the cosmos came to be the way it is." (Robert Hazen, 2005, Origins of Life, audio-taped lecture from Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company).
The above quote comes from evolutionary geologist Robert Hazen, who holds a Ph.D. in Earth Science from Harvard University, is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory and a professor of Earth Science at George Mason University. One might say, a highly distinguished scientist, but note the confusion in that statement! Firstly, Hazen admits that he bases his reasoning on "a basic assumption that life emerged by some kind of natural process," so here is an assumption that something happened which contravenes a well-established law of science, i.e., that life can only emerge from life. So this distinguished gentleman starts out with an assumption which flies in the face of well-established science. He then proposes a "sequence of events that are completely consistent with the natural laws of chemistry and physics." Of course, he has already admitted that this "sequence of events" is a mere assumption and something indeed which could never be established in any laboratory experiment! Despite this, he proceeds to state, "I believe in a universe that is ordered by these natural laws." Indeed, we all live in a law-abiding universe yet this learned man is quite prepared to suspend all known laws of chemistry and physics in his highly confused statement. He concludes by stating the bogus old chestnut, 'only what we can prove' claim, "I rely on the power of observations and experiments...," but he does finally admit that he holds to "theoretical reasoning." So his statement is based on an assumption (he uses the word twice in this brief statement alone), he "proposes" that life came from non-life which he states that he "believes" is the way the world came to be "the way it is."
One might well ask, how did we ever get to the place where such pure nonsense coming from the lips of a "highly learned scientist" is considered acceptable?
"Scientists love to paint the picture that believers live in a world of 'faith' and that that should not be confused with "real science." Theists are often depicted as airy-fairy imaginists to whom science and proof are alien environments. They often say that it is they (scientists) who inhabit the 'real world,' and that their world is a world of facts, figures and matter; they cannot be concerned with concepts of angels and God since these things are purely imaginary mental/poetic/spiritual-type constructs. But who really inhabits the world of "faith" and who sticks to proven and established science?"
What is 'Matter' Anyway?
Scientists love to paint the picture that believers live in a world of 'faith' and that that should not be confused with "real science." Theists are often depicted as airy-fairy imaginists to whom science and proof are alien environments. They often say that it is they (scientists) who inhabit the 'real world,' and that their world is a world of facts, figures and matter; they cannot be concerned with concepts of angels and God since these things are purely imaginary mental/poetic/spiritual-type constructs. But when scientists finally identified and isolated the atom they had a huge shock. Here is the basic component of matter and the material world, but what did they find? An atom is 98% empty space! It has been said, 'the trouble with matter is that when you finally pin it down it is not really matter!' Inside the atom you have the nucleus made up of neutrons and protons, that part is right at the centre of the atom and is unbelievably tiny, then you have electrons which continually whizz around the sides of the atom as though in orbit. But - putting it all together - an atom is 98% empty space! The whole thing is mysterious and is not really 'matter' as such. Many scientists admit that the workings of the atom, and certainly of the even tinier quark, are an utter mystery to them; oh, there are bits they understand, of course, but not too much.
Everything is made up of atoms, and inside atoms are electrons, protons and neutrons. They, in turn, are made of quarks and other subatomic particles. Scientists have long puzzled over how these minute building blocks of the universe acquire mass. Without mass, particles wouldn't hold together and there would be no matter, don't forget: within an atom it is 98% empty space. But science cannot understand this mystery.
Scientists are now looking at quarks (incredibly minute!) but we won't go there. The point here is this: Scientists want to say that the material, the 'here and now,' the physical world is everything there is, but when they attempt to tie it down, they come to mysterious components which don't even appear to be part of the physical. Most scientists will admit to you that they are years away from properly understanding the atom, or understanding the quark. It was a shock to science when it was discovered that 'solid' objects are mostly empty space! How can that be explained?
As Moslem Creationist Adnan Oktar has explained it,
"Air, water, mountains, animals, plants, your body, the chair on which you sit, in short, everything you see, touch, and feel, from the heaviest to the lightest is formed of atoms. Each page of the book you hold in your hand comprises billions of atoms. Atoms are particles so minute that it is impossible to view one even with the most powerful microscopes. The diameter of an atom is only of the order of one millionth of a millimetre.... Let us suppose that we want to count all the atoms in a single grain of salt and let us assume that we are able to count one billion (1,000,000,000) atoms per second. Despite our considerable deftness, we would need over five hundred years to count the number of atoms inside this tiny grain of salt."
"If science still cannot properly explain the atom - much less the unbelievably tiny quarks inside the atom - how can they be considered qualified to tell us how the huge abundance, variation and entirety of life started upon this earth? The truth is: they don't know how life started, but still prefer to work within a 19th century theory (macro-evolution) even though that theory is now shot through with many holes."
On the even tinier quarks, Oktar writes,
"Until [circa] 20 years ago, it was believed that the smallest particles making up the atoms were protons and neutrons. Yet, most recently, it has been discovered that there are much smaller particles in the atom that form the above mentioned particles...This discovery led to the development of a branch of physics called "Particle Physics" investigating the "sub-particles" within the atom and their particular movements. Research conducted by particle physics revealed that the protons and neutrons making up the atom are actually formed of sub-particles called "quarks." (Source: http://www.signsofcreation.com/atom04.htm)
A few years ago I asked a scientist working at Cardiff University if he could explain a 'quark' to me. He said, "Nobody can fully explain a quark except by using vast speculation. It is a mystery. If a scientist tells you he can explain a quark, or even all the workings of the atom he is not being honest with you. Even the atom is not yet fully understood; sure, there are things we now know about atoms but large areas where we are still in the dark. We are years away..."
So scientists don't have all the answers; there are great swathes of things which they don't understand and every single honest scientist will admit that to you!
So just consider the following question:
If scientists are probably years away from properly understanding the basic atom with its strange behaviour, how can they be considered qualified to tell us how life started on this earth? They cannot explain the smallest atom, the building block of the physical and material world, yet the huge mystery of how life started? Oh yes, they will tell you a lot about that, but it is all according to the theory of Darwinism, a little bit more of which is discredited every year. It is time we stopped bowing down in reverence to modern science in its highly flawed Darwinist roots!
A Philosopher of Science Pinpointed the Problems
Dr Paul Feyerabend was a most distinguished Austrian philosopher of science. He had a most brilliant mind, as even his enemies allowed. His 1994 death was a great loss to those who are prepared to challenge evolutionary assumptions. In his famous 1975 book, 'Against Method,' he wrote,
"...all we can say is that scientists proceed in many different ways, that rules of method, if mentioned explicitly, are either not obeyed at all, or function at most like rules of thumb...the idea that 'scientific knowledge' is in some way peculiarly positive and free from differences of opinion is nothing but a chimaera." [chimaera: A fanciful mental illusion or a fabrication]. (p. 253).
"...What's so great about science?....For what the general public seems to assume is that the achievements they read about in the educational pages of their newspapers and the threats they seem to perceive come from a single source and are produced by a uniform procedure. They know that biology is different from physics which is different from geology. But these disciplines, it is assumed, arise when 'the scientific way' is applied to different topics; the scientific way itself, however, remains the same...[but] scientific practice is much more diverse..." (p. 258).
For Paul Feyerabend, science has not progressed by applying a so-called 'scientific way' across a broad front at all, and while 'modern science' invariably presents a unified 'only what is proven' front, this really is no more than a facade for the masses. The reality is that modern science is perfectly happy to contravene all known and established laws of science in the pursuance of a theoretical approach. Moreover, it is a myriad of often overly politically-motivated interests which jostle for the best position. The public has the image of countless 'white coat' experiments being endlessly conducted until evidence on any issue becomes too strong to ignore, this always being conducted in an utterly neutral and non-political manner. This, however, is simply not the way that science works. It also proceeds in a narrow tunnel of naturalism in which no outside influences are allowed entry.
For Feyerabend - and others who have carefully looked at the behaviour of modern science, or scientism, such a narrow approach is not only unhealthy but positively dangerous. Feyerabend was especially angry at the arrogant way in which 'science' quickly rejects any insights or attitudes of compassion from the humanities and from a nation's culture, insisting that it should stand alone as being considered the leading light into knowledge, further insight and discovery; the implication here is that there can only be one methodology for human progress, that being a narrow, naturalistic one. Pilate famously asked, 'What is truth?' - science now insists that the way into further truth for the human race can only be a scientific enterprise. Moreover, governments across the world are acquiescing in this. But this is philosophically flawed to its very roots.
Against this almost universal governmental support of modern science, Feyerabend wrote,
"Science is neither a single tradition, nor the best tradition there is, except for people who have become accustomed to its presence, its benefits and its disadvantages. In a democracy it [modern science] should be separated from the state just as churches are now separated from the state." (p.xxxii, Analytical Index).
Feyerabend also challenged the slavish devotion to an old theory (evolution) by scientists, stating,
"...Demands that new hypotheses agree with accepted theories is unreasonable because it preserves the older theory, and not the better theory. Hypotheses contradicting well-confirmed theories give us evidence that cannot be obtained in any other way. Proliferation of theories is beneficial for science, while uniformity impairs its critical power. Uniformity also endangers the free development of the individual." (p. 17).
Against this valuable insight, we see students who dare to challenge uniformist Darwinist religion (which is what it has become) being thrown off courses in both Europe and America! We also see almost all "science" programmes on both BBC television and the National Geographic Channel bowing down to Darwinism, or Neo-Darwinism, in a most meekly unchallenging fashion!
There is no reason why we should take the pronouncements of 'modern science' seriously since its insistence on only operating within a materialistic and naturalistic tunnel means that it purposely leave many things out of its considerations and reasonings (morality and considerations of the metaphysical being just two of them). Within their own realm, most modern scientists also still cannot explain the basic behaviour of the atom (much less the quarks within the atom!), and there remain huge areas of life which are mysterious to them. We cannot blame them for that, but we should blame those among their number who presume to tell us that God doesn't exist when they also tell us that science is unconcerned with anything which is spiritual, since it confines itself to the physical world (a world which, as we have seen, science still does not understand at a most basic and elementary level).
Modern science, then, is overly-guided by hype, speculation, supposition and propaganda. The great scientists of the past always said that they try to explain how things work but would never be able to explain the meaning of life. It is only the newer brand of atheist propagandist scientists who intrude into that territory.
Therefore modern science, bowing before Darwinism, does not deserve our utter and wholehearted respect; it will be right in some areas and wrong in other areas. Its genuine and full understanding is seriously limited but it does not like to admit this fact as it presently moves along according to blind Darwinistic theory.
Robin A. Brace. July 25th, 2012.
(All the Paul Feyerabend quotes come from 'Against Method,' Fourth edition, 2010. Paperback from Verso of London).