Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Faith and Science

I have wondered before why some people of faith, instead of simply affirming their faith, insist on presenting their beliefs as science . Transterrestrial Musings has a very good explanation [the context is a discussion about intelligent design (ID), but the explanation has general applicability]:

Proof of the validity of the theory (and there's nothing about that word that should shake our confidence in evolution or any other scientific theory) of evolution does not, and cannot, exist. And that's true not only for evolution, but for gravity, quantum chromodynamics, and any scientific theory that one wants to consider. Proving that theories are correct simply isn't how science works.

How science works is by putting forth theories that are disprovable, not ones that are provable. When all other theories have been disproven, those still standing are the ones adopted by most scientists. ID is not a scientific theory, because it fails the test of being disprovable (or to be more precise, non-falsifiable), right out of the box. If Hugh [Hewitt] doesn't believe this, then let him postulate an experiment that one could perform, even in thought, that would show it to be false. ID simply says, "I'm not smart enough to figure out how this structure could evolve, therefore there must have been a designer." That's not science--it's simply an invocation of a deus ex machina, whether its proponents are willing to admit it or not. And it doesn't belong in a science classroom, except as an example of what's not science.


They [creationists] seem to think that if science doesn't validate their faith, then their faith is somehow thereby weakened, and that they must fight for its acceptance in that realm.

But that's nonsense. Faith is faith. It by definition requires a suspension of disbelief. If their faith hasn't the strength to withstand science, then they should reexamine their faith, not attempt (one hopes in futility) to bring down a different belief system that is entirely orthogonal to it.

(via Instapundit)


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