Questioning Evolution: The Push to Change Science Class

I took your statement to mean that you think the question is not assessed on the basis of scientific evidence.

However, this doesn’t seem entirely correct to me, if it is possible for scientific evidence to bear any weight on an answer to the question.

Mere science would be investigating a question as per the regular restrictions, rules and conduct of science, where-as an investigation in bioethics (for example) that relies on some scientific evidence for its conclusions would seem to be scientific in some small way, even though the overall investigation is not.



Every once in a while, a Christian (or some other kind of theist) has to think and talk like a Christian (or some other kind of theist).

This engages the whole Universe of disciplines and studies.

A scientist who is a Christian doesn’t have to say “God did it”, to believe “God did it”.

So, this sentence you have contrived: “It’s bad science to say God … [etc. etc]” is rather beyond the point. This is what makes I.D. proponents so vulnerable. They attempt to make a Scientific statement with the word God in it.

Christians who accept Evolution are more like Behe: they don’t have to say that God did or didn’t do something… he just knows. But unlike Behe, most Christians do not try to change science with that knowledge.

If a scientist were to say “God guides the weather”, I would not take him to be doing bad science. I would take him to be making a personal statement that is not intended to be seen as scientific.


Okay. I’d ask him how he knows that, and if that method of knowing can be shown to be reliable in any way, and then watch in horror at the special pleading.


I wouldn’t ask. We already know that humans are flawed.


8 posts were split to a new topic: Are Untestable Statements Necessarily “Bad Science”?


It is not possible for science to bear any weight on the question of God.

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Hi Thomas,

I’m curious what kind of methodologically natural finding would in your opinion be capable of detecting God’s action.

It is certainly possible that you might find some evidence that cannot be explained by current scientific theories. This happened in the 19th century when the procession of Mercury’s orbit puzzled the entire astronomical community. But eventually Einstein dreamed up general relativity and solved the problem.

So how would you know whether some piece of currently unexplainable evidence was a sign of divine action, rather than something like the procession of Mercury that will ultimately be explained by a scientific theory that no one has dreamed of yet?



Fine-tuning is an example of scientific evidence that bears weight on the probability of theism.

I should clarify that when I say ‘bearing weight on a question’, I’m not necessarily referring to an empirical observation of divine action. In this case I am referring to any observation or evidence that could have bearing on the probability that evolution is guided or not.

The idea here is that any evidence that we could say would be more expected under or consistent with guided evolution than unguided evolution would count as evidence of the former and vice versa.

Skeptics make arguments on this basis by arguing that certain biological observations are inconsistent with guided evolution (or theism more broadly) being true. Observations typically included are the ones which consider the optimization of different organs or anatomical features relative to their function.


Not really.

Fine tuning is a poetic expression of the wonder experienced while viewing creation. It is not a logical deduction.

Imagine any part of the Universe where life occurs on the very fringe of possibility … even while life abounds elsewhere.

Naturally, the living things on the fringe think they exist only because of the will of the divine. It’s a natural outcome of human emotions!

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You don’t think a universe fine-tuned for life is more probable on theism than naturalism?


Probabilities? There is the perception of increased probability. But I do not think it can be quantified enough to make it a deduction.

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I don’t think that deduction is necessary for it to be quantifiable


So how do you attach a QUANTITY to it?

Any science fiction writer worth his salt can write an amazing book about a rare life form, or a once-in-a-million-like occurrence.

But the vast majority of such science fiction stories don’t end with the discovery of God.

By assigning the conditionals reasonable numbers based on what we would expect, given the hypothesis and other background information.

There can be reasonable disagreement about what numbers to attach, but I’m not really aware of anyone who works with fine tuning who thinks that you can’t quantify the probability of the evidence according to different hypotheses (including theism or naturalism).


Without an independent variable it is nothing but poetry and speculation.

To use an analogy . . .

I have a giant bag full of little tiles. I pull one of the tiles out and it has the number 54482902 on it. From that information alone, what is the probability that I would draw a tile with that number on it? How would you calculate that probability?

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1 in 108965803. cf “German Tank Problem”.

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That assumes sequential numbering which can’t be determined in the given problem.

It can’t be determined in the German Tank Problem either.

(What has PS got against fast typists?)

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