Questioning Expertise (moved comments)

They make empirical claims, even if you did not come by them using empirical methods.

What, for example, do you mean by this?

They purport to make claims about reality.

Sounds to me as if he has adopted an epistemic position similar to that of Kurt Wise and Todd Wood. His interpretation of Genesis is correct and determines truth, and the most science can do is agree with that truth, deal with ambiguous of unmentioned points, and show that the evidence has been misinterpreted by mainstream science. He differs in that he thinks that’s already happened, while Wise and Wood trust that it will happen some day.

Not remotely. They agree evolutionary science has some legitimacy and makes some real sense. @PDPrice doesn’t.

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Not remotely what? I have pointed to certain similarities and certain differences. Which of them, specifically, do you disagree with?

Wise and Wood admit only that much evidence currently seems to support evolution, but the accent is on “seems”, because they are confident that a creationist explanation will eventually be found. Price differs in that he doesn’t think even the seeming is there.

But that’s a pretty big difference, isn’t it? I would not say that the evidence supports evolution in any legitimate way–only that it can be interpreted that way if you ignore the full picture and ignore the inherent implausibility of Darwinism.

Why would you say that when it’s only evolutionary theory which provides one coherent consilient explanation for ALL the evidence? YEC world requires a different ad hoc explanation for each piece of evidence separately not caring if two such ad hoc explanations directly contradict each other.

Science has the consilience. Science wins. :slightly_smiling_face:


It is. Differences and similarities. The similarity is that you all say that your understanding of Genesis is the only real guide to truth, and whether scientific data seems to agree or disagree is not all that important.


Yeah. It isn’t. Place yourself in the position of believing in God and you’ll quickly see that whatever God says takes precedence. Anybody who says they believe in God and then places anything above what God says is clearly not being consistent.

I’d be interested in Christians’ comments on that statement. Of course there’s much disagreement about just what it is that God says. In order to make that work, you have to be sure that your interpretation is the correct one. Clearly, you have no doubts.

Would you agree that it’s impossible to do science if you think empirical evidence doesn’t matter?

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What about people who confuse what God said in the physical evidence with their personal interpretations of fallible-human written scripture?

Humans wrote the Bible, God wrote the rocks.

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Yes, that is why I trust the geologic column which God gave us—as just one example. I’m certainly not going to doubt the validity of what God has revealed to us about the history of the world he created, and that includes what God has revealed in the rock strata. I don’t consider special revelation and general revelation in conflict. (When situations arise where the two appear to be in conflict, I assume that my understanding of one or the other or both is in error. And I keep investigating all of the data. I don’t quit and simply assume that my Bible interpretation is immune to human fallibility.)


Again, the fallacy of disagreement is raised. If this isn’t listed as an informal fallacy, it certainly should be. The existence of any number of people disagreeing about something is no proof that that thing is unclear. Only that people for whatever reason have a hard time believing it.

No, not at all. Now you’re implicitly taking my words out of context. I said it doesn’t matter with regards to what God said. In principle, no perceived empirical evidence can contradict God legitimately. I’m not seeing any evidence that you have “put yourself in the position of believing in God” yet. Because I cannot see how you could disagree with that, if you had.

Nearly all the founders of the fields of modern science were Christians, and I’m sure at least the majority of them would have agreed that they were not doing science to prove or disprove the Bible, but rather to learn more about the world we live in. Clearly they were able to do science even though they had a regard for Scripture as infallible.

This is Hugh Ross’ “nature is the 67th book of the Bible” falsehood. God didn’t give us the geologic column directly, but rather indirectly by means of the Flood. For that matter, God did not give us the incorrect interpretations of the geologic column that you say you’re certainly not going to doubt. Fallible people did. You’re treating evolutionary consensus as if it were part of the word of God, which is by no means appropriate.

I can’t speak for @RonSewell, but speaking for myself:

  • I would respect the expertise of John Sanford in the fields of Horticulture and Plant Genetics.

  • I would respect the expertise of Robert Carter in the field of Marine Biology.

  • I would respect the expertise of Don Batten in the field of Horticulture.

  • I would respect the expertise of Jim Mason in the field of Experimental Nuclear Physics.

  • I would respect the expertise of Jonathan Sarfati in the field of Spectroscopy of chemicals.

Are you likely to be presenting evidence from these experts, in these their fields of expertise?



You’re taking a single statement I made out of context and responding selectively only to that. I don’t think that’s a productive way to have discussion. Don’t snipe at things you think you can retort to while ignoring everything else that was said.

Do you confine your respect for Darwin and his pronouncements exclusively to theology? (Since theology was his only formal training)

True, it’s not proof, but it could be evidence. Your absolute certainty isn’t proof either. It’s hardly even evidence. My point is that it’s possible to believe both that the bible is inerrant and that it doesn’t say what you think it does. And you have not considered that possibility.

You are conflating “Christian” with “regard for scripture as infallible” (and you interpret the latter only with respect to your own interpretation); not necessarily true at all. You may recall that Newton, for example, rejected the trinity. Nobody does science to prove or disprove the bible, and nobody said they did. But you can’t learn more about the world we live in if you decide in advance what evidence must show or assume your conclusion. You can’t do science if you decide that evidence is unimportant, whether it’s because you know what God said or some other reason.

In what way do you think empirical evidence matters when deciding questions on which Genesis touches?


I have considered it, and rejected it.

That depends upon what conclusion you’re talking about. If you’re talking about the revelation of the Bible, then we don’t need science to learn those things are true. We already know they are true. If you’re talking about things we cannot learn from Scripture, then science certainly plays a role in helping us learn those things.

Place yourself in the position of believing in God. Now place yourself in the position of believing that God is able to communicate clearly, and has done so, such that we can understand what God intended to say. When God says he created in 6 days, we can believe he really did mean to say that.

Now, you can answer your own question.

Am I though? I remember you citing Sarfati quite recently, and it wasn’t in the field of Spectroscopy. Is it possible that what makes @RonSewell call their work “perversely mistaken” is related to the fact that their “life’s work” is being performed well outside their areas of expertise?

What I saw from you was a list of “experts” whose fields of expertise seem to have little-to-no relevance on issues that their opinions are often presented to support. Is it surprising then that their opinions aren’t given much weight?

Addendum: I tracked down Batten’s bio via the following article. Could you explain how it has any basis whatsoever within his field of expertise of Horticulture?

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