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Thread: A master's degree in "creation science"!?

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    A master's degree in "creation science"!?

    Last week the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board denied an application by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to offer an accredited Master of Science degree. ICR has responded by calling the decision "a blow to academic freedom."

    Personally I don't think you can call yourself a scientist when you don't form hypotheses, collect data, observe evidence, test your hypothesis, and change your conclusions based on what you've learned through experimentation.

    As I understand "creation science", the conclusion is already in - God did it. There's nothing to test for, nothing to research or observe, and the biggest impediment to real science - there's no falsifiable theory. The conclusion that God did it is not up for debate. Real science doesn't start with a conclusion and work backwards so it makes total sense that this degree program would be rejected. The Texas Freedom Network sponsored a survey that queried nearly 900 university faculty in Texas. Ninety-five percent of the respondents believed that the degree application should be denied.

    Here's a comment from one professor:
    Science seeks out truths about the nature of the physical universe. It is all about freedom of inquiry. Creationism claims to already hold the truth, leaving the only role for inquiry that of supporting what is already known. This is not only completely unscientific, it represents a type of narrow fundamentalist thinking (like that which we so strongly oppose in other cultures) that sets the stage for a return to the terrible loss of freedoms suffered by those early scientists who had to sign loyalty oaths, submit their work to religious censors or worse.

    - Eric Swanson, professor of geology, University of Texas at San Antonio
    I'm curious what creationists here think. Do you think your belief system should be an accredited degree program in a science curriculum alongside hard sciences such as biology, geology, chemistry and bio-mechanical engineering?

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    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    Last week the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board denied an application by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to offer an accredited Master of Science degree. ICR has responded by calling the decision "a blow to academic freedom."

    Personally I don't think you can call yourself a scientist when you don't form hypotheses, collect data, observe evidence, test your hypothesis, and change your conclusions based on what you've learned through experimentation.

    As I understand "creation science", the conclusion is already in - God did it. There's nothing to test for, nothing to research or observe, and the biggest impediment to real science - there's no falsifiable theory. The conclusion that God did it is not up for debate. Real science doesn't start with a conclusion and work backwards so it makes total sense that this degree program would be rejected. The Texas Freedom Network sponsored a survey that queried nearly 900 university faculty in Texas. Ninety-five percent of the respondents believed that the degree application should be denied.

    Here's a comment from one professor:
    Science seeks out truths about the nature of the physical universe. It is all about freedom of inquiry. Creationism claims to already hold the truth, leaving the only role for inquiry that of supporting what is already known. This is not only completely unscientific, it represents a type of narrow fundamentalist thinking (like that which we so strongly oppose in other cultures) that sets the stage for a return to the terrible loss of freedoms suffered by those early scientists who had to sign loyalty oaths, submit their work to religious censors or worse.

    - Eric Swanson, professor of geology, University of Texas at San Antonio
    I'm curious what creationists here think. Do you think your belief system should be an accredited degree program in a science curriculum alongside hard sciences such as biology, geology, chemistry and bio-mechanical engineering?

    I completely understand what you're saying.... but I think MOST science starts with a conclusion (or an idea / hypothesis) & works backwards.... testing the findings, & compiling the results, so that a person can make an honest and fair decision based on the actual evidence.

    The thing about "creationists" is this: They've seen the theories presented by secular scientists about how the Universe began... and everything those scientists claim concerning random chance has been shown to be flawed.

    When you get down to realistic, logical evidence, none of the "Big Bang / Random Chance" explanations holds up.

    I think TRUE science should actually look at ALL the evidence & possibilities.... including "Creation".

    Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    _______________________________________________
    There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
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    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    Personally I don't think you can call yourself a scientist when you don't form hypotheses, collect data, observe evidence, test your hypothesis, and change your conclusions based on what you've learned through experimentation.
    That's a funny thing to say...

    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    Real science doesn't start with a conclusion and work backwards so it makes total sense that this degree program would be rejected.
    Sure it does, even my Scottish friend agrees.

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    Perhaps the fairest way forward would be for someone/ somewhere to allow this degree to be completed, then everyone could judge the content?

    Until then I'll recommend the book: The Case for Faith (yes friends again, and I'm not on commision and I don't know the author ).

    I'm just reading this myself at the moment and it has an excellent chapter on Evolution, and other chapters on the main reason people reject the Christian faith. A genuine seeker has nothing to lose and much perhaps to gain by reading this book and the authors previous book: The Case for Christ. Looking at the evidence and facts outside the bible. SofTy.
    1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

    Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptised in the name of Paul?

    KJV

    May the power of the Spirit of our God unite us. SofTy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    Last week the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board denied an application by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to offer an accredited Master of Science degree. ICR has responded by calling the decision "a blow to academic freedom."

    Personally I don't think you can call yourself a scientist when you don't form hypotheses, collect data, observe evidence, test your hypothesis, and change your conclusions based on what you've learned through experimentation.

    As I understand "creation science", the conclusion is already in - God did it. There's nothing to test for, nothing to research or observe, and the biggest impediment to real science - there's no falsifiable theory. The conclusion that God did it is not up for debate. Real science doesn't start with a conclusion and work backwards so it makes total sense that this degree program would be rejected. The Texas Freedom Network sponsored a survey that queried nearly 900 university faculty in Texas. Ninety-five percent of the respondents believed that the degree application should be denied.

    Here's a comment from one professor:
    Science seeks out truths about the nature of the physical universe. It is all about freedom of inquiry. Creationism claims to already hold the truth, leaving the only role for inquiry that of supporting what is already known. This is not only completely unscientific, it represents a type of narrow fundamentalist thinking (like that which we so strongly oppose in other cultures) that sets the stage for a return to the terrible loss of freedoms suffered by those early scientists who had to sign loyalty oaths, submit their work to religious censors or worse.

    - Eric Swanson, professor of geology, University of Texas at San Antonio
    I'm curious what creationists here think. Do you think your belief system should be an accredited degree program in a science curriculum alongside hard sciences such as biology, geology, chemistry and bio-mechanical engineering?
    Any science starts with forming a hypothesis and testing the hypothesis against observable evidence.

    How is a degree in, say, evolutionary zoology any different, given that it starts from the assumption of evolution and works around the assumption?

    Fundamentally speaking until science can demonstrate something that isn't alive coming to life spontaneously then all theories of life coming from a cosmic fluke are no more valid than our belief that life came from the word of God. At present believing in evolution as a random process is just as much a statement of faith as believing in a creator God.
    24 August 2013 - I've decided to take a break from a number of internet forums, including this one, for my own reasons.
    I expect to be back at some time in the future, although at present don't know when that will be.
    I've been here just a few days shy of six years, and those six years have been greatly blessed.

    ---

    1Jn 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    1Th 5:21-22 NKJV Test all things; hold fast what is good. (22) Abstain from every form of evil.




  6. #6
    Hi Powlette, good to "see" you!

    I'd answer this way...

    Unlike the "hard sciences", the so called "Theory of Evolution" is not really (using the scientific method) a Theory...it is perhaps better categorized as a hypothesis or perhaps a postulate (in my opinion).

    If the evidence was not ambiguous and subject to interpretation...we wouldn't even have this discussion.

    Therefore, in the interest of Academic honesty...why not?
    Ιησούς Χριστός ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου



    ****When the Lord opens a door, don't walk through it....run full speed; if it's the wrong one He'll let ya know...sometimes He just wants to see if you'll move at all!****


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    I guess this is more of an education issue than a theological one. My problem with creation science is that if you're not willing to admit you're wrong (that your theory could be false) then you can't honestly test it.

    Darwin's original hypothesis that organisms adapt over time and pass survivability traits to their ancestors could have been wrong. If we hadn't found evidence to support his hypothesis or we found evidence to the contrary, we would have invalidated it and tried something else. However in the past 150 years not only has it been supported again and again, but like all good theories, it's allows us to make predictions about the future. Finding DNA further validated the conclusions Darwin made.

    If you're not going to use the scientific method, how can it be science? Here's the method:


    1. Define the question
    2. Gather information and resources (observe)
    3. Form hypothesis
    4. Perform experiment and collect data
    5. Analyze data
    6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
    7. Publish results
    8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)



    Can this be applied to creation science? What's the hypothesis? How will we gather evidence or data to test our hypothesis when you're starting with the belief that God can't be tested?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    Last week the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board denied an application by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to offer an accredited Master of Science degree. ICR has responded by calling the decision "a blow to academic freedom."

    Personally I don't think you can call yourself a scientist when you don't form hypotheses, collect data, observe evidence, test your hypothesis, and change your conclusions based on what you've learned through experimentation.

    As I understand "creation science", the conclusion is already in - God did it. There's nothing to test for, nothing to research or observe, and the biggest impediment to real science - there's no falsifiable theory. The conclusion that God did it is not up for debate. Real science doesn't start with a conclusion and work backwards so it makes total sense that this degree program would be rejected. The Texas Freedom Network sponsored a survey that queried nearly 900 university faculty in Texas. Ninety-five percent of the respondents believed that the degree application should be denied.

    Here's a comment from one professor:
    Science seeks out truths about the nature of the physical universe. It is all about freedom of inquiry. Creationism claims to already hold the truth, leaving the only role for inquiry that of supporting what is already known. This is not only completely unscientific, it represents a type of narrow fundamentalist thinking (like that which we so strongly oppose in other cultures) that sets the stage for a return to the terrible loss of freedoms suffered by those early scientists who had to sign loyalty oaths, submit their work to religious censors or worse.

    - Eric Swanson, professor of geology, University of Texas at San Antonio
    I'm curious what creationists here think. Do you think your belief system should be an accredited degree program in a science curriculum alongside hard sciences such as biology, geology, chemistry and bio-mechanical engineering?
    No falsifiable theory? You mean other than the fact that if something is irreducibly complex that it points to design? If there is no possible way to have a falsifiable theory concerning design or intelligent intervention, then you've just done away with the scientific fields of forensic science and archeology.

    Also, all science begins with a hypothesis and evidence is gathered to test that hypothesis. If the hypothesis is validated, then the hypothesis becomes the conclusion of the evidence. Design theory is no different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markdrums View Post
    I completely understand what you're saying.... but I think MOST science starts with a conclusion (or an idea / hypothesis) & works backwards.... testing the findings, & compiling the results, so that a person can make an honest and fair decision based on the actual evidence.
    You are correct with one key point - if your findings/evidence invalidate your hypothesis, then you need to throw it out. What you cannot do is start with a conclusion, then find evidence to support that conclusion and disregard evidence that does not. Doing that is how we get books like "Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About"

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    Quote Originally Posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    No falsifiable theory? You mean other than the fact that if something is irreducibly complex that it points to design? If there is no possible way to have a falsifiable theory concerning design or intelligent intervention, then you've just done away with the scientific fields of forensic science and archeology.
    I think you mean to say "theory" here. Let's say that is a theory - I assume you're referring to the eye. Your hypothesis is that the eye cannot be evolved because it is irreducibly complex. I know of several biologists that will disagree with you, but let's say that's true. You want to prove it couldn't have evolved and was designed by some entity that is capable of designing an eyeball (but for some reason came into being itself without its own designer).

    What experiments/tests/data shall we look for to test this hypothesis? When you're postulating a supernatural designer who can do whatever he likes, how can you ever disprove this hypothesis? It sounds like you want to look at an eyeball and say, "Wow that's complicated and I don't see how it could have evolved, so it must have been designed. QED."

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    I think you mean to say "theory" here. Let's say that is a theory - I assume you're referring to the eye. Your hypothesis is that the eye cannot be evolved because it is irreducibly complex. I know of several biologists that will disagree with you, but let's say that's true. You want to prove it couldn't have evolved and was designed by some entity that is capable of designing an eyeball (but for some reason came into being itself without its own designer).

    What experiments/tests/data shall we look for to test this hypothesis? When you're postulating a supernatural designer who can do whatever he likes, how can you ever disprove this hypothesis? It sounds like you want to look at an eyeball and say, "Wow that's complicated and I don't see how it could have evolved, so it must have been designed. QED."

    Where did I mention the use of the eye? I'm not referring to the eye. I'm referring to the test, which you just validated - thank you.

    You just showed that we can test for design. We can look and see how it could originally form. If it is basically simple at a bottom level - which the eye is - then we can postulate that there is no need of a designer. If an organism isn't basically simple, specifically in the field of informatics concerning DNA, then we can justifiably postulate that a natural explanation doesn't adequately deal with the issue and it is plausible to imply that some sort of design was implemented in the irreducibly complex. This doesn't rule out a natural cause and it doesn't mean we can't search for a natural cause. It merely means that we must be open to the idea that the universe isn't a closed system and that it's quite possible for a non-physical entity to influence the physical world.

    Why is that so hard to accept?

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    Quote Originally Posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    It merely means that we must be open to the idea that the universe isn't a closed system and that it's quite possible for a non-physical entity to influence the physical world.
    And you've just proven my point that this isn't science now - thank you. This is now metaphysics - invoking some non-physical entity to produce the result you want is, by definition, not in the realm of the physical sciences.

    I like you though - used to be "life is too complex to have come about on its own" or "the eye is irreducibly complex and must be designed." But now that its been shown that evolution happens and even inherently complex systems like the eye can form over time without a designer, you're all the way back to the beginning, clinging to DNA's origins and saying, "okay mr scientist - prove that this came about on its own too or God exists". Where does it end? We've come a long way in the past 1,000 years, but science may never be able to fully explain everything about the universe. And even if we can't, human ignorance is NOT evidence that God exists.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    And you've just proven my point that this isn't science now - thank you. This is now metaphysics - invoking some non-physical entity to produce the result you want is, by definition, not in the realm of the physical sciences.

    I like you though - used to be "life is too complex to have come about on its own" or "the eye is irreducibly complex and must be designed." But now that its been shown that evolution happens and even inherently complex systems like the eye can form over time without a designer, you're all the way back to the beginning, clinging to DNA's origins and saying, "okay mr scientist - prove that this came about on its own too or God exists". Where does it end? We've come a long way in the past 1,000 years, but science may never be able to fully explain everything about the universe. And even if we can't, human ignorance is NOT evidence that God exists.
    Again, where did I argue for the eye?

    Secondly, how is naturalism not a metaphysical belief?

    Third, why can't science touch on metaphysics?

    Fourth, who says I'm clinging to DNA? I offered one example and you think that's the only one I have? There are multiple cells, animals, etc that are too irreducibly complex to be explained by natural selection.

    Fifth, I'm not saying that any of this proves God or is even a "God did it." I'm simply pointing out that it allows for the theory of a designer(s) to be a valid one. There's no arguing this - if something simply cannot be explained naturally and any explanation would go against other observations we have from nature, then it's logically acceptable to invoke some sort of design.

    Again, if this isn't possible then you are forced to say that forensic science and archeology aren't really science. Both of those have ways to test both design and non-natural interaction. Why do you exclude such tests from biology unless you're making a metaphysical presupposition on biology that there can't be any outside non-natural influence?

    So it would seem that your definition of "science" is still built upon a metaphysical presupposition. The only way around this is if you deny forensic science and archeology aren't really sciences.

    I mean, for me, the philosophical problems with naturalism is enough for me to deny it as a system, meaning I must be open to some form of supernaturalism (which is logically and philosophically satisfying). For me, science explains the world, but should never be used to determine one's philosophy - philosophy rests upon absolute grounds while science can find what is absolute, but is ultimately subjective in many ways. It's not a good test of truth, just of how things work and how to manipulate nature in order to make it work in our favor. At the same time, even science - I think - shows naturalism to be completely incompatible with reality.

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    There's no arguing this - if something simply cannot be explained naturally and any explanation would go against other observations we have from nature, then it's logically acceptable to invoke some sort of design.
    ...
    I mean, for me, the philosophical problems with naturalism is enough for me to deny it as a system, meaning I must be open to some form of supernaturalism (which is logically and philosophically satisfying).
    Your argument boils down to: "here's something and we don't understand where it came from, therefore God/design/entity/supernatural_being/external_metaphysical_structure did it". That's fine - you can postulate that theory. But you won't see it published in the Journal Nature any time soon though because it isn't science and I think you know that.

    Back to my original point, consider this: you could just as easily hypothesize that we are all fictional beings in a computer simulation and our consciousness isn't real ala The Matrix. It can be neither proved nor disproved. Should we allow students to research that idea and award them Master's degrees for completing their "studies"? That would be exactly the same as looking for your designer.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by powlette View Post
    Your argument boils down to: "here's something and we don't understand where it came from, therefore God/design/entity/supernatural_being/external_metaphysical_structure did it". That's fine - you can postulate that theory. But you won't see it published in the Journal Nature any time soon though because it isn't science and I think you know that.

    Back to my original point, consider this: you could just as easily hypothesize that we are all fictional beings in a computer simulation and our consciousness isn't real ala The Matrix. It can be neither proved nor disproved. Should we allow students to research that idea and award them Master's degrees for completing their "studies"? That would be exactly the same as looking for your designer.
    I'm not letting you off the hook that easily :

    Fifth, I'm not saying that any of this proves God or is even a "God did it." I'm simply pointing out that it allows for the theory of a designer(s) to be a valid one. There's no arguing this - if something simply cannot be explained naturally and any explanation would go against other observations we have from nature, then it's logically acceptable to invoke some sort of design.

    Again, if this isn't possible then you are forced to say that forensic science and archeology aren't really science. Both of those have ways to test both design and non-natural interaction. Why do you exclude such tests from biology unless you're making a metaphysical presupposition on biology that there can't be any outside non-natural influence?

    So it would seem that your definition of "science" is still built upon a metaphysical presupposition. The only way around this is if you deny forensic science and archeology aren't really sciences.


    So, how is your belief any different from my own? How is yours any more scientifically valid considering you too begin with metaphysical presuppositions?

    I'm trying to point out that the problems you have with a supernatural explanation of the world are likewise linked to naturalism as well. Your whole idea of science is also philosophical and not testable - it comes from empiricism influencing the scientific world.

    You're using what I call cookie-cutter responses to what I'm saying, but it doesn't work that way. I'm not a 6 day creationist. I'm not pulling my arguments from some apologetical website where you can have a front-lined response. I'm not fitting into the categories you're wanting to put me into. I'm someone who has gone out and studied the philosophy of science and even biology (though I'm certainly no where close to being a biology major). You're going to have to deal with my arguments as they are rather than trying to conform them into a preconceived idea that is easier for you to attack.

    It's not easy.

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