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Christian Science Test

April 20, 2011

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Digression: It seems to me that a primary argument for many religious apologists against ‘science’ relies on blurring the line between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism. The rhetoric is two-fold. First, try to make science out as an amorphous glob: every branch of science is operating under a philosophical evolutionary worldview and they are merely trying to ‘prove’ evolution true regardless of the evidence.

Second, confuse and obfuscate the processes of methodological naturalism so that even the word evidence becomes useless. They make a philosophical argument (not methodological) that ‘evidence’ is highly subjective and can only really be interpreted through a lens, a worldview. For evil scientists it is the evolutionary worldview which leads to evolutionary conclusions. For baby Jesus loving Christians it is the creationists worldview which leads to a proper interpretation for the evidence which coheres perfectly with God’s science textbook Genesis.

However, while this philosophical argument might make sense to those who badly confuse methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism the goal of methodological naturalism is not to win a philosophical argument! It is to measure, observe, test, hypothesize, and make a reasonable theory to explain the data that can be repeated or falsified by other scientists. Not understanding methodological naturalism leads to all sorts of silly apologetic hoop-jumping that really has nothing to do with actual science.

Go to Answers in Genesis. Go to Ray Comfort. Watch the Truth Project, listen to Al Mohler: almost every time the basis of their argument will begin and end by trying to move the goalposts and confuse philosophical naturalism with methodological naturalism.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason permalink
    April 20, 2011 1:09 pm

    It seems the student got all the answers right and the teacher/grader is the ignorant one. Fail?

  2. April 20, 2011 4:13 pm

    It would have been funnier if the name on the test had been Phillip E. Johnson instead of Walter Johnson.

  3. April 20, 2011 8:17 pm

    It seems the teacher has never considered the banana. Or peanut butter.

  4. Nathan permalink
    April 20, 2011 9:27 pm

    To be fair – the new atheists blur the distinction just as much, if not more, than Answers in Genesis, Ray Comfort et al.

    • April 21, 2011 7:17 am

      I’m not sure it is being fair. Read the first chapter of Dawkins’ book “The Greatest Show on Earth” and then come back and consider your statement. Ray Comfort lies and distorts. Check out his ‘editing’ of Darwin. Ken Ham has proven time and again to lie and distort and is such a bad person that even the home-schoolers recently uninvited him to their conferences because of his poor spirit. And above all, AiG and Comfort have never done science and have a completely faulty idea of what science is! So I would disagree that the new atheists are ‘just as bad.’ Unfortunately, for the Christian community it is the uniformed apologists that must blur the line.

  5. April 21, 2011 8:30 pm

    I really have enjoyed Chip Ingram and (Living on the Edge) at lote.org where he uses an eclectic approach to apologetics in his new DVD series “Why I believe”. It is simply awesome and makes it much easier to honestly “give an answer for the hope that is within” us.

  6. Someone permalink
    June 23, 2013 4:36 pm

    I’m not sure if this is real… but if it is then we have a big problem in this country. People talk of brainwashing like its not real. This is brainwashing. I would actually want to go to one of those schools just to argue with the teacher about how they are wrong. It would be fun.

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