The Definition of Science and Divine Intervention
By Daniel Gregg, author of:
The Scroll of Biblical Chronology and Prophecy
The Best Online Biblical Chronology, 100 color charts
Evolutionists often try to tell us that biblical creationism is not science based on the assumption that supernatural intervention cannot be scientific. This assumption is simply the convenient miss definition of 'science' for the purpose of winning arguments. The root meaning of 'science' is knowledge or understanding. We might also call it wisdom or intelligence about how and why things are the way they are or work the way they do.
If one knows by cause and effect that rocks roll down a steep hill, then we make a prediction about a rock that is let loose. It will fall to the bottom. But if in the middle of the night we let rocks loose one by one, and in the morning we find them piled up in a neat little pile half way down the hill, then we naturally assume that someone or something intervened in their natural course down the hill. And we assume more likely that some intelligent being (probably a human) caught the rocks and piled them up when we were not looking. So we correctly determine from the evidence that an intelligent being altered the course of the expected physics of the situation. We assume this knowledge, and consider it wise to assume so. Postulating a personal intervention in the course of the rocks down the hill is scientific, because we observe they did not make it to the bottom, and we observe the orderliness of the pile. Therefore the conclusion of intervention in the middle of the night is scientific. And if we keep repeating the experiment at night, and keep finding the situation as before, we draw the same conclusion. Perhaps we finds some unknown shoe prints next to the pile. That reinforces the conclusion. It becomes a theory. We then find a handwritten note on the pile telling us who made the pile. It now becomes a scientific fact. Someone IS intervening in the course of the rocks falling physics to the bottom of the hill!
Excluding intelligent intervention in the course of nature or physics is not scientific. Nor is assuming that everything has a mundane physical explanation scientific. Excluding the intervention of a higher intelligent being is logically fallacious, especially for an evolutionist who believes that intelligence evolved! If intelligence evolved, then the probability is that there are evolved intelligences beyond the evolutionists comprehension with great powers to intervene in situations. For this reason, evolutionary philosophers, like Richard Dawkins, can appeal to things like 'panspermia' when their ordinary definition of science fails them. However, this is no different than admitting that intelligent intervention is needed to sustain the theory of evolution.
We call this a 'super-natural' explanation because it is above and beyond what is naturally expected. And all that "supernatural" signifies is that something is beyond ordinary explanation. And anything beyond the ordinary explanation that can be classed as an intelligent intervention is in the same class as 'super-natural'. The supernatural or "miracle" simply means an explanation beyond our power to comprehend it. So if we see the evidence leading one way, find a gap, and then see the evidence pick up in the same direction, then we have to assume an intervention in what we consider the normal physics. Whatever the intervention, the only difference between a low level intelligent intervention and the high level intelligent intervention that would be called 'supernatural' is the level of power the intelligent being has to change things around.
Of course, there is the question of simply being ignorant of the physics necessary to fill in a gap between observations at point A and point B. Sometimes, the explanation is unknown physics, but before we discover it, we should not be filling the gap with improbable physics. Only intelligent intervention trumps the normal laws of probability, which are based on non-intervention. So if a probable physics cannot be found to fill the gap, then an improbable one should not be assumed. It is at this point that the naturalistic evolutionists becomes confused when the Creationist responds that God is the explanation. This only means that either God knows about casual physics we do not know about that explain how point A got to point B OR God actually intervened altering normal cause to effect to get point A to point B.
The Creationist does not have to explain which is the case, i.e. whether it is an extra intervention by God, or whether it is something that happened by God's design long before, i.e. what the naturalist would call the laws of physics. The Creationist only needs to observe point A and point B, and know that something God executed by normal physics is required or that God altered the normal physics program of the universe as necessary to get point A to B.
This view is not unscientific. What is really unscientific is postulating a series of improbable physics where the real physics are not understood (either divine intervention or divine law). And we may as well call the "laws of physics" in their normal understanding divine laws. It is up to the law maker whether he will alter those laws in specific cases. For example, the evolutionist supposes that sedimentary layers were laid down over millions of years even though the contact lines are sharp, planar, and widespread. How there could be a large gap of time between two such layers involves improbable physics counter to the normal rules of erosion.
The Creationist replies that Noah's flood put those layers down. The evolutionist cries "Foul! It's not science". But the Creationist has merely relied on divine revelation to reveal the intervention points, while the evolutionist has proposed improbable physics to explain the lack of erosion surfaces. The Creationist is not negating physics by such a statement. Assigning the cause to God is a combination of unknown physics and divine intervention, both proceeding from God. The unknown physics are divine law, whereas the intervention is merely temporary suspension of a law by the God. The Creationist believes God is economical in his interventions, and so seeks an explanation based on divine law where possible rather than divine intervention.
And really, what is the difference between divine law, and divine intervention? Merely one of "time" and the personal presence of the Creator. Divine law is set up long before it is executed in reality. The Creator can let things go on automatic because He set the program ahead of time. Intervention, on the other hand happens at the time of the intervention, and the Creator is personally involved in the intervention.
To finish up our example of the sedimentary layers with erosion less contact lines, creationists have come up with explanations of how the flood waters deposited sediments, and how rapid stratification takes place. Walt Brown in In the Beginning, 8th Edition gives excellent explanations. When the Creationist gives such explanations, however, they are NOT repudiating the concept of divine intervention. There is no dichotomy here. Divine law and divine alteration of divine law are merely two sides of the coin for God's activity. Creation science is an attempt to discover and classify the species of divine activity, whether divine law or divine intervention, and if the distinction cannot be made, then God is credited with the cause. For both divine law and divine alteration of divine law have a singular cause: God.
The naturalistic evolutionist, of course, tries to make this look illogical and silly. To do this he will use his miss definition of science which excludes any divine activity or credit for divine law or divine intervention. Then if his definition is swallowed uncritically, he will get away with introducing his improbable explanation as the reason between point A and B. So which is unscientific? The latter.
Now I will revisit the concept of "orderliness" used above. Does it matter whether the reason for orderliness is immediate divine intervention or divine law set up in the past? No! Orderliness implies a designer in both cases. A snow flake is symmetrical because divine law makes them that way. On the other hand, God's direct interventions are also orderly, and designed to guide things most economically. It is true that the latter is harder to detect. That is why God puts down a record of his intervention in the Bible. But this divine intervention is very orderly. Among other things God is a precision timekeeper. My own research bears this out in The Scroll of Biblical Chronology and Prophecy. There are wheels within wheels, cycles and super cycles, that all fit together. This is not an orderliness created by divine natural law, but one created by divine intervention, largely based on biblical cycles determined by biblical moral laws.
The difference between moral law and divine natural law is that the former takes a willingness to follow, but the later simply happens by divine design.
God, of course, has the ultimate power to order reality according to his thought, or as we call it his 'word'. Imagine computerized beings in a virtual reality program, say like the movie TRON. The programmer can alter this 'flatland' reality with a few lines of code. The programmer may even give his virtual reality beings the capacity to disbelieve in the programmer. And even though flatlanders cannot see the higher intelligence that created 'flatland', the third spiritual "dimension" still exists.
So when the evolutionist tries to exclude intelligent intervention in normal physics from the range of scientific conclusion given observations that suggest the probable interpolation of intelligence, he or she is simply defining the term arbitrarily to suit their own belief system. The Christian does not have to accept this bastardized definition of science. There are many great scientists who would not accept a 'science' that excludes the probability of the supernatural.
To speak in more theological terms, Christians believe in the 'economy of miracles'. What does this mean? Economy means minimal use of miracles or minimal appeals to divine intervention, yet in those cases where the evidence crosses a gap pointing to intervention in the gap, the economy will admit the probability of a miracle.
Somewhere in the philosophy of 'science' as evolutionists want to define it, is the assumption that a hypothesis must be falsifiable in order to be a scientific hypothesis. If a hypothesis is not falsifiable, it only means that you cannot make the observations necessary to confirm or deny it. It, however, does not mean the hypothesis is unscientific. To the contrary, if the gap between the observed dots requires the hypothesis, then it is called 'scientific' when it involves the dark matter needed to sustain the Big Bang theory. Indeed, it appears that this argument only surfaces in quarters where someone with disliked unverifiable hypothesis is susceptible to being duped into thinking their hypothesis is scientifically invalid on that ground alone. And then the elites get off scot-free from having it stick to their own unverifiable hypothesis which they promote as 'scientific'. And all too often evolutionists promote their theory in a non-falsifiable manner, using biological phylogeny to prove geological succession and then using geological succession to 'prove' biological evolution. One might also ask if the Big Bang is falsifiable on scientific grounds. It has already been falsified, but it is never admitted because the elites want to believe it for philosophical reasons! Therefore, it cannot be falsified because it depends on their philosophical promotion for its main support. I am not invalidating assuming beliefs here. Everyone has them, but it is about time that the Evolutionary elites be pinned on the wall for positing non-falsifiable hypothesis of their own while trying to defend themselves by name calling hypothesis they don't like "non-falsifiable."
So must a hypothesis be falsifiable in order to be scientific? This is part of the miss definition of science. If God tells us that something is so, but does not tell us how it is so or provide us with independent observations that it is so, then it is still science, simply because it is true. Therefore, we must expand the definition of science to include everything that is actually true. We may know something is true, but may only be able to indirectly verify it. For example, if we have found reasons to trust the word of the Creator, then we have indirectly verified the other things he says that we cannot directly verify. That's why the Scripture is full of prophecies. It is no different with the human question for normal knowledge in life. Finally, the evolutionists cannot live with the criteria of fallibility either, since most of what they say is unverifiable assumptions based on the denial of a Creator. While the evolutionist may not be able to to test some Creationist assumptions from the bible, the Creationist can certainly falsify the evolutionary assumptions based on the truth of fulfilled Bible prophecy within the strict chronology of Scripture.
The reality of the situation with science is that creationists are able to accept a much greater range of scientific fact based on observation, with only an "economy of miracles" than the evolutionists. A case and point is the astronomer Halton Arp who discovered quantized red shifts and the fact that quasars are often nearby and associated with galaxies in pairs. While the Big Bang evolutionists are busy banning Arp and denying the observations, the Creationists have embraced the observations, and have fit them into the Biblical Cosmology without any need for additional miracles. Or we may take all those experiments, like Shapiro-delay or the Sagnac effect that show a variable speed of light. Evolutionary Cosmologists deny this evidence via General Relativity precisely because it allows the Creationist to explain starlight with one less 'miracle'. See the starlight article at www.torahtimes.org for a lengthily dissertation on the speed of light and starlight.
Of course, it would take a miracle for Big Bang Evolutionists to be able to fit Arp's observations into their theory. Since it would take a miracle, they deny the observation. There needs to be a tit for tat here. If they point out a miracle in our economy, then we need to point out each observation they deny is real (since it would require a miracle for them to fit it in). Their denial of an observation is not even on the same qualitative level as our use of a miracle where needed. The miracle cannot be falsified, but the denied observation already has! And their goal is not discovery, but to keep people trapped in a narrow and restrictive definition of science with no gates leading to the truth.
Evolutionists want all of science to be "observable". Yet they are including many things in their "scientific" conclusions that are not observable. They are merely connecting dots between observables. In between the dots is a void that cannot be seen, that must be filled in with the best guess. On the one hand, they call these unobservable assumptions "science" when they make them. On the other hand, when the Creationists ascribes the unobservable to the Creator to connect the dots differently, the evolutionist cries that it is not science, and wins the argument. The evolutionist, therefore, does not apply his definition of science to himself, but only to the Creationist with whom he disagrees.
Another point the evolutionist disregards is that the supernatural can be "observable". When Yeshua (Jesus) walks through a wall, the disciples are observing a divine intervention. When the sea parted for Israel, divine intervention was observed. When a Christian reports that a fatal accident was averted by unexplained physics, he correctly ascribes it to divine intervention. The difference between God and man is that God always has the keys, and he can rewrite the program on the fly if he needs to.
Another thing about true science, is that it cannot be defined independently of history and still be useful. Anything in the "past" is history. If someone does an experiment and then later reports the results, those results have come to us from "history." We then must include historical tests. Is the source reliable? Are the witnesses to be trusted? History includes a human element. Are the reporters biased, or are they lying? Do they have a philosophical blindness? History has the effect of removing a matter from "observation". One can only hear a report. One cannot "observe" the original experiment. Here too, then evolutionists have miss defined "science" by limiting it to only observation simply because most people do not understand most science by their own observations! They understand it by historical reporting. The evolutionist may call many things science that relatively few have observed, or indeed that none have observed because the one's who say they observed something are being deceptive. We have to do our own "peer review" of the claims, and not let them do the "peer review" for us.
Of all sciences, origins 'science' is not repeatable. We have to judge it by historical science. So do we exclude the historical from science or do we include it? I think we must include it, and make sure that the rigorous tests for historical truth are fully applied. For this is the point where many Creationists let down their guard. They have trusted too many things they hear from evolutionists and have not vetted them out by sufficient witnesses to make sure the original observation is historically valid and trustworthy.
Finally, when one combines actual observation with historical reporting, one needs to figure out which reports are true. Here we must apply the law of non contradiction, not just to the observations, but also to the question of which reporters are telling the truth. Biblical Chronology passes the law of non contradiction. Biblical prophecy passes the law of non contradiction. But this in turn contradicts many things the evolutionists say. Therefore we must apply the law of non contradiction and judge God's word in the Scripture to be more reliable, since we know that it correlates with the truth and law of non-contradiction, and our own personal observations of nature, while what the others report does not. This is not just a theory for us. We have the actual observations of biblical chronology and prophecy.
The Scroll of Biblical Chronology and Prophecy
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