Jason Lisle has nothing to report by way of completed ‘research’ at the ICR for this month. Instead, in The Importance of Creation Research, he appropriates all other research ever as supporting his cause. Because you see, “All science is creation science.”
Science is possible precisely because God upholds the universe in a consistent way that the human mind can (at least partially) understand. If the universe were merely the result of chance, then there would be no reason to expect it to obey laws. Even granting the existence of laws, there would be no reason to think that such laws would be mathematical in nature or understandable by the human mind. Nor would there be any reason to expect any kind of consistency in those laws over space and time. (Why would the same laws that apply on earth today also apply on Mars next Thursday?)
Well why wouldn’t they? God acts, after all, by miracles (or at least He is supposed to). By definition any act by Him is a suspension of the natural order, a breaking of the rules – and an active God like that of the Young Earth Creationists is the very antithesis of a predictable universe. If you could prove any case where such a ‘miracle’ has actually occurred the creationists would seize on it as evidence, nay proof, of His existence. Here Lisle wants it both ways.
The other day my physics teacher asked the class to write on the board what they already knew about the atom – important because a good portion of the class also takes chemistry, as you might expect. One person wrote up that atoms and their components follow the laws of quantum physics. But this has it a bit backwards, as it’s not that the atoms follow those laws but that those laws describe what they do. Another person wrote, as a joke, that atoms are lies and it’s all God’s doing, but I digress.
Light travels at the speed of light not because some being has told it to, but because that’s what light does – it can do nothing else (and being able to do something else would be a gain in function which as everyone knows requires supernatural intervention 😉 ). What’s more, many of the ‘laws’ of physics are already known to follow logically from others, and as we are still hunting for a Theory of Everything Lisle cannot point to any law that he knows is the direct word of God.
Now, “there would be no reason to think that such laws would be mathematical in nature or understandable by the human mind”? First, remember that we evolved in this universe and at least like to think that our primary advantage is being able to understand it better than anything else can. Given that, there would really need to be some kind of predictability that we are capable to grasp for us to get this far. That being said, it could be feasible for the universe to be created in such a way that what’s really going on is to far out of our grasp to start with for us to slowly work it out via the cumulative scientific process. And yet while that sounds like the kind of prank the YEC’s God would try to play, that’s not what we observe in the universe.
Meanwhile, ‘mathematical rules’ is basically a tautology so I don’t think Lisle has a leg to stand on there. Whatever the nature of the universe we should still be able to at least preform basic statistical analysis on observed phenomena.
That’s really the gist of Lisle’s article and a summary of its flaws – he spends most of the rest of his time repeating himself over and over again. But there are a few other things worth commenting on. First:
Of course, not all scientists do research in a God-honoring way. Many of them simply take for granted that the universe obeys consistent, invariant laws of nature without recognizing that such organization comes from God. They know in their hearts that God exists and is the Creator of all, but they suppress what they know to be true and do not honor God for His faithfulness in upholding creation (Romans 1:18-21). Secular scientists are inconsistent. They expect the universe to behave in a logical, consistent way since they know in their heart-of-hearts that it is upheld by the power of God. Yet, they profess that the universe is not upheld by the power of God.
Yes. “You know I’m right but are just denying it.” Keep dreaming, Jason – given that God will apparently chuck non-believers into the fire after Gollum, why should people deny Him if they truly believe in their hearts? It makes no sense.
Creation research can help expose secular inconsistency. A number of specific lines of evidence in geology, biology, astronomy, physics, and chemistry are very difficult to explain from an evolutionary perspective. Things like C-14 in diamonds, backward-rotating planets, irreducible complexity in cells, inconsistent radiometric age estimates, and many other facts are very puzzling from an evolutionary point of view, but make perfect sense in light of biblical creation. Since a devout evolutionist can always invoke an auxiliary hypothesis to explain these data, we do not use these scientific evidences to prove creation in an absolute sense. But we can certainly use them to get people thinking and to show some serious difficulties with evolution.
At least he admits that all of his examples are bullshit, if not in so many words. It’s interesting to note that all of his examples are framed in a way that suggests that predictable naturalistic processes have been disrupted in some way, i.e. they are miracles. As I said, Lisle is trying to have his cake and eat it too, and is additionally getting off track here.
Why is it that ICR scientists spend so much time and effort scrutinizing every little detail of data for absolute accuracy? It is because we are followers of Christ. “Accurate” basically means “true.” And since Christians follow Christ, who is the truth, all Christians should be concerned for accuracy and should have the highest regard for creation research.
This rests on the assumption that the ICR’s members actually are rigorous, which is false. Jason Lisle has joined a largely incompetent institution, and his delusions wont change this. Bring on next month’s research column!