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The Scientific Method

NOTES

By Les Sherlock


…science is about proving not truth, but falsehood. The crucial thing is that when you find evidence that disproves a scientific hypothesis, you discard or amend that hypothesis.*


*Joshua Howgego, New Scientist Magazine, 30th June 2018, page 40.

This sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Clearly, if one wants to investigate how things work, one needs to make assumptions based on all available evidence, then discard every aspect that is later falsified by observation. In the above article Howegego gives the example of having the hypothesis that all swans are white after seeing none of any other colour; but of course, you can never be sure there isn’t one somewhere, and if one is observed then the rule must then be abandoned, or at least, modified. Is this how it really works in practice when it comes to the theory of evolution, though?

Talking about the origin of humans, Kate Douglas, a features editor of New Scientist magazine, in their 7th July 2018 edition, said,

"As fossils trickled out of Asia, drawing far less attention in the West than the African fossils did, they were often dismissed because they contradicted the dominant narrative." *



* Page 30

Since scientists are human, their tendency is bound to be one of favouring a position they have previously taken, with a reluctance to abandon it, as described in the above quote. Indeed, Joshua Howegego confirms this later on in the article mentioned previously:


“The thing is, scientists don’t stick to Popper’s * strict criteria in practice, and often follow their hunches or look to confirm rather than refute their theories.”

* Sir Karl Raimund Popper CH FBA FRS (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher and professor. He is generally regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest philosophers of science. Wikipedia.

This is exactly my point: the theory of evolution has been based, start to finish, on so called 'evidence' that, even when disproved by later observation, has continued to be promoted because the evidence that falsifies it is ignored. This is not science - it is prejudice based on the belief that God does not exist.

A perfect example of this is in the previous week's edition of New Scientist, 30th June 2018, page 33. Quote:

"The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, revealed that genes account for just 1 per cent of our DNA; the rest is "junk.""


One of the 'evidences' for evolution is the claim that nearly all of our DNA is 'junk', being useless remnants left over from the previous life-forms from which we evolved: if we had been created, the argument goes, God wouldn't have put all that junk there, therefore we weren't created.


Should anyone doubt what is meant by 'junk', Richard Dawkins spelled it out on page 333 of 'The Greatest Show on Earth'. Quote:

"…it is a remarkable fact that the greater part (95 percent in the case of humans) of the genome might as well not be there, for all the difference it makes." *



*  Notice that 95% when his book was published in 2009 has morphed into 99% in 2018 according to New Scientist.



*  Human DNA is made up of over 3 billion nucleotides.



* More detail on this here.

So it is called junk because it is believed to have no function - clearly, if it did have one it would not be called junk because junk is useless rubbish! However, the final report on the ENCODE project, which was undertaken by 442 researchers around the world over five years examining 'junk' DNA, concluded in 2012 (quote):

"According to ENCODE's analysis, 80 percent of the genome has a "biochemical function"… Almost every nucleotide * is associated with a function of some sort or another…"

Furthermore, Ewan Birney, the project's Lead Analysis Coordinator, went on to say,

"It's likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent. We don't really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn't that useful." *

And yet six years after this was revealed, 'New Scientist' is still claiming 99% of our DNA is junk! I am astounded that they can ignore such a major scientific project in this way.  What better example of "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative" * than this could you find? It is the equivalent of seeing a black swan but continuing to maintain all swans are white on the basis that the black one was actually a white swan with dirty feathers, or a black duck with a long neck!

The late Stephen Hawking, hailed as one of the world's greatest brains, said,


* Quote from New Scientist Magazine, 7th July 2018, page 30.

"…you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory." *

* 'A Brief History of Time', page 11.

The fallacy of 'Junk' DNA is one such observation, since if DNA containing junk would be evidence for evolution, as had been claimed for 40 years,* then DNA with no junk is evidence for creation. So it had been labelled ‘junk’ not because it had no function, but because scientists’ understanding of DNA was incomplete and they did not know what it all did. Indeed, DNA is such a sophisticated programming system, with complexity far beyond anything imagined by today’s computer programmers, it is possible we will never be able to decode it fully. Yet evolutionists believe it all arose as a result of a series of random copying mistakes.**

Well, I suppose you can always claim a single black swan is not enough evidence to falsify the white swan hypothesis, although Stephen Hawking clearly thought it is; but when they keep appearing, it becomes impossible to maintain the illusion, and junk DNA is not the only observation running contrary to evolution:

* And continues to be claimed by New Scientist: a case of, “I’ve made my mind up; don’t confuse me with the facts!”


** i.e. mutations.

DNA, which could only survive for tens of thousands of years at the most, has been found in dinosaur bones, proving their extinction must have been within that time and not the 55 million years claimed; but it is "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."


Soft tissue has been found in dinosaur bones, which also could only survive for tens of thousands of years at the most, but it is "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."


Carbon in diamonds dug out of rocks dated as millions of years old has been carbon dated as tens of thousands of years old at most, but it is "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."


The observable rate of mutation is massively different from that required by evolution, as shown by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D. in his research papers and recent book (along with the work of other scientists over recent years); but it is "dismissed because it contradicts the dominant narrative."

I could go on with problems like abiogenesis, irreducible complexity, specified complexity, the mineral content of the oceans, etc., but these will serve as examples: there are many more on the pages of this web site. There are two points to be made from all this. The first is that if the scientific method is to modify or discard hypotheses in the face of contradictory evidence, then the theory of evolution is quite clearly not scientific, since the ever-increasing evidence against it is simply ignored. In which case, what is it? There is only one alternative: it is blind faith in the belief that a Creator does not exist, and since the only possible means for life to appear without Him is evolution, it has to be believed, no matter how much the evidence stacks up against it.


The second point is the consequence of this deliberate decision to ignore scientific observation when it conflicts with evolution. In my view the main reason for people turning their backs on God over the course of the last century or so is that evolution claims everything could appear without Him; but more and more scientific observations are proving the opposite, with some former atheists * finally realising the weight of evidence is too heavy for the naturalistic requirements of a universe without a Creator, and making a significant ‘U’ turn.



* A classic example being Antony Flew, British Oxford professor and philosopher, who, after over 50 years as an atheist, renounced this belief in 2004


* At the time of writing there were 12 Thai boys along with their football coach, trapped deep in a cave by rising flood waters. After a major international effort they were all rescued, just before the oncoming storm made it impossible.

I cannot stress how important this is. At the present time there is a huge race going on to rescue the boys trapped in caves in Thailand before monsoon waters make it impossible (and I pray they will succeed);* but here we have a far more important race - the race to find truth before this life ends for each of us and eternity begins, because our decisions here and now will affect our eternal destinies. We have a God who loves us so much He has gone to extreme lengths through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to make it possible for us to spend eternity with Him; but should we choose to turn our backs on Him now and/or ignore Him, the only alternative is eternity excluded from His presence, and the horror that will bring does not bear thinking about.

To my non-Christian friends I say, please take a close look at the facts. Remember, the scientists promoting evolution with their own interpretation of their research are dependent on the validity of their past claims for their funding and, as 'New Scientist' has said, are likely to dismiss alternative evidence "because it contradicts the dominant narrative." * The only possible way we could be living in our universe is via our Creator God; so please investigate what He says about things. The Bible (still the most widely read book of all time) is His word and there is absolutely no conflict between the Bible and science - the only conflict is with the theories of those who have put their own ideas in the gaps of scientific knowledge and "dismissed alternative evidence because it contradicts the dominant narrative" when those gaps have been filled with 'inconvenient observations'. Start by reading the first four books of the New Testament (or one of them, at least!). *



* It is virtually impossible for any scientific research favouring creationism to be published in any of the secular scientific journals or web sites, for the same reason.


* More detail on this here.



* Although many did not, and their faith in the truth of God’s word has clearly been justified.

* “Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him… Then Paul… said… God, who made the world and everything in it…

To my Christian friends I say, you don't counter deception with compromise but by exposing it for what it is. Jesus countered Satan's temptations/lies with, "It is written," and God's word is as true and dependable today as it was then. Theistic evolution, in all its forms, is bad science and bad theology, based, as it is, on the first ever lie, "Has God said?" It may be understandable why Christians compromised in this way in the past in order to defend the Bible against what they had been told was scientific observation; * but there is ample evidence available today to prove it was totally unnecessary. This is not a peripheral matter, but is central to the gospel: when Paul preached to those who did not accept the authority of the Old Testament, he began by proclaiming God as our Creator (Acts 17:18, 22, 24).* God has a claim on us because He made us for Himself, and has given us His word to tell us how He did it and to show us the way we fulfil our purpose and become what He always intended. It is only the truth that will set us free.

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