Re: Science Is Just Interpretation.

Someone posted this picture on their blog:



To which I replied:


While this is an immensely popular talking point, it isn’t how actual science works.  In science you don’t make a discovery then try to fit it into your model, you use the model to predict the discovery before it is made.  Einstein’s theory of relativity is accepted by so many physicists because he used it to predict, among other things, the angle light would bend around the sun from a star behind the sun in an upcoming eclipse.  Darwin’s theory of evolution is accepted by so many paleontologists because he used it to predict, among many other things, the existence of species like archeopteryx, (prehistoric extinct birds with separate digits in their wings) before they were discovered.  


Biologists accept the theory of evolution because darwin used it to predict, among many other things, a the existence of a moth with a nearly foot long tongue a century before it was discovered.

Geneticists accept darwin’s theory of evolution because it was used to predict, among many other things, the fusion of two primate chromosomes before they were discovered.

And so on and so forth.  Science is prophecy.  Another thing that separates actual science from creationist philosophy is that real science yields practical applications like curing diseases, producing new industries etc.  I can list half a dozen industries off the top of my head that rely on evolutionary science.  We use evolutionary predictions to make vaccines because guess what, the viruses we’re making the vaccines against *evolve* so quickly that we have to get ahead of evolution and make a vaccine for a future version of the virus so we have time to manufacture and distribute the vaccines before it changes so much your immune system won’t recognize it.  This is why people get the flu every year when the antibodies they produce whenever they get it should make them immune for about a decade.  It’s because the flu migrates and evolves and by the time it comes around again it’s not the same virus.  The 1918 flu killed around 50-100 million people and was about as lethal as the black death.

This is just one application of evolution science.  Just one.

What applications are there of creation science?  None.  Because there is no such thing as creation science.  It’s just science bashing and, at best, philosophy.  Which is fine (philosophy, that is), so long as it’s not misrepresented as science.


About agnophilo

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19 Responses to Re: Science Is Just Interpretation.

  1. yay — lets stop comparing science to religion.
    Good points Mark.
    ~ Eric

  2. Agnophilo/Mark

    A few minutes ago I sent the following email to YEC blogger Tim Gilleand (it is his blog of 25 October which contained the illustration which you highlight above, and you have just commented there):

    Tim (Gilleand)
    Agnophilo (blogger)

    I’ve tried to add the following comment under this blog post:
    But I keep getting a nonsense message (not from Grace with Salt)
    saying that my Facebook login has ‘expired’.

    By coincidence, this has just appeared online (I listened from 13
    minutes in):

    YEC Ian Juby refers to a paper by YEC Jeffrey Tomkins in the non-peer
    reviewed (except by fellow YECs) Answers Research Journal. He claims
    that the telomere found somewhere near the middle of human chromosome 2
    (an extra centromere in effect) is not a telomere but part of a
    functional gene viz “a functional DNA binding domain inside the first
    intron of the DDX11L2 regulatory RNA helicase gene”.
    This is the rather lengthy and technical paper in question:
    I have only fully read the Abstract; I would also have scrutinised the
    sources quoted in Tomkins’ footnotes but in fact all he provides is a
    load of references that are not linked to specific comments in his
    text. Not particularly helpful.
    For what it’s worth, there is some discussion of Juby and Tomkins
    Juby’s diagrams somewhat confusingly imply, following the sequencing
    of the chimp genome (since the Ken Miller video was filmed), that two
    ‘chimp’ chromosomes fused in our genome. Scientists say our ancestral
    chromosomes in the human lineage 2A and 2B fused – sometime after
    chimps and humans diverged from their now extinct common ancestor ape
    Two questions spring into my mind. (1) Has any scientist who accepts
    evolution addressed Tomkins’ recent claims? (2) Has Tomkins attempted
    to get his dramatic claims published in any peer reviewed science
    journal or merely disseminated them in a journal that is mostly read by
    biblical creationists?

    I cannot find an email address for Agnophilo. Thus I am posting the
    contents of this email here:

    (I’m attempting to post this via Googlemail, due to the problems with Facebook.)

  3. Greetings Mark,
    The post card you refer to says “Creationists and Evolutionists…” and yet you don’t address those two groups, you go off on a long tangent about the nature of science. Do you not see how those are different? I imagine you are trying to equivocate “Evolutionists” with Science itself, but instead of taking my word for it, let me give you the chance to hear the unbiased nature of evolutionary science right from the horses’ mouths (to the best of my knowledge, all of the persons quotes are evolutionists):
    “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, …in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Richard Lewontin, The New York Review

    ‘I admit that an awful lot of that has gotten into the textbooks as though it were true. For instance, the most famous example still on exhibit downstairs (in the American Museum) is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps 50 years ago. That has been presented as literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now I think that that is lamentable, particularly because the people who propose these kinds of stories themselves may be aware of the speculative nature of some of the stuff. But by the time it filters down to the textbooks, we’ve got science as truth and we’ve got a problem.’– Dr. Niles Eldredge, curator at the American Museum of Natural History
    “I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers.” Thomas Nagel
    “The belief that life on earth arose spontaneously from non-living matter, is simply a matter of faith in strict reductionism and is based entirely on ideology.” Hubert P. Yockey, 1992
    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.” Dr Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School
    “..we have spent much of the last century arguing to the lay community that we have proved the current biological paradigm (evolution). Unfortunately, very few in the scientific community seem critical of this indiscretion.” David Abel
    The Gene Emergence Project, The Origin of Life Science Foundation
    “Research on the origin of life seems to be unique in that the conclusion has already been authoritatively accepted … . What remains to be done is to find the scenarios which describe the detailed mechanisms and processes by which this happened.One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written.” Yockey, H.P., Journal of Theoretical Biology
    “Although at the beginning the paradigm was worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception based on the ideology of its champions.” Hubert P. Yockey, 1992
    “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.” Michael Ruse was professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada
    ‘Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic’ Dr Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University
    “Big bang cosmology is probably as widely believed as has been any theory of the universe in the history of Western civilization. It rests, however, on many untested, and in some cases untestable, assumptions. Indeed, big bang cosmology has become a bandwagon of thought that reflects faith as much as objective truth.” Burbidge, G., 1992. Why only one big bang? Scientific American,
    “Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so, we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory.” West, Dr. Ronald (Kansas State Univ.)
    “Charles Lyell was a lawyer by profession, and his book is one of the most brilliant briefs ever published by an advocate … Lyell relied upon true bits of cunning to establish his uniformitarian views as the only true geology. First, he set up a straw man to demolish. In fact, the catastrophists were much more empirically minded than Lyell. The geologic record does seem to require catastrophes; rocks are fractured and contorted; whole faunas are wiped out. To circumvent this literal appearance, Lyell imposed his imagination upon the evidence. The geologic record, he argued, is extremely imperfect and we must interpolate into it what we can reasonably infer but cannot see. The catastrophists were the hard-nosed empiricists of their day, not the blinded theological apologists.” Gould, Prof. Stephen Jay, Prof. of Geol. at Harvard; Natural History,

    ‘Palaeoanthropologists seem to make up for a lack of fossils with an excess of fury, and this must now be the only science in which it is still possible to become famous just by having an opinion. As one cynic says, in human palaeontology [the study of fossils] the consensus depends on who shouts loudest.’ J.S. Jones, Department of Genetics and Biometry, University College, London

    ‘Genetics has no proofs for evolution. It has trouble explaining it. The closer one looks at the evidence for evolution the less one finds of substance. In fact the theory keeps on postulating evidence, and failing to find it, moves on to other postulates (fossil missing links, natural selection of improved forms, positive mutations, molecular phylogenetic sequences, etc.). This is not science.’ Professor Maciej Giertych, B.A., M.A. Oxon, Ph.D. Toronto, D.Sc. Poznan, Head of Genetics Department, Polish Academy of Scienced, Institute of Dendrology, Poland.
    ‘The evolution of the genetic machinery is the step for which there are no laboratory models: hence one can speculate endlessly, unfettered by inconvenient facts.’ Dickerson, Richard, Scientific American

    …Now, what was it you said was being “Misrepresented as science”?

  4. Please will Agnophilo MODERATE my attempted post above?

    Thank you.

  5. Please see attached. If I am put on pre-moderation again for posting a link, I will try again by reproducing the latest post on the link minus any links therein.

  6. Agnophilo
    Thanks. My first comment here was still showing as ‘awaiting
    moderation’ when I looked earlier this evening. (I am also having
    massive problems posting at threads like this due to nonsense from both
    Facebook and Googlemail.)
    You will note that YEC blogger Tim Gilleand appears to have decided to
    censor me, mid-discussion, here:
    He must regard my commenting as some sort of ‘threat’. Even though all
    I did was report the Jeffrey Tomkins claim regarding human chromosome 2
    as flagged by Ian Juby – along the lines of my comment above.
    By way of a reminder about my unmoderated post, two or three hours
    later on the evening of 4 Nov I emailed Gilleand as follows:
    An attempted post, about the issue raised in the thread below, has
    appeared on my screen below your recent blog post dated 25 Oct. But
    awaits your moderation. It would be helpful if you could approve it
    asap as Agnophilo STILL has not moderated an attempted post dated 2
    on the same topic under his recent blog dated 1 Nov.
    His response?
    “Ashley, perhaps I have other things to do than entertain your
    rantings. I have never written a blog about Human Chromoson #2, and
    thus do not know why this comment should be posted”.

    A clumsy and unconvincing attempt to depict my contribution as ‘off-
    topic’ even though he did not censor you for providing a Ken Miller
    video link on the self-same topic.

    My thoughts on Mr Gilleand’s unpredicted and unpredictable behaviour
    were expressed here at 11.07 pm GMT last night (I have sent him the

    I will now once again flag this thread to Mr Gilleand.

  7. I am not sure whether my new post just now is awaiting moderation due to the technical problems I keep experiencing on this (and other) blogs or because it contains links…

  8. Which will come first I wonder:
    – my death (I’m 54 and apparently reasonably healthy);
    – Tim Gilleand moderating my outstanding attempted posts at his blog of 25 October (or Jason Lisle moderating posts I attempted to make in April 2013);
    – his death (he’s younger than me I believe);
    – the return of Christ;
    – the death of planet Earth.

  9. Comment as just submitted here (where Agnophilo has been allowed to post):
    “Tim is silently banning me by failing to moderate my posts, then it shows that he has given up because he has lost the argument. As I will mention at the Agnophilo blog.”
    The post has not appeared at the blog – it ‘awaits’ moderation.

  10. Sorry that should have read “If Tim is…” (a word got lost in the cut and paste).

  11. whyzat says:

    I’m tempted to tell these guys that they are annoying and ill-informed (or ill-educated), and when they asked me for facts and quotes I could just refer them to their own comments.

Speak yer mind.

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