Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ten Questions For Believers in Divine Creation and Intelligent Design That Never Seem To Get Answered

Is there any reason to believe in your theory rather than some other religion's version of Divine Creation?
Follow-up questions:
  • If you believe that some animals -- for example, dinosaurs -- were not saved on the Ark, explain why you believe the Bible is incorrect.
  • If you are a young-earth creationist: Why are many creationists old-earth creationists?
  • If you are a young-life creationist: Why are many creationists old-life creationists?
  • Some people say that scientific creationism does a disservice to Christianity by holding Christianity up to ridicule. How would you answer that charge?

Why do so many Christians accept Evolution as truth?


Is there any scientific observation which supports any feature of your theory?  (Note:  an adequate answer to this question will not be something which is a problem for evolution, but is rather evidence for your theory. Remember that it is logically possible for both evolution and your theory to be wrong.  Something which appears to support Lamarkian evolution rather than the Darwinian, or punctuated equilibrium rather than gradualism is not enough.  Also, the observation must be something which can be checked by an independent observer.)
Follow-up question:
  • Is there any scientific observation which was predicted by your theory?

Is there any comprehensive and consistent statement of your theory? (The suggestion that major points are still under investigation will only be accepted for theories that are relatively recent. Any exposition which cannot be distinguished from solipsism or nihilism will not be accepted.)
Follow-up question:
  • Is there any statement of the scientific (or other) rules of evidence which you accept? (If your answer is that some document is your guide, explain the rules for interpreting the document, and your rules for determining which document is your guide.)

Why is there the remarkable coherence among many different dating methods -- for example: radioactivity, tree rings, ice cores, corals, supernovas -- from astronomy, biology, physics, geology, chemistry and archeology? (This is not answered by saying that there is no proof of uniformity of radioactive decay. The question is why all these different methods give thesame answers.)
Is there any feature of your theory which is subject to scientific test?  (This is often stated as "Is creationism scientific in the sense that it could be falsified?", after Karl Popper's criterion.  Another way of phrasing it is, "Is there any kind of observation which, if it were seen, would change your theory?"
Follow-up questions:
  • Is there any observation which has changed your theory?
  • Is your theory open to change, and if so, what criteria are there for accepting change?

Why is there the present distribution of animals and plants in the world?   What this question is asking is how is it possible that marsupials are restricted to Australia and nearby islands and the Americas, monotremes to Australia, and few placental mammals are native to Australia?  Why are tomatoes and potatoes native to the Americas only?  This is not a question merely of how they could have arrived there, it is also of why only there.

Is there a consistent reading of the Flood story of Genesis? What this question is asking is how many of each kind of clean animal truly went on the Ark?  Please present a calendar of the events of the Flood from the birth of Noah through the birth of Arpachshad (sometimes called Arphaxad, grandson of Noah), paying special attention as to the day when Noah entered the Ark and how long the Flood lasted.  If you change the text of Genesis in the course of constructing your answer, give a reason for the change other than the need to make the text of Genesis fit your specific beliefs.
Follow-up questions:
  • Where did all of the water come from and go to? (This is a very old problem for the Flood story, and it may be the most frequently asked. Quantitative answers are required.)
  • What did all of the carnivores eat after leaving the Ark? (This is not a question about what they ate on the Ark.) In other words, explain how the food chain worked before the present ratios of a few predators to many prey.
  • Explain how the degree of genetic variation in contemporary animals resulted from the few on the Ark.  
  • Explain how a viable population was established for all of those animal kinds from only a single pair of each.  
  • Discuss how symbiotic animals and parasites survived immediately after the Flood.
  • Is it possible to fit the pairs (male and female) of all kinds of land animals and birds on the Ark? The answer must give a detailed calculation. Remember to include all invertebrates as well as vertebrates, food and water, and neccesary environmental controls. Remember to include all kinds of cattle.
  • Explain the meaning of the word "kind".
  • Calculate the structural soundness and stability of the Ark, both loaded and unloaded, on land and on the Flood waters.
  • Explain the logistics of loading and unloading the Ark. Relate this to the time available given in the answer to question (8) and to the distribution referred to in question (7).  
  • Explain how there were pairs, male and female, of social (forming colonies), parthenogenic (female only) and hermaphroditic (both sexes in one individual) animals.

Why do you feel that there must be a mechanistic, naturalistic or materialist exposition of the wondrous events described in the Bible?

Why has God given us all the evidence for an earth more than 100,000 years old and for evolution and the intelligence to infer that? 
Follow-up question:
  • Why has God given us a Bible with all of the evidence that it is not to be read according to the norms of modern western historical and scientific writing?

4 comments:

  1. It's a hypothesis, not a theory. I consider the distinction critical, as the deliberate misuse of the term is an intentional part of elevating the status of Creationism while diminishing the status of Evolution. I think your use of it feeds into their trap. Grrrrrr. :P

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  2. Okay, that personal foolishness of mine aside, this is another very well-written and cohesive piece, which does a great job leaving out the sarcasm Creationism so richly deserves, in favor of attempting to strike a respectful tone that presses for actual conversation. Well done!

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  3. Another classic, which you again politely avoid, is the "Well, God changed the rules about radioactive decay halfway thru." I've actually heard that one. To which I reply "I prefer a god who can set a 14 billion year plan the results in me, to one who changes his mind halfway thru the project."

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