Re: skepticism

Glenn Morton (
Tue, 08 Oct 1996 21:45:47

Aw shucks, Allan Harvey beat me to this point but I will post it anyway, I
have one different twist.

Paul Arveson Wrote:

>This reminds me of the argument that was used by ICR in response to Miller's
>chemistry experiment that formed amino acids using only simple gases,
>electricity and a water trap. The rebuttal was that the experiment was
>man-made, therefore it was an example of intelligent design.
>Such an argument can be made against any laboratory experiment, right? That
>means that NO experiment can rule out intelligent design as a possibility. Or
>conversely, it implies that intelligent design is a non-falsifiable notion.
That is why I have always asked the Intelligent design advocates, like Mike
Behe, to give a definition of design which can be agreed to by all. The
problem is that there is none. We either believe in design or we don't.

>ICR also rebuts arguments about the early history of the universe, by asking,
>"How do you know? Were you there?" This argument implies that ANY inference
>about the past is suspect. In other words, drawing any inferences from the
> past is not valid. Alternatives such as instantaneous creation with the
> appearance of age therefore cannot be falsified in principle.
>So we see that neither experiment nor historical inference can decide
>questions about origins. That doesn't leave any empirical alternatives, so
>I guess we will have to take the creationist's (revealed) word for it.

Correct, but their argument here has very much broader implications. The thing

I have never understood about this argument, is that one can apply it quite
similarly to the resurrection itself. You weren't there. How do you know?
If such an argument is valid for origins, why is it not valid for the
resurrection? Both events need historical inference to support them. To rule
inference out in the case of origins, but not in the case of the resurrection,
seems inconsistent.

There is also the point that if inference is to be ruled out, what about the
events I INFER from the sense data I receive. I must interpret that sense
data in the Kantian sense of noumena [sic? it has been a long, long time] and
phenomena. My eyes receive sensory input but I am not really seeing the
events surrounding me, only the reflection of light from those events.

Foundation,Fall and Flood