Re: Testing in historical science

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Wed, 03 Dec 1997 12:30:46 -0500 (EST)

At 09:26 PM 11/24/97 -0400, David Campbell wrote:

>>My comments do apply to astronomy/astrophysics. However, in astronomy we can
>>see the time devolvement of many different stars and so study the "typical"
>>life of a star. We cannot do that in cosmology where we study the universe.
>>Of course, there are theories where our universe is one of many. But again
>>that is very speculative.
> Historical science generalizes into laws experiments that were done
>longer ago, without direct observation of the experimental conditions, but
>the similarity is greater than is often admitted. Not only do young-earth
>advocates try to draw a line so as to dismiss the evidence for an old
>earth, but also atheists try to draw a line to dismiss the historical
>evidence for the truth of the Gospel.
> Historical geology is more like astronomy than cosmology. We can
>observe many different deposits of different ages and compare them to
>modern environments to determine how they formed and how they change. We
>can put organisms in different environments and observe how they respond,
>including evolutionary changes. Experimental petrology can test how
>certain kinds of rock form and change.
>David Campbell

Of course, the experiments in experimental science are totally controlled.
Such is not the case in historical science. I am not sure about your comment
about historical geology. It seems to me that much of it is like cosmology
rather than astrophysics. I must say I do not understand the term
"evolutionary changes." It seems to be all-encompassing. You are not
certainly talking about BIG changes, are you?