From: allenroy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 17 2003 - 01:42:09 EDT
Robert Schneider wrote:
> Ultimately, every paradigm has to stand or fall on those pesky little
> things call empirical facts. While paradigms are theory laden and drive the
> interpretation of facts, the accumulation of facts that call a particular
> paradigm into question may reach such a weight that the paradigm is no
> longer sustainable. Thus, the massive amount of empirical data regarding
> the age of the earth weighed against a few anomalies, establish the validity
> of an ancient age.
There are two problems here. 1. The supposed "empirical data" regarding the
age of the earth is not empirical at all, but interpretation of data based upon
a paradigm that expects an old age for the earth. 2. That "massive" amount of
data regarding the age of the earth is only relevant within the paradigm that
interprets the data (and which calls it empirical). It is irrelevant how much
interpreted data there is within one paradigm when that interpretation is
irrelevant in another paradigm.
> I question whether "paradigm" is the right term to use for a form of
> science that is overdetermined by a particular interpretation of the Bible
> and Genesis. In YEC you have facts and their interpretation tailored to an
> interpretation of a sacred text, whereas the evolutionary paradigm is based
> solely upon a "reading" i.e. interpretation of nature. The two are not
> really the same thing.
The evolutionary paradigm is just as religious and sacred as a Creationary
paradigm. The only difference is that the evolutionary paradigm is based upon
and accepted by blind faith. It is blind because it cannot be confirmed by
anyone who could know.
Your ontological naturalist, when he/she interprets (reads) nature, actually
starts with a philosophical statement which supplies the presuppositions needed
to build a paradigm--1) Nature is all there is; 2) because we are here (and 1),
Abiogenesis and Evolution are absolute facts; 3) Deep time is extrapolated as
expected. Thus, Evolutionism is not "solely based on reading nature," but upon
presuppositions about nature that nature cannot supply.
A Creationary paradigm is based upon a revealed history and is accepted by faith
in the truthfulness of God. His word, though written by flawed humans and using
finite human language, tells us what we need to know. A Creationary paradigm
also starts with a philosophical statement which supplies the presuppositions
needed to build a paradigm--1) In the beginning God created the universe; 2) God
created by fiat the biosphere on this planet; 3) There has been only some
6000+/- years since the creation of the biosphere; 4) A global cataclysm
involving the complete lithosphere reworked the entire surface of the globe some
4000 years ago.
Those in the Evolutionary/O.N. camp may promote a massive amount of 'empirical'
evidence for a vast age of life on the earth. But, to those in the Creationary
camp, that 'empirical' evidence is irrelevant and seen for what it really
is--interpretation within the O.N. paradigm that expects deep time.
The paradigm determines the age of life on earth, not the raw data.
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