Re: scientific fact versus historical fact (was: Re: [asa] ID question?)

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Oct 19 2009 - 14:31:21 EDT

> And more generally, do you grant that the categories of scientific fact and
> historical fact can overlap in particular cases?
> This has relevance, obviously, to the epistemic status of all statements in
> the historical sciences, and thus for the subject of evolution.
A supposed distinction between historical and scientific facts is
often played up by young earth advocates in an attempt to label
evidence of the age of the earth as non-science and therefore less
credible. However, this has two major problems. First, Christianity
is based on the reliability of historical evidence; denying it attacks
the Bible. Second, it betrays an underlying scientism, a belief that
science is the most authoritative source of information. If science
is not the prime authority, why is it so important to show that the
Bible provides scientific data rather than speaking credibly but in
the manner of an ancient near easterner instead of in the manner of a
modern scientist? Why is having the appearance of scientific support
so important that honesty and quality are unimportant by comparison?

Not that it is worthless to delimit the categories of science versus
history, but that the boundaries are broadly overlapping and
denigrating either is wrong.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Oct 19 14:31:44 2009

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