Re: Why?

Ron Chitwood (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 20:11:57 -0500

>>>Why do so
> many in this group seem to believe that if they can point out the
> and obvious inadequacies within the range of evolutionary theories, they
> have thereby established the legitimacy of their own position?<<<

I cannot speak for others but I wish it known that when macroevolutionists
speak of the THEORY OF EVOLUTION as a fact instead of a rather specious
philosophical premise it is wrong. It is an act of faith, just as my
position is, but its not presented that way. It actually takes more faith
to believe in macroevolutionism (using Ockham's razor) than it does to
believe in creation by God. It all bottoms out as belief. An atheist
believes in macroevolution because of faith, nothing else. I believe that
'God created...." because of faith, nothing else.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.. Pr. 3:5
Ron Chitwood

> From: Tom Pearson <>
> To:
> Subject: Why: Why?
> Date: Monday, April 13, 1998 10:54 AM
> At 01:34 PM 4/12/98 -0700, Dario Giraldo wrote:
> >When Geology becomes an exact science, when geologists can look at the
> >earth and say with certainty this volcano is going to erupt this day at
> >this hour with this much force. This piece of land is going to shake
> >this much intensity. You can find x millions of gallons of oil in this
> >exact point and be true everytime, then I'll believe their claims to
> >billions of years for this or that to happened.
> >
> >When Evolution becomes a law and not just a theory filled with gaps and
> >situations that are more the product of 'creative science' than
> >facts.
> Folks,
> I want to make it clear that I speak here as a philosopher, not
as a
> scientist. But I want to speak as a philosopher, since my concern with
> post cited above is related to an assortment of logical errors that I
> seen not only in Dario's comments, but in a fair amount of the
> on this topic.
> First, in dealing with scientific matters -- indeed, in dealing
> anything we encounter in this life -- we are not dealing with certainties
> all. Certainties are normally reckoned to be derived from proofs. But
> science doesn't traffic in proofs. It deals with evidence, and the
> subsequent reasoning that seeks to integrate and account for the
> But this produces no proof of anything. For instance, if you are driving
> down the street, and a child runs out in front of your car, can you be
> *certain* you will strike and injure the child? Of course not. You have
> proof of anything here. Why, then, do you attempt to stop the car, or
> the child? Because you have good grounds for concluding that the
> before you indicates the appropriate response. Again, if you have a
> toothache, can you be certain that going to the dentist will not make the
> problem worse? If you can't prove that, wny bother going? In short, if
> waitied until we were always in possession of a priori certainty before
> rendered a judgment, we would know nothing, and act on everything
> indiscriminately. Science does not proceed that way, and neither does
> Asking for science to become "exact," in the sense of providing
> "certainties," is a red herring, and does not deserve to be taken
> >Then you'll can say YEC/Noah and many more events are false. In the
> >meantime, it becomes a matter of faith. Who or what do you believe more
> >because none of us was there to witnessed it and the results can't be
> >duplicated in the lab.
> Second, it is simply not the case that, because evolution is a
> flawed and inconclusive theory, that in itself validates the YEC/global
> flood position. This is an ignoratio elenchi, or argument from
> Usually, it goes like this: if you can't prove your point, that is
> sufficient to prove mine. It's not clear to me if Dario is arguing this,
> but I've seen a good many others who have so argued. But of course, a
> failure to adequately demonstrate one position doesn't at all lend
> to any other possible position. They could all be wrong.
> This second fallacy seems to rest on a third, I think. I
> frequently encounter the notion that, on the matter of origins, there is
> Theory A, and there is Theory Z. One must be right, and the other must
> wrong. But this is a false alternative. In fact, when it comes to
> there is no "Theory A" or "Theory Z." There are a variety of
> positions, and a spectrum of speculations on the part of those who hold
> Intelligent Design, or Theistic Evolution, or Special Creation. The
> of false alternative depends on mistaking such discrete options for
> exclusive categories. "Theory A is right and Theory Z is wrong," *only*
> works when, say, Theory Z is a complementary class to Theory A (meaning:
> class of all non-A theories), and not simply an alternative to Theory A.
> Based on numberless conversations with folks on both sides of the origins
> issue, I have a suspicion that many people tend to confuse the Principle
> Non-Contradiction with the Principle of Excluded Middle, and then further
> muddy things up by invoking the Princicple of Sufficient Reason, which
> frequently results in the presentation of a false alternative.
> Finally, on "a matter of faith." This makes everything humanly
> knowable "a matter of faith," as Descartes showed. But it sounds as
> Dario is proposing "faith" as the appropriate response to a lack of
> certainty. If so, this is a time-honored philosophical position, and its
> name is "skepticism." I cannot be certain if there are unicorns in my
> office right now, but I have "faith" that there are such unicorns here.
> cannot be certain that the clothes I am wearing are the same ones I put
> this morning, but I have "faith" that they are. I cannot be certain that
> the sun will set in the west this evening, but I have "faith" that it
> In short, I am abdicating knowledge in favor of "faith." This is a
> skeptical position. When knowledge is defined by certainty, "faith" is
> that is left -- for anything. For most of us, most of the time, the
> question is not about our faith, but about what justifies our faith. Do
> have good evidence for the claims we make about the object of our faith?
> that evidence carefully examined, and is reason suitably applied to that
> evidence? Are our conclusions reliable, informative, and prone to
> verification (or falsification)? Everyone, of course, has the
> "right to his opinion." But that's a legal right, not an intellectual
> For opinions to be treated seriously, or as candidates for knowledge,
> need to justified in some way. That's the key issue.
> I suppose what I want to do here is frame my comments in the form
> questions. Why do so many YEC/global flood proponents (not all of them,
> any means) depict the question of origins as a false alternative? Why do
> many in this group seem to believe that if they can point out the
> and obvious inadequacies within the range of evolutionary theories, they
> have thereby established the legitimacy of their own position? Why do
> YEC/global flood adherents appear to hold that, by eroding all knowledge
> claims about origins, they have achieved a level playing field for this
> contest? None of these strategems is the least bit convincing. Why do
> do this?
> Tom Pearson
> Thomas D. Pearson
> Department of History & Philosophy
> The University of Texas-Pan American
> Edinburg, Texas
> e-mail:
> >
> >
> >Best Regards,
> >
> >
> >Dario Giraldo
> >Lacey, Washington
> >
> >
> >