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How Studying the Scientific Method Led Me To Creation

June 25, 2012

Katha Pollitt is a popular columnist for major national newspapers.  Recently, using her trademark wit, she bemoaned a finding in a recentGalluppoll that reported 46% of college graduates still believe in creation as described more or less in Genesis.  This caused Pollitt’s brain to explode and melt all over her keyboard.  I know she’s not the only one.  I’m one of those 46% and I have much firsthand experience at watching brain’s noisily explode at my dropping this information.  Pollitt doesn’t seem to care to interview anyone as to why they believe this.  She instead, with utter boring predictability, paints a caricature of people who believe this as doing so just because they are too stupid to believe otherwise and then (unfairly based on what she just posited I might add) blames the academics out there for teaching badly.  Her big finish is with the old “if they don’t accept these ‘basic’ science teachings than they could be doing great harm to people” routine.

Katha, baby, I know you didn’t ask for it, but allow me to take you on the journey of 18 year old science student Todd and tell you exactly why I believe in creation as told in Genesis.  I’m sure you are surprised that I’m smart enough to use a computer (when I punch clicky clacky buttons pretty shapes come out!) but you may find after reading this that my view is surprising … scientific.

*****

When I decided to enter the science field as a young lad I did a frightening thing: I started with a blank slate of belief.  I grew up in a Christian home, read the Bible, became a Christian, and had since studied with believers for a long period time.  But now I was on my own.  I wanted to see if this Christianity really was what it said it was.  After all, if God was really as big as he said he was, he could prove himself easily, I thought.  And Katha, you may be surprised to hear this, but I was always taught to believe the scripture in 1 Thess. 5:21 which said “Test everything.  Hold onto the good.”  Faith had always been to me of testing invisible things, comparing them to Scripture and Jesus, and then making decisions about them.

Going into the science field I was leery.  After all, I had heard what a juggernaut of faith destruction evolution and the geographic sciences were.  I actually liked my faith.  I wasn’t keen to give up on it, even in part.  However, I liked what was true better and Scripture itself had told me to take that stance so it was with trepidation that I took my new stance of openness into my college science classes.

I laugh now at how worried I was about it.  This thing that I had built up in my mind that seemed so powerful that it could destroy my faith turned out to not just be obviously untrue, but, at times, laughably untrue (when you need a good laugh ask me sometime about the “ground up” and “tree down” theories in my evolutionary text book on the origins of birds).  All I could think was “That’s it?  Really?  That’s your proof?”  As I progressed through my studies I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop but instead it just kept going that way until I graduated with a Marine Sciences degree from a top 5 university in the field.   What’s funny is that the reason I rejected evolutionary and big bang cosmos theory wasn’t faith – it was the scientific method itself.

******

The evidence used to prove molecules-to-man evolution is a lot like this:

Imagine you had a theory that all gumballs are red.   To test that theory, you go to a gumball machine.  You put a quarter in the slot, turn the knob, and .. a red gumball comes out!  “Wow,” you exclaim “Look at this proof that all gumballs are red!”  You repeat that action and, again, a red gumball comes out.  “Awesome!  My theory is being proven true!”  However, the next time you do this, a yellow gumball comes out.  “Hmm,” you think, “This one isn’t red.  Well, these others were red.  Hmm.  Maybe what happened was that this WAS red but then turned yellow.  It’s just a bad sample, I’ll throw it out.”  And so you go on and drain the machine in a like manner.  At the end of it you have two handfuls of red gumballs and you say to anyone who is listening “Look at all this proof that all gumballs are red!”  However, behind you is a pile of yellow, white, and green gumballs three times as big.

I found that all the red gumballs held out were ones of natural selection within kind.  The only place I’ve seen with hard evidence that is repeatable and observable is in natural selection and, you might not think this, but we don’t disagree this happens.  In text book after text book, this is the only hard evidence I saw.  I found that most of the red balls were basically just “these things look like each other or are similar to each other” which then was stretched to “these must have come from each other because they look like each other”.  That’s where the “Huh?” came in.  Katha, please please try to understand this.  This point has been made a million times and yet none of you seem to hear it.  The creationist stance is against long term evolution, not natural selection.  These terms are being used interchangeably all of the time and they are most definitely not the same thing!  Natural selection basically just says that creatures that breed together will gravitate towards traits found inside the natural diversity of the animal kind that best help them survive.  Creationists have no problems with this.  God created creatures who could adapt to a changing world.  That’s just benevolence and good design.  The issue is creatures evolving past their “kind” or gaining new information.  Natural selection relies on the loss or replacement of information.  There is no new information happening here.  Evolution across kind is where the white, yellow, and green gumball pile lies.

That white, yellow, and green pile in the back loomed large despite my text book and teachers gesticulating towards the red gumballs to try to distract me away from them.  In fact, a typical response is “How can you ignore all these facts?” because people seem to think that if you believe in creation than you ignore a bunch of true things.  It’s actually the complete opposite.  I see not just facts presented – I see the inconvenient research that has been throw out as well.  I take them ALL into evidence.  And, everything beyond the red gumballs is basically one giant melty gumball mess.

At first I noticed that Natural Selection just doesn’t seem to move past “kind” easily.  To try to explain why natural selection doesn’t seem to move past kind, what was brought to me first was mutation and random copy errors, which turns out pretty freaking destructive actually and seems difficult to work within the timescale that’s been constructed.  Mounds of non-red gumballs behind it.  So my text books went to punctuated equilibrium, which is the very definition of a made up story.  Get this: the evidence for punctuated equilibrium is that there is no evidence.  Ha!  I guess we’re giving migration patterns a try now to help the copy errors theory.  That’s a problem, though, because the archaeological anthropological fossil record turned out to be a convoluted trash pile.  Go ahead.  Try to find multiple charts of fossils that agree with each other on where certain fossils go across from the last 20 years.  I guarantee you this month that some new finding will change some evolutionary timeline by 10,000’s to millions of year.  It happens every month.  (It happened this month with postulation over handprints in a cave that some think are Neanderthal.)  The fossils themselves are not accessible  and rarely seen by anyone (which has posed problems with accuracy) and have often been qualified by dubious individuals (see “Lucy”).  The archaeology is such a gigantic mess (read “mess” as “not proving at all what they had predetermined it should look like”) that most evolutionary scientists have chosen to ignore it and do everything via genetic clocks.  Guess what, that’s been a mess too.  I’m serious – it is one heck of a mess.  If you knew the enormity of it, you would laugh it out of your presence.  When I saw that, it made it mighty hard for me to believe with absolute sincerity that I was told it should make me believe it.

No text book came anywhere near proof of how life came to be in the first place.  Katha, you would think that to be a fundamental question, eh?  I find it so.  It’s only the foundation of the entire assumption here of what I’m supposed to so easily believe.  My evolutionary text book offered no theory and, in a hilarious accident I think, actually said something to the effect that this all came together naturally by some “miracle”.  It actually used the word “miracle.”  Then it took a feeble stab at trying to show the earth wasn’t a closed system and the laws of physics weren’t broken.  Katha, there isn’t even agreement (because there is practically no fact for reasons discussed further below) about the original conditions of the earth and what would be needed for life.  Most textbooks and professors just mumble something about early conditions, iron concentrations, a primordial soup, some amino acids, Miller-Urey, and skip to the “simple” cell already formed.  That’s been so hard to prove that the main thought now is that life came from extraterrestrial means through a meteorite.  That’s attractive because, for the most part, we don’t know what in the h e double hockey sticks happens in space.  The earth condition data is looking pretty bad for these life questions so we have to go somewhere where we can make stuff up without dissent.  The next frontier, once the space theory is dried up, is the mulitverse to try to fix the math, which, Katha, is bad.  The math that this life we all live could happen from a giant explosion is extraordinarily, extraordinarily bad.  Like kazillions to one.  Like worse than winning the national lottery 10 times in a row bad.  Long live the multiverse!

Image

Stuff like this self organizes all of the time around me.

I got further news for you Katha.  The “simple” cell ain’t so simple.  I took a test on both bacteria and regular animal cells so I know.  You try remembering how to spell, let alone locate, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum for a test!  We got a huge evolutionary problem here.  In order for life you have to have a few very complicated, multi-faceted things.  First, you have to be able to take in energy.  Second you have to process the energy.  Third you have to be able to release waste.  Fourth, you have to be able to keep inside stuff you want inside and keep stuff out that you don’t want inside.  Fifth, you have to be able to reproduce.  Sixth, growth.  Seventh, you have to have some kind of mechanism for controlling all those things (because sometimes it’s detrimental to eat or you have to distinguish between what is food and what isn’t).  There is nothing out there that comes close to factually showing how anyone of these came to be let alone how the could form together all at once.  I’ve looked for 20 years.  And these are the easy questions!  What about why any matter has the properties is has or why they stay stable instead of chaotic?  What is life anyway?  Throwing out some amino acids that have been formed in a controlled experiment is nowhere near this complexity.  Heck, I’ll give you a complete dead body.  Make it live. The only answers reported to me are wild postulations that are said without any experimentation at all.  Even Miller-Urey, which has always had massive problems with its left-handed amino acids, has been quietly swept back into the pile of white, green, and blue gumdrops.  And people accuse the Christians for believing made up stories.  Seriously, I found that 99% of the “science” behind the origin events are completely made up, have no evidence for their theories, and are molded around 1% of a controlled test about amino acids and natural protein formation.  GIANT MESS!  Forget how I can’t believe this stuff.  How CAN I believe this stuff?

 

I’m not even getting into the massive problems with birds and bats, how a nucleus could evolve in a step by step fashion, how a creature could transition from water to land and back again, how the earth – which works like an engine – could form in the way it’s been said, why animals would evolve to eat each other or when other things that are much easier to obtain are nearby, and hundreds of other problems that stared me right back in the face when I tried to see if this was true.  Somewhere towards the end of my time in school when I was trying to figure out problems like how a whale could evolve to live on krill (think about it), I just gave into the fact that we are created.

Image

Yes, that is a bat grown over in a stalagmite. And yes, I am confused why I was always told that it took millions of years for stalagmites to form.

Besides from this, these portions of the sciences have a massive credibility problem.  These credibility problems get swept under the rug.  This is part of the problem.  I’ve grown up in a world, like most people, that is always trying to sell me something.  At least Christians are upfront about their problems, for the most part.  How often do scientific mistakes about large scale evolution or geologic problems get revealed?  Piltdown man was taught in textbooks for 40 years before it was proved a hoax and there are still people that don’t know it was a hoax.  How come I was never told that stalagmites and stalactites can be grown quickly instead of taking millions of years?  I’m confused at why I was told that strata always takes millions of years to form but when Mt. St. Helens erupted it created a 25 feet deep layered strata in 3 hours.  How come I was never told that there have been numerous problems with dating organizations sending back lava samples and such with million year price tags when they were known to have been formed 40 years before?  Furthermore, there are massive issues with all of the dating techniques from fission tracking to ice cores.  Fossils are found where they aren’t supposed to be all of the time that revise the age of fossils found around them that have been previously dated by these methods.  The reason: dating methods don’t arrive at an answer independent of pre-assumptions.  But, that’s never said.  We instead get the mysterious “Must’ve been a contaminant” quote as our only explanation.  These are just scratching the surface.  It led me to think “Why aren’t they being open about this?” That led me to “Why would they try to hide it?”  That led me to darker thoughts.

Science is supposed to be about asking questions.  Science is not supposed to have a world view.  It is supposed to be neutral, right?  But we all know that’s not the truth.  Overall, a group has gutted a good thing called the scientific method, a method based on a predictable universe made by a logical and predictable God, and replaced it with Naturalism and Atheism, saying this predictability came from chaos or something unknowable.  Why in the world would chaos produce order?  Why in the heck would an unknowable being make things so that they could be intricately known?  The thing is – the more ordered I see things, the more I believe there is something out there that ordered it.  If I found a pyramid in the desert, the first question I would ask would not be “How did this sand randomly form into bricks that appear to be a perfectly ordered pyramid?”  It would be, “Who built this?”  I’ve learned this from observation and using the principles of the scientific method.  For me, the scientific method further proves a thinking God that wants to be known to me.

When someone isn’t being real with me about their faults, Christian or not, it makes me distrust them.  When you ridicule me as your only response it further shows me that you aren’t the neutral science loving fella or gal that you say you are.  You should want me to be skeptical.  Then I could perform the scientific method more.  But you and I both know, Katha, that this isn’t really about science.  Because, if you looked at it, the hypothesis step of the scientific method demands you have a worldview to test, so you can’t really be neutral.  The dirty little secret is that the origin issues are not observable – the very first step of the scientific method – so it doesn’t matter how much anyone postulates or how good it sounds when postulating, we just don’t know and we never will what happened in a scientific way.  The best we can do is make educated guesses.  I realized this while in college.  This isn’t about science, it’s about faith and people are trying to convert me to their faith by keeping elements of the truth away from me.  It IS faith.  You can’t know it.  It may be educated.  You may think it’s true.  But it is still something you believe, not something you know.  Stop trying to pass this off on me as fact.  Please refer to the mess briefly introduced above.  It was my scientific training that taught me to observe those problems.  The scientific method teaches me to reject these things as fact until they are repeatable and they make sense.

So, why do others in the field believe naturalism?  Obviously because they get something out of it.  Of course someone is not going to express doubts about these naturalistic, atheistic philosophy’s when there job, home, credibility, legacy, pride, ethics, and family are on the line.  Katha, your methodology persecutes non-believers like any other faiths have and do today.  “Coming out” as a creationist has cost lots of people their jobs and station in life and is increasingly causing problems for people.  You and others like you have a zealous faith that persecutes and demonizes, clearly without following the scientific method you are supposedly espousing.  Besides, lots of groups of people believe things that aren’t true for long periods of times for these reasons.  I have.  Everyone I know has.  Look at yourself and look to history.  This argument that a creationist thinks everyone is purposefully lying or that “everyone” thinks this way and your stupid to disagree is demonstrably false.  (You should rethink the “everyone believes this” stance.  I see it all the time the appeal to the supposed agreement on a fact by smart people by saying things like “Science says” or “Most scientists say” without a shred of evidence of this consensus – and believe me, most scientist in the same field disagree with each other – make up a story with outrageously self important etymology and code speak, and then congratulate themselves when someone doesn’t know what they are talking about by saying – “They’re just too stupid to understand.  I’m smarter.  I know more.”  If “everyone” agrees, prove it.)  And we both know what this is about.  If we can see very deeply into the way things work and they don’t look like random chance it makes it pretty hard to deny that a creator is out there.  People want to protect that they can do whatever you want and that those actions are just.  That’s powerful motivation to believe the lie.  The lie gives you what you want.

Speaking of looking to history, the theory that not believing molecules-to-man evolution is detrimental and harmful to the world is one of the worst scientific theories you could posit.  It has been already been proved untrue.  This idea you have has only really been around en masse for 200 or so years and in the state you believe it in for much less.  Clearly many scientific discoveries happened long before this was on the scene.  In fact, you wouldn’t have your theories unless positive discoveries could be made from people who didn’t believe in them in the first place.  Tons and tons of discoveries have been made and are still being made by creation believing individuals.  For your own sake, stop using this argument.  Every time you use it you show that you actually reject the scientific method and make your statements based on belief.

Katha, I don’t think you are stupid for what you believe, nor do I think your college professors are to fault for it.  We all are scientists in a way: observing, forming hypotheses about how things work, and testing them out in this thing we call life.  The evidence led you one way.  The evidence led me the other.  We get nowhere by calling each other stupid or blaming someone.  You may disagree with what I wrote above but you can hardly call it the product of willful stupidity.  It is factually the product of the method I was taught and, so, my teachers taught me well.  We just don’t agree.  Maybe you can unfold to me in a neutral manner why I am wrong but we have to have a two way conversation.  Isn’t it the thing that quite a lot of people who don’t like God complain about that they believe he is asking them to do what he wants without regard for them?  That he forces them without their consent or input?  That it is a one way conversation and he doesn’t listen?

I studied science in college.  I came away believing more in a creator.  I came away from seeing the data – all of the data – and I saw not only what could easily be fit into creation as described in the Scripture – but what led me to further believe that it was true.  I’m not special.  Apparently 46% of people found the evidence actually fit the God of the Bible more than the wisdom of this age.  Perhaps we should all take a little lesson from the scientific theory and experiment afresh again.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2012 9:12 pm

    I graduated with a degree in biology….and it was fundamental to strengthening my belief in a creator. Honestly, I think that most folks actually believe in some variety of intelligent design…they just don’t realize it.

  2. June 25, 2012 10:49 pm

    That’s the problem. Those that believe that they are more intelligent than others, often lack basic critical thinking skills. They are good at regurgitating what they were taught in school, but not much else. When hoaxes by pseudoscientists are reveled to them, instead of questioning these pseudoscientists and what they espouse, they make excuses for them saying that it’s the nature of science to “self-correct it’s mistakes”–even huge mistakes that were the foundations of their beliefs. If that isn’t blind faith, I don’t know what is.

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