Criticizing science

It seems like a lot of Christians love to criticize any science that conflicts with their interpretation of the Bible.  There’s a problem with that though.

Most of us are not equipped to have a proper in-depth understanding of scientific concepts.  When it comes to subjects such as nuclear physics, neuroscience, evolution, or cosmology, we can have an understanding of the basic concepts, but when it comes to a comprehensive understanding, the professional opinions of those who are qualified to hold them are what actually matter.  The rest of us can have discussions on the findings and opinions of qualified professionals, and even bring up questions or objections, but again, we should defer to those who are qualified.

Creationists try to circumvent this by attacking the scientists and their “worldview”, their “bias”, or their “presuppositions”.  They attack rather than simply proving their god assertion and they don’t listen when told why these attacks are wrong.  If they could prove any of their claims then they simply would.  If they had evidence then they could just show it to everyone and we’d all believe, except we wouldn’t call it belief, we’d call it knowledge.

Most are just intellectual vandals, chucking rocks at hard won scientific knowledge.  They don’t contribute anything; they just yell “nuh-uh” and run away with their fingers in their ears so they don’t hear why their criticisms are wrong.  Some try to argue or debate, but when their arguments don’t work, they either keep yelling “nuh-uh” endlessly, or move on to their next canned argument that’s already been disproven, unfazed that their trail of previous arguments didn’t work.  Some try to play at science, but find themselves at odds with the vast majority in their field.

When it comes to evolution or the Big Bang, the “scientific dissenters” are not the rebels who will turn out to be right.  Creationists had their time.  Human beings have believed in gods and the supernatural since we began to be able to form ideas.  I think we could say that almost everyone who has ever lived used to believe in creation in some form or another.  Now we know better.  Science has shown all those myths to be incorrect.

We could just point and laugh but the problem is that they influence other people who are ill equipped to understand why the good Christian scientists telling them what they want to hear are wrong.  Confirmation bias meets persecution complex, so naturally the revolutionary ideas are being suppressed.  More than just ill equipped, most don’t WANT to hear why they might be wrong.  Most think it’s preferable if their god exists so it must be true and they’ll listen to whoever agrees.

So if you have an objection to science, go find some evidence for your objection or come up with an alternate hypothesis and then prove it.  You can participate in the process, but you better know what you are talking about if you want to be taken seriously.  Hell, one of Stephen Hawking’s theories was proven wrong by Leonard Susskind, originally a plumber from New York. But Susskind did actual scientific work.

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3 thoughts on “Criticizing science

  1. I have many objections none of them religious. You are also on dangerous ground if you are attempting to cut off criticism of any subject on the grounds that only experts understand it. I believe science is becoming more and more like toys for the boys. We already know enough to give great benefit to the world but it is mainly in the hands of the rich. Why not spend the huge sums wasted on Hadron Colliders making sure people don’t go blind through lack of vitamin A? Just look at the enormous amount spent on weaponry and space exploration is it humane? Scientists are human and some are concerned at the state of the world but many consider this the realm of politics. Now the big question has science improved the lot of man? Since the industrial revolution things have got steadily worse ( admitted by scientists) and the pace of degeneration is increasing all the time. So lets stop puffing our chests out and bickering over creation and start changing the world; or maybe its too late.

    • Hmm… I heartily disagree… I think. How are things getting steadily worse? Life expectancy has almost tripled. We have incredible technology and access to information. We are free to learn like never before. The complaints I’ve heard about life being worse are, in my experience, generally from luddites who don’t like being on an electronic leash. If that’s the case, they can feel free to not participate. I’m not saying this is you, I’m just saying that’s my observation.

      To be sure, there are problems. I would argue they are mostly political and that most problems would not be solved by throwing money at them. If we stopped progress now… what would that accomplish? I wonder if, after antibiotics were invented, some people argued that we already knew enough to give great benefit to the world and we should just stop.

      My point wasn’t that only experts can criticize science, my point was that after the criticisms are answered, along with evidence to back up the answers, those criticizing then need to STFU. I very much wish that we could stop arguing about it, and that was kind of the point. Scientists don’t generally start arguments. In the specific case of evolution, they discovered the process and religious folk collectively lost their damn minds.

      But I’m always interested in learning and in different perspectives. If you still disagree with me, please let me know.

  2. Thanks for your reply. I accept the truth of evolution and most of the revelations of science but they are not more important than the wellbeing of the world. The problems will not be solved by throwing money away on pointless pursuits scientific or not. Martin Rees thinks we only have a 50:50 chance of getting to the next century and he is not the only worried scientist.
    Just suppose man had never come on the scene; I suspect there would be no crisis on the earth. Yes, creatures would become extinct and others take over but the balance of nature would be maintained.

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