Monday, February 8, 2016

17 Quotes from Norman Geisler On Evidence for Special Creation

"It will not suffice for the creationist simply to point to the lack of evidence for a secondary cause of life. From no evidence no scientific conclusion follow. Some positive evidence for creation must be presented before a positive conclusion can be drawn."

"It is true that special creation is not testable against any regularly recurring pattern of events in the present. But neither is macroevolution. Both views involve unobserved past singularities. That is, they involve rare occurrences. For example, so far as we can tell, life did not emerge from nonlife over and over. Nor were the great transitions between major forms of life repeated again and again. Hence there is no recurring patterns of events against which to test how the universe began, how life began, or how diverse life forms originated. So neither macroevolution nor creation comes within the discipline of operation science. This does not mean that there is no sense in which macroevolution and creation are scientific. Although they are not an empirical science, nevertheless they function like a forensic science. Just as a forensic scientist tries to make a plausible reconstruction of an unobserved (and unrepeatable) murder, so the evolutionist and creationist attempt to construct a plausible scenario of the unobserved past singularities of origin. So neither view is operation science. Rather both are in the domain of origin science."

"Origins science...does not deal with a prediction but with a kind of retrodiction. That is, it is a forensic look backward toward a past singularity from which no particular conclusion can be drawn about any future creative events."

"The world was created by an orderly God and hence this order may be observed by his creatures."

"According to the principle of uniformity, if effects from the past and the present are shown to be the same kind, and the cause of the present effects is known or repeatedly observed, then it is plausible to assign the same kind of cause to the effect in the past."

"There is a crucial difference between uniformitarianism and the principle of uniformity.

Uniformitarianism assumes that all past causes will be natural onces like those observed in nature at the present. This is not a scientific assertion, but a philosophical one. That is, this kind of uniformitarianiism is not justified by observations of a repeated pattern of events in the present. Rather it is a metaphysical speculation which goes well beyond the domain of operation science. Such uniformtitarianism is not science but scientism. It is not the scientific study of nature; it is philosophical naturalism...

In contrast to naturalistic uniformitarianism, the principle of uniformity simply says that 'the present is key to the past.' That is, it affirms some kind of analogy between present and past which is not limited to secondary causes.

For example, the science of archaeology uses the princple of uniformity to posit primary (intelligent) causes in the past. It argues that since it takes an intelligent cause to make a sculpture in the present, we can (by analogy) assume that similar sculptures from the past had similar intelligent causes."

"The method of inquiry into nature must inform us about nature, and not reflect our own ideas about nature. In other words, scientists must have a check on their speculations and hypotheses about nature. What modern scientists needed and in fact developed was a way to empirically test hypotheses about nature. Such hypotheses are checked against the recurring events of nature, thus eliminating false or wrong ideas. Other hypotheses are confirmed or verified."

"Natural causes can be legitimately posited only where there is a known constant conjunction between that kind of event and a natural cause. When, on the other hand, it is known that there is a constant conjunction between a primary intelligent cause and a certain kind of event, then it is plausible to posit such a cause for a similar kind of past singularity."

"If it can be shown that a primary intelligent cause is capable of regularly producing the kind of complex information found in a living cell, then it can be assumed that a similar kind of intelligent cause could have produced that kind of effect in the past."

"To insist on finding a natural cause where there is evidence for primary intelligent causes is like demanding that a geology class remain at Mount Rushmore until it discovers some natural process of erosion to explain the faces formed on the mountainside."

"Is there empirical evidence that the universe (cosmos) had a beginning? If there is, then it is reasonable to posit a primary cause (creator) of the universe. The alternative is to throw off the collective perception of the whole Western world that all events have a cause, and assert that superevents of origin have no cause. However plausible this may seem to a complete naturalist, it will seem to primary-cause theist to be a case of special pleading. For surely there is nothing implausible about positing a supernatural cause for the superevent of the creation of the natural universe."

"By using the principles of causality and uniformity one can make a plausible case in support of a particular view about the singularity of the origin of the universe."

"According to the big bang hypothesis, no regularly observed causes operative in the world were involved in the origin of the universe. Hence, the big bang model illustrates that a discontinuity at the moment of beginning can be a legitimate characteristic of origin science."

"With the rise of the big bang theory which deals with a discontinuous singularity, the universe is no longer [to] be viewed as an eternal, continuous, unbroken series of physical causes."

"Indeed it results from following the principle of uniformity, which is the key to understanding the past. Thus unexpectedly the principle of uniformity has led to a break in the scientific community with the long-standing principle of endless continuity. And with this break, the door has been reopened for origin science."

"With the advent of the big bang theory and modern physics, a totally naturalistic viewpoint was delivered a severe blow. No longer is nature viewed as an eternal and closed continuum of interlocking and determined events. A discontinuity exists at the beginning of the universe, and within the universe there is probability not absolute necessity, of events. In short, it is not a closed universe but an open universe. This has reopened the door for historic views of origins which were set aside and ignored for more than a century after Charles Darwin, but never really disproved."

"The question is not what are the theoretical possibilities about the past but what are the actual regularities of the present in terms of which one can understand the past. Scientific understanding is not based on luck or odd events. Rather, it is grounded in repeated experience of constant conjunction."


All these quotes can be found in the book Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation/Evolution Controversy by Norman Geisler and J. Kirby Anderson. 


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