Many evolutionists believe that creationists ignore or have a low view of science. Reflecting this thinking, Twitter user Steve responded to an AiG supporter on Ken Ham’s Twitter account:
You can question science. That’s the beauty of it. However you’d most likely be wrong. Science has no other agenda but to seek the truth. I think this maybe [sic] why you have a problem with it, because the truth contradicts the earth being 6,000 years old and us all coming from 2 people.
Steve begins his tweet by claiming that the beauty of science is the ability to question it. Of course, those familiar with science know that scientists try to disprove, not prove, their hypothesis. And future evidence can overturn what was already believed to be established science. So, of course, scientific findings can be questioned.
However, in context, Steve is referring to millions of years and evolution. And what he overlooks is the difference between observational and historical science. Observational science is directly testable, observable, and repeatable. It is this kind of science that develops medical innovations, put man on the moon, and propels technology forward. Observational science employs the scientific method. Using the same methods, under the same conditions, the test results can be replicated.
Historical science is very different. This kind of science is not directly testable, observable, and repeatable because it deals with the past. And the past cannot be directly tested, observed, or repeated.
What a scientist believes about the past will determine how they interpret the evidence. Each scientist comes to the evidence with a preexisting set of beliefs that determines how they view and interpret the evidence. The evidence does not “speak for itself.” It must be interpreted, and that is where the disagreement between creationists and evolutionists comes from. They approach the evidence with different starting points (God’s Word vs. man’s word), and therefore arrive at different interpretations of the exact same evidence.
Steve goes on to claim that “science has no other agenda but to seek the truth.” This argument is a logical fallacy known as reification, “attributing a concrete characteristic to something that is abstract.” Science has no agenda. It is a methodology, not a person, so it cannot have any agenda or purpose whatsoever. Science does not seek the truth. Scientists and researchers use the methods of science to try to disprove a hypothesis and thereby reveal more about the world around us.
While science has no agenda, scientists do!
While science has no agenda, scientists do! Many people perceive scientists as unbiased pursuers of the truth. But each scientist approaches the evidence with a preconceived set of beliefs. And they interpret the evidence through that lens, which, for many scientists, is molecules-to-man evolution and billions of years of history.
Of course, it is not wrong to use the findings of past scientists as a foundation for future scientific work. Scientific knowledge builds on itself. But unobservable molecules-to-man evolution and ancient ages for earth and the universe do not come from the evidence. They originally came from philosophical beliefs about the nature of God and the truth of his Word. And these beliefs still do not come from the evidence. They are assumed and then used to interpret the evidence.
Steve concludes his tweet by claiming “the truth” contradicts what the Bible says about the age of the earth and the origin of humanity. Really, he is taking an interpretation of the evidence, and calling it “truth” when it is no such thing. It is simply a constantly changing interpretation.
Truth is ultimately found in God’s Word (John 17:17) and the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6). God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and the Scriptures come from him (2 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, we know the Scriptures are truth.
Now, the Bible is not a science textbook, but it is the history book of the universe. When it touches on fields such as astronomy, biology, geology, cosmology, and anthropology, it is always accurate and trustworthy, since it was written by the Creator of the universe who also maintains it (Colossians 1:16–17).
Because God’s Word is the starting point, these models will not contradict what Scripture tells us.
We can take the framework the Bible gives us (i.e., young creation, organisms reproducing according to their kinds, mankind created specially in God’s image, a global flood, and the Tower of Babel) and use that to create hypotheses and models, which are subject to change as more evidence emerges. These hypotheses and models include understanding speciation within kinds, models of deposition during the flood, what mechanisms could bring light from distant stars to earth in only thousands of years, and many more. Because God’s Word is the starting point, these models will not contradict what Scripture tells us. But we can use them to create testable predictions, the gold standard of science. As that research is done, the model can be modified or discarded if need be.
Steve is wrong—“truth” has not, does not, and will never contradict God’s Word. God’s Word will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8), long after man’s ideas have come and gone.