Bryan Bissell Many intellectuals and amateurs on all sides have been duped by higher ups many times in history. I have been for sure in some areas that I know about for sure..not just this religious one..and found proof of it when I moved overseas and saw that some American textbooks were teaching falsehoods about Asia. Everyone else has been too at times in some subjects. That's happening now too with MN. You can choose either objective science or MN. There is absolutely no way to have both. By definition. If God ever enters the world in any form, or created it or intervenes, then that can be tested for with the tools of history and science, such as the forensic tools for starters, and others. To deny that God can enter His own creation is no different from saying an architect can't enter his own creation and there's no way to know that a building had a designer. Absolutely no different at all.
In all cases where Bible scientific claims have been tested, such as in health, cosmology, economics, origins, cosmology and more, they have been confirmed by science given enough time. Sometimes it takes decades..sometimes centuries, a few times millennia, but they are consistently confirmed (there are times that theologians have followed pagan ideas, esp. pagan Greek ones against God's words in the Bible and have been proven wrong by science in that...so objective science can correct and debunk some religious ideas just as it has debunked nearly all atheist pillars). At present probably 90-95% or more of scientific claims in the Bible have been verified.
If you start with methodological naturalism you will end up in philosophical naturalism, just like if you start with methodological supernaturalism, you will end up with philosophical supernaturalism. Both are fallacious ways of reasoning.
There are 2 basic ways to reason, fair, truth seeking, objective reasoning that follows the evidence wherever it leads as Bible writers consistently used, or fallacy based reasoning such as methodological naturalism that presupposes naturalism and excludes all contrary evidence and the theistic presuppositional apologetics that tragically followed it committing the same fallacious error.
1) OBJECTIVE REASONING FOLLOWING THE EVIDENCE WHERE IT LEADS:
When scientists/historians do their research, Ph.Ds. write academic papers, why do they think their hypothesis or theory is true instead of any of the many rivals that exist? Objective science works a bit like sports such as football. In football you have scores that range from 1 (extra point) point to 6 points (a touchdown). Both teams usually have points. But, it is the team that has the most evidence that wins. Similarly in science, there are different kinds of evidence that vary in how many points they earn for a hypothesis. Some evidence is worth more (observations and mathematical proofs), some evidence is weaker (like correlations or extrapolations). The hypothesis has the most points overall, explains the most evidence overall, etc. (and some others) and is considered to be true. It then becomes a theory until another theory can demonstrate it has more and better evidence, like a champion in sports getting beaten then next year.
This is the same exact reason why 1000s and 1000s of scholars in many fields converted to Christianity as well as its claims about creation science (in certain cases some became creationists first due to evidence and then Christian because the Bible's specific claims matched the physical evidence best). It was precisely because they saw convincing evidence that met the highest standards required of worldviews in a variety of areas and no other competitors with more and better evidence. They then made the rational choice to follow the theory/worldview with the most evidence in the most important areas. This ranged from personal experience (no empirical evidence can be discovered, studied or reported without using human senses and experiences of people past and present. As academic textbooks rightly say,personal experience is the foundation of all empirical evidence) to historical to scientific to philosophical and others.
God's reasoning and objective reasoning says:
--"Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21
--"Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness;" Ecclesiastes 10:13 (NLT)
"The gullible believe anything they are told, but clever people know to question every step." Proverbs 14:15
After demonstrating evidence of God bringing down fire on Mt. Carmel, Elijah argued, "If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” 1 Kings 18:21
The Bible's reasoning started with hypotheses/claims, then gathered evidence, and faith was the conclusion of the weight of evidence. See much more facts documenting this here:
2) DECIDE CONCLUSIONS/'TRUTH' FIRST, IGNORE RIVAL EVIDENCE (a priori fallacy)
The Polish philosopher Alfred Korzybski once said, "There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking." A lot of people lazily abdicate the use of their incredible minds and just believe whatever authority they respect and doubt, rule out and deny all evidence contrary to their chosen authority.
Most atheists and Darwinians, esp. those who are writing the textbooks and are in control of secular journals, use a form of a priori fallacious reasoning called "methodological naturalism".
‘Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.’ Kansas State University immunologist Scott Todd, correspondence to Nature 401(6752):423, 30 Sept. 1999.
But the reality is that:
"It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." Richard Lewontin "The New York Review", billions and billions of demons, January 9, 1997, p. 31
This is diametrically opposed to the objective definitions of science that says we should follow the evidence WHEREVER it leads. EVIDENCE should rule out hypotheses, NOT a priori fallacies or fallacies of any kind.
***METHODOLOGICAL SUPERNATURALISM: in the last century or so, some Christians have followed the secular example and invented a form of methodological supernaturalism called presuppositional apologetics. It basically says that
"Even if all the data points to atheism, that hypothesis is excluded because it's not theistic (Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Islam, shamanistic, etc).”
Even if a scientist, atheist or theist, refuses to change his mind, that they can still do a great deal of scientific discovery and investigation. This is an objective fact and done all the time by scientists on both sides who will never consider evidence for the other side. It is true that they will not do any discovery OUTSIDE the view that they have a priori chosen to be true. But, within it they will still be fully able to do that. And they may even find evidence that conflicts with their views, but they will not consider that conclusion, but always shoe horn it into their a priori views.
Atheistic skeptics and some believers appear different superficially, but many of them use the exact same form of reasoning that is wrong, a priori fallacies. An a priori fallacy is when you decide your answer, what is "true", as your very first step and then ignore or discard all evidence that conflicts with this "truth" that you chose at first. There are different version of this including the atheistic/materialistic methodological naturalism and the theistic presuppositional apologetics. is is much more common on the atheistic side, less so on the Christian side (since the Bible never reasoned this way). These people just doubt/reject almost everything that differs from their current view and/or believe everything told to them by those they like.
MATERIALISM AND EVOLUTION CAN NOT BOTH BE TRUE
Dr. Alvin Plantinga, Ph.D. philosopher from Notre Dame explains why materialism and evolution can not both be true:
"But there is a really serious problem for materialism: It can’t be sensibly believed, at least if, like most materialists, you also believe that humans are the product of evolution.
Evolution will select for belief-producing processes that produce beliefs with adaptive neurophysiological properties, but not for belief-producing processes that produce true beliefs. Given materialism and evolution, any particular belief is as likely to be false as true...given materialism and evolution, it follows that our belief-producing faculties are not reliable.
Here’s why. If a belief is as likely to be false as to be true, we’d have to say the probability that any particular belief is true is about 50 percent. Now suppose we had a total of 100 independent beliefs (of course, we have many more). Remember that the probability that all of a group of beliefs are true is the multiplication of all their individual probabilities. Even if we set a fairly low bar for reliability — say, that at least two-thirds (67 percent) of our beliefs are true — our overall reliability, given materialism and evolution, is exceedingly low: something like .0004. So if you accept both materialism and evolution, you have good reason to believe that your belief-producing faculties are not reliable.
But to believe that is to fall into a total skepticism, which leaves you with no reason to accept any of your beliefs (including your beliefs in materialism and evolution!). The only sensible course is to give up the claim leading to this conclusion: that both materialism and evolution are true. Maybe you can hold one or the other, but not both.
So if you’re an atheist simply because you accept materialism, maintaining your atheism means you have to give up your belief that evolution is true. Another way to put it: The belief that both materialism and evolution are true is self-refuting. It shoots itself in the foot. Therefore it can’t rationally be held."
He explains this in more detail in chapter 10 of his book,“Where the Conflict Really Lies.”
John Sanford, longtime professor of genetics at Cornell with over 100 publications and 30 patents in the field...and a former atheist and Darwinian but now creationist, writes about one of many several reviews that falsify major pillars of Darwinsm in his book Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome”
“Bergman (2004) has studied the topic of beneficial mutations. Among other things, he did a simple literature search via Biological Abstracts and Medline. He found 453,732 ‘mutation’ hits, but among these only 186 mentioned the word ‘beneficial’ (about 4 in 10,000). When those 186 references were reviewed, almost all the presumed ‘beneficial mutations’ were only beneficial in a very narrow sense–but each mutation consistently involved loss of function changes–hence loss of information. While it is almost universally accepted that beneficial (information creating) mutations must occur, this belief seems to be based upon uncritical acceptance of RM/NS, rather than upon any actual evidence. I do not doubt there are beneficial mutations as evidenced by rapid adaptation yet I contest the fact that they build meaningful information in the genome instead of degrade preexisting information in the genome.” (pp. 26-27)
You can read some of Dr. Sanford's book on why there is consistently devolution rather than evolution here