Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What is Science?

One problem often encountered in the creation - evolution
debate is the claim by evolutionists that Evolution is
while creation is just religion. The problem here is a
misunderstanding of the meaning of science.

Science can best be defined as:

"Systematized knowledge derived
from observation, study, and experimentation carried on in
order to determine the nature or principles of what is being

(Webster's New World Dictionary of the American

 The idea is that conclusions are made on the basis of
empirical evidence. This evidence comes from experimentation and
observation. Note, there is nothing in this definition that
eliminates God or requires a natural explanation.

When Evolutionists claim that Evolution is science and
creation is just religion, they are using the following
definition of science, whether they admit it or not.

The search for natural explanations
for all phenomenon.

This notion of science by definition eliminates God or any
other supernatural explanation for any thing.

The first definition is the correct one and it is not in
conflict with the idea of creation.

The process of science is often described in the form of what
is known as the
Scientific Method. It is a basic description not
an absolute methodology, but this is a good basic description. It
usually stated as follows:

  1. Observation is made of some aspect of the universe.
  2. A tentative description is made, called a hypothesis,
    that is hat is consistent with what is observed.
  3. Hypothesis is used to make predictions.
  4. Test predictions, by way of experiments of further
  5. Modify hypothesis in the light of results.
  6. Repeat steps 3 through  5 until there are no
    discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or

There is more to science than this, but it makes a good basic

One aspect of  science not  mentioned in the
scientific method is Peer Review. Peer Review is basically
scientists checking the research of other scientists. When done
properly it helps to find, errors, flawed logic, and
misconceptions. Done improperly it prevents errors from being
exposed, perpetuates false theories, and suppress evidence.

The key to science is observation and only the present can be
observed. The past can not be observed, so only the physical
sciences deals with direct observation. Historical science can
not deal with direct observation, but can only inferred from the
present. This means that the best source of information about the
past come form the observation of those who were there. Like wise
only the present can be tested directly. Since we can not
directly observe the past it can not be tested directly.

One myth is that scientists are always objective. A scientists
conclusions are affected by education, personal views and
philosophical assumptions. The fact is that it impossible to be
100% objective and this fact needs the be considered when
evaluating the work of any scientist.

Financial Grants also affect the apparent results of science.
Grants are subject to the views of granting boards. Government
grants can be effected by political consideration, such as the
notion that evolution is science while creation is religion. Any
bias that exists in a granting board tends to give one set of
views a big advantage over others. This is a problem that is not
often noticed  by non scientists.

Understanding any scientific controversy requires a proper
understanding of science and everything that affects it. This
does not only refer to creation vs evolution, but any time there
is a disagreement among scientists.