By Reason McLucus
originally published at mediard.com
What does the term “science” refer to? What makes a “scientific
theory” different from other expressions of human thoughts? What is a
I’ll begin by stating my qualifications to discuss the issue.
my initial academic work was in math and physics, my graduate work,
for computer courses, dealt with human behavior. I’m a generalist
than a specialist in any one field. I look at things in terms of the
As an expert on human behavior I’m qualified to discuss the
of human thoughts. Regardless of what else “scientific theories” may
be, they are expressions of human thoughts. The evaluation and
of human thoughts requires knowledge of various types of thoughts. Such
knowledge is necessary to determine whether some aspect of “scientific”
thought is unique or is shared with other types of thoughts.
Science attempts to answer the question “What is real?” or more
accurately “what our senses perceive as real” through repeated
and observation. It is the use of experimentation and observation to
theories that separates “science” and “scientific theories” from
other intellectual pursuits.
Some researchers mistakenly believe that the examination of physical
evidence is inherently “scientific”. Cops often rely on physical
to solve crimes. Does that mean that cops are “scientists? Lawyers
physical evidence to convince juries to accept their view of the case
tried. Does that mean that lawyers are “scientists”?
While scientific knowledge may help in the evaluation of
evidence, the study of the evidence itself isn’t scientific. Science
helps by demonstrating how the physical evidence might have been
or where it might have come from. A scientific experiment or an
could show what type of actions could produce the evidence.
Even those involved in the physical sciences have to rely at times
the observations of others rather than on examination of physical
For example, during recent times scientists have been able to visually
record various occurrences in space. Scientists wishing to compare
events to events before such recordings were possible must rely on
records of the observations of others. Reliance on written records is
to determining whether certain comets have appeared in the past.
“History” is also a factually based form of inquiry. “Historians”
attempt to answer the question “What was real?”. Historians who study
humans prefer written information because written accounts describe
Physical objects from the past may require some type of information
current physical objects to evaluate the meaning of the past objects.
For example, fossilized bones are recognized as bones because of
to bones of existing animals. However, these similarities by themselves
cannot indicate whether past animals are genetically related to current
animals. The skeleton represents only a portion of the genes of any
The environment also plays a role in skeletal development, although
role is often only noticed in cases of abnormal development. Those
who look at old bones may call themselves “scientists”, but they are
Historians should look at all possible explanations for objects and
events from the past. Human nature tends to cause historians to try to
fit evidence into only one explanation. Each historian wants to be the
one to have the “correct” explanation of the past. The writing process
encourages a single explanation. A “good essay” is considered to be
one that presents some type of hypothesis and then presents
to support the hypotnesis.
What does “supernatural” mean? Religious individuals may think of
“supernatural” as being synonymous with the actions of God. But,
the Creator of the universe be able to act by using the system He
Wouldn’t He have designed the system so that He could act without being
Chaos theory includes the butterfly effect. A butterfly fluttering
China may cause a thunderstorm in Kansas a week later because other
may gradually increase the level of that disturbance. God would be able
to use this effect to produce results without being obvious.
A better definition of “supernatural” would be something that is
inconsistent with known regular physical processes. This definition
has a problem because human societies may have inadequate knowledge of
natural processes. For example, primitive societies may regard an
of a nearby volcano as being supernatural because they don’t understand
the process. They may feel they have offended their god and must
The Big Bang as it is commonly described would be the ultimate
event. The entire universe suddenly exploding from a single black hole
with the particles speeding away from each other at or near the speed
light certainly isn’t a normal event that is witnesses even on an
basis. I realize that some prefer to describe the event as an
but when particles of matter move away from each other at even 1% of
speed of light that is an explosion not an expansion.
In thinking about the term “evolution” I realized that it is an
undefinable term. It’s use is more consistent with political terms like
“democracy”. The definition varies from group to group and individual
to individual. Darwinists use “evolution” to mean the gradual
of life from a single cell with random mutations causing the
of new species from existing ones.
To some “evolution” means the development of life without the
of any form of intelligence. To these individuals anyone who claims
an intelligence was involved is a “creationist”.
To others like Michael Behe, “evolution” is the gradual development
of life by an Intelligent Designer. Behe shares the belief that humans
and chimpanzees may have had a common ancestor.
Some use evolution to describe a process in which multiple life
may have developed and changed into others through processes that may
may not have always been gradual. The original cells might have
by combining two more primitive life forms. Species may have interacted
to produce still other species.
Some creationists call anyone an “evolutionist” who doesn’t support
their view that God zapped each individual species into existence full
sized. I’m not sure where they get this belief but it doesn’t come
from Genesis. Even Adam was “formed from the dust of the earth” which
would be consistent with God creating a human cell and then developing
it into Adam.
None of these views is completely distinct. They can be placed along
a continuum with the Darwinists and creationists who view anyone who
as belonging to the opposite group at the extreme ends. The middle
to be dynamic with new views developing as research in microbiology
The concept of an Intelligent Designer also varies. The God of
has been the most common “Designer” in Western thought. Discover
reported a year or two ago that there is a growing belief in the
of “Gaia” that the earth itself may somehow be alive. The Raelians
believe that Extra Terrestrials called “Elohim” created life. Some
other E.T. might have encased the necessary molecules in a comet or
like body to develop on distant planets with the appropriate
The Darwinist explanation of a single cell producing all life would
indicate a supernatural event. A natural process would allow many
types of cells to develop given the appropriate conditions. Under a
process similar appearing species might develop through separate
The Darwinist concept of evolution isn’t based on evidence. The
Darwin had didn’t support the idea of past species becoming the species
of Darwin’s time, even relying on comparison of skeletons.
Darwin’s concept is consistent with the way humans produce change.
Mechanical devices had been gradually improved over time. Writers,
Darwin, often develop their finished pieces through gradual expansion
clarification of ideas. Darwin’s works were modified over time in this
manner. Societies change in a similar manner. Idea’s such as the
concept of evolution develop through this process.
Evolution fit in with other ideas of the time such as the
of progress. Western leaders believed change was progress to something
better, at least until some began to question the environmental costs.
Evolution was consistent with the racist beliefs that some people were
essentially “fitter” than others. It supported the idea that the
of the poor by the rich was a natural process of “social Darwinism”.
The important issue in the development of life is how changes occurred at the molecular level. Darwin had no relevant knowledge of such processes. Indeed this knowledge is only now becoming available and is not yet sufficient to show precisely how life developed. Current knowledge indicates the likelihood that the molecules for producing life originated from space and life had multiple origins rather than developing from a single cell.
You can donate money to me through PayPal.