Go Where the Evidence Leads

Tim explains how many scientists exclude possible conclusions based on philosophical ideas before looking at the evidence.



Here's an illustration to kind of flesh out the difference between these two

things, and I got to give credit to Greg Koukl for giving me this

illustration. Here's the difference between the methodology and the

philosophy. I want you to imagine a well-known person is murdered here at

the conference. Let's say, just because it's so ironic, that it's homicide

detective J. Warner Wallace, all right? I know, it's so sad. We all miss him.

J. Warner, he is murdered here at the conference, and of course he's so

important that the chief of police shows up, the mayor, I mean everybody's here, the

forensic detectives. And the chief of police says, "This case is your top

priority. I want you to use your best forensic methodology to find the killer."

And the forensic detectives are like, "Okay, great." And they get out their

test tubes, and their rubber gloves, and you know, you've seen CSI. They're about

to do their thing. And then he says, "Oh, one more thing,

you can't implicate, you can't charge, you can't convict anyone taller than six

foot. Does anyone see a problem with that? Of course, because what if someone

taller than six foot did it, right? Anyone here taller than six feet? I mean yeah, a

couple of you, myself, Drew. I mean, we're all off the hook, right? You're thinking,

"Well, that's not fair. You have excluded a possible conclusion before even looking

at the evidence. That doesn't sound like the right approach to find out who the

true killer is." No, of course not. But this, my friends, is exactly what's going on in

the field of science for some. They're excluding a possible conclusion before

even looking at the evidence. You're saying, "No, no, no, Tim, those scientists, I

mean, they wear the white lab coats, you know? They are the objective seekers of

truth. Certainly they would never do such a thing." Seriously.

Hey, listen to Richard Lewontin, a famous Harvard geneticist.

Here's what he says. It's a long quote, but hear him out.

He says, "Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against

common sense (and there are a lot of claims that are against common sense) is

the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the

supernatural." He says, "We take the side of science in spite of the patent

absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its

extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the

scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories (and there are a lot of

just-so stories, especially in evolutionary biology) because we have a

prior commitment, (what commitment's that?) a commitment to materialism...(that is, matter

is all that exists.) Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot

allow a divine foot in the door." Does that sound someone who's following truth

wherever it leads? No, absolutely not. And just as a side note, when people say,

"intelligent design, that's not science." "Creationism, that's not science." They are

not talking about the methodology. We're using the same method in many cases.

They're talking about this philosophy that's being imposed on the evidence,

okay? You can't implicate someone over six foot tall. That's what they're doing.

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Tim Barnett