Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism

Mark Vuletic

Assertion

No one except God was around to observe the creation, so we have to take His word for it.

Analysis

I. Unproved assumptions

 The creationist assertion assumes several things which need proof:

  • That there is (or was) a god who observed things as they happened.
  • That this god has communicated to us about the way things happened.
  • That the creationists have correctly interpreted this communication.

Nonbelievers will dispute every one of these assumptions. Absent a proof of the existence of a god who was present throughout the history of the universe, this line of argument is useless.

The second and third assumptions will be disputed by those who believe in a god who has not communicated with anyone, and by those who believe that a god has communicated with us but never intended us to take literally any creation story he may have provided.

The third assumption will be disputed by every creationist outside of a given creationist's particular clique, since there are many mutually exclusive kinds of creationism, even when one completely ignores Islamic and Vedic varieties of creationism.

II. Knowledge of the past

The assertion also appears to assume that we cannot know about an event in the past unless we have witnessed it or have received testimony about it from an eyewitness. Obviously, such an assumption is false: were it true, it would not, for instance, be possible justly to convict a criminal without eyewitness testimony or a confession. As with criminal activity, so with natural processes: both often leave signs that can be used to figure out beyond reasonable doubt what happened in the past, even without eyewitness testimony. Since we have no eyewitness testimony (or, at least, none that anyone can agree on) in the case of the early history of the universe, it is up to science to reconstruct that history from the signs it has left.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2016

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