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Creation Debate Issue #2: Historical Science/Observational Science versus Just Science

 

Creation Debate Issue #2: Historical Science/Observational Science versus Just Science

Explanation of the difference between operational and historical scieinceKen Ham spoke of historical science versus observational science and attempted to explain the difference between the two while Bill Nye attempted to misconstrue what Ken said. Bill Nye denied that there was any difference between historical science and observational science and insisted that those classifications existed only in the Creation Museum and could be found nowhere else--we can easily verify the fact that Bill Nye is wrong.  Concerning the term, historical science, Wikipedia says, “Paleontology is one of the historical sciences, along with archaeology, geology, biology, astronomy, cosmology, philology and history itself.” Other sources confirm this use of the term, observational science. There are varying definitions of the term, however. Since the debate, there are very many Atheists who are defining it online. Ken Ham, however, defined it as equivalent to experimental science. He might well have used the term, empirical science, or the term, operational science, defined as “a systematic approach to understanding that uses observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation to understand how nature commonly behaves.” We could quibble meaninglessly about the word, observational, but that would be immature and silly. All of this discussion of the two kinds of science may have clouded the major question: what the best basis for interpreting observations? We need to focus on the major question of the debate.

Historical science has its shortcomings in the fact that it is dependent on arbitrary assumptions rather than fact. That ended up being Ken Ham's point, and Bill Nye also defended his dependence on assumptions, rationalizing the use of them. There are some things that we can know about history by revelation, but they are limited. It's important to realize when the train leaves the tracks, when the mind has drifted into bare assertions, that is, arbitrary assumptions, and other irrational thinking.

The term, historical science, is just a way of saying that these things of the past are based on arbitrary assumptionsassumptions that can be changed if one has a will to change them. And changing the assumptions will drastically change the conclusions. Allow yourself on assumption, and you can "prove" anything.

The well known Atheistic biologist, Ernst Mayr put it this way: “Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science—the Evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.” These two terms, historical science and observational science, are used by both Evolutionists and Creationists for good reason. A graphic (showing an example that Bill Nye used to deny the distinction: “You can show the Earth is not flat. You can show the Earth is not 10,000 years old.”) is provided to plainly show the difference between the two examples that Bill Nye gave, "the Earth is not flat" and "the Earth is not 10,000 years old.” Studying the graphic will make it plain to you.



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Last updated: May, 2014
 
 




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Creation Debate Issue #1: Assumptions Versus Divine Revelation

Creation Debate Issue #2: Historical Science/Observational Science versus Just Science

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