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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is it science?

This is from a Creationist website.

Bait and Switch
The third false argument is “bait and switch,” in which ambiguity (or some type of word play) is employed to alter the original meaning of a phrase or word such as “science” (which can have more than one definition).
If the word “science” is used to mean empirical science (i.e., the study of what is observable in the present), all origins science explanations—both creationist and evolutionary approaches to explaining the past—are excluded.
The ploy usually used is the idea that if a scientist teaches something, what is taught is “science.” Evolution is deemed to be science because many scientists teach it, yet what about when a creationist scientist teaches something? Inconsistently, the creationist teaching is mislabeled as “not science,” because a switched definition of science is used, one that allows only evolutionary teachings.
When a slick salesman (or a smug scientist on TV) offers you a bill of goods, beware! An either-or fallacy may be facing you; it might beg its own question; or it might be a bait-and-switch. If you swallow the evolutionists’ sophistry, you will be buying into science fiction!

However, this is completely idiotic. Science is not limited to observations in the present. And the definition of science is not what scientists teach. Lets take a look a the actual definition of science. Do you see the second and third definitions? It is looking at the physical world, not the supernatural one. Science, by its very definition, excludes supernatural explanations. Since Creationism or Intelligent Design rely on a supernatual Creator, they are outside the scope of science.


[sahy-uhns] Show IPA
a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
any of the branches of natural or physical science.
systematized knowledge in general.
knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.
a particular branch of knowledge.
skill, especially reflecting a precise application of facts or principles; proficiency.
As we can see, there is no requirement that a scientist teach something for it to be considered science. I realize theists have no use for science, but trying to change the meaning of of the word is rather extreme.

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