And kmayo, you said: "Since when does that determine truth? " It doesn't. Truth is determined by what fits the facts.
Let's look how often evidence has led to a truth that the majority did not at first believe:
The Sun - was a god, now a ball of fusing hydrogenThe Moon - was a god(dess), now a big round dusty rockThe stars - were gods or spirits, more flaming gas ballsThe tides - were attributed to gods, now gravityThe seasons - attributed to gods, now Earth's tiltEarthquakes - were caused by gods, now plate tectonicsLightning - was thrown by a god, now static electricityRain & drought - was God, now atmospheric moistureHealth & disease - was God, now germs & geneticsSchizophrenia - was demonic possession, now brain chemicalsEpilepsy - was divine possession, now neurologyOrigin of species - was God, now science (evolution)Identity & personality - was the soul, now neuroscience
See how that works?
Given that this is how the world works, if they understand history and are objective and honest, then both Francis Collins and Stephen Meyer should start from the assumption that natural events have natural causes. But they don't. They both start with the assumption of God (though Meyer says "designer" to avoid trouble with the U.S. Constitution).
February 15, 2011 at 2:13 p.m.
kmayo, I've read both books. While I respect Francis Collins's right to believe as he wishes, his argument is essentially "I believe, and I will interpret the evidence to fit that belief". Anyone could do that. The same argument can be used to justify "aliens did it". And he simply doesn't make an evidence-based case.
As for "Signature", it is authored by Stephen Meyer, one of the authors of "The Wedge". So you must first read his book as an "end justifies the means" attempt to use science-sounding design discussions to sneak fundamentalist beliefs into science. He does this by trying to impress the public rather than publishing actual papers to convince scientists. His book is part of a marketing strategy to support his fundamentalist backers, just like the scientists working for Big Tobacco who gave all sorts of medical evidence that smoking isn't bad for you.
You can find with a quick google many scientific criticisms of "Signature". But if you want a thoughtful, education Christian's takedown of "Signature", read here. RJS has more room than I to point out the flaws of this book, which ultimately fails what it attempts.http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/....
I've also read the Bible, read quite a bit of higher criticism on the origins of the Bible, and several popular works like "Evolution of God" and "Case for God". Now, have you looked as hard at the scientific evidence and mechanisms of evolution as I've looked at the religious implications?
February 15, 2011 at 1:39 p.m.
Two points: (1) a scientific theory can indeed be "proved" in the same way a court case can be proved - beyond reasonable doubt. There is more evidence for evolution in one person's DNA than there is for any court case ever. The only remaining doubt in evolution is unreasonable. (2) If evolution opposes the Biblical account of man's creation, then plate tectonics oppose the Biblical account of the Earth's creation. If we're willing to throw out biology, why not geology? And physics, while we're at it, since all that radiometric dating must be wrong, no? It's a slippery slope when we let faith trump facts.
February 15, 2011 at 7:43 a.m.