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Can Creation Scientists Make Successful Predictions?

[Excerpt from Unreliable: The Science and Logic of Bill Nye by Heath Henning. This book can be downloaded for free here.]

As we consider some of the arguments made by Bill Nye during the debate (not specifically in chronological order of his presentation), we see frequent statements that lack logic and science, essentially undermining his entire argument. For example, he stated in the debate, “Now here’s the thing: what we want in science, science as practiced on the outside [of Ken Ham’s Creation Museum], is an ability to predict. We want to have a natural law that is so obvious and clear, and so well understood, that we can make predictions about what will happen. We can predict that we can put a spacecraft in orbit, and take a picture of Washington DC.”1)Bill Nye Presentation (30 minutes) during the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origin In Today’s Modern Scientific Era?” Feb. 4, 2014; transcript at http://www.youngearth.org/index.php/archives/rmcf-articles/item/21-transcript-of-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-debate His statement is a logical fallacy known as equivocation. He is here implying that natural laws are equal to the philosophy of naturalism, hence, since natural laws exist no supernatural being can.2)Because this premise is central to Bill Nye’s argument it will be taken up again in later portions to be refuted by different points raised respectively. This reveals an internal contradiction within his entire argument. Practiced “science” (engineering innovative technology) is based on natural laws that were discovered by creationists. His argument that believing creationism will hinder advancement of science is illogical. In fact, his analogy of sending a spacecraft into space is humorous as it was Wernher von Braun, as a Christian and creationist, who launched America’s space program into success with the nation’s first satellite –Explorer 1 – on January 31, 1958. He expressed that “more we learn about God’s creation, the more I am impressed with the orderliness and unerring perfection of the natural laws that govern it. In this perfection, man—the scientist—catches a glimpse of the Creator and his design for nature.”3)Jerry Bergman, Ph.D., “Wernher von Braun: The Father of Space Flight,” Acts & Facts, citing Bergaust, Wernher von Braun, 113. http://www.icr.org/article/8510 Bill Nye’s either needs to recognize and admit the validity of creationists in the field of science, or he must stop practicing science based on discoveries from creationists, or find a logical argument. Science has primarily been developed by Creationists!

Robert Boyle – father of modern chemist

Michael Faraday – physicist, formulated laws electromagnetic induction, did groundwork for making dynamos, electric motors and transformers

James Joule – science of thermodynamics

William Thompson a.k.a. Lord Kelvin – thermodynamics and the Kelvin temperature scale

Johannes Kepler – laws of planetary motion

Carl Linnaeus – botanist, professor

Matthew Maury – leading scientist in oceanography and hydrography

James Clerk Maxwell – electromagnetic theory

Samuel F.B. Morse – invented the telegraph, Morse code is named after him

Isaac Newton – laws of gravity, laws of motion, invented calculus, developed particle theory of light propagation, invented reflecting telescope

Blaise Pascal – invented early calculator, helped discover the theory of probability

Louis Pasteur – father of bacteriology

Sir Henry Rawlinson – archaeologist

George Stokes – physicist and mathematician4)This is a very brief list to simplify what could be an exhaustive document which many authors have collected and can be found in numerous books and articles. The following are just a few available on the internet: (1) https://answersingenesis.org/creation-scientists/historical/ (2) http://creation.com/creation-scientists (3) http://creationsafaris.com/wgcs_toc.htm (4) http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html (5) A free eBook can be downloaded here: http://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/scientists_who_believe_the_bible.php

It is interesting that Bill Nye’s book includes a chapter entitled “MICHAEL FARADAY AND THE JOY OF DISCOVERY”5)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 188-192 in which Nye indicates that Michael Faraday is the first person in history he would like to meet. Not once does he give the slightest suggestion that Faraday was a creationist. Furthermore, his inconsistency is obviously that he is acknowledging the validity of science as was practiced by a creationist and the beneficial impact that scientist who believed in creation had on the world. Christian theism is the origin of the scientific method as was noted by Loren Eiseley in the book Darwin’s Centruy: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It.

The philosophy of experimental science… began its discoveries and made use of its method in the faith, not the knowledge, that it was dealing with a rational universe controlled by a Creator who did not act upon whim nor interfere with the forces He had set in operation. The experimental method succeeded beyond man’s wildest dreams, but the faith that brought it into being owes something to the Christian conception of the nature of God. It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science, which professionally has little to do with faith, owes its origin to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted, and that science today is sustained by that assumption.6)Loren Eiseley, Darwin’s Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1961), p. 62

    Without any supporting evidence to prove his claim, Bill Nye repeatedly makes the argument that creationism cannot make predictions so it is not science. Reiterating this in his book, he writes, “Like any useful scientific theory, evolution enables us to make predictions about what we observe in nature. Since it was developed in the nineteenth century, the theory itself has also evolved, by which I mean that it’s been refined and expanded. Some of the most wonderful aspects and consequences of evolution have been discovered only recently. This is in stark contrast to creationism, which offers a static view of the world, one that cannot be challenged or tested with reason. And because it cannot make predictions, it cannot lead to new discoveries, new medicines, or new ways to feed all of us.”7)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 5 He refers to testing “with reason” yet commits a logical fallacy in his comment. Jonathan Sarfati relates, “While it is common to cite verified predictions as ‘proof’ of a scientific law, this commits a basic logical fallacy called Affirming the Consequent.”8)Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Compromise, Master books, 2004, p. 149 This would be expressed in the following formula:

If theory (T) predicts observation (O)

(O) is observed

Therefore (T) is true

How this formula identifies a loss for logic can be seen when expressed as:

If it is snowing, then it must be cold outside. (if T then O)

It is cold outside (O)

Therefore, it must be snowing. (therefore T)9)Adapted from Jason Lisle, The Ultimate Proof of Creation, Master Books, 2009, p. 132

Perhaps we should question if Nye knows what would be a reasonable test?

Again, Nye reveals his ignorance of creation scientists and their discoveries and predictions. When he says that the creation worldview “cannot lead to new discoveries, new medicines, or new ways to feed all of us” he is revealing his foolishness as each aspect of this argument can be refuted by recognizing the accomplishments of creationist Louis Pasteur. “Almost all historians recognize Pasteur’s great contributions to science, microbiology, and medicine.”10)Dr. Allen Gillen and Frank Sherwin, “Louis Pasteur’s Views on Creation, Evolution and the Genesis of Germs,” February 25, 2008; https://answersingenesis.org/origin-of-life/louis-pasteurs-views-on-creation-evolution-germs/ He is most memorable for his experiment that proved the idea of spontaneous generation false, thus leaving the theory of evolution as something held by faith – not science.

Creationists have also had more accuracy in predictions. As early as 1971, creation scientist Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, noted that between 1835 and 1965 geophysics measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field was decreasing, concluding that the earth’s magnetic field was less than 10,000 years old. In 1984 creationist astrophysicist Dr. Russell Humphreys accurately predicted the magnetic characteristics of Uranus and Neptune which were confirmed by Voyager 2 in 1986 and 1990. In 2008, the Messenger spacecraft measured Mercury’s magnetic field compared to Mariner spacecraft measurement in 1975 also proved Humphrey’s prediction from 1984 to be accurate. Humphrey applied natural laws to form his predictions – such as combining creationists physicist Michael Faraday’s 1831 discovery that a changing magnetic field induces an electric voltage, creationist physicist James Joule’s 1840 discovery of the process that electric energy doesn’t disappear but is turned into heat, and creationists physicist Lord Kelvin’s 1851 formulation of the second law of thermodynamics. Thus Humphrey concluded the decay rate of a planet’s magnetic field can be accurately calculated, and is exponential.11)Adapted from Jonathan Sarfati, PH.D., F.M., The Greatest Hoax On Earth?: Refuting Dawkins On Evolution, Creation Book Publishers, 2010, pp. 208-213 The evolutionists that attempted to predict the magnetic fields of these planets were extremely far off because they started with a false presupposition that these planets were millions of years old.

Nye claimed in his book that creationism “cannot make predictions, it cannot lead to new discoveries, new medicines” even though Ken Ham refuted this claim months earlier in the debate by showing a video clip from Raymond Damadian inventor of the MRI scanner and Danny Faulkner who “designed a double action worm gear set for the robotic arm on the 1.4 billion pounds[-sterling] Envisat satellite.”12)Presentation by Ken Ham (30 min.) during the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origin In Today’s Modern Scientific Era?” Feb. 4, 2014; transcript at http://www.youngearth.org/index.php/archives/rmcf-articles/item/21-transcript-of-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-debate Did Bill Nye forget these points made in the debate or has he chosen to lie in the book he wrote after this information was offered him.

Evolutionary assumptions have actually hindered the advancement of practiced science. Predictions are based on presumptions. As Arthur Jones expressed, “there is abundant documentation of the fact that evolutionary naturalism has often stopped scientific research. To take just one example, the evolutionary assumption that certain organs or features are vestigial has often long delayed the (fruitful) research into their function.”13)Arthur Jones, In Six Days, (ed.) John F. Ashton, Master Books, 2001, p. 242 Vestigial organs are said to be useless organs leftover from man’s evolutionary process. School textbooks, as recent as 1960s, had listed over 200 vestigial organs, including the tonsils, appendix, coccyx, thyroid gland, pineal gland, and “junk DNA.”

Bill Nye wrote, “Medical treatments have improved drastically, and evolutionary research is a major reason why.”14)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 193 He explains, “As any biologist will tell you, living things everywhere on our planet have an astonishing number of things in common.”15)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 194 This supposed evidence for a common ancestor is how he believes medicine is advanced. “For about two hundred years, humans have used other animals to test the effects of medicines and medical procedures.”16)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 199 However, the thought of common ancestor has recently caused human rights to be extended to animals believed to be close kin. On June 26, 2008, Spain became the first nation to extend human rights to the great apes as they are believed to be “our closest hominid relatives.”17)http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1824206,00.html This protects them from being killed, placed in circuses, zoos, and medical testing. A similar lawsuit has been opened in New York and other nations have opened it for discussion.18)http://science.time.com/2013/12/02/chimps-human-rights-lawsuit/ But Bill Nye claimed, “Every one of us in the developed world has benefited directly from the medical tests performed with these animals. It’s yet one more scientific achievement based on evolution.”19)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 200 It actually has nothing to do with evolution as it is the very philosophy of evolution that is turning the tides on this kind of testing. Instead it has everything to do with the Biblical understanding of man being created with dominion over the animals. The first command God gave to man was to pursue the study of natural science (Genesis 1:28). As Dr. Henry Morris explained, “In order to subdue the earth, we must first understand its processes. Thus, research is the foundational occupation for fulfilling the divine mandate. Then this knowledge must be applied in technology (engineering, medicine, agriculture, etc.). It must be implemented for use by all (business, commerce) and transmitted to future generations (education).”20)Henry Morris, Dominion Mandate, http://www.icr.org/article/dominion-mandate/



Heath Henning
Heath Henning
Heath heads the Set Free addictions ministry on Friday nights at Mukwonago Baptist Church and is involved in evangelism on the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus, offering his expertise in apologetics at the weekly Set Free Bible Study every Tuesday evening. He currently lives in East Troy, Wisconsin with his wife and nine children. Read Heath Henning's Testimony

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