Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Faith cant prove a negative either.

One argument you'll see often is that you cant prove a negative. I've already pointed out in a previous post that this fundamentally wrong and at best you can only assert that you cannot disprove a claim that has no testable qualities.

This means that you cannot prove there was no creator standing behind the big bang because we have no way to test that claim.

I cannot disprove that some god created the universe.

I also cannot prove that some god created the universe.

And of perhaps greater concern for people of faith the inability to disprove one creator (especially when evidence that contradicts the creation myth is dismissed as intentional by the creator) equates to the inability to disprove ANY creation myth from the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime to the Mesopotamian myth of creation.

Why god? Why a single god? There are many discussions on this topic, but deeper morality issues like freewill and the problem of good and evil actually get easier to counter if you have more than one god. Mesopotamian creation gives as much scientifically accurate information as genesis and neatly explains how not everything in the universe seems to go to the plan of a single good loving god.

Why not spirits that become alive, waking into physical forms, becoming the material from which the universe was created? The Dreaming offers more coherent answers to questions like good and evil by explaining that the creators did think or live in such simple bipolar terms.

The christian creation myth is not even consistent, with two conflicting descriptions of genesis. For a widely accepted religion it falls far short of meeting any burden of proof.

At least the Dreamtime doesn't attempt to include a timeline for the creation of the universe... especially one that that fails as badly as genesis to meet the facts. Ask a young earth creationist how we can see light from stars so distant that it must have taken more than 6000 to reach us when the universe is only 6000 years old?

Actually dont do that - especially not from whose ramblings will rapidly muddy the water with ideas like:

  • "observational science" vs "historical/origins science" (Which is nonsense, science is a method pure and simple - there are different areas of study but there are not different ways to do science other than good science and bad science. You would not trust a doctor who said he would cure you with "elf science" that he got from a book on elves, or "better luck next time science" where his cures have always killed the patient but "he's got to get lucky sooner or later right?").
  • The idea that the universe was created "fully mature" like Adam was! (This would only make sense if the universe was like adam and one of many we could compare to determine what a "maturity" universe is)
  • That the speed of light is widely variable (While it does actually change depending on the medium, its not by much and if it did change that much we would see evidence in comparing closer stars with ones further away)
  • That time is not rigid (Sorry... this one is totally laughable given that the whole premis of young earth creation is based on a day in the bible being a single normal 24 hour day as we know it.)
  • Finally they will probably wrap up with some poorly and incorrectly explained physics - If you want to know what a big bang physicist says then ask one directly the web is full of really good explanations - try starting here). 

None of these arguments actually work, AIG just includes as many as possible to make it look like there is a lot of doubt on the issue - which there isn't.

Every time a testable quality of a god claim is removed or watered down or described as a special case (special pleading) they weaken their own argument and god moves further from an actual claim to a vague idea.

But best of all every time a religionist dodges the question and refuse to make testable claims about his god and his creation myth he strengthens the claims of every other creation myth and any creation myth you care to make up on the spot. They are all as testable and verifiable as each other.

Religionists weaken their own ability to tell fact from fiction when they use these arguments or claim that even a tiny chance that something might be true in some form means that it is totally true.

You'll find evidence for this in the number of people who believe in ghosts, spirits, white witches, and other forms of mysticism in addition to a claim to follow christianity or other faith that do not actually support those beliefs.

Religionists need to stop hiding in doubt and bring their arguments and claims into the light. I dont agree with the AIG guys but at least they clearly communicate their claims and dont shy away from them just because they are manifestly wrong.

It's foolish but it has a certain integrity.

Now if only they could stop misrepresenting science, quoting out of date research and reciting logical fallacies then there might be hope for them.

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